Migrant benefits debate renews

first_imgLawmakers are expected to again take up the fierce debate over illegal immigration this year with a host of bills looking to deny or expand benefits to the undocumented. Already in this new legislative session, Republicans have proposed bills to deny public benefits to illegal immigrants, crack down on employers who hire them and give law enforcement new tools to arrest them. And reflecting sharp party-line splits, Democrats are looking to expand opportunities available to undocumented immigrants, including granting them the right to drive and providing subsidized health coverage. But, as in previous efforts, little significant action is expected to emerge on the controversial topic as lawmakers remain wary of the complexity of the issue and California voters’ views. “California voters are bipolar,” said David McCuan, a political science professor at Cal State Sonoma. “They want to think of themselves as progressive and liberal, and that California is the epitome of the American dream. “But by the same token, they don’t want to pay for or provide access to those who came in to the country illegally.” Republican lawmakers say they are motivated by saving money for taxpayers and by stepping in where the federal government has failed to enforce immigration laws. “They’ve got free medical, free education, they qualify for welfare benefits,” said Sen. Tom Harman, R-Costa Mesa. “This is all about money. We’re in tough fiscal times.” Harman has proposed a bill that would authorize local and state law enforcement agencies to charge illegal immigrants with trespassing simply because they are in California without authorization. Currently, enforcement of illegal immigration is primarily a federal responsibility and many local police departments do not get involved in investigating the immigration status of those they arrest or question. Harman’s bill would not necessarily lead to the deportation of the undocumented but would authorize police to ticket them and possibly jail them for short periods. Harman has also authored a bill to require public and private employers in California to do more stringent background checks for citizenship status of job applicants. Other Republican proposals include bills from Assemblyman Paul Cook, R-Yucaipa, that would essentially seek to deny most state benefits to illegals; and bills from Cook and Sen. Tom McClintock, R-Thousand Oaks, that target in-state resident tuition rates. Democrats, who control both houses of the Legislature, are expected to oppose most of the Republican proposals and analysts say most of them won’t have a chance to get out of committee. “They will have no success,” said Sen. Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles, who has led efforts to protect immigrants. “None whatsoever. They’re wasting their time.” Californians have historically demonstrated mixed views on immigration. In the 1990s, voters approved Proposition 187, which sought to deny most public benefits to illegal immigrants. But the divisive politics behind the measure also caused a backlash that has been credited with a surge in Latino voter registration that helped the Democratic Party. The measure was later overturned by the courts. A new, similar ballot measure authored by conservative Republicans is currently being circulated for signatures in California. It would prohibit illegal immigrants from obtaining driver licenses, college tuition benefits and any other benefits not required by federal law. But the Republican proposals, McCuan said, aren’t likely to make it to a floor vote, though they could have potential as ballot measures. Another Republican proposal may have better chance for success because it is less ideologically charged. Assemblyman John Benoit, R-Riverside, has proposed a bill that would ask the federal government to reimburse California for the full costs of incarcerating illegal immigrants who have committed a criminal offense, or take those prisoners into federal custody. According to the state Department of Corrections, about 20,000 of the state’s 174,000 prisoners have been flagged by immigration authorities for possible violations. The state expects to spend about $865 million this year incarcerating them. Meanwhile, Democrats, led by Cedillo, are looking to expand services available to the undocumented. Cedillo is trying yet again to get the state to grant driver licenses to undocumented immigrants, something that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed the previous two legislative sessions. Cedillo hopes this year will be different because his bill seeks to help California implement the new federal Real ID Act, which under federal law must be in place by next year. He has also proposed legislation to allow illegal immigrants to compete for scholarships and financial aid at public colleges and universities. “We know there are millions of immigrants in California speaking over 100 languages, from all over the world,” Cedillo said. “They play critical roles in California. “We, the state of California, should figure out mechanisms to facilitate their assimilation into society.” [email protected] (916) 446-6723 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more


