The Social Pathologist has the numbers:
Obligatory Disclaimer: If what I write doesn't describe you, then I'm not talking about you.
When your own country’s law enforcement become quislings on behalf of the colonizers.
We wrote here about the criminal prosecution of Christian evangelists in Dearborn, Michigan, who had the temerity to pass out the Gospel of John on a public street, a block or two away from an area where a Muslim festival was going on. They were charged with disorderly conduct; you can see how disorderly they actually were in this video:
Now, via Andy McCarthy at The Corner, we learn that the evangelists have been acquitted of the criminal charges against them:
Much to the barely concealed chagrin of the Detroit Free Press, the Christian evangelists who were arrested for distributing St. John's gospel on a public street outside an Arab festival in Dearborn, Michigan, a few months back have been found not guilty of breaching the peace. One of the four defendants was apparently found guilty of the less serious offense of failing to obey a police officer's order.
The policeman's order violated the First Amendment, so that conviction should be subject to reversal. It is good that a Michigan jury didn't buy this plainly unconstitutional prosecution, but the story, taken as a whole, is sobering. These evangelists incurred expenses that must have been well into five figures, at a bare minimum, and on top of that had a legitimate fear of criminal conviction--all for engaging in activity that falls within the heart of the First Amendment's protection.
[A] public-private partnership with the Texas Border Sheriff's Coalition (TBSC) to deploy the Virtual Community Watch, an innovative real-time surveillance program designed to empower the public to proactively participate in fighting border crime.
The TBSC BlueServoSM Virtual Community WatchSM is a FREE service consisting of a network of cameras and sensors along the Texas-Mexico border. This network feeds live streaming video FREE-OF-CHARGE to the user's computer, which they can access by creating a FREE account at www.BlueServo.net. Users will log in to the BlueServoSM website and directly monitor suspicious criminal activity along the border via this virtual fenceSM.
Citizens can sign up as Virtual Texas DeputiesSM to participate in border surveillance through this social network. Virtual Texas DeputiesSM from around the country will monitor the streaming video from these cameras 24/7 and report any suspicious activities directly to the Border Sheriffs via email. All emails regarding suspicious activity will be submitted anonymously.
Another facet of this program is the ability of the public to connect their own cameras to www.BlueServo.net to create local Virtual Neighborhood WatchesSM in order to protect their own homes, neighborhoods, and families from criminal acts. These Virtual Neighborhood WatchesSM can, in turn, be connected to form additional Virtual Community WatchesSM.
The anonymous part worries me. I've been thinking for a while about the possibilities of using volunteers to monitor border camera feeds, but I fear there are enough people eager to betry our country and flood us with immigrants that they could easily overwhelm the reporting system with bogus reports, ultimately destroying its credibility. Better they should tie reporting to specific users; those that file too many unsubstantiated reports would have have their access revoked.
Meteuphoric makes a good point about resource trade-offs:
Environmentalism often takes the form of the conviction that human labor should take the place of other resource use. Bikes should be ridden instead of cars, repair is superior to replacement, washing and sorting recycling is better than using up tip space, and so on. This is usually called ‘saving resources’ not ‘using up more valuable resources’. One might argue that while human labor is usually relatively expensive (you can generally make much more selling five minutes of time than a liter of tip space and a couple of cans worth of clean used steel), environmentalists often consider the other resources to be truly more valuable, often because they are non-renewable and need to be shared between everyone in the future too. Even so, since when is it sensible to treat your overvalued resources as if they were worthless? How will resources come to be used more efficiently if those who care about the issue destroy their own potential by donating their most valuable assets to the world at large in the form of the very things which the world supposedly blithely squanders?
I'm not entirely sure how to game this out, but I have often wondered: if recycling, say, is so doggone important, then why do I have to pay
* Granted, many waste management services make a big show of offering "free" recycling.
I missed this story when it originally came out:
Here's what happened:
- Christopher Ratte, a tenured professor of classical archeology at the University of Michigan, took his 7 year old son Leo to a Tigers baseball game.
- He didn't know that alcoholic lemonade [Mike’s Hard Lemonade] existed when they stopped at a concession stand.
- The vendor gave Leo alcoholic lemonade by mistake.
