Sunday, August 27, 2006


There's no such thing as a good time for a hurricane but right now, the timing particularly sucks.

Sick horse (The vet's coming back out again tomorrow.) and an under-the-weather Hubby. To make matters even more fun, we finally got a danged good dose of hard rain earlier in the week. Except for a little here and there, it's been dry so we sure needed it. Unfortunately because we having had any, it wasn't until we got some that we discovered we having running water . . . through the dining room ceiling.

With all the phone calls only one roofer bothered to call back. He came out and announced that instead of a spot that needs fixing, the whole roof's shot and needs to be replaced. It's not that I doubt him, the roof's due, but I'd like a second opinion . . . and quote.

Not that we'll have the time now even if the one roofer could get the job done immediately, which he can't. But with Ernesto either heading this way or affecting us even if it's a near miss . . .

Miss Manners says the way to handle uninvited company that just announces their arrival and expects you to comply, is to explain that now's just not a good time. You've already made other plans.

You think that might work?

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Murphy's Other Laws

Murphy's Other Laws...

Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

He who laughs last, thinks slowest.

Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.

Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

The 50-50-90 rule: Anytime you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, there's a 90% probability you'll get it wrong.

If you lined up all the cars in the world end to end, someone would be stupid enough to try to pass them, five or six at a time, on a hill, in the fog.

If the shoe fits, get another one just like it.

The things that come to those who wait will be the things left by those who got there first.

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will sit in a boat all day drinking beer.

Flashlight: A case for holding dead batteries.

The shin bone is a device for finding furniture in a dark room.

A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well.

When you go into court, you are putting yourself in the hands of 12 people who weren't smart enough to get out of jury duty.

Via: Hey Joe!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Tagged: I'm it.

I don’t know what I did to piss Peej off. Whatever it is, I'll never do it again. Promise!

1. One book that changed your life?

ON WRITING WELL by William Zinsser. One of several on a reading list a local writing guru gave me, this one probably had the most impact. After years of government "stuff" writing correctly wasn't the problem. Clarity and being concise were. I remember reading it the first time and thinking, I can do this!

2. One book you're read more than once?

Stephen King's THE STAND.

3. One book you'd want on a desert island?

Any book would help me get the hell off.

4. One book that made you laugh?

LAMB: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal

5. One book that made you cry?

RIDE THE WIND by Lucia St Clair Robson. It's based on the actual story of Cynthia Ann Parker who as a child was kidnaped by the Comanche. She is raised as one and becomes one of The People. Marries a chief. Has children. Through the story telling they all stop being names on pages and become people you almost know. If a Comanche Chief named Quannah Parker rings any bells, she was his mother.

6. One book you wish had been written.

<Glances at the filing cabinet.> I plead the Fifth.

7. One book you wish had never been written.

The Da Vinci Code. If it hadn't been written then Herself wouldn't have been able to read it and rave about it so much that at her insistence I did. And the movie that she forced Da Kid and me to go see with her would wouldn't have been made, either.

The buck sucked. The movie was better but considering I'm comparing it to the book, that ain't saying much.

8. One book you are currently reading?

THE CIA AT WAR (Inside the Secret Campaign Against Terror). I've been "currently reading" it for two weeks without making much progress.

9. One book you've been meaning to read?

Avoiding, actually, although it's been sitting there since January. I don't know if I'm ready yet for MARLEY AND ME, which is one of the reasons I'm still slogging through the book mentioned in Question 8.

10. What book makes made you dream the most?

Since Peej cheated and added her own question, I'm changing it.

THE BLACK STALLION by Walter Farley. Like most little girls I always had a thing about horses, but unlike most other little girls I was sickly. I don't remember how old I was when I overheard the doctor telling Mom something like, "If she makes it to seven . . . "

Obviously I did, but lying in bed for long stretches I played with the different plastic horses pretending the covers over me were hills and valleys. And then came that danged book about a survivor child and his magnificent horse that despite all the odds against them, everything turned out perfectly in the end.

In my dreams Alec Ramsey wasn't riding The Black. I always was.

Now tag 5 people.

Hmmm . . . anyone want to volunteer?

LATER: A couple dozen hits and at least two volunteers so far, thanks to Tom Maguire at Just One Minute.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Guard the Borders Blogburst

There are only a few hours left to have some impact on the case of two Border Patrol agents, Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean, who are being sentenced tomorrow for attempting to apprehend a drug smuggler who was fleeing across the border illegally. The charges against the Border Patrol agents were serious bodily injury; assault with a deadly weapon; discharge of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence; and a civil rights violation. Compean and Ramos also were convicted of four counts and two counts, respectively, of obstruction of justice for not reporting that their weapons had been fired. The Texas jury acquitted both men of assault with intent to commit murder, but found them guilty on all other charges. The recommended sentencing is 20 years in prison.

