The Council Comes, Bearing Votes

Watcher's Council

Dr. Sanity wins again! This time with her re-visitation to Bush Derangement Syndrome, a truly fascinating disorder.

     The number of things that Bush has been blamed for in this world since 9/11 (even acts of God like Tsunamis, hurricanes and other natural disasters) is the stuff of major comedy. You name the horrible event, and he is identified as the etiologic agent.
He is blamed when he does something (anything) and he is blamed when he does nothing. He is blamed for things that ocurred even before he was President, as well as everything that has happened since. He is blamed for things he says; and for things he doesn’t say.
What makes Bush Hatred completely insane however, is the almost delusional degree of unremitting certitude of Bush’s evil; while simultaneously believing that the TRUE perpetrators of evil in the world are somehow good and decent human beings with the world’s intersts at heart.
This psychological defense mechanism is referred to as “displacement”.
One way you can usually tell that an individual is using displacement is that the emotion being displaced (e.g., anger) is all out of proportion to the reality of the situation. The purpose of displacement is to avoid having to cope with the actual reality…

Good on her. This topic is fascinating. The Baron’s Boy has described having to wipe spittle off his shirt as otherwise-normal college kids start foaming (literally) at the mouth with BDS. A strange derangement indeed. Politics seems to be where the unresolved personal issues get dumped.

The Glittering Eye and Gates of Vienna tied for second place. Questioning Their Patriotism is a thoughtful and — to use a ruined word, nuanced — look at the divisions in this country over the Iraq war. Or at least some of the main issues. He puts his own case well:

     This might be an appropriate time to re-state my own position on the war: I opposed the war in anticipation but I believe that once we had invaded and removed the detestable Saddam Hussein government we were legally, morally, and strategically required to create an environment in which a decent, stable one would replace it.
Prudence requires that we adapt means suitable to that end. Other countries do not understand the degree of openness and self-criticism which we routinely engage in here. We have needed to be much more circumspect in the tone and content of criticism lest it be misunderstood as confusion and weakness. And we shouldn’t demoralize our troops in the field with loose talk. If you are absolutely unable to give open, enthusiastic support to the troops and their mission (which are indivisible), silence is the best recourse. Now. When are boys and girls in the military are out of harms way there will be lots of time for open and even bitter and angry debate.

The strongest point for me is the demoralization of our troops by all the bitter contention. As though only “my” point of view mattered and must prevail and if a few American kids die for that, well…whatever. I find both “the tone and the content of criticism” to be harmful to the point of malevolence. Evil does not have to be intentional to do its harm. Were I the parent or relative of someone in Iraq I would be furious with these people for creating a civil war at home while our kids are dying somewhere else. It’s unconscionable.

“The Untouched Hot Potato” at Gates of Vienna was The Big Pharaoh’s phrase for the problem of bringing a truly democratic government into being in Egypt — and the rest of the Arab world. He thinks that Islam must undergo its own Reformation before that can happen and this fact is not one that those in power are willing to face.

I don’t usually go so far down the list in the Council posts, but Rightwing Nuthouse’s reminiscence of his father for Veteran’s Day made me cry. So you should have to sniffle a bit, too. I hate suffering by myself.

The Anchoress was a clear winner — loud and clear! — for her rap on the knuckles of the GOP leadership:

     If your plan was to make people so disgusted with your cowardice, your disorganization and your political tone-deafness that they either stop contributing to the RNC, or they decide to just sit out the next election (because what’s the point), or they decide to vote out every stinking one of you in the next elections, because you freaking well deserve ouster for literally doing nothing constructive and squandering your majority…well…you have succeeded spectacularly! Beyond your wildest imaginings, I am sure.
I can’t think of a single reason to vote to re-elect a any one of you.
The world is tilting, and you useless, ineffectual, dithering moneysuckers seem increasingly to be empty suits, given shape and movement not by ideas and a willingness to serve the electorate, but by wispy tufts of ambitious smoke. You seem directed toward nothing more than keeping your almighty Senate or House seat in your name. You give away your power, you give away your advantages in committee, you leave in place utterly feckless people like Arlen Specter and then, when you finally seem like you are on the cusp of doing something productive and right, like investigating the CIA or okaying drilling in a bare, muddly, uninhabitable tundra, you fall into a faint and go slinking back to your states and districts to gladhand and pump for money and then gladhand some more.

Yes, yes, and yes. They all suffer from what James Lileks terms “Senatitis,” even some of those in the House. There will be an accounting in 2006, fellows. Better start herding yourselves away from the cliff. Idjits.

Second place went to Varifrank for “The J. Patrick Buchanan Memorial Library for Failed Prophets of Doom.”

I must admit it struck a nerve with me, so much so that I made a much too long comment that was trying to turn itself into a post so I went back to my own neighborhood and put my thoughts there. See if it doesn’t strike the same nerve in you:

     Imagine if you will, a library that is stocked with books that relate to one thing, the Cassandra like predictions from the past that have failed to come true. A Library entirely dedicated to the published works of blowhards, pundits, college professors, and economists everywhere who like the sound of their voice and are certain that they have seen the end times just around the corner. But for some reason never seem to be able to predict the disaster we all know is waiting for us out in the murky future. The Library should serve as a warning to all who wish to see the future darker than it really is.

As always, there are more goodies over at the Watcher’s place.

Bon apetit!

And now, thanks to my procrastination, it’s time to nominate again…jeez.

