Veterans' Day Thoughts

Patriotic holidays always lead me to reflect on the sacrifices made by members of our armed forces to protect American freedoms.

In 2011, the scorecard shows we civilians have not done very well in protecting the nation that so many thousands died to defend. The borders remain largely open, allowing hostile persons to enter at will, from unfriendly Muslims to Mexican organized crime. Our elected representatives can’t begin to stop spending money we don’t have, even after the Tea Party electoral success in 2010. One example: spending grew by $145 billion in fiscal 2011 compared to a year earlier, according to the CBO. America’s future looks dicey at best, given the financial irresponsibility of Washington on the most basic task it performs, that of taxing and spending.

But to be fair to Tea Party efforts at reform, immigration is the ground-zero issue showing how little control we citizens have to effect a government increasingly run more by globalist ideology and money than allegiance to US sovereignty. The American people have insisted for years that immigration be legal, controlled and reduced, with no substantial change. The reason is that the enemies of American sovereignty are very powerful.

Still, without reformist efforts, the border would certainly be entirely open by now in some sort of North American Union, and tens of millions of lawbreakers would be on the famous “path to citizenship” so beloved by the post-sovereignty bunch.

Patriotic holidays are therefore an appropriate occasion to rededicate oneself to saving the country, because it needs all the help it can get. And soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines have showed the real cost of preserving freedom.

Obama Re-election Plans on Diverse (Illegal?) Voters

Evidence continues to mount that Obama is eyeballing illegal alien voter fraud as an important part of his 2012 re-election strategy — heck, he’s from Chicago, the home of Vote Early Vote Often, where they have election scams for breakfast.

One item is a directive from the White House limiting deportations to axe murderers only, which may well create a feeling of grateful obligation among protected aliens next November:

Obama rolls back immigration enforcement, again, Daily Caller, November 8, 2011

The White House’s immigration lawyers have issued yet another bureaucratic order that will curb the election-year deportation of illegal immigrants, and perhaps spur the supply of Hispanic voters.

The new memo will shelter many illegals who have not committed violent crimes, or who are not suspected of being a national security threat, from routine deportation efforts by professionals in the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency. There are roughly 11 million illegal immigrants in the country, including roughly seven million in the workforce. [. . .]

Another symptom is the campaign to eliminate photo identification for voting. The hardline Democrat NAACP is spearheading the drive.

The background is that after the 2010 election, six states enacted requirements for photo ID at the polling place to prevent voter fraud, and the Democrats are trying to roll back reforms before 2012. Voter integrity has been undermined by Democrats who subscribe to Chicago principles — see John Fund’s WSJ article, Wisconsin and the Voter Fraud Agenda.

The NAACP complains that its flock has many without ID (overstated a lot, IMO), but this is the diverse America that liberals have created. People who celebrate diversity should admit that their desire for a more colorful country is not without cost. Proper identification is part and parcel of the new immigration-drenched USA liberals wanted, so they should pipe down, but they won’t because they want squishy elections.

It’s interesting that when the Border Patrol makes a mistake about one immigrant, leftists want the whole system dismantled. But election integrity is a snoozer issue for them, even though our whole representative government is based on it.

NAACP plans nationwide protests on voter ID laws, Associated Press, November 8, 2011

The NAACP is joining with minority and labor groups for a series of protests around the country meant to move discussion of voter-identification laws out of policy circles and onto street corners, the organization’s president said Tuesday.

Benjamin Todd Jealous appeared on the steps of New York City Hall with the Rev. Al Sharpton, U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel and community and labor leaders to announce plans for nationwide protests on Dec. 10 and across the South in the following weeks, decrying what they described as a nationwide voter-suppression effort.

The rallies are “intended to get this conversation out of the thought-leader class and down to the street corners, so folks understand that their rights are being attacked,” Jealous said, adding that the NAACP had already raised millions of dollars to support its campaign. He said his group has been urging the Department of Justice, which is considering the legality of proposed policies in Texas and South Carolina, to block the laws.

“This is the greatest assault on voting rights, happening right now, that we have seen since the dawn of Jim Crow,” he said.

