Becoming a fashion designer is on the wish lists of many teenagers, but for this teenager, it is her only wish. Thanks to Make-A-Wish Metro New York, Cindy, 17, who has spinal muscular atrophy with limited use of her hands, was connected with FIT Fashion Design student Veronica Apsan, 21, so that she could design and make her own fashion collection, and then present it in a small runway show. That show took place at FIT on Saturday, November 14 to an audience of family, friends, and faculty who were on hand to give Cindy feedback on her designs.
Veronica Apsan (center), an FIT Fashion Design student, with models showing four looks by Cindy, who had the opportunity to design a small collection through Make-A-Wish Metro New York. See above right
While Make-A-Wish, which grants the wishes of young people with life-threatening illnesses, is well known for granting wishes like meeting a beloved pop star or providing a trip to Disneyland, Cindy's wish to be a designer and see the process through from beginning to end is different. Together, she and Veronica have spent the past year working side by side to create four looks ― a coat, a dress, a pants/blouse ensemble, and a puff skirt/top ensemble. They shopped for fabric, developed the patterns, and made the clothes ― exactly as any fashion designer would. For the aspects that Cindy needed physical help with, Veronica would only work with the fabric or sew under Cindy's direction.
The fashion show was presented with the help of models from FIT's Models and Stylists Association, and Aveda for makeup and hair.
For Joseph Plutz, coordinator, Services for Students with Disabilities, the project and event has been a part of raising disability awareness at FIT, as well as an opportunity to present a very different kind of project.
"Cindy and I have really grown together in this experience," (((Veronica said. "It's been life-changing for both of us. Cindy is so talented. I saw her sketchbook and immediately realized she has a vision.))) I wanted to put all I could into making a difference for her. I feel like this really boosted her self-esteem, and that she feels like a new person with her talent. She may not even have known how talented she is!"
After many years of disappointments, Gay and lesbian couples will finally be able to file for their same-sex spouse. When the Supreme Court removed a portion of federal law that denied federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples, it simultaneously opened the pathway for legalization for hundreds of thousand of illegal gay alien.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano happy to hear that discriminatory sections of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was struck, said “"This discriminatory law denied thousands of legally married same-sex couples many important federal benefits, including immigration benefits,"
Ms. Reno’s voice was heard load an clear when she infprmed the press that USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Service), which processes the visa application for all foreigners, will begin permitting U.S. citizens to petition for their same-sex couples just like any other married couples.
Napolitano opined, "Working with our federal partners, including the Department of Justice, we will implement today's decision so that all married couples will be treated equally and fairly in the administration of our immigration laws."
Moses Apsan, an immigration lawyer with expereince in deportation cases involving gay/lesbian immigrants was seen as he left the Immigration Court in New York, with his client who faces deportation. Mr. Apsan explained that his client has been married to his same-sex partner since New York permitted same-sex marriages. The client who is currently facing a 10 year deportation from the United States because he overstayed his visa, will now be able to terminate the deportation hearing and process his marriage application through the immigration service as would any other hetero sexual marriage is able to do. “((DOMA will finally be put to rest and thousands of married same sex couples will be able to begin living in the U.S. a “married” couple and not as ‘partners.’))"
WASHINGTON, Jan. 19, 2013 – A new report: "Innovate, Manufacture, Compete: A Clean Energy Action Plan," published by the Pew Charitable Trusts opines that the U.S. competitive position in the clean energy industry will reach a trillion dollar in the next few years, but is trailing behind global competitors.
"Once a world leader in innovation and manufacturing of clean energy technologies, the United States now faces considerable competitive challenges," the report authors write. "It lags other nations on a variety of measures, including clean energy deployment and manufacturing. Even its long-standing lead in innovation is at risk."
With the inevitable expansion of the global clean energy, American industry is at risk to global competitors, being constrained by diverse challenges, including rigid credit markets, growing international competition, and an uneven arena with fossil energy sources. Jeff Metts, president of Astraeus Wind Energy, which makes turbine components. Complains the "It's difficult to get funding today,…We need some stability in this market."
The growing Clean energy markets offers the United States a unique opportunity for innovation, financial investment, manufacturing and job formation, Pew's report visualizes renewable power is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 8 percent. Signifying growth in the industry and realizing an increase from $200 billion in 2012 to $327 billion annually by 2018. Clean energy installations are projected to achieve 126 GW in the United States. This would double non-hydroelectric generating capacity.
According to Pew, the United States is poised to secure an estimated14.5 percent of those proceeds, equaling to $276 billion, over the next six years But uncertainty about government policies for the renewables market, the United States could derail that opportunity.
Congress efforts in supporting clean energy, recently passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act which provides a one-year extensions for several tax credits affecting alternative fuels, including those for compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG).
The Act includes the 50-cent per GGE (Gasoline Gallon Equivalent) alternative-fuel tax credit for CNG, LNG, and propane, and the $30,000 infrastructure tax credit. The tax credits are extended until Dec. 31, 2013 and are retroactive for all of 2012.
According to a recent Fleets & Fuels article, NGVAmerica president Rich Kolodziej discussed what these credits mean for the Natural Gas Vehicle industry.
