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Davis-Oliver Act Sets Out To Enforce U.S. Immigration Laws

(from FNC)

Via Billy

Immigration impacts virtually every challenge and threat America and Americans confront each day.
Failures of the immigration system have cost thousands of Americans and others present in the United States their lives.

The 9/11 Commission, to which I provided testimony, identified those failure of the interior enforcement program, as being at heart of the ability of terrorists, and not only the 19 hijackers who carried out the terror attacks of 9/11 but other terrorists, as well, to enter the United States and embed themselves as they went about their deadly preparations.

Members of pernicious transnational gangs from around the world, and not just Latin America, have easily entered the United States and set up shop in towns and cities across the United States peddling narcotics and perpetrating violent crimes.

Failures of the immigration system have not only surpassed the wages of American and lawful immigrants but have also cost millions of American workers their very jobs.

 More @ Front Page
I’m all about legal immigration.  This Republic was built on and by immigrants.  Certainly there were illegals one hundred years ago, not passing through Ellis Island (or the equivalent).  But times, technology, and populations have changed.  As have the immigrants, themselves.
There was a time folks strove to come to America to live the American Dream.  Many still do.
But, there are those who hold to their non-American cultural, criminal or religious traditions.
We need to keep them out.
How we do that, and at what cost is the question.
The Manchester bomber was a British citizen, born in Manchester of Libyan immigrants.
‘They’ are playing the long game, people!

Veterans Affairs Has 346 Workers Who Do ONLY Union Work

(from Judicial Watch, in part)

An estimated 346 employees in the Department of Veterans Affairs do no actual work for taxpayers. Instead, they spend all of their time doing work on behalf of their union while drawing a federal salary, a practice known as “official time.”That’s according to a report by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office. But exactly what those VA workers are doing and why so many are doing it is not clear. The VA doesn’t track that, and the GAO report offers no clue.

Rep. Jody Arrington, R-Texas, a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, thinks the number on 100 percent official time may be much higher. He also notes that the 346 workers don’t include those who spend most, not all, of their time doing union work.

“The lack of accountability at the VA when it comes to monitoring official time suggests it might be worse,” said Arrington, who has introduced legislation that would require the department to track the use of official time, among other reforms.

Pointing to the waiting list scandals at the department, Arrington said the official time situation is reflective of the “broken culture at the heart of the VA” and adds, “I haven’t heard one good, acceptable reason why the practice has continued.”

The VA was not eager to discuss the matter with the Washington Examiner. After several days of inquiries, it responded with the following statement: “VA believes that the appropriate use of official time can be beneficial and in the public interest as stated in the Federal Service Labor-Relations Statute, which governs how executive branch agencies treat official time. VA takes the position that labor and management have a shared responsibility to ensure that official time is authorized and used appropriately. VA practices are in compliance with the Federal Service Labor-Relations Statute.”

Official time is allowed under the 1978 Civil Service Reform Act. The idea behind it is to ensure that a federal employee who is also a union official won’t be penalized for being away from work if he or she is negotiating a contract or addressing a worker grievance, for example. It is essentially a trade-off for the limitations put on federal unions, such as prohibitions on striking.

At least 700 federal workers do nothing but work on official time, according to the GAO and data obtained from various Freedom of Information Act requests. The VA uses official time far more than any other agency.

“Employees spent approximately 1,057,00 hours on official time for union representation activities … In addition, the data show that 346 employees spent 100 percent of their time on official time,” the GAO found in a January report.

It is possible that even those figures are conservative. The GAO said the said the VA’s poor monitoring meant the data was “inconsistent and not reliable.”

The GAO didn’t know what the employees are doing with all of that time. “We just didn’t get into that in that particular study,” said Cindy Barnes, the GAO’s director of education, workforce and income security issues and author of the report.

Part of the explanation is that the VA is one of the largest federal agencies with 373,000 workers, making it second only to the Pentagon in the sheer size of its workforce. About 250,000 VA workers are covered by collective bargaining agreements, according to the GAO, citing 2012 data. Arrington puts the covered figure at 285,000.

By comparison, the Department of Homeland Security has 240,000 workers and the Department of Commerce has just under 44,000 workers. But those departments get by with proportionately far fewer people working exclusively on official time. DHS has 39, while Commerce has just four.

Another factor is that the VA’s workforce is represented by no less than five unions: The American Federation of Government Employees, the National Association of Government Employees, National Nurses United, the National Federation of Federal Employees and the Service Employees International Union.

