Saturday, July 9

Hurricane Dennis--Cuba's deadliest hurricane in 40 years


Guests anticipating Hurricane Dennis batter Havana's malecon on July 8. Cuba's deadliest hurricane in 40 years gathered strength as it moved over the Gulf of Mexico, after killing at least 10 people.
(AFP/File/Adalberto Roque)

Friday, July 8

Leadership in the Face of Opposition

I admire Giuliani. For someone who is favor of abortion, I have to say he displays more character and fortitude in the face of liberals and politics, than some of our conservative leadership. Of what use is moral statements, valid as they may be, if the same individual does not display steadfast leadership? Let us all hope, now in the face of two retirements from the Supreme Court, our President demonstrates leadership in keeping his campaign promise of nominating strict originalist to the court. This article caught my attention. It's a case study of left v. right and the consequences of being moderate or centrist.

We miss Rudy; even some of the people who could barely stand him at the time miss him. The administration of the current mayor, Michael Bloomberg, has turned out to be, as Fred Siegel puts it in this very insightful and very argumentative book, a 'moderately competent muddle.'' The Giuliani years were neither moderate nor muddled.

Giuliani was the rare politician who actively sought confrontation, both because he believed that the unexamined opinions and entrenched interests he was taking on needed to be publicly exposed and because nature made him that way.

Another Hollywood Marriage that Won't Last

I feel bad for the Holmes. The way she has gone about this whole thing is absolutely insane. Read it here.

Freedom to Choose--The Right to Change One's Sexual Identity

by Caleb H. Price
The on-going controversy surrounding Focus on the Family’s Love Won Out conference reveals the hypocrisy of liberals who call for “tolerance” and unquestioned acceptance of “diversity” yet attempt to stifle all opposing views to their politically correct, pro-gay agenda. As a result, another liberal mantra – the freedom to choose – is denied to those seeking to walk out of unwanted homosexuality.

Apparently, in today’s America you can still Be Who You Want to Be – so long as it isn’t “ex-gay.”

Even more troubling is the vitriol unleashed against those who dare to consider the notion that homosexuality is not an immutable characteristic. Pro-gay activists regularly charge that messages such as those shared at Love Won Out are “vile,” “dangerous” and “deplorable.” Much of their most virulent rhetoric is saved for the debate over the cause of homosexuality.

Read the full article.

Who are the Extremists?

Here is a solid article from Bruce Hausknecht, judicial analyst for Family News in Focus. It clearly points out the distortions in how the liberals paint what they call extremist, and how they are extreem.

A look back at a certain judicial nominee throws light on the Democratic filibusters.
http://www.family.org/cforum/fnif/commentary/a0036866.cfm

SPECIAL REPORT: From the Site of the London Underground Explosions

Phil Cooke has a production company in LA. I met him and heard him speak at an event in Frt. Lauderdale, FL some years ago. I was emailed the following special report from the site of the london underground explosions.
by Phil Cooke (July 7th, London)

This week, the Cooke Pictures crew is in London shooting a documentary film, and on the way to our first location today, we were driving less than a block from the explosion at the King's Cross Underground station. As you undoubtedly know by now, London was hit with multiple subway and bus explosions today and the chaos has literally brought this historic city to a standstill.

The subway and bus systems are shut down completely, and motorists are urged to stay at home and off the roads. Much of the city is blocked off with police lines so the investigations can begin, making it incredibly difficult to navigate in a car. We didn't realize the totality of the events until we were filming later outside Parliament, and a security guard filled us in. We were forced to stop our work, and it took over an hour just to drive a few miles back to the hotel, as we had to snake through police blockades, and the confusion of millions of people in the streets trying to find safety.

Within a few hours after the initial blasts, the city has become much like a ghost town. Most of the businesses and retail stores are closed. In the central city, very few vehicles are in the streets, while in the outer areas, the streets are jammed. The theater district is dark. Some restaurants are open to service the vast number of people forced to walk home. Needless to say, finding a taxi is virtually impossible. Even this e-mail has been delayed because most of the internet services are jammed or down.

