2nd Amendment and Lord Obama

The presidential primary season is finally over, and it is now time for gun owners to take a careful look at just where apparent nominee Barack Obama stands on issues related to the Second Amendment. During the primaries, Obama tried to hide behind vague statements of support for “sportsmen” or unfounded claims of general support for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

But his real record, based on votes taken, political associations, and long standing positions, shows that Barack Obama is a serious threat to Second Amendment liberties. Don’t listen to his campaign rhetoric! Look instead to what he has said and done during his entire political career.

FACT: Barack Obama voted to allow reckless lawsuits designed to bankrupt the firearms industry.

FACT: Barack Obama wants to re-impose the failed and discredited Clinton Gun Ban.

FACT: Barack Obama voted to ban almost all rifle ammunition commonly used for hunting and sport shooting.

FACT: Barack Obama has endorsed a complete ban on handgun ownership.

FACT: Barack Obama supports local gun bans in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and other cities.

FACT: Barack Obama voted to uphold local gun bans and the criminal prosecution of people who use firearms in self-defense.

FACT: Barack Obama supports requiring law-abiding gun owners to register their firearms.

FACT: Barack Obama refused to sign a friend-of-the-court brief in support of individual Second Amendment rights in the Heller case.

FACT: Barack Obama wants to eliminate your Right to Carry.

FACT: Barack Obama was a member of the Board of Directors of the Joyce Foundation, the leading source of funds for anti-gun organizations and “research.”

FACT: Barack Obama supported a proposal to ban gun stores within 5 miles of a school or park, which would eliminate almost every gun store in America.

FACT: Barack Obama voted not to notify gun owners when the state of Illinois did records searches on them.

FACT: Barack Obama voted against a measure to lower the Firearms Owners Identification card age minimum from 21 to 18, a measure designed to assist young people in the military.

FACT: Barack Obama favors a ban on standard capacity magazines.

FACT: Barack Obama supports mandatory micro-stamping.

FACT: Barack Obama supports mandatory waiting periods.

FACT: Barack Obama supports repeal of the Tiahrt Amendment, which prohibits information on gun traces collected by the BATFE from being used in reckless lawsuits against firearm dealers and manufacturers.

FACT: Barack Obama supports “one-gun-a-month” sales restrictions.

FACT: Barack Obama supports a ban on inexpensive handguns.

FACT: Barack Obama supports a ban on the resale of police issued firearms, even if the money is going to police departments for replacement equipment.

FACT: Barack Obama supports mandatory firearm training requirements for all gun owners and a ban on gun ownership for persons under the age of 21.


Stocks soar worldwide as corporate earnings plummet Panic buying pushes indexes up 10-11%.

Stocks soar worldwide as corporate earnings plummet

Panic buying pushes indexes up 10-11%.

Market summary, 28-Oct-2008
Market summary, 28-Oct-2008

The girls were all giggly today on CNBC and Bloomberg tv, as investors poured money into the market, pushing the Dow Industrials index back above 9,000 that really took off furiously in the last hour of trading.

There was an 11% surge two Mondays ago, and since then there have been several large falls. The volatility and wild swings seem to be growing. I’ve been expecting these wild swings for some time, as they occurred just prior to the 1929 crash.

There was plenty of bad news around on Tuesday.

According to one report, U.S. consumer confidence has dived to the lowest reading since the survey was started in 1967. According to another report, housing prices fell at the fastest pace on record, as foreclosures continue to climb.

There was one piece of news which some might interpret as very good news: Sales of long-term commercial paper soared to a historic record on Monday, as companies sold 1,511 issues totaling a record $67.1 billion of the debt due in more than 80 days, compared with a daily average of 340 issues valued at $6.7 billion last week,

Commercial paper (CP) is the most common way for a corporation to lend money to another corporation. The corporation issues CP notes, and a purchaser loans money by purchasing the CP. Later, the purchaser sells the CP back for cost plus interest.

Sales of commercial paper have plummeted since the credit crisis began in August, 2007, since no one wanted to buy it. Thus, the Fed began buying CP on Monday, as part of the $700 billion bailout. The program was spectacularly successful, at least for one day, and investors showed their pleasure on Tuesday. It remains to be see whether the credit crisis continues to soften.

Crashing corporate earnings

However, the long-term trend that I’ve been reporting on for a long time took a nose-dive on Tuesday.

As regular readers know, for the last few quarters I’ve been posting the table of S&P 500 average corporate earnings estimates, based on figures from CNBC Earnings Central supplied by Thomson Reuters. These tables have shown sharp falls in corporate earnings estimates from week to week.

Actual earnings have been pouring in since mid-October. For a while, it seemed that third quarter earnings growth estimates were stabilizing around -10% (that is, 10% lower than third quarter earnings for last year).

However, the estimate posted on Tuesday suddenly fell off a cliff:

  Date    3Q Earnings growth estimate as of that date
  ------- -------------------------------------------
  Mar  3:              25.0%
  Apr  1:              17.3%   Start of previous (2nd) quarter
  Jul  1:              12.6%   Start of quarter
  Sep  5:               0.8%
  Sep 12:              -1.6%
  Sep 19:              -0.3%
  Sep 26:              -1.7%   End of quarter
  Oct  3:              -4.8%
  Oct 10:              -7.8%
  Oct 15:              -9.8%   Wednesday
  Oct 16:             -10.3%   Thursday
  Oct 17:              -9.1%   Friday
  Oct 20:              -9.6%   Monday
  Oct 21:              -9.9%   Tuesday
  Oct 22:             -10.0%   Wednesday
  Oct 23:             -10.9%   Thursday
  Oct 24:             -11.0%   Friday
  Oct 27:             -11.3%   Monday
  Oct 28:             -23.8%   Tuesday

Investors had been particularly hopeful that the third quarter would be the end of the falling earnings. Third quarter earnings had fallen in 2007, and so there was a lower base to build on this year. Investors had hoped that, because of the lower base, earnings would actually grow 25-50% above last year’s depressed earnings.

