Friday, December 30

PREDICTIONS FOR 2006

The Anchoress' post -- "Predictions for 2006" -- has inspired me to dust off my vintage (albeit cracked) crystal ball and take a shot at my own brand of prescience for the coming New Year. We'll see a year from now how well I did in my prognostications:

1) The "housing bubble" will finally burst in a monumental, horrific explosion and mounds of cedar and asphalt shingles, 2 x 4s, window casings, broken glass, porcelain, 6-penny nails, linoleum, carpet fragments, cupboards, closet doors, appliances, electrical wire, and splintered furniture and fixtures will litter the nation's interstates and major roadways. Countless dead and injured will be buried in the rubble. FEMA will be overwhelmed and slow to respond, and bitter political in-fighting will break out over whether or not the mortgage deduction in the federal income tax code led to overbuilding. The U.S. Supreme Court will boldly encourage private developers to use federal tax incentives to build strip malls, hotels, and office complexes where houses once stood. Presidente Vicente Fox of Mexico will commit 10 million Mexican nationals to the rebuilding effort and the "Wall Street Journal" will laud his beneficence .

2) The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit will hold in a landmark case that public schools in California have the Constitutional right to instruct elementary school children in Kama Sutra sex positions provided the sexual proclivities of the gay community are given equal classroom time. The California State Senate and General Assembly will respond by overwhelmingly passing a $250+ million appropriations bill for the requisite teaching aids to facilitate this decision. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, in turn, in a televised address to the citizens of the Golden State, will threaten to veto the measure, vowing that school-age boys and girls in public classrooms "will not go to the mattresses" as long as he is governor.

3) Senator John Kerry (D-MA), in a bold, tactical move to the political center to build his voter base for a run at the Democratic Party's presidential nomination in 2008, will divorce Teresa Heinz Kerry and marry a Red-State Republican "Mega-Millions" lottery winner from upscale Shaker Heights in Cleveland, Ohio. As a result, Barbra Streisand and Michael Moore will publicly disavow their prior support for Senator Kerry on their respective Web sites and Teresa will appear on the Maury Povich Show to trash her former husband, telling viewers that for all she cares "John can catch the first swift boat out of Beantown and take his sorry ass to the shores of Lake Erie."

4) Professor Ward Churchill of the University of Colorado will become Chairman of the Department of Ethnic Studies at the prestigious Sky Ute Casino and University of Indian Studies in Ignacio, Colorado, and will shortly thereafter publish his magnum opus, "Roosting Chickens In Indian Lore -- Antecedents of the 9/11 Attack in the Battle of the Little Bighorn." Bill O'Reilly will devote a "Talking Points" segment to decrying the gross misrepresentations made by Churchill in claiming that Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer purposefully ignored his scouts' reports on the size of the Indian encampment and never had a plan to win the war. Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, Chuck Schumer, and John Murtha will rally to Churchill's side and assail Custer's legacy of warmongering, but with platitudinous caveats about that being no reflection on the proud state of Ohio, where Custer was born.

5) "Brokeback Mountain" will earn the Academy Award Oscar for Motion Picture of the Year (2005). Co-presenters on Oscar night will be blogger-journalist Andrew Sullivan and San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom. Stephen Spielberg, in a post Oscar night interview, will lambast the Academy Awards' Board of Governors, saying the fix was in and that "Munich" deserved "Best Picture" laurels. Spielberg will vow revenge, threaten to take his film-making overseas to Israel, and cold-cock a member of the Hollywood press corps.

6) Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) will die from heart failure owing to a Big Mac attack and gross over-indulgence at a fast-food eatery on Chappaquiddick Island. The restaurant's manager will panic and, rather than administering CPR or calling 911, will drag the corpulent, convulsing Kennedy into the restaurant's walk-in freezer and then swim across the channel to Edgartown and check himself into a hotel room, hoping to hide from authorities while he works through his rationale for having abandoned the senator. Ironically, the store manager's subsequent capture will be facilitated by NSA eavesdropping of toll calls placed by him from the hotel to a pro bono ACLU lawyer. Toward the end of the year and distastefully, Senator Kennedy's corpse will be used ignominiously in a "Will It Float?" segment on CBS' Late Show with David Letterman.

7) El Presidente Vicente Fox of Mexico, flanked by Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and leaders of the National Council of La Raza and MEChA, will make a major speech while standing before a bank of microphones at the U.S.-Mexico border between Otay Mesa and the Pacific Coast. In that vociferous address, Fox will cry out, referring to the 15-feet high, climb-proof, triple border fence: "President Bush -- tear down this wall !!!" Subsequently, elements of the notorious MS-13 gang, supported by Mexico's dreaded Zetas, will invade San Diego and reclaim it under the terms and conditions of "El Plan de Aztlan." Michael Chertoff will be castigated vigorously by the Democratic Party for gross malfeasance and forced to resign his post at the Department of Homeland Security. Congressional hearings will ensue, conducted, of course, in Spanish.

8) Gene Hackman and Willem Dafoe will reprise their roles in "Mississippi Burning" in a new Hollywood release, "Paris Burning," about the widespread rioting and arson in 2005 in Paris' abjectly poor, culturally unassimilated, Muslim immigrant-populated suburbs. Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin will be played by Anthony Hopkins and the son of Noel Coward will be cast as Jacque Chirac, president of the French Republic. Ebert and Roeper will give it a "two thumbs up" and the movie's producer, Jerry Lewis, will earn the coveted Commandeur in the Order of Arts and Letters award -- France's highest cultural honor. Activist Mike Farrell will call for the commutation of sentences by the government of France for all arsonists tried and convicted in the aftermath of the rioting and for his noble, courageous lobbying will receive the first annual Tookie Willliams' Apologist Award by the Hollywood community's Creative Coalition and its founder, Susan Sarandon.

9) New Orlean's mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana's governor Kathleen Blanco will resign their posts first of the year to join the Dallas-based, public relations firm of Allyn & Company to lead its efforts in whitewashing the widespread corruption in Mexico's government and to put the best possible spin on Mexico's blatant encouragement of the breeching of the United States' southern border by Mexican nationals. Nagin's assignment will be to disguise the fact that the Mexican government purchased hundreds of school buses from the city of New Orleans for use in conveying Mexican nationals to staging areas for eventual border-jumping. Blanco's marching orders will be to express her "absolute frustration" over U.S. legislation to erect over 700 miles of new border fencing, to level charges of "racism" and "zenophobia" against U.S. lawmakers, and to endeavor to discourage, in collaboration with U.S.-based Mexican Consulates, further border vigils by the Minutemen and Sean Hannity.

