Feds probe S.F.'s migrant-offender shield
Uber-sanctuary city San Francisco continues to outdo itself. The latest misadventure in using taxpayer funds to improve the lives of illegal alien criminals by providing them with free flights home to Honduras that are not deportations. The kind-hearted San Francisco authorities want the drug-dealing kiddies to be able to return.
San Francisco police doubt that many of the young Hondurans they arrest on drug charges are even juveniles.
Police can report suspected adult illegal immigrants to federal authorities if they commit a crime, said Capt. Tim Hettrich, until recently the head of the narcotics unit.
So immigrant drug dealers "pass themselves off as juveniles, with a three-day growth of beard and everything else. It's frustrating," he said.
"Some of them have been arrested four or five times," Hettrich said. "That is one of the big problems with being a city of sanctuary."
He scoffed at San Francisco's strategy of returning the offenders to their home country. "They probably get the round trip and the next day, they will be right back here," Hettrich said.
An effort by San Francisco to shield eight young Honduran crack dealers from federal immigration officials backfired when the youths escaped from Southern California group homes within days of their arrival, officials said Monday. The walkaways are the latest in a string of embarrassments for city officials who are protecting illegal-alien drug dealers from federal authorities and possible deportation because of San Francisco's 1989 declaration that the city is a sanctuary for undocumented immigrants.
Until recently, San Francisco flew juvenile illegal immigrants convicted of drug crimes to their home countries rather than cooperate with the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, a practice that drew national attention when The Chronicle reported it Sunday.
When federal law enforcement authorities demanded that San Francisco halt the flights and began a criminal investigation, the city decided to house some of the dealers in long-term youth rehabilitation centers. Some of those centers are run by a not-for-profit outfit called Silverlake Youth Services in mountain towns southeast of San Bernardino.
Eight Honduran juveniles who had been convicted of dealing drugs in San Francisco were sent within the past few weeks to the company's group homes, where one month's placement costs $7,000 per youth - an expense borne by San Francisco taxpayers.
This comes out just a few days after the shocking triple murder of a father and two sons by a MS-13 illegal alien gang-banger.
In addition, San Francisco has had to return several million dollars in federal grants in the Southwest Border Prosecution Initiative.
SAN FRANCISCO -- San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, who built a national reputation pushing cutting-edge -- and controversial -- policies on same-sex marriage, healthcare and other issues, today launched an exploratory bid for governor.
LAREDO – Day after day, Mexican trucks line up as far as the eye can see for entry to the U.S. at the World Trade Bridge, carrying everything from raw tomatoes, broccoli and fresh basil to frozen seafood. They also bring in salmonella, listeria, restricted pesticides and other food poisons.
Customs and Border Protection officers take less than a minute per truck to determine which products enter the U.S. and find their way into grocery stores and restaurants across North Texas.
Most trucks are waved through. The avalanche of imported goods – especially food from Mexico – is too much for the limited number of inspectors at the nation's 300 ports of entry to effectively screen, critics say. And the sheer volume makes it impossible for them to carry out their mission: protecting the U.S. food supply and American consumers.
A Harris County grand jury decided today that Joe Horn should not be charged with a crime for shooting two suspected burglars he confronted outside his neighbor's home in Pasadena last fall. [...]
Aside from the shooting itself, the national debate revolved around the fact that Ortiz and Torres were illegal immigrants from Colombia. Torres had been sent to prison for dealing cocaine and was deported in 1999.
The American Dream: Dr. Quinones Incredible Story
I wrote about this doctor in May: Brilliant Neurosurgeon Discovered in Tomato Fields!. Dr. Quinones was an illegal alien who managed to work the system to become a surgeon.
Now he is a major character in a network reality tv series Hopkins; you can watch the opening episode start by following him around the hospital making his rounds and discussing his lawbreaking background ad nauseum; e.g. "The media portrays Mexican Americans in many cases as not being hard workers and if I don't make an effort to change that, who will?"
The film clip here has Dr. Q driving by a group of day laborers and remarking, "Just down the street is a group of people doing what I was doing just about 20 years ago," with heart-tuggy music playing in the background. The not-so-subliminal message is America shouldn't close its borders because we might miss out on some Einstein. (The brilliant physicist came legally, in fact.)
"By the time I was 19, I decided I wanted to go to the U.S. and explore," Quiñones-Hinojosa said. "I was tired of the political oppression and the bifurcation of classes, the oppression of the poor that happens in my country."
Desperate for money, and with his sights set on a brighter future, he scaled a barbed border fence across from Calexico, Calif.
"It was a pretty scary experience," Quiñones-Hinojosa remembered. "It was filled with a real adrenaline rush excitement, but also fear, and, you know, fear gives you extra strength and courage. I got caught and sent back, but I did it again the same night."
To media elites, it's okay for foreigners to break a pile of immigration laws as long as there is a warm and wonderful story at the end, suitable for network programming.
Andrew McCarthy, the lead prosecutor against Sheik Omar Abdel Rahmen and the other men responsible for the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993 recounts the case in "Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad." Mr. McCarthy presents his thoughts on the trial and the current state of the war on terror. Andrew McCarthy discusses his book with Hugh Hewitt, host of the nationally syndicated radio program, The Hugh Hewitt Show and executive editor of Townhall.com.
You can watch the interview online by opening the link above and clicking the WATCH button. Or, you can download the audio as a podcast from Hugh Hewitt's radio archives on June 24: in mp3, Part 1 and Part 2. Highly recommended.
Candidates court Hispanic voters
How truly remarkable that Sen McCain called comprehensive immigration "reform" (political speak for amnesty) his "top priority" in today's political climate.
Think about it. Think about the severe economic crises facing the United States today. The Dow lost 500 points last week. The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University has stated that the country is facing its worst housing crisis in 50 years. The national unemployment rate is 5.5 percent, while California has a seasonally adjusted rate of 6.8 percent and Michigan is suffering the worst with 8.5 percent. The price of gasoline just hit a record high (with oil at $143/barrel);
seven in 10 Americans say the skyrocketing cost of gas has caused them "financial hardship." America has no plan to deal with declining availability of oil, despite the oil shocks of the early 1970s that were a clear warning that we needed new, preferably sustainable energy sources.
But for Sen. John McCain, his Top Priority is rewarding tens of millions of lawbreaking illegal aliens with amnesty. It takes your breath away.
WASHINGTON -- With an estimated 9.2 million Hispanic voters poised to play a critical role in November, John McCain and Barack Obama each pledged Saturday to make immigration overhaul a priority as they courted influential Hispanic leaders whose votes could be pivotal in key swing states like Florida.
McCain, the senator from border state Arizona who disappointed some Hispanic leaders by appearing to temper his support for comprehensive immigration changes during the Republican primaries, told the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials that fixing U.S. immigration policy would be a priority -- even as he acknowledged it's not popular with some members of his own party.
"It'll be my top priority yesterday, today and tomorrow," McCain said.
Schwarzenegger said Tim Russert, the recently deceased host of "Meet the Press" whom Shriver had called her best friend, told him if he ever chose to run for president he would help. "When I ran for governor, he called me and said, 'If you make that, if you win, then I will take care of the rest,'" Schwarzenegger recalled. "I said what are you talking about? And he said, 'I will get you to run for president. I will make sure that we change the Constitution.' It never happened. But anyway, I miss him very much."
Meet the Press honcho Tim Russert thought that he was powerful enough to engineer a change in the United States Constitution in order to advantage a pal. Arnold Schwarzenegger was born in Austria and is therefore not eligible to become President.
When you are a Washington player, like Russert was, issues like American foundational law are just bumps along the road to be flattened by the mighty power of the MSM. It's an example of the everyday, accepted arrogance of the press.
It's a simple demographic fact that as California's population grows by a half-million or more people each year, virtually all of that growth stems from immigration, legal and illegal. Were it not for immigration and babies born to immigrant mothers, California's births and deaths would be in balance and the state would have zero population growth.
It's also obvious that population growth, whatever its source, creates the demand for more housing, more water, more schools, more highways – more of everything – and that filling that demand puts pressure on the environment.
Environmental groups such as the Sierra Club have attempted to ignore this cause-and-effect relationship for political reasons, i.e., they depend on liberal politicians to advance their agenda, and tolerance of immigration, even illegal immigration, is a tenet of modern liberalism. The Sierra Club, et al., especially don't want to alienate Latino politicians and organizations, or the expanding ranks of Latino voters.
Unfortunately Walters goes on to spew the Ponzi-esque idea that we need increasing population in order to do the jobs and pay for Social Security. It's sad to see a smart guy like Walters spout thoughtless Washington boilerplate.
With the very large baby boom retiring out of the labor force, shortages of trained workers are already looming in California. Who would be there to do the work, pay the taxes and provide the services that a rapidly aging population would demand? Low-growth countries such as Japan are already feeling that pinch.
He should understand that the country needs fundamental changes in policy because we cannot continue to base our economy on population growth, in particular the importation of poorly educated foreigners. Americans will need to work longer before retirement because the average lifespan is increasing. We will need far more automation, from robots to Roombas and crop-pickers.
It's too bad Monty Python never wrote an economist song similar to the one composed about the philosophers...
Edwin Ramos, 21, of El Sobrante is charged with three counts of murder and other crimes in the slayings Sunday in San Francisco of Tony Bologna, 48, and sons Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16.
He appeared shackled at the waist in a jail jumpsuit, a large tattoo of the Salvadoran national crest visible on the back of his closely shaved head. Ramos is a native of El Salvador. [...]
The killings happened when Tony Bologna blocked a car making a left turn in the Excelsior district Sunday afternoon while he was driving home from a family picnic. The killer opened fire after Bologna backed up to let the other car past, authorities say.
Anthony Bologna, left, and his two sons, Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16, were shot and killed on Sunday, June 22, 2008, in San Francisco, Calif.
There are other disturbing aspects to this crime. For one, Danielle Bologna, the widow and mother of the murder victims, pleaded with the San Francisco District Attorney to pursue a death penalty, because Kamala Harris clearly stated before she was elected that she didn't believe in capital punishment. A couple years ago she didn't ask for a death sentence in a cop killing case, so it's unlikely she will budge on this.
Worse, the SFPD had Edwin Ramos in custody earlier this year and let him go. That's how justice works in sanctuary cities -- foreign gang-bangers get cut loose and innocent citizens get murdered.
Below is a local news report. Included is Supervisor Geraldo Sandoval saying, "The gang problem right now in San Francisco in the Mission, in the outer Mission, is really out of control, they are shooting each other, they are armed to the teeth, they are ready at a split moment to start firing." Also, Gavin Newsom is shown blaming the NRA for the Bologna triple murder.
