September 6, 2014
Protect and Defend the U.S. from EMP Threat
From The Daily Signal, first published August 24, 2011
The United States could find itself in a precarious position much worse than the recent D.C. earthquake if attacked by an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapon. An EMP would cause current and voltage surges and burn out the semi-conductor chips of all electronic devices within the line of sight. A single nuclear weapon detonated at a high altitude has the potential to instantly send the United States back to the 19th century. The Heritage Foundation recently devoted one of its public events to this important issue. As James Carafano, Baker Spring, and Richard Weitz argue, despite the EMP Commission’s 2004 and 2008 recommendations, hardly any progress has been made in protecting the country from the consequences of an EMP attack.
A long-range ballistic missile shot from Iran, Russia, China, or North Korea could deliver a nuclear payload to an altitude high enough to cause an EMP blast. Less technologically challenging short-range nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles, launched from vessels such as freighters, tankers, or container ships off U.S. shores, could cause an EMP effect.
The best way to address the EMP threat is to build a robust missile defense system, comprised primarily of Aegis ballistic missile defense capable ships;Aegis Ashore, a land-based missile defense component; and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle capabilities. So far, the Obama Administration’s record is questionable. It has made massive cuts to the U.S. missile defense program and cancelled some of the most promising programs.
An EMP could be inflicted without an organized group behind it. With the right equipment, a lone terrorist could cause a blackout of a city—and he would not even need a nuclear weapon. The EMP effect can also be created during an electromagnetic solar storm—known as a Carrington effect—and could impact the grid the same way as a nuclear weapon.
It is imperative for the United States to prepare for an EMP attack. For about $200 million, the United States can harden the major transformers associated with major metropolitan areas. This relatively minor investment could save millions of American lives.
September 5, 2014
New undocumented students will cost Virginia millions, group says
By Kathryn Watson / September 4, 2014
By Kathryn Watson | Watchdog.org, Virginia Burau
RICHMOND, Va.— Virginia classrooms this school year will include as many as 2,800 new undocumented children costing state taxpayers $54 million.
The cost for school-eligible children who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border and have been released in Virginia — oftentimes extended family members — is among the highest per-capita in the nation, according to the Federation for American Immigration Reform. FAIR, a research group opposed to illegal immigration, said the feds reimburse the state and localities about 10 percent.
If you’re doing the math, that works out to nearly $20,000 per student. Why so high? In a nutshell, it costs more to document underprivileged students for whom English is a second language.
“The reason these kids are more expensive to these school districts is because many have limited English skills,” Bob Dane, communications director for FAIR, told Watchdog.org. “…There’s a lot of catch-up, there are a lot of cultural hurdles.”
As Watchdog.org reported, Gov. Terry McAuliffe — when asked on radio how he will handle undocumented children in regard to jobs and schools — said immigration is a federal issue and, “we don’t have an issue in Virginia.”
Dane said that’s nonsense.
“It’s always a concern to taxpayers, considering the taxpayer pays state, local and federal taxes,” he said.
For school administrators, teaching children who come to the U.S. without proper papers isn’t new, as interviews with school officials around the state show. But Dane said that doesn’t mean it’s easy — especially when state and local budgets are already strapped.
FAIR analyzed Department of Homeland Security figures and education funding formulas in all 50 states to develop its estimates.
The 37,000 unaccompanied children placed by the Department of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services around the country will cost the nation’s taxpayers up to $761 million for the 2014-15 school year, FAIR says.
But a new report from Pew Research Center shows 56 percent of Americans favor allowing undocumented children to attend public schools while they await deportation hearings; 40 percent are opposed and the rest don’t know.
FAIR says Virginians already spend about $1.2 billion a year teaching about 95,000 children of illegal immigrants, although it doesn’t make a distinction between children born in the U.S. and children born in other countries who come to the U.S. The law does make a distinction.
The average wait time for a deportation hearing in the U.S., which has increased each year since 2009, is close to 600 days.
So far, the feds have only deported fewer than 300 undocumented children who crossed the border this year.
“We all want compassion for the illegal alien kids, but I think we understand that kids in the classroom aren’t’ getting a fair shake at a good education when the classrooms are crowded, the teachers are burdened, and English becomes a challenge,” Dane said.
Kathryn Watson is an investigative reporter with Watchdog.org’s Virginia Bureau, and can be followed on Twitter @kathrynw5.
Reposted with permission 9/5/14
September 4, 2014
We should all be alarmed by the extent to which roles of parents and families have been relinquished to government. As Ronald Reagan once said, “As government grows, liberty contracts.” What should be the administration of academic learning and a few basic social skills has grown into a monstrous dependence on government to meet the needs of children, from food, to shelter, to moral instruction. To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, “As dependency on the public school system grows, the American family contracts.”
The following is the aggregate list of services offered, decade by decade, by America’s public schools. Jamie Vollmer, a teacher, consultant, and public education advocate, compiled this list as evidence for his argument that public schools need and are worthy of ever increasing levels of funding. Although I am using Vollmer’s list in it’s original form, my purpose in using it is not to support the growth of government-run education, but instead to reveal how many parental responsibilities have been taken up by public schools. It’s alarming to see the the extent to which roles of parents and families have been relinquished to a government entity. As Ronald Reagan once said, “As government grows, liberty contracts.” What should be the administration of academic learning and a few basic social skills has grown into a monstrous dependence on government to increasingly meet the needs of children from food, to shelter, to moral instruction. To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, “As dependency on the public school system grows, the American family contracts.”
