Friday, June 29, 2007

Democrat Candidates Want U.S. Troops In Sudan

The anti-military party is now demanding U.S. soldiers go to Sudan to address the Darfur genocide. They say if there were oil there, we'd be in there in full force.

There is absolutely no American economic interest in Darfur. Any endeavor into Sudan is purely humanitarian. Therefore, if we go into Sudan with our military -- on our own, with the UN or with NATO, then we should go in with clear objectives. We'd need to stay there until the objectives are achieved. There will be military deaths. There will be expense. It will go on much longer than these candidates can anticipate.

America must do what is in the best interest of America. The invasion of Iraq -- at least the way the Bush administration executed it -- was not in our best interest. America's interest in Africa is limited to oil from Nigeria, Angola, Congo and Gabon and safaris.

The African continent is a quagmire. One could justify an international policing action in well over half of the African nations. To what end? Their cultures are based on corruption and self-enslavement. They have killed and will kill millions of their fellow countrymen. The genocides in Rwanda and Darfur are only the most recent.

How can you help nations who fail to help themselves? Do we throw money and American lives at this problem knowing we can only provide limited relief? Do we help just so we can feel good inside knowing we at least tried to do something?

Best thing we can do for Africa is to help eradicate malaria. I'd like to see the politicians address this disease instead of spending all of their African sound bites on AIDs.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Immigration Bill Goes Down in Flames

I have recently fill out the required form to change my party affiliation from Republican to "Unaffiliated." Day after day, the Republican Party has abandoned the traditional Republican values. Today's Republican Party is closer to the Democrat Party of the 60s. The Democrat Party of today is nothing like the party of John Kennedy, moving way left. There is little voice for the conservative ideology in either party. This latest immigration bill going down is not the appeasement I need, but it does give hope -- not for the Republican Party but for the voice of the average guy and gal.

The fallout from the immigration bill failure will be blamed on conservatives; most of it will be based on erroneous claims. This will come from both sides of the political aisle.

Republicans will claim conservatives will have created millions of Democrat-voting Latinos. Sorry amnesty-loving Republicans, if you lose the next time you run, don't blame it on the lack of Hispanic votes, blame it on yourself for abandoning core principles.

The bill failed because it was amnesty first and maybe border security and business-level enforcement later. Americans want secure borders. They do want to address the 12 million illegals already here. However they want to stop the invasion first. The bill failed because it was wrong.

It was a failure for Senator Reid who could not get his Democratic-controlled Senate to do what he wanted. It was a failure for President Bush, who continues to spiral into oblivion and will probably go down in history as one of the worst presidents this nation has ever had. It was a failure for some Republican Senators like Graham, McCain and Kyl -- make a bed with Ted Kennedy and pay the price. It was a failure of government for convincing people that their proposed immigration program would actually work.

It was a success for the American people -- their voices were actually heard. It was a success for talk radio -- organized opposition.

The amnesty-loving Senators, who care more about non-citizens than its own citizens because they disagree with them ideologically, will now desire to silence the "other voices." They'll want to deal with this talk radio thing.

Republicans like Lott, who own much of their success to the conservative right, have slit their own political throats. Democrats like Pilosi and Feinstein, have the audacity to criticize conservatives and their radio voice. This, coming from the party of hatred. The hatred they have and continue to spew toward Bush, the military, the religious (except Muslims) is as bloody as it gets.

It will be painfully funny to listen to the left and amnesty-loving Republicans as they deal with the aftermath of their failure. Instead of enforcing the current laws, they will try to silence the right with a "fairness doctrine."

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Advancing Amnesty Bill

The biggest problem with the latest Senate bill is that once this bill is passed, if it gets passed, the illegals here become legal.

The vote to invoke cloture was 64-35. This revived legislation must still go to the Senate floor for formal debate, receive amendments that will have little to do with the bill, and experience a formal vote. It also must go to the House where obstacles are higher.
Supporters needed 60 votes to scale procedural hurdles and return to the bill. A similar test-vote earlier this month found just 45 supporters, only seven of them Republicans. This time, 24 Republicans joined 39 Democrats and independent Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut, to back moving ahead with the bill. Opposing the move were 25 Republicans, nine Democrats and independent Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont.
There is an assumption here that all of the illegals want to become U.S. citizens. That they will leave, come back with their visas, pay their fines, and rah-rah America.