Minuteman Takes Down Goon
Apparently a chubby Mexican was more sensitive about his waistline than his immigration status. One anti-borders individual became irate and bit a Minutemman when the former's weight was impugned at a rally of several dozen citizen patriots in Westminster, California. Fortunately there were police nearby to arrest the violent man. Link above has numerous photos of the event.
OC Vaughn organized a day laborer site rally - Home Depot Westminster, CA - 40 ralliers were assembled at 7:30 am 6/28/08 At approximately 8:30am a male Hispanic, driving, stopped his truck and yelled at assembled ralliers.
He asked "You Minutemen?" No one answered at first, then Kingfish stepped forward and stated "I AM." "You are sick!" The man yelled. "And you, are a little overweight" Kingfish replied. The man became enraged quickly exited the truck ran around and ran at Kingfish cocking his arm back to punch him. As he did so, Kingfish blocked the punch with his left hand, and punched the goon with his right. He then knocked the goon to the ground in two moves and restrained him until the police arrived. In the struggle, the goon bit Kingfish on the thumb.
A federal judge on Friday ordered the state Transportation Department to let a controversial group of anti-illegal immigration activists pick up litter near a Border Patrol checkpoint.
In a 34-page order, Judge William Q. Hayes granted the San Diego Minutemen's request for a preliminary injunction that gives Caltrans 30 days to reinstate the group's Adopt-A-Highway permit for a 2-mile stretch of Interstate 5 near San Clemente.
The state also must restore the courtesy sign bearing the Minutemen's name, the judge ruled.
In the region for more than 40 years, Koreans "are still in the settlement stage," Song said. "People think it's time to figure out how we can be more actively engaged in this society."
Doing that remains a challenge, given some obstacles presented in the survey.
Although nearly 70 percent of all Koreans are college graduates, nearly half of workers surveyed confessed that they are more comfortable communicating in Korean than in English. About a third of the employers interviewed said they rely more on Korean.
Nearly half of the workers surveyed had no health insurance and roughly 75 percent didn't know federal minimum wage laws require they earn at least $5.85 per hour.
Surgeon Suspended For Removing Wrong Lung
Medical malpractice is always disturbing, but when the actions are as egregious as in this case, the punishment of a mere fine and two-year suspension are appalling. Is the minimal response because the perp is a foreigner?
Not only did Indian physician Santusht Perera remove the patient's healthy lung, he lied about it and covered up his deadly malpractice.
Santusht Perera’s physician’s license was suspended after he removed of portions of the wrong lung during surgery and allegedly attempted to conceal the error.
Perera was issued a two-year suspension on June 5 from the State Board of Medical Examiners. The Board’s appellate court upheld the suspension in Perera’s appeal case with a final decision on June 12.
After the surgery, Perera told the patient, Richard Flagg, the right lung tissue, which was wrongfully removed, contained a life-threatening tumor even though he knew it did not.
He altered his records to show he intended to operate on the right lung even though he was actually supposed to remove the tumor in the left lung.
"I was pretty groggy when I woke up," Flagg told Corporate Crime Reporter in an extensive interview in March 2003. "It was the next day when most of the morphine wore off, that I felt a big bulk on my right side. And it hurt. The doctor came in that day, and I asked him – why did you operate on my right lung? And he said – while you were asleep, we did an x-ray and we found a much larger, a much more dangerous, tumor in your right lung, as well as severe hemorrhaging. By doing this operation, I probably saved your life, he said."
A total lie. A doctor interviewed earlier today on Fox News said removing the good lung condemned Richard Flagg to death because the tumor on the infected lung was so extensive.
In addition, Indians continue to be obsessed by their expat countrymen, and this story was no exception. MSNBC has a special NRI edition -- NRI being "Non-Resident Indians." The Times of India keeps an Indians Abroad page -- such is the fascination Indians have for themselves. They expect NRIs to refrain from assimilation and bring honor to Mother India by snaring first-world accomplishment with lots of effusive press coverage.
In addition, immigrant MDs are another bad public policy area, where foreign medical students and residents get advantages that citizens do not; see Immigrant Doctors Aren’t Necessary Either.
Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority in the landmark 5-to-4 decision, said the Constitution does not allow “the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home.” In so declaring, the majority found that a gun-control law in the nation’s capital went too far by making it nearly impossible to own a handgun.
It's too bad Charlton Heston didn't live to see this day.
The Fall of France and the Multicultural World War
Fjordman is one of the few critics of Islam who consistently emphasizes the central part that immigration has played, in particular that Europe's pending suicide stems from welcoming millions from a foreign, hostile culture. Many other pundits and bloggers (e.g. Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs) tapdance around that pertinent fact because the "I" word is too controversial for them.
Fjordman is also imaginative enough to consider the dangerous future that unwise immigration is creating, and how the clash of civilizations might play out, since liberal immigration has permitted historic enemies to live among us. Did the architects of this policy believe a few choruses of kumbaya would end deep-seated tribal hatreds? That once Muslims got a taste of western values (such as they are in Europe these days), they would forget unpleasant ideas of jihad and have another capucino? It hasn't worked out that way, to say the least.
If Muslim immigration continues, the impending fall of France could mark the starting point of the Balkanization of much of Europe, perhaps later even North America. I fear this is a world war. Maybe future historians will dub it the Multicultural World War. Just as WW1 was caused by Imperialism, WW2 by Fascism and the Cold War by Communism, this one will be caused by Multiculturalism. The term “the Multicultural World War” has been coined by Fjordman. I find this to be more accurate than “The Islamic World War” because what will cause this world war is Western cultural weakness, through Multiculturalism and Muslim immigration, rather than Islamic strength. As poster DP111 says, this world war may very well be in the form of a global civil war, where you get a succession of civil wars instead of countries invading other countries. Multiculturalism and uncontrolled mass-immigration destroy the internal cohesion of the decadent West, which will slowly fall apart as it has lost the will to defend itself and the belief in its own culture. The wars in the Balkans in the 1990s will in hindsight be seen as a prelude to the Multicultural World War. Rather than a Westernization of the Balkans, we get a Balkanization of the West.
U.S. Rep. Chris Cannon, one of the nation's most conservative congressmen, lost his bid for a seventh term Tuesday in a Republican primary that focused on whether he was conservative enough for Utah's 3rd District.
Cannon was defeated by first-time candidate Jason Chaffetz, a former Brigham Young University football player who served as chief of staff for popular Republican Gov. Jon Huntsman.
The lobbying group American Conservative Union said Cannon was nearly perfect on its issues in 2007, scoring 96 percent. But Chaffetz repeatedly pounded the incumbent, especially on immigration, and pledged to be even more conservative. [...]
In the congressional race, Chaffetz, 41, claimed Cannon was soft on immigration, saying his votes amounted to offering amnesty to people in the country illegally.
In 2003, Cannon sponsored a bill that would have allowed states to charge in-state tuition for children of illegal immigrants.
Rather than deporting all illegal immigrants, Cannon has called for a guest-worker program that doesn't punish businesses and allows immigrants to travel freely across the border.
Chaffetz said he wants the U.S. to deport all illegal immigrants and stop granting automatic citizenship to children born here if their parents aren't legal residents.
Four years ago, U.S. Rep. Chris Cannon told the audience at a Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund dinner: "We love immigrants in Utah. We don’t make distinctions between legal and illegal." Two weeks ago, the Utah Republican sent a video to party activists saying that he was tough on illegal immigration and that the nation had to secure its borders.
What a lying scum. Hopefully a lot more incumbents like him will get the boot this year.
The Great Wall of America
Time magazine paid a visit to the border to check the progress of the interminable border fence project. As we approach the seven-year mark of 9/11, our southern border remains largely open. DHS aims to have 650 miles completed by the end of the year, but that's only about one-third of the Mexican border.
If we didn't have to worry about terrorists as well as job thieves, workplace policing would suffice, but we don't so we need comprehensive enforcement.
Critics complain that the fence is funneling migrants into a life-threatening desert, and they may be right, because while the area is difficult to reach from the north, on the Mexican side, Highway 2 parallels the border within sight of the U.S. It's tempting to catch a ride out here and start walking. Indeed, so many people have died or approached death in the Sonoran Desert that the CBP has installed radio beacons with flashing lights on them for walkers in distress to summon help. A more primitive sos is also common: a creosote bush set on fire at night.
Still, a case could be made that Yuma Sector's fence is part of an overall strategy that is actually reducing the number of unprepared humans wandering in the Sonoran Desert. As agent Ben Vik explained, by eliminating banzai runs in Yuma and reducing vehicle traffic in the desert, the fence has cut illegal crossings to a level at which the judicial system in western Arizona can actually handle the number of illegal immigrants apprehended by border agents. Instead of loading people onto buses and sending them back to Mexico--after which many immediately try crossing again--authorities are taking them to court. "Two weeks in jail with no income is a real deterrent," said Vik. This combination of forces--the fence, plus more agents, plus the desert, plus a real penalty--has allowed Yuma Sector to cut traffic 80%, the CBP estimates.
Below: A few strands of barb wire is supposed to keep out 100 million Mexicans, according to el Presidente Bush.
Tancredo asks if promises made by McCain earlier in the presidential campaign to hold off on giving longtime illegal immigrants a "pathway to citizenship" until after the borders were secured were any more than lip service, and wonders whether the presumptive Republican nominee's candidacy is a Trojan horse for amnesty.
"Senator, given your past sponsorship of amnesty legislation, such statements raise troubling questions. Are you planning to break a promise you made in February to postpone all other immigration reform legislation until we have first secured our borders?" writes Tancredo, who goes on to ask McCain to use an upcoming speech to the pro-pathway to citizenship National Council of La Raza in San Diego to embrace a "security first" immigration approach.
"I challenge you to deliver a message to that assembly which does not pander to their amnesty agenda. You should speak to the La Raza convention and to all Hispanic audiences about America's need for secure borders as a priority above all other immigration reforms," Tancredo said.
McCain was a vocal proponent of the failed Senate attempt to pass comprehensive immigration reform when Republicans controlled the body in 2006. He was a less visible proponent in 2007, when Democrats were in charge, though he voted again for a bipartisan, comprehensive approach to immigration in both years.
The New Pariahs?
Is there another institution more Energizer Bunny-like in its slavish adoration of multiculturalism than the New York Times? Put away those ideas of national identity, the Times preaches: patriotism is redneck stuff and inappropriate for the new improved global economy.
The photo below (complete with a pink balloon and cutesy kiddies!) is an example of the paper's continuing propaganda that open-borders diversity is the best thing going: the only thing missing is a an adorable puppy! Oh wait, Muslims hate dogs because Sons of Allah believe they are "unclean." Never mind.
This recent Times opinion piece criticizes Europe because of a few bleats for cultural survival.
