As the drug war in Mexico continues to spill across America’s southern border, a disturbing development has emerged as law enforcement officers in Texas attempt to reign in cartel-related crimes: The cartels are now using children as young as 11 years of age in the commission of crimes. Although the issues related to illegal immigration from Mexico have received less attention in the media in recent months, the cultural impact of Mexican crime and violence flowing freely into the southern United States remains unabated. Sometimes, the undermining of American sovereignty occurs in subtle ways. For example, a scandal has erupted recently in the border city of McAllen, Texas, where a high school teacher required her students to sing the Mexican national anthem and recite that nation’s pledge of allegiance. A teacher instructing her students to take these actions on Constitution Day simply makes the offense all the worse. As noted previously for The New American: “As the war between drug cartels continues to devolve Mexico into a failed state, Americans have good reason to be proud of their own national heritage — especially on Constitution Day. Constitutionalists note that the intentions of the teacher and school district aside, the imposition of a foreign anthem and oath on a day which ought to be devoted to the anthem and oath of these United States seems ill-conceived and poorly timed, at best.”
“Ron Paul has now walked the budget-cutting walk he’s been talking about.” The words of Investor’s Business Daily’s Andrew Malcolm sum up most commentators’ initial reactions to the Texas Congressman’s “Plan to Restore America,” and who could disagree? For decades Paul has been arguing that federal spending must be slashed, and on Monday, October  17, he laid out just how he intends to do that if elected President in 2012: Eliminate agencies, end foreign aid, repeal reams of regulations, cut military spending, reduce the federal workforce, and freeze mandatory spending. His expected results: $1 trillion in immediate cuts, followed by a balanced budget in three years. “Bold” — the word most commonly used to describe Paul’s proposal — is, perhaps, an understatement. Both supporters and detractors praised Paul for being specific in what he would cut. Cincinnati’s Fox19 station, for instance, said Paul’s plan “is the only full budget plan proposed thus far that proposes balancing the budget with actual cuts. Not, using fuzzy math with ‘cuts’ in defense spending that wasn’t going to be spent.” “The contrast between the so-called super committee’s goal and Paul’s plan shows how pathetic official Washington’s gestures of fiscal responsibility are,” observed Jacob Sullum. “Paul’s detailed numbers refute the myth that the budget cannot be balanced without raising taxes while challenging his opponents to put up or shut up.”
Responding to the fierce controversy and surprising developments surrounding the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' (ATF) botched Operation Fast and Furious gun-walking program, the United States Senate voted unanimously on Tuesday to block the Justice Department from taking part in any further gun-smuggling probes like that which characterized Operation Fast and Furious. The provision was part of a $128 billion spending Senate bill that funds the Justice Department’s various operations, as well as those of a number of other Cabinet agencies for the 2012 budget year, in which we are already underway. The measure to halt all further gun-walking operations from the DOJ was introduced as an amendment. The amendment, written by Sen. John Cornyn III (R.-Tex.) reads: “No funds made available under this Act shall be used to allow the transfer of firearms to agents of drug cartels where law enforcement personnel of the United States do not continuously monitor and control such firearms at all times.” Cornyn, who serves on the Finance, Judiciary, Armed Services and Budget Committees, said when he introduced the amendment, “When 2,000 firearms go missing, and at least one is found at the crime scene of a murdered U.S. Border Patrol agent, we must do everything possible to ensure that such a reckless and ill-advised operation like Fast and Furious is not repeated.”
Texas Governor and Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry is no stranger to controversy. Perry’s record as Governor is marred by numerous instances of increased taxation, lackluster job growth, and fiscal impropriety and outright corruption, all tied together by a common ethos of fiscal liberalism, Keynesian economics, and statism, a desire for increased governmental power. While Perry’s economic record and association with the Bilderberg Group ought to be of legitimate concern to true conservatives, another aspect of Perry’s record must also be scrutinized: his associations with the Islamist Aga Khan Foundation, which has been linked to incendiary anti-American and anti-Western rhetoric and has been identified as a source of funding to numerous terror groups.  
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Judicial Circuit has upheld almost all of Alabama’s tough immigration law, frustrating the Obama Administration and its leftist allies who sought to have the entire statute overturned. A three-judge panel refused to overturn the most important provision of HB 56, which requires police in the state to determine the immigration status of persons with whom they have a lawful contact. It struck down the provisions that require illegals to carry alien registration documents and schools to determine the immigration status of suspect pupils. The decision is a major blow to the Obama administration’s campaign against states trying to stem the tide of illegal immigration and the fiscal strain those illegals are placing upon American taxpayers, which has reached some $113 billion in federal and state costs annually.  