From 1900 to 1910, we shifted to the school responsibilities related to:.
- Health (Activities in the health arena multiply every year.)
From 1910 to 1930, we added:.
- Physical education (including organized athletics)
- The Practical Arts/Domestic Science/Home economics (including sewing and cooking)
- Vocational education (including industrial and agricultural education)
- Mandated school transportation
In the 1940s, we added:.
- Business education (including typing, shorthand, and bookkeeping)
- Art and music
- Speech and drama
- Half-day kindergarten
- School lunch programs (We take this for granted today, but it was a huge step to shift to the schools the job of feeding America’s children one third of their daily meals.)
In the 1950s, we added:.
- Expanded science and math education
- Safety education
- Driver’s education
- Expanded music and art education
- Stronger foreign language requirements
- Sex education (Topics continue to escalate.)
In the 1960s, we added:.
- Advanced Placement programs
- Head Start
- Title I
- Adult education
- Consumer education (purchasing resources, rights and responsibilities)
- Career education (occupational options, entry level skill requirements)
- Peace, leisure, and recreation education [Loved those sixties.]
In the 1970s, the breakup of the American family accelerated, and we added:.
- Drug and alcohol abuse education
- Parenting education (techniques and tools for healthy parenting)
- Behavior adjustment classes (including classroom and communication skills)
- Character education
- Special education (mandated by federal government)
- Title IX programs (greatly expanded athletic programs for girls)
- Environmental education
- Women’s studies
- African-American heritage education
- School breakfast programs (Now some schools feed America’s children two-thirds of their daily meals throughout the school year and all summer. Sadly, these are the only decent meals some children receive.)
In the 1980s, the floodgates opened, and we added:.
- Keyboarding and computer education
- Global education
- Multicultural/Ethnic education
- Nonsexist education
- English-as-a-second-language and bilingual education
- Teen pregnancy awareness
- Hispanic heritage education
- Early childhood education
- Jump Start, Early Start, Even Start, and Prime Start
- Full-day kindergarten
- Preschool programs for children at risk
- After-school programs for children of working parents
- Alternative education in all its forms
- Stranger/danger education
- Antismoking education
- Sexual abuse prevention education
- Expanded health and psychological services
- Child abuse monitoring (a legal requirement for all teachers)
In the 1990s, we added:.
- Conflict resolution and peer mediation
- HIV/AIDS education
- CPR training
- Death education
- America 2000 initiatives (Republican)
- Expanded computer and internet education
- Distance learning
- Tech Prep and School to Work programs
- Technical Adequacy
- Post-secondary enrollment options
- Concurrent enrollment options
- Goals 2000 initiatives (Democratic)
- Expanded Talented and Gifted opportunities
- At risk and dropout prevention
- Homeless education (including causes and effects on children)
- Gang education (urban centers)
- Service learning
- Bus safety, bicycle safety, gun safety, and water safety education
In the first decade of the twenty-first century, we added:.
- No Child Left Behind (Republican)
- Bully prevention
- Anti-harassment policies (gender, race, religion, or national origin)
- Expanded early childcare and wrap around programs
- Elevator and escalator safety instruction
- Body Mass Index evaluation (obesity monitoring)
- Organ donor education and awareness programs
- Personal financial literacy
- Entrepreneurial and innovation skills development
- Media literacy development
- Contextual learning skill development
- Health and wellness programs
- Race to the Top (Democratic)
Please visit JamieVollmer.com to read more about him and his list. Posted by Marjorie Haun 9/4/14
September 3, 2014
Before you move into your mud hut by the river, burn wood and dried cow pies for cooking and warmth, eat grasshoppers and deer mice, poop in a hole in the ground, and live a short life and die a brutal death at the age of 23, please consider how interconnected affordable and abundant fossil fuels are with human history and the steady increases in longevity and life-span.
I had the privilege this summer of interacting with all sorts of people as I worked in behalf of pro-fossil fuel ballot initiatives. When approaching a potential supporter I would say:
Do you like hot showers and cold soda pop?
Most would answer in the affirmative, or at least stop walking long enough to see what I was up to. Next I would ask:
Do you believe in American energy independence?
Amazingly, some would say “NO!” and walk on. I attribute this to a couple of things, first, I look like a Conservative. I’m well groomed, fit, attractive, relaxed, clean and happy, plus I usually wear a tight t-shirt displaying Old Glory when I do this kind of work. The fact that I’m an unequivocal Right-winger might explain why some people actually took the stance that America should be dependent on foreign sources, (or no sources at all) for our literal life blood. But others would wait for what came next:
Do you support Colorado’s clean energy industry, and do you think those jobs which come mostly from the exploration and extraction of clean Natural Gas should benefit our own people?
