A military man’s take on a budget that stiffs vets while enriching illegal aliens

Marines dismounting from an amphibious assault vehicleThe new budget cuts pensions for vets, including those who were wounded while serving this country, while continuing unchecked the flow of money to illegal aliens.  We’re not shocked, because we’ve learned that, no matter how low our government goes, give it a day and it can go even lower.  The absence of shock, though, doesn’t insulate us from anger and disappointment.  I got the following from a friend who serves and I think it pretty much says everything that needs to be said on the subject:

So I signed a contract with the govt outlining what exactly I would get in exchange for my lifetime of service. Now the govt gets to change the deal yet I am expected to continue to hold up my end of the bargain.

The same government who is complaining about military “entitlements” eating us alive has no issue extending unemployment benefits at the drop of a hat. They also feel someone who has chosen a life of dropping fries and flipping burgers deserves a “living wage.”

Illegal immigrants crossing into USIn the end, those who have chosen a life of service and actually have contributed to society get a pay cut while the leeches and those with their hand out contributing nothing get a reward.

Also, John McCain is a dick. I would expect more support from a POW. This is the height of hypocrisy considering his political career is based on his military service, specifically time spent as a POW.

This entire issue smacks of disloyalty and is particularly galling to those of us who have spent a lifetime of loyal and faithful service.

Voter fraud? What voter fraud!

No comment from me.  You all know what I’m thinking:

Starting Wednesday, Californians can register to vote online, a change implemented just in time for the November presidential election.

Made possible by a 2011 bill authored by Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, the online system will allow people whose signature is already on file with the state Department of Motor Vehicles to transfer their voter registration form electronically to county elections officials from the secretary of state’s website. Since 2009, voters have been able to access a voter registration form online, but until now, they had to print it out and mail it in.

For the November election, Californians have until Oct. 22 to register.

Okay, I’ll add just one thing: The Progressive California legislature just approved driver’s licenses for illegal aliens.

That’s all folks.

The passive aggressive selfishness and racism of the open borders crowd *UPDATED*

The next big thing on the political agenda is, again, immigration “reform.”  As someone said, it’s 2006 all over again, right down to the conveniently available, often Communist-provided signs.

The matter might have sat around for a little longer, but Arizona pulled the trigger on debate by looking at its impressive levels of border crime and welfare, and then enacting a law that authorizes it to act within the parameters of existing federal law regarding illegal immigration.  The Progressives (and by now that means most of the loud mouths in the Democratic party) are incensed.  They’re likening Arizona to Nazi Germany for having the temerity to ask people to show their citizenship papers.  Given the point of origin for most illegal immigrants (hint:  it’s not Denmark), those most likely to be asked are Hispanics.  Quell coincidence!

Rush, of course, instantly pointed out the most obvious hypocrisy behind the Progressive hue-and-cry:  Progressives have enacted and strenuously support a law requiring every American citizen to show papers to the IRS or risk a fine; but they are shocked beyond measure that a state rife with crime may want to enforce pre-existing law that allows them to ask people to prove that they even belong in the country in the first place.

“Belonging in the country” is where things really get interesting.  As best as I can tell, the Open Borders crowd is convinced that the illegals here do really belong in the country.  Whether they’re making hopey-changey arguments; or “we Hispanics were here first” arguments (a line of argument that actually applies only to Native Americans, with everyone else being an invader); or “we’ve imposed so much misery on oppressed people of the world we deserve to suffer” arguments, the gist of the Progressive world view is that it’s simply unfair that people south of the Border live in poverty.

For purposes of this post, I’m going to accept the Progressive argument at face value:  it’s horribly unfair that people south of the Border live in countries rife with crime, sexual violence, drugs and poverty, when we have this perfectly nice, clean, relatively safe country just hovering north of them as a perpetual enticement.  And if you buy that it’s all our fault that they suffer so terribly down there, it’s even more unfair.

