Merry Christmas, Michael Devlin

With additional thanks to US District Judge Jean Hamilton, Michael J. Devlin will never, ever see the light of day beyond penitentiary walls for the rest of his life.

In a Federal hearing this morning, Devlin was sentenced to 170 additional years of imprisonment to be served at the conclusion of his current life sentences previously delivered by state courts in October. 

And until Fate delivers Devlin’s final breath, we will celebrate the fact that he will never hurt another child.

Michael J. Devlin was sentenced in October to more consecutive life sentences than he could possibly survive from the multitude of charges handed down in Franklin, Washington and St. Louis counties in Missouri for the abductions and tortures of Shawn Hornbeck and Ben Ownby.  Devlin pleaded guilty to every single charge.

Today’s sentencing by Judge Hamilton was far in excess of the standard Federal sentencing guideline of 30 years (duly requested by Devlin’s attorneys), and was exceptionally severe punishment for Devlin’s guilty pleas to various still and video pornography charges and for transporting Hornbeck across multiple state boundaries.

Todd Frankel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has a nice recounting of today’s hearing here.

With all cases against Devlin now having reached their conclusions, one can only wonder where Devlin will serve his time.  There is even speculation that Devlin may be given a new identity to protect him during his lifetime ahead of incarceration.

Regardless, it is my fervent hope that Devlin lives a long, long, long life…

A Posthumous Slap to a Veteran’s Last Wish

On an April afternoon this year, my family laid the remains of my father to rest in the Dallas National Cemetery with full honors accorded his decorated World War II service.  My father, my entire family was exceptionally proud of his service to our country and Dad’s greatest wish of all was to be buried next to his fellow veterans in the National Cemetery, a final act he planned and protected for more than a decade in every possible detail.

The incredible beauty of the day’s glorious sunshine was met only by the beauty and reverence of the attending Memorial Honor Guard, who so carefully and precisely folded our Flag of the United States after conclusion of Taps and before presenting the flag to my mother.  “Ma’am, this flag is presented on behalf of a grateful nation as an expression of appreciation for the honorable and faithful service rendered by your loved one.  I offer you our deepest condolences.” 

I wept with a passion I haven’t had since childhood.  Despite our gift that Dad lived to the age of 83 active years, I was absolutely crushed to have lost my wonderful father, my greatest mentor, and realize at the age of 46 my childhood had finally come to an end.  And when I could collect myself enough to walk, I made my way to the two Honor Guards, shook each of their hands and expressed how deeply I appreciated their service and personal sacrifices to my country and the presence and care before my own family that day.  Doing so fulfilled a promise to my father he absolutely demanded me to keep.

“Treasure the living and honor the dead,” was but one of Dad’s axioms drilled into my earliest memories regarding his military brethren.

In what is reported as thousands of military funerals across this country, the flag-folding ceremony has included a 13-part recital corresponding with each of the 13 folds of the American flag before presentation to the family.  The recital is steeped in tradition born somewhere in the 1950’s (soon after “Under God” was added to our Pledge of Allegiance) that I have personally witnessed only four times in my lifetime: at two military retirement ceremonies, in downtown Grapevine, Texas during a flag-folding ceremony on Memorial Day, 2003, and again in downtown Grapevine, Texas on Flag Day, June 14, 2004.

The ceremony is beautiful and holds deep meaning for me due to my upbringing and lifelong deep respect for all of our soldiers and their families.  The entire script of the Flag Folding Ceremony is given and explained here.  So it matters not at all to me that the ceremony is “unofficial” and in apparent violation of The Establishment Clause within the First Amendment to our Bill of Rights.  On a private-sector basis — certainly at a family’s personal request for the funeral of their beloved serviceman — if this ceremonial recital is wanted, it should be given.

So I’m a wee bit perplexed to read the recital tradition is hereby summarily quelled, banned by the Veterans Administration as the result of ONE complaint made by ONE individual attending a military funeral in Riverside, California at the National Cemetery there.  The ban extends to each of the 125 National Cemeteries in the United States.

Of course, the VA is not releasing any information about this fellow’s complaint, just that the ban is in place now, according to a late September memorandum from the VA on the issue that directed the National Cemetery Administration to enact a streamlined, uniform policy for burials.  We do know this chap took umbrage to the 11th stanza of the recital, somehow being apparently demeaned by the tribute to Jewish servicemen in its glorification of “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.”  Or perhaps it was the 12th stanza of the recital, in tribute to Christians, that the 12th fold “represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in their eyes, God the Father, the Son and Holy Ghost.”