A key point in Kolodziej comments is the idea of displacing foreign oil and the implications this could have for the United States’ security, ‘green’ job creation and the significant reduction in greenhouse gasses.
America's race to clean energy is led by ((Clean Energy Fuels, which recently announced completion of 70 new liquefied natural gas (LNG) fueling stations in 2012 in 33 states as part of the first stage)). These stations are meant to support long-haul, heavy-duty goods travel along interstate highway corridors, are co-located with truck stop operator Pilot Flying J.
Andrew J. Littlefair, president and CEO of Clean Energy said “We have created America’s Natural Gas Highway to support the growing number of long-haul truckers and shippers who are deploying factory-built, heavy-duty trucks powered by natural gas fuel ... LNG-fueled trucks can now travel the country and reap the benefits of fuel cost savings, reduced dependence on foreign oil, and the lower emissions profile that characterizes this abundant American resource.”
Currently, the Natural Gas Highway connects all southern states except Florida. In the northern part of the U.S. most states soon to be linked.
Phoenix Arizona - Judge G. Murray Snow issued an order in the United States District Court for the District of Arizona No. CV-11-01426-PHX-GMS, granting Attorney Lisa Borodkin’s Motion to Dismiss the claims against her for the manner in which she pursued an action against ripoffreports.com (Xcentric Ventures, L.L.C., an Arizona limited liability company).
Lisa Jean Borodkin represented Asia Economic Institute, LLC (“AEI”), a California company that published current news and events online from the year 2000 until June 2009. The lawsuit asserted twelve claims against Xcentric and Magedson, including RICO racketeering claims predicated on extortion and wire fraud. These claims arose out of the AEI Plaintiffs’ allegations that Xcentric deliberately manipulated the Ripoff Report so that negative posts about AEI rose to the top of Internet searches, and then used its Corporate Advocacy Program (“CAP”) to coerce AEI into paying Xcentric money in exchange for giving AEI more favorable treatment. The AEI Plaintiffs contended that the use and description of the CAP claimed amounted to extortion and wire fraud.
The case against ripoffreport.com was eventually dismissed. In turn ripoffreport.com sued the plaintiff’s lawyer for (1) wrongful continuation of civil proceedings and (2) aiding and abetting tortuous conduct. Attorney Borodkin moved to dismiss Xcentric’s complaintsuccessfully and the court issued an order terminating the case against Lisa Jean Borodkin.
The ripoffreport.com in its' FAQ page contains a warning to anyone who might be considering suing the site: "any suit filed against us without probable cause may subject the complaining party and/or their attorneys to liability in the State of Arizona for wrongful use of civil proceedings. "
Following this decision, the webpage titled "The Anatomy of a RipOff Report Lawsuit" originally published January 21st, 2008 by attorney Sarah Bird on the SEOMoz.org website has seen a flurry of discussion on the case in its ongoing analysis of the Ripoff Report web business.
Ripoffreport.com has been in the center of an ever-growing national dispute over internet publication that affects a person's reputation. Ripoffreport.com promotes itself as a consumer protection web site. However, it appears from their FAQ’s that they are distinct from all other consumer groups like the BBB and Consumer Affairs as they never investigate allegations nor do they remove them even if the author and the person defamed agree to the removal of the content. 
Ripoffreport.com has been called “the National Enquirer counterpart to the Better Business Bureau and their owner has been accused of collusion, extortion and racketeering under the Federal RICO act.”  However, these allegations have not been proven.
It’s easy to post a complaint on Rip off Report. Anyone over the age of 14 may post free of charge, un-moderated and unconfirmed complaints known as 'reports' which contain details of the complainant’s experience with a company or an individual discussed in the report. The site requires users to create an account that includes an unverified email address before reports can be submitted. According to the site’s own Terms of Service, users are required to state that their reports are truthful and accurate, but the site admits that it neither investigates, confirms or verifies the accuracy of submissions. Ripoff Report has been able to create more than more than 1 million pages indexed on Google.  It is near impossible to have these reports redacted, even if untrue.
The site offers a way for individuals and Companies who have been named in a report to respond by submitting a 'rebuttal' explaining their side of the story. Like reports, rebuttals may be posted free of charge by anyone with a user account.
A major complaint against Ripoff Report’s policy to refuse to remove reports. ((Ripoff Report does not permit authors to remove their own reports, even in cases where a mistake has been made)). Furthermore the site will not remove reports in response to legal demands from attorneys. This policy is stated in the site's Terms of Service. All complaints continue public and unedited. A more detailed explanation of f the policy is found on the site's Frequently Asked Questions page. 
