Thursday, June 28, 2007

Time of Death: June 28, 2007 11:04am

I must admit to complete surprise today when I heard that the cloture vote ended in favor of a stake through the heart of the wretched amnesty bill. With a vote of 46-53, the Senate pronounced the zombie amnesty bill that wouldn't die DEAD (for now). Those of us who were very much against this bad piece of legislation will rest a bit easier tonight knowing our voices were finally heard.

Evidently, Mitch either miraculously regained his ability to hear or one of his constituents sent him a hearing aid because his Nay vote today was a pleasant surprise! Or, more realistically, could it be that he suddenly remembered he would need us to gain re-election in 2008? Whatever the reason, I'm grateful that we were heard by Senator McConnell. I'm extremely pleased that he has remembered for whom he actually works... for his constituency, not for the Chamber of Commerce and certainly not for the President. Thank you, Mitch. Nice to have you back!

Again, I must thank Senator Bunning who deserves the thanks of all Kentuckians for making us proud -- he came through vote after vote with flying colors. There was no need to call, fax, or email him because he had his head screwed on straight from the very beginning. Thank God. I am grateful we have him in DC!

Roy Beck at NumbersUSA did a fine job recapping and thanking the grassroots for defeating amnesty today. It was interesting to read the way he sees this victory. It's been many years since I've thought of myself as being "anti-establishment!
DEAR HARD-WORKING, TENACIOUS ACTIVIST CITIZENS OF THE NUMBERSUSA ACTION NETWORK,

  • For at least five months, most newspaper editorial boards, the majority of columnists and news stories and pronouncements from the other elite institutions of America have told you that a "comprehensive immigration bill" would inevitably pass the Senate this year.

    That only caused most of you to fax, phone and visit Senatorial offices all the more often.

  • Most national religious leaders who spoke out on this issue said the moral high ground was in rewarding the U.S. businesses and foreign labor who broke our immigration laws.

    But in the pews (and quietly in most of the parsonages), the overwhelming majority of the people of faith stayed grounded in the values of justice and freedom, and stood against massive new flows of foreign labor that are at the expense of our society's most vulnerable citizens. You stood against this massive government-coerced population explosion that is so destructive of the natural habitats or our country that stand in the bulldozers' path.

  • In the last week, several venerable warriors from past decades of massive legislative battles such as this one have gloomily proclaimed that when The Establishment almost totally unites for something, the grassroots never prevail.

    But the nearly HALF-MILLION activist members of the NumbersUSA Action Network just devoted even more time and energy to leaving no doubt where the quantity, the quality and the passion was among each Senator's constituency.

    YOU NEVER GAVE UP -- DESPITE MANY TWISTS AND TURNS THAT WERE DEMORALIZING.

    YOU NEVER GAVE UP -- DESPITE VICIOUS SLURS THROWN AT YOU BY U.S. SENATORS, THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES AND MAJOR NEWS MEDIA FIGURES.

    THE ESTABLISHMENT lost today.

    The average American citizen won. You disproved the cynicism (born of great experience) in this town that this kind of victory was impossible.


    53 U.S. Senators actually paid attention to what you had to say, felt enough pressure to wonder if there might be validity on our side of analysis, and concluded that through combination of political wisdom and policy wisdom they should vote the way the majority of their constituents believed proper -- rather than be swayed by all the power, money and prestige of The Establishment.

    That may not be a miracle, but it is a mighty cool breeze of representative democracy on a hot, humid, sticky mid-day in the marble chambers sitting atop the swamps along the Potomac!

    Just to make sure you don't miss the context of your victory, consider this:

    In recent months, the pro-amnesty, pro-globalized-labor forces had assembled this Establishment Goliath of support for their "comprensive immigration reform" concept:

    Pres. Bush
    Senate Democratic Leaders
    Senate Republican Leaders
    House Majority Democratic Leaders
    U.S. Chamber of Commerce
    Dozens of other corporation lobby groups
    The largest philanthropic foundations
    Perhaps 90% of the newspaper editorial boards that weighed in
    The Washington offices of most major religious denominations
    Nearly all ethnic advocacy groups
    Most of Washington's think tanks

    As the L.A. Times said on its Sunday front page, NumbersUSA activists were probably the largest and the loudest going up against that formidable force.

    But you all were also part of an incredible chain-reaction type of civic involvement that used the internet and talk radio to multiply the message along with dozens of other citizen groups.

    And we were greatly assisted by the fact that a handful of significant sources of power joined the citizen revolt of bloggers, talkers and forwarders. Among them:

    The American Legion
    The AFL-CIO (somewhat timidly)
    The National Review on-line magazine
    CNN's Lou Dobbs

    Your power was not in just being loud and persistent. It was that you knew the issues. You knew the many ways this bill was bad for America.

    It is trite to say but the exclamation of the boy in the crowd that "The Emperor Is Wearing No Clothes" describes so well what you did.