- A Comerica Park security guard noticed the bottle in Leo's hand.
- Ratte was interviewed by a Detroit police officer at Children's Hospital, where a doctor at the Comerica Park clinic had dispatched Leo -- by ambulance! And we wonder why health costs are out of control.
- An ER (Emergency Room) resident who drew Leo's blood found no trace of alcohol.
- It was two days before the state allowed Ratte's wife to take their son Leo home and nearly a week before Ratte was permitted to move back into his own house.
Brian Dickerson elaborates:
[I]t wasn't until the top of the ninth inning that a Comerica Park security guard noticed the bottle in young Leo's hand.
"You know this is an alcoholic beverage?" the guard asked the professor.
"You've got to be kidding," Ratte replied. He asked for the bottle, but the security guard snatched it before Ratte could examine the label.
An hour later, Ratte was being interviewed by a Detroit police officer at Children's Hospital, where a physician at the Comerica Park clinic had dispatched Leo -- by ambulance! -- after a cursory exam.
Leo betrayed no symptoms of inebriation. But the physician and a police officer from the Comerica substation suggested the ER visit after the boy admitted he was feeling a little nauseated.
The Comerica cop estimated that Leo had drunk about 12 ounces of the hard lemonade, which is 5% alcohol. But an ER resident who drew Leo's blood less than 90 minutes after he and his father were escorted from their seats detected no trace of alcohol.
"Completely normal appearing," the resident wrote in his report, "... he is cleared to go home."
The sympathetic cop who interviewed Ratte and his son at the hospital said she was convinced what happened had been an accident, but that her supervisor was insisting the matter be referred to Child Protective Services.
And Ratte thought the two child protection workers who came to take Leo away seemed more annoyed with the police than with him. "This is so unnecessary," one told Ratte before driving away with his son.
But there was really nothing any of them could do, they all said. They were just adhering to protocol, following orders.
And so what had begun as an outing to the ballpark ended with Leo crying himself to sleep in front of a television inside the Child Protective Services building, and Ratte and his wife standing on the sidewalk outside, wondering when they'd see their little boy again.
Chris Ratte's sisters, Catherine Miller and Felicity Ratte, left Massachusetts at 10:30 the night of the fateful lemonade purchase after the police officer who'd reluctantly requested a removal order told Ratte the state would likely jump at the chance to place Leo with responsible relatives. But when the two women arrived at the CPS office early Sunday, a caseworker explained they would not be allowed to see Leo until they had secured a hotel room.
The sisters quickly complied. But by the time they returned to CPS around 10:30 a.m., their nephew had been taken to an undisclosed foster home, where he would remain until a preliminary court hearing the following afternoon.
By that Monday, April 7, when Ratte and his wife returned for a meeting with Latricia Jones, the CPS caseworker assigned to their case, no one in the family had been able to talk to Leo for a day and a half.
At a hearing later that day, Jones recommended that Leo remain in foster care until she had completed her investigation, a process she estimated would take several days. It was only after the assistant attorney general who represented CPS admitted that the state was not interested in pursuing the case aggressively that juvenile referee Leslie Graves agreed to release Leo to his mother -- on the condition that Ratte himself relocate to a hotel.
Finally, at a second hearing three days later, Graves dismissed the complaint and permitted Ratte to move home.
Don Duquette, a U-M law professor who directs the university's Child Advocacy Law Clinic, represented Ratte and his wife. He notes sardonically that the most remarkable thing about the couple's case may be the relative speed with which they were reunited with Leo.
The point is not that individual bureaucrats are themselves particularly evil, or even that government service is specially attractive to evil people - though in certain particular areas that may be so.
The point is that bureaucracy itself, by the way in which it inherently separates responsibility from authority, always causes evil to be done even when no individual person is trying to make it so.
Somewhere far, far up the line, a law was passed and regulations written. Was there some evil monster in the Congress scheming to destroy families? Of course not - as Walter Mondale memorably said, "Not even Richard Nixon is in favor of child abuse!" Yet the end result of this law was a child snatched from his family and traumatized; that child will never again feel safe, nor will he ever trust the police or the rest of the government. That is evil.