National Nurses United representative Irma Westmoreland was the only union official willing to talk about the practice with the Washington Examiner. She is one of five nurses union members who work exclusively on union time at the VA. The union has another nine who spent 80 percent of their time at the VA on official time, she said.

Westmoreland said her work was necessary because nurses can’t simply stop taking care of a patient to do something like address a worker grievance. People such as her do the union work and make it possible for the other nurses to focus on providing care.

“I have to travel across the country working with 23 VA facilities in four time zones,” she said. “The management teams want somebody at 100 percent official time so they don’t have to pull somebody out of care.”

But not everyone at the VA is involved in care. So what are the other 341 exclusive official time workers doing? Westmoreland had no insight.

“I don’t know how the other people do it,” she said.

American Federation of Government Employees President J. David Cox told Arrington’s subcommittee in February that official time involved activities such as “designing and delivering joint training of employees on work-related subjects and introduction of new programs and work methods that are initiated by the agency or by the union.”

He added that “in no way did the [February GAO] report suggest that the use of official time presents problems for the department.” The report sought only to quantify the amount of time used.

Arrington argues that the practice has to change if the VA is ever to be truly reformed. He has sponsored the Veterans, Employees and Taxpayer Protection Act, which would require the VA to track the use of official time. It also would prohibit employees involved with direct patient care from spending more than a quarter of their work hours on union activities and bar any VA employee from spending more than half of their time on official time.

The legislation would effectively put VA employees under right-to-work protection. The VA would be prohibited from agreeing to union contracts that force workers to join or otherwise support a union as a condition of employment.

Westmoreland said she has no trouble with better tracking the use of official time but warns against putting any limitations on its use.

“It makes it very difficult if you cannot have set official time,” she said.  (The Washington Examiner)

Our tax dollars at work?  Hardly.  The most regular visitor to the White House during the last administration was a big union guy.  One hopes this has changed, and that the inappropriate union influence in the federal government has ended.Or, as least, tricked down to STOP!

 

With A Stroke Of A Pen…

(from Chris Farrell’s On Watch, in part)

 It’s time for some extreme transparency. 

You’ve heard President Trump talk about extreme vetting for persons seeking to the enter the US from terror hot-spots – well, we need to aggressively exercise a similar technique when it comes to government records that you are owed through the Freedom of Information Act or FOIA.

Judicial Watch files more FOIA requests and litigates more FOIA cases than any other organization in the country.  Much of the Washington corruption you have heard about in the news started with investigative work by Judicial Watch.  Cases like “Fast & Furious,” the political weaponization of the IRS, the effort to cover-up Benghazi, Hillary Clinton’s reckless criminality concerning her outlaw email server, and many other cases.

The FOIA law allows for agencies and departments of the Executive Branch of government to make “discretionary disclosures.”  In plain English, that means President Trump and his cabinet secretaries can release whatever they want – whenever they wish to do so.  It’s up to them.  They can exercise their discretion to release records that are of broad general and news media interest concerning important public policy issues and/or the operations of the federal government.  These discretionary disclosures take nothing more than a stroke of the pen.

Ironically, the Department of Justice under Attorney General Sessions is currently making the exact same legal arguments as the Obama administration – and using all the double-talk and excuses from the Obama era, too.  The Justice Department remains in full cover-up mode for anything that would be embarrassing or illegal for the Obama administration.  That’s frustrating and disappointing, but you need to remember that the rank-and-file staff attorneys at Justice Department headquarters are largely Leftists that continue to support the Obama agenda.  President Trump appears to have a tough road ahead.  BUT, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Discretionary disclosures!  Extreme transparency!  With the stroke of a pen, President Trump and his cabinet secretaries can order the release of all government records concerning any number of important issues and lingering questions.

Here’s just a small sample of some of the cases Judicial Watch is investigating and litigating that could be released in full for the public and news media to examine:

  • FBI 302s – or investigative reports of interviews of President Obama, Rahm Emanuel and Valerie Jarrett during criminal investigation of Rod Blagojevich trying to sell Obama’s Senate seat.
  • The entire FBI’s investigative file of Secretary Clinton’s email practices.
  • Records about the tarmac meeting between former President Clinton and Attorney General Lynch at the Phoenix airport.
  • Draft indictments of Hillary Rodham Clinton prepared by Whitewater Deputy Independent Counsel Hickman Ewing, Jr.
  • Records about the Intelligence Community’s decision not to conduct a damage assessment of Secretary Clinton’s criminal email practices.
  • Records of notes, updates, or reports in the Office of the Secretary of State about Benghazi.

