Sunday, April 30, 2006

Symposium Report: Part One

(All emphases by Always On Watch)

The information below was the first item on the schedule at today's America's Truth Forum. Excerpt from World Net Daily's article "'American Hiroshima' Linked with Iran Attack: Pakistani journalist who met bin Laden confirms al-Qaida nukes, says they may already be in U.S.":
"Al-Qaida has already obtained nuclear suitcase weapons from the Russian black market, weapons tested in Afghanistan in 2000, and they may have already been forward-deployed inside the U.S., according to the only journalist to interview Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri in the wake of Sept. 11.

"Last week, Hamid Mir's credibility skyrocketed when he accurately predicted in Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin and later in WND the imminent release of a new recorded communiqué from bin Laden through al-Jazeera, the Arabic TV network. Two days later, bin Laden's tape was the focus of international news coverage.

"'If you think that my information and analysis about bin Laden's location is correct,' said Hamid Mir, 'then please don't underestimate my analysis about his nuclear threat also.'...

"Mir also maintains that numerous sleeper agents are in place in major cities throughout the United States to prepare for the nuclear holocaust...."
Read the rest here. Mir has already proved himself as a reliable source.

Ahmadinejad of Iran continues his brazen defiance, of which various news reports inform us on a daily basis. And according to this article in the Washington Post,

"PARIS, April 26 -- Escalating the threats between Washington and Tehran, Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei [who was exiled as a readical a by Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini, leader of Iran's revolution in the 1970's!] , warned Wednesday that his country would strike U.S. targets around the world in the event it is attacked over its refusals to curb its nuclear program.

"'If the U.S. ventured into any aggression on Iran, Iran will retaliate by damaging U.S. interests worldwide twice as much as the U.S. may inflict on Iran,' Khamenei said in a speech to a workers' assembly, according to the official news agency IRNA.

"His statement adds to a campaign of defiance by senior Iranian officials in advance of a report expected Friday by the U.N. atomic watchdog agency, which analysts predict will cite Iran for defying U.N. Security Council demands to halt its uranium enrichment program...."
Also mentioned at the symposium were two specific individuals who might have a connection to the above information from World Net Daily. Go here and here to see FBI posters of two men who might be sleeper agents to carry out attacks in the United States; the first man, Adnan el-Shukrijumah, has been termed by the FBI as "the next Mohammed Atta"; the second man, Amer el-Maati, may be one of his cohorts. Whether or not el-Shukrijumah and el-Maati are part of the plot to which World Net Daily alludes, these are dangerous men and need to be taken into custody as soon as possible. Contact America's Most Wanted by emailing to or by phoning 1-800-CRIMETV, and urge John Walsh to put the pictures of these two men on television so that all of us can watch for them.

Continue reading....

Friday, April 28, 2006

Who is "Lover of Angels"? (Continued)

If you haven't already done so, be sure to read Elmer's Brother's first article on Dr. Pino. Excerpt:
"'Yes, but think of all those "sleepers", like LOA, who are left behind, live and dangerous. Who knows when the next martyrdom operation might be coming to your town? I do.'
Comment by Lover of Angels— 2005/11/28 @ 10:13 AM — (Reply)

"What would you do if someone posted this comment? Would you take him seriously? Would you think he was taking flight lessons at the local airport?"...
Elmer's Brother has posted updates since Monday, April 24. Go here to read the additional articles. And my previous article is here.

You can sign the petition here.

Other sites also have this same petition, and each of them has a unique write-up:

Conservative Central, A Conservative Realist, Democracy Frontline, Elmer's Brother, Infidel Bloggers Alliance, Moving Out Moving On, NeoCon Command Center, Sixth Column, Soccer Mom Unplugged.

Continue reading....

Who Is "Lover of Angels"?

Who Is “Lover of Angels”?

From the above web site:
About: Behind this mask lies not a man but an idea. An idea is bullet-proof. Lover of Angels is a Knight under the Prophet's Banner and Son of the Sword of Saladin.

Interests: "Remember when you sought help of your Lord and He answered you, saying: I will help you with a thousand of the angels each behind the other in succession. This was a message of hope from your Lord to reassure and comfort your hearts, since victory comes only through the help of Allah, the Mighty, the Wise."

Expertise: Research and Writing, Public Speaking

Occupation: Artist

Industry: Education/Research
Two comments left by Lover of Angels at “Ohio Islamic Leader To Be Deported”:
Yes, My doctorate has done enormous damage to the Zionists in America, so much so that the Head Priestess at Hillel once whined, "It's a disgrace that Jewish money is going to pay for this man's salary." BTW, why has LOA never been deported? If ye only knew...
Comment by Lover of Angels— 2005/11/26 @ 01:55 PM

Yes, but think of all those "sleepers", like LOA, who are left behind, live and dangerous. Who knows when the next martyrdom operation might be coming to your town? I do.
Comment by Lover of Angels— 2005/11/28 @ 10:13 AM
The site-meter trail for the above comments appears to lead to Dr. Julio Cèsar Pino of Kent State University. Dr. Pino is “an outspoken apologist for Palestinian terrorism.”

Should such an individual be teaching at one of the leading universities in the United States?

The petition protesting Dr. Pino's employment is here.

Other sites with this petition, and each of them has a unique write-up:

Conservative Central, A Conservative Realist, Democracy Frontline, Elmer's Brother, Infidel Bloggers Alliance, Moving Out Moving On, NeoCon Command Center, Sixth Column, Soccer Mom Unplugged.

Continue reading....

To Spank Or Not To Spank?

(All emphases by Always On Watch)

A little email I got today, reproduced below in its entirety:

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
FCPLEASE 04.28.06
The Fairfax County Public Library
Events, Activities & Services E-Letter

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

You may remember experiencing "corporal punishment" as a student in school. Although Virginia is not one of them, 22 states still allow spanking by U.S. public school teachers today.

Spanking in the home is another story, and it has fierce opponents and supporters. On one side, activists propose making it illegal for parents to spank their children. On the other side, an ABC News poll found that 66 percent of respondents approved of spanking.

April 30 is Spank Out Day USA. The library takes no position on the subject, but offers these books as a starting place to explore child discipline options:

Discipline, the Brazelton Way by T. Berry Brazelton.

Supernanny: How to Get the Best From Your Children by Jo Frost.

The New Strong-Willed Child: Birth Through Adolescence by James Dobson.

Nanny 911: Expert Advice for All Your Parenting Emergencies by Deborah Carroll.

Discipline That Lasts a Lifetime: The Best Gift You Can Give Your Kids by Raymond Guarendi.