The easy answer, the answer the Progressive’s espouse, is simply to open the borders and let some of the tired, poor, huddled masses from down south pour in.  Not only will they get to live in a nicer place (if you think urban slums and crime ridden border towns are nicer), but we Americans will be forced to pay a perpetual penance in the form of fewer jobs for legal citizens, higher taxes to cover welfare for illegals, and increased crime rates everywhere illegals are.  We deserve to be punished, right?

What the Progressive’s refuse to recognize is that their cute little game of allow a continuous trickle of illegal aliens over the border is a cop-out.  No matter how many come in here, there are still a much larger number abandoned way back there.  And what’s even worse is that, by allowing utterly corrupt governments (Mexico comes to mind) to have this safety valve, we are giving those governments carte blanche to continue in their reckless, corrupt, abusive ways.  As long as we siphon off the poorest and, sometimes, the most criminal citizens, the same governments that are grossly abusing their citizens continue to get a free pass.

If Progressives actually wanted to make a change South of the Border, they’d close our border and start putting really serious pressure on Latin American countries to start engaging in true reform.  The Mexican government, denied a safety valve (plus the billions of dollars the illegals send home to float the Mexican economy), would have to reform or, probably, collapse.  Clearing out that rot, allow room for true reform and real Democratic impulses, would be the true gift we, as Americans, could give people South of the Border.

Right now, all that the shrill, abusive Progressive rhetoric is doing is propping up tyrants, demagogues, criminals and incompetents.  That the Progressives’ goal is to punish Americans, not to aid Latin American, is made manifest by the fact that they aggressively refuse to help the greater number of Hispanics repair the situation at home, choosing instead to abuse their own country by putting small percentages of Hispanics in ghettos in America, all the while implicitly and explicitly supporting the same horrible regimes that sent these people fleeing in the first place.

UPDATE:  Speaking of Mexico, Michelle Malkin explains how Mexico treats its illegal immigrants.  Unconstrained by PC guilt, it’s not pretty.  Also, it was the Anchoress who said it’s 2006 all over again, and now I’ve got a good link to that effect.

Illegal immigrants, gay rights, gun safety, and other stuff *UPDATED*

This is a portmanteau post, filled with interesting things I read today, some of which come in neatly matched sets.

Opening today’s San Francisco Moronicle, the first thing I saw was that an illegal teen’s arrest is causing a stir in San Francisco’s halls of power.  You see, San Francisco is a sanctuary city, and its official policy is to refuse to allow police to notify the federal government when arrestees prove to be illegal immigrants.  As has happened before, one of those nice legal illegal immigrants is, in fact, a cold-blooded murderer.  This particular 15 year old is accused of having held the two victims in place so that his compadres c0uld execute them.  The hoo-ha is happening because someone in City government, disgusted by the legal travesty that encourages people like this to make themselves free of our cities and our country, reported the kid to the INS, which is now on the case.  The liberals in the City ask “How dare a San Francisco employee help enforce federal immigration law?” My question, of course, is a little different:  “Why doesn’t the fed withdraw every single penny of funding from sanctuary cities?”  After all, I was raised to believe that he who pays the piper calls the tune.

As you’re thinking about the above travesty of law and justice (and the two dead kids executed in San Francisco), take a few minutes to read this American Thinker article about California’s self-immolation, a Democratic autodestruct sequence driven, in part, by the state’s embrace of illegal immigrants.  Illegal immigrants place a huge economic burden on California’s already over-taxed individuals and businesses.

The next Moronicle article that drew my eye was about the ongoing Prop. 8 trial taking place in San Francisco.  As you recall, Prop. 8 reflected the will of California voters, who wanted to affirm that marriage is between a man and a woman.  Prop. 8′s opponents are trying to prove that voters had impure thoughts when they cast their ballots, making the entire proposition an illegal exercise of unconstitutional prejudice.  Prop. 8 backers are arguing that you can support traditional marriage (as President Obama has claimed to do), without harboring bad thoughts about the GLBT community.

As you think about the ramifications of that lawsuit, I’d like to introduce you to Chai R. Feldblum, who is President Obama’s nominee to the EEOC.  She has a law professor at Georgetown, who really thinks that people’s brains should be purged of evil thoughts, especially evil religious thoughts:

Chai Feldblum, the Georgetown University law professor nominated by President Obama to serve on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, has written that society should “not tolerate” any “private beliefs,” including religious beliefs, that may negatively affect homosexual “equality.”