    Thank you to those who have acted almost daily since Congress returned in January.

    Thank you to those who recently have acted several times a day. Incredible.

    Thank you to those who had so little time to give, but stepped in once or twice a week.

    And thank you to the 78,343 "replacements" who only joined since June 1 but have been so important in overwhelming the Senate with our message.

    We will even lavish praise on the 6,733 of you who joined yesterday and made your first calls and sent your first faxes!

    At this moment, there are 444,496 of you who are registered, proven activists using the NumbersUSA tools! What an army you have been. But you are not MY army, or OUR army. You are YOUR OWN army -- 444,496 separate individuals working in collective, cumulative power, saying just what you want to say, writing just what you want to write. That is the power that won the victory today.

    I only caution that what we did today was forestall disaster.

    Our future, the next generation's future, depends on our marshalling these same forces together to begin to make improvements in immigration policy, one piece at a time, starting tomorrow.

  • Roy, I'd like to thank you for your strong and active leadership on an issue that is so very important to our national security. Without NumbersUSA and your communications, it would have been impossible to have made the impact we made to win this battle. Well done, Roy, and thank you, thank you to everyone at NumberUSA!!

    Wednesday, June 27, 2007

    A tiny bit of cyber-housekeeping... please pardon the dust!

    Unless you are using the www.conservachick.com address for ConservaChick, please be sure to update your blogrolls and/or bookmarks!

    Over a year ago, I acquired the www.conservachick.com domain and have primarily used that to point folks to ConservaChick. So, if you blogrolled or bookmarked this blog using that address, you're golden and you should feel free to disregard the rest of this post.

    For those of you who blogrolled or bookmarked ConservaChick eons ago, you probably used the original blogspot address (http://swfwithattitude.blogspot.com). I recently updated the blogspot address to better reflect the actual name of the blog. As a result, some of the older links may fail unless you update your bookmarks and/or blogrolls to point to:

    http://theconservachick.blogspot.com OR http://www.conservachick.com

    Thanks and my apologies for any inconvenience!

    Tuesday, June 26, 2007

    Secure Borders Now

    Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) has created an online petition to make it easy for those of us who do NOT support amnesty of any kind and want secure borders to have our voices heard in this debate. The petition is meant to encourage Senators to say NO to the sham immigration reform legislation. The wording is clear and concise:
    "Members of the United State Senate,

    I am one of the millions of Americans who believes our first priority as a nation should be to secure our borders by enforcing existing laws. Amnesty is not the solution.

    I urge you to vote against the immigration reform bill currently being considered in the Senate and to oppose any future effort that undermines our national security or grants amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants."
    Add your name to the petition at SecureBordersNow.com. At this point, over 57,000 Americans have signed the petition. Take a look at the map of where the signatures are coming from. You might notice a few flags in Kentucky where Mitch McConnell thinks we don't care about amnesty...

    I'm not 100% sure about the timing or the location of the presentation of this petition to the Senate. I believe it is supposed to be presented by Senator Inhofe during the debate on the floor or during committee. My hope is that it will happen on the floor where C-SPAN can pick it up for television. Go get 'em, Senator Inhofe!!

    Shame on McConnell! Kudos to Bunning!

    I have done my part. I've called; I've faxed; and I've emailed. Will I continue to do so? I really don't know at this point. There's nothing more a constituent can do to try to have his/her voice heard on an issue other than simply doing the same thing over and over again hoping for a different outcome next time. Isn't that the definition of insanity?!

    National security is one of the biggest and most important issues to this Conservative. Apparently, it is not important to many Republican Senators. Today, Senator Mitch McConnell and other Republicans officially made it clear that they no longer care about this nation's security. Shame on you, Mitch! As I wrote in the fax I sent to you today, President Bush is NOT up for re-election in 2008 but YOU ARE. Not only will I no longer be able to support your campaign with either my time or my vote, I will be very vocally in favor of voting you out for a more security-minded replacement (regardless of party affiliation). What a damned shame!!

    On the other hand, Kentuckians who are concerned about national security, securing our borders, and insisting on the rule of law will be proud to know that Senator Bunning did not let us down on today's vote. Kudos to Senator Bunning! Thank you, thank you, thank you, sir!! Maybe I ought to consider relocating to a part of Kentucky where "conservative" really MEANS Conservative. I hope that Senator Bunning will run again for re-election rather than retiring after this term as was suggested a year or so ago. We need him!

    Look, I'm not the only one hot under the collar about today's vote. Here is a statement from Richard Viguerie (author of Conservatives Betrayed) with regard to "conservatives" who voted to invoke cloture on this lousy bill today:
    [...] Any Republican Senator who voted for cloture can retire their Presidential ambitions. This means John McCain and Sam Brownback.

