Category Archives: Immigration

Somebody’s Gotta Say It (Book Review)

(Cross posted here at Fearless Philosophy for Free Minds)

As a regular listener of The Neal Boortz Show, I find this book every bit as hard-hitting, insensitive, informative, and entertaining as his show. The High Priest of the Painful Truth pulls no punches in his assault on ignorance whether from the Right, the Left, or Center. The Libertarian Party (the party that most closely reflects his views) is even skewered on a number of fronts.

It’s difficult to know how people who do not listen to his show will respond. You will likely find this book near books with a conservative political bent but conservatives who expect to find yet another book which relentlessly attacks the Left while keeping their sacred cows protected will be sorely disappointed. While Boortz dedicates a significant portion of the book to the lunacy of the Left, the Right is criticized for pushing their religious anti-science agenda on the American public (especially in government schools), their homophobia, and their continuous chipping away at the limited government platform they claim to embrace.

Boortz has many targets in this book but none receive more of his ire than government schools. Teacher’s unions exist solely to keep mediocre to incompetent teachers in a job; they will fight tooth and nail to prevent any kind of competition from private schools. But government schools are even more harmful that what we can see on the surface. Want to know why the American public has lost its love for freedom in exchange for security from an ever expanding government? According to Boortz, government schools are to blame. Government schools teach school children from a very young age that government is good and is the solution to every problem. There is even a chapter dedicated to how school children learn their first lesson in communism. Have you ever taken your child to the store and bought school supplies on a list only to have the teacher take those supplies away from your child to be donated to the class? If you don’t believe this to be a big deal consider the lesson your child is learning: he or she must give up his or her private property (school supplies in this case) for “the greater good” of the whole society (the classroom in this case).

Is it any coincidence that most Americans erroneously believe that America’s government is a democracy rather than a constitutional representative republic? Is it any coincidence that most Americans don’t know the difference or know why this distinction is important? Boortz contends that this is not by accident but by design. The purpose of government schools is not to educate students but to indoctrinate them into obedient citizens subjects.

Eventually, these school children grow up to be voters (Did I mention that the author finds no constitutional guarantee to the right to vote? Sounds crazy but once you read his arguments and consult the U.S. Constitution, he makes a compelling case). After thirteen years of government indoctrination, many of these adults see no problem with wealth redistribution, the welfare state, the nanny state, and have no genuine appreciation for liberty. This makes it very easy for politicians to pander to the American public to meet all of these needs which far too many people believe to be birthrights. Those who believe this the most tend to vote Democrat which leads me to his chapter “The Democrats’ Secret Plan for America.”

Boortz mockingly calls the Democrat plan a “secret plan” because of how Democrats typically scare various constituencies about Republican secret plans to kick old people into the street, burn black churches, and starve babies. Much of the secret plan is no secret at all however. So what do the Democrats have in store for America should they retain congress and win the presidency? According to the author we can expect the entire tax burden to be shifted to the wealthy, imputed income (which would put most all home owners in a higher tax bracket), place caps on income for those who “make too much,” add taxes to 401k and other investment vehicles which are not currently taxed, womb to the tomb universal government healthcare, the reinstatement of the “fairness doctrine” (which would effectively put an end to talk radio), the repeal of the Second Amendment, and several other such wet dreams of the far Left. If you don’t read any other chapter in this book, read this chapter.

Certainly, this book isn’t one which will leave the reader thinking “Its morning in America” but it does offer a fair amount of humor, positive solutions (such as what should be taught in government schools; provides his own citizenship test), and an inside peek of the talk radio business. Boortz opens the book by introducing himself, his interests and how he got into talk radio (under rather tragic circumstances). Even in the chapters that contain a discouraging outlook have a healthy dose of humor. But if you are overly outraged after reading the chapter about government funded art or the Democrat Party’s war on the individual, skip to “Chasing Cats” or “Terrorizing the Mailroom.” I won’t give away what these chapters are about but I assure you that you are in for a good belly laugh (that Boortz is quite the prankster).

Somebody’s Gotta Say It is a refreshingly honest, sober view of the body politic, American culture, and state of our world. Boortz presents a variety of original controversial ideas on a variety of issues. Such proposals would certainly make the political debate more productive if not more interesting (a number of these proposals can be found toward the end of the book in a chapter entitled “No Way in Hell.”). I highly recommend this book for anyone who is not easily offended. Anyone who is easily offended should skip this book in favor of a selection from the Oprah Book Club.

Dogs Begin Fleeing Venezuela

I guess it’s really starting to get ugly!