But no such luck. In fact, earnings growth has been negative for several quarters in a row now, and this quarter is turning out to be among the worst.

As usual, a fall in earnings estimates means an increase of price/earnings ratios estimates.

There’s a price/earnings ratio chart at the bottom of this web site’s home page, and it gets updated automatically every Friday. Here’s last Friday’s version of the chart:

MarketGauge ® by DataView, LLC)</font>
S&P 500 Price/Earnings ratio and S&P 500-stock Index as of 24-Oct-2008. (Source: MarketGauge ® by DataView, LLC)

As you can see, the P/E ratio index was at 18 for several years, which is well above the historical average of 14. In fact, the index has been above average for 13 years, since 1995, and by the Law of Mean Reversion, this means it has to be equally below average for roughly the next 13 years.

Starting in March, however, the P/E index is spiked upward again, to astronomical levels in the 20s. This was when first quarter actual earnings were coming in. But investors believed that they should be ignored; the common wisdom was that the credit crisis would be over by the fall (i.e., now), and that earnings would grow in the third and fourth quarter by 25% and 50%, respectively.

Because of that widely held belief, investors pushed the P/E index up into the 20s. Finally,

It’s only in the last three weeks that it came back down to 18. This was thanks to the stock market losing 25% of its value in the last three weeks.

Tuesday’s events — a 10.8% increase in the S&P index, and a fall in earnings growth estimates to -23.8% — will push the P/E index temporarily into the astronomically high 20s again, until a new collapse brings it down again.

The pundits don’t see it that way, however. “This may be the sign of a turnaround. Maybe people are coming out of the woodwork again, and buying stocks.” Idiots.

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, as well as more frequent updates on this subject, see the Financial Topics thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Read the entire thread for discussions on how to protect your money.) (29-Oct-2008)

Plan of America

Plan of America


This is a declaration of war against the evil groups and organizations who are determined to overthrow the core culture of America, the Untied States of America.  Those groups are named, National of Aztlan, MECHA, Black panthers, Klu Klux Klan, and various other separatists extremists groups who mean to overthrow the current system in place.  We mean to defend this nation against all enemies foreign and domestic, we do not stand for multiculturalism, or diversity, we stand for Americanism, Citizenship, Culture, English Language, and Sovereign Borders.  All groups deemed enemies of the State are subject to expulsion, execution, and if necessary dehumanization.  Rights are reserved for TRUE citizens of America, True citizens support America in her quest to liberate all people demanding freedom, True citizens support their nation through active military service, True citizens participate in public debate and community volunteerism, and True citizens participate in public election.

The belief that American values are the most ideal of cultural values or an attitude that gives special importance for the United States of America, this is what we stand for.

