Thursday, May 31, 2007
I really enjoy TCS Daily. It's a great site with a number of great contributors. I'm on their email list, so I get a heads-up whenever a topic that interests me is written about. I got an email today about this article, "In What Way Am I A Criminal?"
Give me strength.....
I'm going to do a Fisking of the article, more as a "personal sanity" release than anything else. And away we go......
A few weeks ago, Rosita, a Bolivian in her late 40s, told me how on her journey to the United States, she was raped in Guatemala and swindled in Mexico, and how she had to cross the desert into this country after losing a brother who was killed because he refused to pay the ``coyote'' a larger fee than had originally been agreed. She then went through a health ordeal and was forced to have a hysterectomy in a low-cost clinic that helps immigrants. The operation went horribly wrong and she spent six months fighting for her life. Her two sons are in Bolivia, where she plans to return when she saves enough money to pay her debts. She works 12 hours a day, seven days a week, cleaning houses, doing errands for third parties, and baby-sitting. ``In what way am I a criminal?'' she asked me.Bummer. Just think: If you hadn't engaged in breaking US laws, none of that would have happened to you. YOU put yourself into a situation of dealing with bad people, and bad things happened to you. Shocking. You're too stupid to be allowed in here legally.
You are a criminal because you broke US laws. It's really that simple. No matter how compelling the story, you broke our laws, and should be punished for the act. Otherwise, a bank robber, who "just needed the money to feed my kids", would be as equally justified in breaking the law.
In a country with an unemployment rate of 4.5 percent, who can seriously maintain that immigrants take jobs away from the natives?I can. Our unemployment rate is an indication of those in America that are actively looking for work. It does not include those that are on the public dole. The evils of the Welfare State aside, if the corporations were not able to get access to this below-market workforce, wages would rise. This would very likely bring some of these chronically unemployed back into the workforce. Even if that didn't happen, it would raise the standard of living of those that are citizens or here legally.
In a country where many of the states with the highest number of immigrants, such as New York and Florida, have unemployment rates below the national average, who can seriously accuse immigrants of displacing Americans?I can. States with high illegal alien populations are hit even harder than other states. Here in The People's Republic of California, I have seen the construction trades get decimated by illegals. Roofers, framers, cementers, laborers - they are all heavily populated by illegals. Trades such as landscaping are dominated by illegals. These skilled tradesmen are being forced out of their trades by these illegal workers. What happened to the agricultural industry is now happening to the construction trades.
In a country where half a million immigrants come in illegally every year because the million that come in legally are not enough to match the high demand for foreign workers on the part of American businesses, who can seriously maintain that the immigration debate is mostly a debate between law-abiding Americans and law-breaking aliens?I can. Large American businesses have a high demand for CHEAP foreign workers. Regardless of the skill level (from a day-laborer to a computer encryption genius), the influx of cheap workers harms America. And that half a million illegal aliens are virtually ALL low-skilled labor. They are taking jobs away from law-abiding poor (or artificially retarding their wages) that are here as citizens or legal aliens. I have yet to hear of a doctor sneaking across the border.
Conservatism -- and Tancredo calls himself a quintessential conservative -- has always been pro immigration.Let's be clear: we've always been pro-LEGAL immigration. Many Republicans - not necessarily conservatives - have lost their way, and found large companies to be regular campaign contributors. I wonder why that is?
From Edmund Burke, the Anglo-Irish philosopher and politician considered the father of conservative thinking, to Ronald Reagan, who had no qualms with the word ``amnesty'' when millions of immigrants were legalized under his watch in 1986, conservatives have understood that spontaneous social interactions and institutions are what make nations healthy, prosperous and peaceful.What? I don't know what that means. What are, "spontaneous social interactions and institutions"? It sounds like crap to me. Conservatives, by definition, do not like change - spontaneity - in their systems and institutions. And a spontaneous social interaction sounds like a quickie by a hooker in a dark alley.
