Saturday, April 29

Fighting Illegal Immigration is Easy: Update III

The general consensus of the decision makers in the Government, including the President, is that we are stuck with those illegal immigrants that are already here, so we should concentrate on finding a path to legalize their presence here, up to and including granting them citizenship. What a load of bull. If any Government action will make the illegal immigration problem bigger, it is to provide a way to legalize the presence of those who are here illegally.

The long-standing position of Fred Fry International is that it is easier to fight illegal immigration than the Government is willing to admit. Lately, they are proclaiming that it is impossible to deport those who are already here illegally, so we should not even attempt to do so. Recently the Government provided us with an example proving that it is easy to fight illegal immigration by making raids on just one firm.

WASHINGTON - Federal immigration agents, carrying out the largest workplace bust in U.S. history, arrested 1,187 illegal immigrants employed by a nationwide pallet services company and filed criminal conspiracy charges against seven current and former managers, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff announced Thursday.

The 26-state roundup, conducted Wednesday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE - Press Release) agents, targeted Houston-based IFCO Systems North America Inc. and capped a 14-month investigation that involved a former illegal immigrant working as an undercover operative for ICE.

IFCO managers actively recruited illegal immigrants and provided housing, transportation and bogus work documents, officials said. Approximately 53.4 percent of the Social Security numbers for 5,800 IFCO workers during 2005 were either invalid, belonged to children or dead people, or did not match the names registered with the Social Security Administration, according to investigators. - State, SC

Do you think one of these 12 million illegal aliens is using your Social Security number? Good luck as the Government is doing nothing about Social Security fraud!

Many blogs correctly called this out as a political stunt, especially considering that many of the illegal aliens rounded up in the sting were released within a day of being detained. My initial reaction was "so what." A number of company officers were arrested and they are not going to get off so easy. In addition, all of those illegal aliens lost their jobs. Not just the 1,000 but the estimated 2,500 employees that had bogus documents.

The effects of the raid were not limited just to those illegal aliens working for that one company. Word is now making the news that all sorts of rumors are making the rounds in the illegal alien community.

MIAMI (AP) - Thousands of illegal immigrants stayed home this week amid rumors of immigration roundups that federal officials say were unfounded, leaving some industries scrambling for workers.

Len Mills, executive vice president of Associated General Contractors of South Florida, estimated at least 50 percent of workers on construction jobs in the region had not shown up for work.

"This is costing millions of dollars a day, and I don't know who is going to pay for it," he said. (Note: Perhaps those millions are what you had saved by hiring illegal labor in the first place!)

Rumors of random sweeps were rampant from coast to coast Friday, prompting many immigrants to stay home from work, take their children out of school and avoid church. Their absences added to immigrants' fears, as some thought their friends and co-workers had been arrested.

So you see, the raid did have some relevant ripple effects. You can bet that many of those here illegally, especially those who are recent arrivals, are thinking constantly about the possibility of being caught and deported. After all, many have broken a number of laws, including identity theft.

"Everybody's edgy," said Chris Ruske, owner of a southern New Jersey nursery. "There's an awful lot of rhetoric, and you wonder what's true. You wonder if the immigration Gestapo are coming to get you."

See here. Now the Government is as bad as the nazi's because they are trying to enforce the law. I say it's great that they are edgy. Mr. Ruske should be edgy too if he is employing illegal aliens. ICE doesn't need a good reputation. They should be feared and illegal aliens should believe that Immigration is coming after them. This will make others think before they even attempt to enter the US illegally.

I bet that some illegal aliens did lose their jobs as some employers received the Government's message loud and clear. In addition, the US MARSHALS SERVICE is busy targeting illegal aliens who are wanted criminals (criminal aliens.) In their latest operation, over 9,000 wanted criminals were, some who were illegal aliens. These captures are probably very impressive shows of force, so news of these captures does spread.

This coupled with actual ICE raids will help these rumors spread. Here are just a couple of other recent immigration raids:

CHARLOTTE, NC -- A total of five violent criminal aliens were arrested here in the past two weeks by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents acting on information received from local law enforcement agencies and citizens in the community. - 28 April

MIAMI- Fugitives and immigration violators were among 183 arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention and removal officers and special agents during a weeklong statewide operation that culminated Friday. - 24 April

NEW YORK, NY -- Fifty-two child predators were arrested today in the five boroughs by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents and officers of the New York City Department of Probation. All of the individuals arrested have been previously convicted of sex offenses including rape, sodomy, sexual abuse, attempted sexual abuse, endangering the welfare of a child, criminal sex act, course of sexual conduct against a child and sexual misconduct. The youngest of the victims was two years old. The oldest was 16. Those arrested are from the following countries: China, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Italy, Jamaica, Liberia, Mexico, Norway and Trinidad. - 20 April

NEW ORLEANS, La. - Thirty-five illegal aliens, including an MS-13 gang member, were arrested here April 6 during a joint law enforcement operation between U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD). The public safety operation targeted violent criminal aliens living in New Orleans neighborhoods. These arrests are part of ICE's ongoing enforcement initiative to remove those who have no legal right to remain in the country and who pose a threat to our community. Among those arrested was Jose Guadalupe Rubi-Carrizoza, 32, a Honduran national deported from the U.S. twice. Rubi-Carrizoza now faces criminal charges for illegally re-entering the country after being lawfully deported.Also arrested was 26-year-old Fredy Turcios-Rodriguez, a Honduran national convicted for carrying a concealed weapon and possession of burglary tools. Turcios-Rodriguez was previously deported from the U.S. on 5 previous occasions and he too may face criminal prosecution for illegal re-entering the country. - 14 April

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Two temporary employment agencies and nine individuals affiliated with the agencies have been charged in a $5.3 million scheme involving the employment of illegal aliens, harboring of illegal aliens, mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering, according to a federal indictment unsealed today in the Northern District of Ohio. According to the indictment, the defendants conspired to employ illegal aliens, as well as legal aliens who had no authorization to work in the United States. They also conspired to provide transportation and housing for these aliens, as well as help them obtain fraudulent documents. The indictment also alleges that they profited from this illegal employment scheme and laundered millions in proceeds. At the heart of the scheme were HV Connect, Inc., a temporary employment agency that operated in Philadelphia, PA, and Canton, Ohio, and TN Job Service, Inc., a temporary employment agency that operated in Philadelphia, PA, Pennsauken, NJ, Canton, Ohio, and New Philadelphia, Ohio. - 11 April

MIAMI - Drug traffickers and murderers were among the 37 criminals arrested here last week by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents.
The public safety operation dubbed “Safe Streets” culminated Monday following a weeklong effort targeting violent criminal aliens living in South Florida neighborhoods. These arrests are part of ICE's ongoing enforcement initiative to remove those who have no legal right to remain in the country and who pose a threat to our community. - 5 April