10) Alan Colmes will almost make a cogent, intelligible argument, but for the ill-timed dropping by a studio assistant of a cue card.

11) Dana Priest of the "Washington Post" will publish a NYT's best-selling expose on the CIA's use of torture at covert, European-based gulags, with a full chaper devoted to the CIA's most unsavory technique used on purported Islamofascists -- wrapping unclad detainees in nude posters of Kirsty Alley. Subsequent revelations published in WaPo will reveal the second most frequently used technique by the CIA -- namely, making detainees view a one-hour slideshow of Liza Minnelli and David Gest kissing.

12) MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell will do a televised interview with me about my blog's -- A CERTAIN SLANT OF LIGHT -- success and will invite me to join her afterwards for cocktails and dinner at a quiet Italian bistro.

Hey, I threw in #12 so at least one of my predictions for 2006 will come true!


Wednesday, December 28

WAPO EDITORIAL: A PREPOSTEROUS STATEMENT ON BORDER SECURITY

The Washington Post declares in an editorial in today's edition (registration required) that "border security is a real issue, but it is not the only -- or even the principal -- issue confronting those who would tackle illegal immigration."

What a preposterous statement in a post "9/11," homeland security age!

The editorial devotes itself to castigating House members (and the Bush administration) for passing 239-182 a "bad border bill" sponsored by Judiciary Committee Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) that, as the WaPo editorialist continues:

... is dangerous because of what it does and what it doesn't do. It contains any number of mindless criminal penalties for immigration violations, and it would make both detention and deportation of illegal immigrants easier. But it would do nothing to rationalize U.S. immigration policy.

By rationalizing U.S. immigration policy, what the Washington Post's editorial board is looking for is a general amnesty for the 11 - 12 million illegal aliens already afoot in the United States "in an economy that cannot function without them." That, argument, of course, translates into the "cheap labor" charade and "work that Americans will not do" canard that the liberal press and open borders' apologists have foisted upon the American people via a heavy, unremitting stream of media propaganda.

To be sure, illegal aliens work oftentimes at sub-market rates of pay, but the difference is more than made up by American taxpayers -- a huge subsidization that benefits businessess illegally employing border jumpers and which allows the illegals to send to their homelands annually billions of dollars in untaxed remittances.

What the WaPo editorial doesn't say is that the United States could have a legitimate, legal avenue for immigration in sufficient numbers to meet the requirements of this nation's economy and in a well-defined, constructive manner that would best facilitate cultural integration. What is different today from America's historic "melting pot" reliance is that undocumented aliens are illegally jumping the southern border of the United States in numbers tantamount to an invasion (estimated at 1 million annually) and they're being encouraged and guided by the corrupt government of Mexico.

This wholesale breeching of our borders in the midst of a global war on terrorism and in the aftermath of the dastardly September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center Towers and the Pentagon (as well as a failed attempt on a significant Capitol venue) presents a bona fide national security threat that the WaPo editorialist doesn't so much as blink an eye at. That indifference -- that relegating of border security to other than a top-priority must-do -- is as unconscionable, as it is just plain dumb.

As this writer has argued, border security is a must and must come before any immigration reform legislation. First order of business: control the borders; stop the invasion!


FOLLOW-UP: John Hawkins of Right Wing News has a well-thought post up on "Guest Worker Programs" and the issue of the purported need for so-called "cheap labor" that drives, in part, the illegal alien problem in this country. Do take the time to read it. My contention, of course, is that by the time you add all of the taxpayer-funded subsidization of healthcare and social safety net costs provided to illegals to their "raw wage costs," then in point of fact they're anything but cheap laborers.


Sunday, December 25

MERRY CHRISTMAS, ACSOL READERS !!!

Here's wishing you a very MERRY CHRISTMAS on this holiest of Christian days!

May the good cheer of friends and loved ones bring you a comforting happiness and cause you to remember and give thanks for the true meaning and traditions of Jesus Christ's birthday.

I send along to you my thanks and appreciation for the readership this blog enjoys and for the special friends and kindred spirits I have found in the blogosphere -- good people, one and all, who share their heads and their hearts and, oftentimes, in memorable posts, their very souls.

I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.

-Ebeneezer Scrooge-
("A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens)





Filed in:

Saturday, December 17

ANOTHER BLOGGING HIATUS, FOLKS

I will not be blogging for the next five (5) days, as obligations take me elsewhere and away from a computer. I should be posting again by Friday, December 23rd. Do have patience with me and revisit ACSOL's archives in my absence and the very special bloggers you'll find in my site's blogroll.

Plenty to read -- that's for sure!

Until I return, Merry Christmas and best wishes to you, Dear Readers, for a special holiday season with friends and family!

And God's blessings for our president, his cabinet, and the members of his administration, and, most especially, for our men and women of the Armed Forces. May He guide their way and keep them safe.


THE ANCHORESS

Of all the blogs I subscribe to and read regularly, some of which I've developed an unabashed fondness for their authors born of their sincerity, friendship, willing e-mail exchanges, generous support of my blogging, and just plain good-heartedness, I must say that it is The Anchoress whose writing moves me most -- that unmistakable craft and those delicious turns of phrase. I find myself studying it and asking: How does she do that ... where does it come from ... why didn't I think of that?

Her popularity as a blogger comes as no mystery. She's topical, to be sure, but not resolutely so. Indeed, her range of subjects can be mind-boggling and whimsically unpredictable. And I like that about her. And, oh that Irish temper of hers when her blood's up about something!

But for me, it is her Catholicism and spiritual reach that touch me most. Reading The Anchoress is helping me to slowly but surely rediscover a faith that in my youth was abiding and meaningful.

You're likely aware if you're a fan of hers that she's recently undergone a lumpectomy and is both recovering from the procedure and awaiting the pathology report. I've sent her a personal e-mail wishing her well and advising her that she has been in my thoughts and prayers. But I just somehow feel compelled to express these sentiments publicly. Despite the mystery and anonymity of her blogging moniker, I feel I have come to know her through her inspired, entertaining, thought-provoking, humorous, soul-stirring, intelligent, masterful writing. And, as with anyone you feel a fondness for and kindred connection with, you hurt when they may be hurting and wish God's blessings to reign upon them.