What about the cops and social workers involved? As the original article made plain, they were obeying their sworn duty to the law. The law required the cop to report the matter; the law required the boy's removal by the social workers. For them to do otherwise would require them to break the law and their oaths. They were placed in an impossible position with no right answer.
So, who is to blame? Who should be fired? Everyone involved had the very best of intentions. Everyone involved did precisely as their organizations demanded and as the law specified; it would be unjust to blame any one individual.
Yet evil was done, and is being done, and will continue to be done on an ongoing basis, and nobody seems to be able to stop it or even plausibly blame anyone. We explain it thus - "the system."
I almost agree with this. But my reading of the narrative is that two people, Leslie Graves and Laticia Jones, conspired to keep Leo in custody longer than was necessary.
In anyone can point to a credible photo of either of these women, I will happily place it under the post title.
Here is the way FoxNews described the amnesty provision:
Democrats had also intended to offer the DREAM Act, a proposal giving young illegal immigrants who attend college or join the military a path to citizenship, as an amendment.
Here, in contrast, is the NumbersUSA legislative analysis:
No. 1: Not valedictorians -- or even necessarily good students.
Any illegal alien who can manage to meet the minimum requirements to graduate from high school or get an equivalent degree meets the first test.
- No. 2: Primarily NOT teens or college students.
The Senate DREAM bill allows you to be up to 35 years old!
The House bill has no upper limit.
- No. 3: Don't have to have come when a child.
An illegal alien can get this amnesty even if he didn't arrive in the U.S. until age 15. That's right -- he can spend his first 15 years learning the language and culture of his home country and developing all kinds of ties there and then come to the U.S. and later claim need for a DREAM amnesty because he supposedly has no country to go back to.
I was on a national Hispanic cable TV show last week on which a videotaped profile was run of a well-heeled-looking woman from another country bragging in front of New York City scenery that a few years ago she had illegally overstayed her tourist visa when her son was 15 so he could go to a U.S. college and pursue a U.S. career. DREAM would reward her and all the rest of people in the world who might think like her.
- No. 4: Bill is open to gigantic fraud.
The bill is written so that the 2, 3 or 4 million illegal-alien applicants only have to CLAIM to meet the criteria. They don't have to PROVE anything.
The government has to build a case, one illegal at a time, and prove the claims on the application are false in order for the illegal alien to lose the amnesty. Can you imagine how many times that is likely to happen?
- No. 5: DREAM does nothing to stop the behavior that put teenagers into their situation. It leaves the jobs magnet in place.
This amnesty has no enforcement measures at all. It allows employers to continue to hire illegal aliens, enticing millions more parents to bring their children here illegally and stay long enough for them to become high school students and demand another amnesty in a few years.
- No. 6: DREAM leaves intact the chain migration system that will allow these 2.1 million illegal aliens to eventually send for millions more relatives.
Rather quickly, the amnestied illegal aliens would be able to get green cards for their parents. And millions of additional relatives would be able to start planning their applications and getting in line. This starts with adult siblings and moves on to aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.
A large percentage of the illegal aliens in the U.S. today are extended family members of the illegal aliens who got amnesty in 1986 and also those in the six more-limited amnesties in the 1990s.
“Dr. Escoffrey”, the losing primary candidate in Florida’s senate race and associated somehow with ALIPAC, writes:
We regret to inform everyone that while liberal news sources such as CNN and the Washington Post and many others are bombarding their liberal audiences with very biased news reports favoring the Dream Act Amnesty, our nation's top two conservative news sources are taking a dive.
Drudge Report is the most visited news website in the world. As of 12:10pm today September 21, 2010 there is no mention of the Dream Act Amnesty vote scheduled in two hours. This is a terrible loss of our team since so many talk radio shows in America get their stories from Drudge.
ALIPAC was recently the first, and perhaps only, national organization to warn America that Fox News / News Corp owner Rupert Murdoch had come out in favor of Comprehensive Amnesty for illegal aliens.
This morning, FOX NEWS, is completely silent about the impending Dream Act Amnesty vote scheduled for 2:15pm today!
While the Dream Act is barely mentioned deep down in an article on the Fox News website, there are no reports on Fox News television.