NEW ORLEANS, La. -- Sixty-eight illegal aliens and two U.S. citizens were arrested here this weekend during a joint law enforcement operation between U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Gretna Police Department (GPD). The public safety operation targeted violent criminal aliens living in New Orleans neighborhoods. These arrests are part of ICE's ongoing enforcement initiative to remove those who have no legal right to remain in the country and who pose a threat to our community. Of the 68 individuals arrested, 12 were criminal aliens, nine had illegally re-entered the United States after having been deported, and three had outstanding warrants of removal. Some of the individuals arrested have been convicted of violent crimes including domestic violence, theft and drug possession. - 5 April

BUFFALO, N.Y - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) today announced that 1,368 people have been removed from New York in the first six months of fiscal 2006. More than 1,000 of the individuals removed had criminal convictions and many came into ICE custody directly from New York State prisons as part of ICE's Criminal Alien Program (CAP). Others were arrested as part of the ICE Fugitive Operations Program. - 4 April

That's lots of activity, and this is just in April. Notice how many of these people have already been caught and deported at least once already. This is yet another reason to strengthen our borders, if for no other reason than to keep those who have been caught and deported from entering again.

One wonders if ICE will make an appearance at the May Day protests:

The National Immigration Law Center called on organizations nationwide to sign a petition urging ICE to assure the public it won't make any immigration arrests during the protests. The agency said its policy is not to discuss potential operations. "ICE will continue to operate as it does every day of the year," Boyd said.

The rumors affected a wide variety of businesses. In New Jersey and New York, day-laborer gathering sites drew only a trickle of workers. "It is the ugliest of rumors because it has intimidated people who are already afraid. They are living in the shadows of society, wondering who is going to knock on the door," said the Rev. Allan Ramirez, pastor of the Brookville Dutch Reform Church in Long Island, N.Y.

It just might be that ICE does show up on May first. It might not be at the protests either. Perhaps they will show up at more workplaces. I don't share the sympathy of Reverend Ramirez. This is not a problem that we created and nobody seems interested in attacking the cause of why all these people are coming here illegally. The fault for that lies with the governments of our southern neighbors.

Lets see just what type of impact there is on Monday when Illegal Immigrants plan to show us how much work is done in this country by them. If they really want to get the message out, then they should boycott working for us ungrateful Americans for a full week, not just for a day. Lets really see exactly how big a problem we really have. All I think a one-day boycott is going to prove is that much of the work being done by illegals is non-critical and the mass protests will show us how many there are, bring about more pressure for the Government to go after them, not accept them. Once this issue is dealt with, we can get to the serious issue of automation in places where cheap labor has delayed the installation of machinery.

Nearly 1,200 arrested in crackdown on illegal workers - The State, SC
Raid Rumors Fuel Fear Among Immigrants - WTOP Radio DC

Thursday, April 27

Offshore America Off-Limits to Oil Drilling

Most of America's offshore area is currently off limits to offshore oil drilling. It is simply not on the market. Everyone knows about ANWAR and that critics of ANWAR claim that drilling there will not make any difference. Well sure, not by itself, but there are many other areas that are currently off-limits to drilling. Now ANWAR is not offshore but on land in Northern Alaska which almost none of us will ever visit.

Take a look at this map. Currently, the US Government permits offshore oil exploration in the red areas:

I thought the Government wanted to reduce foreign oil reliance? They sure have a funny way of going about it.


We have the following updates about politics and gas prices:

First, there is the Prince of Qatar:

Qatari Energy Minister Abdullah Bin Hamad Al Attiyah said the price of oil would drop by $15 should politicians end their expressions of concern over a halt in supplies.

Al Attiyah said the record oil prices of more than $75 per barrel was the result of fears and speculation within the market.

In other words, shut up.

Then there is the Washington Post which has a great articles about the cars taht our Congressmen and women drive:

"Since George Bush and Dick Cheney took over as president and vice president, gas prices have doubled!" charged Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), standing at an Exxon station on Capitol Hill where regular unleaded hit $3.10. "They are too cozy with the oil industry."

She then hopped in a waiting Chrysler LHS (18 mpg) -- even though her Senate office was only a block away.

America may be addicted to oil, as President Bush puts it. But America is in the denial phase of this addiction -- as evidenced by the behavior of its lawmakers. They have proposed all kinds of solutions to high gas prices: taxes on oil companies, domestic oil drilling and releasing petroleum reserves. But they ignore the obvious: that Americans drive too much in too-big cars. - Washington Post

There is much more. Read about who is driving what in the rest of the story.

Update: 28 April 06

Rightwing Nuthouse has a dead-on parody of this whole idiotic situation.

Meantime, the Demons had a better idea (politically speaking, that is). If the Pibble party could pander to the people then the Demons could up the ante. “Let’s tax the excess profits on turnip juice,” they cried triumphantly. This had the advantage of playing to the ignorance of the people of Unis about how turnips are grown and refined while making them sound like they’re “doing something about the problem.”

Of course, all the scheming and planning by the Pibbles and the Demons did not produce one additional drop of turnip juice. So the price remained high. And the people? - RWNH

Read the whole thing. It's great!

RICKY’S FABLES (the Story of turnip juice) - rightwing Nuthouse

Going a Short Way to Make a Point - Washington Post
Qatar: Price of oil would drop $15 if politicians shut up - World Tribune

Price Gouging in Delaware - 23 April 2006
Are Record Oil Company Profits all that Bad? - 14 September 2005
How Much Gasoline do 12 Million Illegal Aliens Consume? - 26 April 2006


Wednesday, April 26

How Much Gasoline do 12 Million Illegal Aliens Consume?

Is it possible that the high price of gas is partly due to the demand of illegal aliens? There are those who are (foolishly) calling for a boycott of ExxonMobil and others calling for a boycott of Shell with the idea of starting a price war. As has been documented on other sites, a boycott will have no effect as the other companies will experience increased demand. The only way to lower prices this way is to reduce overall demand.

Ways to decrease overall demand include:

  • Conservation
  • Reducing the miles you drive
  • Driving a more fuel efficient car (leaving the SUV at home)
  • Using public transportation
  • Carpooling, and so on.

Rationing gasoline is yet another way to control demand, basically allotting a maximum quantity to each licensed driver or car. The problem with that is that a black market is sure to pop up immediately with prices far above the current prices.

Another way to reduce the price of gasoline is to reduce the number of drivers consuming gasoline. This makes me wonder, how much gasoline do illegal aliens consume?

According to, each household uses an average of 4 gallons of gasoline per day. According to the US Census Bureau, the average household size in the US (in 2004) is 2.6 persons. The average household size for “Hispanic or Latino (of any race)” families is 4 persons. Just to be extremely conservative, let’s say that the average household size for an illegal alien family is ten, taking into account that not all illegal alien families have a car. Let’s also say that each household has 1 car. Finally, let’s estimate a total of ten million illegal aliens.