Stowaway puppy hunts home after surviving harrowing trip from Venezuela

An accidental stowaway from Venezuela, discovered in a ship container by dockworkers at Port Everglades, was being treated Tuesday for dehydration — and mange.

The caramel-colored mutt, a 3-month-old female, was found Thursday in the trailer-sized container among a shipment of tiles. The pup apparently survived a six-day passage from Maracaibo. And she was hungry.

“We opened the container and the dog started running out,” said dock supervisor Rene Pedraza. “Just started looking for food and water.”

Bobbi Miller of the West Palm Beach-based Chesed Foundation, an animal rescue group, took the dog, christened Lana, to a private Palm Beach County vet, who administered intravenous feeding Tuesday.

Hugo Chavez was reported to label the dog a greedy capitalist, when it was revealed that Lana’s first words when exiting the container were “Yo quiero Taco Bell”.

Illegal Immigration And The GOP’s Descent Into Statism

Former Georgia Congressman, and former Republican, Bob Barr writes in today’s Washington Times that the the emerging Republican position on immigration is another indication of it’s descent into big government statism:

When word surfaced recently that some banks, such as Bank of America, were allowing individuals to open accounts, apply for credit cards and obtain home mortgages even though they did not possess a Social Security number, it was not Big Government Liberals who rose up in arms to stop “greedy” financial institutions from offering such services. It was Small Government Republicans, like Colorado’s Tom Tancredo and Californians Ed Royce and John Doolittle, who waxed indignant that banks engaged in such a free market activity as extending credit to someone who proved creditworthy but did not have a Social Security number.

The reason for this strange behavior by otherwise conservative Republicans? Illegal immigration. From fear that allowing banks to continue engaging in commercial transactions such as extending credit to persons without Social Security numbers encourages illegal immigration, conservative Republicans have introduced legislation prohibiting financial institutions from extending mortgages to anyone who cannot establish their bona fides by producing a valid Social Security number. Some apparently go so far as to consider prohibiting banks from even issuing credit cards to such individuals.

Thus is being writ another chapter in the long and unfortunate march of the Republican Party to the pinnacle of Big Government; a march that figured prominently in the party’s 2006 electoral losses but which continues seemingly unabated in the new, 110th Congress.

As Barr points out, the same logic that Tancredo and his associates are applying to their call to prohibit banks from freely entering into contracts with their customers can be applied in any number of situations:

 Where, for example, will the mandates they seek — forcing businesses to determine if a person is in this country lawfully before extending credit or selling a product for which that person is otherwise eligible — be next applied? Will a bill be introduced that prohibits automobile dealers from selling a motor vehicle to anyone who cannot produce a valid Social Security card? Will landlords be forced to rent their property only to those who possess a Social Security card? Would it not make just as much sense for these advocates to require presentation of a Social Security card prior to bedding down for the night at a local Marriott?

    Moreover, this same philosophy could be just as consistently applied were Congress to prohibit banks from facilitating other “criminal behavior.” Why not, for example, prohibit banks from extending credit to persons who might be in violation of other laws, such as the multifaceted antidrug laws in this country, or whose behavior runs counter to sex-related laws still on the books? Or — and this might hit too close to home to be championed by lawmakers — should not the federal government move to stop individuals who violate federal campaign laws from obtaining credit; because, after all, doing so simply encourages further unlawful behavior?

The answer to that question, of course, is who knows. As demonstrated by the proposals put forward by Tancredo and his supporters, and by the manner in which the leadership and the White House governed in the period from 2001-2006, it is fairly clear that the era of the GOP as a party of small government is, if not over, seriously in danger of coming to an end.

Someone needs a lesson in separation of powers… AGAIN

Well now, take a quick look at this bill, and see if you can tell me what’s wrong with it:

HR 563 IH

110th CONGRESS

1st Session
+

H. R. 563

To vacate further proceedings in the prosecution of certain named persons.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