As I watched the chaos of the events, drove through the police blockades, and listened to the reports on the radio, the thought that filled my mind was "change." With the cowardly but devastating impact of terrorism, the world is a different place. Changes are happening at the speed of light, and only those who are really ready for change will be able to cope.

Seeing the stunned people leave the damaged tube stations and watching distraught interviews on television, I realized that those who were caught off-guard the most were people very set in their ways. People who never expected anything unusual to happen, and people who came to work every day, year after year, thinking the same events would always continue. But those individuals most prepared for change, came through the nightmare in far better shape. Listening to post event interviews, it's easy to see that some people cope with change far better than others, and for those, the unexpected isn't something that shakes them to the core--even during events as horrible as today's events.

Finally, from this moment on, I'm reminded to live my life in a positive attitude of change. Recognizing that change happens, and if I am to live my life to the fullest, and make the greatest impact, I must live on the edge of change. That doesn't mean fear, and it doesn't mean to withdraw from life, but it means to recognize that nothing short of heaven is unchanging. Writer Oswald Chambers called it "gracious uncertainty."

Sometimes we have to let go of our obsessive demands for clarity, trust God, and understand that we all need to recognize and understand change.

What areas of your life or business needs to recognize the power of change? How can you be better prepared for upsetting events, or catastrophic changes in your world? Never forget that the fastest way to failure and defeat, is to allow change to take us by surprise.

London is a great city and will survive and prosper. We'll hopefully continue our filming tomorrow.

The clean-up across the city continues, but the changes will be felt for a lifetime.

Illegal Immigration and Birth Rates

Combined with the problems of social security, the challenges of employment and welfare, and the urgent need to improve security, here is another good reason why the government needs to reform immigration. This is not a problem that is going away. The future of our children depends on the decisions we make now. Feel good, poll-based, politically correct decisions are not the solution.

Nearly a quarter of all births in the United States are to immigrant mothers, a record higher than during the peak of the previous great immigration wave in 1910, a study released Thursday found.

The study found that 42 percent of births to immigrants are to mothers who are in the United States illegally. As a result, nearly 10 percent of children born in the United States are born to illegal immigrant mothers, it said.

Here it is in summary.
The study concludes, therefore, that the problem of illegal immigration will only get worse if left unchecked.

Gonzales--Setting Aside the Constitution

It's good to see Conservative Hispanics speaking with one voice. I tried finding a web site for this group, but could not. Does anyone know who they are? I had never heard of them. Denver post comments on the pending decision for the next judicial nominee to replace O'Connor.

On Friday, the Rev. Miguel Rivera, president of the National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders, an advocacy group that represents more than 6,000 Latino evangelical churches, sent the president a letter urging consideration of "a true conservative Latino nominee": Garza.

In a telephone interview late Friday, Rivera said he had so far received no response.

"All the meetings we have had in all the different groups today we have not heard anything to reassure us that he is out of the loop," Rivera said of Gonzales.

The reason conservatives will not support Gonzales, and the primary reason I am against his nomination, is the fact he has made statements about setting aside the Constitution. This is a serious concern, and the primary qualification I am hoping Bush will expect in whoever he nominates--someone who will be an originalist when it comes to interpreting the Constitution. A Focus on the Family spokesperson brings this up in this Denver article.

Sean Rushton, executive director of the Committee for Justice said best. The GOP will lose a lot of money and a bad choice bad Bush would only serve to strengthen by default Hillary's 2008 bid.
Sean Rushton, executive director of the Committee for Justice, a group formed to support Bush judicial nominations, questioned whether a conservative nominee would alienate moderates. "That's nonsense," he said. "The worst thing the president could do for his party's 2006 election hopes - and especially for (Sen.) Rick Santorum in Pennsylvania - is to go with a nominee who is seen as less principled by conservatives. That would completely dry up the funding. That would completely dry up the enthusiasm."
Our prayers are with the president, and our hope is that he would make a wise decision, taking into consideration the future of our nation and the will of the people that put him into office.

