One of the areas in which I’m definitely not a fan of John McCain is on the matter of illegal immigration. (“No duh,” right?) I remain extremely wary of McCain on the matter although his commentary about understanding that he needs to secure the border first before considering anything that even remotely smells of an amnesty gives me hope. The issue I’m writing of this morning is related to the Senator’s record on immigration, but it’s not his particular stance that’s the real issue. It’s knowing what his stance is and what it was that’s the point. Stephen Dinan at the Washington Times writes this morning about a speech McCain gave recently to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) in which McCain spoke of his support for the 1986 amnesty bill.
The 1986 bill granted amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants in the country and promised new security measures to crack down on illegal immigration. The amnesty went through, but the security measures were rarely enforced.
Speaking today to NALEO, he brought up that bill: “In 1986, we passed a law that said we would secure the borders and gave amnesty to a couple, three million people. I supported that legislation way back then.”
The problem, writes Dinan, is that he did no such thing. McCain not only voted against the bill, he is on record as being rather vocally opposed to its passage because the requirement contained within it that employers had to verify employment eligibility was “racist.”
Setting aside the fact that I find such a position to be ludicrous, this is a pretty clueless mistake. The 1986 amnesty bill has been a point of contention in the illegal immigration debate that’s been in the public eye for years, now. One would think that a public official who was actually involved in the passage or failure of that bill would know how he felt about the bill at the time. Regardless, McCain’s staff should damn well know how the Senator voted on each and every bill that has come before him, I don’t care how long he’s been in office. This was, as the Power Line gentlemen like to say, an unforced error and McCain can’t afford to be making errors like this. I don’t know if a staffer blew it or McCain went ad lib on them but, either way, they need to tighten it up.
I had the opportunity to hear former general Wesley Clark speak at a business conference I was attending back in 2006. I didn’t think very much of him at the time (most particularly in the sense of a sales advice resource, the alleged reason for his being selected to speak) and his latest shooting off of the mouth hasn’t done anything to brighten my view. Clark is now saying that McCain’s war record isn’t worth being considered in determining McCain’s suitability to serve as President.
Appearing on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Clark downplayed the plane crash that led to McCain’s captivity during the Vietnam War, and said the squadron McCain commanded “wasn’t a wartime squadron.”
“He has been a voice on the Senate Armed Services Committee. And he has traveled all over the world. But he hasn’t held executive responsibility,” Clark said.
Oh, so Clark is making a distinction between members of the military who served in wartime and those who didn’t? Commanding a squadron at any time isn’t child’s play and, I might add, it’s a helluva lot more command experience than the alternative candidate has. I’m curious about whether these Democrats consider military service a plus or a minus with regard to being qualified to be the President. Seems when we were talking John Kerry, it was. And Kerry spent all of 4 months in actual combat ops before turning his colors and meeting with representatives of our enemy’s government. (To say nothing of widely smearing all other Vietnam vets in a Senate hearing with absolutely no proof whatsoever.) Now, when we’re talking about a bona-fide commanding officer with multiple combat sorties flying against what was called the most dangerous air defense system in the world, suddenly that’s just no biggie. Oh, but get this:
When Schieffer noted Obama has not had wartime experiences, Clark said: “Well, I don’t think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president.”
Clark, you arrogant ass. “Riding” in a fighter jet? McCain wasn’t “riding”, you sanctimonious reprobate, he was piloting a combat sortie on bombing missions in Vietnam. He completed 22 successful bombing runs over Hanoi before getting whacked with a missile, so I’d hardly say it was the ho-hum event you imply. Between showing his resolve in furthering our nation’s security and interest and exhibiting command qualifications of any kind at all, he’s outshining Obama’s record on either without even making the attempt.
You’ve just slimed a fellow American combat veteran to promote a shameless, lying hack whose qualifications really are worthy of being dismissed. You’re just quite the credible fellow, now aren’t you? You’ve disgraced the uniform you once wore and, in a just world, no other military man or woman would give you so much as the time of day. Go crawl back under the rock you were festering under and leave the important decisions to we civilians who can value our veterans and make the choices without smearing them.
This is news?