Theodore Roosevelt, Americanism, 1915
… There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all. This is just as true of the man who puts “native” before the hyphen as of the man who puts German or Irish or English or French before the hyphen. Americanism is a matter of the spirit and of the soul. Our allegiance must be purely to the United States. We must unsparingly condemn any man who holds any other allegiance. But if he is heartily and singly loyal to this Republic, then no matter where he was born, he is just as good an American as any one else.
The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian-Americans or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality, than with the other citizens of the American Republic. The men who do not become Americans and nothing else are hyphenated Americans; and there ought to be no room for them in this country. The man who calls himself an American citizen and who yet shows by his actions that he is primarily the citizen of a foreign land, plays a thoroughly mischievous part in the life of our body politic. He has no place here; and the sooner he returns to the land to which he feels his real heart-allegiance, the better it will be for every good American. There is no such thing as a hyphenated American who is a good American. The only man who is a good American is the man who is an American and nothing else.
For an American citizen to vote as a German-American, an Irish-American, or an English-American, is to be a traitor to American institutions; and those hyphenated Americans who terrorize American politicians by threats of the foreign vote are engaged in treason to the American Republic.
The foreign-born population of this country must be an Americanized population – no other kind can fight the battles of America either in war or peace. It must talk the language of its native-born fellow-citizens, it must possess American citizenship and American ideals. It must stand firm by its oath of allegiance in word and deed and must show that in very fact it has renounced allegiance to every prince, potentate, or foreign government. It must be maintained on an American standard of living so as to prevent labor disturbances in important plants and at critical times. None of these objects can be secured as long as we have immigrant colonies, ghettos, and immigrant sections, and above all they cannot be assured so long as we consider the immigrant only as an industrial asset. The immigrant must not be allowed to drift or to be put at the mercy of the exploiter. Our object is to not to imitate one of the older racial types, but to maintain a new American type and then to secure loyalty to this type. We cannot secure such loyalty unless we make this a country where men shall feel that they have justice and also where they shall feel that they are required to perform the duties imposed upon them. The policy of “Let alone” which we have hitherto pursued is thoroughly vicious from two stand-points. By this policy we have permitted the immigrants, and too often the native-born laborers as well, to suffer injustice. Moreover, by this policy we have failed to impress upon the immigrant and upon the native-born as well that they are expected to do justice as well as to receive justice, that they are expected to be heartily and actively and single-mindedly loyal to the flag no less than to benefit by living under it.
We cannot afford to continue to use hundreds of thousands of immigrants merely as industrial assets while they remain social outcasts and menaces any more than fifty years ago we could afford to keep the black man merely as an industrial asset and not as a human being. We cannot afford to build a big industrial plant and herd men and women about it without care for their welfare. We cannot afford to permit squalid overcrowding or the kind of living system which makes impossible the decencies and necessities of life. We cannot afford the low wage rates and the merely seasonal industries which mean the sacrifice of both individual and family life and morals to the industrial machinery. We cannot afford to leave American mines, munitions plants, and general resources in the hands of alien workmen, alien to America and even likely to be made hostile to America by machinations such as have recently been provided in the case of the two foreign embassies in Washington. We cannot afford to run the risk of having in time of war men working on our railways or working in our munition plants who would in the name of duty to their own foreign countries bring destruction to us. Recent events have shown us that incitements to sabotage and strikes are in the view of at least two of the great foreign powers of Europe within their definition of neutral practices. What would be done to us in the name of war if these things are done to us in the name of neutrality?
One America
All of us, no matter from what land our parents came, no matter in what way we may severally worship our Creator, must stand shoulder to shoulder in a united America for the elimination of race and religious prejudice. We must stand for a reign of equal justice to both big and small. We must insist on the maintenance of the American standard of living. We must stand for an adequate national control which shall secure a better training of our young men in time of peace, both for the work of peace and for the work of war. We must direct every national resource, material and spiritual, to the task not of shirking difficulties, but of training our people to overcome difficulties. Our aim must be, not to make life easy and soft, not to soften soul and body, but to fit us in virile fashion to do a great work for all mankind. This great work can only be done by a mighty democracy, with these qualities of soul, guided by those qualities of mind, which will both make it refuse to do injustice to any other nation, and also enable it to hold its own against aggression by any other nation. In our relations with the outside world, we must abhor wrongdoing, and disdain to commit it, and we must no less disdain the baseness of spirit which lamely submits to wrongdoing. Finally and most important of all, we must strive for the establishment within our own borders of that stern and lofty standard of personal and public neutrality which shall guarantee to each man his rights, and which shall insist in return upon the full performance by each man of his duties both to his neighbor and to the great nation whose flag must symbolize in the future as it has symbolized in the past the highest hopes of all mankind.

We hold American exceptionalism as the highest form of perfection we mortals are able to obtain, the idea that the United States and the American people hold a special place in the world, by offering opportunity and hope for humanity, derived from a unique balance of public and private interests governed by constitutional ideals that are focused on personal and economic freedom, this is what drives us, this is what gives us the strength through God, to unify and defend this nation.

We believed that God has made a covenant with our people and have chosen us to lead the other nations of the Earth in the ultimate goal of world wide democracy, and freedom from all forms of oppression.  A core argument of exceptionalism is that America is unusually attractive to immigrants from all parts of the world for two reasons. First, advocates of American exceptionalism say that economic and political opportunities are unlimited, that the United States possesses an unusually high degree of social mobility. The “American Dream” describes the perceived abundance of opportunities in the American system. Secondly, immigrants can become Americans by accepting American values (with the corollary that those who do not accept the values can and do leave.)

Republicanism is the political value system that has dominated American political thought since the American Revolution. It stresses liberty and rights as central values, makes the people as a whole sovereign, rejects aristocracy, tyranny, socialism, and inherited political power, expects citizens to be independent and calls on them to perform civic duties, and we are strongly opposed to corruption.

Our values and concepts are those with which we have grown familiar: a civic and patriot ideal in which the personality was founded in property, perfected in citizenship but perpetually threatened by corruption; government figuring paradoxically as the principal source of corruption and operating through such means as patronage, faction, standing armies (opposed to the ideal of the militia), Thomas Jefferson defined a republic as:
“a government by its citizens in mass, acting directly and personally, according to rules established by the majority; and that every other government is more or less republican, in proportion as it has in its composition more or less of this ingredient of the direct action of the citizens. Such a government is evidently restrained to very narrow limits of space and population. I doubt if it would be practicable beyond the extent of a New England township. The first shade from this pure element, which, like that of pure vital air, cannot sustain life of itself, would be where the powers of the government, being divided, should be exercised each by representatives chosen…for such short terms as should render secure the duty of expressing the will of their constituents. This I should consider as the nearest approach to a pure republic, which is practicable on a large scale of country or population … we may say with truth and meaning, that governments are more or less republican as they have more or less of the element of popular election and control in their composition; and believing, as I do, that the mass of the citizens is the safest depository of their own rights, and especially, that the evils flowing from the duperies of the people, are less injurious than those from the egoism of their agents, I am a friend to that composition of government which has in it the most of this ingredient.”

History of the Republic

The Founding Fathers wanted republicanism that would guarantee liberty, and most were afraid that a “democracy” (by which they meant a direct democracy) would allow a majority of voters at any time to trample rights and liberties; the most formidable of these potential majorities being that of the poor against the rich. That is, they saw democracy as mob rule that could be shaped on the spot by a demagogue. Therefore they devised a written Constitution which could only be amended by a supermajority, preserved competing sovereignties in the constituent states, gave the control of the upper house (Senate) to the states, and created an Electoral College comprising a small number of elites to select the president. They set up a House of Representative to represent the people. In practice the electoral college soon gave way to control by political parties. Not expected by the founders was the emergence of the Supreme Court under John Marshall as the final arbiter of the Constitution and indeed of all political rules. In 1776 most states required property ownership to vote, which we still believe should be a requirement today, but most citizens owned farms in the 90% rural nation, so it was not a severe restriction, and was dropped state by state in the early 19th century.

