Archive for April 20th, 2006

Who Will Defend Industry from Eco-Terrorism?

Thursday, April 20th, 2006

Some of the statements from the eco-terrorist are just plain loony. What I’d like to see is for these so-called environmentalist to give up all the modern things they go on about. I’d guess that probably won’t happen.

The good news: a federal grand jury in Eugene, Oregon, has indicted 11 people on charges that they committed acts of domestic terrorism on behalf of the Earth Liberation Front and the Animal Liberation Front. Moreover, now one of the FBI’s “highest domestic terrorism priorities,” according to director Robert S. Mueller III, is to prosecute people who commit crimes “in the name of animal rights or the environment.”
Nevertheless, it remains worrisome that we still dismiss such terrorists as deranged individuals who pervert the ideology of environmentalism. Even more worrisome is that few of us intellectually grasp, and then rise to defend, the irreplaceable values under attack by environmental terrorists. Their targets are not, fundamentally, a particular ski resort, logging company, meatpacking center or medical research project, but what these represent: human technology, human progress, human life.
Man’s life is sustained–and made longer, healthier, happier–by industrial development and technological progress. The hospitals, antibiotics and chemotherapy treatments which keep our bodies free from disease–the pesticides, bioengineering and shopping malls which make possible our consumption of almost any food imaginable–the oil rigs, dams and nuclear power plants which keep our lights on and washing-machines running–the trucks, telephones and computers which make an hour of our time vastly more productive–the large homes, MP3 players and ski resorts which make our newfound recreational hours more enjoyable–it is these products of industrial civilization that are responsible for the vast increase in the quantity and quality of life that we enjoy today.
Imagine for a moment being transported back to Western Europe nine hundred years ago (or parts of Africa today). Imagine the daily, excruciating physical labor required to grow meager crops or to haul water from miles away–assuming there is no drought. Imagine the filth and disease, because there are no sewage systems. Imagine the pain and misery as rotting teeth go untreated, broken bones go untended, failing eyesight goes uncorrected. This is a glimpse of life without industry.
The individuals singled out for attack by environmental terrorists–namely, scientists, inventors and businessmen–are the creators of industrial civilization. As heirs of Newton, scientists discover truths about the workings of nature. As heirs of Edison, inventors use these truths to create new products which improve human life. As heirs of Ford, businessmen figure out ways to perfect and mass manufacture these products profitably.
These three categories of individuals represent the exploiters of nature, those who transform wilderness to support man’s life. They find plains and forests, dangerous jungles and insect-infested swamps, in which man’s life is precarious, and they build a human environment by creating houses, electric heaters and chemical pesticides. They teach man his method of survival: using his mind to reshape nature to his needs.
As monstrous as it sounds, it is precisely because these heroes are the sustainers of human life that they are targeted by those who are willing to take up arms for their cause, environmentalism.
Despite common belief to the opposite, the ideology of environmentalism is not concerned with improving man’s life on earth. If it were, it would not oppose but champion industrial progress–luxury homes, dams, highways, bioengineering, food irradiation, etc.–and the individuals who create it.
Environmentalism instead champions wilderness (including wild animals). On this premise, science and technology are irredeemably evil. If the supreme value is a world untouched by human hands, then in logic man and industry are destroyers of value, to be eliminated by force if necessary.
Committed environmentalists openly voice this hatred of man and industry. The founder of Green Peace reflects: “I got the impression that instead of going out to shoot birds, I should go out and shoot kids who shoot birds.” A biologist with the U.S. National Park Services states: “Until such time as Homo sapiens should decide to return to nature, some of us can only hope for the right virus to come along.” The head of the 1992 Earth Summit wonders: “Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?”
Environmental terrorism is a consistent expression of environmentalism’s worship of wilderness. By making the preservation of untouched nature the ideal, environmentalism necessarily makes man, who survives by exploiting nature, the enemy.
If we value our lives, we must never make common cause with environmentalism, no matter how appealing a particular environmentalist project may seem. We must fight not only against particular environmental terrorists but also against the ideology that inspires them. But even more important, we must fight for rational values: man’s life and industrial civilization.
Dr. Onkar Ghate is a senior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute in Irvine, CA. The Institute promotes the philosophy of Ayn Rand, author of “Atlas Shrugged” and “The Fountainhead.”

