June 29, 2007

Immigration Bill Roundup; Colorado Going To Hell In Fruitbasket

At least that is what the fearmongering, "recession" is imminent, media coverage would have you believe.

Putting the pinch on Colorado farmers:
Colorado farmers and others squeezed by a labor shortage will be pinched even more by the death of President George W. Bush's immigration proposal in the Senate, business leaders said Thursday.

"Our labor supply is going to continue to diminish," said Mike Gilsdorf, leader of Colorado Employers for Immigration Reform, or COEIR. "I can see a lot of overtime expenses."
. . .
"Immigrant workers benefit all of us by keeping the economy growing and healthy," she said.

Adams said by not fixing the current immigration system, the United States is inviting major labor shortages and an even worse recession than the one she is predicting now.

Fewer immigrant workers could mean less production and money circulating in the economy, plus other ripple effects, Adams said.

"We get many things cheaper because they were made in other countries or because of immigrant labor. That gives us additional money to spend on other things that create new jobs," she said.
For one thing, the likelihood that current laws will be enforced with any greater consistency is extremely low; secondly, the illegal immigrants living "in the shadows" (they are quite visible while living in those shadows) are not likely to leave en masse. Finally, the immigrant workers the farmers' advocates refer to are mostly illegal--and by law, they shouldn't be hired anyway. That is one of the thrusts of enforcement--businesses should be punished for hiring illegal immigrants, and creating the draw the lures more and more here illegally.

In addition, the argument that illegal immigrants benefit the economy due to the cheapness of their labor sounds suspiciously similar to what old Southern slaveholders argued would happen to their plantations should slavery be abolished--we need our cheap labor, or we'll die!

Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar puts the blame on "poison" from some members of the Senate--and likely the vaunted but "evil" talk-radio/blogosphere--for defeating the messy, pointless, unenforceable slop that was Bush/Kennedy's comprehensive immigration reform:
U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar expressed disappointment this morning at the demise of the immigration reform bill, blaming "poison stemming from some members of the Senate" and predicting continuing crisis for the country's "broken" immigration system.

"I think we can expect chaos, confusion, porous borders, victimization and tremendous economic insecurity among farmers and ranchers and others who want us to fix the system," said Salazar, a Colorado Democrat, during a telephone news conference after the vote.
A fix worse than the problem it is designed to correct is not desirable in any context. At least Sen. Wayne Allard recognized this much in his vote against the bill:
"Porous borders and lax enforcement present major security risks to our country," Allard said. "Instead of enacting so-called 'comprehensive immigration reform,' we need to find common sense solutions to the labor concerns we face in the agriculture industry and start doing what we all know needs to be done: secure the border and enforce our existing laws."
Hear, hear. Amnesty is not the solution. Nor is punishing the millions of legal immigrants that have plowed their way through the labyrinthine paperwork and excessive fees to acquire the "documents" that would have been given willy-nilly to any and all here illegally. Fairness? I think not.

The left is worried about the people "living in the shadows". The last two May 1 immigration rallies don't put too much credence into that notion:

Beware Democrats who voted against this bill, or dare call illegal immigrants illegal--you'll be "drummed out" of the party.

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Chinablogging--(More) Toothpaste With Antifreeze, Contaminated Seafood, Censorship

Crikey--China product defect overload!

From the nice try department--China guarantees safety of products

Cool, minty death breath--More toothpaste with antifreeze suspected

Somethin' fishy--contaminated Chinese seafood detained

Battling Chinese censors--China's new citizen journalists

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June 28, 2007

CU Regents Approve Tuition Hike

Regent Tom Lucero was the sole dissenter, citing the school's obligation to middle-class students and their families not to raise tuition so sharply:
The regents vote was 8-1. Regent Tom Lucero cast the dissenting vote. He said the increase would be a heavy burden on middle-class students.

"I understand we're being squeezed by the state, but at some point we have a moral obligation to students of the university," Lucero said, in reference to low state support.

But other regents said the increase is necessary to maintain the quality of the university. Regent Michael Carrigan said "Regent Lucero, with all due respect, what do you suggest we cut?"
Oh, I don't know Regent Carrigan. As an alumnus, how about the bloated bureaucracy and useless administration?

Overpriced, underqualified tenured professors (especially CU ethnic studies professors).

Expensive moonbat speakers like Kofi Annan.

That's just a start.

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Colorado Flies Front Line Flag, Honors Fallen SEAL Danny Dietz

Javier Manzano
Eric Dietz, 21, and his girlfriend, 20-year-old Lyly Nguyen, hold an American Flag given to them after a ceremony held for his brother, Navy SEAL Danny Dietz. A flag presentation for the family of Danny Dietz who was killed in Afghanistan in 2005, was held on the west steps of the state Capitol today. Dietz, 25, died while conducting counterterrorism operations in Kunar Province. The flag, which will eventually fly over Dietz's memorial in Littleton, flew over Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, at the same time Dietz was serving in Afghanistan.

In anticipation of the dedication of Navy SEAL Danny Dietz' memorial next week on July 4, the state of Colorado paid quiet tribute to this hero (video):
Two years to the day after Danny Dietz gave his life for his country, his state paid quiet homage to his memory and sacrifice.

In front of the west steps of the state Capitol, an American flag that had flown over Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan — where the Navy SEAL was stationed — was raised up a flagpole by Colorado State Trooper Mike Garcia as members of Dietz's family and a smattering of officials looked on.

"I'm honored," said Cindy Dietz, mother of the Littleton man who was killed during a mission in Afghanistan and posthumously awarded the Navy Cross. "It's so special to me that this flag was flying over Danny's base at maybe the same time he was there. And now it's flying in his home state."

Joined by Danny's brother, Eric Dietz, and his grandmother, Dolores Gilmer, Cindy Dietz helped Garcia fold the flag once it had hung on the flagpole for about a moment.

