HORIZONS by Ken Booth

August 5, 2010

OBAMA DECLARES WAR ON ARIZONA, LOUISIANA; Who’s Next?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ycazso @ 1:11 am

 

First, he declared war on the people of Louisiana with a punishing moratorium on deepwater oil drilling while limiting shallow water drilling through a slowdown of the permitting process – putting thousands out of work and delivering a near fatal blow to the economy of the state that supplies the rest of the nation with most of its oil and gas.

 Not finished, the President of the United States then declared war on Arizona by hauling this state into federal court in a challenge of a just enacted state immigration-related law. The Obama Justice Department suit clearly demonstrates a great ambition and propensity to ignore control of a wide open border but engage in activities to which it was never authorized, overwhelming negative public sentiment and opposition be damned.

 Who’s next?

Maybe, the Commonwealth of Virginia. Following the lead of Arizona’s lawmakers, the Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has ruled that his state’s authorities CAN ask suspects they stop or arrest about their immigration status.

Oh, wait! Missouri voters may find themselves in this administration’s crosshairs now. About 71 percent of Missouri voters backed a ballot measure that would prohibit the government from requiring people to have health insurance or from penalizing them for not having it.

This, after a federal judge back in Virginia refused to throw out a lawsuit filed by that state against the U.S. Government  in a challenge of the same Obamacare program. The ruling was bad news for Obama and for Democrats because it will force the White House to defend the highly unpopular health care law in the middle of this year’s election season.  A recent poll by Rasmussen Reports showed 57% of Americans believe Obamacare will be bad for the country.  How many Democrats will want to wear that albatross, do you reckon?

 There is no question the detrimental effects of the moratorium are serious for Louisiana and, indeed the rest of the country. The indirect impact could be far worse with an estimated 320,000 jobs hurt at least at some level in Louisiana alone.  First, Obama dithered making the crisis worse. Then he ordered the moratorium having the additional effect of a double whammy of incompetence on the part of British Petroleum and the ineptitude of the Obama administration who said it was imposed to insure safety in the drilling industry.  Never mind that 42,000 wells have been drilled in the Gulf of Mexico in the last 63 years, including 2,500 in deep water and this is the first accident.Surely, nobody can dispute that Arizona is reeling under a daily invasion by an onslaught of illegal aliens many of whom are violent criminals who have been deported before only to come back again and again. We are quite literally under siege. And under this President and the one who preceded him in that office the federal government not only does nothing to protect Arizona and the rest of the states against this invading

horde, it actively battles against those on this side of the border who attempt to protect themselves. In other words, federal agents have sued Arizona officials to stop them from enforcing a federal law that the federal agents refuse to enforce.  Add to this the leaking of that Homeland Security memo which purports to detail how the White House could provide back-door amnesty to the estimated 30-million illegal aliens already in this country.  It demonstrates vividly the apparent contempt with which the administration holds the voters already angered over Obamacare and the refusal to secure the southern border.

The secret memo described setting up something called “deferred action” at the discretion of the U.S. government in indefinitely halting deportation “to permit individuals for whom relief may become available in the future to live and work in the U.S. without fear of removal.” That would amount to defacto amnesty. But as the Washington Examiner points out,  that would also leave a paper trail…”(something) the administration has worked hard to avoid.”

As the Washington Times  editorialized, “The Obama administration’s way to deal with the problem of illegal immigration is to declare it legal.”

“Will Washington’s failures lead to a second American revolution?” is the title of a column this month in the Wall Street Journal.  In the piece, authors Ernest Christian and Gary Robbins write “there is no end to the harm an out-of-control president can do.” Therefore, they assert, “the imperial Presidency” must be trimmed. “Barack Obama is diminishing America from within,” they write, “so far successfully.” As a result, Constitutional traditions like the rule of law are being shoved aside.

You may consider a second revolution to be outlandishly far fetched. But consider  that the Internet is a larger-scaled and much faster version of the Committees of Correspondence  that led to the first. According to the Wall Street Journal column cited here, “With Washington’s failings so awful and obvious, it may well lead to another.”

In the view of Dr. Chuck Baldwin, pastor of Crossroad Baptist Church in Pensacola, what we are witnessing is a federal leviathan that more and more shows blatant disregard for not only its own responsibilities and duties, but for the rights and freedoms of the individual states, and for the American citizenry as a whole. As to Obama’s  posture on illegal aliens, Baldwin cites John 10:1 KJV.

Further exacerbating tensions just in the last week were numerous ancillary administration actions coupled with unrelated events making news headlines which pointed directly to a breakdown at some of the highest levels of government.

Janet (The system worked) Napolitano’s office, we now know, allowed political appointees to review hundreds of public records requests “for awareness purposes.”  The bureaucrats, according to an AP report, showed “a probing curiosity” about the people and organizations” seeking records and documents that should have been readily made available for public inspection. In its analysis the Associated Press said Napolitano’s policy was shameful and “dangerous in a way that is subtle, perhaps, but perilous nonetheless. If access to information about what our government is doing becomes dependent on one’s political affiliations or the potential to make the administration look bad, then the foundation of our system is in jeopardy,” declared the AP.

Attorney General Eric Holder tried to explain why he is pursuing a shutdown of Arizona’s immigration law but not pursuing sanctuary cities that break the law, saying, “There is a big difference between a state or locality saying they are not going to use their resources to enforce a federal law, as so-called sanctuary cities have done, and a state passing its own immigration policy that actively interferes with federal law.” His statement came on the same day a Rasmussen Reports poll showed 61% of the nation’s voters in fact, favor passage of a law like Arizona’s in their own state.

Prince William County, Maryland authorities say the drunk driver who killed a Catholic nun  and critically injured two others in an auto crash last weekend was supposed to be awaiting deportation for being in the country illegally, but had been released by federal authorities. The man, Carlos Montano had been arrested twice before on drunk driving charges and had properly been referred to Napolitano’s agency. She says she will investigate why he was on the loose.

Strictly coincidentally, on the same day Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials hurriedly put out a news release declaring that 87 illegals from 19 countries had been picked up in a roundup and were considered as posing threats to public safety or to national security.  Seventy-five of those arrested had been convicted of crimes including murder, rape, and kidnapping. One was a member of the notorious MS-13 gang based in El Salvador who had numerous felony drug convictions.

Neither you nor I could ever hope to gain entry to the Army’s Fort Huachuca intelligence training facility in southern Arizona. But Maricopa County sheriff’s detectives this week turned up evidence that an illegal alien was, indeed, working on the base this year. While the Army said no harm was done, experts say the cse highlights how easy it would be for a potential saboteur to gain access there.  An investigation is underway as to how that happened.