During my research for this article, I wasintroduced to an attorney in New York, Moses Apsan, who represents Michael K. Orgera, an individual claiming that he has been slandered by defamatory comments made on the ripoff site. Mr. Apsan commented that “ upon being retained by my client Michael K . Orgera, I reviewed their website in order to have the defamatory matter removed. I had in my possession, a complete set of evidence to prove that the statements in ripoff report were completely untrue and actually fabricated. After researching the law in this area, it became apparent that even to attempt a lawsuit against ripoffreport.com would be extremely expensive for my client, as the site owners’ hide behind a federal law, The Communications Decency Act, which protects the website from most forms of civil liability arising from user-generated content. The site is protected even if the report is false and is not required to investigate content prior to publication or remove content after receiving notice that the material is false. Congress enacted such broad immunity so that service providers would not block and screen offensive content and violate our freedom of speech and free market. However, I am sure, the framers of the law never contemplated anyone using the law in this way.“
A December 2011 a Florida Court of Appeals called the website’s business practices as ‘appalling’; opining that “The business practices of Xcentric, [owners of ripoffreport.com] as presented by the evidence before this Court, are appalling. Xcentric appears to pride itself on having created a forum for defamation. No checks are in place to ensure that only reliable information is publicized. “
In the the Consumer Affairs site at http://www.consumeraffairs.com/online/ripoffreport.html, there appears to be many more people complaining of the ripoff report’s business practice. The following is a sample. Please note that these complaints are allegations and not verified.
Bruce of Beaufort, SC on Dec. 9, 2010 - “It seems to me that the real rip-off here is this organization Ripoff Reports. They claim to be advocates of good business practice yet post anonymous claims against any business as they are received. No verification, no investigation, no justification. They go so far as to admit this on their main page: "While we encourage and even require authors to only file truthful reports, Ripoff Report does not guarantee that all reports are authentic or accurate." They further state that they never remove reports, presumably even when those reports are false, slanderous, or just plain dishonest. Yet a quick search on Google shows several companies that guarantee Ripoff Report removal for a fee. “
Sandy of Reynolds, GA on Feb. 8, 2010 - “Within 24 hrs of Donna G. putting a false statement against me on both site, I received an email requesting $$$ upfront to remove the complaint, and repair my reputation and business. Since then, the same person Donna G., Amelia V. has put up 2 more complaints and more than that on x-com-plaints.com. I have lost almost all my income, and have almost lost my home because of this lying slander that neither of these sites will take down. You see both these sites have servers that are overseas, so they can not be made to take the complaints down! I have suffered a huge financial loss because of this. My reputation will never be restored and my business is at a huge loss which will never be recovered.”
Alex of Simi Valley, on Jan. 11, 2010 - “I have communicated with this company to no avail. I have yet to receive a response. We have been in business for over 35 years and just recently started to market our company on the internet. We have notice as well as any potential customer that there is a slanderous and an absolute lies put on their site. I can only recite our policy because there is no reference to which e customer or account it is. This is so unfair how can I get this incorrect information removed from their site?”
Peter of Beverly Hills, CA on Jan. 20, 2009 - “This man ED MAGEDSON creates FALSE BLOGS targeting innocent companies. One by one he breaks down the very structure by scattering disgusting lies on the internet and then BLACKMAILING companies to pay him in his so called ADVOCACY PROGRAM. THIS IS EXTORTION!!!! The general public BEWARE. People who read the RIP OFF REPORT BELIEVE these terrible blogs and the companies fall hard. This is NOT free speech. It is illegal behavior based on greed and opportunity. In a time of recession even innocent good standing companies are being targeted by Ed Magedson and blackmailed to pay him 45,000 to take the FALSE lies down!!!. EXTORTION at the VERY CORE. YOU MUST STOP HIM! My company has lost almost a million dollars since this man created lies and false accusations. Worse, I CANNOT defend myself. He takes ALL POSITIVE blogs down. He is asking for $45,000 dollars. This is EXTORTION and I have hired the FBI to take him down. He is wanted by the biggest companies in America. Just Google his name. HE IS THE RIP OFF REPORT. Not the innocent companies he targets.”
These are just a few of the many complaints against ripoffreport.com scattered throughout the Internet. The following is another group of anti-ripoffreport.com advocates.
Perhaps this type of activity will resolve itself as the Internet matures.
New york - June 12, 2010 -- Just the other day, Glenn Beck, the Tea Party hero and Fox News host promoted, without reservation, a book written by Elizabeth Dilling, The Red Network: A "Who's Who" and Handbook of Radicalism for Patriots. In the book she opines that "the problem of the large number of revolutionary Russian Jews in Germany doubtless contributed toward making Fascist Germany anti-Semitic." i.e. Naziism. Elizabeth Dilling, was a vocal anti-Semite, who actively supported Hitler and the Nazis during World War II.
No sooner did Beck endorse the book when there was a national outcry, reacting to his favorable comments about the book. In stead of apologizing for his complete disregard to the Jewish Holocaust experience, Beck said:
BECK: But I'm also getting some amazing mail from the left that now says I'm a Nazi anti-Semite because I quoted a book on Friday -- it was the Red Book, or something like that. It was a who's who, who's in the communist party in 1935. Apparently, I don't know, apparently written by a Nazi sympathizer here in America. Part of the, I'm sure -- I don't know because I didn't look it up -- but I'm sure part of the Father Coughlin, social justice crowd, because this is the choice that progressives give you -- you're either a Nazi or a communist. No, I'm neither. But now -- so now I'm kind of stuck between the place where the left says that I'm a Nazi sympathizer and a Jew lover. So I guess the left can have it all, that ((I'm a Jew-loving Nazi sympathizer.)) It's a really interesting place that I don't know if anybody's ever been. [emphasis added]
It seems that since Obama was elected president, a camouflaged layer of white supremacist and anti semites have been floating to the surface of the political ocean. Similar to the oil pouring out of BP's Gulf Disaster, once it escapes, cleanup is almost impossible.