January 18, 2007

Mr. HUNTER (for himself, Mr. POE, Mr. JONES of North Carolina, Mr. TANCREDO, Mr. ROHRABACHER, Mr. GOODE, Mr. BURTON of Indiana, Mrs. MUSGRAVE, Mr. ROYCE, Mr. DUNCAN, Mr. BARTLETT of Maryland, Mr. HERGER, Mr. COLE of Oklahoma, Mr. BARRETT of South Carolina, Mr. CARTER, Mr. PORTER, Mr. MCCOTTER, Mr. BURGESS, Mr. GERLACH, Mr. MICA, Mr. SAXTON, Mr. DAVIS of Kentucky, Mr. SESSIONS, Mr. CANTOR, Mr. HOBSON, Mr. LAHOOD, Mr. WALSH of New York, Mr. TERRY, Ms. FOXX, Mr. HASTINGS of Washington, Mr. WELDON of Florida, Mr. BISHOP of Utah, Mr. KIRK, Mr. ROGERS of Alabama, Mrs. MYRICK, Mr. STEARNS, Mr. RENZI, Mr. BONNER, Mr. BAKER, Mr. PETERSON of Pennsylvania, Mr. EVERETT, Mr. CANNON, Mrs. CUBIN, Mr. SHADEGG, Mr. SHIMKUS, Mr. COBLE, Mr. ENGLISH of Pennsylvania, Mr. GILCHREST, Mr. HAYES, Mr. LEWIS of Kentucky, Mr. ROGERS of Kentucky, Mr. DAVID DAVIS of Tennessee, Mr. PEARCE, Mr. GINGREY, Mr. GARY G. MILLER of California, Mr. LOBIONDO, Mr. TIBERI, Mr. WHITFIELD, Mr. LATOURETTE, Mr. YOUNG of Florida, Mrs. BLACKBURN, Mr. PITTS, Mr. SMITH of New Jersey, Mr. SULLIVAN, Mr. MANZULLO, Mr. MCHUGH, Mr. WILSON of South Carolina, Mr. MCKEON, Mr. AKIN, Mr. KINGSTON, and Mr. TIAHRT) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committee on Homeland Security, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

A BILL

To vacate further proceedings in the prosecution of certain named persons.

Whereas the conviction and sentencing of United States Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean for the pursuit and shooting of drug smuggler Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila which is the subject of a Federal criminal case in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas represents an extreme injustice: Now, therefore,

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the `Congressional Pardon for Border Patrol Agents Ramos and Compean Act’.

SEC. 2. ORDER.

It is hereby ordered that the conviction and sentences of Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean are vacated. The release of the defendants from the custody of the Government is hereby ordered, with prejudice. No further criminal prosecution or other proceeding against these named individuals with respect to the circumstances giving rise to the convictions and sentences vacated by this Act shall take place.

SEC. 3. SENSE OF CONGRESS.

It is the sense of Congress that the Department of Homeland Security review the rules of engagement presently utilized by the United States Border Patrol.

END

If you guessed it had something to do with the title of this post, you get a gold star.

So, a little background for those of you who don’t know.

Ramos and Compean were Border Patrol Agents on the U.S. Mexican border, along the El Paso section; which happens to be one of the busiest smuggling regions, as well as one of the more dangerous.

Border patrol rules of engagement specify that BP agents are not to enter into armed confrontation with smugglers. Well, Ramos and Compean did; and they ended up shooting one in the back.

Oooh no, in the back, those foul evildoers…

Yeah it’s bull. Anyone who knows anything about a violent situation knows that when shooting starts, you don’t pay attention to anything other then staying alive, and stopping the threat. If he’s still moving, he’s still fighting; but that’s neither here nor there.

The problem is, after shooting at said scumbag (who was attempting to smuggle 800lbs of Marijuana that day) 15 times (they apparently only hit him once), they figured “ehh just another dead smuggler”, and they didn’t report the incident.

Now, that is a seriously big no-no. Very bad ju-ju. They violated their ROE, and they knew it, so they decided to hush it up. Grounds for dismissal certainly, and possibly a minor prosecution; but probably nothing really serious.

But the scumbag wasn’t dead; and he complained to his own government about being shot. The Mexican government then complained to our Department of Homeland Security (who run the Border Patrol), who at the behest of the Mexican government told the U.S. Attorney for the western district of Texas that these two agents had “Committed a conspiracy to commit murder against a Mexican citizen”.

Anyway, the El Paso U.S. Attorney looks at the ROE, looks at the criminal drug smuggling bastard shot in the back, and then looks at the pressure from Homeland Security and the Mexican government; and of course he sees where his bread is buttered, and decides to crucify Ramos and Compean.

They were charged with and convicted for, assault with a deadly weapon, attempted murder, and conspoiracy to commit murder; and they each got 12 years… actually 11 years and 1 day, and 12 years respectively (not sure what the calculation was on that).

It gets better. Once they were remanded to custody, TWO BP AGENTS WHO SHOT A MEXICAN DRUG SMUGGLER WERE PUT INTO GEN-POP WITH ALL THE MEXICAN GANGS.

They were of course beaten nearly to death within hours, before being put into protective custody.

Now, SOP for a cop who gets sent to prison, is that they are NEVER put in with the general population, because if they do, it’s effectively a death sentence. How this was ignored… let’s just say is smells.

