Saturday, December 10, 2011


December, 2009 line of suspected border intruders

- - 12/08/11
Tags: North Carolina | immigration law | GOP | Republicans

Republicans now in charge of the state legislature are using their clout to push for new laws identifying illegal immigrants and limiting their use of public services.

That effort got its start Wednesday in the House Committee on the State's Role in Immigration Policy, which drew a crowd representing both sides of the controversial issue. The committee can recommend legislation to be considered next year.

For years, a legislative contingent has focused on more laws limiting illegal immigrants' access to public services - seeking to bar their admission to community colleges, for example - but they have had limited success.

Republicans won control of the legislature last year, giving their efforts new life. The wave of tough laws in other states such as Arizona and Alabama has given them another reason to act.

With other states tightening their laws, North Carolina could become a magnet for illegal immigrants, said Rep. Bert Jones, a Rockingham County Republican.

Arizona passed a law last year that made being an illegal immigrant and failure to carry immigration documents state crimes.

Alabama this year approved a sweeping law banning illegal immigrants from attending public colleges, prohibiting employers from hiring illegal immigrants, and voiding all contracts with illegal immigrants, among other provisions. Parts of the law are under court review.

No specific laws were mentioned at the committee meeting Wednesday, but the legislature has bills pending that would prohibit use of consular or other embassy documents as official identification, specify documents that must be shown to receive public benefits, and a put an identifying mark on the driver's licenses of people living in the country temporarily.

A comprehensive Arizona-style immigration bill has been filed, but has not been considered by the House or Senate.

Legislators seeking to crack down on illegal immigration tout the effort as a potential money-saver while detractors say the focus on tougher laws does little more than scapegoat Hispanics.

Though legislators and the two county sheriffs who talked about their work with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to identify illegal immigrants said the efforts are not focused on Spanish-speakers or based on skin color, opponents of stiffer laws said it is clear that Hispanics are the targets.
Legislators should consider the labor and tax revenue contributed by Hispanic residents, said Ron Cox, president of Jesus Ministry of Charlotte. He attributed the increased focus on illegal immigration to the country's bad economy.

"Instead of looking for scapegoats or someone to blame, let's look for ways all of us can work together," he said. The Charlotte nonprofit brought several dozen people opposed to more stringent laws to Raleigh. Most wore stickers saying "I'm a citizen and I vote."

While Cox wanted to highlight a Kenan Institute report from 2006 that said Hispanics contributed $9 billion to the state's economy in purchases, taxes and labor, legislators were focused on figures from the Federation for American Immigration Reform, or FAIR, that reported illegal immigrants cost the state about $2 billion in services, including education, law enforcement and health care.

The federal courts require states provide some services to illegal immigrants. For example, children cannot be barred from public school based on their immigration status. Some provisions of the Alabama law have been blocked by federal courts.

North Carolina has adopted several immigration laws since 2006, but none as strict as those in Alabama or Arizona.

Ron Woodard, executive director of NC Listen, offered to send Jones information on how the state could limit services to illegal immigrants without running afoul of federal law.

"I'm delighted they're doing anything," said Woodard, whose group wants to end illegal immigration and reduce legal immigration. "When Democrats were in charge, any reform was put on the back burner." Others were distressed to see the immigration efforts gaining prominence.
Carlos Cortez of Raleigh said the state should cooperate with residents, rather than drive them out of the state.

"There are people who are next to us who are contributing to the well-being of this state, to the well-being of this nation," he said. "We are the best nation in the world. We have the worst laws dealing with immigration."

Bonner: 919-829-4821

Friday, December 9, 2011


Verne Strickland Blogmaster / December 10, 2011

Last Updated: 9:39 AM, December 9, 2011
Posted: 1:49 AM, December 9, 2011

WASHINGTON — A swaggering President Obama yesterday dared Republicans to go toe to toe with the man who killed Osama bin Laden.

Responding to GOP criticism that his Middle East and Iran policy is one of “appeasement,” Obama for the first time publicly flexed his ample “I killed bin Laden” muscle to slap down his foes.

“Ask Osama bin Laden and the 22 out of 30 top al Qaeda leaders who’ve been taken off the field whether I engage in appeasement — or whoever’s left out there, ask them about that,” Obama boasted.

The president dropped the bin Laden bomb after a reporter at the White House asked about harsh criticism of his foreign policy leveled Wednesday by GOP presidential-primary candidates at a forum hosted by the Republican Jewish Coalition.

For instance, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney accused Obama of being “timid and weak” and relying on a policy of “appeasement.”

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called on the Obama administration to stop “blaming”Israel for its long conflict with its neighbors.

