Simi Valley Sophist

The Simi Valley Sophist ruminates on all manner of topics from the micro to the macro. SVS travels whatever path strikes his fancy. Encyclopedia Britannica: Sophist "Any of certain Greek lecturers, writers, and teachers in the 5th and 4th centuries BC, most of whom travelled about the Greek-speaking world giving instruction in a wide range of subjects in return ..."

Location: California, United States

Retired: 30years law enforcement-last 20 years Criminal Intelligence Detective.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Krauthammer Analyzes the Usefulness of Torture

Charles Krauthammer presented an excellent analysis of the torture issue and why torture must be regulated but not prohibited. Read it here.

Willis to Honor Deuce Four in Film

Bruce Wills announced that he is going to make a movie about the exploits of the Deuce Four in Iraq based upon the writings of Michael Yon. Willis intends to tell the story from the troops’ point of view. Nice to know that there is a countering force to Michael Moore in Hollywood.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Thanks to Those Who Carry Our Water

My friend, Jay, is preparing to depart for a 14 month deployment to Iraq. Jay is a professional; He is a U.S. Marine. He is going to Iraq to train and work with the Iraqi forces. In Iraq he will definitely be in harm’s way.

Jay is a get-it-done type of guy, which is just what you expect from a U.S. Marine. A man’s man. A man willing to make a personal sacrifice for the values that he holds and to practice his chosen profession. A man willing to leave his friends and family and step out onto the battlefield.

Thomas Jefferson said, "The tree of life must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." I pray that the only blood spilled is that of the tyrants seeking to destroy the seedling of freedom struggling to grow in the inhospitable Middle East.

Recently, a few American military veterans have made the news by proselytizing the Iraqi anti-war message. A minority of our veterans feel that the sacrifices of our military personnel are not warranted. Perhaps these disillusioned veterans are among those who have paid a large personal price for their service, and they don’t wish for any other Americans to suffer as they have done. Their position is understandable on a personal micro level, but unacceptable for the macro needs of the nation.

The cumulative sacrifices given during the formative and subsequent years of this nation did not pay the debt of freedom in perpetuity. And as in the beginning, the sacrifices paid today are our mortgage payments for freedom. As long as a despotic regime remains on earth, we must continue to make the payments. To not understand this basic fact illuminates a fatal misunderstanding of the nature of mankind. We can wish for peace until the cows come home, but we will never have it until every person on earth lives in a democracy based upon the founding ideals of the United States of America. Let us be clear on this fact, no despot was ever defeated by wishful thinking, a strategy of appeasement, or sticking your head in the sand.

Jay and his family will pay a personal price for his carrying water to the tree of freedom. It is the least we can do to applaud his service to us. For without Jay and his comrades, our freedom will be foreclosed upon and we will eventually be enslaved. Free speech notwithstanding, I am sickened by the modern day Neville Chamberlains in our midst.

Jay, my friend, may good fortune always be with you and your comrades-in-arms. Heed not the words of the appeasers for they would give away that which others sacrificed to obtain. If we all had your dedication and patriotic sense of purpose, our future in freedom would be secure.

I thank you: for my wife and myself; for my daughters and their husbands; and for my grandchildren.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Islamic Fundamentalism in Paris & Oakland

The recent rioting in France underscored the malaise of the French underclass, which is primarily North African in derivation, and largely poor, undereducated, unemployed and with a considerable criminal element. The environment is ripe for fundamentalism, in this case Islamic.

A new study documents that Islamic fundamentalism is also penetrating the French workplace. An L.A. Times article states,

As France grapples with the rise of Islamic extremism abroad and at home, the line between legitimate religious expression and extremist subversion can be blurry. But a recent study by a think tank here paints a picture of rising fundamentalism in the workplace, ranging from proselytizing to pressure tactics to criminal activities.

…the study asserts that Islamic networks are trying to establish a presence in firms involved in sectors such as security, cargo, armored cars, courier services and transportation. Once they gain a foothold, operatives raise funds for militants via theft, embezzlement and robbery,…
Extremism is rising in France, home to Europe's largest Muslim community, and intertwining with a foreign threat.

The L.A. Times article articulated that French Islamic fundamentalism includes converts to Islam.

That underscores a development on the home front: a "significant increase" in converts, including women,…

You might think that because there is no significant immigrant Muslim underclass in America that we are safe from the dangers of Islamic fundamentalism. That is not the case. Consider this,

Demographers say that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the U.S. and the world. Islam is the second largest religion in America, France, Great Britain and many more, surpassing Judaism, Mormonism, Jehovah's Witness, and other religions.

You don’t think that Islamic fundamentalism is alive and well in the U.S.? Read this article about Oakland, CA.

Two liquor stores were trashed by about a dozen men wearing suits and bow ties,…

Investigators are looking into the incidents as hate crimes because most of the businesses are owned by Arabs or Arab Americans, and the perpetrators told owners not to sell liquor to black people,…

The suits and bow ties are the classic uniform for the Nation of Islam, the unique American black Muslim religion and community. The NOI is not accepted by most Muslims because it considers its founder, Elijah Mohammed, to be a prophet. Nevertheless, the NOI is Islamic, fundamental, anti-Semitic and anti-white.

Home-grown fundamental Islam is alive and well in the U.S. Traditional Muslims are growing in number as well. Take heed Americans. Muslims in the U.S. are beginning to flex their muscles.

Update: 11/28/05
The NOI is denying that any of its members participated in the attacks. Read it here and here. Of course there is a splinter Black Muslim group in Oakland as well. It is the organization of deceased Yusuf Bey and his "Your Black Muslim Bakery."

Turns out one of the liquor stores has now been burned in an arson.

