Category Archives: immigration


Seems the NSA can, without a warrant, snoop on anyone within three degrees of someone that they may have some suspicion about.

…the rather startling news that came out of yesterday’s House Judiciary Committee on the NSA spying programs: NSA Director John Inglis revealed that the FISA Court permits the government to do three jumps from an initial number tied to a phone number reasonably believed to be tied to terrorism (or relevant to Iran, though that search criteria didn’t get mentioned at all in the parts of the hearing I watched).

Three degrees of separation!

Remember, some years ago, every single person in the US could be connected via six degrees — the old Kevin Bacon game. There’s some evidence that that number has become smaller — perhaps as small as 3 (I’ve seen more scientific numbers that say it is 4.5 or thereabouts).

In any case, if the US is using the excuse of terror to get three jumps deep into US person associations, then this program is even more intrusive then they’ve let on.

I imagine that would include everyone in our government, the Israeli government, the Palestinian authority, every head of state, every law enforcement officer, everyone who has ever been abroad, everyone who has ever interviewed a foreign person, everyone who knows anyone who knows anyone in:


the Quakers,

any demonstration of any kind,

anyone who has written a letter to an editor,

any person of color,

anyone who signed a petition, and

so on.

It’s basically EVERYONE. and what will they do with it? Wait til Karl Rove or one of the Cheneys gets back in power and you’ll see in short order. Or just some NSA guy who’s curious about who his ex girlfriend in dating. Or some NSA girl with a grudge against oh, well, ANYONE!

We have a constitution; that used to mean something.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

When basically the entire population is legally suspect, doesn’t that mean we’re doing something wrong?


video: Gary Oldman, in “The Professional.”

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Flipflopping Old John McCain loses the rest of his integrity

Having caved in to the Republican base on taxes and religion, McCain now panders on immigration, as well, and abandons his principles on campaign financing. The old guy is giving Romney a run for his money on who can be the least principled. Or maybe Old John just can’t remember what he used to think. He’s still my choice for president of Del Boca Vista, Phase II.


Filed under immigration, John McCain for president of Del Boca Vista, Mitt Romney: double guantanamo, Politics, Wordpress Political Blogs

Mitt Romney’s complete bullshit

Juan Cole, on Mitt Romney’s attempt to be seen as John Kennedy (including poses):

As for the insistence that you need religion for political freedom, that is silly. Organized religion has many virtues, but pushing for political liberty is seldom among them. Religion is about controlling people. No religiously based state has ever provided genuine democratic governance. You want religion in politics, go to Iran.

The true evil of the Rove/Bush era is putting deluded religious zealots on the battle lines for the forces of corporatism, greed, and bigotry, the least Christian motives I can think of. Yeah, Christ would have doubled Guantanamo, Mitt.

Washington Post:

Where Mr. Romney most fell short, though, was in his failure to recognize that America is composed of citizens not only of different faiths but of no faith at all and that the genius of America is to treat them all with equal dignity. “Freedom requires religion, just as religion requires freedom,” Mr. Romney said. But societies can be both secular and free. The magnificent cathedrals of Europe may be empty, as Mr. Romney said, but the democracies of Europe are thriving.

“Americans acknowledge that liberty is a gift of God, not an indulgence of government,” Mr. Romney said. But not all Americans acknowledge that, and those who do not may be no less committed to the liberty that is the American ideal.

Further, Romney signals that the courts are not off limits for his theocratic notions:

….Our greatness would not long endure without judges who respect the foundation of faith upon which our constitution rests.

All in all, quite a pandering and un-American speech. But who notices, these days…. Just put on a lapel pin and you’re good to go.

Maybe next time Mitt will tell us about some of the things one has to believe in to be a good American….how God used to be a man, how he had sex with Mary to father the Baby Jesus, and maybe he’ll toss in some things about apostasy, eternal damnation, how black people and women could become second class citizens; tell us about multiple wives, baptizing other people’s ancestors, and other things dreamed up by the teenager who invented Mormonism. While he’s at it, he could tell us how the concept of inerrancy might be seen as less than completely tolerant, shall we say. Maybe he could tell us how believing in creationism makes someone more free. And tell us how those who apply the name of Christ to themselves are not in the streets protesting the killing in Darfur. Or torture. Then tell us why believing in any or all of this nonsense makes someone more fit to be an American than someone who, for example, believes in none of it.

Firedoglake rightly asks where the NY Times is on this bigotry.

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Arizona to penalize business owners who hire illegals

Well, here is a real step forward, for a change. Bush’s immigration and justice people have staged sweeps of illegals, but have not enforced the laws on hiring.

Gov. Janet Napolitano on Monday signed sweeping legislation against employers of undocumented workers, targeting the state’s market for illegal labor with what she called “the most aggressive action in the country.”

The penalty for violators: the suspension of a business license on the first violation and permanent revocation on a second, amounting to a death sentence for repeat offenders.

It will be interesting to see how long it takes for other states to follow suit. I am not thinking many states want to be the last safe haven.

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Baseball: NYTimes gets it wrong on Gary Sheffield’s racism


William C. Rhoden writes that Sheffield is right…

[Sheffield] spent most of the week responding and not responding to comments he made in an article in GQ magazine to the effect that Latino players are more desirable to major league teams because they are easier to control than African-American players.

Sheffield’s choice of the word control was harsh. There is a malaise among athletes in general in terms of challenging the status quo. But at a time when immigration is a searing topic, Sheffield raised a crucial issue about a delicate subject: the competition for jobs between African-American and Latino players in Major League Baseball.