And then there is this. The feds dole out to law enforcement agencies hundreds of millions of dollars to help jail criminals who are here illegally.  But there seems to be no rhyme nor reason to how the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program is handled.  Many jurisdictions get more money while others get mere pennies on the dollar.

Arizona, with thousands of illegals in its jails is fifth on the list.  The disparity is glaring.  The Obama administration forked over $12,107 to Surry County, North Carolina tohouse a single illegal immigrant for just five days. That’s more than $2,400 per day.  Compare that to Claiborne Parish, Louisiana which received only $1,223 for an inmate who was held there 363 days.

The department of Homeland Security, headed by Arizona’s former governor  Janet (the system worked) Napolitano, refused a local newspaper’s request for comment.

The United States is a free country. We all say so. The whole world knows it. And that’s part of the immigration problem we are experiencing. Millions in the world apparently believe America is free for the taking to anyone who wanders in with his hand outstretched. It’s a misconception that needs to be corrected.

Here's one line drawn in the sand.

 Is this a second one being drawn? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Jq8rKSXhQY (Speakers on)

 

 

 

 

 

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June 29, 2010

OBAMA CEDES LARGE CHUNK OF ARIZONA TO HEAVILY-ARMED MEXICANS

Filed under: Uncategorized — ycazso @ 3:33 am

Will Barack Obama listen to anybody or just step-up his careless disregard for constitutional values and ride roughshod over anyone who dares point to his narcissistic juggernaut? His behavior long ago ceased being childlike or that which could be laid to simply a lack of experience in any kind of real world. Anymore, it has all taken on the smell of outright lawlessness.

In early June, there sat the President of the United States and the Governor of one of those states in the Oval Office discussing border security or lack of it. Obama committed himself to send 1200 National Guard paper-pushers to Arizona to free-up more Border Patrol agents to actually patrol the border.  Obama also pledged to spend $500-million on additional –but unspecified- border security. So far, this is it:

U.S. Bureau of Land Management signs placed along Interstate 8 stretching from Casa Grande to Gila Bend, warning of likely encounters with armed criminals.

Keep in mind, this is 80 miles from the Mexico border inside the sovereign state of Arizona and represents an area of approximately 640 square miles which is now apparently under the control of an army of foreigners. These signs fly directly into the face of Team Obama’s ludicrous propaganda lines that crime is down at the border and that the border has never been safer. If this area is a lot safer now than ever before then why is it off limits to U.S. citizens?  And if all this isn’t enough to make every American hot under the collar the U.S. Fish and Wildlife agency reports that the 3,500 acre Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge in the same area of Arizona is closed to U.S. citizens as well because it is “adversely affected by drug cartel operations.”

Once infrequent, cross border incursions into Arizona by cartel soldiers outfitted in Mexican Army uniforms and driving Humvees upon which are mounted .50-cal. automatic weapons are now routine, all in support of a sophisticated web-like map of smuggling trails. Pinal County Sheriff Paul  Babeu says his patrol deputies, like lone Border Patrol officers, are no match for this kind of firepower. One deputy has already been shot in a confrontation with sheer military might in this area of Arizona under the control of no-one but Mexican thugs.

Writing for Human Events, Roger Hedgecock  cites civilian pilots whose aerial photographs show cartel bulldozers “improving dirt roads across the undefended border…to facilitate the nightly drug runs.”

 Says Hedgecock, “Obama’s sophomoric political appeals for comprehensive immigration reform are either ignorant of the facts of life along this border or a deliberate attempt to surrender to the cartels. It ain’t about lettuce pickers’ rights.”

Rather than act to protect, Obama chooses to warn our own citizens through signage even as his administration identifies important natural recreational destinations in Arizona as dangerous while refusing to act to secure our international border in a sustainable fashion. And all of this against a backdrop of Washington whispers that tell of an administration that’s working on some kind of backdoor amnesty  bill  to grant instant citizenship to the hordes who have entered this country illegally.   Anymore, this would not be atypical for this President  who seems to relish in doubling down against overwhelming unfavorable public opinion on a any given matter. 

Look at his reaction to the ruling against his six-month moratorium on oil and natural gas drilling in offshore waters. Skipping no beat, Obama not only promised a quick appeal of the judge’s ruling but also the issuance of a brand new drilling moratorium.  In other words, forge ahead with the very policy a federal judge had just held unconstitutional. It’s the “try to stop me bullying posture” that inspired critical editorial comment by The Washington Examiner: “This response is the latest evidence of a disconcerting pattern with this president and his cronies in the executive branch and Congress: Their ‘progressive’ ideological agenda comes first; everything else, including the will of the people and the letter of the law, as at most an obstacle on the road to ‘change we can believe in.’

 The paper pointed to “large and growing majorities opposed Obamacare in public opinion survey after survey, yet Obama and his allies wrote the bill behind closed doors, made multiple corrupt bargains to gain votes, and passed it anyway. Think about it. When General Motors bondholders opposed Obama’s takeover, he flouted age-old bankruptcy law while effectively nationalizing the company and handing it over to the United Auto Workers union. When Auto executives expressed concern about his costly increase in fuel economy standards, his chief environmental adviser warned them not to write anything down about their discussion. The list goes on: When public worries about excessive federal spending began being heard on Capitol Hill, Obama appointed a rubber-stamping fiscal commission and nodded approval as congressional Democrats set aside the law that since 1974 has required Congress to approve an annual budget. When the Senate refused to vote on his cap-and-trade energy bill, his Environmental Protection Agency administrator issued a threat: Either pass the bill or the agency will unilaterally impose draconian carbon emission limits on the country.”

Harold Hurtt

And to top it all off this week the Obama bunch appointed an outspoken critic of immigration enforcement on the local level to oversee and promote partnerships between federal and local officials on the issue. He is Harold Hurtt, the fired police chief in Houston who has been tapped to be director for Immigration and customs Enforcement’s office of state and local coordination.  La Raza now has their man running the country’s  (non-)enforcement. How can you head up an office if you don’t believe in what the office is supposed to do? Critics say Hurrt’s pro-immigration policies enabled illegal aliens to kill two police officers and seriously injure another in Phoenix before he left there in 2005 and to kill an officer in Houston before he was removed from office in 2009.

The illegal alien who killed the Houston officer had already been deported once, had returned and then been arrested at least three times before he shot and killed the officer who knew none of the alien’s past because Houston’s sanctuary city status had enabled the gunman to stay “at large” in this country.  The cop’s widow says she is shocked Hurtt has been given his new top ICE job.  We are too. Shocked but not surprised.

As the Examiner so aptly put it the other day: Years ago, Alexander Hamilton told the New York convention considering the adoption of the Constitution that “here, sir, the people govern.” We wonder what he would say today after witnessing Obama in action.