Kansas, Tennessee and Wisconsin are among the states that passed voter-identification measures this year. Civil-rights advocates have argued the laws target low-income and minority voters by requiring specific types of photo ID to cast ballots, by reducing the number of early voting days and by instituting tougher laws on collecting registrations.

They say that blacks, Hispanics, senior citizens, people with disabilities and the poor are less likely to have the required photo IDs. And they argue others could be disenfranchised, such as voters who don’t bring ID with them, students whose school IDs are deemed unacceptable, and women whose drivers’ licenses do not reflect their married names or new addresses.

Supporters of the laws say that they are necessary to eliminate voter fraud, no matter how rare it is. And some argue that without ID checks at the polls, there’s no way to track exactly how many people may be casting illegal votes.

“I’m not sure how much fraud they think is acceptable,” said Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative Washington think tank. “The U.S. has a long history of voter fraud, and it could make the difference in a close election.”

Tuesday’s announcement came on a day that voters in Mississippi were deciding whether to require government-issued identification at the polls. Voters in Maine were considering whether to repeal a law that eliminated same-day voter registration. Last week, Democrats in the U.S. House asked secretaries of state in all 50 states to oppose voter-identification laws.

The United Federation of Teachers, the health care workers’ union 1199SEIU, National Council of La Raza and the Asian-American Legal Defense Fund were among the groups represented at Tuesday’s news conference. George Gresham, the president of 1199SEIU, said that his organization would bus 10,000 of its members from around the state and the mid-Atlantic region to participate in the Dec. 10 protests.

Is Obama Sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood?

In this interview on Michael Coren’s Canadian talk show, long-time terror expert Steve Emerson opines that Barack Obama “is sympathetic in some sense to the Muslim Brotherhood or to the Islamists” (5:12). Emerson notes that the President has only called al Qaeda a threat and has never used the term “radical Islam.” Brotherhood groups have been invited to the White House.

Emerson also described his new documentary on the topic of stealth jihad which will be released in a couple months, revealing how Islamists have insinuated themselves into American institutions. (Hopefully the doc will highlight immigration as the doorway which admits determined enemies to this country, the reason why Muslim immigration should end.)

The transcript for the video below can be seen at the Investigative Project.

Illegal Aliens Claim Hostility from Milford Americans

In Milford, Massachusetts, the site of a terrible crime of an illegal alien against a citizen, the lawbreaking foreigners are attempting to portray themselves as the victims, despite substantial evidence to the contrary.

The moral midgets who support illegal alien criminals, from la Raza to the Catholic church, know that the crime issue is poison for them. It’s bad enough when illegals come by the millions and steal American jobs, but citizens are disgusted by the violent criminals who enter through the same open borders, with their cartels controlling territory in southern Arizona and their habitual drunk drivers mowing down innocents on the roadways.

In the face of a criminal surge, the political accomplices burp out twisted excuses, saying that the foreigners don’t commit crimes because they need to keep their heads down out of concern about their status.

However, actual measurements of behavior paint a different picture. The 2011 GAO study titled CRIMINAL ALIEN STATISTICS reported, “In fiscal year 2005, the criminal alien population in federal prisons was around 27 percent of the total inmate population, and from fiscal years 2006 through 2010 remained consistently around 25 percent.” The percentage of illegal aliens in the general population isn’t near that number — yet.

In the case at hand, one of the most horrific illegal alien crimes of the last year was the death of young motorcyclist Matthew Denice (pictured) in Milford, Massachusetts. The townspeople were infuriated that one of their own neighbors could be cruelly dragged a quarter mile to death under a truck driven by a drunk Ecuadoran who refused to stop.

The latest from Milford is an attempt on the part of the illegals and their usual cheerleader gaggle (ACLU, churches, professional ethnic mouthpieces) to ju-jitsu themselves into being seen as the victims (rather than the lawbreakers) by claiming that the Americans are MEAN to foreign colonists. Despite their job theft, crime, extensive use of social services and general mooching, the illegal aliens still expect to be welcomed like they were legal immigrants — go figure!

They are further upset that Americans want to expand enforcement and punishment to make them self-deport. The illegals characterize proposed legislation as part of a “hate” agenda when the bill is simply an expansion of basic law enforcement. Their tribe-based attitude of entitlement shows the foreigners to be unclear on the concept that American society is based on law — another reason they should leave.

