THE OTHER SHOE DROPS: Updates To Previous Posts
† The Keystone Kops Are Enforcing U.S. Immigration Laws: Most people believe their bosses are idiots, but few get to put the assumption to a vote like the union that represents 7,000 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement field agents and employees. The National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council of the American Federation of Government Employees voted 259-0 in favor of a resolution that contends Assistant Secretary John Morton - who heads ICE - and Phyllis Coven - assistant director for the agency's office of detention policy and planning - spend their time “campaigning for immigration reforms aimed at large-scale amnesty legislation”; "abandoned the agency's core mission of enforcing U.S. immigration laws and providing for public safety"; prevent ICE officers from searching detainees, allowing weapons, drugs and other contraband into ICE detention centers; and have transformed these detention centers into “resorts” that emphasize bingo nights, dance lessons and hanging plants, instead of safety.
The Washington Times reports that the union also rebuts the Obama administration’s claim that more illegal aliens are being deported now than was the case during the previous administration:
[I]llegal immigrants now being held in state and local jails seek out ICE agents for deportation to avoid prosecution, conviction and prison terms. It said criminal aliens "openly brag" that they are taking advantage of a broken immigration system and will be back in the United States within days to commit crimes - while U.S. citizens arrested for the same offenses serve prison sentences.
"ICE senior leadership is aware that the system is broken, yet refuses to alert Congress to the severity of the situation and request additional resources to provide better enforcement and support of local agencies," the statement said.
The union seeks to “publicly separate ourselves from the actions of Director Morton and Assistant Director Coven and publicly state that ICE officers and employees do not support Morton or Coven or their misguided and reckless initiatives, which could ultimately put many in America at risk."
† Netanyahu Is Bush III: Washington Post columnist George Will observes that “No two leaders of democracies are less alike -- in life experiences, temperaments and political philosophies -- than Netanyahu, the former commando and fierce nationalist, and Barack Obama, the former professor and post-nationalist.” He explains:
Arguably the most left-wing administration in American history is trying to knead and soften the most right-wing coalition in Israel's history. The former shows no understanding of the latter, which thinks it understands the former all too well. …
No one is less a transnational progressive, less a post-nationalist, than Binyamin Netanyahu, whose first name is that of a son of Jacob, who lived perhaps 4,000 years ago. Netanyahu, whom no one ever called cuddly, once said to a U.S. diplomat 10 words that should warn U.S. policymakers who hope to make Netanyahu malleable: "You live in Chevy Chase. Don't play with our future."
† Don’t Know Much About History, Don’t Know Much Foreign Policy: At the White House Iftar dinner President Barack Hussein Obama hosted to celebrate Ramadan, he again stated:
Tonight, we are reminded that Ramadan is a celebration of a faith known for great diversity. And Ramadan is a reminder that Islam has always been part of America [emphasis, The Stiletto]. The first Muslim ambassador to the United States, from Tunisia, was hosted by President Jefferson, who arranged a sunset dinner for his guest because it was Ramadan - making it the first known iftar at the White House, more than 200 years ago.
The “diversity” of which Obama speaks is not doctrinal, but a result of having conquered lands in three continents (Africa, Asia and Europe). As for “Islam always being part of America,” The Washington Times observes:
Islam had no influence on the origins and development of the United States. It contributed nothing to early American political culture, art, literature, music or any other aspect of the early nation.
Throughout most of American history, the Muslim world was perceived as remote, alien and belligerent. Perhaps the president was thinking about the Barbary Pirates and their role in the founding of the U.S. Navy, or Andrew Jackson's dispatch of frigates against Muslim pirates in Sumatra in the 1830s. Maybe he was recalling Rutherford B. Hayes' 1880 statement regarding Morocco on "the necessity, in accordance with the humane and enlightened spirit of the age, of putting an end to the persecutions, which have been so prevalent in that country, of persons of a faith other than the Moslem, and especially of the Hebrew residents of Morocco." Or Grover Cleveland's 1896 comment on the continuing massacre of Armenian Christians: "We have been afflicted by continued and not infrequent reports of the wanton destruction of homes and the bloody butchery of men, women and children, made martyrs to their profession of Christian faith. ... It so mars the humane and enlightened civilization that belongs to the close of the nineteenth century that it seems hardly possible that the earnest demand of good people throughout the Christian world for its corrective treatment will remain unanswered."
Editorial Note: The Turks answered the "earnest demand of good people throughout the Christian world for its corrective treatment" with the Armenian Genocide in 1915, increasingly regarded by historians as an all-out jihad against a Christian population.
