Arizona Passes Strict Illegal Immigration Bill

From the AP:

PHOENIX — The Arizona House on Tuesday approved a bill that would draw local communities deeper into the fight against illegal immigration despite arguments from opponents that it would do nothing to keep people safer.

House Republicans advanced the measure on a 35-21 party-line vote. The Senate approved the bill in February but must concur to changes made in the House before sending it to Gov. Jan Brewer.

Supporters celebrated the bill as a tough crackdown on illegal immigration that will protect the state from violent criminals.

Arizona’s struggling economy has driven many illegal immigrants from the state. But as the economy rebounds, “so too will the illegal immigrants — larger, stronger and more destructive than they were several years ago,” said Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills.

“We need to put this law in place now so that when the new illegal immigrants come, we’re prepared to do battle with them,” he said.

The measure would create a new state misdemeanor crime of willful failure to complete or carry an alien registration document. It would allow officers to arrest immigrants unable to show documents proving they’re legally in the country.

The proposal also would ban so-called soft immigration policies at local police agencies. It would allow people to sue if they feel a government agency has adopted a policy that hinders the enforcement of illegal immigration laws.

The provision is designed to target law enforcement policies that prevent officers from asking people about their immigration status, but opponents worry it will make victims and witnesses scared to work with police and prosecutors.

“This is a false hope for the people of Arizona. It’s a false sense of security for our neighborhoods,” said Rep. Chad Campbell, R-Phoenix.

The bill is sponsored by Sen. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, who is one of Arizona’s loudest voices opposing illegal immigration.

Tuesday’s vote demonstrated Pearce’s political power at the Legislature and underscored the pressure on Republicans to support crackdowns on illegal immigration. The measure won support from all 35 House Republicans, including a handful who said they had serious concerns with the legislation.

“This bill is filled with problems, huge problems. But more importantly it will not stem the tide of illegal immigration,” Rep. Bill Konopnicki, R-Safford, said before adding that he feels “obligated” to support the bill anyway.

Konopnicki said the best way to address illegal immigration is with fences, electronic surveillance, air support and more border patrol agents.

Pearce’s bill also tries to crack down on employment opportunities for illegal immigrants by prohibiting people from blocking traffic when they seek or offer day-labor services on street corners.

The measure also would make it illegal for people to transport illegal immigrants if the drivers of vehicles know their passengers are in the country illegally and if the transportation furthers their illegal presence in the country.

The bill is being closely watched nationally by groups on both sides of the immigration debate.

Chris Newman, legal director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, issued a statement condemning the House vote.

“Arizona has long been a laboratory for anti-immigrant experimentation, and its demagogue leaders have become folk heroes for white supremacists throughout the United States,” Newman said. “But this bill ushers in a new chapter of disgrace for the state that resisted celebrating the life of Martin Luther King.”

Arizona was one of the last states to create a holiday honoring the life of the slain civil rights leader.


An Open Letter To All Tea Party Activists

April 12, 2010

As we approach April 15th and the next round of public protests against the collectivization of our American culture by the Obama administration and Congress, I have been reflecting upon the struggle that we recently lost with the passage of the draconian health care legislation, which now moves the government another giant step forward towards becoming our totalitarian master, while at the same time destroying the very citizen rights it was charged with protecting.

We could blame our representatives in Congress for failing to actually represent the great majority of us who opposed this nationalization of the medical and insurance professions. We could point to the many cowards among them who sold out their values, their conscience, and their constituents for a few dollars or some special backroom deal. And we could certainly point to the underhanded and unconstitutional tactics that were used to completely bypass the normal legislative process in order to ram this bill down our throats. But there is another reason that we lost this battle — one for which we have to accept responsibility, acknowledge our mistakes, and correct.

When Obama and the Democrats stated that health care in America was broken and must be reformed, what was the response? The Republicans jumped right on the bandwagon, conceded that, yes indeed, health care was busted, and then proposed their own plans for its renovation. Over the next few months, my state representative sent out a series of proposals indicating that he and his fellow Republicans had at least three different and much better sets of ideas for how the government should regulate the insurance and medical professions in order to achieve far superior results to those being proposed by the Democrats. And it wasn’t just the Republicans. There were reform alternatives being proposed by everyone from conservative and libertarian think tanks to syndicated newspaper columnists, and these proposals were supported in varying degrees by bloggers, social networks, Tea Party groups, and individuals, as a better and more rational solution to the need for health care reform.