Laying Down The Law: The 25 Laws of Parenting to Keep Your Kids on Track, Out of Trouble, and (Pretty Much) Under Control by Ruth Allen Peters.

Have strong opinions about spanking? Comment here.
I got plenty of spankings when I was a child, up until the age of twelve or so. Technically, what I received was not a spanking but rather what my mother termed "the hickory switch," though our switches came from the huge forsythia bush at the far south-end of the front yard. My father disciplined me only twice, on one occasion when I threw a temper tantrum in the Sears store and on the other occasion when I hit the dog and made her whine out in pain. In short, my father left the discipline to my mother.

I clearly remember waking up in the morning and asking myself, "How far can I go today?" Each time I acted up, my mother tried to reason with me and to avoid the corporal punishment, but to no avail.

What made my behavior truly perverse was that my mother had a serious heart condition, of which I was well aware because of her many trips to the hospital. Often, after had I provoked Mom to switch me, I got worried as to whether or not I had hurt her health and, on those nights, awakened in the wee hours of the morning and sneaked into my parents' bedroom to check on Mom to see if she was still breathing.

Finally, I realized that my mother was going to remain consistent and that I was making a fool of myself, so I stopped agitating. All the torment for both Mom and me abruptly ended, and the decision to behave was a conscious one on my part. Within a few years of my reform, she and I had some good laughs over my bull-headedness. Until the day she died, my mother and I were best friends, and I had a singularly unrebellious adolescence.

Analyze my childhood behavior if you like, but what I'm really interested in is your view on the corporal punishment of youngsters, both at school and at home.

Continue reading....

First Blogoversary

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As of April 28, I've been here a full year.

Northern Virginiastan extended an invitation to be a team blogger because I had anonymously been feeding that site a bit of information information about CAIR's library project, the Islamic Saudi Academy, and a few other concerns. My first official posting at Northern Virginiastan is here, also on April 28.

Then, through Jason and Beak, I stumbled into Mustang of Social Sense. Beak, gentleman that he is, invited me to one of his electronic bars, and I found some more friends.

On June 10, Mustang and I published "Our Own Gullibility" at my site, his site, Northern Virginiastan, Sixth Column, and The Wide Awakes; and I was off and running. Getting laid up due to a car accident in May gave me lots of time to explore the blogosphere (Romans 8:28), so here I am.

In addition to Northern Virginiastan, I now post at Infidel Bloggers Alliance and The Ultimate Insult. And this weekend, I'll be attending the symposium The Underlying Roots Of Terrorism: Terrorism's Threat to World Peace and National Security; I will, of course, be wearing blue.

Thanks to all who have supported this blog through their comments, encouragement, and contributed essays and poems—and to those who have helped me with "computer stuff" too. You know who you are, and I am grateful.

I also want to extend a special thank-you to Warren for designing my avatar!

Continue reading....

Thursday, April 27, 2006

For John Brown the Marxist nitwit

John, its with much regret, (NOT), that I inform you, your commenting days at this blog are over.

I will probably delete "any" post you make as soon as I become aware of it.

AOW, is not doing this, I am and if you don't like it, tough!


Continue reading....

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Buy A Condo, Get A Beemer

In yesterday's article, I mentioned the slowdown in the real estate market. The Washington Post published the following item in the article "Developer Hopes to Get Mileage from BMW Offer" (reproduced in its entirety):
"Forget about free plasma TVs, gift cards or upgraded cabinets. What about that free BMW Z4 Roadster that just popped up in ads for a new Fairfax County condo?

"'Ask how to receive a FREE BMW Z4 Roadster or 325i,*' says the ad in newspapers and on the Web for Legato Corner, a six-building complex being built near Fair Oaks Mall by Texas developer Fairfield Residential LLC.

"Builders are using more incentives in a softening market, but a car is a rarity. It's 'definitely different, and much more eye-catching than just saying 'no condo fees for a year,"' said Tim Liu of condo guide

"But hold your horsepower. Developers of the 202-unit complex aren't actually giving away the $38,000-and-up sports car or its $32,000-and-up four-door cousin. Buyers of two- or three-bedroom units get a free two-year car lease, according to a sales representative who said she was not authorized to comment publicly. Two-bedrooms start at $356,900 and three-bedrooms at $408,900, according to the complex's Web site.

"While that's not quite the same as getting a Beamer, it's nothing to be sniffed at. BMWs lease for around $400 a month for 30 or 36 months, with a $2,500 down payment plus taxes and tags, said Alberto Zamorano, a salesman at VOB BMW in Rockville.

"No word on whether Legato Corner's sales have gone into overdrive. Sales staff members deferred questions to marketing company McWilliams/Ballard, which did not return calls seeking comment."
Go here to see the ad for yourself.

I guess it boils down to this: spend money you don't have to get a free lease on a car you can't afford.

Continue reading....

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Out Of Touch

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Photo from the
Fairfax County web site

(All emphases by Always On Watch)

They sit in their cushy room at the Fairfax County Government Center, referred to by many residents as "The Taj Mahal," complete with massive marble columns and a special tabletop of outrageous expense, and make all kinds of decisions. Visitors to the Government Center are awed by the opulence there and find themselves speaking in whispers.

According to this April 22, 2006 article in the Washington Post,
"Fairfax County supervisors agreed [on Thursday, April 19] to cut 11 cents from the property tax rate to help offset soaring assessments. At the same time, they gave themselves a 27 percent raise...."
In spite of the cut in the rate, real-estate taxes will again go up this year. Never mind that the housing market has slowed to a snail's pace. Never mind that longtime residents are being gouged by assessments based on the sale value of homes which many lifelong residents had no intention of selling until the taxes soared out of sight. Never mind that a recent study showed that real-estate speculation—now headed for a bust—played a large part in the soaring assessments.

The aformentioned article provides all sorts of logical reasons for the Board's recent decision, among them the following:

"...The supervisors' first salary increase in eight years will bring their pay to $75,000 from the current $59,000, reflecting similar moves by other Washington area governments. It would not take effect until 2008, after the next election. The 10-member board in Fairfax technically works part time, but the job of serving a county of more than 1 million people is widely acknowledged to be full time. Griffin said he proposed the raise based on an analysis of elected officials in similarly sized governments nationwide and locally, where salaries are higher.

"The budget — 6.4 percent higher than last year — includes $87 million in new county spending to fund an average 4.25 percent salary increase for fire and police staff and 4.3 percent for employees not in public safety.