Some will follow this path, if the bill passes. Many will not.

The administration thinks this is such a good idea. They have such confidence in the details and their abilities to enforce the resulting laws and actions. I don't. Most Americans don't. They have failed to enforce the current laws. Are we supposed to believe they can and will enforce the new laws?

My Senators cancelled each other out: Hatch voted nay and Bennett voted yea. How did your Senator vote? IMO, these two Senators need to go. Bennett is up next. It sure would be nice if the Republican Party could come up with some alternative candidates. Maybe his support for amnesty will be the catalyst for the end of his reign.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Fairness Doctrine

We need a Democrat-based fairness doctrine? And that message is directed at whom?

On Fox on Sunday, Senator Feinstein (D-DA) said she is looking at the possibility of reviving the fairness doctrine for U.S. broadcasters. Agreeing with Senator Lott (R-MS) who said talk radio in particular has presented a one-sided view of immigration reform legislation being considered by the Senate.

U.S. talk radio is dominated by conservative voices. But that's only because liberal talk radio has failed on it own.

I will concur that talk radio does not get every detail of every news story. But I do know that Congress tries and succeeds in sneaking items through without public dialogue. Pork is the American way, unfortunately. But don't try to whack talk radio if you don't get your way, blaming it on missing details.

Every American should "fight to the death" to defend freedom of speech, regardless of the message or messenger.

Retail Politics and the Deleware Plan

In last week's US News and World Report, Michael Barone wrote an article -- A Primary Fix -- on the need for a better version of retail politics.

I was confused by some of the strategies some of the presidential contenders had when some of them said they might pass on the Iowa straw poll and the other early tests of strengths. Confusing because the polling companies are doing it in their official ways.

Why do we have this acceptable process of allowing Iowa and New Hampshire, states with low, homogeneous populations, set the tone for the national election?

Barone references the Delaware Plan...
...it has four rounds of primaries or caucuses, with the 12 smallest states voting in March, followed by the 13 next largest in April, the next 13 in May, and ending with the final 12 largest states voting in June. This would leave plenty of room for retail politics, with candidates able to pick the states where they might run best. Voters in later states would be able to judge how candidates run the gantlet. The nominations could not be clinched until June, since the 12 largest states have 60 percent of the nation's population.
Other plans include the Regional Primary System and American Plan / California Plan.
The National Association of Secretaries of State has endorsed the idea of regional primaries, with a series of regional primaries separated by a month and with the order of regions changing in every election cycle. While having the benefit of ensuring all states in a given 20-year period would have a chance to be among the first primary dates, it would make retail politicking very difficult.
The American Plan, more commonly known as the California Plan, features a schedule consisting of 10 two-week intervals, during which randomly selected states may hold their primaries or caucuses, with a gradual increase in the total population of states and territories holding primaries/caucuses. This 20-week schedule is weighted based on each state's number of congressional districts. American Samoa, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, which also send delegates to both national conventions, are each counted as one district in this system.
The American Plan seems to be fairer over time as it would give all states an equally influential role over time.

Th current system is flawed. A federal law to address this is due.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Indifinent Holding of Combatants


Recently, the federal appeals court in Richmond ruled that the president may not declare civilians in this country to be "enemy combatants" and have the military hold them indefinitely.

It defies logic why we would in good conscience continue to sanction the indefinite detainment of anyone, especially civilians, even if the president calls them enemy combatants.

Charge them, make your case, let them defend themselves, and reach a verdict.

The innocent until proven guilty maxim, derived from the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, is still the American way.

However, unlawful combatants do not receive POW status, do not receive the full protections of the Third Geneva Convention, nor is the President required to follow law's due process.

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Senate Energy Bill


Wouldn't it be great if our lawmakers would spend a certain amount of time each year removing laws? For every new law, they are forced to remove one law, for example.

As we look at the latest Senate energy bill, they seem to have been more motivated by market issues and less on the bogus man-made global warming claims.

We are a oil-thirsty people. We are dependent on foreign supplies. The demand for oil-based products will continue to increase, not just in American but in every nation on the earth.