Constitutional Rights vs. Enemy Combatant Conundrum

The Smart Guys, Erwin Chemerinsky from Duke University Law School and John Eastman from Chapman University Law School, joined Hugh Hewitt for a discussion of the implications of the indictment of Jose Padilla . The questions raised are paramount to our future and the continuance of our traditional legal protections from an over-reaching government. Read the transcript on Radio Blogger.

It is the function of intelligence agencies to analyze data, determine trends and opine about future events. Here’s the problem, at some point intelligence agencies are bound to learn of potentially imminent terrorist acts and the government is placed in the position of taking some action at the peril of disclosing highly sensitive intelligence investigations where there are bigger fish to fry.

Today’s problem springs from the need that our nation has for its intelligence and law enforcement agencies to diligently identify and pursue those who would destroy our way of life through asymmetric warfare using techniques of terrorism. If you think that Sept 11, 2001 was an oddity, a one time event, you are so uninformed that you ought to remove yourself from any serious discussion on the issues. Suffice it to say, Islamo-fascism declared an asymmetric war on the U.S. long ago as evidenced by the bombing of our military barracks, embassies, naval ships, the assassinations of our diplomats and business people, and the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993.

Central to Islamo-fascist terrorism in the U.S. is the blind sheikh, Omar Abdel Rahman, who was convicted of the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center and plotting attacks on New York landmarks in 1995.

Indicted along with Padilla are Kifah Wael Jayyousi, Kassem Daher and Adham Amin Hassoun. Jayyousi was linked to the blind sheikh, and Jayyousi has been an prime terrorist target since 1993. Jayyousi is reported to be a close associate of Hassoun, who recruited Padilla.

It is obvious that intelligence agencies have been monitoring individuals associated with Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman since the early 1990’s. It also appears that the intelligence agencies learned of Jose Padilla from these ongoing investigations. It appears that Padilla is a little terrorist fish in the pond, but nevertheless a potentially dangerous fish. So the government must take action to neutralize the threat.

To arrest Padilla, a U.S. citizen, and prosecute him under criminal statutes requires that the government must accord him Constitutional Rights that will jeopardize highly sensitive national security information and forewarn other dangerous fish that they are being investigated. The government is now faced with competing interests: the Constitutional rights of a citizen as applied in criminal cases; and the need to keep information confidential in the greater quest to protect the citizens from potential terrorist attacks. It is, in other words, a battle between individual rights as opposed to the rights of the many to live without becoming terrorist victims.

Civil libertarians fear the erosion of personal rights by the government. And, there certainly are examples of government doing just that. It is indeed a conundrum. Somehow we must figure out a way to balance the needs of the citizens to be free of unnecessary detention and at the same time provide for the maximum security of the populous.

The key to the question is this. The intelligence and law enforcement agencies are far too small to intentionally waste time investigating innocent citizens. Certainly in the process of investigating potential threats, information will be gathered on innocent individuals. However, intelligence information that is compiled and never sees the light of day, either as a result of detention or public disclosure is of no practical importance to the citizens on whom it was collected. Adequate safeguards can be placed upon the intelligence and law enforcement communities ensuring that those who misuse intelligence information are personally liable either civilly or criminally.

No system of jurisprudence will ever be perfect. Innocent people are wrongly convicted criminally and innocent people will be detained as enemy combatants outside the normal criminal system. It is the price we pay for living in an imperfect society. The best we can do is to try and do our best. We can help in that endeavor by insisting upon incredibly high levels of competence and ethics in our intelligence and law enforcement agencies. That costs money, and it costs effort. It is a price we can not afford to ignore. Our freedoms are too dear to fritter away. But, our freedoms are of little value and do not protect us when a bomb is shredding our bodies.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

3 Critical National Security Issues

Hugh Hewitt was on a role last Friday during his nationally syndicated radio show. He interviewed Arizona’s Sen. Jon Kyle, Alaska’s Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Arizona’s Rep. J.D. Hayworth, and California’s Rep. David Dreier. Subject matter discussed included: the House Republican resolution and vote in response to Rep. Jack’s Murtha’s resolution on withdrawal of troops from Iraq; the Warner-Frist Iraq performance requirements imposed on the President; the Patriot Act; and Anwar drilling. See the transcripts of each on Radio Blogger.

All of these items are of extreme national security importance. I addressed the Patriot Act in a previous blog. The completion of the Iraq mission is critical to neutralizing the escalating Islamo-fascist world threat, stabilizing the volatile Middle-East and maintaining our access to sufficient amounts of the current fuel of our economy, oil. And, it is Anwar and coastal drilling that is required to begin the transition from foreign oil dependency to energy self-sufficiency.

The liberal/leftist braying about “no blood for oil” and no energy exploration nor extraction of domestic oil/coal resources in vast portions of the country are mantra. And, truthfully the environmental movement has played an important part in raising awareness to the real dangers of unrestrained extraction and unwise use of natural resources. As a consequence, new technologies and policies have been developed to protect and minimize damage to the environment and still provide for extraction of energy resources.

The reduction of ecological destruction is incredibly important for the health of the planet. But, from the perspective of the modern western world, the long-term issues of a healthy planet begin to pale in comparison to the immediate threats of nuclear annihilation by rogue nations and the drumming of the Islamo-fascist march to war.

The facts are unequivocal. We are not competitively energy self-sufficient. We currently get most of our foreign energy from the middle-east and Venezuela. In the middle-east there is a nationalistic and an Islamo-fascist threat to our continued access to oil. Venezuela is sliding precipitously into the Cuban sphere of influence and communism. The prospect of long-term future access to both of these foreign energy resources is not good.