    The Republican Party is simply not going to nominate anyone who supports Bush’s amnesty for illegal aliens scheme. [...]
    I hate to break it to Mr. Viguerie but I do believe the Republican party has lost its marbles and just MAY nominate supporters of amnesty. Why not? President Bush is pushing for it. A sizable group of Republicans in the Senate today voted to move to a vote on it. What makes you think the Republican party is still the party you thought it was, Mr. Viguerie?

    I think Rush Limbaugh summed up my frustration and anger quite clearly today during his analysis of what happened in the Senate on this vote:
    [...] Now, the second way to look at this is, throw your hands up and say, "Screw these guys, I have had it!" We may as well not even have a Republican Party; we don't have a conservative anywhere out there; we may as well just throw our hands up; screw it, and let's just vote against these guys because they don't deserve reelection -- those that are up, I'm talking about senators, now, in 2008. I have a sneaking suspicion that many of you fall in that area today. I know how mad you are, I know how disrespected that you feel, and you're probably thinking, some of you, what the hell is the point of caring and being involved? We get involved, we let 'em know what we think, and they still don't listen to us. The reason you stay involved is because you love the country and you believe in it, and you don't want to sit idly by while you see it inalterably changed. The traditions and institutions that have defined this country's greatness, you care about maintaining, for future generations of Americans. But at the same time, you're just frustrated as you can be. You say, "Okay, there's not a reason to elect Republicans. There's not a reason to donate to them. Republican national leadership, where is it? How is it different from Democrats at all, especially when it comes to this bill?" [...]
    I realize that invoking cloture today means closing the opportunities for adding further amendments to the bill; however, none of the existing amendments do anything to improve this horrendously bad bill anyway.

    I suppose I will continue to fax, email, and call; however, at this point, I seriously doubt that we can stop this lousy piece of garbage amnesty legislation from passing. Call me a pessimist but I've earned it.

    Tuesday, June 19, 2007

    What the heck can I do? Get busy!

    I've been ranting and gnashing my teeth a lot lately over this stupid amnesty... errrr, uh, excuse me... "immigration reform" effort in Congress recently. Now, partly thanks to Kentucky's own Senator McConnell, this idiocy is being resurrected for yet more compromises and more votes.

    I stay informed as an activist as well as a blogger on this particular issue. It's time to share some inside "activist" scoop with you... For anyone who watches the news, reads the paper, reads the blogs, and wonders how he/she can make a difference in this current debate, here's the scoop from Roy Beck at NumbersUSA on everything you need to know and need to do to make your voice heard by Congress above the fray.
    Voting on whether to bring the Kennedy/Bush Comprehensive Amnesty bill back to the floor of the Senate could begin as early as tomorrow (Wednesday). And if that wins, a cloture vote could occur Friday.

    All of us must tell our Senators that any YES vote on any provision that puts the bill on the floor or moves it forward WILL be considered a VOTE FOR AMNESTY. Insist on a NO for all procedural votes.

    [Linked below are] two short papers that will be of great help to you as you contact your two U.S. Senators today:
    If you've ever lacked confidence in arguing for defeat of the S. 1348 amnesty bill, these are the short documents you've needed.


    ACTION No. 1:

    Phone both of your Senators today. Choose one or two of the flaws to talk about in your call. You can reach the D.C. office of ALL Senators at: 202-224-3121

    Tell them it will not be enough to vote NO on the final passage. If they want credit for opposing amnesty, they have to vote NO on all clotures and other procedural votes that would allow the bill back on the floor in the first place.

    Last year, several Senators voted YES on cloture when their NO vote would have made the most difference but then voted NO on the final vote when they had no chance of killing the amnesty.

    We won't let anybody get by with that this year.

    Many of you last week complained that your Senators seemed to have turned their phones off as you could never get through. We've talked with many staffers in the Senate who said that turning off the phones is just too radical and never really happens.

    The staffers said you couldn't get through because the volume of phone calling was so high. There were Senate offices last week in which the phones rang as fast as they were hung up. Way to go!

    If you have trouble getting through to the DC office, then call local offices in your state. You can see all local phone numbers of Senators at http://numbersusa.com/congressinfo/


    THESE SENATORS VOTED 'NO' TWO WEEKS AGO BUT NEED A LOT MORE PUSH TO VOTE 'NO' THIS WEEK

    Our coalition of advocacy and Senate allies say they are very hopeful to win these Senators over but that they also could easily vote YES at this point.

    If we defeat the amnesty this week, it will be because you did a fantastic job in getting nearly all of these to vote NO.

    Bingaman (D-NM)
    Boxer (D-Calif.)
    Burr (R-N.C.)
    Chambliss (R-Ga.)
    Cochran (R-Miss.)
    Ensign (R-Nev.)
    Gregg (R-N.H.)
    Hatch (R-Utah)
    Hutchison (R-Texas)
    Isakson (R-Ga.)
    Smith (R-Oregon)
    Sununu (R-N.H.)
    Sanders (I-Vt.)
    Webb (D-Va.)

