May 30, 2006

More Transportation {In}security Administration News

Just when we thought it was safe to get back on an airplane….


More than 1,400 identification badges and uniform items have been reported lost or stolen from Transportation Security Administration employees since 2003, according to documents obtained by a San Antonio television station.

Now ain’t that grand!

Terrorism experts said the information showed an undeniable threat to security. The Department of Homeland Security has previously warned that stolen badges and uniforms were used by terrorists to stage attacks overseas.

Saul Wilen, a San Antonio-based terrorism prevention consultant, called the issue a very serious problem.
“If you have a badge and a uniform, you are invincible in terms of the system,” he said. “Not only can you get in and get around, you can get known and become a regular that becomes more and more recognized, so the next time you are less liable to have to go through the system’s security, and the next time even less.”

I’ll go with Saul Wilen’s evaluation anytime, despite the sputtered damage control spewings of the inept bean counters at the TSA.

In a statement, the TSA denied that stolen badges could lead to security breaches.
“Transportation security officers, regardless of credentials or uniforms, are screened each time they enter the checkpoint,” the statement read. “Badges and uniforms, used individually or collectively, would not allow access to a person with ill intent.”

Just like they depend upon terrorist watchlists and the good intentions of applicants for ground crew jobs, and discount the possibility that an airport employee could possibly foster any malevolent intentions toward airplanes and their innocent human cargoes.

What a bunch of assholes!

The television station countered that statement with footage of employees bypassing or being waved through checkpoints in San Antonio and Miami.
But Rep. Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio, said the missing badges and possible screening lapses are “a clear and present danger to homeland security.”
“We are dealing with people — criminals — who are smart people and will go to great lengths to take advantage of any loopholes in our security,” said Smith, who sits on the House Committee on Homeland Security.

Exactly. What are these so-called “security” managers thinking? This isn’t like some retail manager screwing up on merchandizing a sale item, it’s an exercise in endangering large quantities of human lives. And we pay for this through our taxes, by gum!

He said he has introduced legislation to safeguard TSA badges and uniforms and wants airports to begin issuing heavy fines to TSA employees.
“When we start imposing fines and start holding people accountable for their identification, I promise you, fewer will go missing, fewer will be left in unlocked cars to be stolen and that will help our homeland security, as well,” Smith said.

Who is he kidding besides himself? There are enough stolen uniforms and badges out there now to equip a major terrorist offensive, and face it: the TSA is an agency that’s already proven itself to be almost purely cosmetic, its security measures nearly as porous as our southern border.

It’s only a matter of time before their ineptitude proves out in a significant loss of lives.

by @ 9:55 pm. Filed under WTF!!!!?

May 29, 2006

A Couple For Memorial Day

I hope everyone has taken the time today, during barbecue, beach and beverage, to honor those who have fallen in battle while taking the ultimate risk to preserve freedom for America and our friends.

I watched the flag pass by one day,
It fluttered in the breeze.

A young Marine saluted it,
And then he stood at ease..

I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud,
With hair cut square and eyes alert
He’d stand out in any crowd.

I thought how many men like him
Had fallen through the years.
How many died on foreign soil
How many mothers’ tears?

How many pilots’ planes shot down?
How many died at sea
How many foxholes were soldiers’ graves?
No, freedom isn’t free.

I heard the sound of Taps one night,
When everything was still,
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.
I wondered just how many times
That Taps had meant “Amen,”

When a flag had draped a coffin.
Of a brother or a friend.

I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.

I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea

Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No, freedom isn’t free.

– H/T Brenda

And this oh so good one can be found at the blog of my friend Kat, of Cathouse Chat.

by @ 7:49 pm. Filed under Honor Our Military Personnel

…And Senator Dole’s Not The Only One…

Also representing North Carolina is Senator Richard Burr. Like Elizabeth Dole, Senator Burr supports the integrity of our borders and, just as important, the enforcement of our immigration laws, for which so many scoundrels of his peers have so little regard — and these are people who, rather than call themselves “lawmakers” as are Dole and Burr, should call themselves “lawbreakers”.