Unless rescinded, families will no longer have this recital option afforded them if they hold burial services at our nation’s national cemeteries, nor even at private services by military personnel.  I am heartened to see retired veterans, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion haven’t the slightest intention of following the VA/Official Government ban.

This brings another of my father’s famous axioms to mind:  “It is the sins of the few that impact the freedoms of the masses.”

What’s next?  Banning the white crosses and Stars of David from the National Cemeteries, too?

Ed Morrissey has more at Captain’s Quarters.

WordNetDaily has an in-depth post on the secularist insanity.

HotAir has its own take.

First-term Congressman Heath Schuler of North Carolina has penned a letter with 11 other Congressional signatories requesting the VA reconsider its ban, with more developing under this thread from Fox News.

Do you find this ban as reprehensible as I do?  Then, by all means, join this petition to request President Bush rescind the VA’s ACLU-driven knee-jerk action to quell one Left Coast activist’s highly successful attack against survivor’s wishes to honor their fallen military sons and daughters, husbands and wives.  And spend a couple of moments out of your day to voice your disgust to your Senators and Congressional Representatives.

Update:  The furor is building in Washington

Update:  Sword-At-The-Ready has information that is a MUST READ, including a pdf file link to the purported VA Memo from Muro of September 27  provided to him by REES LLOYD, Attorney and Jr. Past Commander District 21 (Cal), Director, Defense of Veterans Memorials Project of The American Legion Dept. of California.  Would it surprise you to know that Sword-At-The-Ready offered his first post on this subject TWO WEEKS AGO???

Guns Go Missing From Secured US Luggage

Carrying a gun is still allowed on domestic airline flights (depending upon where in the US you are flying), but weapons must be locked and contained within checked luggage.

There is a growing threat in weapons being stolen after security checks across the country, and an even bigger threat to all of us is in the obvious ability of a TSA-hired and supervised handler to pass a gun to the highest bidder boarding the cabin.

I’m rather distressed to learn that the Department of Homeland Security and TSA have logged more than 100 handguns stolen from secured checked luggage since 911 and who knows how many other guns stolen are not on their database.

Patterico has an enlightening post shedding light on the thievery

Is it safe to fly? And can flying in an ever-escalating terrorist-threatened world ever be made safe without turning air travel into such a debilitating ordeal that it’s simply no longer worth the hassle?

Personally, I would appreciate severe focus by DHS and TSA here.

And the World is Little Changed…

The last four weeks have passed in an amazing blur for me.  Two weeks spent in San Antonio at a huge convention and managing a large food-, drink- and music-filled party at the Hilton for clients.  Back home for a week, then off to the Napa Valley region in California for a another week with two other couples joining us for the first weekend.

After the pressures of organizing our party for months, decorating the ballroom and watching its success unfold in the delighted eyes of nearly 450 guests, then spending another two days traipsing all over the convention floor (oh, the swollen ankles!), I was ready for some down time.  More than I, so was my wonderful fiance.

Oh, but we got a LOT more than we had asked for!  (Thank you, dear Heavenly Father!)

We have just spent a week of pure bliss wining and dining our way from Napa to St. Helena to Sebastopol to Sonoma, and another day was spent eating and drinking our way all over the San Francisco Wharf area. Needless to say, I just haven’t been able to bring myself to write another post here.  And doing so was the LAST thing on my mind while gone.

My mind, heart and soul has been far, far away.

There are few places on this earth as beautiful, as bucolic, as cathartic as Napa and Sonoma Counties, a place Sweetheart and I first visited last September in a Diageo Crush Camp.  Because of our waxing poetic since about our experiences and the wonder of it all, we were appointed “tour guides” for our four guests who accompanied us for a portion of our return sojourn this year.  We took the role quite seriously and created an itinerary of outstanding proportions of tasting reservations, sight-seeing, shopping and outstanding dining.  A good time was certainly had by all.

As soon as we arrived in the Carneros Valley from SFO, the vines were ablaze in their Autumn colors for as far as the eyes could see, which only became more beautiful the further we drove.  And the smell everywhere of composting stems was amazingly floral and sweet, and absolutely intoxicating.  For wine heads such as ourselves, we were in Nirvana every moment, whether awake or asleep.

Dinner our first night was at Angele in Napa and was absolutely off-the-charts and delicious.  Angele is a Country French restaurant right on the Napa River and is a favorite hangout of local folk.  I recommend it strongly for anyone heading to Napa!  The French Onion Soup was probably the best I’ve ever had, and my fish was cooked perfectly, as were all of our entrees.  Antipasti at the beginning was outstanding and introduced us all to some show-stopping local artisanal cheeses and salamis and the very best honey I have EVER tasted, a locally-harvested delight from a “Mom and Pop” farm called Eggman Family Honey.  Unfortunately, and despite my best efforts, I couldn’t score a jar to save my life.  The Eggmans only sell their honey to a small handful of restaurants throughout California and offer their 8-ounce jars for $3 each at one San Francisco farmers’ market on Saturdays only.  No website, no phone orders.  Dadgummit!