It is those social customs -- and not bureaucracies detached from reality -- that make the law. For conservatives, a real legislator is someone who pays close attention to social norms and tries to adapt to them.Are you on crack? I think you've confused liberals and, "the Constitution is a living document" crowd with conservatives. Conservatives believe in the rule of law; liberals believe in "let the laws fit the situation".
Here's the question I always ask folks from the "they're just trying to better themselves" crowd: Why should people from another country be allowed to lower the standard of living for citizens or legal aliens? Is not our responsibility first to our own, then to the world?
I get a lot of blank stares....
Friday, May 25, 2007
Much to my surprise and delight, my Congressman, Jerry McNerney responded to my letter/email of May 8th (see blog entry, More Hate Crimes). Below is Congressman McNerney's response to my original letter, followed by my rebuttal reply. Democracy in action! Let's see if it works!
My follow up questions:Sincerely,
Dear Mr. NoNannyState,
Thank you for sharing your opposition to H.R. 1592, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act. I appreciate learning your views, and I value your input.
Under current law, a hate crime is defined as intentionally committing a crime against a person or property because of their actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual orientation.
U.S. law limits governmental involvement in the investigation and prosecution of hate crimes and federal law enforcement can only pursue hate crimes that occur during a specified federally-protected activity, such as serving on a jury, traveling on the interstate highway system, or attending public school. Additionally, federal law enforcement officers cannot assist when a hate crime is motivated by gender, sexual orientation, or disability biases. The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007 adds these classes of protections to current law.
It is important to note that H.R. 1592 bill does not prohibit thought, speech, or expression protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution. In fact, Section 11 of the bill expressly states that "[n]othing in this Act . . . shall be construed to prohibit any expressive conduct . . . or any activities protected by the free speech or free exercise clauses of, the First Amendment to the Constitution." This legislation seeks to curb the occurrence of hate violence, not restrict thoughts or words. H.R. 1592 passed the House by a vote of 237 to 180. It remains to be seen whether this bill will be considered by the U.S. Senate.
Thank you again for sharing your views. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of assistance. For more information on other issues that I am working on in Congress, please visit my website at www.mcnerney.house.gov.
Member of Congress
I want to genuinely thank you for your response. It is clear that you or one of your staffers actually took the time to read my email and make a response. Based upon the replies to letters I’ve sent to other federal representatives, it has been clear that the letter was not read, and a simple form letter sent in reply. Thank you again.
That being said, you still did not respond to the core issues raised in my letter:
1.What Constitutional powers
2.Establishing different classes of citizens
Constitutional Powers. You did not address my question about where in the Constitution the Congress has been authorized to prosecute or assist in local crimes. There is simply no Constitutional provision that allows the Federal Government the authority to meddle in local affairs. This law – in particular Section 249 (a) (1) - appears to now grant the Federal Government the power to prosecute these crimes even without state lines being crossed or commerce being interrupted. This is very disturbing.
Legislating Different Classes of Citizens. You also did not address my questions about setting up special classes of citizens. Why should someone get more protections under the law simply because they are of a different color, gender or race? I ask you to refer to the Fourteenth amendment. Equal protection is pretty clearly laid out. Perhaps it only applies to the individual states, and not the Federal Government? Is that your justification for voting for this?
Thought/Speech Crimes. Finally, you side-stepped the Thought Crimes portion. In my letter, I specifically stated, “You have voted for a law based upon motivation or words, not upon deed.” The law itself states [Sec. 249 (b)(1)],
“such certifying individual has reasonable cause to believe that the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of any person was a motivating factor underlying the alleged conduct of the defendant; “
This law will more severely punish someone for what they are thinking (or for what they say during the commission of the crime) – their motivation – than someone that simply commits the same crime out of greed or any other reason. How can you support that? How is the “hate crime” victim more injured than the “greed crime” victim?
I’ll say it again: I think you voted for this legislation because it would win you “brownie points”. This law simply exemplifies what is wrong with government: More must be better. I want a congressman that is going to base his or her votes on the Constitution, not on political expediency.
How are you going to rectify this?
I wait breathlessly for his reply.....