No country is wholly free of anti-immigrant prejudice, whether it is the United States, where illegal immigration was a hot-button issue in the Republican primaries, or post-apartheid South Africa, where economic migrants were recently burned to death. But in many Western European countries today, something new and insidious seems to be happening. The familiar old arguments against immigrants — that they are criminals, that their culture makes them a bad fit, that they take jobs from natives — are mutating into an anti-Islamic bias that is becoming institutionalized in the continent’s otherwise ordinary politics.
Examples abound. The Swiss People’s Party sponsors ads in which three white sheep push one black sheep off the Swiss flag — and wins 29 percent of the vote. In Belgium, the Vlaams Belang deploys a clever variation, publicly praising Jews and seeking their support against Muslims, whom it tellingly describes as “the main enemy of the moment.” Meanwhile, the Dutch politician Geert Wilders calls Islam “the ideology of a retarded culture.”
An immigration end run around the next president
It's good to hear that plans are being made to deal with the next President, who will seek an amnesty that will include at least 10 million, perhaps double or trible that number. Both candidates are hopeless globalists who talk up strengthening American borders and national security but have no intention of doing the job.
NumbersUSA concentrates on elections but soon will expand its work to legislation, [NumbersUSA Executive Director Roy] Beck said. For now, the group tracks the immigration positions of every candidate in every race and assigns them a grade that is distributed monthly to the organization's 640,000 members. Beck boasted that NumbersUSA had an average of 1,300 members per congressional district. But he added: "We need more participation on the ground."
To that end, Beck is looking for fundraisers and local leaders in preparation for November's congressional races. He argued that a Democratic Congress "doesn't necessarily mean bad things for us."
Some freshman Democrats who won seats from Republicans are tough on illegal immigration because "they need a way to show people that they're different from the party leadership," he said.
Beck once saw the same split among Republicans. Though the Bush administration and much of the party leadership backed changes that would legalize illegal immigrants, other Republicans shifted to a stricter stance.
"We've spent the last seven years separating the Republican back bench from the party leadership with tremendous success," said Beck, who said his sights are now on the Democrats. "We'll continue to push that line hard."
Oaxacan townspeople have high lead levels
This item is a particularly egregious example of the San Francisco Chronicle emphasing upbeat aspects of diversity while leaving out important facts entirely.
The topic is lead poisoning among Oaxacan immigrants in California who are eating snacks sent from home, like fried grasshoppers and pumpkin seeds. At no point does the story mention the symptoms of even low levels of lead in the blood. The emphasis is how much the immigrants love culturally connecting food items.
A far more informative Chronicle report in 2006 noted, "Just 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood can permanently lower a child's IQ by four to five points." Today's article states that some Oaxacan immigrant children have lead levels "reaching 20 micrograms per deciliter."
Since half of Hispanic children don't graduate from high school, you might think cultural proclivities that decrease intelligence would be taken seriously as a public health concern. But no, not at the Chron.
In an open-air market in this rural town, indigenous Zapotec women scoop fried, rust-colored grasshoppers and pumpkin seeds from large baskets into plastic bags. Customers, from elderly men to school children, pluck down a few pesos to munch on Oaxaca state's most popular snacks.
Scenes like these make Oaxaca immigrants to the United States - many of whom live in the Bay Area - homesick. And one of the best ways to assuage their nostalgia: lovingly prepared care packages sent by relatives filled with homemade goodies.
"It's comfort food," said Teresa Mendez, a 54-year-old market cook who regularly sends local treats to her grandchildren in Northern California. "Food keeps us connected." [...]
Aragon says respected community leaders must step forward to issue warnings on radio stations in Zimatlan and Seaside.
Back at the Zimatlan market, Maria Luisa Quevedo has sold glazed pots near the market for generations.
"We've cooked this way for years, and we're all fine," said Quevedo. She then pointed to her 92-year-old grandmother, who stirred a large glazed pot of beans. "Look at her. She's fine."
'Model minority myth' can hinder Asian-American students [6/22/08]
Add to the list of ways that immigrants suffer is the idea that Asians are top quality when it comes to scholarly success. While UC Berkeley is up to its eyeballs in Chinese, Hmong and others are not so swift with book learning. So the less gifted feel unduly pressured.
And naturally, college social engineers are wringing their hands because they haven't yet achieved perfect skin-tone diversity in their campus petrie dishes.
The generalizations place unnecessary academic pressures on Asian students and can prevent universities from reaching out to subgroups of Cambodian, Laotian and Hmong high schoolers, who have dramatically lower college enrollment rates, according to the report. [...]
The new report says there is a broad range of educational and income ranges among the two-dozen Asian-American ethnic groups reported by the U.S. Census Bureau.
About 44 percent of Asian Americans - excluding Pacific Islanders - have earned a bachelor's degree, which compares with the national average of 24 percent. But just 7.5 percent of Hmong immigrants, 9.2 percent of Cambodians and 7.7 percent of Laotians had earned a bachelor's degree in 2000, according to the national figures.
Oops, apparently culture matters quite a bit in educational achievement.
Even so, perfect diverse wonderfulness is prevented by the presence of all those annoying white people, at least according to a local Asian student:
"We want to make Hmong students feel more welcomed,” [senior psychology major Victoria] Vue said. “CU-Boulder tries really hard to be more diverse, but it is a Caucasian hole. I feel like a lot of students get intimidated by that.”
"Caucasian hole"? If someone called UC Berkeley a "Chinese hole" they would be smacked around as a racist, but insulting white Americans brings no disapproval.
Not only was the driver of a Ford Bronco that fatally struck a 12-year-old girl unlicensed, but San Jose police say she is also an illegal immigrant, renewing the debate over whether undocumented people should be allowed to apply for driver's licenses.
The revelation that Adriana Fierro De Marin, 31, is in the country illegally struck yet another chord with the family of Breanna Slaughter-Eck, still reeling from the loss of the Hoover Middle School sixth-grader.
"I'm worried that she just might flee now and walk away from all this," said Joe Castro, the man who raised Breanna for the last four years. For her part, Breanna's mother simply wants justice.
Breanna was biking home from Hoover on June 12, her last day of school, when a Ford Bronco making a left turn slammed into her. The crash is still under investigation and no charges have been filed.
Naturally rathole one-bill Gil Cedillo is on the case, misrepresenting drivers' licenses for illegal aliens as the solution to tragedies like this.
"We have, every day, 2 1/2 million people ..taking the roads who, if given the opportunity, would apply for driver's licenses," said Cedillo, whose latest proposal passed the Senate and is back before the Assembly this summer. "We're endangering the lives of pedestrians and motorists in California every single day."
That's right, dismantle America's system of laws in order to suit foreign criminals! It's typical thinking from one of Mexifornia's hispanic leaders. Handing out state Identification to anyone who wants it is a welcome mat for terrorists and criminals alike.
Fuel costs sending immigrants back to Mexico
There are so many reasons for aliens to leave -- the occasional but well publicized workplace crackdown, the crash in house building following the subprime debacle -- now it's gasoline prices. Buh-bye foreigners! Happy trails!
But high gas prices are forcing contractors and day laborers to change how they do business, which is causing a ripple effect in other areas.
Construction projects and landscaping jobs are being delayed because contractors can’t afford to pick up workers. And workers faced with additional costs for gasoline or the purchase of a car are giving up on day-labor jobs and going back to their home countries.
"Your car is your job; nothing is more true these days," said Warren Harris, human services coordinator for the center, which assists between 60 and 70 day laborers a day.
EL GUSANO, MEXICO - Jose Balderama spent half a decade in the United States working roofing jobs in Texas. The money he sent home each month went to his wife and four children - a source of income the family expected to count on for many years to come.
But after serving six months at the Eden Detention Center in Texas for getting caught without the proper paperwork, he says he is never going back. "This was six months, next time it could be six years," he says on a recent day in this tiny town tucked in the foothills of the Sierra de Guanajuato mountains.
All Things Considered, June 20, 2008 - The wave of foreclosures spreading around the country is hitting Latino communities especially hard.
Many Hispanic homeowners could only qualify for subprime loans, and those mortgages were marketed to them aggressively.
Now as the forelcosures mount, some neighborhoods are deteriorating.
Crime is up, businesses are struggling and the construction jobs that were so plentiful are vanishing.
This piece is a flawed feature story about the two Texas high school girls, Amina and Sarah Said, who were murdered by their Egyptian father for disobeying his demands that they live as oppressed Islamic women in America. (See Honor Killing in Texas.)
The girls' mother was a 15-year-old high school dropout working as a cashier when she met Yaser Said in 1987. The Egyptian immigrant needed an America wife quick because his visa was about to end. She was warned by relatives not to marry a man from such an alien culture, but she didn't listen and as a result, the family got the whole nine yards of Islam.
From the time they were little, Yaser told his daughters they were to have no American boyfriends, ever. Yaser and Islam kept strict watch over the girls to ensure they didn't disobey the command.
Yaser had big plans for both girls. Everything would begin in May, when Amina received her high school diploma. She would get engaged to a man he had chosen for her in Egypt, his birthplace. From the groom, Amina would receive a sizable mahr, the traditional dowry. Yaser had scrimped for years to provide his own contribution to the marriage: a small vacation "chalet" on the seaside in the Sinai.
When Amina, who dreamed of becoming a doctor, asked her father when she would go to college, Yaser had a simple answer: when—if—your husband allows. The same was expected for Sarah.
This article is disappointingly flawed because it attempts to cling to political correctness by rounding off the edges of murderous cultural rage against two girls, saying about the honor killing charge, "The truth is more complex."
But how "complexity" can absolve this terrible crime is not explained.
English as an official language has gained momentum as proponents keep going to the ballot box with measures that discourage bilingual ballots, notices and documents.
Thirty states now have laws specifying that official government communications be in English, says U.S. English, a group that promotes the laws. This year such bills are under consideration in 19 legislatures.
"It's multiplying tremendously," says Mauro Mujica, a Chilean immigrant and chairman and CEO of U.S. English. "We've made huge progress."
Critics do not see progress. Some say the increase in the measures nationwide sends a hostile message to newcomers.
How is it "hostile" to require that immigrants learn this nation's language in return for all the benefits they receive from living here? A 2005 poll found that 79 percent of Americans believe immigrants should know English before allowed to become citizens -- a requirement that is officially in place now, but is rarely followed.
Furthermore, the people who say official English is hostile are the ones insisting we Americans learn Spanish.
Below, Philadelphia restaurant owner Joey Vento got in trouble with the Raza types for politely requesting that people order their cheese steaks in English.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a motion in federal court Wednesday seeking to clear two groups named as unindicted co-conspirators in a terrorism-financing case.
The Islamic Society of North America and the North American Islamic Trust were among about 250 Muslim individuals and groups named by the government in its case against the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development.
The case against five former Holy Land officials accused of helping finance Hamas, which the U.S. government designated as a terrorist group, ended in a mistrial last year. Another trial is set for September.