In June 2006, Hamas terrorists tunneled into Israel from the Gaza strip, surprised an Israeli tank crew, killed two of its soldiers, and took a third soldier, 19-year-old Gilad Shalit, prisoner. It was simply a case of deliberate kipnapping since this was not a combat situation. Shalit was taken back into Gaza and held incommunicado for five years, until Tuesday, October 18, 2011, when he was released in exchange for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners. It was Egyptian mediation which made the exchange possible. Most of the Palestinian prisoners were terrorists guilty of multiple murders of innocent Israelis. Yet, Israel was willing to release them in order to get Gilad Shalit back to his family in Israel. Was this a wise deal or an act of stupidity on the part of Netanyahu’s government? Some see it as a sign of Israel’s strength that it could agree to such an exchange. They think that it might even bring the parties closer to a peace settlement. What could be a better good-will gesture for peace than releasing all of these prisoners?  
With the announcement from Gallup that the unemployment rate had dropped precipitously in early October to 8.3 percent came the disclaimer that they could be wrong. Chief Economist Dennis Jacobe wrote that “the sharp drop in Gallup’s unemployment and underemployment rates may partly result from seasonal factors. Halloween has become the third-largest sales season for many retailers, who are likely increasing their staffing accordingly. In addition, some stores may have been minimally staffed and are beginning early to add employees for the holidays.”  But it also “means it could be something of an aberration that will dissipate during the weeks ahead ... but for now, this job market improvement appears real.”
As the Occupy Wall Street protests have gained momentum over the last few weeks, many have pointed out that the protesters' anger is directed at the wrong people. Critics of the movement, while understanding the frustration of the demonstrators, contend that their focus should be on a number of other sources: the Federal Reserve, for instance, and also the elected officials who continue to support government intervention in the free market and to pick and choose winners via regulations and the “too big to fail” philosophy. Meanwhile, Wall Street is already gearing up to buy off another round of elected officials, solidifying the very collusion between Wall Street and the federal government that has both Occupy Wall Street protesters and their critics concerned. The Center for Responsive Politics recently posted data regarding the financial contributions of Wall Street firms to each presidential contender’s campaign for the 2012 elections. According to the data, Mitt Romney has received the most donations from Goldman Sachs — nearly $400,000 to date. The next closest is President Obama with $49,000, followed by Tim Pawlenty, Jon Huntsman, Rick Perry, and Ron Paul, the latter of whom received just $2,500 from the company.
According to U.S. News for October 14, Mississippi voters will be presented with Amendment 26 on their November ballots, an initiative redefining "personhood.” U.S. News wrote: "The amendment would, if enacted, add 'The term "person" or "persons" shall include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning, or the functional equivalent thereof' to the state constitution." Is it really that simple? The entire Amendment does indeed read “Should the term ‘person’ be defined to include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning, or the equivalent thereof?” with spaces for simple "yes" or "no" answers.  
With five weeks to go to create an agreement that will cut at least $1.2 trillion from the federal budget over the next ten years, there are few indications that the Supercommittee will propose anything substantial. Despite demands from the co-chairs of the committee, Senators Patty Murray and Jeb Hensarling, that members not speak publicly about their work, Robert Pear, writing for the New York Times, was able to glean some insight into any progress the committee is making. According to a person working for the committee, members are “still hovering at 30,000 feet,” with no landing field in sight. Members are still asking, “What is the baseline? Are we doing tax reform?” In other words, even basic agreements of how to measure progress have yet to be hammered out. Rep. Chris Van Hollen, a member of the committee, admitted that “the jury is still out” on whether it could agree on where to find the $1.2 trillion in savings. Members of the committee have expressed exasperation about Sen. John Kerry’s rantings during the closed-door sessions: “Kerry just talks a lot,” according to a House Republican aide. “It’s what I would call Senate talk. It’s like a waterfall of words. It never gets you anyplace.” Another who has attended some of the committee’s sessions agreed: “Kerry is very aspirational.. People hope he will come down to earth.” One of Kerry’s aides defended his ramblings, explaining that Kerry “thinks out loud, running through the options in his mind. He vocalizes options that may cause distress.” In sum, the more Kerry talks and the more time he takes in the committee meetings, the less people are likely to pay attention or get anything substantial accomplished.  
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