When I got to work, I noticed something on the cup called, The Way I See It #258. It seems that Starbucks has different people give their brief philosophy on life. Number 258 is from George Will:
Because true conservatives are pessimists, they are happier than liberals, for three reasons. First, pessimists are rarely surprised. Second, when they are wrong they are delighted to be so. Third, pessimists do not put their faith in princes - in government. They understand that happiness is a function of fending for oneself. Happiness is an activity; it is inseparable from the pursuit of happiness.Wow, how true. Where would this country be if more Americans had that attitude of self-sufficiency? Clearly, we'd be better off.
I went to their site to read some other quotes. Talk about bursting my bubble.
|Worldwide, more than 40 million people are living with HIV and AIDS. Thirteen million children have been orphaned due to AIDS. Six hundred thousand children are infected with HIV each year. And 25 years into the AIDS pandemic, no vaccine or cure is in sight. The numbers speak for themselves. What are you doing to help?|
-- Joe Cristina
But that's not how liberals think. They believe that society as a whole must somehow come together and fix the problems of a small sub-section. NO! That small sub-section must change their behavior and take responsibility for their actions. In this case, should they choose not to change their behavior, they'll die. Or their kids will die.
But people like Joe want to shame us into thinking, "You can do more to help". No, I can't. I can't infuse anyone with common sense. I would doubt that any person old enough to screw does not know there are all kinds of consequences should they choose to do it. Some of them are really, really bad. As in The Long Dirt Nap.
Make your choice, and in the case of AIDS, literally live or die by the consequences.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
The Brady Bunch is beating the anti-gun bushes with a fevered pitch. Their latest email missive, Arming Students and Teachers Is NOT The Answer, just arrived in my inbox. An excerpt:
Since Virginia Tech, we've been asking "What are you going to do about gun violence?"
The gun lobby's unbelievable response has been to arm students and teachers at schools and on college campuses. In fact, gun lobby-backed bills have been introduced in a number of states.
Arming students and teachers is NOT the answer.
They published a PDF booklet called, No Gun Left Behind. Cute, huh? It is supposedly their response to the evil NRA, et al, and their forum for fixing this dead student problem. Amazingly, one of their points is:
As it turns out, the Virginia Tech shooter had been “adjudicated as a mental defective” prior to purchasing the two handguns he used in his rampage. Thus, had records of mental health decrees been entered properly, the Brady background check would have barred him from purchasing those guns at a Roanoke gun store and Blacksburg pawn shop.Exactly. So why ban guns? Your stupid law was not followed, and thus did nothing to keep those students alive. In fact, had the students been armed, the tragedy that resulted from the city/state failure to comply with the Brady law would have been lessened.
They cite a Harvard study titled, Guns and Gun Threats At College. The study talks about how students on campus with guns are more likely to drink, do drugs, screw pets, desecrate graves - you name it - than kids without guns. They forgot one thing though: The Brady Bunch forgot to delete the study's conclusion. It states:
Our data do not show whether guns at college confer a net benefit, impose a net cost, or have an indifferent effect on college communities or on individual gun owners.Oh.
So it's basically a useless propaganda piece. I guess the Brady folks figure no one will read the actual details of the crap the cite in their scare pieces. The scary title gets the attention of the gun-grabbers all by itself.
If you have the stomach, try and read it (sorry, I won't link to those bastards). If for no other reason than to understand the tactics and outright lies they employ in their attempt to disarm our society.
OK, one more:
If the rights of educational institutions can be trampled in the gun lobby’s mad push to arm students and teachers, what places in our society will remain off-limits to guns?Answer: All private property that chooses to do so. Last time I looked, "education institutions" did not have rights. They are PUBLICLY owned entities (or at least get public funds), not individuals or private property. If a school wants to be a gun-free
The Brady's say that arming students and teachers is not the answer. Well what is, ladies? Obviously, more gun laws are useless against criminals. By definition, criminals disregard laws. The application of every law will, at some time or another, be screwed up (as was the case at VT). So how do you idiots propose we protect ourselves against this type of threat?
I've got time, I can wait for an answer....