So this is simply an acknowledgment that The Anchoress has impacted me in wonderful ways. And even when only a handful of days (or hours) have passed without a new post from her, I find myself missing her.

That's the wonder of the blogosphere and of what we do. Blogging is not only a new medium for writing, but a new medium for forming friendships and appreciating the outstanding work that so many individuals bring to such a wide array of subjects.

Godspeed, Anchoress!


PRESIDENT'S SPEECH

Power Line has posted terrific commentary and a link (via CNN) to a video of President Bush's speech. George W. Bush is really on his game now after an interminable period of not responding to the whithering criticism from the Left. His job approval numbers will most certainly inch up over time. Kudos to the President of the United States.

And do read REDSTATE.ORG, as well, on the same subject.

Here's the transcript of the president's remarks (courtesy of Fox News).


NEW ORLEANS' MAYOR HAS NEW, LOFTY PERCH

Frank Laughter is being mischievous this morning with this post and accompanying photograph. I presume FEMA provided the trailer!

Frankly (pun intended), I'd rather see Ray Nagin living in one of those school buses he failed to deploy for the much-needed evacuation of the city that never came -- you know, one without food, water, a working toilet, medical supplies, or benefit of air-conditioning. And I'd give him a Scrabble game and Triple Word points for incompetent.

That this guy is still around is an insult to the Crescent City. He should have resigned and eloped with Kathleen Blanco.


COLLEGE-LEVEL ILLITERACY NEEDS GET-TOUGH APPROACH

A well-regarded teacher and blogger, Betsy Newmark, comments in this post on a recently released study that less than one-third of college graduates in 2003 were proficient in literacy. I would add from my own experience as an employer that even worse than their reading aptitude is their chronic inability to write, or, for that matter, even to express themselves verbally and make a compelling argument.

I recall a Freshman Year course I took in college: Western Civilization. The course syllabus included the requisite purchase of 26 books, many of them original texts, which broke my book budget and my youthful penchant for superficial, uncritical reading. Indeed, that course and its professor had a profound impact on me and made a prodigious reader out of me during my adult life.

Interesting, isn't it, that at a time when college and university tuition increases have been double-digit and far out-pacing the inflation rate, literacy levels among graduates have fallen. Liberals always think the most efficacious solution to educational issues is throwing money at the problems. I agree with Betsy, who writes:

If institutions and state governments supporting public colleges are going to do anything to deal with this decline in literacy among graduates, they need to know where the problem exists. They don't need a blanket one-size-fits-all solution. Many universities are probably doing a fine job and their graduates most likely are passing these tests. Let's figure out which schools have a problem so that we can start targeting those programs. Or, at the very least, let parents know what they're probably getting when they pay those tuition bills.



SEMPER FI, BRANDON RASNICK !!!

Don't miss this poignant post by Don Surber. This young man has his own Iwo Jima to fight. Godspeed to him.


"WALK THE LINE"

My wife convinced me to go to the movies with her yesterday (catching me in a moment of weakness) and it's a good thing, as we enjoyed an absolutely well-done motion picture, replete with two superb performances by the male and female leads: "Walk The Line," starring Joaquin Phoenix (as country-western music legend Johnny Cash) and Reese Witherspoon (as country-western music legend June Carter Cash).

Oh, I'm an inveterate movie fan to be sure, but I loathe experiencing movies in movie houses these days because of the ill-mannered movie-goers who populate them. I've learned to content myself with Turner Classic Movies and DVDs in the comfort of my own home, sans the rudeness of those who talk through movies, munch popcorn with their mouths open, loudly slurp their soft drinks, put their feet up on the backs of theatre seats (even when occupied) and, horror-of-horrors, engage in cell phone conversations in usherless anarchy, reveling in their egregious sense of power. Indeed, I enjoy movies (particularly old movie classics) so much so that I cannot abide the distractions of ill-mannered people who think movie theatres are convocations for family room-style conversations, oblivious as they are to the people around them.

We experienced this very thing yesterday (an inevitability anymore), but moved to the rear of the theatre at the start of the film when it became all too apparent that the 50ish woman and her two 20s-something sons, who had plopped down directly behind us despite a scant, mid-afternoon audience, were going to gab at will. When my wife and I got up, I glared at the woman and she returned a look of utter mystification over what was upsetting me. Her sons were so busily talking that they were similarly oblivious.

But back to the film. Our family did a lot of camping in the Western National Parks when our sons were young and a careworn Johnny Cash cassette accompanied us on all of those trips. We came to know his songs by heart and those sing-a-longs are pleasant memories for me and my wife to this day. So our affection for Johnny Cash's music is born in part from our fond recollections of those trips to America's wilderness.

"I hear the train a comin', it's rollin' 'round the bend, and I ain't seen the sun shine, since I don't know when ... but I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die ..."

The boys would stretch out the word "die" in the song lyrics and with a make-shift, southern-style accent, so much so that you'd never know they had been born in California to a midwesterner father.

Notable in the film, apart from the riveting performances of Phoenix and Witherspoon, is that each sang the songs (including duettes) in their own voices. There's no lip-synching. If you close your eyes during some of the numbers, particularly those songs sung later in the film, you'll be hard-pressed to think that anyone other than Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash are singing them. You'll be convinced you're listening to recordings by the original artists. I found that simply amazing.

While the storyline takes few liberties with the real life stories of these two country music legends, it is disappointing that once again a film biography about a widely popular entertainer follows the all too familiar pattern of drugs and booze and adolescent immaturity before an awakening. Cash's life seems the C&W version of Ray Charles' and his epiphany was long in coming and required the intervention of the Carter Family, and even before June had become Johnny Cash's second wife. Interesting is that his Sun Records contemporaries -- Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis -- had similar price-of-fame addictions.

You don't have to be a Country-Western music fan to enjoy this movie, but I promise you that if you loved the music of Johnny Cash, as I did and continue to do, you'll not want to miss this film and the extraordinary piece of acting that Joaquin Phoenix delivers. Not long into the movie, you'll become convinced that you're not watching a portrayal of, but rather seeing the man-in-black, Johnny Cash, himself.

Music clip of John R. Cash!


HOUSE BILL PASSES TO TIGHTEN BORDER SECURITY

Michelle Malkin provides the news information, as well as selected observations from immigration analysts in the know on the House immigration/border enforcement measure that passed 239-182 yesterday.

Polipundit quotes Representative Tom Tancredo (R-CO) at length on his view of the legislation.

