A Republic, if you can keep it

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A Step In The Right Direction

I contacted my Governor (Matt Blunt-Missouri) today to let him know I felt he had taken a step in the right direction when it comes to doing something about the illegal immigration problem in the state of Missouri.

Gov. Blunt Announces New Directives to Fight Illegal Immigration

JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Matt Blunt today said he is not waiting for Washington to enforce federal immigration law as he outlined tough new initiatives to enforce the laws against illegal immigration.

Blunt highlighted a tragic murder in Newark where an illegal immigrant, who was previously arrested for child rape and released on bail, was among those charged in the murder of three promising young college students. Identifying the murderer as an illegal immigrant when he was originally arrested could possibly have prevented the murders.

"We cannot be complacent about illegal immigration, and we cannot wait for Washington to stop unlawful immigration," Blunt said. "We must be proactive to protect Missourians from harm and help prevent what happened in New Jersey from happening in Missouri. We will make every effort, implement every tool, and take every step to ensure the laws against illegal immigration are enforced."

To prevent a similar tragedy in Missouri, Blunt today directed all law enforcement units in the Department of Public Safety (Water Patrol, Highway Patrol and Capitol Police) to:

. Prepare for special 287(g) training and deputization that allows state law enforcement officials to enforce federal immigration law as authorized through section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

. Encourage and assist local law enforcement to apply for 287(g) status and to otherwise offer state assistance, resources and support including making available Live Scan for local law enforcement agencies that will use it. To date, the state has invested more than $2 million of homeland security money in Live Scan, which allows fingerprints to be scanned in the field.

. Verify the immigration status of every individual presented for incarceration with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) computer background status check and to complete full background checks on any accompanying adults. Anyone identified as illegal will be detained to prevent them from committing any crimes.

Today's announcement is part of a tough new strategy Blunt designed to fight illegal immigration and activity in Missouri.

Blunt is a strong advocate for protecting Missouri from illegal activity. He recently sent a letter to the Missouri Housing Development Commission outlining principles for the commission to consider regarding illegal immigration that include possible sanctions of up to a lifetime ban of contractors and developers who knowingly employs illegal immigrants in violation of federal law.

The letter follows the governor's tough stand against illegal immigration and workers. Earlier this year Gov. Blunt ousted a state contractor who hired illegal workers and ordered state agencies to enact a no tolerance policy through tough new contract protections. The governor canceled the state's contract with Sam's Janitorial Services and barred them from doing further business with the state after local and federal law enforcement agencies identified dozens of suspected illegal immigrants working under falsified documents.

Blunt also authored the state's first directive to audit all contractors to ensure that the contract employees are legally eligible to work in the U.S. and to terminate contracts if it is determined a contractor employs illegal immigrants. He added tough provisions in state contracts to allow the state to immediately cancel contracts if it determines the contractor knowingly has employees not eligible to work in the U.S. and to require contractors to certify that all their employees meet state and federal employment eligibility requirements.

In the past if you read the police reports in my local paper you would see someone that had been pulled over for a traffic violation had also been charged with violating federal immigration laws. It's my understanding that the courts had been allowing them to get out on bail. It looks like the old days of catch and release in Missouri have came to an end. "Verify the immigration status of every individual presented for incarceration with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) computer background status check and to complete full background checks on any accompanying adults. Anyone identified as illegal will be detained to prevent them from committing any crimes." I do hope this will catch on in other states.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Question Of The Week, 8/26/07

Good morning. First I want to tell you all I'm sorry if I haven't visited your site lately, I've had a lot of things to take care of around home. I hope to be caught up soon. This weeks Question Of The Week is. What role should the United States (federal) Government play in the education of our children?

I'll post my answer in the Comment Section Monday Night.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Question Of The Week, 8/19/07

Good morning. I'm sure I'm not the only one that is concerned about the number of Chinese made products that have recently been recalled. If you need a refresher I just read an 8/17/08 e-mail. Check it out.

By Charles R. Smith

The China problem just got a bit bigger. Chinese products entering the U.S. have come under fire and massive recalls due to poison. The products ranging from toys to toothpaste have been discovered to be toxic and dangerous.

Mattel, the largest U.S. maker of toys, has recalled over 18 million Chinese-made toys that contain magnets that can be swallowed by children or could be colored with lead paint. The recalls includes 7.3 million play sets, Polly Pocket dolls, Batman action figures, and 253,000 Sarge brand cars, because the surface paint could contain lead.

Also recalled were 683,000 Barbie and Tanner play sets and 1 million Doggie Day Care play sets.
In addition to the new U.S. recall, which totals over 9 million toys, other Mattel toys sent around the world have also been recalled. An additional 183,000 Sarge brand cars from the Pixar movie “Cars” were recalled with 49,000 of the affected vehicles located in the UK and Ireland.

