UCSD Students Seek Official Condemnation of Pro-Holocaust Statement

A Muslim student’s shocking support for a second Holocaust has prompted a petition drive to have the chancellor condemn the hate speech.

by Aaron Elias

David Horowitz: “I am a Jew. The head of Hezbollah has said that he hopes that we will gather in Israel so he doesn’t have to hunt us down globally. … For it or against it?”

Jumanah Albahri: “For it.”

On May 10, 2010, Jumanah Albahri, an ex-officer of the Muslim Student Association (MSA) at the University of California-San Diego (UCSD), admitted during an event put on by Young Americans for Freedom and featuring David Horowitz as a speaker, that she supported a second Holocaust. During the exchange, Albahri also refused to condemn Hamas as a genocidal organization. This chilling exchange has by now made headlines around the country.

Albahri’s blatant support for genocide has sparked a backlash, prompting students to try and get the UC chancellors to condemn her remarks as inflammatory hate speech. The movement has taken the form of a petition directed at UCSD Chancellor Marye Anne Fox. (The petition originated in a Facebook group named “Condemn UCSD MSA’s ex-Officer for Supporting 2nd Holocaust.”

Begun on May 13, the group has, in the course of a few days, swelled to nearly 600 members. It provides updates on the situation, including the press releases and statements released by the UCSD MSA, Chancellor Fox, and Albahri herself. Most importantly, of course, it provides a link to the petition asking Chancellor Fox (and potentially the other UC chancellors) to directly condemn Albahri’s pro-Holocaust statement.

On May 15, in a half-hearted damage control scramble, the UCSD MSA released a statement denouncing “all groups or organizations, whether state or non-state actors, who target civilians or target a civilian population to impose collective punishment.” The statement is very vague and non-committal, and does not even mention the incident or the people that elicited it. It then goes into an anti-Israel diatribe and a quote from Malcom X that is totally irrelevant to the situation in question. It is, for all intents and purposes, utterly meaningless.

Albahri, on May 16, released a statement via a new blog she set up titled “For Truth, For Justice, For Peace.” In her statement, Albahri attacks Horowitz as a “seasoned polemicist” who avoided her initial (and irrelevant) question and accuses him of turning the conversation around on her, which, of course, is something one must expect when leaping into these types of discussions. Albahri writes:

Towards the end of the exchange, I became emotional. I could no longer hear Mr. Horowitz speaking and so did not even hear his injection of Hezbollah’s credo of “rounding up” Jews in his last tangent. I could no longer contain my anger at being implicitly and improperly labeled a terrorist, an anti-Semite, and a proponent of genocide. The answer I was coerced into giving grossly misrepresented my beliefs and ideologies.

My answer, “for it,” in the context in which it was said does NOT mean “for” genocide. I was referring to his initial question that asked me for my position on Hamas, a topic that for his own political reasons he was relentless in pursuing. “For it” was not a legitimization of Hezbollah’s or anyone else’s credo for that matter that Jews should be exterminated. In fact, Mr. Horowitz’s intent was to entrap me with his barrage of questions so that he could avoid answering my question, and construe any answer that I would provide as anti-Semitic, genocidal hate speech in order to further his political agenda.

As everyone might have expected, and is sadly typical of the anti-Israel party, Albahri attempted to contort the situation in order to victimize herself. She seeks to turn the matter of supporting genocide into a complicated and multifaceted topic, when in reality it is one of the rare aspects of life that is black and white; you are either for or against it. There is no middle ground.

The claim that Horowitz emotionally abused Albahri is being trumpeted by the so-called “pro-Palestinians,” who have so far only defended and excused Albahri instead of condemning her flagrant support for genocide. And if that’s not enough, Albahri goes on to admit her own ignorance about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as well as expose her own hypocrisy about her support for Hamas:

In addition, Mr. Horowitz asked me to condemn Hamas as a genocidal organization; which to my limited knowledge on the subject, is another unsupported claim made by Mr. Horowitz.

My opinion of Hamas is not as simple as condemn or condone, “for it” or “against it.” I firmly believe that the killing of civilians … is one of the highest crimes in the eyes of God and is morally reprehensible and abhorrent. But I condone Hamas in its ambition to liberate the Palestinian people.