Thursday, July 7

ABC NEWS: TWO UNEXPLODED BOMBS DISCOVERED

In what appears to be the first major break in the London terrorist attacks, U.S. authorities tell ABC News that British police have recovered two unexploded bombs in London.

Free Trade--Good For Everyone

In HispanicBusiness.com:

"This trade agreement is long overdue," said Washington Association of Wheat Growers Director of Issues, Gretchen Borck. "By gradually eliminating the tariffs on exports into Central America and the Dominican Republic, the playing field will finally be leveled for Washington goods and services."

The agreement would immediately eliminate 80 percent of the tariffs currently in place on U.S. exports to the region, with the remaining tariffs being phased out over the next 10 to 15 years, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Since a majority of Dominican Republic and Central American goods already enter the United States with little or no tariffs, the agreement is important to ensure a reciprocal relationship between the two markets.

"Without passage of CAFTA-DR, our products will continue to lose significant market share to suppliers from competing countries," said Northwest Horticultural Council President Chris Schlect. "Several countries, including Chile, have negotiated favorable trade agreements with the region that have placed our state's apples, pears and cherries at a serious disadvantage. We need CAFTA-DR."

Novack--Rehnquist Will Announce Retirement Before Week is Over

Adding to the tension is word from court sources that ailing Chief Justice William Rehnquist also will announce his retirement before the week is over. That would enable Bush to play this game: Name one justice no less conservative than Rehnquist, and name Gonzales, whose past record suggests he would replicate retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on abortion and possibly other social issues. Thus, the present ideological orientation of the court would be unchanged, which would suit the left just fine.
I don't think Bush would do this. At this point, I would be surprised if Bush nominates Gonzales. It would be a disaster for the Republican party that is already hurting from lack of backbone on the filibuster issue. That's all the party would need to lose seats come 2006.

Declarations of Unconditional Warfare - Judicial Nominees

Good article by by Don Feder in the FrontPageMagazine.com web site on the battle looming over the nomination of the next Supreme Court Justice. Check it out.
If the president keeps his word (repeatedly given) to pick a strict constructionist of the Scalia/Thomas mold to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, the Left will come after said nominee with everything it has--broken bottles, nail-studded clubs, brass-knuckles, even nuclear weapons.

Effects of Hispanic Immigration on Low-Income African-Americans

I had never considered the effects of Hispanic immigration on the low-income African-American community. This is an interesting article that got me thinking about it. I am not sure where I stand, or what to think about it.
The issue of Hispanic immigrants taking up certain jobs is sensitive, because in some industries such as construction or hotels and restaurants, it is so damaging to Blacks that one remembers the old sign, 'no blacks need apply.' Indeed, labor statistics show that in the five years between 1985 and 1990, the deepest drop in the type of Black employment was in the construction and mechanical workers (9 percent-6 percent), while between 1990 and 2000, the deepest drop was in Black service workers (23-20 percent.).

Too Many Catholics Not Taking Their Faith Seriously

In today's world where more and more denominations are capitulating to the winds of political correctness, it is refreshing to see the Roman Catholic church making a stand for life.

Reuters reported about an 88-page working document for a synod of bishops to be held in October.
...the Vatican decried dwindling attendance at Sunday Mass, and reaffirmed a rule that Catholics who divorce and remarry outside the Church cannot take communion.
Reuters writes that the Vatican on Thursday said
...too many Roman Catholics were not taking their religion seriously and that those faithful who receive communion and still support abortion rights were behaving scandalously.
Scandalously. You can't have it both ways. You are either a true sincere person of faith, and live as such, or you are not. Pretending to be one for the sake of polls and public opinion is, well, scandalous.

