Old Patriot's Pen

Personal pontifications of an old geezer born 200 years too late.

NOTE The views I express on this site are mine and mine alone. Nothing I say should be construed as being "official" or the views of any group, whether I've been a member of that group or not. The advertisings on this page are from Google, and do not constitute an endorsement on my part.

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Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States

I've been everywhere That was the title of a hit country-and-western song from the late 1950's, originally sung by Hank Snow, and made famous by Johnny Cash. I resemble that! My 26-year career in the Air Force took me to more than sixty nations on five continents - sometimes only for a few minutes, other times for as long as four years at a time. In all that travel, I also managed to find the perfect partner, help rear three children, earn more than 200 hours of college credit, write more than 3000 reports, papers, documents, pamphlets, and even a handful of novels, take about 10,000 photographs, and met a huge crowd of interesting people. I use this weblog and my personal website here to document my life, and discuss my views on subjects I find interesting.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Mary McCarthy - failure

I was in the intelligence business off and (mostly) on for 26 years. I've worked at levels ranging from local unit to national agency, and had access to classified material at the highest levels the government authorizes. I know the intel system as well as, and perhaps better than, most in the system. What Mary McCarthy did was a devastating blow to what most intelligence analysts hold most sacred - the national classification system.

The system is there for a reason. It's there to protect intelligence information, methods, processes, and sources from inadvertant or deliberate exposure that would harm the ability of the United States to be prepared for any consequences or circumstances, and thus to protect the American people from harm. I've still got a piece of paper here that says I won't disclose any of that type of information for 70 years after my retirement from the Air Force, or the year 2061 (my 115th birthday).

Some people feel that who sits in the White House, or who serves in Congress, is more important than the security of the nation, or the sanctity of intelligence information. They have consistently "leaked" classified information that has caused great harm to the ability of the United States to collect, analyze, interpret, report, and distribute information on a need-to-know basis to those with the responsibility of developing and implementing policy based upon that information. There's a word for such people - traitors. That's not too harsh - these are people who have put political considerations above the considerations of the nation and its people. They don't deserve to remain in the jobs they have, and many of them deserve to be in prison for decades.

We, the people of this nation, have failed to insist that such people be adequately punished, and the result has been more, and more dangerous, leaks. Sandy Berger should be looking at 30-50 years behind bars. Mary McCarthy should be looking at 10-20 years behind bars. Whoever leaked the information about the National Security Agency program to intercept all calls to and from the United States that were reasonably expected to have been made by Al-Qaida operatives or sympathizers, should serve 50-100 years behind bars, with no option for parole or presidential pardon.

At the same time, we need to start cleaning out the cesspool of hate-America "leaders" in our institutions of higher learning, from our government at every level, from political parties and "non-governmental organizations", "think tanks", and other political or political-involved agencies, and insist that anyone who becomes a member of government AT ANY LEVEL know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that their first commitment MUST be to the Constitution of the United States, and that everything they say or do be directed to supporting, defending, and bearing true allegience to that document and the people it represents. There is no higher authority in our government. There can be no higher commitment than to that document.

There are a number of ways to protest against action taken by the government or any agency or department under it, within the system. Mary McCarthy worked in the Inspector General's office, which is one of the many different paths for instituting and managing complaints. There are at least three other levels any complaints could have been taken to beyond her office. She was in a position where it was impossible for her NOT to know those avenues existed. She was also in a position to know that when the Management said there were no problems, she had two choices: continue and accept that decision, or retire and seek legal action within a classified framework. She chose instead to feed highly sensitive classified information to the press. This is the work of a political operative, not a dedicated civil servant. She should get what she most richly deserves - a long spell in a maximum-security prison.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Kill (politically) the Democrats

It's time to acknowledge a basic truth that is going to hurt some people's feelings. The Democratic Party puts its personal power and prestige above the needs of the United States. This is the path to tyranny.

We've seen enough examples over the past five years to be able to say this with complete confidence. The Democratic party is the leader by a wide margin in voting "irregularities" - better known as cheating. The Democrats want to promote judges that will legislate from the bench, such as Ruth Bader Ginsburg, than those that will judge based upon the written words of the Constitution and the law of the United States. The Democratic Party is more interested in stifling the Republicans than it is in passing needed legislation on the budget, border control, national defense, or any other issue.