    Thank these Senators for their NO vote and then read a couple of flaws to help them understand why they should keep voting NO.


    VOTED 'YES' ON AMNESTY 2 WEEKS AGO BUT CONSIDERED GOOD POSSIBILITIES TO SWITCH TO 'NO' THIS WEEK IF THEIR CONSTITUENTS PROVIDE THEM ENOUGH REASON

    Conrad (D-N.D.)
    Levin (D-Mich.)
    Nelson (D-Neb.)
    Stabenow (D-Mich.)


    CONSIDERED LONG-SHOTS FOR VOTING 'NO' THIS WEEK EVEN THOUGH THEY VOTED 'NO' ON AMNESTY 2 WEEKS AGO

    These folks need a whole lot of help. Please give it to them. Tell them they were right to vote NO two weeks ago and that no amendment that has been proposed for this round will make the bill enough better to deserve a YES vote this week. Thus, they should vote NO on all attempts to even bring this bill to a floor and vote NO on any attempt to try to bring up a package of amendments.

    Bennett (R-Utah)
    Brownback (R-Kan.) -- didn't vote 2 weeks ago but generally pro-amnesty
    Coleman (R-Minn.)
    Collins (R-Maine)
    Domenici (R-N.M.)
    McConnell (R-Ky.)
    Murkowski (R-Alaska)
    Snowe (R-Maine)
    Stevens (R-Alaska)
    Warner (R-Va.)

    PRO-AMNESTY SENATORS WITH A SLIGHT POSSIBILITY OF BEING SWITCHED

    Because of opposition from labor unions to the guest worker provisions, a few of these Democrats might switch if they felt enough heat from their constituents.

    You should not give up on these Senators. At the very least, make them feel nervous about casting a YES vote. Several of these are presidential candidates who have to be thinking how this will affect them in the general election.

    Bayh (D-Ind.)
    Biden (D-Del.)
    Brown (D-Ohio)
    Casey (D-Pa.)
    Clinton (D-N.Y.)
    Craig (R-Idaho)
    Durbin (D-Ill.)
    Dodd (D-Conn.)
    Feingold (D-Wis.)
    Harkin (D-Iowa)
    Inouye (D-Hawaii)
    Kohl (D-Wis.)
    Kyl (R-Ariz.)
    Lautenberg (D-N.J.)
    Leahy (D-Vt.)
    Lincoln (D-Ark.)
    Lott (R-Miss.)
    Murray (D-Wash.)
    Nelson (D-Fla.)
    Obama (D-Ill.)
    Reed (D-R.I.)
    Schumer (D-N.Y.)
    Whitehouse (D-R.I.)
    Wyden (D-Oregon)

    SENATORS WHO APPEAR TO BE 'LOST CAUSES' BUT WHO SHOULD FEEL THE WRATH FOR THEIR ABSOLUTE CALLOUSNESS TOWARD AMERICAN WORKERS AND COMMUNITIES

    Akaka (D-Hawaii)
    Cantwell (D-Wash.)
    Cardin (D-Md.)
    Carper (D-Del.)
    Feinstein (D-Calif.)
    Graham (R-S.C.)
    Hagel (R-Neb.)
    Kennedy (D-Mass.)
    Kerry (D-Mass.)
    Klobuchar (D-Minn.)
    Lieberman (I-Conn.)
    Lugar (R-Ind.)
    Martinez (R-Fla.)
    McCain (R-Ariz.)
    Menendez (D-N.J.)
    Mikulski (D-Md.)
    Reid (D-Nev.)
    Salazar (D-Colo.)
    Specter (R-Pa.)
    Voinovich (R-Ohio)

    THESE SENATORS ARE OUR CHAMPIONS AND DON'T NEED PHONE CALLS RIGHT NOW

    Bunning (R-Ky.) [**Note from CC: THANK YOU, SENATOR BUNNING!**]
    Byrd (D-W.Va.)
    Coburn (R-Okla.)
    DeMint (R-S.C.)
    Dole (R-N.C.)
    Dorgan (D-N.D.)
    Enzi (R-Wyo.)
    Inhofe (R-Okla.)
    McCaskill (D-Mo.)
    Roberts (R-Kan.)
    Sessions (R-Ala.)
    Shelby (R-Ala.)
    Tester (D-Mont.)
    Vitter (R-La.)

    PROBABLY VOTING 'NO' BUT MAY NEED SOME EXTRA CALLS FROM YOU

    Alexander (R-Tenn.)
    Allard (R-Colo.)
    Baucus (D-Mont.)
    Bond (R-Mo.)
    Corker (R-Tenn.)
    Cornyn (R-Texas)
    Crapo (R-Idaho)
    Grassley (R-Iowa)
    Landrieu (D-La.)
    Pryor (D-Ark.)
    Rockefeller (D-W.Va.)
    Thune (R-S.D.)