The Christmas Truce Leaves Living Memory

A Scotsman named Alfred Anderson was the last person alive who could remember the Christmas Truce of 1914. With his death on Sunday at the age of 109, that definitive moment of the Great War leaves memory and enters history.

Sgt. Alfred AndersonAccording to the Scotsman,

     Alfred Anderson was the last of the “Old Contemptibles” – the British expeditionary force which went to war in 1914 – and the last surviving witness of the historic Christmas truce when opposing troops declared a brief and unofficial ceasefire to play football and share drinks and cigarettes in the hell of no man’s land. Mr Anderson served with the 5th Battalion the Black Watch until he was wounded by shrapnel in 1916.

The Great War divides our time from the age that came before. The four years of slaughter on the Western Front tore down the European structures that had existed since the Enlightenment, replacing them with what we call Post-Modern Times.

Men like Sgt. Anderson bridged the chasm between those two worlds. It’s staggering to think that until two days ago there still lived someone who had stood in the stinking mud in Flanders in 1914. He was a relic of what was truly a different age.

     Neil Griffiths, a spokesman for the Royal British Legion of Scotland, said: “He was our last surviving link with a time that shimmers on the edge of our folk memory. There was something old worldly about him — he was honourable, dignified and had a tremendously droll sense of humour. He always stood erect and was always immaculately turned out. We will not see his likes again.”

Sgt. Anderson was compos mentis until near the end, giving an interview last year:

     He said he found the two-minute silence on November 11 “remarkably poignant” because of the “terrible constant noise in the trenches”.
“It’s special to think that Britain is united in silence remembering a time that I will never forget,” said Mr Anderson. “The country stops for a few minutes each year and remembers those who fought and died but there’s not a day goes by that I don’t think of those I left behind. Young men I went to school with, played football with and trained for war with. All dead, all gone.”

All dead, all gone for these past ninety years. And now he has joined them at last.

Rest in peace, Sgt. Anderson.

Update: Florida Cracker supplies this link to a useful historical account of the Christmas Truce of 1914.

The MSM is Creepy

X Marks The SpotWho can resist this Drudge story in all its naked truth? The MSM has tilted so far left they’ve fallen overboard.

This screen capture provided by Matt Drudge ought to be spread far and wide across the blogosphere. While Miz Mapes blathers on about those “forgeries” from President Bush’s National Guard days, let’s all take a good hard look at CNN’s bizarre silent message.

Eason Jordan’s Icarus-like fall from the sky taught these people nothing. Nothing at all.What’s next, CNN? Bulls’eye targets on the face of the Secretary of State? Or are you saving those for bigger game?

The MSM is not only biased, it’s so far out there as to have lost its already tenuous grasp on reality.

Let’s tiptoe away…this is too creepy for words.

Acute Senatitis

James Lileks refers to the affliction of those who inhabit the U.S. Senate as “Senatitis.”

Any medical term with “-itis” on the end of it means an inflammation of some sort. Thus we all have tonsils, appendixes (or appendices, if you’re a pedant), etc., and can come down with infections of these organs, resulting in tonsillitis, appendicitis, and so on. Such infections result in overt signs and symptoms. When the discomfort becomes too much we haul ourselves off to the doctor or the Emergency Room (depending on how long we tried to tough it out first) to have the problem remedied with medication or surgery.

But Senatitis is different. This apt term for the disorder welling up from the Well of the Senate Chamber is a special case. It’s not contagious, nor is it — under normal circumstances — heritable. However, if you carry the senatus mutation on your electoral gene, it becomes activated once the oath of office is administered. From then on, you will exhibit some version of this condition. Depending on your characterological traits previous to taking your oath of office, you may or may not succumb to the worst effects.

The first thing the practiced diagnostician notices about Senatitis is an inflamed ego. Another symptom is the tendency to speak boiler plate, even in the men’s room. The flight from reality differs in velocity depending on how long an individual member of this ‘club’ has been in office, but at its extremes you find Senators naming office buildings after themselves or proposing pork riders to bills already so laden with fat that they’re about to die from obesity.

In the first case are Senators Tom Harkin and Arlen Specter, who have proposed legislation which would rename Buildings 19 and 21 at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in their honor. No memorials for these august deliberators — they grab the goodies while they’re still among us. Thus, Headquarters for CDC will be called “The Arlen Specter Headquarters” while Harkins has to settle for the Thomas R. Harkin Global Center” since he is merely the ranking member of the Senate subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education while ol’ Arlen is the Chairman. Rank hath its privileges, don’t you know. Of course, there is supposed to be a rule against this kind of narcissistic self-appointment while one is still in office, but another sign of Senatitis is the tendency to honor rules more in the breach than in their observance.

The most infamous pork rider of this Congressional season arose in the House, via Alaska’s Representative Young. This is the uproarious and now-defeated Bridge to Nowhere, the pork butt of political pundits for some weeks. And sure it was defeated, but guess what? Alaska gets to keep the money. This is because the Senator from Alaska, Ted “Big Spender” Stevens, threw a tantrum on the Senate floor, threatening to resign and “be taken out on a stretcher.” Too bad for the commonweal: his colleagues acceded to his tantrum and Alaska gets to keep the money for other pork transportation projects.

Thus, you witness clear regressive traits in those who suffer from Senatitis: when frustrated, they resort to the emotional repertoire of the average four-year old: breath-holding and threats to run away from home.