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As if discovery that SB 1070, the "papers please" law was introduced to Arizona Congress by Sen. Pierce a known associate of the Neo-Nazi movement was not enough. Newt Gingrich made a statement that the Obama administration's policies represent "as great a threat to America as Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union once did" and 89-year-old journalist, Helen Thomas, emoted the other day that the Jews [should] "get the hell out of Palestine" and "go home" to Poland and Germany. A remark she made after attending a White House celebration of National Jewish Month.
Now Glen Beck, an icon of the republican Tea Party movement has joined the fray and even though, he would like to water down his enthusiastic recommendation of the book, it is too late. The more he talks about it, the more he appears to be; an anti-semite, Neo-Nazi lover that would like to see 12 million immigrants and their family to get the hell out of his America.
And Dilling was not just any anti-semite. She was an important part of the Ku Klux Klan's voice in the 1990's. When David Duke, the former Grand Wizard of the Klan ran for the 1992 Republican presidential nomination, Dilling's book, The Plot Against Christianity, was vividly portrayed on Duke's web site, He included a quote form the book that the Bolshevik Revolution was "heavily financed by outside Jewish financial and banking houses," and that "This Jewish control still exists, despite propaganda to the contrary, designed to delude and deceive non-Jews."
Anti-Semitic remarks are not new to Glenn Beck. In 2009 following the horrifying shooting at the Holocaust Museum in D.C., Beck commentated that "What they're missing is: The pot in America is boiling. And this is just yet another warning to all Americans of things to come…. There is gonna be a witch hunt, I believe, in this country, and quite possibly all around the world. For two groups. First group: Jews. It happens every time."
Blogger Adam Holland, commenting on the belief system of these anti-Semites said:
More to the point, this is precisely the same belief system that today fuels the cottage industry in conspiracy theories -- promulgated by the likes of Ron Paul and Alex Jones -- that the Fed is part of a massive conspiracy of "international [read: Jewish] bankers" to enslave Americans and destroy the country. It's been around quite awhile, but lately it's been gaining the patina of being regurgitated for mainstream consumption on right-wing media. And in particular, on Glenn Beck's programs.
Americans must always be diligent in understanding the messages they receive from TV and radio hosts, who have the power and ability to manipulate the audiences' mind with a modified version of reality which only serves to promote their private agenda.
May 13, 2010 -- Arizona -- Evidence that Arizona's new anti-immigrant law was was written and introduced to Arizona congress by Neo Nazi supporters has come to light. Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce, who submitted the bill has, for many years, been associated with local Neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups. Look at his background.
In 2006, he came out speaking enthusiastically about the 1950’s deportation act “Operation Wetback” and for sending email to his supporters reminiscing the greatness of this program. In this email he included an attachment from a white supremacy group and made the conspiratorial claim that journalists pushed the view of: “a world in which every voice proclaims the equality of the races, the inerrant nature of the Jewish ‘Holocaust’ tale, the wickedness of attempting to halt the flood of non-White aliens pouring across our borders…”
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In 2007, Pierce was photographed with J.T. Ready spokesman for the National Socialist Movement, better known as the Nazi Party. They refer to themselves, “the premier white civil right organization in the world.” The group claims to be true patriots claiming that they are only against non-white immigration. J.T. Ready has said that closing the borders is crucial to preserving the white race. “Let's face it,” he said. “We're not being invaded by Swedish nuns here. We're on a border with a country that is a hostile country.” Pierce is also known for speaking at Neo-Nazi rallies and conferences.
Just recently in Los Angeles, Neo-Nazi rallied against illegal aliens. They waved American flags and banners with swastikas, wore black military uniforms and helmets. They shouted ‘Sieg Heil’ before each of their members began speaking.
In 2008, Pierce sponsored Senate Bill 1108, which would make it impossible for students at Universities to join groups based in whole or part because of their ethnicity, claiming it would indoctrinate people with anti-American mentality. As if the relationship could not be any clearer, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer yesterday signed a bill targeting a school district's ethnic studies program, Arizona law now prohibits classes that promote ethnic solidarity, that are created primarily for students of a particular race or that promote resentment toward a certain ethnic group.
Kris Kobach, who is currently running for Secretary of State of Kansas, authored the anti immigrant law, SB 1070. Kobach is an attorney for Immigration Reform Law Institute, the legal arm of the chameleon organization named Federation for American Immigration Reform, or FAIR. As Rachel Maddow revealed in a recent program, the founder of FAIR is a well-known racist. The seed money he used to start FAIR came from an infamous Eugenics (the same thing the Nazi’s did) outfit.
FAIR is just one piece of a vast and powerful anti-immigrant organization, created over the last 30 years, and orchestrated by John Tanton. His organization has been able to insinuate itself into many of the social and political debates of our time.
