Thursday, October 09, 2003

Republicans. Not worth a damn. Not the individuals who call themselves republicans, but The Republican Party. Only thing worse is the Democrat Party. But not by much.

In California they recalled a Democratic governor who was screwing the pooch royally. What did the Republican Part do? Stabbed an actual conservative/libertarian republican candidate in the back, abandoned him & threw their support behind a right leaning democrat with an 'R' beside his name.

In D.C. we have a republican in the White House who lowered taxes. That's it. That's all he's done that the Republican Party is supposed to stand for.

Not that he's not done anything else; he just hasn’t done anything else that's supposed to be 'republican'.

For example, he (& by he I attribute acts performed by his administration which he either approved of or didn't stop, thereby implying approval) has increased not only spending but the size of government.

When parts of the country suffered attacks by terrorists what did he do? He created a new federal bureaucracy to deal with it. He (along with congress) federalized airport security & made damn skippy that the passengers couldn't bring nail clippers on a flight w/o facing charges if caught.
He opposed arming pilots & since congress told him to arm them anyway, the TSA (which, as chief executive officer he has authority over) has dragged its feet & set up so much red tape that less than 200 pilots are carrying weapons. & to add insult to injury, pilots who do pass through the multiple level hoops to get permission to carry are officially federal officers, thereby creating a distinction between us ordinary peasants who should never be allowed to exercise our Right to Arms & agents of the state, who are better than us & therefore can pack if they so choose.

Arm the passengers? You mean stop prohibiting individuals from exercising their constitutionally guaranteed Right to Arms when they fly? Puh-leez. That could be viewed as "pro-gun" & if there's one thing President Bush isn't, it's "pro-gun".

Assault weapons Ban? Bush likes it. Thinks we should give it another decade or twelve to see how it pans out.

& Bush isn't as far left as Schwarzenegger is. I feel for California.

But what really has me ticked off right now is not so much a direct action of Bush. Hell, there might not even be any republicans involved, although I doubt it. But it is of a direct concern to Bush, & it will be to Schwarzenegger & any other elected official remotely involved with state &/or national security.

A group of men detained 6 illegal immigrants at gunpoint. They handcuffed them, called the Border Patrol & turned them over once the Border Patrol arrived.

Now those men are felons. But CNN doesn't view it like that. Their headline reads:

2 border vigilantes go to jail in capture

From Merriam-Webster:

Main Entry: vig•i•lan•te
Pronunciation: "vi-j&-'lan-tE
Function: noun
Etymology: Spanish, watchman, guard, from vigilante vigilant, from Latin vigilant-, vigilans
Date: 1865
: a member of a volunteer committee organized to suppress and punish crime summarily (as when the processes of law appear inadequate); broadly: a self-appointed doer of justice

Now here's CNN's account of the terrible crime these men committed:

"According to an indictment, Hoffman, Dumas and a third man went out on July 31 and confronted a group of six undocumented immigrants in Yuma County and at gunpoint handcuffed them until the U.S. Border Patrol arrived."

Yep. Sounds like a lynch mob, don't it?

Actually if we go strictly by the Merriam-Webster definition they could be considered psuedo-vigalantes. They were members of a voluntary committee. They apparently thought the process of law was inadequate, at least in some respects. They did organize to suppress crime.

However, they did not organize to suppress & punish crime summarily, which is essential to the definition & connotation of the word vigilante.

One thing against them: they plead guilty. They didn't fight the charge. Normally I have no pity for anyone who pleads guilty. In that I mean I simply don't believe someone when they claim they plead guilty to something they didn't do in order to avoid a harsh sentence if they were convicted. I know it happens but frankly I don't have time to sort out the few honest people who succumb to this particular trap of our legal system from the many dishonest people who would attempt to cover their guilt in such a way.
But I make exceptions to laws that are unjust, or applied unjustly.

These men pleaded guilty to "conspiracy to commit unlawful imprisonment"

Where the application of this law is flawed is that it reduces the charge from a class 6 felony to a class 1 misdemeanor if "...the victim is released voluntarily by the defendant without physical injury in a safe place prior to arrest..."

So if they would have fought they could have convinced a judge &/or jury that a felony charge was inappropriate, considered no physical harm was done to the detainees & they released them into the custody of law enforcement voluntarily.

Also "restrain" is defined by this section of Arizona law thusly:

"2. "Restrain" means to restrict a person's movements without consent, without legal authority, and in a manner which interferes substantially with such person's liberty, by either moving such person from one place to another or by confining such person..."

So they could have, & should have been able to argue that since they were detaining people who were in the process of & intent on continuing a commitment of a crime (entering the country illegally) that they were acting lawfully in detaining them until the Border Patrol could arrive to pick them up.

But finally I think this little ditty from Arizona law should have settled the matter:

"A private person may make an arrest:
1. When the person to be arrested has in his presence committed a misdemeanor amounting to a breach of the peace, or a felony.
2. When a felony has been in fact committed and he has reasonable ground to believe that the person to be arrested has committed it."

Again, from the account given by CNN it sounds like the actions of the 'vigilantes' were legal under Arizona law.

