Saturday, April 30

JENNIFER WILBANKS

She was to have walked down the center aisle of a church on her father's arm this night in shimmering light, wearing a delicate bridal veil, her large eyes fixed on the steady bridegroom standing by her minister.

Instead, she walked the aisle of an airport terminal, flanked by uniformed authorities, her head shrouded in a crocheted afghan of red, pink, gold, and blue, her eyes downcast, as if the camera glare of a questioning world penetrated her unseemly cover.

What was devoutly contemplated but a week ago is now a distant memory this night, wrapped inside the disturbing truth of a selfish scheme to dupe.

MSNBC video link.

THIS WRITER IS APPRECIATIVE ...

Frank Laughter of "Common Sense Junction" and "Laughter Genealogy" published this post today, in which he makes some very kind remarks about this writer and "ACSOL's" focus on illegal immigration and our nation's porous borders. I'm most appreciative, as I hold Mr. Laughter in high regard and remain an avid reader of his blog, which I highly recommend and have in my site's blogroll. Get to know Frank and his thinking. You'll be as impressed, as I am.

We need more bloggers to join the fray and lobby our president and Congressmen for tighter enforcement of our borders and much-needed immigration reform. A starting point is to sign an online petition, as I have. You'll find it here.

Something is terribly out of kilter when neither President Bush comments on nor the Washington D.C. press corps asks about the illegal immigration issue -- an issue about which a majority of Americans is becoming increasingly concerned. We're being stonewalled, Folks!

Maybe a bunch of us need to become the equivalent of "Online Minutemen."

"TEXAS COUNCIL ON FAMILY VIOLENCE" SUPPORTS DRIVER'S LICENSES FOR ILLEGALS!

It just gets crazier and crazier, and as it does I just get more fed up and more fed up with the irrationaility of it all. "The Immigration Blog" in this post reports that among others (the usual suspects, such as the ACLU, included) the "Texas Council On Family Violence" is lobbying the Texas state legislature in support of HB 1561 -- a bill that "would allow a foreign national to obtain a Texas' driver's license with an official document from a foreign government." Of course, you can lump "foreign national" right in there with "undocumented worker" and "undocumented immigrant" and all the other clever euphemisms for illegals who enter our country other than through proper legal immigration channels.

Read the stated mission of the "Texas Council On Family Violence" and tell me what connection there is between putting illegal aliens behind the wheels of automobiles legally and working "to end violence against women through partnerships, advocacy, and direct services for women, children, and men." Answer: just plunge a little further into its Web site.

When Congress passed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) in 1996, immigrants’ access to public benefits was slashed, but there is a provision that allows some immigrant survivors of abuse who have filed VAWA self petitions to access these important benefits. The intersection of immigration and welfare law is extraordinarily complex and further complicated by frequent changes. TCFV can serve as a resource on the subject of immigrants’ access to public benefits. It is important to note that all immigrants, regardless of their status or when they entered the county, are eligible for emergency benefits including:
  • Emergency medical care, emergency Medicaid, immunizations, diagnosis and treatment of communicable diseases, emergency mental health and substance abuse services,
  • WIC;
  • Summer food programs and school lunch programs;
  • Public education; and
  • Any program necessary to protect life and safety that is not income conditional (shelters, food banks).

Workers at these programs are not authorized to ask for verification of immigration status.


Get the picture? Hang onto your wallets! While the illegal immigrants are sending $10+ billion in remittances back to Mexico annually, you're defraying the costs of their public education, heathcare services, and, for many, their jail time.

Meanwhile, and in the context of an organization with the stated mission of ending violence, I suggest the "TCFV" take a hard look at the notorious MS-13 gang, composed of illegal aliens, that murder hapless youngsters, brutally stab police officers, rape young women and attack people with machetes. And, yes, they drive around in cars, as they did the night they gunned down 18-month old Aiden Naquin.

And I don't want these mindless do-gooders telling me that documentation from a foreign government will keep driver's licenses out of the hands of MS-13 members or any of the other criminal element among the millions of illegals who are in this country. Fradulent documentation is rife among illegals. Take the time to read up on the corrupt Mexican government and its issuance of "Mexican Matricula Consular Identification Cards" as a way of encouraging emigration to the United States.

Think this is just the rant of a center-right poliblogger? If you've stayed with me this far, may I ask you to take the time to read these excerpts from a "Time" magazine article on illegal immigration? This is a major MSM publication and its editors get it.

BRIDE-TO-BE DIDN'T GET "COLD FEET"; SHE BECAME "COLD-HEARTED!"

Jennifer Wilbanks really put her family, her friends, and most of all her fiance, John Mason, through hell this week, fearful as they were that she may have been abducted during an evening jog last Tuesday night and, God knows, possibly slain. The 32-year old Georgia woman and bride-to-be disappeared during that solitary, nocturnal run, became the object of vast media coverage and an ensuing large-scale, nationwide search, and then suddenly popped up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and with an apocryphal tale no less that she had indeed been abducted by a man and a woman in a van. Fact is, she didn't go for a jog; she went for a long bus ride -- first to Las Vegas, and then on to Albuquerque.

The MSM is calling it a case of "cold feet" -- a would-be-bride who turned tail and ran under the pressure of an impending wedding that was to have been held today. Well, that's all quite convenient for Miss Wilbanks, but not for the nation, not for police authorities, and certainly not for the throng of volunteers who helped in the search and participated in the collective national angst driven by what appeared to be the case of yet another young woman abducted and murdered, and possibly by her lover. After all, the bridegroom-to-be had felt obliged to take a private lie detector test and authorities were negotiating with him to take yet another through government auspices in order to clear his name!

The pending marriage is no longer a private family matter, not after the would-be bride diverted vast police resources from legitimate crime investigations owing to her patent selfishness and immaturity.

A word to the wise: you had better think long and hard on marrying Jennifer, John. She's a cut-and-run type and a cover-her-ass liar. There are better women in this world. Cold feet up against you would be the least of your problems!

COMPULSION TO "LINK" AND "COMMENT" IS DEATH OF A MAN

"Incredible Blogs" links to this bizarre, yet altogether sad story of a compulsive Internet junkie in a post entitled, "I Link, Therefore I Am."

Seems a 54-year old New York man, Childress Wanamaker, couldn't let go of his computer keyboard, remaining at his PC station literally around the clock, compulsively linking and commenting and trying desperately to keep up with 48 different forums and 375 blogs. His fixation on the Internet eventually cost him his life, because, according to family members, he literally stopped eating, preferring to jab away at his keyboard, rather than taking sustenance.

"MediaDailyNews" (registration required) reports this incredible story:

A WEST NYACK, N.Y. MAN was found dead at his computer apparently the victim of trying to keep up with too many professional forums. Childress H. Wanamaker, 54, an account executive at a New York-based new media company, died of starvation according to the West Nyack coroner's office. Wanamaker's emaciated body was found by Loraine, his wife of 26 years, who told MediaPost she had been bringing her husband meals on plastic trays for weeks, but that he never took the time to eat them.

"He was glued to his computer 24/7," she said tearfully. "He was so afraid he was going to miss an opportunity to contribute a comment or start a discussion, that he just stopped eating." She added that Wanamaker's last words were "OK Picard, stick that in your pipe and smoke it..."

Computer forensic specialists from SUNY at Cortland discovered that Wanamaker was subscribed to 48 different forums and networking communities including one apparently having to do with the elderly called "oldtimers" and another apparently limited to just 100 people. They also found that he posted a comment into one forum or another on an average of two per minute every hour of the day for the past seven weeks.

"He felt under terrible pressure to be part of the online community," said his son, Lucian, who says he tried several times to get his father's attention and lure him away from the computer. "The only time he even looked up was when I told him I had seen Dane Madsen trying to steal his car out of the driveway."

Police found what appeared to be an organization chart taped to the wall of Wanamaker's den with lines linking small photos of people unknown to the police including a Tom Hespos and an Adam Boettiger. Neither is considered a suspect in Wanamaker's death.

"Once, I thought I had him," said Lucian Wanamaker, "when I said that mom had made cookies, but half out of his chair, he just sat back down mumbling something about two Roman gods; I believe it was Jupiter and Atlas having some sort of titanic battle. 'Let them eat PIE,' he bellowed banging on his keyboard."

Computer forensic specialists reported that there was no order or continuity to Wanamaker's forum postings. "It looks like he just sort of randomly commented on whatever was in the discussion string at the time," said Stephen Hall, CUNY-Cortland adjunct professor of intemperate and impulsive behavior. "He let nothing go by unchallenged by his own point of view, nor failed to respond to any other community member asking for advice or a new job. This consumed not only 24 hours a day, but also, apparently, his physical health."

In what must be a record, Wanamaker was linked into to over 15,250 other community members, many of whom he exchanged notes with daily. He also contributed to 375 blogs and was expected to start an online column about the impact of interactive communications on health, when he died.

A virtual memorial service will be held online at a date to be determined.


Is this the equivalent of a blogger's version of the Viking funeral?