That means there are (at least) one millions cars being operated by illegal aliens consuming at least four million gallons of gas each day.

A gasoline tanker truck can carry up to 10,000 gallons of gasoline. So the usage by illegal aliens represents 400 loaded tanker trucks of gasoline, each day.

The above is merely an example and the actual usage can vary wildly form these estimates. I have tried to estimate conservatively and believe that the actual daily usage is much higher.


Where Does My Gasoline Come From ? – US Government
How much gasoline does the United States consume in one year? – How Stuff Works
Census - Factsheets
Energy Information – US Government


Monday, April 24

Maritime Monday #6

Kind of light this week with submissions, but that just means that this week's Maritime Monday is more about what I found interesting. Thanks to those who did submit items.

This Weeks Photo:
In the spirit of Maritime Monday being about all things Maritime, I figured that this week's photo should be a Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit, or MODU for short. This is a picture of a MODU I visited in Scotland. See that crane on deck. That's how you get onboard.

(SOVEREIGN EXPLORER December, 2001. Photo by Fred)

This weeks items:

The International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots union has news that President Bush will be the first President to be a Graduation Speaker at the US Merchant Marine Academy. Graduation is in late June.

The Washington Post has the story of George Williams, an American found drifting on a raft of oil drums in the Skagerak Sea between Norway and Denmark. He claims to have been thrown off his ship, but will not give the name of the ship. Pretty strange. (Although strange things do happen on Merchant ships!)

DieselDuck at The Monitor has news about the BOW MARINER disaster/sinking off Virginia on 28 February 2004 with the Coast Guard placing a majority of the blame on the Captain.

The Monitor also has a photo collage of the CARNIVAL ECSTASY riding out Hurricane Rita. Be sure to click the photo to expand it!

EagleSpeak has a follow-up to the Egyptian Ferry disaster. Apparently the owner and 'corrupt' Government officials are to blame. Notice how quickly this story dropped from the headlines...

CSO Online has the Story about the Government's research into cargo tracking through the Operation Safe Commerce project. I would love to link to the report findings which were due a year ago, but as the story points out, no report has yet been released.

BBC News has coverage of the upcoming maiden voyage of Royal Caribbean's FREEDOM OF THE SEAS. This will be the world's largest passenger vessel. Cruise Reviews has the press release from Atlantis Charters announcing the first charter cruise for the vessel in January, 07. An all-gay (and lesbian) cruise.

Asian Maritime News has the story of seven Indian Seafarers currently facing murder charges in the UAE. Apparently the victim, another Indian seafarer, was beaten to death while the ship was at sea. The ship is Norwegian (International) Flag (NIS.)

Colton Company has news that the Panama Canal Authority is taking advantage of a backlog of ships looking to transit the Canal by auctioning a few transit slots each day. As their post suggests, read the Authority's terms for the auction.

Splendid Pictures Around the net has photos of the RMS QUEEN MARY 2 inside and out.

The Travel Bloggers has an update on Princess Cruise Line's attempts to avoid another balcony fire like the one that caused extensive damage to the STAR PRINCESS. I look forward to reading the accident report, especially the part that covers the ship's ability to fight a fire on the balconies. Was it that balcony fires had to be fought by dragging hoses through cabins? (I have to say, they have done a good job preventing photos of the damage getting out.) news has the story of the USS CARR visiting (and patrolling) the Territorial waters of Liberia in West Africa. This was done with the consent of the new Liberian Government. The US Department of Defense has a press release covering the new Liberian President's trip out to the USS MOUNT WHITNEY in January to thank them for their presence in the region.

WattHead has coverage (Note: November 2005) about 'Offshore Wind Platforms' based on offshore oil platforms. Now why hasn't anyone thought about this before. (US DOE illustrated feasibility study PDF)

There is no shortage of posts about Japan's plans to legalize whaling.

My problem with the Japanese whaling issue has more to do with the fact that the Japanese Government has been illegally whaling for years, calling it 'research.' I hate liars and for their actions, the Japanese should be ashamed of their lying. If, the existing whale stocks can sustain whaling, and there seems to be evidence that this is true for Minkie whales, then one could argue that international agreements call for fishing/catching/whaling the maximum sustainable catch, even if they happen to be whales.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has been maintaining an anti-whaling program. They have a video clip of their harassment of a Japanese 'research' vessel. Herald Premium Content suggests that anti-whaling nations review the aid that they are giving to the countries that Japan has bought spots onto the International Whaling Commission for, in essence buying their support. Ultima Thule says Goodbye to Moby Dick. Secular Blasphemy comments (scroll down) on the biased reporting in the UK's Independent about the matter.

Most of the whale-Blogging is the result of news coverage in the Independent Online with the stories "The great betrayal: Pro-hunting Japanese seize control of whaling commission" and "So why, exactly, is Tokyo so keen on whale hunting?". Not to pick on Japan too much, Norway and Iceland would also like to see the ban on whaling dropped. These countries should be careful for what they ask for. It might be that many others might be interested in catching whale if it becomes legalized. Don't think that you'll be able to take home the entire catch. As for me, 'Whale Sushi', yum!

The Robert Bond Papers (Canada) has "Offshore oil rigs and the terror threat".

From Haight's Maritime Items:

On April 16, 1947, one of the worst harbor disasters in the United States commenced when the French freighter GRANDCAMP, loaded with a cargo of ammonium nitrate fertilizer, caught fire and exploded. The next day, the nearby ship HIGHFLYER exploded. In the then small town of Texas City (pop. approx. 15,000) over 500 people died, about 200 were never located, and many became homeless due to the fires. Most members of the local volunteer fire department were killed while responding to the fires and explosions. The reports of the US Coast Guard Marine Board, the local chapter of the International Association of Fire Fighters, and the National Board of Fire Underwriters are linked.

The Australian / FT Business has a story out of Hong Kong about the views of Hong Kong-based Hutchison Port Holdings on how the US (overboard port security) hardline is killing co-operation needed for port security. As it turns out, they scan every container that is shipped out of their terminal but nobody was looking at the data that they were gathering.

Finally, The Secret Life of Gary has the story about Pirates and Rochester, NY.

Other Items:

Here are some very expensive vessel ideas that may or may never see open water:

Fastship has been planning a fast container service between the US East Coast and Europe with door-to-door service in six to seven days. Service this fast would provide a much cheaper alternative to shipping cargo via air. According to the website, service will begin in 2008. This is if they can obtain the funding to build the terminals, and the ships. Not only will the vessels be fast, but loading and unloading will be done by putting the cargo on rails and just rolling the cargo on and off. I have my doubts, as do many others. Then again, there is no shortage of investor cash out there. Apparently this project has been an ongoing victim of a lack of funding.