[snip]

“Just as we do not tolerate private racial beliefs that adversely affect African-Americans in the commercial arena, even if such beliefs are based on religious views, we should similarly not tolerate private beliefs about sexual orientation and gender identity that adversely affect LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender] people,” the Georgetown law professor argued.

Feldblum’s admittedly “radical” view is based on what she sees as a “zero-sum game” between religious freedom and the homosexual agenda, where “a gain for one side necessarily entails a corresponding loss for the other side.”

“For those who believe that a homosexual or bisexual orientation is not morally neutral, and that an individual who acts on his or her homosexual orientation is acting in a sinful or harmful manner (to himself or herself and to others), it is problematic when the government passes a law that gives such individuals equal access to all societal institutions,” Feldblum wrote.

“Conversely, for those who believe that any sexual orientation, including a homosexual or bisexual orientation, is morally neutral, and that an individual who acts on his or her homosexual or bisexual orientation acts in an honest and good manner, it is problematic when the government fails to pass laws providing equality to such individuals.”

Feldblum argues that in order for “gay rights” to triumph in this “zero-sum game,” the constitutional rights of all Americans should be placed on a “spectrum” so they can be balanced against legitimate government duties.

All beliefs should be equal, regardless of their source, Feldblum says. “A belief derived from a religious faith should be accorded no more weight—and no less weight—than a belief derived from a non-religious source.” According to Feldman, the source of a person’s belief – be it God, spiritual energy, or the five senses – “has no relevance.”

[snip]

Feldblum does recognize that elements of the homosexual agenda may infringe on Americans’ religious liberties. However, Feldblum argues that society should “come down on the side” of homosexual equality at the expense of religious liberty. Because the conflict between the two is “irreconcilable,” religious liberty — which she also calls “belief liberty” — must be placed second to the “identity liberty” of homosexuals.

“And, in making the decision in this zero sum game, I am convinced society should come down on the side of protecting the liberty of LGBT people,” she wrote.

I don’t think Harry Truman would have understood or appreciated Feldblum’s effort to quash religious freedom in the U.S.  He was someone who was able to separate his acts from his prejudices in all the right ways.  As I like to tell my children, he was a racist who integrated the American military; and an anti-Semite who helped create the State of Israel.

I believe all people should be treated equally under the law.  I do not believe, though, that this means that religions should be wiped out, or that Americans should be subject to the thought-police so that their impure ideology is brought in line with the identity politics of the left.  I believe most Americans are capable of being Harry Truman:  that is, they can recognize that their own personal prejudices against a lifestyle, a skin color or a religion, cannot be elevated to legal doctrine.  One of my problems with Islamists is that they’re no Harry Trumans.  They want to do away with the rule of law and, instead, substitute their 6th Century desert theocratic code.

Moving on, at this weekend’s soccer games, the other moms and I were speaking about a gal who is quite possibly the worst teacher in middle school.  She’s a lousy teacher, which is bad enough, but one can layer over that the fact that she is vindictive, mean-spirited and lazy.  Everyone I know has vociferously complained about her to the school administration.  And yet there is is.  She’s too young to have tenure, so I asked, rhetorically, why don’t they just fire her?  One mom’s answer told everything we need to know:  “The union makes it impossible to fire people.”

At least one union leader, at least, is trying to make it so that the American Federation of Teachers is less of a tyrannical dictatorship holding children as hostage, and more of an institution aimed at helping to educate children.  I don’t think Randi Weingarten is going to turn unions around, nor will she much change my opinion of unions.  Historically, I think unions were necessary and important.  In certain low-wage, low-skill, low-education fields (meat packing springs to mind), I still think they’re potentially useful.  Overall, though, I have a deep dislike for unions that goes back to my dad’s years as a member of the various teachers’ unions controlling California public schools.  The unions did minimal work helping to raise my Dad’s wage (he earned $21,000 annually in 1987, the year he retired), but were excellent at (1) kick-backs to administrators, who got great wages; (2) beginning what became the profound devaluation in the quality of California’s education; and (3) making sure that bad, insane and malevolent teachers were impossible fire.