This was the deal maker or breaker. Despite the fact that I live in the fracking paradise of Western Colorado, there were a few hostile, incoherent, environmentalist progressives who would freak at the mere mention of oil and gas. Some of the best responses to my question, “Do you support Colorado’s clean oil and gas industry,” were:
- “NO!” (This is funny because obviously these people drove a car to get where they were and charged their cell phone before they got there)
- “I hate you f***ing people. I wish you f***ers would die!” (This was the response of a 70-something desiccated hippie puke who was in the presence of his little grand children. Yeah, classy.) And last but not least–
- “Hell no! Fracking destroys the environment! It’s killing the planet! Fracking causes earthquakes and learning disabilities!”
Secretly, within the confines of my my mind, I would say:
Okay you nasty hippie liberal maggot, you drove here in a car; you grow your weed using electricity-guzzling halogen lamps; you process your meth on a stove that burns Natural Gas; you spend your days watching PBS on an electricity-powered flat-screen TV; and you fill your gut with beer which goes through a process using every fossil fuel imaginable. Obviously you don’t take hot showers because you stink like roadkill in July, but you need fossil fuels for every frigging thing you do. If you don’t support the industry you stinking hypocrite, why don’t just go ahead and BOYCOTT oil, gas and coal you pathetic hippie moron.
I’m a polite person, so I would never say that aloud. But if you extrapolate out the natural consequence of hippie moron logic, in order to be honest they would have to boycott everything that comes from gas, coal, and oil, or just kill themselves. The following list is a fragment of a fraction of what people would give up through a through and honest boycott of fossil fuels and their products:
One 42-gallon barrel of oil creates 19.4 gallons of gasoline. The rest (over half) is used to make things like:
Solvents Diesel fuel Motor Oil Bearing Grease Ink Floor Wax Ballpoint Pens Football Cleats Upholstery Sweaters Boats Insecticides Bicycle Tires Sports Car Bodies Nail Polish Fishing lures Dresses Tires Golf Bags Perfumes Cassettes Dishwasher parts Tool Boxes Shoe Polish Motorcycle Helmet Caulking Petroleum Jelly Transparent Tape CD Player Faucet Washers Antiseptics Clothesline Curtains Food Preservatives Basketballs Soap Vitamin Capsules Antihistamines Purses Shoes Dashboards Cortisone Deodorant Footballs Putty Dyes Panty Hose Refrigerant Percolators Life Jackets Rubbing Alcohol Linings Skis TV Cabinets Shag Rugs Electrician’s Tape Tool Racks Car Battery Cases Epoxy Paint Mops Slacks Insect Repellent Oil Filters Umbrellas Yarn Fertilizers Hair Coloring Roofing Toilet Seats Fishing Rods Lipstick Denture Adhesive Linoleum Ice Cube Trays Synthetic Rubber Speakers Plastic Wood Electric Blankets Glycerin Tennis Rackets Rubber Cement Fishing Boots Dice Nylon Rope Candles Trash Bags House Paint Water Pipes Hand Lotion Roller Skates Surf Boards Shampoo Wheels Paint Rollers Shower Curtains Guitar Strings Luggage Aspirin Safety Glasses Antifreeze Football Helmets Awnings Eyeglasses Clothes Toothbrushes Ice Chests Footballs Combs CD’s & DVD’s Paint Brushes Detergents Vaporizers Balloons Sun Glasses Tents Heart Valves Crayons Parachutes Telephones Enamel Pillows Dishes Cameras Anesthetics Artificial Turf Artificial limbs Bandages Dentures Model Cars Folding Doors Hair Curlers Cold cream Movie film Soft Contact lenses Drinking Cups Fan Belts Car Enamel Shaving Cream Ammonia Refrigerators Golf Balls Toothpaste Gasoline
But it’s not just stuff, it’s the quality of life that matters. There are other ways our lives would become unlivable without gas, oil and coal. Before you say “NO!” to fracking, gas, oil and coal, and before you move into your mud hut by the river, burn wood and dried cow pies for cooking and warmth, eat grasshoppers and deer mice, poop in a hole in the ground, and live a short life and die a brutal death at the age of 23, please consider how interconnected affordable and abundant fossil fuels are with human history and the steady increases in longevity and life-span.
- 49% of U.S. electricity comes from coal, more than twice the contribution of either nuclear power or natural gas.
- Coal is found in most of the lower 48 states of U.S. and throughout the rest of the world.
- Oil has been used for more than 5,000-6,000 years. The ancient Sumerians, Assyrians and Babylonians used crude oil and asphalt (“pitch”) collected from large seeps at Tuttul (modern-day Hit) on the Euphrates River.
- The United States gets 37% of its energy from petroleum, or oil.
- Sometime between 6,000 to 2,000 years BC, the first discoveries of natural gas seeps were made in Iran.
- Natural gas is the cleanest-burning fossil fuel.
Wind and solar power are incredibly inefficient, especially when it comes to large-scale electricity output, requiring subsidies from tax-payers and corporate entities, and both require myriad minerals and compounds that someone, somewhere in the world, has to pull out of the bowels of the earth.
- US installed wind turbine capacity was 4.4% of US energy generation. On a global basis, wind energy’s contribution is about 3.2%.