During the next two days, we tasted some of the best wine on this planet from Silverado, Silver Oaks, Cakebread, Domaine Chandon, BV, Beringer, Provenance (a personal favorite), and several more.  The Tokalon Tour at Mondavi was very interesting, and the Historic Tour at Beringer was outstanding…especially for a Fine Arts nut like me.  The Victorian stained glass panels in the Rhine House defy description.  Little surprise came from learning the glassmaker commissioned to build the myriad of panels and panes was one of the leading glassmakers for Louis Comfort Tiffany at the time.  Beyond the Tiffany-esque vibrancy of the glass (sans Favrile, of course), the reverse etching was sincerely stunning.  The Estate Wines were delicious, most especially Beringer’s 2004 Private Reserve Cab and their 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon Port was to die for.

Franciscan has a lovely winery, but the wine was predictably atrocious.  Great photo-op at their fountain…

Rutherford Grill was delicious for lunch.  Another strong, strong recommendation.  And everyone should experience the Oakville Grocery.  Best darned deli sandwiches you’ll find anywhere and we thoroughly enjoyed eating on the back picnic table and imbibing freely of our Silverado stash.

One of the greatest highlights was at Go Fish in St. Helena when Tom Rinaldi and his wife, Beverly, joined us all for dinner, a particular delight for our guests.  Tom is the winemaker at Provenance Vineyards now, having spent 22 years putting Duckhorn on the map.  He also developed the reds for Duckhorn’s spinoff of Paraduxx and is especially renown for the exceptional Merlots he has created over the years.  Truly one of the nicest, warmest, funniest, most generous fellows on the planet, so do yourself a HUGE favor and go visit Provenance.  You’ll find A+++ delicious cabs and merlots (even though he considers his reds a “work in progress”), and you will find hands-down THE BEST sauvignon blanc to ever hit your palate.

And DO be careful when passing groups of bicyclists when driving in the area.  Chances are Tom will be among some of them.

PS:  Go Fish is also strongly, strongly recommended.  Best sushi and sashimi I have ever had the pleasure of enjoying.  Uni straight from the Mendocino coast.  Downright delicious cooked fish, too…!  Best service we enjoyed anywhere along the way.  (I’d adopt Jeremy if I could…)

Another dinner was at Julia’s Kitchen, so named for Julia Child.  I was not in the least impressed and was bloody-well disappointed in what they thought was “Julia Child fare”.  Overpriced for the offerings (we expect to drop $100 to $150 a head anywhere we go, by the way) and well below mediocre in taste at best.  Personally, I wouldn’t recommend Julia’s Kitchen to anyone.  Ever.  Period.  The REAL Julia is undoubtedly haunting them from above.

Once our guests were dropped off for their return flight to Dallas, Sweetheart and I hit our own laundry list of wineries to visit.

We had the exceptional pleasure in meeting and chatting with Mary Rocca at her tasting room in downtown Napa.  Sweetheart and I have long enjoyed Rocca wines in favorite restaurants from Houston to Wichita, so bringing home some of her cabs and syrahs was a non-negotiable intent.  The Coup de Gras was bringing home a bottle she graciously signed for us.  It will go next to and slightly behind our treasured bottle signed by Mr. Rinaldi. 😉

Then came Chappellet.  This is another personal favorite of ours, especially their Mountain Cuvee.  But we were surprised to learn how difficult they are to find.  Chappellet is not only extremely well hidden on Pritchard Hill off Sage Canyon Road, but their intentional lack of signage speaks of their intent to remain off of the tourism-beaten track.  Only two tastings are offered each day to no more than six people, but worth any and every price to obtain an appointment and be further treated to the best, most informative tour you will find anywhere in the valley.  Their cadre of delicious varietals is unmatched.  Delicious, delicious, delicious!  We joined their wine club and have a short ton of additional estate wines headed to our “wine cave” as I write.  I can’t tell you how much we look forward to their club shipments over the months ahead.

DeLoach, where we are already members, provided the zins, pinot noirs and chardonnays we knew they would have and we were happy to replenish some of our past wine shipments.  Their Van Der Kamp Pinot Noir and Porter Bass Chardonnay are delicious beyond description.  Make the trek, folks….  Outstanding stuff.