The oath taken by every single congresscritter is to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, and to bear true faith and allegience to it. The majority of Democrats, and all too many Republicans, put re-election and other personal interests above the needs of the nation.

There is only one way to end this political death spiral: the 17th Amendment MUST be repealed, and senators once more be appointed by the governors of the 'several states', as originally intended.

Our founding fathers were a lot smarter than most of today's lawmakers take them to be. They understood that direct election of candidates would result in office going to the highest bidder. They established a check on this by having Senators appointed by the governors of the states, with the approval of the State Senate. They had a very definite reason for this: the lower house would be elected to represent the will of the people. The upper house would be appointed by governors to preserve the rights and privileges of the states. By appointing senators, those senators would be people the governor best felt would represent the interests of the state, rather than the people or the largest contributor to their election campaign. This would "remove the money" from senatorial appointments. It would also protect the states from unfunded mandates and the erosion of the vested powers inherent in the state.

The 17th Amendment destroyed that, and our nation has suffered greviously for it. Today, a Senator is just a more powerful Representative, more interested in getting re-elected than in protecting states' rights. Their vote is often decided by outside interests that may have no bearing on the needs or desires of the state involved. The entire practice of 'earmarks' has come about because of the direct election of senators.

We will never get a balanced budget until senators are once more appointed, rather than elected. We will never get the 17th Amendment repealed as long as there is a Democratic Party.

Friday, April 07, 2006

The "Illegal Alien" Debacle.

The United States has a major problem. More than 250,000 people illegally cross its borders every year. This is a major problem for many reasons, security being one of the principal ones. Another major problem is the continued loss of sovereignty over affairs in the country by more than 11 MILLION undocumented, unidentified people living and working in the United States. In this current war between Western civilization and Islamicist supremacists, such an open-border problem is not only untenable, it's downright dangerous. I certainly hope the United States Congress doesn'e wait untl we have a nuclear explosion in Des Moines, Omaha, or Little Rock before it decides to take action.

We need to establish control of our borders. Nothing short of people on the ground, armed with all the equipment and weapons necessary, can establish that control. It also means ALL our borders need to be controlled - the southern border with Mexico, the "longest undefended border in the world" between the lower 48 and Canada, and the extensive border between Alaska and Canada, although our southern border is currently bleeding the most. If securing the border means creating a border force of a million people, building guard towers within line-of-sight of other guard towers, building a huge, electrified fence, and mining the area behind it, then that's what we need to do, and we need to tell people, especially those trying to cross our borders, that we're doing it, and why. I will post ideas about how to secure the border in a later article, although I've already covered it a couple of times.

Border security isn't a luxury any longer, it's absolutely essential to the security and prosperity of the United States. We MUST close our borders to illegal immigrants - and undocumented importation of drugs, weapons, and other items - regardless of where they're from.

At the same time, we need to do something about the 11 to 13 million illegals currently living in the United States. We have many options.

  1. The most difficult option would be to hunt them all down and deport them. We would need another million or two people just to do that, and it would probably take ten years. By that time, another 10 to 12 million could have crossed the borders, unless they're closed to all but legal immigrants. It would also be unbelievably
    expensive - hundreds of billions of dollars, perhaps even trillions of dollars. It's not the best option to pursue at this time, but something definitely HAS to be done.

  2. The second option is a blanket amnesty for all current illegals, giving them legal status and allowing them to work toward citizenship. That, too, isn't the best of options, and would be only slightly cheaper than deporting them. It would also incur a huge backlash against both the current government (both parties) and the illegals being granted amnesty. It would also reward people for unlawful behavior, increasing the chances of more illegal immigraion, hoping for the "next" amnesty. We don't want to do that. It also fails to do anything about the criminal aliens that are living among us.

  3. A third option is to grant limited amnesty to current illegals, based upon some outside criteria, while deporting the rest. This only combines the worst of the two previous options, and will only work if the outside criteria are written so vaguely that just about anyone can meet them. It will not cause the worst of the illegals, those that currently cost the governments in cities, states, and at the national level, billions of dollars every year. It would NOT filter out undesirables, such as criminals and potential terrorists. It also depends heavily upon illegals reporting themselves. Only those who are very sure of meeting the criteria for amnesty would do that. The rest would still have to be identified, hunted down, and returned to their native country.