From Senator Burr’s website:

May 25th, 2006 - Washington, D.C. – Senator Richard Burr today voted against the Senate immigration reform bill citing the fiscal impact it will have on the nation and taxpayers wallets, and the blanket amnesty it provides to over ten million illegal immigrants by putting them on a direct path to citizenship.

“I believe strengthened border security and comprehensive immigration reform are very important. As a nation, we have welcomed generations of legal immigrants over the course of our history–immigrants who respect the law and contribute a great deal to our country. The immigration reform package in the Senate addresses increased border security, but also rewards those who have broken the law by granting them a direct path to citizenship. It allows current illegal immigrants to receive the full array of federal benefits, but fails to reform our current immigration policy for those who want to come to America legally,” Burr said.

According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the Senate immigration bill will increase federal spending by $79 billion in the first ten years. CBO predicts an increase in spending on federal benefit programs such as refundable tax credits, Medicaid, Social Security, Medicare, and Food Stamps. Other programs such as Supplemental Security Income, unemployment insurance, and student loans will also experience an increase in spending. Other sources estimate that the cost of the immigration bill could be as high as $160 billion in new federal spending over the next ten years.

“The economic impact this legislation will have on North Carolina and the nation is staggering. Each state will be stretched to its limits to provide benefits such as in-state tuition and Medicaid services to these new legal residents. Taxpayers will carry the increased costs of providing federal benefits such as the earned income tax credit and Medicare,” Burr said.

“As the father of two boys, I have tried to teach them that they will benefit or suffer from the consequences of the decisions they make, whether good or bad. I cannot as a U.S. Senator vote to grant blanket amnesty to those who have broken the law to live in our country,” Burr added.

It truly amazes me that a state that stupidly and irresponsibly elects so many pantywaist tax and spend liberals to state and local offices manages to find the wisdom to send real Americans to represent us in the United States Senate.

by @ 7:28 am. Filed under Homeland Security

My Senator

It’s definitely nice to have a Senator like Elizabeth Dole representing my district, even though a considerable amount of her common sense, pro-America efforts are wasted by a majority of complacent, spineless, vote greedy, PC, America-Last traitors who have the nerve to call themselves Senators, let alone Americans. Those others are the bastards who are giving my country away in order to garner votes from “citizens” who support flooding the nation with felons who shouldn’t even be here by granting them amnesty.

This from her website:


May 25th, 2006 - Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Elizabeth Dole today voted against the Senate immigration reform legislation, citing serious concerns with a number of provisions, particularly the amnesty provided by the bill. The Senate bill was passed and now must be reconciled in a conference committee with the House of Representatives-passed immigration reform legislation.

“I have maintained that securing our borders and enforcing current laws must come first – and unfortunately this bill puts amnesty first,” said Dole. “I have consistently stated that I would support a program that provides temporary worker permits to help bring people out of the shadows. But I cannot and will not support granting amnesty to those who have broken our laws and entered this nation illegally.

“In addition, this bill contains a number of provisions that just defy common sense, such as allowing illegal immigrants who fraudulently use a U.S. citizen’s Social Security number to accumulate and collect benefits from an already tight Social Security trust fund!

“As in 1986, passing an amnesty bill is not going to solve the problem of large scale illegal immigration – to solve this problem, we need strict border enforcement, effective work place verification, and a program for genuinely temporary workers.”

Background: Dole’s Votes on Selected Amendments:

Dole voted for an amendment that would have required that all border security features of the bill be fully implemented before any program addressing the status of those here illegally could go into effect. The amendment was defeated by a vote of 40-55.

Dole voted for an amendment that would have stripped from the bill the provisions granting amnesty for those who are in the U.S. illegally. The amendment was defeated by a vote of 33-66.

Dole voted for an amendment to make illegal immigrant felons ineligible for legal status in the United States. The amendment was passed by a vote of 99-0.

Dole voted for an amendment offered that would require the construction of at least 370 miles of triple-layered fence, and 500 miles of vehicle barrier at strategic locations along the southwest border. The amendment was passed by a vote of 83-16.

Dole voted for an amendment to make English the national language of the United States, which passed by a vote of 63-34.

Dole voted for an amendment to use up to 6,000 members of the National Guard in a supporting role for the purpose of securing our southern border. The amendment was passed by a vote of 83-10.