You can read the entire account of the case in this Daily Bulletin article written by Sara Carter, but there are a few things you need to know up front:

  • Assistant U.S. Attorney Debra Kanof, who prosecuted this travesty of justice against the two BP agents, has successfully contended that BP agents are NOT SUPPOSED to apprehend or pursue illegals.

  • "It is a violation of Border Patrol regulations to go after someone who is fleeing," she said. "The Border Patrol pursuit policy prohibits the pursuit of someone."

  • Two weeks after the incident, a Homeland Security agent tracked down the drug smuggler in Mexico and offered him immunity to testify against the two Texas Border Patrol agents. They found the drug smuggler based upon a tip from another BP agent in Arizona! The connection between the Arizona BP agent and the drug smuggler is murky, though the prosecutor gets upset at any one who dares to question the unsavory connection.

  • The drug smuggler was treated to free tax-payer funded medical care in El Paso in addition to his full immunity to testify against the BP agents.

  • The drug smuggler changed his story, but the fact that he lied was never disclosed to the jury.

  • According to the memo, Aldrete-Davila told investigators the agents shot him in the buttocks when he was trying to enter the country illegally from Mexico. But according to Aldrete-Davila's later testimony and that of the agents, he was shot after trying to evade the agents upon his re-entry into Mexico.

    The memo never was disclosed to the jury.
  • The drug smuggler is now suing the Border Patrol for $5 million for violating his civil rights.

  • Also, Ramos' extensive training and accomplishments in drug interdiction, which would be directly relevant to the actions he took during the incident with the drug smuggler, was deemed not admissible during his trial.

  • As a Border Patrol agent, Ramos has been involved in the capture of nearly 100 drug smugglers and the seizure of untold thousands of pounds of narcotics. He also was nominated for Border Patrol Agent of the Year in March 2005, though the nomination was withdrawn after details of the Aldrete-Davila incident came out.

    Ramos also had drug interdiction training from the Drug Enforcement Agency and qualified as a Task Force Officer with the Border Patrol. But Ramos' training in narcotics -- as well as the numerous credentials he had received for taking Border Patrol field training classes -- was not admissible during the trial, he said.
    TJ Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council, just addressed the Congressional hearings here in Houston on August 16th, where this case was of great concern among all the law enforcement officials.

    He said the Border Patrol's official pursuit policy handcuffs agents in the field. He also sees the prosecution of Ramos and Compean as part of a larger effort by the federal government.

    "The pursuit policy has negatively affected the Border Patrol's mission as well as public safety. Part of that mission is to stop terrorists and drug smugglers," Bonner said. "They could be smuggling Osama bin Laden, drugs, illegal aliens, or it could have been just some drunk teenager out on a joyride. You don't know until you stop them."

    "The administration is trying to intimidate front-line agents from doing their job," he added. "If they can't do it administratively, they'll do it with trumped-up criminal charges.

    "Moreover, the specter of improprieties in the prosecution of this case raises serious concerns that demand an immediate, thorough and impartial investigation."

  • Ramos and Compean and their young families have been living under threats of retaliation from criminals in the drug underworld.
  • The El Paso Sheriff's Department has met with the Ramos family to discuss continued threats against them from people they believe to be associated with Aldrete-Davila. The sheriff's department also has increased patrols around the family's home.

    The only other organization that has responded to the Ramoses thus far, Monica Ramos said, is the Chino-based nonprofit group Friends of the Border Patrol, chaired by Andy Ramirez.

    "This is the greatest miscarriage of justice I have ever seen," Ramirez said. "This drug smuggler has fully contributed to the destruction of two brave agents and their families and has sent a very loud message to the other Border Patrol agents: If you confront a smuggler, this is what will happen to you."
    This case has been virtually ignored by the press, which is why the American public only found out about it after the conviction of the two BP agents. But now that we know, we must take action. If, as TJ Bonner has said, this case is a dirty attempt by our government to intimidate law enforcement officers into leaving the borders wide open and unguarded, then the American people must speak out immediately.

    You can do so by signing a petition that will be delivered to the President - but you must do so TODAY, it's the last day. The men will be sentenced tomorrow.

    The goal is to collect 100,000 signatures asking President Bush to pardon these two men. So far, 97,589 people have signed the petition and there is no doubt in my mind that Guard the Borders readers can fill in the remaining numbers needed. The petition, to which you may add your own comment reads as follows:

    To: President George W. Bush,

    As a citizen of the United States I am outraged to learn that two U.S. Border Agents are facing twenty-year prison terms for doing their jobs-- pursuing illegal aliens who cross our border, and I’m calling on you to officially pardon them for their actions.

    I am even more outraged to learn that this illegal alien (who was attempting to smuggle about 800 pounds of marijuana into our country), was tracked down by a Department of Homeland Security Investigator and granted immunity for his testimony against these two agents!