President Felipe Calderón on Tuesday signed legislation designed to fundamentally change Mexico's much-criticized justice system by allowing U.S.-style oral trials and establishing a presumption of innocence for criminal defendants.
The sweeping measures also require local and state police departments to "purify" their ranks of corrupt officers, and they grant those agencies power to investigate organized crime, an authority that had previously been the exclusive domain of federal authorities. Calderón has said the changes are crucial to his battle against the drug cartels blamed for thousands of deaths each year.
"What is at stake is not the liberty, security or integrity of the government, but above all the security and integrity of the governed," Calderón said in a ceremony at the presidential palace, Los Pinos, in Mexico City.
What led Turlock man to fatally beat toddler son?
On local news in northern California, the case of a man beating a child to death on a country road has gotten a lot of coverage. He was shot and killed by police when he refused to stop thrashing the little boy.
No mention of immigration status, of course.
Sergio Casian Aguiar, who worked at a supermarket in Turlock, was fatally shot by police Saturday night after he refused to stop attacking his 2-year-old son, according to the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department.
Aguiar's wife, Frances Liliana Casian, a kindergarten teacher, told detectives that she didn't know why Aguiar would brutally beat their child and said he didn't have any mental illness that she knew about, according to sheriff's spokesman, Royjindar Singh. Casian and Aguiar had been separated. [...]
Aguiar had immigrated from Mexico, and family members will be traveling from abroad to make funeral arrangements and meet with Stanislaus County investigators, Singh said.
A 27-year-old grocery store worker who police say punched and kicked his 2-year-old son to death on a country road calmly told motorists who stopped at the scene that he had to "get the demons" out of the boy, two witnesses said Monday.
Was the killer a superstitious peasant from the Mexican boonies? Sounds like it.
COLUMBIA—Recent accidents, some involving illegal immigrants, have captured the attention of the community and have lawmakers talking about what to do about unlicensed drivers.
From 2001 to 2005, 807 fatal accidents in South Carolina are believed to have involved unlicensed drivers, according to AAA Carolinas. It's unclear how many of those accidents were caused by illegal immigrants.
Regardless of the reasons they don't have licenses, unlicensed drivers are among the greatest safety threats on the highways, said Carol Gifford, public relations manager for AAA Carolinas, which released the "Unlicensed to Kill" study in March. [...]
Earlier this month, Smokey Bones bartender Steven Rand Rouvet, 21, was killed in an early-morning hit-and-run crash near North Charleston. Four days later, Highway Patrol troopers charged Jesus Magana, an illegal immigrant with no driver's license, with leaving the scene of an accident involving a death.
One of the crime victims remembered was Joyce Dargan, killed near her home.
Myrtle Beach, Oct. 13, 2005: Joyce Dargan, 57, was hit and killed when she walked to her mailbox in Restaurant Row, The Myrtle Beach Sun News reported. Authorities said two teen boys were racing their cars when one swerved off the road and struck Dargan. The boys, 14 and 15 at the time, were sentenced to up to six years in juvenile prison. Both were illegal immigrants who later could be deported. The boy whose car struck Dargan had been stopped for traffic violations twice in the six weeks before her death.
I included her in a poster I created a couple years ago, partially because I thought it was outrageous that border anarchy has made going the the mailbox a dangerous activity in America.
A wave of burglaries is spreading across the Washington area, and police say illegal immigrants, hit by police crackdowns and the drop in new construction, are likely playing a key role.
“The immigrant community is at a tipping point,” said Montgomery County police community liaison Officer Luis Hurtado. “The poor economy is pushing more immigrants to turn to crime.”
In the first five months of this year, burglaries climbed 10 to 20 percent in many jurisdictions.
The District of Columbia had the greatest increase, jumping 20 percent from 1,370 in the first five months of 2007 to 1,638 for the same period this year.
Montgomery County police said they’ve averaged 288 burglaries a month for the first five months of this year, up 23 per month, or nearly 10 percent, from last year. [...]
Crime experts have mixed opinions on the role illegal immigrants play when it comes to breaking the law. Criminologists either believe illegals are more prone to criminal behavior because they’ve already broken one law upon entering the country, or they will more likely keep their hands clean, fearing deportation.
I spoke with a former prosecuter last week who is not involved with this issue, and he said in his experience in North Carolina, once the psychological line of commiting a crime had been crossed, more wrongdoing followed. In for a dime, in for a dollar.
See the vDARE.com version In DC, Last Week’s Hard-Working Day Laborer Is Today’s Burglar.
The black-tie party at Washington's swank Mayflower Hotel seemed a fitting celebration of the biggest American housing boom since the 1950s: filet mignon and lobster, a champagne room and hundreds of mortgage brokers, real estate agents and their customers gyrating to a Latin band.
On that winter night in 2005, the company hosting the gala honored itself with an ice sculpture of its logo. Pinnacle Financial had grown from a single office to a national behemoth generating $6.5 billion in mortgages that year. The $100,000-plus party celebrated the booming division that made loans largely to Hispanic immigrants with little savings. The company even booked rooms for those who imbibed too much. [...]
Seen in the best possible light, the housing bubble that began inflating in the mid-1990s was "a great national experiment," as one prominent economist put it -- a way to harness the inventiveness of the capitalist system to give low-income families, minorities and immigrants a chance to own their homes. But it also is a classic story of boom, excess and bust, of homeowners, speculators and Wall Street dealmakers happy to ride the wave of easy money even though many knew a crash was inevitable.
Marisol and Ramiro got their mortgage through the Citibank/ACORN Housing program, which offers interest rates a full percentage point below the published rate and $3,000 toward closing costs or down payment. In addition, their Realtor, Rebecca Gallardo-Serrano of Protelo Group Realty in San Jose, gave them a rebate of $2,500 to help pay their closing costs. At less than $260,000, their small condo was the lowest-cost listing in Santa Clara County.
How two Mexicans who haven't graduated from high school with a kid to raise can be expected to afford the payments on a quarter-million-dollar condo was not explained. The mostly cheerful diversity-speak didn't specifiy the monthly loan payments either.
Another California mortgage case was examined in the Chronicle (4/13/07) by a real estate writer who helpfully included pertinent financial data: Minorities are the emerging face of the subprime crisis. Two couples with six children between them wanted a house in Watsonville and figured they could pay a total of $3000/month from their agricultural jobs. They were guided into buying a house they could never afford.
But the couple says they were assured them it was possible. "The monthly payment was supposed to be $4,800, but then after we bought it, it went up to $5,378," says Rosa, speaking of their zero-down mortgage with a one-month "teaser rate." "Our agent told us that once we refinanced, we could get the payments down to $3,000 or less." For a number of months Avila, who arranged for the loan with New Century Mortgage, paid the difference between what the buyers had said they could afford -- $3,000 -- and the actual loan payment. According to the buyers, this arrangement was supposed to carry them over until the group refinanced. [...]
How did a strawberry picker earning $15,000 a year qualify for a loan of $720,000? The answer, say the experts, lies in a lending industry that got too innovative for its own good.
A different view comes from North Carolina: Illegal immigrants are good risks, lenders find -- an assertion I find hard to believe. The only way that it could be true is that immigrants are happy to invite lots of rent-paying family members to share the digs.
When Miguel left Mexico for the Carolinas, he planned on staying for a year.
That was five years ago. Now, he has a wife, a 1-year-old son and a mortgage that he got in February without a Social Security number.
"It wasn't difficult at all," Miguel says.
Though illegal immigrants can't get a driver's license in North Carolina anymore, they can still be approved for a home loan.
With an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN), good credit and proof of tax filing, those who aren't legal permanent residents can qualify for a fixed-rate "ITIN mortgage." [...]
Banks aren't required to keep track of how many ITIN home loans they give, so it's difficult to find accurate data on them.
But according to estimates from the Hispanic National Mortgage Association and local lenders, less than 1 percent of ITIN loans have gone into foreclosure. That compares with 1.2 percent for prime mortgages and nearly 11 percent for subprime mortgages given to borrowers with poor credit history, according to the latest available data from the Mortgage Bankers Association.
Oh, the Hispanic National Mortgage Association -- that's a credible source! Interestingly, when you look at the group's news page, you see an NPR report from 2007 listed, Illegal Immigrants Good Mortgage Risk. This "news" from Carolina may just be recycled statistics that were questionable when first served up last year.
And how depressing that ITIN mortgages are still being issued. It's one of the many magnets that keeps them coming.
With a new Asian restaurant opening in Sacramento County every two weeks, health inspectors face a growing challenge because Asian eateries are most prone to health violations.
Like upscale French restaurants dinged for making hollandaise with uncooked eggs, some of the local Asian restaurants' issues stem from cultural food practices. In Chinese restaurants, for instance, roast duck meat may hang from a hook to dry for more than four hours, creating a tasty entree that inspectors consider a virtual petri dish for bacteria.
But most of the inspectors' unsavory findings are more basic: unwashed hands, vermin and food cooked or stored at the wrong temperature.
Forty-four of the 50 Sacramento restaurants castigated most often since 2003 for major violations -- the infractions that pose an immediate health threat -- serve Asian food, according to a Bee analysis of county inspection data newly posted at www.sacbee.com/databases.
Nearly half of the 400 or so restaurants temporarily closed down for safety problems during those years also served Asian food, though fewer than one in six local restaurants is Asian.
One thing there's not much debate about is why China's grain stocks are hitting new lows. Its glaciers, rivers and underground water tables are drying up. Farmland is being paved over to make new cities and factories, and on the demand side, Chinese are eating more meat which requires grain for animal feed.
China's leaders are vigilant about the food supply situation because they know it has servious political implications. Brown agrees: "The stresses associated with emerging food shortages could lead to more and more failing states."
Scores of countries are overpumping aquifers as they struggle to satisfy their growing water needs. The drilling of millions of irrigation wells has pushed water withdrawals beyond recharge rates, in effect leading to groundwater mining. The failure of governments to limit pumping to the sustainable yield of aquifers means that water tables are now falling in countries that contain more than half the world’s people, including the big three grain producers—China, India, and the United States.
Most of the world’s aquifers are replenishable, so that when they are depleted, the maximum rate of pumping will be automatically reduced to the rate of recharge. Fossil aquifers, however, are not replenishable. For these—including the vast U.S. Ogallala aquifer, the deep aquifer under the North China Plain, or the Saudi aquifer, for example—depletion brings pumping to an end. Farmers who lose their irrigation water have the option of returning to lower-yield dryland farming if rainfall permits. But in more arid regions, such as in the southwestern United States or the Middle East, the loss of irrigation water means the end of agriculture.
El Salvador says Salvadorans working abroad sent home a record amount of money in remittances in the first five months of the year. The country's central bank says remittances were up by almost 6 percent in the January-May period, as compared to the same period of 2007.