Other unionized businesses are just as bad.  Hospital worker unions make a certain amount of sense.  The 24 hour a day nature of a hospital makes it easy to abuse nurses and other care givers.  However, when I was a young college student who got a summer job in the virology lab (an interesting time, since AIDS was first appearing on the radar as a series of bizarre diseases in gay men), I took over for a secretary who was leaving on maternity leave.  Although a secretary, she was unionized too, which explained why, despite disposing of old sandwiches in her file cabinet, and being incapable of getting her researcher bosses to the medical publishers (a primary part of her job description), she could not be fired.  This was not for want of trying.  It was simply that the unions had made it impossible to fire people like her.  They’d also made it impossible to fire people like the nurse I had many years later who, the first night after I’d had major abdominal surgery, refused to give me any painkillers and isolated me from any other caregivers.  Apparently I had said something that offended her.  Sadly, this was not her first time playing this kind of sadistic game.  But there she was, thanks to the unions.

On a more cheerful note, guns don’t kill people, guns rescue people from sinking cars.

And lastly, Steve Schippert highly recommends today’s Daily Briefing at Threats Watch, so I do too.

UPDATE:  Please visit A Conservative Lesbian for a thoughtful take on the nexus between religious belief and gay rights.  No knee jerk liberalism here; instead, a good analysis about religious freedom and minority rights.

An initiative requiring large employers to comply with the law in Novato

I received the following email, which I pass on to you directly:

Hello CLEC and friends,

I am the leader of a group that is gathering signatures to get a petition on the November 2010 ballot in Novato [California].  We have over 50% of the signatures we need.  The group is called “Citizens for Legal Employment and Contracting,” CLEC, and the website is http://clecnovato.com.

CLEC’s initiative protects American jobs and Novato tax payer money.  The goal of the initiative is to ensure that the people whose salaries are paid with Novato taxpayer money are citizens or legal immigrants.  More specifically, our initiative requires that big contractors with the city of Novato use E-Verify to confirm that their new hires are citizens or legal immigrants.  The initiative does not apply to small businesses.

Supporting workplace enforcement is popular not just with most Republicans but with independents and moderate Democrats.  In March 2009, the Rasmussen polling company surveyed the support for workplace enforcement.  Not only did more than three quarters of Republicans express support for that sentiment, but over seventy percent of independents did, and over half of Democrats as well.

Although our initiative applies only to Novato, it will be popular with non-liberals across Marin County and it can be easily franchised to other cities or the county.  Further, it sends a message that Marin County believes in enforcing immigration laws.

As I said, we have over 50% of the required number of signatures.  We need to gather 1,500 valid signatures from Novato voters before April to be on the November 2010 ballot in Novato.  Here is what CLEC needs to get on the ballot:

1.    Opportunities to gather signatures.  See our website.
2.    Volunteers to help in signature gathering.  Volunteers do not need to live in Novato.
3.    Donations to pay for professional signature gatherers.  $6,000 buys the signatures we need.

Thank you,

clecnovato@yahoo.com
http://clecnovato.com

A California appellate court made a sensible ruling

As a California tax payer, my taxes have, for years, been paying for college educations for illegal immigrants.  I certainly admire anyone who is able to work hard and get into college, but I have a fundamental objection to paying my hard earned money so that someone who is in America illegally can get a college education.  That means that someone who is in America legally is not getting that same money or the opportunity to get that quality education.  It also means that my taxes are higher so that I have less money for my own family and their education.

That may all be about to change, thanks to a sensible ruling from a California Appellate Court:

A state appellate court has put a financial cloud over the future of tens of thousands of undocumented California college students, saying a state law that grants them the same heavily subsidized tuition rate that is given to resident students is in conflict with federal law.

In a ruling reached Monday, the state Court of Appeal reversed a lower court’s decision that there were no substantial legal issues and sent the case back to the Yolo County Superior Court for trial.

