Sunday, June 29, 2014

Can Americans claim refugee status in Singapore?

Uncle John wants YOU to become Americano!

"Texans want answers about the tsunami of undocumented and unaccompanied minors that may well hit public school classrooms this Fall," says Breitbart Texas. "... The actual impact may be very difficult to account for because 'the courts have told us that we can't ask what their citizenship status is. If they are living in a Texas district, they can attend a Texas public schools,' [the Texas Education Agency Director of Media Relations] added."

The American Civil Liberties Union wants the taxpayers to fund lawyers for each illegal immigrant child to defend against deportation.
Upset with a report that immigration officials in Artesia, N.M., want to send illegal immigrants home 10 to 15 days after being apprehended, the legal defense organization said that the stories of the children must first be investigated.

“Many children crossing the border are seeking refugee protection from violence in their home countries. Both due process and international law require that these kids’ claims be fully and fairly assessed by immigration judges, not dismissed in assembly-line hearings,” said Laura W. Murphy, director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. ... About 150,000 children from Central America are expected to cross the U.S. border this year, 10 times last year’s total. Many claim to be victims of violence and sexual abuse.

With immigration "reform," code for amnesty and open borders, less than popular in many quarters outside government and big business, Senator John McCain and his gang members have decided to take a new tack: the mass invasion of Latino children "are coming out in support of creating an emergency refugee program that they believe would help deal with a massive surge of child immigrants coming to the U.S. from Central America."

He said that "establishing refugee application programs in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador is 'key' to help stem the tide, according to Reuters." In other words, rename the illegals refugees and let all or most of them form more colonies in the U.S.A. That is somehow supposed to "help stem the tide." (Hey, Pablo, don't go to the United States. That will make you a refugee! You'll be ruined for life!)

Billions of people live in dreadful places around the world. Many are abused and exploited. We should do what we can -- not much, in my view, except provide birth control help -- for them to improve their lot in their own countries. The answer is not to invite them in as refugees, which will only result in re-creating in their new setting the conditions they want to escape.

Truly Europe and now the United States have arrived at the scenario envisioned by Jean Raspail in his novel The Camp of the Saints. The relatively prosperous and civilized countries are being undone by a massive invasion, not of soldiers but of peasants and criminals. "Progressives" and suicidally tolerant churches welcome the invasion so they can bask in their own twisted version of compassion.

If anyone can claim refugee status by stepping across an increasingly theoretical border, why shouldn't indigenous Americans have the same privilege? Why can't they escape from violence at home? Why should they not be able to declare themselves refugees from a Third World colonized United States? Hop on a plane to, say, Singapore, be taken in by an emergency refugee program and given a lawyer?


Friday, June 27, 2014

Recyling centers: the way to national reform

This story is trivial on the surface ... but what it reveals about the mentality of many Americans is downright scary. I have never cared for the currently popular expression "low-information voters," because the problem isn't low information; it's naive and stupid voters.

An event called America's Last Stand took place in Tennessee. Last stand? Against an authoritarian administration? Against a deliberate policy of flooding the country with as many illegal "migrants" as possible? Against a president who is terminally clueless in geopolitics and perceives his job as making speeches and playing golf while letting sycophants tell him whatever he wants to hear and ignoring all other voices?

No. America's last stand will be -- wait for it -- a recycling center crusade. And, no doubt, more bike paths.
"I have been involved since I was 17 years old. I helped open one of the first recycling centers in the area where I lived. I don't know why people don't get involved. Our government will collapse if people do not get involved," said Gayle Wilczynski of Dandridge.
This is what citizenship has come down to for her and, it seems, others at the Last Stand.
"So few people are willing to speak up. We need to encourage those people to come out and speak up, to talk, to speak to the representatives, to vote, to get out and be active in the circle wherever they are," said Howard Kingsberry of Sevierville. 
Hear, hear. While your country degenerates into a government-banking-big business oligarchy, while the media-academic axis stirs up racial and ethnic resentment (divide and conquer), while your president boasts he can remake America with a phone and a pen, call your Congressperson and "speak up" to voice mail or a bored intern who pretends to listen while thinking about which bar or party to head for tonight.

Yes, put candidate signs on your lawn and vote! Imagine the power you wield! "Imagine" being the keyword.

A political online newsletter, The Hill, announces: "No bluff, Obama will go it alone on immigration."
President Obama has delayed any potential changes to his deportation policy to allow House GOP leaders time to bring legislation to the floor this summer. But if the Republicans don't act in July, the Democrats say, unilateral changes by Obama are inevitable.

"We're at the end of the line," Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) said Thursday during a press briefing in the Capitol. "We're not bluffing by setting a legislative deadline for them to act.
"Their first job is to govern," Menendez added, "and in the absence of governing, then you see executive actions."
In other words, "govern" means, "Do what we want, or we'll do it ourselves and you can go play bingo." 