Speakers at rally denounce Milford as anti-immigrant, Milford Daily News, November 8, 2011

Religious leaders and advocates for immigrant rights yesterday condemned what they say is harassment of Milford immigrants following the August death of a Milford man who police say was killed by an illegal immigrant driving drunk.

“People in Milford are afraid to go to the hospital. They are afraid to call 911,” said Filipe C. Teixeira, a bishop with the Catholic Church of the Americas diocese in Brockton. “We have created a state of fear.”

Teixeira was among eight speakers at a Boston rally organized by the Massachusetts Immigrants and Refugee Advocacy Coalition. The speakers took aim at what they say is growing hostility toward immigrants – from name-calling on the streets of Milford to legislation proposed by Rep. John Fernandes, D-Milford, that would place greater restraints on illegal immigrants registering cars, applying for in-state college tuition, living in public housing and looking for jobs.

“This bill was filed and explicitly tied to the recent drunk driving accident in Milford,” said Shannon Erwin, state policy director for the immigration coalition. “However, it has 24 broad-ranging amendments, most of which have nothing to do with crime but would make immigrants’ lives more difficult.”

On Aug. 20, Matthew Denice, 23, was struck while riding his motorcycle in Milford and dragged nearly a quarter-mile by a pickup truck driven by Nicolas Guaman, a 34-year-old illegal immigrant from Ecuador, authorities have said. Police say Guaman was drunk at the time of the accident, and he has been indicted on several charges, including second-degree murder.

Yesterday’s event was sponsored by the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization, American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts and Amnesty International. Continue reading this article

Border Town Is Overwhelmed by Illegal Immigration — in Serbia

A location on or near the edge of the third world may be conducive to diversity, but not so much for domestic tranquility.

Serbian border town Banja Koviljaca has felt swamped by the crime of the increasing numbers of foreigners who end up in the asylum center there while trying to get into Europe.

The residents’ action in response was hold to a rally to protest the situation and keep their kids out of school.

Boycott of school in asylum seekers town, B92, November 7, 2011

Residents of Banja Koviljača in western Serbia this morning decided not to send their children to school, in protest over “uncontrolled inflow of immigrants”.

Local Lotel TV journalist Svetlana Ilić told B92 that only eight out of some 400 students showed up this morning for classes at the town’s elementary school.

A committee formed by parents and other citizens on Sunday organized a protest rally against what they said was a large number of foreign immigrants currently housed in that small town.

Banja Koviljača is also a spa and a tourist resort.

The committee will meet again on Monday evening, and will call for the Parents’ Council to meet on Tuesday and “decide on the next steps to be taken”.

On Sunday, they demanded urgent removal of all illegal immigrants and asylum seekers, as well as the Asylum Center located in the spa. 
 Continue reading this article

State Department Limits Onerous Visa Program

The State Department’s program of admitting thousands of foreign college students on the J-1 visa program has been a stab in the back to young Americans looking for a job in a toxic employment environment. The current youth unemployment rate is the highest since World War II, and an August BLS survey reported that more than 4 million American young people were jobless, over 18 percent.

And yet, Washington has continued merrily along with special visas for foreign young people because the elites imagine that such programs are a cheap way (for them) to accomplish foreign policy goals of fostering friendly relations with unfriendlies, (like the Saudis). The Denver Post reported that “there were 320,805 visas for all categories of J-1 visitors for 2010.”

For more background, see my June blog, Foreign Student Workers Are Still Welcomed in America.

The good news today is that the State Department is capping the egregious J-1 visa program. The bad news is that it is not being ended completely — something that almost never happens in Washington, regrettably. Also, the reason cited in the enclosed news article for the change is that the level of exploitation of the foreign kiddies was getting out of hand. There is no mention of Americans being harmed by a federal program that saves employers 8 percent to hire foreigners over citizens.

Below, a Bulgarian student works as a lifeguard in the United States. Is lifeguard a job young Americans don’t want to do?