Tanton developed many different entities so that it appears that there are numerous advocates for what he sees and the ideal society. Another of his group, the Center for Immigration Studies, acts as so called "think tank" to the anti-immigrant movement. Some other entities he is invalid with is the Coalition for the Future American Worker , Progressives for Immigration Reform, NumbersUSA, Immigration Reform Law Institute, United to Secure America Coalition. These are just a few of his many groups that work in unison trying earnestly to modify America's thinking on immigration.
The Southern Poverty Law Center and Anti-Defamation League have connected these groups with racists, white supremacists, and political extremists.
The Tanton message is blatantly clear - no more immigrants in the U.S. and those that are here should leave.
These are the background players in Arizona's new anti-immigrant laws.
There was a time that Republicans were committed to protect America from anything that appeared to be connected to violations of personal liberty and would have emphatically fought against these type or organizations. Apparently in 2010 the republican party has morphed into something else. ((Today's republicans have forsaken the ideals and political precepts of men like Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater)) and seem have chosen to forget the American dream and it's integrity.
It's truly difficult to comprehend how Arizona, a state whose population is one-third Hispanic would want to alienate a significant segment of their residents; mostly hard working family members. Even as I write other states are following Arizona's lead.
Yes, it is irrefutable that the borders have to be secured to prevent criminals from entering the United States as well as to prevent future illegal immigration. It is also understandable that Arizona has been pushed into this position by the federal government's failure to fix the broken immigration laws. However, the Arizona law,as written, will never accomplish its intended goal of security and instead, will only serve to violate the rights of of all Americans. Only with comprehensive immigration reform can this country resume the path intended by our founders and America will once again be "the land of the free and the home of the brave."
New York - May 5, 2010 -- There are always two sides to a story and the latest immigration law to come out of Arizona is no exception. To understand the situation better, let’s first review the law, SB 1070; the broadest and strictest immigration measure in generations.
The new Arizona law allows state officials to inquire into the immigration status of any person based upon "reasonable suspicion":
For any lawful contact made by a law enforcement official or agency of this state or a county, city, town or other political subdivision of this state where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person.
The statute also prohibits so-called sanctuary cities, which prevents a city or town from arresting illegal aliens unless they have committed a crime.
Additionally, the law mandates that a person is guilty of the crime of trespassing if the person is both: "present on any public or private land in this state" and in violation of federal immigration statutes. The statute further restricts the judge’s decision by requiring that there is no eligibility for "suspension or commutation of sentence or release for any reason until the sentence imposed is completed.
In other words, the law makes failure to carry proof of citizenship or legal status a crime, and any immigrant (legal or illegal) who can't produce the documentation can be arrested, fined $2,500 and jailed for up to six months. Until the Arizona law goes into effect, a person in illegal status is not a criminal. Being illegal in the U.S. has always been an administrative violation subject to deportation and not incarceration.
Two Primary Issues with the law:
Racial Profiling – The state and county enforcement officers are to use the “reasonable suspicion” standard when coming into lawful contact with any individual, not just illegal alien. It could even be an American citizen.. This should mean that the officer must have to have some reason, outside of race alone, to request documentation from the individual who is stopped, questioned, detained, arrested, etc. Governor Brewer recently toned down the “any awful contact” however, officers may stop and ask for documents from everyone in a van or car that is blocking or impeding the flow of traffic. This is a very low level of inquiry, which can basically stop a major portion of drivers.
Doctrine of preemption – Whether the Arizona law usurps the power of the Federal Government to be the sole arbiter of immigration laws.
Proponents Argument #1
Doctrine or Preemption - Since the federal government did not do anything about the immigration problem they are in essence relegating the responsibility to the individual states as permitted by the 10th Amendment of the Constitution.
SB 1070 would expose the fact that the Federal Administration has completely abandoned its duty to secure the border and enforce our immigration laws, ultimately forcing Arizona to enact the law. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) described the law a reaction to the federal government's inaction, "I think the frustration is that the federal government isn't enforcing the laws, so we're going to do it on the state level." (The Hill, April 26, 2010). Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) said that his state had to pass a tough immigration law because Obama has failed to "secure our borders." (The Associated Press, April 27, 2010). He added that the situation in his state is "the worst I've ever seen."
Their argument should fail. Generally, the federal government has exclusive control over immigration. For more than a century, the U.S. Supreme Court consistently has ruled that the federal government has the exclusive power to regulate immigration. In a series of cases in the late nineteenth century upholding sections of the Chinese Exclusion Acts, the Supreme Court expressed the federal immigration power in far-reaching terms, as a plenary power not subject to normal judicial restraints. In subsequent decisions the Court has time after time confirmed Congress’s exclusive authority over Immigration. State and local laws that try to regulate immigration infringe on the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution and are therefore preempted by federal law.
Proponents Argument # 2
Proponents of the law have repetitively refer to the killing of two Phoenix police officers by illegal immigrants in 2007, or the recent killing of a cattle rancher near the Mexican border by a drug smuggler. State Rep. John Kavanagh, a co-sponsor of the law, said of illegal immigrants, "They bring a lot of crime with them."
Phoenix Police Chief Jack Harris told reporters that some 10% of his arrests are illegal immigrants — a number near the estimated percentage of undocumented immigrants in the local population. The Maricopa County sheriff's office, which runs the jail for Phoenix and surrounding cities, said 20% of its inmates are illegal immigrants. Fifteen percent of state prisoners are illegal immigrants.