“It has a huge impact,” said Kris Kobach, an attorney for the plaintiffs and a law professor at the University Missouri at Kansas City. “This is going to bring a halt to the law that has been giving in-state tuition to illegal immigrants.”

He said it is a big win for California taxpayers who have been subsidizing education for undocumented immigrants.

This is no small victory.  When you read the rest of the news article from which I quoted, you’ll appreciate how California taxpayers have been forced to pay huge dollar amounts for illegal immigrants, even as out of state students who are legal American residents have been prevented from attending California colleges, while legal American students who live out of state have been charged huge premiums to attend school in California, even while the illegal aliens get a discount.

Even with the Appellate ruling, things still aren’t great.  The Federal law, rather than saying that people who are here illegally shouldn’t be using my money for their benefit, simply says that, when it comes to higher education, illegal aliens have to be subject to the same treatment as any other American citizen — which either means charging illegal aliens the premium price, or dropping the tuition price for all students, whether in state or out of state.  Nevertheless, it’s a start, because it’s going to force Californians to confront the true price of illegal aliens on our education system.

It’s not that I don’t trust the AP’s conclusions, but….

I don’t have actual knowledge here.  I’m just wondering.

The lede from the AP is that the number of uninsured dropped by more than a million people last year:

The number of people without health insurance fell by more than 1 million in 2007, the first annual decline since the Bush administration took office, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday.

The AP attributes that decline to more government insurance, and AP may well be right, since I don’t have data documents in front of me:

The welcome news on health insurance coverage was tempered by the continued erosion of private coverage paid for by employers and individuals. Government programs — such as Medicaid for the poor — picked up the slack, resulting in the overall reduction in people without health insurance.

The uninsured rate also fell to 15.3 percent, down from 15.8 percent in 2006.

“Private insurance has been falling (and) public insurance definitely went up,” said David Johnson, who oversees the Census division that produced the statistics. The number of uninsured children also fell in 2007, after an increase in 2006 that had interrupted years of progress in getting more kids covered.

I wonder, though, if there’s not one other factor driving down the numbers of uninsured: the fact that illegal aliens are self-deporting as US immigration laws are finally getting enforced.  Interestingly, the rate of returning immigrants is just about the same as the drop in uninsured:

Illegal immigrants are returning home to Mexico in numbers not seen for decades — and the Mexican government may have to deal with a crush on its social services and lower wages once the immigrants arrive.

The Mexican Consulate’s office in Dallas is seeing increasing numbers of Mexican nationals requesting paperwork to go home for good, especially parents who want to know what documentation they’ll need to enroll their children in Mexican schools.

“Those numbers have increased percentage-wise tremendously,” said Enrique Hubbard, the Mexican consul general in Dallas. “In fact, it’s almost 100 percent more this year than it was the previous two years.”

The illegal immigrant population in the U.S. has dropped 11 percent since August of last year, according to the Center for Immigration Studies. Its research shows 1.3 million illegal immigrants have returned to their home countries.

I have no idea if there is any cause and effect at work here.  I just think it’s interesting.

Bitterness and anti-immigrant attitudes

It turns out that Barack Obama might have been on to something with his bitterness speech. In case you’ve forgotten, he said:

You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, a lot of them — like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they’ve gone through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. So it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, and they cling to guns, or religion, or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them, or anti-immigrant sentiment, or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

Where Obama got it wrong was that he focused on the wrong bitter people.  Down in Los Angeles, in the gun-ridden, crime-ridden, gang-ridden communities that taught that sprawling City, people are indeed getting increasingly bitter, although it’s a liberal government’s refusal to enforce the law that’s raising their ire:

When Jamiel Shaw Sr. stood up last week to call for a change in Special Order 40, it touched an already raw nerve in the black community. Shaw’s son, 17-year-old star football player Jamiel Shaw II, was gunned down within shouting distance of his house. The suspect, 19-year-old Pedro Espinoza, is an alleged gang member and an illegal immigrant. Special Order 40 has prevented law enforcement from probing the immigration status of some suspects and deporting criminals with dispatch. Even if Special Order 40 were modified, there’s no guarantee that Jamiel would still be alive, but to a community convinced that Latino-on-black racial violence is on the upswing, it’s still a matter of simple justice.