 

 

 

June 3, 2010

ARIZONA’S JACKPOT BABIES

Filed under: Uncategorized — ycazso @ 9:42 pm

 

In 1994, a Yuma, Arizona  television crew documented information obtained from Border Patrol sources which alerted the station to an increasing number of pregnant Mexican women crossing through the U.S. Port of Entry in San Luis, Arizona only to call for an ambulance to take them the Yuma Regional Medical Center 25 miles away where they would deliver their child.  At that moment, the child became a citizen of the United States and the mother, eligible for Yuma County and U.S. welfare services.

 There is a growing number of people in this country who argue this is just “flat out wrong,” as they might say in my native Louisiana.

 Add my voice to the chorus. It’s difficult for this country boy to imagine a more self-defeating system of laws than what we have. On the one hand our laws make unauthorized entry into this country a criminal offense while the 142-year-old 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides what is arguably the greatest of all inducements to illegal entry.

 The 14th Amendment was ratified in 1868 as a means of guaranteeing citizenship for freed slaves.  It says, “all persons, born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States.” So, when did non-citizens and illegal immigrants become “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States?  The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) points out that not even the children of foreign diplomats born here are not U.S. citizens.

 A proposal to deny automatic citizenship to children of illegal aliens is before Congress but –surprise- has not been called up for a vote.  So, again, Arizona takes the point on this like it did with SB 1070.

 Mesa state senator Russell Pearce and his backers are drawing up state legislation that would halt the issuance of birth certificates to any children born here to non-citizen parents. Judging from the in-state and national polls showing a one-sided majority of citizens in support of his SB 1070, his latest proposal is likely to have widespread support here as well as throughout the country.

Arizona Senator Russell Pearce

A veteran of 30 years of law enforcement experience (he is former Chief Deputy of the Maricopa County, AZ Sheriff’s Department as well as Director of the AZ Motor Vehicle Division), Pearce’s tough stance could very well be rooted in his own personal history. As a cop he was shot in the chest and hand by a gang member.  More recently, his son, also a sheriff’s deputy, was severely wounded by a criminal who happened to be an illegal alien.

Pearce is a devout  Mormon who says he believes in the rule of law.  As he, himself, put it in a recent National Public Radio interview, “I will not back off until we solve the problem of this illegal invasion. Invaders, that’s what they are. Invaders of the American sovereignty and it can’t be tolerated.”

 As NPR noted, he spoke from his office decorated with awards, keepsakes and photos of Ronald Reagan and John Wayne whom he knew and whose ranch in northern Arizona he often visited.

 

 If you use any national poll’s results as a guage, Mr. Pearce has a lot of support across the country not only for his SB 1070 law which becomes effective on July 29th but also for his position with respect to “anchor babies.”

 The latest sampling of national public opinion was published by Rasmussen Reports today, June 3rd,  which found 58% of U.S. voters saying a child born to an illegal alien in this country should not automatically become a citizen.  The same poll reveals –not surprisingly- that most Americans do not believe Mexico wants to stop the illegal flow of its citizens into the United States and further, that Mexico should be asked to compensate U.S. taxpayers for costs incurred by illegal immigration.

 Rasmussen says among voters angry about immigration, 83% are mad at the federal government. They continue to say, according to today’s polling results, that gaining control of the border is more important than legalizing the stus of illegal aliens already here. In fact, reports Rasmussen, 67% now say military troops should be sent to the Mexican border to prevent illegal immigration.

 As for Arizona’s tough new immigration enforcement law, 58% of voters nationwide favor passage of a law like Arizona’s in their own state.  Somebody might want to tell that to people like California Democrat Congresswoman Linda Sanchez. Speaking to a Democrat Club this week, Sanchez declared that white supremacist groups are influencing lawmakers to adopt laws like that in Arizona which she claims will lead to discrimination through racial profiling. You have to wonder if Sanchez, like so many of her California constituents hollering for a boycott of Arizona are aware that California has a similar law on its books (California Penal Code 834b). So where did Ms. Sanchez gain her information to make such an outrageous accusation?  A leftist blog which has labeled FAIR –mentioned above- as a “hate group.”

 

 

 

May 30, 2010

I CAN SEE MEXICO FROM MY HOUSE

Filed under: Uncategorized — ycazso @ 7:48 pm

The biggest argument against Arizona’s new immigration law by Mexican President Calderon,  his applauders in the U.S. Congress, those advocating a boycott of Arizona, and the hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens  already in the state is, of course, the law –which allows Arizona police- during the normal course of their duties to actually enforce the law.

Where have all these protesters been for the past sixty years? That’s how long the U.S. Code on immigration has been in effect, a federal law that strikingly resembles the Arizona law (except that many consider it even more strict in its enforcement powers).  Could it possibly be they have never had any real fear of the federal statute being enforced while Arizonans appear to be serious about the issue. The cold hard fact is that the presence of illegal aliens in Arizona is costing the legal taxpayers here between $1.3 and $1.7-billion a year.  Frankly, we are like the Tomcat who is known to be dating the lady Skunk. After a few dates he was heard to exclaim, “I’ve enjoyed about as much as I can stand!”

 

 Photo by KNXV-TV, Phoenix 

You have to wonder how many of those screaming about the new Arizona law have actually taken the time to read its ten pages. If top U.S. officials, including the Attorney-General, the Homeland Security Secretary, and probably the President himself have been quick to decry it while also admitting they had not even read it.  It’s fairly cut-and-dried and specifically prohibits all the things the detractors say it promotes.

 The purpose of the new immigration law in the Grand Canyon state is “to discourage and deter the unlawful entry and presence  of aliens and economic activity by persons unlawfully present in the United States.The measure requires police to check the legal status of those they “reasonably suspect” as being illegal immigranats during “any lawful stop, detention or arrest” in the enforcement of any other law or ordinance of the state, or a county, city or town. Law enforcement officers “may not consider race, color or national origin” in making the determination. You won’t find that in the federal statute which, incidentally, requires all aliens to carry on their person at all times papers identifying their nationality or legal status.

City leaders in Los Angeles and San Francisco were the first to scream that Arizonans must be a “racist” bunch hell bent on using racial profiling with the new law and proclaimed an official boycott of any business or leisure activity here. Really? One has to wonder if any of these ‘leaders’ and those who would blindly follow them have any knowledge of the California law and what it says about illegal immigration.  It turns out that Arizona is not alone in its legal approach to dealing with the issue.