A new report by Army historians levels heavy, unvarnished criticism against Pentagon leadership for its failure to plan beyond the initial invasion of Iraq.
“On Point II: Transition to the New Campaign” — which outlines the 18 months following the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime — said too much focus was placed on a military victory, and not enough on post-war planning, due in part to optimism by the White House and the Pentagon that civilian agencies would take care much of the country’s post war rebuilding.
Hmmm, now I wonder why the Defense Department thought that, perhaps, matters of combat would be their concern and matters of, oh, statesmanship would be considered some other department’s responsibility?
Second hmmm, perhaps the authors have heard of a shift in strategy commonly termed, “the surge” and might have noted said shift dealt with these issues? Almost a year ago? And why is it considered newsworthy that some report trumpeting what we already knew and completely understood over a year ago is released now? I certainly hope the press will grace us with as much prose when these folks write their report on the situation since the surge began last year and to the present state of Iraq.
In December 2007 I wrote a post on an interesting article that appeared on FoxNews.com wherein a declaration of independence from the United States was made supposedly on behalf of the Lakota Indian tribe. That post drew the largest number of hits this blog has ever seen in a 24-hour period, bar none, and continues to get occasional hits almost every day. Today in the Washington Post Magazine, writer Bill Donahue devotes 10 pages (with pictures) to the man behind that declaration and his visit to Washington DC to attempt to garner support from other nations. The man is Russell Means, and his name is not unknown here at HoodaThunk? as his action in this regard raised a pretty serious question.
The article shows Means as he’s been described to me in various e-mails: loud, insistent that anyone white is a racist, and completely convinced that anyone not full-blooded Indian isn’t really an Indian. In short, pugnacious, demanding, and – frankly – racist.
A couple of times in the article, particularly in the beginning, Donahue actually refers to this “country” (the Republic of Lakotah) as if it’s an actual, recognized, functioning nation. It’s not, and that’s a fact. That this reporter would write as if it was calls into question his impartiality and makes the article start to sound more like a PR puff-piece than a serious investigative article. (Of course, it’s possible that Donahue and the Post never intended it to be.)
Means’ attitude about anyone and anything but himself tells the tale about why no one’s taking him seriously, not even the vast majority of various tribes. Told by his lackey, Jerry Collette, that the request to meet with the diplomats from Iceland to discuss the petition to grant this so-called Republic a seat at the UN and gain Iceland’s recognition for it was denied because Iceland’s embassy was busy, Means retorts, “What does Iceland have to be busy about?” No one’s business can possibly be as important as Means’, you see. After pressing his case to the East Timorese and being told that they’d not be taking a position on the petition, Means refuses to believe it’s because they don’t consider the petition worthy of support. It must be, he contends, that the US has bought them off.
Asked about whether he’s got majority support from the tribes, he claims that’s an irrelevant question. Hardly. It is, in fact, the only relevant question on the issue and one that must be answered before continuing to even address the matter. If Means does not have the support of his own people as regards the petition, why should the US even seriously consider it? Means points out that no one has ever questioned “his sovereignity.” Of course they haven’t. That’s because he hasn’t got sovereignity over the tribes and everyone knows it. Why question what one already knows beyond doubt? The fact of the matter is (and Donahue’s investigation supports it) that Means has all of about 8 supporters across all of the Dakota’s. He’s got more than that many opponents in any given tribe’s council, which causes me to reitterate the question I advanced in January, does Russell Means have the standing and authority to be dissolving treaties on behalf of the tribes? I think it’s become increasingly clear that he does not.
With that standing determined, he’s gone from being some kind of “leader of the independence movement” to a class-1 nutjob more interested in elevating himself than doing anything for his people. Not that he considers the vast majority of American Indians “his people.” After the meeting with the Ambassador of East Timor, Donahue expresses to Means his shock that so many of the Timoreans were killed in their war. Means’ reaction is to “sneer” and claim that that’s only 250,000 “full bloods” left in the US, a loss of 99.6% of their population. Donahue reports that Mean’s math is “a little shaky.” The 2000 Census shows 2.5 million American Indians and “Alaskan Natives” in the US. Making such a wildly exaggerating lie isn’t being “a little shaky,” it’s intentionally deceptive. Or blatantly racist: Means did make a point of emphasizing “full bloods.” Donahue let the obviously incorrect “fact” pass unremarked.