Lonewacko put up a comprehensive post on the House bill and with updates. Do take a gander at those organizations in opposition. No surprises, but they represent the rogues' gallery. VDARE has a pre-vote post that provides good background on the bill.

Regrettably, the bill ignores the issue of "anchor babies" -- the granting of full citizenship rights to babies born of illegal immigrants. I posted on this matter yesterday and juxtaposed it with my ongoing condemnation of Roe v. Wade and abortion-on-demand.

A final comment: apart from the proposed erecting of fencing along sections of the contiguous border with Mexico contained in the referenced measure, do understand that current immigration laws on the books are not being enforced. They weren't enforced by the Clinton administration and, at least up until his recent epiphany, George W. Bush and his administration have shown a 5-year-long indifference to the issues of porous borders and 11 - 12 million illegal aliens afoot in our country, bleeding taxpayers dry. So I do not yet share in Michelle Malkin's optimism.

Legislators and the White House are belatedly responding to the hue and cry from a majority of Americans long since fed up with the immigration mess and the national security threat posed by de facto open borders. But enforcement more than new legislation is a key in the near term. The president could and should have put military on the border and used his powers via executive orders to remedy the lackluster enforcement that his presidency has been noted for. Americans shouldn't be impressed at this juncture by a Congress that is suddenly making a show out of immigration reform legislation. It's the Congress that needs reforming!


Friday, December 16

ANCHOR BABIES HAVE RIGHTS; THEN WHY NOT RIGHTS FOR UNBORN AMERICANS?

The Dallas Morning News (free registration required for online edition) carries an editorial today on the issue of so-called "anchor babies" -- children born in this country to illegal immigrants -- and chides the U.S. House Committee on Rules for considering legislation to end the automatic citizenship granted such offspring.

In that editorial, the DMN's editorialist makes the following argument:

And by targeting anchor babies, we are shifting the immigration debate from "we have got to get a handle on the border" to "let's criminalize people already here through no fault of their own."

Now that's an interesting observation by a liberal MSM publication, don't you think? To wit: because babies have no control over what country they are born in (or who their parents are, for that matter), then why should their citizenship be denied them in the United States if they're born here to illegal immigrants from, say, Mexico?

Somehow I doubt the Dallas Morning News editorial board would permit a parallel argument be made in arguing against Roe v. Wade and abortion on demand; and, to be sure, even though one could argue convincingly that babies cannot control to whom they're born (say, as an example, to a pro-abortion, reproductive rights', NARAL-member kind of mom). Nor would that editorial board ever ask why the unborn are being legally aborted by the millions in this country "through no fault of their own?" It's certainly not a nascent, sentient human being's choice to be slaughtered in an abortion mill.

Isn't it just like the liberal, elite, mainstream media in this country to fret about the citizenship rights of babies being born to 11 - 12 million illegal aliens afoot in our land, rather than expressing outrage over 48.6 million dead fetuses on whom the United States Constitution conferred no rights to life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness, according to a misguided, nihilistic, United States Supreme Court?

It is estimated that 500,000 anchor babies are born to illegal immigrants each year in the United States and each enjoys automatic U.S. citizenship. Meanwhile, about 850,000 abortions are being performed annually in the United States and the media largely looks the other way. Our federal government insists babies born to illegal border jumpers be granted full citizenship at birth, but that any American woman or underage female be permitted to undergo an abortion if she so chooses and without any concern for the rights of the unborn. We're killing unborn Americans and conferring America's citizenship on the offspring of foreigners here illegally.

What a country; what a government. Porous borders and abortion mills. Sadly, there is no Statue of Liberty for the human fetus in the United States of America.


FOLLOW-UP: This report pegs the annual number of anchor babies in the United States at 300,000. WorldNetDaily indicates in this article that the nnumber is between 300,000 and 350,000.

OF HISPANIC ILLITERACY AND MEXICANS UNINTEREST IN BOOKS

Forty-four percent of Hispanics, ages 16 and older, do not have basic English skills, meaning they might be unable to use a television guide to find out what programs are on at a specific time or to compare ticket prices for two events. That is a substantial increase from 36 percent a decade ago, the last time the federal government released such a comprehensive literacy study.

That not surprising revelation, that aproximately 17.6 million Hispanics are illiterate, comes from a Houston Chronicle story by Matthew Tresaugue, published in today's print (front page, below-the-fold) and online editions, in which he cites a just-released U.S. Department of Education study from the National Center for Education Statistics.

More disturbing than the 44% illiteracy rate is the following fact:

But every racial and ethnic group except for Hispanics improved in tasks ranging from reading materials arranged in sentences and paragraphs, computing numbers and comprehending documents such as bills.

But rather than accurately portraying this woeful illiteracy rate as a direct result of illiterate Mexican nationals illegally crossing our southern border en masse year after year, Tresaugue chooses the customary liberal-MSM route of rationalizing the illiteracy rate in the following fashion and dodging the implications to America of a runaway illegal immigration problem that, among other things, is undoing America's public education system (excerpts follow):

Economics seems to play a role in the increasing percentage of Hispanics deemed illiterate in English, said David Dahnke, who leads the English as a Second Language program at North Harris College. "Many people come to the United States to get better jobs, and they don't have a lot of time to learn English because they're trying to get food on the table," he said. "In many ways, learning English is a luxury."

The propaganda continues:

Since the previous federal literacy report, the proportion of Hispanic adults assessed increased from 8 to 12 percent, while whites decreased from 77 to 70 percent. At the same time, a growing number of Latinos are immigrants who speak English as a second language.

"All of this research indicates a need for a strong push in adult literacy and family literacy," said Dominique Chlup, director of the Texas Center for the Advancement of Literacy and Learning at Texas A&M University. "These programs need federal money."

The shifting demographics may have skewed the numbers for Hispanics in the report, said Roberto González, vice president of Employment and Training Centers in Houston. Recent immigrants tend to be young men with low levels of education in their home countries, he said. "I don't think it's a true indication of what is happening with Hispanics who have been here awhile," González said. "Over time, it will even out."

There's that ubiquitous reference to "recent immigrants," rather than illegal aliens, typically found in these kinds of MSM stories and oftentimes in the Houston Chronicle.