Romney and Gingrich were left cowering after Obama’s taunting. They didn’t respond to questions from The Post about the president’s playing the coveted Osama card.

The president, who usually reserves his bin Laden braggadocio for private fund-raisers, appeared to jump at the chance to thump his chest and lay low his detractors.

He was already angry when he hastily summoned the White House press corps to scold Senate Republicans for rejecting his nominee to lead the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Republicans blocked confirmation of Richard Cordray for the job not because they disputed his qualifications but because they want to rewrite Obama’s Wall Street regulations that set up the CFPB to protect Americans from finance-industry abuses.

Blocking the nomination also stopped the bureau from being able to fully implement its powers.

“I don’t think there’s any American out there who thinks that the reason we got into the big financial mess that we did was because of too much regulation of Wall Street or the financial-services industry,” the president growled.

Obama, down in the polls and facing a tough re-election campaign because of the economy, vowed to keep fighting on behalf of consumers.

He wouldn’t rule out using a recess appointment to get his nominee into the post without GOP approval.

“We are not giving up on this,” said Obama. “We are not going to allow politics as usual on Capitol Hill to stand in the way of American consumers’ being protected by unscrupulous financial operators.” 

Thursday, December 8, 2011


DECEMBER 8, 2011
Dear Fellow Patriot,

Later this month the Iraq war will draw to a close after more than 8 years of fighting, and we’ll welcome home nearly 40,000 troops.

But with stateside unemployment nearly 10%, what are these brave men and women going to do for work?  America needs jobs right now, more than ever before.  But Congress can’t even agree on a way to slice $1 trillion out of the budget!  Washington’s inability to lead is pathetic, and it’s time for change.

I’m running for Congress to bring fresh ideas and the courage to make difficult decisions to Washington.  As we head into the election year,I’d like to know where you stand on a few of the key issues.  So will you take a moment right now to take the brief American Patriots Survey? 

Please follow this link to take the survey.  After you complete it, I hope you’ll make a generous donation to my campaign.  If you are able to give $40 or more, I’ll rush you an autographed copy of my recently released book Warlord: Broken by War, Saved by Grace.

In the past, the focus of elections changed from year to year.  Some years foreign affairs dominated the debate, other years the economy did, and still others social issue did.  But in 2012, I believe we’ll see all three areas play an important role in the political dialogue.

In fact, I think all three must be discussed at length by candidates at every level!  Although it sounds clich├ęd, this really is the most important election of our lifetime.  We’re in a battle for the heart and soul of this country, and this is our chance to choose the men and women who’ll lead us to the next stage in our history.

Whether America will choose Barack Obama and his allies’ socialist track or the Republican Party’s pro-economic growth path remains to be seen.  But I want to know where you want America to go right now.

So will you follow this link right now to take the American Patriots Survey?

It won’t take you more than few minutes, and your answers will provide invaluable insight to my campaign.  Also, don’t forget that for your generous donation of $40 or more to my campaign, I’ll rush you an autographed copy of Warlord: Broken by War, Saved by Grace.

Thank you in advance for your support.


Ilario Pantano

P.S.  Will you take a moment right now to complete the American Patriots Survey and share with me your thoughts and ideas about where America needs to go?  After completing the survey, I hope you’ll take a moment to make a generous donation to my campaign.  If you’re able to give $40 or more, I’ll send you an autographed copy of my book, Warlord: Broken by War, Saved by Grace.  Thanks—Ilario




