“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Arrogance of Elliot Spitzer. New York State Undermines US Security.

The next time you are searched and asked for your ID to fly on a US plane and you pull out your driver's license look around you. Your driver's license means nothing. When you vote, your say in the choices of government may be nullified by someone with no skin in the game.

Here is what you need to vote in New York State: The Voter Application Form A New York Driver's license will now be the gold access card for illegal activity in the United States. What an outrage and Washington will do nothing about it.

Spitzer Grants Illegal Immigrants Easier Access to Driver’s Licenses NY Times

Published: September 22, 2007
New York State, home to more than 500,000 illegal immigrants, will issue driver’s licenses without regard to immigration status under a policy change announced yesterday by Gov. Eliot Spitzer.

The change rolls back rules adopted four years ago under the Pataki administration that made it difficult, if not impossible, for tens of thousands of immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses because they could not prove legal status. Under the new rules, the Department of Motor Vehicles will accept a current foreign passport as proof of identity without also requiring a valid yearlong visa or other evidence of legal immigration.

The policy, which does not require legislative approval, will be phased in starting in December and will be tied to new antifraud measures, the governor said. Those measures will include the authentication of foreign passports and the use of photo comparison technology to ensure that no driver has more than one license.

The governor called it a “common sense change” that will improve traffic safety and lower insurance costs for all New Yorkers by ensuring that more immigrants have valid licenses and auto insurance. Giving more immigrants verifiable identification will also enhance law enforcement by bringing people out of the shadows, he asserted.

“The D.M.V. is not the I.N.S.,” Mr. Spitzer said, referring to the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, now part of Homeland Security, by its old initials of the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

The move goes against the national trend. Many states, prodded by demands to crack down on identity fraud, have added requirements that effectively prevent illegal immigrants from obtaining driver’s licenses.

All but eight states now require drivers to prove legal status to obtain driver’s licenses, and those eight — Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Washington — have come under pressure to add such a requirement.

To keep New York from becoming a magnet for people unable to obtain driver’s licenses elsewhere, the Spitzer administration will propose legislation to add a residency requirement similar to one already in effect in 27 states, David J. Swarts, the motor vehicles commissioner, said.

Mr. Swarts and other officials pointed to a study showing that unlicensed drivers were almost five times more likely to be in fatal crashes than people with valid driver’s licenses. The State Department of Insurance estimates that the new rules will save New York drivers $120 million each year by reducing premium costs associated with uninsured motorists by 34 percent.

The change fulfilled a promise Mr. Spitzer made repeatedly last year in his campaign, and it was hailed by immigrant organizations and labor unions that had pushed hard for it. Those groups said that the regulations imposed by the Pataki administration had hurt about 250,000 immigrants who needed licenses to drive to work, to hospitals or to schools.

“Immigrant communities throughout the nation can take heart that today’s victory may begin to turn the tide toward sensible and humane reforms at the federal level,” said Chung-Wha Hong, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, an umbrella group for more than 150 immigrant self-help and advocacy organizations.

But the new policy drew immediate fire from groups that had welcomed the Pataki administration rules as a needed crackdown on license fraud and as the kind of national security measure demanded by the Sept. 11 attacks.

Peter Gadiel, the president of 9/11 Families for a Secure America, whose son died in the World Trade Center, released a scathing statement even before the official announcement yesterday.

“Governor Spitzer will demonstrate abject stupidity and breathtaking disregard for the victims of 9/11 if he hands these powerful ID’s to people who sneak across our borders,” he wrote. “Terrorists here illegally used licenses to kill my son and thousands of others in the World Trade Center; if they do it again using New York licenses issued by this governor, the blood of the victims will be on Mr. Spitzer’s hands.
more here


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  3. Dealing with the Elites:
    Inspirational Reading From the Frogs:
    'Que ne mangent-ils de la croûte de pâté?' (Why don't they eat pastry?)
    She was known to have said
    "It is quite certain that in seeing the people who treat us so well despite their own misfortune, we are more obliged than ever to work hard for their happiness".

    Nevertheless, the French revolutionaries thought even less of her than we do today and she was guillotined to death in 1793 for the crime of treason.
    Bring back the Blade!

  4. If you’re going to use illegal slave labour, best to put them in internment camps. Unfortunately, there are too many chihuahuas in the care of powerful New York/Jersey families.

  5. Romney's taking a chance on pissing off the Republican "Pom-Pom" squad with his slamming of Bush, McCain, and Giuliani on Immigration; but he's about to get ME back.

  6. And that ain't nuthin compared to the vast number of illegal employers among the Glitterati, Macmansion Barons, Professors, Teachers, and Businesspeople in America's Sweatshop, Drug, and Gang Capital,
    La La Land.

