Sanctuary This & Sanctuary That…

It seems that anything referencing ‘sanctuary’ is likely to be favored by a Federal Judge somewhere apparently since the bulk of those judges located in that part of our country are liberal appointees of liberal Presidents.  Judge-shopping has never been so popular.

In this case, U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia blocked portions of Senate Bill 4.  Officers can still ask about immigration status but as the result of the judge’s action can only report this person’s immigration status to federal authorities.  Thus, the illegal immigrant is released to continue living in the U.S. even though he or she is a known illegal immigrant.

Among those opposed to such laws are a lot of employers since they rely heavily on the use of illegal laborers at wages that likely are less than would be paid to legal citizens.  That simply exacerbates the problems left behind by illegal immigrants.  Those people do not pay taxes since they are not legally here and under IRS regs.  They send a good portion of the money earned back into their home countries to support family left behind.  This deprives others of the jobs, assuming others would want those jobs…and that is likely questionable given the nature of many of these kinds of jobs, but that does not make it okay.

This particular ruling by the Judge read, in part:  “The Court cannot and does not second guess the Legislature, however, the state may not exercise its authority in a manner that violates the United States Constitution.”  Of course, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) lauded the decision.  Among other things, it claimed that enforcement of this law would’ve harmed local communities, not helped them.

It seems we are in the world of make-believe, an Alice-in-Wonderland world where up is down and down is up, where left is right and right is left.  People illegally cross our borders and then are protected by a Federal Judge under something he thinks he finds in the Constitution.  The people we hire who swear to uphold the laws of the land attempt to do so but are then thwarted by a Federal Judge.

These hard-working illegal people are significantly preferred, by me at least, over the alt-this and alt-that slugs who are an embarrassment to the rest of us, but that is another topic altogether.  We are a confused society without the anchors and directions, or so it seems, of the founding fathers firmly embedded in our minds.  If we do not find our moral and ethical compasses soon, there is no telling the damage we’ll bring down on our own heads.

These are issues, frankly, that cannot be cured by a fence, not to say that a controlled border is not to be desired.  These are issues that bring into question our moral fiber, and our continuing ability to self-govern.  There are elected officials and appointed officials throughout this country who seem hell-bent on wholesale change of who and what we are.  Congress is full of them.  The judicial system is full of them.  Cities and states are full of them.

I want more for our country and I believe the vast majority of us citizens are the same.  We need to continue to bring more conservative thinkers into key positions replacing liberal thinkers…if this is to happen.  And, that, in this environment, is a tall order.

Warning – Shameless Commercial

I am a ghost writer who specializes in writing for people who have little time and/or who simply are not gifted as writers.  I welcome discussions of your needs as compared to my abilities.  No cost preview pieces are readily available following discussions of your situation, your needs, and your goals.  Please contact me by e-mail if interested: alc@stonezephyr.com for further information.

 

Sheriff Joe…

Sheriff Joe Arpaio has his freedom back and also has a semblance of his honor restored courtesy of President Trump and his pardon.  Sheriff Arpaio was something of an ‘everyman’s sheriff’.  He enforced the law and made rules he expected his wards, the people who broke the law, to follow.  He was not what some might call a “mollycoddler”.  His wards had all been convicted of crimes and Sheriff Joe didn’t believe they were ‘entitled’ to anything other than a place to sleep, clothes to wear, and food to eat.

The place to sleep was a tent for a period of time.  The food to eat was plain old food without any frills.  The clothes were pink at one point.  If one escaped, it would be easy to see a person wearing pink clothes and put two and two together.  If the prisoners were not happy with their treatment, even though humane, Sheriff Joe felt they might learn to avoid breaking the law once released.

The Sheriff finally was corralled and found himself in the liberal system of courts.  The Ninth Circuit is a liberal court system…as are many, unfortunately…and Sheriff Joe was the person they felt had to be made an example of to preclude others from thinking like him.  The legal minds in the Ninth Circuit simply could not believe that a law enforcement officer could have the belief system that was held by Sheriff Joe.  He was conservative, and therefore a pariah, and he felt the law said what it meant, not what some liberal judge chose to interpret it to mean.