In 1792-93 Jefferson and Madison created a new party they called the “republican party” in order to promote their version of the doctrine and to indicate that Hamilton’s version was illegitimate. According to Federalist Noah Webster, an opposing Federalist political activist bitter at the defeat of the Federalist party in the White House and Congress, the choice of the name “Republican” was “a powerful instrument in the process of making proselytes to the party…. The influence of names on the mass of mankind, was never more distinctly exhibited, than in the increase of the democratic party in the United States. The popularity of the denomination of the Republican Party, was more than a match for the popularity of Washington’s character and services, and contributed to overthrow his administration.” It broke apart in the 1820’s (by which time it was known as the Democratic-Republican Party); and one of its factions became the Democratic Party. The Democrats (or American Democracy) were opposed by a party that chose a name, derived from the Patriots of the 1770s who started the American Revolution, the Whigs. Both of these parties proclaimed their devotion to republicanism.

As late as 1800 the word “democracy” was in ill repute and was mostly used to attack an opponent. Thus George Washington in 1798 complained, “that you could as soon scrub the blackamoor white, as to change the principles of a profest Democrat; and that he will leave nothing unattempted to overturn the Government of this Country.” The Federalist Papers are pervaded by the idea that pure democracy is actually quite dangerous, because it allows a majority to infringe upon the rights of a minority. Thus Madison argued in Federalist #10, a special interest may take control of a small area, but it could not easily take over a large nation. Thus the larger the nation the safer is republicanism.

Civic virtue required men to put civic goals ahead of their personal desires, and to volunteer to fight for their country. As John Randolph of Roanoke put it, “When citizen and soldier shall be synonymous terms, then you will be safe.” Scott (1984) notes that in both the American and French revolutions, distrust of foreign mercenaries led to the concept of a national, citizen army, and the definition of military service was changed from a choice of careers to a civic duty. Herrera (2001) explains that an appreciation of self-governance is essential to any understanding of the American military character before the Civil War. Military service was considered an important demonstration of patriotism and an essential component of citizenship. To soldiers, military service was a voluntary, negotiated, and temporary abeyance of self-governance by which they signaled their responsibility as citizens. In practice self-governance in military affairs came to include personal independence, enlistment negotiations, petitions to superior officials, militia constitutions, and negotiations regarding discipline. Together these impacted on all aspects of military order, discipline, and life.

On illegal immigration

AMNESTY means never having immigration enforcement!

Those ‘undocumented’ are actually ‘highly documented’ with fraudulent documents our government readily accepts.

Calling an illegal alien an undocumented immigrant is like calling a burglar an uninvited house guest.


Global Perspective:
Immigration is often promoted as a means to solve global problems such as poverty, corruption, and overpopulation, but immigration merely shifts global problems to the U.S. Global problems need to be solved where the people are at. Politicians and others avoid the causes of global problems and dramatically increase U.S. problems when they say immigration must occur until the forces causing immigration are eliminated.

Possible solutions include;
Restructuring of U.S. foreign aid from corporate welfare and aiding despots with military armaments to effective techniques such as sustainable agriculture, women’s rights, and access to contraceptives.
Increased support for global human rights. It is important to recognize that human rights agendas provide the right of emigration, but not immigration. In other words, people everywhere should have the right to leave their country to go to a country that accepts them, but human rights agendas do not provide the unconditional right to break the laws of a sovereign country.
The U.S. needs to lead by example. Although the U.S. is often perceived as a model for economic and military power, democracy, and individual rights, a multitude of problems such as inability to stabilize U.S. population, wasteful consumption, and excessive corporate power urgently need fixing and are a poor example for the rest of the world.

National Perspective:
From a national perspective America can get illegal immigration under control only if the will to do so exists. Unfortunately that will has not yet existed. Only until Americans force their leaders to address the problem will levels be significantly reduced. Addressing the problem means illegal aliens should not be rewarded, but, if they refuse to return home voluntarily, they should be humanely deported as required by law. Reduction in the number of illegal aliens should be by attrition as a result of real enforcement of immigration laws. Mass deportation is not a viable approach.

Experts generally recommend the following three major priorities to control illegal immigration into the U.S.:
Interior enforcement, especially laws pertaining to jobs,
Border security, especially the Arizona border, and
Elimination of benefits, such as amnesties, educational subsidies, driver’s licenses, illegal alien identification cards, and many others.
We must have enforcement through attrition, squeezing the illegal population through consistent, across-the-board law enforcement to bring about an annual reduction in the illegal population rather than the annual increases we have seen for more than a decade. Over a few years, the number of illegal aliens would drop significantly, shrinking the problem from a crisis to a manageable nuisance. Remember that the purpose of immigration law enforcement is to stop illegal immigration, not persecute individuals. Illegal aliens will have to accept the consequences of their illegal actions.

An effective strategy of immigration law enforcement requires no booby traps, no tanks, no tattoos on arms – none of the cartoonish images invoked in the objections raised routinely by the loose-borders side. The consistent application of ordinary law-enforcement tools is all we need. “Consistent,” though, is the key word. Enforcement personnel – whether they are Border Patrol agents, airport inspectors, or plainclothes investigators – need to know that their work is valued, that their superiors actually want them to do the jobs they’ve been assigned, and that they will be backed up when the inevitable complaints roll in.