So they are mandating auto manufactures increase the miles per gallon on all passenger cars and light trucks by roughly 40 percent by 2020, to a fleetwide average of 35 miles per gallon.

The bill also mandates the use of 36 billion gallons of ethanol by 2020. It asks creates new efficiency standards for appliances and federal buildings. It promotes new energy technologies. And it claims to ensures gas prices are not manipulated.

So in review, we have the government stepping in and telling us that we cannot have powerful, gas-guzzling cars; that despite market demands, we want less-powerful cars. I tend to favor market dynamics: if gas is $3-4 per gallon, the demand for vehicles that get better mileage will increase.

We need Ethanol because it is renewal. So we don't care that farmers will designate corn fields for Ethanol and not for corn-based food products. I guess the price of oil trumps the price of food.

I do not like the government using tax money for research into energy efficiency. Why not let the market dictate this? Is this area more important than other areas -- energy research gets federal funds, other industry desiring federal research dollars don't?

Regarding more efficient federal buildings...sounds good but it will end up costing more than it saves. It'll be a typical bad government investment. They'll end up spending $2 for every $1 saved.

Finally, the Democrats had to get something in there on those evil oil, price-gouging companies. I know this goes against the liberal mindset but I do not think energy companies should be taxed differently than any other company -- no more, no less.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Political Contributions By Journalists

A few weeks ago, I wrote an opinion on what I referred to as the hypocrisy of the left: asking Hugo Chavez to not shut down the main opposition outlet in Venezuela while at the same time trying to curtail -- make equal -- the voices heard on talk radio.

It has been my belief that the left dominate all other mainstream media outlets, with AM radio being the sole acceptance.

When I read MSNBC's recent list of political donations by journalists, two thought come to mind: are they merely stating the obvious with real data? How complete is this list; in other words, is this list a fair sample of journalists?

According to this list, journalists give financial contributions to Democrats at a 9:1 rate over Republicans.

So, is this fair. Shouldn't someone do something about equal voice for the alternative view point? For all non-government subsidized media, no. It is all about business. If the businesses can make a profit with liberal bias, then go for it. Those on AM talk radio admit they are biased, most favoring conservative positions. Those on the other media outlets, namely the left, attempt to hide their biass. The less-educated fall victim to their ploys, believing they are getting a balanced report.

For all government subsidized media, like PBS and NPR, the government should cease funding them. Trying to force coverage equality is a futile effort. Only a liberal would demand a new set of laws and new bureaucracy to enforce them.

Drivers' Ten Commandments

Just when you think you've heard it all, this week The Vatican issued a set of the "Drivers' Ten Commandments.

1. You shall not kill.

2. The road shall be for you a means of communion between people and not of mortal harm.

3. Courtesy, uprightness and prudence will help you deal with unforeseen events.

4. Be charitable and help your neighbor in need, especially victims of accidents.

5. Cars shall not be for you an expression of power and domination, and an occasion of sin.

6. Charitably convince the young and not so young not to drive when they are not in a fitting condition to do so.

7. Support the families of accident victims.

8. Bring guilty motorists and their victims together, at the appropriate time, so that they can undergo the liberating experience of forgiveness.

9. On the road, protect the more vulnerable party.

10. Feel responsible toward others.

Granted these are good suggestions and we all wish our fellow drivers would abide by them (certainly they are for the other guy, not for me), but don't you think they should focus on that pedophile priest thing first?

I can see it now..."forgive me Father for I have sinned, I bought a Corvette [commandment #5] and I liked it."

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Marriage In America


We have all probably read articles and books, watched TV programs or listened to talk radio cover the topic of marriage. In The Economist in May 26th 2007, there is an article entitled "The Frayed Knot".

The premise is that the divorce rate is declining in the higher economic and educated classes and increasing or remaining high in the lower economic and educated classes. Consider some of the findings:

-- Among the elite (excluding film stars), the nuclear family is holding up quite well. Only 4% of the children of mothers with college degrees are born out of wedlock. And the divorce rate among college-educated women has plummeted. Of those who first tied the knot between 1975 and 1979, 29% were divorced within ten years. Among those who first married between 1990 and 1994, only 16.5% were.