There are myriad symptoms to Senatitis: everything from a personality disorder to clinical insanity. Their latest tantrum edict to the White House and Pentagon that members of the Executive Branch appear before their august selves and explain when the cut-and-run, or so-called “exit strategy” will begin in Iraq is an example of the latter. Or perhaps, as Mark Steyn suggests, alternatively, it is merely “gross irresponsibility.” With the level of maturity in the Senate, perhaps this order is simply one more example of irresponsible stupidity, but he’s being charitable. Given the consequences of senatitis being inflicted on the struggle in Iraq, clinical insanity, reduced intelligence, and repeated attacks of grandiosity may well result in a hemorrhage in the Middle East.

Senatitis sufferers are all addicted to pompous circumstance. Surrounded by the obsequious, the self-servers, and the eternal lobbyists, they have long since succumbed to a belief in their own publicity. John Stossel reported this exchange with an infamous and major sufferer of terminal Senatitis:

     When the Democrats held power, I confronted Sen. Robert Byrd about wasting our money on “Robert Byrd Highway”-type projects in West Virginia.
His answer was as arrogant as he was: “I would think that the national media could rise above the temptation of being clever, decrepitarian critics who twaddlize, just as what you’re doing right here.”
“Twaddlizing?” I asked.
“Trivializing serious matters,” he explained.
I persisted, “Is there no limit? Are you not at all embarrassed about how much you got?”
Byrd glared at me in silence, and finally demanded, angrily, “Are you embarrassed when you think you’re working for the good of the country? Does that embarrass you?”

Grandiosity? Narcissism? Terminal Senatitis? Pompous old windbag? Right you are. Foghorn Leghorn lives.

Stossel reports another conversation, this time with Walter Williams, in which the economist explains the difference between a thief and a politician: when a thief takes your money, he doesn’t demand that you thank him.

But Lileks said it best when he explained why so few senators ever inhabit the White House (though Lord knows, it’s not for lack of trying):

     Perhaps there’s a reason not many senators make the leap to the presidency. As we’re constantly reminded, that august body is collegial, respectful, suffused with history and utterly besotted with self-importance. That leads to Senatitis, a disease in which otherwise rational men believe that the rest of the country doesn’t see through equivocating bloviation in a second. There is no cure.

Maybe, as an act of mercy, we could send them all to some kind of colony, and find a new Saint Damien to take care of them until the CDC comes up with a vaccine. These folks have beome a much closer and more present danger to our well-being than any old avian flu ever will be.

Cross-posted at The Neighborhood of God

Marriages Made in the Socialist Paradise

Socialist loveI found this ad on the web this morning.

She’s a file clerk in the Ministry of Information. He’s a junior commissar in the Young Communist League.

How do you reckon their chances? Headed for wedded bliss, marching together in service to the Proletarian Future? Producing many happy children for the Socialist Cause?

Or doomed to breakup and failure as vodka-soaked counter-revolutinaries?

You decide.

UPDATE: The course of their relationship has been revealed! Commenter Chris has looked into this couple’s Socialist future:

     Alas, soon after they are married, she comes across a secret report that he has been engaged in counter-revolutionary activity. Disillusioned, she enters an affair with a young militia officer.
Meanwhile, her husband, unaware that he has been denounced, and under surveillance by the secret police, suspects his wife of black market activity, after “gifts” begin to show up in their apartment. He denounces her, and she is placed under surveillance as well.
He begins to drink heavily, and she becomes shrewish. Their relationship soon reaches a breaking point, and in a drunken stupor he accuses her of anti-socialist behavior. She lashes back that he is an agent of a capitalist government.
Their quarrel escalates into a physical confrontation, ended when he falls down the stairs after pushing her out the door of the apartment.
Two secret policemen (slightly surprised to meet each other) arrive after hearing the quarrel (via listening devices) and arrest them both.
Under questioning, they denounce each other, wanting revenge for their feelings of betrayal. She is sentenced to 5 years in a gulag. He is sent to a mental hospital for re-education. The militia officer is also arrested, and after questioning, is demoted and re-assigned to onerous duties in the hinterland of the country.
Later, the woman emerges from prison and remarries a mechanic, who is an alcoholic and beats her occasionally. Her ex-husband succumbs to injuries sustained in the fall, exacerbated by his interrogation. The militia officer becomes a homosexual, and is later slain in a jealous rage by a spurned lover, who is arrested himself and hanged.

Freedom Folks at the Immigrant Justice Convention

This note was in our email this morning. It’s from The Bald Chick, who runs the blog Freedom Folks along with her husband. This tonsorially deprived young woman changed out of her pajamas to blog yesterday’s Immigrant Justice Convention:

     I am trying to get the word out about a convention I attended yesterday in Chicago. As of almost 4 a.m. on Sunday, I am the only blog that comes up in both Technorati & Google blog searches when you type in “Immigrant Justice Convention. ”
In short, local leaders, activists, and politicians (including Illinois state representatives, house representatives, and Governor Blagojevich) gathered with thousands of immigrants to promote legalization, funding, and “justice” for illegal immigrants.
I will continue to post on the convention today, but hope you will read any or all of the three posts I made yesterday. Any blogs/mentions/links would be greatly appreciated. I think people need and will want to know about this, but I need help!
Immigration Justice Convention Held in Chicago (overview)
Justice for Immigrants vs. Justice for Citizens (mis- and over-use of the word justice in reference to illegal immigrants)
Making Heroes of Rosa and Jorge (illegal immigrants used to smear Republican Jim Oberweis portrayed as heroes rather than criminals)

She must understand Spanish, because it seems that a lot of the speeches at the convention were in Spanish. That surprises you, right?