Then there is the FREEDOM SHIP. If ever built, it would be by far the largest floating cruise vessel in the world, unable to enter most (if any) ports. Large enough to include a landing stip on it's main deck capable of handling corporate jets. Apparently this project has been an ongoing victim of a lack of funding.

What is probably the longest-running-yet-to-be-built supership project, the America World City / American Flagship Project has been around for over a decade, with no sign of when construction will ever start. Once again, if built, would be the largest passenger vessel, a complete floating city, somewhat more appealing than the much larger Freedom Ship. The ship would be built in the US, crewed by Americans and cruising between US ports. Goals called for a total of three vessels. Apparently this project is an ongoing victim of a lack of funding.

Weekly Maritime Reference:
The subject of this week is Free Surface Effect. Whether vessels stay upright or capsize is due to whether they are stable or not. One issue that effects stability is Free surface effect.

When a vessel with partially filled spaces heels over, the contents of the spaces will shift. The centre of gravity moves over to the side, making the vessel less stable. - Transport Canada

Take a look at this page at Transport Canada for diagrams and explanations how free surface effect effects the stability of vessels.

Here is another page with animation of free surface effect in action. (

Free Surface effect is not limited to liquids in tanks. Take the sad ending of the SS NORMANDIE:

On 9 February 1942, sparks from a welding torch ignited a stack of thousands of lifevests filled with kapok, a highly flammable material, that had been stored in the first class dining room. The woodwork had not yet been removed, and the fire spread rapidly. The ship had a very efficient fire protection system, but it had been disconnected during the conversion. All on board fled the ship.

As firefighters on shore and in fireboats poured water on the blaze, the ship developed a dangerous list to port. About 2:45 a.m. on 10 February, the Normandie capsized, crushing a fireboat. - Wikipedia

It was the weight of the water being thrown onto the decks of the vessel that caused the vessel to list and settle at the bottom of the berth on it's side.

More recently is the AL-SALAM BOCCACCIO '98 ferry disaster. Two of the more famous ferry disasters involving free surface effect are the M/S HERALD OF FREE ENTERPRISE and the M/S ESTONIA. Ferries are especially vulnerable to loss of stability due to free surface because of the wide open car decks. Sadly this is still a problem.

Previous Editions:
Maritime Monday #5 - 17 April 2006
Maritime Monday #4 - 10 April 2006
Maritime Monday #3 - 02 April 2006
Maritime Monday #2 - 27 March 2006
Maritime Monday Carnival #1 - 20 March 2006

Submission Guidelines:
Look here for more details: Submission Guidelines

You do not have to be the author to submit a blog post or news story. Feel free to suggest something that you think is worth sharing.

No sponsors for this week. You can sponsor this week's post retroactively. Then again, if you are interested in doing that, then you might consider sponsoring an upcoming post. Check the submission guidelines for more details.

Feedback Welcomed!


Sunday, April 23

Price Gouging in Delaware

Once again the price of gas is on the rise and politicians are out for blood claiming that price gouging will not be tolerated and will be prosecuted. Well I have found a price gouger, but don't expect anyone to make them account for their actions as

the Price gouger is the State of Delaware.

The State of Delaware is not gouging you at the pump. No, they got you right on the highway, charging tolls going north and south on the Interstate I-95 corridor. Of that route, only 16 miles are in Delaware, but it is an expensive 16 miles.

Take the following table:

That's $9 to make a round trip through Delaware, just in tolls. To drive through NJ, it's another $9.90, but that covers 200 miles of the trip.

Per Mile we have the following:

That's 28 cents per mile in tolls for Delaware. If New Jersey charged the same rate that Delaware does, it would cost $56 to make a round trip through NJ instead of the $9.90 it currently does.

So how does this compare to the cost of gas?

Take a look at the following table showing the gasoline cost per mile:

For a car getting a lousy gas mileage of 20 miles to the gallon (highway), it would cost 15 cents a mile for gas with gas costing $3 a gallon. For cars traveling through the State of Delaware up and down I-95, the tolls are at least twice as big an expense as gas, for that portion of the trip.

There is one important difference between the two expenses. The state cannot control the price of gas. It can however control the price of the tolls. As in many states, tolls are partly used for items completely unrelated to the road and bridges that the toll-payers are riding over, in many cases going to subsidize public transportation. (It costs $1 for me to ride the bus to work in VA.)

Congressman J. Randy Forbes of Virginia has a gas price primer on his Congressional website which includes the following graphic explaining the factors determining the price of gas:

So over half of the cost of gas is related to the price of crude oil, which has been shooting through the roof. The last time I checked, the price of crude oil was controlled more by OPEC than ExxonMobil. Since Crude oil is a record prices, doesn't it make sense that gasoline would be expensive?

Blaming gas companies is just a lame, especially ExxonMobil which is trying to get as much oil onto the market as possible. Some people are even claiming that they have to go to the pawnshop to get extra money for gas. We have all seen these people interviewed on the news claiming that the price of gas is killing them, as they stand next to their NEW SUV. Exactly WHO created the financial difficulties in these households?

Just imagine what the price of gas would be if it was the Government that provided gasoline to America? As far as providing relief, how about reducing the property tax on cars? How about lowering tolls? How about lowering the tax on gasoline? How about allowing oil companies build new refineries? How about not treating oil companies like criminals in California with so many rules and prohibitions that it is nearly impossible to move oil into the state for consumers? How about making better use of oil and reducing demand by better using coal and nuclear?

Take this from Senator Biden:

WASHINGTON (AP)- Senator Joe Biden is urging President Bush to back a Senate bill designed to eliminate gasoline price-gouging.

Biden and 15 fellow Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, have sent a letter to the President calling on him to support the bill. It would give states new powers to prosecute anyone who takes advantage of short supplies of gas to overcharge for it. - WBOC

The Senator is not bothering to point out that in the last price run-up after hurricane Katrina there were very few gougers in the market. This is essentially a non-issue. This is a classic case of pandering to voters. Fine, the Senator is planning to run for President so this is to be expected. So he should have some idea about what to do about the high price of oil. Why wait until he becomes President to implement it. Why not let everyone in on the secret and ride the credit right into the White House. I suspect that he has nothing. One thing I can guess, he has not problem gouging drivers that have little choice but to drive through his little state and every time we do, we are all reminded of what the whole country could be like if Biden wins the Presidency.