If you’re looking for some accountability for what’s happened in this country for the past eight years there’s a starting point.  But, there’s much, much more.

It’s time for extreme transparency.  Let’s get past the cover-ups and double-talk from the past eight years.  Your employees owe you records and answers. President Trump can provide them with the stroke of a pen.

I’m Chris Farrell . . . On Watch 

Or not.

And what about the current administration’s transparency and accountability?

So much for draining the swamp!

ISIS And US Progressives – What’s The Difference?

(From Bayou Renaissance Man, in part)
Vox points out:

As he says:  “What, precisely, is the difference? There is no difference. It’s just vandalizing history of which one does not approve.”

Methinks he has a point.

Peter

Finally, Someone Who Enforces The Rules 

(I’m generally a rule follower – unless, of course, they are silly, or put me in danger.  I DO like order, and dislike those who endanger those close to me – whether or not it’s through self-centeredness or malice. – Guffaw)

We’re staying at an undisclosed location, while the powers-that-be are repairing the shower leak in the townhouse.   Or at least beginning the process.  (The ceiling beneath the leak has been excised, and is being dried.  We await the plumbers and subsequent reconstruction.  No contractors present today!)

All guests herein are required to sign a form that this is a non-smoking campus.

Penalties attached.

My roommate is extremely asthmatic, and is sensitive to tobacco smoke.

So, this is a positive development.

On Day One here, she smelled smoke in the hall directly outside our room. On Day Two, it happened again, more intensely.  We notified the front desk.

The second day, it did negatively affect her breathing. It was definitely stronger.

And pissed us off.  We contacted the front desk.

Subsequently, we heard a loud discussion outside our room. Upon opening the door, we observed the general manager in confrontation with the tenants directly across the hall.

They were ‘young people’ (under 40).

At length, the manager called us and advised they had been charged an additional $250.  As both a penalty, and to clean the room.

And they were evicted from the hotel! 

I understand the mechanism of addiction.  And also understand one must make amends for one’s mistakes.  This is a step in the right direction.

PS – I’m NOT against smoking.  It’s a quasi-legal activity, using a legal substance.  And, I don’t like smokers being treated as third-class citizens.

But, follow the rules to which you agreed, people!

How To Ruin A Perfectly Good Saturday 

First, get together with a group of friends for coffee and such, and listen to the the latest versions of their respective weeks.

On the way home, experience an odd internal pain while driving – particularly while turning the steering wheel.  Not vigorously, mind you, and with power steering.

Experience this three different times in the space of fifteen-or-so minutes.

Drive home and internally debate calling the RN nurse help line, offered by your insurance carrier.

Make the call, and experience a chain of health-related advertising while on hold. Disconnect the call and redial the main number, eventually being menu-prompted to a live nurse.

Discuss the specifics of the multiple events, including the depth, type of pain, duration and other symptoms experienced.

Receive the strong suggestion I visit either an E. R. close by, or an urgent care.

Soon. 

Ask roommate J. to drive you. She has recently been released to drive, but with her shoulder on the mend, I’ve insisted she not yet so do, until now.

J. begins experiencing her own symptoms she has had repeatedly for a couple of years, involving her heart and asthma. Decide to drive yourself the 1/8 mile to the Urgent Care, based on the fact an E. R.  is more distant, and costs more money.

The Urgent Care performs an EKG, says it ‘might’ be unusual, and recommends an immediate hospital intake for further evaluation. Drive home and ask J. to do the honors, just in case.

Arrive at the E. R..  J. ‘s breathing has again become labored, probably because of stress and the smoke in the air from the nearby desert and city fires.

They admit her first, for observation.

At length, get admitted, have blood taken, and another ekg done. And answer the same questions the same way to three different doctors, the same way you did at the urgent care.   And have another ultrasound of the still puffy leg.

Eventually get moved to a room. You are hungry and tired, and J. gets released on her good behavior.

Attempt to call family and friends via cell.  Apparently, this is verboten.  Text everyone and go on FB.  (Thank you for your support!)

Finally, get a doctor’s permission to eat.  Initially, as the lunchroom is now closed, they bring you a well-traveled turkey sandwich (I LOATHE turkey!)

Negotiate and end up with BBQ chicken and a baked potato!

Awaiting later blood work, to compare with the earlier, to see if any actual heart damage occurred. Get told you might have to stay overnight.