Dole supported an amendment that would have forbidden illegal immigrants from accumulating credit towards Social Security benefits for work performed with an invalid Social Security number. The fraudulent use of an American citizen’s Social Security number by an illegal immigrant can lead to serious consequences for the citizen, including tax liability based on illegal work, an IRS audit, and credit problems. Although Dole voted against a motion to table the amendment, the motion passed (and the amendment was defeated) by a single vote (50-49).

Dole voted against an amendment that would have expanded the provisions of the bill to provide amnesty to approximately 12 million immigrations in the United States illegally as of January 1, 2006. The amendment was defeated by a vote of 37-61.

Dole voted for an amendment that would have created a temporary worker program that was truly “temporary.” The bill’s existing “temporary worker” program provides illegal immigrants with a path to citizenship. This will result in massive and unprecedented levels of additional immigration. The amendment would have provided employers with the legal, temporary labor they need, while permitting the government to keep immigration to a reasonable level. The amendment was defeated by a vote of 31-67.

Dole voted against a motion to invoke cloture on the immigration bill. Although Dole strongly supports efforts to secure our borders, she opposes a number of provisions in the bill, including provisions granting amnesty to millions of persons here illegally and a provision that permits illegal immigrants who fraudulently use a U.S. citizen’s Social Security number to accumulate and collect Social Security benefits. The motion to invoke cloture was agreed to by a vote of 73-25.

Dole voted against a motion to waive budget objections to the immigration bill. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the current legislation, which provides amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants, will dramatically increase federal expenditures for social service programs over the next 50 years. Dole agreed with a minority of senators that concerns about these additional costs should not be tossed aside in a rush to pass an amnesty-laden immigration bill. The motion to waive the budget objections was agreed to by a vote of 67-31.

Based on these efforts alone, Senator Dole will get my vote anytime she runs for reelection.

by @ 7:04 am. Filed under Homeland Security

May 28, 2006

Another Winner By Crosby(not the singer)

I took a little time out today to catch up on some reading, and ran across one of Greg Crosby’s always welcome columns, this one really hitting home as both my maternal grandparents were immigrants, he from the Ukraine, she from Poland.

When they arrived here in the late 1920s and early 1930s, respectively, the first thing they did was become Americans in every sense of the word. My grandmother already spoke English along with several other languages, my grandfather made going to school and learning English a top priority, and, this accomplished, they both made the language of America their language. They assimilated themselves into American culture and traditions with great enthusiasm.

Today, largely thanks to the multiculturalism and PC promoted by the liberal sector of our society, this assimilation has become more the exception than the rule among immigrants, and as Mr. Crosby points out in this great column, it is dividing the country into pronounced ethnic subdivisions rather than providing any kind of continuum for unity among Americans. In fact, this phenomenon may well be the death knell for American traditions, culture and even national identity.

Our culture is in jeopardy because immigrants to America are not assimilating into society like they once did. My grandparents came here to be Americans, to bring up their children with American ideals and American values. It wasn’t easy, but they went to night school to learn English. They dressed American. They listened to American radio stations in English, watched American television, and attended American movies. They embraced American music, ate American food, and learned American history.

Lack of assimilation is not purely the fault of the immigrant; much of the blame is with our politically correct multiculturalism, which has been taught throughout our public schools and universities for about three decades. The teaching of traditional American history is, at worst totally revisionist, at best given short shrift. In its place, the focus is now on minorities and looking at history through the prism of our contemporary views on race, women’s rights and other hot button topics. The celebration of multiculturalism is laced through almost all subjects in our public schools … well, maybe not algebra, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

Our society today makes accommodations which, if anything, discourage assimilation. Voting ballots printed in a dozen different languages, ATMs and payphones with instructions in Spanish, bilingual packaging on consumer goods, and billboards all over town in one language — Spanish — all say to the immigrant, “Hey, it’s okay, you don’t have to speak English here.”

Truer words were never written.

