It is noted that some people believe that a state, Arizona, does not have the right to enact a law in place of the federal government and that the federal government is empowered to deal with immigration. The question may well be who is responsible for protecting American citizens as they might cross this new "no-man's land" (that lies within the United States), whether by choice or inadvertently.
The FAA has approved the use of Predator Drones to beginpatrolling the U.S. border with Mexico (at least as of September 1, 2010). This is a step beyond that launched by Texas when it unilaterally authorized the use of its UAVs a few weeks ago.
These unmanned surveillance planes will be based at the Corpus Christi Naval Air Station in Texas.
It should be interesting to see how (or if) this move changes the dynamics of the flow of human and drug trafficking across the border. Certainly, if this deployment receives adequate publicity, "people who are illegally crossing the border" might start looking skyward as they stumble through the dark desert nights.
In a related step, the Department of Homeland Security announced Project Roadrunner, an integrated license plate reader recognition (LPR) system aimed at both north- and southbound drug trafficking and other illegal activity.
The law creates "an imminent threat of state-sanctioned bias or discrimination, resulting not only in individual injury but also in broader social and economic harms to its citizens."
"Given the public rhetoric by the Arizona Governor and other state officials," the brief says, "Mexico is rightfully concerned for the civil rights of its citizens in Arizona." The law gives local police officers "carte blanche authority to stereotype and to rely on the popular perception that appearances and foreign-ness" are justifiable reasons to treat members of a targeted group differently, it says.
In what may be the next front of the illegal immigration debate, two women in the state of Washington (both naturalized and in the United States legally) are collecting signatures on a petition to promote Washington State initiative I-1056. This provision would deny drivers' licenses to all illegal immigrants (Washington is only one of the three states that allow illegals to obtain a license to drive). Additionally, this bill would deny nonemergency public benefits including lottery winnings and college assistance. The initiative is unlikely to pass, especially considering that the Republican party in Washington does not support its passage.
But let's look at another aspect of the illegal immigration problem...businesses that knowingly hire illegal workers (or fail to check their immigration status). "It is so simple, even a Caveman can do it."
People seeking employment are supposed to file an I-9 Form (Employment Eligibility Verification) and is required of all employees hired after November 6, 1986. But actually, it isn't that simple because all too many employers either look the other way, or plead ignorance.
Anti-Discrimination Notice. It is illegal to discriminate against any individual (other than an alien not authorized to work in the U.S.) in hiring, discharging, or recruiting or referring for a fee because of that individual's national origin or citizenship status. It is illegal to discriminate against work eligible individuals. Employers CANNOT specify which document(s) they will accept from an employee. The refusal to hire an individual because of a future expiration date may also constitute illegal discrimination.
The government helps employers verify employment eligibility with a voluntary program called the E-Verify Program. It is in place to help employers verify the information provided by potential employees regarding their eligibility to work in the United States.
So, one of the ways to stop illegal immigration, aside from passage of local laws like Arizona 1070 or the passage of initiatives like Washington I-1056, is to ensure compliance with the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification form. Please answer this question: If you became aware of or suspected that a business was not in compliance with their I-9 responsibilty, what would you do?
The impending implementation of controversial Arizona 1070 has now led to the Administration making it clear that stopping it is a priority . Rather than taking purposeful action to secure the border with Mexico, the focus of the Administration is on battling a state of the Union over a local law designed to protect its citizens from the incursions of illegal immigrants, drug and gun runners and human smugglers.
This is a revealing and disturbing step by the Administration. Depending on the poll and pundit, nearly 60% of those Americans polled are in favor of a law like that proposed by the state of Arizona. And all of this happens when huge parts of American park land including Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge in southern Arizona (2006) and Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Ironwood Forest National Monument, Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge and the Coronado National Forest are being closed because of violence and incursions by Mexican drug cartels and human smugglers.
Where has our sovereignty gone?
What might be considered the worst part of all of this is that our Border Patrol is often restricted to pursuing illegal immigrants and drug/human smugglers on U.S. land because of the Wilderness Act of 1964 that prohibit the use of motor vehicles.
This picture doesn't make sense and the priorities are misguided.