Go to The Bald Chick for the bald truth!

Another Invertebrate Attack

UDATE: James Lileks shares the sentiments of Gates of Vienna. In referring back to his appearance on the Hugh Hewitt show (transcribed here), Mr. Lileks says:

     I was rather exercised, and I have a dim recollection of referring to the Senate as opportunists, boozebags, kluxers and well-oiled weathervanes. Well, if the shoe fits, drive it up their hindquarters. You could say I’m overreacting – well, I dearly hope so.

Over-reaction is the only way to get through to the stoned-deaf Senate. These people are from another moral universe. As Lileks says, they suffer from Senatitus. That’s short for being surrounded by the obsequious. Look for a more detailed description of this word on this coming Monday’s post on The Neighborhood of God.

We admit to being secretly pleased when the witty and intelligent among us come down on the same side of the issues as we do. It’s a warm and fuzzy imprimatur.

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Herakles destroys the HydraIf you don’t think Congressional legislation is a hydra-headed monster, worthy of the labors of Herakles, perhaps this latest item will persuade you. Not that Gates of Vienna readers need much convincing.

The Denver Post reports that Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) has filed a bill seeking to repeal an amendment to the Agricultural Appropriations FY2006.

What do you suppose the Hon. Tancredo wants repealed? Some restriction on food additives? Maybe he’s out to abolish farm subsidies?

Not at all, at all, dear readers. Rep. Tancredo wants to slice off one of the many heads growing out of this appropriations bill. And an ugly head it is indeed.

This particular amendment, SA 1803 to H.R. 2744, which passed by voice vote in late September, which was cleared by Homeland Security, and which was signed by your President, is the creation of Senator Robert Bennett (R-UT). SA 1803 to H.R. 2744 amends the Immigration and Nationality Act.

How’s that for hydra-headed? An agricultural appropriations bill grows a piece of tissue designed to protect illegal aliens by changing the laws on immigration. We’re talking about the Agriculture Department, not the Justice Department. We’re talking about the people who deal with the cows and the corn. What are they doing amending immigration laws?

Here’s the amendment:

     Section 274(a)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1324(a)(1) is amended by adding at the end the following: “(C) It is not violation of clauses (ii) or (iii) of subparagraph (A), or of clause (iv) of subparagraph (A) except where a person encourages or induces an alien to come to or enter the United States, for a religious denomination having a bona fide nonprofit, religious organization in the United States, or the agents or officers of such denomination or organization, to encourage, invite, call, allow, or enable an alien who is present in the United States to perform the vocation of a minister or missionary for the denomination or organization in the United States as a volunteer who is not compensated as an employee, notwithstanding the provision of room, board, travel, medical assistance, and other basic living expenses, provided the minister or missionary has been a member of the denomination for at least one year.”

Translated, the practical implications — and explications, for that matter — are these: At the behest of the Mormon Church in Utah, which serves to keep Sen. Bennett in office, Mormons (and any other religions so inclined) are now free to use illegal aliens as volunteer missionaries in this country.

     A spokesman for the church, Michael Purdy, said the law will allow illegal immigrants to serve as Mormon missionaries, which they previously could not do. “This narrow exception to the immigration act allows people of all faiths to fulfill their religious obligations,” Purdy said.

Rep. Tancredo wants this particular hydra head severed.

On November 16th his office sent out the introduction of H. R. 4321, a bill to repeal Sen. Bennett’s rider to the fiscal appropriation for the Agriculture Department.

     “By repealing this dangerous law, we will send a clear message to terrorists plotting against our country: no church, no synagogue, no mosque, no religious group of any kind will be a safe haven for terrorism in America,” said Tancredo. “Since 2003, federal prosecutors have charged more than 500 suspected terrorists with immigration violations. Shielding radical religious organizations from immigration prosecution may have prevented those terrorists from being brought to justice expeditiously.”
Bennett’s provision, Section 796 of H.R. 2744, protects religious organizations from prosecution on immigration charges when the illegal alien is a volunteer for the organization. In addition, Bennett’s amendment specifically allows religious groups to provide “room, board, travel, medical assistance, and other basic living expenses” to illegals.

In other words, Sen. Bennett’s amendment might be intended to cover only missionary volunteers, but it could equally applied to terrorists under the cover of religion. It seems to us at Gates of Vienna that Sen. Bennett is either ignorant of the Law of Unintended Consequences, or he simply doesn’t care.

For what it’s worth, Sen. Bennett’s amendment had no co-sponsors. Rep. Tancredo, on the other hand, gathered fourteen co-sponsors to repeal the amendment

     made by section 796 of the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2006, exempting from harboring sanctions compensation for alien volunteers for certain religious organizations.

The co-sponsors so far are:

Rep Akin, W. Todd [MO-2]
Rep Foxx, Virginia [NC-5]
Rep Gohmert, Louie [TX-1]
Rep Goode, Virgil H., Jr. [VA-5]
Rep Gutknecht, Gil [MN-1]
Rep Hayworth, J. D. [AZ-5]
Rep Hefley, Joel [CO-5]
Rep Hostettler, John N. [IN-8]
Rep Jones, Walter B., Jr. [NC-3]
Rep King, Steve [IA-5]
Rep Kingston, Jack [GA-1]
Rep Pence, Mike [IN-6]
Rep Weldon, Dave [FL-15]
Rep Westmoreland, Lynn A. [GA-8]

On November 15th, Rep. Tancredo’s bill was referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary, chaired by the Hon. F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R-WI). To contact a particular member of the Committee, visit the linked page. Or, you may go to contact page to express your sentiments regarding this bill to repeal an amendment, made by a United States Senator, which undermines our sovereignty.