UPDATE: This is likely a hoax. I've tried Google and Yahoo searches, and a variety of online people-finder searches. I even employed Technorati. That I can neither find a listing for Childress H. Wanamaker in West Nyack, New York, nor any comments on the Internet linked to him is kind of the tale of the tape. Besides, what family would allow a man to die of starvation at his computer?! Anyway, it was quirky enough, I felt compelled to post it this morning!

Friday, April 29

PUBLIC EDUCATION: OUTDATED PARADIGM?

The president spoke glowingly of the bi-partisan "No Child Left Behind" educational reform program last night and, proudly, of its emphasis on measurement. Well, I saw some measurement in the "Houston Chronicle" (registration required) this week and I wasn't any more impressed with the state of public education than I have been for many years now. Here was the story's lead:

A third of Houston's fifth-graders failed the state's math exam, the school district announced Monday, meaning 4,500 students face the threat of summer school, and perhaps another year in elementary school, if they don't manage to pass by August.
"The threat of summer school?" Couldn't that just as easily read "the threat of getting an education?" Houston is the fourth largest city in the United States and one-third of its 5th graders cannot pass a math test! The president shouldn't be smiling at the cameras.

Sorry, Mr. President, but this is your home state and where you served as governor. I'm unimpressed. If this is your idea of progress than, dammit, let's get school vouchers passed throughout this country! The good news is there was a test; and failure to pass the test no longer leads to automatic matriculation to the 6th grade. But the bad news is -- and it is significant, is it not? -- that the public school system is not getting the job done (nor are the parents of many of these failing or borderline students).

I suspect part of the issue is that poorly educated parents, themselves products of a public education system gone bad, are indifferent to the education of their own children and neither support the school administrators, nor the teachers. I also suspect two other factors are driving these results: 1) illegal immigration (and the language barrier that confounds students and teachers alike); and, 2) the disintegration of the traditional two parents' household.

Now just how tough can a 5th grade math test be? We're talking addition, subtraction, long division, some rudimentary math formulas, and, I presume, the kind of word problems that make one apply what one has learned to real situations in life.

Bill Gates is "appalled" over the state of America's high schools and correctly thinks they're ill-equipped to produce the kind of educated workforce (with an emphasis on math and science) this country requires to be competitive in the worldwide economy. I agree with Mr. Gates that there needs to be a paradigm shift, but Bill Gates needs to understand that elementary and middle schools are not equipping children to be successful in high school and, in turn, high school graduates (the paltry percentage that even go on to college) are oftentimes ill-equipped to deal with college and university-level academics. The whole system is in need of a huge overhaul.

Just look at one of our nation's largest cities (bigger than Houston), Los Angeles, if you need further convincing.

Fifty-three percent of working-age Los Angeles County residents have trouble reading street signs or bus schedules, filling out job applications in English or understanding a utility bill. The national average is 48%, according to the 1992 National Adult Literacy Survey.

NOTABLY MISSING FROM THE PRESIDENT'S PRIME TIME PRESS CONFERENCE

Am I the only one who noticed the president avoided any mention of the porous borders' issue or immigration reform in his prime time press conference last night? The MSM obliged him by not posing any questions on these subjects, but that's probably because the Liberal mindset welcomes open borders.

While social security reform, domestic energy production and conservation, and judicial appointments are all justifiably important subjects, I cannot imagine anything being more compelling than the fact that our borders are virtually wide open and a high tide of humanity is pouring across them illegally, inundating the land, devouring tax dollars, and straining social services.

The president spoke to his priorities. The mainstream press asked questions about theirs (you bet they have an agenda). Lost in the shuffle was the Number #1 issue in the minds of many, many Americans: how can this nation abide so many illegals, and the unimpeded arrival of so many more to follow, in a post-"9/11," "Homeland Security" world? Something doesn't square here, but we get stonewalled nonetheless!

If you feel as I do, I urge you to sign the petition, as I did. Otherwise, Folks, we just keep getting stonewalled by our "public servants."

IF YOU'RE 17 OR UNDER AND BLOG, READ THIS

Do you provide too much personal information? This MSNBC News article suggests you may be among many teens and pre-teens who are not discreet enough on the Internet. I encourage you to read this!


A MICROCOSM OF THE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT PROBLEM

Danbury, Connecticut, to the geographically literate, would be among the least likely places in America where one would expect to find a city or town overrun with illegal immigrants; but, think again. Would you believe 15,000 illegals dwell there or 19% of Danbury's population? And as its mayor is quick to point out, while our Federal government and our president do hardly anything to secure this country's borders, particularly its southern border with Mexico, encouraging a veritable human invasion, they nonetheless refuse to provide funds to cities whose services cannot keep up with the demands of the illegals. Indeed, the mayor of Danbury describes his city as "incredibly stressed by failed Federal policy."

But, fact is, the entire country is "stressed" by the failed policies of Washington.

Let me give you but two examples:

1) San Francisco now has over one-third of its enrolled students in "limited English" classes owing to being inundated by illegal aliens and the demands they place on public education;

2) More than 25% of all prisoners in our Federal prison system are illegal aliens and they comprise the fastest growing prison population segment.

There are, of course, countless other examples.

You'd think more governors would be raising hell with the president and the Congress given the following:

As local and state governments fight to find ways to trim services because of, in part, extra immigrant-driven costs, American citizens will continue to suffer because few of the same people seeking the budget cuts want to do much to trim immigration (in a case of bitter irony, states bear most of the costs of illegal immigration while most of the taxes paid by illegals go into the federal treasury).
Oh, and let me add something else to the mix. Want to really get your back up? Read this and tell me if any of you parents out there had a son or daughter who was unable to secure admissions to a major college or university in this country. Mirla Lopez received the proverbial "fat envelope" from the Admissions Department of the University of Texas, while many a U.S. citizen received a "thin envelope" -- an Admissions' rejection slip. Fair? Of course not! But as Mirla has the audacity to say: "Get used to it." After all, our government has emboldened them.

Read on:

No federal law prohibits undocumented aliens from attending public colleges or universities. Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202 (1982), held that it was illegal for a state to deny school-aged undocumented aliens the right to a free education. The Supreme Court relied on the equal protection doctrine, which prohibits a state or the federal government from denying equal protection of the laws to any "person" (not just U.S. citizens).

As yet, no federal law has overruled Plyler. The closest provision is IIRIRA § 505, which prohibits states from providing a post-secondary education benefit to an alien not lawfully present in the United States on the basis of the alien's residence in their state unless the state would also provide the same benefit to a citizen or national residing in another state. Translated into plain English, this provision appears to bar public colleges from charging undocumented aliens an in-state tuition rate, since they would be treated more favorably than out-of-state residents who are U.S. citizens. We discuss section 505 in more detail below.

No state law prohibits undocumented aliens from attending public colleges or universities. California is the only state to have attempted this so far, in Proposition 187. Among other things, section 8 of that proposition would have denied post-secondary education to undocumented aliens. But a federal court struck down Proposition 187, holding that the state law contradicted federal law and thus was "preempted" by federal law. League of United Latin American Citizens v. Wilson, 908 F. Supp. 755 (C.D. Cal. 1995); 1998 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3418 (C.D. Cal. Mar. 13, 1998). The Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution states that federal law is the supreme law of the land. If Congress has effectively regulated in an area, states cannot enact laws that deviate from the federal one.

Tuesday, April 26

READ THIS TO PICK YOURSELF UP AND FEEL GOOD ABOUT LIFE

Questions and Answers has published this uplifting post -- an inspirational message from an unknown author, and I found it to be just the right antidote to some worries I've been experiencing of late. See if it's just what the doctor ordered for whatever is bearing down on you! (Hope so!)

SIGN A PETITION: "MR. PRESIDENT, SECURE OUR BORDERS!"

Here's an online petition I urge you to sign (as I have) if you're fed up with our porous borders and this country being inundated by and overrun with illegal aliens. Bill O'Reilly has been giving it a lot of play at his Web site and on his weekday television show, "The O'Reilly Factor."

I'm not always in Bill O'Reilly's corner, but I am on this issue and to his credit he has been calling for comprehensive border security for a long, long time. And he has hailed the "Minuteman Project," as have I.

Similarly, and in case you haven't noticed, if you'll kindly scroll down the right sidebar of my blog you will find a number of excellent sites that speak to the illegal immigration problem under the heading, "Vincent Omnia Veritas." I heartily recommend them to you. Another rock-solid crusader on the subject of porous borders and the need for comprehensive immigration reform is Frank Laughter of "Common Sense Junction." His is a site you should have bookmarked or in your blogroll. It's listed in my blogroll under the heading, "Quid Pro Quo."

Again, please consider signing the petition. After all, it's about "Homeland Security."

FLORIDA AGAIN ... AND AGAIN, AND AGAIN

This is getting old -- the incessant bad news out of Florida in terms of that state's chronic inability to protect its children. Yet another "Amber Alert" has been issued, this time for a 12-year old girl, Margarita Aguilar-Lopez, a 4 feet, 10 inches tall girl weighing approximately 65 pounds, who may have been abducted by Antonio Paulino-Perez, a diminuitive 25-year old man -- an illegal alien, who may be trying to get back to Mexico. The whole matter sounds sordid. Do read the entire "FoxNews" story for the particulars. It sounds as though adults behaved badly in giving the alleged abductor an opportunity to run off with the young girl, if that is what has happened here.