And, finally, this isn’t root-canal Republicanism, bitter medicine we swallow for the greater good. Enforcement of the immigration law may not be popular among the elite, but actual voters across the political spectrum all are for it. As Alan Wolfe wrote in One Nation, After All, the difference between legal and illegal immigrants “is one of the most tenaciously held distinctions in middle-class America; the people with whom we spoke overwhelmingly support legal immigration and express disgust with the illegal variety.”

“I am concerned for the security of our great nation, not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within.”
General Douglas MacArthur

Principles for turning the tide on illegal immigration

The following principles must be put into effect.

1. Nothing will turn the tide on illegal immigration without the re-instatement of interior enforcement. Over the last decade, interior enforcement has been systematically dismantled until virtually all that is left is the deportation of people who commit felonies other than breaking immigration laws. In neighborhoods all over America, citizens are seething because they can so easily see this dismantling. “Interior enforcement” means detecting, detaining and deporting illegal aliens from America’s communities in all regions, not just along the borders. “Any alien that makes it in now is almost guaranteed a life without interruption by INS or the Border Patrol.”

2. Putting more people on the border won’t do much good unless people in other countries think they could be sent back if they succeed in getting past the Border Patrol. “Throwing more agents at the border won’t stop the flow without interior enforcement.” Even people whose primary career focus has been the border said the best immediate help for controlling the border would be beefing up interior enforcement. It is the lack of interior enforcement that entices so many to risk their lives to illegally enter the country across deserts, in unsafe trucks and train cars, and welded inside ship cargo units.

3. Interior enforcement relies on creating credible fear among all illegal aliens that they could get caught and, if caught, could be deported. Swift, firm enforcement on just a few can cause many to decide to return home if the enforcement appears possible on every kind of illegal alien. Today, only illegal aliens who break other laws have any significant fear. One officer said: “You have to reduce the comfort level of being an illegal immigrant. Right now, you can bring your family here and live like Americans. We have to make it so they are always looking over their shoulder.” The INS needs more money to ensure swift processing and deportation for a credible number of illegal aliens out of each community. When the illegal aliens in those communities see people disappear and not come back, they will begin to think seriously about whether they want to live with that kind of uncertainty. This requires resources to ensure that a certain random percentage of illegal aliens who are apprehended will be personally escorted through every stage of the process until they are out of the country.

CONGRESSIONAL ACTION NEEDED: Ensure sufficient funding.

4. For the most part, new laws are not needed to solve the problem. “There has been too much reinventing of the wheel instead of concentrating on putting the resources behind laws already in place.” Let the agents use the tools they had in the 1980s, and especially in the 1950s and 1960s, and they can make an incredible dent in the millions of illegal alien population. Most of the tools still exist under law but have been taken away by administrative decision.

5. Invest in an identification system that will allow every agent to get prints on all apprehended aliens and to check the prints before considering letting them loose with a ticket to appear in court later. Since there isn’t enough jail space to detain every illegal alien until a hearing date, it is imperative that agents be able to jail the ones who are repeat offenders and who have a record of having failed to show up at a previous hearing. Reliance on the FBI print system currently forces agents to wait a couple of weeks for prints to be processed. Agents need something that will report back in an hour or two. The INS has such a system in limited use primarily on the border but it already has exceeded capacity. The INS needs to determine the fastest, most efficient way to resolve this problem and move forward with the extra funding provided by Congress.

CONGRESSIONAL ACTION NEEDED: Request proposals and sufficiently fund a system once satisfied.

6. Encourage the apprehension and finger-printing of every possible illegal alien, even if there aren’t enough resources to deport most of them. This not only will be disruptive to their communities – especially if people are randomly pulled from the pool to go through the swift deportation system – but it will kick in the 10-year exclusion rule on them, preventing them from benefiting from any legal access to the United States. Widely publicizing this can start to act as a real deterrent.

CONGRESSIONAL ACTION NEEDED: Congress must resist constantly violating its own laws by giving illegal aliens loopholes around the 10-year exclusion rule.

7. Make sure that aliens who enter illegally after being deported are treated as felons as the law allows, earning them guaranteed jail time. Most illegal aliens break immigration laws to make money. They can’t make money in jail. A better fingerprint system will begin finding these “repeaters” in large quantities. It won’t take long for the word to get out that “repeating” bears risk of serious inconvenience to the business plan.

8. The INS must try for the first time to enforce the 1986 employer sanctions law. Everybody agrees that pressures from those who economically benefit from trafficking in illegal workers has kept the INS from ever seriously attempting to carry out the law. Disrupt the economic gain from illegal immigration and there won’t be much reason to break the law. A relentless presence at street-hiring sites is bound to disburse the illegal aliens and leave the jobs for those at the sites who have a legal right to be here.

9. Not much will happen unless the top echelon and middle management of INS believe in enforcing immigration laws. “The reason for the problems is that the INS force has been handcuffed by its leaders.” The overwhelming opinion among the rank and file is that the leadership of the INS has been filled with people who favor illegal immigration or who are politically afraid of those groups in American society who gain money and power off illegal immigration. The mission of the INS has been corrupted and cannot be restored to provide service to the American people again unless there is a wholesale change in the top echelons of the agency. As in other parts of the Justice Department, people should not be allowed to hold jobs if they believe they can pick and choose which laws to enforce.