Congress Blowing Hot Air at Energy Crunch - California Conservative
Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 318 -- Black Gold, Texas Tea. - Willisms
Stupidity of the Day - File it Under

Tolls on I-95 - I-95 Exit Information Guide
Turnpike Toll Calculator - NJ Turnpike

More Fred Fry:

Biden 2008? - Last Exit Before Toll - 09 October 2005
Are Record Oil Company Profits all that Bad? - 14 September 2005
Being Less Poor - 27 October 2005

CIA Leaker Mary McCarthy - Follow the Money

The blogosphere is hot following the story of CIA leaker/smalltime traitor Mary McCarthy. I am not going to attempt to get into the middle of the great analysis being made by blogs starting with Macsmind, Ace of Spades, Jawa Report, The Strata Sphere, and Rightwing Nuthouse. (Homepages linked due to ongoing posts about the subject.) Instead, I would like to point out another area that needs investigation:

Follow the money.

That's right. I believe there is a money aspect to all of this. Take a look at the contributions made by the McCarthy household:

14 March 2004 $2,000 - John Kerry (Mary McCarthy)
14 March 2004 $2,000 - John Kerry (McCarthy, Husband)
05 Oct 2004 $5,000 - Ohio Democratic Party (Mary McCarthy)
02 March 2004 $500 - Mikulski Senate-MD (McCarthy, Husband)
That totals $9,500. Wow. That is pretty damn generous. Too generous I say. I understand that you want to support your candidate, but are you telling me that your going to donate $7,000 of your Government salary to any Presidential candidate? Some may say that she is doing so in the hopes of winning a high appointment in the Kerry Administration. This I have to say is not a valid defense as the Democrats currently complain that the Republicans are giving ambassadorships to high campaign contributors. Surely the Democrats are not guilty of something so pity. Anyway, the Republican contributors are not rewarded for giving their own money, but for getting (many) others to donate money.

I think the most telling contribution above is the $5,000 to the Ohio Democratic Party. Since Ohio was the last stop of the 2004 election, some claim that Bush stole Ohio to win the election. Mrs. McCarthy must have had a real bitter taste in her mouth watching the one state she gave a contribution to, go against the man she was supporting.

For those not following the story, Mary McCarthy was hired by Sandy Berger. This is the man caught with national secrets stuffed in his pants. Mr. Berger is also a big political contributor. Over $50,000 since 1982 according to a detailed table by Newsmeat. Howard Dean, by comparison apparently has donated less than $1,000. That sounds like a reasonable sum. He has only made two contributions, the latest in 1994. (Then you have people like Jamie Gorelick who seem to throw their money everywhere.)

Joe Wilson, the man who lied about what he found in Niger concerning Iraq's attempts to purchase yellowcake from them is also a big Democrat contributor. Mr. Wilson has also managed to avoid being on the receiving end of any investigation into his conduct. (So far.)

All of this makes me wonder. Where is all of this money coming from? Are these Government employees that loose with their money? How much was Joe Wilson paid by the CIA to feed America disinformation from a position of authority? How much money did Mary McCarthy receive for feeding confidential information to the Washington Post? How much money did these people receive and then passed on to the John Kerry campaign? In the case of Mary McCarthy, if she did receive compensation from the Washington Post or other reporter/news organizations, did she report it to the IRS?

At any rate, there is possibly a financial aspect to the actions of Mary McCarthy and Joe Wilson. Is it possibile that CIA funds have somehow been illegally misdirected to Democrat political campaigns? I have no proof for this, but unless the financial situation of the people breaking the law have been investigated, then this remains a scary possibility.

Signs of a Real Conspiracy - 10 April 2005
Why the Democrats are Losing Elections - 01 July 2005
Karl Rove Tricks the Democrats, Again and Joe Wilson Needs to be Investigated, Still. - 17 July 2005
The Connection between Iraq, Al-Qaeda and the War on Terror - 13 August 2005

Saturday, April 22

Wish Phil Well - (Be Careful What you Blog About)

One thing about blogging is that you are the one who sets the rules. What to blog about. What theme will your blog have (If any.) One of the blogs I read daily is Finland for Thought. FFT is written by 'Phil' an American who apparently fell in love with a Finn and followed her back to Finland. Phil has this statement posted about Finland for Thought:

I'm an American IT professional who's been living in Finland for three years. I started this blog to address some of the political, cultural, and current event issues in Finland and the United States. I am a strong advocate of liberty, individuality, equality, and tolerance. Enjoy!

One of the issues that had been discussed lately on FFT is the system of Finnish health care, which is based on universal coverage. Then follows heated debate in the comments section of the posts by Finns, Americans and others about which system is best. Phil gets the Finn's blood flowing by constantly criticizing Finland's system of health care. So to there is this post:

People sell their kidneys and make big bucks, does the same work for faulty appendixes? Cause I got one. I'm writing from a hospital bed at Jorvi, when I woke up this morning I had no idea I’d be having appendix removed 12 hours later. Fun fun. Who remembers that Simpsons episode where Dr. Hibbard performs an emergency appendix removal on the street and tosses it away right before it bursts like a grenade? Hehe.

He adds:

I committed a terrible hospital patient faux pa when I tried to make small talk and asked the girl next to me, “What are you in for??” and she replied, “I don’t want to say.” Oooops.

My first thought was 'What some people will do for a story to post on their blog.' But that was just a sarcastic passing thought. Anyway, I have met Phil during my last trip to Finland and he is a great guy. It is one thing for a person to attack some of Finland's social problems from abroad. It's another thing to do it from the belly of the beast like he is.

Provided that Phil survives his adventure inside the Finnish Public Healthcare System, he will be much more knowledgeable about how the system works. Many of us look forward to his comments about the experience. Some have even joked about faxing the hospital copies of his health care costs.

I lived in Finland for over three years. Thankfully I never had a medical emergency. Unfortunately, my American friend did. One night my friend was over and he hit his foot against one of my chairs so hard that he broke his big toe. Being two Americans living in Finland, we called a good Finnish friend and together we went to the hospital to see how the system works. The receptionist asked what his social security number was. He gave it and the woman read out his name from the computer. We were all impressed. Three hours later, we left with the big toe taped to the toe next to it. The cost should have been $50, but he never even got the bill. Not bad for an emergency room visit.

I wish Phil a speedy recovery!

I recommend that you take a look at his blog if you are interested in how life is over in Europe or if your not so happy about life is in the US. Trust me, you'd be much happier once you see how life is overseas. They have not yet obtained their goal of utopia! Phil also does a weekly podcast at Radio Free Finland. It's definitely worth a listen.

Finland for Thought
A market for Faulty Appendixes

Fred Fry
interviewed by Phil on Radio Free Finland

Related Posts:

Finland – The Good, The Bad, and The Stupid - 10 June 2005
Mette Mannonen: Finnish Weather Goddess - 4 February 2006
Henrik Lax - Presidential Candidate of the Swedish People's Party (of Finland) - 6 Jan 2006
Former Soviet Dissident Predicts Collapse of the European Union - 28 Feb 2006
Europe, Unprepared - 4 February 2006
Before you move to Canada - 19 December 2004
Before you move to Canada: Update - 4 August 2005
Before you move to Canada: Update II - 23 January 2006

Thursday, April 20

Kerry 2008 Update

Senator Kerry has been quiet about whether he will run for President in 2008 or not. Of course many have been wondering about it and we all know that he must be thinking about it too. Now he has spoken about whether he will run:

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Former Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry said on Thursday he was seriously thinking about another White House bid in 2008 and will decide before the year is out.