The same flag will be used on July 4th when a statue of Dietz is dedicated in Littleton.
Slapstick will have coverage of the unveiling of the statue next week.

Colorado Statue Honoring Fallen Navy SEAL Opposed, "Glorifies Violence"

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France Honors WWII Hero In Colorado

Every now and then, France does the right thing:
FORT COLLINS - World War II veteran Bill Gordon leaned forward on his two canes Wednesday night so the French Legion of Honor medal, that nation's highest military honor, could be pinned to his lapel.

Then after looking around the room at 45 friends and colleagues who had gathered to honor him, he spoke of the people who were not present: the men of B Company who fought and died more than half a century ago to liberate France from the Nazis.

There were 142 men in B Company of the 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment when Gordon, a 24- year-old replacement platoon leader, began leading them through the Battle of the Bulge.

By the time he was sent to a stateside hospital after being shot twice, 14 men were left from the original unit.

"I know it's my honor, and I appreciate this great honor," Gordon, 85, a former Army colonel, told the audience at Nico's Catacombs restaurant, choking up a bit. "But I think I need to accept this on behalf of those men."

Phillipe Larrieu, the Los Angeles-based Consul General of France, pinned the bright red ribbon and green-flecked medal on Gordon after expressing his country's gratitude.

The ceremony was part of a program aimed at recognizing the anniversary of the landing of allied forces at Normandy in June 1944 by honoring about 100 U.S. veterans with distinguished records.

"France has not forgotten the American heroes of World War II," Larrieu said. "Col. Gordon, you embody the best of America, and on behalf of France and my fellow citizens, I would like to say, 'Thank you.' "
An appropriate gesture at a time when the two countries could use some diplomatic rapprochement:
Gordon said he has been pained by the strained relations between the two historic allies over U.S. policy in Iraq, he said.

"It's a great honor," he said of the medal. "But more than an honor, it's a reaffirmation of our great friendship."
Now that Nicolas Sarkozy has been elected, perhaps France and the United States can once again become more like allies and less diplomatic adversaries.

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No Documents, No Aid; Tancredo Sends Lettuce To Chertoff; Race Card Played In Manzanares' Suicide

No Duh!:
The founder of a new scholarship program created to help Denver Public Schools students afford college said the fund will not give any money to undocumented immigrant students.

Tim Marquez, the oilman who pledged $50 million of his own money to help seniors from three Denver high schools go to college, said he received legal advice that indicated he couldn't help undocumented students.

Marquez and his lawyers are basing their decision on a federal law that prohibits harboring illegal immigrants. They also said state laws could prohibit giving the money but couldn't cite any.

"We can't knowingly give money to undocumented kids," Marquez said in a recent interview. "If a kid can provide us a Social Security number, that is all we need to know. But if they can't, then we can't help them at all."
Remember folks, these kids are entitled. As one illegal immigrant advocate remarked "it is not only unkind, it is outright unfair"--any mention of legality is unnecessary when it comes to illegal immigrants.

On a related note, Tom Tancredo expressed his displeasure with the Bush administration's overheated rhetoric surrounding illegal immigration:
It’s not every day a presidential hopeful sends Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff a head of lettuce, but that’s what Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colorado, is doing Wednesday to show his disagreement with Chertoff’s recent comments on how failure of passing immigration reform might affect the agricultural industry.

Tancredo says he disagrees with recent comments Chertoff made that suggested if the immigration bill fails, the agricultural industry will suffer. To prove his point he is sending Chertoff a head of lettuce, a fruit basket, and a card saying, “much, much more where this comes from.”

“The administration has taken hyperbole to a whole new level this time,” Tancredo said in a statement. “They are now trying to convince the public that without amnesty, the American people are going to starve?”

“The agriculture industry and the free market has managed to keep producing through floods, droughts, and $3.00 per gallon gas,” Tancredo added, “I doubt very seriously that a nominal increase in labor costs is going to be the end of lettuce as we know it.”
Tossed salad, anyone? (**Update--produce refused for "security reasons", Ken Salazar and Tancredo argue over impact on agriculture)

And--the race card is played in Larry Manzanares' suicide:
But, by far, the most reprehensible comments came from community "leaders" like Rosemary Rodriguez, former Denver City councilwoman and a friend of Manzanares'.

"It's a bad time to be a Hispanic in trouble in this city," she explained.

Rodriguez's insinuation, in case you missed it, is that there is systemic abuse of Latinos in Denver. She was not the only one to infer that such a devious conspiracy was afoot.
. . .
There will always be those who peddle the ugly currency of victimhood to hold political power. Sometimes the currency is used to save political allies from trouble. Other times it's simple pandering.

In this case, it seems that we have a hat trick.
Should Manzanares' alleged crimes not have been followed up because of his ethnicity? That would be old-fashioned racism--selective enforcement of the law based on one's race/ethnicity. But for leftist moonbats who see everything through the prism of race/gender/oppression, this is just another example of the "white man" keeping the former judge, city attorney, and Harvard graduate down.

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June 27, 2007

Dumb Political Reform Idea Of The Day--Eliminate Colorado's Senate

"Good intentions" but really bad ideas as a way to increase third party efficacy and reduce partisan bickering:
DENVER (AP) -- Hoping to take some of the sting out of politics, a legislative task force on Wednesday began studying potential changes to Colorado's election process designed to ratchet down the rhetoric and give minor parties a bigger role.

Rep. John Kefalas, D-Fort Collins, said recent campaigns have been so bitter they have driven voters away. He said voters often end up casting ballots for major-party candidates when they want to vote for unaffiliated or minor-party candidates.

"It seems like the playing field isn't level," Kefalas told the 11-member committee.

Recommendations on the table include instant runoff voting, also known as ranked-choice voting, where voters pick their first choice for a candidate but also list their second, third, fourth and fifth choices, depending on the number of candidates.
. . .
Another plan would retain the state House of Representatives, which currently has 65 members, but eliminate the 35-member state Senate, giving Colorado a unicameral or single-chamber Legislature.