The banks said in a report Friday that remittances totaled $1.6 billion, the highest amount on record, compared to about $1.51 billion
Remittances have been falling in Mexico, declining 2.4 percent through April.
One possible difference is the temporary protected status some Salvadorans have in the United States.
About 10 percent of the 2.5 million Salvadorans living in the U.S. were given the protected status after their country suffered a series of
Jobs for teens hard to find [6/15/08]
One of the forgotten groups of people harmed by open borders are teenagers trying to work to earn college tuition or simply because their families are poor. Many part-time or summer jobs that once were dependable opportunities for youngsters to learn the ropes of the working world are now taken by immigrants, legal and illegal.
Just 35% of 16- to 19-year-olds in the United States had a job last year, the lowest teen employment rate since World War II, according to the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston. In a sputtering economy, employers -- if they're not downsizing -- can bypass teens for more qualified adult applicants, said Andrew Sum, director of the center.
"You're not going to bring in interns when you're laying off their parents," he said.
The competition for jobs comes not only from adult workers who have lost jobs, but also from those 55 to 70 who are punching checkout registers and bagging groceries to supplement their retirement. And in some states, immigrant workers also are filling jobs traditionally held by teens.
In the ABC News report exerpted below, economist Andrew Sum stated, "Teenagers are working 11 to 12 percentage points less than they weree seven years ago. If the same thing happened to U.S. adults, we would have called it a great depression." Only one-third of 16-to-19-year-olds will find work this summer, the lowest rate since WWII. The clip also shows white and black kids alike struggling to find work, although the ghetto youngsters seem particularly discouraged: only 15 percent of inner-city teens looking for a job will find one.
CACTUS, Texas -- Foreign-born workers have been the mainstay at a meatpacking plant in this small Panhandle town for decades.
When the plant opened in 1974, Vietnamese and Laotians filled many of the jobs. Then came workers from Mexico and Guatemala, many of them in the U.S. illegally.
Most left or were arrested after a 2006 immigration raid that took nearly 300 workers from the Swift & Co. plant.
Now a new group of foreign-born workers are employed at the plant, where starting pay begins at $12 an hour.
Since January about 450 Burmese refugees have arrived from places like Houston, Florida, New York and Indianapolis, lured by lower living costs, safe neighborhoods and jobs. More are on the way.
Incidentally, meatpacking was still a well-paid union job in many states in the 1970s:
During the 1960s and 1970s, meatpacking wages were relatively higher than at manufacturing plants, running about 14 percent to 18 percent above manufacturing wages at that time, Mintert said. By 2002, meatpacking wages were running 25 percent below manufacturing wages.
Accompanying the wage drop was the decline of unions in the plants. In the late 1970s, about 45 percent of the meatpacking industry was unionized. By the late 1980s, that had dropped to 21 percent as more immigrants took jobs in the industry, [agriculture economist James] Mintert said.
(Immigration raids could affect wages, meat prices, MN Public Radio, December 15, 2006)
Here's a confirmation of that part of labor history from fast-food expert Eric Schlosser: The Chain Never Stops (Mother Jones, July/August 2001).
Thirty years ago, meatpacking was one of the highest-paid industrial jobs in the United States, with one of the lowest turnover rates. In the decades that followed the 1906 publication of The Jungle, labor unions had slowly gained power in the industry, winning their members good benefits, decent working conditions, and a voice in the workplace. Meatpacking jobs were dangerous and unpleasant, but provided enough income for a solid, middle-class life. There were sometimes waiting lists for these jobs. And then, starting in the early 1960s, a company called Iowa Beef Packers (IBP) began to revolutionize the industry, opening plants in rural areas far from union strongholds, recruiting immigrant workers from Mexico, introducing a new division of labor that eliminated the need for skilled butchers, and ruthlessly battling unions. By the late 1970s, meatpacking companies that wanted to compete with IBP had to adopt its business methods—or go out of business. Wages in the meatpacking industry soon fell by as much as 50 percent. Today meatpacking is one of the nation's lowest-paid industrial jobs, with one of the highest turnover rates. The typical plant now hires an entirely new workforce every year or so. There are no waiting lists at these slaughterhouses today. Staff shortages have become an industrywide problem, making the work even more dangerous.
Yolanda Lemus, a U.S. citizen originally from El Salvador who volunteers with the advocacy group Mexicans without Borders, said just from driving around she and her boyfriend have noticed the dramatic change in the atmosphere.
“We don’t see the Spanish, the Latinos, the way we used to, everywhere, every time, anymore. Going to the malls, going to the parks. It’s like, ‘Where’s everybody at?’” she said.
Apparently Americans in their own country count as non-people to newbies who want ever more of their tribe. But the good news sneaks in inadvertently, that a little enforcement goes a long way...
While there are no definitive studies to answer that question, most observers believe that many immigrants of Hispanic origin got scared, packed and left.
It wasn’t that the police stopped that many people. Since March, 265 were questioned about their status and 138 of them were arrested, according to county data. Sixty-six were released without charges and 59 were cited for minor offenses. Two were found to be legal residents.
Rather, the fear alone of either deportation among illegals or of harassment among illegals, seems to have done the job.
The whiney tone is standard issue PC BS. But the growth statistics are truly jawdrop, and explain the citizen uprising.
Prince William County experienced explosive economic and population growth for the better part of this decade, attracting thousands of construction workers and day laborers to help expand the community. The county had the fourth largest Hispanic growth rate in the country from 2000 to 2006 and grew by almost 150 percent, according the U.S. Census Bureau.
The phenomena turned Hispanics into the major ethnic group in the county. The Hispanic population grew by 183 percent from 1990 to 2000 and by 2007 was roughly 19 percent of the county population. The white population grew by 7.7 percent.
Overcrowding was an unavoidable consequence of the exponential growth the county experienced. The county welcomed more than 75,000 new residents since 2000. And in the span of fifty years, the population increased seven-fold, from 50,000 to more than 380,000. The demographic stress started to push resources and services and local politicians to the brink.
And of course the foreign freeloaders will continue to come until we tell them to scram.
Driver may face federal charges [6/14/08] Mackenzie Maddox was another child killed by an illegal alien, specifically Mexican Jose A. Rodriguez.
In this instance, the authorities had previously behaved correctly by deporting him months ago. But the perp returned, presumably because of the allure of big piles of American dollars. Rodriguez reportedly wasn't drunk when he plowed into the mother and child in an intersection, but he was driving without a license.
The 29-year-old Kenosha man charged in the West Allis crash that killed a 6-year-old girl Monday could face federal charges for re-entering the country illegally after being deported to Mexico in February, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office said Wednesday.
Gail Montenegro, spokeswoman for ICE’s Chicago region, said her agency expects to file federal re-entry charges against Jose A. Rodriguez, accused of striking Mackenzie J. Maddox and her 25-year-old mother, Andrea F. Maddox, both of West Allis as they crossed the street.
Andrea Maddox remains in satisfactory condition at Froedtert Hospital.
Rodriguez was charged Wednesday in Milwaukee County Circuit Court with driving with a revoked license, causing death, a misdemeanor punishable by a fine and up to nine months in jail. According to the complaint, he was driving a red dump truck north on S. 84th St. and crossed W. Cleveland Ave. under a green light when he struck the two pedestrians.
Rodriguez, who waited for police at the scene, is being detained on an immigration hold at the Milwaukee County Jail. He faces from two to 20 years in prison if convicted, depending on the types of criminal offenses for which he was deported, Montenegro said.
More than 100 friends and family of Mackenzie and her mother held a candlelight vigil Wednesday night near the scene of the collision.
“I’m having a real hard time getting up in the morning and not seeing her there,” said Mackenzie’s grandmother, Christine Maddox. “Mackenzie was a very caring girl, very, very helpful for a 6-year-old. You would think she was 12, as much as she was able to help people.”
According to police, Rodriguez has several traffic-related convictions, including one for driving while intoxicated. He was first identified by ICE while serving 30 days in the Kenosha County Jail on that charge, under the agency’s Criminal Alien Program that identifies individuals who are in the country illegally and serving time in jails and prisons, Montenegro said.
The program identified 164,000 criminals last year, up from 64,000 the previous year.
3 in Ohio guilty of plot against US troops in Iraq [6/13/08]
You have to keep a constant lookout for domestic terrorist news in America because nobody in the MSM is interested in covering it nationally. There are local reports, but that's it. When you add them together, however, the picture is not reassuring that Muslim immigrants come here with friendly intentions. A 2007 Pew Poll of Muslims residing in America showed a jihad-friendly group that is willing to admit its beliefs. For example, 26 percent of young Muslims believe suicide attacks against non-Muslim civilian targets is acceptable.
Here's a report from today:
CLEVELAND (AP) — Three Ohio men were convicted Friday of plotting to recruit and train terrorists to kill American soldiers in Iraq, a case put together with help from a former soldier who posed as a radical bent on violence.
Mohammad Amawi, 28, Marwan El-Hindi, 45, and Wassim Mazloum, 27, face maximum sentences of life in prison. Prosecutors said the men were learning to shoot guns and make explosives while raising money to fund their plans to wage a holy war against U.S. troops.
The federal jury in Toledo returned its verdict after three days of deliberations. U.S. District Judge James G. Carr did not set a sentencing date, said acting U.S. attorney Bill Edwards.
"Today's verdicts should send a strong message to individuals who would use this country as a platform to plot attacks against U.S. military personnel in Iraq and elsewhere," said Patrick Rowan, acting assistant attorney general for national security, in a written statement. "This case also underscores the need for continued vigilance in identifying and dismantling extremist plots that develop in America's heartland."
Tampa, Florida -- Ahmed Abdellatif Sherif Mohamed entered a plea agreement Friday.
In the court document, he admits to providing material to support terrorists. He also acknowledges that a YouTube video he produced was to be used in "preparation for or in carrying out the killing of employees of the United States," including uniformed personnel.
Mohamed and Youssef Megahed were arrested August 4, 2007, in Goose Creek, South Carolina after a traffic stop. Authorities recovered a number of items from the car which constituted explosive materials.
Megahed remains in custody.
Mohamed faces a maximum sentence of 15 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine and a term of supervised release.
At the time of the arrest, one misleading story was that the "kids" had "fireworks" in the trunk.
The press also printed various protestations from the parents that their upstanding son could never be a terrorist. For example, Father: USF student no terrorist.
"It's killing me," Samir Megahed said Saturday of the charges against his son. "We have no charge like this in my family for 400 years. It's killing all my family in Egypt."
But today, when Mohamed admitted his guilt, the press is not as interested.
Two Muslims supporters of "violent jihad" discussed setting up a secret Islamic state in a remote part of Scotland, a court heard today.