In the west, we enjoy the fruits of capitalism and a representative form of government which has given us a bountiful economy replete with countless luxuries and freedoms that much of the rest of the world do not enjoy. Do we want to continue in this vein or not?

Just how do the opponents of expanding the access to domestic energy resources and the development of nuclear energy propose to guarantee the fulfillment of this country’s energy needs? Do we move forward or do we begin the nose-dive toward becoming a second and then a third world country?

Saga of the Crosley Solo Radio

My Blog of the Week (BOW) Crosley Solo radio arrived the other day. It was at my postal box, and I picked it up as I left town heading north toward Santa Cruz. The BOW contest is hosted by Generalissimo and Hugh Hewitt at Radio Blogger and the nationally syndicated Hugh Hewitt radio show respectively. Hugh and Generalissimo encourage bloggers to submit blogs concerning any subject matter addressed on Hugh’s radio show for a weekly BOW competition. The prize for the best blog of the week is a coveted Crosley Solo radio.

I am quite pleased to have received a Crosley Solo radio because I am the very first winner of the BOW contest, and at that time the Crosley Solo radio was not a prize for winning. Recently, I absentmindedly left my old tabletop radio outdoors, and it became a victim of So. CA’s first significant rainstorm of the season. Suddenly becoming radio impaired, I wrote a sniveling e-mail to Generalissimo pleading and begging that I be awarded one of the coveted Crosley radios so that I could hear the Hugh Hewitt radio show while out in the barn shoveling you know what. Low and behold, Generalissimo took pity and arranged to have the Crosley Solo radio shipped to me. So naturally the first thing I did when I got to my destination in Aptos, just south of Santa Cruz, was unpack the radio. I was hopeful that I was going to be able to pick up Hugh’s broadcast from a San Francisco radio station. Much to my dismay, I was not able to hear Hugh, but instead found a leftist radio talk show on a channel close to Hugh’s SF station. I don’t know what local city broadcast the station, but the signal was strong and it could well have been from Santa Cruz.

Perhaps you are aware that Santa Cruz is one of those California leftist college towns on the coast. A beautiful place of ocean, beaches, mighty redwood trees and moderate climate south of San Francisco. It is truly a nice place, if you can get past the repugnant dominant politics, which obscures the light of truth like a dense fog rolling in from the sea. Left Coast liberal/leftist thought permeates life throughout the area as it oozes into the brains of gullible, philosophically unprepared and values impaired college students. Take a little time to visit the coffee houses and listen to the small talk while perusing the local newspapers and you will quickly discern that conservative thought is the minority view.

So there I was in a hotbed of leftism listening to leftist bull being shoveled at me from my new Crosley Solo radio. How ironic; I wanted the radio to hear the light of truth from Hugh while I shoveled the “you know what” in my barn. Look what I got. I solved the problem by turning off the radio. Too bad we can’t permanently turn off the likes of Michael Moore and company just as easily.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Deuce Four-True Grit-Men of Honor

When you put together a unit people, whether they are military, police, fire or others, and subject them to stressful conditions, they often rise above the mediocrity of human kind and display inner steel which propels them to acts of heroism. Most of us don’t understand that there is chemistry, a magic at work if you will, in the fires of the cauldron that forges ordinary humans into something new and extraordinary. And, when a group of extraordinary individuals are called upon, they can produce incredible results. Such was the case of the Army’s Deuce Four that recently returned from a year in Iraq.

The Deuce Four returned to normal society different than when they left. Some are now honored in memory; some bear the results of physical injuries; some suffer from emotional damage; some came back without injury; but all paid a price. None will ever be the same. They are Men of Honor; Men of True Grit.

Read Michael Yon’s dispatch from the Deuce Four Redeployment Ball.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Timing on the Release of CA Surplus Cash Status is Suspect

Despite the fact that the CA legislative analyst is non-partisan, she waited to release positive financial data until after the end of Gov. Schwarzenegger’s big attempt to bamboozle the CA voters with doom and gloom predictions about the State economy.

Nonpartisan Legislative Analyst Elizabeth G. Hill reported Wednesday that, largely because of robust economic growth, tax receipts were far exceeding forecasts. At the current rate, the state is heading toward ending the fiscal year in June with a budget reserve of $5.2 billion — four times what was anticipated when the governor signed the budget over the summer.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Constitution? I Don’t Need Your Stinkin’ Constitution

I am not obligated to and I don’t want your U.S. Constitution. That’s the attitude which prevails in most of the world. That’s not too surprising to you, is it?

There is arrogance in the American practice of reflexively extending the rights and privileges of the American constitution and attendant laws to non-citizens. The arrogance is that we deem our system is so superior to your system that we will give you our system so that you can have what we have at no cost to you and through no good efforts on your part. And, we will do so even if you don’t want it. We will also do so even as you are trying to destroy our system and us with it. What other country would give rights enjoyed by their citizens to those who would destroy them? Try France. OK, so there is another country that is just as stupid in these matters. France, rather than arrogantly bequeathing rights, simply refuses to be judgmental and tries to ignore the problems of foreigners, who are poised to take over their country. As the foreigners and once-removed foreigners recently began sacking French cities, the French basically stood idly by and offered platitudes of appeasement.

I have no problem with Americans feeling that we have the best system in the world. We do. But, other peoples don’t really seem to agree with us. Consequently, they don’t really give a hoot about our laws, and they certainly don’t feel compelled to follow them.

Despite our rhetoric about inalienable rights, it is not in our best interest to automatically extend our Constitutional rights to foreigners. The operative words here are “our best interest,” not theirs. To continue to do so is folly, and it will eventually lead to a loss of American lives.