You may be forgiven if at first glance you might  think the law that follows below is the much-maligned Arizona S.B. 1070 requiring police to request valid identity documents from those reasonably suspected of being in the state illegally. It’s not. Rather it’s a California law requiring exactly the same thing BUT WITHOUT THE ADDED SAFEGUARDS WRITTEN INTO THE ARIZONA LAW.

California Penal Code 834b. 

(a)       Every law enforcement agency in California shall fully cooperate with the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service regarding any person who is arrested  if he or she is suspected of being present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws.

 (b)       With respect to any such person who is arrested, and suspected of being present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws, every law enforcement agency shall do the following:

(c)          (1) Attempt to verify the legal status of such person as a citizen of the United States, an alien lawfully admitted as a permanent resident, an alien lawfully admitted for a temporary period of time or as an alien who is present in the United States in violation of immigration laws. The verification process may include, but shall not be limited to, questioning the person regarding his or her date and place of birth, and entry into the United States, and demanding documentation to indicate his or her legal status.

(d)          (2) Notify the person of his or her apparent status as an alien who is present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws and inform him or her that, apart from any criminal justice proceedings, he or she must either obtain legal status or leave the United States.

(e)          (3) Notify the Attorney General of California and the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service of the apparent illegal status and provide any additional information that may be requested by any other public entity.

You’ve not heard anything about this on any of the television shows have you?

 Even the leading GOP candidate for governor in California, former eBay chief executive Meg Whitman, is opposed to the Arizona law saying she would never sign such. Is she even aware of California law?  Statements like that could be why the Tea Party folks are anxious to find candidates who represent the Republican Wing of the Republican Party.  Maybe we should boycott California or better yet, have California enforce its own laws. Even John McCain seems to get it when polls in his home state suggest a lot of people consider him too leaky a vessel to put much faith in when it comes to illegal aliens.  Most folks won’t forget his drive for amnesty two years ago.

 

KNXV-TV Graphic

 And back to Felipe Calderon, the arrogant  Mexican meddler. After his notorious speech to the joint session of the U.S. Congress in which he insulted the people of my state and treated us all in utter contempt with Obama letting him getting away with it [all to the thunderous applause from Pelosi, Biden, and Democrats in the chamber], el Presidente also met with various Hispanic groups while in D.C. during which he reiterated his rejection of the  Arizona law saying “it commits an outrage against the inalienable rights of the migrants,” (Inalienable right to enter our country illegally?)

There’s more.  Writing for the immigration web site VDARE, Allan Wall reports, “And one of Calderon’s traveling partners, Carlos Navarrete, head of the Meixican senate, openly called on U.S. Hispanics to “vote for the Democrats.” Wall said he didn’t see that in the so-called main stream media but rather by reading the Mexican press. Is this why there is no border enforcement here? Is this why Democrats in the Congress don’t want to stop the illegal invasion from the South?

Is ‘Vote Democrat’ the new password used by illegal aliens now to escape arrest and deportation?

Folks, by virtue of where I live, I can see Mexico from my house. Unless there is a significant change in the current situation, no matter where you live it won’t be long before you or your children will be able to see it from your house, too.

 

 

 

March 23, 2010

BORDER MINUTEMEN DISBAND CITING FEAR THAT OBAMACARE COULD RESULT IN VIOLENCE AGAINST ILLEGALS

Filed under: Uncategorized — ycazso @ 5:50 pm

   “The so-called elites, you know the ones who criticized us for not showing respect to our government in Washington have managed to trample the Constitution, completely against the will of the people, have passed Obamacare.”  –Carmen Mercer, President  Minuteman Civil Defense Corps

   Declaring that her organization of civilian border watchers cannot accept the liability growing out of anger over the “criminal act” passage of the highly volatile health care legislation, Minuteman leader Carmen Mercer says the corporation is dissolving.

    In a written statement published on the MCDC web site, Mercer said, “I’m afraid for many citizens, the passing of health care against the will of the people and now indications that Obama will try to pass amnesty (for illegal aliens already in the U.S.) may be the straw that will…ignite frustration that we, as an organization, may not be able to manage or contain.”

    Mercer expressed doubts that Minuteman members “will be less likely to follow the rules of engagement in a desperate attempt to stop the criminals who violate our borders every day.”

   Citing liability concerns, she said her group could not take responsibility if such mistakes were to be made. The latest border muster, a call for concentrated border surveillance by the group in Arizona announced only days before on March 15th, has been cancelled.

Carmen Mercer

    The abrupt move to abolish the Minuteman organization and sell off its assets comes only one week after its issuance of a “High Alert For All Minutemen” in which Mercer wrote, “The Minutemen are returning to the border –locked and loaded- to say, ‘You are wrong Obama, America comes first!’” In the e-mail message, Mercer reserved some of her anger for Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, former Governor of Arizona, who she described as an “unqualified buffoon who risks the lives of American citizens every day she is head of DHS.”

     The strongly-worded message continued: “For eight long years we Minutemen played nice (but) this March we return to the border locked, loaded and ready to stop each and every individual we encounter along the frontier that is now more dangerous than the frontier of Afghanistan.” Mercer promised “the operation will not be for the faint of heart” and added that volunteers will have “zero tolerance for any and all violations of our border.”

    The alert also contained this ominous message: Previously prohibited from MCDC musters, long arms (guns) will not only be allowed but encouraged.

    Minutemen detractors suggest there is more to the end of the organization than fear of potential anger spillover resulting from passage of health care legislation.

    The Minutemen outfit grew from a cattle call for citizen border watchers published by Chris Simcox in his Tombstone Tumbleweed newspaper in 2002. Hundreds of pistol-packing citizens converged on Cochise County, Arizona to assist in patrolling the border against an unrelenting invasion of illegal aliens.

   Later, Simcox would come under fire from his own members for alleged financial shenanigans stemming from accountability questions surrounding an unbuilt MCDC-funded border fence, shenanigans he has denied.

   In 2009, the conservative Washington times, writing about Simcox’ brief  challenge of John McCain in the 2010 Senate Primary, offered a rather stinging rebuke of the self-avowed border patriot pointing out that former Minutemen members were “questioning the whereabouts of hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of dollars in donations.”

Chris Simcox and Carmen Mercer on the border at Naco, Arizona in 2006

   Last August Mercer herself came under a dubious spotlight when Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard accused her of being part of a property tax scam. Goddard filed a lawsuit and obtained a restraining order to stop what he called a fraud that claimed homeowners’ properties in Arizona, California, and Nevada qualified for a “property tax reduction review.” The solicitation, which requested a $189 processing fee, was not affiliated with any government entity, according to Goddard who also noted that the appeals process for 2009 had already expired and there was no way the solicitation to make good on. Mercer owned the post office box included in the solicitation.

   Mercer turned over to U.S. Postal authorities more than 1000 responses she had received.