Away from the prying eyes of the authorities, it would provide a safe haven for those who felt "oppressed", jurors were told.
It would also be run according to Sharia law and eventually be used as a base to "discreetly train" for attacks against non-believers.
The only drawback Aabid Khan allegedly identified was the availability of weapons. [...]
The barrister claimed he then added: "In the UK you can isolate with a group discreetly and train, but better in the US as they have weapons there. Over here weapons is problem."
Hispanic pedestrians are run down by cars in greater numbers than members of any other ethnic group, according to new data that is prompting the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments to press municipal transportation departments to address the problem.
A resolution, scheduled for a vote Wednesday, calls for a public education campaign "with increased targeting of high-risk populations."
In Northern Virginia, Hispanics stand an eight in 100,000 chance of getting struck by a car or truck, compared with three per 100,000 for Caucasians, two per 100,000 for Asian Americans and six per 100,000 for the black community, according to a recent report from COG, a regional planning agency.
Maryland and the District report similar accident rates by ethnic group. [...]
"Some immigrants are not used to using crosswalks," Mr. Quiroz said. "The shortest distance between two points is a straight line."
(Why do I imagine that if a friend of law and borders made this point, hispanics would be squawking about racism?)
Incidentally, as a daily pedestrian myself, I agree that neighborhoods with no sidewalks are unacceptable. So I support pedestrian-friendly planning; every street should have a safe place for people to walk. But turning America into a zone designed for Mexican sensibility is not okay.
One of the more twisted arguments about about how American should adjust for hispanics was posted in the New California Media in 2002: No Slowing in Pedestrian Accidents Among Latinos.
Latino Urban Forum Chairman James Rojas explains the spike in incidents among Latinos is more of a cultural practice. “Basically Latinos use streets like plazas. They work there, they play there and they grow up there. The streets (in L.A.) are not designed that way," said Rojas, who conducted his Master's Thesis at MIT on Latinos and public space using L.A. as a case study.
“There is no such thing as jaywalkers in Mexico,” said Vicente Negrete, a machinist and recently naturalized citizen, originally from Tijuana, while waiting for the bus on Arizona Ave. and Whittier Blvd. Negrete says that newly arrived Mexicans accustomed to dodging cars in Mexico are aware of the laws protecting pedestrians in the U.S. and believe that drivers routinely watch for them, creating a false sense of security. "They (drivers) won't stop for you in Mexico, but here Mexicans think they (drivers) are more careful. They think if they get hit here, they could sue whoever hit them," said Negrete.
Deputy Gabriel Rendon of the Traffic Division at the East L.A. Sheriff Station says density is a clear factor. He says a common accident in dense Cudahy is on driveways of crowded apartment complexes where children use driveways as playgrounds. “It’s an unfortunate thing but I have to put most of the fault on the pedestrian,” said Rendon.
Rojas disagrees. "We can't blame ourselves and say we are dumb, we can't cross the street right," said Rojas. Rojas supports street planning reform to accommodate Latinos. "You have to change with the times. It's something where Latinos have to get together and determine what we want," said Rojas. He recommends that speed limits in dense areas be reduced and designate them as pedestrian areas.
See? Everything has to be rearranged to suit the needs of foreigners who are not interested in assimilating to American pedestrian customs, even for their own safety.
Overall, Mexican opinions of the U.S. are mixed. Forty-seven percent of Mexicans have a favorable impression of our country. A slightly smaller number, 44 percent, view the American people favorably.
Only 17 percent of Mexicans think the U.S. influences their country in a positive way. One in five Mexicans think the U.S. influences their economy for the better. About half of Mexicans think of the U.S. as a partner; 31 percent consider America an enemy.
This poll is from the Pew Global Attitudes Project. You can download the whole thing in PDF here. One interesting fact is the 68 percent of Mexicans are dissatisfied with the way things are going in their country, versus 30 who think it's okay.
Also timely is Americans' view toward foreigners buying domestic companies: 67 percent Bad, versus 25 percent Good.
But now the charreada, which is strictly amateur, is facing its biggest challenge. After criticism from animal rights and anti-rodeo activists, eight states over the last decade have cracked down on several events, most notably horse tripping, a centuries-old tradition that involves roping and snaring the front legs of a running mare and that can cause serious injury. As a result, no charros in the federation practice horse tripping.
In a law that takes effect next month, Nebraska is also banning steer tailing, in which a charro grabs a steer’s tail, wraps it beneath his stirrup and flips the animal to the ground. The legislation grew out of abuses uncovered by the Omaha Humane Society at an unsanctioned arena, in which some horses had rope burns and torn tendons and were severely emaciated.
For those who spend their weekends on the dusty rails, these new laws seem to be singling out their culture unfairly. They argue that other sports involving potential injury to animals, like dressage, polo and thoroughbred racing, continue relatively uninterrupted, despite the recent high-profile deaths of the thoroughbreds Eight Belles and Barbaro.
“I sometimes feel like we’re the witches in Massachusetts,” said Mr. Franco, whose federation sets the rules and regulations for the charreadas.
If Mexicans residing in the United States knew anything about American culture, they would understand that we strongly disapprove of animal cruelty, period. But to many Mexicans, expressing even the sicko parts of their culture is paramount.
One thing I've noticed in New York Times stories which include diversity is that the good stuff is often tucked away in the multimedia section. This story is no exception: the audio slideshow reveals more of the cruelty and desire to implant Mexican culture in America than is shown in the text. Marcos Franco, a booster and participant of charreada, noted, "When we were really in our heydays out there, they felt that they were in Mexico, even though they were in the States. They used to call it the reconcito Mexicano, the little corner of Mexico... That's what's beautiful about this country."
Regarding horse tripping (shown below) which has long been opposed by Americans as tremendously cruel, Franco insisted that if the horse is roped by only the front two feet, no injury occurs. Ri-i-i-ight. But even he admitted there are unsanctioned charreada events that offend him: "They have these free-for-alls that, my god, I am 100% against. Because of their misconduct, we pay the price."
Jose Duran is building a "state-of-the-art lienzo" (Mexican rodeo ring) with his family in Patterson, California: "What we hope is this place will be a place where we'll teach our new generation our culture. This is my son Gabriel and Amelio, and hopefully they'll take this thing over and learn what it means and help me make this work. When they dress with a charro suit, with a charro outfit, they can feel that their body is being covered by the Mexican flag."
So the next time you see a Mexican dressed in traditional charro regalia, you'll know what it means!
NEW YORK (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union announced by far the largest fundraising campaign in its 88-year history Monday, eying a dramatic expansion of its work on social justice issues in relatively conservative states such as Texas and Florida.
The campaign's goal is $335 million, with $258 million already raised through behind-the-scenes solicitations over the past year, ACLU executive director Anthony Romero said.
Major donors include billionaire financier George Soros, who gave $12 million through his Open Society Institute.
"The purpose is to build a civil liberties infrastructure in the middle of the country — where battleground states are often under-resourced and our efforts are most needed," Romero said.
He cited issues such as immigrants' rights, gay rights, police brutality and opposition to the death penalty as causes that would be pursued vigorously as the ACLU expanded in heartland states. At present, the ACLU's biggest offices are in the Northeast, the Pacific states and Illinois; targets for expansion include Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico and Tennessee, with even the smallest ACLU affiliates in line to get extra funding to hire new attorneys and launch new advocacy programs.
Immigration has long been an issue used by the ACLU to keep the police from doing their job. When President Reagan during his first year in office proposed penalizing employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants, the ACLU called it "an invitation to conduct dragnet searches of places frequented by foreigners or those who look foreign."
Today, the ACLU's Lin says that when local police duly follow the precepts of federal law by acting as immigration agents — even though they're trained and supervised by the immigration division of the Department of Homeland Security — it is "not the appropriate constitutional use of state and local power."
If local policy can't help fight illegal immigration, it's a lost cause. But perhaps that's what the ACLU wants.
In 2004, as regulators warned that subprime lenders were saddling borrowers with mortgages they could not afford, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development helped fuel more of that risky lending.
Eager to put more low-income and minority families into their own homes, the agency required that two government-chartered mortgage finance firms purchase far more "affordable" loans made to these borrowers. HUD stuck with an outdated policy that allowed Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to count billions of dollars they invested in subprime loans as a public good that would foster affordable housing.
Housing experts and some congressional leaders now view those decisions as mistakes that contributed to an escalation of subprime lending that is roiling the U.S. economy.
The agency neglected to examine whether borrowers could make the payments on the loans that Freddie and Fannie classified as affordable. From 2004 to 2006, the two purchased $434 billion in securities backed by subprime loans, creating a market for more such lending. Subprime loans are targeted toward borrowers with poor credit, and they generally carry higher interest rates than conventional loans.
Today, 3 million to 4 million families are expected to lose their homes to foreclosure because they cannot afford their high-interest subprime loans. Lower-income and minority home buyers -- those who were supposed to benefit from HUD's actions -- are falling into default at a rate at least three times that of other borrowers.
House gives Merida Initiative the green light [6/10/08]
How regrettable that the Chair of the House Immigration Caucus, Brian Bilbray, voted for this giveaway to corrupt Mexico. Calderon must be having a big laugh that he can still beg for money from Washington and get over a billion dollars in American taxpayer funds. Uncle Sucka is alive and well -- unfortunately for us citizens.
House lawmakers voted 311-106 on Tuesday to authorize the Merida Initiative, a $1.6 billion plan to help fight drug cartels in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.
“Either we can go after these cartels in Ensenada, or we can fight them in Escondido,” said Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-Carlsbad), who voted for the plan. “I’d prefer that we move now and take care of this problem south of the border. The drug wars in Mexico and in other regions have grown horrendously violent, and their destructive ways must be quashed.”
Bilbray was one of several U.S. lawmakers who went to Monterrey, Mexico, over the weekend to discuss the initiative with Mexican officials. Mexico has objected to human rights conditions that Congress attached to the aid. The State Department has identified Mexico as a major supplier of marijuana and methamphetamine to the U.S. Escalating violence between rival Mexican drug cartels has fueled increasing violence along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The House on Wednesday passed a three-year, $1.6 billion plan to fight drug trafficking from Mexico and Central America.
The funding would be used to train and equip security forces, strengthen the rule of law and judicial systems, and boost a U.S. program to prevent guns from traveling illegally into Mexico.
The bill, which passed 311-106, largely reflects a plan developed by President Bush and Mexican President Felipe Calderón known as the Merida Initiative, for the Mexican city where the leaders unveiled it in 2007.
The bill would authorize $595 million for fiscal 2008, $645 million for fiscal 2009 and $350 million for fiscal 2010.
The Senate supplemental would provide $450 million for fiscal 2008; the House version would include $461.5 million. The administration had requested $550 million.