-- At the bottom of the education scale, the picture is reversed. Among high-school dropouts, the divorce rate rose from 38% for those who first married in 1975-79 to 46% for those who first married in 1990-94. Among those with a high school diploma but no college, it rose from 35% to 38%. And these figures are only part of the story. Many mothers avoid divorce by never marrying in the first place. The out-of-wedlock birth rate among women who drop out of high school is 15%. Among African-Americans, it is a staggering 67%.

-- A large majority -- 92% -- of children whose families make more than $75,000 a year live with two parents (including step-parents).

-- At the bottom of the income scale—families earning less than $15,000—only 20% of children live with two parents.

-- Married men drink less, take fewer drugs and work harder, earning between 10% and 40% more than single men with similar schooling and job histories. And marriage encourages both spouses to save and invest more for the future. Each partner provides the other with a form of insurance against falling sick or losing a job.

-- A study by Adam Thomas and Isabel Sawhill concluded that if the black family had not collapsed between 1960 and 1998, the black child-poverty rate would have been 28.4% rather than 45.6%. And if white families had stayed like they were in 1960, the white child poverty rate would have been 11.4% rather than 15.4%.

-- A survey of teenagers by the University of Michigan found that 64% of boys and 57% of girls agreed that “it is usually a good idea for a couple to live together before getting married in order to find out whether they really get along.” Research suggests otherwise. Two-thirds of American children born to co-habiting parents who later marry will see their parents split up by the time they are ten. Those born within wedlock face only half that risk. Why?

-- Scott Stanley of the Centre for Marital and Family Studies at the University of Denver says that couples start living together because it is more fun (and cheaper) than living apart. One partner may see this as a prelude to marriage. The other—usually the man—may see it as something more temporary. Since no explicit commitment is made, it is easier to drift into living together than it is to drift into a marriage. But once a couple is living together, it is harder to split up than if they were merely dating. So “many of these men end up married to women they would not have married if they hadn't been living together.”

Study after study conclude that marriage is good -- traditional marriage between a man and woman.

Does government play a role in promoting marriage? Certainly. Society is better when couples marry, have children, raise them together, handle their unique roles in the marriage -- husband and wife; father and mother. The family is ordained of God.

The leaders of the Church have stated: "We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society."

Divorces happen. No government program is going to eliminate divorce. There are plenty of marriages that merit divorce. In certain cases, children can be better off if the parents divorce. However this is not the majority. If government programs can make it economically more attractive to marry and stay married, perhaps society will be better served.

Monday, June 18, 2007

A Tragic Bear Attack


Last night, near the Timpooneke trail area of American Fork (UT) Canyon (Wasatch Mountains), a black bear ripped open a tent and carried off an 11-year-old boy in his sleeping bag. At around 11pm, searchers found the boy's remains about 400 yards away from the tent.

This is a tragedy, pure and simple.

I know this area extremely well. I have camp overnight, road my mountain bike and hiked all over the area. I have never seen a bear in the area, though I have seen moose, deer, fox and other fauna. I knew they were around because others have seen them.

After work, I spoke to some of my children and their friends about this. One of their friends said: "that's why I don't like to camp."

Go into the forest, you leave your world and enter theirs. You play by their rules. That's part of the lure of the wilderness.

A couple things we can learn from this, which may or may not be related to this actual attack.

First, mix food with your tent, sleeping material and sleeping area. Even the smell of food in your clothing can be an attractant.

Second, perhaps this bear has found food in other tents and this was just another attempt to do the same. That bear was not attacking a small child. The child did not pose a threat to the bear. The bear was after food. The child was merely caught between the bear and his food.

Third, tragedies happen and this is as tragic as it get. I feel very sorry for that family and for their loss.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Talk Radio is Running America


As this immigration bill continues and as more Republican Senators speak, the more I see the end of the Republican Party.

The Republican whip, Trent Lott (MS), who supports the bill, said: “Talk radio is running America. We have to deal with that problem.” We'll next hear that bloggers should be government regulated. Thankfully, other information outlets exist.