The Federal courts are, unfortunately, too often over-loaded with liberals for whom the law was not meant to be interpreted as written, but, instead, was awaiting their ‘liberal elite’ interpretation.  That is what liberal Presidents and liberal Congresses do when they are in power since they always know better than conservatives and often better than the people who elected them.

The fact that he had been through four elections and had won them all meant nothing to the liberal court system.  This man had to be reined in, in spite of his election victories at the hands of the average citizen, and made an example of to preclude other wayward conservatives from thinking they could change the way things were run in that part of the country.  Presidents Clinton and Obama are largely responsible for the federal court system we have today through their appointments over the eight years they were in control of the White House along with the aid of the Dems in Congress.

Some felt President Trump was out-of-bounds in his pardon of Sheriff Arpaio, but Trump did what he knew was right and gave Sheriff Joe his freedom from the persecution he had been subjected to…and yes, it was persecution of liberals aimed at conservatives.

So, this 85-year-old former Sheriff is free to walk the streets he so jealously protected from the illegals and the criminals.  The libs in the Ninth Circuit have learned there is a new President in town.  Will that alter their verdicts?  Not likely, but it might make them a bit more judicious in their approach to judging people lest they invite another embarrassing reversal courtesy of the new President.

This also tells, and shows, us that what we thought we heard in the things President Trump told us he stood for are rooted in truth and that if he has the opportunity, he’ll do this over and again to correct wrongs.  How refreshing is it to get what we thought we were getting?  Even though the liberals think we have finally lost our minds completely, we can still pluck out a few meaningful victories here and there…in spite of ‘the system’.

Hail to the Chief!

$13 a Pack In NYC…

How times have changed.  I was a cigarette smoker of long standing.  That ended quite a few years ago, thankfully, after several (many, really) attempts to leave that habit behind.

I noted this morning that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has raised cigarette prices in New York City to some $13.00 per package.  My career as a cigarette smoker began in earnest in the Army.  I bought my cigarettes at the Ft. Knox Post Exchange for $1.90 per carton of ten packs, or $0.19 per pack.  “Smoke ’em if you got ’em” was the Drill Sergeant’s chant at the time.

Mail order cigarette shopping will be expanding rapidly if it isn’t already thriving.  de Blasio has, if nothing else, created a thriving black market environment in NYC since smokers crave that next cigarette and get to the point of forgetting the cost if that craving can just be satisfied for a short time.  What a marketplace for the surreptitious street vendor with the “wanna buy a smoke?” utterance as you pass by on the street.

Where, though, does personal freedom end and municipal edict begin in this matter?  If a mayor can arbitrarily make him or herself the savior of citizens from themselves over what is still a legal product, from where did that power originate?

Personal freedoms are fragile and ought not be infringed at the whim of an elected official, it seems to me.  Declaring a building a ‘no smoking’ place is one thing, but declaring a wide open outdoor expanse of many square miles a ‘no smoking’ place seems another thing entirely.  At $13 bucks a pack, that is nearly such a declaration for the residents of NYC.  Is the next step the outlawing of ordering cigarettes by residents illegal, as well?  Will cigar shops where people can smoke the cigar of their choice become the center of all smoking activity?

Alcohol is a product that is also not good for people if consumed in too large an amount.  Will de Blasio arbitrarily raise those prices, as well?  I doubt that will occur.  He knows he’d be ‘un-elected’ for sure if he used price-fixing to cut down on alcohol consumption.  Price-fixing is exactly what this amounts to and the use of that ‘tool’ to change habits seems to set a dangerous precedent from where I sit.

The ‘nanny state’ thrives in NYC.

Most Conservative Cities…

The Pew Research Center has built a list of the most conservative cities in America and that, then, obviously also is a list of the least conservative cities in America.  The findings of this study, that was conducted by two professors, one each from MIT and UCLA, was published in the American Political Science Review.