    This is a terrible injustice, and I urge you to use your considerable authority and power to pardon these two agents and right this obvious wrong!
    In addition to rallying your friends and family to take action with you, I would also ask that you call the White House Comments line, and leave a message on behalf of these agents. White House Comments line: 202-456-6213

    Please do not hesitate to take this small action on behalf of men whose lives have been destroyed by a drug smuggler and corrupt government agents and prosecutors. It's the very least we can do for them - I wish there was more.

    What if this was you? What will happen to these two men? What will be the fallout from such a miscarriage of justice?

    "My husband is a good man, a loving father, and his devotion to his country and his job is undeniable," Monica Ramos said. "Prosecutors treated the drug smuggler like an innocent victim, refusing to allow testimony that would have helped my husband. The smuggler was given immunity. My husband is facing a life in prison.

    "It's so frightening, it doesn't seem real."


    About a week ago, feeling little hope, Joe Loya, Monica Ramos' father, took the family on what will be Ignacio Ramos' last fishing trip with his sons before he is sentenced.

    "What kind of justice is this?" Loya asked. "What kind of nation do we live in when the word of a smuggler means more than the word of a just man?"

    Monica Ramos says her hardest day is yet to come -- the day the authorities take her husband away.

    "We just guard (our children's) hearts right now," Monica Ramos said. "I think about the last time he'll hug them as children, and maybe not get the chance to hug them again until they are grown men."

    The sons are between 6 and 13 years old.

    Ignacio Ramos was, if anything, even more emotional.

    "Less than a month left with my family," he said, his voice choking, as though the air had been pulled from his lungs. "My sons," he whispered. Then silence.

    It took several minutes for Ramos to summon more words. "All I think about at night is the day I have to leave my family. I can't sleep. I've always been with them."

    Then he talked about the memories he would never have, "their first dates, high school graduation, sports," and the tears falling from his eyes were mirrored only by those of his wife, who took his hand into hers.
    Families destroyed. A drug smuggler on the loose to threaten the lives of others and on the scam for $5 million dollars. And a government who won't do anything about either – unless we force it to.

    The only ones left who can help are the American people themselves. That means you.

    This has been a production of the Guard the Borders Blogburst. It is syndicated by Euphoric Reality, and serves to keep immigration issues in the forefront of our minds as we're going about our daily lives and continuing to fight the war on terror. If you are concerned with the trend of illegal immigration in our country, join the Blogburst! Send an email with your blog name and url to euphoricrealitynet at gmail dot com.


    Sunday, August 20, 2006

    What's cooking?

    I'm the daughter of a "Meat and Potatoes" father. One thing Dad always did enjoy, though, was a good soup. With Mom in the kitchen trying to stretch the family food budget, the last bits of a big hunka meat and assorted leftovers were often the start of another meal: soup.

    I married a "Meat and Potatoes" man, too. Although Hubby was never as bad about it as Dad one thing he can't stand — with the sole exception my chicken noodle — is soup. And yesterday, I had to have some. Not that I knew that until I opened the refrigerator door and saw all the leftovers.

    There was plenty in there for Hubby to heat and eat for dinner, plus in various plastic containers a few other odds and ends from other meals that clicked: a small wedge of raw cabbage, stewed tomatoes, sliced onion and already-cooked spaghetti noodles.

    I reached for one of the cookbooks I have for guidance, this one from decades ago when they were included in with the purchase of a microwave oven, rummaged around in the cabinet for a few other items and fixed a pot of Minestrone. In the microwave.

    Microwave Minestrone

    Please note that the quantities shown on items marked (L) are guestimates.

    (1) Microwave-safe dish (with a glass lid) big enough to hold:

    (3) Tablespoons of margarine, softened.


    (1) Carrot, thinly sliced
    (1) Onion, small, diced (L)
    (1) Rib of celery, thinly sliced.

    Stir, cover and "nuke" for six minutes.


    (2) Cups, canned chicken broth
    (1) Can, whole tomatoes broken into large pieces (L)
    (3) Cups, chunk-cut cabbage (L)
    (1) Teaspoon basil
    (1) Teaspoon parsley flakes
    (1) Teaspoon salt

    Stir, cover and "nuke" for 8 minutes.


    (1) Can (16 oz.) kidney beans, drained

    (If you don't have any leftover, already-cooked spaghetti noodles, the cookbook calls for adding 1/3 Cup of broken spaghetti at the same time.)

    Stir, cover and "nuke" for 6 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.

    I stirred in some of the leftover, already-cooked spaghetti noodles and let it sit there until later when I was ready to eat.

    I had one bowl last night but when I went to the refrigerator to get some for lunch today, it was gone.

    Da Kid (The Eating Machine) had taken it with him this morning when he left for work.

    All of it.


    Friday, August 18, 2006

    Picture this?

    More here.

    Via: Boortz.


    Thursday, August 17, 2006

    National Firefighters Day Petition

    Da Kid, who's on duty today, fowarded an email that had been sent to the stations by someone at headquarters. As soon as I started reading it I knew it was a chain letter. One of those like the cookie recipe or waking up in a hotel to find your innerds had been stolen.