Judge Says Ten Commandments Can Stay

Thursday, April 20th, 2006

Well, look at that. A judge actually read (and understood) the second amendment to the Constutution and has held that having the Ten Commandments on public property is not an establishment of religion. Thank you God!!

TOLEDO, Ohio — A Ten Commandments monument that has stood on the courthouse lawn for almost 50 years does not promote religion and can remain in place, a federal judge ruled.
U.S. District Judge James Carr said Tuesday that the monument can stay because the motives for placing it outside the Lucas County courthouse were secular and not an endorsement of a specific belief.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio sued Lucas County in 2002 to have the display removed, saying it was unconstitutional and promoted religion.
Carr’s decision followed a ruling last year by the U.S. Supreme Court that addressed displays of the Ten Commandments.
The Supreme Court in June allowed a 6-foot granite monument to remain at the Texas Capitol. Justices said Ten Commandments exhibits would be upheld if their main purpose was to honor the nation’s legal, rather than religious, traditions, and if they didn’t promote one religious sect over another.
The Lucas County marker was given to the county by the Fraternal Order of the Eagles as part of an effort to combat juvenile delinquency.
Jeffrey Gamso, a legal director for the ACLU in Ohio, said the group had not decided whether to appeal.

Executives Arrested in Immigration Raids

Thursday, April 20th, 2006

And since we are on the subject of “border security and immigration reform” today, I have to say, if we had more businesses being punished harshly for hiring illegal immigrants, maybe the jobs would dry up. No jobs to come to means less illegals crossing.

WASHINGTON — Immigration agents arrested seven executives and hundreds of employees of a manufacturer of crates and pallets Wednesday as part of a crackdown on employers of illegal workers.
Authorities raided offices and plants of IFCO Systems in at least nine states, the culmination of a yearlong criminal investigation, law enforcement officials said.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested seven current and former IFCO Systems managers on charges they conspired to transport, harbor and encourage illegal workers to reside in the United States for commercial advantage and private financial gain, said Glenn T. Suddaby, the chief federal prosecutor in Albany, N.Y., where some arrests were made.
ICE spokeswoman Jamie Zuieback confirmed an unspecified number of raids and arrests, but declined to provide additional details because the investigation was continuing. One official, speaking on condition of anonymity because numbers were still being tallied, said the arrests were in the hundreds.
Raids took place at several locations in upstate New York and in Biglerville, Pa., Charlotte, N.C., Cincinnati, Houston, Indianapolis, Phoenix, Richmond, Va., and Westborough, Mass.
“ICE has no tolerance for corporate officers who harbor illegal aliens for their work force. Today’s nationwide enforcement actions show how we will use all our investigative tools to bring these individuals to justice, no matter how large or small their company,” said ICE chief Julie Myers.
She and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff are expected on Thursday to lay out an immigration enforcement strategy that targets employers’ disregard for immigration law.
Last week, operators of three restaurants in Baltimore pleaded guilty to similar immigration charges, while nine people affiliated with two temporary employment agencies that do business in New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania were charged in a $5.3 million scheme involving the employment and harboring of illegal aliens.
Several immigration proposals pending in Congress would stiffen penalties against employers who hire illegal immigrants.
German-based IFCO Systems describes itself as the leading pallet services company in the United States, focusing on recycling millions of the wooden platforms used to stack and move all manner of goods. It operates about five dozen facilities nationwide and has been expanding steadily, according to the company’s Web site.
IFCO Systems acknowledged that a number of employees were detained Wednesday and pledged to cooperate with the investigation.
“It is our policy to comply with all federal and state employment requirements,” the company said in a statement.
In Houston, Jose Rivera, an immigrant from El Salvador, went to one of the company’s Houston operations to search for information about his 22-year-old son, an IFCO Systems employee who was arrested Wednesday. Rivera said a brother, who worked at an IFCO operation in Louisiana, also was arrested Wednesday.
“I really feel angry because this is an injustice,” he said through a translator. “It’s an injustice because one person, who come from another country, why can’t you work?”
Rivera said his son has worked for IFCO for about a year and a half.
The current and former IFCO Systems managers arrested were identified by Suddaby as: Michael Ames, 44, Shrewsbury, Mass.; Robert Belvin, 43, Clifton Park, N.Y.; Abelino Chicas, 40, Houston; Scott Dodge, 43, Albany; William Hoskins, 29, Cincinnati; James Rice, 36, Houston, and Dario Salzano, 36, Amsterdam, N.Y.
Last year, Wal-Mart stores agreed to pay $11 million to settle allegations concerning the employment and mistreatment of illegal immigrants.
Wal-Mart has maintained that top executives did not know that cleaning contractors were hiring illegal immigrants, who sometimes slept in the backs of stores. An ICE affidavit unsealed as part of that case, however, asserted that two executives were aware of the practice.

