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May 28, 2007


Government is always cumbersome. Big Government more so.

Oh! Thanks! That explains everything. I guess I don't need to worry then. It's just Big Government after all. What a relief!

The version of AP story on this that I read in the SF Chronicle this morning said immigration agencies had pursued just 12 "terrorism-related" cases in 3 years -- and way in the last graf that of the 12 persons targetted for deportation, only 4 were upheld by immigration judges; 6 were withdrawn by DHS (involuntary voluntary departure?); 1 was "not sustained"; 2 are pending and 1 was "otherwise dealt with."


See, I love that Big Government dodge to explain the boogie man in the closet that causes all ills. It's like when the Libertarian Party calls for:
# Protection of property rights.
# Minimal government bureaucracy. The Libertarian Party states that the government's responsibilities should be limited to the protection of individual rights from the initiation of force and fraud.

Well, fine, sounds good doesn't it...and see I grew up in the LA basin, and as I grew up, I started having trouble breathing the "air". Like New York and water; every region has an example of horrible environmental conditions that were fixed only when government regulations started controlling corporate greed. In the name of free trade and property rights and minimal governmental interference these unrestrained corporate "citizens" will destroy the health of our people and our environment.

Did you know the fish are still unsafe to eat off Santa Monica Bay, due to substantial DDT pollution still deposited on the bay's floor? That this year, for the first time since at least the 1950's, a bald eagle chick was hatched, 'cause the DDT finally is low enough to allow eggs to be viable? That if I teach my daughter to surf just about anywhere off the SoCal coast we're likely to get sick? It just goes on and on.

Our only protection, proven over and over through centuries, is a strong governmental law-based regulatory framework. You harm our citizens, we will send people with guns to not only make you stop, but to force you to clean up your mess. It works, and it's the only thing that does. (Well, OK, it works when governmental powers and the authority to protect citizens haven't been gutted by corporate greedheads acting as so-called 'leaders'. Sorry, my bad.)

But for some small-minded or agenda-driven people Big Government is still portrayed as the boogie man behind all ills: just get rid of government and we will finally attain the nirvana of personal freedom.

Just another dodge to get us to ignore the real criminals in our midst.

Sorry. Don't mean to throw bread scraps beneath the bridges, or to hijack the thread. It just pisses me off to stumble into these blind 'Atlas Shrugged' fantasy arguments in a forum where I am so used to reading engaging, intellectually stimulating, reality-based analysis.

that is a fine post marksb and it needs to be said and heard more often. thanks-

So, EW, when are you moving to Ireland?


Dunno. We can't seem to move out of SE MI. So Ireland is a bit a ways away. Though I gotta get there and start preparing my run for the EU Parliament from Sligo. So it can't wait too long.

I actually looked into seeking Irish citizenship myself, my mother is full-blooded Irish, but her mother is the last one who could have sought that citizenship.

I'm in Paris now, and continuing my efforts to persuade Ms. Masaccio to emigrate. We have a place in the 18th Arr. this time, curtesy of www.vrbo.com, and I collect real estate brochures, which I refer to as Paris Porno. Sometimes late at night, I sneak one out and read about a place tres calme.

The problem of diversion of investigators from ordinary crimes to terrorism matters was a real problem in all areas of the law until recently. Between 2001 and late 2005, we (my partner is a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee) referred about 4 cases for investigation for bankruptcy fraud. None were taken. Lately, however, we are getting a better response.

Ah masaccio

Have a Bertillon for me--it's hot here and I could sure use one.

I would settle for a move to Canada!

And I am sad that you guys didn't come to NYC...

Somewhere I read recently (I am terrible at remembering where I come across bits of info) that most DHS terrorism money has been spent on "hardening" so-called hard targets, which is generally a waste of billions of dollars--most of that money could've been better spent on intelligence (real intel--not illegal wire-tapping schemes to neutralize the domestic opposition). NYC is a case in point, in this regard. It is generally considered to be pretty safe here, terrorism-wise, but that is no thanks to the feds. The NYPD intelligence monies come from local tax dollars.

OT: I just stumbled across a great Irish sports blog called On the Ditch that both wheels might enjoy.


Fun Facts: Northern Ireland has highest per capita FIFA ranking (FIFA points/population) of any nation. The Republic of Ireland is #4. - http://www.fifaworldrankings.egowar.com/per_capita.htm

Unacceptable for the US govt to say. "Either way it's bad for all of us". Non-sense.

1. Congressional Cess Pool

No, it's not bad for "us," it's bad for the US Govt. The job of Congress is to lead, not to make their inaction something that becomes my job. I'm not getting paid to clean up Congress: Congress is paid to _not_ do that. When Congress starts sending me money, and I "don't" to my job, maybe that might be my problem. But Congress won't call _their_ problem "theirs," so no reason for me to call _their_ problem mine.