But our very favorite winery of all provided perhaps the best visit of all throughout our week:  Moon Mountain Vineyards.  Nestled in the hills against Moon Mountain in Sonoma’s Valley of the Moon, their vineyards produce the best zinfandels and cabs ever to delight our tongues.  We are also wine club members here and enjoyed immensely every single taste Angela provided of their newer offerings and have a even heightened excitement for the club shipments to come.  Syrah was amazing.  The place itself is breathtaking and it was wonderful to have been able to “come home” to the very first winery that stole our hearts last year.

Back to the quest for local honey…

Not content to accept failure in finding some Eggman Family honey, I broadened my search to any local stuff I could score.  Finding Beekind in Sebastopol was my salvation!  Doug and Katie Vincent have a delightful little shop of every supply and product imaginable for and from the hive, including a honey tasting bar.  I’ve never seen so many different honeys and we tasted our way from honeys made in the Redwood forests on the coast to those made near Sacramento and all points north and south.  What wonderful people, what wonderful products, and what extraordinary assistance they provide to so many others in the area maintaining their own hives.   I now have many jars to enjoy over the months ahead.  And I was thrilled to learn from Katie that no diseases have plagued any wild or homegrown bees in her knowledge base (which is huge), and only the commercial bees have suffered and suffered hugely.  The home beekeeping industry is not only alive and well, but growing exponentially.  Good to hear.

At Katie’s suggestion, we stopped by the Pacific Grocery in Sebastopol and loaded up on some of the most amazing artisanal cheeses produced in the area.  The ladies at their cheese counter were very helpful and were full of inciteful information about the cheeses and their makers.  Another wonderful blessing to find.

So now we are home at last after a whirlwind month.  Precious puppy has been retrieved from Grandmother’s House, wine shipments have arrived unscathed, the laundry is done, but the house left bereft of attention for so long yearns for some tender housekeeping care.

Through what little television I have deigned to watch since returning, I see that the world remains as chaotic, depressing and monster-filled as before.  No surprise there, but do understand that my last idyllic week leaves me with no desire to write the obligatory Michael Devlin plea agreement post or to even for a moment fall into the bottomless pit of illegal immigration woes or presidential politics.

For as long as my memories and living life allows, my mind is going to remain in the tastes, smells and sights of Napa, the uninterrupted precious time spent with my love, and in reliving perhaps the most wonderful vacation of my life.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

With apologies, duty has called and I must “pull a Jane”.  I have been away most of this week and will continue to be offline now for the next two weeks, while managing a project.  The good news for me is that a convention in San Antonio is calling for a full week.  Margaritas…Empanadas…Camaraderie…Fajitas!  The bad news is that I’m not going to have a second of free time until I return at the beginning of October.

No Weekly Digest of Illegal Immigration in America until I return…

Best wishes to all, with my thanks for stopping by.

The Fifth Weekly Digest of Illegal Immigration in America

During the week of September 1-7, 2007:

Malos Muchachos

We begin the week with a bonafide doosey.  Miguel Angel Ortiz, an illegal alien from Uruguay, fled poverty in his homeland back in 1987 and over the last 15 years especially became a multi-millionaire living the high life in Virginia Beach, Virginia.  Using a stolen identity, Ortiz established himself well as a master welder, formed a corporation and landed huge jobs as a contractor at the shipyards, sometime reaping as much as $1.5 Million for his work.  Even though he amassed a long list of crimes committed here inclusive of car theft, child abuse and a short ton of violent crimes — including kicking his pregnant wife in the stomach — and the next year kicking his 5-month old daughter, Ortiz skated by.  In 2002, he was convicted on his latest domestic abuse case involving his wife, served six months in jail and deported in 2003.  Ortiz again returned illegally, reunited with his family and formed the corporation “Virginia Welding and Fabrication, Inc.” using his wife’s name as incorporator and President and started raking in the dineros.  Virginia terminated the company’s corporate status in 2006 for failure to file required annual reports.  So Ortiz started another company, “Ortiz & Guys Welding and Ship Repair” and kept right on going…still using that same stolen identity he had purchased for $8,000 in New York back in 1996.  By the way, our federal government granted Ortiz a passport under the name of that stolen identity.  Ortiz’s jet-setting lifestyle of travels, two 2006 Hummers, a Harley, a 2007 Mercedes, two other fairly new vehicles and their lavish beachfront home finally came to an end when he tried to renew his passport this April and was pegged by ICE.  His oft-abused wife also called in another domestic violence claim and outed him as an illegal alien.  Ortiz pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft and falsifying a passport application and was sentenced August 20 to 27 months in prison, then will face deportation.  In his sentencing hearing, a federal prosecutor detailed Ortiz’s litany of deceit and asked for the maximum punishment under federal guidelines.  “He is someone who is intelligent, he’s hardworking, he’s resourceful and he’s determined,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Krask told the judge. “Those normally are good adjectives to say about someone. “But I think in adjudging Mr. Ortiz’s potential to commit this crime again,’’ he continued, Ortiz “presents a strong likelihood that he’s going to try and come into the United States after he’s done with this court.”  Groups seeking better enforcement of immigration laws said that the Ortiz case is indicative of the need for an improved identification system – one that relies on fingerprints or DNA. You absolutely MUST read the details revealed in the Virginia-Pilot’s investigation and coverage of this bizarre case and ask yourself, too, just how this guy slipped through so many crevasses, not cracks.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Minneapolis, Minnesota has ordered the resentencing of the former owner of the Udupi Cafe in Columbia Heights for employing illegal Mexican workers, saying the judge failed to adequately explain why he imposed a lighter sentence than was recommended by federal guidelines.  Nagappan Mylappan Chettiar, 45, pleaded guilty last year to knowingly hiring 10 or more illegal aliens. U.S. District Judge Michael J. Davis sentenced him to one day of imprisonment (time served), plus two years of supervised release with three months of that to be served in a half-way house and nine months in home detention. The U.S. attorney’s office appealed, calling the sentence a “dramatic” and “extraordinary” departure from advisory sentencing guidelines, which are presumed to be reasonable. Prosecutors argued that no “exceptional facts” warranted such leniency, and argued for a sentence of one year and a day in prison.

