Daily Wisdom

June 30, 2007

News Fairly Unbalanced

'Nuff said.

June 27, 2007

30 Reasons To Reject Immigration Reform

The following is a list of 30 reasons for rejecting the Senate Immigration Reform Bill. I will try to keep things simple...

1. It is an amnesty program, plain and simple. Amnesty benefits do not wait for the “enforcement trigger.” After filing an application and waiting 24 hours, illegal aliens will receive full “probationary benefits,” complete with the ability to legally live and work in the US. This bill gives immediate recognition to millions of undocumented illegal aliens and puts them on "a path to citizenship".

2. There are no exceptions for criminals. Legal status must be granted to illegal aliens 24 hours after they file an application, even if the aliens have not yet “passed all appropriate background checks.”

3. Some child molesters are eligible. Some felons who have sexually abused a minor are eligible for amnesty. A child molester who committed the crime before the bill is enacted is not barred from getting amnesty if their conviction document omitted the age of the victim. The bill corrects this loophole for future child molesters, but does not close the loophole for current or past convictions.

4. Illegal aliens with terror connections not excluded. Illegal aliens with terrorism connections are not barred from getting amnesty. An illegal alien seeking most immigration benefits must show “good moral character.” Last year’s bill specifically barred aliens with terrorism connections from having “good moral character” and being eligible for amnesty. This year’s bill does neither.

5. Gang members are eligible. The bill allows violent gang members to get amnesty as long as they “renounce” their gang membership upon application.

6. Fugitives are eligible. Those subject to final orders of removal, voluntary departure orders, or reinstatement of their final orders of removal, are eligible for amnesty under the bill. The same is true for aliens who have made a false claim to citizenship or engaged in document fraud. More than 636,000 alien fugitives could be eligible.

7. Learning English is not mandatory. Illegal aliens are not required to demonstrate any proficiency in English for more than a decade after they are granted amnesty.

8. Illegals will be eligible for Earned Income Tax Credit. Current illegal aliens and new guest workers will be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, a refundable tax credit designed to encourage American citizens and legal permanent residents to work. The 1996 welfare reforms limited new immigrants from receiving public benefits until they had been legal permanent residents for five years. This bill ignores those restrictions.

9. Burden of Proof extremely low. Illegal aliens are allowed to provide "sworn declarations" from any non-relative (acquaintance, friend, co-worker, etc) that the alien was here prior to January 1, 2007 and is currently employed. DHS does not have the resources to examine whether the claims contained in these “sworn declarations” are valid.

10. Free legal counsel provided to illegals. Free legal counsel and the fees and expenses of arbitrators will be provided to aliens that have been working illegally in agriculture. The U.S. taxpayer will fund the attorneys that help these individuals fill out their amnesty applications. Additionally, if these individuals have a dispute with their employer over whether they were fired for "just cause," DHS will "pay the fee and expenses of the arbitrator."

11. Education benefits. In-state tuition and other higher education benefits, such as Stafford Loans, will be made available to current illegal aliens that are granted initial “probationary” status, even if the same in-state tuition rates are not offered to all U.S. citizens. This would normally violate current law (8 U.S.C. §1623).

12. "Merit System" is ignored. Current distribution of green cards favors "merit-based" qualifications to attract high skill workers. This bill ignores the existing system and encourages a flood of low-skilled workers.

13. Provides visas to visitors who plan to overstay. The new “parent” visa contained in the bill allows parents of citizens, as well as the spouses and children of new temporary workers, to visit a worker in the United States. This new visa specifically allows the spouse and children of new temporary workers who intend to abandon their residence in a foreign country, to qualify to come to the U.S. to “visit.” The visa requires only a $1,000 bond, which will be forfeited when, not if, family members of new temporary workers decide to overstay their 30 day visit.

14. Encourages chain migration. Although the bill will eventually eliminate chain migration (relatives other than spouses and children of citizens and legal permanent residents), it will not go into full effect until 2016. Until then, chain migration into the U.S. is expected to triple, from approximately 138,000 chain migrants a year to approximately 440,000 chain migrants a year.