    I was half right. It is a chain letter. The difference is this one is for real:

    "Hello, I am Connor Geraghty, of Rockville Centre, NY.

    "I lost my Dad on September 11th; he was Chief Edward Geraghty, Battalion 9, New York City Fire Department. He lost his life with many other heroes that day, victims of the terrorists. Firefighters from all over have come to the aid and rescue of the tragedy in New York and Washington, D.C. Many firefighters have lost their lives to save someone else's; the truth of the matter is, they do this every single day. They truly are heroes."
    Conner's email asks for support in establishing September 11 as National Firefighters Day. notes:
    While we are still of the opinion that email petitions are inadvisable and mostly useless (for a variety of practical reasons), we're obliged to report that this one is not only sincere and authentic in origin, but may even have a shot at accomplishing its goal (or perhaps not — see March 2002 update below).


    As of March 2002, readers are reporting that Connor Geraghty's AOL mailbox is full and bouncing emails back to senders with an "Out of Service" error message.
    Snopes points out an alternative:
    For those still interested in establishing a National Firefighters Day, sponsoring a petition on the web rather than via e-mail is much more practical. Also, taking a few extra minutes to send letters to Congressional representatives rather than simply adding names to an e-petition would be a worthwhile effort.
    I don't know that online petitions are any more effective than those that are emailed in chain letters. Still, the online one for a National Firefighers Day is here.

    Tuesday, August 15, 2006

    Guard the Borders Blogburst

    By Heidi at Euphoric Reality

    For a long time here at GTB, we have focused on the tsunami of humanity that flows over our southern border from Mexico. Mexicans, by far, are the largest group of illegals inside our borders, and their open agenda of Reconquista has place tax-funded groups like La Raza, MEChA, and LULAC under the microscope. We've also covered the alarming news of the number of Middle Easterners who take full advantage of our unguarded borders to infiltrate our country, paying coyotes tens of thousands of dollars to allow them to blend in with herds of illegals crossing the border. Once inside the country, they disperse and fade away into our society.

    Lately, focus has shifted from clandestine border crossings to blatant visa violations as the FBI hunted and captured 11 Egyptian men who entered the country under false pretenses. Such visa violations (including overstaying visa expirations) are not unusual for Middle Easterners, particularly from Pakistan, Yemen, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon, etc., but we Americans are rarely aware of them. Chechens are also making concerted efforts to get into the country illegally, despite the generous visa allowances for their country.

    Today, I'd like to examine our broken immigration process in the light of the current war in the Middle East. To that end, I'd like you to reference this column by Investor's Business Daily.
    Why Borders Matter

    Aug 09 06

    The war in Lebanon is an object lesson in border protection. Hezbollah secretly beefed up its forces there as Israel lowered its northern guard. Then Hezbollah attacked. We should take note.

    Lest Americans think this is "Israel's war," it's worth repeating that it was Hezbollah that bombed the U.S. Embassy and Marine barracks in Lebanon, killing some 250 Americans. Hezbollah also kidnapped Americans Terry Anderson and Beirut CIA Station Chief William Buckley. Buckley died in captivity with nine others. Some of the masterminds are still at large.

    Hezbollah (Party of Allah) is not just a faraway threat. Its leaders have infiltrated the U.S. by breaching our own porous borders.
    No matter where you stand on the war in the Middle East, it is not safe or prudent for Americans to be vulnerable - on their own soil - to the volatile agenda of sworn enemies of the United States. Our lax immigration system lets potential enemies slip through all the time, and the recent nationwide scramble to find 11 supposedly harmless Egyptians proves that.

    With Hezbollah trying to infiltrate America, and teams of suspicious young men entering the U.S. under false pretenses, it's time to put more teeth in the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System that requires young men from the Middle East who arrived after 9-11 to check in with immigration officials during their stays — not kill the program, as some in Washington have proposed.
    The IBD article ends with a clear call to action. There is no reason why our national security ought to be compromised on the altar of political correctness. With enemies at our gates, we shouldn’t be forced to swing them wide to prove how kind and inclusive we are. There are already more than enough "tourists", "students", and "temporary residents" from the Middle East inside our borders with nefarious purposes; it's time we clamped down on their access to our people. While the demand for more teeth in the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System is appropriate, perhaps we also need to consider reviewing and revoking the visas of others who we know support Hezbollah, Hamas, or al Qaeda. Those people shouldn't be too hard to find, even for an inept ICE and INS - they are marching in the streets proclaiming their loyalty to our enemies on a daily basis!

    This has been a production of the Guard the Borders Blogburst. It was started by Euphoric Reality, and serves to keep immigration issues in the forefront of our minds as we're going about our daily lives and continuing to fight the war on terror. If you are concerned with the trend of illegal immigration facing our country, join our Blogburst! Just send an email with your blog name and url to euphoricrealitynet at gmail dot com.