Regardless, there's just too much of this coming out of one state, albeit a populous state.

TRUCULENT DEANBAT

This post on the rant-monger, Howard Dean, from "The Happy Capitalist" calls to mind this post of mine aways back, in which I wrote about the Democrats:

How do I know they're in trouble apart from their current fix vis-a-vis the White House, Congress and the state houses? Because their hard-bitten left-wing has done it yet again, chasing off another good man -- Tim Roemer this time around. Roemer gets it and they don't want to hear cool logic or fall in line behind a pragmatic, realistic approach to regaining the ground they've lost.

No, they want the reckless ranter, Howard Dean, in the DNC Chairmanship -- he of the anti-Bush animus and unrestrained vitriol. He's Terry McAuliffe with a stethoscope and a propensity for losing to match. The daunting Dr. Dean -- yet another dyed-in-the-wool liberal Democrat who doesn't give many Americans a warm feeling of security in an age of rabid Islamic terrorism. Roemer has ideas and remedies, and he sees reasons for the pounding Kerry took. Shame on him. Who wants clear thinking and objectivity, right? Meanwhile, Kerry contents himself these days with telling folks he's not a flip-flopper, while his wife drops the Kerry name. Even she's turned-off by the man. And when you say, "DEMOCRAT," the Pavlovian response remains: "Kennedy, Kerry, Boxer, Pelosi, Moore and Dean."

What I still don't get is why the Clintons didn't put up more of a fight to forestall Dean's ascendancy to the DNC Chairmanship. Maybe because they were so irrevocably tied to Terry McAuliffe, and, apart from his robust fundraising, he proved to be such a big-time loser in directing two consecutive failed White House bids for Gore and Kerry, respectively.

WE'RE ON A ROLL: NEED ANOTHER GOOD LAUGH?

Then go to this post of Greg Wallace's!

NEED A GOOD LAUGH?

Then click on this delightful post of Rodger Morrow's! Just don't let Rodger (or any Harvard wise-guy) bullshit you!

WANT TO DESTROY AMERICA? HERE'S HOW!

Frank Laughter of "Common Sense Junction" provides a heads-up in this post of his to an excellent post published yesterday by Bonnie Eggle at "The Immigration Blog."

In it, Bonnie links to and quotes from a compelling speech made by Richard D. Lamm, the former governor of Colorado, to an audience gathered in Washington D.C. for a conference on immigration and over-population, in which Dick Lamm presciently enumerated eight key ways to destroy America:

1) Turn America into a bilingual or multi-lingual and bicultural country;

2) Invent 'multiculturalism' and encourage immigrants to maintain their culture;

3) Celebrate diversity rather than unity;

4) Make our fastest growing demographic group the least educated, as well as unassimilated and antagonistic to our culture;

5) Get big foundations and business to give these efforts lots of money -- i.e., invest in ethnic identity and establish the cult of 'Victimology';

6) Include dual citizenship and promote divided loyalties;

7) Place all subjects off limits -- make it a taboo to talk about anything against the cult of 'diversity';

8) Censor Victor Davis Hanson's book, 'Mexiforma' -- his book is dangerous (as) it exposes the plan to destroy America.

These are all possible, of course, and highly probable outcomes, because our elected officials -- our so-called "public servants" -- permit open borders and do not have the political courage or the patriotic will to deal head-on with runaway, unchecked immigration. And they content themselves in bandying about euphemisms, rather than calling a problem for what it is. That's why people who are in this country illegally -- people who have knowingly broken the laws of our land -- are called "undocumented workers," rather than "illegal aliens" and in some instances "thugs."

I agree with Bill O'Reilly: if a calamitous terrorist attack occurs whose genesis is tied to terrorists and terrorists' weapons being smuggled across our porous borders, then the President of the United States, the chief executive constitutionally charged with enforcing the laws of the land and ensuring the safety of Americans, should be subject to impeachment. In addition, the incumbent Congressmen who failed to act on border security should be chased from office by America's voters.

Our interests are not being served. Vicente Fox was not who I voted for; but Vicente Fox is who I got in return for my votes in 2000 and 2004 cast for George W. Bush. There is no "Homeland Security" as long as we are being overrun by millions of illegals.

WHAT'S THE POINT, REPUBLICAN PARTY?

I relished reading this pointed post by Corie Schweitzer of "Insane Troll Logic", as I harbor similar feelings of indignation that my votes for Republicans and my donations to the GOP have left me all too often feeling thoroughly taken advantage of and without the results I rightfully expected. That we have a second term Republican president in the White House and a majority in the Congress and yet so little has been forthcoming from our efforts to effect that political advantage weighs on me, on Corie, and no doubt countless Republicans.

My big issue, of course, is the open borders' issue. The president has been a miserable failure in that regard. I expected leadership from him on border security, not photo-op sessions with Vicente Fox. His strong stance on fighting terrorism has been undermined by his abject failure in dealing with the human wave that is crossing our southern border and wreaking havoc on our society.

Thanks, Corie, for giving voice to a pervasive frustration in the ranks of Republican voters.

UPDATE: Way to go, Corie -- a link from Lorie Byrd of "Polipundit" no less!

CONNECT THE DOTS AMERICA; WISE UP!

In this post, in which my ongoing reporting of the cold-blooded murder of Houston area toddler Aiden Naquin pointed to police authorities having discovered the catalyst for the crime -- namely, his father Ernest's alleged sale of Xanax to the wife of an MS-13 gang member -- I wrote the following:

Illicit drug sales and the use of illicit drugs are crimes in and of themselves, but they spawn other crimes -- terrible crimes -- and the ripple effect of that degeneracy has become akin to a systemic poison in this country, a blight upon America. The United States is the largest, richest market in all the world for illicit drugs. And from the teenager who casually smokes a joint in his suburban bedroom to the street hooker who shoots up heroin with a dirty needle in a rat-infested flophouse, they all join together to breed a culture in which the life of a hapless little boy becomes all too expendable on the altar of drug use -- the sick religion of getting stoned.

And I concluded:

So many insidious elements appear to have combined to kill this little boy. We have the illegal immigration problem that is raging out of control in our country. We have a street gang -- MS-13 -- that has spread to 33 states, is composed mainly of illegal aliens from Central America, and is so violent that it is the #1 gang in the land targeted by the FBI and a Justice Department task force. We have illicit drug trafficking, drug sales, and drug use -- a huge, sinister industry that plagues America and touches us all. We have bad parents and flat bad people afoot in the land and child abuse is becoming pandemic. We have politicians -- our "public servants" -- many of whom don't do their jobs, neither enforcing the laws designed to protect us, nor legislating tough new laws to countervail the menaces that grow in our midst.

All these elements were as complicitous in the cold-blooded murder of Aiden Naquin, as was a 19-year-old gang member from El Salvadore who allegedly emptied his gun into the windshield of Ernest Naquin's automobile that night, wanting both the drugs and the money used to buy them.


Now I come across a story this morning in the print edition of the "Houston Chronicle," buried on page B5 of the "City & State" section, the headline reading:

GIRL ACCUSED OF TAKING DRUG XANAX TO SCHOOL

The "HC" reporter, Mike Glenn, reports that a seventh-grade student at Long Middle School was "found with tablets of the anti-anxiety drug Xanax" and that "two other students at the school were taken to an area hospital for observation following the girl's arrest."

HSID spokesman Terry Abbott is quoted by Glenn as saying: "We had seen a rise (last year) in the number of cases of kids bringing Xanax to school and passing it around." Abbott goes on to say: "We saw, last year, in the school district more than 30 different cases of Xanax being used."

Yet another example, cited by Mike Glenn: "Monday's arrest follows the expulsion earlier this month of five sixth-graders from Ryan Elementary SChool who also were caught with Xanax pills."

I point to this story, juxtaposing it with my post on the gangland slaying of a little boy over a Xanax drug sale gone bad, so that readers (particularly parents) can connect the dots and see firsthand that what goes on in elementary and middle schools in the Houston school district may have ties to the street-level drug buys and drug sales of Xanax (and other drugs) by MS-13 gang members -- a deadly gang comprised of illegal aliens that has become a scourge in Houston and thirty-two other cities across our land.

Wake up, people!

Drug abuse and illicit drug sales get innocent people hurt and, in the case of a not yet two year old toddler, innocent people killed. And even a young girl purportedly passing out prescription pills at her school becomes a player in the downward spiraling "degeneracy" in this country of a "drug culture" that weaves its sinister threads throughout our society.

An innocent little boy was gunned down as he sat in his child's car seat because people distribute drugs, people sell drugs, people buy drugs, and people do drugs. They smoke it, they snort it, they inject it, they pop it. And in doing so, right down to the youngsters who are caught up in this damnable culture, they are all complicitous in the bad things that happen to good people because this nation cannot get a grip on itself.

The sick religion of getting stoned is a blight on this country and it's why a little boy is buried deep in the ground in a small blue coffin surrounded by teddy bears in Humble, Texas.