"I will make that decision toward the end of the year, but I'm thinking about it hard," Kerry said in response to a question at the Latin Economic Forum at the United Nations.

"If you can get help me find 60,000 votes in Ohio ...," he joked, referring to the close race in that state on which his 2004 loss to President Bush hinged.

I wonder if he has been waiting to talk about running for President in 2008, but had to go to the UN to find a reporter willing to ask him if he's going to run for President since the American MSM is hoping that he'll go away.

I hope that Senator Kerry is joking. Surely he is aware that he lost by more than 60,000 votes in Ohio. According to the US National Archives, Senator Kerry lost Ohio by 118,599 votes:
OHIO 2004 Results

Was that a slip of the tongue or was this an intentional act of misrepresentation. If he said that he lost by 100,000 votes, that would be close enough, but he cut his loss in half. Then again, since he is giving this 'serious thought' then I suspect that he fully knows (to-the-vote) how much he lost by. That means that this must be the official team number. It is a good strategy for him. First get the word out that you lost by a much smaller margin than you really did. This would then make the 'Bush stole the election' easier to swallow, especially by your supporters who want to believe that their candidate really won.

Kerry has a much bigger problem. It appears that he thinks that he'll be running against President Bush again but that's not going to happen. That means that whoever wins the 2008 Democrat Presidential nomination, they will most likely have to run against a Republican nominee that is surely to be more popular than the 'polarizing' Bush. This brings me to question number one that I would love Kerry's handlers to answer:

Senator Kerry could not beat George Bush in a run for President, how on earth is he going to beat ANY Republican Candidate, who is sure to be much more well-liked than the Universally-hated Bush?

I suspect that the good Senator will be needing a hell of a lot more than 60,000 votes in Ohio. (Not to mention a couple million more in Florida.) But this is all academic, as Kerry will never get the nomination of his own party. If it were up to the Republican's, he would get the nomination in a heartbeat. Thankfully for the Democrats, it's not.

(Now what the hell was he doing asking people at the UN to help him find votes?)

Kerry 'thinking hard' about 2008 run for president - Reuters
Popular Vote Totals - National Archives
John Kerry For President 2008 - Pro Kerry Blog
Cao's Blog - Just when will Kerry release his Military Record?
Kerry ‘Thinking Hard’ About Another Run In 2008 For President - California Conservative

Update: 7 May 2008

Seems that Kerry is talking some more hot air. Instead of dissecting this idiot some more, I ask that you go to Environmental Republican who has already done it.

More Fred Fry 2008 Musings:
Feingold 2008: RIP - 17 March 2006
Kerry 2008 - 29 January 2006
Gore 2008 - Not Happening - 12 October 2005
Biden 2008? - Last Exit Before Toll - 9 October 2005
Obama 2008? Mr. Electability? - 25 July 2005

Monday, April 17

Maritime Monday #5

Thanks to all those who submitted blog posts and news articles for this week's edition of Maritime Monday.

This Weeks Photo:
Everyone is asking what exactly is being shipped inside all those cargo containers. The short answer is anything and everything. A nuke in a box is the ultimate dangerous cargo, yet there are many containers that contain dangerous cargo, declared and otherwise.

(Circus Lions ready to ship to Europe - 1997 Charleston, SC)

This weeks items:

Deep Dive reminds us of the submarine USS Thresher disaster in 1963.

Maritime Ignorants, Beware! Compares two book reviews of "The Outlaw Sea." One by Newsweek and the other by Fairplay International Shipping Weekly as an example of Newsweek's ignorance of the Maritime Industry. (No shortage of that lately.)

Photoreflect has a photo of the impressive entrance to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London. While impressive, he calls it 'wasted money.' (But a drop in the UN bucket of UN Waste.)

The Heritage Foundation explains why throwing money at inspecting every shipping container will not improve Homeland Security. They also propose some ideas on how to spend the money if Congress is serious about spending all this cash for cargo security.

Christopher Dare appears to be posting to his blog, In the Merchant Navy, from his ship. His latest post describes the voyage from Singapore to the Suez Canal. The vessel he was on was the 18th vessel in the convoy going through the Suez Canal and does not mention anything about the passage. I suspect that all the Egyptians were hassling the American ships at the head of the convoy for cigarettes, alcohol and anything not nailed down.

Delta Bunny has a great picture of the Liberty Ship JEREMIAH O'BRIAN passing by the California city of Rio Vista.

My Barbados Blog has news that the Barbados Trinidad Fishing Dispute has been resolved. This was done through a tribunal under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and managed to produce a result where "both parties see this decision as a victory." Amazingly enough, the dispute was over the right Barbados fishermen to catch flying fish off the coast of Tobago. (Now lets see if the decision works in practice.)

Law, Society and Sports comments on the legal aspects in getting rid of the French Aircraft Carrier CLEMENCEAU and the legal arguments of the issue.

The BBC has great video of the recent sinking in Tokyo Harbor. "Ship Sinks Live on Japanese TV." Update: I forgot to add that EagleSpeak has more on this story.

Do fundo do mar has an update on the 4 US Ghost Fleet ships rusting in the UK. They were sent there to be broken up for scrap, but that plan ran into problems due to concerns about hazardous materials.

The Northwest Passage in Northern Canada is sure to see more interest from the Maritime Community in the coming years if the ice recedes turning it into a shortcut for cargo vessels and oil tankers. Take a look at Wikipedia for a summary about the passage and it's history. The Renegade Times gives an overview about the upcoming dispute. As a defensive measure, Canada has dubbed the passage as "Canadian Internal Waters." The story is covered in the Marex Newsletter.

Be has more on the Northwest Passage including an interesting $7 investment that might payback millions. This story is derived from Spiegel's "Profiteering from the Arctic Thaw ."

The Yankee Sailor provides us with a lesson in Navy Officer Ranks.

Defense Industry Daily covers the problem of Naval Shipbuilding as each new class is ever more expensive and as a result orders are ever smaller, creating a 'death Spiral.' has a story about China's 'Malacca Dilemma.' You see, a great portion of China's oil imports travel through the Malacca Straits. The dilemma (for China) is that it would not take much to stop China's oil flow through the strait, and the Chinese know it.