Those 35 Senate seats would be reallocated to the House.
. . .
"We need to get away from the concept that we're voting for the lesser of two evils," she said.
PPH calls this a "step towards totalitarianism" and an abrogation of checks and balances.

As if a move to one legislative house would decrease instead of increasing partisan rancor--right!

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June 26, 2007

Blog Sweep 6-26-07

Ben DeGrow--GOP: Tempering Confidence with Patience in '08 and '10

The Drunkablog--Paul Campos considers blogging, trashes Ann Althouse

XDA--Drawing a Moral Line over Stem Cells

PPH--On Not Being GOP Cheerleaders--as we say here, "Supporting party above principle does a disservice to both"

Colorado Confidential--Journalists are mostly liberal[!], but the critics' bias is worse, and besides, journalists are more informed (conservatives are stupid and uninformed) and simply moved by the stories they cover

And if you care, there will be an impeachment rally Wednesday in Denver

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June 25, 2007

Michael Moore In Denver To Tout New Propaganda 'Sicko'

**Update--Drunkablog endured Michael Moore's flatulence hot air, socialized medicine advocates, and some intense heat to bring us exclusive pictures from his Sicko propaganda promotion.

Sicko--and here we refer to the director, not the movie--will be accompanied by members of Colorado's nursing association (bring your costumes!):
Controversial Oscar-winning filmmaker Michael Moore will visit Denver on Sunday in support of his latest film, Sicko, an examination of the country's health-insurance industry, which opens here Friday.

As he did earlier this week in Chicago, Moore will preside at a rally attended by nurses - in this case, members of the Colorado Nurse's Association.

The association is one of seven organizations co-sponsoring Moore's appearance.

The location of Sunday's rally was changed Friday. Moore will now appear at 6 p.m. on the west steps of the state Capitol.
. . .
After the rally, Moore and the nurses will head to the Denver Pavilions on the 16th Street Mall, where he will hold a news conference and attend a private film screening at 7:15 p.m.

Huttner said that a limited number of tickets to that screening will be given to those attending the state Capitol rally "with the best signs or costumes."
What costume do you think best represents socialized medicine?

Maybe we could all show up in Castro-esque track suits.

PETA to Michael Moore:
“Although we think that your film could actually help reform America’s sorely inadequate health care system, there’s an elephant in the room, and it is you. With all due respect, no one can help but notice that a weighty health issue is affecting you personally. We’d like to help you fix that. Going vegetarian is an easy and life-saving step that people of all economic backgrounds can take in order to become less reliant on the government’s shoddy healthcare system, and it’s something that you and all Americans can benefit from personally.”
**Update 2--
Michael Moore at the meat-and-eat meet-and-greet:

"A system set-up to be cruel to the have-nots"--we need socialized healthcare like Canada and England!

My brother-in-law can't wait to flee the inefficiencies of the UK healthcare system. He should know, having been born and Englishman.

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June 23, 2007

More Show Raids

A rather meager number given the overall rate of recidivism:
Federal agents arrested 38 illegal immigrants over three days in Colorado and Wyoming.

The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement says the operation focused on criminals and illegal immigrants who didn't show up for hearings or fled after they were ordered out of the country.

Officers made several arrests in western Colorado, including in Summit County, and in Sweetwater and Carbon counties in southern and western Wyoming. Those arrested range in age from 20 to 48 years old and come from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and the Czech Republic.

ICE officials say the number of illegal immigrants running from the law has dropped as the government has streamlined operations, tripled the number of teams of agents and increased detention spaces.
That last claim is rather dubious, and also not very encouraging considering the report made this week that indicated Colorado officials have been reporting criminal illegal aliens to Federal officials, but there has not been an increase in pickups or deportations.

Just another display of political grandstanding to demonstrate ICE's "tough" stance on illegal immigration.

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June 21, 2007

Colorado Rockies Vs. New York Yankees

Future Hall of Famer Roger Clemens is seeking his 350th career win.
The Colorado Rockies are a major-league best 19-7 since May 22.

Forecast: 96 degrees.

I'll be roasting, but the game should be awesome!

**Update: Rox 4, Yanks 3


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June 20, 2007

Racist Jell-O ad!?

What would happen if this commerical was made in the 21st century:

1) Public outcry
2) Makers of commerical forced to make public apology followed by sensitivity training, therapy, bongo-drum lessons and more.

Part truth, part sarcasm.

*And if you hadn't sensed my sarcasm then sit back and take a giant whiff, my friend.*


Chinablogging--China Overtakes US As World's Biggest CO2 Emitter

Al Gore arriving in 3 . . . 2 . . . 1:
China has overtaken the United States as the world's biggest producer of carbon dioxide, the chief greenhouse gas, figures released today show.

The surprising announcement will increase anxiety about China's growing role in driving man-made global warming and will pile pressure onto world politicians to agree a new global agreement on climate change that includes the booming Chinese economy. China's emissions had not been expected to overtake those from the US, formerly the world's biggest polluter, for several years, although some reports predicted it could happen as early as next year.

But according to the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, soaring demand for coal to generate electricity and a surge in cement production have helped to push China's recorded emissions for 2006 beyond those from the US already. It says China produced 6,200m tonnes of CO2 last year, compared with 5,800m tonnes from the US. Britain produced about 600m tonnes.

Jos Olivier, a senior scientist at the government agency who compiled the figures, said: "There will still be some uncertainty about the exact numbers, but this is the best and most up to date estimate available. China relies very heavily on coal and all of the recent trends show their emissions going up very quickly." China's emissions were 2% below those of the US in 2005. Per head of population, China's pollution remains relatively low - about a quarter of that in the US and half that of the UK.
And how are they achieving this astounding increase in CO2 output?

China is building two power plants per week
. 1000s of cars are added every month to Beijing's streets alone.