The bill's proponents contend that criminals in Mexico are increasingly heading north through Arizona. "A large portion of [illegal immigrants] are coming here seeking a life and, quite frankly, fleeing the violence in Mexico," said Brian Livingston, executive director of the Arizona Police Assn., who added he was persuaded to back SB 1070 by calls from a Latina complaining that no one arrested illegal immigrant gang members in her neighborhood. "Amongst those people are criminal elements who prey on those people," he said.
This argument should not succeed, as it is an exaggeration.
* According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, violent crimes in Arizona fell from 512 per 100,000 people in 2005 to 447 per 100,000 people in 2008, the last year for which data is available.
* According to a 2008 report from the conservative Americas Majority Foundation, crime rates are lowest in states with the highest immigration growth rates, such as Arizona. From 1999 to 2006, the total crime rate declined 13.6 percent in the 19 highest-immigration states (including Arizona), compared to a 7.1 percent decline in the other 32 states.
* Although the unauthorized immigrant population doubled to about 12 million from 1994 to 2004, data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics indicates that the violent crime rate in the United States declined by 35.1 percent during this time and the property crime rate fell by 25.0 percent.
Well is the law racist in nature or appropriate under the circumstances?
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To determine whether the law is racist in nature we have to see who wrote the law and who submitted it to Arizona’s congress. In a recent Rachel Maddow show she established clearly who the participants were. As you will soon agree, they are all racists.
Senator Russell Pearce, introduced the law to the Arizona State. He authored an official email to his supporters and donor base in which he made the conspiratorial claim that journalists pushed the view of:
“a world in which every voice proclaims the equality of the races, the inerrant nature of the Jewish ‘Holocaust’ tale, the wickedness of attempting to halt the flood of non-White aliens pouring across our borders…”
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In the photos above and the video on your left, the close relationship between Pearce and J.T. Ready is displayed. Ready is a Minuteman and nativist, photographed with the comparatively strong Neo-Nazi movement in Arizona. His other ties have been well documented by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Pearce has been associated with local Neo-Nazi and John Birch types for many years. In 2006, he came under attack for speaking commendably of a 1950s federal deportation program called Operation Wetback, and for sending an e-mail message to his supporters that included an attachment from a white supremacist group.
Critics point out the law in itself is a clear violation of the 4th Amendment, and is unconstitutional. Others agree that there is simply no way that a ‘reasonable suspicion’ can apply without actual racial profiling take place.
Kris Kobach, who is running for Secretary of State in Kansas, authored the law itself. The man is also a firm believer in the birther conspiracy that contends Barack Obama was born in Kenya.
Kobach is an attorney for Immigration Reform Law Institute, the legal arm of the chameleon named organization Federation for American Immigration Reform, or FAIR. As Maddow reveals, the founder of FAIR was a well-known racist and the seed money to get it started also came from an infamous Eugenics (the same thing the Nazi’s did) outfit. See the video.
As Rachel Maddow revealed in her show last week, the founder of FAIR is known racist.
There seems to be no doubt that the law was written by racist neo Nazi sympathizers working on their own agenda: to turn America into a fascist country.
Politicians in at least five states are pushing for their state legislatures to pass immigration laws that mirror Arizona's new measure.
Lawmakers in Texas, Utah, Georgia, Ohio and Maryland are attaching to Arizona's hard-line approach to illegal immigration, which appears to have gained support many conservatives who argue that such a law is necessary in the absence of adequate federal policies. The law, however, has outraged people across the country that say it violates Americans' Constitutional rights and/or infringes on federal authority to regulate immigration.
Today the Washington D.C. Council joined the fight against Arizona’s law, as it sponsored a bill forbidding the police chief from sharing arrest data with federal immigration officials (except for criminal aliens) and also declared their undivided support for a resolution calling on the city to discontinue doing business with Arizona.
Council member Michael Brown (I-At large) said parallel resolutions will be introduced or have already been introduced in Boston, San Francisco, New York, Philadelphia, Milwaukee and Chicago.
Is this what Pearce and the other racist promoters of the anti-immigrant Arizonian law really trying to do: Destroy the United States, by pitting one state against the other?
The effect of this law is eerily similar to how the Jews were treated in Germany at the start of World War II. Nazi in 1939, Nazi in 2010. Jews were required to carry papers and identify themselves publicly. That is the same method the neo-Nazi linked legislator set up the current immigration law in Arizona.
Unless the president steps in, and does it fast, this country will go down a very slippery slope.
When Artist Jimmy Margulies reacted to Arizona's new immigration law, he drew Gov. Jan Brewer's state as the mustache of Hitler he did not expect the reaction of other Jewish Americans.
The Anti Defamation League (ADL) took issue with Margulies's imagery and it’s national director Abraham H. Foxman opined "We are seeing these offensive and inappropriate Nazi and Holocaust comparisons come to the fore in the public debate once again. We saw it in the health care debate, and now we are seeing it with Arizona,.. It is disturbing that in speaking out against the bill a number of individuals have taken to using Nazi comparisons, in describing the legislation as being reminiscent of Nazi policies that required Jews and others to carry identity cards, or in comparing the governor and other Arizona officials as being like Hitler,"
Foxman explained that: "No matter how odious, bigoted, biased and unconstitutional Arizona's new law may be, let's be clear that there is no comparison between the situation facing immigrants, legal or illegal, in Arizona and what happened in the Holocaust."