Albahri admits to her own “limited knowledge” while at the same time refuting the claim that Hamas is a genocidal organization. Any simpleton who has ever taken the time to read the Hamas charter or simply research the organization will find numerous statements within the charter blatantly propagating the extermination of Jews everywhere. Clearly, Albahri has yet to perform sufficient research on the conflict to be considered anything in the way of an informed participant. This begs a couple questions: Why did she think herself capable of standing up to David Horowitz, someone with much more experience and knowledge on the subject? Was it Albahri’s way of playing into the rebel stereotype, of standing up to authority despite her lack of credibility of which she is clearly unaware?

As for Albahri’s support of Hamas, she explicitly condemns the murder of innocent civilians and even alludes (barely) to the idea that Hamas is guilty of this. In her own words, killing civilians “is one of the highest crimes of God.” Wouldn’t it then follow that an organization that engages in criminal activity is, by logical extension, a criminal organization? One cannot say the mafia is not a criminal organization when it is plainly guilty of murder and theft. Likewise, Albahri, by her own logic, cannot say that Hamas is not a criminal organization when they engage in what she describes as “one of the highest crimes of God.” But I suppose such logical fallacies matter very little to her.

Albahri, for all her apparent passion for the Palestinian cause, is blind to her own hypocrisy and ignorance. This is true of most bandwagon Muslim radicals and anti-Israelis. While I doubt the sincerity of Albahri’s “apology,” the sincerity of her pro-genocide comment does not matter. Propagation of genocide has absolutely no place in our society, much less in our schools.

This is not acceptable, and it will be stopped. Please sign the petition to UCSD Chancellor Fox today.

Aaron Elias is a student at University of California Irvine. He writes for the campus’ New University newspaper and blogs at The Wayward Infidel.

NKorea warns of war if punished for ship sinking


SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – Tensions deepened Thursday on the Korean peninsula as South Korea accused North Korea of firing a torpedo that sank a naval warship, killing 46 sailors in the country’s worst military disaster since the Korean War.

President Lee Myung-bak vowed “stern action” for the provocation following the release of long-awaited results from a multinational investigation into the March 26 sinking near the Koreas’ tense maritime border. North Korea, reacting swiftly, called the results a fabrication, and warned that any retaliation would trigger war. It continued to deny involvement in the sinking of the warship Cheonan.

“If the (South Korean) enemies try to deal any retaliation or punishment, or if they try sanctions or a strike on us …. we will answer to this with all-out war,” Col. Pak In Ho of North Korea’s navy told broadcaster APTN in an exclusive interview in Pyongyang.

An international civilian-military investigation team said evidence overwhelmingly proves a North Korean submarine fired a homing torpedo that caused a massive underwater blast that tore the Cheonan apart. Fifty-eight sailors were rescued from the frigid Yellow Sea waters, but 46 perished.

Since the 1950-53 war on the Korean peninsula ended in a truce rather than a peace treaty, the two Koreas remain locked in a state of war and divided by the world’s most heavily armed border.

The truce prevents Seoul from waging a unilateral military attack.

However, South Korea and the U.S., which has 28,500 troops on the peninsula, could hold joint military exercises in a show of force, said Daniel Pinkston, a Seoul-based analyst for the International Crisis Group think tank.

South Korean and U.S. officials also said they are considering a variety of options in response to the warship’s sinking, ranging from U.N. Security Council action to additional U.S. penalties.

The exchange of war rhetoric raised tensions, but the isolated communist regime – already under international pressure to cease its nuclear weapons program – often warns of dire consequences against South Korea or Washington for any punitive steps against it. Its large but decrepit military would be no match for U.S. and Korean forces.

The impoverished country is already chafing from international sanctions tightened last year in the wake of widely condemned nuclear and missile tests. U.N. sanctions currently block funding to certain officials and companies, while North Korea is barred from exporting weapons and countries are authorized to inspect North Korean ships suspected of carrying illicit cargo.

South Korea “will take resolute countermeasures against North Korea and make it admit its wrongdoings through strong international cooperation,” Lee said during a call with Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, the presidential office said. Lee convened an emergency meeting for Friday.

The White House called the sinking an unacceptable “act of aggression” that violates international law and the 1953 truce. Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama declared his support for South Korea, calling North Korea’s actions “inexcusable.”

China, North Korea’s traditional ally, called the sinking of the naval ship “unfortunate” but stopped short of backing Seoul.

Pyongyang continued its steadfast denials of involvement in the sinking.

“Our Korean People’s Army was not founded for the purpose of attacking others. We have no intention to strike others first,” Col. Pak, the naval spokesman, told APTN in the North Korean capital. “So why should we attack a ship like the Cheonan which has no relation with us, no need to strike it and we have no significance in doing so.”