10. Congress must stop making the INS job impossible by enticing millions more illegal aliens through amnesties and incremental amnesties. “The amnesty programs have devastated our enforcement efforts.” The various kinds of amnesties approved in 1997, 1998 and 2000 – in addition to the memory of the giant one in 1986 – have sent a message to the rest of the world that the Border Patrol and INS agents are merely for show, that the United States actually wants people to come here illegally. “I have talked to many illegal migrants coming back after deportation or voluntary departure. They will tell you that they are saving all their papers that show they have been here and are waiting for the next amnesty program.”

CONGRESSIONAL ACTION NEEDED: Members of Congress need to publicly take the no-amnesty pledge to send a signal to the rest of the world.

11. Congress should provide the funding so that the INS can pledge 100% service to those communities that are calling for help in removing illegal immigrants. Quick Response Teams (QRTs) have been tried but not properly funded. Their presence will inspire more local authorities to identify illegal aliens. The first INS interview can often be conducted over the phone. If the INS agent determines probability, the alien will stay in local custody for no more than a few days until QRT arrives. “We have a lot of older experienced retired agents who can return to work on a one-year contract to work the cities that have large numbers of known illegal migrants. This approach will give a wakeup call that illegal migration will have consequences.” Never again should a local law enforcement agency be told to release a suspected illegal immigrant into the public.

CONGRESSIONAL ACTION NEEDED: Sufficient funding for a credible QRT effort, with a pledge to expand funding as long as Americans in local communities still are reporting INS abandonment.

The first order of business, of course, is to enforce existing laws on the books against Illegals and those who employ them. Also, politicians must be held to account when they pander otherwise.
1: Eliminate all mention of Section 245(i), even if expired, from the US Immigration and Naturalization Code. No more Amnesty, ever.

2: Get legislation through Congress that would enable States to deny goodies to Illegals, a la Prop #187.

3: Outlaw Mexican matricula consular IDs, and kick banks accepting them out of the FDIC. Legal depositors will withdraw from recalcitrant banks.

4: Beef up Border Security with manpower, resources, and a Volunteer Reserve, if necessary. No troops, and no messing with posse comitatus, this should be a civilian effort.

5: Beef up the immigration courts and set deportation hearings for two weeks after apprehension, with no bail.

6: Run sting operations at day laborer sites.

7: Establish two-way communication between the IRS and Border Security, and start apprehending and deporting Illegals using false SS numbers (no, the current overhyped voluntary program doesn’t count).

8: Seize the assets of businesses knowingly hiring Illegals under the RICO Act, as they are ongoing criminal enterprises. Prosecute executives who knowingly hire Illegal’s.

9: Compile biometric information on Illegals, and declare that they will be permanently ineligible for immigration and citizenship.

10: If the United States declares that the above proposals against Illegals will be diligently enforced after a certain date, many Illegals will leave beforehand, and a relatively small number of well-publicized cases of enforcement throughout the Lower 48 will result in millions of Illegals deporting themselves.

11: End the busting of immigration caps by limiting family reunification to spouses and dependent children, and counting them against the caps when they are brought in. Require all future immigrants to declare their future intent to bring in family upon arrival. This way, families can immigrate in a controlled, orderly fashion without the current deceptions being used against the American public. We must have truth in immigration.

12: Outlaw anchor babies, and give the option to the Illegal parent of taking the child with them upon deportation, or putting them up for adoption.

13: Outlaw bilingual ballots, and resume the English-speaking requirements for citizenship.

14: Establish English skills as a prerequisite for future immigrants. Let’s start admitting folks who will hit the ground running toward assimilation.

15: Shut off new immigration to nations that offer dual citizenship. Disqualify current immigrants from those nations from future American citizenship.

16: Make Mexico and Central America our cheap import sources of choice with tariffs on manufacturing from other sources, especially China.

17: In return, Mexico must open up to American investment by allowing the sale of real estate to us and guaranteeing property our rights. Getting Mexico to fix its economy is crucial.

18: Establish a guest worker program where an initial bond is posted by the Illegal and his employer, say $1000 each, with more withheld from the Illegal’s earnings, as security for his departure from the US by the specified date. Guest worker visas must be applied for in the workers’ countries of origin, and participants are only eligible to be employed by their sponsoring employer. Violation of these terms will render the worker ineligible for any future visas or residence in the US. Any guest worker program can only come after anti-Illegal measures are in place. Handshake promises of future diligence will not be trusted from any politician of either party, including President Bush.

The list above is by no means comprehensive, and can be adopted piecemeal or in a single package. That said, incrementalism is probably going to be the way to go, especially politically.

These measures would provide a little carrot and lots of stick for Illegal’s already here to get themselves out. Some of them will need to be tested in the courts, which is another reason to adopt them piecemeal, so that an injunction against omnibus legislation can’t stall the whole effort.

We ought to be looking initially at easy, politically safe legislation, like the new accounting for family reunification, Border Security/IRS cooperation, English speaking citizenship requirements, and a few others. Our politicians are a trembling, timid bunch, and need to gain a little self-confidence before they’ll tackle more difficult issues.

Note a few things that aren’t on my list: troops or walls on the border. I think they are a futile diversion from cost effective solutions. The best possible wall at the border is to let foreigners know that we respect our sovereignty, and they had best do the same.

Note that their are no house to house searches.

Note also that I don’t call for an immigration moratorium, though others may. I think their position is within the respectable mainstream of a dialogue about immigration, and while it’s possible that I might change my mind later, but I am not currently persuaded that an outright moratorium is or will be necessary.

The main problem is multimillion-strong mass of Illegals, and the secondary problem is how we currently select legal immigrants for rapid assimilation into American society. I believe my proposals adequately address both situations, but there is certainly room for debate on the back end.