Well, for starters, let's take a look at a bona fide true indication of the state of reading (as but one example) in Mexico that may explain, in part, the illiteracy of the border jumpers. In a story published in the Christian Science Monitor earlier this year (entitled, "Chilling mystery: Why don't Mexicans read books?"), the patent uninterest among most Mexicans in basic reading was reported. From that article the following excerpts are taken:

The Mexican government has made great strides, reducing illiteracy to less than 8 percent, compared with around 20 percent two decades ago, placing it leagues ahead of Central American countries and even beyond Latin America's other economic powerhouse, Brazil. Yet it has had little success encouraging active reading. Reading-stimulation programs have mostly failed. An experimental library in the Mexico City subway last year was shuttered after most of the books were stolen.

"Mexico simply has never had a culture favorable to reading," says Elsa Ramirez, a library-studies researcher at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. "For the majority of Mexicans, bookstores are a completely alien place," says Jesus Anaya, editorial director at publishing house Grupo Planeta. Although more titles and lower prices would certainly appeal to current readers, he doubts they'll create new ones. "I'm not sure that waving a magic wand of fixed prices can bring this cadaver to life."

Fact is, the Hispanic population in America has been fueled by an unrelenting invasion of our country from the south. Some 11 - 12 million illegals are now afoot in the United States. And President Vicente Fox and the notoriously corrupt government of Mexico openly encourage this illegal emigration to the United States -- wave after wave of mostly poor, hapless, illiterate Mexicans -- and the upshot is that our country's public education system has been undermined and a second language -- Spanish -- foisted on it. And know this: over 50% of Hispanics do not even graduate high school in this country.

And yet what does our federal government do? As I wrote earlier this week, it allows Mexican Consulates to distribute Mexican textbooks to American classrooms. And how many Americans, given the statistics cited above, would think the "Memorandum of Understanding On Education Between The United Mexican States and the Government of the United States of America," executed in 1990 (and now extended through 2006 via "Annex VIII") is prudent and in the best interests of our country? Do a Google search and read through these two documents, as I did. You'll be stunned. Excerpts follow:

To strengthen joint activities that aim to improve primary, secondary, and postsecondary education in both countries, the two entities will place emphasis on cooperation at the federal level and encourage joint activities at the state, local and institutional levels. While cooperation continues to be carried out according to the general principles laid out in the Memorandum of Understanding, the two Entities intend to concentrate their cooperative work in the following areas of mutual interest.

Encourage projects to strengthen educational cooperation along the border region, with the goal of attaining a better understanding and coherent vision of the different aspects of the border zone.

Continue to support the exchange of experiences and materials, as well as the use of applied technology, in areas such as basic education, bilingual education, migrant education, vocational training, and professional development of teachers; give special attention to cooperation in distance learning; and continue to expand communication between schools in both countries through the use of electronic networks. In addition, promote the development of new educational technologies, the exchanges of experts in production and training with regard to educational television, and the exchange of information on distance education and educational television.

Promote a dialogue regarding the options that exist within a decentralized education system for Mexican teachers who reside in the United States to obtain accreditation and certification to serve as elementary school teachers in the United States, in accordance with applicable legal requirements and standards.

Strengthen and deepen the work both countries have carried out in the areas of bilingual education and foreign language teaching (the teaching of Spanish as a foreign language in the United States and of English as a foreign language in Mexico, keeping in mind the importance of expanding mutual understanding of the two cultures.

How can one read this and not think that the federal government is in league with the Mexican government in ensuring that the United States is infused with elements (including textbooks) of Mexico's educational system, national language, and culture to the detriment of an already faltering public education system in our own country?

But the Houston Chronicle story ignores these facts and instead would have us throwing more taxpayer money at educating Hispanics, many of whom are not even American citizens or became citizens through the ridiculously misguided "anchor babies" policies of the United States government. We're being asked to carry the freight on what Mexico refuses to do for its own citizens. We educate them (try to anyway), provide them with a broad social safety net, including healthcare, and they, in turn, funnel over $13 billion annually back to Mexico in remittances! What Vicente Fox wants are worker bees in the United States providing the second largest revenue stream to the Mexican economy (an economy that cannot sustain itself) -- second only to oil exports. It's a purposeful economic invasion of our homeland with huge revenues obtained by Mexico and huge, disproportionate costs born by the United States, and you and me. Households headed by illegal aliens used $10 billion more in government services than they paid in taxes and that, dear readers, is a 2002 statistic! And were a general amnesty granted (or its equivalent in a Bush-backed "Guest Worker Program"), the Center For Immigration Studies reports that the federal deficit would swell by $29 billion.

Hispanic illiteracy, according to the Houston Chronicle story, is largely a function of the economics of poverty and not enough money being thrown at it. Quite the contrary, the rape of American taxpayers and the undermining of its taxpayer-funded institutions -- public education among them -- is a function of the impact of our country's porous borders, runaway illegal immigration, chronic illegal alien illiteracy, and the complicity of two governments. Matthew Tresaugue missed this completely or opted not to amplify his story to include the real antecedents of Hispanic illiteracy and America's foundering educational system.

POSTSCRIPT: Liberals contend that poor education and illiteracy are functions of poverty. One can look at our nation's 16th president's -- Abraham Lincoln -- self-taught education as illustrative of why such a theory is specious. Lincoln became an inveterate reader of books despite his humble origins. Even poor people in this country can secure a first-rate education by dint of hard work and an abiding determination to acquire knowledge. There are means and avenues available. U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales provides a good example of this for Hispanics.


WAPO DISCOUNTS BIG VOTER TURNOUT IN IRAQ

If you need an antidote to a case of quixotic reverie over the record voter turnout in the Iraq election this week that included large numbers of Sunnis then just read the Washington Post this morning and in short order you'll feel as though you've crawled inside Nancy Pelosi's head or become a speechwriter for Howard Dean. The Washington Post's Robin Wright must have "Naysayer" for a middle name.

Here's a good example:

Anthony H. Cordesman, a Persian Gulf military expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, agreed. He said the vote is not the long-awaited turning point but rather a trigger for launching a new political process next year that will include amending a constitution. That, he said, will better determine whether Iraq has a chance of emerging out of turmoil.

One looming danger is that the most dedicated wings of the insurgency, the foreign fighters and Islamic extremists, may only become more determined or vicious. "The steady grind of this guerrilla war is going to go on. The elections are not relevant to it, and that's what is going to matter to the American people," warned Juan R.I. Cole, an Iraq expert at the University of Michigan.

Others acknowledged the election's success but said it came too late. "It's the best moment since Baghdad fell . . . but it's at least 18 months late," said Henri J. Barkey, a former State Department Iraq policy planning expert now at Lehigh University. "The fall of Saddam Hussein was a moment. This is just a moment of relief."