A Mexican coyote and nine illegal aliens from Mexico were nabbed in Kingsport, Tennessee during a traffic stop for speeding.  Police way the group began their journey in Mexico, traveling through Atlanta and were on their way to Charlottesville, Virginia.  The coyote was dropping illegals off at specific locations across the United States.

Jesus Avila, 22, who is accused of murdering a Burlington City, New Jersey man and shooting his girlfriend in the ankle over the weekend, has been identified as an illegal alien from Mexico and a local gang member.  At the time of the murder and aggravated assault, Avila was free under a $5,000 bond having been arrested and arraigned on a misdemeanor charge of “creating a false public alarm,” whatever that is.

Illegal alien Jesus Manuel Holguin-Albo confessed to stabbing his friend to death in Provo, Utah last year.  In a pre-trial motion for his coming murder trial, his attorney has claimed the jury pool available to his client does not contain enough Latinos and is requesting more Latinos be seated and the jury system changed so that there can be.  By law, juries are created by legal records from drivers licenses, tax payers and registered voters, none of which reflect race or ethnicity.  And while census records place Utah County at somewhere between 3.5% and 8.5% Latino, a lot more Latinos are visible in the community.  In a 42-page ruling, Judge Lynn Davis outlined several problems with Holguin-Albo’s motion, including the possibility that 70 percent of the Hispanic population [in Utah County] could be illegal.  I would personally add that, as of now, illegal aliens are first and foremost illegal, cannot possess a valid drivers license, are not recorded as legal do not pay taxes and are not allowed to vote…therefore illegal aliens are not eligible to serve as jurors

A total of 40 Hispanics — a large, but “untold” number of whom are illegal aliens — were nabbed in a cocaine distribution investigation in Hazleton, Pennsylvania.  Authorities say the group, which included a number of gang members, have been responsible for distributing more than $31 Million in cocaine during the past three years.  The drug ring was hauling in some $200,000 per week from their cocaine sales in Hazleton alone.

Miguel Barajas Huerta, 43, was stopped by State Troopers in Springfield Township, Pennsylvania for drunk driving…and for transporting 14 illegal aliens from Mexico in the back open bed of his F-250 pickup

ICE officials have shut-down a modern day slavery ring in Newark, New Jersey, in which some 20 illegal alien women from the African nation of Togo were forced to work 14-hour days without pay and threatened to be sent back home if they refused.  Three Togolese nationals have been charged.  Lassissi Afolabi, 44, Akouavi Kpade Afolabi, 39, and Dereck Hounakey, 30, all face charges of harboring illegal aliens, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. Kpade Afolabi is also charged with smuggling illegal aliens for financial gains, which can be punished by an additional 10 years in prison.

Border Patrol agents found 17 illegal aliens crammed into a van near Mobile, Alabama.  The van, known as “Camionetas” in Spanish, is from one of 45 known companies operating out of Houston, Texas that sends illegal alien van-loads regularly throughout the country, and which ICE is targeting for their smuggling activities.