In the months since the “declaration” there hasn’t been but 1 nation actually return Means’ calls. So what we have here is a self-declared “leader” walking around issuing dissolution decrees of treaties he’s got no standing to even modify, let alone revoke, while being explicitly opposed or dismissed by the people he purports to represent. There’s nothing new here at all, and yet the Post thinks this warrants a major write-up in its weekly magazine; the cover story, to boot. Means has had his 15 minutes of fame on this issue and hasn’t done diddly to prove he’s worthy of a single minute longer on this matter. Again, if the Lakota people are going to support him, step up and say so. If not, perhaps they should be public about saying Means doesn’t represent them so we can concentrate our efforts alongside of those who do.
Like many bloggers, I appreciate comments from readers. I try to make it a habit to not actually engage in debate in the comments section although I’ve given that a go here and there. Some of the comments, however, demand a response and some of the more egregious ones demand a response that rises to the level of their very own post here at HoodaThunk? Case in point is this comment left by user “Bob Smith” on my post regarding Sheriff Simpson’s signing on to the ICE 287(g) program a couple of weeks ago. The comment is a real beauty and deserves to be pointed out directly. And then to have the glaring fallacies put into the spotlight for all to see. Ladies & gentlemen, here’s Bob:
Should we deal with the problem by allowing law enforcement to engage in national origin profiling? No because we would be asking them to break the law. She we allow them to conduct illegal search and seizures, no this is in violation of the US Constitution. A person walking down the street should not be subject to law enforcement scrutiny because of their national origin, dress style (other than blatant gang-wear), and even then that is questionable. So if it is impossible to deport all of the un-authorized person’s living in this country, what happens when they cannot find legitimate employment? They participate in criminal activity such as gangs. Furthermore, rather than worsening the problems by deporting the illegal-immigrant parents, of legal us born children and disrupting homes, we need to come up with a better way. Your government has failed you on protecting the borders. As a result these immigrants are apart of the fabric of this country.
I propose the following:
1. The government deports any illegal-immigrant convicted of any felony, or any crime of turpitude.
2. Any illegal-immigrant who was convicted of any felony or any crime of turpitude in their respective country should be deported.
3. Any illegal-immigrant participating in a criminal enterprise or gang should be deported.
4. Any illegal immigrant who is in this county and has never been convicted of a felony or any crime of turpitude, in this country or abroad, who is presently working a job that would be considered legal if worked by a person who is authorized to work in the United States is granted legal status to work in this country.
They are here, they will always be here, and there is nothing that you anti-immigrant people can do about it. Total deportation is not the answers and it is impossible. You better be smart in your solution to combat it. You don’t want to make the problem worse.
Comment by Bob Smith | 27 June, 2008
Let’s have a look from the top, shall we? Where in the law is national profiling illegal? Racial profiling is certainly cast as a very dark evil but putting people from different nations through different levels of inspection has long been an accepted practice. When’s the last time you heard of someone required to undergo more stringent medical records checks or offer proof of innoculations when they entered the US from Ireland? Care to make the same observation about arrivals from certain parts of Africa? You’ll find there’s a certain difference in how those issues are handled dependant on from where the arrival comes in. I am also not entirely convinced that racial profiling for immigrations purposes is necessarily illegal. Our policies and procedures disallow it, but I would very much like to see the law making it a crime cited. Care to step up, Bob?
Then there’s the rhetoric about 4th Amendment, asking if we should all vote to allow the government to suspend it. Who’s making that suggestion, really? Is anyone making that suggestion, outside of allegations cast by overheated open-borders folks?
From those 2 assertions, Bob concludes that deporting all un-authorized persons living in this country is impossible. I don’t for a second concede such a thing. Simply because we’re not going to allow police to randomly search anyone on the street or send every person even remotely exhibiting latino characteristics to deportation proceedings doesn’t mean that we can’t deport people who are here illegally. There are other ways to detect such people, not the least of which is in the process of verifying job applicants and verifying eligibility for accessing publicly-funded services. It most certainly can be done, it just hasn’t been and isn’t being. It’s not a matter of being impossible, it’s a function of the lack of will. It’s not that we can’t, it’s that we don’t and won’t. Not yet, in any case.