From Haight's Maritime Items:

The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) issued the report of its investigation into the grounding of a general cargo vessel (the MV LERRIX) off the Darss peninsular in the Baltic Sea on 10 October 2005. The master was on watch, but was extremely fatigued and fell asleep. He had allowed the lookout to go below. The watch alarm was inoperative. The master was using a portable GPS connected to a personal laptop computer, running a pirated navigation program. The program, though, had not been updated since 1999 and its alarm functions were also inoperative. Report No. 14/2006 (PDF). Investigation homepage here. (Note: Per the report: Falling asleep while on watch = 'Involuntary napping')

e-cargonews Asia has a story about the investigation into what caused the explosion on the HYUNDAI FORTUNE. (An explosion powerful enough to throw containers from the stern right over the bridge.)

ABC News 'Primetime' has been investigating the Cruise Industry and has this story: "Former Ship Security Officer Tells How Crimes Get 'Lost at Sea"

Bahama Journal brings us this story of how the International Council of Cruise Lines (ICCL) smelling blood in the water concerning the issue of crime on cruise ships (and the potential to scare away cruisers) is calling for the United States and the Bahamas to sign a bilateral agreement allowing US authorities to 'take action' onboard Bahamian-flagged vessels. The current situation:

The Bahamian Foreign Affairs official confirmed this, and explained that the only way U.S. authorities may now act in the event of an incident aboard a ship flying the Bahamian flag is if that ship is in U.S. waters, or at the invitation of the Bahamian authorities.

Most people are not aware that when they board a cruise vessel in Florida or wherever, it is as if they are in the country whose flag flies on the stern. However, there is an easy solution to this problem that the ICCL is attempting to solve. REFLAG THE VESSELS to the US. No bilateral agreement required.

Thanks to Cannoneer #4 for submitting this great story describing container cargo operations "From sea to land (and back again): unloading and reloading a cargo ship." Keep in mind that Norfolk is rather small and the vessel in the story, MAJESTIC MAERSK, probably is more accustomed to four cranes working on it instead of only two as in the story. (Photo of the vessel here)

Last week I covered the smuggling of 22 Chinese persons in a shipping container. As it so happens, CBP got the name of the ship wrong. It was not the MV ROTTERDAM, but instead the CSCL ROTTERDAM, operated by China Shipping. Wasn't Congress just concerned that a Dubai Company would somehow manage to smuggle terrorists or WMD into the Country? Now we have Chinese being smuggled into the US on a Ship owned by the Chinese Government. (Insert your own comment here.)

Finally, we have A Geezer's Corner sharing "Musings about Submarine Coffee."

Other Items:

US Customs and Border Protection has a Fact Sheet concerning the securing of US Ports. You can read about the Container Security Initiative (CSI) which is the program that stations US Customs officers IN FOREIGN PORTS to inspect cargo being shipped to US Ports before the cargo is loaded to a vessel. They even have a 4 minute video about port security where you can watch Customs officers climbing into containers. There is even a small Cargo and Seaport photo gallery.

Weekly Maritime Reference:
The subject of this week is the 'Rules of the Road' or more appropriately, the Navigation Rules.

Pleasure boaters are probably most familiar with the 'Law of Gross Tonnage.' While not exactly a rule, it is a good rule to live by. All of the rules are important, and it is important not only to know the rules, but also to understand them. Take Rule 2 for example:

RULE 2 Responsibility
(a) Nothing in these Rules shall exonerate any vessel, or the owner, master or crew thereof, from the consequences of any neglect to comply with these Rules or of the neglect of any precaution which may be required by the ordinary practice of seamen, or by the special circumstances of the case.

(b) In construing and complying with these Rules due regard shall be had to all dangers of navigation and collision and to any special circumstances, including the limitations of the vessels involved, which may make a departure from these Rules necessary to avoid immediate danger.

There is not much that I can add, other than if you are out on the water, then you need to know the rules. Even if it is a rowboat or jet ski. At least knowing the Rules will help you identify when others are not following them.

Download the Rules here. This version is from the US Coast Guard and includes the US Inland Rules. So in the book (and PDF) the International Rules are on the left and the Inland Rules are on the right. Be sure you know which rules apply where.

If you are looking for more information on the Law of Gross Tonnage, take a look at this summary by the US Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Previous Edition:
Maritime Monday #4 - 10 April 2006
Maritime Monday #3 - 02 April 2006
Maritime Monday #2 - 27 March 2006
Maritime Monday Carnival #1 - 20 March 2006

Submission Guidelines:
Look here for more details: Submission Guidelines

You do not have to be the author to submit a blog post or news story. Feel free to suggest something that you think is worth sharing.

No sponsors for this week. You can sponsor this week's post retroactively. Then again, if you are interested in doing that, then you might consider sponsoring an upcoming post. Check the submission guidelines for more details.

Feedback Welcomed!

Update: Thanks to Instapundit for the link!


Friday, April 14

Generals 'Intimidated' by Rumsfeld

There is lots of press going into this holiday weekend about how a couple of retired generals are calling for Rumsfeld to retire. Looking at his Wikipedia bio, you can already check out who is saying what, thanks to the quick editing by those who dislike him (missing are comments by generals supporting him.) Some of the generals are even claiming that he is intimidating.

Intimidating? Coming from a general? Are you kidding me? What kind of Generals are we talking about? Sounds like a child. We are apparently not talking about Patton-types.

Now let's take a look at the job of the Secretary of Defense:

The United States Secretary of Defense is the head of the United States Department of Defense, concerned with the armed services and military matters. The Secretary is appointed by the President with the approval of the Senate, and is a member of the Cabinet. By statute the secretary must be a civilian who has not served in the active component of the armed forces for at least 10 years (10 USC Sec. 113). The Secretary of Defense is sixth in the United States presidential line of succession. - wikipedia

Rumsfeld is in charge of the Military. He is the boss. Have you ever had an intimidating boss? Even if Rumsfeld is intimidating, it is not like he is dealing with children. He is dealing with US Army and Marine Corp Generals with years of experience in the military. These are people that know how to handle themselves in stressful and demanding situations. And we are supposed to believe that they are being intimidated by a man in his seventies?

President Bush has come out strongly in defense of Mr. Rumsfeld. Now lets take a look at another of the Secretary of Defence's duties:

The term National Command Authority (NCA) is used in United States military and government circles to refer to the ultimate lawful source of military orders. The term refers to the President of the United States and the Secretary of Defense.

Only the NCA can order the use of nuclear weapons, including the Single Integrated Operational Plan (SIOP). Neither individual, by himself, can order that strategic nuclear weapons be used against any country or region. If the NCA determines that a nuclear strike is necessary, they must jointly inform the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who in turn will direct a general officer on duty in the National Military Command Center (NMCC) at the Pentagon to execute the SIOP. - Wikipedia

So President Bush needs Mr. Rumsfeld to give the ok to nuke Iran. Perhaps that's why the President likes having him around, knowing that 'Rummy' will give the ok and then be sure that it's really done right.