- Absent economically-viable, utility-scale, energy storage, intermittent, wind energy cannot exist on the grid, unless balanced by coal, gas and hydro plants.
- Solar panels contain lead (neurotoxin), cadmium (known carcinogen), triflourine (potent greenhouse gas).
- Numerous toxic “rare earth” metals, most of which are mined in China, are used in wind turbine technology.
- Yearly, wind turbines kill nearly 600,000 birds and 900,000 bats in the United States alone.
Electricity keeps the heart of human progress beating. The loss of electricity on a large scale would have immediate and deadly consequences. Everything from medical devices to basic communications would cease to function, and, in the case of an EMP event or similar cataclysm, within one year, 90% of the population would be dead or dying. So, to all you ninnies who hate the oil and gas industry and think coal is the big, dirty monster that ate the environment, I lay down this challenge. For one week, boycott it all. Have the power to your home cut off. Give up your transportation, your communication devices, and every tangible, and intangible thing in your life that exists because of Natural Gas, oil, or coal. And don’t your dare go to your neighbor’s house for that cold soda pop and hot shower. After a week of living in the stone age, you let me know how it’s working for you.
by Marjorie Haun 9/3/14
by James Carafano August 31, 2014
“I’d bet they’re asleep in New York. I’d bet they’re asleep all over America,” bemoans Rick the saloonkeeper in the classic 1942 film “Casablanca.”
As Humphrey Bogart mumbled those words on a Hollywood backlot, the world could not have been in worse shape. The swastika waved over Rick’s beloved Paris. Nazis boots were on the march everywhere. Nevertheless, “Casablanca” did a huge box office.
The story of Rick’s transformation from pacifist to patriot mirrored the shift in the national mood. In 1942, after Pearl Harbor, Americans were ready for a fight.
And fight they did. Monday, August 25 marks the 70th Anniversary of the liberation of Paris, one of the greatest symbols of the world winning back its freedom from Nazi domination.
Today, as on every occasion associated with the war, we pause to marvel at the accomplishments of the “Greatest Generation.” They are silver-haired and stoop shouldered, now. It is hard to imagine that passengers unloading from an Honor Flight (a tribute that flies veterans to Washington, D.C., to visit the national World War II memorial), were once leaping into the early morning darkness that shrouded Normandy.
Freedom’s future was won by youth. In the U.S., those between 18 and 41 were considered eligible for military service, but the average age of a combat soldier was around 26.
And it wasn’t just American youth that went to war. The first troops into Paris were units of the Free French. Their way was paved by the French Resistance, whose ranks were also filled with young men and women who fought to take freedom back.
At the time they had no idea that their generation was great or even good. Before WW II, many wondered if Americans still had the right stuff—if a GI could ever match-up to a doughboy.
The novelist James Michener, who served in the Pacific during World War II recalled, “Many observers considered us a lost generation and feared we might collapse if summed to some crucial battlefield.”
And there was measure of guilt that Americans had done too little to match the fascist menace from Germany and Japan. Army chaplain Russell Cartwright Stroup, another veteran of the Pacific war, wrote that he chose overseas service because he felt that, “as part of a generation that failed to prevent this war, I should suffer with those who are victims of our failure.”
But measure up they did. Sixteen million Americans put on a uniform. They fought on every continent except Antarctica. Almost half the U.S. economy was diverted to the war effort.
Many might say never again. By some estimates, about 75 percent of American youth are not even qualified for military service.
They also say Americans are sick of war. That America has no stomach for boots on the ground. They say America can’t afford to defend itself.
Hopefully, America’s youth will never have to liberate Paris again. But, it would be unwise to assume that this generation could not.
America has never been the same country. It has been weak and agrarian. It has been powerful and industrialized. The only common characteristic is that—whatever the era—they were all Americans. And, yet, every generation of Americans has proved to be the greatest generation. Every generation has answered the call to arms when it came.
August 30, 2014
A number of our social problems and political divisions come from the inability of people to formulate and conform to a national identity. Minorities fail to assimilate properly because they’re not taught what it means to be an American. Even non-immigrant students are sometimes confused about what is right with America, what is wrong about our history, and whether or not they should be proud of their country.
Cold shoulders from Liberals on the school board and berating from our local press are but a few of the reactions to the excellent idea a friend of mine has for using “The 5000 Year Leap” as a textbook in our local high school Civics classes. The friend, who is a member of the local school board, has introduced a plan to bring the Constitution of the United States back into classrooms by replacing inaccurate and left-leaning text books with those that more fully teach the history and context of our founding.
His enthusiasm has been met with skepticism and resistance from the entrenched lefties on the board, but little do the Liberals realize that until we return the fundamentals of Americanism to the public school system, the viability of that school system, and the children who come through it, are in doubt. I’ll happily fight alongside my friend despite rejection and barrages of berating to bring Constitutional curricula back to our local classrooms.