15. Payment of back taxes not required. Last year’s bill required illegal aliens to prove they had paid three of their last five years of taxes to get amnesty. This year, payment of back taxes is not required for amnesty.

16. Some illegals will get Social Security credits. Aliens who came to the U.S. on legal visas, but overstayed their visas and have been working in the U.S. for years, as well as illegal aliens who apply for Z visa status but do not qualify, will be able to collect social security credits for the years they worked illegally.

17. Fines for illegals less than for government officials. The criminal fines an illegal alien is required to pay to receive amnesty are less than the bill’s criminal fines for paperwork violations committed by U.S. citizens, and can be paid by installment. Under the bill, an illegal alien must pay a $1,000 criminal fine to apply for a Z visa, and a $4,000 fine to apply for a green card. Eighty percent of those fines can be paid on an installment plan. Under the bill’s confidentiality provisions, someone (typically a government official) who improperly handles or uses information on an alien’s amnesty application can be fined $10,000.

18. U.S. VISIT system not required. The biometric border check-in/check-out system (VISIT) required by Congress in 1996 and already past its postponed 2005 implementation date, is not required to be implemented before this new temporary guest worker program goes into effect. The VISIT system is crucial to knowing who is in the U.S. and who is not.

19. Border security not required. Although there has been talk that this bill will provide for upgraded border security, implementation of those security measures will not be mandatory before the temporary guest worker program goes into effect.

20. The lesson of past precedent. During the Reagan administration, an amnesty bill was passed known as the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. President Reagan, acting on the recommendation of a bipartisan task force, supported a "comprehensive" approach to the problem of illegal immigration, including adjusting the status of what was then a relatively small population of 2-3 million illegals. Border security upgrades were supposed to follow the immediate amnesty. The lesson from the 1986 experience is: that it should never be repeated. There was extensive document fraud, and the number of people applying for amnesty far exceeded projections. Border security was never upgraded. Instead of 2-3 million illegals, we now have 12-20 million illegals.

21. Unkept Promises. In 1986 we were told that the illegals would be given a one-time amnesty and that border security would then be upgraded to prevent future such problems... but it never happened. In 1996 we were told that a new biometric data system called VISIT would be implemented to track foreigners coming into and going out of the country... but it never happened. In 2006 we were told that: a fence would be built along 700 miles of the US-Mexican border; high-tech surveillance systems including satellite and drone imagery would be employed; 6000 National Guardsmen were to be deployed to the border; and 6000 new border patrol agents were to be hired. As of June 15, 2007 only 13 miles of fence had been built. I have been unable to determine the number of National Guardsmen deployed or new border patrol agents hired, but I would be surprised if we are anywhere near the targets.

22. A cost analysis has not been performed. The US Senate is required to perform a cost impact analysis on bills such as this one which can generate significant expenses. To date, none has been performed.

23. It will be expensive. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that Earned Income Tax Credit provision alone will cost up to $20 billion dollars in just the first 10 years after the bill’s enactment. According to a Heritage Foundation report, this amnesty bill will ultimately cost $2.6 trillion.

24. The US taxpayer will foot the bill. It's really nice of the Senate to grant amnesty to millions of illegals, and give them rights they don't deserve, and give them benefits ordinary Americans don't currently have, but... it's not very nice of them to hand the bill to the American taxpayer. Why should I and my children pay for the benefits of social security, health care, food stamps, tax breaks, Medicare, Medicaid, welfare, educational assistance, and free legal counsel (among others) for those who committed a crime to get here.

25. It is unfair to those who have sought legal immigration. Aliens who broke into the country illegally a mere 6 months ago, are treated better than foreign nationals who legally applied to come to the U.S. more than two years ago. Aliens who can prove they were illegally in the U.S. on January 1, 2007, are immediately eligible to apply from inside the U.S. for amnesty benefits, while foreign nationals that filed applications to come to the U.S. after May 1, 2005 must start the application process over again from their home countries.