first_imgThe Queen Victoria is coming to Killybegs.One of the most magnificent cruise ships in the world, the Cunard Line’s “Queen Victoria”, will visit Killybegs at the end of May, 2018, it has been confirmed.The 90,000 tonne vessel, which is just under 300 metres long, will have about 3,000 people on board between passengers and crew and will be the largest vessel ever to berth in Killybegs.Ann Dorrian of the Killybegs Information Centre said they are “over the moon” at the news. “We are over the moon. This is great news. It is a tribute to all the volunteers who work so hard in this office to welcome cruise passengers and to the whole community who do so much to present the town at its best.”News that the ship was confirmed for the 2018 season was broken by Sinbad Marine Services Ltd., ship’s agent in Killybegs.The company’s Facebook page stated: “We are delighted to announce that the longest vessel ever to berth in Killybegs, cruise ship MS “Queen Victoria”, will arrive on 20th May, 2018. “At 294 metres, this ship is twice the length of Croke Park and carries nearly 3,000 people. A big day to look forward to!”The vessel is one of the Cunard Line’s fleet of “queens”, with “Queen Elizabeth” and “Queen Mary 2”. With a draft of eight metres, there should be no problem bringing the “Queen Victoria” alongside in Killybegs. The Smooth Point pier has 300 metres of berthage with a depth of 12 metres and a further 150 metres at 9 metres, making it one of the best berthages in Ireland.The “Queen Victoria” has a total of 16 decks and rises to 205 ft. She can travel at just under 24 knots and has a capacity for 2,014 passengers and a crew of 900.NOW QUEEN VICTORIA IS COMING TO DONEGAL….! was last modified: May 24th, 2016 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:cruise linerdonegalQueen Victorialast_img read more

Fossils Support Evolution! (Because Evolution Is Assumed)

first_imgFossils come in a variety of manifestations – not always bone.  They could be leaf imprints, whole animals trapped in amber, footprints, or mineral traces made by once-living organisms.  Some recent fossil finds are having trouble fitting into evolutionary theory.  But one thing about those Darwinists: they always find a way.Graph fight:  Evolutionists have used the mineral graphite as a biomarker – a sign of fossilized life.  By dating the rocks containing the graphite, they have inferred the age of the fossils.  Science Daily has some bad news: the graphite could be much younger.  A study of rocks in Canada by a team from four scientific institutions has concluded that “carbonaceous particles are millions of years younger than the rock in which they’re found, pointing to the likelihood that the carbon was mixed in with the metamorphic rock later than the rock’s earliest formation – estimated to be 3.8 to 4.2 billion years ago.”    What does this do to evolutionary theory?  One team member, Dominic Papineau of Boston College, said, “That can only ring a bell and require us to ask if we need to reconsider earlier studies.”  He added, “We can no longer assume that carbon is indigenous in the oldest metamorphosed sedimentary rock.”  The article paraphrased his remarks and the impact of this upset on evolutionary theory:Nearly 4,000-million years old samples from Greenland have been used to develop the dominant time line regarding the emergence of the earliest biosphere.  The recent findings suggest the biosphere may have emerged millions of years later, a hypothesis that now demands a rigorous study, said Papineau….    The presence of carbon and the specific characteristics of that carbon’s source material are crucial to understanding the evolution of the early microbial biosphere.  The subject of much debate within scientific circles, a new set of assumptions may be required when using the presence of carbon to date milestones in Earth’s evolution.Croco-bird split:  The phrase “earlier than thought” appears often in fossil news.  Here’s a case noted by University of Washington: “China fossil shows bird, crocodile family trees split earlier than thought.”  A specimen of Xilousuchus sapingensis, looking like a crocodile with four legs under its body and a sail-like fin like that of dimetrodon, has been reclassified as an archosaur.  This means it “turns out to have come from the crocodile family tree after it had already split from the bird family tree,” the article claimed (birds are assumed to have come from the archosaur branch).    What does this mean to the evolutionary picture?  “The work could sharpen debate among paleontologists about whether archosaurs existed before the Permian period and survived the extinction event, or if only archosaur precursors were on the scene before the end of the Permian.”  It also means “early members of the crocodile and bird family trees evolved earlier than previously thought.”Snake lizard:  There are lizards alive today that resemble snakes, because they have no legs (see (05/13/2011, bullet 5).  A press release from the University of Toronto published on PhysOrg reported the discovery of a tiny lizard said to be 47 million years old that resolves a controversy about the relationship of snakes and lizards.  According to a lead author, “This fossil refutes the theory that snakes and other burrowing reptiles share a common ancestry and reveals that their body shapes evolved independently.”  In that case, why PhysOrg called this a “missing link” is anyone’s guess.Genetic fossils:  Genes can be an indirect type of fossil – provided one believes the evolutionary story connecting genomes by phylogenetic trees.  A press release at the University of Texas announced, “Sodium Channels Evolved Before Animals’ Nervous Systems, Research Shows.”  