Slipping right from this notion that we can’t deport all the unauthorized people, he makes the conclusion that anyone who “can’t find legitimate employment” will end up in gangs. Again, not necessarily. Many of them can and do wind up on welfare rolls, drawing a check on the taxpayer.
And, lastly (at least in his opening paragraph) we get that conflation of deporting any illegal with the deportation of illegal alien parents away from US-born kids. Then comes the crack about “Your government has failed you…” and the assertion that these illegals are a part of “the fabric of this country.” No one who has been serious about this issue hasn’t recognized that the situation of illegal alien parents and their US-born children represents real problems for all of us – Americans, illegals, and the kids alike. We do need to determine what we’re going to do about it but that’s not going to happen for so long as people like Bob, here, continue to use these kids as a cheap talking-point to suggest that we should simply ignore the crime these illegals have committed: illegally entering our county in violation of our immigrations laws. In all of these kinds of so-called arguments, the people who want to toss these kids’ unfortunate situation into the faces of we who support enforcement of our laws never seem to want to face the reality that illegal immigrants are illegal because they broke the law. They just want us to ignore it, give it a pass. Anything but actually address it. So long as that continues, this issue isn’t getting fixed.
Last I checked, Bob, the government of the United States is your government, too, so don’t throw that little bit of dross around to heavily. You need look no further than this blog to see my feelings on the government’s horrible record at securing our borders, so don’t think that little bit of theater is going to gain you much with me. Oh, and I don’t see where I have to concede so much as an inch on the matter of whether people who cheerfully busted our laws are to be considered part of this nation’s fabric. I’ll save that designation for the people who are here legally, thank you.
His proposals are just fine, right down to #4. It cracks me up, however, that he included “crime[s] of turpitude” in his list. Look it up and you’ll find some interesting issues about what comprises such a crime and what doesn’t. Public drunkness, even repeatedly, is a misdemeanor. Getting caught having sex at 2:00 am in the public park with one’s wife is charged as a crime of turpitude, assuming the cop in question feels like making an issue of it. In Bob’s proposal, the illegal busted 10 times for falling down drunk in the same park gets a pass. The illegal and his wife on the other hand get deported. That’s fair?
Coming here illegally is a crime. That’s why it’s called illegal. If someone is caught, by whatever method we use, being here illegally, that person should be deported, barring some serious circumstances. That is not, as I’ve said, anti-immigrant. Bob makes the typical open-borders argument that anyone who wants illegals deported is anti-immigrant, and that’s just crap. It puts the gang-banger who snuck over the border in the dead of night in the same category as the lawful immigrant who has dilligently obeyed our laws – all of our laws. That’s not right and I’ll never agree to it. All the name-calling and ad hominen attacks in the world – Bob’s included – don’t add up to persuasive argumentation and proposals that are based on them aren’t real solutions. They’re just laziness and arrogance gussied up to look like compassion.
An Air India flight soared past its Mumbai destination on June 4 as its pilots allegedly dozed off in the cockpit, The Times of India reported Thursday.
The napping pilots flew 359 miles past the airport and were still at cruising altitude when nervous air traffic controllers woke them up.
Now in the reference I made above about it happening here in the US, I’d like to point out that the pilots were not permitted to fly 350 miles past their airport. Especially in today’s post-9/11 environment, there’s no way a plane simply ignoring its flight plan like that is going to be just ignored. The ATC would be calling them as soon as they failed to enter into the approach pattern and, when they didn’t get a response, there’d be F-16′s or F-15′s flying alongside that puppy for sure.
In the end, I’m less than confident in Air India but I’m glad being a few hundred miles out of position in the worst that happened.