Monday, April 25

"EMP" ATTACK ON U.S. WOULD KILL ELECTRONS, NOT PEOPLE

In a chilling report that Americans need to take note of, "WorldNetDaily" points to an ominous, emerging threat posed by Iran in which a nuclear warhead could be detonated at a high altitude over the continental United States, resulting in what scientists call an "Electronic Pulse Weapon" -- a nuclear weapon designed to kill electrons, not people.

Such a weapon could "knock out America's critical electrical and technological infrastructure, effectively sending the continental U.S. back to the 19th century with a recovery time of months or years."

The use of a nuclear warhead in this manner eliminates the necessity of sophisticated missile guidance systems to pinpoint American targets or, for that matter, clearing the security hurdles in smuggling a nuclear device into the United States (so-called "dirty bombs"). All that is needed is to get a warhead up over the United States at a high altitude and even a "scud missle" will do the job and they're a mere $100,000 a copy on the open weapons' market.

According to Joseph Farah, Congress is already aware of this burgeoning threat from rogue nations, a threat that could "effectively neutralize the world's lone superpower."

"The radical Shiite regime has conducted successful tests to determine if its Shahab-3 ballistic missiles, capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, can be detonated by a remote-control device while still in high-altitude flight."

"Scientists, including President Reagan's top science adviser, William R. Graham, say there is no other explanation for such tests than preparation for the deployment of Electromagnetic Pulse weapons – even one of which could knock out America's critical electrical and technological infrastructure, effectively sending the continental U.S. back to the 19th century with a recovery time of months or years."

The report continues:

"Jerome Corsi, author of "Atomic Iran," told WorldNetDaily the new findings about Iran's Electromagnetic Pulse experiments significantly raise the stakes of the mullah regime's bid to become a nuclear power."

Corsi concludes: "Up until now, I believed the nuclear threat to the U.S. from Iran was limited to the ability of terrorists to penetrate the borders or port security to deliver a device to a major city," he said. "While that threat should continue to be a grave concern for every American, these tests by Iran demonstrate just how devious the fanatical mullahs in Tehran are. We are facing a clever and unscrupulous adversary in Iran that could bring America to its knees."

One of the key reasons John Kerry and the Democratic Party lost the 2004 presidential race is because they didn't convince the American people that they had a viable foreign policy platform, nor the will to carry the fight to the terrorists. If President Bush comes to see the necessity of a knock-out punch against Iran to eliminate this looming threat, I wonder what side of the ledger the Democratic Party leadership will fall on? We know intuitively, as well as from his previous vascillations, that John Kerry will prefer entrusting our security to the United Nations, rather than supporting our president. But Kerry is a Senate eunuch. The question becomes, which way would Hillary Clinton go and, if she were to show steel, could she rally pusillanimous Democrats in both chambers to the cause of national defense. I suspect she'd do just that with 2008 on the not too distant horizon.

Sunday, April 24

"HOUSTON CHRONICLE" COLUMNIST CRAGG HINES LASHES OUT AT "NEANDER-BLOGGERS"

One has to wonder reading the "Houston Chronicle's" (registration required) Washington D.C.-based columnist Cragg Hines' diatribe this morning why, if he's going to mount an all-out assault on the right-wing blogosphere, he can't name names and lend some specifics to his broad-brush attack. Instead, the man just fulminates aimlessly.

The genesis of his wrath is the so-called "talking points memo" that Republicans purportedly distributed among Senate colleagues during the Terri Schiavo controversy, turning the medical/legal controversy into a political tug-a-war. Hines is looking for "a properly obsequious note of regret" (or a "modest mea culpa") from "the neander-bloggers," who he claims denied the existence of the memo from the onset of its suggested existence and were fervently "hoping for another high-profile big-media flame-out about a phony document."

In the course of his column, he seems to delight in walking the cafeteria line of Leftist calumny and drawing from that smorgasbord a collection of cheap-shots against center-right bloggers, abetted along the way by the Chronicle's headline writer, who adds "ultra-conservative tom-toms" to Hines' fusillade.

What has most provoked Cragg Hines is the fact that in his estimation the "fallout from this despicable memo has been inexplicably mild." Perhaps Mr. Hines doth protest too much. After all, the memorandum that surfaced was prepared by a legal counsel for Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL), who drew it up of his own volition and resigned once it was squarely attributed to him. Hines, of course, refers to the memo's author as a "hard-right operative." Seems Cragg Hines' keyboard could only steer Left when he knocked out this pablum over a bowl of pabulum.

Interesting for me, as a self-described, center-right poliblogger in the Houston area, is Hines' sly reference (in decrying the "wrath" of the "once-blazing bloggers" who went to the defense of Republican Congressional leaders during the Shiavo controversy) to a "Houston-area coven" of bloggers, who he suggests have turned their guns on him. It would be nice to know who Mr. Hines contends comprises this "coven" -- i.e., the witches of the "hard-right commentators ... in cyberspace" who occupy territory in this part of the country. Coming from the likes of Hines that would be an accolade.

After having read his column several times, I must say that it amounts to "much ado about nothing," particulalry since the columnist neither points to nor quotes from a single blogger or blog. How did such a fatuous piece of writing ever make its way into a big city newspaper? Indeed, this column is so devoid of substance that it calls to mind a computer error message I've seen from time to time: "no data found."

FOLLOW-UP: Contrast Hines' column with this one by John Hinderaker of Powerline. The former is an example of jounalistic vacuity; the latter, of a careful delineation of facts.

Saturday, April 23

XANAX ALLEGEDLY SOLD BY ERNEST NAQUIN THE NIGHT HIS LITTLE BOY WAS MURDERED

So if it is true -- what FBI and police authorities are saying now -- that Aiden Naquin's father, Ernest Naquin, sold the drug "Xanax" to MS-13 gang members (specifically Maria Cruz) the night his 20-month-old son was shot in the head by an MS-13 gunman, we should (we absolutely must) understand -- all of us -- what the drug is all about. It's important to know because an innocent child is dead and the purported actions of his father may have been the catalyst for the failed robbery attempt by MS-13 gang members that left Aiden Naquin dead, strapped helplessly in a child's car seat with a bullet in his head.

This tragedy -- this senseless and abhorrent crime -- may indeed be the result of an illicit, street-level, drug sale, sadly a common, everyday occurrence in the United States, and oftentimes an occurrence in which the end user is oblivious to the consequences of his illegal drug use -- devastating consequences that spread like tentacles throughout a community. You see, every illicit drug user, whether they like to characterize their habit euphemistically as "purely recreational" or they've long since come to understand through the downward spiral of their life that it is "hard core and habitual," plays a part in the evil that springs from drug trafficking and drug use. Everyone who populates the distribution chain and everyone who smokes the stuff, snorts the stuff, injects the stuff, or pops the stuff is complicit in all the sordid repercussions of illicit drug use. No one's hands are clean. No one if off the hook -- legally or morally in my book.

Illicit drug sales and the use of illicit drugs are crimes in and of themselves, but they spawn other crimes -- terrible crimes -- and the ripple effect of that degeneracy has become akin to a systemic poison in this country, a blight upon America. The United States is the largest, richest market in all the world for illicit drugs. And from the teenager who casually smokes a joint in his suburban bedroom to the street hooker who shoots up heroin with a dirty needle in a rat-infested flophouse, they all join together to breed a culture in which the life of a hapless little boy becomes all too expendable on the altar of drug use -- the sick religion of getting stoned.

So what is "Xanax" and why is it popular on the streets? Xanax belongs to a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines. Xanax is the brand name for Rohypnol or flunitrazepam -- a tasteless, odorless drug that is prescribed for insomnia, as a sedative, and as a pre-surgical anesthetic. It is readily soluble in carbonated beverages. It is not sold in the United States. Doctors cannot even prescribe it here. Its chief effect has led to a slang, street description of the drug as the "forget-me-pill." Because users oftentimes experience "profound anterograde amnesia" -- i.e., being unable to remember their experiences while under the effects of the drug (a user can be impaired for up to 8 to 12 hours) -- it is used in date rape, in heinous sexual assaults! It is among the "club drugs" popular with teenagers and young adults. These young people are mindlessly popping a drug that is ten times more powerful than Valium! Ironic, isn't it: there's not a damn thing at all smart about street-smart people.

Rohypnol, commonly known on the street as "roofies," "ropes," or "ropies" is about ten times more potent than Valium and often causes a loss of memory, which is why it has been labeled the date rape drug. It is manufactured by the pharmaceutical firm Hoffmann-LaRoche to treat insomnia. Although it is a Schedule I drug in the U.S., it is legally marketed in 60 countries around the world. Sources for smuggled Rohypnol are primarily Mexico and Colombia, South America. It is easy for those vacationing in Mexico to obtain the drug and smuggle it home for sale or use on the street. It is manufactured in one and two milligram tablets, which sell for $5.00 to $10.00 on the street.

And Houston, the fourth largest city in the United States, has become a prime market for its illegal distribution, as have other cities next to or in proximity to the U.S./Mexico border.