What does this mean? Is he a fan of some government entitity overseeing the "balance" of opinion? Should there be a liberal voice for every Rush, Savage, Hannity, Medved, Beck, Ingraham, Humphries, Larson, Hewitt, Reagan, Prager, and some regional hosts like Hedgecock, Sullivan, Lonsberry, Smith, Soucheray (one of my favorites), etc? There are certainly some who do.

Why is this? Liberals have owenership of TV news: MSNBC, CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS. Liberals have all government-subsidized radio; i.e., NRP.

AM talk radio is 100% driving by business issues, namely advertizers. It works with the conservative audience, it does not work with the liberal audience. Liberals have a tough time with the free market. They want all news sources and voices.

I hope we all agree that the more sources and voices we are able to read and hear, the more information we have to formulate our opinions and make our decisions.

One thing liberals fail to understand is that just because a conservative talk show host says something does not mean those conservative listeners agree with all their points. Thankfully we do have media that is closer to our ideology than the main stream/drive-by media.

Love the free market.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Gaza Civil War with West Bank Escalation Likely


Hamas is now in control of the bulk of Gaza -- all of Gaza City except for the presidential compound and the Suraya headquarters of the National Security Forces, the Palestinian army, which will fall shortly. After four days of bloodshed, the civil war has resulted in scores of dead.

Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority president (Fatah), just dismissed his Hamas-led government and declared a state of emergency. Might work in the West Bank but not in Gaza. Fatah is over in Gaza. The West Bank, although administered by Fatah, will have its work cut out trying to limit the Gaza carnage from spilling into the West Bank.

Hamas wants an Islamic government and the annihilation of Israel. The "secular" Fatah have a more modest death wish. Their broader ideological differences are irreconcilable. Fatah recognizes Israel, favors negotiations to achieve a Palestinian state. Hamas, formally known as the Islamic Resistance Movement, is considered a terrorist organization by the US, Israel and the EU.

It will be interesting to watch how Israel prepares for the spillover and the inevitable call for military action. Former Israeli prime minister, Ehud Barak, newly elected leader of the Labour party, is expected to become defence minister. Another former prime minister, Shimon Peres, is set to become Israel's new president. Neither has a track record that will inspire hope and toughness.

One cannot help but think what will happen over the next few weeks and months. Terrorist groups march to their own drummer. The only thing we can expect is the outlandish. They will murder and rape at will. Fatah, not much better, will probably launch an all out assault on Fatah in the West Back. This is looking like a battle to the last man.

There is no way we can expect peace in that area of the world. The Muslim Arabs living in Israel hate each other. The only thing they have in common is language and a hatred of Israel and the West. The blood lust is getting out of control.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Trafficking in Persons


The State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons released its 7th annual Trafficking in Persons Report. It added Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Algeria, Equatorial Guinea and Malaysia to its blacklist of worst offenders.

The list already included Burma, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Uzbekistan and Venezuela. Laos, Belize and Zimbabwe were dropped from the list.

China and India are on an intermediate watch list which means their approach to trafficking is deemed deficient but not enough to face immediate U.S. sanctions.

Countries on the list are subject to sanctions until major reforms are introduced.

Secretary Condoleezza Rice wrote:
"Trafficking in persons is a modern-day form of slavery, a new type of global slave trade. Perpetrators prey on the most weak among us, primarily women and children, for profit and gain. They lure victims into involuntary servitude and sexual slavery. Today we are again called by conscience to end the debasement of our fellow men and women. As in the 19th century, committed abolitionists around the world have come together in a global movement to confront this repulsive crime. President George W. Bush has committed the United States Government to lead in combating this serious 21st century challenge, and all nations that are resolved to end human trafficking have a strong partner in the United States."
The Trafficking Victims Protection Act defines “severe forms of trafficking in persons” as:

(a) sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person is induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age; or

(b) the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage or slavery.

Some "highlights" of this Report are:
-- Zambian girls were trafficked to Ireland for commercial sexual exploitation.
-- Filipina women were trafficked to Cote d’Ivoire for commercial sexual exploitation.
-- Vietnamese children were trafficked to the United Kingdom for forced involvement in drug smuggling.
-- Thai men were trafficked to the United States for labor exploitation and debt bondage.
-- Dominican women were trafficked to Montenegro for commercial sexual exploitation.
-- A Kenyan woman was trafficked to Mexico for commercial sexual exploitation.
-- Chinese women were trafficked to Afghanistan for commercial sexual exploitation.
-- Russian students were trafficked to the United States for forced labor, selling ice cream.