Since they pleaded guilty they may be screwed, however I did find this:

"Subject to the limitations of section 13-4232, any person who has been convicted of or sentenced for a criminal offense may, without payment of any fee, institute a proceeding to secure appropriate relief on any of the following grounds:
1. The conviction or the sentence was in violation of the Constitution of the United States or of this state.
2. The court was without jurisdiction to render judgment or to impose sentence.
3. The sentence imposed exceeded the maximum authorized by law or is otherwise not in accordance with the sentence authorized by law..."

Might help them, might not.

In any event they were prosecuted for doing what they thought was their duty as citizens of a country that has a serious problem with border security.

Now here's a surprise for ya: know who else besides CNN takes a dim view of their actions & jumps for joy at their convictions?

"Human rights advocates, prosecutors and Mexican officials hailed the sentencing as a blow against border vigilantes..."

I know. I was shocked myself.

"Armed citizens groups have patrolled the border in Cochise County for several years, but this was the first time armed citizens had gone out looking for undocumented immigrants in Yuma County, said Yuma County Attorney Patricia Orozco.
'It's just a very dangerous place, and I don't want to see people hurt, and that's what I fear will happen that if they do go down: We will see people hurt,' Orozco said."

I wonder if fear of being hurt is the reason said sheriff wasn't out patrolling the border his damned self? & for those of you who would come to the sheriff's defense by pointing out he doesn't have enough manpower to do that, why the hell do you think he doesn't have enough manpower? Perhaps it could have something to do with volunteers getting arrested for attempting to help his manpower problems?

BTW, an undocumented immigrant is just a very polite, politically correct term for illegal alien.

"Beatriz Chavez, a spokeswoman for the Mexican consulate in Yuma, praised the sentencing.
'To see someone pointing a gun at you is very scary, and they were really defenseless because they were just women and children,' Chavez said."

First of all why the hell is a government official from Mexico even venturing an opinion on a legal proceeding in Arizona? Or more appropriately, (since everyone is entitled to their opinion) why is CNN printing it?

Second, how dare anyone from freakin' Mexico speak of a defenseless person being afraid of someone with arms. They ban their peasants from owning weapons or ammunition. If anyone in Mexico is defenseless it’s because of people like her passing gun control laws that disarm the populace.

Third, those women & children, while being 'defenseless' were breaking a law. A very big law. They had firearms pointed at them by people whose intent was to prevent them from breaking said law. I'm quite sure that the border patrol or any other law enforcement agency would have weapons drawn when approaching a group of people engaged in an illegal activity.

"Rev. Robin Hoover, president of Humane Borders, a nonprofit organization that builds water stations in the desert for undocumented immigrants, said he hopes Wednesday's sentencing will discourage people from resorting to vigilante activity along the border.
'It sends the right message . . . that this kind of behavior won't be tolerated,' Hoover said."

The message it sends is, "Y'all come on in. Take your shoes off. Visit for a spell." Another message it sends is that anyone who attempts to do what they feel is their duty as a citizen to help out with domestic security will be punished beyond the extent that the law allows.

I understand why Mexicans would want to immigrate to America. I sympathize with their plight & do feel sorry for their situations in Mexico that would drive them to this. But the fact remains that our borders are not secure, & the States are in danger (though no one is sure to what degree) from agents of foreign governments &/or organizations that seek to cause damage to the States & their respective people.

CNN did include one pro-vigilante viewpoint:

"But Chris Simcox, founder of the Civil Homeland Defense, a citizens group based in Tombstone in Cochise County, condemned the sentencing.
'Something is just not right with this situation. The only thing I think they went too overboard was on the handcuffing,' said Simcox, who also publishes the weekly Tombstone Tumbleweed. 'They potentially saved the lives of those kids, and they were only doing what our president has asked us, which is to be vigilant and to report suspicious illegal activities to the proper authorities.'
Simcox said he is in the process of training a group of more than 100 people from Yuma who were galvanized by the charges against the three vigilantes to patrol the border on their own."

& what does Mr. Simcox know about the state of our borders?

"Simcox said over the past year his group has turned over more than 2,000 undocumented immigrants to the Border Patrol."

Let me emphasize that for you, & add correct what I feel is an edit of what Mr. Simcox actually said:

"...over the past year his group has turned over more than 2,000 [illegal aliens] to the Border Patrol."

2000+. One group. One state. Less than a year. 2000+.

What does this have to do with the Republican Party?


This is a matter of state concern. It occurred within the borders of Arizona & is subject to Arizona law. However since it is also a matter of national concern Bush should use his influence to either A; encourage state governors to make exceptions for these citizens who are attempting to protect our borders or B; call up the unorganized militia to assist in the patrol of our borders, thereby providing some measure of protection for said volunteers.

But he won't do either. He (& the Republican Party in general) is too devoted to the idea of government fixing all our problems. They have totally abandoned the political philosophy that set them apart from the Democrat Party. Bush may not have caused this situation himself, but he is in a position to affect a positive change. He won't. The left leaning trend in the Republican Party may or may not have led to these events, but again they have the ability to attempt to bring about a positive change. They won't.

& how does this relate to Schwarzenegger? Easy. What do you think he'd say about armed citizens patrolling the California borders? I rest my case.

So two very patriotic men now sit in an Arizona jail for protecting the border.
I thought about ending this post by saying that I at least partially blame the Democrat Party & the Republican Party, but that would be redundant. Take away the "R" or "D" beside their names & I cannot tell them apart.

For previous posts on the condition of our borders & border patrol groups, private & public, look here.

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