Note also that I have a guest worker program that is actually honest and responsible, and not an Amnesty by another name. My program would ensure that law-abiding foreigners are background-checked before entry, rather than rewarding lawbreaking Illegals after the fact.

All of the above could be adopted while allowing politicians so-inclined to chant the “compassionate conservatism” mantra.

South African officials say new virus is contained

South African officials say new virus is contained

Posted 2008/10/29 at 1:30 pm EDT

LONDON, Oct. 29, 2008 (Reuters) — A new virus that has killed four people and infected another in South Africa appears to have been contained, according to the most recent information posted by South African authorities on their website.

The virus has been identified as a member of the arenavirus family, which also includes the germ that causes Lassa fever.

“There are currently no additional suspected cases,” the National Institute for Communicable Diseases said in a posting dated October 26, based on information received last week.

“The outbreak appears to be contained and has been confined to individuals with very close contact in a health-care setting.”

Health officials could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

The disease first infected a safari booking agent in Zambia who was flown to South Africa on September 12 for treatment. She died two days later.

A paramedic who accompanied her, a nurse from her intensive care unit and a cleaner who worked in the hospital room also died. A fourth woman, also a nurse, is ill but in stable condition.

“The source of infection is, as yet, unknown for the primary case,” the report said.

The patients first experienced flu-like symptoms but the illness worsened over the course of a week with diarrhea, a sore throat and a rash on the face and throat.

Bleeding was not a prominent feature among the fatal cases, all of which lasted about 9 to 12 days and ended in rapid deterioration with troubled breathing and circulatory failure, the report said.

The posting said health authorities were monitoring about 30 people who may have come into contact with the patients.

Officials said say the common antiviral drug ribavirin appeared to help treat the disease.

(Reporting by Michael Kahn; Editing by Catherine Bosley)

Possible Human Ancestors Lived In Spain 780,000 Years Ago

Possible Human Ancestors Lived In Spain 780,000 Years Ago

ScienceDaily (Oct. 28, 1998) — TORONTO—Some 780,000 years ago, the first Europeans were using simple stone tools to scratch out a living in a cave called Gran Dolina in the Atapuerca Mountains of northern Spain. Whether they were direct ancestors of modern Homo sapiens or an evolutionary dead end like the Neanderthals is for anthropologists to decide. But Josep Pares is certain of one thing: they were living there 780,000 years ago.

An expert on paleomagnetic dating, Pares, who is now a University of Michigan research scientist, first reported the age of the Atapuerca hominid fossils in an article published in Science on Aug. 11, 1995, with colleague Alfredo Perez-Gonzalez. Since no hominid fossils or tools older than 500,000 years had ever been discovered in Europe before, Pares’ date was highly controversial.

Pares based his date for the Gran Dolina fossils on the orientation of magnetic minerals in the rock layer in which the fossils were found. In the early 1900s, scientists discovered that magnetic minerals in rocks work like tiny compass needles—pointing toward the location of the Earth’s magnetic field at the time the rock was created.

Today Earth’s magnetic field lies to the north, but it wasn’t always that way. The field has switched back and forth between north and south many times in the Earth’s 4.5-billion-year history. The last major switch from south to north, which scientists call the Matuyama/Brunhes reversal, took place about 780,000 years ago. This reversal marks the boundary between the lower and middle Pleistocene geological epochs.

“Because the Gran Dolina fossils were found below the Matuyama/Brunhes boundary with a clear signal of reversed polarity, we are confident the date is accurate,” Pares said.

At the Geological Society of America meeting here today (Oct. 27), Pares discussed the reliability of paleomagnetic dating and explained the contributions it has made to increased understanding of early hominid evolution in Africa and Asia.

Pares also presented new information on hominid fossils and stone tools excavated from Elefante and Galeria—two other Atapuerca sites near Gran Dolina.

“Stone tools have been found at Elefante, but we have been unable to date them, because we still have not found the polarity reversal for the Matuyama/Brunhes boundary. We did locate the boundary at Galeria, but all fossils and tools found there so far were above the boundary and more recent.”

Pares added that he has just begun work at the Guadix-Baza Basin in southern Spain—another site where hominid fossils have been found. Some anthropologists claim these fossils could be as old as 1.8 million years. “So far the paleomagnetic data from Guadix-Baza is ambiguous,” Pares said. “Hopefully, additional work at the site will give more definitive data and help resolve the controversy.”

Research at Atapuerca is funded by the government of Spain. Perez-Gonzalez is currently affiliated with the Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Madrid, Spain.

Alleged 40,000-year-old Human Footprints In Mexico Much, Much Older Than Thought

Alleged 40,000-year-old Human Footprints In Mexico Much, Much Older Than Thought

ScienceDaily (Dec. 1, 2005) — Alleged footprints of early Americans found in volcanic rock in Mexico are either extremely old – more than 1 million years older than other evidence of human presence in the Western Hemisphere – or not footprints at all, according to a new analysis published this week in Nature.

The study was conducted by geologists at the Berkeley Geochronology Center and the University of California, Berkeley, as part of an investigative team of geologists and anthropologists from the United States and Mexico.

Earlier this year, researchers in England touted these “footprints” as definitive proof that humans were in the Americas much earlier than 11,000 years ago, which is the accepted date for the arrival of humans across a northern land-bridge from Asia.

These scientists, led by geologist Silvia Gonzalez of Liverpool’s John Moores University, dated the volcanic rock at 40,000 years old. They hypothesized that early hunters walked across ash freshly deposited near a lake by volcanoes that are still active in the area around Puebla, Mexico. The so-called footprints, subsequently covered by more ash and inundated by lake waters, eventually turned to rock.