    Monday, August 14, 2006

    Conversations with my car

    The vet was right the first time. Asshole, the horse, does have laminitis. Unlike Barbaro who has a catastrophic case, Asshole doesn't and if all goes well in time he can recover.

    What caused it? Who the hell knows.

    Part of the treatment involves totally eliminating any and all feed from his diet. All natural, no manufactured carbohydrates of any sort. He can have grass — There's none left in the yard or anywhere else now. He and "Dingbat," the other Quarter horse, have eaten it all. — hay and ($16.50 a bale) alfalfa hay. And because alfalfa is so expensive, Dingbat ain't getting none of that.

    This has led to utter chaos at feeding time.

    Since Asshole can't have any feed he has alfalfa in his hay rack. With as expensive as it is you'd think he'd be thrilled, but no. He doesn't want it. He can hear Dingbat eating his feed and he wants that. It's feeding time and that's when he's supposed to have feed! In his pan!

    Meanwhile, instead of eating Dingbat plays with his feed for a half an hour or so, nibbling, because what he really wants is Asshole's alfalfa!

    They're driving each other nuts over the stall wall. Me? I didn't have far to go before but now? Now, I.Am.There.

    How "there" am I?

    I pulled in the other day after a(nother) trip to the hardware store, this one to pick up more clips to lower Dingbat's feed pan even more to make even more certain that Asshole can't reach it over the wall. I clicked the key fob to lock the doors, and yelled "SHUT UP!" at my car when it beeped. To make matters even worse, I then began apologizing to it for speaking so roughly. To make matters worse still, I didn't know until I turned around that I had an audience watching me patting its hood as I stood there talking to it.

    According to the vet the wound on Asshole's neck from the spider bite is healing well. "That looks good?" Going into week three, there's still puss pockets around it with . . . goo coming out, but that's good because that means it's still draining! Naturally!!! Herself (remember, she's a nurse) looked at it yesterday and had the audacity to agree with the vet.

    There's a reason for the saying that a pill is big enough to choke a horse, and Asshole has been on 12 of those horse-chokers twice a day. (One prescription finished yesterday morning, so now it's down to two, twice daily.) That wasn't a problem before because I'd dissolve them in water, mix in some of his beloved apple-flavored electrolytes to mask their bitter taste, and then dump the mess over his feed. But now Asshole can't have any.

    So, I cut up a couple of apples, bore a little hole in each piece and bury a pill inside.

    Asshole takes the individual chunks readily. His face is filled with a look of utter contentment as he chews and chews and chews. And then spits the pill out.

    You know how restaurants ask customers to complete survey cards to rate their dining experience? This morning Asshole commented on his new cuisine by dropping a "dump" in his feed pan.

    On other fun subjects since I last blogged:

    Da Kid discovered somebody has been going into our garage and helping themselves to stuff. Hubby then discovered more stuff gone. Later Da Kid found the paint sprayer in a another corner of the garage where Hubby (he denies all knowledge) apparently put it while looking for Da Kid's missing industrial weed eater which he'd forgotten he'd loaned to a neighbor a month ago. The neighbor who reminded Da Kid he still has his leaf blower, too, and has for two years. Da Kid's chainsaw remains missing, though, although I dimly recalled the possibility that Da Kid had loaned it to another neighbor who also doesn't return anything.

    Saturday morning brought a visit from Animal Control after an anonymous complaint about the horses. I figured someone might have called because Asshole looks like shit (He does.) but no. Someone had called in a complaint saying the horses don't have any shelter. Interestingly enough, I spotted the inspector pulling up just as I was pushing the manure-filled wheelbarrow out of the stalls.

    And, my computer is acting up so if I disappear for a while it's either that, I'm in jail . . . or busy talking to my car again.


    Wednesday, August 09, 2006

    A peeve

    Blogging has been sporadic and will probably continue that way. Sick Horse. The older of the two ancient Quarter horses. Leg problems, then the veterinarian said he may have foundered but then the same vet later said he hadn't. Next came the wound on his neck that the other vet in the practice said was a bite from a venomous brown recluse spider. I don't even know what a brown recluse looks like (all spiders look alike when you're screaming, running in the opposite direction) and had never seen anything like the wound before but let me tell you something. It's nasty, and then it gets worse. And then it gets really bad.

    "Asshole" wasn't out of trouble yet but he was vastly improved, until Sunday when I began calling the vets' answering service without a call back. Two calls Sunday, four Monday and one yesterday morning when first one of them finally called me back, then the other. The "Leg Vet" was out yesterday afternoon; he'll be back out tomorrow with x-ray equipment to see if "Asshole" did, in fact, founder after all. The horse is also on antibiotics, again, because he's developing some type of upper respiratory thing or an infection from the spider bite. (Or he could be having a reaction to some of the other meds he's on.).

