THE OTHER SHOE DROPS: Updates To Previous Posts
† Terrorists Brought To Justice (last item): U.S. District Judge Jorge Solis sentenced five members of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development after they, and the defunct Dallas-based organization, were convicted in November on 108 charges of funneling millions of dollars to Hamas-controlled schools and assistance programs, reports The Associated Press.
Holy Land founders Shukri Abu Baker and Ghassan Elashi were each sentenced to 65 years in prison on charges that included supporting a terrorist organization, money laundering and tax fraud.
The other three were all convicted on conspiracy charges: Mohammad El-Mezain and Abdulrahman Odeh were both given 15 years; Mufid Abdulqader was sentenced to 20 years.
† The Part About “Illegal” Liberals Don’t Understand: Now that MD is joining the majority of states that have adopted Real ID – starting Monday, applicants for drivers’ licenses have to prove they are legal residents of the U.S. - The Washington Post reports that many forged documented aliens in the state rushed to sign up for learner’s permits and driver’s licenses in the erroneous belief that they could be converted to the secure licenses:
Because of late-night changes to the bill on the final day of the legislative session, learner's permits and identification cards issued to illegal immigrants after April 19 can't be converted into full licenses, and licenses issued to them after that date can't be renewed. …
Many who managed to secure appointments for licenses this month thought they could eventually obtain a license if they beat the June 1 cutoff by getting a learner's permit. …
One of the oft-repeated – but completely unsubstantiated – justifications that illegal alien advocates give for granting them driver’s licenses is that the roads will be safer. Um, not if these two men interviewed by the WaPo are typical:
Outside the Beltsville branch this month, Omar Berrillos, a 22-year-old illegal immigrant from Honduras, kicked at the curb, feeling the pressure of fleeting opportunity. He had taken the written portion of the test over and over, he said, but Berrillos, a construction worker who left school in third grade to pick coffee and bananas in rural Honduras, said the test simply moved too fast for him.
"I always run out of time," he said. "I only have a few more days."
Others, such as 24-year-old David Marquez, an immigrant from El Salvador, were coming to terms with the reality of a learner's permit that would never become a license. On Wednesday, three days before the deadline, Marquez passed the written exam - on his fifth try.
Public safety demands that drivers who are this low functioning - irrespective of citizenship - should not be licensed, or behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.
† Media Irrelevancy – A Self-Inflicted Wound: RealClearPolitics columnist Cathy Young notes that media coverage of last week’s four would-be jihadis in The Bronx “revived an ongoing debate about the connection between Islam and terrorism and the twin pitfalls of religious bigotry and willfully blind political correctness”:
The New York Times has been assailed by conservative critics such as Dallas Morning News columnist and blogger Rod Dreher for downplaying a troubling aspect of the case: all the suspects are Muslims. (They had converted to Islam while in prison for drug offenses, theft and other crimes.) The first Times report on May 20 mentioned this fact only in passing - despite a statement by New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly's at a press conference that the four had talked frankly about wanting to "commit jihad."
The next day, the Times ran a story on the secret FBI recordings in which the men discussed their hatred of Jews … not until the fourth paragraph was there a reference to their jihadist motivation (they shouted "Allah Akbar!" as they brought their newly acquired stash of weapons to their warehouse). …
By contrast, the opening line of the New York Post story on the arrests referred to "four homegrown Muslim terrorists on a mission from hell" - inflammatory, to be sure, but arguably far more accurate.
Is the suspects' religion relevant? Given that they were driven by religion-based extremism and hate, common sense certainly suggests that it is.
† Updates To Previous Posts (Obama Doctrine Taking Shape): In a U.S. News & World Report commentary, James Pinkerton, a fellow at the New America Foundation and FOX News pundit, grouses that “[s]even-and-a-half years after George W. Bush's "axis of evil" speech, two thirds of that axis - Iran and North Korea - are more hostile and dangerous than ever … [a]nd there's nothing we can do about either country, because America shot its wad in Iraq.” Pinkerton warns President Barack Obama not to continue the Bush policy of “issuing empty threats and empty cajolements, moving around the same ineffective sticks and ineffective carrots” but to try a new approach:
If North Korea builds up its missile offense, we can respond by building up our missile defense.
Right here, right now, we should be asking ourselves: Why don't we have an effective missile-defense program? Not just Patriot missile batteries and Aegis missile ships, which may or may not work when deployed in dribs and drab - but a genuinely comprehensive, multi-layered defense system, well funded and constantly tested, that really would do the job, backed by a robust international consensus in favor of self-defense. …
The Obama wing of the Democratic Party has always opposed missile defense, of course, going back to the Cold War days. …
Obama, keeping faith with his ideological roots, called for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons in his April 5 speech in Prague.
But in case that complete and verifiable disarmament doesn't break out worldwide, America should do a better job of defending itself. …
President Obama has the opportunity to make a clean break with the failures of the past. … If JFK could inspire Americans to go the moon, Obama could inspire the world to defend itself against rogue nukes.
In the past, such a system was called "collective security." In the 21st century, it could become known as The Obama Doctrine.
† Updates To Previous Posts (Hunting Hokies): Community College of Allegheny County (PA) freshman Christine Brashier tells The Associated Press that a dean told her to stop handing out pamphlets about Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, which has chapters at many colleges, and to destroy the rest of her supply:
"I won't be forced into silence. I just wanted to start a student organization. I didn't think it was going to get this much attention," Brashier said. "It only got this attention because they stopped me. People don't like to hear about suppression of free speech."
Brashier is licensed to carry a concealed firearm but doesn't take it to school because CCAC, like most colleges and universities nationwide, does not allow weapons on campus. Some states explicitly ban students from carrying weapons on campus, while others - like Pennsylvania - allow the schools to set policy.
But since April 16, 2007, when Seung-Hui Cho went on a shooting rampage at Virginia Tech University, killing 32 people and injuring 17 before turning the gun on himself, more students have been advocating for the right to carry guns on campus, and state lawmakers have been tackling the issue, as well.
As a result, more universities and colleges have suppressed the rights of students to organize, said Robert Shibley, vice president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit following the cases and writing letters protesting them. …
FIRE has not taken any cases to court, but Shibley said the group has not ruled it out. FIRE's philosophy is to work with the universities to get them to independently change their policies.
† Updates To Previous Posts (last item, 10 Reasons Michelle Obama Should Be Proud – Really Proud – Of America): This latest installment in The Stiletto Blog’s ongoing series meant to help instill the necessary pride of country in Michelle Obama’s consciousness to enable her to serve as an unofficial ambassador focuses on a convenience store clerk who epitomizes both honesty and charity. A man entered an E-Z Mart in Fort Smith, AR, showed the clerk the gun tucked in his waistband and told him he needed $40 from the register to buy insulin. The clerk refused to open the register, reports The Associated Press, because the money “wasn’t his to give” – but then took $40 from his wallet and gave it to the robber, who thanked him and shook his hand. The robber is still at large.