Saturday, April 24, 2010

Arizona Immigration Law

Arizona Immigration Law Draws Ire of Sharpton, N.Y. Politicians -- Daily Intel

A number of high-profile detractors spoke out this weekend regarding Arizona’s controversial new immigration law - which would make being an undocumented immigrant in the state a crime, and allow police officers to ask anyone “suspected of being an illegal immigrant” for documentation. Rev. Al Sharpton and New York-area Hispanic leaders are planning a protest involving "civil disobedience" when the bill - which President Obama has referred to as “misguided” - goes into effect in late July or August.

"Uncle Al" is big on rhetoric when his name is not in the headline; in fact, he's especially outraged when his name is NOT in the headline.

Al has enough skeletons in his closet that a reasonable person would expect him to have clammed up years ago. But Al has come out of the closet, in the sense that the whole world already knows about his continuing story of misadventures (hint: even the leftist SLATE.COM has commented on the 1987 Tawana Brawley story, undermining Sharptons repeated assertions that "Juries are proven wrong every day".

Now Al is upset because a single state (Arizona) has passed a law stating that "Illegal Aliens are ... illegal".

What's wrong with that?

According to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, the law will " ... [require] police to question people about their immigration status — including asking for identification — if they suspect someone is in the country illegally."

For Sharpton, this will lead to "profiling". Essentially, this means that police will focus on people who look ... Hispanic.

Al has a point here. There are 'other than Hispanic' people crossing our borders every day. In order to avoid "profiling", Arizona police should ask every person they see in the streets for identification. They may be Iraqi suicide bombers.

But this is obviously too broad a population sample for local police forces to consider. Yes, an Iraqi suicide bomber is a much greater danger than a man from Oaxaca who just wants a good job picking lettuce in California.

Arizona, though, is facing a crisis. For one thing, there are so any people unlawfully crossing the border to take advantage of American domestic policies ... such as Universal Health Care ... that many hospitals in Arizona have closed their doors; they have more unpaying patients than the paying patients can carry.

A 2003 article from Front Page Magazine says:
Inside the much-celebrated Christmas present to seniors from President Bush and Congress—the $395 billion Medicare package—another stocking stuffer went largely unnoticed, one that gouges the taxpayer yet again to benefit lawbreakers. Hidden within the sweeping reforms to Medicare is a provision that would provide $1 billion in federal funds for illegal immigrant health care. The Medicare bill, which swept through Congress , promises to be a centerpiece in President Bush's re-election plans.
A 2008 article from Western Voices World News describes the plight of many states, similar in content, including Arizona:
Arizona, facing a $1 billion state budget shortfall in FY 2004 Southeast Arizona Medical Center- has filed for bankruptcy. Cochise's Copper Queen Community Hospital spends two-thirds of its operating income on uncompensated care for immigrants, a factor administrators say played a role in the hospital's decision to close its long-term care unit. University Medical Center in Tucson loses over $7 million a year caring for immigrants The five largest health care providers in Maricopa County loses over 400 million every year in uncompensated care.

U.S. Immigration Support.ORG reports that between 1990 and 2000:
[The] immigrant influx increased the total number of foreign-born residents in the state to over 650,000. According to the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare association, providing care to illegal immigrants costs Arizona hospitals approximately $150 million annually. At least one hospital in Arizona has filed for bankruptcy and is in danger of closing due to uncompensated care for undocumented immigrants. As a solution to the millions of dollars these facilities are uncompensated for hospital administrators of the University Medical Center in Tucson Arizona, are reporting uninsured immigrants who do not pay their medical bills to immigration officials. In one four-month period in 2003, UMC incurred $3.3 million in immigrants’ unpaid bills. At least three Arizona hospitals are sending bill collectors into Mexico to try to obtain payments.
The Washington Independent provided another counter-argument to the bill; this is the familiar cry "if Hispanics are victims of crimes, they will be reluctant to report to the police for fear they will be deported".

State Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, who voted against the bill, said it does nothing to target criminal and violent immigrants, instead jeopardizing the safety of Arizona communities. She brought up an interesting point: If an undocumented immigrant who is being assaulted or mistreated (think domestic violence, mistreatment of working immigrants) were to call the police to report an incident, that immigrant would be forced into custody of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and would be deported for merely reporting abuse. In fact, the abuser could sue a law enforcement office for failing to check the legal status of the victim. Sinema said this creates fear among immigrant communities and limits the ability of officers to catch real criminals.
It would be insensitive to suggest that those who are in this country without the benefit of Federal permission are "criminals", merely because they broke the law during their undocumented entry into this country. On the other hand, newspapers have reported a deluge of criminal acts (often violent) by "undocumented aliens".