I makes no sense to grant to captured Islamo-fascists the process of trials with Constitutional rights guaranteed. It’s time to stop such nonsense. It makes no sense to grant Constitutional rights to someone who is in our country unlawfully.

Let’s draft a Constitutional Amendment stating that our Constitutional rights to not apply to foreigners who are in our country unlawfully and/or if they are engaged in warfare against our country. Likewise, let’s not grant the exercise of rights accorded under the Geneva Convention to any combatant person who is not a member of the regular military for a Geneva Convention signatory country. No non-citizen deserves the rights and privileges accorded under our Constitution until he has earned them. An illegal alien does not qualify. Neither does an enemy combatant.

We can’t really deport a naturally born citizen, because there is no original place to which we can deport the person. But, we can deport illegal aliens, and we can revoke the citizenship of naturalized citizens, who have dishonored our hospitality. We should do so in a heartbeat.

"Big House Choppers" - "Built with Conviction"

Much of the American public has a pathological desire to associate with “outlaws.” That is not only true of males, but it is often true for many females as well. There is some sort of identification with and a romanticizing of the outlaw lifestyle. The counter-culture Marlon Brando image in the 1953 film classic, Wild One set the stage for a public acceptance of motorcycle gang violence.

In the American motorcycle world, a large portion of the Harley Davidson set can’t resist rubbing elbows with outlaw motorcycle gang (OMG) members. And, the OMG’s are more than happy to take the money of these fools. The OMG’s host motorcycle poker runs and set-up booths selling their memorabilia at public motorcycle events. Every time Joe Harley rider forks out 20 bucks or so for a t-shirt, etc., he is contributing to the wealth of an organized crime group. He is providing more money to be invested in unlawful business ventures and lawful business ventures to launder unlawful proceeds.

The reason that OMG’s look the way they do is because they are expressing their disdain for lawful society. The reason that so many OMG members have extensive arrests is because they engage in extensive amounts of crime. Sure, there are some personable OMG members, but they are not nice guys. Don’t believe me. Read about a police undercover investigation into the Mongols OMG.

Now it seems that real outlaws, those currently in prison, are manufacturing motorcycles. No, the inmates are not necessarily OMG members, but they are still the dregs of society. It seems the Nevada prison system has recognized the public’s pathological desire, and they have capitalized upon it and are now having inmates make custom motorcycles to sell at the tune of $40,000. The name of the prison business is “Big House Choppers” and the motto is “Built with Conviction.”

Even at such a steep price, I’ll bet Big House Choppers will be a success. There is no accounting for some people.

Patriot Act-Today’s Tool for Today’s Problem

You can not fight today’s problems with yesterday’s tools. That is what the detractors of the Patriot Act would like to impose on law enforcement and intelligence gathering agencies. Need I point out that there have not been any successful terrorist acts in the U.S. since 9/11/01? It is not because Islamo-fascists are not trying.

Part of the reason for our success is that the legislators fashioned the Patriot Act, which is a modern tool to deal with the immediacy of the Islamo-fascist threat. So, it makes no sense to now handcuff the very agencies charged with ensuring that no more acts occur in the U.S. The absence of recent terrorist acts on the home-front is not a sign that the threat has diminished.

What exactly is the concern of the Patriot Act detractors? In a nut shell, it is a deep fear of government intrusion into private lives. And, a fear, as such, is justified, but certainly not a “deep” fear. The reason that law enforcement powers are feared is because law enforcement is made up of individuals. And, individuals are flawed and there have been serious violations in the past. Is it likely that there will be violations in the future? Yes, but not many. And, there is certainly not enough to jeopardize the basic freedoms of America.

Why is that so? Well, it is quite simple. Law enforcement is so understaffed, be it local, state or federal, that they do not have time to address a good portion of the criminal and national security threats, much less start targeting innocent citizens. And truly, do you care if a criminal or terrorist is targeted? You should! You should be screaming that more be targeted. Much more!

Let’s be honest folks. Mistakes will always occur. But, mistakes are just that, mistakes. It is not a personal animus toward lawful citizens. It is right to demand accountability, but don’t go overboard and handcuff your employees. That is called cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Read here the latest developments on the Patriot Act.

Update: 11/16/05
The Canadians are increasing their surveillance capabilities. Read it here.

Saturday, November 12, 2005


With a nod to Joseph Farah at World Net Daily

Jacques and his frères are surely weeping
Les pauvres immigrès have caught them sleeping,
Paysans revolt, their emotions churning,
What’s that odeur? Is Paris burning?
Within the banlieues there’s no joy
Among les jeunes who are sans emplois
What, take a job? Not the way to go;
We’d rather riot, torch your Peugeot.

Ah, Mother France you took us in,
Then left us with no way to win.
We’re not ègal, not garçons blanc,
We’ve no real chance to earn a franc.
No, what we are, we’re useful fools,
For leftist dreams, just brown-skinned tools.
So the Rèpublique’s butt is in a crack,
Give your merci to Jacques Chirac.

We’ll breed you into minority,
Till only mullahs hear your plea,
And Shari’a rules throughout your land,
A Frenchman steals, he’ll lose his hand.
Your licentious lifestyle, long extolled,
Will leave your women stoned, dead cold.
But everything will turn out fine,
In the Muslim Republic of Paristine.

Russ Vaughn

Added Note: Russ Vaughn is an occasional contributor to the Simi Valley Sophist.

Friday, November 11, 2005

On the U.S. Marines and All Veterans

(A letter to Al Martinez, columnist extraordinaire with the Los Angeles Times on the occasion of the birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps and Veterans Day.)