Factors used to achieve these rankings included tax burden, spending per capita of the governments, the share of taxes raised through property vs. sales taxes and the resident’s views on environmental policies (greenhouse gasses, recycling, solar power and so on), minimum wage, immigration policies (“sanctuary cities”), gun control, universal health care, abortion and LGBT rights.  It is found at http://www.westernjournalism.com.

The scale of this study began with a midpoint of zero and extended to 0.5 and 1.0 in both directions from the midpoint achieving the most liberal at the leftmost point and the most conservative at the rightmost point.  A total of 67 cities were included and 11 (16.4%) were on the conservative side of the grid, 2 were in the exact center and 54 (80.6%) were on the liberal side of the spectrum.

The conservative cities in descending order of conservatism were Mesa, AZ, Oklahoma City, OK, Virginia Beach, VA, Colorado Springs, CO, Jacksonville, FL, Arlington, TX, Anaheim, CA, Omaha, NE, Tulsa, OK, Aurora, CO, and Anchorage, AK.

The two cities deemed to be at the midpoint were Fort Worth, TX, and Fresno, CA.

The most liberal to the least liberal cities:

San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Seattle, Oakland, Boston, Minneapolis, Detroit, New York, Buffalo, Baltimore, Chicago, Portland, St. Paul, Austin, TX, St. Louis, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Denver, Newark, Atlanta, Miami, Cleveland, Kansas City, Honolulu, San Diego, Memphis, Sacramento, San Jose, Raleigh, Long Beach, Milwaukee, Columbus, Dallas, Albuquerque, Tucson, Cincinnati, Santa Ana, Houston, Toledo, Charlotte, Tampa, Indianapolis, Louisville, El Paso, Riverside, Lexington, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Wichita, Nashville, San Antonio, and Corpus Christi.

San Francisco is rated to be twice as liberal as Mesa is conservative.

Mesa taxed $390 per capita and spent $1,418 per capita while San Francisco taxed $2,996 per capita and spent $6,301 per capita.  Mesa has no property taxes and has corporations like Apple, and Boeing in its world.

Interestingly enough, the survey found that even the most conservative cities “are not that conservative relative to the average American.

Conservatives may often feel in the minority, but this study seems to be saying that we are a much stronger political voice than would be apparent.

If you’re looking to find a place where conservatives seem to be more dominant, Mesa might be it, but the county in which it is found is growing quite rapidly.  The common thought would be that those being added would be like-minded citizens attracted by the conservative values.

Living in a Milwaukee suburb, I can attest to the fact that we suburbanites appear to be more conservative than liberal according to our voting patterns and our governing bodies.

Sort of heavy reading, but I thought it interesting enough to publish.

The WALL…

I suspect this title almost immediately made you think of the border between Mexico and the United States, and that was my intent.  There are probably more positions than just two…build or don’t build… which is fairly simplistic in that this does not look at all the shades of gray that exist in the argument about a WALL.

If you wish to go deeper into this issue, you can go to the Brookings.edu website where you’ll find a lengthy essay attributed to Vanda Felbab-Brown containing the various statistics and her takeaways from discussions with Mexicans on both sides of the border between our two countries as well as other research.  This struck me as left-leaning but there are valuable pieces to be found.  This is not as simple an issue as some would have us believe no matter our individual positions on this issue.

The United States does have a problem with illegals entering across our border with Mexico.  Those illegals are not entirely Mexican since there is a solid business of ‘smuggling’ different foreign nationals and illegal drugs across, or under, our Southern border.  We do not get the Mexican government’s total support in the effort to contain the problem.  Illegals in the U.S. often are supporting their families left behind when they came to the U.S. seeking a better life.  And many businesses rely on that population for their labor needs.  The American dairy farm industry might be a good example of where some can be found.

There are a number of jobs that Americans simply will not consider working at given conditions, pay, and what is thought of people working in those conditions.  Illegals are a good source for these businesses.  That is not to say that automatically every person working in a junk yard or in a massive dairy farming operation is an illegal resident.