"But the increases did little to mask tensions among county workers, hundreds of whom picketed public budget hearings last month. Rank-and-file workers protested a pay-for-performance system that began six years ago to reward merit over seniority. Workers got the attention of some board members after complaining that the system rewards some new hires with salaries equal to or higher than those of veterans."
And the final corker:
"Supervisors agreed yesterday that the system needs to be overhauled but could not agree on how to make changes and whether they could be made this year...."
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors had no difficulty in agreeing upon a pay raise for themselves. The Fairfax County Government will extract from the taxpayers' pockets enough money to pay their own real-estate taxes.

Continue reading....

Sunday, April 23, 2006


Due to grading papers and some r&r, I more-or-less took much of the weekend off from my usual time in the blogosphere. I notice that my inbox is filled with comments. Thank you! I'll be working my way through all the comments as my schedule allows.

Note: I have another article to put up this morning (April 24), but Blogger is acting up. Perhaps the problem will soon be resolved.

Continue reading....

Friday, April 21, 2006

"Operation First Responder" Needs Your Help

I have previously posted on the topic of the upcoming symposium, The Underlying Roots of Terrorism. Find a detailed explanation here, and read about who is not sponsoring Operation First Responder, a recent initiative:
"America's Truth Forum has received a multitude of inquiries from first responder organizations across the country asking if there is a discounted rate for symposium tickets for their first responder personnel....

"Whether you intend to join us on April 29th, 2006 in Arlington, Virginia for the symposium or not, you can help underwrite the admission of a first responder with your generous donation...."
Go here for additional information. Consider a donation even if you cannot attend the symposium.

I will give a full report on the symposium. I will be attending.

Continue reading....

"NOW Do You Believe It?"

Read Peter Porcupine's blog-article "NOW Do You Believe It?" Excerpt:
"...The religious zeal of Moussaoui is real, sincere and deadly. If we fail to execute him, it will be percieved [sic] as a signal of our inherent weakness in the Muslim [world], and will ultimately cause the death and destruction of millions...."

Continue reading....

CAIR And Litigation

(All emphases by Always On Watch)

One of my previous articles reported on the mutually-agreeable dismissal of CAIR’s lawsuit against Andrew Whitehead of Anti-Cair. In the April 21, 2006 edition of Front Page Magazine, Daniel Pipes gives additional details as to the sequence leading to the dismissal of CAIR’s case. Excerpt:

"In anticipation of a court hearing regarding discovery, Rubinstein [attorney for Andrew Whitehead of Anti-CAIR] filed papers in the Virginia Circuit Court in October 2005 and December 2005 alleging extensive links between CAIR’s organizers and control group with Hamas and other foreign and domestic Islamists. Among other things, these papers alleged:

CAIR’s lineage goes back to a key Hamas leader (Musa Abu Marzook), and that CAIR has long been connected with, and 'exploited' the 9/11 attacks to raise money for the Holy Land Foundation, a Hamas front group.

• CAIR is heavily supported, financially and otherwise, by suspect Saudi and UAE-based individuals and groups.

• CAIR states that the U.S. judicial system has been 'kidnapped by Israeli interests,' and claims that anti-terror law enforcement action against the Holy Land Foundation was 'an anti-Muslim witch hunt' promoted by 'the pro-Israel lobby in America.'
"CAIR refused to respond to Anti-CAIR’s discovery requests in its November 2005 response to Rubinstein. For example, it did not admit that Hamas murders innocent civilians, it refused to disclose the identities of its Saudi donors, it declined to answer whether it aims to convert American Christians to Islam, and it avoided questions about the anti-Semitic and anti-American activities of its founder and executive director, Nihad Awad, including his communications with Hamas terrorists, speeches supporting suicide bombings, and advocacy of violence against Jews.

"In March 2006, shortly before a scheduled court hearing to decide on several of Whitehead’s requests (compelling CAIR to disclose its financial data, to answer questions about its relationship with Hamas and other Islamists, and to provide information regarding its leaders’ activities and intentions), the case was settled and then dismissed with prejudice by stipulation (meaning, the plaintiff has agreed to forever drop all of the claims that were in, or could have been in, the complaint).
Here is a rather comprehensive list of other litigations initiated by CAIR. According to the list, the following two cases were also dismissed recently — not in favor of CAIR:

(1) "CAIR vs. Cass Ballenger. Ballenger, a North Carolina Republican congressman, called CAIR 'the fund-raising arm for Hezbollah' and raised the possibility that it would try to blow up the Capitol Building. CAIR responded with a $2 million defamation suit.

"[On April 11, 2006, a] three-judge federal appeals court panel in Washington (made up of David Sentelle, Judith Rogers, and Thomas Griffith) ruled unanimously to uphold Leon's March 2005 decision to dismiss CAIR's case.

(2) "CAIR-Canada vs. CFRA and David Harris. Harris, a former Canadian Security and Intelligence Service agent, mentioned on April 1, 2004, on radio station CFRA's morning show, Madeley in the Morning, that 'there are a number of officials and former officials of CAIR-USA who are now in custody and who are serving sentences on terrorist-related offences, to which. I might add, they have pleased guilty.' Harris called on the Globe and Mail, where Sheema Khan of CAIR's Canadian office writes regular column, 'to at least clarify where exactly CAIR-Canada fits in this larger picture.' On June 24, 2004 CAIR in Canada sued Harris and CFRA for libel.

"[On April 12, 2006 this] case was dismissed…by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice without costs. Harris commented to me that 'CAIR-CAN got no apology, no 'clarification,' and, most certainly, no money.

"He also pointed out that 'CAIR-CAN's rather exaggerated claims of what I said make a nice juxtaposition with its cold dropping of the case. It quite obviously didn't fancy a messy court episode. I asked an important question of public interest, and got a law suit in response. Now, it's time for some answers.'"
These cases — the law suits targeting Andrew Whitehead, Cass Ballenger, and David Harris — seem to indicate that CAIR cannot stand up to scrutiny of its financial ties. Isn’t it time to more fully investigate ties which CAIR appears to desire to avoid discussion of?

For additional information about CAIR's influence within our government and our society, go here. The dhimmitude is astounding!

"The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida has elected the head of CAIR, Parvez Ahmed, to its board. As the CAIR press release explains, 'CAIR and the ACLU have cooperated on a number of issues at the national level.' (March 8, 2006)"
According to this April 14, 2006 article in the Buffalo News, the FBI is partnering with CAIR:
"A representative for the Council on American-Islamic Relations - America's largest Islamic civil liberties group - was moderating a town hall meeting with the Federal Bureau of Investigation on a local American Muslim cable network with national reach.

"The program represented the first time the FBI appeared in an open question-and-answer segment moderated by a Muslim advocacy group on a domestic, Muslim-themed cable channel....