How is it possible for law-enforcement personnel to determine the difference between those who unlawfully enter this country, and those who unlawfully enter this country and later commit criminal, even violently criminal acts?

If one is willing to break the law merely to be in America, doesn't that suggest a willingness to commit any other crime?

The dictionary defines the noun 'criminal' as:
"A person guilty or convicted of a crime"
The dictionary definition of the word "crime" includes:
  1. an action or an instance of negligence that is deemed injurious to the public welfare or morals or to the interests of the state and that is legally prohibited.
  2. criminal activity and those engaged in it
  3. any offense, serious wrongdoing, or sin
By this measure, entering this country without official sanction or permission is a crime. Anyone "guilty or convicted" of having done so is by definition ... a criminal.

And if you are reluctant to apply the word "guilty" without the supportive conviction ... then this law is designed specifically to find the "guilty" and allow the legal process to "convict" the guilty.

Yes, the law implies that a large number of people will be stopped and required to prove, by virtue of presenting documentation, that they have performed no unlawful act by simply being present here.

Yes, this law brings to mind the scenarios of Nazi Germany where the Gestappo stops a citizen on the streets and mildly asks: "Gif me dein papers, pliz?"

And yes, the concept of being stopped and being asked to present documents is personally repugnant to me. I deplore the necessity, and I sincerely hope that someone will suggest a less intrusive and accusatory method of winnowing the "undocumented immigrants" from lawful citizens.


Delete here a long exposition about the need for people who will "... do the jobs that Americans won't do".

Note that the unemployment rate in America today is only a fraction of the number of "undocumented immigrants", and think it through. I've been unemployed. I've looked for work ... any legal work, including harvest work (which I have done).

... Including production-line work (which I have done).

... Including minimum-wage work (which I have done).

... Including busing tables at a restaurant (which I have applied for, and was very disappointed because someone else was willing to do the job for less pay.)

In fact, the whole concept of "industry needs workers who will accept jobs for less than minimum pay" is bogus. I don't need to define the details, including students who need summer jobs (growing season) and people who have been laid off in a weak economy (O darn!)

You know as well as I do that the emergency rooms in hospitals are the first source of medical care, even something as minor as a cut or a cold, for people who don't have insurance. If they aren't able to pay ... the hospital jacks up the bill of people who CAN pay. That's you, and me, pal.

Last week I paid over $500 for emergency room charges when I had a kidney stone. That's after my "Cadillac Insurance" took care of 90% of the charges. It shouldn't cost me $2000 for an MRI ... but it does.

Sorry, I'm even disappointing myself here, but I am tired of paying for someone else's abuse of the medical system.

And I have no confidence that American National Health System will either make medical treatment more readily available to me ... even though I can pay for it ... or make it more affordable.

The effort to weed out the illegals who are a nonpaying burden on the health system has to stop somewhere.

The influence on medical care is just the most obvious effect of "undocumented migration".

But it's the influence which hits us all directly on the economy, and especially on those states which are closest to our Southern border.

If those border states find it necessary to enact draconian measures, I don't think that Al Sharpton is the most legitimate critic.

I don't much care for the opinion of an east-coast liberal swindler who has made a career out of playing the race card.

Monday, April 19, 2010

"The Second Amendment is a Doomsday Provision"

The Smallest Minority

Catching up with Kevin's immaculate philosophy, I note this screed with extended quotes by eminent jurors discussing constitutional 'interpretations' by the courts, cabbages, and kings.

Long article, worth taking the time to read it.

I highly recommend it, if only for this passage:

My excellent colleagues have forgotten these bitter lessons of history. The prospect of tyranny may not grab the headlines the way vivid stories of gun crime routinely do. But few saw the Third Reich coming until it was too late. The Second Amendment is a doomsday provision, one designed for those exceptionally rare circumstances where all other rights have failed - where the government refuses to stand for reelection and silences those who protest; where courts have lost the courage to oppose, or can find no one to enforce their decrees. However improbable these contingencies may seem today, facing them unprepared is a mistake a free people get to make only once.

But of course, there's more, much more. Including extended comments by Justice Scalia.

I know. It makes you just lick your lips in anticipation, doesn't it?

Go ahead, read the whole thing. You know you wanna.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Seven States Now Challenge Federal Gun Laws

"States exempting guns from rules now number 7"

On April 8, 2010, media sources reported that Idaho joined the list of states proposing which have enacted laws to the effect that firearms made, sold and kept within the boundaries of their state are and should be exempt from federal regulations. (Idaho House bill 589, as amended in the Senate)

(The other six states include Montana, Tennessee, Wyoming, South Dakota, Utah and Arizona.)