US limits troubled visa program, Associated Press, November 7, 2011

The State Department is capping a popular exchange program for foreign college students over persistent problems that have included low-paid participants turning to homeless shelters, a walkout over working conditions at a chocolate factory and in one case a woman forced to work as a stripper.

The agency published new rules Monday that limit the number of future participants to this year’s level and put a moratorium on new businesses becoming sponsors for thousands of foreigners who use the program to visit the United States.

The changes to the J-1 summer work and travel program come 11 months after The Associated Press reported widespread abuses, including some students paid $1 an hour or less for menial jobs.

The students given temporary visas for up to four months are required to have jobs and often work in resorts and restaurants. Participation has boomed from about 20,000 students in 1996 to a peak of more than 150,000 in 2008 and roughly one million foreign post-secondary students have participated in the past decade.

The State Department enacted stronger rules this past summer, but says complaints remain high.

The department says future participation will be limited to the “2011 actual participant levels.” Continue reading this article

Florida: Muslim Plans for Animal Sacrifice Go Private

Islam’s unique diversity has penetrated Florida with plans of local Muslim residents to slaughter animals in the traditional celebration of Eid al-Adha, but there was a kink. The original idea was to kill some lambs for Allah out in an open field, but that hit a roadblock when a local official nixed the plan. (See details in the Daily Mail’s Muslims banned from slitting throat of sacrificial lamb during religious festival in Florida field (but they vow to do it anyway).)

Nothing says celebration in Islam like bloody slaughter, particularly with throat slitting.

Below, Eid al-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice) is celebrated in Egypt by street slaughter of sheep, goats and other animals. Fun for the whole family!

There was a change in plans for the Muslim celebrants in Florida, however; the ruckus convinced them to remove their critter head-chop to a private venue. Good. The practice is not suitable for Western standards of public sanitation or animal welfare. Muslims like to claim that do-it-yourself slaughter is not cruel, but evidence indicates otherwise.

Interestingly, it’s not just Floridians who don’t want Muslim sacrifice diversity to run amok; Moscovites object to streets filled with blood and required that local Allah-bots perform their death rituals in proper facilities.

Moscow City Government Orders Muslims to Carry Out Eid Sacrifices in Slaughterhouses, Ahlul Bayt News Agency, October 25, 2011

After dramatic scenes of roadside ritual animal sacrifice during last year’s Eid, which shocked feint-hearted passers by, the Moscow city government has ordered Muslims to restrict their activities to slaughterhouses or to areas outside of the city.

Eid this year will be celebrated in Moscow on 6 November.

Government officials say the ban on outdoor slaughter is already covered by existing legislation and comes under cruelty to animals laws. [. . .]

Now back to Florida:

Land owner cancels ritual Eid slaughter after city official complains, Sacramento Bee, November 5, 2011

SUNRISE, Fla. — Disturbed by the prospect of lambs and goats being slaughtered in her city, Sunrise Commissioner Sheila Alu single-handedly blocked a Muslim religious ceremony set to take place on Sunday.

“Yes, I was trying to stop it,” Alu said. “It’s shut down. I’m trying to protect innocent animals. This is not an appropriate setting for the slaughtering of animals in an open field in a city that’s as populated as Sunrise. Usually these religious ceremonies take place in a rural area.”

The news did not sit well with Nezar Hamze, executive director of the South Florida Council on American-Islamic Relations based in Pembroke Pines, Fla., a suburb 30 minutes northwest of Miami.

“Wow,” Hamze said. “That is very upsetting. We’ll find another venue. But that’s very disturbing. I’m very disappointed in that. We asked for permission and went through the proper channels and now it’s off because a commissioner has a problem with it.”

Muslims from local mosques had planned to gather at a 45-acre farm in Sunrise to celebrate the Eid ul-Adha, the Festival of Sacrifice, Hamze said. The holiday honors Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son, before God provided a sacrificial lamb instead.

The day also marks the end of the pilgrimage to Mecca that all Muslims are urged to make at least once in their lifetime. Continue reading this article

Press Conference Spotlights Crime Victims of Illegal Aliens

On Thursday, several friends of immigration enforcement, including Congressmen Steve King and Walter Jones along with representatives from the FIRE Coalition and Immigration Tea Party, held a press conference near the capitol to draw attention to the crime victims of illegal aliens.