Remember that bogus American Indian tribe in Wichita, Kansas that was scamming illegal aliens by selling “citizenships” to their tribe for $5,000 a pop with the promise of becoming an automatic US citizen?  ICE raided the two offices of the Kaweah Indian Nation in Wichita. Our Texas Attorney General is also suing the fake tribe and its leader, Malcolm L. Webber, for fraudulently selling tribe memberships by claiming that tribal members could get a Social Security number, protection from deportation and U.S. citizenship once the tribe is federally recognized.  (Ahem)  They’re not a recognized tribe, nor is Webber an American Indian.

Two illegal aliens from Mexico are in the custody of Fort Worth, Texas police for the attempted kidnapping of a female TCU student.  The two illegals are strongly suspected in three other attempted kidnappings that have plagued the TCU area for some time.  Jose Alberto Chavollo, 19, and Victor Garcia, 23, were arrested by Mansfield authorities. Chavollo faces charges of aggravated kidnapping, evading arrest and possession of a controlled substance and was being held with bail set at $31,000. Garcia faces a charge of aggravated kidnapping and was being held with bail set at $100,000.

Some 65 people — mostly illegal aliens — were nabbed in a week-long anti-gang operation targeting Hispanic gangs in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.    A total of 5,000 Hispanic gang members have been arrested since the program began in February of 2005.  Per Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel:  “Some of those arrested were among Oklahoma County’s most dangerous gang members.”  Those arrested hailed from Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, and IRAQ.

Peligro, Will Robinson!!

Mexico does not end at its borders….  Where there is a Mexican, there is Mexico.”  So said Mexico President Felipe Calderon in his state of the nation address at the National Palace before a riotously enthusiastic audience in Mexico and here in the states.  Calderon, like his predecessors Fox in 2004 and Zedillo in 1995, is sending a clearly seditious message (first strongly outlined by Fox in 2002 of Mexico’s long-range goals of EU-type open borders to establish “our new nation”) to the near 50 Million Hispanics in America:  Live in the US (where we restored your Mexican citizenship by a constitutional change in Mexican law in 1998), but put Mexico first, even if you’ve taken an oath as a US citizen to renounce your Mexico allegiance, or allegiance to any other country.  Calderon reinforced Mexico’s rulers in telling all within ear shot the first loyalty of all men and women of Mexican ancestry, no matter where they live, is to Mexico.  In consideration of the Democrat’s unprecedented pandering (strategically smart) to an Hispanic debate crowd, there is no way to fully underscore just how easily the liberal establishment can allow and even persuade Mexican-Americans to vote Mexico’s own interests here in the US.

Hasta la Vista

Nineteen illegal aliens have been apprehended in Grand Island, Nebraska during a raid of Cloudburst Lawn & Sprinkler, a local landscaping firm.  Heading back to their homelands in the next few months will be 11 illegal aliens from Mexico, 6 from El Salvador and 2 from Guatemala.

There were four illegal aliens inside a van carrying more than 14 people that overturned on a Chicago area freeway killing two of the occupants.   The van load — all hired by Barton Staffing Services of Joliet, Illinois — was returning from picking up trash at the Cog Hill Golf Course in Lemont that will host the PGA’s BMW Championship this weekend.  The four now face deportation proceedings.

Already more than a hundred illegal aliens have been nabbed this past week in the Mobile, Alabama area at various construction sites, and five were caught near a middle school in Summerdale after “commenting” on the “appearance” of girls there.  No information is available, other than all being Hispanic.

More than 24,000 illegal aliens from Guatemala are expected to be deported by year’s end.  So far in 2007 more than 15,000 illegal aliens here have been shipped back home, much larger numbers than just a year ago in which more than 18,000 were deported back to Guatemala.

Loco Politicos

The U.S. House of Representatives is currently underway in a last-ditch effort to secure some sense of immigration reform in the revival of a bill that died in committee so that the notorious “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” monster package of confusion and amnesty could be brought before the Senate and ultimately die.  The current bill calls for some of the same things as the compromise legislation that died. Both include a pathway to citizenship for those already here illegally.  Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, said the bill essentially sells citizenship for $2,500 — the amount of the proposed fines. He derided the touch-back provision as “a scenic bus ride.”