† Media Irrelevancy – A Self-Inflicted Wound: "Geek comedian "Tom Scott has come up with warning stickers to mark grafs in news articles that are poorly sourced or unverified, recycle content from press releases, are plagiarized, are biased or contain several other examples of journalistic malpractice that have become the stock in trade at too many newspapers and magazines. The Stiletto's fave of the bunch: "WARNING Journalist does not understand the subject they (sic) are writing about." - although "WARNING To ensure future interviews with subject, important questions were not asked." is a timeless classic, as well.
[Hat Tip: New York magazine]
† All The News That’s Fart To Print: Dennis Lester Fike, 66, was sentenced to a year in Cass County (ND) jail and ordered to complete an education program for alcohol abusers for defecating on a rug and trying to kick the feces at the police officers who arrived on the scene in response to a loud-party complaint and protection-order violation, reports The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. In a second feces-related incident, after Jessica Hollis and Melanie Campbell got into an argument when they were stuck in traffic leaving the Fayette County (PA) Fair, the first woman pulled a dirty diaper out of her car and smeared it on the rear window of the second woman’s car. Hollis was charged with harassment. And finally, there’s this: Private garbage collection company Cleanscapes, will clean up “human waste, feces, vomit, urine” from the streets of Belltown, the hipster section of Seattle, beginning in October as part of Mayor Mike McGinn’s new “Nightlife Initiative.”
But enough about poop. In a pee-related development, "Peace Mom" Cindy Sheehan has challenged White House spox Robert Gibbs to “a pee-off" to determine which one of them is on drugs. She claims she’s clean (“I have no drugs in my system and nothing to be ashamed of.”) and that Gibbs (“a liar and a jerk”) - like other supporters of President Barack Hussein Obama - is hooked on hopium.
† Updates To Previous Posts (fourth item, A To Z Approach On Illegal Immigration In AZ): An analysis of the Census Bureau's March 2009 Current Population Survey by the nonpartisan Pew Hispanic Center finds that 1 in 12 babies (eight percent) born in the U.S. in 2008 had at least one parent who was an illegal immigrant, reports The Wall Street Journal:
"Unauthorized immigrants are younger than the rest of the population, are more likely to be married and have higher fertility rates than the rest of the population," said Jeffrey Passel, a senior demographer at Pew in Washington, D.C.
The report, based on Pew's also found that the lion's share, or 79%, of the 5.1 million children of illegal immigrants residing in the U.S. in 2009 were born in the country and are therefore citizens.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey on the question finds that the majority of Americans (58 percent) oppose automatic citizenship for a child born in this country to an illegal immigrant – and that’ how they have answered the question in April 2006 (54 percent). The Pew analysis is likely to push this number even higher.
† Updates To Previous Posts (eighth item, Never Mind Marxism. Will An Obama Administration Be Totalitarian?: Part II): President Barack Hussein Obama has quietly axed the position of "ethics czar" – charged with the responsibility of ensuring the administration’s transparency – and has sent Norm Eisen to the Czech Republic to serve as U.S. ambassador, The Washington Examiner reports:
Some of Eisen's duties will be handed to Domestic Policy Council member Steven Croley, but most of them, it appears, will shift over to the already-full docket of White House Counsel Bob Bauer. …
Bauer has served as the top lawyer for the Democratic National Committee, which is the most prolific fundraising entity in the country. Then-Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., the caricature of a cutthroat Chicago political fixer, hired Bauer to represent the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. In the White House, Bauer is tight with Emanuel, having defended Emanuel's offer of a job to Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Pa., whom Emanuel wanted out of the Senate race. …
Bauer's own words - gathered by the diligent folks at the Sunlight Foundation - show disdain for openness and far greater belief in the good intentions of those in power than of those trying to check the powerful. …
In August 2006 Bauer blogged, "disclosure is a mostly unquestioned virtue deserving to be questioned." This is the man the White House has put in charge of making this the most open White House ever. …
As with his other reformer rhetoric, Obama's transparency is mostly smoke and mirrors.
† Updates To Previous Posts (third item, Always Remember And Don’t Ever Forget): A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit unanimously affirmed a lower court ruling that the MA State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education’s removal of materials disputing the Armenian Genocide from a curriculum guide did not violate the First Amendment, reports The National Law Journal.
Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter, who sat on the 1st Circuit panel by designation, wrote the opinion:
The appellants' argument, if adopted, might actually have the effect of foreclosing future opportunities for open enquiry in the classroom. A ruling in their favor might induce school boards to limit the permissible materials for teaching any subject likely to generate heat, simply to foreclose suits under [the 1982 Supreme Court ruling in] Pico when they modified references or specifications later. …
The National Law Journal explains that the Pico ruling “a U.S. Supreme Court plurality ruled that the decision to remove nine books from school library shelves because they espoused controversial viewpoints violated the First Amendment” and that Souter made this distinction between the Griswold and Pico cases:
[A] non-exclusive guide to teachers does not resemble a covert library whose shelves limit how far its intended student patrons can range around on their own, and there is no apparent reason to treat the Guide's open-ended character as entailing a limit on the Commonwealth's discretion to modify it."