Let me just say something: I know for a fact we didn’t get the whole story out to the public. I have family in the Border patrol who tell me this whole thing stinks to high heaven. BUT, based on what evidence was presented, this wasn’t attempted murder or assault, this was a JUSTIFIED line of duty shooting.

What it comes down to is, the BP agents in question were so scared of the bureaucratic bull, and attitude of the Border Patrol management, that they decided to pretend it never happened. Their fear of their own bad management is what created this problem, not any improper action in shooting said drug smuggling scum bag.

Anyway, off my soap box for a minute.

Now, look at this little section from the bill above:

SEC. 2. ORDER.

It is hereby ordered that the conviction and sentences of Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean are vacated. The release of the defendants from the custody of the Government is hereby ordered, with prejudice. No further criminal prosecution or other proceeding against these named individuals with respect to the circumstances giving rise to the convictions and sentences vacated by this Act shall take place.

Now, here’s the big problem.

Congress can’t do that.

The constitution provides clearly delineated separation of the powers of the branches of government. Congress Makes the Laws, the Courts interpret and apply the laws, and the Executive branch executes and enforces the laws.

Pretty cut and dried.

Congress could write a new law, saying that what Ramos and Compean did isn’t illegal; but it wouldn’t change their case because what they did WAS illegal when they did it, according to the interpretation of the courts.

The courts could overturn their conviction, and dismiss the charges.

The Executive branch is the enforcement branch, and as such the privilege of executive clemency is their purview; so the president could pardon them.

But Congress cannot, “By act of Congress Assembled”, vacate a conviction, or grant a pardon. Oh they can do it symbolically with a “sense of congress” resolution, or they can ASK the president to issue a pardon, they can even by act of congress ask the supreme court to consider the case (as they did with the Terry Schaivo issue… though the way it was worded they overstepped their bounds there as well)…

But congress can not vacate a conviction, or issue a pardon. In fact, they can’t order the courts, or the president to do ANYTHING; except to follow the law. It is not within their constitutionally delegated powers to do so.

The only enforcement power that congress has, is to cite someone for contempt of congress (either for not following a law, or for not responding to the requests of congress expressed in their powers of subpoena to compel evidence and testimony); or to institute impeachment against the president (and in fact, they don’t enforce that: the supreme court, acting on the authority of the senate, vacates the office of the president, and then the next in line of succession takes over).

Of the bills 87 co-sponsors, most of them are lawyers, who one would assume took constitutional law at some point or another. Many of them are congressmen of long service, who really should understand their constitutional authority, role, and powers.

Perhaps we are asking too much of our congressmen to understand their jobs, or the constitution.

I am a cynically romantic optimistic pessimist. I am neither liberal, nor conservative. I am a (somewhat disgruntled) muscular minarchist… something like a constructive anarchist.

Basically what that means, is that I believe, all things being equal, responsible adults should be able to do whatever the hell they want to do, so long as nobody’s getting hurt, who isn’t paying extra

Illegal Immigration And Gun Control

Let’s set up a little thought experiment, and think about how different people might react.

Scenario 1: Nathan awakes in the middle of the night, startled by a loud noise. He has no home camera system installed at his house. He heads into the closet, grabs his pistol, and goes to investigate. He lives in Washington DC, and his firearm is completely unregistered. As he exits the bedroom, he sees an intruder armed with a crowbar, heading towards him. He shoots the intruder, killing him instantly. When the cops arrive, they cite him for unlawful possession of a firearm.

Scenario 2: Jose comes from Mexico, where he’s got two small children. His wife has passed away, and his children are being cared for in Mexico City by their elderly grandmother, who Jose also supports. Jose can’t legally emigrate to the US, but jumps the border to work two jobs, so he can feed his family and put his children through school. One day, as he’s working on the construction site, the INS shows up, demanding his paperwork. When he provides his fraudulent ID, they round him up for deportation.

Now, a lot can be explained by your reaction to these two scenarios. I’m going to sketch out a few possibilities. What do you think, am I on target?

Republican: Nathan is a hero. He deserves a medal, not legal threats. Those gun laws are horrible, and you should never punish a man for protecting his family. Jose, however, is a lawbreaker. He should be deported, for stealing our jobs and sucking up our welfare dollars!

Democrat: Jose is just doing what anyone would do in that situation. It’s not his fault that US immigration laws are so tough. He needs to take care of his family, not be deported. But Nathan? Couldn’t there have been a peaceful way out of that situation. His intruder wasn’t armed with a gun, didn’t Nathan have a baseball bat around? Why didn’t he fire a warning shot, or just call the police?

Libertarian: Good on ya, Nathan and Jose! An immoral law shouldn’t be followed. Ooh, hey, are those brownies? I’ve got a wicked case of the munchies!

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