One proposal is to establish a National Day of Remembrance for those victims to occur on November 6, the anniversary of the IRCA amnesty (25 years coming up).

A related issue is legislation requiring comprehensive statistics on illegal alien crime from federal and local governments, something that has been sorely lacking (HR 3168, the Illegal Alien Crime Reporting Act of 2011).

Rep. Steve King has done some great work, including requesting a GAO report on illegal alien crime, which should be required reading for anyone concerned with the issue: CRIMINAL ALIEN STATISTICS, March 2011.

Congressman King’s statement at the presser was both informative and heartfelt about the victims. He emphasized the point that illegal alien crime is preventable crime.

The point is that open borders are a welcome mat to the criminals of the world who see the United States as a full refrigerator of felony opportunity. Sanctuary cities provide protection to foreign criminals that domestic thugs would love to have.

In addition there are cultural issues, particularly around drunk driving, which is considered to be desirably macho behavior among hispanics. Even NPR admits that “Latinos are responsible for a disproportionate number of DWI arrests and alcohol-related car accidents.” The deaths resulting from drunk driving illegal aliens continues to accumulate, but DHS and many local law enforcement agencies continue to treat the crime casually.

Here is the statement on Congressman King’s website:

King’s Resolution Supports November 6th as a National Day of Remembrance for the victims of crimes committed by illegal aliens

Washington D.C.- Washington D.C.- Congressman King (R-IA) joined the FIRE Coalition and the Tea Party Immigration Coalition this morning to recognize the victims who have lost their lives because of the criminal acts of illegal aliens. Since 1955, there have been 25,065 homicide arrests of criminal aliens in the United States, and King’s resolution aims to honor and mourn these preventable deaths.

“These are real human stories, there’s real pain and real agony going on on a daily basis in the United States of America, and we treat it as if it’s just some kind of tolerable interruption of our lives. It’s not. It’s an interruption of innocent lives that takes place because we have an administration that refuses to enforce immigration law.”

Rick Perry Supports Work Visas for Illegal Aliens

Rick Perry is dumb as a box of rocks when it comes to borders and immigration enforcement. He is still apologizing for making insulting remarks about pro-sovereignty patriots in the September 22 debate when he said that anyone who doesn’t support in-state tuition for illegal aliens doesn’t have a heart.

The man didn’t learn anything from seeing his poll numbers crater to single digits after making that crude statement. His latest foot-in-mouth remark was support for work visas for illegal aliens — but no US citizenship for them. As if that mattered a frijole.

Illegal aliens come for the money only. A permit to work legally is the key to the kingdom for them. They don’t care about US citizenship; only La Raza and other political marxicans are concerned with herding hispanics to the polls.

From a psychological perspective, rewarding lawbreakers guarantees the unwanted behavior will continue. Any amnesty (including work permits) will correctly inform wanna-bes around the world that America is still not serious about immigration enforcement.

And hasn’t Perry heard about American unemployment? There’s a jobs depression in the land, and transforming millions of illegal aliens into legal workers in a kick in the teeth for jobless citizens.

Below, Perry and former Mexico Presidente Vicente Fox had a very friendly trans-border partnership. (In 2003, then-Presidente Fox thanked Gov. Perry for in-state tuition for Mexican illegal alien students whose educations were subsidized by Texas taxpayers.)

Perry endorses work visas for illegal immigrants, Associated Press, November 3, 2011

Texas Gov. Rick Perry proposed the federal government should extend work visas allowing illegal immigrants to move freely between the U.S. and their home countries — but stressed that he opposes amnesty or a path to citizenship.

Perry said in an interview with CNN’s John King on Thursday that expectations that U.S. authorities are going to arrest and deport up to 15 million illegal immigrants isn’t realistic. He added, however, that other Republicans, including fellow Texan George W. Bush, went too far when they previously proposed an immigration overhaul that included a path to citizenship.

The Texas governor also claimed his chief rival for the Republican presidential nomination, Mitt Romney, had once supported amnesty. Romney has drawn criticism for hiring a lawn care company that employed illegal immigrants at his family’s property in a Boston suburb for a decade — but has also said amnesty is not appropriate for illegal immigrants.