   In announcing the disbanding of the Minutemen this week, Mercer implied that citizen anger over the health care law might be taken out on illegal aliens caught crossing the Arizona desert by members of her group.

   “This has brought me to the conclusion that the anger may not be directed by every individual against their government; I realize people have HAD IT (her emphasis)!” She said the Minutemen could not continue under such a great risk of liability.

   Her two page e-mail alert concluded: “you know what to do – the rest is up to you.”

 

  

March 14, 2010

TRACKING BUCKSKIN FRANK FROM TOMBSTONE TO YUMA

Filed under: Uncategorized — ycazso @ 10:40 pm

     The Arizona State Parks Board will shutter nine state parks on March 29, 2010 in an effort to save a projected $8.6-Million and help offset the state’s overall budget crunch. Among those slated for close-down are the historic Yuma Territorial Prison and the Tombstone Courthouse in Cochise County.

     Fortunately, through a series of fundraisers and private donations along with matching money from the Yuma Crossing Heritage Area, the old West icon in Yuma at least will remain open and operated locally.

     The very notion that such historic places that played pivotal roles in the country’s western development could be lost to future generations, inspired many of us to examine in detail some of characters whose misadventures led them to pass through the Tombstone Courthouse on their way to catch the fabled 3:10 train to Yuma from Tucson. There were many, of course, but there are a few whose dark side exploits warrant special attention.

     One of these was Buckskin Frank Leslie.

Frank Leslie (1848-1930)

     According to most historians, notably among them Dennis McLaughlin, Leslie dusted into Tombstone in the first part of 1880. You’d have to forgive the locals had they momentarily thought the ghost of  Buffalo Bill Cody had ridden into town (Cody had died in 1776).

     Frank had long, blonde hair and a wide, drooping mustache. He wore a jacket festooned with fringed buckskin, yellow-braided cavalry pants, and a wide-brimmed hat – an altogether splendid outfit to which a “fully laden twin-gun harness added a lethal touch.”

     Not much of Leslie’s life prior to his arrival in Tombstone is known.  Plenty of rumors were afoot at the time including the number of notches he had accumulated in a suggested backtrail of violence. The vast majority of these tales could neither be proved nor disproved.

Tombstone, Arizona 1880

He soon got a job tending bar at the Oriental Saloon, a favorite hangout for the likes of Wyatt Earp whose Marshal’s office was on the second floor. In his new job, Frank took a liking to a lass named Mary, with whom he shacked up. Trouble was that Mary was married to a certain Mike Killeen.

     Coincidental or otherwise, Mary became Mrs. Frank Leslie within weeks of her husband’s sudden demise.

     Killen, according to McLaughlin, was “propelled into the unknown by a powdersmoke salute that Leslie is usually, but erroneously, credited with.”

     But Frank’s marriage that had been so conveniently arranged by Colt’s firearms was not to last.

     For you see, prior to any show of eroticism, Frank stimulated his whatever by having a terrified Mary freeze against the wall while he proceeded to outline her statistics in the plaster with bullet holes. A kinky practice, to be sure, but the judge over at the Tombstone Courthouse figured it was sufficient grounds to grant Mary a speedy divorce. Nevertheless, Frank’s exhibition of pistoleered pinups was to be admired for many years to come.

     In November of 1882, Frank left the Oriental bar unattended for a few minutes, stepped outside and shot to death a highly inebriated trouble-maker named Billy Claiborne whom he had earlier thrown out of the place after the young Billy, a survivor of the OK Corral episode with the Earps, had become overly feisty in a heated conversation about politics. The shooting of Claiborne was described as “an incident that became an open-and-closed affair over the short period of time required by Frank to puff through a rolled cylinder of Bull Durham.” Since, it seemed, Claiborne was waiting outside the Oriental to ambush Leslie and, in fact, fired first, the killing was ruled justified.

Billy Claiborne

 

     By 1889, Frank was showing the toll of heavy drinking.  He spent the summer of that year in a kind of rehab retreat at a ranch up in the Swisshelm Mountains northeast of Bisbee accompanied by a blonde-haired nifty named Molly Williams who, occasionally was listed as an attraction at Tombstone’s Birdcage Theater, was reputed to be much in demand by the army of “uncultured slobs who patronized Tombstone’s red-light section wherein she spent most of her time.”

     But it was during his ‘drying out retreat’ the still buckskinned Frank came home drunk, unpleasantly so,  again one night to find Molly chatting with a hired hand named James Neal. A violent jealous rage ensued and he shot the girl dead and put two more bullets into Mr. Neal. Thinking both were dead staggered away with the notion of blaming some person unknown for the deadly deeds. He was arrested, however,  before he could sober up and was bound over for trial at the Tombstone Courthouse.

Tombstone, Arizona Courthouse

     In a major and life-altering surprise for the defendant, the star witness for the prosecution was none other than James Neal. Leslie was sentenced to the Yuma Territorial Prison for a term of 25 years where he was assigned an easy job in the pharmacy which he held until 1893 when he was inexplicably pardoned.

     Frank Leslie would thereafter drift on a trail that took him to several locations in California. It is believed he was 82 years of age when what were believed to have been his remains were found in a canyon just outside Martinez, California. The bones, however, were never ‘officially identified.’

 

 

     To view a short film about the Yuma Territorial Prison, Frank Leslie and other of  its infamous ‘guests,’ go to http://azstateparks.com/Parks/YUTE/

 

 

March 4, 2010

Clara Allen Was Wrong

Filed under: Uncategorized — ycazso @ 6:53 am

“And I’ll tell you another thing: I’m sorry you and Gus  McCrea ever met. All you two did was ruin one another, not to mention those close to you.” — Clara Allen to Woodrow Call in Larry McMurtry’s LONESOME DOVE.

   I read Clara’s tirade and at once felt a great deal of empathy for the good Captain who felt “it was hell to have her, of all women, talk to him about the matter” of hauling the corpse of  fellow ex-Texas Ranger Augustus McCrea back to Texas. “A promise is a promise,” said Call.

   Like millons around the world, for me the characters depicted in McMurtry’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and the three others in that series which followed became like family or  at least bore an uncanny resemblance to persons known to us.

   The fictional Clara was, of course, absent the knowledge of  the cemented bond between the two real life men whose real life adventures inspired McMurtry’s epic western tale, its prequel novels Dead Man’s Walk and Comanche Moon, and its sequel, Streets Of Laredo.

  In those books’ combined 2,619 pages, the Texas author paints an embellished story of Charles Goodnight (1836-1929) and Oliver Loving (1812-1867), both immigrants to Texas (from Illinois and Kentucky respectively) immigrants  and both of whom made their  livng in cattle. 