    As you might expect I'm not particularly pleased right now, especially with the vets. Unfortunately when it comes to horses there aren't many here from which to choose. This, however, is not the focus of my peeve. It's the background.

    With all the telephone calls I've been making to the veterinarians these last few weeks I've been running to the phone each and every time it's rung. In almost every instance (except when it's been someone actually calling) if I pick up the receiver as its beginning the fourth ring I get a click on the other end. If I manage to grab the receiver before that, I'm treated to a recording of voice telling me why I should vote for them or the candidate on whose behalf they are calling.

    Between the two, we've probably been getting ten of these types of calls a day. It's this bad already and it's not even close to the elections yet.

    Wondering if perhaps the vet had called and hung up before I'd been able to pick up the receiver, I've star-69ed the hang-ups. They are either "no phone number available" or, "The last number . . . was area code zero-zero-zero, zero-zero-zero, zero-zero, zero-zero." I don't know for certain that they're automated political calls, programmed to hang up on the fourth ring to avoid time- wasting answering machines. Still, I figure the odds are in my favor.

    If I were in a better mood when I've gotten to the phone in time to hear a recordings, I might listen just long enough to find out which asshole (not to be confused with Asshole, the horse) is doing this — most if not all are, I'm fairly sure — so that I could call them, their campaign headquarters or their party to tell them exactly what I think of them. But I'm in no mood right now, especially now since the time spent might keep the vet from getting through.

    We're dealing with a sick horse. In the larger scheme of things that's nothing when you think about how many people are jumping up to grab the phone each time it rings for other, far more important reasons: a child or other family member who's not home when they should have been or perhaps word about a sick or injured loved one.

    It makes no difference to the politicians whether anyone listens to their telephone "spam" or is inconvenienced by it. They don't care. I wonder, though, if they realize how many people they're ticking off with their harassment.

    Because that's exactly what it is: harassment.

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    Monday, August 07, 2006

    Guard the Borders Blogburst

    Illegal Alien Stole 10 yr old girl’s identity
    By Toni at Bear Creek Ledger

    How would you like to find out your child's identity had been stolen? You of course probably wouldn't know until the child reached adulthood.

    Kern found out quite by accident when Hayley's application for the North Carolina Children's Health Insurance Program was initially rejected because her earned income was too high. Hayley is 10 years old. She doesn't have any earned income.

    Guess the Social Security Administration doesn't look at earned income for 10 year olds or 5 year olds for that matter.

    What she learned was that a man, an illegal immigrant in his 20s, had been working under Hayley's Social Security number for the past six years.


    Rosario does not speak English. Through an interpreter, Knight learned that when Rosario came to the U.S. from Mexico at age 22, he was told he needed "work papers" to get a job. The working papers acquaintances provided was a Social Security card with Rosario's name and a fraudulent number. He believed the number was the "work papers" that allowed him to work in the U.S. Knight said Rosario was at a loss to understand what he had done wrong.

    As much as I'd like to empathize with this Mexican man, I can't. I find it difficult to believe this man has been in the US working for 6 years and is unaware of the political fight going on with illegal aliens in this country. The one consistency with this man though; he has been in this country for 6 years, he can't speak any English and yet has a drivers license and vehicle. I'm surprised he hasn't purchased a home yet!

    The mother, Shelly Kern now has the terrible task of trying to clear her childs identity.

    Clearing your child's name can be just as frustrating and infuriating as clearing an adult's name. Kern said maybe more so. First, she was referred to the regional Social Security Administration office where she was told there was nothing they could do. They sent her to the Employment Security Commission. Neither agency nor the DSS has enforcement powers, so Kern went to the Star Police Department.


    When Kern tried to order a credit report on her daughter, she hit obstacle after obstacle.

    0nline, the credit reporting agencies want credit information that her daughter, at age 10, does not have and she cannot get a credit report for Rosario, no matter that the Social Security number is fraudulent. She has appealed to the N.C. Attorney General's Office for assistance.
    Apparently this has been happening for years:

    The practice of stealing, selling and using Social Security numbers from juveniles began over 20 years ago in southern California and has spread throughout the country. Apparently, the SSNs are obtained through brokers, who are primarily Permanent Legal Residents. The "brokers" physically monitor court house records of newborns, and obtain their birth registry issued SSNs from open public records, or from other Permanent Legal Residents/Naturalized Citizens who are employees of city and county government that have access to tax records.

    The reason this illegal practice has been relatively successful is that the IRS/SSA doesn't note that one to five year old children shouldn't be working, despite the SSA records that show the age of number holders. Also, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) is not known for pursuing this line of investigation.
    If you have children you should really read the rest of this story since there's more information covered that you should know.

    The Courier-Tribune :: News Page

    H/T: ALIPAC Forum

    And of course, I want to give a bit of promo to Dan Demay's song - Illegal.