“Baseball has a choice of which black faces it wants representing baseball,” Sheffield said Thursday during a telephone interview. “They’re choosing Latinos. What I was saying is that they’re choosing them because they can sign them for $2,000 and if they don’t take it, what do they have to do? They got to go back to where they’re from and they got to eat hot dogs for dinner.”

Rhoden is wrong and more importantly Sheffield is wrong. If Sheffield wants to draw a line between Americans and Latin Americans, he can try and do so, but he will have some real factual, as well as logical, problems in those efforts. But to say that baseball is choosing which black faces to employ is RIDICULOUS, and some of his other comments certainly utilize racial stereotypes and overgeneralizations. The idea that immigrants are taking American jobs is certainly worth discussing, as is the “draft,” but making it into a differential racial issue is not only inaccurate, it’s destructive.

Try again, NY Times. This was an easy one, and you got it wrong.

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Ronald Reagan, conservatives, and immigration, part I

Conservatives who are going batshit crazy over the “amnesty” issue,  ought not to forget their hero:

President Ronald Reagan granted amnesty to illegal immigrants when he signed the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 that affected mostly Latino immigrants living in the United States since 1982.

Of the nearly 4 million illegal immigrants eligible to apply for legal residency under the 1986 law, 55 percent were from Mexico, according to the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. The law gave immigrants who came to America before 1982 one year, between May 1987 and May 1988, to apply for temporary resident status and permits for employment.

Just sayin….

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McCain to Cornyn: “Fuck you!”

My, my. The little old guy is kind of crotchety. Seems he thinks he knows all about immigration as well as Iraq, and he doesn’t mind cursing like a sailor to let people know it.

McCain complained that Cornyn was raising petty objections to a compromise plan being worked out between Senate Republicans and Democrats and the White House. He used a curse word associated with chickens and accused Cornyn of raising the issue just to torpedo a deal.
Things got really heated when Cornyn accused McCain of being too busy campaigning for president to take part in the negotiations, which have gone on for months behind closed doors. “Wait a second here,” Cornyn said to McCain. “I’ve been sitting in here for all of these negotiations and you just parachute in here on the last day. You’re out of line.”McCain, a former Navy pilot, then used language more accustomed to sailors (not to mention the current vice president, who made news a few years back after a verbal encounter with Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont).

“[Expletive] you! I know more about this than anyone else in the room,” shouted McCain at Cornyn.

I guess the right is right, Mr. Mac…you just don’t have that real Christian way about you. Next time use a Robertson-approved epithet like “you homa SECX-yul !!”

God knows, Cornyn is worth insulting, that’s for sure.

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Filed under immigration, John McCain for president of Del Boca Vista, Politics, religion

GOP candidates would continue Bush policies

That Bush is unpopular was acknowledged by the GOP candidates in their debate, as they basically never mentioned his name. Yet these same candidates overwhelmingly endorsed his policies, with the possible exception of immigration reform….as if Bush’s lack of popularity was the result of some personal characteristic, rather than his policies.

Paul Krugman, at NY Times Select, takes up that theme today:

the leading contenders for the Republican nomination have given us little reason to believe they would behave differently. Why should they? The principles Mr. Bush has betrayed are principles today’s G.O.P., dominated by movement conservatives, no longer honors. In fact, rank-and-file Republicans continue to approve strongly of Mr. Bush’s policies — and the more un-American the policy, the more they support it.

aside from John McCain, who to his credit echoed Gen. Petraeus (and was met with stony silence), the candidates spoke enthusiastically in favor of torture and against the rule of law. Rudy Giuliani endorsed waterboarding. Mitt Romney declared that he wants accused terrorists at Guantánamo, “where they don’t get the access to lawyers they get when they’re on our soil … My view is, we ought to double Guantánamo.” His remarks were greeted with wild applause.

And torture isn’t the only Bush legacy that seems destined to continue if a Republican becomes the next president. Mr. Bush got us into the Iraq quagmire by conflating Saddam with Al Qaeda, treating two mutually hostile groups as if they constituted a single enemy. Well, Mr. Romney offers more of that. “There is a global jihadist effort,” he warned in the second debate. “And they’ve come together as Shia and Sunni and Hezbollah and Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda with that intent.” Aren’t Sunnis and Shiites killing each other, not coming together? Nevermind.

What about the administration’s state of denial over Iraq, its unwillingness to face up to reality? None of the leading G.O.P. presidential contenders seem any different —

These “debates” would be jokes, if they didn’t so debase the electoral process. But the message from the GOP, as a whole, is clear: business as usual.

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Gonzales hearings point out basic rift in GOP on illegal immigration: cheap labor for business vs. nativism/racism for the masses

Glenn Greenwald:

Republican hostility towards Gonzales and even calls for his resignation are, in most (though not all) cases, motivated by pre-existing dissatisfaction that has nothing to do with the scandal in question. That is one of the ironies here — that a Republican administration that never wanted aggressive enforcement of immigration laws (and therefore defended its U.S. attorneys from complaints voiced by Congressional Republicans about lax enforcement) is now attempting to pretend that it fired some of these U.S. attorneys because they did not enforce the immigration laws aggressively enough.

Business has welcomed cheap illegal labor for years, since the Reagan administration, when this flood began.  Bush’s most valued supporters are in this camp, and this accounts for his (up til recently) very soft stance on illegal immigration.   But the GOP base also includes those most likely to exhibit racist/nativist behaviors, and they are uniformly opposed to anything that smacks of toleration of illegal entry or or granting “amnesty.”   Whatever inroads Bush had made into the Hispanic vote, he and the GOP are rapidly losing as they shift towards incarceration, criminalization and harsh penalties for illegals.


Filed under George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, immigration, Politics

This they do in your name….

Go read this story by peterr at Firedoglake, on the families imprisoned by immigration authorities after the raids on Swift meat packing plants.

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