But who is to blame?


It is estimated that the average American still pollutes between five and six times more than the average Chinese person.

Climate sceptics in the UK have been asking why Britons should switch off lights, turn down central heating and avoid foreign flights in order to save carbon when the Chinese are increasing emissions at their current a rate.

"Responsibility for China's soaring emissions lies not just in Beijing but also in Washington, Brussels and Tokyo," said Greenpeace UK director John Sauven said.

"All we've done is export a great slice of the West's carbon footprint to China, and today we see the result.

"Let us not forget that the average Chinese emits just 3.5 tonnes of CO2 per year, whereas Britons emit nearly 10 tonnes and Americans 20 tonnes.

"The West moved its manufacturing base to China knowing it was vastly more polluting than Japan, Europe or the US," he added.

"No environmental conditions were attached to this move, in fact the only thing manufacturers were interested in was the price of labour.

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June 19, 2007

Criminal Illegal Immigrants Reported, But Not Deported

"Reports to ICE soar, expulsions don't"

Gee, there's a shocker:
"Law-enforcement officials harbor doubts that their enhanced reporting of suspected illegal immigrants in criminal cases has led to any increase in deportations by the federal government."
Yet another job those picky, lazy Americans won't do.

This law was touted by Colorado's Democrats as among the "toughest" immigration policies "in the nation". Another broken promise--all hype, no follow through--and Democrats knew that before the bill passed.

This is why enforcement-first Americans don't buy the what Senators like Ted Kennedy, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Mel Martinez (or even President Bush) are shoveling:
Police agencies in Colorado turned over the names of at least 15,000 suspected illegal immigrants to federal authorities during the second half of last year.

Their offenses ranged from minor infractions to first-degree felonies but each referral was in compliance with a new state law designed to get tough on illegal immigration.

Law enforcement officials, however, debate whether the new law is having its intended effect.

They said they doubt the enhanced reporting has led to any more deportations of criminal illegal immigrants.

"I still sense that there is simply no infrastructure in the federal system in place to actually do anything with these undocumented aliens beyond the occasional, token deportations," said Aurora Police Chief Daniel Oates.

The law, enacted by the legislature in 2006 as part of a statewide crackdown on illegal immigration, required all cities and counties to report any suspected illegal immigrants arrested or cited for crimes to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency.
And these are the illegal aliens arrested for committing crimes. If the Feds won't do anything about illegal immigrants who flagrantly break the law (aside from being here illegally), how can we expect them to do more if and when a new shamnesty bill is passed?

Do the politics think we are simply gonna trust them (wink wink, nudge nudge)?

For more on shamnesty, visit Michelle Malkin, Freedom Folks, and Lonewacko.

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Illegal Immigrants Use Fire To Clear Border

Another job Americans won't do:
U.S. Border Patrol agents seeking to secure the nation's border in some of the country's most pristine national forests are being targeted by illegal aliens, who are using intentionally set fires to burn agents out of observation posts and patrol routes.

The wildfires also have resulted in the destruction of valuable natural and cultural resources in the National Forest System and pose an ongoing threat to visitors, residents and responding firefighters, according to federal law enforcement authorities and others.

In the Coronado National Forest in Arizona, with 60 miles of land along the U.S.-Mexico border, U.S. Forest Service firefighters sent in to battle fires or clear wild land fire areas are required to be escorted by armed law enforcement officers.

Armed smugglers of aliens and drugs have walked through the middle of active firefighting operations, the authorities said.
Yet another cost of illegal immigration--more global warming. Where is Al Gore? Shouldn't he be demanding free carbon offsets for our nuevo amigos? Lonewacko: environmental moonbats blame the U.S. for not having an open border--of course, it's our fault!

How fares law enforcement in the poorly implemented border security with all the friendly, hard-working, in-the-shadows migrants?
She said law enforcement personnel have been assaulted, threatened with weapons and shot at, and their vehicles have been rammed by cross-border violators. Because of the remoteness of the area, she said, timely assistance from other law enforcement agencies is not always possible and communications limitations and active interference with radio frequencies in Mexico create additional safety risks.

"Even normal enforcement duties bring our officers in regular contact with cross-border violators," she said. "Our officers risk their lives every day to enforce the law in these remote federally managed lands."
Expect a border "insurgency" should any real border security reform be implemented:
Authorities said agents are being targeted by illegal aliens and their smugglers for rock attacks -- including grapefruit-size rocks wrapped in rags, dipped in gasoline and set on fire.

"As larger areas of the border come under operational control, we can expect violence to increase as smuggling operations can no longer operate with impunity and do not have unfettered access to the border for their criminal activities," Border Patrol Chief David V. Aguilar told a Homeland Security subcommittee this year.
You'd be angry too if you could no longer cross the American "border" with impunity.

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BlogNetNews: Colorado's Most Influential Political Blogs

Having been busy since yesterday afternoon, I failed to spot the new political blog rankings unveiled by BlogNetNews.com late yesterday.

Slapstick Politics is #3!

The proprietary ranking methodology is being kept under wraps, but a combination of links and traffic help influence the weekly standings. Thanks for the hits, comments, and links.

Ben is at #4, and points out that 3 of the top 5 are right-leaning blogs, though congratulations are in order for everyone left and right on the list. Battle of the blogs--to the ramparts!

Of course, thanks once again to my guestbloggers who kept this place running while I was undergoing extensive reeducation in China.

Next stop, #1!

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June 18, 2007

Sensitivity Training

So True, you guys. So VERY true!

This pretty much sums up the male population.


In The News--With Some Chinablogging

"I am both Muslim and Christian"--right, and I'm Santa Claus!

Separatist graduations proliferate at UCLA--disunity in diversity.

Chinese gold farmers--so that's why I couldn't get a seat in a Chinese internet café!

Hong Kong dissidents, autonomy, and China's mainland--murky ambiguity.