As expected, a federal lawsuit has been filed challenging Chicago’s gun ban as unconstitutional. Considering that the ban is recognized as being very similar to DC’s – most notably in the text of dissenting Justice Breyer’s arguments in the Heller case – the lawsuit represents a serious challenge, indeed. Take note of this little bit from the story:
“In the sense the Supreme Court has found this is an individual right to bear arms, we recognize (the ruling) is a significant threat,” said Jennifer Hoyle, spokeswoman for the city’s law department. “It gives people an opening to challenge the ordinance in a way it hasn’t been challenged in many years.”
Hoyle said the high court’s ruling that Americans can keep guns at home for self-defense does not invalidate Chicago’s law, and attorneys are confident they can successfully fight any challenge to the 1982 ordinance that makes it illegal to possess or sell handguns in the city.
I find it fascinating that an officer of the court considers the Supreme Court ruling that the 2nd Amendment protects citizens’ rights, as opposed to the states, “a significant threat.” Funny, that’s just what we citizens consider laws passed that violate the Constitution on matters of those rights. You have to love the clearly contradictory position that she trots out, here. She recognizes that the Supreme Court ruling states undeniably that Americans can keep guns at home for self-defense, yet she thinks that ruling does not invalidate a gun ban making it illegal to possess handguns in the city. Now, assuming that there are, in fact, people who have their homes “in the city,” how is it possible that a law banning the possession of a gun in the city wouldn’t violate the ruling saying Americans can keep guns in their homes, even those homes in the city?
Not a stellar start, Ms. Hoyle.
And let’s hope she’s not about to dredge up the old “this ban only affects handguns, not long guns, so it’s ok” argument that got smacked around explicitly in the Heller ruling. One would hope that a judge faced with that argument as the principal one in the city’s case would make it very hard on the city’s lawyers for wasting the court’s time.
Like Heller, this one’s going to take a few years but we can hope that, like in Heller, the Constitution will prevail.
Well, that didn’t take long. I just got done earlier today saying we should wait and see what DC’s intentions are with regard to their registration process. Their Attorney General, Peter Nickles, is already deciding what types of handguns you’re going to be allowed to have:
D.C. Attorney General Peter Nickles says D.C. will start issuing permits to own a gun in 21 days, once the Supreme Court hands their decision down to the U.S. Court of Appeals for D.C.
“This is not open season with handguns,” Nickles says. “We are going to strictly regulate the registration of handguns. There will be no authorization of automatic or semi-automatics.”
OK, first things first: the possession of automatic weapons is already against federal law and has been for decades. No one’s going to come up and ask to register a newly-bought machine gun because they can’t buy machine guns. An AG for the nation’s capital should already know that.
As to the semi-automatics, I think Mr. Nickles is lining himself up for yet another lawsuit. The Supreme Court’s decision today specifically cited the DC gun ban as unconstitutional because it banned a class of weapons that 1) is clearly in common use by militia forces and 2) is clearly the most popular choice of Americans for self-defense purposes. The semi-automatic handgun fits both of those criteria equally well and banning weapons that fall into those categories is what got the DC government a decades-overdue butt-whupping in court to begin with. Someone should ask Mayor Fenty how much more of his budget he wants to spend arguing cases his city’s going to lose.
The story also says Nickles claims they may also require trigger locks be kept on guns. Again, that’s a point specifically dealt with in today’s ruling and the Court explicitly said that such a requirement is not Constitutional. Period. That Nickles is (pardon the phrase) shooting his mouth off like this doesn’t lend much hope to the notion that the DC government is going to adhere to the spirit of the ruling. Unless Mayor Fenty gets his AG under control and opts to actually abide by the ruling (which he said earlier today that he will respect and follow) his lawyers are going to be getting smacked around with this decision lots and lots in the coming months.
Ed Morrissey over at Hot Air’s got the goods about this one:
Yeah, and his statements on NAFTA were “overheated” in typical politician fashion, according to Obama himself eight days ago. Now he wants to cast his campaign’s position statement as “inartful” and not accurate — more than seven months after making the statement. Team Obama declared the DC gun ban as “constitutional” on November 20, 2007, during a period of time when he was busy sucking up to the hard Left and their confiscatory inclinations on the Second Amendment.