A while back, I made a comment about what I called the "magical standard". It's a mode of argumentation, most often deployed in the law or law enforcement, by which some some action is deemed objectionable for violating standard or principle X. X by itself may indeed seem rational, but X in fact was arbitrarily, and for tendentious reasons, plucked from a drawer of standards, many of which could be used to arrive at the opposite conclusion regarding behavior being objected to.
The magical standard came to mind as I watched this:
To preempt accusations that I myself am deploying magical standards, I want to say up front that the, um, gentleman launching his one-man counter-protest behaved boorishly. I would further summarize my views on demonstrations that they be managed in a way that minimize disruption to non-participants and that they go unmolested. So whether you're a group of ugly women making speeches in Spanish or a Gainesville, FL, pastor holding a bonfire on private property, the position of the law and law enforcement should be: nobody gets to bother you unnecessarily.
This, I think, is a uniform way to balance two potentially competing priorities: (1) the freedom of speech and assembly; and (2) public order and safety.
Funny, though, that it never plays out like this. Whenever a right-leaning organization holds a demonstration, and the left-leaning counter-demonstrations show up to harass them, not just verbally but physically as well, the police do nothing to defend the right, not even keeping the two groups separated. This was the experience of the little old ladies set upon by SEIU thugs during last summer’s Tea Party protests: all the police did was say, hey, they’ve got the same right to protest as you do. But if a (evidently) right-leaning protestor starts hurling insults at a left-leaning demonstration, the opposite standard is deployed: public order demands that the right be removed to safe distance.
The most charitable explanation for this is cowardice on the part of law enforcement. Leftists counter-demonstrations typically have greater mass and are more violence-prone than our solitary agitator; keeping them controlled is more difficult and thus more seldom done. But I doubt that really explains it. The best explanation is to look at the political loyalties involved.
Fox has it here.
Oddly, the amnesty angle is running third in the press coverage behind the repeal of the bans on homosexual behavior in the Armed Forces and abortions on military installations.
I hadn't realized until this morning the Dems had rolled three poison-pill provisions in this legislation at once, yet I found the news oddly comforting. Surely the Left were putting on a big show for the base, knowing in advance that they couldn't get that much done at once.
Think long and hard about this picture and what it means. If you are like me, then you may have grown accustomed to thinking that widespread starvation is the sole province of the darker peoples of the world. I personally can’t think of any time since WWII in which whites have been photographed this way. "It can't happen to us," we think. And yet here they are.
Much has been written by smarter people than me about the source of strength of the European peoples, variously attributed to superior intelligence, more disciplined personal traits, or historical contingency. But let’s not overlook this: we had stronger teams, nation-states run by and for our own people.
The West is presently being overrun by those darker peoples, yet our leaders no longer have our interests at heart. They assure us that compassion and humanity demand we set no barriers in their path.
Think long and hard about this picture. It’s what happens to a white person when his fate is no longer in the hands of his own people.
I watched movie Outsourced on Netflix Instant Play. It tells of a novelty products salesman sent to India to start up a call center after his entire department has been outsourced to that country.
The movie came out in 2006, i.e. at the peak of the housing bubble and well before the present recession. It’s hard to imagine our bien pensants green-lighting the film today; the subject matter would be considered too incendiary, and its light-hearted treatment of it too inauthentic. The movie does, I think, fairly show the tradeoffs involved with outsourcing. Near the end of the movie, a salesgirl takes a call from an irate customer: he had ordered a ceramic American eagle that turned out to be made in China. The salesgirl says she understands his disappointment and offers to refer him to a competitor that offers a similar product “one hundred percent American made.”
“Is it about the same price?” the customer asks.
“Nosir, it is $212 more,” the salesgirl replies.
“Um, okay, I guess I’ll keep my order with you then.”
I’m not enough of an expert on India to know how accurate the movie’s portrayal of India is. The movie makes a show of presenting negative aspects, like crime, beggary, and the vast gulf between rich and poor, but these are depicted sentimentally. But one plot line struck me as frankly unbelievable. The American has a sexual affair with one of his employees, a girl scheduled for an arranged marriage two months hence. Now, cheating fiancés are no surprise at this point, but what strikes me as incredible is that an Indian girl, apparently capable of earning her own way and yet traditional enough to submit to an arranged marriage with a man she has never met, would also cheat on him without the slightest scruple, and that this practice would be common enough in India as to have its own name: “Holiday in Goa.”