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June 17, 2007

Ward Churchill's Latest Televised Bloviations

With Ward's legal defender David Lane arguing--shocker--that this is all about the First Amendment.

The Drunkablog links to an editorial citing Churchill's apparent unfamiliarity with the principle that the First Amendment applies to all, not just left-wing professors.

PirateBallerina, as usual, has all the Churchilliana one could handle--and though Churchill and Lane say nothing earth-shattering, readers and viewers seem less than impressed by the mighty prof.

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Online Sales Growth Slips

Revenge of the brick-and-mortar retailer--or is online shopping too much work?

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June 16, 2007

Sen. Allard Wants NORAD Closure Review

Hints that the Cheyenne Mountain facility would close and personnel be switched to Peterson AFB--at a staggering $12 billion cost to taxpayers--caught the senator's attention.

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June 15, 2007

Tancredo Backed Measure To Deny Emergency Funding For Sanctuary Cities Passed

"This is an interesting indicator of things coming down the pike, and that the times, they are a-changing":
The U.S. House of Representatives this morning voted to withhold federal emergency services funding for "sanctuary cities" that protect illegal immigrants.

Anti-illegal immigration champion Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., sponsored the measure, which he says would apply to cities such as Denver and Boulder. He was elated by its passage, which stunned critics and supporters alike.

The Littleton Republican's amendment to the Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill appears to have no language specifically defining a sanctuary city. Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper has long disputed giving the city that label.

"The issue has come to fruition," Tancredo said by cell phone after the vote. "The people of the country really have spoken. It's a really good indicator of just how much closer to the people the House is than the Senate is."

The House passed the amendment, 234 to 189, with 50 Democrats voting in favor.

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Global Warming Could Also Bring Benefits

It’s not in Al Gore’s PowerPoint presentation, but there are some upsides to global warming.

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Quote Of The Day

"Diversity in theory is the enemy of diversity in practice."

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June 14, 2007

Flag Day

Michelle Malkin and SondraK have nice tributes to the American flag.

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Chinablogging--Chinese Surname Crisis, Beijing Olympics

More than a billion people now sharing just 100 surnames!

China expects 4 billion Olympic viewers, 1 billion more than Athens

China overtaking US for fast internet access

China--the return of "authoritarian capitalism"

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June 13, 2007

New Book Details Navy SEAL Danny Dietz, Fellow SEALs

Fallen Navy SEAL Danny Dietz

The book by Marcus Luttrell, the only survivor of Dietz's team, is a tragic tale:
A new book out Tuesday documents the worst disaster in the history of the Navy SEALs. The disaster left 19 dead, including a SEAL from Colorado.

"Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL" was written by the only SEAL to live through a 2005 firefight in Afghanistan – Marcus Luttrell.

Nineteen service members, including Navy Seal Danny Dietz of Littleton, were killed.
. . .
Luttrell writes the SEALs encountered a couple of goat herders, who they knew could report them to the Taliban. The team took a vote and decided not to kill them.

"I'd say about 45 minutes later about 120 Taliban fighters walked up on top of us," he said, "one of my teammates, Danny Dietz, had stayed back up on top of the ridge and was trying to call in the QRF, Quick Reactionary Force, to come in and help us out. Once we set up a new position, Danny had rolled back down to us. He'd been shot two, three times by the time he'd gotten to us."

Luttrell writes that his heart nearly broke when Dietz died in his arms. He also says he regrets not killing the goat herders, even though it would have violated the rules of engagement.

"Everyday, it'd be worth me doing the time in prison if my buddies were still alive."

Luttrell survived the ambush by crawling injured for several miles to reach some Afghani villagers who ended up hiding him from the Taliban until he could be rescued.

A memorial to Danny Dietz is being unveiled in Littleton on July 4.
In April, efforts to block the Dietz memorial were highlighted here first, followed by a storm of criticism of those who wanted to block the memorial because it "glorifies violence".

We'll have pictures of the memorial after it is unveiled.

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June 12, 2007

Activists Chastise Denver City Council

For not kowtowing to their demands (h/t The Drunkablog):
Activists chastised Denver's City Council on Monday for dropping a proclamation that would have reaffirmed First Amendment rights and limited police response during the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

"Who do members of the City Council represent?" asked Re-create 68 official Mark Cohen outside council chambers. "The people of Denver, or the fat cats who are paying for the big party called the Democratic National Convention?"

Cohen made his remarks to camera crews and reporters, who outnumbered the group of 10 protesters. The proclamation in question was one Cohen helped craft, and the outcome of Re-create 68's attempt to pass it through the council generated controversy last week.

Earlier Monday, Re-create 68 members sat quietly as Councilwoman Kathleen MacKenzie, who sponsored the failed proclamation, addressed her colleagues and said she hoped that officials would work to make sure protesters were treated fairly during the convention.

"We will do what most of us want, which is to welcome everybody and to have Denver shine in the global spotlight and to show the world that we're an inclusive, progressive city," she said.
The City Council of Denver represents all of Denver's citizens, not just the majority Democrats or activist whiners who seem to think that government exists solely for their pleasure.

Not all council members are as supportive of the activists' proclamation nonsense:
A vocal opponent of the proclamation was Councilman Charlie Brown, who said the city should only negotiate with protesters who first sign pledges of nonviolence.

Brown was the only other council member to address the issue Monday, as debate was limited because the proclamation had been set aside.

"Our police department is not a Burger King. For security reasons, the protesters cannot, 'Have it your way,"' he said, citing a commercial jingle.
Though the activists have about as much credibility as a fast-food joint serves healthy food--not much.

Denver's Mayor Hickenlooper (green guru, social engineering and behavior modification expert) wants the "dialogue to continue":
"I honestly don't foresee a big problem," Hickenlooper said. "The people who want to demonstrate seem reasonable to me."
About as reasonable as your climate plan, Mayor Hickenlooper?