    ACTION No. 2:
    Visit your Senators' local offices today and tomorrow (unless your Senator is listed in GREEN above). Print out the two-page talking-point papers we've provided you and take them with you to the offices.

    Continuous phoning and faxing are needed. But those of you who will physically go to a Senate office in your home state will have a huge extra impact. You can see the addresses of all your Senators' local offices by clicking here.

    It is always easier if you take something with you that you can read from or point to or just hand over to a staffer.

    I think the message that staffers most need to hear is that you have to believe that the Senator has been misinformed if he/she is supporting S. 1348. Then point out one or two of the flaws we've listed on the print-outs.

    Here are items you might want to print out and take with you:
    • Your Senator's entire record of immigration actions. Let the staffers know that they can't hide anything -- that NumbersUSA publicizes every move and never forgets. And you can pick out specific actions in the past that you laud or condemn.
    • Your Senator's overall immigration-reduction grade. If they have a good grade, tell them that the grade will plummet if they vote to bring this bill back to the floor. If they have a bad grade, tell them they have a chance to greatly improve the grade by just standing with the people of your state against all efforts to bring it to the floor.
    • Any kind of home made sign that you can hold up while waiting on the sidewalk would enhance the influence of your participation.
    • Print a still photo of our NumbersUSA ad that is running in Mississippi right now, challenging Sen. Lott (R-Miss.) for having led the effort to bring the amnesty back to the floor. See the TV ad.
    Help your Senators' staffers imagine this kind of ad running in their state if they vote YES on amnesty.


    THE DOZEN BIG FLAWS IN THIS BILL


    You can view a cleaner copy of this and one that will print better for distribution by clicking here.

    Many of the waffling Senators are giving as their excuse for considering a YES vote on the amnesty that this bill will begin to reduce future illegal immigration which is better than doing nothing.

    [Roy Beck of NumbersUSA] was on a radio show this morning in Jackson, Miss., in which the host repeatedly argued with me that anybody opposing this bill is supporting doing nothing because the Democratic leaders of Senate and House will not allow any enforcement to go through without an amnesty.

    We at NumbersUSA reject this reasoning.

    We confidently believe that if this grand amnesty compromise is defeated that the Democrats will feel enough pressure to start passing single initiatives that will gradually improve the tools of enforcement -- and that the American people and our allies in Congress can shame Pres. Bush into starting to implement more of the enforcement laws already on the books.

    Please read, quote and paraphrase the following 14 flaws over and over to your Senators and staff.

    Senate Proposal is Full of Holes


    Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) has been a stalwart proponent of curbing illegal immigration and reforming the legal immigration apparatus in a truly meaningful manner. To that end, on June 4, in the middle of the first round of floor debate on the so-called “grand bargain” immigration bill, Sen. Sessions issued a press release listing egregious loopholes in the proposal, including “flaws effecting border security, chain-migration and assimilation policies.”

    In prefacing the list, Sen. Sessions indicated that he is “deeply concerned about the numerous loopholes…found in this legislation,” which he sees as “more than technical errors, but rather symptoms of a fundamentally flawed piece of legislation that stands no chance of actually fixing our broken immigration system.” Furthermore, Sen. Sessions said, “Many of the loopholes are indicative of a desire not to have the system work.”

    Flaw No. 1: Sen. Sessions pointed to perhaps the biggest flaw by noting that the “‘enforcement trigger’ fails to require the U.S. VISIT system – the biometric border check-in/check-out system established by Congress in 1996, but never implemented – to be fully functioning before new worker or amnesty programs begin. Without the system in place, the U.S. has no method of ensuring that workers and their families do not overstay their visas.”

    Flaw No. 2: While most Americans tell pollsters they want less immigration, this bill dramatically increases overall immigration. It TRIPLES chain migration through the year 2016 – all the while sanctioning a mass importation of low-skill foreign workers and, by extension, a mass importation of poverty into this country.

    Flaw No. 3: Illegal aliens get “legal status before enforcement” begins;

    Flaw No. 4: The “triggers” require “no more agents, beds, or fencing than current law” mandates;

    Flaw No. 5: The completion of background checks, including checks against criminal and terrorist databases, is “not required for” the granting of amnesty (in this bill, it is referred to as “probationary status”).

    Flaw No. 6: Criminals of all kinds – including gang members, some child molesters, and absconders (i.e., “aliens who have already had their day in court and who are now subject to…removal” covering “more than 636,000 fugitives”) are eligible for the bill’s mass amnesty;

    Flaw No. 7: “Illegal aliens with terrorism connections are not barred from getting amnesty. An illegal alien seeking most immigration benefits must merely show ‘good moral character.’”