A while back, I saw the movie Definitely, Maybe on television. The film is a father’s recount, on the eve of their divorce, of how he came to marry his daughter’s mother.
Up until the ending, the movie had a lot going for it, from the trauma of public school sex-ed to a double-edged take on the Clinton administration. But while the movie made motions at showing the pain of divorce on children, it ultimately dodged it: the daughter “just wants her father to be happy” as he tries to reignite an old flame. Sorry, but 11 year olds don’t really think that way. And while the film’s refusal to have the parents get back together at the end of the movie may be more authentic, it wasn’t really consistent with the film’s lighthearted comedic tone.
Oddly, while the daughter (played by the delightful Abigail Breslin of Little Miss Sunshine) calls her father a “slut” for having had girlfriends other than her mother, the mother herself escapes similar criticism for cheating on daddy during their engagement! But then, the movie strains to avoid being judgmental to the point of absurdity. We never do learn why this couple just decide to dissolve their marriage.
If you don’t subscribe to the NumbersUSA mailing list on immigration issues (and why don’t you?), then you may not know that Sen. Reid is promising an amnesty vote next week. It’s time to write (or fax, email and call) your congresscritters.
Panama City, FL - Steve Southerland responded to the negative and false attacks that continue to be released by the Allen Boyd campaign with this statement:
"I want to set the record straight and make very clear my position regarding social security and Medicare. While I believe there are some serious financial issues on the horizon that we must deal with in regards to social security and Medicare - I firmly believe that benefits should be protected, the retirement age should not be raised, and taxes should not be increased as any of these would alter the terms of the agreement between our nation and our seniors - the greatest generation this nation has ever seen," said Southerland.
Lemme get this straight:
Sweet. Baby. Jeebus.
I really need to get back on Allen Boyd’s mailing list. I’m sure he’s peddling his own high-test hooey, I just don’t know what flavor it is.
One itty bitty caveat.
As I understand it, layoffs of unionized workers occur by strict seniority: the youngest, most recently hired workers go first. (This is certainly true in Φ's flyover country.) So union members, facing either an X% cut in benefits or X% layoff, know exactly whether or not they will get to keep their jobs if the union votes for the layoffs. In the private sector, the members are – or should be – vaguely aware that their firm is subject to market discipline and that the company will go bankrupt if it can’t make its union contract profitable. But this isn’t true for the public sector; the schools, alas, will always be with us.
It follows that if X < 50% and if each member votes his individual financial interest, a majority of the union will always choose the layoffs over the benefit cuts because that majority will still have their jobs after the layoffs. So Christie’s criticism isn’t entirely fair since the teachers laid off almost certainly voted for the benefit cuts.
Many of you (OneSTDV, Default User, Whiskey) have written posts on variants of the theme that we are busily inflating an Education Bubble. If the topic interests you, be sure to read Megan’s post on the subject. For instance:
2) [W]e may simply be stuck in a bad equilibrium. In a world with anything short of lifetime employment, it doesn't do a would-be success any good simply to find one employer who uses an alternate signaling mechanism, which may make him unwilling to risk skipping college. Conversely, an employer willing to reward an alternate signaling mechanism first needs to find a bunch of conscientious, high-IQ kids with middle-class social capital who have skipped college to participate in this alternate mechanism.
I’ve followed the Steve Southerland campaign since the middle of last March, and since that time I’ve raised numerous issues with its handling of immigration: it’s delay in addressing the issue on its website; the double-speak of its eventual statement; the endorsements it has received from illegal alien employers and open-borders advocates; its inability to understand the context of the 9/11 Victory Mosque. During this time, (back when it was still talking to me), I’ve received private assurances from the campaign that . . . well, now that I think of it, the private assurances have come down squarely on all sides of the immigration issue. I found I could read whatever I wanted into them.
But that’s been typical for this campaign. Read or listen to Mr. Southerland’s statements on anything and ask yourself: at the end of 2011, by what yardstick will I measure whether he has kept his campaign promises or not? For instance, he says he’s in favor of “lower spending”, but offers no concrete examples of spending he will cut. He says he’s in favor of lower regulation, but offers no examples of regulations he would repeal. In fact, his campaign is built entirely on gauzy generalities about “Freedom” and “The Constitution”, infused with ecumenical religiosity.