Invasion U.S.A. – Border Control Crisis

Thursday, April 20th, 2006

The situation along the American-Mexican border continues to grow. I cannot imagine why the president and congress refuses to deal with something so remedial. How can we even think of having homeland security and immigration reform when our borders are wide open? The answer is, we can’t.

Minuteman border watch leader Chris Simcox has a message for President Bush: Build new security fencing along the border with Mexico or private citizens will.

Simcox said Wednesday that he’s sending an ultimatum to the president, through the media, “You can’t get through to the president any other way,” to deploy military reserves and the National Guard to the Arizona border by May 25.
Or, Simcox said, by the Memorial Day weekend Minuteman Civil Defense Corps volunteers and supporters will break ground to start erecting fencing privately.
“We have had landowners approach,” Simcox said in an interview. “We’ve been working on this idea for a while. We’re going to show the federal government how easy it is to build these security fences, how inexpensively they can be built when built by private people and free enterprise.”
Simcox said a half-dozen landowners along the Arizona-Mexico border have said they will allow fencing to be placed on their borderlands, and others in California, Texas and New Mexico have agreed to do so as well.
“Certainly, as with everything else, we’re only able to cover a small portion of the border,” Simcox said. “The state and federal government have bought up most of the land around the border. I suspect that’s why we’ll never get control of the border.”
But he said the plan is to put up secure fencing that truly will be an effective deterrent, and to show how easily it can be accomplished.
Simcox gave this description of the envisioned barrier-and-fencing complex:
Start with a 6-foot deep trench so a vehicle can’t crash through; behind it, roll of concertina (coiled, razor-edged barbed wire), in front of a 15-foot high heavy-gauge steel mesh fence angled outward at the top.
Behind the fence will be a 60- to 70-foot wide unpaved but graded dirt road, along with inexpensive, mounted video cameras that can be monitored from home computers. On the other side of the road will be a second, 15-foot fence, with more concertina wire on its outside.
“It’s a very simple, effective design based on feedback we’ve had from Border Patrol and the military,” Simcox said. “It’s a fence that can be built on the cheap, effective and secure.”
Simcox said supporters will try to build the fencing with volunteer labor. Surveyors and contractors have offered to help with the design and survey work, he said, and some have said they will provide heavy equipment.
Simcox said those involved in the planning hope to keep costs to between $125 and $150 a foot.
Access to land literally on the border is an issue because so much is state-leased trust property or federally owned, he said.
“You may have to deal with a situation where private property owners erect their own fences and may be faced with the president sending the National Guard to prevent them from protecting their private property,” Simcox said.
He said the Minuteman plan is “to keep turning up the heat” until President Bush has to respond somehow.

I live on a planet called “Earth”. I’m not sure what planet Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff lives on, but I’d suggest that he joins us on this one.