The porous border lends itself to the smuggling of dangerous drugs into our country.  The Wall, as currently envisioned would extend to a depth of 6 feet in the ground to prevent people from tunneling their way into the country.  Yet, this article shows pictures of tunnels with lighting, etc. that are buried 70 feet beneath the surface.

I again remind people that we have another potentially very porous border on our North between the U.S. and Canada.  There is no Wall and there are any number of places where one can simply walk across the border unseen.

There is another issue intertwined with the border argument.  That is the issue of people from the Middle East who desire to come to the United States.  Whether legal or illegal, many of these immigrants are of the Muslim faith.  Not all Muslims are to be seen as suspect, BUT there are Muslims whose virtually singular reason for being here is to cause trouble leading to mass hysteria and the further intrusion into our society.  Minneapolis has attracted a significant Muslim population which makes me a little suspicious of our porous Northen border.

I do not believe we were properly vetting immigrants even if they came into our country through legal pathways.  We have seen the results in Southern California.  I fear we could see similar results in Minnesota, and that is just across the Mississippi river from my home state of Wisconsin.  Once in the United States, there are no state-by-state border checkpoints.  We are free to travel anywhere we desire and there are no inspection points anywhere in those journeys unless we violate some law and are stopped as the result.

We could be seen as ‘easy pickings’ because we are.  Once in our country, safe passage is almost assured unless a law is broken and officials intervene.  We tend to focus on foreign threats when there are, in my opinion, no doubt domestic threats we’ve simply not yet seen come to fruition.

So, back to the Wall.  Maybe that is, today, extreme on our Northern border but there is ample need for a more secure Southern border.  That has been proved time and again.  The old saw, fool me once shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me, ought to be taken more seriously then it seems we do today.

We are accustomed to feeling safe, and it is great that we can feel safe.  But, ‘safe’ comes at a price these days and I fear we’re not yet sufficiently cognizant of that fact.  Maybe the Wall could be augmented by more drones or simple manned aerial patrols even though that would not put an end to underground crossings.  We worry, rightfully, about some elements of our population such as those who tore up Charlottesville, but there are other elements about which our concern levels ought to be increased…officially by law enforcement and unofficially by us citizens.

Democrats In Waiting…

The names of two Democrats are already in play as potential presidential candidates in 2020.  If these two are the Dems’ ‘cream of the crop’, they seem bereft of talent.  There are also two more who might gain attention.

The two names being bandied about are those of Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).  Others in the rumor mill are Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and former VP, Joe Biden.  A Franken aide has advised that Franken shouldn’t be in this discussion since he is very happy to be in the U.S. Senate, for whatever that is worth.

Franken matriculated through ‘Saturday Night Live’ and that seemingly for the Democrats is a claim to fame worthy of consideration as their pick to go against the Republican’s candidate, presumably sitting President Donald Trump.  I say presumably since there is a lot of time left before such declarations and we know that President Trump can be a bit unpredictable.  I voted for him and I’d vote for him again based on what I’ve seen to this point.

Sen. Warren has been given the nickname ‘Pocahontas’ given her claim to having American Indian blood many times removed.  She has been proved a potentially nasty enemy so far in her time in the Senate.  Joe Biden, Uncle Joe, is probably the most loveable Democrat who could be placed into nomination, although his name has not been mentioned to this point.

If President Trump runs for a second term, and if the Dems pick what they believe to be is a person who can stand toe-to-toe and exchange punches with President Trump, of one thing we can be certain; this will be a nasty campaign from the start and can only get worse over the long pull.  The one thing that could change this equation, in my opinion, would be a very ‘Presidential’ Donald Trump who refuses to rise to the bait, and instead, takes the high road from start to finish.

A more mellow Trump with the benefit of four years of experience might be a very tough player.  If, and that is always a big IF, we have had a good, solid first term with any President, we seem more inclined to go with the known quantity rather than to embark on a new adventure.  Even President Obama was re-elected.