    Flaw No. 8: Illegal aliens granted amnesty or guestworkers imported via the new “Y” “temporary worker” program can claim the Earned Income Tax Credit, which “will cost taxpayers billions in just 10 years”;

    Flaw No. 9: “Affidavits from friends” are acceptable as evidence of satisfying requirements for amnesty, thus “invite fraud and more illegal immigration”;

    Flaw No. 10: “In-state tuition and other higher education benefits…will be made available to current illegal aliens that are granted amnesty, even if the same instate tuition rates are not offered to all U.S. citizens,” a violation of current Federal law, which “mandates that educational institutions give citizens the same postsecondary education benefits they offer to illegal aliens”;

    Flaw No. 11: New visas are created for individuals who are prone to overstaying their period of authorized admission – namely, the new “parent” visa, which allows parents of citizens, and the spouses and children of new temporary workers, to visit a worker in the United States. Not only is this term “a misnomer, but also an invitation for high rates of visa overstays” because it “specifically allows the spouse and children of new temporary workers who intend to abandon their residence in a foreign country, to qualify to come to the U.S. to ‘visit.’” To obtain the visa, one must only post a $1,000 bond, “which will be forfeited when, not if, family members of new temporary workers decide to overstay their 30 day visit. Workers should travel to their home countries to visit their families, not the other way around”;

    Flaw No. 12: To be granted amnesty, illegal aliens need not pay back income taxes;

    Flaw No. 13: Social Security credits for work done while in the United States illegally will be granted to “aliens who came to the U.S. on legal visas, but overstayed their visas and have been working in the U.S. for years, as well as illegal aliens who apply for Z visa status but do not qualify”; and,

    Flaw No. 14: “The criminal fines an illegal alien is required to pay to receive amnesty are less than the bill’s criminal fines for paperwork violations committed by U.S. citizens, and can be paid by installment,” which means that “the fine for illegally entering, using false documents to work, one-tenth the fine for a paperwork violation committed by a government official.

    The Terrorism Awareness Project

    You may know that David Horowitz is the former radical Leftist of the 60s who opened his mind to intellectual honesty and made a change for the better in his worldview. FrontPage Magazine is probably his best known online presence and it's where much of his work is done challenging the closed-minded collective at work in this country's academic establishment. Horowitz makes a difference and is keeping the Left on their toes.

    With a new project from The David Horowitz Freedom Center, he is now in the business of keeping terrorists and radical Islam on their toes. He is providing a ready education online for you if you're ready to be intelletually open and willing to adopt a more aware worldview.

    If you haven't seen it yet, please allow me to make the introduction... Folks, meet The Terrorism Awareness Project. The video presentations and the facts laid on this site will be a real eye-opener for anyone who hasn't been paying attention since the late 1970s.

    Monday, June 18, 2007

    Syria Misses Sheehan

    It's sad, isn't it? Cindy Sheehan left the Democratic party and ended her fight to end the war in Iraq. I, for one, will miss her. (No, not really; I'm being facetious.) I'm sure there are many more on the far Left in this country who will miss her but none more than the Syrians. WHAT? Did you just read what you thought you read?... yep.
    [...] Cindy Sheehan has long been considered an example of how a [single] person [can] lead a campaign to change the outlook and position of a strong regime, like the American one, and she has long been a beacon for all those who defend liberty and justice in the world. The news of her retirement [from public life] caused [us] to lose hope, [but] when I read her clearly reasoned letter of resignation [from the anti-war movement], I understood the extent of her difficulty. [...]
    Read the full dispatch from the Middle East Media Research Institute for more eye-opening opinions from Syria.

    Priceless Penn & Teller

    While searching for something completely different, I ran across an episode of Penn & Teller's "Bullshit!" that just seemed so refreshing, I felt compelled to share it with my friends who may not have seen it. I've embedded them in the order you should watch them. (The episode was broken into three parts.)

    Apologies ahead of time to my friends who are environmentalists (you know who you are) who may find the frankness in this video offensive. For the rest of you, ENJOY! ;-)

    <>

    If you yearn for more of Penn & Teller's brand of frankness, check out this clip from another episode of "Bullshit!" where hippies sign a petition to ban water! Geez. It's like shooting fish in a barrel, isn't it?!

    The Test of Three

    In ancient Greece (469 - 399 BC), Socrates was widely lauded for his wisdom. One day the great philosopher came upon an acquaintance, who ran up to him excitedly and said,

    "Socrates, do you know what I just heard about one of your students...?"

    "Wait a moment," Socrates replied. "Before you tell me, I'd like you to pass a little test. It's called the Test of Three."

    "Test of Three?"

    "That's correct," Socrates continued. "Before you talk to me about my student let's take a moment to test what you're going to say. The first test is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?"

    "No," the man replied, "actually I just heard about it."

    "All right," said Socrates. "So you don't really know if it's true or not. Now let's try the second test, the test of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my student something good?"

    "No, on the contrary..."

    "So," Socrates continued, "you want to tell me something bad about him even though you're not certain it's true?"

    The man shrugged, a little embarrassed.