Let's not get confused. All people of faith are imperfect people, with flaws and a history of mistakes. This is not the issue at heart. The question lies in relativist approach some want to take to the practice of religion and faith, when the teachings of these faiths are absolute in nature. There is a right. There is a wrong. For a majority of American's, we agree that when someone commits a wrong, or when a wrong is pointed out, the best response is humble confession and resolution. Not denial. Not deception. Not relativistic, "I'm sorry if I offended you...(but I didn't do anything wrong)." This is no apology, but I digress...

This is a good read for all those so-called Catholic senators.
Some Catholics say they personally would not have an abortion but, in pluralistic societies such as the United States, feel obliged to support a woman's right to choose.

But the Church, which teaches that life begins at the moment of conception and that abortion is murder, says Catholics cannot have it both ways.

Peru's Ambassador Pushing Andean Free Trade Agreement

By Josue Sierra

(CA--Los Angeles) The Los Angeles Metropolitan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce announced today the visit to LA by Peru's Ambassador, with the intent of fueling interest on Andean Free Trade Agreement.

As part of an ongoing effort to inform on The Andean Treaty, Eduardo Ferrero, Ambassador of Peru to Washington will address the agreement as the keynote speaker at the closing of three days activities for a Peruvian Trade Delegation visiting Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Jose, California on July 11 through 15

Mr. Ferrero will speak about the agreement between the Andean Countries (Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru) and the United States that, once implemented, will regulate the trade and investment relationship between the parties in a comprehensive manner, with the aim of increasing trade and investment flows and contributing to the economic and social development of the signatory countries.

Beyond market access and rules in trade in goods, services, investment, and government procurement, sources indicate that the free trade agreement would establish disciplines in areas such as intellectual property, customs administration, competition, labor, environment investment, services, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade, trade remedies and dispute settlement procedure.

Ambassador Ferrero has scheduled an appearance at a Luncheon Conference in Los Angeles on Wednesday July 13, San Francisco on Thursday July 14 and San Jose on July 15, to seek support and express how vital the treaty is for California businesses'.

Immigration: Don't Take it Personal

This here illustrates the root of the problem. Liberals love making themselves look like the caring people and defenders of poor immigrant's rights. This has nothing to do with disapproving or not of illegal immigrants. Government officials should be concerned with enforcing and following the law.

Read the story and you tell me what you think?
"To say you should shut it down because you disapprove of some of the people who are receiving these services is at best ridiculous."

Wednesday, July 6

More From Spain on the Gay Marriage Vote

The Spanish Congress voted to overturn a Senate veto and legalize gay marriage by a vote of 187 to 147, making Spain the third world nation to do so on a national level. My sources tell me that pro-family groups served Spanish President Zapatero with a petition signed by 4 million opponents of this legislation. This basically means that the Spanish government is obligated to let the voting public decide for themselves via a referendum within two years whether they want this decision to stand.

The way the citizens seem to have mobilized, I have no doubt they will have enough votes. We'll see how Zapatero's administration responds, and whether they accept the rule of law.

Internal memos I read report that just within the evangelical community, approximately 700,000 signatures where contributed to this petition. This is not just a catholic issue. This is not just a religious issue. This is about the stability and strength of a society.

Hispanic Workers Should Back Personal Accounts

I have blogged about Hispanics and Social Security already, but in case my opinions do not have enough credibility (I'm not an economist after all), here is a good article on the subject.
Earlier this week, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) released several short reports on Social Security’s importance in the retirement plans of Hispanics. These reports, “Hispanics Large Stake in the Social Security Debate” and “Hispanics And Social Security: The Implications Of Reform Proposals,” essentially argue that Hispanic Americans’ lower average incomes, higher life expectancies, and lower average savings (including pensions) make them rely more on Social Security.[1] The studies’ authors go on to argue that reforming Social Security in the way that President Bush has proposed would put Hispanics’ retirements at great risk.
I agree with the author that Hispanics are more family oriented, develop and maintain stronger ties, and would be the one group that would benefit the most from Personal Accounts for Social Security reform. People are being forced into long-term poverty, and are having their hope and hard work for the future stolen by our own government. Stick to the facts.