North Korea’s powerful National Defense Commission warned the South against provocative acts near their border, and urged the U.S. and Japan to “act with discretion,” the state-run Korean Central News Agency said in a dispatch monitored in Seoul.

North Korea has waged a slew of attacks on South Korea since the 1950-53 fighting ended, including the 1987 downing of a South Korean airliner that killed all 115 people on board.

Pyongyang has never owned up to the attacks.

North Korea also disputes the maritime border drawn unilaterally by U.N. forces at the close of the Korean War, and the waters have been the site of several deadly naval clashes since 1999.

Detailed scientific analysis of the wreckage, as well as fragments recovered from the waters where the Cheonan went down, point to North Korea, investigators said.

The bending of the ship’s keel backs the theory that an underwater torpedo triggered a shockwave and bubble effect that tore the ship apart, the report said.

The report also cites fractures on the main deck, statements from survivors and a sentry on a nearby island, and fractures and lacerations on the remains of deceased sailors.

Pieces of the torpedo “perfectly match” the schematics of a North Korean-made torpedo Pyongyang has tried to sell abroad, chief investigator Yoon Duk-yong said.

A serial number on one fragment is consistent with markings from a North Korean torpedo that Seoul obtained years earlier, Yoon said.

“The evidence points overwhelmingly to the conclusion that the torpedo was fired by a North Korean submarine,” he said. “There is no other plausible explanation.”

At Seoul’s main train station, scores of people watched raptly as the investigator laid out the evidence against North Korea.

“I’m afraid,” said Naima Vela, 26-year-old student from Italy. “I still have a month or two to stay in Seoul and I don’t know if I should.”

Near the Demilitarized Zone, tourists peered across the border into North Korea.

“As a mother of a boy who is serving his military duty right now, I don’t want a war to break out,” Jeon Bok-soon said in Paju as she looked across the border into North Korea.

“However if (North Korea) keeps mentioning war, I think we should also show our strong military power,” she said.

Associated Press writers Matthew Lee in Washington, Jay Alabaster in Tokyo, Kelly Olsen and Claire Lee in Seoul, and Chi-Chi Zhang in Beijing contributed to this report.

How Disgraceful: Calderon and Our Own Government…

Calderon can kiss my A$$.

IT’S YOUR LAND:Fighting for the Family Farm

by: Eric Shawn

“It’s a perverse use of eminent domain,” says Brian Rainville. “There is no public good here.”

He stood on a green field, filled with alfalfa and grass, on the gentle rolling hills of his family’s Franklin, Vermont farm… just steps from the Canadian border. He says the barn dates back to 1800, and the land is on the national registry of historic places. But Brian’s family, who have been dairy farmers here since 1946, may not have the land much longer. The United States Government says it needs 4.9 acres of the family’s property to help protect national security.

The Rainville farm sits on the Morses Line border crossing, a sparsely used two lane blacktop with an aging Customs and Border Protection building that the Department of Homeland Security wants to modernize and expand. The agency plans to use stimulus funds to build a new $8 million dollar, multi-lane complex, and says it needs the nearly five acres of the Rainville’s farmland to complete it.

The Rainvilles say the project will put their farm out of business. With the farm losing money, every inch of land is needed, especially the land they use to grow hay to support their cows for the production of milk.

“We are in a good fight here,” says Brian, “This has been a good living for three generations. We are only the third family in 200 years to own the property, and the thought that our own government is going to destroy us! This has been our American dream for a century, it can’t end that way,” he says sadly.

The crossing is lightly used. Government statistics from the Customs and Border Protection agency show just over 14,800 vehicles cross the border every year. That works out to about 40 cars a day, or roughly two and a half an hour. The crossing is not even open 24 hours a day. Brian thinks it should be closed completely, and the traffic moved to larger crossings nearby. But the government is intent on upgrading the facility, which includes the small customs building built in the 1930’s, that sports a small bench with handcuffs.

“The Morses Line Port is more than seventy years old and has dilapidated infrastructure and outdated technology,” said Customs and Border Protection spokesman Rafael Lemaitre in a statement to Fox News.

“By making critical upgrades to the Port, we will meet essential Post-9/11 security and operational standards while fulfilling the economic goals of the recovery act.”

Lemaitre says the agency takes the concerns “very seriously,” and wants to “work to find a solution that balances security with the needs of the local community.”