Of course, challenges come with the office. And almost without fail, those challenges happen daily, often without warning or prediction, sometimes on a small scale and other times on a Global Stage. The country has faced financial difficulties, it has faced terrorism threats from within by its own citizens, it has seen the murder of innocent soldiers by a jihad-inspired Army psychiatrist who now stands trial for his crimes. The country has continued to debate the issue of illegal immigration and has had to balance the associated humanitarian issues. We have to deal with the narco-war south of our border while we placate Mexico's president and allow him the pulpit to criticize the Arizona attempt to stem the tide. And now, we face the environmental debacle of the ages, as well as the potential for accelerated violence in and because of the Middle East (Israel and the Gaza blockade).
Yet, it is possible that Peggy Noonan of the Wall Street Journal observed correctly that our greatest threat lies in the belief that "he was supposed to be competent"
I don't see how the president's position and popularity can survive the oil spill. This is his third political disaster in his first 18 months in office. And they were all, as they say, unforced errors, meaning they were shaped by the president's political judgment and instincts.
As with almost every leadership position, that of the Presidency can be a thankless job. Every decision can be second guessed. It is an imperative that crises happen, without warning, and that whenever the next Administration takes office, whether in 2012 or 2016, they will happen. Whatever that crisis is, it will definitely "test the mettle" of the person seated in the Oval Office. It is always a question of whether that person is "up to the challenge."
Hard or impossible to stop, but a 29 year old "window washer" named Barry Walter Bujol Jr. (he must make his namesake proud) was accused by a Grand Jury of trying to aid and abet al Qaeda terrorists by providing GPS devices and cell phones, along with military weapons information.
Apparently al-Awlaki provided our would be American jihadist with a document titled, "42 Ways of Supporting Jihad." Bujol is being charged with providing support to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and identity theft (Bujol had a TWIC card) that could have gained him access to sensitive areas of sea ports.
"This arrest is a sobering reminder of the threat we continue to face," said FBI Houston Special Agent in Charge Richard Powers.
Joseph Varela, an attorney for Bujol, declined to comment on the case.
Bujol is scheduled to have an arraignment on June 8, 2010 in Houston.
It is hard to defend this country against the feeble minded individual who seeks glory through jihad and attempts to harm his or her countrymen. Opinion: Jail is too little punishment for people like this, even if that is all that is legally available.
Boldly, Los Zetas have now threatened to blow up Falcon Dam . It was only a few weeks ago that it was reported that Zeta pirates had been accosting fishermen on the lake if they strayed over the imaginary border line on the water.
An alleged plot by a Mexican drug cartel to blow up a dam along the Texas border -- and unleash billions of gallons of water into a region with millions of civilians -- sent American police, federal agents and disaster officials secretly scrambling last month to thwart such an attack, authorities confirmed Wednesday.
Whether or not the cartel, which is known to have stolen bulk quantities of gunpowder and dynamite, could have taken down the 5-mile-long Falcon Dam may never be known since the attack never came to pass.
Obviously, this is another instance of U.S. citizens somehow imagining an attack or a threat from across the Mexican border (that of course being the position of Mexican government officials relating to the possible border spillover of violence from their drug wars). Texas Governor Rick Perry while avoiding the question of initiating an Arizona-like state immigration policy, remains strong on fixing the border security problem before addressing immigration reform.
Question: What will it take before the federal government acts to protect U.S. citizens from incursions from Mexico, and the violence that accompanies them?
65 Years Ago my Dad shot this film along Kalakaua Ave. in Waikiki capturing spontaneous celebrations that broke out upon first hearing news of the Japanese surrender. Kodachrome 16mm film: God Bless Kodachrome, right? I was able to find an outfit (mymovietransfer.com) to do a much superior scan of this footage to what I had previously posted, so I re-did this film and replaced the older version There are more still images from this amazing day, in color, at discoveringhawaii.com
Yes, please do go discover some Hawaii. And thank Mr. Sullivan for sharing his father's beautiful footage.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, Richard Sullivan. I could watch that all night long and see 100 new wonderful details every time.
And many thanks also to my friend Jim Robbins at the Washington Times for showing it to me in the first place.
Many of us have made note of this before, but it's worth your attention again, because the dynamics of reliance have not changed. In fact, our reliance on GPS systems for our National Security have predictably grown. As the Associated Press reports, a recent glitch shows how much the US military relies on GPS.
A problem that rendered as many as 10,000 U.S. military GPS receivers useless for days is a warning to safeguard a system that enemies would love to disrupt, a defense expert says.
The Air Force has not said how many weapons, planes or other systems were affected or whether any were in use in Iraq or Afghanistan. But the problem, blamed on incompatible software, highlights the military's reliance on the Global Positioning System and the need to protect technology that has become essential for protecting troops, tracking vehicles and targeting weapons.