Monday, May 21, 2007
I've gotta tell you, I'm shocked. For those of you who don't know him, Texas Fred has got a conservative blog, of which I agree with 99% of the time. I've posted there a few times, and have been well received. I guess that only happens when you agree with Freddy.
Today, he wrote a piece on how the ACLU was thinking of filing suit against a school in Louisiana that wanted a public prayer during their graduation. Now, I generally think the ACLU is an American-hating organization. Not this time. He was for the prayer, I was against it. I started my first post by saying, literally, that "I respectfully disagreed" with his stance. I went on to describe my reasons.
But that's not what this post is about.
He and two other posters then got nasty (that's OK, I can handle nasty). I shot back with a reply to all of them, citing various parts of the Constitution as the basis for my position. Go to the post, and see the responses to my original reply.
The big, fat pussy couldn't take the heat or the logic, and deleted both of my posts! He took his ball, and ran home!
Hey Freddy, grow a pair. If you're going to play on the Internet, you better get used to people not agreeing with every fucking word you spew forth. Only spineless, zit-faced teenagers exercise their "delete" powers when they have their ass handed to them.
I thought you were a big, tough Texan. Pull up your skirt, bitch, and run home to mama. Go on - git!
I just got back from two weeks of vacation. Didn't do much, other than play poker and finish some honey-do's. I specifically tried to stay away from the news and politics. I plop down at the PC this morning, and I'm very sad to see that nothing has changed. The People's Republic of California continues to sink deeper and deeper into the abyss.
They held the Bay To Breakers race this weekend. It is a spectacle of grand proportion. It is part serious race, and part thundering party. You have world-class, elite runners, and you have guys dressed up like salmons that run the wrong way because they're "spawning". It really is a lot of fun, and used to epitomize the wonderful quirkiness that was San Francisco.
This year, for the first time, they decided to make the race "fair". They decided to let the elite women start the race nearly 5 minutes ahead of the elite men.
A field of 19 elite female runners was given a head start of 4 minutes, 40 seconds (the difference between the men's and women's course records), and Kiplagat took full advantage of it in finishing ahead of a man, a first for this near century-old race. She was joined in setting Breakers history by fellow Kenyan Emily Chebet.When I first heard about this, I thought, "Well, that's kind of a hollow victory, since she got such a big head start." Not so. Remember, this is San Francisco.
Fifteen seconds behind Kiplagat in 39:10 was Chebet, the second woman to get to the finish before the first man, who turned out to be fellow Kenyan John Korir in 34:44. The staggered start accounted for the odd scenario of the overall "winner'' running 4 minutes, 11 seconds slower than the first man.
Korir did what he could to catch up to the leading ladies but at the finish he was 29 seconds behind Kiplagat and missed out on the $25,000 prize to the overall winner.
Political correctness cost this guy $25 thousand.
Let's recap The San Franciscan Way:
1. Handicap and take money from the competent
2. Reward under-achievers
3. Wonder why you're surrounded by nothing but under-achievers
What's next? Lowering standards on police and firefighter physical requirements?! Preposterous, no?
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
That's the problem with these “Hate Crime” laws. They hinge on the motivation of the perpetrator. Is that really relevant? Aren't I just as dead if I'm killed for being white or being killed because I have a nice watch on my wrist?Well, the House of Representatives just passed HR 1592. It offers federal assistance and grant money for the prosecution of Hate Crimes. In fact, it directs the US Attorney General to give priority to these crimes. My brain wants to explode when I read crap like this. More Nanny State, now for Thought Crimes. As usual, I sent a letter to my House member, Jerry McNerney.
Jerry is my only federal representative that has not responded to one of my letters. Not a good idea should he expect my vote in 2008.
I would like an explanation of your recent vote on HR 1592, the so called Hate Crimes legislation.
In 2006, I voted for you, albeit with reservations, because I wanted a change in Congress. I wanted someone that would not simply follow the herd, but someone that might actually lead. Most importantly, I was looking for someone that would base their votes, not necessarily upon what it would do for his or her district, but for the country. Someone that would base their votes upon the powers vested by the US Constitution. Special Interests be damned.