Vermont Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy told a Senate hearing that “people have been driving back and forth on that roadway for decades,” and that the plan is “creating animosity.” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano promised to conduct a public hearing on the issue, and to “have a meeting with the community.” She also said there are efforts to reduce the amount of land her agency would need for the project, but that there is a minimum amount of land that would be needed, and “unless you do it, you might as well not do it at all,” she said.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency is beefing up crossings on both the borders of Canada and Mexico, and has received $420 million in stimulus funds for that purpose. The agency also says the project will help the local Vermont economy, by providing more than 90 jobs. The agency says “modernizing the Morses Line Port will address a critical national security need.” The goal of Homeland Security officials remains the protection of our country, and the agency insists it is working in a way to balance the local concerns with its mandate to protect the nation.

The government has offered $39,500 for the acreage, but Brian remains adamant. His 70 year old father still milks the cows, as he has since he was six years old, and his brother also works the farm. Brian, who teaches High School history and civics classes, has created the e-mail site: Saveourfarm@hotmail.com, to generate support.

“As a civics teacher, I’m astounded,” he told Fox News.”I talk to my students about a responsive government, a government that protects rights, a government that protects property. And I have a representative of my own federal government, sit down in my parents’ kitchen and tell them that the federal government sees no reason why they should keep their land?” he says angrily.

“We’ve been lied to, I’ve been misled and I’ve had enough of it,” he says defiantly. “It’s heartbreaking.”

If the government does resort to using eminent domain, Brian says “the message is we don’t care what you do, or how long you have been there. If we want it, get out of our way. And that’s not the United States of America.”

SEIU Thugs Becoming Terrorists?

by Liberty Chick

By now, you’ve probably seen the mob-scene that developed on the front lawn of the private residence of Greg Baer, deputy general counsel for corporate law at Bank of America. This was planned for some time by the SEIU as part of a larger national event, their Showdown on K Street, which was shared with National People’s Action and thousands of other activists from MoveOn.org and other left-wing groups.

Prior to the main event on K Street in Washington DC, SEIU and company made a little pit stop. According to Fortune magazine Washington editor Nina Easton, 14 busloads of riled up protesters unloaded on Baer’s private property and stormed up to his doorstep, while his teenage son was home alone. Easton is a neighbor of Baer’s and had called to check on her neighbor’s son when she heard and saw all the commotion outside. Easton writes,

“Waving signs denouncing bank “greed,” hordes of invaders poured out of 14 school buses, up Baer’s steps, and onto his front porch. As bullhorns rattled with stories of debtor calls and foreclosed homes, Baer’s teenage son Jack — alone in the house — locked himself in the bathroom. “When are they going to leave?” Jack pleaded when I called to check on him.

Baer, on his way home from a Little League game, parked his car around the corner, called the police, and made a quick calculation to leave his younger son behind while he tried to rescue his increasingly distressed teen. He made his way through a din of barked demands and insults from the activists who proudly “outed” him, and slipped through his front door.

“Excuse me,” Baer told his accusers, “I need to get into the house. I have a child who is alone in there and frightened.”

Imagine what you would have done if your child were inside that house and that mob was on your front lawn as you tried to reach him.

Amazingly, the SEIU has actually taken aim at Easton for reporting on this incident. Their defense? Easton’s husband is a Republican strategist and has a lobbyist as a client – oh, the horror! (Especially considering that the SEIU itself is also a lobbyist). In their post “Nina Easton & the Bank Lobbyists: Too Close for Comfort,” SEIU’s crack Googlers researchers break the case wide open:

“The really interesting question here is: why is Ms. Easton so angry? And why has she decided to use her position as a member of the media to air her own personal rant at the people who showed up to share their foreclosure stories?

Nina Easton’s husband’s firm has Business Roundtable as a client, a special interest group that counts giant banks like Bank of America as members.

One Google search clears it up pretty quickly. Her husband is Russell Schriefer, Republican strategist and consultant to several big corporate interest groups. In fact, her husband’s client list includes the Business Roundtable, a special interest group that counts Bank of America and other Wall Street banks among its members.

Ms. Easton’s husband used to be a corporate lobbyist himself, before he started his own consulting firm for Republican politicians and corporate interest groups like the Business Roundtable and the Chamber of Commerce. Now, according to his website, he helps garner positive media for “a wide range of corporate clients including Fortune 500 companies and national associations.”

Wow. Amazing. That kind of muckraking puts my time working at LexisNexis to shame. Perhaps I should take SEIU’s employment recruiters up on one of their recent job offers sitting in my email inbox. (really, they are hiring, and they did email…can you imagine that job interview?)