"Everything that moves uses it," said John Pike, director of Globalsecurity.org, which tracks military and homeland security news. "It is so central to the American style of war that you just couldn't leave home without it."
What gives us military technological primacy also gives us what comes as close to a technician's worst nightmare - a single point of failure.
Our reliance upon GPS systems in our weaponry is immense. And it is also the great equalizer. China and Russia haev long known this, which is why they have been developing anti-satellite systems with a fervor equal to our development of the next generations of 'bunker buster' missiles.
GPS is our Achilles' heel. Defending our space-based assets is paramount.
This is why those who claim "I will not weaponize space" are irresponsible - either through ignorance or reckless abandon. All assets, wherever they are based, require defense. And strong defense is in itself the greatest deterrent. Strong defense is a language all its own, requires no speeches, and is nearly impossible to misinterpret.
'Freedom Flotilla': Jihad And A Floating Trojan Horse
In what can best be described as The Gaza Flotilla Op, a predicatable international hue and cry has ensued, with Israel in the same crosshairs that saw the flotilla off in the first instance. Those most loudly condemning Israel are the quietest when it comes to acknowledging the violent nature of the 'protesters' aboard the boats that the Israeli Navy boarded. They were violent, and some of them Islamists waging jihad and seeking martyrdom.
This morning, Caroline Glick provides the most salient perspective. To understand what is afoot, one must read her column in full.
The reality is simple and stark. Israel is the target of a massive information war, unprecedented in scale and scope. This war is being waged primarily by a massive consortium of the international Left and the Arab and Islamic worlds. The staggering scale of the forces aligned against us is demonstrated by two things.
The Hamas abetting Free Gaza Web site published a list of some 222 organizations that endorsed the terror-supporting flotilla. The listed organizations from the four corners of the earth include Jewish anti-Israel groups as well as Christian, Islamic and nonreligious anti-Israel groups. It is hard to think of any cause other than Israel-bashing that could unite such disparate forces.
It is indeed an information war. It has been ongoing for decades and is now merely in crescendo. And America's treatment of what must be considered a former ally, Turkey, must be reconsidered as the increasingly Islamist government continues its drift into partnership with Iran. Rather than duplicate the thought in other words, consider Caroline's crystal clear understanding regarding Turkey, the flotilla and the IHH. (See also: ITIC: IHH - a Turkish humanitarian relief fund with a radical Islamic anti-Western orientation.)
As to the flotilla, the challenge it presented was nothing new. Israel has been confronted by suicide protesters for a decade now. The fact that these pro-Hamas activists intended to commit suicide to discredit Israel on camera was made clear by the fact that the Turkish organizers named the lead ship Rachel Corrie.
So too, the fact that IDF forces boarding the ships would be met by trenchant, violent opposition was knowable simply by looking at Turkey's role in the operation. First of all, the Turkish government-supported NGO behind the operation is IHH. As the US government, the Turkish government in the 1990s, the Investigative Project on Terrorism and countless other sources have proven, IHH is a terrorist organization with direct links to al-Qaida and Hamas. Its members have been involved in terrorist warfare from Chechnya and Bosnia to Iraq and Israel. The notion that IHH organizers would behave like radical leftist anti-Israel demonstrators on university campuses is simply ridiculous.
Moreover, there is Turkey's behavior to consider. Since Obama took office, Turkey's gradual slide into the Iranian axis has sped up considerably. Turkey's leading role in the flotilla, and the Erdogan government's ostentatious embrace of IHH - which just a decade ago Turkey banned from earthquake relief efforts in light of its violent, jihadist mission - made clear that the Erdogan regime would use any violence on board the ships as a way to strike a strategic blow at Israel's international standing.
More later. For now, if you are seeking understanding of events, proceed with clear understanding that the "Peace Flotilla" was anything but, organized by jihadists and those who sponsor them, playing upon Western sensibilities with manufactured crisis and heavily spun news. A master stroke in an information war, for the majority consuming are unaware and therefor shape the opinions the jihdis desire.
ThreatsWatch readers know better. And know more.
UPDATE: Perhaps readers have seen this video already, but in the event you have not, listen/read carefully to a discussion foretelling deadly resistance before the incident.
February 2, 2010 [Listen Here]
What on Earth can Usama bin Laden, the mystical calculus of climate change and US Homeland Security have in common? Does bin Laden really agree with the President of the United States on matters weather? How is it that the...