SAN DIEGO (AP) - A Chinese citizen has pleaded guilty in San Diego to trying to smuggle military-grade sensors to her homeland.
Qing Li pleaded guilty Monday in federal court to conspiring to harm the U.S.
Prosecutors say she approached a company in Orange County in 2007 about buying accelerometers. The devices can measure the power of missile systems but are illegal to export without State Department approval.
Li told undercover investigators she was buying the devices on behalf of a scientific agency in China.
She was living in Connecticut and was arrested in October at Kennedy Airport in New York.
She faces five years in prison when she is sentenced in September. Her attorney did not return a message left by The Associated Press.
This is the first article in a series that explores efforts by government and others to compel illegal immigrants to leave the United States.
The paper starts off with its typical race-obsessed slant:
MILTON, Fla. — Three months after the local police inspected more than a dozen businesses searching for illegal immigrants using stolen Social Security numbers, this community in the Florida Panhandle has become more law-abiding, emptier and whiter.
One small Florida town may indeed be whiter after a passel of hispanic illegals leave. But this example ignores the problem of "black flight" in some communities where the illegal immigrant influx has forced African-Americans to flee their long-time neighborhoods. Would the Times consider it a bad thing if another town became "blacker" after the illegal foreigners left?
The next paragraph makes it sound like the workers came out of the kindness of their hearts ("help rebuild") rather than to take advantage of a tragedy to make a pile of money. In some quarters, this action would be considered opportunism.
Many of the Hispanic immigrants who came in 2004 to help rebuild after Hurricane Ivan have either fled or gone into hiding. Churches with services in Spanish are half-empty. Businesses are struggling to find workers. And for Hispanic citizens with roots here — the foremen and entrepreneurs who received visits from the police — the losses are especially profound.
The photo caption of a mother and cutesy baby reads, “We’re Mexican — they don’t want us here.” ERIKA BARRAGAN, the wife of one of 23 people scheduled to be deported after police raids. And so it goes in the newspaper of record!
"Denver promise of free college is breaking some hearts" [6/08/08]
The Los Angeles Times is on a roll today with this headline along with a classic sob story (discussed below).
The idea that Americans are "breaking... hearts" by not handing out their hard-earned tax dollars to illegal aliens is just absurd. Normal morality requires you to take care of your own before you get generous with strangers, but liberal newspapers believe in an unside-down worldview. If parents and teachers didn't clue the foreign kids in Denver that they didn't qualify for the same benefits as citizen youngsters, that's unfortunate. And the mayor definitely put his foot in it.
DENVER -- A lot of kids sat up and took notice the day the mayor showed up at Cole Middle School, offering to make a deal: If they'd study hard and stay in school, he'd find the money to pay for college. Four years later, the first of those students are ready to take him up on his offer -- and Mayor John Hickenlooper is ready to deliver.
But the deal has soured for some students in the group: those who are illegal immigrants. Because they would be required by Colorado law to pay out-of-state tuition, it would cost much more to pay for their college educations.
Although the mayor says he will give the students the same amount of monetary support that legal residents will receive, it's far less than what they will need to cover tuition. At least 10 of the 38 who graduated are affected, according to a private group helping the students. Some now say the mayor has backed away from a commitment that boosted their hopes for the last four years. "We acknowledge the fact the mayor is giving us partial help, but that is not what he promised," said Yadira Zubia, 19.
Say, that's a pretty high proportion of kiddies in one Colorado class who are illegal aliens.
Elsewhere in today's La Times is a sob story based on a La Raza "report" from a year ago (as admitted in the article): U.S.-born children feel effects of immigration raids.
I can recall no instance of newspapers taking a similar interest in the well-being of American children whose parent has been arrested and imprisoned. Of course such outcomes of criminality are traumatic on kids (like Yolanda Mendez, shown), but it is the behavior of the adult that is to blame, not the normal execution of laws.
But La Raza ("The Race" in English) uses emotional appeals about children to convince citizens to soften their resolve about immigration law enforcement. Should parents of minor children be exempt from normal legal penalties for crime? Apparently so, according to open-borders Raza people, as long as the perps are Mexican.
In another case, Yolanda Mendez, 12, called her father one day in March 2007 to tell him that her mother, an epileptic, was sick and that she needed help. But her father didn't arrive home.
"I thought something bad had happened to him," she said.
The family reported him missing and searched throughout the city. Three days later, Yolanda said, her father, Santiago Mendez, 39, called to tell them that he had been arrested by immigration officers during a traffic stop and that he was in a detention center.
Yolanda said she was relieved that he was alive but scared about him being deported. She and her 7-year-old brother began sleeping in their mother's bed. She didn't want to go to school. She wrote letters to her father daily.
Sorry, Yolanda. LIfe is tough, particularly when your parents are illegal aliens determined to break American laws in order to enrich themselves. I'm saving my tears for the American victims of illegal alien crime.
Water-Starved California Slows Development [6/08/08]
As usual, the press focuses on the symptoms of drought and the pressures it puts on economic life. However, periodic water shortages are a normal part of nature; what's different in California is the skyrocketing population growth from 10.6 million in 1950 to
20 million in 1970 and 38 million today, with no end in sight.
Water authorities and other government agencies scattered throughout the state, including here in sprawling Riverside County, east of Los Angeles, have begun denying, delaying or challenging authorization for dozens of housing tracts and other developments under a state law that requires a 20-year water supply as a condition for building.
California officials suggested that the actions were only the beginning, and they worry about the impact on a state that has grown into an economic powerhouse over the last several decades.
Unlike many reports, this one does include the demand side caused by increased population, although there is no suggestion that the state cannot continue to grow forever.
“The water in our state is not sufficient to add more demand,” said Lester Snow, the director of the California Department of Water Resources. “And that now means that some large development can’t go forward. If we don't make changes with water, we are going to have a major economic problem in this state.” [...]
Even more significant, a judge in federal district court last year issued a curtailment in pumping from the California Delta -- where the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers meet and provide water to roughly 25 million Californians -- to protect a species of endangered smelt that were becoming trapped in the pumps. Those reductions, from December to June, cut back the state's water reserves this winter by about one third, according to a consortium of state water boards.
The smelt problem was a powerful indicator of the environmental fallout from the delta's water system, which was constructed over 50 years ago for a far smaller population. [...]
As the denied building permits indicate, the lack of sufficient water sources could become a serious threat to economic development in California, where the population in 2020 is projected to reach roughly 45 million people, economists say, from its current 38 million. In the end, as water becomes increasingly scarce, its price will have to rise, bringing with it a host of economic consequences, the economists said.
The Governor renewed that call in his 2008-09 budget by proposing an $11.9 billion water bond for water management investments that will address population growth, climate change, water supply reliability and environmental needs. Specifically, the bond includes:
Water Storage: $3.5 billion dedicated to the development of additional storage.
Delta Sustainability: $2.4 billion to help implement a sustainable resource management plan for the Delta.
Water Resources Stewardship: $1.1 billion to implement river restoration projects.
Water Conservation: $3.1 billion to increase water use efficiency.
Water Quality Improvement: $1.1 billion for efforts to reduce the contamination of groundwater.
Other Critical Water Projects: $700 million for water recycling, hillside restoration for areas devastated by fire and removal of fish barriers on key rivers and streams.
In San Diego County, the Plascencias opened a new restaurant, brought in their violinist and piano player, and found that they had no shortage of customers. Romesco was soon full of others who had fled the growing violence in Tijuana, including members of the city's most prominent families.
Real estate agents, business owners and victims groups estimate that more than 1,000 Tijuana families -- including those of doctors, lawyers, law enforcement officials, Lucha Libre wrestlers and business owners -- have made this move in recent years as the drug-fueled violence has worsened. [...]
Tijuana suffers more kidnappings than almost any other city outside Baghdad, according to a global security firm that handles ransom negotiations south of the border. And a crime wave that started three years ago has only intensified. Most abductions are not reported to authorities, but victim support groups and others estimate the number in the hundreds in the last three to four years.
This story being a concoction of la Times, focus is on the suffering of wealthy Mexicans -- and not the damage to American society of having to endure one more city turned into another snotty expat outpost like Miami. Oh, the misery of Mexico's elites, who now have to play golf among the gringos, and other affronts.
Many emigres miss their old lifestyles in Tijuana. Accustomed to lives of privilege in Mexico, some had to downsize their tastes to afford the more expensive San Diego suburbs. Some traded customs homes for tract houses. Their social lives, which revolved around country club lunches and all-night parties, have been dialed down in their adopted country of early last calls.
Slowly, an emigre culture is taking root. Golfers tee up at the Eastlake Country Club instead of Tijuana's Club Campestre. The Vega Caffe in the Eastlake Design District offers carne asada tortas with cappuccino shots. English isn't an issue in most Eastlake stores, where signs are in Spanish and clerks are bilingual.
Finally, the Mexicans themselves understand that their nation's kidnap culture will follow them; as the article notes, "Many families won't tell even their closest friends their new addresses in San Diego County."
Hispanic workers die at higher rates than other laborers, with 1 in 3 of these deaths occurring in the construction industry, a government study reported Thursday.
Hispanics tend to hold more high-risk jobs than those in other racial groups, but language and literacy barriers and poor training and supervision may also be factors, researchers said. The leading causes of death in recent years have been falls and highway-related accidents.
"Many of the Hispanic workers in construction are undocumented, and many of those who are recently arrived do face a language barrier," said Rakesh Kochhar, associated director for research at the Pew Hispanic Center.
Chinese students implore Confucius for exam luck [6/07/08]
How interesting that these supposedly brilliant Chinese students trained in science are praying to Confucius to do well in exams. Such is the power of culture in China, where superstition remains strong despite increased training in the rational arts.
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Confucius is one of China's great rational philosophers, but for high-school students across the nation, he's the natural choice for a supernatural helping hand as they prepare for exams this weekend.
Students knelt and offered incense in front of a statue of the ancient sage in Shanghai's Confucius Temple, not far from the glitzy riverline of China's most modern and wealthiest city.
"Confucius in heaven, give me clear thinking, nimble ideas and extraordinary performance in the exam and help me get into Fudan University," high school senior Yu Jinmeng wrote on a tablet before hanging it on a tree beside the statue. [...]
Confucius, who lived between 551 and 479 BC, promoted education and argued against the influence of ghosts and gods over daily life.
But that is a lesson lost on many students today.
Below, a student bows in front of the statue of Confucius as he prays for his upcoming National College Entrance Exam in a Confucius temple in Shanghai.
Beleaguered S.F. Zoo director quits [6/06/08]
The last few months have informed local people more than we wanted to know about the San Francisco Zoo following the Christmas Day death of a patron who was killed by an escaped tiger. We learned for example that the walls of the tiger exclosure were 12 feet tall, rather than 20 feet, as the zoo had first alleged. The three young men who had been chased by the tiger were apparently drunk and stoned as they taunted the tiger, and one of those men was killed by the tiger when it escaped its inadequate enclosure.