26. The US House of Representatives is against the bill. "It's DOA in the House," Rep. Mark Souder (R-Ind.) said at a news conference. House Republicans passed a resolution Tuesday disapproving of the immigration bill 114-23.

27. Grassroots America is against the bill. Hundreds of thousands of people signed petitions and sent e-mails, faxes, and phone calls to various Senators in opposition to this bill. One organization alone had over 700,000 petition signatures. The same organization estimates that with member faxes and phone calls added to the petition signatures, over 1,000,000 Senate contacts were made in opposition to this bill. It's sad to say that the President and Senate are trying to shove this bill down our throats.

28. Working people are against the bill. America's hardest working people, especially its union members, are against this bill. The last thing union members or Walmart employees need is competition from an illegal source of workers willing to work for sub-minimum wages. In some places, long term American employees are being forced out of their jobs in favor of low paid illegal aliens. This is nothing but sheer discrimination.

29. Many illegals don't want to be citizens. Although this bill puts illegals on "a path to citizenship", it seems that many illegals don't really want to be citizens. At least, they don't act like they want to become citizens. For example, they don't bother to learn the language. They don't assimilate into society. They are only interested in making money and sending it back home to their relatives in Mexico or Costa Rica. Illegals are the single largest drain of cash out of the US. They are unlike those who have gone through the proper channels and procedures for becoming a citizen. They have broken the law to get here. They apparently have no respect for our legal system. If they only want our money but do not respect our laws, do they really want to be citizens? Should we reward them with citizenship?

30. A new law is not needed. We should enforce the laws we have on the books now. The laws as they exist today are perfectly clear and adequate. Those who come here illegally are supposed to be deported. We are told that it is impossible to locate and deport 12-20 million illegal aliens. I disagree. It's not impossible. It is simply a matter of will. This President and this Congress have no will to deport illegal aliens. This President and this Congress view these 12-20 million illegals as a potential voting pool, and they are pandering to them. We have fences to be built, biometric progams to be implemented, sanctions to impose against those who hire illegals, deportation orders to execute. Why can't this government enforce its own laws? LET'S JUST DO IT!

UPDATE: As of 11:04AM, Thursday, June 28th, the Immigration Reform bill has been killed in the Senate. The bill's supporters fell 14 votes short of the 60 needed to limit debate and clear the way for final passage of the legislation, which critics assailed as offering amnesty to illegal immigrants. The vote was 46 to 53 in favor of limiting the debate.

June 26, 2007

Paris Hilton Released From Jail

Paris Hilton (who is named after a hotel in France) was released from jail today just after midnight. The party-hopping socialite and heiress to a hotel and real estate fortune, was freed on "good behavior" after serving just 23 years of her 45 year sentence.

A statement was released in which she said, "This is by far the hardest thing I have ever done. I have had a lot of time to reflect, and have already learned a bitter, but important lesson from this experience."

She was admitted to the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood, CA for various major offenses including: violating probation in an alcohol-related reckless driving incident, wearing white shoes before Memorial Day, stealing important documents from the National Archive, exposing the name of undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame to the public, and the politically motivated firings of 8 U.S. Attorneys.

Shortly after Hilton's release, sheriff's department spokesman Steve Whitmore made a brief statement: "She has fulfilled her debt to society and it's now concluded," he said. Those who witnessed her release said she looked remarkably unchanged after 23 years of hard labor.

Paris Hilton with Prison Warden Buddy Holly.

Sandy Burger, Robert Novak, Richard Armitage, Joe Wilson, Patrick Fitzgerald and Alberto Gonzales are still at large.

June 24, 2007

Global Warming Caused by Sunspots

The following graph shows the apparent correlation between sunspot activity (jagged peaks) and the earth's surface temperature (red line). Please be reminded that we are only talking about a few degrees here, but the correlation of increasing temperature to increasing sunspot activity is remarkable. Special thanks to Cap'n Bob for putting this chart together.