  7. He's gotta shoot the works, and hope to gain some points before the money or time runs out.

  8. And let’s not forget our Idaho farmers.

  9. New Hampshire is the key. If he's even there when the Iowa Caucuses take place he should do okay.

  10. Idaho's probably okay; but, I'd say he's got a serious problem in New Mexico. :)

  11. And there's always the head stand.

  12. Idaho:

    Federal wage and hour laws do not set minimum wages and overtime rules for most farm workers. Many states, including California, used state laws to require farmers to pay farm workers the state minimum wage—in California, the state minimum wage is $5.75 an hour in 2000, while the federal minimum wage is $5.15. There are 27 states, including Idaho, that do not require farmers to pay state minimum wages.

  13. Mat, most of those stoop labor jobs pay a LOT more than that. It's hard-assed work, but they do get paid fairly well.

    In fact, the farmers in Ca found out that they can pay for machines to pick their oranges in about two years of saved wages.

    I think the biggest money probably comes from the food "processors."

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  16. Rufus,

    “The Idaho Department of Labor says that 22,000 Idaho farmers and ranchers employ an average of 41,000 workers a year.”

    That would be less than two hired persons per farmer. My guess the rest are chihuahuas, and therefore don't count in the statistics

  17. You're probably right, Mat; But, keep in mind, farming's not a very labor-intensive operation, anymore, outside of the fruit, veggie farms. I guess a man and a boy, with maybe one hired hand, could farm a thousand acres, or so, pretty easy. Them big John Deeres can git it done.

  18. Rufus,

    Try to harvest these using them John Deere:

  19. Do they have a LOT of those up there, Mat? I didn't know. Ideeho is a little out of this hillbillies range. :)

  20. I'm a bit more familiar with this Concept of farming.

  21. Rufus,

    They do $1.2 billion in cattle ranching exports alone. And that 22,000 number included both farmers and ranchers. I'd need to be out to the range to not be able to see that something is amiss. :D

  22. Mat, you'll notice there was no input there for labor. And, at $100.00/acre profit there's not much room to slide much of it in there.

  23. Oh, I'll grant you you've got your share. I never meant to argue that. I might have underestimated the number, though. I guess my thinking never got much past Potatas.

    Anyways, it's bedtime for Bonzo. I gotta get up and goof off some more, tomorra. g'nite.

  24. Rufus,

    Better to pay tax on profit, than to take a tax credit on a loss. :)


  25. Giuliani said that's ad criticizing Gen. Petreaus was out of bounds and hinted that the group should face some sort of sanction.

    "They passed a line that we should not allow an American political organization to pass," he said. "We are at war right now, whether some people want to recognize it or not."


    Got that, barflies?

  26. Boycott Ahmadinejad
    Let the Iranian president (and the Columbia president) speak to a sea of empty seats.
    by William Kristol
    09/21/2007 12:14:00 PM

    A COLUMBIA STUDENT asked how he could effectively protest his university's invitation to Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to speak Monday. My first response was to suggest petitions, e-mails to President Bollinger and the university trustees, letters to the student paper, peaceful protest, and the like. All these are fine. But then I had a second thought. There might be one form of protest that would be effective both in showing appropriate disgust for the Iranian regime, and in shaming the Columbia administration: A total student boycott of Ahmadinejad's speech. Let the Iranian president (and the Columbia president) look out on, and speak to, a sea of empty seats on Monday.

    The rationale for a student boycott is simple: The Iranian government is directly involved in killing and wounding American soldiers in Iraq. As a gesture of elementary solidarity with those serving our nation in the military--young men and women, many of them their exact contemporaries--Columbia students should refuse to dignify Ahmadinejad's talk by attending it. Needless to say, Columbia faculty and administrators shouldn't attend either. Some of them will. But this is a chance for the 9/11 generation to show a decency and a sense of honor that some of their elders lack. After all, this is not primarily about Ahmadinejad. Dealing with his regime is mostly a task for our government. This is about us. Columbia students have a chance to shame their elders, redeem the good name of their institution, and make many Americans proud. I urge them to take it.

    --William Kristol

    My sincere advice to the 9/11 generation?

    For starters, don't take any advice from Bill Kristol. Ever.

  27. OK. Petreaus is out. Kristol is out. We should listen to ahmadinjihad.

    Anything else?

  28. I took a nap, but
    Rufus is right about most of our farming here. But father and son they work their ass off.

  29. When I was going good, I know I worked as hard as grandfather, it doesn't make any diff whether you are sitting behind a horse or a steering wheel, hours is hours.

  30. "farming's not a very labor intensive operation"--I missed that, Rufus is wrong there, hours is hours....except for the blissful winter months, and then there is stuff to do then too...but it's a good life even if you don't make any money.

    To me, J Deere and Cat..there you got some good American corporations.

  31. "We should listen to ahmadinjihad."

    Who's WE, mat?

  32. Bob,

    The Hispanic population in Idaho has grown from 5.3 percent in 2000 to 8.9 percent this year, according to a statewide analysis by Idaho Commerce and Labor conducted with the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs.