2. Congressional Decision Not To Oversee: Their Problem

Congress has no plan to oversee this, but try to make it out like it's "our" problem: No. I didn't agree to share responsibility for something only Congress has the power to do. If Congress wants to make it "our" problem, then they are saying the Powers delegated are going back to me by way of attached responsibility. But the Constitution delegated that to the Congress; all _other_ powers belong to We the People.

3. Congressional Rubber Stamp Is _Their_ Rubber Stamp

How can that be, Congress refuses to do anything about it: It's _Congress'_ problem, not "our" problem. Make the Congress take responsibility. Keep reminding them. Call them. _Their problem_. How they liking more attacks on their buffoon troops they've raised and sent to Congress? It's Congress' problem. They voted for illegal war, and for spending money on a reckless occupation.

4. Leadership Inaction Separate, More Fundamental Problem

Given Congress isn't going to do anything about this, it's not my problem: It's _still_ their problem. The fact that they are in positions of leadership, but refuse to lead, doesn't mean their inaction is my problem: No, it's their problem. If the issue is DHS security, terrorism, or something else related to surveillance or rights -- not my problem: It's Congress' job to protect the Constitution, they're not doing it: Not my problem that DHS won't/can't/unable/refuses to do their job; or the war on terror is phony; or that Congress refuses to do their job. I'm not the one at risk of losing a seat, or has to run for election to answer to the voters. Congress has to account.

5. _Their_ Failed funds Management

Congress has the power to end funding for what it thinks isn't working. Congress wants to keep appropriating money. That's a problem Congress said it wants to "solve" by not solving. Remains Congress'' problem.

6. Members of Congress have to Get Elected, Not Me

What's Congress going to do: Make me run for office, and hold me to account by asking me questions about their oversight problem? Get real. _They're_ the ones that have to run and answer questions: _They_ have every two years the requirement to get re-elected. I don't have a requirement to renew my citizenship, or get Congress' approval for what I think of their stupidity. _They_ are the ones who are going to have to lie, have second thoughts, and then betray the public with more lies. Don't make this my problem: It's _their_ problem.

7. Failed Wars: Failed Congress

I don't get graded on how well Congress does; but Congress gets graded on how reckless _they_ are in managing, overseeing, and monitoring the President's reckless warfare. This isn't my problem. The world so much likes this congressional problem, it wages war against the Congressional proxies in Iraq. They're losing. Not my problem: One for Congress to keep spinning its wheels on and looking stupid.

8. Congressional Inaction Is Recklessness: Not My Problem

This is a mess Congress created, keeps rubber stamping, and won't fix. That's not my problem: It's Congress that is the problem. They have the power to shut down funding, fire people, impeach, and find new leadership. They refuse. They're happy with this disaster. Not my problem.

Happy Memorial Day to all here at TNH. Best wishes for a healthy, happy and productive summer.

Here's to all who have gone before us, those who served in our armed forces, and all the people who care about good government including Fitz!


EW wrote, "[C]ontrary to Skeletor Chertoff's claims, DHS has been doing very little to combat terrorism." But they're actually doing a lot, from the standpoint of that well-known Sufi, Mullah Nasruddin.

"One day a man came to the house of the Mullah Nasruddin and observed him walking around it, throwing bread crumbs on the ground.
"Why in the world are you doing that, Mullah?" the man said.
"I'm keeping the tigers away."
"But," the man said, "there are no tigers around here."
"Exactly. It works, doesn't it."

BCIS, the fuzzy welcoming side of immigration at DHS

Only an immigrant or a spouse/relative of one will know the irony inherent in that status. USCIS is, of course, the Brazil-esque side of immigration at DHS.

There were round-ups in other offices in late 2002: I read of one in New York, and this in LA, all with the same M.O.: the special registration programme for immigrants from particular regions turned into a mass roundup. And in classic USCIS fashion, people who thought they were okay because they were actively addressing things like expired visas -- and for those who don't know, processing delays can make expiry almost inevitable -- got caught in the net. As a friend of mine said at the time, it was an invitation to those not rounded up to go into the shadows and hide.

As for me, the advantages of staying sour by the day.

Throw The Congressional Inaction Back At Congress said:

Unacceptable for the US govt to say. "Either way it's bad for all of us". Non-sense.

That wasn't the government, that was one of the study's authors -- we at TRAC are by no means part of the government, all adminstrations dislike having us look over their shoulders. And their data.

What was meant was that it's bad for us if we're doing stuff like spending billions and curtailing liberties in the pursuit of a nonexistent threat; or if the threat is real, then it's bad for us that all those billions and liberties are going wasted because clearly the numbers say we're not finding it.

And thanks emptywheel for the post. I like your stuff at DKos too :)

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