Happy Belated Birthday Al,

Sorry, I forgot your second birthday yesterday. Or if you are a U. S. Marine, does Nov 10th. become your first birthday? As the Marines say, “Oorah!” Not having been a U.S. Marine, I’ve probably just gotten myself into trouble by using that honored term. Actually, did you know that the term “Oorah” is attributed to the Corps’ 1st Amphibious Reconnaissance Company, FMFPAC, in 1953 just after the Korean War? Go here for the interesting history of the term.

Several apocryphal origins of "Oorah!" exist. One has it that the term is Turkish for "Kill". How a Turkish word entered the Marine Corps is not typically explained. In fact, the Turkish word for "kill" is "öldürmek". However, the Russian battlecry of "Urrah!" can supposedly be traced to the Turkish word for "Kill."

Anyway, today is Veterans Day and so I thank you for your contribution to the world. There are still many Koreans who are beholding to you and honor what you and so many others did for them. Without the contributions of so many U.S. Veterans, I might have been writing these greetings to you in German, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Russian or now Arabic or Urdu. Actually, if my father had died on one of those European battle fields on which he trudged, I would not be writing this to you at all. Thank you Al and Dad, and Happy Birthday Al.

Your Friend,

LA Times Misses the Boat Again

The LA Times is bleeding red ink all over itself as its subscription numbers take an express elevator to the basement. The LA Times is a business and as such it is expected to make money for its owners. It is expected that the LA Times will engage in some serious introspection to stem the subscription exodus.

The LA Times announced today that they are revamping the editorial page of their paper. Specifically they are dropping political cartoonist Michael Ramirez, and columnists Robert Scheer, Michael McGough and David Gelernter. The paper states,

"The opinion pages are the newspaper's town square," he (Editorial Page Editor Andrés Martinez) said in a statement. "Our readers expect us to publish all points of view and the broadest range of opinion — from those of our editorial board and columnists to those of our readers and Op-Ed contributors. And we intend to do exactly that."

Gentlemen, if you expect these moves to improve your bottom-line, you are mistaken. You’ve simply made the commentary pages blander. I’ll admit that I gave up reading Robert Scheer long ago. His leftist diatribe left me unable to accept him as a serious thinker. One of the great joys of your commentary pages is Michael Ramirez and David Gelernter. Sure all these contributors can be and often are controversial. That’s what you expect of the editorial/commentary pages.

The problem with the LA Times commentary pages was the lack of balance between liberal and conservative commentary. That was beginning to change and notable evidence was the bi-weekly inclusion of Dennis Prager pieces.

The real problem with the LA Times is the blatant bias of news pieces and the headlines. Fix that and you will be back on the road to recovery.

Update: 11/15/05
The LA Times answers critics of its editoral page changes in 400 plus words and doesn't say anythng.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Veterans Day 2005

Thank You!

No Shot Across the Bow for Me

I voted for the ouster of CA Gov. Gray Davis and his replacement by Arnold Schwarzenegger. Arnie promised big things, like staying in touch with the little guys and not taking money from the big money people. Well, that did not happen. So much for the naïve, neophyte politician of the people. The Gov. badly misjudged the voters when he selected his four must-do ballot measures. Did he think that all of those people who crossed party lines to elect him were going just jump on his bandwagon without any critical thinking. And, did he think that he could lie to the public and all the Republicans would blindly line-up with him? Well, think again.

And no, just because I no longer support Gov. Schwarzenegger, don’t make the mistake of thinking that this is a shot fired across the President’s bow like Democrats are crowing in other parts of the country. The Governor fell on his face all by himself, and that does not detract from the President.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

You Do Have the Right to Defend Yourself, Just Not in SF

Headline-San Francisco Enacts Handgun Ban.

Do you ever wonder why leftists are so intent upon taking away the rights of lawful citizens to own and possess firearms? You’re upset that I am referring to Friscoites as leftist? Don’t blame me, that’s the opinion of the San Francisco Examiner. They ought to know.

True to their left-leaning reputation, San Francisco voters decided by a wide margin to ban the possession of handguns within city limits.

That wide margin, as it turns out, is 59%. How much do you want to bet that not a single one of the 59% owns a firearm? What an arrogant lot! Not only do they take away the right to self-protection with the most reasonable weapon, but they deprive their citizens of their lawful property without compensation. How can so many people be so light in the head? They can’t all be left over from the Haight-Ashbury days.

My previous blog on this issue is titled, San Francisco Gun Idiocy. Boy isn’t that the truth!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

French Elitist Society is Only for Whites

The French underclass riots that are now spreading to Belgium and Germany reveal the dirty little secret about the “egalitarian” European socialistic society. It’s not really equal when it comes to economic opportunity. And, that’s a big thing because the seminal term of importance for Europe is “equality.” In the U.S. it’s liberty. Two entirely different concepts.

Syndicated national talk show host Hugh Hewitt interviewed Victor David Hanson on Monday (transcript on Radio Blogger) and highlighted a Wall Street Journal article, Our Immigrants Their Immigrants, by Joel Kotkin on Tuesday. Both Hanson and Kotkin compare and contrast the French/European immigrant experience with the American experience. The major difference is cultural exclusion versus cultural inclusion respectively.

Kotkin points out that the French have reserved the central Paris for the elites, and it is essentially “off-limits to immigrants.”

Hanson points out that historically the left fails miserably in Europe and a “man on a horse” arrives on the scene. That philosophy is already being borne out in Europe and Britain where harsh and restrictive legislation, which would never be allowed in the U.S., has been quickly implemented subsequent to the murder of Theo VanGogh and the July 7, 2005 London bombings.

Let me think about this for a minute. Wasn’t the last European “man on a horse” named Hitler?