    How would you account for this almost 100 percent growth in 7 years?

  33. We who should take your advice, Trish.

  34. James Wolcott:

    It'll Be Forever Until the Welcome Wagon Arrives

    Another pity about being in Cape May this September, apart from missing the Martha Graham performances (Joel Lobenthal has the latest), is that I won't be around to greet and extend a nervous hand of hospitality to Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad when he pays his not entirely welcome visit to Columbia U. As the Upper West Side's unofficial ambassador to the Axis of Evil, I feel it is my duty to do what I can to ratchet down the fireball rhetoric and demonstrate that not everyone seeks to pound the Mideast into compliant rubble with their geriatric fists. Facilitating dialogue between deranged parties, that's what I'm all about. Were I present and available, I would give Iran's president my personal tour of Morningside Heights, beginning of course with breakfast at the urban landmark made famous on Seinfeld, Tom's Restaurant; we could sit at the counter, which would be less exposed to possible sniper fire. From there we could walk stroll to Labyrinth Books and leave a white petal or two at the shrine to Noam Chomsky, tucked away in a tender nook on the second floor. Our brief spin would end with a visit to the 111th Street People's Garden, where we could all roll up our sleeves and make ourselves useful by helping remove some mugwort. Then I would escort Ahmadinejad back to his motorcade beneath the locust swarm of helicopters and, assuming there's room in one of the bulletproofed towncars, share a leisurely ride with him down to lower Manhattan.

    No, not to Ground Zero. That would be too provocational, especially with so many polticians and politicians behaving like irate infants and John McCain jokily insisting that the Iranian president be "physically restrained" should he trespass upon hallowed ground. It is no idle threat coming from the likes of McCain, who has proven his mettle when it comes to tackling and refusing to let go of a demagogic mad man. Instead, I would guide Ahmadinejad to the recently opened Global Financial Capital of New York, the headquarters of positive thought and world peace in the financial district. It is where I received my instruction in Transcendental Meditation, and it's possible that the Maharishi's sun-toned vision of a metaphysical umbrella of invincible defense might strike a receptive chord in Ahmadinejad, or at least give him something to think about between snacks on the long plane ride home.

    But given that I'm in Cape May for the remainder of the month, such an itinerary can be nothing more than a wistful pipe dream. I shall be down here adding to my bird list while our drag-queen Il Duce practices strangling free speech with his feather boa.

  35. Mat--I'm not sure I'd agree with that nearly 10% figure, but it may be true. How to account for it? The usual answer is all I know, no border inforcement, no real get em out of here program. I have seen some illegal immigrants around here in the north of Idaho, but not anything yet that would add up to your figures, but south Idaho is really almost 'another nation' from what we are up here. Down there they come for what jobs there are, and to get out of Mexico. I have been a long time supporter of Vasquez, and I am hoping for a 'wide open' republican primary, where he may have a chance.

  36. TRISH: Giuliani said that's ad criticizing Gen. Petreaus was out of bounds and hinted that the group should face some sort of sanction.

    So while the Repugnicans are talking about clipping free speech, as if the thing is the most pressing issue, Hillary is laying out her plan to get everyone covered so they don't shift health care costs when they go to the emergency room anyway.

  37. A drivers license is a license to drive.
    If you want an internal passport, a piece of identification that documents a persons legal, medical and employment status, say so.

    It will need to be bio-metric so as to be "unforgable". Every person in the Americas must have it in their possession, at all times. Just in case their "status" needs to be verified by concerned Authorities or an Employer or the clerk at the Safeway.

    The US has gotten by without the need for such "Papers" for hundreds of years, while the Europe and Asia struggled under reams of documentation.

    You want total security on airplanes and trains, drive a car.
    Demand everyone fly naked.

    We need to see your papers ...
    I think not, I do not need to carry no stinking papers.
    Not in the USA.
    Not to go to the store, to buy car or an apple. Not to travel to California or Washington DC.
    Not to freely assemble.

    Do not need to prove who I am, to anyone. Except the Bank.

  38. Bob, all I meant by labor intensive is a wheat farmer doesn't hire a lot of workers. I was raised on a small farm. I know for sure how intensely my daddy worked. And me, during the summer. :)

  39. "I have been a long time supporter of Vasquez.."

    Andres Vasquez

    Andres Vasquez (often misspelled Vasques) (born 16 July 1987 in Lima, Peru) is a Peruvian-born Swedish football midfielder.

    After playing for local clubs, he joined IFK Göteborg in 1997, a club he has played for since. He scored his first league goal for IFK Göteborg on May 7, 2007, against Örebro SK. The remarkable goal, a rabona kick from outside the penalty area, is by most experts seen as a candidate for the best goal of the year in Sweden. The English newspaper The Sun even went as far as calling it the best goal ever.