In addition, the current zoo director ran the zoo very poorly; safety and animal care were not emphasized, employees were poorly trained, and there was little if any preparation for possible emergencies. Anyway, the useless zoo director is gone, and good riddance.
Manuel Mollinedo, the executive director of the San Francisco Zoo, has resigned, officials announced late today.
The announcement, issued nearly six months after a zoo tiger escaped on Christmas Day and killed a San Jose teenager, comes amid high zoo employee turnover and what some keepers described as abysmal morale.
At the Los Angeles Zoo, Mollinedo seized upon ethnic holidays as a way to attract a more diverse group of visitors, and he intends to do the same thing in San Francisco.
For Mollinedo, diversity -- among patrons, zoo employees and the animal collection itself -- is crucial.
It's not surprising. The son of a merchant seaman, Mollinedo grew up in East Los Angeles, raised mostly by his great-grandmother, a native of the Mexican state of Chihuahua who spoke only Spanish. A random survey conducted last year at the San Francisco Zoo found a clientele that is 66 percent white, 15 percent Asian, 6 percent Latino and 3 percent black.
Remembering D-Day, June 6, 1944
I've always found Gen. Eisenhower's statement to the troops on the eve of the invasion to be particularly stirring.
Below is President Reagan's famous speech on the 40th anniversay of the Normandy landing, in particular to honor the Rangers who scaled the cliff at Point du-Hoc.
Pedro Perez has not left Orcas Island in more than four months. Not for weekend trips with his family, not for cheaper groceries on the mainland, not for medical care -- not for anything.
He is afraid border agents will stop him and send him back to Mexico, wrecking the quiet life he has built on one of Washington's remote San Juan Islands.
"I had my eyes on this place for my kids to grow up in," Perez, who is married with two young children, said in Spanish. "There's no gangs here, no crime. It's the kids who suffer."
Actually, it's American citizens who suffer -- from increased taxes for worse schools to a growing breakdown of our system of fair law enforcement for all. We citizens don't want a Mexicanized, bilingual America; we want our traditional English-speaking society to remain intact.
Furthermore, if Mexican gardeners can find their way to Orcas Island, it's very likely gang crime will follow.
Tipping Point For Outrage [6/05/08]
Crime committed by illegal aliens is preventable crime. If the government were to do its job of protecting our borders and enforcing existing immigration laws, many lives could be saved and violence averted by keeping the perps in their home country where they belong.
I was pleased to see a balanced article in the Washington Post about the topic, for which I was interviewed a few weeks back.
As national immigration politics increasingly become local and police reveal the legal status of more suspects, high-profile deaths caused by illegal immigrants are serving as powerful tipping points for community outrage. The tragedies often live on nationally as talking points for opponents of illegal immigration and as symbols on Web sites that list victims as if they were fallen soldiers in an invisible war.
To those activists, the cases are stark reminders of a broken immigration system. It's simple, they say: The victims would be alive if the borders were sealed. [...]
In recent months, fatal car crashes alleged to have been caused by illegal immigrants have sparked ire in small towns in Minnesota and Iowa. Two years ago, the deaths of a Maryland Marine and his girlfriend in a collision caused by an illegal immigrant ignited debate in Annapolis over driver's licenses for unauthorized immigrants. In Pennsylvania, the mayor of Hazleton has said a 2006 slaying attributed to an illegal immigrant led to a controversial immigration ordinance. Charges against the suspect were later dropped, and the measure was struck down by a federal judge.
The stories of such victims are immortalized on Web sites such as http://immigrationshumancost.org, run by Brenda Walker, a Berkeley, Calif., writer who initially took up the immigration issue out of concern over the environmental impact of population growth.
"I was seeing all these articles in the press about 'Oh, poor Juan, he comes here and he's struggling for a better life,' " said Walker, adding that she favors limits on immigration. "But illegal immigration is not a victimless crime. That's my big headline."
Tainted cheese fuels TB rise in California [6/05/08]
This is a worrisome development, particularly since tuberculosis is normally passed through the air in droplets exhaled from infected lungs. A food-borne form of TB being is scary indeed, since any Mexican restaurant dish like enchiladas can presumably carry the disease organism. The precise cheese is the fresh variety found in most Mexican food stores.
A rare form of tuberculosis caused by illegal, unpasteurized dairy products, including the popular queso fresco cheese, is rising among Hispanic immigrants in Southern California and raising fears about a resurgence of a strain all but eradicated in the U.S.
Cases of the Mycobacterium bovis strain of TB have increased in San Diego county, particularly among children who drink or eat dairy foods made from the milk of infected cattle, a study in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases shows.
But the germ can infect anyone who eats contaminated fresh cheeses sold by street vendors, smuggled across the Mexican border or produced by families who try to make a living selling so-called “bathtub cheese” made in home tubs and backyard troughs.
"Bathtub cheese" -- another source of immigration diversity to be celebrated!
TB cheese is one more dangerous food product brought to America from Mexico, like the lead-carrying candy that causes lowered IQ when ingested and poses a serious problem for hispanic children who already do poorly on average in school.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger today declared a statewide drought and ordered the state Department of Water Resources to quickly transfer water to areas with the most severe water shortages.
The executive order also calls on the state water department to coordinate with other state and federal agencies to assist water suppliers, identify risks to water supply and help farmers facing losses as a result of water shortages.
In addition, Schwarzenegger urged local water districts and agencies to promote water conservation and encouraged Californians to cut water usage by as much 20 percent.
The declaration comes after two years of below-average rainfall in California, low snowmelt runoff from the Sierra and the largest court-ordered water transfer restrictions in state history, the governor said.
"There is no more time to waste because nothing is more vital to protect our economy, our environment and our quality-of-life," Schwarzenegger said.
The governor also used the occasion to pitch his proposal for a $11.9 billion water bond that includes creating new dams, an idea that Democratic legislators have resisted.
But Schwarzenegger argued that California desperately needs to build more water storage and improve water delivery systems to allow the state to better manage its water resources during dry years.
What California needs to do, with its environmentally unsustainable population of 38 million, is turn off the magnets that draw illegal immigrants to the state. The state is $15 billion in the red this year alone, yet spending continues to run amok on negative policy items like taspayer-subsidized tuition for illegal alien college students.
Yesterday, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom announced the layoffs of hundreds of workers in order to balance the city's deficit of $338 million. Just two months ago, the city spent $83,000 on an advertising campaign to notify illegal aliens that San Francisco is a sanctuary city and has lots of free stuff for them: S.F. promotes services for illegal immigrants. No mention that yesterday's cutbacks will include goodies for the foreigners however.
(Here is the Governor's statement, including a video of the announcement.)
'Wife-beating prevalent in state' [6/03/08]
Here's a little diversity moment from India, a nation which has a high opinion of its culture, for some odd reason. The most upbeat of India boosters imagine that the new century will be dominated by India, but advances of a few will not carry along a billion people who remain mired in the bad old days. One example is the disrespect which women normally experience, including socially accepted violence.
AIPUR: The percentage of married women experiencing physical or sexual violence is highest in Rajasthan compared to other states, with only Bihar recording more such incidents than the state.
What is interesting is more than half of women in the state believe it is justifiable for a husband to beat if a woman shows disrespect for her inlaws, argues with her husband or goes out without informing her husband.
The National Family Health Survey, conducted by Mumbai-based International Institute for Population Sciences was based on a sample of 3,282 households that is representative at state level and for urban and rural areas of the state. Men in the state are slightly more likely to justify -- 64% to be precise -- wife-beating in some circumstances, including half who believe that desrespect for inlaws is justification for it.
MEXICO CITY (AP) -- A majority of Mexicans believe the government is losing its escalating battle against drug gangs, according to a poll published Sunday.
Some 53 percent of Mexicans surveyed by the Mexico City newspaper Reforma said cartels are defeating security forces engaged in a nationwide crackdown. Only 24 percent said the government is winning, and 23 percent had no opinion.
Reforma interviewed 1,515 people across Mexico on May 23-25. The poll had margin of error of 2.5 percentage points.
Mexico has seen violence soar despite the deployment of more than 25,000 troops to drug trafficking hotspots since President Felipe Calderon took office in 2006.
The attorney general last month said organized crime-related homicides had jumped 47 percent this year: 1,378 deaths compared with 940 in the same period of 2006.
Calderon acknowledges that violence has increased in the northern cities of Culiacan and Ciudad Juarez, but notes that security has improved in some southern states. He said gangs also are fighting among themselves as their leadership weakens.
"It does not gratify us that the fight to regain lost Mexican territory necessarily means periods of violent confrontation," Calderon said in a speech Sunday. "But that is our strategy, and it's the right strategy."
That's a big admission on the part of the Presidente, that his government is not in control of Mexican territory.
The evangelists say they were threatened with arrest for committing a "hate crime" and were told they risked being beaten up if they returned. The incident will fuel fears that "no-go areas" for Christians are emerging in British towns and cities, as the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, the Bishop of Rochester, claimed in The Sunday Telegraph this year.
Arthur Cunningham, 48, and Joseph Abraham, 65, both full-time evangelical ministers, have launched legal action against West Midlands Police, claiming the officer infringed their right to profess their religion.
Mr Abraham said: "I couldn't believe this was happening in Britain. The Bishop of Rochester was criticised by the Church of England recently when he said there were no-go areas in Britain but he was right; there are certainly no-go areas for Christians who want to share the gospel."
More immigrants choose to leave U.S., go home [6/01/08]
I love a sniffly going-home story about a cry-baby foreigner who doesn't feel welcome any more. Like we should put out the welcome mat for illegsal alien job thieves. Boo hooey (in Spanish of course).
Here's Mexican whiner du jour, Hector Salinas.
It was the constant fear of being detained by U.S. immigration, especially after the relative with whom he shared a home in West Kendall got stopped while driving without a license. After that, they sold the car and got around with great difficulty on a bicycle.
Finally it was the loneliness. He did not bring his wife and young children, whom he had not seen for 2 1/2 years, for fear of the risk of arrest and detention.
"I never lacked for work, but I never felt good here," Salinas, 43, said in Spanish one recent afternoon, his last in Miami before boarding a plane to Mexico City. "The patrones pay only what they want. You live with very little, and then you're also alone, and always fearful of arriving at work and having them come looking for you.
"I don't like living with this uneasiness."
That's right, bub. Lawbreakers are supposed to feel uneasy, although complete terror would be a preferable emotion. And didn't you understand you would be exploited? Illegal Mexicans wear an invisible Kick Me sign, and employers like it that way.
Have a swell trip home, Hector, and don't forget to tell the family and friends how mean Americans are toward illegal aliens. Hooray for attrition!