The problem with all of this was that the original assumption went unchallenged — Obama’s claim that the insurance and health care industries were, in fact, broken.

Over the course of the past year, we have learned a great many things about how we arrived at our current state of health care coverage. And the bottom line is that our system has absolutely nothing to do with how high quality, cost effective health care could and would be obtained in a competitive free market. Instead, what we have is the abominable end result of a steady stream of foolish government tax policies extending back to World War II, combined with an insane set of regulations placed upon doctors, nurses, medical practices, hospitals and insurers, causing them to act suboptimally and in a manner neither in their, nor their customer’s best interest. It is these market-distorting policies which must be eliminated if we ever wish to improve medical service and reduce costs. Yet, even when these facts have been properly identified and appropriate solutions suggested, they were always presented as an alternate solution for health care reform. And this is our mistake! It is not the medical or the insurance industries which are in need of repair. It is the government policies which cripple their normal functions that is the true source of the problem. We do not need, nor do we want any type of health care reform. What we are truly seeking is GOVERNMENT REFORM!

Words are powerful tools. We lost the battle because we allowed our opponents to frame the nature of the issue, which immediately accorded to them an undeserved legitimacy for their position, while undermining ours. Each time we spoke of health care reform, we were implicitly agreeing that the source of the problem resided somewhere within the medical and insurance arenas, and were then reduced to merely arguing about the specific details that constituted the best possible fix. And by accepting their framework, we allowed the Democrats to turn the doctors, insurers, pharmaceutical and medical device makers into scapegoats for the results of the government’s own failed policies. We had lost the fight before we began it.

Consider just how different the debate would have gone if the Republican opposition had stood up and proposed Government Reform, consisting of the elimination of all existing regulations hampering the insurance and medical industries, and reforming tax policy so that every individual enjoyed the same tax benefits for personal medical savings that had been available only to businesses. When Obama and the Democrats then called out for health care reform, we should have responded, “Hell No! It’s Government Reform that’s needed”, completely changing the nature of the debate, forcing our opponents to address the topic on our terms, and focusing the discussion on the true nature of the problem. Imagine how much more effective this approach would have been in getting other members of the public to view this subject in completely different terms.

In issue after issue, the argument remains the same. Whenever we closely examine a problem, whether it be in the area of housing, automotive, finance, education, job creation, energy production, or anything else, we discover that every attempt by the government to intervene in the economy and the lives of its citizens simply makes the problem worse. And in every case, the true solution to those problems is the same — getting government out of the way and allowing the collective wisdom of free individuals, interacting within the framework of a free market, to find creative and cost efficient solutions to their problems. The required solution in every case is Government Reform.

And there is no guesswork involved, because we already have the blueprint for Government Reform spelled out for us by our Declaration of Independence and Constitution.

The Declaration of Independence provides us with the philosophical framework establishing the primacy of the individual, with our inherent unalienable rights:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

and decrees the subservient role of government, tasked with the single purpose of protecting those rights:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the consent of the governed

The Constitution is intended to be a straitjacket placed around the federal government, strictly limiting its scope and power to a very specific set of enumerated actions — and nothing more.

Clearly, things have gone very wrong. The Supreme Court, which should have been our last and best line of defense in preserving our rights under the original intent and meaning of the Constitution, has failed us. Since we can no longer rely upon the court, it falls back to us, the sovereign citizens of the United States, to reassert our supremacy and authority over the government, which we can do at the polls by voting out every big government Democrat and Republican and replacing each of them with an entirely new breed of politician who understands the principles upon which this country was founded — individual rights and strictly limited government — and can demonstrate the integrity and courage of their conviction to go to Washington D.C. with the single-minded purpose of dismantling the behemoth and returning the three branches to their proper constitutional roles. When evaluating any candidate, be ruthless in judging their character and commitment to both economic and personal freedom. And if they fail to live up to the necessary standard, reject them and find someone else who is up to the task. The days for political compromise are over. The Herculean task of cleaning our political stables is under way.