Whatever your opinion, remember to use temperate language. Vitriolic diatribes may be satisfying to write, but they leave no trace in the minds of the recipients.

If you’re not familiar with the legend of the Hydra, here’s a summary:

     A snake-like monster, living at Lerna in the Argolid, with numerous heads, which Herakles had to destroy as his Second Labour. As fast as the hero cut off one head, another (or two more) grew up in its place. Herakles therefore enlisted the aid of his companion and charioteer Iolaos, who used firebrands to cauterise each stump severed by Herakles, until eventually the monster was slain.

Rep. Tancredo and his band of co-sponsors — including our own Virgil Goode — find themselves of the unenviable position of Iolaos.

Cauterize those stumps, boys!

Hat tip: Jeff at Geopolitical Review.


Our old pal USMC_Vet is closing up shop at The Word Unheard, but he’s not getting out of the blogosphere. Along with Marvin Hutchens and Bill Roggio, he has set up a site called ThreatsWatch. The new site is a sophisticated operation, with headlines, news briefs, multimedia, and commentary in an easy-to-navigate tabbed format. This is a place you’ll want to visit frequently.

I can recommend Bill Roggio’s commentary, For Our Servicemen, We Blog:

     Concerned Americans will continue to seek alternative sources of reporting. And more political leaders will recognize that polls don’t show the state of the war, only the state of our misgivings. As such, more will follow the lead of the Senate, which this past week began reading the accounts of servicemen and women in Iraq. This act is one of recognition and respect and highlights the need for all of us to remember, no matter our general awareness of the war or its status, that these Americans are our friends and neighbors, our husbands, wives, children, and parents.

Also, the multimedia section looks wonderful. Unfortunately for us, our slow dialup is going to prevent us from utilizing it effectively.

I’ll be changing our blogroll shortly. In the meantime, drop by ThreatsWatch.

The Battle of Vienna

John SobieskiA reader has emailed me with the following request:

     Given the name of your website, which I read regularly and tend to agree with, I wondered if you could point me to any comprehensive history books that chronicle the Battle of Vienna – what would you recommend? Thanks.

Since I am a history buff, I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve never read a book dedicated solely to the Battle of Vienna. Everything I’ve read treats it as a part of the much larger history of the advance and decline of the Ottoman Empire.

However, I know that many of our regular readers are more well-read on this topic than I am. Axis of Islam, this means you! Among many others, of course.

Everyone: please weigh in with suggestions, with Amazon links if you have them.

Mr. President: “Build That Wall!”

Virgil Goode, VA 5th Congressional DistrictGates of Vienna is fortunate in its Congressional Representative. In his newsletter this week, the Honorable Virgil Goode has announced his co-sponsorship of a bill designed to seriously halt the flood of immigration from Mexico that is wreaking havoc on our social services and cultural infrastructure.

He says what the citizens of this country already know: we must stop the flood of illegal immigration from Mexico into the United States. We must effectively seal our southern border and we must enforce our laws. The sovereignty of the US has become a joke; it will take strong measures to re-establish respect for our laws regarding citizenship and residency in our country. From New York to Colorado to Florida, the judicial system and immigration policy colludes in a “catch and release” program, even letting criminals go. This must cease. From the Goode Newsletter:

     The safety of the United States and the integrity of this nation’s immigration laws are at the heart of legislation introduced last week by Congressman Duncan Hunter of California and me. The bill is known as the TRUE Enforcement and Border Security Act. This legislation requires the construction of a land barrier and necessary infrastructure along our international border with Mexico and addresses many of the inadequacies in the enforcement of America’s illegal immigration laws.

In other words, he and Congressman Hunter want a fence between the borders of Mexico and America.

But that’s just for starters. As he points out, this move is one that is backed by a majority of Americans. And while he doesn’t say so, you can bet it will be a big, gigantic issue in the 2006 elections:

     Over the past few years as it has been demonstrated that the flood of illegal immigration poses a growing threat to our national security, the number of Americans calling for tougher immigration laws and stricter control of our borders has grown. A poll by the Pew Research Organization in 2003 found 80 percent of Americans believing that we should restrict the number of immigrants coming into our country to live more than we do now. Two polls in the Rasmussen Report this year found close to two-thirds of Americans believing that current immigration is a threat to our national security and to our economy. It is estimated that there are at least 12 million illegal immigrants in the U. S. Some estimates put the figure as high as 20 million.

In other words, we’re long past the time when we even know how many people have come across, or even where they’re all from.

Gates of Vienna has copied and formatted the information from Congressman Goode’s office about The TRUE Enforcement Act of 2005. It’s a comprehensive, tough piece of legislation. Those whose oxes are gored — e.g., localities who provide sanctuary laws will be financially penalized — are going to be screaming about this. But that is as it should be: this is a showdown between two views of what America is and is going to become. Here are some of the highlights, beginning with the opening section (note that the sponsors’ names are at the end of each item):


Title I — Federal State, and Local Law Enforcement

Federal Enforcement — Cornyn/Kyl

  • Adds 10,000 new border patrol officers, 1,250 immigration investigators, 500 adjudicators, 2,000 worksite investigators and provides anti-fraud training
  • Creates a new Assistant Attorney General for Immigration Enforcement and adds 250 litigators, 250 U.S. attorneys, 250 Immigration judges over five years to facilitate litigation in courts, removal/deportation processes, employer sanctions enforcement, alien smuggling/trafficking enforcement, etc.