Proper education in the founding principles provides relatively simple answers to a plethora of questions that beset our nation. A number of our social problems and political divisions come from the inability of people to formulate and conform to a national identity. Minorities fail to assimilate properly because they’re not taught what it means to be an American. Even non-immigrant students are sometimes confused about what is right with America, what is wrong about our history, and whether or not they should be proud of their country. Too often pupils in our public schools lack the background knowledge needed to be active and conscientious citizens. Our young people are struggling with their identities as Americans because they are not educated about what America is, and where it came from. Proper education about the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution has the potential to end America’s prolonged identity crisis. The genius of our Founding Documents lies in the scaffolding they provide for people to understand their relationship to God.
Yes, the Founding Documents serve as the groundwork for a secular government, but they are based upon, and their success is determined by, our ability to identify with our Creator. The archetypal American identity is a godly identity, and carries with it responsibilities that were once considered sacred. The key observance that in the past secured American youngsters’ national identity suffered a disabling blow when, in 1962, religious prayer in public schools was found unconstitutional and no longer allowed. Over the following decades the quality of Western Civilization, American History, and Civics education was eroded by revisionism, Multiculturalism, the commingling of Socialist and Atheist doctrines, and the shocking omission of key political figures and events. America’s public schools are suffering from identity confusion which has resulted in estrangement from the rugged individualism, self-sufficiency, and moral certainty of our pioneer forbears.
A poor, or distorted concept of Americanism has lead learners to view the government as the primary source of wisdom, physical support, and rights, and has given them an identity that is more bound to the collective than it is to God. The first principles of our Founding Documents place the responsibility for the life, liberty, and the property of the citizen squarely upon the shoulders of the citizen. The idea that man is free–a moral agent to act or be acted upon–responsible for his own success or failure, is the basis of American philosophy. Americanism is the idea that man is given his rights by God, and to maintain those rights he must live a godly and moral life.
The founding of America served as the beginning of the end of monarchical dictates that arbitrated the relationship between God and man. The American identity is intimately associated with the moral traits of honor, accountability, and equality under the law. As God and the Founding Principles of America have been jettisoned from public education, the ties between students and their unique and great nation have been nearly severed. The loss of national pride contributes to much of the social dissipation and depression that vexes our families and culture. Human identity is at the core of hope, happiness, and meaning. When people lose their connection with God, either by conforming to degraded stereotypes belched into living rooms and movie theaters, or because they have lost the sense that they have power over their lives, achievements, and their futures, there is little left but self-absorption, groveling, and despair.
The loss of American identity leaves a void that can be easily filled with counterfeits like European-style Socialism and cultural moral relativism (the idea that all cultures are equally good). High-quality Constitutional education will not only enhance the historical knowledge and civics savvy of American public school students, it has enormous potential to benefit the culture. A moral framework is central to the healthy emotional and social development of children, and our founding documents provide such a framework. Though irreligious, they are of the mind of God. Civilization will only be redeemed through the kind of moral revolution that reasserts individual agency, worth, and godly identity. Our economic, mental, and cultural health are doomed without such a revolution. The best weapon in this peaceful revolution is credible education in what it means to be an American, and why to be so is such an expansive and unequaled blessing.
The Constitutional education books currently recommended to the Mesa County School Board for consideration:
The 5000 Year Leap by Cleon Skousen
Our Constitution Rocks by Juliette Turner
What Would the Founding Fathers Think by David Bowman
1776 by David McCullough
Seven Miracles that Saved America by Chris Stewart
The Real George Washington by Jay A. Perry and Andrew M. Allison
by Marjorie Haun 8/30/14
August 29, 2014
Illegal aliens have been destroying wildlife habitats and delicate environmental areas along the southern border for years. Although not a new problem, it has reached devastating proportions as the surge, beginning last year, of illegals pouring into the Southwest has exploded. The Left, invested in this tsunami of new Democrat voters, has remained largely silent on the environmental impact of their new constituents. Below is a collection of stories and images chronicling the pollution, damage, and species depletion caused by the unchecked, human-caused disaster known as the “border crisis.”
Trampled Wilderness: Illegal Immigrants, Drug Traffickers Destroying Border Parks (Brownsville Herald, June 2002)
By JULIE WATSON
The Associated PressEL PINACATE BIOSPHERE RESERVE, Mexico Drug traffickers scar volcanic desert with illicit runways, while law enforcement officials chase them through once-tranquil parks. Thousands of migrants traipse across delicate backcountry areas sending campers fleeing to ranger stations, fearful of crowds trekking by their tents in the night.
Wilderness areas on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border are taking a beating from an onslaught of migrants, drug traffickers and law enforcement officials, a new study says. Some national treasures in both countries have been lost forever.
Few parks have taken a greater toll than the U.N.-designated biosphere reserve El Pinacate and Arizonas adjoining Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. Last year, officials caught 200,000 migrants and 700,000 pounds of drugs in Organ Pipe alone.
Arizona’s Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, situated along its border with Mexico, has suffered irreparable harm from more than a decade of illegal aliens streaming through on their way north. Its slow-growing and fragile cacti, some hundreds of years old, are often pushed over or gouged by illegals and the coyotes and drug traffickers guiding them. Its paths are worn, strewn with filth, and the habitats of its native animal and plant species are being degraded at an alarming rate.