Arizona Senator Jon Kyl, who has watched his popularity take a nose dive after his high-profile role in the Senate’s failed immigration reform legislation that would have granted amnesty to the near 20 million illegal aliens in the US, has landed in the news again, albeit through a column he wrote in an Arizona newspaper speaking out against Sanctuary Cities.  He is right, in my opinion, about the plight this country is suffering when he asserts ” Sanctuary policies compound the failure of the federal government to counter the flow of criminal aliens into the United States.”  And this year’s Government Accounting Office statistics that 55,322 criminal aliens were arrested at least a total of 459,614 times,averaging over eight arrests per alien and the Department of Justice having expressed its surprise at the “extremely high” rate of rearrests for criminal aliens when it found that that 73 criminal aliens in a study group were arrested a total of 429 times, certainly underscores our disaster.  Kyl rightly slams DHS Chief Michael Chertoff for “policy choices” that have destined local efforts to fail.  And, of course, Kyl touts his own failed legislation.  Indeed, I want all the tough enforcement policies that Kyl’s plan would bring to help identify incarcerated illegal aliens, detain criminal aliens, and even create a national database of those overstaying their visas.  But where the good Senator departs from me and the majority of US citizens is in granting a free-ride amnesty in the process.  And, of course, his column carefully stays completely away from that little issue.

An October 1 court date has been set by San Francisco’s US District Judge Maxine Chesney to hear arguments on whether the Social Security Administration can begin sending employers those no-match letters regarding their employees.  The letters were slated to begin mailing out on September 14 before Judge Chesney granted a temporary restraining order to the AFL-CIO and several immigrant rights groups.  Having given the matter some thought, I find this restraining order good news actually.  How in the world can the no-match letters be guaranteed as accurate, when the database from which they would be generated is so flawed?  Chock another one up to a politically-obsessed and inept federal government, that allowed the SSA to degenerate into its present quagmire. Meanwhile, the SSA is warning that Judge Chesney’s blockade will effectively delay the processing of millions of disability and retirement claims and payments because of processing logjams created by delays in sending out those no-match letters.

In Sacramento County, California, the Sheriff wants to hire 21 more deputies to help with county crime.  The District Attorney would like to increase his staff at the county’s crime lab that is overwhelmed.  As the county begins to battle out a new budget, Sacramento County Supervisor Roberta MacGlashan has said she can save millions if the county stops providing free healthcare to illegal aliens.  In this fiscal year alone, the county will provide routine and acute care to somewhere between 2,400 and 4,000 illegal aliens at a cost of between $1.4 Million and $2.3 Million.  It’s a thought that will probably die pretty quickly, since yanking funding for healthcare to illegals there would further overwhelm emergency rooms and lead to more serious, more expensive illnesses in the illegal alien community.

In a report sanctioned by San Diego County in California, taxpayers footed an estimated bill of $256 Million during 2006 for their illegal alien population.  The figure includes $155 in free medical care and $75 Million to pay for incarcerations and court costs in the county that borders Mexico.

Muy Estúpido

A boat load of illegal aliens ran aground on a rocky reef near La Jolla, California.  When the boat hit, at least ten illegal aliens scattered to the four winds and may have escaped.  The abandoned boat finally reached the beach, where authorities recovered lifejackets, fuel tanks filled with gasoline and water bottles with Hispanic logos.  The unregistered 20-foot vessel is “a likely smuggling boat,” authorities said.

Centro Legal, an Hispanic immigration rights advocacy group, has filed suit in Minneapolis, Minnesota on behalf of ten illegal aliens nabbed in that large raid of the Swift & Co. meatpacking plant in Worthington that netted 200 illegals.  The suit claims federal agents “insulted, abused, and humiliated the plaintiffs on account of their race” and ordered female Hispanic workers to disrobe in front of federal agents. White workers, meanwhile, were allowed to move about the plant freely during the raid and weren’t subject to unlawful conduct on the part of agents, according to the lawsuit.  The Feds say the claims are false.

Muy Buenos!

North Carolina will begin deporting their prison inmates across the state when their crimes are adjudicated.  Since July, when the measure went into effect, 125 illegal alien criminals have been slated for eventual deportation.

Mr. Michael Chertoff has declared before a House panel that he will “not tolerate interference” by “sanctuary cities” in the US over his application (at last) of federal immigration laws, specifically those requiring proof of citizenship before hiring an employee.”  Regarding recent blocks in California of checking residency against Social Security numbers, Chertoff said [the Dept. of Homeland Security] is exploring all of its legal options.  “I intend to take as vigorous legal action as the law allows to prevent that from happening, prevent that kind of interference.”  Of course, Chertoff has certainly not threatened to halt federal funding to those sanctuary cities….  Typical.