First Posted: 12/ 8/11 12:52 PM ET Updated: 12/ 8/11 01:34 PM ET

WASHINGTON -- House Speaker John Boehner heard President Obama's threat to veto a payroll tax cut if Republicans add a controversial pipeline project, and ignored it Thursday.
The Ohio Republican rolled out the bare bones of a GOP plan to extend the tax cut that not only would expedite approvals for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to Texas, but would also waive clean air rules for boilers and many incinerators.
"The president says that the American people can't wait on jobs. Well, guess what? We agree wholeheartedly with the president, and the Keystone pipeline project will create tens of thousands of jobs immediately," Boehner told reporters on Capitol Hill.
"If the president is serious about his commitment to economic growth and jobs in this country, he'll sign this bill," said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.).
"Mr. President, we will have some of your ideas in this bill," said Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), "But maybe it's time to try some of ours. Do not veto this jobs bill."
But after a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper just a day before, Obama said he would not accept attaching the pipeline project, which his administration recently delayed over environmental concerns.
He stood by his threat Thursday.
"When I hear the speaker or the Senate Republican leader wanting to dicker, or wanting to see what can they extract from us in order to get this done, my response to them is just do the right thing, focus on the American people," Obama said in the White House briefing room.
"The suggestion is somehow, this Keystone issue will create jobs," Obama added. "However many jobs might be generated by a Keystone pipeline, they are going to be a lot fewer than the jobs that are created by extending the payroll tax cut and extending unemployment insurance.
"Get it done," the President challenged. "If not, maybe we'll have a white Christmas here in Washington," he said, reaffirming that he won't go on his Hawaiian vacation until the deal is done.
As much as environmentalists don't like the Keystone XL project, they will likely be even more concerned over the other environmental provision Boehner mentioned: a bill that would exempt boilers and small incinerators from regulation, allowing them to burn any hazardous waste without oversight.
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that waiving those regulations would cause the premature deaths of some 8,100 people a year.
Democrats were not convinced Boehner's proposal would pass in the House. "We'll see. That whip operation has face-planted too many times for me to buy it yet," said one Democratic aide.
"The reason that they're Christmas-treeing this is they don't have the votes on the payroll tax," said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), referring to the addition of unrelated provisions to the payroll tax cut plan.
"If they're playing games with this, or they're putting in poison pills because they can't pass it otherwise, it shows the kind of regard they have for middle-class concerns," Schumer said.
Democrats have proposed extending the current payroll tax holiday through 2012 and expanding it from 2 percent to 3.1 percent. They would pay for it primarily by putting a 1.9 percent surtax on income above $1 million.
Boehner said his version would be paid for as well, but did not elaborate as to how.
The tax cut expires Jan. 1.|maing6|dl1|sec3_lnk1|118586

, , , , , Keystone Pipeline , Keystone XL , Keystone XL Pipeline , Payroll Tax , John Boehner Payroll Tax Cut Extension , Obama Payroll Tax Cut , Obama Veto Threat , Payroll Tax Cut , Politics News

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Ilario Pantano

What:   Pantano will be signing copies of his book: Warlord: Broken by War, Saved by Grace. For more information on the book, on Ilario's work as an author and future book signings please visit: or


Where:     Barnes and Noble
                  850 Inspiration Dr. 

                  (Mayfaire Shopping Center)
                 Wilmington, NC 28411 
When:      Thursday December 8th, 2011                               

Monday, December 5, 2011


Members of the Navy save a sailor who jumped 
overboard after a torpedo hit the U.S.S. West Virginia
The Attack on Pearl Harbor

 By Verne Strickland / Posted December 6, 2011

'A date that will live in infamy.'

To read the stunning statement of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, delivered to a hastily summoned joint session of the United States Congress at 12:30 p.m. on December 8, is to experience the deep shock of our Nation after the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor.
Two aerial attacks with a total of 353 aircraft launched from six Japanese aircraft carriers sank four US Navy battleships and damaged four others, as well as sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers and one minelayer, destroyed 188 aircraft, killing 2402 personnel and wounding 1282. The Japanese lost 29 aircraft, five midget submarines and suffered 65 casualties. 
Later, they would lose their entire country.
Most of us have not really understood the full scope of the Japanese aggression on that day. Pearl Harbor was just one of many targets which the Japanese war machine mercilessly savaged in this scurrilous assault which sowed death and destruction not only on the Hawaiian Islands but throughout much of the Pacific region.
Merciless. Deadly. Dishonorable. Atrocious. Unprovoked. It was widespread premeditated murder by a greedy, cunning and malicious nation bent on international conquest.
A more detailed transcript of President Roosevelt’s comments on that dark day almost seventy years ago reveals to us the full scope of the meticulously planned attacks on unsuspecting innocents from Pearl Harbor to Hong Kong.

“Yesterday, December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.
“The United States was at peace with that nation, and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our secretary of state a formal reply to a recent American message. While this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or armed attack.
“It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.
“The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.
“Yesterday the Japanese government also launched as attack against Malaya.
“Last night Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.
“Last night Japanese forces attacked Guam.
“Last night Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.
“Last night Japanese forces attacked Wake Island.
“And this morning the Japanese attacked Midway Island.
“Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and  today speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.
“As commander in chief of the Army and Navy I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us.”
Roosevelt then asked the Congress to make a formal declaration of war against Japan, officially bringing the United States into World War II.

But President Roosevelt declared that “always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us."
Would that it were so. But we have had other wars to dim our collective conscience and memory of those earlier days that put much of America’s “Greatest Generation” into uniform. 
Not only have we largely forgotten what Pearl Harbor meant – and means -- what is so deplorable is that, today, many Americans, and most Japanese, don’t connect the dots which clearly reveal that Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima and Nagasake are inextricably linked
The result is that – for many -- the date that will live in infamy is August 6, 1945. On this date, a U.S. B-29 bomber demolished Hiroshima with the first atomic bomb used as a military weapon.