More info HERE.

More Proof of Liberal Bias in Media

Hat-tip to Evan Coyne Maloney at brain-terminal.com

Two items of interest this week which confirm what we already knew, that is, that the media has a liberal bias. The first was a report commissioned by the BBC to investigate itself. Not surprisingly, the report found that the BBC is biased to the left...

The BBC has failed to promote proper debate on major political issues because of the inherent liberal culture of its staff, a report commissioned by the corporation has concluded. The report claims that coverage of single-issue political causes, such as climate change and poverty, can be biased - and is particularly critical of Live 8 coverage, which it says amounted to endorsement.


The report concludes BBC staff must be more willing to challenge their own beliefs. It reads: "There is a tendency to 'group think' with too many staff inhabiting a shared space and comfort zone." A staff impartiality seminar held last year is also documented in the report, at which executives admitted they would broadcast images of the Bible being thrown away but not the Koran, in case Muslims were offended. During the seminar a senior BBC reporter criticised the corporation for being anti-American.

The report was jointly commissioned by BBC managers and the board of governors and will be published by the BBC Trust, which has since replaced the governors.

Gee, I wonder why management replaced the board of governors? Was it because the report found that the BBC was liberally-biased under their watch and they did nothing about it (ie, genuine concern)? Was it because the report tainted the BBC's "sterling" reputation of impartiality (ie, embarrassment)? Or, was it because their liberal propaganda machine has been exposed (ie, agenda)? Who knows?

The second item was the compilation of a detailed list by MSNBC of 143 jounalists who made campaign contributions from 2004 through the first quarter of 2007 according to Federal Election Commission records. The tally of the list shows that out of the 143 journalists, 125 gave to Democrats and liberal causes, 16 gave to Republicans and conservative causes, and two gave to both parties. These numbers would suggest that the U.S. media is about 1.4% "fair and balanced", while 11% is biased towards Republicans and conservative causes, and 87.6% is biased towards Democrats and liberal causes. In other words, nearly 90% of U.S. journalists are liberally-biased.

The fact that this information comes to us from the media itself only lends it more credence. It would hardly seem advantageous for the media to tell us that they are biased in either direction, particularly in such a lop-sided way. One can only assume that Americans want impartial news stories. For example, according to a related article by MSNBC...

Americans don't trust the news or newspeople as much as they used to. The crisis of faith is traced by the surveys of the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. More than seven in 10 (72 percent) say news organizations tend to favor one side, the highest level of skepticism in the poll's 20-year history. Despite the popularity of Bill O'Reilly and Keith Olbermann, two-thirds of those polled say they prefer to get news from sources without a particular point of view.

Ain't that the truth!

June 20, 2007

Carter's Logic Faulty

At a conference of Irish human rights officials, former US President Jimmy Carter said on Tuesday that the US, Israel and the European Union must end their policy of favoring the Palestinian Fatah movement over rival Hamas. He said that by doing so, their actions are "criminal". He further went on to say that the 2006 election in which Hamas won 42 percent of the popular vote and a majority of parliamentary seats was "orderly and fair". He also said that, "The United States and Israel decided to punish all the people in Palestine (emphasis added) and did everything they could to deter a compromise between Hamas and Fatah." According to Carter, "All efforts of the international community should be to reconcile the two".

First off, let me say that if there are any "criminals" among the above-mentioned groups, it would have to be Hamas. Hamas is on the US State Department's List of Foreign Terrorist Organizations. You can learn more about their terrorist activities HERE. Hamas does not accept Israel's right to exist, and seeks instead its demise.

Secondly, let me say that Carter's assertion that the US, Israel and the European Union sought to "punish all the people in Palestine" is simply ludicrous. I need not elaborate.

Admittedly, Hamas won the elections (although it may be argued whether or not there was any vote tampering). But even assuming that the will of the Palestinian people was to put a bunch of terrorists in charge, this fact in no way requires the US, Israel or the European Union to recognize them. Doing so would be to confer legitimacy upon a terrorist organization. It would be no different than if Al-Qaeda had won the elections.