Chertoff downplays Mexican military incursions

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff downplayed reports by the U.S. Border Patrol of more than 200 incursions by the Mexican military over the last 10 years, calling them “scare tactics.”
While acknowledging the Border Patrol reports of crossings by uniformed troops, Chertoff told reporters in Washington yesterday he believes many of the incursions could have been innocent mistakes, according to the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin in Ontario, Calif.
“I think the stories are overblown,” Chertoff said. “I asked the chief of the Border Patrol about it. The number has not increased; in fact, it had decreased a little bit.”
In some cases, Chertoff suggested, it could be a matter of Mexican authorities crossing where the dividing line is unclear or criminals in camouflage are mistaken for soldiers.
T.J. Bonner, the president of the National Border Patrol Council, asserted Chertoff is uninformed.
“Were he to go out there on actual patrol with Border Patrol agents … and experience what we experience – where you encounter a group of highly trained, very well-armed Mexican soldiers coming across our border, and your closest backup is an hour or more away – I think he would be a lot more concerned about it,” he told the Ontario newspaper.
Some Border Patrol agents contend Mexican military officers have been colluding with drug-smuggling cartels.
The Border Patrol has tracked 216 incursions by Mexican military or police forces since 1996, the Daily Bulletin first reported Sunday.
The paper said the highest total was 40 in 2002, while last year there were nine.
Chertoff confirmed there have been about 20 incursions a year in the last decade.
The Homeland Security chief also acknowledged reports of corruption among Mexican troops were true, but didn’t see them as significant.
“We do have instances where we have Mexican police or military who have deserted and become involved with criminal activity,” Chertoff said. “But we’ve also had bad cops in the United States, too. It happens.”
Emphasizing the collaborative relationship between the U.S. and Mexico, Chertoff called attempts to call the incursions a problem “scare tactics,” the Daily Bulletin said.
A spokesman for the Mexican consulate, Rafael Laveaga, denies any Mexican military incursions have taken place.
Pointing out the few times U.S. Border Patrol has accidentally crossed into Mexico, Bonner insisted the incursions were not just innocent mistakes, and he criticized Chertoff for playing down the number.
“For him to say this is only a few hundred – come on,” Bonner said. “One is far too many.”
As WorldNetDaily reported in February, an American law enforcement officer and news crew in Texas witnessed another armed incursion into the United States by men dressed in Mexican army attire, the second such incident in two weeks.
As before, several men dressed in Mexican military garb appeared to violate the international boundary, in Hudspeth County, Texas, some 50 miles east of El Paso, local affiliate KFOX-TV reported. There, the U.S.-Mexico border is separated only by a shallow stretch of Rio Grande River. The incursion was witnessed by a KFOX news crew and Hudspeth County deputy, photos of which are posted on the affiliate’s website.
Mexican officials have said their military is forbidden from traveling within three miles of the border, though U.S. border residents repeatedly have spotted mobile patrols of Mexican military units traversing roads that run directly parallel to the international boundary. Mexico says the armed men crossing into the U.S. are paramilitary forces loyal to drug-smuggling cartels.

What Jen Rast over at Contender Ministries coined as the “Anti-Christian Litigation Union” or the ACLU, is now going after the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps. Guess the ACLU can have another moniker: the “Anti-Constitution Litigation Union”. At least the state recognized this and ruled correctly.

ACLU fails to oust Minutemen

The American Civil Liberties Union failed an attempt to remove volunteers with the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps from Arizona state land.
Ranch owner Pat King, whose property includes some state trust land she leases, told the Arizona Daily Star newspaper the ACLU officials who instigated the complaint don’t care about her.
“So they are not really the American Civil Liberties Union are they? Because they don’t give a darn about what has happened to my constitutional rights to property,” King said.
King, according to the Daily Star, called the ACLU members misguided, out-of-town youngsters who don’t understand what people and drug smugglers have done to her land and the valley.
About 60 ACLU members have been monitoring the Minuteman volunteers since the beginning of a monthlong patrol April 1 south of Three Points, Ariz., on King’s private Anvil Ranch.
The ACLU’s Ray Ybarra complains the volunteers shine high-powered flashlights on them as they drive by.
But the Minutemen claim the ACLU members have harassed and berated them and interfered with Border Patrol apprehensions.
The president of the Minuteman Arizona chapter, Stacey O’Connell, said the border group is considering legal action.
The paper reported Ybarra contacted the Arizona State Land Department about the Minuteman presence on state trust land without permits.
An Arizona official showed up Monday night to visit the volunteers.
The issue was resolved, according to O’Connell, when volunteers presented valid permits and others promised to get them right away online.
“Nobody was escorted off state land, nobody was asked to leave,” O’Connell told the Daily Star.
Ybarra said he heard, via radio communication, the Arizona official telling the volunteers they needed state permits to be on trust land, even with permission from the ranch owner.
But deputy state Land Commissioner Richard Hubbard said the state employee was mistaken. The volunteers had a right to be there because they were invited by the ranch owner to do work in addition to their patrols.
Ybarra, nevertheless, called the events this week suspicious and said he will continue to probe the state permit law.
The ACLU has expressed concerned over “the potential for taking actions and … attempting to enforce immigration laws.”
The Minutemen say, however, they only are reporters of illegal crossings to the Border Patrol.