So many insidious elements appear to have combined to kill this little boy. We have the illegal immigration problem that is raging out of control in our country. We have a street gang -- MS-13 -- that has spread to 33 states, is composed mainly of illegal aliens from Central America, and is so violent that it is the #1 gang in the land targeted by the FBI and a Justice Department task force. We have illicit drug trafficking, drug sales, and drug use -- a huge, sinister industry that plagues America and touches us all. We have bad parents and flat bad people afoot in the land and child abuse is becoming pandemic. We have politicians -- our "public servants" -- many of whom don't do their jobs, neither enforcing the laws designed to protect us, nor legislating tough new laws to countervail the menaces that grow in our midst.

All these elements were as complicitous in the cold-blooded murder of Aiden Naquin, as was a 19-year-old gang member from El Salvadore who allegedly emptied his gun into the windshield of Ernest Naquin's automobile that night, wanting both the drugs and the money used to buy them.

And yet, I hear no outrage, I read precious little outrage: the MSM has largely been silent; the blogosphere has published precious few posts. Toddler Aiden, buried in a blue coffin, surrounded by teddy bears, is yesterday's news, and even that news was scant and all too matter-of-fact. And the backdrop for Aiden's murder and the ensuing burial was perhaps the pseudo mourning of his father -- a father who may have done a drug deal at a gas station, while his three children sat in his car, a drug deal that killed an innocent little boy not yet two years old.

NOTE: If you haven't been following the unfolding of this dark tragedy, you can come to understand it in all of its terrible implications by clicking on and reading the following "ACSOL" posts in descending order:

Post #1

Post #2

Post #3

Post #4

Post #5

Post #6

Post #7

Post #8

Post #9

Post #10

Post #11

DID ERNEST NAQUIN DO SOMETHING THAT HAD CONSEQUENCES FOR HIS TODDLER SON -- NAMELY, THE LITTLE BOY'S MURDER?

Watch this KHOU.com video interview of Ernest Naquin, the father of the toddler, Aiden, who was brutally murdered and allegedly by a now jailed suspect in the case -- 19-year old Miguel Angel Castro -- who is thought to be an MS-13 gang gunman from El Salvadore.

Watch the video carefully. Play it over several times.

Look into the man's eyes, listen to his words and voice inflections. Police now believe much of what Ernest Naquin is saying during this interview (and others with authorities) is a pack of lies. The murder of hapless Aiden may have, in point of fact, been the domino effect of a drug sale gone wrong -- a drug sale in which Ernest was the seller.

Would a father resist cooperating with the authorities -- the FBI, the Harris County Sheriff's Department, the Houston Police Department -- in the investigation of his son's brutal murder just to cover his own sorry ass?

Was his performance in this news' interview disingenuous and designed to throw investigators off the scent and to cover-up his illicit, street-level drug sale of Xanax to Maria Cruz? Was this really a trip to get his three children a snow cone treat on a warm Texas evening or was the principal purpose to do a drug sale?

Ernest argues the killing was a case of mistaken identity -- the shooter thinking Ernest Naquin was someone else and his hapless son being the proverbial innocent bystander, mowed down in a hail of gunfire. Police say otherwise. The shooter and his accomplices, they now report, wanted to retrieve money given to Ernest by Maria Cruz -- money that exchanged hands that night in an illicit drug deal.

I damn sure want to know what really happened. How about you? Fact is, Ernest Naquin has a criminal history. Maybe he was trying to avoid being somehow implicated and winding up back in prison. Regardless, his son is in the ground now and if this is some sick drug sale that went awry and escalated into a murder -- a murder that may have been committed by an illegal alien and member of a notorious street gang -- then I'm really sick at heart and wanting justice for the boy.

UPDATE: The "Houston Chronicle" (registration required) has published this account of the arrests of four men and one woman, all thought to be involved, along with Miguel Angel Castro, in a street-level drug deal followed by an attempted armed robbery to retrieve the money used to purchase the drugs from Aiden Naquin's father, Ernest Naquin. That sale, to one of the suspects taken into police custody, Maria Cruz, was made at a service station the night of Aiden's murder.

Maria Cruz was arrested on drug charges, accused of possessing Xanax she had purchased from the slain child's father minutes before the robbery occurred, detectives said.
"HC" reporters, Peggy O'Hare and Cindy Horswell, go on to write:

On the night of the incident, Maria Cruz purchased about 500 "bars" of Xanax from a man in a maroon car at a service station at the corner of First Street and U.S. 59 near Humble, detectives said. Sheriff's officials said they believe Ernest Naquin was the man who sold her the Xanax and said his three children were in the car with him at the service station at the time.

After the sale, a group of men followed Naquin and his children to their mobile home park in Huffman. When Naquin reached the trailer park, the men tried to rob him. One of the men fired five shots into Naquin's windshield, one of which hit the toddler in the head.

Detectives said they were not sure how much money Naquin was carrying at the time, but the gang members didn't get any of it. Their robbery attempt unsuccessful, they fled in a getaway car detectives said was driven by Victor Cruz. Maria Cruz was not in the car with the men when the shooting occurred, investigators said.

Detectives declined to say Friday if the child's father admitted or denied any part in the drug transaction.

The following arrests were made:

Eduardo Mejia-Estrada, also known as Carlos Eduardo Estrada-Mejia, 19, Ronney Donn Sanchez-Fonseca, 18, and Edgar Rolando Gonzalez, 24 — who already were in custody — were charged with aggravated robbery, the sheriff's office said.

Another accused gang member, Victor Armando Cruz, 26, and his wife, Maria Adelaida Cruz, 27, were arrested at their home in the 400 block of Hahlo about 10 a.m. Thursday by sheriff's detectives, Houston police and FBI agents.

Victor Cruz is charged with aggravated robbery. Maria Cruz was arrested on drug charges, accused of possessing Xanax she had purchased from the slain child's father minutes before the robbery occurred, detectives said.

Ernest Naquin, 27, has not been charged with any wrongdoing, but sheriff's detectives said he could be charged later for his alleged role in the drug deal. Naquin declined to comment Friday on the drug deal allegations.

And isn't this eyewitness report interesting:

Jaime Oldham, who lives in the same trailer park as the Naquin family, said she had noticed late night activity at the Naquin home.

"There was a lot of traffic to this house, all hours of the day and night," she said. "Then, after the meth lab busts (two in the last few months), the father started leaving the park, all times of the day and night. Sometimes at 2 a.m. and 4 a.m."


So there you are. Quite a tangled web. Sickening, isn't it? The drug deal happened in Humble, Texas. Aiden Naquin is now buried in Humble, Texas. A little boy is dead it appears because his father may have been more a drug dealer than a loving dad. And his killer may have been in this country illegally and a member of the notorious MS-13 gang.

Friday, April 22

BREAKING NEWS: ERNEST NAQUIN LINKED IN DEATH OF HIS 20-MONTH-OLD SON

Local 2 News (NBC network affiliate in Houston), just moments ago, during its 10:00 pm CDT news' telecast, reported that the FBI, Harris County Sheriff's Department, and Houston Police Department personnel, working together in the ongoing investigation of the death of toddler Aiden Naquin, have made five (5) more arrests in the case (the previous post cited a KHOU.com report that 4 arrests had been made) -- four men and one woman. Additionally, Aiden's father, Ernest Naquin, is now thought to be directly tied to the suspects involved in the murder of his son.

Local 2 News reporter Courtney Zavata indicated that authorities now believe that Ernest Naquin sold a supply of the drug "Xanax" to a woman, Marla Cruz, who has now been taken into custody by the police. While it is not clear why (not from this particular report), four men, including the alleged shooter -- Miguel Angel Castro -- tailgated Ernest Naquin's car following the sale and it is thought they wanted the money back that was used in the purchase of the Xanax. Once Naquin had reached the trailer park in which he lived with his wife, son, and two daughters, his car was cut off by the vehicle in which the four men road, three men exited the car, and one, brandishing a weapon, fired five shots into Ernest's car, with one bullet striking toddler Aiden Naquin in the head killing him.

This blog previously reported that Ernest Naquin has a criminal record. Police investigators have been reporting all along what they regarded to be Ernest Naquin's less than full cooperation. Tonight's breaking information may account for that.

Ernest Naquin is innocent until proven guilty; but, the fact that he may have played a part, in some way, shape, or form, perhaps through the illicit sale of prescription drugs, in his son's death sickens me.

UPDATE: As previously reported, the alleged shooter is in police custody and has been charged with capital murder. The four men arrested as additional suspects in this crime have been charged with aggravated robbery. The writer is not certain if the woman arrested in the case has been charged yet.

MORE MS-13 SUSPECTS NABBED BY HOUSTON POLICE

"KHOU.com" (registration required) published a story late this afternoon indicating that the Houston Police Department has arrested four more MS-13 gang members who, according to authorities, have "connections to Miguel Castro" -- the principal suspect and thought to be the shooter in the death of toddler Aiden Naquin. Castro is in police custody and has been charged with capital murder.