That is just the first sub-section of Title I. You can go to the whole document to read the others, which lay out effective methods for preventing visa abuses.

Moving down to Title II of TRUE, we find visa reforms with teeth. For Gates of Vienna, this is the heart of anti-terrorism reform because it calls other countries to account. As it stands, the US is either treated with contempt for its supposed hegemony, or sneered at for its lax and trusting attitude. That needs to change and this piece of legislation may begin to turn the tide:


Title II Reform and Alien Status

Limitations on Visa Issuance

  • Denies visas to countries with worst records in accepting deported nationals — Barrett
  • Eliminates judicial review of visa revocation for aliens who improperly received visas — Cornyn/Kyl
  • Suspends Visa Waiver Program until entry-exit system is fully operational — Tancredo
  • Adopts Jordan Commission recommendation to eliminate preferences for adult brothers/sisters and adult sons/daughters — FAIR
  • Increases income requirement for sponsorship of new immigrants to 225% federal poverty level
  • Eliminates Visa Lottery Program — FAIR

This is a very comprehensive bill, with workplace enforcements and penalties for those who try to get around them.

Don’t forget that Mexico has made itself an adversary in this process. It is aggressively promoting Mexican illegal immigration and has set up public relations departments in its consulates to promote bi-lingual education for Mexican children who go to school here.

In the long run, Mexico wants its “territory” back — flooding us with immigrants and overwhelming our resources is only part of it. The remittances sent back to Mexico each year come to over sixteen billion dollars. No wonder we get no cooperation from Vincente Fox.

In the most recent edition of City Journal, Heather McDonald lays out the case against Mexico, and a damning one it is:

     Diplomacy may be the art of lying for one’s country, but Mexican diplomacy requires taking that art to virtuosic heights. Sitting in his expansive office in Mexico’s Los Angeles consulate, Deputy Consul General Velázquez-Suárez gamely insists that he and his peers observe the diplomatic duty not to interfere in America’s internal affairs, including immigration matters. “Immigration is an internal discussion,” he says. “We have to respect that regardless of whether it pleases us.”

Remember that diplomats are nothing more than politicians squared. As Ms. Mc Donald says,

     Mexican officials here and abroad are involved in a massive and almost daily interference in American sovereignty. The dozens of illegals milling in the consulate’s courtyard as Velázquez-Suárez speaks, and the millions more radiating outward from Los Angeles across the country, are not a naturally occurring phenomenon, like the tides. They are there thanks in part to Mexico’s efforts to get them into the U.S. in violation of American law, and to normalize their status once here in violation of the popular will. Mexican consulates are engineering a backdoor amnesty for their illegal migrants and trying to discredit American immigration enforcement—activities clearly beyond diplomatic bounds.

Eighty percent of Mexicans who come here are illegal aliens. The number may even be higher than that. The government of Mexico aids and abets its citizens in this disregard of our sovereignty by publishing pamphlets explaining how to get around the laws and how to stay away from the border guards. It also issues “consular cards” which are a form of ID which illegals can then use to get American drivers’ licenses, etc.

This Mexican onslaught amounts to usurpation and has become a clear and present danger to the borders themselves. Ms. McDonald quotes a poll conducted among Mexicans:

     Mexicans view migration to the U.S. as a fundamental human right… no laws should stop it, they believe. In addition, nearly 60 percent of Mexican respondents polled by Zogby in 2001 said that the southwestern U.S. really belongs to Mexico. Only 28 percent disagreed.

On the other hand, Mexico keeps a tight border on its side. The Mexican government is very particular about who may enter and who may stay:

     Mexico’s own immigration policies are the exact opposite of what it relentlessly advocates in the United States. Its entry permits favor scientists, technicians, teachers of underrepresented disciplines, and others likely to contribute to “national progress.” Immigrants may only enter through established ports and at designated times. Anyone not presenting the proper documentation and health certificates won’t get in; the transportation company that brought him must pay his return costs. Foreigners who do not “strictly comply” with the entry conditions will face deportation. Steve Royster, who worked in the American consulate in Mexico from 1999 to 2001, presided over several deportations of Americans who had overstayed their visas. “They were given a choice: accept deportation or go to jail,” he says.

It’s time for change regarding our immigration policies. Sadly, President Bush not only hasn’t led our country in this regard, he doesn’t even seem to be willing to follow good advice. Thus it is up to Congress to staunch the wound. Congressman Goode’s proposal of a fence on our border, and the TRUE Enforcement Act of 2005 are crucial to our sovereignty and our safety.

Think about it: 80% of Americans want enforcement at the borders while 80% of Mexicans think much of the territory in the Southwestern part of this country belongs to them. And their government is pushing them toward this view.

We may be in for a rough ride, but it’s a relief to know that Congress is willing to pick up the reins and get in the seat our President has vacated.

Cal Thomas, writing today, says the same thing:

     Conservatives, and the Bush administration, if it wants to save itself, should get behind the TRUE Enforcement and Border Security Act introduced by Representatives Duncan Hunter, California Republican and chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, and Virgil Goode, Virginia Republican.