   Goodnight, who fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War, had entered the cattle business in northwest Texas at age 20 and also served with the local militia in a long-running fight with Comanche raiders. He became a member of the Texas Rangers in 1857.  He was McMurtry’s  Captain Woodrow F. Call.

Charles Goodnight - "Woodrow F. Call"

   As Goodnight began gathering his herd from cattle scattered across Texas by the Civil War he happened upon Oliver Loving’s cow camp and had no trouble convincing him to join him on an ambitious trek with 2000 head of cattle to supposed lucrative markets in Colorado. Thus was formed a partnership of legend.

 
 

Oliver Loving - "Gus McCrea"

    According to historical records in Harding County in far northeastern New Mexico, Loving was 24 years older than Goodnight, “knew cattle and how to manage large herds over the worst terrain” while his new partner was experienced in Indian fighting, was a young strong plainsman, and knew the country of west Texas.

   Both, according to the Harding County file, were “men of the highest honor and character, willing to go to heroic lengths to account for every stray, every cow and willing to ride for days to see that every cent of proceeds got to its rightful owner.”

   They left Texas in early June, 1866 with a 2000-head mixed herd and 18 cowboys to blaze what history recognizes as the Goodnight-Loving Trail. A notable figure among the assembled outfit was Bose Ikard , a  black cowboy, one of many who worked for both Goodnight and Loving over the years. Ikard was born a slave in Mississippi and went west to first work for the -by then- somewhat famous Loving and later the Goodnight-Loving outfit. McMurtry’s book named him Joshua Deets.   

Bose Ikard - "Joshua Deets"

   Writing for NewsMax, Diane Alden said Ikard settled in Weatherford, Texas after his work on the cattle trails. He and his wife, Angeline, were the parents of six children. He died at age 85. Goodnight had a granite marker placed at his grave.

   By all accounts and evidenced by the book  Charles Goodnight: Cowman and Plainsman among many other works,  Goodnight religiously kept meticulous records including personal diaries. Upon Ikard’s death he wrote,”Bose surpassed any man I had in endurance and stamina. There was a dignity, a cleanliness and reliability about him that was wonderful. His behavior was very good in a fight and he was probably the most devoted man to me that I ever knew. I have trusted him farther than any man. He was my banker, my detective, and everything else in Colorado, New Mexico and the other wild country. The nearest bank was in Denver, and when we carried money, I gave it to Bose, for a thief would never think of robbing him. Bose Ikard served with me four years on the Goodnight-Loving Trail, never shirked a duty or disobeyed an order, rode with me in many stampedes, participated in three engagements with Comanches, splended behavior… Bose could be trusted farther than any living man I know.”

Texas Historical Marker for Bose Ikard - "Joshua Deets"

  In June, 1867, Loving, accompanied by one-armed W.J. Wilson, depicted as Pea Eye Parker in the novel and subsequent movie, rode on ahead of the herd to scout the territory where the cattle were to be driven.  It was on that unfortunate occasion that the two men were set upon by a small band of Indians and sought shelter in a river redoubt. They fought off their attackers for several hours before a brave shot Loving. The arrow went through his arm and pierced his side.

   Wilson was dispatched the 80 miles back to the herd and the rest of the boys for help.  By his own account published in the historical records housed in Texas’ Cushman Library and other Texas Historical Society documents, Wilson walked barefoot for three days before “I found a little place, a sort of cave, that afforded protection from the sun, and I could go no further. After a short time the boys came along with the cattle and found me.”

   By this time, “Loving had been found by some Mexican vaqueros, ” Alden writes,  “and taken to Fort Sumner.” There, he was near death from gangrene in his arm when Goodnight found him. Loving could not be saved.

   On his deathbed, Loving made Goodnight  promise to provide for his family which included nine children. Goodnight assured Loving he would and also carry out his dying wish to be carried hundreds of miles back to Weatherford, Texas and buried there.  “It was the strangest and most touching funeral cavalcade in the history of cow country…” wrote J. Evetts Haley in his landmark  Charles Goodnight: Cowman and Plainsman.

   Loving’s request was not simple, but there would be no letdown between the two men. Goodnight continued to divide his cattle profits with his old friend’s family.  

Oliver Loving's headstone - Weatherford, Texas

 

 

  

 

   In 1876, Goodnight consolidated his operations back in the Texas Panhandle where he contiued to apply vigilante justice to outlaws and rustlers. He lived into his 90’s  on a small ranch near Goodnight, the town named for him where he died in 1929.

Charles Goodnight statue - West Texas A&M Campus

    Actor Barry Corbin who lives in Texas is a big fan of that state’s Western history.  You may remember Corbin whose role in the movie Lonesome Dove was that of Roscoe, the rather slow-witted deputy to Fort Smith Sheriff July Johnson.  In a one-man show sometime back Corbin depicted Charles Goodnight on the last day of his life.

   In her article,  Diane Alden quotes Corbin’s description of Goodnight: “In any part that you do, there is an honesty to your character and you have to get in touch with that. In the case of Goodnight, it’s easy because his core of honesty extended all the way out to surface.” It is a devotion to personal codes, “an unshakable belief in right and wrong, that’s almost unheard of today.”

“The cowboy became the best-known occupational type that America has given the world. He exists still and will long exist, though much has changed from the original. His fame derives from the past.”   — J. Frank Dobie

 

September 23, 2009

REMEMBERING JODY POWELL AND OTHER WHITE HOUSE TRAVEL TALES

Filed under: Uncategorized — ycazso @ 5:47 pm

The sudden death of Jody Powell last week certainly brought home to me a sense of my own vulnerability.  I suspect anyone who experiences the death of a friend, loved one, or someone around whom they had worked wrestles with the same thoughts at a time like this.  I didn’t know Joseph Lester Powell, Jr. well but I did work around him during his years as press secretary to President Carter and we traveled to many overseas destinations together during Carter’s presidential trips.

   He would have been 66 on September 30th,  just three months after I reached that milestone myself. So, it surely brought into even sharper focus my own mortality just knowing the fellow who seemed so young when we were cavorting around Europe, the middle East and Asia not so many years ago was suddenly gone. We were a couple of thirty-something year olds who, it seemed, were all over the place, he as a wunderkind of the Carter administration and I as a White House correspondent.

    It was a heady experience for us all, flying all over the world with the Leader of the free part of it with plenty of those moments of high drama but with short bursts of levity interspersed.