But what’s even more interesting, to use SEIU’s phrase, is the labor union’s odd relationship with its own business and advocacy partners. They specifically mention above their disdain for Business Roundtable, for their part as what they term as a Republican corporate interest group. But, just like Bank of America – which is a lender to SEIU, mortgage partner to ACORN, and is also the leading lending partner to SEIU advocacy partner, Center for Responsible Lending – one of SEIU’s own partners is also Business Roundtable.

“Today, three of the nation’s leading consumer, business and labor organizations announced that they will work together to urge action from political leaders in a partnership called Divided We Fail. AARP, Business Roundtable and SEIU will use the influence of their over 50 million combined memberships to amplify the message that attaining health and long-term financial security is vital for all Americans and these issues must be included in the national political debate.

Divided We Fail is a national effort designed to engage the American people, elected officials and the business community to find broad-based, bi-partisan solutions to the most compelling domestic issues facing the nation – health care and the long-term financial security of Americans.”

Ouch, talk about biting the hand that feeds you.

The current circumstances are also rather interesting because recently, Tea Party and 912 Project groups have been protesting Bank of America, too. For SUPPORTING the financial regulatory reform bill currently in Congress. You know, the one that Big Labor is supporting with Democrats – the one that proposes the big banks and government spy on your bank accounts and report your loan info to a big government database for all to see? Yeah, that bill. Bank of America lobbyists have been busy lobbying Democrats and donating money to Democrats.

I think the folks at SEIU may be a bit confused over there – first they storm private property and intimidate a teenage child, then they bite the hands that feed them, and they overlook all the money flowing into the Democratic coffers on this bill and selectively go after only seemingly Republican targets. Only, their targets aren’t Republican at all. This one in particular – definitely not a Republican, as Easton describes Baer:

“Instead, a friendly Huffington Post blogger showed up, narrowcasting coverage to the union’s leftist base. The rest of the message these protesters brought was personal-aimed at frightening Baer and his family, not influencing a broader public.

Of course, HuffPost readers responding to the coverage assumed that Baer was an evil former Bush official. He’s not. A lifelong Democrat, Baer worked for the Clinton Treasury Department, and his wife, Shirley Sagawa, author of the book The American Way to Change and a former adviser to Hillary Clinton, is a prominent national service advocate.”

Just imagine if the union of We the People mobilized its own protests to put a stop to the tactics of domestic terrorism of today’s leftist unions.


Also be sure to catch this related post from LaborUnionReport titled “The SEIU, the NPA & Organized, Premeditated Intimidation“.
The really interesting question here is: why is Ms. Easton so angry? And why has she decided to use her position as a member of the media to air her own personal rant at the people who showed up to share their foreclosure stories?

Nina Easton’s husband’s firm has Business Roundtable as a client, a special interest group that counts giant banks like Bank of America as members.

One Google search clears it up pretty quickly. Her husband is Russell Schriefer, Republican strategist and consultant to several big corporate interest groups. In fact, her husband’s client list includes the Business Roundtable, a special interest group that counts Bank of America and other Wall Street banks among its members.

Ms. Easton’s husband used to be a corporate lobbyist himself, before he started his own consulting firm for Republican politicians and corporate interest groups like the Business Roundtable and the Chamber of Commerce. Now, according to his website, he helps garner positive media for “a wide range of corporate clients including Fortune 500 companies and national associations.”

‘Everybody Draw Mohammed’ Page Briefly Vanishes Due to Facebook Glitch–Censorship?


By Joshua Rhett Miller- FOXNews.com

The original “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!” Facebook page — with more than 80,000 followers — vanished briefly from the website Thursday, causing some users to accuse the social networking giant of censorship before the controversial page reappeared on the site.

Facebook officials said a “small technical issue” prevented users from accessing the page for a “very short period” of time.

“Once alerted to the problem, we resolved it as quickly as possible,” the company said in a statement to FoxNews.com. “We want Facebook to be a place where people can openly discuss issues and express their views, while respecting the rights and feelings of others.”

The creator of a sister page dedicated to the campaign, meanwhile, said she has received roughly 1,500 images of the Prophet Muhammad via e-mail or through her page, which had nearly 9,000 followers as of early Thursday, the unofficial day for the “Draw Muhammad” protest.

Mimi Sulpovar said she’s received numerous death threats since she started the page on April 22 to protest what she calls the “manifestation of gradual silencing and subjugation” of free speech rights in the name of political correctness.