As regular readers of this blog know, I have been covering this story from its inception and urging other bloggers to give this tragedy traction in the blogosphere, so this little boy will not have died in vain at the hands of ruthless MS-13 gang members, most of whom are illegal aliens and shouldn't even be in this country were our politicians doing their jobs for us. Porous borders and a lack of will among many in Washington to deal effectively with border security and immigration reform may have had a part in this little guy's death. There should be outrage and widespread indignation over this! "Homeland Security" didn't protect a 20-month-old from a Central American gang!

According to KHOU.com's brief account, the four suspects nabbed by police "may have been with Castro at the time of the killing, but are not charged with the murder." Early reports of the crime indicated four men were in a silver Nissan Altima that had been tailgating Aiden's father's vehicle, in which he, his two sisters, and their father, Ernest, were driving. On the Naquins' return to the trailer park in which they lived, the Nissan Altima cut them off. Three of the four men purportedly exited the Nissan, walked towards Ernest Naquin's automobile, and one of the men -- now thought to be Miguel Angel Castro -- fired five shots at point blank range into the windshield of the Naquins' automobile. Aiden was struck in the head and killed, as he sat helplessly strapped into a child's car seat.

Aiden was buried this past Monday, as the "Houston Chronicle" reported (registration required), at a cemetary in Humble, north of Houston, in a tiny blue casket, surrounded by teddy bears. We must not allow the story to be buried with him.

Hopefully there will be expanded coverage of these new arrests in tomorrow morning's edition of the "Houston Chronicle."

BLOGGER'S "HELP DESK" SLOWER THAN SNAIL MAIL

I wrote this post this past Monday, April 18th. In it, I described how having published my first post of the day via "Blogger," I was then kicked out of my site (in a manner of speaking) and could not bring up my blog again using Explorer, Firefox, or Netscape. It drove me nuts. I was out of commission and so were my readers!

Turns out, and for reasons I still cannot fathom, Blogger deleted a sizeable portion of my template's HTML and even though I was not editing my template! My only crime: clicking on "publish." Now there's a sin in the world of blogging. You see, "Blogger" wants you to become a technician, rather than a writer.

It was a frustrating, fitful experience, and made worse by a series of auto-replies from Blogger's so-called "Help Desk." Auto-replies are insults to one's intelligence, kind of like unmanned switchboards.

Well, guess what? Today, Friday, April 22nd -- five days after the fact -- and long after I did a template rebuild and got my blog back up, guess who comes to my rescue and this time around with honest-to-goodness pseudo-help from a real live person?

Drum roll, please! Yes, you bet: I received not one, but two emails today from the Blogger "Help Desk." It was like lifting your bleeding, sans-scalp head from the soil of the Great Plains to see the U.S. Cavalry riding into view, bugle blaring, long after Ward Churchill's kin had left you for dead.

You'll love this one:

Hi Bernard,

I checked your blog and it appears to be publishing correctly now. This
may have been part of a temporary problem that has since been corrected.
If this problem recurs please let us know.

Sincerely,

Graham

Well, Graham, it has "since been corrected" -- BY ME, ABSENT TIMELY HELP FROM YOU! And when it next happens, you know you'll give me the same lousy service I received this time, right? You know that! So don't lay the baloney on me!

The other is a gem as well:

Hi Bernard,

I'm afraid it sounds like you've fallen victim to a bug in our system
which occasionally loses template data. Your posts are still safe, but
unfortunately we were not able to recover your template for you. To use
one of our default templates, you can click the Pick New link on the
Template tab. This will let you publish your blog again while you recreate
your old template. We apologize for the inconvenience and we are working
on getting this problem fixed. However, it is always a good idea to save
your own copy of a template if you make extensive customizations.

Sincerely,

Graham

Well, Graham, not only do I save my template HTML periodically, just to be on the safe side, but as a Blogger user, I'm also obliged to copy and paste every post I write into Notepad before I publish, because Blogger has yet another "bug" in its plentiful bag of tricks that obliterates posts when you try to publish them. And, I should add, your new "Recover Post" feature (which is a "fix" to a persistent post-destroying "bug") doesn't work worth a darn either!

Seems anything that goes wrong is a "bug in the system," you folks are always faithfully working to fix the bugs (but never quite getting the issues resolved), and its obligatory for the customer to carry around, in a manner of speaking, his own toolbox, much as Model-T owners were obliged to do a zillion years ago when automobiles were first coming off the assembly line.

And isn't it nice of you to gently nudge us -- your customers -- in the direction of self-help, albeit in a bit of a patronizing, computer-speak sort of way. You're so nice, in fact, that the niceness slides off the end of the knife you're sticking between my ribs like butter dripping off of boiled corn-on-the-cob.

Using Blogger, Graham, ol' buddy, is tantamount to the "Mad-Hatter" ride at Disneyland -- you're always in the dark and you're never quite sure what's awaiting you just around the corner. Blogger is an E-ticket ride into the Twilight Zone.

Bottom-line, when something goes awry in Blogger, and it will most every day of your blogging life, YOU'RE ON YOUR OWN AND LEFT TO FEND FOR YOURSELF. Even the "real replies" will read like auto-replies! Right, Graham?

Now, then, let's see if this will publish without making smoke curl out of my CRT or my systolic blood pressure rise above 200.

AG-JOBS LEGISLATION DEFEATED IN SENATE

This "Washington Times" story really made my day, as I was lobbying (in my own small way) for the defeat of the "Ag-Jobs" bill and the much-desired outcome -- defeat! Hurrah! And you know it's a good day when you can actually find reason to applaud Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).

I wrote on the subject of amnesty, signed a petition, and made some phone calls. That's what it is all about -- each of us doing what we can to stave off patent amnesty for illegals being marketed under the guise of a "Guest Worker" program. My ancestors came to this country legally and that's how I expect it to work for everyone else who comes to this land of ours to live and work and breathe free.

Illegals need to be deported, otherwise we're a lawless land, no better than our corrupt southern neighbor.

Our borders need to be secured. Period.

Our president needs to walk the talk about terrorism and its implications. "Homeland Security" needs to be more than an empty slogan and a huge, tax-eating, red-light/green-light bureaucracy.

MARINE GENERAL PETER PACE NOMINATED TO BECOME CHAIRMAN, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF


Common Sense Junction posts on the announcement that U.S. Marine Corp General Peter Pace has been nominated by President Bush to become the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

This will please my father, who served in the U.S. Marine Corp in World War II. And I have a brother-in-law who was a U.S. Marine in the Vietnam War.

POLITICAL BOMBAST AGAINST BOLTON NOMINATION

Make a point of reading Rodger Morrow's post on the "well-orchestrated (albeit not-so-subtle) whispering campaign aimed at tanking his nomination" -- referring, of course, to President Bush's nomination of John Bolton as United States' ambassador to the United Nations and the Democrats' (and certain complicitous RINOs') wholesale assault on his Senate confirmation.

I particularly like Rodger's reference to the "glass zoo" on the East River. I don't have much use for the United Nations either. Just imagine Koffi Annan being succeeded by Bill Clinton: what will that do for the degenerate ethics of the U.N., but sink them further into the morass of grave human failings.

"IMMIGRATION BLOG" FINALLY CATCHES UP TO THE AIDEN NAQUIN TRAGEDY

Michelle Malkin, in a pithy post yesterday, directed her readers to her new "Immigration Blog" site, where on the same day (April 21st) she published a post she authored on the brutal murder of toddler Aiden Naquin by a suspected MS-13 gang member -- a story this Houston-area blogger has been covering extensively since the news of Aiden's death first broke (and with scant MSM coverage, save for the "Houston Chronicle," I should add).

The toddler, strapped in an infant's car seat in the backseat of his father's (Ernest Naquin's) car, was shot in the head by a suspected gunman, 19-year-old Miguel Angel Naquin, now in police custody and thought to be an illegal immigrant from El Salvadore and a member of the notorious MS-13 gang.

I'm pleased to see a major blogger-journalist of Michelle Malkin's stature finally pointing to this ghastly murder of an innocent little boy who would have been two years old in August. And I'm pleased she published her post in her group blog -- the "Immigration Blog" -- as this human tragedy appears to have very real ties to the unsecured borders issue and the dark side of President Bush's and Congress' utter failure to address border security and immigration reform. And, I should add, along with these issues, Michelle has, to her credit, repeatedly posted on the escalating reach of the dreaded MS-13 gang -- among the loathsome offshoots of this nation's porous borders.

I wrote two emails to Michelle Malkin, the first on April 16th, the second on April 19th, asking that she review my posts on the subject of Aiden Naquin's murder and urging her to carry the story to give it legs in the blogosphere. I felt that her reputation and sizeable readership would give this tragedy and its illegal immigration-related implications a traction I could not. And I was thoroughly frustrated, and had been saying so in my own blog, that Aiden's death was being woefully under-reported, both in the MSM and in the blogosphere.