Speaking to Comic Riffs, a daily comics blog covering the world of comics, from strips to superheroes, Margulies clarified that his raising a Nazi analogy was appropriate to remember the memory of the Holocaust.
Margulies commented that '"[as] a Jew of Eastern European descent, I am well aware of the unique horror of the Nazi era. It is all the more important that I, and others of good conscience who are able to reach an audience, do so in the face of abhorrent laws such as Arizona's. I do not think it diminishes the memory of the Holocaust to point out that the law in Arizona is uncomfortably reminiscent of Germany's in targeting one or more minorities. Before the concentration camps, there were smaller measures enacted which set the stage for greater acts. "The Arizona law gives police too much power by casting as suspects anyone who looks to be Latino or foreign-born."
Margulies is not alone in his opinion. Baldemar Velasquez President,of FLOC (Alliance of Greater Toledo and the Farm Labor Organizing Committee of Toledo) said he's worried other states, including Ohio, will introduce "copycat bills….The wrong-headed people got their way and woe to those who pass unjust laws because the government and a majority of people can pass unjust laws," he said. "That's what they did during the civil rights movements like Jim Crow laws and that's what they did in Nazi Germany."
Former Toledo City Councilman Louis Escobar compared Arizona to Nazi Germany. "I am a second-generation American and I was elected by the people and yet I could go to the state of Arizona and a police officer would be in his right to ask that I prove that I am an American citizen," Mr. Escobar said after about 40 people marched in South Toledo at Broadway and Logan Street…. I would go to jail because I am not about to produce some papers," he said. "All I can think of is Nazi Germany. “
“When I heard about it, it reminded me of Nazi Germany," said Hispanic Federation President Lillian Rodríguez López. "It reminded me of South African apartheid."
Jewish Colorado Representative Democrat Jared Polis says Arizona is on its way to becoming a “police state” and its new immigration law is “reminiscent” of Nazi Germany.
“It is absolutely reminiscent of second class status of Jews in Germany prior to World War II when they had to have their papers with them at all times and were subject to routine inspections at the suspicion of being Jewish… I fear that Arizona is headed for a police state and it really underscores the need for immigration reform at the federal level to fix our system,” he said.
Polis pointed out he was not making a comparison of the Arizona law to the Holocaust but rather to the time before the war when Jews were forced to carry papers and identify themselves publicly as Jews. “I think it’s a very fair comparison and I hope that we’re not headed on the same trajectory that Nazi Germany was,” Polis sated. “But this was a very recent experience for Jewish Americans and Jews worldwide and it’s something that when we see similarities we start ringing alarm bells.”
What is feeding this fire is that ((Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce introduced the law. Pearce has been associated with local Neo-Nazi and John Birch types for many years)). In 2006, he came under attack for speaking commendably of a 1950s federal deportation program called Operation Wetback, and for sending an e-mail message to his supporters that included an attachment from a white supremacist group.
The law originated with Kris Kobach, who is running for Secretary of State in Kansas. Kobach is also a proponent in the birther conspiracy that contends Barack Obama was born in Kenya.
Kobach is an attorney for Immigration Reform Law Institute, the legal arm of the chameleon named organization Federation for American Immigration Reform, or FAIR. As Rachel Maddow revealed in her show last week, the founder of FAIR is known racist.
Well perhaps, the Jimmy Margulies cartoon is not far off the mark.
Since the passage of Arizona’s notorious anti-immigrant law SB 1070, which was signed into law by Governor Brewer last week, there are many people confused about the wording, claiming that only if a person commits a crime would they would be arrested. Apparently they have not read the exact words of the law because it is quite clear, that a police officer can arrest anyone the he has “reasonable suspicion” that the person is unlawfully present in the state. The person does not have to commit any crime to be stopped; he or she just has to “look like” and illegal alien. And this is the crux of the problem. Once the officer determines that the person is an illegal alien, he will determine that a crime has been committed, because the law makes a person who is illegal in Arizona, a trespasser and, now that has become a crime. Understand that under current law, being illegal is not a crime; it is an administrative violation punishable by deportation, not jail. This law creates a new crime, for just being illegal in the country. I submit, that the state does not have the power to create this crime as any immigration violation is within the ambit of federal law. Arizona has overstepped its boundaries.
Following is a portion of the black letter law of SB 1070. Read it and judge for yourself.