"Moderator Adnan Mirza, director of CAIR's Ohio chapter,...pointed out that CAIR has had long-standing relationships with the FBI, whose staffers routinely speak at smaller community events that are hosted by the Muslim civil rights group....

"The FBI town hall program will air on Bridges at 8 p.m. May 15. Bridges is available locally on Adelphia for an additional charge. The program will be rebroadcast by the U.S. State Department on U.S. Embassy television stations."
In light of the recent dismissals of CAIR's law suits, the FBI and DHS need to investigate what CAIR really stands for and particularly scrutinize CAIR's financial records for ties to terrorist organizations. CAIR's lobbying power should be squashed as well.

Addendum from CAIR's web site:
"CAIR National Board Member Dr. Ahmad Al-Akhras offered a lecture this week to more than 1000 cadets, staff and faculty at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. The event was part of the academy's "Diversity Lecture Series."

"Dr. Al-Akhras also participated in an evening session at which he was able to answer questions on a variety of issues related to Islam, Muslims and international events...."

Continue reading....

Thursday, April 20, 2006


I received the following in an email from one of my in-laws:


1. You have to be against capital punishment, but support abortion on demand

2. You have to believe that businesses create oppression and governments create prosperity.

3. You have to believe that guns in the hands of law-abiding Americans are more of a threat than U.S. nuclear weapons technology in the hands of Chinese and North Korean communists.

4. You have to believe that there was no art before Federal funding.

5. You have to believe that global temperatures are less affected by cyclical documented changes in the earth's climate and more affected by soccer moms driving SUV's.

6. You have to believe that gender roles are artificial but being homosexual is natural.

7. You have to believe that the AIDS virus is spread by a lack of federal funding.

8. You have to believe that the same teacher who can't teach 4th-graders how to read is somehow qualified to teach those same kids about sex.

9. You have to believe that hunters don't care about nature, but loony activists who have never been outside of San Francisco do.

10. You have to believe that self-esteem is more important than actually doing something to earn it.

11. You have to believe that Mel Gibson spent $25 million of his own money to make The Passion Of The Christ for financial gain only.

12. You have to believe the NRA is bad because it supports certain parts of the Constitution, while the ACLU is good because it supports certain parts of the Constitution.

13. You have to believe that taxes are too low, but ATM fees are too high.

14. You have to believe that Margaret Sanger and Gloria Steinem are more important to American history than Thomas Jefferson, Gen. Robert E. Lee, and Thomas Edison & A.G. Bell.

15. You have to believe that standardized tests are racist, but racial quotas and set-asides are not.

16. You have to believe that Hillary Clinton is normal and is a very nice person.

17. You have to believe that the only reason socialism hasn't worked anywhere it's been tried is because the right people haven't been in charge.

18. You have to believe conservatives telling the truth belong in jail, but a liar and a sex offender belonged in the White House.

19. You have to believe that homosexual parades displaying drag, transvestites, and beastiality should be constitutionally protected, and manger scenes at Christmas should be illegal.

20. You have to believe that illegal Democratic Party funding by the Chinese Government is somehow in the best interest to the United States.

21. You have to believe that this message is a part of a vast, right wing conspiracy.
How did you fare on the above checklist? I didn't pass the test.

Continue reading....

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Profiting From Illegal Invasion

(All emphases by Always On Watch)

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When I saw the television coverage of immigration demonstrations throughout the United States, including the Heartland and areas with which I did not immediately associate a high population of immigrants, and the above graph, I wondered, “How did they get to be all over the United States?” An April 18, 2006 article in the Washington Times provides a clue in the following excerpt from "Illegal Aliens Recruit Workers":
“SASABE, Mexico -- A growing number of U.S. employers in need of cheap labor are turning to illegal workers to recruit friends and relatives back home, and to smugglers to find job seekers.

"’It continues to become clear who controls immigration: It's not governments, but rather the market,’ said Jorge Santibanez, director of the Tijuana think tank Colegio de la Frontera Norte.

“When Pedro Lopez Vazquez crossed illegally into the United States last week, he already had a job.

“His future employer even paid $1,000 for a smuggler to help Mr. Vazquez make his way from the central Mexican city of Puebla to Aspen, Colo….

“At the same time, it has become less risky for companies to recruit illegal aliens. Since the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, U.S. prosecution of employers who hire such workers has dwindled to a trickle as the government puts its resources toward national security.
“The few cases that are prosecuted, however, highlight how lucrative a business recruiting undocumented workers has become.

In one case, a single smuggler purportedly earned $900,000 over 15 months placing 6,000 migrants in jobs at Chinese restaurants across the upper Midwest….

Shan Wei Yu, a 51-year-old Chinese-American, was sentenced in December to nine years in federal prison on charges involving the transportation of 40 of those migrants. Investigations involving the others continue.

“Rick Hilzendager, special agent for Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Grand Forks, N.D., said Yu connected 6,000 migrants from Latin America with jobs in Chinese restaurants in Illinois, Michigan, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Based in Yu's home in McKinney, Texas, the Great Texas Employment Agency placed ads in Chinese-language newspapers in the Chicago area offering cheap labor from Latin America, investigators said.

Yu sent a recruiter with Spanish interpreters to find illegal aliens in Dallas willing to be fry cooks and dishwashers, Mr. Hilzendager said. A team made up mostly of illegal Chinese aliens rented cars and drove them up.

Yu charged a $150 finder's fee for each illegal while the drivers earned $300 per worker. Restaurant owners deducted the $450 from workers' first-month paychecks of $1,000….

“To make a real dent in the network, the U.S. government would need to go after employers or make them pay the costs of legalizing workers, migration activists say.

“Investigators say fake documents make it difficult to prove an employer has knowingly hired an undocumented worker. Businesses argue that employers aren't equipped to spot fraud....”
“Employers aren’t equipped to spot fraud”? Those words smack of a lame excuse. At an impromptu day-laborers site near my house, I have seen for myself that various landscaping and construction companies cruise the parking lot and do not make any attempt to determine whether or not the fellows they are hiring are legal. And many private home-owners do the same when they hire maids or others to do various household chores.

Any employers of illegal immigrants should be prosecuted because as long as the market for cheap labor exists, the flood penetrating our porous borders will continue. Our Congress needs to pass legislation targeting businesses and individuals which hire illegals. Auditing the income-tax filings of employers who hire illegals is the starting point and might lead to shutting down activities such as those of Mr. Yu. Ignoring the employers of illegals will lead to even greater proliferation of illegal immigration.