    Socrates continued, "You may still pass though because there is a third test - the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my student going to be useful to me?"

    "No, not really..."

    "Well," concluded Socrates, "if what you want to tell me is neither True nor Good nor even Useful, why tell it to me at all?"

    The man was defeated and ashamed and said no more.

    This is the reason Socrates was a great philosopher and held in such high esteem.

    This also explains why Socrates didn't find out that Plato was banging his wife.


    (Thanks for the chuckle this evening, Joe!)

    Sunday, June 17, 2007

    Kentuckians don't care about illegal immigration?

    What?! Who the heck says so? Well, folks, I hear through the grapevine that Kentucky's senior Senator has directly stated or implied as much to concerned callers who are hoping to dissuade Mitch McConnell from his efforts to revive Senate Bill 1348.

    This bill is disastrous to all Americans who care about the laws of this country. Any American who thinks it actually means something to become an American ought to be angry as hell about the push for this bill from the president and others in the GOP. If you haven't been following this battle closely, read NumbersUSA's summary and analysis of the bill and the battle surrounding it -- it's very enlightening. NumbersUSA's website has all the info you need to put pressure on senators to kill this bill or end their wavering stance on it. It's a great resource for those of us who care about the future of our country.

    As Senator McConnell continues to help the President in an effort to ram a totally unsatisfactory "immigration reform" bill down our throats, I hope he bears in mind that he is up for re-election in 2008. THIS Kentuckian certainly DOES care about illegal immigration. (Check out McConnell's report card from the folks at NumbersUSA. It's not good.)

    While Mitch is busy calling in favors from other Republicans in an effort to get this bill done for the president, Senator Jim Bunning has been holding the line AGAINST this bill and, once again, listening to his constituents. Check out Bunning's report card in comparison to McConnell's. Terrific work, Senator Bunning! Thank you for understanding the people you represent and holding the line for us.

    I'm am absolutely furious with McConnell's behavior the past year or so. He has shown nothing but utter disregard for the people he represents. Our voices are not being heard through his actions on the Hill. I was proud to have one of our senators in a leadership position during this session of Congress; however, I now wish that it had been Senator Bunning and not McConnell.

    If Senator McConnell continues to help try to revive and pass this bill, I will vote for any Conservative (regardless of party) who has a strong anti-illegal immigration stance who challenges McConnell for the seat in '08. If there are no true Conservatives challenging McConnell in '08, I'll do something that I have never done before -- ignore a race on my ballot.

    A group of fine Americans known as The Minutemen who saw a need and stepped in to fill it were called "vigilantes" by President Bush last year for their efforts to secure our southern border; that jab against fine Americans was inexcusable in my eyes. I hope Senator McConnell will note that The Minutemen now have a chapter in Kentucky... Kentucky? Why, Kentuckians don't care about illegal immigration... do they?...

    Thursday, June 14, 2007

    ImposterChick!

    Ack! It has come to my attention that there is another woman online calling her blog "ConservaChick!" *GASP!* The neeeerve! Well, I suppose *WE* know who was here first, now don't we?!

    CENTCOM & Daveed's Articles -- Coming Soon!

    Yes, I suppose I'm making a lackluster effort at catching up on all the time I missed blogging; however, I do hope to catch everyone up on the CENTCOM releases and our friend Daveed Gartenstein-Ross's recent trip to Iraq very soon. It make be Sunday afternoon by the time I get to all of this but it's coming. I promise!

    Shame on Us All

    It is apparent to me that the time is long past due for true Conservatives to square up their shoulders and declare "BS" on the type of rhetoric coming out of the White House in recent months when Peggy Noonan puts it in print. She is truly one of the best and brightest Conservative writers. She worked for one of the best and brightest Conservative figures of our time. She calls it like she sees it and, friends, she sees it as a shame.

    I'm quite a bit behind on my reading lately so bear with me here. From her June 1, 2007 article in the Opinion Journal, it's clear that my "bad vibes" over the past year weren't just one Conservative's heeby-jeebies, they are heeby-jeebies shared amongst Conservatives:
    [...] What conservatives and Republicans must recognize is that the White House has broken with them. What President Bush is doing, and has been doing for some time, is sundering a great political coalition. This is sad, and it holds implications not only for one political party but for the American future. [...]
    I was annoyed as hell when President Bush labeled the fine men and women involved in the Minutemen Project "vigilantes." I have been absolutely beside myself with his insistence on pushing some very bad legislation that will create yet more federal government, a greater influx of illegal aliens, and provide a clean pass for those who break our laws. Now, the tone of rhetoric coming out of the White House has me absolutely boiling. It hasn't slipped Peggy's notice either.
    [...] The president has taken to suggesting that opponents of his immigration bill are unpatriotic--they "don't want to do what's right for America." His ally Sen. Lindsey Graham has said, "We're gonna tell the bigots to shut up." On Fox last weekend he vowed to "push back." Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff suggested opponents would prefer illegal immigrants be killed; Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez said those who oppose the bill want "mass deportation." Former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson said those who oppose the bill are "anti-immigrant" and suggested they suffer from "rage" and "national chauvinism." [...]
    WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?! Evidently, Peggy Noonan knows: They are faux-Conservatives who are tearing true Conservative ideology to shreds. It's too bad; it's a damned shame. If true Conservatives stand by and let this happen, the shame will be on us all.