Ms. Wilczynski says, "Our government will collapse if people do not get involved." Ma'am, the government is not likely to collapse any time soon. Can't say the same for the Constitution and liberty. The government will let you vote, to give you the illusion of influence. You can even hope your vote will actually be counted.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

La belle Lara

Rarely, rarely comes the spirit of delight, wrote Shelley. It came to me via Lara Fabian's concert DVD titled En toute intimité. It could be translated In All Intimacy -- but that doesn't sound right in English. However, everything else about the disc sounds exactly right.

Lara Fabian is a big star in France, perhaps in Europe generally. Since she sings in French and Italian, and there is something quintessentially French in her manner (albeit she was  raised in Belgium and now based in Québec), she is all but unknown in the U.S. I caught a few of hit songs from her albums streamed on the Internet, in mediocre sound quality and mostly with the overblown amplified beat-heavy arrangements producers think are necessary to sell recordings these days.

Even so, her vocal delivery impressed me enough to want to hear more and in better sound. Hence I placed this DVD at the head of my Netflix queue, despite its tag "Very long wait." So it was, about a month. Maybe the company had to order the disc from its French unit.

From the first chapter of En toute intimité, taped at Paris's Olympia theatre in 2003, I could tell this would contain the spirit of delight.

First off, the "intimité" of the title was well earned. Lara was accompanied only by a few acoustic instruments: two violins, a viola, and a cello (all played by shockingly beautiful women) plus piano -- the pianist captured the mood of the performance perfectly. The stage set designer and lighting director created a poetic ambience to frame the music.

Lara was, of course, almost always the center of attention and deserved it. Beyond the range of her voice, she is as much an acting singer or singing actress as an opera star. Every number is a dramatic scene. She can take all the close-ups the video editor wants to give her: lyrics play out in her face.

Her stage manner is highly kinetic at times, but she doesn't horse around with the typical histrionic gestures of so many pop stars (e.g., holding the microphone like a staff and swinging her arms wide in the pose of Moses parting the Red Sea). She suits the action to the word, the word to the action.

In this concert at least, her musical taste never falters. The songs are romantic, often sad; she gathers you inside them. They include a knockout version of Serge Lama's "Je suis malade," the aria "Addio del passato" from La Traviata, and "Immortelle," co-written by herself, in a performance that lives up to its name.

Also in the line-up is Jacques Brel's "Voir un ami pleurer" ("To See a Friend Cry"). I confess to having mixed feelings about Brel. I don't care for the way he speeds up during so many arrangements, or his habit of frequently moving to the front of the stage, backing up, and heading downstage again, like a man hesitating over whether to cross a road with heavy traffic. But he wrote some terrific songs, including "Voir ... ." I've heard lots of moving versions of it, and Lara's is certainly among the finest. If it doesn't squeeze your heart, check to see if you are alive.

Presumably the DVD has English titles, but I didn't turn them on. It meant that I failed to understand some of the lyrics, but I didn't want the aesthetics of the program cluttered up with written words.

I don't claim that Lara's way with songs is more spontaneous or sincere than any other performer's. This is show business, and every bit of vocal style and stage movement has been polished during rehearsals and other concerts. She may or may not actually feel the meaning of each number, but she makes you, as part of her audience, feel it.

Lara Fabian is a star to fall in love with. Obviously, not "real world" love of the kind we experience in our ordinary lives if we're lucky. It's love prompted by artifice, talent, attractiveness, glamour, and lovely surroundings. Sometimes l'amour is like that.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Hey, it's hot. Let's have a beer summit in Iraq

Fox News reports:

The Obama administration reportedly is preparing to open direct talks with Iran on possibly cooperating to counter the Sunni militant force seizing large swaths of Iraq and threatening Baghdad, weighing an unlikely alliance in the face of a common foe. 

Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday the administration was "open to discussions" with Tehran if they can help end the violence. He told Yahoo! News he would "not rule out anything that would be constructive." ...

The New York Times reported Monday that, according to a senior administration official, the White House still believes there is a brief window for some kind of diplomatic solution. The administration reportedly still wants to see if Maliki's Shiite-led government can work with the Kurds and reach out to the Sunni minority to discuss forming a new unity government.
A unity government? Would that include the Sunni-side-up army?
Photos posted on a Twitter account associated with ISIS Sunday claimed to show militants carrying out a mass execution of Iraqi soldiers. The images show soldiers being loaded onto flatbed trucks and being forced to lie facedown in a ditch with their hands tied behind them before they were shot. Captions accompanying the photos boasted that as many as 1,700 soldiers had been executed in this way. 

Iraq's chief military spokesman, Lieutenant General Qassim al-Moussawi, told Sky News that he believed the photographs were authentic, and said that he was aware of cases of mass murder of captured soldiers in areas held by ISIS.

The Failed Messiah, meanwhile, is doing what he likes best -- Getting Away from It All.
Obama has fantasized about being "on a beach somewhere drinking out of a coconut" or simply being able to walk out of the White House gate and stroll around unrecognized.

In California, Obama has worked out mornings at a gym near the Rancho Mirage home where the first family is staying with White House decorator Michael Smith and his partner, James Costos, the American ambassador to Spain.

