April 29, 2007

A Big, and Overlooked, Illegal Immigration Development in BizzyBlog’s Home Township (UPDATE: Commenter Refutes Significance)

Filed under: Immigration,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 2:17 pm

Wow, that will teach me to go a week or so without checking Bloglines.

It’s a story that appears to have been missed by the entire SOB Alliance. But the miss by yours truly is the most grievous of the bunch, given that the action took place in BizzyBlog’s home township:

Illegals are Deerfield Twp. law’s target
Last Updated: 7:15 am | Thursday, April 19, 2007

Deerfield Township will not do business with contractors who hire illegal immigrants.

A resolution passed Tuesday night requires would-be contractors to certify that they comply with the employment provisions of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act. The rule also means that any contractor convicted of an immigration law violation in the previous four years in Warren County, or in neighboring counties, will not be allowed to work for the township.

….. Chris Romano, vice president of the board of trustees, spearheaded the effort. Romano said the township’s $20 million budget buys a lot of goods and services, and the township should not work with businesses that break the law.

“It’s a chance for the township to be a part of the solution,” he said.

As far as Romano knows, Deerfield Township is the first township in Ohio to pass this type of measure.

This is a very good idea that I hope will spread quickly. I can’t wait to hear the squeals that will occur if someone proposes a law like this in a so-called “sanctuary city” (read “outlaw city”) like Michael Bloomberg’s New York or Gavin Newsom’s San Francisco. See Update.

UPDATE, May 2: I’m going to defer to the judgment and experience of Symmes Township Trustee Eric Minamyer as expressed in Comment 4, especially these excerpts of it –

….. My point is that the Deerfield trustees probably think they did something more than symbolism, which they did not, or worse they knew this was meaningless. Either way it shows a lack of statesmanship. It is especially troubling to claim to the “first” as if the rest of us are slackers.

….. The current state law requires that a contractor certify as part of any contract with the state (which includes townships) that they obey the law including immigration laws. Deerfield could have simply added a clause to its contracts rather than pass this resolution. It doesn’t add red tape it is just smoke and mirrors politics, which I hate. This could have been done without fanfare.

Based on what Eric is saying, what Deerfield has done has no real significance. That said, it seems like Eric’s suggestion of “add(ing) a clause to its contracts” would be a good idea, if for no other reason than to make it crystal-clear that employment of illegals doing work under government contracts had better not happen. It would be interesting to see what the response would be in the “sanctuary cities” if someone challenged them to do that.

IBD: Where Are the Journalistic Watchdogs on Social Security?

Earlier this week, an Investors Business Daily editorial noted the weak treatment the Social Security Trustees’ Report (summary here) received from the Formerly Mainstream Media:

Journalists in Washington are supposed to be public watchdogs. But when it comes to the crisis facing Social Security, they act more like lapdogs for politicians determined to shirk their responsibility.

The Washington Post, New York Times and Associated Press all led off their stories on the latest Social Security and Medicare trustees’ projections by pointing out that Social Security isn’t expected to deplete its trust fund reserves until 2041. This supports the contention of Democratic politicians and the AARP that the day of reckoning is more than three decades away, so reform is not an urgent need …..

That is, of course, incorrect, as The Heritage Foundation noted (bolds are mine):

Social Security spending will exceed projected tax collections in 2017. These deficits will quickly balloon to alarming proportions. After adjusting for inflation, annual deficits will reach $67.8 billion in 2020, $266.5 billion in 2030, and $330.9 billion in 2035.

….. From (2017) on, Social Security will require large and growing amounts of general revenue money in order to pay all of its promised benefits. Even though this money will technically come from cashing in the special issue bonds in the trust fund, the money to repay them will come from other tax collections or borrowing. The billions that go to Social Security each year will make it harder to find money for other government programs or require large and growing tax increases.

There’s a method to Old Media’s studied ignorance. Heritage explains the problem, but doesn’t make the ultimate connection:

Every year, there is one less year of surplus and one more year of deficit. Once those deficits start in 2017, the Trustees Report shows that they will never end. Each year, with the disappearance of another year of surplus, reforming Social Security gets more expensive.

At some point, it will get too expensive to fix, and the USA’s retirement system will be stuck in the ruts seen in France, Germany, and other countries that refused to confront their demographic and financial realities. Those who defend Social Security as it is, and wish for political reasons to perpetuate the dependency culture it fosters in the senior population, would actually prefer that the US go down that same failed road. They know full well that all they have to do is run out the clock for something like 5-10 years. At that point, the partial privatization of Social Security to include personally managed investment accounts that could save the system will likely become fiscally impossible.

Don’t think for a minute that Old Media doesn’t understand this. They know that the less they cover Social Security’s real problems, and the more they allow it to be demagogued by its diehard supporters, the less likely it is that reform will occur. Their focus on 2041 instead of 2017 is no accident.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Positivity: Two months in a coma but he’s back now

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:49 am

From Derry, New Hampshire:

April 29, 2007

Just less than a year ago, Michael Kemp was clinging to life in a hospital bed after surviving an auto wreck that killed his mother. His prognosis was doubtful.

Yesterday, he was greeted with thunderous applause as he threw the first pitch during the Derry Little League’s opening day. Erik Brochu, his former coach, yelled, “Welcome back, Michael!”

Kemp, 13, spent more than two months in a coma at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon after his mother’s car collided with a dump truck on Route 28 in Derry on June 8, 2006.

His mother, Ritarose Kemp, who taught preschool in Derry, died the next day. She was 34.

Kemp, who now lives with his aunt in Somerville, Mass., started attending the seventh grade part-time in January. He spent months in rehab after coming out of the coma, he said, and was happy to be back on the field yesterday.

“I wish I was still on the team,” he said, standing on O’Hara Field after the opening-day ceremonies.

Kemp, riding in a police cruiser, led the opening-day parade yesterday, which went from MacGregor Park and through downtown. When he arrived at the field, Derry Police Capt. Vernon Thomas gave him a hockey stick signed by members of the Boston Bruins on behalf of his department.

Kemp is still recovering and has some visible scars, but otherwise is doing better than anyone expected. During the accident, he was sitting in the passenger’s side, which received the brunt of the impact. He was bleeding from the head as rescuers extricated him from the 1988 Chevy Celebrity.

Now, Kemp said he wants to play baseball for a team in his new hometown. His left arm was broken in the crash and his right arm is still getting back to normal, he said.

“For some reason, my right arm went stiff,” he said.

His aunt, Sandi Kemp, said her nephew has been handling his mother’s death as best as can be expected. He misses her, she said, but he believes she’s in good hands now.

“‘Mom’s in heaven now,’ that’s what he says,” she said. “And he knows that she’s in a happier place.”

She said her nephew also misses New Hampshire and his old friends. He has been doing well in school, but he was devastated when he received a C in one class. He’s usually a straight-A student, she said.

Brochu, the former coach, said he’s surprised that Kemp has been recovering so well. No one expected him to ever come out of the coma, he said, and it’s a miracle he survived at all.

“Everything led to: He had no chance,” he said.

His teammates all wore white armbands with Kemp’s number on it for the remainder of the last season. The coach’s wife, Natalie, had her CCD students make him get-well cards.

Natalie Brochu said she knew the boy’s mother and has kept in touch with the family. When he came out of the coma, she said, he had to learn how to do basic functions all over again. She was in tears watching him on the field yesterday.

“It was a miracle to see him walking, throwing a ball and talking to us,” she said.

She added: “He’s proof that miracles happen.”