That's sure to give the moonbats even more nightmares.

There is one other thing that bothers me in all of this. Rumsfeld has already offered his resignation to Bush twice, over a year ago. So those who think that Rumsfeld needs to go need to be real men and address their complaints to the President explaining why Rumsfeld should be fired. Rumsfeld has already done what you are asking him to do. His resignation has been sitting on the Preident's desk, for a while now.

Bush Gives Rumsfeld Strong Show of Support - Washington Post
Rumsfeld Offered to Quit After Abu Ghraib - Washington Post - 4 February 05
It's called Mutiny - Macsmind
In Defense of Donald Rumsfeld - Blogs for Bush
Dumbest story of the year - EagleSpeak
Zinni's Hypocrisy - Environmental Republican

Be Sure to visit the Carnival of the Clueless!


Tuesday, April 11

Senator Kennedy to illegals: "You are the Future of America"

I am trying to figure out if the Citizens of Massachusetts are really smart or are really stupid. This is because they keep sending two of the biggest 'asses' of their state back to the Senate. I leave open that they are smart in the slight chance that by sending Senators Kennedy and Kerry back to DC, so that they will not have to deal with them back at home.

The inspiration for this post comes from catching a glimpse of Senator Kennedy addressing the 100,000 or so illegal immigrants that were assembled in DC on Monday. The news clip had Kennedy telling the crowd:
"You are the future of America" - Senator Ted Kennedy to DC's Illegal Immigrants
I cannot find any coverage of this in the news this morning, which is a shame because it was a very powerful message to everyone concerned about illegal immigration; Senator Kennedy welcomes illegal immigrants to America. Now what he and other Democrats are thinking is that the illegals are the future of the Democrat party. Expose the Left caught this "Lets work together, Vote Democrat 2006" poster at the DC rally.

Here is how Senator Kennedy was quoted by the Baltimore Sun:

"It's time for Americans to lift their voices now, in pride for our immigrant past and pride for our immigrant future," Kennedy said. "We stand for the future. We stand for our families. We stand for our faith. And I stand with you."

Funny how they left out the Senator's "You are the future of America" comment. I would think that the Baltimore Sun's readers would be interested in that. Then again, this is how conspiracy's work.

Now I have nothing against legal immigrants. HALF OF ALL MEXICAN IMMIGRANTS are here legally. The problem is that all Mexican immigrants get treated like crap because nobody can tell who is here legally and who is not. There are reports that between 10-20% of all Mexican citizens currently live in the US. That would meant the 5-10% of Mexico's total population is living in the US legally already. That sounds like a pretty liberal immigration policy to me. My interest is in sending the illegal immigrants back home.

As far as I am concerned, we can admit 1 legal immigrant for every illegal immigrant that is deported, so the net effect on the workforce is nil. Give will give a chance for all those around the world who would love to immigrate to the US and become citizens but are too far away to walk here, or are not willing to break the law.

Somewhere in all of this is the terrorist equation. Remember how the Democrats (and Many Republicans) rose up a month ago demanding that our ports be turned into fortresses, examining everything going in and out. How can it be that the very same members of congress are fighting any attempt to strengthen our other borders.

Congress should start dealing with this problem in the following areas:
1. Secure the borders. More Fences, more Agents, more deportations.
2. Go after those who employ illegals.
3. Pressure our southern neighbors. It is because their economy's suck why people are leaving.
4. Rebuild Us Citizen and Immigration Services. This is the Part of the Government that deals with immigrants. (Formerly BCIS and formerly INS.) As someone who has dealt with USCIS, it is beyond broken.
We also need to do something about these Congressmen, like Kennedy, that are all too eager to turn their backs on the people they are supposed to represent.

Note: I am legally responsible for a legal immigrant. This means the following:

I can be prosecuted by the US Government if my immigrant wife receives ANY Government Aid such as unemployment, Welfare, etc. as I agreed to fully support my wife unless one of the three following conditions is met:
1. My wife works and pays social security taxes for 10 years.
2. She permenantly moves back to her home country.
3. I die.
After being married for two years, my wife can divorce me and continue to live in the country and I am still responsible for supporting her here.

Further on Illegal Immigration:

UPDATE: 13 April 2006

Text of the speech given by Senator Kennedy to Illegal Aliens:

Thank you, Jaime Contreras for that warm introduction.

Buenos tardes! Gracias por darme la oportunidad de estar en este evento. Y gracias por demandar justicia para todos los inmigrantes.

I look across this historic gathering and I see the future of America. As President Kennedy proclaimed a half century ago, we are a Nation of Immigrants. And today, we stand together as brothers and sisters to shape America's destiny -- old Americans, new Americans, future Americans -- all joined together for the common good.

Let me ask you some questions. Are you ready? (Estas listo?)

Do you have a job? (Tienes trabajo?)

Do you love your family? (Amas a su familia?)

Do you love your community? (Amas a su comunidad?)

Do you love America? (Amas a America?)

You are what this debate is about. It is about good people who come to America to work, to raise their families, to contribute to their communities, and to reach for the American dream.

This debate goes to the heart of who we are as Americans. It will determine who can earn the privilege of citizenship.

It will determine our strength in separating those who would harm us from those who contribute to our values.

It will determine our future progress as a nation and our future economic growth.

Some in Congress want to turn America away from its true spirit. They believe immigrants are criminals. That's false. [NOTE: The Felony proposal came from Democrats]

They believe any of us who help immigrants -- even our priests -- are criminals, too. That's false.

They say you should report to deport. I say report to become American citizens.

More than four decades ago, near this place, Martin Luther King called on the nation to let freedom ring. Freedom did ring -- and freedom can ring again.

It is time for Americans to lift their voices now -- in pride for our immigrant past and in pride for our immigrant future.

We stand for the future. (Nosotros apoyamos el futuro.)

We stand for our families. (Nosotros apoyamos nuestras familias.)

We stand for our faith. (Nosotros apoyamos nuestra fe.)

I stand with you. And you and you and you and you.

Are you with me? (Estan conmigo?)

John McCain and I have a plan. It is a strong plan. It is a fair plan. It is a plan for America's future. And today we are making that future happen.

Will you support us? (Me apoyan?)

Will you support us? (Me apoyan?)

Will you support us? (Me apoyan?)

Well, I'm here today to say that we will support you, too. (Nosotros vamos a apoyar a ustedes tambien.)

We will never give up. We will never give in.

Hasta la Victoria! -

Si se puede!

Update: 1 May 2006

It seems that Senator Kennedy is listening to people who understand that this is the wrong path. He is now agreeing with the President that the Star Spangled Banner Should be sung in English.

Senator Kennedy: “[T]he Star Spangled Banner ought to be sung in English. Period.” - Expose the Left

Why wasn't he asked if he still thought that illegal aliens were still the future of America?