Since there's no mention of or link to this writer or his blog, "ACSOL," in either of her posts, it appears she never read my emails. I'm sure she's inundated with thousands of emails and cannot possibly get to all of them. Regardless, the good news is the story of this little boy's brutal death will not go unnoticed now and be buried with him. Michelle's blogs are big guns, compared to the pea-shooter that is "ACSOL." I feel a sense of vindication, however, and I feel better knowing that Aiden's short life may have value now in placing in stark relief the dire consequences of allowing millions of illegal aliens, many of them criminals, to roam our streets with near impunity.

So, thanks, Michelle.

And my sincerest thanks again to Frank Laughter who picked up on my pleas much earlier and posted on this youngster's death. Someone actually heard me!

UPDATE: In the process of sending a Trackback to the "Immigration Blog," I discovered that "What Attitude Problem?" had linked to a post of mine on the Aiden Naquin tragedy. That was a pleasant surprise, but even more so was finding that "ACSOL" was in that site's blogroll. My thanks to Greg Wallace and do know, Greg, that I have returned the favor by listing your blog in my blogroll under the heading "Quid Pro Quo." So I have both Frank Laughter and Greg Wallace to thank! I'm sure the Naquin Family appreciates your outrage over their little boy's death.

SUNBELT GROWTH FUELED BY ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION?

Read this Reuters' story (published at CNN's site) carefully about the projected population growth in the "Sunbelt Sates" of Florida, Texas, Arizona, and California, particularly this:

The bureau said the projections were produced by its Population Division based on data from the 50 states and the District of Columbia from the 2000 census. They represent the result of a mathematical projection model that assumes the continuation of current state-specific trends in fertility, mortality and domestic and international migration.

Did you catch that "international migration" reference? Gee, you don't suppose the population trend experts are counting illegal immigration in the mix? Kind of hard not to, don't you think, given the magnitude of the human tide entering our country from the south?

BRAZILIANS JOIN THE HUMAN TIDE ACROSS OUR POROUS SOUTHERN BORDER

"Come one, come all!"

Can't you just hear President Bush yelling that sort of welcome through a bullhorn at the McAllen, Texas, Port of Entry. Seems a strange juxtaposition: that indifference to the human tide that enters our country each and every day through our porous southern border with Mexico and the recollection of the president telling the emergency responders to the "9/11" tragedy at the World Trade Center towers site that "... pretty soon the evildoers will be hearing from us!"

Well what about the illegals that cross our borders, Mr. President? When are you going to deal with that terrorist threat? Now we have Brazillians joining the vast emigration or what I would term "human invasion." Seems all of Central America and South America are beating a path to the United States, many of them criminals in their own countries. And you, Mr. President -- well, you're not particular in the least about who is smuggled into this country or by whom. Among many loathsome offshoots of your wide open borders' policy is the rapid rise of the notorious MS-13 gang in this country, now spreading its tentacles into 33 states.

Your "Come one, come all" approach to border security, Mr. President, is disgraceful and contradicts your sworn oath to uphold the laws of the land, as well as your commitment to this country to fight terrorism in ever form and guise.

Thursday, April 21

POPE BENEDICT XVI DOESN'T NEED DEFENDING

Peggy Noonan feels compelled to mount a defense this morning of Pope Benedict XVI, concluding her column by writing that the newly-elected Pontiff is not "radical, or archconservative," and similarly not "an enforcer, a cop, or a rottweiler." Thank you, Ms. Noonan, for "running" to his defense!

Even Michael Novak has been provoked into responding to commentators in Europe and the United States who have, he argues, wrongly characterized Pope Benedict XVI as "an 'authoritarian,' a 'watchdog,' and, most peculiarly, a 'neoconservative'." And, as no doubt anyone who reads or listens to the MSM has witnessed, the progressive, liberal, secularist media have wasted no time at all in assailing the Pope, pumping out a lot of negative press before the man even settles in to his new role. The new Pope must be quite unassailable to be so vigorously assailed by the likes of these folks.

No, there is no surprise in the vehemence of the assault; but, there is no need for a chorus of defenses either? Let's just consider the source(s)!

Pope Benedict XVI is the leader of the Roman Catholic Church -- the Church built upon the "rock" that was Peter, as Jesus Christ, its founder, told his disciples. It's not a Church built upon a hunch, a caprice, a protestation, or the philosophy of a mere mortal. On display for all the world to observe following the death of the beloved Pope John Paul II and through the Conclave's election of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger -- Pope Benedict XVI -- have been the long, rich history of the Roman Catholic Church and the traditions and theology it is steeped in. Unlike man's institutions -- even its noblest -- this one neither bends to the prevailing political winds that blow across the continent of Europe, nor does its shoreline recede from the pounding surf of mankind's foibles and machinations.

This "rock," this "Conservativism," these long-standing "traditions" were born of God and are designed to withstand, through His divine inspiration and blessings, the popular prescriptions of the day.

It must bother the secularists, the progressives, the nihilists, and the left-of-center media pontificators to no end that the Church has found yet another "rock" upon which its foundations will remain fortified and its theology stalwart. Pope Benedict XVI is the successor to Peter. Just as Peter could not be defined or discredited by the Romans, this new Pope will not be defined or discredited by his detractors -- the "relativists".

Wednesday, April 20

HOUSTON P.D. ROUNDING UP MS-13 GANG MEMBERS

The "Houston Chronicle" (registration required) reports this morning that the Houston Police Department, with assistance from the FBI, has arrested a total of twenty (20) MS-13 gang members, with five (5) of those "charged in connection with four homicides in the area, including the slaying of 18-month-old Aiden Naquin, who was shot in the head while strapped in an infant car seat (on) April 12th."

Among those arrested is a 19-year old Salvadoran, Miguel Angel Castro, who police say is the prime suspect as the shooter in the brutal murder of Aiden Naquin. Castro also goes by the name "Emente." (NOTE: Today's "Houston Chronicle" story by reporter Peggy O'Hare cites Castro's age as 21, but all previous reports have listed it as 19).

This writer has been covering this story since it was first reported that the toddler had been slain, both because of the egregiousness of the crime itself, as well as the purported connections to the deadly MS-13 street gang, which operates in Houston and across 30+ other cities in the United States.

A number of the recent arrests were made by a Houston P.D. SWAT team. Important to note in today's story is that "almost all of those arrested during the SWAT standoff last week and in the months leading up to it are believed to be illegal immigrants," according to Houston P.D. Homicide Lt. Murray Smith.

And that's precisely what readers of this blog need to understand: MS-13 is comprised of illegal immigrants, mostly from El Salvadore, Honduras, and Mexico. And it is a gang whose numbers and reach are escalating rapidly in this country. Currently, there are thought to be 10,000 - 12,000 MS-13 gang members in the U.S., but some estimates have been as high as 20,000. These are criminals who have no business even being in this country!

Lt. Murray Smith goes on to say of MS-13: "They're a very vicious group, like most gangs when they come to our attention ... obviously, they have little regard for human life."

That such a gang exists in this country and little children such as Aiden Naquin die at the hands of illegal immigrants is evidence enough that the Bush Administration, Congress, and the leadership of both major political parties are patently culpable, because they've turned a deaf ear to the issues of border security and immigration reform, and tried to patronize Americans with the endless, self-serving propaganda that illegals flood into this country by the millions to do the work that Americans refuse to do -- that they're a boon, rather than a blight.

Fact is, many come here to do murder, rape, burglary, and utter mayhem, and to run illicit cross-border trades in drugs and human cargo. And to those who have fallen victims to this tide of humanity streaming across our nation's borders, they are being terrorized! They are the victims of terrorists!

It's incomprehensible to me that the big-gun, center-right bloggers are not running with this story and giving it legs in the blogosphere. A little boy is dead. His killer is purportedly an illegal immigrant from El Salvadore and a member of the most notorious gang operating in the United States. Aiden's death is an outrage. He's buried now and with the exception of a few Texas newspapers and local television affiliates the story has been buried with him. It's disgraceful.

NOTE: I want to thank Frank Laughter of "Common Sense Junction" for this post of his in trying to assist me in drawing attention to Aiden Naquin's brutal slaying and the ties of that cold-blooded murder to this country's porous borders issue and the countless politicians, including President Bush, who remain stubbornly indifferent to the dreadful consequences of illegal immigration.

Tuesday, April 19

MS-13 IMPLICATED IN DEATH OF AIDEN NAQUIN

Street gang expert Mike Knox says of the notorious MS-13 gang, now known to be operating in thirty-one states, that its members -- illegal aliens from El Salvadore and other Central America countries -- "... trade in violence (and) want people to believe that they are more violent than any other street gang."

A member of MS-13, 19-year old Miguel Angel Castro, being held by Houston police on suspicion of capital murder, may have claimed the life of Aiden Naquin -- a toddler who took a bullet in the head from one of five shots that Castro allegedly fired into the windshield of Aiden's father's car last Tuesday night, while the youngster sat strapped helplessly in a child's car seat in the backseat of the car.

According to this KHOU.com (registration required) story, "one of the signatures of MS-13 is its ruthlessness."

The story continues: "The federal task force says the last two years have seen a rapid escalation of the gang's activity, including at least 18 related murders in North Carolina, 11 around D.C. and 10 in Los Angeles. There have been dozens more around the country." Just in this month alone, "Officers arrested more than 150 gang members around the country ... in a nationwide sting operation involving six federal agencies." Nonetheless, the gang is thought to have as many as 20,000 members in the United States, although more conservative estimates peg their numbers in the 10,000 - 12,000 members' range.