Financing Corruption in Third World Countries

Great article by Nile Gardiner on the problems with debt forgiveness and all the feel-good anti-poverty campaigns going on.
Rather than end poverty, more aid would "perpetuate a culture of dependency in the continent," impeding necessary reforms. And too much aid has wound up with political elites, cementing their power.
The conclusions is priceless! This is real solutions for real world problems. Why can't
Advancing Economic and Political Freedom in Africa
Africa’s problems cannot be solved simply by spending more money on development assistance, and President Bush should not hesitate to convey the message that the United States will not support a huge increase in foreign aid.At the G-8 summit, President Bush should argue that the specter of poverty in the African continent can best be challenged through open trade, increased foreign direct investment (FDI), and sustained political pressure on African governments to liberalize their economies and advance economic and political reform. The greatest gift the West can give to Africa and the developing world is not yet another short-term handout measured in dollars, pounds, or euros, but the seeds of liberty and freedom and a long-term commitment to holding African leaders to account for corruption, misrule, and human rights abuses.
Read the whole piece.

Analysis of Hispanic late-news TV watchers

Hispanic consumers avidly watch the late local news on TV, according to a recent analysis by Scarborough Research. The study also found that multicultural viewers of late local news are more likely to buy certain types of vehicles and to spend more on wireless services than mainstream consumers.

According to Scarborough, Hispanic consumers are 26% more likely than all consumers nationally to cite late local news as a program they typically watch.

"U.S. Hispanics tend to be younger than the general market, as are viewers of late-night television," Cheryl Greenblatt, Scarborough senior VP of broadcast television services, said in a statement. "This is one reason why Hispanic consumers are more likely to tune into late local news broadcasts."

The report’s analysis of Hispanic late-news TV watchers also concluded:

  • They are 16% more likely than the average American to live in a household that is planning to buy or lease a new luxury vehicle within the next 12 months.

  • They are 48% more likely to live in a household that is planning to buy or lease a new van or minivan in the next year.
  • Those who subscribe to a wireless service spent an average of $67 on their cellular bills last month, versus the national average of $59.
  • Collectively, Hispanics spent more than $353 million on their cell phone bills during the last 30 days

Tuesday, July 5

Take a Walk in Our Boots--The War on Terror

I have nothing else to ad. Read the whole letter by CPL CASEY L. ALLEN, U.S. MARINE CORPS. He makes me proud to be an American.
To anyone opposed to the war on terror, or America's policing role in the Middle East, I challenge you to go on a patrol with any platoon in 1st Bn, 6th Marines. Walk down the streets of Fallujah and see the look in an Iraqi child's eyes as he waves and cheers you by. Shake the hand of an Iraqi man thanking you for his family's freedom. I know I belong here because I see what they don't show on CNN. What they don't print in the newspapers. I see what President Bush is trying to tell the world, if they would only be quiet long enough to listen. Take a walk in our boots, but make sure you give them back. We're not finished here yet.
If you want to do something tangible in support of our troops, this is the site to go to. Check both of them out. www.treatanysoldier.com has some pre-set packages you can send out, that have been proven to be just whatever every male or female soldier needs. Also, check out www.anysoldier.com for lists of soldiers and their needs.

A Life-Changing Exploration of the Street

Incredible story. New author Mike Yankoski tells Dr. James Dobson about his journey as a homeless man. If you want to hear the interview, go here.

Glancing up to catch the fleeting traces of several frightened rats scurrying under a nearby fence I shake my head, thankful they are only rats.

Last night it was not a group of rats wrenching me from my sleep but rather someone rummaging through my backpack, only a foot from my head. In the morning I realized that my only sweatshirt had been stolen. Quite a bummer.

However, considering there was someone I didn’t know bending over both me and my pack, I am rather grateful they decided to take my sweatshirt rather than to give me a brick in the head. Besides, it’s too hot to for a sweatshirt anyway.