In response to the 2006 elections, the US and the European Union stopped all financial support of the Palestinians other than humanitarian aid through the auspices of the United Nations, and rightly so. Giving donations of cash to one's enemies seems hardly justifiable.

Instead, the way to deal with criminals is to put them in prison; to isolate them from society; to make them pay for their crimes. It is no different with terrorist organizations or rogue nations than it is with individual criminals who threaten, harrass and assault their neighbors. They must be isolated. Their finances must be cut off. They must be embargoed. They must be prevented from continuing their crime spree. And that is exactly what the US, Israel and the European Union has sought to do... to their credit.

For Carter to suggest that Hamas should be reconciled to Fatah is like suggesting that Al-Qaeda should be reconciled with "infidels". It will never happen, because Hamas is an Islamist religious organization with ties to Hizballah, Syria and Iran. Fatah on the other hand, is a secular organization that has shown its willingness to negotiate with Israel and establish a peaceful Palestinian state.

Hamas is not interested in a Palestinian state that enjoys peaceful coexistence with Israel. It wants Israel's destruction. When Israel pulled out of Gaza, Hamas was given an opportunity to govern in Gaza... and it failed miserably. Rather than show the world it could manage things in Gaza as a prelude to a Palestinian state, it chose instead to use Gaza as a platform to launch a new series of attacks against Israel. Rather than offer the world a reason to develop confidence in them, it chose instead to cement its terrorist reputation.

For Carter to suggest that we should negotiate with terrorists is naive at best. (Perhaps he would be willing to be US Ambassador to Al-Qaeda... or Iran?) His view of the US, Israel and Europe as "criminal" is like looking at the world through a mirror... where the image is completely reversed from the "real" world. His implication that we should recognize any elected government as legitimate, regardless of past crimes or historical context can only be described as a failure of logic.

June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day

Wishing everyone a very happy Father's Day. Here's a picture of my dad during WWII in India with a monkey circa 1944.

June 12, 2007

Time For A New Look

Sorry, but I don't have anything brilliant to say at the moment. I just wanted to try something new and fresh.

June 01, 2007

Comings and Goings

Apparently I went to Hawaii at an interesting moment. Only the day before our cruise ship passed the Kilauea Volcano, it decided to start erupting again with some force. Not with any fireworks mind you, but with plenty of lava flow. Of course this lava flows all the way into the ocean to create new land mass. You can see a video of the Kilauea lava flows which aired on CBS News (and also on FoxNews) a few days after I returned home from vacation.

Click here to see video.

None of the pictures in the video looks quite like the view I had from the deck of the "Pride of Aloha". The captain of our cruise ship shut off nearly all the lights on deck so we could get a better view. It was nearly pitch dark. There was almost total silence among the passengers as we approached the volcano. We watched while the captain did a 360° turn so that everyone could see. I found a picture on the Internet which comes closest to what I saw...

It was really an awesome sight... the glowing rivers of red lava streaming down toward the water... the clouds of smoke over the top of the volcano glowing red from the molten lava below... the glowing red clouds of steam rising above the lava where it entered the water at 4000°F. As I mentioned to my wife, "Now there's something you don't see in New Jersey everyday".

Unfortunately, my digital camera is not one of the latest or the best, so I couldn't get a good shot. Even if I could have held the shutter open longer, the movement of the boat would make any "still" shots impossible. So (sigh), here's the best I could do. It's a view of the lava where it enters the water. My apologies...

On the last day of our vacation, we went to see the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. A few days later, we turned on the TV to see Sean Hannity broadcasting live from the Arizona Memorial with the likes of Ollie North and Newt Gingrich. I turned to my wife and said, "They must of heard we were there!" Too bad we missed it. That would've been so cool!

Anyway, here's some of my pictures from the Arizona Memorial...

May their souls rest in peace...