But Paul Renne, director of the Berkeley Geochronology Center and an adjunct professor of earth and planetary science at UC Berkeley, and his colleagues in Mexico and at Texas A&M University report in the Dec. 1 issue of Nature a new age for the rock: about 1.3 million years.

“You’re really only left with two possibilities,” Renne said. “One is that they are really old hominids – shockingly old – or they’re not footprints.”

Renne’s colleagues are Michael R. Waters, director of the Center for the Study of the First Americans at Texas A&M University; Joaquin Arroyo-Cabrales and Mario Perez-Campa of the Mexican National Institute of Anthropology and History; Patricia Ochoa Castillo of the Mexican National Museum of Anthropology; and UC Berkeley graduate students Joshua M. Feinberg and Kim B. Knight. The Berkeley Geochronology Center, located a block from the UC Berkeley campus, is one of the world’s preeminent anthropological dating laboratories.

Paleoanthropologist Tim White, professor of integrative biology at UC Berkeley, is familiar with the “so-called footprints” and knows Renne well, frequently collaborating with him in the dating of million-year-old sediments in an area of Ethiopia where White has excavated numerous fossils of human ancestors. He is not surprised at the new finding.

“The evidence (the British team) has provided in their arguments that these are footprints is not sufficient to convince me they are footprints,” said White, who did not contribute to the new work that Renne’s group is reporting in Nature. “The evidence Paul has produced by dating basically means that this argument is over, unless indisputable footprints can be found sealed within the ash.”

Renne determined the new date using the argon/argon dating technique, which reliably dates rock as young as 2,000 years or as old as 4 billion years. The British-led researchers, however, relied mainly on carbon-14 dates of overlying sediments. Carbon-14 cannot reliably date materials older than about 50,000 years.

The idea for another test that, it turns out, throws more cold water on the footprint hypothesis came to Renne one morning in the shower. Many rocks retain evidence of their orientation at the moment they cool in the form of iron oxide grains magnetized in a direction parallel to the Earth’s magnetic field at the time of cooling. Because the Earth’s field has repeatedly flipped throughout the planet’s history, it is possible to date rock based on its magnetic polarity.

Feinberg found that the rock grains in the volcanic ash had polarity opposite to the Earth’s polarity today. Since the last magnetic pole reversal was 790,000 years ago, the rock must be at least that age. Because the Earth’s magnetic polarity changes, on average, every 250,000 years, the argon/argon date is consistent with a time between 1.07 and 1.77 million years ago when the Earth’s polarity was opposite to that of today.

Moreover, Feinberg found that each individual grain in the rock is magnetized in the same direction, meaning that the rock has not been broken up and reformed since it was deposited. This makes extremely unlikely the possibility that the original ash had been weathered into sand that early humans walked through before the sand was welded into rock again.

“Imagine two-millimeter-wide BBs cemented together where they’re touching,” Feinberg said. “The paleomagnetic data tell us that these things did not move around at all since they were deposited. They haven’t been eroded and redeposited anywhere else. They fell while they were still hot, which raises the question of the validity of the footprints. If they were hot, why would anybody be walking on them?”

The British researchers, funded by the United Kingdom’s Natural Environment Research Council, have promoted their hypothesis widely, most prominently at a July 4, 2005, presentation and press conference at the Royal Society’s Summer Science Exhibition 2005 in London. The team, which includes Gonzalez as well as Professor David Huddart from John Moores University, also involves scientists from Bournemouth University, the University of Oxford and the Australian National University. They have yet to publish a peer-reviewed analysis of the footprints.

In all, the British team claims to have found 250 footprints – mostly human, but also dog, cat and cloven-hoofed animal prints – in a layer of volcanic ash deposited in a former lake bed now exposed near a reservoir outside Puebla. Its dating techniques returned a date of 40,000 years ago, in contrast to the oldest accepted human fossil from the Americas, an 11,500-year-old skull. This makes the rock “one of the most important areas in the study of early human occupation in the Americas and would support a much earlier human migration than is currently accepted,” the team wrote.

One of the team members, Matthew Bennett of Bournemouth, was quoted on a Royal Society Web site as saying, “Accounting for the origin of these footprints would require a complete rethink on the timing, route and origin of the first colonization of the Americas.”

Renne, Knight, Waters and the Mexico City archeologists visited the site at the Toluquilla quarry last year while collecting rocks from another anthropological site across the reservoir. Renne noted that the black, basaltic rock is very tough and is mined in slabs for building. Pre-Columbian Mexicans also constructed buildings from the rock, which they called xalnene, meaning “fine sand” in the Nahuatl language. Today, trucks headed toward the quarry routinely drive across the xalnene tuff in which the alleged footprints are found, and the rock itself is pockmarked with many depressions in addition to the alleged footprints.

“They’re scattered all over, with no more than two or three in a straight line,” which would be expected if someone had walked through the ash, Renne said. If the depressions were footprints, they could not have been made by modern humans, he noted, since even in Africa, Homo sapiens did not appear until about 160,000 years ago. Given the age of the volcanic rock and lacking other evidence of early human ancestors in the Americas 1.3 million years ago, the researchers wrote in their paper, “we consider such a possibility to be extremely remote.”

Many paleontologists have withheld judgment on the alleged footprints, awaiting good geological dates, Feinberg said. “With this study, we’re trying to nip any misrepresentation in the bud.”