Furthermore, our sieve of a border leaves us open to infiltration by terrorists. According to this page from the web site We Need A Fence:
“The problem is not merely the number of illegal immigrants. In addition to the hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants from Central and South America, there are several hundreds, perhaps thousands, of illegal aliens from countries that sponsor terrorism or harbor terrorists entering the United States each year across our border with Mexico. Thus, it is a national security issue as well as an immigration issue.”
And from this web page:
"'Other Than Mexican' illegal immigrants pose a national security risk to the U.S.

"The serious national security threat posed by 'Other Than Mexicans' is not widely understood. Approximately 100,000 illegal immigrants entering the United States from Mexico each year are not Mexicans. The Border Patrol refers to these persons as 'OTM's' - 'Other Than Mexicans':

Within the last year, over 450 OTM's have been apprehended illegally entering the United States from such officially-designated 'special interest' countries as:
o Afghanistan
o Angola
o Jordan
o Qatar
o Pakistan
o Yemen
Some of those countries listed are known funders of terrorist organizations and are known to harbor terrorists.

Furthermore, the hidden costs of so-called cheap labor are not inexpensive. California serves as a documented example, which applies or will soon apply to states all over our nation:

“In California alone, the annual estimated cost burden of providing education, health care and incarceration for illegal immigrants is over $10 billion:

Education. Californians spend approximately $7.7 billion annually on education for illegal immigrant children. Nearly 15 percent of the K-12 public school students in California are children of illegal aliens.

Health care. Uncompensated medical outlays for health care provided to the state's illegal alien population amount to about $1.4 billion a year.

Incarceration. The cost of incarcerating illegal aliens in California's prisons and jails amounts to about $1.4 billion a year (not including related law enforcement and judicial expenditures or the monetary costs of the crimes that led to their incarceration).
We cannot afford to wait any longer to secure our borders! And it is also past time to call illegal immigrants by the proper name: “ILLEGAL INVADERS,” as Right Truth recently stated.

And here are the highlights of Cubed's plan for controlling the invasion:
1) Build a barrier.
2) Get the IRS in on it.
3) Make English the official language of the U.S.
4) Withdraw all welfare benefits to illegal aliens.
5) Amend the Constitution to disallow 'anchor babies.'
6) Deport illegal aliens.
7) Deputize citizen volunteers to work with the Border Patrol.

(Additional details here)
Will the above plan work? I don't know, but I favor trying it. The United States could hardly do worse than the excuse-of-a-plan which is in place right now.

[Hattip: Sixth Column for the link We Need A Fence]

Continue reading....

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Journalistic Standards At Arab Newspapers

(All emphases by Always On Watch)

Recently Fawaz Turki, formerly the senior op-ed columnist for Arab News, an English-language newspaper in Saudi Arabia, was fired from his job because he had criticized various Islamic rulers. His commentary, "How to Lose Your Job at a Saudi Newspaper," appeared in the April 15, 2006 edition of the Washington Post. Fawaz Turki explains why he lost his job:
“…I had committed one of the three cardinal sins an Arab journalist must avoid when working for the Arab press: I criticized the government.

“The other two? Bringing up Islam as an issue and criticizing, by name, political leaders in the Arab or Islamic world for their brazen excesses, dismal failures and blatant abuses.”
As one might expect, much of Fawaz Turki’s commentary chronicles the sequence of stories which led to his dismissal But he also goes a bit deeper to share the underlying causes and the implications of his dismissal:
“...[T]his is not just the story of an Arab journalist losing his job. It is a story with implications for the current American administration's efforts to ‘introduce’ the Arab countries to democracy, of which independent, free media are a major building block….

Democracy may be a political system, but it is also a social ethos. How responsive can a country be to such an ethos when its people have, for generations, existed with an ethic of fear—fear of originality, fear of innovation, fear of spontaneity, fear of life itself—and have had instilled in them the need to accept orthodoxy, dependence and submission?"
Fawaz Turki’s article concludes with the following two paragraphs:
“In this atmosphere, it is regarded as an example of reportorial acumen to write on the op-ed pages of prominent Arab journals about how the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks were the work of Israeli agents, how the death of Princess Diana was the result of some diabolical plot by British intelligence to end her life rather than see her married to an Arab Muslim, how Monica Lewinsky was an agent-in-place, put in the White House by the 'Jewish lobby'—and so on with other infantile whimsies.

For Arabs, there is still a great divide between word and world. You can embrace conspiracy theories with impressive ease, and be accorded by your editors the right to pontificate about any foolish thing you want, but don't dare write about the malfeasance of political leaders in Egypt and Palestine, or the atrocities of a fellow-Muslim government in East Timor.”
The Arab concept of journalism is far removed from what we Westerners take for granted—logical conclusions based on facts. Under the conditions which Fawaz Turki describes, the proposed propaganda war with the aim of convincing Muslim nations of joining the Twenty-first Century might be a foregone failure—at least in the short term. Even modern Arab newspapers such as Arab News operate on a different journalistic level.

Continue reading....

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Easter: Celebrate Eternal Life

Easter is the most significant date on the Christian calendar. Only two of the four Gospels relate the birth of Jesus, but all four Gospels proclaim His resurrection.

Christians serve a risen Savior!

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Christ Appearing to His Disciples After the Resurrection
, c. 1795
Artist: William Blake (1757-1827)

From Cyber Hymnal [speakers on for the music]
"Christ the Lord Is Risen Today"

Christ, the Lord, is risen today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth, reply, Alleluia!

Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Lo! the Sun’s eclipse is over, Alleluia!
Lo! He sets in blood no more, Alleluia!

Vain the stone, the watch, the seal, Alleluia!
Christ hath burst the gates of hell, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids His rise, Alleluia!
Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia!

Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!

Soar we now where Christ hath led, Alleluia!
Following our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!

Hail, the Lord of earth and Heaven, Alleluia!
Praise to Thee by both be given, Alleluia!
Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia!
Hail, the resurrection, thou, Alleluia!

King of glory, Soul of bliss, Alleluia!
Everlasting life is this, Alleluia!
Thee to know, Thy power to prove, Alleluia!
Thus to sing and thus to love, Alleluia!

Hymns of praise then let us sing, Alleluia!
Unto Christ, our heavenly King, Alleluia!
Who endured the cross and grave, Alleluia!
Sinners to redeem and save. Alleluia!

But the pains that He endured, Alleluia!
Our salvation have procured, Alleluia!
Now above the sky He’s King, Alleluia!
Where the angels ever sing. Alleluia!

Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!
Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!
Who did once upon the cross, Alleluia!
Suffer to redeem our loss. Alleluia!

(Words by Charles Wesley)
Click here to go to Cyber Hymnal for the music.
In the fifth stanza we read the words "Made like Him, like Him we rise"; these words speak to our own resurrection.