Notwithstanding all this, I was prepared to be flexible. I was prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt and hope against hope that, once he was in office, he would vote as the conservative he insists he is. But no more.
Here is the text of the email I received from the campaign on Labor Day:
The American spirit was defined over 200 years ago by the eagerness of those who traveled to this great land of opportunity to earn their own way. Leaving distant shores and everything they'd ever known, they came to America to plow and harvest, invent and produce, scrimp and save, invest and earn their way to a new life.
Unfortunately, on this Labor Day, the sad reality is that 81% of Americans know someone who is unemployed and looking for work.
President Obama and Speaker Pelosi have advanced policies that demean and enslave both our hardworking labor force and our businesses, large and small. Sadly, our Congressman, Allen Boyd, has embraced and enabled these policies every step of the way.
Excessive taxation, unbridled and wasteful spending and the government takeover of health care and private industry are ruining our economy. Americans, who have worked hard, investing in their future and in the future of America, now find themselves on the road to serfdom.
The good news is that the people across Florida's 2nd Congressional District and across our great nation have had enough. We are ready to turn the page and recommit ourselves to the values and principles that made America the greatest country on the face of the earth.
Do I even need to say it?
First, my understanding of American history is that our founding stock came here primarily for self government: a chance to live under laws reflecting their own values and passed by their own people. And while I will grant him “plow and harvest” as a motivation, I would be surprised to learn that the “scrimp, save, and invent” were much on their mental radar. And of course, none of this has to do with Labor Day, which I understand to be a celebration of the power of labor unions.
But you can see the meta-message here. This isn’t really about the founding stock. The meta-message -- the message that Southerland chooses to celebrate in a context of his own creation -- is about late 19th century immigration. And while those immigrants may have indeed wanted to improve their lives, this observation says nothing about how today’s immigrants improve the lives of people already here.
Sadly, Southerland flunks more recent history as well. Yes, our economy is in trouble, but not for the reasons he thinks. Obama has not, in fact, raised personal income taxes; the “unbridled and wasteful spending” has been financed by Chinese loans. These imply a crippling fiscal crisis followed by massive tax hikes, but these threats remain in the future. No, the reason we are in a recession is because of a housing bubble inflated with the dissolution of mortgage lending standards in the name of helping minorities – most of them Mexican immigrants – buy homes they couldn’t afford. And George Bush bears every bit the blame for this as the Democrats do.
Ultimately, true conservatives in FL-02 must ask themselves: does having another “R” vote in the House outweigh the damage to the Conservative brand of electing a candidate as bad as this one? In a close election, maybe. But with the House takeover already a near certainty, I for one am prepared to say, “better the devil you know.”
The U.S. commander in Afghanistan on Monday criticized a Florida church's plan to burn copies of the Quran on September 11, warning the demonstration "could cause significant problems" for American troops overseas.
"It could endanger troops and it could endanger the overall effort in Afghanistan," Gen. David Petraeus said in a statement issued Monday.
Where was Gen Petraeus’ sensitivity to religion last May:
The U.S. military is confirming that it has destroyed some Bibles belonging to an American soldier serving in Afghanistan.
Reuters News says the Bibles were confiscated and destroyed after Qatar-based Al Jazeer television showed soldiers at a Bible class on a base with a stack of Bibles translated into the local Pashto and Dari languages. The U.S. military forbids its members on active duty -- including those based in places like Afghanistan -- from trying to convert people to another religion.
According to the military officials, the Bibles were sent through private mail to an evangelical Christian soldier by his church back home. Reuters says the soldier brought them to the Bible study class where they were filmed.
The lesson here is simple: peace and tolerance are for losers. The official policy of the U. S. government is allocate respect in direct proportion to a group’s willingness to kill people and break things.
This lesson is not lost on our adversaries. How long will it be lost on us?
UPDATE: Professor Hale weighs in.
Remember the King of the Hill episode where Bill Dauterive waits outside the local prison hoping to meet women when they’re released? Well, thanks to the internet, now he doesn’t have to wait:
I bet some other blog can find a year’s worth of snarky goodness in these sites . . . woohoo, this one’s a non-smoker!