Although Democrats expressed hope that the election marked the beginning of a healing process in Iraq, some called for it to be made a catalyst for policy adjustments.

To read Wright and the quotes from the people she selected for their observations, defeat at the hands of the insurgency is pre-ordained and Iraq's noble experiment in democracy was no more than a brief hiatus from its ongoing turmoil.

Her colleagues at WaPo, Ellen Knickmeyer and Jonathan Finer, are cut from the same bolt of MSM cloth, describing "the Sunni outpouring" as more a demonstration of antipathy for the American "occupation" than a signal that a unified, democratic Iraq is on course to succeed in the heart of the Middle East.

The Sunni outpouring was a long-hoped-for victory for the Bush administration, concluding a U.S.-planned timeline aimed at establishing a government that will hold together after U.S. troops withdraw. An overwhelming number of Sunnis made clear, however, that they were drawn to the polls by their dislike of the U.S. occupation and Iraq's U.S.-supported, Shiite-led transitional government.

Most telling is that the Washington Post decided to headline a story this morning by Dan Eggen disclosing (on the heels of a New York Times' story) that President Bush "signed a secret order in 2002 authorizing the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on U.S. citizens and foreign nationals in the United States, despite previous legal prohibitions against such domestic spying." The left-wing of the Democratic Party was in a full-fledged funk yesterday over the undeniable success of the election in Iraq, so the NYT and WaPo moved quickly to provide them with more grist for the mill and to divert attention from an irrevocable Bush Administration success.

Many call Bush stubborn. But so, to be sure, is the elite mainstream media in its determined efforts to characterize the courageous voter turnout in democratic Iraq as just another day and the Bush Administration as a nefarious force in undermining the liberties of American citizens.

So put the champagne away and turn instead to the hemlock.


FOLLOW-UP: Another good post from Michelle Malkin on the election in Iraq.

Thursday, December 15

POLLS HAVE NOW CLOSED IN IRAQ'S HISTORIC ELECTION

You cannot do better than to read Michelle Malkin's post on the historic Iraqi election, as well as review the many links provided at Pajamas Media.

Betsy Newmark points out incredulously that the Washington Post "doesn't have a front page story today on the election in Iraq." Her post went up at 6:39am EST, however, and WaPo now has this front-page story up on its on-line edition at 10:36am EST.

And don't miss this photo published at Wizbang!


FOLLOW-UP: The Associated Press (AP) reports on "one of the largest and freest elections in the Arab world." President Bush must be taking a lot of joy from this given his unwavering commitment to Iraqi democracy in the face of whithering criticism from the Left. Many call him stubborn. I call him a LEADER.

FOLLOW-UP II: More from Michelle Malkin.

SHAKESPEARE MOVIE FESTIVAL

I'm a big fan of Turner Classic Movies and its inimitable host, Robert Osborne. Yesterday's movie schedule was sublime, featuring a Shakespeare Festival; and last night I watched three consecutive film classics (and am the better for it): "Julius Caesar" (1953), starring Marlon Brando, John Geilgud, Paul Mason, and Deborah Kerr; "Henry V" (1945), starring Laurence Olivier, Robert Newton, and Leslie Banks; and, "Hamlet" (1948), starring Laurence Olivier, Eileen Herlie, Basil Sydney, and Jean Simmons.

"Henry V" and "Hamlet," I should add, were both directed by Lawrence Olivier. "Hamlet" earned Academy Awards for "Best Film" and "Best Actor." Marlon Brando won the British Film Academy's "Best Foreign Actor" award for his role, as well as an Academy Award nomination for "Best Actor." Noteworthy is that after the eighth and final take of Brando's delivery of Marc Antony's funeral speech following the assassination of Julius Caesar, "Brando received a rousing ovation from fellow cast members John Geilgud, James Mason, Deborah Kerr and Greer Garson." Many had doubted Brando's ability to pull off this role.

Here's the famous funeral speech (Act 3, Scene 2) at Caesar's funeral:

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus
Hath told you Caesar was ambitious:
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Caesar answer'd it.
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest--
For Brutus is an honourable man;
So are they all, all honourable men--
Come I to speak in Caesar's funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
But Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
He hath brought many captives home to Rome
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill:
Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?
When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept:
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
You all did see that on the Lupercal
I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And, sure, he is an honourable man.
I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,
But here I am to speak what I do know.
You all did love him once, not without cause:
What cause withholds you then, to mourn for him?
O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason. Bear with me;
My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,
And I must pause till it come back to me.

"Henry V," of course, includes the famous "We few, we happy few, we band of brothers ..." St. Crispin's Day speech (Act 4, Scene 3):

What's he that wishes so?
My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin:
If we are mark'd to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God's will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires:
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England:
God's peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more, methinks, would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made
And crowns for convoy put into his purse:
We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is called the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian:'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispin's day.'
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day: then shall our names.
Familiar in his mouth as household words
Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember'd;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

And "Hamlet" includes the most famous soliloquy (Act 3, Scene 1) of all:

To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover'd country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.--Soft you now!
The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my sins remember'd.

I found myself reciting it under my breath with Olivier, as long ago I committed most of it to memory.

What a wonderful evening of television viewing. I hope high school teachers were on the ball and assigned at least one of these films to their students and an essay on the kernels of truth each gleaned from The Bard!

Sadly, I'm sure for many William Shakespeare remains "undiscover'd country."


Tuesday, December 13

OF "MERRY CHRISTMAS" AND "CHRISTMAS TREES"

Frank Laughter has a Christmas tree up at his "Common Sense Junction" blog, as well as a "Merry Christmas" greeting and advises anyone taking offense "too bad."

Good for Frank Laughter! The man sticks by his convictions and we need more like him.


"THE LAW IS THE LAW"

Here's an e-mail making the rounds of the Internet that makes a worthwhile point about the federal government and the federal courts continually buckling under to the progressive-secularists in this country and their strident advocates, such as the ACLU -- a determined minority bent on scrubbing our government clean of the Judeo-Christian ethos that is this nation's heritage and forms an integral part of its social fabric.

So if the U.S. government determines that it is against the law for the words "under God" to be on our money, then, so be it.

And, if that same government decides that the "Ten Commandments" are not to be used in or on a government installation, then, so be it.

And, since they have already prohibited prayer in the schools, on which they deem their authority, then, so be it.