John 14 (KJV), our Savior's words, spoken to His disciples before they understood the meaning of what their Master was about to do:

1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
The account from the Gospel of Matthew (KJV):
Matthew 28

1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.

2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:

4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.

5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.

6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

7 And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.

8 And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.

9 And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him....

18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth....

20 ...[A]nd, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
We have our Savior's promise. He is always with us.

And it doesn't get better than that!

[For information about Easter customs, see this article by Woman Honor Thyself]

Continue reading....

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Sonnet: Amazing Riches

The following poem was written by ninth-grade homeschool student "J.S.," who is well familiar with Ephesians 2:8-9, which states the following:

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
In the sonnet, J.S. also alludes to the ninth chapter of Acts, which relates the conversion of Saul (later renamed Paul) as he traveled the road to Damascus.

Amazing Riches

For why have we been shown the gift of grace?
His gift to us presents no earthly sense;
Labors of man render most vain pretense;
His power over hell man’s sins erase;
Failed efforts of man, His mercies replace.
Our natures of evil do stage expense;
But His blood and choice, the dues recompensed
So that by grace through faith, Him will we face.
The path to grace for us the Book explains:
The journey to heav’n Paul traveled in vain,
And he believed that he could find the way;
But Paul’s eyes opened and Truth did convey.
Mercies we long for, no works will obtain.
Sweet mercy from God—gift given, not gained!
—Contributed by J.S.
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The Exaltation of the True Cross, 1733
National Gallery of Art

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Virtual Nation

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Every once in a while, I find a jaw-dropper article in the daily newspaper. "Answer Man: In Search of Virtual Countries" is one of the you've-got-to-be-kidding-me type:

"I was recently looking in the 'Embassies' section of the D.C. telephone directory to get a visa for an upcoming trip when I came across a startling — to me, anyway—listing for the Embassy of the Dominion of Melchizedek, a country I had never heard of, even after many years of involvement in foreign affairs. I could, of course, call the embassy directly, but I thought you could do a real service in providing a complete answer for the benefit of your wide readership.
Bill Kugler, Chevy Chase

"Sadly, the phone at the Embassy of the Dominion of Melchizedek has been disconnected. And don't try sending anything to the embassy's old address on Pennsylvania Avenue NW, either. It was always just a mail drop, and it's not even that anymore.

"In other words, you're out of luck if you want to pick up travel brochures about Melchizedek. Of course, you could go [this site] , a Web site with a wealth of information about this jewel of the South Pacific. But it might be more prudent to contemplate the headline atop a 1995 article in The Washington Post about Melchizedek: 'The Ruse That Roared.'

"That's one of the kinder headlines about Melchizedek that have appeared in papers around the world. Others include 'Plot Thickens in Phony Bank Scheme' and 'Insurer Chartered by Phony Country.'

"Melchizedek is a virtual nation set up in 1990. (The name comes from the Old Testament's 'king of righteousness,' who blessed Abraham.) It was founded by Mark Logan Pedley , a Californian who, like his father, David Pedley (author of the Melchizedek Bible), was, shall we say, not unfamiliar with the inside of a courtroom.

"Mark Pedley now calls himself Tzemach Korem and is the head of Melchizedek's 'house of elders.' Korem claims that several atolls in the South Pacific as well as Antarctica comprise the country, or what he prefers to call the 'ecclesiastical sovereignty.'

"The country, er, ecclesiastical sovereignty, seems to exist solely to sell banking and incorporation papers that con men have used to advance their crooked schemes. Things have been quiet lately, but there were several Melchizedek-related swindles in the 1990s.

"The Dominion also issues its own passports, though Korem told Answer Man he encourages people to have dual citizenship.

"What's to keep terrorists from acquiring a passport from the Dominion and using it for nefarious purposes? 'We do require the applicant to fill out a form that gives us information that we can use for investigating that person,' Korem said. 'In addition, if we have any suspicions, we dig deeper.'

"Oh, okay then.

"The Dominion of Melchizedek isn't the world's first or last 'virtual country.' In 1967, a Briton named Paddy Roy Bates climbed atop a rusty tower six miles off the coast of England that had been built in World War II as an antiaircraft gun platform. At the time, Britain's territorial waters extended only three miles from its coast, so Bates called his new nation Sealand and styled himself Prince Roy. He soon had a flag and was issuing coins and stamps.

"A few years ago, investors tried to turn Sealand into an Internet hub that could operate outside the prying eyes and restrictive laws of other nations. It ended in recriminations. Imagine that: getting rooked by a fictitious nation.

"At least Sealand actually did rise from the sea. In 2000, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission took action against Lazarus R. Long (aka 'Prince Lazarus,' aka Howard Turney), who sold securities over the Internet to fund the development of 'New Utopia,' a country he promised to build in the middle of the Caribbean. (Prince Lazarus is planning it still. Charter citizenships for New Utopia are available at the 'country's' Web site. They take PayPal.)

"Needless to say, the State Department doesn't recognize any of these bogus nations. Take Answer Man's word for it that when you call to ask about them, you get a sort of exasperated sigh from whomever is unlucky enough to answer the phone."
If you have some time to spare, you might want to have a look at the Dominion's web site. Lots of links to explore! But I make no promise that all the links are working.

Continue reading....

Monday, April 10, 2006

Commemorating The Date

From "Crazy Jihadin' Mo's Birthday":
"This week marks more than Tax Day for the US infidels. This Tuesday also marks Crazy Jihadin' 'Prophet' Mo's Birthday. This fine occasion is an official holiday not only here in the Islamic Republic of Malaysia, it's one in the rest of Dar al Islam as well. The fact that Mo and his kindred spirit Adolf, two homicidal psychopathic megalomaniacs cut from the same cloth, have birthdays only a fortnight apart in the same month is a supreme irony."
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I've given some thought as to what might be appropriate on this day. As part of the commemoration, we can all go out and purchase some henna for our hair. According to the above-pictured comic book Mohammed's Believe It or Else!, Mo died his hair red:
"Without a doubt I saw Allah's Prophet dyeing his hair with [henna] and that is why I like to dye my hair with it."
--Burkhari vol. I, no. 167
See also vol. IV, no. 747 and vol. VII, no. 785
That information got me to wondering if Ibrahim Hooper of CAIR uses a henna rinse. Only his hair dresser knows for sure, I guess.