Get released twelve hours after the initial pain happened, not having any additional pain or symptoms, with the diagnosis ‘chest pain of a non-cardiac nature’! (IOW, they don’t know!) 

Received referrals for your regular doctor and a cardiologist, just because.

Ask J. to return to collect you.

Realize you are subject to the power of suggestion, as one of your friends had been discussing her heart attack last week in this morning’s coffee, with the subsequent placement of a stent.

Consider suicide (just kidding)…

M17 Modular Handgun System ACCEPTED For Service By Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force

(from TFB, in part)

BREAKING: M17 Modular Handgun System ACCEPTED for Service by Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force

Image source: SIG Sauer

The US Army’s M17 Modular Handgun System, derived from the SIG P320 handgun, has crossed one of the final hurdles on the track to full replacement of previous service handguns (including chiefly the Beretta M9). The United States Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force have all announced their acceptance of the M17 MHS as the new sidearm for each respective service, according to a story written by Matthew Cox for KitUp!

The Modular Handgun System competition was decided with an announcement in late January that SIG Sauer had beaten out FN, Glock, and Beretta for the massive $500 million dollar contract for future 21st Century US Army sidearms. A protest on the decision from Glock is still pending a Government Accounting Office (GAO) ruling, which is expected by early June.

The M17 MHS is a derivative of the SIG Sauer P320 handgun which sports interchangeable grip modules, suppressor support via a threaded barrel, interchangeable slide lengths on a single frame, and an integral optics mounting plate. Departing from the complex double action/single action hammer fired mechanism of the previous M9 pistol, the M17 Modular Handgun System utilizes a much simpler and cheaper striker fired design pioneered by the famous Glock family of handguns and utilized by SIG starting with the P320.

Seriously?  No surprise here.

Has a sidearm ever been accepted by the DOD, only to be rejected by the individual services?  (SpecOps aside).

Brink’s Adopts The FN 509

(from TFB, in part)

Brink’s Adopts The FN 509 | The First FN 509 Contract Awarded

As much as people want to shun the FN 509 for being yet another polymer framed striker gun that is easy to overlook the hidden greatness, Brink’s saw the benefit in the new plastic wonder gun. The adoption of the FN 509 by Brink’s marks the first major purchase of the 509 since it was announced on April 17, 2017.

There is no word on how many pistols Brink’s has purchased and what the details of the sale were other than a Dallas, Texas based FN Law Enforcement Dealer called TK Tactical brokered the deal between Brink’s and FN’s law enforcement sales team.

We have previously covered the FN 509 on TFB TV and found the pistol to be a hidden gem that many will no doubt overlook when they are in the gunstore. If large contracts like the Brink’s one continue to be awarded to the FN pistol I expect we will see a ton more of the pistols in civilian hands.

The press release can be found HERE, but I have pasted it below.

(McLean, VA – April 25, 2017) FN America, LLC, the manufacturer of the world’s most battle-proven firearms, announces the award of a long-term firearms contract by Brink’s, Incorporated, a premier provider of secure logistics and security solutions throughout the United States. After extensive testing of all major pistol manufacturers over the course of nine months, Brink’s has selected the all-new FN 509™ striker-fired 9mm pistol and will issue the new sidearm to its armed security guards.

FN’s law enforcement sales team worked with TK Tactical, an FN Law Enforcement Distributor based in Dallas, Texas, to develop the lead, and then directly with Brink’s to provide a firearms solution that met and exceeded the needs of its armed personnel. The first order of pistols will begin shipping in early June. Brink’s Incorporated, is the first major private security company to adopt the FN 509 since its official release in April 2017.

“We are proud to announce the contract with Brink’s, Incorporated,” said Mark Cherpes, President and CEO for FN America, LLC. “Like FN, Brink’s has a long and honored history. Brink’s is one of the most iconic private security firms in the world. The decision to purchase the FN 509 is an important achievement for our organization. It is validation of the hard work that our team put into designing, producing and supporting this pistol.”

The FN 509 was born out of the company’s effort to produce a contender for the U.S. Army’s Modular Handgun System (MHS) competition and has been further enhanced to meet the needs of U.S. law enforcement and commercial customers. Built on the proven architecture of the FNS™ Compact, FN made changes internally and externally to meet the rigorous performance standards of the MHS requirements and further developed the platform into the FN 509 with help from industry experts. Over the course of development, the platform has been tested extensively for reliability, ammunition compatibility and durability – totaling more than 1 million rounds.