Public Lands Being Destroyed by Illegal Immigration
A position statement released by the Public Lands foundation on July 18, 2014 concluded:
Smuggling of controlled substances and people into the United States from Mexico has caused significant impacts to lands and resources managed by the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, Tribal and State governments and private citizens along the southwest border of the United States. The impacts imperil designated Wilderness Areas, National Conservation Areas, National Monuments and other public lands. These impacts are so severe that immediate action by the Administration and Congress is required, including enactment and enforcement of a new immigration policy and allocation of sufficient resources to mitigate impacts resulting on lands within the National System of Public Lands administered by BLM.
No Safe Refuge by Roger Di Silvestro
In 2006 the National Wildlife Federation released this article detailing the destruction of habitat of endangered and species by illegal aliens and drug smugglers. It reads, in part:
Cabeza Prieta–the size of Rhode Island and 90 percent officially designated as wilderness–is one of three federally protected wildlife areas under assault along southwest Arizona’s border with Mexico. The 330,000-acre Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, which is 95 percent designated wilderness, abuts 30 miles of border, and Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, a former ranch covering 118,000 acres of native grassland, lies along 5.5 miles of border. All of these lands were set aside to protect desert wildlife and wilderness habitat. Cabeza and Organ Pipe are home to the Sonoran pronghorn, an endangered subspecies, and Buenos Aires was established in part to protect the endangered masked bobwhite quail.
Jaguars, Ocelots, Sonoran Pronghorns and other threatened species are now the brink of disappearing from southwestern border states due to decreased immigration enforcement and increased illegal movements northward from Mexico.
In 2006 Defenders of Wildlife released a publication titled, On the Line: The Impacts of Immigration Policy on Wildlife and Habitat in the Arizona Borderlands. In the Executive Summary of the document, it reads:
Beginning in the early 1990’s, the U.S. Border Patrol dramatically increased its immigration enforcement efforts in heavily populated border areas such as San Diego, California, and El Paso, Texas, essentially shifting undocumented immigration, drug trafficking, and other illegal activities from urban areas to more remote and less populated areas–especially the borderlands of Arizona. This has resulted in significant environmental degradation in some of the most pristine and valuable wildlife habitats in the nation.
Numerous wildfires started by illegal aliens
Each year wildfires are started intentionally as a diversion by coyotes and drug smugglers, and unintentionally by illegals camping in the deserts along the southwestern border. Senator John McCain (R) Arizona, in 2011 brought this to the attention of the country much to the displeasure of those who advocate open borders and illegal immigration. But a report from the Government Accountability Office documents the truth of Senator McCain’s assertions. It says:
Wildland fires can result from both natural and human causes. Human-caused wildland fires are of particular concern in Arizona–especially within 100 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border because this is a primary area of entry for illegal border crossers and GAO has previously reported that illegal border crossers have been suspected of igniting wildland fires. Over half of the land in the Arizona border region is managed by the federal government–primarily by the Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service and four agencies within the Department of the Interior. These agencies collaborate with state, tribal, and local entities to respond to wildland fires. GAO was asked to examine, for the region, the (1) number, cause, size, and location of wildland fires from 2006 through 2010; (2) economic and environmental effects of human-caused wildland fires burning 10 or more acres; (3) extent to which illegal border crossers were the ignition source of wildland fires on federal lands; and (4) ways in which the presence of illegal border crossers has affected fire suppression activities. GAO reviewed interagency policies and procedures; analyzed wildland fire data; and interviewed federal, tribal, state, and local officials, as well as private citizens..
From 2006 through 2010, at least 2,467 wildland fires occurred in the Arizona border region. Of this number, 2,126, or about 86 percent, were caused by human activity.
The United States of America, once the world’s beneficent super power, fostered through its public lands policies and animal welfare statutes, a respect for the natural world, its inhabitants and their homes. Third world nations sometimes pay homage to wildlife and natures wonders, but the ethos of respect for nature is, for the most part, lost on impoverished, uneducated masses from socialist nations to whom survival supersedes all other considerations. It’s no wonder that illegal aliens, human traffickers and drug smugglers traversing our southern border leave in their wake environmental destruction, filth, and death.
As three decades of failed immigration enforcement culminates in the current wave of illegals from nearly eighty countries splashing into our states, the likelihood that this environmental horror can be stemmed is nil. The contemptible hypocrisy of the American Left who, on one hand uses environmental issues as a bludgeon against progress and Capitalism, will, on the other hand, turn a blind eye to the very real and irreversible loss of species, habitat, and natural features where illegal aliens, drug cartels, international terrorists, and future Democrat voters blaze super highways into the heartland of our once-sovereign nation.
For more information about the environmental impact of illegal aliens please check out the following:
by Marjorie Haun 8/29/14
August 28, 2014
Forrest L. Gomez, affectionately known as “Old Sarge” is a Vietnam veteran, author, and friend. Here he shares his musings on Ferguson, violence, and the meaning of life.
From the Desk of Old Sarge:
I heard it again yesterday. “Violence never solved anything.” The damned souls in Hell of Hitler and Tojo would be surprised to hear that.
On the contrary, violence of varying degrees has been part of every major solution and event in history. Mahatma Gandhi’s followers gained world-wide sympathy by enduring violence.
