A Visit to St. Elizabeths.

As I said in an earlier post on my blog today, yesterday I went with a group from Full Circle Theater on a tour of both the East and West campuses of St. Elizabeths, washington DC's historic Mental Institution campus. Dr. Joe Jurand, the Director of POUND at Full Circle Theater in Shepherdstown, WV, led the tour of the East Campus in the morning and we were met by two employees of the General Services Administration (GSA) , Bill and Carter, who led the tour of the West Campus, which is slated to become the home of the Dept. of Homeland Security. Joe participated in this part of the tour as well... he is rather knowledgeable abut the now almost totally gone asylum, since he grew up there, his father being one of the staff psychiatrists.

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Weekly Immigration Wire: Trapped Behind a Mesh of Broken Law

By Nezua
Media Consortium Blogger

As we are days away from ushering in a new president, hopes are high that relief can be had in federal immigration law.

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Janet Napolitano To Head Up Homeland Security

Another cabinet member chosen:

Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano (D) has been chosen to serve as secretary of the vast and troubled Department of Homeland Security for President-elect Obama, Democratic officials said. Napolitano is a border governor who will now be responsible for immigration policy and border security, which are part of Homeland Security's myriad functions.

Napolitano brings law-and-order experience from her stint as the Grand Canyon State's first female attorney general. One of the nation's most prominent female elected officials, she made frequent appearances on behalf of Barack Obama during the campaign. She was re-elected to a second four-year term in 2006. [...]

The Democratic officials said Napolitano has not been officially offered the job but is likely to be named and to accept. The selection was first reported by CNN.

Happy birthday, John McCain, two years early. You dodged a bullet.

I haven't looked into how she would be replaced. Does anyone know how Arizona law works in this regard? How's our Arizona bench?

Update [2008-11-20 2:15:18 by Todd Beeton]:Nate has the answer:

Democrats will also lose the governorship if Napolitano accepts a cabinet position. Arizona is one of four states without a lieutenant governor's position, so the honors would go to Jan Brewer, the Republican Secretary of State.

Double Arggh, although, Brewer would serve just until 2010 when Nate posits Gabrielle Giffords might have a run at it to reclaim it for the Democrats.

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NPR Accepts Homeland Security Money for Underwriting

Driving to a meeting earlier this morning, I tuned into my favorite morning drive time show, Rhode Island’s own NPR station WRNI.\It is their regular fund drive season and before the normal banter about who has donated the station played a clip from their underwriters.Included in the clip was an announcement from the Department of Homeland Security.The voice over was explaining to listeners how DHS supports NPR and that companies can contact DHS to being using the E-Verify system at their workplace to target illegal immigrants. Apart from the racism of used behind the implementation of the law and the big brotherish quality of having EVERY person have to get approval from the federal government before they can get a job, THE PROGRAM JUST DOESN”T WORK.The error rate is staggering. Naturally I was upset to here our local NPR affiliate broadcasting this trash that is more the style of Bugsy over on the other side of the dial.So I called up the station to voice my concerns.The folks there were great. Apparently there have been a number of complaints (see, its not just me) and the station masters themselves had put in a complaint to the national NPR. Apparently there are underwriters at the national level that local affiliates have to take, no matter what. Workers at the station forwarded me emails proving that they had indeed made the request to have the ads pulled from the local market But they also gave me the link to the NPR ombudsman so that any readers here that are fans of WRNI who want to keep the right-wing hate talk off our airwaves can send the right message. If you want to send a message to WRNI about this issue, contact them HERE.  Also, you can join the FACEBOOK group to send your message HERE. Ask your friends to sign up.

Americans Need to Tear Down THIS WAll

by Walter Brasch

           The "star" of the Olympics may not be multiple medalists but the Great Wall of China. Every TV network covering the Olympics took the world to see the Wall. It seemed as if almost every newspaper and magazine reporter also visited the Great Wall.

           But, the Great Wall, which was built and rebuilt many times over its 22 century history, eventually was a failure. Although formidable, and one of the world's greatest engineering feats, the wall by the 16th century could no longer protect China from neighboring armies.

           The Maginot Line, which France thought could protect it from Germany and Italy in the decade leading up to World War II, was largely a failure.

           The Berlin Wall, at first barbed wire and then concrete, was built not to keep others out but East Germans in. But, there were more than 5,000 escapes during its 28 year history before the wall finally came down in 1989.

           As we now know, poorly-constructed levees in New Orleans didn't keep the flood waters of Katrina from destroying the city.

           And now the U.S. is building its own wall. The Bush Administration is putting up about 700 miles of fencing and other barriers along the U.S./Mexico border by the end of the year. The cost just to build that barrier is about $2-$3 million per mile. But, in certain places, the cost far exceeds that. This week, the government began excavating an area near San Diego. When the three and one-half mile fence is finished, the cost will be about $57 million. That's about $16 million a mile.

           Most illegal immigrants pose no problems. They don't receive American benefits, contrary to a lot of Internet gossip. Most try to avoid getting into trouble, since their purpose of being in America isn't to get noticed by the police. And, for those who think putting up a wall will keep terrorists out of the country, reflect upon this: The 9/11 hijackers had American-issued visas to be in the U.S.

     Like the great Wall, the Maginot Line, the Berlin Wall, and the levees, this wall will also fail, as persons desperate to enter the U.S. will find many other ways to cross the border. But, Americans will have spent more than $2 billion for that lesson.

[Walter Brasch is professor of journalism at Bloomsburg University, a syndicated columnist, and author of 17 books. His latest book is Sinking the Ship of State: The Presidency of George W. Bush, available through amazon.com and other stores. You may contact him at brasch@bloomu.edu, or through his website, www.walterbrasch.com]


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