And that’s true despite the statistics Police Chief William Bratton (seconded by the Los Angeles Times) piled on the public table in recent weeks, numbers that back up the claim that, with the exception of young Shaw and a handful of other cases, the majority of the killings of blacks are by other blacks, not Latinos. That won’t ease black fears that some Latino gangs are bent on wiping them out.

The author of the above op-ed goes on to say that African-Americans are right to feel that this is all a racist thing, with the Hispanics trying to kill them because they’re black and the City government ignoring them because they’re black.  As to the first point, when one considers that gang warfare has been a fixture of American urban life practically since there were American urbs, I doubt that’s the case.  That is, the Hispanic gang members are gunning blacks down, not because they’re black, but simply because they’re the other gang, and this is a pure turf battle.

I also doubt that there is racism in the City’s response.  Instead, I suspect the City’s unwillingness to acknowledge black concerns this has more to do with a City wedded to a stupid liberal policy that makes it a haven for illegal immigrants (because liberals know that “no person is illegal.”)  To me, this snotty liberal attitude is evidenced by the fact that Bratton assured blacks that the policy is not a problem, since blacks are killing each other faster than Hispanics can.  In other words, what you’re seeing here isn’t racism run amok; it’s liberal politics and identity politics run amok.

In any event, I think the African-Americans in LA have the perfect right to be bitter that the City of Los Angeles does nothing about an influx of criminals into their communities, criminals who should be deported instantly before they get guns in their hands and victims in their sights.

All lawbreakers, please come to San Francisco

Last night, I was discussing with my mother the British woman I met in Florida who said that the situation in England, vis a vis Muslims, is much worse than even the papers describe. Aside from pointing to political correctness as the culprit, I also also laid the blame, as did the British woman, on Britain’s unlimited immigration problem, hatched at Oxbridge and imposed on the rest of the nation. My kids, who were listening, asked what unlimited immigration meant.

I explained to them that it’s healthy for a country to take in new people, because it brings in new ideas and new energy. However, I said that a country should be able to control how many come in, and should be able to ensure that the people are healthy and are not criminals. They looked blank. I sought an analogy. Imagine, I said, if we went into downtown San Francisco and announced that anybody who wanted could come and live in our house. All they had to do was show up. And imagine, I said, that the ones who showed up were drug addicts and crazy people and criminals, as well as some nice people. Their eyes widened. I went on to explain, and they agreed, that within minutes of this policy, our house would be trashed, stinky, and minus all its nice stuff. They agreed that a country, just like a homeowner, ought to have (and exercise) control over those whom it invites in.

Why does this involve San Francisco? Because I just read today that San Francisco, in violation of federal law, is again inviting criminals into its borders and to use up taxpayer funded resources:

San Francisco’s “sanctuary” policy for illegal immigrants, which has drawn sharp criticism from conservatives, will be promoted in an advertisement campaign complete with multilanguage brochures and radio and TV public service announcements.

The city-funded outreach campaign is expected to roll out this spring and build on San Francisco’s response to last year’s federal immigration raids, which city officials said scared undocumented immigrants into not accessing city services, reporting crimes or sending children to school.

City officials Wednesday were not able to provide The Examiner with a cost breakdown for the campaign.

“We have worked with the Board of Supervisors, Department of Public Health, labor and immigrant rights groups to create a city government-wide public awareness campaign so that immigrants know The City won’t target them for using city services,” said Nathan Ballard, Mayor Gavin Newsom’s spokesman.

[snip]

Supervisor Tom Ammiano, who is working on the planned outreach campaign to undocumented immigrants, said it will ensure “a lot of deserving people” take advantage of city services. “To me, it’s a logical follow-through.”

Boy, am I glad I don’t live in San Francisco anymore. It would drive me into a frenzy to know that my money was being used to turn the City into a haven for criminals. (And I do believe that all illegal aliens, even if they’re not violent or criminally negligent, are criminals because, by definition, they’ve broken the law.)