Violence was used on our Lord Jesus Christ to fulfill the prophecies. Leadership should be defined by selective use of violence where necessary, and containing it and punishing it wherever possible.
Does anyone remember the musical “The Music Man?” One of my favorites. Those of you in the know remember that a Professor Howard Hill creates a phony crisis in River City, Iowa (the danger of the town’s first pool table), offers to solve it by creating and instructing a boy’s band, for which he gets a commission on the musical instruments and uniforms. (His plan is to skate out afterwards, but he falls for Marian the librarian.)
Does this process sound familiar? Anyone who does even the most fundamental research knows that a black male in America is more than seventy times likely to be killed by another black male. Census figures show that the black middle class is increasing in size (no thanks to Obamanomics), but crime in black neighborhoods is also increasing.
Poverty does not cause crime, crime causes poverty, every reasonable person knows that. I heard a well-meaning black gentleman ask on the radio, “Why don’t you white folks do something about the black gangs killing each other?” Sir, I ask you…why don’t YOU do something about them? Do you not understand that the left has black culture right where they want it?
You people pontificating moral equivalency for Hamas and ISIS, get a life.
Stupid liberal statement of the week, “It’s not fair that police have better guns than crooks.”
God bless you all, this day and always.
- The Sarge
Reposted with permission of the author on Reagangirl.com 8/28/14
August 27, 2014
Pot industry flexes political muscle and politicians accept money banks won’t
From Colorado Watchdog Wire
It’s probably unusual for political contributors to thank a candidate for taking their money, but that’s what Mike Elliott, executive director for the Marijuana Industry Group, did at a pot-industry fundraiser for U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter last month.
“We really appreciate the fact we can come here and show you how much we appreciate you showing up and talking about it and giving you donations,” Elliott told Perlmutter, D-Colo., and a group of about 50 marijuana business owners. “We want to do what every other industry does and, as time goes by, the fear of the unknown is going away and more people are going to be following your footsteps.”
As Elliott spoke, organizers were collecting envelopes filled with contribution checks. Perlmutter was ready to talk about his legislation to allow the industry to bank pot proceeds, which are legal under Colorado law but still raise money laundering concerns with banks because marijuana remains illegal at the federal level.
“I want to thank everyone for being willing to step up and help me,” Perlmutter said, standing in front of the offices of Vicente Sederberg, Colorado’s major marijuana industry law firm. “I have been talking about the banking problem because you got the federal law going one direction and the state law, especially in Colorado and Washington, going the other direction.”
Attorneys disagree about pot contributions
Federal money laundering laws prohibit banks from accepting marijuana proceeds because the drug is still illegal under federal law. But federal elected officials, like Perlmutter and several other members of the Colorado delegation, increasingly are accepting contributions from marijuana business owners.
Carolyn Short, a retired lawyer who chairs Keep AZ Drug Free and opposed marijuana legalization efforts, said federal law doesn’t prohibit the contributions, but it probably should.
“I don’t think money from illegal activities, whether child porn or marijuana, should be used to fund political campaigns, and I think most people agree with me,” she said. “The whole idea behind the money laundering statute that prohibits banks from taking in the money is you don’t want to encourage or abet criminal activity.”
Other legal experts say there is no prohibition in either campaign or criminal laws that prevent politicians from accepting marijuana money — even if it’s illegal to sell pot under federal law. Like much of the burgeoning marijuana legalization push, there are gray areas and conflicting laws that politicians and regulators have yet to settle.
Federal Election Commission rules prohibit candidates from taking money from corporations, unions, national banks, government contractors and foreign entities, but do not address proceeds from a business that might operate legally in states but violate federal laws. In an email exchange, a spokeswoman wrote the FEC has not received any requests for legal guidance about marijuana contributions.
But former Denver City Attorney David Fine, who helped set up Denver’s medical marijuana regulations and now practices election law, said that is likely to change.
“It’s a novel question and one that the FEC has not opined on,” he said in a phone interview.
Richard Collins, who teaches constitutional law at the University of Colorado, said federal directives to banks and other entities after Colorado’s legalization and the First Amendment right of political speech make it acceptable for politicians to take marijuana money in states where the drug is sold legally.
“I’m confident a candidate is in the clear,” he said.
The Obama administration has told banks that they can accept marijuana money if the businesses comply with state law and make sure the drugs don’t get into the hands of children or leave the state, Collins said. Most banks have refused the deposits, determining they can’t monitor the actions of their depositors that closely.
But Collins said he doesn’t believe political candidates have to monitor their contributors.
“As long as the activity within the state is legal, the contribution is legal,” he said.
Pot political power grows
The Colorado congressional delegation, which opposed Colorado’s recreational legalization initiative in 2012, are nevertheless starting to represent their HTC-selling constituents’ needs in Washington, D.C.
In past two years, FEC records show total pot-related contributions — either from industry PACs or individuals who operate marijuana-related businesses — to Colorado federal candidates were about $20,000. It is nearly impossible to determine a comprehensive amount because only a handful of contributors note their marijuana connections on FEC forms.
But pot’s political clout is increasing. Elliott said the July fundraiser for Perlmutter collected about $20,000. FEC disclosures for that period are due until Oct. 15. And in July, Perlmutter said there was another pot-industry fundraiser before the July 1 event.