    This has been a production of the Guard the Borders Blogburst. It was started by Euphoric Reality, and serves to keep immigration issues in the forefront of our minds as we're going about our daily lives and continuing to fight the war on terror. If you are concerned with the trend of illegal immigration facing our country, join our Blogburst! Just send an email with your blog name and url to euphoricrealitynet at gmail dot com.


    Sunday, August 06, 2006

    Last night

    This is Da Kid's last night in the nicest place he'd ever stayed in. As of his phone call last night, he can't wait to get the hell out 'cause he's sick of the place. (I'm most definitely not certain but I think this might be it.)

    This was the only time Da Kid had called since he let us know he'd arrived safely. That doesn't mean we haven't "heard" from him through email with tidbits such as, "I haven't died yet."

    He then continued, waxing philosophically, that 2000 years ago "giant slabs of concrete" were moved by hand to build the pyramids. Now, 2000 years later, he'd be doing basically the same thing again the next, which caused him to ponder the question whether mankind was progressing or regressing.

    Being the thoughtful mother I am, I replied that either the heat there had finally fried his brain or after they'd finished up with class that day, they'd gone off base to Hooters again and he'd had a few.

    Breaking and breaching, Jack hammers and drills, equipment and closed-in spaces. They finish their scheduled eight, ten-hour days at five tomorrow afternoon. Drive back to headquarters where they all met up for the trip last Sunday, arriving three hours later. After which Da Kid heads not here but to his other home. His station, which is where he'll crash for a few short hours.

    Until the alarm goes off and he starts his next 24-hour shift in the morning.

    Picture this?


    Friday, August 04, 2006

    A Milestone

    Radio and television reports the other morning said castro was sick and had temporarily turned control of Cuba over to his slightly younger brother, raul. As soon as I had a chance, I sat down to find out what news Robert (at 26th Parallel) and Val (at Babalu) had.

    Not surprisingly, both were providing the kind of perspective you don't find in the media. Also not surprisingly, Val was blogging up a storm between interviews from media sources who were in need of that perspective.

    Yesterday's Palm Beach Post carried a piece titled Commentary: Aunt's haunting eyes reveal to blogger that Cuba is about family about Val, his blog and his family. (h/t The Florida Masochist, thanks for the email)

    Congratulations to Val and his blog's other contributors as they fast approach their one millionth hit.

    Wednesday, August 02, 2006

    "I feel ridiculous. Get it off."

    "I mean it, I feel ridiculous. Get it off.

    "Lady, just because your boyfriend doesn’t want to settle down, doesn’t mean you should pretend that I’m a real baby in hopes that he’ll play along in your twisted game of “house”. I promise you’re scaring him off, and it makes you look insane. Think about it, you dress me like a Gap employee and tote me around like a damned fashion accessory. It’s disgusting, and you need to get your shit straight. Meantime, you can stop force-feeding me Altoids, you bitch.

    "While I’m on the record, there are some other things . . ."

    Please take a moment to review your DRINK ALERT instructions before continuing on to "some other things" here.

    (Via Brannon Denning, one of the four bloggers subbing at Instapundit.)

    LATER: Carnivalized at this week's Carnival of the Dogs.

    Tuesday, August 01, 2006

    Guard the Borders Blogburst

    The North American Union, SPP, and NASCO: Erasing America’s Borders
    By Heidi at Euphoric Reality

    Our government has undertaken some monumental legislation that fully impacts the American way of life, our freedom, and our sovereignty. The purpose of such legislation is to homogenize Canada, Mexico, and the United States into a North American Union - and we're all going to sleep through it.

    Have you heard of a little-known program called the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America? This tri-lateral partnership was signed by President Bush last year without Congressional oversight or public approval. Opponents of the SPP have called it NAFTA on steroids - and we all know how disastrous NAFTA has been for everyone except Mexico. It also appears to be modeled on the ineffective and highly unpopular European Union (unpopular with the people, that is).

    I went to the website,, to begin my research. There are, indeed, no boundaries between Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. when it comes to the cooperation of financial, trade, and foreign affair departments. Though some of the PR language on the website sounds fairly benign, the commissions are picking up momentum. And you know what happens when bureaucrats start grasping at influence and power! Except that now we don't have to just worry about our own greedy bureaucrats - but Canada's and Mexico's too.

    This is not some weird and obscure conspiracy website, it is our government's plan to literally give away or sell our national sovereignty. What is most galling is that we will share responsibility for security across North America. It is very conceivable that we could see our troops deployed to secure the southern border of Mexico. Yes, you read that right - not OUR unsecured warzone of a southern border - but Mexico's border with Belize and Guatemala. That is the conclusion of an investigative report done by Lou Dobbs on CNN:

    Robert B. Murray

    President George W. Bush, President Vicente Fox of Mexico, and former Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin agreed in March 2005 to create this union by executive regulations and agreements rather than by treaty to bypass Congress. Twenty working groups were formed and are well on their way to establishing a super-government for North America that will not be bound by our Constitution. The web site for this new bureaucracy—located at—provides a look at their plans and accomplishments thus far. The plan is to have this arrangement implemented by 2010.