From Pedestrian Infidel's The Anti-Jihadist, below are a few additional suggestions for celebrating the special event. Pick and choose as you see fit, or come up with your own ideas.
"10. Buy pork, eat pork
9. Post Mo's cartoons in some more places, online or elsewhere
8. Draw some new Mo cartoons, and share
7. Buy alcohol (Danish booze is a plus)
6. Buy the books of any counter-jihadist authors, like PI's own Mark Alexander
5. Read the Q'u'r'a'n and laugh
4. Send money to Jihadwatch
3. Convert a Muslim into a Christian
2. Go to church next Sunday
1. Put the Qurans at Borders on the bottom shelf"
[For information about the policy at Borders see this, this, and
Honey Baked Ham Store, I'll be at your counter first thing in the morning!

Go ye forth and collect fatwas.

Continue reading....

Sunday, April 09, 2006

No More Motown Mondays

You know you're getting older when your favorite music-radio station abandons its format of several decades. Although I like much of what WBIG 100.3 is now playing, some of my nostalgic favorites have just been assigned to my CD-player. Unfortunately, one of my vehicles has no tape- or CD-player, just the AM-FM radio. While some of the oldies on WBIG were of the type before "my day," others were among those hits I discovered when I got my first stereo system.

Excerpt from the April 4, 2006 Washington Post article Oldies a Thing Of the Past At WBIG-FM:
"Elvis has not only left the building — he's leaving the airwaves.

"So, too, are many of his fellow hitmakers from the 1960s and '70s, including the Beach Boys, Aretha Franklin, Simon & Garfunkel and Wilson Pickett.

"In a generational as well as cultural shift, the area's only oldies station, WBIG (100.3 FM), yesterday dropped much of the music that has been a staple of local radio for more than 40 years and replaced it with 'classic' rock from the 1970s and early '80s.

"Out: the cheerful sound of Motown, which appeals to racially diverse audiences, and early Top 40 radio that harks to the civil rights and Vietnam eras.

"In: familiar cuts from rock giants such as Journey, Queen, Supertramp, Aerosmith, the Police and Cheap Trick.

"Still holding on: the Beatles and Rolling Stones, but not the epoch-changing British Invasion hits of the mid-'60s...."

"[I]n one swift move, WBIG consigned a whole swath of iconic pop — hits of the Temptations, the Monkees, James Brown and Mamas & Papas — to the same scrapheap on which radio programmers dumped their Frank Sinatra and Perry Como records more than a decade ago...."
One of the best features of WBIG had been Motown Mondays, when those of us sitting in gridlock could sing along to the hits we used to collect as 45 RPM's. I was partial to anything by The Supremes.

I'm going to miss Motown Mondays as well as the other programming offered by the now-defunct Oldies 100.3. My husband will have a difficult time making the switchover; he's terribly fond of the Beach Boys and doesn't much care for any music beyond 1975.

The change at WBIG is another adjustment to progress, close on the heels of having to do away with our backyard junk and the recent demolition of the oldest house in our neighborhood.

Continue reading....

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Getting Credit For Demonstrating

As reported in the April 8, 2006 edition of the Washington Post:
Montgomery Is Criticized Over Credit for Students

"The Montgomery County schools' decision to grant students community service credit for attending Monday's immigration rights protest is raising concern among some parents as well as activists who say officials should focus on education, not political advocacy.

"Montgomery is the only Washington area school system offering students credit for taking part in the event, to be held on the Mall...

"[S]tudents will receive service learning hours for participating in the rally as long as they do so under the supervision of a community group that has been approved by the school system....

"School systems in Virginia and the District do not have community service requirements. Although teenagers there have been among the most active in protesting the immigration legislation, no systems planned to grant credit for participation in Monday's rally. However, in Fairfax County, school officials said a teacher in a government class, where a service project is often assigned, may choose to consider the rally as part of that requirement."
From Mark Twain:
"Apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today."

Continue reading....

Friday, April 07, 2006

New Trends In Higher Education?

(All emphases by Always On Watch)

The rejection letters are began arriving last week as most colleges attempt to make their admissions' decisions before April 1. This year, because some 2,000,000 students, two thirds of this years graduates, are applying for a limited number available spaces. As a result, right now high-school seniors are forced to deal with adjusting their dreams and are beginning to consider attending colleges which are low on their lists of preferred schools.

The following is front-page news from the April 7, 2006 edition of the Washington Post: Colleges, Awash in Applications, Turning Away Even Top Students
"...Many of the best-known and most-selective universities announced record low admission rates this year. Yale set an Ivy League record, accepting only 8.6 percent of its 21,099 applicants. Last year, the school accepted 9.7 percent of its 19,448 applicants. Other record lows were reported by Columbia University, 9.6 percent; Stanford University, 11 percent; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 13 percent; Brown University, 13.8 percent; Dartmouth College, 15.4 percent and the University of Pennsylvania, 17.7 percent.

"In the Washington region, George Washington and Johns Hopkins universities reported their lowest acceptance rates ever. GWU accepted 36 percent of its 19,250 applicants, compared with 37.5 percent of the previous year's 19,406 applicants. Hopkins's rate took a particularly precipitous drop, from 35 percent of 11,278 applicants to 27 percent of 13,869 in one year.

"'We were kind of struck by the fact that we were wait-listing and denying students that last year or two years ago we would have been happy to admit,' said John Latting, director of undergraduate admissions. Students, he added, 'that we would have admitted.'"
Another factor is playing in this year, perhaps to a greater extent than ever before:
"The number of rejections is further inflated by the increased number of applications sent out by each student, reacting to the uncertainty of admission and the ease of online and common applications. This produces a self-perpetuating cycle: It is harder to get in, so seniors apply to more schools, which makes it even harder to get in, at least for the most sought-after schools."
Many place too much emphasis on the necessity of admission to a top-of-the-line university. According to the above-cited article,
"Research indicates that attendance at a well-known school does not appear to give any long-term advantage to students, at least as measured by incomes 20 years after they graduate. College counselors advise students to look for a school that offers the size and range of courses and activities they are looking for and not worry so much about where it ranks on the U.S. News & World Report list."
High-school seniors and their families would do well to remember that the Ivy Leagues are not the only route to a good education and a successful career. Furthermore, I have noticed that the status of attending a prestigious university often matters more to the parents than to their children. As lesser-known colleges receive some of the high-achieving applicants, those schools will improve. I think we may be seeing the beginning of an improvement in higher education. Despite this benefit, however, for certain specialized areas—including medicine and music, just to name two—the choice of institution does matter.

Over the next few weeks, high-school seniors have a difficult decision to make: what to do about being wait-listed. For example, colleges which have sent acceptance letters require a response by May 1, but those which have sent a wait-listed notification will not make their decision until June 1. Catch-22!