And let us never again make the same mistake. Moving forward, we must change the nature of the political game and establish a new set of rules. No longer will we allow our opponents to frame the issues. We are setting the terms, and those terms are:

Government Reform — Constitution Style

You activists — the true American patriots within the various Tea Party organizations — are the new watchdogs and gatekeepers of our political system, standing guard to insure that from this moment on, only those with a true commitment to the original intent of the Constitution will be granted the privilege of representing us. All others need not apply.

I look forward to seeing some of you manning the front lines on April 15th.

In Liberty,

C. Jeffery Small

Are You Going To DC For The Tax Day Tea Party?

by: Derek Hunter

Are you going to Washington, DC to partake in the Tax Day Tea Party Rally this Thursday? If you are and you will be arriving on Wednesday, Big Government has a party for you!

Wednesday night starting at 6:00 pm, Big Government is co-sponsoring a happy hour for tea party activists who are coming to town for the rally. Along with other co-hosts, Americans for Prosperity, Americans for Tax Reform, The Daily Caller, Freedomworks and my group, First Friday, Big Government will be gathering at Lounge 201 on Capitol Hill near the Senate offices in Washington.


Lounge 201 is located at 201 Massachusetts Ave, NE, and the drink specials run all night. So if you’re in town, thinking about coming to town, or plan to be around, make sure you swing by the happy hour for your chance to meet and network with like-minded, freedom loving individuals for a night of relaxation before the big day.

The drinks will be cheap, the conversation will be interesting and many political celebrities and elected officials have been invited to stop by, so this could be your best shot to have a private conversation with them. And don’t miss your chance to mix and mingle with some of your favorite Big Government contributors and staff!

See you there!

Tea Parties Are Now In Canada


QUEBEC – Between 45,000 and 50,000 people organizers described as members of Quebec’s “silent majority” demonstrated peacefully Sunday in front of the National Assembly against tax hikes in the recent provincial budget.

Organizers said that number of participants assembled on the Plains of Abraham and marched along Grande Allée to the assembly, branishing brooms, mops and picket signs.

Parents with young children in strollers joined the protest, as participants called for the govenment to clean up its own spending before imposing new taxes.

The budget proposes the gradual introduction, over two years, of a 15-per-cent sales tax, after harmonization of the Quebec sales tax with the federal goods and services tax.

The first of four one-cent-a-litre increases in the fuel tax is already in effect.

The government has proposed a flat $200 charge for health care plus a $25 user fee for doctor’s visits, higher electricity and other charges.

The Rise of Anti-Semitic Violence

Muslims Fuel Rise In Anti-Semitic Incidents
by Robert Spencer

Jews worldwide are more imperiled than they have been for decades. A new study shows that worldwide incidents of anti-Semitism, from vandalism to arson and beatings, were twice as frequent in 2009 as they were in 2008.

The study, released last Sunday by Tel Aviv University’s Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Anti-Semitism and Racism, records that anti-Semitic incidents reached their highest level last year since the university started keeping these records in the 1980s.

What could be the cause of this? A global surge in neo-Nazism? Is the Ku Klux Klan conducting energetic membership drives in Western Europe, where the largest increase in anti-Semitic events occurred? No. According to the report, the increase is largely due to attacks from Muslims, who, the report says, were enraged over Israel’s Winter 2009 incursion into Gaza. The Associated Press noted that “in Western Europe, especially Britain and France … protests and anger by Muslim residents boiled over after Israel’s invasion of Gaza in December 2008.”

So presumably this “anger by Muslim residents” would not have “boiled over” if Israel had done nothing to defend itself from the regular rocket attacks coming from Gaza. The AP report goes on to suggest a further reason for this boiling over: “The Israeli invasion, launched in response to years of Palestinian rocket attacks, killed some 1,400 Palestinians, including hundreds of civilians, according to local officials and human rights groups. Thirteen Israelis also died in the fighting.”

AP makes no mention, of course, of how, during the Israeli Gaza incursion, Hamas staged attacks from civilian areas in order to provoke retaliatory fire it could use for propaganda purposes. Yet just weeks ago, the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, an Israeli research group, released a 500-page report documenting Hamas’ use of human shields and its deliberate placement of rocket launch sites near mosques and hospitals. Nothing better to stir up international indignation against the Jews than an Israeli missile hitting a hospital or house of worship—and Hamas wanted to make sure it happened.