Finally, Souter agreed with Chief Judge Mark Wolf of the District of Massachusetts that the three-year statute of limitations had run out on the Assembly of Turkish American Associations' claims and that there was no continuing violation of constitutional rights to extend the statute of limitations.
† Updates To Previous Posts (last item, A Court Of Law, Not Of Justice): U.S. District Judge A. Richard Caputo refused to allow former Luzerne County judges Michael Conahan and Mark Ciavarella Jr.to hide behind judicial immunity because their actions in an (alleged) conspiracy to take kickbacks from the owner of a privately run juvenile prison were “extra-judicial activity that is not protected by absolute judicial immunity," reports The Legal Intelligencer:
The ruling means that Conahan and Ciavarella face possible liability for their roles as the alleged architects of the larger alleged conspiracy to cut off all funding for the then-existing county-owned juvenile facility and to take kickbacks in return for ensuring a steady stream of incarcerated youths so that the new, privately run facility would be profitable.
The two former judges were hit by federal prosecutors in September 2009 with a 48-count indictment containing charges of racketeering, fraud, money laundering, extortion, bribery and federal tax violations in connection with allegedly accepting more that $2.8 million from the builder and former co-owner of a private juvenile detention facility. Conahan agreed in April to plead guilty to one RICO count. …
According to the suit, Conahan and Ciavarella struck an agreement with attorney Robert Powell and Robert K. Mericle, the owner of a local construction company, to build a new, privately owned juvenile detention center in Luzerne County as a replacement for the adequate, publicly owned juvenile detention center already in existence.
For the new facility to be financially viable, the suit alleges, it would require a regular stream of juvenile defendants, and Conahan and Ciavarella agreed to divert large numbers of juveniles into the new facility in order to gain more than $2.8 million in kickbacks.
Caputo’s ruling also threw out most of the claims against the two former judges by plaintiff Wayne Dawn, who had been sentenced to the juvenile facility in 2005.
† Updates To Previous Posts (The Best Baseball Promotional Giveaway – Ever): At Monday night’s game against the Sioux City Explorers, the St. Paul (MN) Saints gave away an “Evolution vs. Creationism” Spinning Bobblehead doll, with a two-faced head depicting Cro-Magnon Man on one side and Adam on the other to the first 2,500 fans who are "either created or evolved" to enter the stadium. One hand of the doll holds apple and the other holds a club.
Last summer, the team’s hot promotion was a two-faced Al Franken/Norm Coleman “Re-count Doll" to memorialize the then-unresolved Senate election.
† 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 nurse practitioner Khristine Orlanes , building contractor and heart failure patient Robert Bump, his friend who is an electrician, and his friend’s friend who is a state trooper. The NYers all played a part in saving the life of another heart patient who had forgotten the spare batteries for his mechanical heart pump at home and was minutes from dying, reports The New York Times:
Christian Volpe was shopping with his wife when an alarm started beeping to warn that only 15 minutes of battery power were left on the implanted heart pump that was keeping him alive. …
Mr. Volpe knew that if the pump stopped, he was not likely to die immediately; his own heart, though weak, would probably keep him alive. But he was still in real danger, because clots would form in the mechanical heart if it quit, and cause a stroke if they escaped into his bloodstream. …
An ambulance took Mr. Volpe to Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie [NY]. But that hospital does not implant assist pumps, and had no batteries or hand pump. …
Meanwhile, Khristine Orlanes, a nurse practitioner at Columbia, began trying to find another patient with an assist pump who was close enough to bring Mr. Volpe a set of batteries in time.
She called Robert Bump, 61, a building contractor who worked near Poughkeepsie. He had six spare batteries in a knapsack. …
An electrician offered to drive, and they tore off in his pickup truck. The electrician called a state trooper friend, told him the story and said, “We’re not stopping.”
A police car met them partway to Poughkeepsie and escorted them. They made the half-hour trip in about 20 minutes.
Mr. Bump strode into the emergency room and spotted Mr. Volpe on a gurney, surrounded by doctors, nurses and his frantic wife. …
Mr. Bump snapped the batteries in place and said, “O.K., you’re good.”
It was a coincidence that Volpe and Bump had heart pumps that used the same kind of batteries. Another coincidence: The two men both received heart transplants on the same day at the same hospital.