“You can put a program into place in which these individuals can be identified, and work visas in which they can move back and forth between their countries but not to become United States citizens,” Perry said. “And I think that’s where McCain, that’s where Romney, that’s where even Bush went wrong when they talked about the issue that, `we’re going to give amnesty to these individuals,’ and people just said, `no, we’re not.’”

Perry didn’t elaborate on what such a visa plan would look like, saying only that authorities need to determine a better way to identify illegal immigrants and make them part of mainstream society. He also said the program would only work if the federal government first does a better job securing America’s borders. Continue reading this article

Mexicans Turn to Sorcerers to Cope with Cartel Stress

To say Mexico is culturally backward is to understate a Grand Canyon of diversity that is nevertheless easy to overlook. The denizens of our southern neighbor may have TV sets and dress like cowboys, but underneath a somewhat familiar exterior lies a pre-Columbian outlook among many, particularly in the countryside. Superstition correlates with lower levels of education, so the local shaman may be popular psychology practitioner.

The New York Times, ever the promoter of extreme diversity, reported recently that it has become “fashionable” among Mexicans to turn to witchcraft for their anxiety about worsening cartel violence. (What’s wrong with using Mexico’s fine tequila as a mental health aid? — in moderation of course.)

Below, a Mexican woman receives a sorcery procedure involving an egg to relieve her fear of cartels.

Another expression of Mexican diversity has been the near-worship of crime figure and narco saint Jesus Malverde. Actual criminals and wanna-bes leave votive candles at Malverde shrines, praying for the successful outcome of their drug-smuggling endeavors.

The popularity of Malverde shows the mixed feelings Mexicans have had about crime generally. There has been an admiration for successful criminals, expressed in narcocorridos and elsewhere. That cultural propensity has led to a permissive attitude about crime, which has come back to bite them.

And in some communities, like Culiacan, illegal drug smuggling brought prosperity to the local economy.

Anyway, this story is about celebrating diverse approaches to stress reduction.

Driven to Cast Charms Against Drug Lords’ Darker Forces, New York Times, November 1, 2011

CATEMACO, Mexico — In the dimly lighted back room of a modest house in this tourist city now largely devoid of tourists, Luis Tomás Marthen Torres, a warlock with 50 years of experience, closes his eyes and chants as he briskly rubs a stark white egg over the arms, chest and neck of a worried customer.

The ritual is old and common here in Mexico’s dominant hub for masters of the occult — where wizardry is passed from generation to generation — but like so many things in Mexico, the requests for help have changed.

“People ask us for assistance because they’re scared of threats, of extortion. They’re full of negative energy,” says Mr. Marthen Torres.

Visitors to this middle-class town of around 67,000 people, which attributes its mysticism to the region’s ancient Olmec roots, had for decades sought wizards to cast love spells and cure physical ailments. But in the midst of the violence that has beset the state of Veracruz, new and creative forms of witchery for protection against extortion and for help finding kidnapped kin have become the leading demands from clients, local practitioners say. Continue reading this article

Flawed E-verify Stumbles among House Republicans

It’s a relief to see that Lamar Smith’s terrible E-verify legislation, approved by the Chamber of Commerce, has hit opposition among his GOP colleagues. Rep. Smith is one of the most outspoken Congressmen on the subject of illegal aliens taking jobs that belong to citizens, so his leadership on this turkey is both puzzling and disturbing.

It sounded so promising in the beginning — who doesn’t want universal E-verify? But buried in the fine print were provisions to stop states from doing the job the feds won’t. Various reports said that was the price of the Chamber of Commerce signing on.

Kris Kobach was among the first to criticize the bill for its pre-emption of state enforcement. And these days, if it weren’t for state enforcement, there wouldn’t be any meaningful immigration enforcement at all, since President Obama regards illegal aliens as an important part of the Democrat base.

Congressman Lou Barletta, long a leader on this important issue, recently created a video about the Smith bill.

Immigration bill splits House GOP, The Hill, November 3, 2011

House Republicans are split over an immigration bill that is backed by presidential candidate Mitt Romney as the measure is attracting escalating criticism from industry groups and rank-and-file members.