Tomorrow Sam and I are going to go to Zacchaeus’ Kitchen for breakfast. The food is good, and they usually have enough for seconds. That is probably the only meal we’re going to eat, unless we panhandle in Georgetown.

Read the whole story.

Game For Diversity

Interesting. I'm not sure what to think.
AAGamer’s Urban Video Game Academy teaches videogame design to African-American and Latino youth to help counter some games’ negative portrayals of minorities, while also helping students learn math and science.
Read more.

Would overturning abortion doom conservatives?

The problem with the courts has nothing to do with the legalization of abortion, but with the interpretation of the constitution and the role of the courts in our government.

The courts have exceeded their boundaries time and time again. I read an LA Times article (subgscription required) today, and various posts on WorldMag Blog that provoked these thoughts.

From Peter Wallsten:

Strategists worry that overturning Roe would make abortion a top-tier political issue again, galvanizing liberals and moderates who have long assumed that the issue was settled. At the same time, it would eliminate a major organizing principle of the evangelical movement that gained prominence in last year's elections. And Republican candidates, who have long sidestepped the issue by assuring moderate voters that judges have the final say on abortion, would suddenly be forced to say how they would vote on a woman's right to choose.
About the article, I think it is a lie meant to scare moderate conservatives into complacency, and weakness. The truth is overturning Roe v. Wade would not fix the problem--a nation that has disregard for objective moral standards. If a people will not rule themselves, they must be ruled by tyrants.

The question at the root of the abortion debate has always been, and will continue to be, "When does life start." When you answer that question, you set the parameters and delimitations for the entire abortion debate!

Try it! Next time you get into an argument, focus on the question what the person you are speaking with believe in regards to when does life begin. Then, take their response and give it a reality check. For example, if they say, "Life begins when the baby can live/breath outside on its own" then we can argue that any person that cannot live/breathe on his or her own should be killed. Watch them squirm.

On a final note: Liberals have taken their eye of the Hispanic population. While many Hispanics can have an entitlement approach, wanting more and more welfare, more and more are responding to the vote-your-values message and going back to the root of their heritage and culture. 2006 will reveal a new growing movement of conservative Hispanics that will shift the direction of this nation. Watch for it! We don't approve of abortion. We are having more kids than the mainstream Americans. Guess who will have the majority of the votes give 20 years or so?

Being Politically Correct Isn't Protecting Americas Borders

This is a great piece by Ken Hughes! I've been talking here about the need for economic and social reform in the countries supplying the illegal immigration.
The immigration problem isn’t going away with a lot of, political rhetoric. The first step is to recognize the things that entice illegals to come to America. Employment, health care, education, freedom of expression, all the things they lack in their own countries. When America exports it’s culture it must expect repercussions, in this case illegal immigration. To the rest of the world Americas streets are paved with opportunity. Like it or not America is big brother to the world, America is the brass rings on the Mary-go-round.
I like how he concludes his piece:
Is America losing sight of the fact we’re a nation of immigrants? The Lady in New your harbor holds a torch guiding the path to America. Granted she has her back turned on our southern neighbors I doubt it was intentional. America’s always been inundated by immigration. We’ve managed to survive those condition that sent masses to our shore. We’ve always prospered form it despite the naysayers.

I’m sure my words will fall on deaf ears. Politicians and the Politically Correct advocates have a stake in the statuesque. Making any positive changes in the system would disrupt their agenda. When you read about the evils of illegal immigration, remember it’s us not them who empower the system. Like water, immigration follows the paths of least resistance. Without enforcement of domestic laws, no amount of border security will be effective.

Terrorists At The Gate

This is a scary article, but it is reality. We need to stop the racist, politicized approach to illegal immigration, and sit down and start talking real solutions.
According to the report, the USBP says there has been a dramatic increase in the number of OTMs – other than Mexicans – being apprehended along the U.S. southwest border.

In all of 2003, the patrol says its agents caught 39,000 OTMs, but already this year that figure has climbed to more than 85,000 – more than double two years ago. Of this number, the largest ethnic group is comprised of Brazilians – in excess of 12,000 in the first half of this year alone.