Three days later, a second atomic bomb would level Nagasaki.

Many Japanese are predictably critical of these attacks, although it was they who drew first blood in the sneak attack at Pearl Harbor. Four years later, the atomic bomb would place an unforgettable explanation point to our retaliation.

Revisionist history in Japan justifies the ugly provocation at Pearl Harbor. So do those Americans who as a habit are bitterly critical of the U.S. armed forces at every opportunity.

The saga of victimhood renews itself every year. Already the airwaves are full of documentaries showing two Japanese cities flattened in a heartbeat. Smoking ruins. Utter desolation. Melted steel. People in agony with their skin burned off. Citizens saturated with radioactivity which would kill them by the thousands.

Do you sort of choke up when you see that? Actually, if the Japanese had been better scientists, today they might be feeling sorry for America, though I doubt it.

But they weren’t better scientists, although they later built some pretty good vehicles and electronic stuff. But like any marauding society, they built every conceivable weapon of destruction they could muster, and used it mercilessly. They were known for their savagery.

But it wasn’t enough. The race for the technology that would end World War II in the Pacific went to the U.S.

Had it not been for that American superiority, which I know was a gift from God, mushroom clouds might eventually have blossomed over Honolulu, close to where it all started, and perhaps as well over Los Angeles and other U.S. population centers on the Pacific Coast.

As the American juggernaut rolled through the scattered Pacific atolls in costly assaults against entrenched Japanese land forces, Emperor Hirohito had the homefolks built up into a froth, ready to die fighting with guns, pitchforks, clubs, or whatever was at hand to repel the expected U.S. invaders.

Vicious propaganda had convinced average citizens that the invading Americans were insatiable monsters who would kill, maim, rape, torture and even cannibalize every Japanese who fell into the enemy’s clutches.

Mass suicides were anticipated, and a hellish incident on Okinawa fueled that belief. As American forces mopped up resistance on Okinawa to claim its vital airfield, terrified civilians raced to leap off island cliffs to escape the inhumane treatment they feared at the hands of the invading GIs.

It was a horrifying, senseless spectacle that the Americans sought in vain to prevent, although they did save many Okinawans from a tragic death at the foot of the cliffs, persuading them to surrender.

Several things had become clear to the Americans.

The Japanese on the mainland would fight and die to a man, many in banzai charges, and civilian suicides would extinguish many more lives.

And as many as a million American military combatants might be sacrificed in bloody amphibious assaults and vicious infighting.

But another option had appeared. A monster weapon – the atomic bomb – had emerged from U.S. tests ready for deployment.

President Harry S. Truman, was a feisty, pragmatic man whose slogan was “The buck stops here.” He meant it. It was on his watch that history and fate brought together this fearsome weapon and the Japanese war machine which, though it teetered, would not fall.

Give-‘em-hell Harry decided to give ‘em hell. Realizing that deploying the atomic bomb against Imperial Japan could spare the lives of American troops and win the war, he did the right thing. Without looking back, he dispatched two B-29 bombers to Japan, each with an atomic payload.

The mushroom clouds that rose over Hiroshima, then Nagasaki, signaled that the “sleeping tiger” awakened by the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor had answered the indignity with a sudden, shocking response.

It was payback with stunning finality. But to this day, many Japanese – and some misguided Americans as well – still harbor a convenient disconnect between what started the war, and what ended it.

Between the years of 1968 and 1980, I traveled to Japan a dozen times or more, providing radio and television coverage to N.C. trade missions. I studied the Japanese language at N.C. State University, and, in Japan, avoided the cultural “cocoons” in which many Western visitors isolate themselves while there.

I learned many things about the Japanese during those visits, and made some Japanese friends whom I appreciated and admired.

While most of my time was spent in Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, I was asked many times if I wanted to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I never cared to. I could not bear to join the ranks of simpering Western apologists who flaunted their guilt over the suffering and death caused by The Bomb. I did not – and do not – share that grief.

The Bomb saved American lives and – curious though it may seem – countless Japanese lives as well.

I don’t subscribe to the radical revisionist history taught not only in Japan, but slavishly devoured by many Westerners too, alleging that America was the villain in that war, and Japan the victim.

That is a cruel, barbaric lie. That war was brought to us. We learned many cruel lessons from it, including the wisdom of peace through strength, which Ronald Reagan would later champion as a deterrent to enemies of America.

Anyway, for me there are now several dates that will live in infamy – Dec. 7, 1941. September 11, 2001. And January 20, 2009.