I say, "so be it," because I would like to be a law-abiding U.S. citizen.

I say, "so be it," because I would like to think that smarter people than I are in positions to make good decisions.

I would like to think that those people have the American public's best interests at heart.

BUT, YOU KNOW WHAT ELSE I'D LIKE TO SEE?

Since we can't pray to God, can't "Trust In God," and cannot post His "Ten Commandments" in government buildings, I don't believe the federal government and its employees should participate in the Easter and Christmas celebrations which honor the God that our government is eliminating from many facets of American life.

I'd like my mail delivered on Christmas, Good Friday, Thanksgiving, and Easter.

After all, each is just another day.

I'd like the U.S. Supreme Court to be in session on Christmas, Good Friday, Thanksgiving, and Easter, as well as on Sundays.

After all, each is just another day.

I'd like for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to not have to worry about getting home for the "Christmas Recess."

After all, it's just another day.

I'm thinking that a lot of my taxpayer dollars could be saved if all government offices and services were open and available on Christmas, Good Friday, Easter, and Thanksgiving.

It shouldn't cost any overtime since those days would be just like any other day of the week to a government that is trying to be "politically correct."

In fact ...

I think that our government should work on Sundays (initially having been set aside for the worshipping of God) because, after all, government says that Sundays should be just like any other day ...

What do you all think?

If this idea gets to enough people, maybe our elected officials will stop giving in to the minority opinions and begin, once again, representing the "majority" of the American people.

Please, Dear Lord, give us the help needed to keep you in our country!

(Author Unknown)



"THE DAY THE LOSING DIED" (GO IRISH)

For those of you, like me, who are devoted Notre Dame football fans and sublimely encouraged by the dramatic turnaround obtained by the Fighting Irish's first-year head coach, Charlie Weis, and his first-rate coaching staff, then you may enjoy this amusing "Davie and Ty" ditty (referencing former Irish head football coaches Bob Davie and Tyrone Willingham), courtesy of the folks at Putfile.com.

Meanwhile, The Irish (9-2) prepare for their January 2nd Fiesta Bowl encounter with Ohio State (9-2) at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona.

Ohio State is ranked 4th in the nation; the Fighting Irish are ranked 6th.


MEXICO'S TEXTBOOKS IN AMERICA'S CLASSROOMS

President Bush, in a significant reversal of his administration's 5-year-long indifference to this country's porous borders and runaway illegal immigration problem, announced in a well-publicized speech at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona, on November 28th, that, among a number of new initiatives, his administration would address immigrant assimilation:

Our nation has been strengthened by generations of immigrants who became Americans through patience and hard work and assimilation. In this new century, we must continue to welcome immigrants, and to set high standards for those who follow the laws to become a part of our country. Every new citizen of the United States has an obligation to learn our customs and values, including liberty and civic responsibility, equality under God and tolerance for others, and the English language. (Applause.) We will continue to pursue policies that encourage ownership, excellence in education, and give all our citizens a chance to realize the American Dream.

What American taxpayers need to understand, and especially those with school-age children attending public schools, is that the government of Mexico is striving to imbue American school children and the offspring of illegal aliens sharing classrooms with them with Mexico's culture and its nation's history. That's right ... you read that correctly. Fox News reported yesterday that a public school student in the Santa Ana School District in southern California is not only studying American history, but is receiving textbooks from Mexico via its Los Angeles-based consulate on Mexico's history. American school children in possession of Mexican textbooks!

If your gut tells you that something is rotten in Denmark so-to-speak, trust your instincts. Mexico has absolutely no business doing this -- interfering in American public education -- and the Bush Administration, which champions its No Child Left Behind educational initiative, is altogether disingenuous in not sharing this fact with American voters. Fact is, the U.S. Department of Education is a co-conspirator!

Read the following excerpted from a must-read piece by Heather MacDonald, published this past autumn in "City Journal":

The gall of Mexican officials does not end with the push for illegal entry. After demanding that we educate their surplus citizens, give those citizens food stamps, deliver their babies, provide them with doctors and hospital beds, and police their neighborhoods, the Mexican government also expects us to help preserve their loyalty to Mexico.

Since 1990, Mexico has embarked on a series of initiatives to import Mexican culture into the U.S. Mexico’s five-year development plan in 1995 announced that the “Mexican nation extends beyond . . . its border”—into the United States. Accordingly, the government would “strengthen solidarity programs with the Mexican communities abroad by emphasizing their Mexican roots, and supporting literacy programs in Spanish and the teaching of the history, values, and traditions of our country.”

The current launching pad for these educational sallies is the Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior. The IME directs several programs aimed at American schools. Each of Mexico’s 47 consulates in the U.S. (a number that expands nearly every year) has a mandate to introduce Mexican textbooks into schools with significant Hispanic populations. The Mexican consulate in Los Angeles showered nearly 100,000 textbooks on 1,500 schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District this year alone. Hundreds of thousands more have gone to school districts across the country, which pay only shipping charges. Showing admirable follow-up skills, the consulates try to ensure that students actually read the books. L.A. consulate reps, for instance, return to schools that have the books and ask questions. “We test the students,” explains Mireya Magaña Gálvez, a consul press attaché. “We ask the students: what are you reading about now? We try to repeat and repeat.”

The article continues with this galling example of what our school children are being taught by the Mexican government:

Immigrants have often tried to hold on to their native traditions, but not until recently did anyone expect American schools to help them do so. And it is hard to see how studying Mexican history from a Mexican perspective helps forge an American identity. The Mexican sixth-grade history book, for example, celebrates the “heroism and sacrifice” of the Mexican troops who fought the Americans during the Mexican-American war. But “all the sacrifices and heroism of the Mexican people were useless,” recounts the chronicle. The “Mexican people saw the enemy flag wave at the National Palace.” The war’s consequences were “disastrous,” notes the primer: “To end the occupation, Mexico was obligated to sign the treaty of Guadeloupe-Hidalgo,” by which the country lost half its territory.


And this corroboration from "National Review" (published October, 1998) underscores that this is not a recent, but rather a long-standing initiative of the Mexican government:

Indeed, through its 42 consular offices and 23 cultural institutes in the United States--the most extensive presence here that any foreign country maintains--Mexico directly influences U.S. education policy at every level of government, making the assimilation of Hispanics in the United States that much more difficult.