That’s bad news, especially for the USBP. But the reason this phenomenon of an increase in OTMs is significant has less to do with the problem of illegal immigration than it does with the ever-present threat of terrorism. Many of these OTMs come from countries we suspect of supporting terrorism against the United States or, at a minimum, of at least looking the other way while terrorist forces train, equip, rest and heal on their soil.
But wait, it gets scarier. With Brazil contributing in escess of 12,000, this is the part that tells me why this is such an important issue. I'm sorry if it hurts people's feelings, but this is about security! This is about preventing terrorism. This is about making our land safe again.
"Brazil is one. It'’s a visa-waiver country with Mexico. A bad guy who wants to go to the United States can first go to Brazil and then go to Mexico, and at that point it’s easy to go north and cross illegally and not be caught – or be caught" then released, said Cathy Travis, a spokeswoman for Rep. Solomon Ortiz, D-Texas. (Note: OTMs are required to be released, by law, pending a deportation hearing that is usually months in the offing. Needless to say, most don’t show up for the hearing.)

Finally, there is this geopolitical consideration. Brazil'’s leftist president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, has adopted economic and other policies that are likely to plunge his nation headlong into communism, say experts. Also, he is allying himself with other leftist, communist dictators in the hemisphere, most notably Fidel Castro of Cuba and Hugo Chavez of Venezuela.

"Brazil seems to be the center of the growing Marxist threat, and has even reported to be resisting the International Atomic Energy Agency’s request for spot inspections of its nuclear site," says author and analyst H. Thomas Hayden, USMC (Ret.). "Additionally, Brazil has announced that it expects to join the select group of nations that produce enriched uranium. Indications are that Brazil is moving toward developing nuclear weapons."
Now we have to worry about rogue countries like Brazil--right in our own continent--providing nuclear weapons to al-Qaeda. When is congress and the administration going to wake up and do something about this?? I am a Latino, born in the U.S., and I want our borders secured. Fix the problem. Fix the system.

Read the whole story:
http://www.theconservativevoice.com/articles/article.html?id=6682

We Won't Tone Down the Rhetoric

Mr. Bush, We can appreciate your loyalty and friendship to Mr. Gonzales. But this is not personal and it is not about friendship. This is about who you will pick to the Supreme Court, and this is about our freedoms, about the preservation of life, and about the rule of law through originalist interpretation of the constitution. I'm happy for you that Gonzales is your friend. You are going to need to set that aside for a moment, and consider the will of the people. That is what we elected you for! Don't take it personal.
"Al Gonzales is a great friend of mine," Bush told USA Today. "When a friend gets attacked, I don't like it."

Monday, July 4

The root of the immigration problem

I was looking through the Human Rights reports from the State Department for El Salvador, and found this to be very insightful. Here is the root of the immigration problem in this country.
The country has a market-based economy focused on services and light manufacturing, while simultaneously opening its markets. The country's population is over 6.9 million. Remittances from abroad are the largest single source of foreign income, equivalent to approximately 15 percent of GDP, and they continue to grow in value. (emphasis added) Agriculture remained the largest source of employment. Coffee and sugar are the principal export crops. The rate of real economic growth changed little during the year and was estimated at 1.8 percent, with inflation at 5.4 percent. According to the Ministry of Economy's statistics and census office, in 2003 approximately 36.1 percent of the population lived below the poverty level, compared with 38.8 percent in 2002.
Poverty, corruption, and out-of-control gang violence in Central American countries force people with no hope to seek out hope in the US. I find that a lot of illegal immigrants would rather be able to stay home, make an honest living, and care for their families. But, for the most part, they come to the end of the road, and coming to the US to find work is their last option.