The Tiers that countries are placed in are defined as follows (see page 42 of the Report for the full country classification list):

Tier 1
Countries whose governments fully comply with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s (TVPA) minimum standards.

Tier 2
Countries whose governments do not fully comply with the TVPA’s minimum standards but
are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards.

Tier 2 Watch List
Countries whose governments do not fully comply with the TVPA’s minimum standards but
are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards and:
a) The absolute number of victims of severe forms of trafficking is very significant or is significantly increasing; or
b) There is a failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons from the previous year; or
c) The determination that a country is making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with minimum standards was based on commitments by the country to take additional future steps over the next year.

Tier 3
Countries whose governments do not fully comply with the minimum standards and are
not making significant efforts to do so.

At the conclusion of the Report, the drafters write:
The terms vary: trafficking, forced labor, involuntary servitude, slavery...but the basic elements are the same. Someone seeks a better life and takes a risk by accepting an offer of employment--often outside his or her country--and finds a hell of servitude instead. We have shed light on the most vulnerable--women and children--but in the modern age of exploitation through debt and deception, there are many men who fall prey to traffickers. This Report shows the servitude suffered by so many men who have taken risks for themselves and their families, but end up enslaved by labor recruiters and employers.
This is the first time I have read this document (not every 236 pages but much of it). It is a sad commentary on the sins of man. The sources are a result of poverty, corrupt governments and exploitative business people. The demand comes from all over, including those from the so-called higher pedigrees of societies.

UPDATE: A thousand children slaves uncovered in China.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Sopranos...Enough Already


I do not have HBO or any of those premier movie stations. I am not a big movie watcher. I have paid for a regular priced movie ticket zero times in the past few years.

I am not a big HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, etc. fan. Most of the material they put out is not something I want to watch nor do I want my children to watch. This is especially true for those made-for-HBO-like programs, including the Sopranos.

I have seen parts of it a few times while traveling. I find the themes somewhat interesting but the delivery lacking. I really cannot watch any programming with foul language. If a program uses the f-word, I turn it off. I find that word and those associated with it offensive. The Sopranos is full of foul language. It is also full of violent actions that I also find offensive.

As I drove in my truck on Monday, the day after the final Sopranos episode, I was amazed at the number of talk shows who focused on it. From news, conservative talk and sport talk, it seems all of those hosts watch and like the show. They seem to except and approve of that language and wanton violence. That stuff is not for me.

Let me pick on Michael Savage. He is the same talk show host that criticizes anyone who enjoys sports or watches them on TV. Thinks they are a waste of time. Yet he is a big Sopranos fan, watching faithfully. To each his own.

Those who watch these offensive programs, encourage decadence and accept foul and offensive language. These people aid in the fall of acceptable societal behavior. Their behavior shows they are hypocrites, although they will never admit to it.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Another Bad, Non-Enforeable Immigration Bill


For many, the failed immigration bill was bad news. For others, the bad, back-room bill's failure was to be celebrated

It was amazing to see how the grass roots were able kill a bad bill -- a bill that was initially assumed to be a slam dunk.

The Democrats will fair okay on this one as they'll point the finger at the Republicans, even though it was a so-called bipartisan bill.

Call it an amnesty bill or a fast-track residency bill, it was bad legislation. It died a proper death. Bush (who really listens to him any way?) will mostly likely fail in his attempts to change Congressional minds. He certainly will not sway public opinion.

The bill was based on erroneous premises. Consider the numbers from the Heritage Foundation's Robert Rector – probably the most widely quoted expert in the country on immigration. The average illegal immigrant family receives about $30,000 annually in government benefits, but pays only $9,000 in taxes.