“There are death threats, but none of them are specific,” she said. “Nobody knows where I live or how to find me.”

Sulpovar said she will consider reporting the threats to local law enforcement authorities if they become more detailed.

“It’s generalized, like ‘We’re going to find you and kill you’ sort of thing,” she said. “At this point, it’s like throwing death threats to the moon.”

Sulpovar said traffic to her page had increased so much that she was having trouble moderating the comments.

“I can’t keep up anymore,” she said. “The activity on the site now is crazy.”

The brief disappearance of the original page Thursday morning led users to create a “back up” group page. While some users of the new page posted images of Muhammad as a caped superhero and atop a camel named “George Clooney,” others took out their anger at Facebook, accusing it of censorship.

“It’s pathetic that Facebook have taken the other page down!” one posting read. “We need to do something REALLY epic now to show them that censoring our freedom of speech is UNACCEPTABLE!”

Other users said they weren’t surprised that it was gone, given the “messages of hate” found there.

“I am so very disappointed in Facebook, but I am not surprised given the messages of hate that appeared on both sides on this wall,” one posting read. “Perhaps if we try to keep it clean this time, the page can survive?”

The online campaign that began as a cartoonist’s call to action against censorship — an open invitation to submit caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad — also led to a court order in Pakistan to temporarily block parts of the website, and a call for a boycott of Facebook to protest what Muslims believe is blasphemy.

A company spokeswoman told FoxNews.com on Wednesday that Facebook was “disappointed” by a Pakistani court’s decision to block some of the pages.

“We are very disappointed with the Pakistani Courts’ decision to block Facebook without warning, and suspect our users there feel the same way,” the statement read. “We are analyzing the situation and the legal considerations, and will take appropriate action, which may include making this content inaccessible to users in Pakistan.”

“Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!” began last month as the brainchild of a Seattle-based cartoonist named Molly Norris, who said she was appalled by Comedy Central’s decision to censor an episode of “South Park” that depicted Muhammad in a bear costume.

As a way to protest the network’s decision — which came after an Islamic extremist website warned of retaliation against the show’s creators, Matt Stone and Trey Parker — Norris declared May 20 “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!” — and her efforts quickly went viral, spawning several Facebook pages with thousands of followers dedicated to the event.

They also prompted a “protest” movement by thousands of other Facebook users opposed to it. As of early Thursday, more than 82,000 Facebook users associated themselves to the original page dedicated to the event, and Sulpovar’s page was “liked” by more than 9,000 users. More than 96,000 users, meanwhile, have joined a Facebook page opposing it.

“We tried our level best to have a healthy discussion on this page about this controversial topic with other non-muslims on this page, but some of them were bent upon abusing Islam and Our beloved Prophet (SAW),” one posting read on the AGAINST ‘Everybody Draw Mohammed Day’ Facebook page. “So we are now banning anyone who is abusing our prophet on this page and in future anyone who will abuse on [this] page will be shown zero tolerance.”

Other members of the group against the campaign asked users to boycott Facebook on Thursday and to post a graphic in their status update urging others to do the same.


Calderon Criticism of Arizona Law Overlooks Mexico’s Tough Immigration Policy


Mexican President Felipe Calderon has been ripping into Arizona’s immigration law as he tours Washington — while appearing to disregard the way his own country cracks down on immigrants along Mexico’s southern border.

Mexico repeatedly has been cited by human rights groups for abusing or turning a blind eye to the abuse of migrants from Central America. Until recently, Mexican law made illegal immigration a criminal offense — anyone arrested for the violation could be fined, imprisoned for up to two years and deported. Mexican lawmakers changed that in 2008 to make illegal immigration a civil violation like it is in the United States, but their law still reads an awful lot like Arizona’s.

Arizona’s policy, which Calderon derided on Wednesday as “discriminatory,” requires law enforcement to try to determine the immigration status of anyone they suspect of being an illegal immigrant — provided they are already in contact with that person. They can’t randomly stop people and demand papers and the law prohibits racial profiling.

The Mexican law also states that law enforcement officials are “required to demand that foreigners prove their legal presence in the country before attending to any issues.”

Calderon, who plans to address members of Congress Thursday morning, was facing criticism on Capitol Hill for his remarks Wednesday ahead of the State Dinner at the White House.

Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, called Calderon’s comments inappropriate.

“It’s a little bit like inviting a guest over for dinner and then having them criticize the food,” he told Fox News. Smith wrote Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday to complain that Mexican officials have “crossed the line and are interfering in the internal affairs of the United States.”