The hilltop home has sweeping views, a private tennis court and trapezoid swimming pool. Despite temperatures above 100 degrees, Obama was able to golf at two nearby courses -- Saturday at the Sunnylands estate and Sunday at the Porcupine Creek Estate owned by software billionaire Larry Ellison.

Obama interspersed his four-day weekend with official duties, including Democratic Party fundraising, a speech on climate change and calls to his national security adviser discussing military options to stop a violent insurgency in Iraq.
Military operations?  Along with that "diplomatic solution"? Along with asking for help from Iran? (That's a climate change.) We are led from behind by backward children.

Since the Glorious One is dead keen on fundamentally transforming the nature of countries, starting with his own, how about a radical solution to the wars of the Middle East? To wit: Get Americans out as quickly and safely as possible, and then leave the psychotic Muslim pit bulls alone. Let them rip each other to scraps. Enough of refereeing and nation building. 

The more the Muslims of varying congregations are busy killing each other, the less time, energy, and personnel they will have for doing the nasty to us. The eight-year war between Iraq and Iran back in the '80s may have given us a break from jihad. The current fight, like all wars, is an appalling tragedy in which many more or less innocent civilians will suffer. But better theirs than ours.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

When will Buraq Caesar cross the Rubicon?

Having encouraged a Children's Crusade of Latino future Democrats to stroll across the border without hindrance, His Worship is expected by Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), "perhaps the most outspoken amnesty proponent in Congress," to pass an illegal immigrant amnesty by an overwhelming majority of himself.

[Gutierrez] said the stunning defeat of Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the primary Tuesday is no impediment to President Obama moving forward with immigration unilaterally ...
"It’s not dead, it may just be moving to the White House for action there," Gutierrez declared. "I believe the president has within existing law the power to take action to protect the immigrant community, and I think he will take those actions.”
You may have noticed how many news articles quote Buraq as saying, "I have ordered ... " or "I will order ... ." It's one of his favorite phrases. So far, he has depended on the mainstream media, illegal-immigration pressure groups, and his pals in Congress to push forward his demands on amnesty and open borders. Things seem to have gone a little haywire on that lately, thanks in part to resistance by the American citizenry. What a nerve they've got.

There is a word for a politician whose wish is a command.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

ASCS conference this July

When I learned of the Academy for Spiritual and Consciousness Studies (ASCS) only a few months ago, it was a welcome discovery. The Academy seems to be carrying on in our age of scientific materialism the original impulse that led researchers to form the Society for Psychical Research in England in 1882. The SPR founders primarily wanted to invest the resources of scientific methodology in studying the age-old mysteries of human consciousness. Those included, prominently, evidence for survival of at least some part of our identity beyond that wall we are all heading toward: death of the physical body.

It's often said that the goals of the original SPR and other psychical researchers have not been realized. A hundred and thirty years later, the field remains stifled by skepticism and lack of interest among both scientists and the public. Under its new, supposedly more respectable name, parapsychology, studies are conducted at a handful of universities. In keeping with the Zeitgeist and the academic setting, though, emphasis has shifted to experimental laboratory work whose results can be measured and analyzed. Those experiments apply mostly to phenomena such as telepathy and psychokinesis (moving or affecting objects by purely mental power).

That sort of stuff is interesting, although it consists of refinements to knowledge of phenomena whose existence has been demonstrated over and over. But what is left out is spontaneous events that can't be produced and reproduced in a lab -- and most of the evidence for survival is unexpected, unplanned, or generated by unusual people working in conditions that many find bizarre and dubious.

ASCS doesn't shy away from what is today the fringe of psychical research, although formerly at the center of it. It appears most ASCS members are concerned with (not necessarily believers in) life after death.

In one sense, progress -- while sporadic -- has been made even in that area of study. Anyone with an open mind who wants to take the time and trouble to read up on mediumship, apparitions, and similar phenomena is bound to be impressed; not so much by individual cases as by the total weight.

The problem today has changed since 1882. (Incidentally, many individuals were studying psychic phenomena and writing about them even earlier -- for instance Allan Kardec, The Spirits' Book [1857] and The Book on Mediums [1861]; and Catherine Crowe, The Night Side of Nature [1848]. The SPR was only the first formal scientific organization to take up the study). We have plenty of recorded instances that strongly imply survival, although additional findings are naturally welcome. 

The biggest challenge now is to understand the phenomena: what they mean, how they work. That requires not just raw information but a theory to account for the massive, and sometimes seemingly contradictory, variety of paranormal events. As Henry Sidgwick, one of the SPR founders, said, "Facts alone form a mob."

Theories about survival form a mob as well, while consensus is notably absent.

But another promising development in psychical research has been the growth of techniques for after-death communication (ADC) -- in plan language, talking with the spirits of the dead. The ASCS conference theme is "New Developments in Afterlife Communications." Some of them you can try at home.

If you have a serious interest in the "big picture" of life in this world and beyond, or are even just curious, you might consider attending the conference.