Other Mattel toys recalled contain small, powerful magnets that can come loose and are a potential swallowing hazard to young children. According to Mattel, if more than one magnet is swallowed, the magnets can attract each other and cause intestinal perforation or blockage, which can be fatal.
There had been 400 reports of magnets coming loose since Mattel recalled 2.4 million magnetic play sets in November 2006. According to the reports, at least three children required surgery after swallowing more than one magnet.

The new recall comes within days of Mattel’s Fisher-Price division worldwide recall of 1.5 million Chinese-made preschool toys featuring characters such as Dora the Explorer, Big Bird and Elmo. According to Mattel, 967,000 of those toys were sold in the United States between May and August.
Mattel officials maintained that a European retailer discovered the lead in some of the lead-covered Fisher-Price products in early July. On July 6, the company halted operations at the factory in China that produced the toys and launched an investigation.

Days after the Fisher-Price recall, Chinese officials temporarily banned the toys’ manufacturer, Lee Der Industrial Co., from exporting products. According to Chinese official reports, Lee Der co-owner, Cheung Shu-hung, committed suicide at a warehouse apparently by hanging himself after the ban.

The cause of Cheung’s suicide was reportedly due to the disgrace of the recall. However, no official statement has been made available and Cheung’s company is under investigation.

In June, toy maker RC2 Corp. voluntarily recalled 1.5 million wooden railroad toys and set parts from its Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway product line. The company said that the surface paint on certain toys and parts made in China also contained lead.

The toy recall is compounded by another dangerous Chinese import - poison toothpaste. Indianapolis based Gilchrist & Soames released a statement that it was recalling toothpaste made in China after discovering the product contained a chemical used to make automobile antifreeze. The toothpaste was distributed to hotels in more than a dozen countries.

Independent tests showed some samples of the Chinese toothpaste contained diethylene glycol, a toxic chemical that could cause kidney and liver failure.

The recall involves 0.65-ounce tubes of toothpaste made in China by Ming Fai Enterprises International Co. Ltd. The toothpaste was distributed under the Gilchrist & Soames name to hotels in Barbados, Belgium, Bermuda, Canada, Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland, Turks & Caicos, the United Arab Emirates, Britain and the United States.

Gilchrist & Soames officials would not release the names of hotels affected by the recall and could not say how many of the small tubes of toothpaste were involved.

The toothpaste recall comes after Chinese toothpaste products were pulled off the shelves around the U.S. and all over the globe. The FDA has put out a notice to consumers covering the exact brands that are tainted. In addition to the U.S., several Latin American nations, including Panama have banned or forced the removal of toothpaste containing dangerous chemicals.

The FDA has posted a list of toothpastes found to contain diethylene glycol.

U.S. and Latin American consumers are not the only ones suffering from poisoned goods. A chemical plant leaked arsenic into a river in southern China that supplies water to at least 20,000 people.
The toxic waste has poisoned and killed nearly 90,000 pounds of fish and threatened the lives of thousands of Chinese citizens as well as fish exports from the region. Chinese government officials went door to door in Chongan town, Guizhou province, to warn villagers not to eat, sell or transport the fish.

Dead fish were found floating on 3 mile stretch of the river. According to Chinese official statements, it will take at least four to five days to clear them away.

The recent news from China is of grave concern. The numbers of tainted or dangerous products are piling up to the point where the issue is entering the presidential race. The real question should be how many of these products have entered our bodies?

The oldest axiom - “Buyer Beware” applies here. The issue should be part of a consumer race to protect our children and ourselves from poison products made on the cheap by eager communists who will sell anything to make a buck. They are teamed with eager capitalists in the west who sought the cheap labor and low standards that we now find can kill.

The “Made In China” label has drawn lots of buyers seeking a bargain. Beware of bargains that seem too good to be true. Just how much do you save when your safety is not a concern?

Outraged? In the Comment Section to a recent post of mine Always On Watch mentions a boycott. This weeks Question Of The Week is. Would the majority of today's shoppers be willing to give up their cheap "Made In China" products for safety sake?

I'll post my answer in the Comment Section Monday night.

Thanks go to:

Soft War

Always On Watch

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

"All warfare is based on deception.” --Sun Tzu

Back in the mid to late 70's I worked with a man that had spent several years working in the field of military intelligence. Back then a lot of us were still concerned about the former U.S.S.R (Russia). My old friend/co-worker told us we were looking in the wrong direction. He said given time Russia would destroy itself. He told us that if the United States was ever attacked the attack would come from China, not Russia. I think of my old friend every time I read an article like this one by,Geoff Metcalf.