Read the entire column here.

by @ 10:56 am. Filed under Great Commentary

May 27, 2006

A Couple Of Good Perusals For Memorial Day

Melanie Morgan, conservative San Francisco (don’t hold that against the great lady, I myself moved to Charlotte from San Francisco some five months ago and didn’t hold having lived there against myself, in fact I rather compared myself in some small way with Job, except my torments came in the form of suffering being surrounded by and having to deal with lots and lots of unbelievably “out there” liberal wingnuts on a day-to-day basis) talk show host and Chairman of the non-profit organization Move America Forward, a truly patriotic organization that supports our military people fighting the War On Terror overseas, has written an inspiring column for this Memorial Day which I would like to share.

You can read it here.

Then, move along to my friend GM Roper’s blog for a celebration of Memorial Day in photos.

Notice a really excellent pic, while you’re there, of the U.S.S. Constitution.

And while you’re enjoying the long weekend in whichever way you do, be it barbeque, beach, beer, booze, a combination of all the above or a visit with those relatives who dwell ‘way out there in the sticks, please take some time out to honor those who have fallen in battle on behalf of our great nation, and to pray for those who are presently putting it all on the line fighting tyranny, oppression and terrorism in our name in other parts of the world.

by @ 5:28 am. Filed under Honor Our Military Personnel

May 25, 2006

Alert from The Save The Internet Coalition

As many of us already know, the big telecoms have been lobbying Congress to pass bills that would give them control of the Web by doing away with the established and well-working concept of Network Neutrality.

From the Save The Internet Coalition:

Congress is pushing a law that would abandon the Internet’s First Amendment — a principle called Network Neutrality that prevents companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast from deciding which Web sites work best for you — based on what site pays them the most. If the public doesn’t speak up now, our elected officials will cave to a multi-million dollar lobbying campaign.

How will that effect the rest of us?

Google users—Another search engine could pay dominant Internet providers like AT&T to guarantee the competing search engine opens faster than Google on your computer.
Innovators with the “next big idea”—Startups and entrepreneurs will be muscled out of the marketplace by big corporations that pay Internet providers for dominant placing on the Web. The little guy will be left in the “slow lane” with inferior Internet service, unable to compete.
Ipod listeners—A company like Comcast could slow access to iTunes, steering you to a higher-priced music service that it owned.
Political groups—Political organizing could be slowed by a handful of dominant Internet providers who ask advocacy groups to pay “protection money” for their websites and online features to work correctly.
Nonprofits—A charity’s website could open at snail-speed, and online contributions could grind to a halt, if nonprofits can’t pay dominant Internet providers for access to “the fast lane” of Internet service.
Online purchasers—Companies could pay Internet providers to guarantee their online sales process faster than competitors with lower prices—distorting your choice as a consumer.
Small businesses and tele-commuters—When Internet companies like AT&T favor their own services, you won’t be able to choose more affordable providers for online video, teleconferencing, Internet phone calls, and software that connects your home computer to your office.
Parents and retirees—Your choices as a consumer could be controlled by your Internet provider, steering you to their preferred services for online banking, health care information, sending photos, planning vacations, etc.
Bloggers—Costs will skyrocket to post and share video and audio clips—silencing citizen journalists and putting more power in the hands of a few corporate-owned media outlets.

This is an issue that is in the interests of all of us who access the Web, in order to protect our Internet users’ rights, to call or email our representatives on Capital Hill today, and ASAP.

All information on the issue and who to contact is here.

Please, let’s get moving, as the jawing starts today!

by @ 8:03 am. Filed under The Internet

May 24, 2006

Global Warming, The Myth

Former Delaware Governor Pete Du Pont has an informative Op-Ed up in yesterday’s WSJ Opinion Journal titled, “Don’t Be Very Worried” that rather succinctly debunks most of the left’s global warming fantasies.

Since 1970, the year of the first Earth Day, America’s population has increased by 42%, the country’s inflation-adjusted gross domestic product has grown 195%, the number of cars and trucks in the United States has more than doubled, and the total number of miles driven has increased by 178%.

But during these 35 years of growing population, employment, and industrial production, the Environmental Protection Agency reports, the environment has substantially improved. Emissions of the six principal air pollutants have decreased by 53%. Carbon monoxide emissions have dropped from 197 million tons per year to 89 million; nitrogen oxides from 27 million tons to 19 million, and sulfur dioxide from 31 million to 15 million. Particulates are down 80%, and lead emissions have declined by more than 98%.