First, secure the border. Secondly, deal with the illegals already here, and in such a way as to benefit the US and still maintain security. I offer the following suggestions for dealing with those that are here:

  1. Illegal aliens will only self-identify themselves if there is a reward sufficient to make it worth their while. That means getting more than they have at the present time. Many illegals are hard-working people who would make excellent citizens. Others are criminals wanted for crimes both in their home countries and in the United States. Still others are just a drain on the system, either in their native country or in the United States. We want to keep the first group, expel the second group, and work with the third group. The third group will have two options: either become productive, or be expelled.

  2. Set up rigid requirements for illegals to remain in the United States. Establish a "points" system that would encourage productive behavior and punish unproductive behavior. My recommendations are as follows.
  3. Incentives:

    • If they speak English, they are automatically awarded 5 points. If the entire family speaks English, they receive an additional 5 points.
    • If they are a married couple with children, they receive an extra 5 points.
    • If they're currently working, and have gone at least five years without not working or drawing any form of welfare, they score two points per year for each year they've been employed. If they've paid taxes and social security during any of those years, they get an additional point per year, for a maximum of 20 points.
    • If they've created a business of their own that has proved profitable for three consecutive years, they get 20 points. If they've hired others (either legal employees or other illegals) they get an additional 10 points for each employee that has paid taxes and worked for at least a year.
    • If they've bought a house and consistently made payments on it for at least three years, they get an additional 5 points, plus one additional point for every year they've made payments over the initial three.

  4. Penalties:

    • All illegals in the country automatically lose 10 points for being in the country without proper documentation and approval.
    • If they have been convicted of a felony crime in any nation, they lose 100 points.
    • If they have been convicted of any crime other than a routine traffic violation during their stay in the United States, they lose 25 points for each conviction.
    • If they have applied for WIC, AFDC, unemployment compensation, workers' compensation, or any other form of relief or welfare, they lose 5 points for each time they have applied or been granted such help.
    • If they've used a hospital emergency room for treatment and refused or been unable to pay, they lose 5 points for each such visit.
    • Anyone found with forged or other nonvalid identification will lose 10 points for each such piece of identification.
    • Anyone overstaying a visa for longer than 30 days will lose one point for each day over 30 that they have remained in the United States.

  5. Set the minimum number of points for citizenship at something like 50, and see how many qualify. The establishment of the point system itself will encourage those who DON'T qualify to try harder. The number of points can be adjusted later if it proves either too easy or too onorous, but should never be made TOO easy to qualify (below say 30 points).

  6. Establish a national database for seasonal workers who come to the United States to pick vegetables or fruit (or other reasons) for a limited time, then return to their homes in their native country. Do the necessary background checks (prior to their applying to enter, if at all possible), then issue temporary entry permits (valid for up to 9 months) for these people to do the work they normally do anyway. Make the database available to all ports of entry, and allow people at those ports of entry to issue the appropriate documentation. Keep the cost of such documentation low, covered half by the employee and half by the employer (not over $15 each). Encourage the establishment of "cooperatives" where migrant workers can register in their home country, list their skills, and where potential employers can "shop" for such workers. (This should be done by the various growers' groups, etc., that currently exist in almost every field of agriculture or other such work.)

  7. Require all funds transactions between the United States and other nations be recorded and forwarded to a central agency. Such funds transactions should include both the name of the sender and the recipient, the amount, the address from which the funds were sent and the address to which they were sent to, and the date of the transaction. Immigration people can use such data to identify illegal immigrants sending funds back to their host nation. Comparing the data with the list of approved temporary and migrant workers would eliminate many of the fund transfers and allow the INS to concentrate on illegals.

My suggestions won't end all illegal immigration, but it will do a lot more than current legislation being proposed to reduce such immigration, and identifying those who would be welcomed citizens, while protecting us from those who will be as much of a problem here as they would be in their native country. That's more than what can be said about any legislation currently being proposed.