Calderon said Wednesday that his country would retain its “firm rejection” of a policy where “people that work and provide things to this nation will be treated as criminals.”

The comments came just weeks after Amnesty International issued a report claiming illegal immigrants in Mexico — typically from Central America — face abuse, rape and kidnappings, and that Mexican police do little to stop it. When illegal immigration was a criminal offense in Mexico, officials were known to seek bribes from suspects to keep them out of jail.

President Obama joined Calderon in criticizing the Arizona policy on Wednesday. He is trying to build support for a comprehensive federal immigration overhaul.

Miss USA Rima Fakih Explains Her on Stripper Pole Photos

Rima Fakih on Fox & Friends on May 20, 2010. (FOXNews.com)

Fox News:

The newly crowned Miss USA, Rima Fakih, explained on Fox & Friends Thursday why she was photographed on a stripper pole in 2007.

The photos were released by the Detroit morning radio show “Mojo in the Morning” less than 24 hours after Fakih beat out Miss Oklahoma, who lost the title after answering a question about illegal immigration.

“It wasn’t pole dancing,” Fakih said of the photos. “It was more of a … promotional event.”

“Have you ever done those pole dancing classes?” she asked the show’s hosts. “That’s what it was. My friend who was a DJ at the station said ‘Why don’t you get up there?'”

Fakih, 23, said she complied, “and a few pictures were snapped, and, of course, they don’t look the best angle as I normally [do].”

When asked how she would have answered the question posed to Miss Oklahoma, Morgan Woolard, on illegal immigration, Fakih said she would have taken a “neutral” stance, “being from a family that are immigrants to this country.”

Woolard said on the live Miss USA telecast that she thought Arizona had the right to enact a law that allowed police to ask people who they suspected to be illegal immigrants to produce proof of citizenship.

Fakih, who was born in Lebanon and immigrated when she was seven, also said she hoped her background would help her in the Miss Universe contest in August, where she will be representing the United States.

“I think [the U.S.] have the ethnic background this time [to get to the finals],” she said.

Miss USA contestants have not fared well in the pageant, and some have said they do not

Constitutionally Dangerous

by Jacob Sullum

It was bad enough when states began locking people up because of crimes they might commit in the future. Then, in 2006, Congress copied the idea, enacting a law that allows the indefinite civil commitment of federal prisoners who have completed their sentences but are deemed “sexually dangerous.”

In upholding that policy on Monday, the Supreme Court not only blessed yet another use of psychiatry to escape the safeguards of our criminal justice system by disguising punishment as treatment — it also encouraged Congress to pile one dubious assertion of power on top of another until the tottering tower is tall enough to surmount the fence erected by the Constitution.

Opponents of preventive detention for convicts who have served their time argue that it violates the right to due process, the guarantee against double jeopardy and the ban on ex post facto laws. Although a 1997 decision upholding a Kansas civil commitment law suggests the Supreme Court is not receptive to such arguments, this week’s ruling did not address them. Instead, it dealt with the question of whether the federal government, as opposed to the states, has the authority to commit “sexually dangerous” prisoners who would otherwise be released.

The seven-justice majority concluded that it does, citing the Necessary and Proper Clause, which authorizes Congress “to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution” its enumerated powers. The Court said the civil commitment law is justified by the criminal statutes under which federal prisoners are convicted, which are in turn justified by specific congressional powers.

One problem with this argument is that Congress has federalized a wide range of offenses, including many already addressed by state laws, based on thin or nonexistent constitutional pretexts. Three of the prisoners in this case, for example, were convicted of possessing child pornography, which is a federal offense when the material “has been mailed, or has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce, or … was produced using materials which have been mailed or so shipped or transported, by any means including by computer.” In other words: always.

The newly minted “hate crime” law likewise federalizes offenses based on absurdly attenuated links to interstate commerce. If a misogynist uses a knife manufactured in another state to rape a woman, that’s enough to make it a federal crime.

Even if we assume the validity of such laws, Justice Clarence Thomas notes in a dissent joined by Justice Antonin Scalia, civil commitment does not carry them into execution, as required by the Necessary and Proper Clause. The criminal statute has been fully executed at the point where someone convicted of violating it completes the sentence it prescribes, which is precisely when civil commitment takes effect.

Continued confinement, Thomas notes, “is aimed at protecting society from acts of sexual violence,” not at “‘carrying into execution’ any enumerated power.” That point is reinforced by the fact that one-fifth of the prisoners whom the government has identified as “sexually dangerous” were never convicted of a federal crime involving sexual violence. Even someone convicted of mail fraud or tax evasion could be put in this category.