Under what possible Congressional Constitutional powers could you have based your vote? I'll tell you: There are none. Perhaps as important, under what common sense considerations could it have been based upon?
How can you agree with making one person less worthy of justice because they were robbed due to their location, as opposed to the person that is robbed because they are of a particular race or religion? Have they not both been equally deprived of their property? Where is the equal protection under the law? Why are you voting to set up special classes of citizens within our society?
And where does legislation like this end? You have voted for a law based upon motivation or words, not upon deed. Do I not have the right, via my first amendment protections, to express my opinion about anything I wish, even if someone else believes it to be hateful? Unless my words, in and of themselves cause harm (as in libel), the answer is “yes”. You've taken part in the early steps of making something you say a crime.
Lastly, I want to expand on my first point: You (and 236 other members of Congress) based your vote not upon the Constitution (going against the First and Tenth amendments), but upon political “brownie points”. After all, who could disagree with a law against mean people, right?
You should have. Consider your Constitutional powers when voting (or voting to over ride the promised Presidential veto). Otherwise, you'll get to spend your old-age, telling those that will listen, what it was like to be a one-term Congressman.
I look forward to your reply.
Friday, May 04, 2007
Throw in the Spreewell crap, the gangsta attitude and the selfish nature of the game, I just stopped watching. My local team, the Warriors, had been sucking wind for so long, I just didn't care. No great loss.
So this year, I was shocked to hear that the Warriors made the playoffs. They had to win 9 of their last 10 games to do it. They haven't been in the playoffs since 1994! I decided to watch the series and see them get their asses handed to them by the number one seeded Mavericks.
Regardless of how (or if) they progress in the post-season, they may have brought me back to the sport. They play team basketball. People are diving for balls, fighting for rebounds, running the court like greyhounds.
Their clear leader is Baron Davis (whom I had never heard of until the Warriors picked him up two years ago from New Orleans). What is so unique about him is how he makes the entire team better simply with his presence.
Last night, he pulled a hamstring in the first quarter. He came hobbling back and just let it all hang out. One second, he'd look like he was using an aluminum walker to scoot around, and the next, he'd be slashing to the basket for a lay up. His energy alone inspired his teammates.
I won't call my self a fan yet.... maybe a fair-weather fan. I'm still very much disgusted with most of the league, but I've gotta tell ya, these guys have got game.
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
My wife and kids were spread all over the state this past weekend, so I was doin' the bachelor thing. Fartin', scratchin' and burpin' whenever and wherever I wanted. When I get these rare opportunities, I generally make my Three Pound Meal (tm). It generally consists of a pound of sauteed mushrooms, a pound of seafood and a pound of beef.
Here were the ingredients I whipped together:
A pound of crimini mushrooms, a pound of King Crab legs, and a 1.6 pound T-Bone steak. I've never had King crab before. Being born and raised in the SF Bay Area, Dungeness crab is "king" around here. I think it's for good reason. At $14 per pound for the King crab ($18 per pound if I had wanted the mega-big legs), it is WAY over priced. The flavor was OK, but Dungeness is much, much better. And cheaper.
Here's how it turned out:
Well, it actually turned out as "eaten"!
I was telling a buddy of mine about my little 3 Pound habit, so he shared with me his own "perfect meal".
Wow. Way too much information. All this time, you think you know a guy..... You obviously go with regular recipe KFC. Sheesh....An extra large pepperoni pizzaA tube of that cheap shit Pillsbury chocolate chip cookie dough (Nestle's is too good)A loaf of good french breadA jar of Kraft bacon cheese spread (hickory farms would be acceptable if available)A hunk bleu cheese with saltine crackersKFC extra crispyBen & Jerry's Heath Bar CrunchPepperidge Farms Cherry Turnovers (the ones you bake yourself)(assume vomiting)7-upOh yeah, let us not forget...3 (no more and no less) hits of decent weedInternet PornDVD of Steel Magnolias (ahem ahem)... I mean Die Hard (in actuality Deuce Bigelow or Monty Python and the Holy Grail)