This is a "States' Rights" challenge to Federal authority which the federal government can not ignore much longer.

Here's a map showing the status of states which have, or have not, addressed the issue within their legislatures:

Inderpendent States Map

You will note that Oregon is [sigh] one of the minority states which has, so far, not even voiced an intention to introduce this kind of state law.

I am so sick of the liberal twist to my state's political thought. Please note that this liberal mind-set is driven by the 4 major population centers of the state. Most rural counties are decidedly more conservative and independent where liberal universities and welfare-state plebes don't drive "majority rule" agendas. See a recent projection of Oregon political demographics here. (Note that the colors may be misleading, so please read the text carefully to promote full understanding of each of the representative areas.)

via The Smallest Minority, Arizona has joined the small (3) list of states which now allow "Vermont Carry".

Note to "Progressives": This is REAL Progress!

Campus Carry

Weapons grade: Students fight to pack heat

Unfortunately I was not aware of this before last Friday, but last week was Empty Holster week on college campuses all over America. (Not here in Oregon; instead, students simulated celebrating the event by spending their spare time in a "T.A.G." simulation called "Humans VS Zombies" (HVZ).

That must be a step in the right direction.

The only thing I got out of the event was this poster:

I posted this on the interior wall of my cell cubicle at the office. I wanted to make a statement, but I didn't want to offend anyone.

I guess that I just made a statement about myself, didn't I?

Anyway, I managed to miss the opportunity to wear an empty holster on campus, just as I did in 2007 and 2008.

(I didn't even mention it in 2009, or at least I can't find a reference to the event in my archives from last year. If it means anything, at least I noticed it this year ... even though I didn't get around to writing about it until it was over. Hmmmmm ... Emmerson said that "consistency is the hobgoblin of petty minds". This article is becoming even more revealing than I had ever expected. Perhaps I should move on to a safer topic?)

But before I do, I note that according to the Denver Post, on April 15, 2010, a Colorado court revived a suit seeking to allow guns on Colorado University campus.

The Colorado Court of Appeals ruled Thursday in favor of a group seeking to allow students with concealed gun permits to carry their weapons on campus.

Students for Concealed Carry on Campus had argued that a 1994 University of Colorado policy banning concealed weapons violated state gun laws, particularly the Concealed Carry Act of 2003.

The ruling revives a lawsuit that a judge dismissed last year and could affect other Colorado campuses. Colorado State University approved a campus weapons ban similar to CU's in February.

CU is considering an appeal to the Colorado Supreme Court, university spokesman Ken McConnellogue said.

CSU spokeswoman Michele McKinney said the university is reviewing the court decision, too.

SCCC and Rocky Mountain Gun Owners filed a complaint Wednesday against CSU in Larimer County District Court, saying the ruling clears the way to overturn weapons bans.

Dudley Brown, executive director of RMGO, said in statement Thursday, "CSU's ban only had one legitimate leg to stand on, and now even that's gone."

The article also mentioned that:
Many college campuses nationwide ban concealed weapons, but gun-rights advocates say gun-free campuses make students vulnerable to attack. Currently, 26 states ban concealed weapons on any school property. Twenty-three states, including Colorado, allow individual campuses to decide.
Which takes us right back to the poster, so prominently displayed above.

(If you want your own copy of the poster, which prints so nicely on an 8-1/2" x 11" sheet of paper, see the original WND article here.)

ARPC in April, 2010

The April match at the Albany Rifle and Pistol Club (ARPC) was typified by unseasonable WONDERFUL weather in the Pacific NorthWet!

It has taken me a week and more to sift through the videos that I filmed there, and I apologize for the delay. But for me, it was worth the wait.

(The scores from the match may be found here.)

For this match, I chose to illustrate the videos with the "Rock Opera" music of Andrew Lloyd Wright, and thus it is only fitting that Stage 1 of the match be represented by Mark "The Rock" shooting the stage named "Don't Be A Rookie", with "Music Of The Night" (from Phantom Of The Opera) in the background.

Stage 2 "Peeping Mike": is little bit controversial.