The U.S. Department of Education actively welcomes the intervention of the Mexican government in American schools. As the Mexican Secretariat of Foreign Affairs regularly boasts, it provides, among other things, teacher-exchange programs and free instructional materials in support of bilingual education in the United States. Roughly three hundred thousand Mexican textbooks--gifts from the Mexican government--are used in American schools today.

This blog has pointed previously to the determined interference in America's internal affairs by Mexico's U.S.-based consulates.

American taxpayers, including parents of public school students, need to tell President Bush that "excellence in education" shouldn't embrace studying textbooks published in Mexico that promote Mexico's culture and distort American history. The President should move to withhold federal funding to public school districts that are disseminating Mexican textbooks to its students. The president should also come clean that this sort of thing is going on as a result of his cozying up to Mexico's presidente Vicente Fox.

Porous borders are but one significant problem facing this country owing to Mexico's concerted effort -- el Plan De Aztlan -- to reclaim portions of the southwestern United States. Worrisome, as well, are Mexico's determined efforts to lay claim to the porous minds of American school children via the patent propaganda in textbooks it distributes to them.

With all of the shortcomings of America's struggling public educational system and the myriad ways in which it is shortchanging American students, this is one problem that could be rectified if only the president of the United States would just walk the talk.

FOLLOW-UP: The Houston Chronicle's online "Opinion" section has linked to my blog under its "Blog Watch" heading. Many thanks to HC's editors.

FOLLOW-UP II: For those ACSOL readers unfamiliar with el Plan De Aztlan (or confused by the link I provided), I suggest you begin reading up on Mexico's "Reconquista Program" (courtesy of the good folks at VDARE). I also suggest this article published by Americans For Legal Immigration.

FOLLOW-UP III: Lorie Byrd of Polipundit was kind enough to link to this post and I encourage my readers to read her well-thought viewpoints on the subject of Mexican textbooks in American classrooms, as well as her firsthand observations on her daughter's teacher's prudent use of Spanish in the classroom.

FOLLOW-UP IV: The Dan Stein Report has linked to my post as well (scroll down to the bottom under "All of Today's Headlines"), for which I am most appreciative. If you're interested in staying abreast of immigration and border security issues, you would do well to make this a daily read.

FOLLOW-UP V (12/14/05): This blogger is flattered to find a link to ACSOL in the prestigious "City Journal" today. Just as I quoted her in this post, I earnestly recommend that you read articles by Heather Mac Donald, as she's a terrific writer-journalist and her insights are important to all concerned Americans.


Monday, December 12

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS -- SCHWARZENEGGER WILL DO THE RIGHT THING

I am confident Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California will do the right thing today and not grant clemency to Stanley Tookie Williams -- convicted murderer and founder of the notorious Crips street gang. Williams is slated to be executed by lethal injection at one minute after midnight tomorrow.

I'm not interested in his jailhouse conversion to anti-gang advocacy or impressed that he's co-authored a number of books. What might his victims have accomplished in their lives had they not been slain?

Let God judge the genuineness of Tookie's redemption in His kingdom.

Here, on this Earth, we must protect ourselves and our loved ones from cold-blooded murderers.

FOLLOW-UP: Governor Schwarzenegger has, indeed, made the right decision. The twisted morality of effete Hollywood liberals did not prevail. Justice will be served. Besides, if anyone in the Golden State is deserving of clemency it is the taxpayers who are paying the enormous tab for the Democratic Party's death-grip on the state, as well as for runaway illegal immigration.

FOLLOW-UP II (12/13/05): May his victims rest in peace and may the Good Lord bring comfort to their surviving loved ones whose lives were irrevocably changed by this evil man.

OF GRANDCHILDREN AND A BRIEF HIATUS FROM BLOGGING

Dear Readers of ACSOL,

Thanks for your patience during my absence from blogging.

The one-year-old chap pictured was the reason for the brief hiatus, as my wife and I traveled to be with my namesake, Austin Higgins (our youngest grandchild), on his 1st birthday and to spend a week at the home of his parents -- our youngest son, Joe, and his wonderful wife and Austin's mother, Krissy.

We enjoyed a full week under the same roof with our "little man" and delighted in his sunshine personality and cuter-than-cute mannerisms.

Austin is walking now, has eight teeth and is cutting more. The visit undoubtedly taxed our daughter-in-law, but gave us the opportunity to be a part of his life -- to play with him, read to him, feed him, change his diapers (I managed to put one on backwards!), and follow him around the house, as he explored and showed off for us. Krissy was so generous in sharing her little cherub with us and making us feel comfortable and welcomed in her home. She's a peach!

My wife and I feel blessed. Our son is happy, as a husband and as a father. Joe and Krissy are deeply in love and wonderful, devoted parents. Austin is a lucky little boy. And we, as his grandparents, are blessed and enriched by him. Life is good.


Tuesday, December 6

ACSOL: 1ST ANNIVERSARY OF BLOGGING

Wednesday, December 7th, is the first anniversary of this blog -- A CERTAIN SLANT OF LIGHT -- and the one year anniversary of my blogging. More importantly, it marks the 1st birthday of my youngest grandson, Austin, whose birth a year ago was the inspiration for me to get a blog underway and to begin doing that which I love so much -- writing!

I am out-of-town this week visiting my grandson in order to be with him on his birthday and this evening my wife and I are enjoying a family visit with both of our sons, our daughter-in-law and the older of our two son's fiancee. It's a special evening and tomorrow is the Big Day for our "little man," Austin.

I do not have regular access to a computer on this trip, so I'll likely not post again until next Monday; but, I do want to take the time to thank the faithful readers of ACSOL, as well as those who periodically visit, for making my first year of blogging the enriching experience it has been. For those who subscribe to my site via their aggregators, have it in their blogroll, or have bookmarked it, I cannot begin to thank you enough for your support.

For those who link to ACSOL and have supported and encouraged me this past year, just know that you're very special to me. Indeed, you know who you are. Our e-mail exchanges and the friendships formed over the past 12 months have made such a difference. And, frankly, beyond the friendship has been the intellectual stimulation and the joy in reading your posts and seeing firsthand what heights the writing craft can reach in the blogosphere.

Thanks; thanks; thanks!

Saturday, December 3

BLOGGING HIATUS (PATIENCE, PLEASE, READERS)

I will be out-of-pocket and likely unable to access a computer this weekend. Accordingly, there will not be any new posts.

Please avail yourselves of those up on the screen, as well as in the archives.

Thanks for your patience. As Douglas MacArthur once said: I shall return!