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Denver Moonbats Target Global Warming

A bit of food poisoning this morning kept me from this story (h/t Moonbattery) that outlines Denver Mayor "Teflon" John Hickenlooper's ambitious--read: draconian--"climate action plan" that carries some stiff penalties for you carbon footprint abusers:
Denver is gearing up to fight global warming, and residents may soon be asked to make personal sacrifices to help save the planet.

The new plan is aimed at making Denver a national leader in reducing gas emissions that have been linked to global warming, giving a major push to alternative energy, stepping up recycling and changing building codes to encourage energy conservation.

But the proposal also contains some ideas that may be unpopular [ya think?--ed.], such as penalizing heavy users of electricity and natural gas and basing auto insurance premiums on the number of miles traveled.

The ambitious goal is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 4.4 million metric tons by 2020, the equivalent of eliminating two small coal-fired power plants or taking 500,000 cars off the road.

Mayor John Hickenlooper has made the "climate action plan" a centerpiece of his second term in office. More than two dozen people from business and community groups met for several months with city staff to hammer out the plan. Many of them fear Colorado will be slammed hard by global warming, with more droughts and forest fires.
. . .
The city also would give incentives for car pooling and the use of hybrids and other low-polluting vehicles, possibly by giving them priority in parking.

To cut back on use of landfills - methane gas from landfills is a major contributor to global warming - the plan would encourage recycling and charge residents for the amount of trash they throw away.

Denver may ask voters to approve higher rates for "excessive" use of electricity and natural gas. The plan also floats the idea of using insurance premiums to penalize people who drive long distances.

"You can think of them as penalties or you can think of them as market signals," said Conover. "There's some choice involved."
Moonbats continue to think that government intrusion constitutes market forces and hence "market signals". Sorry, Conover, punitive fines are not "market signals" and when the government enforces something, there is rarely, if any, choice involved. Nice try, though.

Denver's busybody bureaucrats will attempt to cajole the voting population to "voluntarily" impose these economic sanctions on themselves, thus absolving them of responsibility should they fail miserably. Neighboring cities and counties should also look forward to similar moonbat measures in the near future:
"This is not a trend or a city competition," said Benita Duran, a CH2M Hill executive who co-chaired the group that put together the plan. "It's a global matter of serious concern."
Denver may just reduce the potential global warming effect by 0.00001 of a degree Fahrenheit, thanks to these "visionary" measures.

--9 of 12 hottest years in Denver occurred before 1955

**Update 2:
"Some see red on Denver's green plan
Proposals called radical, 'loony' after hitting Web"
The headline says it all.

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June 11, 2007

Scientists Say Death Penalty Deters Crime

Anti-death penalty forces have gained momentum in the past few years, with a moratorium in Illinois, court disputes over lethal injection in more than a half-dozen states and progress toward outright abolishment in New Jersey.

The steady drumbeat of DNA exonerations - pointing out flaws in the justice system - has weighed against capital punishment. The moral opposition is loud, too, echoed in Europe and the rest of the industrialized world, where all but a few countries banned executions years ago.

What gets little notice, however, is a series of academic studies over the last half-dozen years that claim to settle a once hotly debated argument - whether the death penalty acts as a deterrent to murder. The analyses say yes. They count between three and 18 lives that would be saved by the execution of each convicted killer.

The reports have horrified death penalty opponents and several scientists, who vigorously question the data and its implications.

So far, the studies have had little impact on public policy. New Jersey's commission on the death penalty this year dismissed the body of knowledge on deterrence as "inconclusive."

But the ferocious argument in academic circles could eventually spread to a wider audience, as it has in the past.

"Science does really draw a conclusion. It did. There is no question about it," said Naci Mocan, an economics professor at the University of Colorado at Denver. "The conclusion is there is a deterrent effect."
Vigorously questioning data and another scientist's conclusions are a sign of healthy scientific inquiry--which is why the meaningless yet powerful pandering of global warming/climate change advocates stating that the science is no longer in dispute and that an eternal consensus has been reached--falls quite short of convincing.

Yet in this case, death penalty opponents have dismissed the data and subsequent conclusions. Multiple studies concurring that capital punishment does have a deterrent effect is certainly compelling. Is the issue settled? No--it probably never will be.

But if the majority of scientific analyses agree that there is something to the death penalty beyond vengeance--an eye for an eye--then why does this "consensus" get ignored?

Mocan personally objects to the death penalty, but for the purposes of integrity, publishes these findings anyway:
A 2003 study he co-authored, and a 2006 study that re-examined the data, found that each execution results in five fewer homicides, and commuting a death sentence means five more homicides. "The results are robust, they don't really go away," he said. "I oppose the death penalty. But my results show that the death penalty (deters) - what am I going to do, hide them?"
Finally, a study's author who places more weight on the side of the data than his own personal feelings.

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Chinablogging--Capital Punishment, Product Safety

In a reverse of recent headlines, China destroys U.S. products over safety concerns.

Reports that China has reduced the number of executions, while maintaining its position as the number one user of capital punishment.

Heavy rains, flooding kill dozens in China this past week.

China censors Flickr.

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June 07, 2007

"Liberal" Removed From Yearbook

Not that big a deal in terms of potential censorship, but perhaps really indicative of the current state of politics in America:
Altman and her husband submitted this message: "So proud of you Remy for achieving fantastic grades, participating in so many wonderful after school activities and surviving so many of the Belleview teachers' liberal teachings. You are what you believe you can be. Aim high, always. Love, Mom & Dad."

"What was taken out was surviving the liberal teachings," Altman said.

She wanted her daughter, years from now, to appreciate how well she did in school even though Altman felt teachers were biased.

"Despite all the liberal teachings and so forth, she's come out with a good education," said Altman.

Yearbook committee member Blair Mellon says they took out the "liberal teachings" part because it was a political statement and not appropriate for the yearbook. School leaders agreed.