When it comes to visible environmental improvements, America is also making substantial progress:

• The number of days the city of Los Angeles exceeded the one-hour ozone standard has declined from just under 200 a year in the late 1970s to 27 in 2004.

• The Pacific Research Institute’s Index of Leading Environmental Indicators shows that “U.S. forests expanded by 9.5 million acres between 1990 and 2000.”

• While wetlands were declining at the rate of 500,000 acres a year at midcentury, they “have shown a net gain of about 26,000 acres per year in the past five years,” according to the institute.

• Also according to the institute, “bald eagles, down to fewer than 500 nesting pairs in 1965, are now estimated to number more than 7,500 nesting pairs.”

Environmentally speaking, America has had a very good third of a century; the economy has grown and pollutants and their impacts upon society are substantially down.

This doesn’t sound like we’re in the throws of environmental homicide to me, it sounds like things are getting better.

But now comes the carbon dioxide alarm. CO2 is not a pollutant–indeed it is vital for plant growth–but the annual amount released into the atmosphere has increased 40% since 1970. This increase is blamed by global warming alarmists for a great many evil things. The Web site for Al Gore’s new film, “An Inconvenient Truth,” claims that because of CO2’s impact on our atmosphere, sea levels may rise by 20 feet, the Arctic and Antarctic ice will likely melt, heat waves will be “more frequent and more intense,” and “deaths from global warming will double in just 25 years–to 300,000 people a year.”
If it all sounds familiar, think back to the 1970s. After the first Earth Day the New York Times predicted “intolerable deterioration and possible extinction” for the human race as the result of pollution. Harvard biologist George Wald predicted that unless we took immediate action “civilization will end within 15 to 30 years,” and environmental doomsayer Paul Ehrlich predicted that four billion people–including 65 million American–would perish from famine in the 1980s.

I’m curious to know how these doomsayers respond, years later, when their theories of impending disaster have failed to come to fruition. Do they simply go on pontificating, expecting the usual suspects to continue to regard their theories and projections as gospel? Of course they do, because those “usual suspects” are liberals, and liberals will never let anything as picayune as being proven wrong alter their opinions in any way. Its a political thing. A liberal would as soon see America die as admit that he or she has believed a lie.

There are substantial differences in climate models–some 30 of them looked at by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change–but the Climate Science study concludes that “computer models consistently project a rise in temperatures over the past century that is more than twice as high as the measured increase.” The National Center for Atmospheric Research’s prediction of 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit warming is more accurate. In short, the world is not warming as much as environmentalists think it is.

What warming there is turns out to be caused by solar radiation rather than human pollution. The Climate Change study concluded “half the observed 20th century warming occurred before 1940 and cannot be attributed to human causes,” and changes in solar radiation can “account for 71 percent of the variation in global surface air temperature from 1880 to 1993.”

There are more myth-debunking facts and figures in the Op-Ed, so give the entire article a read here.

by @ 6:39 am. Filed under Liberal Agendas

May 20, 2006


Greg Crosby’s got a true masterpiece of a column posted at JWR, read it here.

by @ 5:32 am. Filed under Great Commentary

The Da Vinci Code

That’s it, I have to speak my piece!

What prompted me to do so was this WSJ Opinion Journal Op-Ed by deputy editor/ columnist Daniel Henninger, not because I take umbrage with the man’s point of view, in fact I think I know where he’s coming from –

“The Da Vinci Code” would not be the subject of this column had it not sold 60.5 million copies, according to its publisher Doubleday. Of course this does not make it the best-selling book of all time. That title, as irony would have it, goes to the Bible, half of which one of Dan Brown’s characters dismisses as “false.”

— but because all this hoopla, much of it mind-bogglingly senseless, over the novel… I say again, novel, is becoming something of an irritant and Mr. Henninger’s column on the subject was merely the proverbial straw that broke the equally proverbial camel’s back(I’ve never completely understood that saying, given the weight of straw — I didn’t think they manufactured camels big enough to reasonably balance enough weight in straw to break them, certainly not so much that one more of those ultralight, skinny suckers could do so).