Monday, November 07, 2005

San Francisco Gun Idiocy

Imagine a world with no guns. Actually there was a time when there were no guns and still mayhem and death at the hands of another were the order of the day. It has something to do with the killing nature of mankind, and his never ending attempts to find more deadly ways to wipe out someone else. Call it self-preservation; call it murder; call it warfare.

Man instinctively understands that an unarmed populace is often an enslaved populace. Nevertheless, certain segments of society are not content until they have deprived everyone of the right to be armed and protect oneself and his family. In this day in age that means a gun.

On Tues., 11/8/05, the voters in the People’s Socialist Republic of San Francisco will vote on one of the most restrictive handgun laws in the nation. In short, if you live in SF you will no longer be allowed to own a handgun, and you must turn it in to the police. I know of no quicker way to turn law abiding citizens instantly into criminals. So when the big earthquake occurs in SF and as looting begins, will SFPD be able to protect everyone? I doubt it. The police don’t think this ballot issue is correct,

And even though its officers fight violence daily, the San Francisco Police Officers Association is also opposed to the ban, saying it cannot back a measure that takes away ``the personal choice of city residents to lawfully possess a handgun for self-defense purposes.''

Read what our Commies by the Bay want to do to their citizens.

Update: 11/7/05
Read John Stossel’s Myths About Gun Control

Hat Tip to The Horseback Riders & Drumwaster’s Rants.

Update 11/9/05: Election Results

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Prager Failed to Obtain Clarity on Prop 75

National radio show host Dennis Prager interviewed California Director of Finance Tom Campbell on Friday relative to the four California Propositions introduced by Governor Schwarzenegger: 74; 75; 76; & 77. Mr. Campbell has taken a leave of absence from his state finance job to campaign in support of the four propositions.

Mr. Campbell is undoubtedly convinced that the four proposed propositions will help the state financial picture. But, at whose cost and to whose advantage?

Proposition 75 is titled “Public Employee Union Dues. Restrictions on Political Contributions. Employee Consent Requirement. Initiative Statute. The California Republican Party’s “Ballot Proposition Voter Guide” calls this initiative “Paycheck Protection.” Go here for my previous blog on the subject.

Mr. Prager concurred with Mr. Campbell’s assessment of the worthiness of the proposition.

Mr. Campbell asserted that the rationale for the proposition being placed on the ballot was to bring fairness to government union members because unions are using member’s monies for political purposes without obtaining the permission of each individual member. For the unions to do so is already not permitted and any union member may elect to not have his money used for political purposes.

The key issue of Prop 75 is that the new law shifts the responsibility from the union member telling the union of his desire to not use his monies for political purposes to requiring the union to get a written affirmative consent from the union member every year. The risk for the unions is a tremendous increase in overhead costs and a real potential that the unions will lose political money because more members may refuse to participate or will not get around to sending in the consent form. The downside for the unions is a loss of monies for political use, which will hamper advertising and lobbying efforts. Since the labor unions’ natural business antagonists are not restricted in gathering monies for political purposes, there will be a net loss for the unions in terms of political clout. Less political clout for the unions will ultimately result in decreased wages and benefits for the union members. That’s less compensation for the union members who donated to the political funds and those who did not as well.

The Republican Party has nicknamed Prop. 75 the “Paycheck Protection” proposition. As enumerated above, it is clear that Prop. 75 is not intended to protect the paycheck of the union member. Therefore, whose paycheck is to be protected? Clearly it is that of businessmen and the legislators.

How is it you ask that business will gain from the decrease in union political power? It is quite simple and ingenious. When the unions lose power, the union members will lose wages and benefits leaving more state revenues to be allocated by the legislature in the form of contracts to businesses. The Governor and the Republican Party are literally asking the public to step on the backs of public employees and authorize a law which will ultimately allow business profits to soar to higher levels. That puts more money in the pockets of the captains of business, who are already paid obscene amounts of money. And, those captains then generously fill the campaign coffers of the legislators.

Mr. Campbell made one more passing comment as to the worthiness of the proposition when he stated that it was government money that was being used for political purposes. No, it is not government money. It ceases to be government money when the government pays the employee his wages, and it is none of the government’s, nor the public’s, business how the employee spends his money. Mr. Prager did not comment on Mr. Campbell’s assertion, and I’m not sure that Mr. Prager heard or understood what Mr. Campbell said. So, Mr. Prager gets a pass on this one.

A caller to the show identified herself as a member of a teacher’s union. The caller complained that her union assessed her $50 to be used to fight the Governor’s propositions. Did the caller not know that she could have opted out of an assessment for political purposes? If so, and if this situation is a consistent and general problem, the answer is legislation that would require the union to advise it’s members periodically of the member’s right to opt out of the assessment.

Do you conclude, as I do, that the Republican Party’s nickname “Paycheck Protection” is dishonest? It is clear to me that the real agenda of the Governor and the Republican Party is to decrease the wages and benefits of public employees. As a class, public employees are not over compensated for their services when compared to comparable positions in the private world.

It is very simple to determine why Prop. 75 is on the ballot. Follow the money. Figure out who the money is going to be taken away from and to whom it is going to be given. If Democrats take it away from the union members, it will be spent on social programs. If Republicans take it away from the union members it, will be spent on business contracts. Since the money will be in the State’s General Fund, the Democrats and Republicans will fight over it and spend it all. The only argument that can be made for reducing government employee wages and benefits is a demonstration that public employees are grossly over-compensated in comparison to their counterparts in the private world. Fat chance you can accomplish that feat.

I am disappointed that Mr. Prager did not obtain a state of clarity on Prop. 75.

Friday, November 04, 2005

European & Israeli Lessons to be Learned

Mother nature has endowed creatures with a wonderful learning mechanism that we humans call pain. Kind of a do that again stupid and it will hurt again system designed to improve the probability of survival. The smarter of the animals don’t do it again. The not so smart may not survive. Mother nature gave we humans another survival tool: the ability to observe others in pain and to extrapolate it to our own condition.