As long as these Latin American countries do not institute political and economic reform, their countries will stay where they are. Of course, they don't have a motivation to do so. 15% percent of their GDP--that's a huge amount. Political reform needs to come in regards to eradicating corruption. Political corruption, besides it's weakening effect on the freedom and proper government, also weakness enterprise. There is much to many unethical conflicts of interest with government sanctioned monopolies. Economically, these governments need to create a healthy competing environment where these hard working people can do what they do best, and earn a healthy income for their families.

Until then, there will be plenty of business for the border crossing "Coyotes" who help smuggle them into the US. While these Coyotes are still in business, we are in danger of their other clients--Islamic terrorists.

UPDATE:

Brought this story back to the top in light of the passing of CAFTA. It offers a light of hope for a change in Latin American economies.

Repeating The Mistake That Brought O'Connor

Read a great post at World Blog that I agree with. Interesting comments as well.

I am a Hispanic, but I do NOT want to feel "honored" by getting a Hispanic justice who flip-flops on issues, and doesn't stick to the constitution. I do not want another justice that produced constitutional rights from the figment of his or her imagination. We need a reliable originalist who is capable and experienced, and who has a track record of faithfully interpretation of the constitution--nothing less, nothing more. No more affirmative action for our supreme court!

All the senate has managed to do by all its obstruction is to politicize the courts. Now judges have to be concerned about how their decisions would be seen by the senate should they be nominated for a higher post. It puts the courts at the mercy of the winds of public opinion and PC.

Read the article by Thomas Sowell on Justice O'Connor's retirement, at townhall.com:

The political temptation may be great to appoint a Hispanic Justice or
another woman or some other nominee selected on the basis of group identity
rather than individual qualifications. At this crucial juncture in the history
of the Supreme Court, that would be needlessly repeating the mistake that
brought Sandra Day O'Connor to the High Court in the first place.

Facts About Hispanics in Graduate Education

These are sobering numbers. I am proud to be a part of NSHMBA and do my part for private, corporate driven, support for Hispanics in higher education. This is the way it should be done. Not through racially focused affirmative action. Not through government mandated quotas.

Let the free market forces take care of itself. Businesses need Hispanics and need diversity. If the business world worked together, put funds together, we can eliminate the economic and cultural barriers and help more Hispanics get a higher education.

Read the numbers. Do something about it. Don't expect or ask your government to do it for you!

Solid Democratic Leadership - Where are the Republicans?

Amazing that a Democrat would demonstrate such leadership, but there it is. Where is our party, the Republican Party, going? This is a great article, and it makes me ashamed to say I am a Hispanic.

Truth be told, some Hispanics, such as those mentioned here, have no regard to public decency and civic duty. Why should they--they emigrate illegally, and are protected by wacky laws that afford them rights never given by the constitution. Why should they care if we as a nation don't care that they care. We don't require them to leave. In some states, immigrants are allowed to take the citizenship oath in Spanish! That is ridiculous!

If you want to be a part of this country, if you want to enjoy the rewards of the price that was paid by our men and women through out history, then you should be willing to learn our history, develop an elemental grasp of our language, and seek to integrate and contribute to our culture. I don't advocate immigrants abandoning their rich culture, but they should be working to integrate, no the other way around!

We don't ask illegal immigrants to contribute in substantial ways (other than the cheap labor they provide). Ultimately, the victims of our weak immigration and poor boarder security are the illegal immigrants themselves. Read on...

Suffolk's Democratic County Executive Steve Levy says his hard-line stand on immigrant housing was forged over 16 years of knocking on doors in his South Shore legislative district.
"There's an incredible undercurrent of frustration," he said. "And when you hear someone who has 20 people living next to them urinating on their front lawn, it makes you want to help them."
Levy defends his posture by noting the uniqueness of the situation in this story.
...Circumstances in Farmingville were far different - all the occupants were undocumented immigrants so the county could not legally provide housing help. He also said the house was a "fire trap" that could not remain open.
If that building had caught on fire, the fringe left would be the first ones calling for lawsuits and protesting the rights of these immigrants to have safe, affordable housing. The county would get sued for even allowing such unsafe living conditions! There is just no way to win!!