Suddenly, with the general election looming, Obama discovers that his campaign’s statement was inartful. This seems rather puzzling, because before he ran for public office, Barack Obama was supposed to be a Constitutional law expert. One might expect the “inartful” excuse on wetlands reclamation or some other esoteric matter of public policy, but the Constitution is what he supposedly studied at Columbia and Harvard. One has to wonder whether Obama has any competence even in his own chosen field to have seven months go by before realizing that he got the Constitutional question wrong.
Yes, one does. Let’s see… Inexperienced. Poor judge of the character of his supposed life-long friends. And now, simply incompetent in the field he claims is his expertise.
Oooooorrrr…. he’s lying to us. He firmly believed in the DC gun ban. He firmly believes NAFTA’s a bane of American existence. He firmly believes in the various positions taken and articulated at length by the people he’s chosen to surround himself with, be they America-hating, venom-spewing clergy, corrupt bureaucrats, or unrepentant domestic terrorist. And he’ll lie through his teeth to get into the Oval Office. He’s talking change but it’s the same old story. A say-whatever, power-hungry liar who’ll promise anything to get in the office and then do whatever his big-money donors want. He’s not in step with the mainstream of America and his flip-flops on literally everything he’s taken a “stance” on proves it. (Morrissey’s correct – Obama is way, way worse about this than John Kerry was, and Kerry was bad enough to lose.)
Obama wants your taxes high. He wants you paying $4, $5, and higher per gallon of gas so you won’t drive your car. He wants your Constitutional rights supressed. People looking to vote for him are doing it because they’ve got blinders on and they’ve listened to enough lies about the current administration that they’ll grab onto whatever. Obama’s either a liar or an incompetent, clueless boob. In neither case does he deserve to be in the White House on so much as a tour, let alone as the President.
The US Supreme Court has ruled today that the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution protects an individual right decisively rejecting the notion that it is contingent upon military or militia service or a collective right held by the states.
Examining the words of the Amendment, the Court concluded “we find they guarantee the individual right to possess and carry weaons in case of confrontation” — in other words, for self-defense. “The inherent right of self-defense has been central to the Second Amendment right,” it added.
The individual right interpretation, the Court said, “is strongly confirmed by the historical background of the Second Amendment,” going back to 17th Century England, as well as by gun rights laws in the states before and immediately after the Amendment was put into the U.S. Constitution.
The absolute ban on guns for residents of DC and the prohibition against keeping a legal gun in one’s house in anything but a locked and disassembled state have both been struck down, ruled undeniably unconstitutional. This is a very good day for America and for the residents of DC in particular. I’m sure we’re going to be treated, in the months to come, to alarmist “told-ya-so!”‘s at any minor uptick in crime in the District but I have every confidence that DC will see the same situation other localities have seen when they’ve implemented shall-issue and concealed carry laws: a downturn in violent crime.
The DC government has apparently already put a law together to comply with today’s ruling. Mayor Fenty’s been on the TV saying that he’s disappointed in the ruling (of course) but that he’s instructed the DC Police Department to implement a program to allow for the registration of legal firearms immediately. It’ll be interesting to see what form that program takes and how onerous it will be.
There are a number of people concerned about what the ruling left unsaid. The primary thing I wish the Court had been more forthcoming on is the matter of the 14th Amendment’s incorporation clause as regards this matter. They left open the notion that the ruling applies to states as well, leaving it up in the air for some states to say that it doesn’t. I can’t imagine anyone arguing that the 1st Amendment doesn’t prohibit states from making laws restricting the freedom of speech so I wonder why they’d think the 2nd Amendment doesn’t do the same for firearms ownership.
Bob Owens over at Confederate Yankee notes how fast some of our “liberal”, “progressive”, and allegedly non-violent fellow citizens turned uglier over the ruling. His post here shows the speed at which some of them started suggesting that people should shoot Justice Scalia.
Aside from people like that, I think we who feel that the 2nd Amendment means what it says should simply enjoy this outcome that has been so long in coming. There are more battles to be fought regarding this matter – starting with the notion that the 2nd Amendment should apply to state laws, too – but we can savor this victory for a moment or so. Excellent work, those of you who worked for this day!