"It is a keepsake for children," said Tustin Amole, Cherry Creek Schools spokesperson. "It's something that they are going to be looking at years and years from now and just not an appropriate forum for political statements."

Altman says it was not political.

"The word liberal means loose. We have to take what the definition of liberal means. I didn't say Democrats," she said.
It is difficult to tell if the administrators were indeed even-handed, and if any other potentially "political" messages were omitted.

With the type of teachers emerging from education schools across the country--liberal in outlook, moonbat in style--it is no wonder Altman felt the need to take a swipe at her daughter's teachers.

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June 06, 2007

Nebraska Troopers Ban Trucker For Not Speaking English

He spoke Spanish, right?


His CDL required English-language proficiency.

Such a requirement is not especially onerous, given the tasks that face commercial truck drivers all across the world. Language proficiency--both reading and speaking--should be a basic requirement (not to mention a nearly complete necessity) should problems arise during transportation. They inevitably will crop up, and the ability to deal with problems, and make on-time deliveries is crucial.

So why is the need to have even a basic knowledge of the prevailing language of the land so darn controversial?

In China, all services catering to foreigners have at least one employee with at least a rudimentary knowledge of English. This enables them not only to conduct business and serve their clients, but also to communicate with the many other travelers whose language is not Chinese or English.

Some non-US travelers I have met abroad have actually asked if they need a Spanish language phrasebook while in America. The answer should be no--and yet more and more even Americans find simple daily tasks hampered by an inability to effectively communicate with employees, businesses, and neighbors.

Some would say that Americans are myopic and provincial when it comes to foreign languages, and in some instances, they would be right. But for someone who speaks passing Spanish, German, some Chinese and can read Latin, this hardly an incredibly challenging demand.

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June 04, 2007

Protestors Dictate Rules Of Engagement To Denver For 2008 DNC

First, they tried to play it off as negotiations to keep the protests at next year's DNC "non-violent".

But what protestors have proposed would be a restrictive proclamation that would curtail police officers' ability to ensure public safety:
A city councilman expressed outrage this morning that the council will consider a proclamation initially drafted by a protest group that calls for restricting police tactics during the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver.

The one-page proclamation headed for a council vote next Monday is based on a compromise version of the original statement proposed by the Recreate 68 Alliance, which is organizing protests for the 2008 Denver convention.

The group's Web site vows to make Chicago's 1968 Democratic National Convention — notorious for its brutal, bloody clashes between Chicago police and anti-Vietnam War protesters — "look like a small get-together in 2008!"

"I think it's amazing that any can special interest group — right-wing or left-wing — can tell the Denver Police Department and the mayor and City Council how to run our city when it comes to dealing with the protesters at the DNC," Councilman Charlie Brown said, adding he "absolutely" opposes the proclamation.

"I have complete faith in (Denver Police Chief) Gerry Whitman and the police department is sworn to uphold the First Amendment and it will continue to do so," said Brown, stressing his support for the right to peacefully protest.
Protest planners cite 2004's heated protests at both Democrat and Republican conventions--referring in part to fenced "Free Speech Zones" that they found offensive. The councilman is correct to point out that it is perhaps unprecedented (at least in Denver) for protestors to attempt to dictate rules of engagement to the DPD and the city in general.

No one questions the protestors' unfettered access to First Amendment protections--ones that this blogger has enjoyed on numerous protest occasions. This proclamation, however, lays out a plan to create a "positive" spin in the media in relation to expected protest complications (the inevitable arrests, citations, etc.) and put Denver and the police department on the defensive. An excerpt of the proposed proclamation:

Section 1. That the Council calls upon Mayor John Hickenlooper and other city officials to affirm and uphold the exercise of First Amendment rights in Denver upon the occasion of the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

Section 2. That the Council calls upon City officials to take affirmative measures to uphold and protect the rights of speech, expression and association, at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, including the creation and implementation of systems and procedures to ensure that (a) there is reasonable and prompt action on permit applications for public demonstrations, marches and rallies; (b) use of force, including the use of horses, pepper spray or other aggressive means to police public demonstrations, is restricted except to the minimal extent required by legitimate law-enforcement purposes; (c) demonstrations may occur in close proximity to and within sight and sound of the Convention delegates, consistent with reasonable security concerns; (d) restricted use of four-sided enclosures or barricades to confine the movement of people at public demonstrations except in limited circumstances based on legitimate and reasonable security concerns, and in such circumstances ensure that such enclosures have sufficient openings to allow people to exit, return and move freely around the demonstration site.
You can check out Recreate68 here.

This isn't the first time that Denver appears to be on the verge of caving in to protestors who flout laws and city regulations in order to be on the "right side".

The protest planners, led by Ward Churchill lacky Glenn Spagnuolo (also of Recreate 68), have preemptively assigned blame for any potential protestor/police confrontation at the feet of Denver's finest:
Recreate 68 organizer Glenn Spagnuolo said people forget that protesters went to the 1968 Chicago convention planning peaceful opposition to the war and things only turned ugly after police aggressively attacked demonstrators.

"Instead what (protesters) had to confront was a bunch of brutal pigs, which was the Chicago Police Department," Spagnuolo said.

"We're meeting early with the (Denver) police department in hopes that they don't recreate what the Chicago police did," added Spagnuolo, who along with the American Civil Liberties Union met with top police and city officials about two weeks ago.

"So far the city has been pretty open to talking with us. I've been pretty pleased with the communications so far with the city of Denver."

"We're planning nonviolent, peaceful protests, but we are going to exercise our constitutional rights and we're not going to allow anyone to take them away from us," he said.
In other words, let us behave like spoiled brats--destroying property, trashing public areas, blocking traffic, intimidating Convention delegates, and other sorts of "free speech" mayhem and excess--and don't even think of calling us to account.