The Perfect Indignation

One of our more astute commenters, who will go unnamed (for his/her own safety) emailed the following post to Gates of Vienna from Dilbert’s Blog:

     Unfair Stereotypes
I’m sick of all the stereotypes found in the news. Maybe you heard the story about the four suicide bombers who planned an attack in Jordan. The three males killed mostly other Muslims. Obviously the men were looking for Israel and refused to stop and ask for directions. And the one woman in the group apparently couldn’t figure out how to operate her suicide belt.
I’m just wondering, how many women heard that story on the news and thought “Crap. Why did it have to be the woman who couldn’t blow herself up?”

Besides being very funny, this little observation of Scott Adams’ is an example of synchronicity. Over at The Neighborhood of God we were just yesterday discussing this phenomenon — i.e., how alien men and women are in their thinking. It’s amazing we manage to communicate at all. And the jokes over there — from other commenters — were was every bit as politically incorrect as this observation on Dilbert’s Blog.

I looove anything politically incorrect. Especially if it offends terrorists and feminists in one go. The Perfect Indignation.

Good on you, Scott Adams.

The Gang of Invertebrates In the Senate

We should have been on this earlier. I was so distracted by the Pajamas Media OSM Outing that it went under the radar.

The Republicans are a bunch of wusses. The Gang of Invertebrates. Not only did the senior Senator from Virginia and the Majority Leader propose this effluvium, but most of the so-called Republicans voted for it.

Just so you can see what they get paid the big bucks for, here’s Senate Amendment 2518(it’s an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006) in all its glorious senatorial wheeze. The sections in bold are my amendments to this piece of trash:

     SA 2518. Mr. WARNER (for himself and Mr. FRIST) proposed an amendment to the bill S. 1042, to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2006 for military activities of the Department of Defense, for military construction, and for defense activities of the Department of Energy, to prescribe personnel strengths for such fiscal year for the Armed Forces, and for other purposes; as follows:
At the end of title XII, add the following:
(a) Short Title.–This section may be cited as the “United States Policy on Iraq Act”.
(b) Sense of Senate.–It is the sense of the Senate that, in order to succeed in Iraq–
(1) members of the United States Armed Forces who are serving or have served in Iraq and their families deserve the utmost respect and the heartfelt gratitude of the American people for their unwavering devotion to duty, service to the Nation, and selfless sacrifice under the most difficult circumstances;so that’s why we’re sending you this little Thanksgiving present, men. It’s our plastic turkey: looks real but all it proves is our fear of the Democrats.
(2) it is important to recognize that the Iraqi people have made enormous sacrifices and that the overwhelming majority of Iraqis want to live in peace and security;and they sure better learn to do it more quickly than our European friends, considering we stayed there for half a century.
(3) calendar year 2006 should be a period of significant transition to full Iraqi sovereignty, with Iraqi security forces taking the lead for the security of a free and sovereign Iraq, thereby creating the conditions for the phased redeployment of United States forces from Iraq; yeah, just like we did back in the 1780’s. We didn’t take long at all, did we? No bickering among our factions, no sir. Hey, whatever you can’t get done in time, Iraq, just make the rest slaves. It’ll give you sixty years of breathing room. Worked for us. A few people died, but hey, time is money, folks. Move it.
(4) United States military forces should not stay in Iraq any longer than required and the people of Iraq should be so advised; Oh, right. Like they didn’t already know it? Like half of them aren’t already expecting us to cut and run? This is called “sending a message” Senate-style. As usual, it is a tale told by idiots. More dumb and blunted sticks that insure factional instability. Way to go, Senators. No wonder they named that ball team after you.
(5) the Administration should tell the leaders of all groups and political parties in Iraq that they need to make the compromises necessary to achieve the broad-based and sustainable political settlement that is essential for defeating the insurgency in Iraq, within the schedule they set for themselves; Jefferson and Adams must be holding onto their sides laughing at this one. God only knows what Madison is saying, but it probably amounts to a richly deserved curse on your senatorial heads.
(6) (T)he Administration needs to explain to Congress and the American people its strategy for the successful completion of the mission in Iraq. Can you spell “attrition”? How about Zarqawi? Can you say “Saudis send senseless suicide bombers through Syria”?
(c) Reports to Congress on United States Policy and Military Operations in Iraq.–Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and every three months thereafter until all United States combat brigades have redeployed from Iraq, the President shall submit to Congress an unclassified report on United States policy and military operations in Iraq. Each report shall include, to the extent practicable, the following unclassified information:
(1) The current military mission and the diplomatic, political, economic, and military measures, if any, that are being or have been undertaken to successfully complete or support that mission, including:
(A) Efforts to convince Iraq’s main communities to make the compromises necessary for a broad-based and sustainable political settlement.
(B) Engaging the international community and the region in the effort to stabilize Iraq and to forge a broad-based and sustainable political settlement.
(C) Strengthening the capacity of Iraq’s government ministries.
(D) Accelerating the delivery of basic services.
(E) Securing the delivery of pledged economic assistance from the international community and additional pledges of assistance.
(F) Training Iraqi security forces and transferring security responsibilities to those forces and the government of Iraq.
(2) Whether the Iraqis have made the compromises necessary to achieve the broad-based and sustainable political settlement that is essential for defeating the insurgency in Iraq.
(3) Any specific conditions included in the April 2005 Multi-National Forces-Iraq campaign action plan (referred to in United States Government Accountability Office October 2005 report on Rebuilding Iraq: DOD Reports Should Link Economic, Governance, and Security Indicators to Conditions for Stabilizing Iraq), and any subsequent updates to that campaign plan, that must be met in order to provide for the transition of security responsibility to Iraqi security forces.
(4) To the extent that these conditions are not covered under paragraph (3), the following should also be addressed:
(A) The number of battalions of the Iraqi Armed Forces that must be able to operate independently or to take the lead in counterinsurgency operations and the defense of Iraq’s territory.
(B) The number of Iraqi special police units that must be able to operate independently or to take the lead in maintaining law and order and fighting the insurgency.
(C) The number of regular police that must be trained and equipped to maintain law and order.
(D) The ability of Iraq’s Federal ministries and provincial and local governments to independently sustain, direct, and coordinate Iraq’s security forces.
(5) The criteria to be used to evaluate progress toward meeting such conditions.
(6) A schedule for meeting such conditions, an assessment of the extent to which such conditions have been met, information regarding variables that could alter that schedule, and the reasons for any subsequent changes to that schedule.