State of Arizona
Second Regular Session 2010
SENATE BILL 1070
AN ACT AMENDING TITLE 11, CHAPTER 7, ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES, BY ADDING ARTICLE 8; AMENDING TITLE 13, CHAPTER 15, ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES, BY ADDING SECTION 13-1509; AMENDING SECTION 13-2319, ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES; AMENDING TITLE 13, CHAPTER 29, ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES, BY ADDING SECTIONS 13-2928 AND 13-2929; AMENDING SECTIONS 23-212, 23-212.01, 23-214 AND 28-3511, ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES; AMENDING TITLE 41, CHAPTER 12, ARTICLE 2, ARIZONA REVISEDSTATUTES, BY ADDING SECTION 41-1724; RELATING TO UNLAWFULLY PRESENT ALIENS. (TEXT OF BILL BEGINS ON NEXT PAGE)
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Arizona:
Section 1. Intent
The legislature finds that there is a compelling interest in the cooperative enforcement of federal immigration laws throughout all of Arizona. The legislature declares that the intent of this act is to make attrition through enforcement the public policy of all state and local government agencies in Arizona. The provisions of this act are intended to work together to discourage and deter the unlawful entry and presence of aliens and economic activity by persons unlawfully present in the United States.
Sec. 2. Title 11, chapter 7, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended by adding article 8, to read:
ARTICLE 8. ENFORCEMENT OF IMMIGRATION LAWS
11-1051. Cooperation and assistance in enforcement of immigration laws; indemnification
A. NO OFFICIAL OR AGENCY OF THIS STATE OR A COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR
OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS STATE MAY ADOPT A POLICY THAT LIMITS OR RESTRICTS THE ENFORCEMENT OF FEDERAL IMMIGRATION LAWS TO LESS THAN THE FULL EXTENT PERMITTED BY FEDERAL LAW.
B. FOR ANY LAWFUL CONTACT MADE BY A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL OR AGENCY OF THIS STATE OR A COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS STATE WHERE REASONABLE SUSPICION EXISTS THAT THE PERSON IS AN ALIEN WHO IS UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES, A REASONABLE ATTEMPT SHALL BE MADE,WHEN PRACTICABLE, TO DETERMINE THE IMMIGRATION STATUS OF THE PERSON. THE PERSON'S IMMIGRATION STATUS SHALL BE VERIFIED WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PURSUANT TO 8 UNITED STATES CODE SECTION 1373(c).
C. IF AN ALIEN WHO IS UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES IS
CONVICTED OF A VIOLATION OF STATE OR LOCAL LAW, ON DISCHARGE FROM IMPRISONMENT OR ASSESSMENT OF ANY FINE THAT IS IMPOSED, THE ALIEN SHALL BE TRANSFERRED IMMEDIATELY TO THE CUSTODY OF THE UNITED STATES IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT OR THE UNITED STATES CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION.
D. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER LAW, A LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY MAY SECURELY TRANSPORT AN ALIEN WHO IS UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES AND WHO IS IN THE AGENCY'S CUSTODY TO A FEDERAL FACILITY IN THIS STATE OR TO ANY OTHER POINT OF TRANSFER INTO FEDERAL CUSTODY THAT IS OUTSIDE THE JURISDICTION OF THE LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY.
E. A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER, WITHOUT A WARRANT, MAY ARREST A PERSON IF THE OFFICER HAS PROBABLE CAUSE TO BELIEVE THAT THE PERSON HAS COMMITTED ANY PUBLIC OFFENSE THAT MAKES THE PERSON REMOVABLE FROM THE UNITED STATES.
F. EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN FEDERAL LAW, OFFICIALS OR AGENCIES OF THIS STATE AND COUNTIES, CITIES, TOWNS AND OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS OF THIS STATE MAY NOT BE PROHIBITED OR IN ANY WAY BE RESTRICTED FROM SENDING, RECEIVING OR MAINTAINING INFORMATION RELATING TO THE IMMIGRATION STATUS OF ANY INDIVIDUAL OR EXCHANGING THAT INFORMATION WITH ANY OTHER FEDERAL, STATE OR LOCAL GOVERNMENTAL ENTITY FOR THE FOLLOWING OFFICIAL PURPOSES...
Today President Obama will welcome the leaders of 47 governments to his Nuclear Security Summit. It will be another milestone in the President’s efforts to establish America’s role in the world and the largest gathering of world leader since 1945. He calls it the "single biggest threat to U.S. security" and is looking for cooperation from the rest of the world in arresting the development of improper use of nuclear energy and to rid the country of nuclear weapons. His primary concern is that some terrorist group like al-Qaida "could change the security landscape in this country and around the world for years to come."
On Sunday, spoke to individual leaders such as Chinese president Hu Jintao. regarding nuclear materials as well as including Iran, trade, and the U.S.-Chinese currency dispute,
King Abdullah II of Jordan, regarding the Middle East peace process and India and Pakistan as well as several others. Following these meeting he said "I feel very good at this stage in the degree of commitment and a sense of urgency that I have seen from the world leaders so far on this issue," Obama said. "We think we can make enormous progress on this, and this then becomes part and parcel of the broader focus that we've had over the last several weeks."
Last week the president approved a new nuclear policy for the United States. He pledged to decrease America's nuclear collection, desist from nuclear tests and will not use nuclear weapons against countries without such weapons. It is noted that North Korea and Iran were not part of the promise as they have failed to cooperate with other countries on nonproliferation principles.
In a recent interview on ABC's "Good Morning America " Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev the President of the Russian Federation also opined that Iran's nuclear agenda requires close monitoring. Support from the Russian and Chinese leaders would be imperative if any sanctions against Iran is to be imposed.