Check out FN America online for more information about the FN 509.

Times have changed.  Traditionally, private security has followed the coattails of the military and police, many times with mixed results.  It took years for the civilian police to follow the military from revolvers to semiautomatics and even more for private security to get on board.

Perhaps because most private security has less stringent training than the police, and pays less to support it.

I recall working for another national security company, in the late 70’s.  The post-issued weapon was a Colt Official Police revolver, of early manufacture, complete with five green rounds of .38 Special in the six-round cylinder.  Issued in a right-handed Hunter holster (I’m left handed.)  No reloads were supplied, and no training/qualification offered.

AND, the barrel was LOOSE!  I never pulled on it, for fear it would separate from the frame!

(Fortunately, my Captain permitted me to carry my Ruger Security Six, on long-term loan from Dave-the-mechanic (thanks. again, Dave!), a gun I had shot competitively with (and now own – thanks yet again, Dave!)

It nice to see Brink’s stepping up to obtain quality firearms for it’s troops.  Hopefully, they will be issued to all, not just the elite of the service.

And, properly trained-for and maintained…

Illegals Thwart Immigration Laws With Help From Lawyers, Judges, Educators

– The Washington Times – Monday, April 24, 2017

A massive anti-deportation infrastructure has emerged to try to protect illegal immigrants from President Trump’s crackdown, with advocacy groups coaching potential deportees on how to massage encounters with police, and lawyers and judges working to shield them from charges that would make them priorities for deportation.

A video released Monday by a coalition of advocates instructs illegal immigrants not to open the door to federal agents, what proof to demand if they are being arrested and what to say if accosted outside their homes.

Meanwhile, attorneys are working to lower charges from some illegal immigrant criminals, hoping to blunt their crimes so they don’t show up as high-priority deportation targets.

The latest instance was in California, where an immigrant from India was accused of abusing his wife. The Santa Clara prosecutor told The Daily Beast that he reduced a felony assault charge to a felony accessory after the fact charge in order to spare the man a sentence that would have made him a deportation risk.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions lashed out at the prosecutor last week, calling his action a perversion of the criminal justice system.

Click to Read More

h/t NewsLink

(A video released Monday by a coalition of advocates instructs illegal immigrants not to open the door to federal agents, what proof to demand if they are being arrested and what to say if accosted outside their homes.)

Wouldn’t it be nice if all persons here legally, alien and citizen alike, had such advice and protection?

What does this cost?  Who is paying for it?  Qui bono? (Who benefits?)

 

Don’t Do Anything Rash! (The Adventure Continues…)

SO…

I go to see my primary doctor yesterday afternoon.  She confirms ‘yes’, I DO have a rash of undetermined origin, now permeating most of my body.  My edema in my right calf is of significant size, and has NOT diminished when horizontal.

She prescribes a synthetic corticosteroid to deal with the rash.  She is MORE concerned about the edema.

She sends me to a diagnostic center for an ultrasound of the leg.  (I must drive myself, as J. is still recovering from her shoulder surgery and cannot drive.)

It’s either this, or she admits me to the hospital.  She’s concerned I might have a blood clot(!)

So, it’s back from central Phoenix to Chandler (nearer to where I live) for the imaging.  It’s approaching 1700, but they are waiting for me. (My doc has pull!)

I wore sandals I don’t usually wear, so she could get a better look at my legs and feet (wrestling with socks and ‘Ed’ the really big shoe can be difficult when swollen.  The sandals are uncomfortable and make driving difficult.

And I cannot afford to Uber.

J. is with me for moral support and to listen to my cursing.

Finally, we find the place and I get the ultrasound.  NO CLOTS!  😛  They contact my doc, who prescribes a broad spectrum antibiotic and schedules me to return Friday @ 1300 for follow-up.  She does this all herself and makes certain she speaks with me about diet to accompany the antibiotic.  Initially, I missed her call (loud surroundings) and she called back and left a message.  Then she kept calling until she could speak with me personally.

I have a great physician!

The Good News is I picked up the meds.  The Bad News is neither is recommended for evening use.  So, another night of calamine lotion looms.

I think I received three hours of sleep.  J. has another physical therapy appointment this afternoon.  AND I TOOK MY FIRST PREDNISONE THIS MORNING!  😛

C’mon work!

Time will tell.  It’s been about two hours, and I feel slightly less itchy.  (Perhaps that’s just wishful thinking?)

I will keep everyone advised.  (No Clots – Hooray!)  😛

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…