If the Dems feel they have to have a nasty, snarling, petulant candidate to be equal to or have the advantage over President Trump, I would be expectant of that backfiring on them.  That, of course, presumes that President Trump would remain above the fray and that, admittedly, would be a reach for the Donald Trump we know today.  The Oval Office seems to have an effect on each person who occupies that office.  There seems a maturation combined with a mellowing which would, in my estimation, make President Trump a tough person to evict.

All this is, of course, conjecture.  If the Dems see a Franken or a Warren or a Sanders as their best shot, I think there’ll be a very interesting race ahead.  Uncle Joe might be a problem given his likeability.

This, of course, presumes that the Dems will not have managed to impeach President Trump during his first term.  There is still plenty of time to saddle that pony and they’d love to be able to hang that on him, win or lose.

This has only just begun and it is already a bit tiring.  A perpetual campaign mode is just that…tiring.

Phoenix Rolls Over…

The Phoenix Police Chief, Jeri Williams, had a private meeting with a leftist group (People Power), according to Judicial Watch and then a few weeks later Phoenix implemented an order banning police from making contact with the Feds when they apprehend an illegal alien.

Going further, the former term “illegal alien” has now been purified to “unlawfully present”.  Isn’t that sweet?  This follows the election of a new Sheriff for Maricopa County who reportedly has been releasing hundreds of criminal illegal aliens (unlawfully present, obviously).

People Power was formed by the ACLU in what it said was a direct response to the “Trump administration’s attacks on civil liberties and civil rights”.

It is way past time for these “Sanctuary  Cities” to be nailed by the Feds and some of that is occurring but way too little and way too late.  People are either here legally, permanent or temporary, or they are illegal.   There is no gray area.  There is no ‘test of time’ without a record of violence or criminal activity.  Illegal aliens are, by definition, illegal.  Unless or until they have become lawful citizens or the law is changed retroactively, they remain illegal and have no rights as a citizen of the United States has.

There is nothing confusing about this.  You are here legally or not.  You are a citizen or you aren’t.  The hodge-podge of liberally-aligned ‘sanctuary’ cities are acting illegally and they need to be punished by more than a slap on the fingers.  I wonder, how long will it be before illegal aliens are given the right to vote by cities and/or states?

Those communities need to be reminded with great emphasis that they are not free to permit federal laws to be trampled by declaring themselves to be “sanctuaries” as if they are a church in medieval times sheltering people who were worshipping.  These enabling units of government, that do not have the power they assume when declaring themselves “Sanctuary Cities”, need to be severely and quickly punished.  The states that permit this to occur, and actually encourage it to go forward, need to be unplugged from the Federal teat until they come to understand they are violating the law and that there is a price to pay for that.

This is nothing short of anarchy.  The former Sheriff, Joe Arpaio, paid the price for observing the law.  His sworn duty was to uphold the law.  He met up with a Federal Court Judge who saw things differently and he awaits the results having been found guilty of criminal contempt.  There is the potential that he’ll be awarded a Presidential pardon but that has not yet occurred.

This is, fortunately, or unfortunately, yet another example of the philosophic differences between liberals and conservatives.  On the one hand, there is a ‘touchy/feely’ approach to governing.  On the other hand, there is a constitutionally authorized and delineated approach to governing.  I have no idea how long it will take for a ‘sanctuary city’ issue to make its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, but, at the moment, it seems this will be the only way to resolve this head-to-head confrontation unless Congress steps up to the plate which will be a real surprise if it should occur.

The liberals have effectively taken over various segments of government and there are too many liberal judges to rely on the courts to resolve this constitutional challenge.  Lives are being affected for the better or worse when laws are ignored/broken.

Citizenship should not be up to the definition-of-the-day like soup on a menu board.  Judges who violate the Constitution ought to pay the price for that violation just as any citizen would.  Judges are not immune even though they might think they are simply testing the bounds of acceptability.  This issue needs to go to the U.S. Supreme Court quickly.  Quickly in that world, however, is usually measured in years and not months.