Local authorities within the ranks of the Harris County Sheriff's Department and the Houston PD believe eight (8) other local area murders may be tied to MS-13.

Bloggers concerned about border security, immigration reform, and homeland security should be all over this story, but such has not been the case to date. No major center-right blogger has run with it. And the MSM, with the exception of Texas newspapers and television stations, has virtually ignored this youngster's tragic death and the possible ties to MS-13 and the illegal alien problem.

I'll keep beating my drum, but my blog doesn't have the horsepower to gain the needed traction. It pains me to think this innocent little boy's brutal death doesn't merit outrage in the blogosphere. Aiden's violent death should be the genesis for increased lobbying efforts in the blogosphere to get our president and politicians in both parties to heed our calls for significantly tighter border security and a wholesale rejection of amnesty (in whatever guises) for illegals.

UPDATE: Here's a KHOU.com video link on this story, which includes an interview of the parents of Aiden Naquin. It's heartwrenching. I hope my readers are able to view it without the need to register (which is what I did).

FURTHER UPDATE: If you have followed this story from its inception, you will note in the KHOU.com video interview of Ernest Naquin, Aiden's father, that he reveals a couple of things heretofore not mentioned or corrected in the print media. It had been reported that both of Aiden's sisters were in the backseat of the car with their little brother. Mr. Naquin now indicates one of his daughters was riding in the front seat. Aiden's age at the time of his death has been reported variously as 18 months and 19 months. His birthday would have been in August. Most importantly, this is the first I heard or read that the four men in the silver Nissan Altima were actually in view of Ernest Naquin at the snow cone stand where Ernest had driven his three children for a treat. That Nissan subsequently tailgated the Naquin family all the way back to the trailer park and then cut off Mr. Naquin's car. As three of the four men exited the Nissan and approached Mr. Naquin's car, Ernest tried to throw the transmission in reverse to avoid the men, one of whom clearly had a handgun. In drving the car in reverse, however, Mr. Naquin almost immediately struck a mobile home, thus coming to a halt. Readers should also know (previously reported by this writer) that Mr. Naquin has a criminal record and police authorities believe he is not fully cooperating with them in their investigation.

GEORGE WEIGEL QUOTE ABOUT THE NEW POPE

George Weigel, the papal biographer of Pope John Paul II, has written of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI of the Roman Catholic Church:

... not even his implaccable enemies ever questioned Joseph Ratzinger's erudition: his encyclopedic knowledge of theology; his command of biblical, patristic, scholastic, and contempoary sources; his elegance as a thinker and writer.

Importantly, the new Pope -- a German -- has said of his own father:

He saw that a victory of Hitler would not be a victory for Germany, but a victory of the Antichrist ...

DO READ "THE ANCHORESS"

Do not pass go! With the election of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as Pope today -- taking the name Pope Benedict XVI -- you couldn't do better than to follow "The Anchoress" and her posts on today's blessed event.

CARDINAL JOSEPH RATZINGER ELECTED POPE

The white smoke -- initially confused as much too dark to signify blessed news -- began curling out into the open air above the Sistine Chapel at 11:49 am EDT this morning (5:49 pm in Rome). The bells began pealing shortly thereafter at 12:04 pm EDT, confirming that a Conclave of 115 Catholic Cardinals had arrived at a vote sufficient to elect, we subsequently learned, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, a German, and the man who delivered the moving homily during the funeral Mass for Pope John Paul II, the 265th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church.

Cardinal Ratzinger has taken the name Benedict XVI. His election was announced and an introduction made for him by Cardinal Jorge Estevez: "I announce to you a great joy -- we have a Pope!"

Pope Benedict XVI becomes the first Pope of German nationality since the Eleventh Century.

The new Pontiff was born on April 16, 1927, in Bavaria. He is 78 years old. He is known for his strong conservatism and traditionalism, and has a professorial bent. He was very close to Pope John Paul II.

Thus, the first Pope elected in this new century is a German -- a century that follows a century dominated by the defeat of the evil fascism of Adolph Hitler and his ruthless Nazis Party, and which will forever be remembered ignominiously for the genocide known as the Holocaust. It's a blessed irony that must be the Lord's handiwork --in some symbolic way an atonement for the Church having looked the other way when the Nazis were running their death camps with gruesome efficiency.

I must say this: I am proud of my Church, proud of my faith, and comforted at the sight of the new Pope, watching as I was as he stood on the balcony of the Vatican Basilica and gave his first Papal blessing. There is something in his mien, his humble expression, that tells me the Conclave, with God's guidance, performed ably this day.

I am German-Irish and just a second generation American on my maternal side. And I have a son my wife and I named Joseph. How could I be other than thrilled with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger's selection?

Besides, when I read this, I prayed he would be the one!

"A SIMPLE, HUMBLE WORKER IN THE VINEYARD OF THE LORD"



---------------POPE BENEDICT XVI---------------

THE BELLS ARE RINGING IN THE VATICAN!

Who will it be?

"CARDINALS AGAIN 'FAIL' TO ELECT NEW POPE"

Who is the headline writer for the Associated Press? In this story today, the headline reads:

CARDINALS AGAIN FAIL TO ELECT NEW POPE.

They "failed?"

Electing the new Pope is a process, I thought -- and one steeped in tradition. How could the voting tabulation result in a failure?

AIDEN NAQUIN BURIED YESTERDAY

Aiden Naquin, who would have been two-years old in August, was buried yesterday in Humble, Texas. Aiden was the Houston area toddler who was viciously murdered on Tuesday, April 12th, while strapped into a child's car seat in the backseat of his father's automobile. His father, Ernest Naquin, had taken his three children -- Aiden and two older sisters -- out for a snow cone treat in the early evening. On returning home and entering the trailer park in which they lived in the 2700 block of Third, they were suddenly cut off by four men in a silver Nissan Altima. Three of the men exited that vehicle, approached Ernest Naquin's car, and one man carrying a gun fired as many as five shots at point blank range into the windshield of Mr. Naquin's automobile. Newspaper reports have varied with respect to whether one or two of those shots struck little Aiden, but, regardless, he was struck in the head -- shot dead.

This Houston-area writer has written previously on this brutally cold-blooded murder of hapless Aiden -- indeed, a total of four times (here, here, here , and here) -- vowing to follow-up as the story of this heinous murder unfolded. When a suspect was finally arrested -- 19-year old El Salvadoran Miguel Angel Castro -- who was thought to be in this country illegally and a member of the notorious MS-13 gang, this writer wrote to a prominent blogger trying futilely, as it turned out, to get this story legs in the blogosphere, given not only the egregiousness of the crime, but its stunning implications to illegal immigration, this nation's porous borders, and the escalating spread to 31 states now of MS-13 gang activity. But, alas, there was no traction, no links, and precious few accounts of Aiden's tragic death. Even the MSM has given scant coverage to the death of this innocent little boy, save for the "Houston Chronicle" and a few other Texas-based newspapers.

There is, however, some sense of vindication this morning, as the story has now finally moved from the "City & State" section of the "Houston Chronicle" (registration required), to a front page, above-the-fold story this morning by reporters Cindy Horswell and Susan Bardwell. In it, the reporters point to Harris County Sheriff's Department confirmation that shooting suspect Castro is "indelibly marked ... with tattoos indicating he is a member of the Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, gang." They go on to report that Bob Clifford, who heads up the MS-13 National Task Force (under U.S. Justice Department auspices and formed in January of this year), is "keenly aware of the latest killing in Houston" and that the Task Force is "becoming increasingly involved in Houston on this and other cases."

The reporters go on to inform that Mara Salvatrucha was born in El Salvadore (and as this writer had reported) and has "ominous connections" to that country, Honduras, Mexico, and a significant presence here in the United States. "Mara" is a slang term for "street gang"; "Salva" is simply an abbreviated reference to El Salvadore; "trucha" is slang for "fear us"; the number "13" means that "M" is the 13th letter of the alphabet; and, the "MS-13" designation was added when this street gang with roots in El Salvadore "joined forces with the Mexico Mafia to provide protection for members sent to prison." The widespread elements of Mara Salvatrucha found in the United States are comprised largely of illegal aliens -- you know, those people the Liberal Left keeps telling us come here only to find work and decent wages and to do the work that Americans refuse to do!

Maybe this will get your attention. Bob Clifford is quoted as saying: "The gang's preferred method to kill is beheadings." And this, Dear Readers, is usually done with machetes.

So if you've been aghast at the beheadings conducted by terrorists in the Middle East, then know that MS-13 is doing the same thing here in our country, and the Justice Department is calling them a "gang," rather than a group of "terrorists" who have illegally entered the country though Mexico! You can bet that President Bush and the Congress do not want voters being informed that the abject failure of elected officials and the "Department of Homeland Security" to deal aggressively with border security and immigration reform has resulted in beheadings, widespread murder, and other brutal forms of real-deal terrorism.