You know what this is, don’t you? It’s a slap at the President and a demeaning of the Defense Department. They have to report to the Senate, papers in hand, like some social worker called before the judge to make sure her work complies with the time-consuming, senseless, idiot-generated federal paperwork rules. How degrading — but maybe that was the point??

Or is it that the President’s poll numbers are down, so let’s all go down with him? A suicide pact? They been so co-operative to date, that must be it.

By the way, the Club for Growth’s candidate, Thune, voted NAY. Make sure to thank him for showing some intestinal fortitude. The gutless wonders who voted YEA sure don’t have any.

Here’s the place to see how your senators voted. WARNING: It’s a sickening list.

The Invertebrate Gang, formerly known as RINOs, who were formerly known as Republicans ought to be ashamed of their spinelessness. I sent emails to Senators Warner, First and Majority Whip, Senator McConnell. I also sent one to my other Virginia Senator, George Allen. I suggest you send along your own thoughts to your elected officials who voted for this insult to the American military and to the Iraqi people. And just in time for Thanksgiving in Iraq. How thoughtful.

Here’s the Frist version of my email — sent to our putative Majority Leader:

Dear Senator First:

The fact that you sponsored this bill, much less voting for it is a sin and a shame. You are our Senate “leader”?

Just how long did we give the Europeans to get on their feet?

And how long did it take our own struggling democracy to federalize and become autonomous?

Shame on you sir, and shame on John Warner and shame on every single invertebrate Republican in the Senate. From your cozy quarters you spit on the work of our soldiers and the efforts of the Iraqis.

Boy, you guys are begging for a regime change at home, aren’t you?

This is about as bad as John McCain’s stupidity…not quite, but keep practicing, Doctor. Your aim is improving.

You can find the email address for your own personal trough-feeder senator by going here. In fact the whole site has good information on the goings-on in Washington. We have it on our desktop links page but it looks like it would be a good idea to put it on the blogroll in time for the next move by the Moral Midgets on Capitol Hill.

Meanwhile, we’ll be posting quite soon on a great immigration bill being sponsored in the House. Stay tuned.

The Club for Growth says that Jim Lehrer’s program on PBS had to cancel Pat Toomey’s appearance because none of the invertebrate RINOs would show up to debate him. Why are we not surprised?

Hello Hydrogen, Good Bye House of Saud

There’s a new car coming, folks. Not a hybrid, either. And there are further ironies to this story, too, proving once again — as Sarah learned all those thousands of years ago — God laughs last.

You see, the company developing the technology for this new form of energy production is located in the nowhere place called the Zionist entity (it doesn’t exist on some maps, but no doubt the venture capitalists have already found their way. Kind of like the Three Wise Men, only these guys are following the money).

This Israeli company is called Engineuity, proving that even engineers can be cute. Their car will use a method to produce hydrogen while the engine is running, rather than trying (and failing) to somehow store hydrogen to create energy:

     The Hydrogen car Engineuity is working on will use metals such as Magnesium or Aluminum which will come in the form of a long coil. The gas tank in conventional vehicles will be replaced by a device called a Metal-Steam combustor that will separate Hydrogen out of heated water. The basic idea behind the technology is relatively simple: the tip of the metal coil is inserted into the Metal-Steam combustor together with water where it will be heated to very high temperatures. The metal atoms will bond to the Oxygen from the water, creating metal oxide. As a result, the Hydrogen molecules are free, and will be sent into the engine alongside the steam.
The solid waste product of the process, in the form of metal oxide, will later be collected in the fuel station and recycled for further use by the metal industry.
Refuelling the car based on this technology will also be remarkably simple. The vehicle will contain a mechanism for rolling the metal wire into a coil during the process of fuelling and the spent metal oxide, which was produced in the previous phase, will be collected from the car by vacuum suction.

hydrogen production

The company says that their engine will not involve much in the way of design change. They hope to be ready to roll in about three years, providing the investors show up to fund the production of a prototype.

I sure hope this isn’t a “cold fusion” story. It has all the elements of miracle, irony, and a way out of the petrochemical fight with China that’s only a few years down the road.

The whole story is here, with links. Maybe the engineers will weigh in with their opinions; the best I can contribute to the conversation is keeping my fingers crossed.

Hat tip: Luigi, a commenter at LGF.