There are some that believe China is a friend to the United States. I'm not one of them, I've read the Art Of War several times, I'd suggest everyone read it. That's why I felt entering into trade agreements with China was a bad idea all along. Recently there have been a lot of Chinese made products recalled in the United States for health and safety reasons. I'm not so sure that exporting these products to the United States wasn't a form of attack. We see products from China on store shelves daily. They must be safe or they wouldn't be there, right? If you want to answer that think about the title to this post. Many Chinese leaders still use the teachings of Sun Tzu when making decisions involving government, business and the military.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Question Of The Week, 8/12/07

Good afternoon. I'm late, I was having some problems getting on-line. This weeks Question Of The Week comes from me. Were the two recent mining accidents just that, freak accidents or were corners being cut to save/make money?

I'll post my answer in the Comment Section Monday night.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Question Of The Week, 8/5/07

Good morning. We'll be going to our oldest Great-Grand-Daughters first Birthday party before I go to work this afternoon. I'd almost be willing to bet that at least three quarters of the gifts she gets today will have a label that reads, "Made In China". At least we'll know where it came from.

Now that I've mentioned China check out the article that was in my local paper this morning.

China, world at odds

Clinton Thomas
Agribusiness Reporter

Imagine that a new neighbor moved in next door with promises to spruce up the neighborhood and make the block a better place for everyone.

Some people would greet such a newcomer with open arms.

Now fast forward a few months. The new guy on the block has poisoned the local pets, handed out rotten food from his garden and provided the kids across the street with all the lead paint-coated toys they can handle.

Actions like that can turn open arms into closed fists.

China's move into the global economy, and the laundry list of product recalls that came with it, has put the country in the same situation. Poisoned pet food in March; tainted seafood in June; toys covered in lead paint last week; not to mention the products that failed to grab national attention.

In all, 60 percent of recalled products in the United States this year have come from China, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Such numbers have affected everyone from shoppers to meatpackers to companies that process grain.

effect on shoppers

The recalls have convinced some shoppers to check labels more closely.

"It's nice to know where something came from before you eat it," said Linda Neal as she filled her grocery cart. "The hard part is remembering to look."

Toys, clothing, and many other non-food products have carried country-of-origin labels for years. But food items, specifically meat, generally offer the consumer few clues about what country the product came from.

The 2002 Farm Bill was supposed to change that with a provision for country-of-origin-labeling, often referred to as the COOL law. Objections from meatpackers, retailers and producers have delayed implementation of the law, but new language in the 2007 Farm Bill could expedite the process.

effect on producers

Jeff Windett, executive vice president for the Missouri Cattlemen's Association, said many cattle producers feared the law would add costs that would hurt their operations. Ranchers would have to spend time on paperwork documenting where the animal was born and every time it had travelled in its lifetime. The larger the herd, the more work to do.

Mr. Windett said the new language is "about as good as we could hope for," though the association is still evaluating the legislation's language as it passes through Congress.

"Most consumers would like to know where their meat comes from," Mr. Windett said. "I think we would see a drastically different number if consumers saw that it would add 50 percent to the cost of their food."

The labeling situation is more complicated than it seems. For example, a pig processed at Triumph Foods that later becomes sausage at an Arrowhead Stadium tailgate could wind up with multiple countries of origin stamped on its label. Many pigs are born in Canada, then fattened on corn at feedlots in the United States before a meatpacker like Triumph buys them for slaughter.

In Triumph's case, the company sells most of its meat to an American processor, while the intestines go overseas where a Chinese company processes them into sausage casings, said Patt Lilly, Triumph's chief administrative officer.

The Chinese company sells some of the casings to a processor in the United States that uses them to make sausage. Even in the implausible event that the meat and casing from the same pig were reunited into one sausage, the label would carry three countries of origin: Canada, the United States and China.

Effect on processors

MGP Ingredients in Atchison, Kan., produces grain-based ingredients for food and personal care products, but does not reveal which companies buy its wheat gluten, said Steve Pickman, MGP's vice president of corporate communications.

When tainted wheat gluten from China led to a pet food recall in March, MGP put out a press release stressing that its gluten was safe and had nothing to do with the recall.

MGP's products improves the rising ability and texture of bakery goods and are used in other products like pet food. The Chinese gluten, however, was diluted with wheat flour and the industrial chemical melamine.

MGP processes more wheat gluten than any of its three American competitors. Even so, the company has felt the squeeze from the cheap Chinese competition.

"Until recently, we were running at only 20 percent of our capacity, simply because we cannot compete economically," Mr. Pickman said.

Imported wheat gluten now makes up 70 percent of the market in the United States. The United States imported about 52 million pounds from China in 2006, up from 22 million pounds in 2005. Mr. Pickman said companies have shown more interest in MGP's product after the Chinese recall, but the foreign product remains attractive to companies seeking cheap ingredients.

"The product might be cheaper, but are you getting what you pay for? Are you getting what you want?" Mr. Pickman asked.

This weeks Question Of The Week is. Would you support having "country-of-origin labels" on the food we eat even if it means you'd have to pay a little more at the check out counter?

I'll post my answer in the Comment Section Monday night.

Thanks go to:
The St. Joseph News-Press

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.