City officials in Herndon, Virginia have decided to close a day laborer site, due to the site’s and city’s inability to verify legal citizenship of those arriving there daily to seek employment off the streets.  In 2005, Herndon banned day laborers and motorists seeking to employ them from meeting on the streets, a matter that had created huge chaos in the city.  By banning the solicitations, which the courts view as a First Amendment right of free speech of the workers and those wanting to hire them, Herndon created the day laborer site to provide an alternative means, a court requirement. Ultimately, Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Leslie Alden held the site fell short of providing alternative means of seeking employment to illegal aliens, who she feels are also entitled to constitutional rights of free speech.  So the city found itself in a catch-22.  Having logged several ordinances cracking down on illegal aliens, they found themselves incapable of preventing illegal aliens from being hired through the site that they would now have to manage.  Instead, they opted to close the center and hope to utilize zoning and traffic ordinances to prevent day laborer gathering sites from popping up in the city henceforward.  It’s a mess.


POSTLUDE: This is a recurring weekly compendium of acts and issues inherent to the matters surrounding illegal immigration in the United States.  Quite simply, the following are items of interest to me and which I feel merit further perusal by American citizens.  For the record, clearly know and understand that I am NOT anti-Hispanic or anti-immigration, but am sick, tired and damned well highly frustrated at our elected officials in Washington who are selling our nation’s future for personal gain and a hopeful new future voter base.  Despite laws enacted and funding remitted, practically NOTHING has been done to seal our wide open borders to the South AND to the North, nor has anything yet been done to end the menace and financial drain of continuing illegal immigration into our sovereign nation.

This Summer, unprecedented numbers of American citizens made their voices clearly heard in opposition of the proposed 2007 Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act and, as the result, the bill died a horrible death.  Americans do not want amnesty handed to some near 20 million illegal alien criminals, who broke the law being here in the first place.  We demanded the government fulfill its promises and laws and BUILD THAT FENCE, which they have not.  We demanded the government fulfill its promises and laws and end illegal immigration and punish those who would hinder those measures, which it has only just now decided selectively to do.  Will employers be forced to end illegal hiring practices of undocumented workers?  Will the overwhelming disaster to our nation’s crops, restaurants, hotels and lawn services come to pass?  Will Americans face huge escalation in prices as a result of pulling a false economy into the light of legality?  Will Americans tire of the struggle and forget why we were enraged by amnesty and free rides to illegal aliens in the first place?

This weekly entry is my attempt to see that the latter won’t happen.

Obey our laws and we will embrace you.  Defy our laws and you can go to Hell.

Scientists Find Virus at Heart of Missing Honey Bees

Remember awakening after Winter to find nearly half of the honey bees in the United States had simply vanished?

Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), limited primarily to commercial genetically-enhanced bees, practically decimated the pollination industry here and in Europe, and left scientists completely baffled…until this week.

For the last six months, a huge team of scientists and researchers have been conducting one of the largest-scale investigations ever seen.  Their result was the identification of a significant connection between an obscure insect virus and the massive CCD experienced across the U.S.

Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IAPV) was first identified in Israel in 2004 after massive numbers of their own honey bees began to disappear.  Also in 2004, the United States lifted an 80-year-old ban on importing bees designed to protect US honey makers from pests that plague the insects, and began importing honey bees from Australia.

Every CCD-affected beekeeping operation that was examined [in the US recently] either used Australian bees or had mingled with operations that had them, the researchers said.

Not only did the Australian Honey Bee Industry Council unequivocally deny U.S. bees had been infected by Australian insects, but it is very important to acknowledge Australia has not experienced widespread colony collapses in their homeland.

Therefore, while scientists firmly agree the common denominator and likely trigger in U.S. bee hive decimations is IAPV, they firmly believe other factors are at play, such as predatorial mites, stress from being carted across the country, and pesticides.

Additionally, IAPV was discovered by scientists in royal jelly used to feed infant bees imported from China. 

The advice to U.S. beekeepers is to “maintain healthy colonies.”  Those bees that are well-fed, without mites, and protected from stress have immune systems capable of fighting off this virus.

So now we have a good idea of what happened to the bees and we have further reiterated the perils of trucking colonies from one field to another, states apart.  Moreover, we have underscored at least a dozen times in this matter what happens when you test Mother Nature.

Rebuilding our nation’s honey bee populations will take years.  And, on a pleasant note, those very Moms and Pops who have managed to survive the vast commercialization of the pollination industry are reaping the benefits of so many more enlightened consumers Hell-bent on buying local honey.  Allow me to recommend my FAVORITE in the Dallas area, a frequent vendor at the Dallas Farmers’ Market local produce building:  Roundrock Honey!  I kid you not, this honey has the BEST flavor I have EVER tasted.  And I certainly have tasted much more than my weight from honeys literally from across the U.S. and Europe.

Good news ofttimes comes in small doses.

Science Daily has all the details for those scientifically minded folks.