Of course, it worked magnificently: The UN even released the “Goldstone Report,” enshrining Palestinian propaganda against Israel, including charges that Israeli forces recklessly targeted civilians as established fact. The flimsiness of this “established fact” was underscored last week when a Palestinian teenager whom Palestinian authorities had reported as having been shot by the Israelis turned up at home. He hadn’t been shot at all, but actually wandered into a weapons-smuggling tunnel that took him into Egypt, where he was briefly held by Egyptian authorities. Yet UN researcher Goldstone relied upon Palestinian sources—including, no doubt, many with the same vivid imagination—to compile his report.

The “Goldstone Report,” not coincidentally, was spearheaded by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the 56-nation group that now constitutes the UN’s largest voting bloc. The ultimate purpose of the “Goldstone Report” is to criminalize legitimate Israeli self-defense. And now the new report on anti-Semitism, however unwittingly, plays into this by attributing Muslim “boiling over” against Jews in Western Europe to rage over Gaza. It was all just a “backlash”—all the fault of the Israeli atrocities in Gaza.

Islamic anti-Semitism, with its centerpiece the deeply ingrained idea that the Jews are the worst enemies of the Muslims (as Koran 5:82 says), doesn’t seem to have been considered. The fact that the Israeli atrocities in Gaza were manufactured products of the Palestinian propaganda machine doesn’t seem to have entered in, either.

But in contrast to the Israeli war crimes in Gaza, the rise in anti-Semitism worldwide is real. The United Nations and the global human rights organizations, instead of accepting OIC-manufactured propaganda uncritically, should examine honestly and openly the ways in which imams in mosques in Europe and elsewhere are encouraging hatred of Jews, and call upon Islamic organizations around the world to clean their own house.

The study released last Sunday makes this all the more urgent, but with the increasing isolation of Israel and its ongoing bullying by Barack Obama, such a necessary reckoning is about as likely as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s converting to Judaism.

Mr. Spencer is director of Jihad Watch and author of “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)”, “The Truth About Muhammad,” “Stealth Jihad,” and most recently “The Complete Infidel’s Guide to the Koran” (all from Regnery — a HUMAN EVENTS sister company).

A Human Events Article.

Who Are The Violent Ones?

Report: Attack on Jindal Aide and Boyfriend Politically Motivated (Beaten for wearing Palin buttons)
Tuesday, April 13, 2010 | Kristinn

Allee Bautsch, chief campaign fundraiser for Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, and her boyfriend Joe Brown, were savagely beaten Friday night in New Orleans after leaving a Republican party fundraising dinner by a group of thugs who reportedly targeted the couple because they were wearing Sarah Palin pins.

Bautch’s leg was broken and Brown incurred a broken jaw and nose as well as a concussion.

The Hayride reports that a source who visited Bautsch at the hospital the day after the attack says they were told the couple was attacked for wearing Palin buttons:

Two people at the Brennan’s event have now confirmed that the protest had largely broken up by the time it ended, but we also understand from someone who visited Allee Bautsch in the hospital Saturday morning that she and Brown were followed and attacked expressly because they had Palin pins on (she heard one of the attackers say “Let’s get them, they have Palin pins on” – so the attack WAS politically motivated as its victims understood it. It was not a mugging, it was not an argument gone wrong and it was not a bar fight.

The story of a Republican and her boyfriend being viciously attacked for wearing Palin buttons has yet to make national headlines, unlike say, unfounded rumors of nasty words being said by Tea Party protesters.

Published in Free Republic.

The Upcoming Doctor Shortage

Medical Schools Can’t Keep Up


First-year resident Dr. Rachel Seay, third from left, circumcises a newborn in George Washington University Hospital’s delivery wing on March 12.

The new federal health-care law has raised the stakes for hospitals and schools already scrambling to train more doctors.

Experts warn there won’t be enough doctors to treat the millions of people newly insured under the law. At current graduation and training rates, the nation could face a shortage of as many as 150,000 doctors in the next 15 years, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

That shortfall is predicted despite a push by teaching hospitals and medical schools to boost the number of U.S. doctors, which now totals about 954,000.

The greatest demand will be for primary-care physicians. These general practitioners, internists, family physicians and pediatricians will have a larger role under the new law, coordinating care for each patient.