White House photo   White House photo

Jody, described as the “wit and soul” of the Carter administration, had a bad habit of not wearing his lapel pin designating him as a member of the senior White House staff.  In Warsaw, he had to be rescued from the clutches of the Polish equivalent of the Secret Service who were arresting him as he tried to enter a building for a meeting between President and First Secretary Gierek. As for the drama part, who can forget the night President George H.W. Bush threw up and slumped over at that state dinner in Tokyo, an event which threw a major scare into us all. Or the fire bomb-throwing protestors who menaced us while President Reagan placed a wreath at the tomb of Simon Bolivar in the heart of Bogota, Columbia.  In 19 years of White House overseas missions that was the only time I witnessed our Secret Service detail display their Uzi-class automatic weapons.

    Despite the machismo Reagan demonstrated in his dealings with the likes of Gorbachev and Deng Xiaoping’s “new China,”  watching him stand there at a Beijing welcoming ceremony with a bitterly cold stiff wind blowing through his hair as he reviewed a goose-stepping Chinese military honor guard emphasized dramatically how much that nation’s policies had changed post Mao and how much one man’s –Reagan’s- ideas can change in just a few years with him smiling and shaking hands with his Communist hosts.

    When it came to reporters the man could give as well as he could take. When asked by ABC’s Sam Donaldson during an impromptu Q&A atop the Great Wall how Reagan felt about Chinese censors taking out portions of one of his speeches broadcast across the country Reagan skipped not a beat, “No big deal. You folks do it to me at home all the time.”

   Despite critics among the press corps assigned to the Reagan White House, in the eight years I covered his overseas travels, I never knew him not to be outwardly congenial to any reporter.

   It was a characteristic often observed in his press secretary, Larry Speakes.  Asked in Beijing what the president thought about the endless line of giant pictures of Marx, Lenin, Stalin, and Engles which festooned light poles along his motorcade routes in Beijing, Speakes said, “he thought they were the Smith brothers (of cough drop fame).” Reagan felt he had to be Reagan.

   None of my overseas travels with Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan and the first George Bush were without minor foul-ups but even with them, the American principals, their aides, and even their spouses kept their senses of humor about them. Oh, there was that cat-spat clash Nancy Reagan had with Raisa Gorbachev in the middle of the Moscow Summit. There they were together to look over some religious icons in an old Kremlin church. The one looking like an illustration in a fashion magazine and the other like a housewife, the kind of person for whom fashion magazines are illustrated in the first place.

    One can only imagine how it must have been at the close of the day, when the two most powerful men on the planet went home at night and asked, “how did your day go, Dear?”

   Screw-ups on these carefully-orchestrated trips were equal-opportunity snafus, however. The White House press corps often had its own peculiarly embarrassments as well and usually as a measure of its own actions although not always.

   At literally the last moment before visa cancellations prior to departure from Poland I was informed by White House staff that the Polish government had somehow misplaced my passport but to “play it cool and we should be able to get you out.” Indeed, I climbed aboard the White House Pan Am charter with a hand-stamped Polish Airlines boarding pass. Fortunately, my errant passport was eventually found and ferried to me in Tehran. Please don’t ask how I got into Iran minus that single most essential travel document.

    Network anchors, each trying to out position themselves for on-site coverage of these summits and state visits, appeared prone to shoot themselves in the foot in pursuit of advantage. Dan Rather was once stranded in the former Yugoslavia when we took off with his passport.

   Ralph Harris of Reuters News Agency flagged down a passing ambulance to catch up to the presidential party after being left behind at one of the stops in Mexico City.

   And then there were the language problems. Bob Scheiffer of CBS had to sign for 200 duck dinners because of a mis-translation when ordering from room service.

   But in fairness, anyone could slip up when engaged in a string of 16 to 18 hour work days, flights lasting up to 13 hours or more, currency conversion charts, and filing schedules dictated by time zone changes which could take you into tomorrow or back into yesterday. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia dateline filings, for example, provided their own bizarre clock-watching experience since in Arabic time, daily, all watches are set to midnight precisely at sundown.

   Don’t misunderstand. Traveling with the President of the United States into a foreign country is not without its perks such as a front and center seat at the Bolshoi or a champagne reception at the Palace of Versailles outside Paris. However, all taken together, those years afforded a world class education in a long series of events that would surely leave an indelible mark on a country boy from Rayville, Louisiana.

   No more so, I figured, than did Jody Powell from little Cordele, Georgia (but who grew up in nearby Vienna (pronounced Vy-anna) whom I choose to remember as the blue jean, T-shirt clad Georgia Jaycee political wiz with a deep Southern drawl also thrust upon a world stage and who, like I’m sure did I, often appeared in way over his head.

   When news came about his heart attack, I pulled out some letters Jody had sent to me regarding various of White House trip arrangements during the Carter term and re-read them. They were written more than 30 years ago. It’s hard to believe.

  

 

September 8, 2009

LABOR DAY LABOR INTENSIVE FOR AGENTS, ILLEGALS, HEALTH CARE PROPONENTS

Filed under: Uncategorized — ycazso @ 10:26 pm

With a taxpayer-financed health care public option proposal all but on life support in the Congress, opponents are now focusing on other no less unpopular aspects of the pending legislation such as coverage available for millions of illegal aliens in the U.S. Adding to the angst, the Labor Day holiday weekend saw heightened alien traffic across the Southwest in general and in Arizona in particular. You would have thought somebody had yelled, “Amnesty!”

   Agents assigned to the Yuma Sector of the U.S. Border Patrol apprehended 19 illegal aliens and seized seven vehicles along western stretches of Interstate 40 in the Kingman area.

   Highways like I-40 are direct connections between Phoenix, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas, all transportation hubs to the interior of the United States and are well known destinations for illegal immigration and narcotics traffickers. This year alone, the same agents have arrested 1,574 illegals and seized more than 200 cars, trucks, and vans.

   A weekend sweep of a swap meet in Phoenix by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department netted 63 arrests, including 24 suspects shown to be in the country illegally. Many of the vendors, themselves, were also charged with being here unlawfully. Deputies were acting on a tip that hundreds of thousands of dollars in counterfeit DVD movies and CD’s were being sold at the meet, set up a short distance down the road from Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s famed desert tent city jail.

   In the meantime, another sixteen suspected illegal aliens were arrested by Department of Public Safety troopers after a 100-mph pursuit of a van along Interstate 10 just southeast of Phoenix.  Officers said during the chase, the vehicle’s occupants began throwing articles of clothing from the van before the driver attempted to ram a patrol car and instead crashed into a building. He is charged with human smuggling.