Rebecca Hagelin recently wrote in her "The Immigration Giveaway" six principles for immigration reform, that are very different that the recently rejected "bipartisan" concept:

-- America's immigration system must be a national strength and not a strategic vulnerability.
-- The rule of law requires the fair, firm and consistent enforcement of the law, and immigration is no exception.
-- Those who enter, remain in and work in the country illegally are in ongoing and extensive violation our immigration laws.
-- Each nation has the responsibility – and obligation – to determine its own conditions for immigration, naturalization and citizenship.
-- Immigration policy should be a fiscal and economic benefit not only for immigrants, but also for the nation as a whole.
-- A temporary worker program must be temporary, market-oriented and feasible.

My belief, right or wrong, has been to safeguard the border and enforce the hiring laws. If more immigrants are required, then the quotas need to be changed.

I personally think the quotas are closer to being right than wrong. We hear in the media (and Bill Gates) claim we need more engineers, can't find them locally, and thus need more H-1B visas. We hear we need more agricultural and construction workers because Americans are not willing to do these jobs. There is some truth in these premises. However, I feel the bigger problem is that businessmen would prefer to hire lower wage workers. they can get the quality they want for less. Who wouldn't?

The legals and illegals will work for less. They accept living in an over-crowded apartment. Their acceptable living standards and the associated lower wages bring the whole middle class. To them, the conditions are better than where they come from. So they raise their standard of living at the cost of lowering it for America in general.

I see young men and women around me out there looking for work -- physical or so-called demeaning work. And I know many of them do not get hired. I also know for a fact that illegals are working in many of those jobs and the legals are denied these jobs because these companies do not have openings; those positions are filled by illegals.

We have an immigration problem. But Kennedy, McCain, Spector, Graham, Kyl, Reid and Bush have the wrong idea on how to handle it. The administrative branch of government has failed to enforce the current laws. The legislative branch has failed to provide the necessary funds to implement their past legislation.

There is no reason any American should think this time around will be any different. We got immigration laws, fund them and enforce them.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Tour de Cure

Saturday in Brigham City, Utah was a great day for a bike ride. The annual Tour de Cure is the American Diabetes Association's summer fund raiser associated with road riders. This is the second time I have done this ride.

It starts out in Brigham City, goes to the Golden Spike Memorial, to Tremonton, north a spell, back to Tremonton, and back to Brigham City (Box Elder High School).

The weather was a bit cool for the 07:30 start; arm warmers were fitting. But within a hour or two, the sun warmed up the air.

It was a great day for a ride. The pace was brisk for the stronger riders. I am not a fast rider but felt like I had a decent day in the saddle.

The cause was great. Those willing to sponsor riders was significant. I road on the Gold's Gym team based out of American Fork. The amount of money raised by that ~150-member team had to have been in the $40,000s.

Riding century road rides is not so much fun but more associated with an accomplishment. Only the superhuman say they are feeling great around mile 70-80, because that's when the underside begins hurting significantly.

I try to do 2-4 of these long rides every spring/summer/fall. Two down, one or two to go. But the Tour de Cure is the one that gives me the greatest joy.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Paris Hilton...Too Good to Pass On


I can only assume that most people, when they hear the name Paris Hilton, cringe. We ask ourselves, "who cares?" or "enough already." But you have to admit, it is a respite from watching Bush get schooled by Putin in Germany, watching the latest Senate immigration bill go now in flames (good news), and watching the Presidential wannabees ebb and flow on their political posturing and positions.

You gotta admit that it is about time the rich and famous got what the rest of us get. Drink and drive, do it again and again, you will find yourself in court. The punishments are widely understood and expected. I guess Paris thought otherwise.

She reported to jail last weekend, with the thought she'd only serve half of her 45 day sentence. After a few days in her somewhat posh prison surroundings, she was released from jail by the locally elected LA sheriff, against the ruling of the court, to a home sentence tied to an electronic bracelet.

With the outraged community and the sentencing judge who was shown up by the sheriff, he ordered her back to court and then back to jail.

As the spoiled person she is, her screaming and moaning, this time are not what made her famous for the tabloids and the Internet porn celebrity sites, are of a more personal nature. Probably the first time in her life she has felt the scorn of punishment.

Seeing a 26-year old crying for her mother using a medical condition as a defense is funny if it were not so sad. (Being spoiled is a condition but not one that merits a transfer to a psych ward of the local asylum or a reprive on a jail sentence.) This could not have happened to a bigger prima donna.