The rift over House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith’s (R-Texas) E-Verify bill is jeopardizing its chances of passing the Republican-controlled House.

Democrats, by and large, oppose the legislation, which would mandate that employers use the E-Verify system to check their employees’ legal work status.

The Obama administration and many Democrats on Capitol Hill want Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform. That legislation, however, is considered dead in the 112th Congress.

Smith’s measure in September cleared the Judiciary panel on a party-line vote, though it isn’t clear that the bill has the votes to pass on the House floor.

Republican lawmakers have major concerns with key aspects of the bill’s effects on states’ rights, the federal government’s enforcement of the system and its impact on the agriculture industry, which relies on foreign labor.

Debates over illegal immigration have been a theme of the GOP presidential primary, with Smith’s bill getting some attention.

Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, has endorsed the national E-Verify mandate, and released a Web ad on Wednesday attacking fellow GOP White House contender Rick Perry, governor of Texas, for his opposition to a statewide E-Verify program.

Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), who has been mentioned as a potential Republican 2012 vice presidential nominee, recently told The Hill that he supports E-Verify “in concept,” adding that “we need an employment-based verification system.”

Rubio said he has heard objections raised from agriculture sector, suggesting he sees the need for flexibility in E-Verify legislation.

Meanwhile, sources say that at least two dozen House GOP lawmakers have an issue with Smith’s bill because it includes language to preempt the states and local governments and keep them from enforcing their own employment verification laws.

The powerful U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has endorsed Smith’s bill, maintains that the preemption provision is vital to its support.

Freshman Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.), who campaigned on battling illegal immigration last year, is leading the opposition to Smith’s bill.

As mayor of Hazleton in 2006, he cracked down on employers who knowingly hired illegal workers. Barletta says that if Smith’s bill were to become law, cities like Hazelton and states like Arizona, which have stringent immigration laws on the books, would be prevented from enforcing their state-passed mandates.

“I have no faith that the federal government is serious about enforcing our immigration laws. They haven’t, I don’t believe they will. And the Supreme Court agrees that the states have the right — why would we come along now and take that away from them? And the United States Chamber gets solidly behind this preemption — which raises all sorts of red flags for me — this is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, this bill,” Barletta said in an interview with The Hill. Continue reading this article

France: Magazine about to Publish Mohammed Satire Is Firebombed

In France, a weekly humor magazine was firebombed early Tuesday morning because its upcoming issue featured Mohammed as a “guest editor,” a gimmick which apparently did not go over well in certain quarters. Muslims are notoriously unfriendly to the idea of satire or even graphic representation regarding their precious belief system. Free speech and its practitioners routinely come under attack in areas of Muslim immigrant diversity.

One remembers the 2005 Danish cartoon fracas in which more than 100 were killed in worldwide rioting over a few mostly innocuous doodles. Cartoonist Kurt Westergaard was attacked in his home and narrowly escaped an axe-wielding Somali. In 2010, five Muslims were arrested for planning of a newsroom massacre in the Copenhagen paper that originally published the cartoons.

The latest kaboomery at the hands of hostile Muslims certainly won’t make the already fearful Western press confront the “Religion of Peace” more vigorously. One example: a Time magazine blog reported the firebombing incident by blaming the victim as engaging in “Islamophobic antics.”

Satirical weekly hit by petrol bomb over ’sharia’ issue, France24, November 2, 2011

AFP – The offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which published a special Arab Spring edition Wednesday with the prophet Mohammed as guest “editor”, were gutted in a petrol bomb attack overnight, police said.

The fire at the magazine started around 01.00 am (0200 GMT) and caused no injuries, a police source said.

Charlie Hebdo published a special edition Wednesday to mark the Arab Spring, renaming the magazine Charia (Sharia) Hebdo for the occasion.

The cover showed a cartoon of the prophet stating: “100 lashes if you don’t die of laughter!”

The depiction of the prophet is strictly prohibited in Islam.

A witness at the scene, Patrick Pelloux, told AFP a molotov cocktail was hurled through the window and set fire to the computer system.

“Everything was destroyed,” he said. Continue reading this article