First, the stage featured 2 plates -- one on each side of the starting position -- which were demonstrably 10 yards from the closest legal shooting position. But due to the arrangement of the bay, were less than 10 yards from the closest viewpoint of the observers. The consequence of which is that bounce-back bullets sometimes hit observers. I was hit twice: once on the ring-finger of my right hand, when I was working as the Score-Keeper and I inadvertently was standing to the right of the Range Officer. I was hit and again later, when I was watching from a position slightly behind and to the right of the then-officiating score-keeper. Someone started stacking up bullets which had been bounced from the right-hand plate. The last time I noticed, there were eight bullets lined up on the stage counter. I can't say that all of them had ricocheted from the right-hand plate during the time when our squad was shooting.

This is a cautionary note: steel targets must not only be placed at least 10 yards from the shooter, but also at least ten yards from the nearest position where the observers (other squad-members) might position themselves.

The second controversy is that The Hobo Brasser (the second shooter in this video) scored two misses on the farthest-downrange, farthest-right target. In the video, this is the last target he engages. Note that the targets were placed immediately adjacent to two stacked plastic barrels, which typically "eat bullets". The shooter claimed that "the gun didn't move between shots", and the video seems to confirm his assertion. I offer no further comment on this point.

This stage is scored by the music "Tell Me On A Sunday", by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Stage 3: "Outpost"
This was a wonderful 'field course' with only a few options for when and where you would engage individual targets, but with two moving targets (both initiated by knocking down Pepper Poppers) there was plenty of room for individuality.

Note that there were some problems, at least in our squad, because the awkward angles between the Pepper Poppers and the moving targets (bobbers) which they initiated were sometimes compromised. We didn't always set them up correctly when resetting the stage between competitors, so there were a few reshoots.

Still, it was a well designed stage and it allowed the better -- or more experienced -- shooters to choose the best place to engage moving targets, according to their individual strengths. Because one bobber was inconveniently sited behind plastic barrels, some of the newer shooters succumbed to the temptation to engage the first bobber from the "guard shack". Well, they will learn better eventually.

The choreography is "Take That Look Off Your Face" (From "Tell me On Sunday").

Stage 4: "Take Your Choice"

This was the Classifier stage. Sorry, I don't have the nomenclature immediately available.

The shooter is "Gerry-With-A-G", and if nothing else the video serves to demonstrate how often the shooter is overwhelmed by the number of 'interested parties' who swarm about the shooting position.

Stage 5: "Speedy Six"
Moving to the East Range, this stage featured the IPSC "Classic target" (aka "Stop Sign Targets"). Some of the competitors found this particularly challenging, because they were not accustomed to engaging this target design and were therefore very vocal about not knowing where the A-zone was.

In fact, this stage emphasized the dichotomy between IPSC and USPSA competition. IPSC rules assume the "Classic" target will be used, and therefore there is a rule which forbids the target from being tilted or canted beyond a specified point (ninety degrees) because it is not obvious from the outline of the target "which end is up". One target here ( on the right-hand side of the bay, the closest target) was tilted ninety degrees, and we decided to reposition the target so that it was intuitively obvious which end is up. This is important because the A-zone is not symmetrical; it tends to favor the "up" end of the target. Consequently, we delayed the match to reposition the target so that the "up" end of the target was "up" from our point of view.

True, by USPSA rules this was not mandatory. We just did it to make it more 'obvious' to the shooter where the A-zone could be found.

The video features The Hobo Brasser, because there was some confusion in the heat of competition exactly what happened.

And the video is accompanied by the Andrew Lloyd Webber song "Mr. Mestopheles" from "Cats", because ... well, it was one of the few 'lively' tunes left in the selection available to me by virtue of having downloaded a single ALW "the best of" album. Still, I think it works out well.

(Sorry if this doesn't view correctly. Technical problem, I'm working on it.)

(UPDATE: Technical problem fixed, thanks to the magic of "waiting for the video to actually finish loading to the website".)

Stage 6: "What's the Deal"

... and something of a Memory Course. It was possible, and advisable, to engage all targets from two positions. The juxtaposition of targets and shooting ports, with vision barriers and no-shoots abounding. (I hit a no-shoot on one of the far targets).

The music is the overture from "Jesus Christ SuperStar", one of my favorite ALW songs.

The stage ... is something of a Memory Course. It was possible, and advisable, to engage all targets from two positions. The juxtaposition of targets and shooting ports, with vision barriers and no-shoots abounding. That may not be the 'smartest' or 'best' technique for this stage, but for even the shooters limited to 10 shots it worked out very well.

We had fun at this match, both because of the wider variety of course designs provided by Match Director Mike McCarter, but also because the stages took advantage of the HUGE variety of stage/bay dimensions available at Albany Rifle and Pistol Club.

Thanks, Mac, for a very good match.

(NOTE: It took 3 hours to process the videos and compose this article.)