The U.S. has 352,908 primary-care doctors now, and the college association estimates that 45,000 more will be needed by 2020. But the number of medical-school students entering family medicine fell more than a quarter between 2002 and 2007.
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A shortage of primary-care and other physicians could mean more-limited access to health care and longer wait times for patients.

Proponents of the new health-care law say it does attempt to address the physician shortage. The law offers sweeteners to encourage more people to enter medical professions, and a 10% Medicare pay boost for primary-care doctors.

Meanwhile, a number of new medical schools have opened around the country recently. As of last October, four new medical schools enrolled a total of about 190 students, and 12 medical schools raised the enrollment of first-year students by a total of 150 slots, according to the AAMC. Some 18,000 students entered U.S. medical schools in the fall of 2009, the AAMC says.

But medical colleges and hospitals warn that these efforts will hit a big bottleneck: There is a shortage of medical resident positions. The residency is the minimum three-year period when medical-school graduates train in hospitals and clinics.

There are about 110,000 resident positions in the U.S., according to the AAMC. Teaching hospitals rely heavily on Medicare funding to pay for these slots. In 1997, Congress imposed a cap on funding for medical residencies, which hospitals say has increasingly hurt their ability to expand the number of positions.

Medicare pays $9.1 billion a year to teaching hospitals, which goes toward resident salaries and direct teaching costs, as well as the higher operating costs associated with teaching hospitals, which tend to see the sickest and most costly patients.

Doctors’ groups and medical schools had hoped that the new health-care law, passed in March, would increase the number of funded residency slots, but such a provision didn’t make it into the final bill.

“It will probably take 10 years to even make a dent into the number of doctors that we need out there,” said Atul Grover, the AAMC’s chief advocacy officer.

While doctors trained in other countries could theoretically help the primary-care shortage, they hit the same bottleneck with resident slots, because they must still complete a U.S. residency in order to get a license to practice medicine independently in the U.S. In the 2010 class of residents, some 13% of slots are filled by non-U.S. citizens who completed medical school outside the U.S.

One provision in the law attempts to address residencies. Since some residency slots go unfilled each year, the law will pool the funding for unused slots and redistribute it to other institutions, with the majority of these slots going to primary-care or general-surgery residencies. The slot redistribution, in effect, will create additional residencies, because previously unfilled positions will now be used, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
From the Archive

* Opinion: How to Fix the Doctor Shortage (01/04/10)
* Health Blog: Would Adding Residency Slots Solve the Primary-Care Shortage? (11/27/09)
* Opinion: The Coming Shortage of Doctors (11/06/09)
* Health Blog: Obama: ‘Severe Shortage’ of Primary Care Doctors (08/11/09)

Some efforts by educators are focused on boosting the number of primary-care doctors. The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences anticipates the state will need 350 more primary-care doctors in the next five years. So it raised its class size by 24 students last year, beyond the 150 previous annual admissions.

In addition, the university opened a satellite medical campus in Fayetteville to give six third-year students additional clinical-training opportunities, said Richard Wheeler, executive associate dean for academic affairs. The school asks students to commit to entering rural medicine, and the school has 73 people in the program.
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* discuss

“ As a specialist physician I will suggest that until primary care physicians can earn 70-80% of what most specialists make without killing themselves, there will be no incentive for the best and the brightest to go into primary care. ”

—Michael Brennan

“We’ve tried to make sure the attitude of students going into primary care has changed,” said Dr. Wheeler. “To make sure primary care is a respected specialty to go into.”

Montefiore Medical Center, the university hospital for Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, has 1,220 residency slots. Since the 1970s, Montefiore has encouraged residents to work a few days a week in community clinics in New York’s Bronx borough, where about 64 Montefiore residents a year care for pregnant women, deliver children and provide vaccines. There has been a slight increase in the number of residents who ask to join the program, said Peter Selwyn, chairman of Montefiore’s department of family and social medicine.

One is Justin Sanders, a 2007 graduate of the University of Vermont College of Medicine who is a second-year resident at Montefiore. In recent weeks, he has been caring for children he helped deliver. He said more doctors are needed in his area, but acknowledged that “primary-care residencies are not in the sexier end. A lot of these [specialty] fields are a lot sexier to students with high debt burdens.”

Originally posted in The Wall Street Journal on April 12, 2010.