Europe and Israel are in dissimilar pain from the same root cause, the relentless crush of an expanding Muslim world. In the case of Israel, the Muslim intent to “wipe Israel off the map” is clear and recently stated by Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. No matter how you spin it, that is exactly the fate that many Muslims want for Israel.

The Israeli lesson to be learned is that if you have a border which is constantly violated, build a wall and they will no longer come. At least not as easily and not in great droves. Israel’s problem was the infiltration of terrorist bombers. Did the wall stop all of the terrorist bombers from getting in? No, but it sure reduced them. There was a loud clamor of protest from much of the world when Israel began to build the wall. To Israel’s credit, they disregarded their detractors and did what they had to do to improve their national security.

It is clear that the U.S. must build a wall along the entire border with Mexico to stem the flood of illegal immigrants. It is true that most of those immigrants are simply economic refugees seeking a better life. But, some of those refugees come with ideological baggage that is not positive for America.

One Lebanese native living in Tijuana, (was) convicted of smuggling 200 Lebanese into the United States, some with known ties to Hezbollah, which the United States considers a terror group.

U.S. border officials are quick to point out there is no credible evidence of terrorists actually slipping across…

The above statement by U.S. Border officials is about as stupid a comment as you can get. If you leave the barn door open long enough, the horse will walk out. And, frankly the absence of evidence that any of the terrorists wandering around the country crossed the U.S.- Mexican border illegally does not assure that it has not already happened.

A border fence is equally important, if not more so, to stop the tidal wave of economic illegal aliens. I did not say that we must stop the inflow of legal aliens. There is no doubt that this country does need plenty of unskilled labor. The trick is to not get ourselves into a dilemma like Europe.

Europe is on the cusp of a social upheaval never before witnessed. The opening salvos of Muslim and native European conflict began long ago, and it is evolving into an unmanageable, seething cauldron. The current riots in Paris are the latest permutation.
Europe got itself into this problem by deliberately importing Muslims from Turkey and North Africa as sources of cheap labor. The creation of Islamo-fascist breeding grounds not withstanding, Europe made a slight miscalculation. What do you do with all of the people who are begat by the immigrants? The unfortunate fact is that the burgeoning second generation of the immigrants has found themselves without jobs in a stagnant society. The result was certainly a ripe environment for social upheaval, if there ever was one.

The U.S. is in an earlier stage of the same problem except we did not actively import the immigrants. We just turned a blind eye and allowed it to happen. Make no mistake about it, politicians beholding to business interests and politicians beholding to immigrant social and liberal issues failed to see the big picture. I hope the picture is clear now that it is illuminated by the arson fires of Paris. But, don’t bet on it. The American public, and as a consequence its politicians, is notoriously myopic. Take for example the Bush administration’s position on the border issue.

In fiscal 2005, Chertoff said, the Border Patrol caught 160,000 non-Mexican illegal immigrants. Because there wasn't enough detention space to hold them until their cases could be heard in immigration courts, 120,000 were released. Most of those didn't show up for court. Chertoff plans to add 2,000 detention beds in 2006 - bringing the total to 21,000…

Is that plan totally absurd or what? We can not even house the non-Mexican illegal immigrants, and they are the minority. What about all the Mexicans? Let me figure this out. I am an illegal alien, and I am illegal because I can either not qualify for legal immigration or it is just too much trouble to do so. So you arrest me and make me promise to return for a hearing so that you can deport me. Is it not interesting that some idiots actually return for the hearing? These people are really way to stupid to be allowed too remain in this country.

Reducing illegal immigration has become a priority for the U.S. government since the 9/11 attacks by foreign terrorists. The government has stepped up security at official points of entry, but the overall flow of illegal immigrants into the USA hasn't waned. Along the U.S.-Mexican border in fiscal 2005, the Border Patrol arrested 1.1 million people.

1.1 million people? And, that’s only the ones we caught! But, wait Chertoff wants to increase the detention bed number to 21,000 in 2006. In his defense, he states that he also wants to speed up the removal of illegal immigrants. That is certainly a relief to know. How about a program that you leave the same day you are caught? That would certainly reduce the need for an increase in detention beds.

Chertoff said, "We are not talking about building a giant wall across our borders,". Furthermore, “…the Bush administration already has taken a stand against building a fence along the 2,000-mile-long border with Mexico.” Why not?

At least one politician, Duncan Hunter, is saying differently.

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-El Cajon) on Thursday called for constructing a high-tech fence along the nation's border from the Pacific to the Gulf of Mexico as part of a sweeping crackdown on illegal immigration.

The proposal would also increase penalties on employers who hire ndocumented workers, step up deportation of illegal immigrants already living in the U.S. and deny citizenship to U.S.-born children of illegal entrants, among a host of enforcement measures.

Hunter is right on the mark. This country needs workers, not dependant families of illegal aliens. It is the dependant family issue of European migrants that has fueled the current European crisis.

Money flowing from Mexican nationals working in the U.S. to their homeland is the greatest source of money for the Mexican economy. To suddenly cut off that flow would be counter-productive for the U.S. and disastrous for Mexico.