Spagnuolo also gets away with attacking obliquely the Denver police and security personnel with his "brutal pigs" comment. Just the sort of respectful, "nonviolent" and "peaceful" protests Denver can expect next summer.

The Drunkablog! has more on Glenn's "philosophy".

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Donate Food, Receive Chipotle Burrito

A food-raising drive for Hunger Awareness Day tomorrow, June 5. Bring non-perishable foods to Chipotle, get some free grub.

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Chinablogging--Tiananmen Square Massacre June 4, 1989

A lone hero thwarts tanks deployed by the Chinese government, 1989.

Gateway Pundit has more photos and a roundup on the 18th anniversary.

A replica of the Goddess of Democracy statue erected in 1989 by protestors in Tiananmen Square and destroyed by the Chinese government June 4, 1989.

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June 02, 2007

Chinablogging--Toothpaste With Antifreeze

Poisoned toothpaste from China discovered at U.S. discount outlets:
Consumers were advised yesterday to discard all toothpaste made in China after federal health officials said they found Chinese-made toothpaste containing a poison used in some antifreeze in three locations: Miami, the Port of Los Angeles and Puerto Rico.

Although there are no reports of anyone being harmed by the toothpaste, the Food and Drug Administration warned that the Chinese products had a “low but meaningful risk of toxicity and injury” to children and people with kidney or liver disease.

The United States is the seventh country to find tainted Chinese toothpaste within its borders in recent weeks.

Agency officials said they found toothpaste containing a small amount of diethylene glycol, a sweet, syrupy poison, at a Dollar Plus retail store in Miami, sold under the brand name ShiR Fresh Mint Fluoride Paste. The F.D.A. also identified nine other brands of Chinese toothpaste that contain diethylene glycol, some with concentrations of 3 percent to 4 percent.

Previously, only a few brands had been identified by health officials around the world as containing diethylene glycol and all of them listed the chemical on the label.

But diethylene glycol was not listed on the label of the toothpaste found in the Miami store. Its presence was detected only because the F.D.A. began testing imported Chinese toothpaste last month. That precaution was prompted by the discovery in Latin America of tens of thousands of tubes of tainted toothpaste made in China.
Having just returned from China, this story is certainly disconcerting.

Why? When I last visited China, I used Chinese toothpaste and bottled water to brush my teeth. Though I did not get sick then, my sense of unease with Chinese food products' safety, raised most recently with the pet food contamination of the last few months, has certainly increased.

The Chinese are in business to make money--and cutting corners for production of manufactured goods will result in poor performance or product failure resulting in injury or death. Inserting poisonous fillers to pet food and toothpaste to cut costs won't do much to improve China's aspiring position as producer to the world.

"Made in China"--the new phrase for caveat emptor (buyer beware!).



Back From China

Many thanks to The Daily Blogster and The Drunkablog for entertaining, informing, and keeping Slapstick Politics afloat in my absence.

Thanks to the Republican Princess for the many humorous YouTube videos.

Regular posting will resume tomorrow.



June 01, 2007



Good clean fun over at the Ballerina's. He's going through the "new" charges of research misconduct against the Churchill investigating committee brought by another group of Kool-Aid drunk professors and a couple of lawyers. Suffice to say, they're not holding up well. Here's one:
One of the examples used to support Churchill's claim of "pretty strong circumstantial evidence that [Captain John] Smith introduced smallpox among the Wampanoags as a means of clearing the way for the invaders" is a link to an online version of William Bradford's Of Plymouth Plantation (pp. 175):
[T]hey begane to see that Squanto sought his owne ends, and plaid his owne game, by putting the Indeans in fear, and drawing gifts from them to enrich him selfe; making them beleeve he could stur up warr against whom he would, and make peece for whom he would. Yea, he made them beleeve they kept the plague buried in the ground, and could send it amongs whom they would, which did much terrifie the Indeans, and made them depend more on him, and seeke more to him then to Massasoyte, which proucured him envIe, and had like to have cost him his life.

All this is "pretty strong circumstantial evidence" of is Squanto's attempts to impress his fellow "Indeans" with the fearsome and mystical powers of the English, and to enhance his own standing as an intermediary to same. Incidentally, we have to marvel at the scholarship of this latest group of complainers (including several Ethnic Studies professors and two attorneys, yet!) that marshals its "facts" so poorly that even two bloggers and a New Jersey cop can refute them.

Yesterday the Daily Gamera self-righteously pointed the finger at both the left and right in the Churchill brouhaha:
Like many debates, the political dispute about Churchill centers on a few info-McNuggets but spins far beyond the realm of verifiable truth. Some conservatives see Churchill as emblematic of rampant left-wing orthodoxy in academe. Some leftists, meanwhile, spin the entire affair into a vast, right-wing conspiracy to silence those who "speak truth to power."
Given the clear and clearly intentional twisting and fabrication of sources engaged in over and over again by Churchill's academic supporters, it would appear that "rampant left-wing orthodoxy," far from being an accusation that "spins far beyond the realm of verifiable truth," is merely a sober (and conservative) description of that truth.

posted by jgm



Torn Asunder- If you oppose this bill, your are a BAD American

To the horror of conservatives and the delight of liberals, President Bush, John McCain, Lindsey Graham and other out of touch beltway types have torn the Republican party apart. This one issue is so volatile and they approached with such arrogance and elitism (we know better than 80% of America) that if it cannot be stopped it will bring countless millions more illegal immigrants inside our country. They might be great working class folks, but we won't know that, they'll be hiding from authorities...except of course during their parades!

The always level headed Peggy Noonan nails it today.

For almost three years, arguably longer, conservative Bush supporters have felt like sufferers of battered wife syndrome. You don't like endless gushing spending, the kind that assumes a high and unstoppable affluence will always exist, and the tax receipts will always flow in? Too bad! You don't like expanding governmental authority and power? Too bad. You think the war was wrong or is wrong? Too bad.
But on immigration it has changed from "Too bad" to "You're bad."