Of course, one freshman didn't have to worry about the above issues:
Former Taliban Spokesman Finds New Haven--at Yale

"The Taliban’s former spokesman, Rahmatullah Hashemi, is now an undergraduate at Yale University, The New York Times reveals..."
Hashemi grabbed up only one available space, but that space is at Yale.

Continue reading....

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Fox Guarding The Henhouse?

(All emphases by Always On Watch)

The following information comes from the April 6, 2006 edition of the Washingon Times:
"An Iraqi-born U.S. citizen suspected of being a foreign intelligence agent was employed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to rule on asylum applications, including those from unfriendly Middle Eastern nations, according to documents obtained from Congress by The Washington Times.

"Michael J. Maxwell, the former head of the Office of Security and Investigations at USCIS, is expected to testify about the Iraqi case and other breakdowns at the agency to a House subcommittee today.

" Mr. Maxwell will tell legislators that the immigration system is being used by enemy governments to place agents in the United States.

"The suspected agent, whose name has not been released, judged 180 asylum applications while at USCIS, the agency that also rules on green cards, citizenship and employment authorization. ...

"'The immigration system as a whole is so broken that our adversaries can game it,' Mr. Maxwell told The Times when asked about the documents this week. 'I can assure you they're using it against us; they can with impunity.'

"His testimony comes as the Senate debates whether to enact a guest-worker program that would allow current illegal aliens and future foreign workers a new path to citizenship....

"The man has since left USCIS and the United States so Mr. Maxwell closed his investigation. But Mr. Maxwell said that despite his findings, USCIS doesn't even have the ability to go back and see whether any of the 180 cases the former employee approved should be revoked.

"'With no internal audit function at CIS, we don't know who he let into this country,' Mr. Maxwell said.
Doesn't the above make you feel secure?

Continue reading....

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

A Few Statistics

I am a language-arts person, but sometimes I look over the "Numbers" section of Time Magazine. The following is from the April 10, 2006 edition of Time:
"$853.7 billion China's foreign-currency reserves, which surpassed Japan's as the world's largest

"$202 billion China's 2005 trade surplus with the U.S., a record high that is partly fueled by Beijing's booming reserves

"259 Katrina-damaged school buses that New Orleans hopes to sell on eBay to raise money for its public-school system. Bids on one hit $5,500 within 29 hours

"23 Public schools in Orleans Parish--out of 117, pre-Katrina--that have reopened

"5 Contestants, of 6 million in three major pools, who correctly chose the Final Four in the NCAA basketball tournament

"26 Years since the Final Four last had no top-seeded teams

"8.1% Government-mandated improvement in fuel efficiency for new SUVs from 2008 to '11

"10.7 billion gal. Expected total fuel savings over the life of vehicles in those model years--less than the U.S. now uses in one month

1. China is an economic force to be reckoned with.

2. New Orleans doesn't need many schoolbuses these days.

3. I don't follow basketball, but did root for George Mason University.

4. We need to save a lot more than 10.7 billion gallons of gasoline if we're ever going to get away from our dependence on foreign oil.

Continue reading....

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


I knew the day was coming. I was expecting it.

We've been cited by the Zoning Enforcement Branch of Zoning Administration. Our property is officially an automotive graveyard.

The certified letter arrived a few weeks ago and stated the following:
"Zoning inspections conducted...[have] revealed there is the storage and parking of inoperable vehicles in the front, side and rear yards of the above-referenced property, and the storage of vehicle parts and other miscellaneous items."
I admit it. Our back yard looks trashy. We’ve let the accumulation get out of hand. But keeping accumulation from occurring here is difficult because this property has been the family homestead since the mid 1940s. Also, we have a bit of land, so friends and family often temporarily park vehicles here; but temporarily has a way of expanding. And because my husband is a mechanic, he's forever working on some kind of project. When a delay in getting parts or bad weather ensues, he abandons the current project in favor of another one.

The letter goes on to name a few specific vehicles, all of which have expired registrations and some of which are not ours. The letter—some three pages long—also mentions these:
"...[A]utomobile tires, car ramps, hydraulic floor jack, brush guard, automobile exhaust components, other miscellaneous auto parts, riding lawn mower, and plastic storage containers."
Additional information, both from the letter and from the county code, states that we must not build any additional structures for storage.

We can file an appeal by submitting a particular form and the fee of $375.00, but we aren’t filing. This mess has got to go! Besides, the time of year for vegetable gardening is approaching, and we need some space.

As you may already have guessed, my husband has both the pack-rat gene and the fix-it gene. And, truly, he was planning to clean up the yard this spring, but after our annual yard sale, which we usually have in June. Now we have until April 14 to hide with appropriate screening, to throw out, or to store inside one of our three sheds all the junk and all the other material which we regularly use to work on our registered vehicles. Therefore, the notice is a good motivator, one with a definite deadline.

Of course, having problems with junk is not unique to us. According to the December 7, 2005 Washington Post article “Stockpiling Run Rampant,"
“Over the course of 17 years, a married couple living in a mid-unit, three-bedroom, three-story townhouse in Burke had hoarded so much stuff that their home was overflowing.

“The weight of the debris was threatening to cause the floors to cave in…. It took 15 dumpsters, each with a capacity of 40 cubic yards, to clean out the rat-infested house.”
Whew! We aren’t anywhere close to that situation, despite the fact that we’ve lived here nearly thirty-four years. Certainly, our four cats don't permit any rats here.

A friend of ours is in the towing-and-salvage business, and he came yesterday with his flat-bed. Pray that our friend stays well and can keep hauling all this week. He has just started. Six more vehicles and the riding lawn mower remain, as well as an entire shed filled with miscellaneous auto parts. We're going to need that shed to store the dune buggy.

(Readers, please note that I have hoarded the above Washington Post article since December 7. I was following my parents' motto "It might come in sometime"!)

Continue reading....

Monday, April 03, 2006

"Appeasement Danish Style"

"While most media accounts of the "cartoon jihad" focused on the publication of the cartoons, and on the ensuing violent reaction by some Muslims -- who were depicted by the much of the press as victims! -- few reporters have ventured to describe the increasingly hostile climate that Muslim extremists had succeeded in creating in Denmark before the publication...."
Go read the rest at American Crusader's site.

Scroll down for other postings by Always On Watch.

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Sunday, April 02, 2006

Heads In The Clouds

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"Stop complaining, Mohammad ... we've all been caricatured, here."

According to this March 22, 2006 posting over at GM's Corner, a Welsh clergyman got into trouble for publishing the above. In fact, the priest, the editor of a church magazine, resigned over this matter.

The purpose of the article was to encourage tolerance among the Abrahamic faiths—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

[Read the Guardian article here]

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