Here is a good program:

  • Build the fence along the entire border.
  • Create a guest worker program with a limited duration for each worker.
  • Allow currently gainfully employed illegal aliens without a criminal record (other than the immigration violation) to apply for admittance to the guest worker program.
  • After a grace period for illegal aliens to register as guest workers, actively deport illegal aliens and penalize their employers.
  • Do not allow citizenship upon birth for the progeny of either illegal aliens or guest workers.
  • Do not allow a guest worker to apply for citizenship until he qualifies under the same criteria of other foreigners applying for citizenship.
  • Institute escalating penalties for employers employing illegal aliens.
It’s get tough time on the illegal alien issue America, or suffer the consequences.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Corruption in Big Easy Levee Construction

A Los Angeles Times piece reported that corruption may have been involved in the construction of the New Orleans levees and that directly lead to the recent failure of the levees.

The New Orleans levees that ruptured during Hurricane Katrina's storm surges two months ago were weakened by widespread structural flaws, and the construction of several floodwalls may have been undermined by possible corruption, engineering experts told a Senate committee Wednesday.

…officials familiar with the reports said the engineering team had heard allegations from contract workers, engineers and others knowledgeable about New Orleans floodwall work that political influence and organized crime might have played a role in construction flaws in at least two levees that failed after Katrina struck Aug. 29.

The officials said there had been allegations that several construction firms involved in levee work in the early 1990s might have been improperly awarded no-bid contracts because of political connections. There also have been reports of organized crime links to firms involved in the construction…

Given the history of New Orleans and the performance of the New Orleans Police Department during the flood following hurricane Katrina, does this report surprise you?

Can the US Expect A European Islamic Style Revolution?

Hugh Hewitt’s radio show guest Frank Gaffney, from the Center for Strategic Policy, commented upon the riots that have been raging for nearly a week in the grimy underclass suburbs of Paris, which are heavily populated by North African Muslims.

Gaffney stated that the “sky is indeed dark” and characterized the Parisian riots as open warfare. Europe has begun to reap the crop of radical Islam sown when the native European populations were no longer able nor willing to fill the needs for cheap labor. To provide the labor, the Europeans embarked upon a deliberate and massive importation of Muslims from Turkey and North Africa. True to their nature, the insular Islamic society did not meld into the general European population, which created a fertile breeding ground for Islamic fundamentalism. Europe, specifically Paris this week, is witnessing the inevitable results of a social evolution directly resulting in an Islamic revolution.

Gaffney stated that all of us (including the US) are in the “crosshairs of Islamic-fascism.” While that is true, there are major differences to the degree of the current threat between the US and Europe. Like Europe, the US has a large need for cheap labor. However, the US is obtaining the majority of its cheap labor force from Hispanics, who share common social values and bonds. That is not to say that there is not a considerable US threat from foreign and home-grown Islamics.

Islam is perhaps the fastest growing religion in the US and one chief breeding ground is the prison system. In California, it is estimated that Islamic prisoners account for 10,000 of the 166,000 prisoners and most of them are Sunni. Within any general population of Muslims, a small minority are going to be fundamentalists, who have the potential to evolve into Islamic-fascists. Such was the case of Kevin James, who formed the Islamic-fascist group Jam'iyyat Ul-Islam Is-Saheeh (JIS) while in a California state prison. A JIS plot to attack a number of Los Angeles area targets was recently discovered.

Gaffney is correct, the US is in Islamic crosshairs. It is just going to take a little longer than for the Europeans. Do you suppose we can learn something from the European experience?

Updated Additonal Info: Go here for a further examination of the European social upheaval and the American parallel.

2nd. Update 11/5/o5: Rioting Spreading Across France

Marauding youths torched nearly 900 vehicles, stoned paramedics and burned a nursery school in a ninth night of violence that spread from Paris suburbs to towns around France, police said Saturday. Authorities arrested more than 250 people overnight - a sweep unprecedented since the unrest began.

1st. Update: In a seventh day of violence:

The unrest spread to at least nine Paris-region towns overnight Tuesday, exposing the despair, anger and criminality in France's poor suburbs — fertile terrain for Islamic extremists, drug dealers and racketeers.

The violence, concentrated in neighborhoods with large African and Muslim populations, has highlighted the difficulties many European nations face with immigrant communities feeling marginalized and restive, cut off from the continent's prosperity and, for some extremists, its values, too.

"If French society accepts these tinderboxes in its society, it cannot be surprised when they explode,"

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

You Don’t Speak for Me Governor Schwarznegger

I’m conservative, registered Republican and I am voting AGAINST Governor Schwarzenegger’s Proposition 75, which is officially titled “Public Employee Union Dues. Restrictions on Political Contributions. Employee Consent Requirement. Initiative Statute. The California Republican Party’s “Ballot Proposition Voter Guide” calls this initiative “Paycheck Protection.” What a crock! That’s about as nice as I can describe this dishonest attempt to reduce my wages and benefits.

How is that? I’m a government employee, and I enjoy a moderate salary and benefit level thanks to the collective bargaining abilities of my professional association (union to other government employee classifications.)

The Governor and the Republican Party have a two prong plan to strip from me and future government employees the benefits that were accepted and ratified by our employers. First the Governor must weaken the employee unions, and they intend to do so by making it difficult for the unions to collect monies. Union members pay dues for the collective bargaining services of the unions, and the members currently are not required to contribute to monies collected and designated by the union for political purposes. Most union members are happy to contribute to the political funds because that is how the unions are able to keep legislators from stripping away benefits. Once the unions are weakened, the Governor and the Republican Party will arm twist the legislature into reducing employee benefits. Any representation to the contrary is dishonest.

Governor Schwarzenegger and the Republican Party, if you think that it is only Democrats who are public employees, you are sadly mistaken. You are doing yourselves a lot of damage by turning on the people who put you in office. Governor, I hope that you only expect to be a one term governor, because that’s my intent for you.

By the way, if you are this dishonest about Proposition 75, why should I believe you on your other propositions?

Update: My apologies to the Governor for mispelling his name in the headline of this blog.