    Behind its innocuous title, the “Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America,” the United States will surrender its Constitution. According to Jerome R. Corsi, an author and political commentator, our nation-state prerogatives would be superseded by the authority of a North American court and parliamentary body and our dollar would become the “Amero.”

    Possibly the strongest leg of the SPP is NASCO - North America's SuperCorridor Coalition - otherwise known as the NAFTA Superhighway. Airily dismissed by some public officials as internet rumors and hype and completely unaffordable, NASCO has quietly been amassing funding and already begun preliminary construction in Texas.

    NASCO Superhighway.jpg

    ...already underway is the plan for a NAFTA Superhighway: 1,200 feet wide, stretching from Lazaro Cardenas on the west coast of Mexico, entering the United States at Laredo, Texas, and continuing straight north to Winnipeg, Canada, with another route to Kansas City thence north easterly to Detroit and Montreal.

    Containerized goods from Asia will be offloaded onto Mexican trucks, with Mexican drivers, and distributed throughout the economic system. Go to to view the plan and progress. There will be no internal boundaries to restrict the flow of people, goods or services.
    In fact, the first customs stop on the Superhighway will be in the heart of America - Kansas City! Along the way, primary U.S. labor unions will be by-passed in favor of Mexican labor, including the Longshoremen’s Union, the railroad United Transportation Union, and the Teamsters.

    How will such a massive flow of goods and foreign traffic be monitored? According to author Jerome Corsi,

    "Across the NAFTA Super-Highways will flow millions more Mexicans, now armed with North American border passes and biometric identification, as defined by the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America working groups organized within the Department of Commerce."

    Similar toll systems snaking their way from the southern and northern borders cutting through major American cities will force American citizens to submit to having RFID enabled identification cards which contain an ever-increasing array of information about their personal lives.

    Illegal aliens with cloned RFID transponders will enjoy streamlined access to the US while Americans labor under the financial burden of tolls that go directly to foreign corporations and restrictions that take the right of free travel out of their hands. This and more is occurring without Congressional oversight, but is naturally funded with our state and federal tax dollars.

    But our public officials are saying this could never happen, if only because it's completely unaffordable! Not so, since foreign investment will cover any gaps that taxing the American people leaves. Additionally, the Bush administration has embarked on a policy of selling off key US infrastructure to the highest bidder - in most cases foreign owned corporations.

    [K]ey players, including the investment bankers and the worldwide capital investment funds, have a plan to address these fiscal shortcomings with their own resources. On April 30, 1992, President George H.W. Bush signed Executive Order No. 12803 on infrastructure privatization, a move that cleared the way for private capital to invest in U.S. infrastructure projects, including highways.
    For instance, the Indiana Toll Road, Virginia's Pocahontas Parkway, a Texas toll road from Austin to Sequin and The Chicago Skyway have all been sold or leased for 99 years to foreign companies who will all enjoy billions in profits from American citizens forced to pay the tolls. And now the New Jersey Turnpike and the Ohio Turnpike are also under the hammer with foreign interests at the forefront of the negotiations.

    An earlier Corsi article cites government websites which carry full planning details of the Super Highway. Its construction has already begun in Texas with no congressional oversight whatsoever. The Trans-Texas Corridor is being overseen by The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the contract is owned by the Cintra corporation which in turn is owned by the King of Spain Juan Carlos. The project is being financed by the implementation of a toll that will be collected by means of GPS tracking devices installed in all vehicles and also envelops many connecting roads to the highway. (Toll road info summarized by Paul Watson)

    Watson further adds this dire prediction, "To even be allowed to use major roads and highways, US citizens will be subject to a criminal background check and the government will have the ability to pinpoint their particular RFID signal and remotely block it from central computer mainframes - effectively abolishing freedom of mobility in America."

    President Ronald Reagan once said, “A nation without borders is not a nation.” While we’ve been looking elsewhere, our own government has implemented a comprehensive plan to erase our borders with Canada and Mexico. The NAFTA Superhighway will allow vehicles, people and goods to travel from Mexico, into the American heartland, and up to Canada with little impediment, making America's borders obsolete. Coupled with Bush's blanket amnesty program, the new North American Union and the NAFTA Superhighway (NASCO) will fully expedite the wholesale dismantling of American sovereignty. It would seem that the while the rest of the world is already lining up to get their piece of the American pie, Americans will be the last to know. It is happening quietly and behind our backs, while our attention is fully engaged by the War on Terror, the upcoming elections, and our personal lives.

    This has been a production of the Guard the Borders Blogburst. It was started by Euphoric Reality, and serves to keep immigration issues in the forefront of our minds as we’re going about our daily lives and continuing to fight the war on terror. If you are concerned with the trend of illegal immigration facing our country, join our Blogburst! Just send an email with your blog name and url to euphoricrealitynet at gmail dot com.