I regularly receive emails from a number of conservative individuals and organizations, in large part Christian political action groups and their members or supporters, and from the latter quarter I’ve gotten a lot of action condemning Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code because the story is predicated on Mary Magdelene not only having become the wife of and borne Jesus a child, but also, as the story unfolds, his chief disciple. It doesn’t help Brown’s cause at all that the person on Jesus’ right in Da Vinci’s Last Supper isn’t a man, but Mary Magdalene herself, nor that the Catholic Church, also according to the novel, knew this but chose to cover it up to the point that even today, assassins from Opus Dei seek Mary’s concealed remains and scrolls accompanying them that could repudiate the Vatican’s “male only” priest policy(exposing, instead, the concept of “the sacred feminine”)… Anyway, I’ve said too much as it is, there may be someone out there who hasn’t yet read it, despite all the controversy.

Needless to say, the Vatican’s up in arms, all sorts of clergy spokespersons have spoken in outrage, cults have been established that fanatically support Dan Brown’s “theories” and people have been running around in all directions making mammoth hay about the novel.

Mr. Henninger says,

Here’s my theory of “The Da Vinci Code.” Dan Brown was sitting one night at the monthly meeting of his local secret society, listening to a lecture on the 65th gospel, and he got to thinking: “I wonder if there’s any limit to what people are willing to believe these days about a conspiracy theory. Let’s say I wrote a book that said Jesus was married. To Mary Magdalene. Who was pregnant at the Crucifixion. And she is the Holy Grail. Jesus wanted her to run the church as a global sex society called Heiros Gamos, but Peter elbowed her out of the job. Her daughter was the beginning of the Merovingian dynasty of France. Jesus’ family is still alive. There were 80 gospels, not four. Leonardo DiCaprio, I mean da Vinci, knew all this. The ‘Mona Lisa’ is Leonardo’s painting of himself in drag. Da Vinci’s secret was kept alive by future members of ‘the brotherhood,’ including Isaac Newton, Claude Debussy and Victor Hugo. The Catholic Church is covering all this up.”
Then Dan Brown said softly, “Would anyone buy into a plot so preposterous and fantastic?” Then he started writing.

By George, he might be right, and I commend the man for sharing this.

They say the film did not perform well at the box office when it opened, but being a reader first and a movie-goer third(I really don’t like being packed into a row of movie theatre seats to watch a brand new flick and being denied the luxuries I can enjoy while watching a six month old movie on the 62″ TV in my den), I could care less — that’s Opie’s, I mean Richie’s Ron Howard’s lookout, not mine.

But I read the novel back in late 2004 or early 2005, and enjoyed it immensely. The book was well written and held my interest from cover-to-cover, the “theories” advanced intriguing, if not accurate by the standards of conventional faith, the story delivered in conjunction with what Mr. Henninger rightly refers to as a “conspiracy theory” at a pace that kept me interested enough to read the entire novel in one sitting, in the end wishing there were a few more chapters. It was fascinating, Dan Brown is one very creative novelist.

I did not take the novel as anything more than that: A novel. Period. A fiction story, which the author no doubt intended it to be, else he would have left out the story and written the theory behind the book as non-fiction rather than a novel. This is entertainment, nothing more.

A novelist’s “job” is to write stories that people will want to read. His/ her income, based on book sales, depends upon it. Offhand, I’d say that selling over 60,000,000 copies in several languages is quite a measure of success in anyone’s book, please pardon the double entendre (why is French so hard on the palate? Using their words is like gargling on doo doo, but I suppose that when you’re French…).

What aggravates me about the aggressive defensive attacks on the novel by the so-called “religious right”, who are as much on the starboard side of the aisle as I am, is the intolerance they demonstrate where a work of pure fiction is concerned.

We are constantly (and rightly) accusing the self proclaimed “tolerant” liberals (you know, those folks who will sue you for saying Merry Christmas or kick your kid out of school for praying) of intolerance, yet here folks on our side of the political frontier wage war and spend big bucks deploying their condemnation of a novel.

For G-d’s sake, people, let’s get things in perspective here! Let’s not exercise the same pro-censorship policies that they do on the left side of the aisle, the American political kollective from whence have come all members of the American Communist Party. Repeat after me: BE TOLERANT… BE TOLERANT… BE TOLERANT…

We are, after all, talking about a damn novel

by @ 3:06 am. Filed under Just Editorializing