Elliott said the marijuana industry, which in Colorado is valued at about $600 million and growing, mostly focused on state races in the past, but have turned their attention to federal campaigns because of the banking issue.
“Federal banking laws make the marijuana business federally illegal, and that issue is so dire that someone will die over this issue,” he said in phone interview last week. “People in California have already died, and it’s just a matter time before it happens here. It’s a huge public safety issue.”
Colorado delegation pushes legislation to help pot industry
Perlmutter repeatedly has pushed legislation that would allow banks to accept marijuana funds where state law allows legal sales. He said it’s a public safety issue because dispensary owners who have a lot of cash and marijuana are attractive targets for robbers.
“The cash component — you know better than I do — subjects you to various armed robberies,” he told the crowd on a cool July evening in Denver. “There is always the white-collar aspect of skimming, tax evasion, but really the violent crime (aspect). We’re trying to straighten this up.”
Danielle Radovich Piper, Perlmutter’s chief of staff , said at the fundraiser the campaign does not accept cash contributions, so once the money is in bank accounts, it’s legal for them to accept.
Perlmutter’s campaign managerrefused to discuss the issue last week.
“Neither Ed or the campaign discuss fundraising activities,” Chris Kennedy wrote in an email. “The campaign fully complies with all FEC guidelines, laws and reporting deadlines.”
U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., also sponsored a bill that would help the industry. The bill would prohibit federal officials from enforcing the Controlled Substances Act in states that have legalized marijuana.
U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., has collected the most marijuana money so far, according to Watchdog.org’s review of FEC records, but that may change in the next filing. Neither Udall nor DeGette’s staff returned calls and emails seeking comment.
Perlmutter’s and DeGette’s bills haven’t made it through Congress, but Perlmutter predicted the days of marijuana prohibition in the United States are numbered.
“Prohibition is over one state at a time, but prohibition is falling by the wayside, and our job is to get so it is working,” he told supporters at the fundraiser.
Reposted with permission by Reagangirl.com on 8/27/14
August 26, 2014
We Must Act: A Standing Terrorist State in Iraq Hurts U.S.
The best way to start winning a war is to stop losing. That axiom certainly applies to what’s going on in Iraq. But, that said, there is no place for American brigades in this battle.
Yes, Americans have a huge stake in preventing al-Qaida’s cousin from setting up a brutal caliphate in Iraq. The Middle East is a crossroads of the world. If unchecked, the malevolent influence of the Islamic State could spiral into a sectarian conflict engulfing the entire region.
By some estimates, there are now more than 10,000 foreign fighters in Iraq, including more than 3,000 from the U.S. and other Western nations. These fighters may, in future, be reassigned to return home and wage terrorist campaigns. No matter how you slice it, the longer a terrorist state stands in Iraq, the bigger the problem it poses to the world and to us.
America has every reason to act. The question is: How? How best to help restore peace, stability, and the prospect of a better future to the people of Iraq? The answer to that question does not require massive American ground forces on Iraqi soil.
That’s not because Americans are “sick and tired of war.” Americans don’t like wars – and never have. Yet we fight when we have to. Americans are resilient and practical people. If there is a war to be won and our leaders lay out sensible reasons to fight and a practical, suitable and feasible way to win, Americans will march to the sound of the trumpets.
But not every crisis needs to be handled by sending in the Marines. In this case, the U.S. has practical options that fit well with our vital national interests and can help relieve the growing humanitarian crisis in Iraq.
Washington should focus on marginalizing the destructive influence of Iran, choking off the pipeline that feeds foreign fighters to the Islamic State and setting the conditions that will allow the Iraqis to take back their country.
The Iranian regime is already overstretched. With a nuclear “deal” nowhere in sight, the U.S. has every reason to reinvigorate the sanctions regime against Tehran. This will force them to end their expensive forays into Iraq.
To halt the flow of foreign fighters, the U.S. should focus on disrupting pipeline operations in Turkey and other “countries of transit” where fighters stage to move in and out of the Syria-Iraq theatre.
The rest of the solution lies in helping native assets on the ground do their jobs better. Kurdish security forces and volunteers are more than willing and capable of defending themselves.
What they need is rapid, effective support from the U.S. and other friends and allies. In the south, the Iraq military is still a force to be reckoned with.
What’s needed in both areas are air support, skilled advisors, intelligence gathering, ammo and other supplies.
The U.S. can help with all of that. And it should also keep working diplomatically to help Tehran’s sectarian, malfunctioning government get its act together.
The U.S. also needs to help nearby Jordan, which has borne the brunt of housing more than 600,000 registered refugees from Syria. Strained by that immense burden, Amman now finds itself in the crosshairs of the Islamic State. Driving those fighters from the field requires American support, but not an American invasion.
Once the dual dangers of the Islamic State and Iran are rolled back, there might well be a role for an international force in Iraq to help stabilize things while the nation rebuilds.
This is a role that U.S. forces would have played, had they not been precipitously withdrawn in 2011. The scope and composition of that international force is something a farsighted leader might want to start thinking about. But for now, Washington must focus primarily on how to stop losing.