78 illegal aliens intercepted by agents in AZ desert

78 illegal aliens intercepted by agents in AZ desert

   As thousands of people continue to stream over the southern border it is understandable then that many Americans are expressing outrage that a proposed congressional overhaul of U.S. health care would extend coverage rights to those who have no lawful presence here in the first place.  And as if to punish further, Obamacare (as it is being called) there are provisions pending in this legislation right now that would take away untold hundreds of millions of dollars from the federal Medicare program into which older workers paid a big part of their wages while employed and fines up to $3800 for families who fail to obtain medical insurance after any reworked health care package goes into effect.

   The President has been on television seemingly every day lashing out at “pure misinformation” that ObamaCare will be used to cover illegal immigrants but curiously in no way refutes the claim.  He does cling to the declaration that the legislation does not specifically offer such coverage directly. However, facts are a rather stubborn commodity.

   In HR 3200, Section 246 (page 143) there is no specific requirement that any person prove his citizenship in order to obtain affordability credits meaning that illegal aliens could obtain coverage. Furthermore, Section 152 (pages 50-51, 143) clearly provides the potential for inclusion of illegals because it would be subject to interpretation of “personal characteristics” which would include legal status when such “personal characteristics” and other issues “extraneous to the provision of high quality health care or related services” cannot be used for denial.

   If that’s not enough to rub critics the wrong way consider that HR 3200 requires that if one family member is covered, all members of that family will be covered (page 133), another loophole to give taxpayer-subsidized health care to illegal aliens. If a child of illegal aliens is born in the United States, then the entire family becomes eligible for coverage.

   So, now as the President relaunches his health care reform initiative with polls showing a majority of Americans skeptical of the details, look for refocused attention on provisions which would embrace coverage for illegal aliens and their families. Surely, somebody is going to wonder out loud why Democrats voted down Representative Nathan Deal’s (R-GA) amendment that would have specifically prohibited Obamacare from covering illegals. If all this is “pure misinformation” would there have been any reason to reject Deal’s amendment outright?

   Of course, to the President and members of Congress the uproar over proposed Health Care Reform is of little consequence since theirs is a policy of self-exemption.

   Contrast that for a moment with the selfless effort by a local motorcycle club whose members spent their Labor Day weekend trying to raise money to help out the family of slain Border Patrol Agent Robert Rosas. The 30 year old Rosas was shot eight times July 23rd while responding to  suspicious activity in a remote area of the U.S. Mexico border known for human and drug smuggling. His killer fled back into Mexico and remains at large.

  

August 30, 2009

America’s Teapot Boiling Over!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ycazso @ 6:47 pm

A new Rasmussen Reports national poll released August 30th reveals 57% of adult Americans would vote to oust the entire current Congress and start over.  According to the survey only 25% would keep the current Congressional roster.

   These results underscore a rising public outcry against what is generally perceived to be an all out assault on the “inalienable rights” safe-guarded by the U.S. Constitution.

   It’s not really difficult to track the underlying reasons for this level of disgust.  More and more people are actually reading the mountains of proposed laws whereas most of their elected representatives don’t even bother much less stand ready to offer other than ideological reasons for their embracing such legislation.  In fact, the Rasmussen poll showed 74% of the voters trust their own economic judgment more than that of the Congress.

   For instance, only 22% of those questioned on the matter of health care said they believe members of Congress have a good understanding of that legislation now pending.

   Much of the mistrust could be viewed as a result of the rush to enact highly controversial measures absent benefit of due deliberation or even hearing opposing voices.

For many the teapot boiled over when Congress was passing that $700-Billion bailout amidst a seeming financial industry meltdown.  Add to that the billions at stake in the proposed health care legislation which would –if approved as is- would require mandated insurance in lieu of fines, coverage for illegal aliens while turning the elderly sick into shovel-ready projects, a White House takeover of the Census count, unbridled spending on pure pork that’s getting increasingly hard to swallow, damage to the national security apparatus, and on and on. At least those issues are out in the open. But there are stealth issues making their way through Congress as well which potentially could have slipped completely under the radar had it not been for the power of the Internet and its use by “citizen watchdogs.”

Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Il

Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Il

For example, look at HR45 (the Blair Holt Firearm Licensing & Record of Sale Act of 2009) filed by Democrat Representative Bobby Rush of Illinois. Rush, founder of the Illinois Black Panthers, named his bill after a black youth gunned down in a drive-by. His measure would criminalize gun ownership unless there is full compliance with registration of any firearm or ammunition, fingerprinting, submission of a current driver’s license as well as your social security number, submission to a physical and mental evaluation, and supply notification to authorities of any public or private sale of any firearm at a cost of $25. Failure to comply would result in automatic loss of the right to own a firearm and subject violators up to a year in jail. There is also a Child Protection clause (page 16, section 305) which dictates that a gun must be locked and inaccessible to anyone under the age of 18 with surprise inspection by authorities to make sure this is done. Violators would be punished with up to 5 years in jail.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-WV
Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-WV

   With this unequaled scrutiny being applied to Congressional and other government actions by a public armed with private computers and access to the Internet can it be any big surprise that there is now a move afoot to grant the White House the power to disconnect private-sector computers from the web?

   Senator Jay Rockefeller, D-WV has drafted S.773 which would permit the president to seize such control during a so-called “cybersecurity emergency” relating to “non-governmental” computer networks to counter any such “threat.” The measure would include a federal certification program for “cybersecurity professionals,” and a requirement that certain computer systems and networks in private hands be managed by people who have been awarded that license. The Rockefeller plan follows President Obama’s declaration last May the government “is not prepared” as it should be to respond to disruptions and announced that a new cybersecurity coordinator post would be created on the White House staff.

Under terms of the plan the White House is supposed to periodically map private networks “deemed to be critical,” and those companies “shall share” requested information with the federal government.

   Excuse me, but I seem to recall a great hue and cry in U.S. government circles when the Iranian government shut off Twitter and other means of communication with the outside world by its citizens protesting the re-election of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad recently.

   See some kind of pattern yet?

Rep. Jose Serrano, D-NY

Rep. Jose Serrano, D-NY

Wash down these examples with this: No term limit for President Obama?

   New York Representative Jose Serrano has introduced resolution (H.J. Res. 5) which seeks to repeal the 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, thus removing term limits for presidents. You read it right. Serrano unabashedly wishes to allow Obama unlimited 4-year terms. This might be cause for some concern if you consider that Obama sided with Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez in June in denouncing the ouster of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya calling it an illegal coup never mind that Zelaya was found guilty of violating Honduran law, attempting to change his country’s constitution to permit him to stay in office indefinitely. He was ousted on a vote of the Honduran Supreme Court and Congress with the support of a majority of the people.

   It all begs the question, whatever happened to the will of the people? Is that no longer supported in our own country’s highest offices? This can be seen in the Rasmussen poll which shows 69% of registered Republican voters even think GOP members of Congress are out of touch with their base that put them in Washington.

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