Certainly this story is not over but it brought back the OJ Simpson "car chase" and the pathetic leading characters. Thanks for the pathos.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

D-Day


There are few historical dates more significant to Americans and Europeans than 6 June 1944 when the Allied forces launched an all-out attack on German-occupied France.

I noticed an absence of coverage by the MSM. Instead, today's headline's deal with the G8 summit in Germany; Bush, Putin and the proposed European missile defense system; the Republican debate (more like an Inquisition on liberal talking points); Obama threatening riots; and Hillary's prayers and "faith."

Having spent time in Normandy, for me today is day of reverence and reflection.

With time, those involved move on, and the newer generations lack the formal education and the more important hands-on discussion with those who participated in the Allied forces during WWII.

I am always amazed at the loyalty exhibited by those men, especially those in the first waves. With 6,000 of them dying that first day, the sacrifice was great. I for one, will never forget and will always be grateful.

I guess this is one reason I have a tough time with those of the liberal persuasion who seem to do just about everything they can to demean the military, those serving and their missions.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

What to Make of Libby and Jefferson

We have two unrelated legal matters making the headlines. The first involving Scotter Libby and the second involving Congressman Jefferson.

Scooter Libby, Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, was sentenced to 30 months in prison for lying and obstructing the CIA leak investigation.

U.S. Democratic Rep. William Jefferson of Louisiana was charged with a 16-count indictment dealing with fraud, obstruction of justice, conspiracy. Although it is not a crime to storing $90,000 in a freezer, it is if the money came from bribes.

The former was certainly a victim of a witch hunt...a vendetta by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. This shows that no one is immune from prosecution if a special prosecutor is tasked with your conviction. There are few who could withstand the cross examination of hours of questioning. They are bound to cross you up if they keep at it long enough.

The latter, well, what can you say about the state of Louisiana politics. This is modus operandi in the bayou, he just got caught. And for $90,000. At least make it worthwhile Congressman.

The real bet is on will Jefferson get more time than Libby. Stealing or lying...which is worse? Does not matter. All that matters is how good the prosecution and defense are.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Weekend in Denver

This is the second time I have brought my two boys with me to Denver. The motivation was Rockies baseball and their opponents -- St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds.

We drove over from the Wasatch Front on Thursday -- an eight hour drive. We spent the past three nights at Coors Field. We bought scalped seats the first two nights and seats in the Rock Pile tonight.

We have eaten some good food -- from basic burgers to Thai, Mexican and Chinese.

Denver is a decent city. They have just about everything: great restuarants, sports, arts, recreation, etc. But they do have a surfit of liquor stores and bars. If you like that stuff, then Denver is the place for you. I guess that's why many people do not like coming to Utah -- not enough bars and liquor stores.

I guess that's why I like Utah and the culture we have. There are many people who'd like to change that. They'd like Utah to appear like the rest of the nation. I am sure it will happen over time -- it already has in some parts of Salt Lake and certainly in Park City.

Until then, I'll continue to enjoy living in Utah, despite those who don't like me and my ways.

Friday, June 01, 2007

The TB Fugative


The media sure likes the story of Atlanta infectious disease fugitive Andrew Speaker, now in quarantine in Denver.

Speaker learned he had TB in January and in May, a drug-resistant form known as XDR-TB. Despite this, he flew on a commercial flight from Atlanta to Paris and returned 12 days later from Prague to Montreal. He then drove to the United States and checked into a New York City hospital May 25. Three days later, he was flown on a CDC plane to Atlanta, where he was placed under government-ordered isolation.

Ironically, his father-in-law, Robert Cooksey, has worked at the CDC for 32 years in the Division of Tuberculosis.

As I have listened to and read the media's account, there's an underlying assumption this guy is irresponsible and should have stayed put and not traveled. Realize, he was getting married and was to enjoy a honeymoon. He was outward healthy and felt fine. They did not isolate him as apparently they should.

The problems are with the CDC and the no-fly TSA program. If a person really has an infectious disease and is on the no-fly list, why was the person allowed to travel commercially? Why wasn't he quarantined? They are now questioning their abilities and processes. This shows how inept the government is as doing what is correct. Bureaucracies mean well but are usually short on execution.