    Monday, June 11, 2007

    Creature Comforts is simply the bee's knees!

    I missed the debut of "Creature Comforts" last week but was determined to catch it this evening. I am soooo glad I did -- what an absolute hoot!

    The show is delightful. It's a half-hour of the opinions of average Americans on topics such as visits to the doctor, lies, animal magnetism, art, and self-image presented to the audience through stop-motion animation of clay animals... bumble bees with the stereotypical Brooklyn accent, pigs with a southern twang, penguins guessing what flying must be like, a polar bear whose biggest secret is that he never learned to swim, porcupines discussing the fear of needles, a hippo talking about the irritation of being weighed at the doctor's office by a skinny nurse... I cannot even begin to describe how funny the choice of animal and activity are when synched with the human opinion and commentary elicited from simple questions.


    If you're a fan of Nick Park's Wallace and Gromit animations, you absolutely MUST see this show! (Note: You can watch the first episode online by clicking the "Video" link here.)

    ?Que pasa, el Presidente?

    Congratulations on the terrific work so far by NumbersUSA and the alert American people on stopping cloture on Senate Bill S. 1348 (the negotiated substitute for the "Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007")! Way to go folks!!

    Here are the roll call votes on the cloture motion. I am happy to note that our two Senators voted Nay. Nice job, fellas. This constituent certainly appreciates your support.

    This bill is best left dead on the side of the road for the vultures. While the vultures feast on the dead bill, however, whaddaya say we get busy on building that fence and enforcing our borders? Hmmm?...

    It seems to me that public opinion of the initial immigration reform bill has dipped unfavorably as Americans are educated on its provisions. Probably for the first time EVER, I want Congress to do absolutely nothing. NADA.

    It's time to promote stronger enforcement of our current immigration laws. The federal government is doing a mediocre job (at best) of enforcing the current laws. The only "reform" necessary at this point is a stronger northern and southern border to staunch the flow of illegal immigrants. After we get enforcement well in hand, then we might talk about other issues surrounding immigration. For now, staunch the flow of illegal immigration. Enforce, enforce, enforce. It's really that simple.

    President Bush has continued to rankle a large group of Conservatives (myself included) with his drive for "comprehensive immigration reform" that includes a whole new class of immigrant (MORE government bureaucracy) and what amounts to amnesty for those who broke our laws to get here. All of this while our borders are STILL wide open to more illegal immigration. Where's the fence? Where are the troops?

    El Presidente might rate more favorably on this issue in Mexico and Canada than he does here. Vicente Fox and anyone with illegal entry on his/her mind have no better friend right now; unfortunately, the American people have no worse enemy with regard to securing our borders. It's sad to see and I'm sorry to have to say it.

    I truly think that there's not a human being on this planet who can say (with a straight face) that "illegal immigration is good for this country." It's not only bad for this country, it's bad for the illegal workers who put their sweat and blood into work for which they have no legal protections. Look, any criminal breaking the laws of this country will absolutely be taken advantage of by vultures promoting this type of lawlessness with phrases such as "doing the work Americans won't do." The reward for those who "do the work?" Poor pay and poorer conditions and no protection from these vultures. There is no need to continue turning our heads to this just for sake of cheap lettuce. Is that really a choice we want to make as a citizenry?

    The next time President Bush and his "comprehensive immigration reform" crowd are asked "?Que pasa?" I hope to heck they answer, "Nada."

    Keep up the good work, NumbersUSA and concerned Americans!

    Saturday, June 09, 2007

    Party Planner

    My brother, Dad, and I recently threw a big party for the one-year anniversary of my Mom's diagnosis of cancer -- she's in remission! -- and her 65th birthday. It was an absolute blast but the planning and execution of that while keeping up with big projects at work has been a test of my stamina. Sheesh, this year is absolutely FLYING by in my little world!

    As a token of my appreciation for your patience with my lack of posting here lately, I hope you'll get a chuckle out of the photo collage I put together for the party. This collage is meant as a representation of my Mom's best qualities (loving wife, mother and grandmother, goofy/fun gal pal, lovely woman). Enjoy!
    By the way, if you live in the Louisville area and are looking for a great place to host a large party, I HIGHLY recommend the Kingfish Restaurant on River Road. Their banquet room is outstanding (large, great view of the river, dance floor, and audio/video capabilities, etc.) and their staff is extraordinarily helpful. We plan to use them again and again!