Furthermore, Thomas writes, “the definition of a ‘sexually dangerous person’ … does not require the court to find that the person is likely to violate a law executing an enumerated power in the future.” The commitment law therefore is only tenuously related to federal criminal statutes, which themselves may be only tenuously related to an enumerated power.

Thomas warns that the majority’s opinion, which requires no more than a “rational” connection between a federal law and an enumerated power, “comes perilously close to transforming the Necessary and Proper Clause” into a rationale for the general police power that the Constitution reserves to the states. “The Constitution does not vest in Congress the authority to protect society from every bad act that might befall it,” he writes. Unfortunately, this will be news to most members of Congress.

Senators Press for National Guard Troops on Border

Associated Press

Frustrated lawmakers are demanding action to stem the spread of violence and drug trafficking that has spilled across the border into their states.

WASHINGTON — Homeland Security and Pentagon officials are at loggerheads over a plan to send National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border, even as President Barack Obama is pledging to bolster security there.

The Guard stalemate has festered for nearly a year, and frustrated lawmakers are demanding action to stem the spread of violence and drug trafficking that has spilled across the border into their states. The inaction raises questions about whether the White House is convinced the federally funded deployment is necessary, or whether border states will be forced to bear the costs of dispatching the Guard troops on their own.

Speaking at the White House on Wednesday with Mexican President Felipe Calderon, Obama said the U.S. is committed to standing with Mexico against the drug cartels.

“As your partner, we’ll give you the support you need to prevail,” he said, adding that through increased law enforcement on the U.S. side of the border, “we’re putting unprecedented pressure on those who traffic in drugs, guns and people.”

Fueling the discord over sending the National Guard to the border was the U.S. response to the Gulf oil spill, which has included federal authorization for deploying up to 17,000 National Guard troops.

Those costs, however, are likely to be borne by oil giant BP PLC, which leased the offshore drilling rig Deepwater Horizon that exploded off the Louisiana coast April 20, killing 11 and releasing a huge, continuing oil spill.

The oil spill notwithstanding, border state lawmakers say they need help too.

“If you’ll indulge me, we think we have another crisis on the border,” Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., told Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano at a hearing this week. “I want to know about whether you’re going to send the Guard to the border or not.”

When she tried to explain other DHS improvements along the border, McCain cut her off.

“People’s homes are being violated, and their families can’t take kids to the bus stop,” the senator fumed. “And you are very familiar with the issue, because you yourself asked for the Guard to go to the border back in 2006.”

Napolitano, a former Arizona governor, responded that the request involves the White House as well as the Pentagon and the Homeland Security Department, and is still in the interagency process. While she said she would like the decision to be made as soon as possible, she added she could not say when she would have an answer.

“We don’t have a resolution on that yet,” Air Force Gen. Gene Renuart said in an interview with The Associated Press. Renuart, who headed the U.S. Northern Command until his retirement Wednesday after 39 years of service, added that while money is a point of contention, the greater disagreement centers on what missions the National Guard would perform.

He said the discussion between the Defense and Homeland Security departments continues, and some of the requests “have evolved a bit in this interim period.” He did not provide details.

First floated last June, the idea was to use 1,500 Guard troops temporarily to supplement border patrol agents. The Pentagon and Homeland Security drafted a $225 million plan, but disagreed over who would pay for it and how the troops would be utilized.

Pentagon officials, worried about perceptions that the U.S. was militarizing the border, argued that the Guard could only be used for particular duties. Military leaders said they did not want Guard troops to screen vehicles at border points or perform any law enforcement duties, and said the program should be temporary and not tied to any existing program that could get extended.

Defense officials have said that possible missions for the Guard soldiers could include surveillance along the border, intelligence analysis, helicopter transportation support and aviation surveillance, which likely would involve unmanned aircraft.

In a letter to Obama this week, McCain and Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., said sending at least 6,000 National Guard to the border — with half focused on the Arizona portion — would immediately improve the safety of Americans there.

White House spokesman Nick Shapiro said the administration has taken a number of steps to improve security at the border, including adding more law enforcement personnel and prosecutors, and increasing cooperation with the Mexican government.

“The president is firmly committed to ensuring that our Southwest border is secure,” Shapiro said. “The administration continues to evaluate additional law enforcement options as well as the use of the National Guard, as needed, along the Southwest border.”