The old story was that sodium channels came along with the first nervous systems in jellyfish.    The research team found genes for sodium channels (highly important in the nervous systems of complex animals) in a one-celled animal that has no nervous system: a choanoflagellate.  They “discovered the genes for such sodium channels hiding within an organism that isn’t even made of multiple cells, much less any neurons.”  What does this do to evolutionary theory?  “Because the sodium channel genes were found in choanoflagellates, the scientists propose that the genes originated not only before the advent of the nervous system, but even before the evolution of multicellularity itself.”    Sodium channels are pretty complex systems (01/17/2002).  That would be quite an innovation for a poor one-celled organism.  David Hillis rescued evolution thusly: “This study shows how complex traits, such as the nervous system, can evolve gradually, often from parts that evolved for other purposes.”  His colleague Harold Zakon picked up on the co-option theme: “Evolutionarily novel organs do not spring up from nowhere,” he said, “but from pre-existing genes that were likely doing something else previously.”  What they were doing in the choanoflagellate was not explained; apparently that is the next research project.Texas lemur:  Speaking of Texas, Science Daily “announced the discovery of a previously unknown species of fossil primate, Mescalerolemur horneri, in the Devil’s Graveyard badlands of West Texas.”  The only primates living in the wild in Texas today are those on football fields and freeways.    The press release was ready to explain how this primate evolved so far from its ancestors in Africa: “Mescalerolemur’s dental anatomy reveals a close evolutionary relationship with adapiform primates from Eurasia and Africa, including Darwinius masillae, a German fossil primate previously claimed to be a human ancestor,” the reporter wrote (05/19/2009, 03/03/2010).  “However, the discovery of Mescalerolemur provides further evidence that adapiform primates like Darwinius are more closely related to living lemurs and bush babies than they are to humans” (bush babies are small nocturnal primates resembling lemurs).  The article also appealed to convergent evolution to explain fusion of lower jaws in a related lemur and those of apes and humans.    A picture of the lemur’s jaw was posted at the University of Texas website.Dog or cat?  One might suppose that paleontologists are good at telling dogs from cats, but when it comes to marsupial mammals in Australia, they’ve had trouble classifying thylacines – alternately classed as “marsupial wolf” or “Tasmanian tiger.”  Recently, Brown University researchers voted it into the cat category, according to Science Daily.    The old story was one of evolutionary convergence, the article explained: “The conventional thinking had been that dingoes were the placental spitting image of the marsupial thylacines, evolved in isolated settings, which biologists term evolutionary convergence.  When dingoes [dogs] arrived in Australia, they helped push the thylacines out.”  Now, the picture is more subtle and complicated: “What that means for the dingo’s role in the thylacine’s disappearance from continental Australia is not clear, but it does show the animals, while similar in many respects, likely hunted differently.”  No further evolutionary explanation was offered for the remarkable convergence of many marsupials to their placental look-alikes (for chart, see NWCreation.com).Marsupial flood:  Speaking of marsupials, about 35 fossilized marsupial rats were found buried together in a mass grave in Bolivia, according to Live Science.  From the collection, researchers concluded that they were social animals, unlike today’s marsupials.  But the mechanism of burial might lead to other inferences: “They seem to have all died at the same time, possibly during a flash flood or other natural catastrophe.”  PhysOrg provided more detail and noted that the bones showed “exceptional preservation”.Raindrop tales:  How much can you tell from fossil raindrops?  David Catling [U of Washington] thinks quite a lot.  According to New Scientist, he is deducing atmospheric pressure 2.7 billion years ago from the size and shape of the tiny craters made by raindrops in “an ancient bed of volcanic ash in South Africa”.  The number of variables involved would seem to make any conclusions dubious.Spider detail:  Remains of a spider trapped in Baltic amber have been revealed in exquisite detail thanks to X-ray computed tomography, reported Science Daily.  The article includes an image of the spider taken at University of Manchester from Karl Berendt’s 19th century collection.    Nothing was said about spider evolution in the article, but Science Daily did focus attention on the evolutionary age in its headline, “Imaging Technology Reveals Intricate Details of 49-Million-Year-Old Spider.”  But in the body of the article, there was this detail about what happens to amber fossils in one fifty-thousandth of that time: “A problem here is that these old, historical amber pieces have reacted with oxygen over time and are now often dark or cracked, making it hard to see the animal specimens inside.”  Apparently they were clear when Berendt collected them.How about human fossils?  An intact fossil canine tooth said to be from Peking Man (Homo erectus) has been found in an unopened box of fossils originally dug up in China, reported PhysOrg.  Per Ahlberg from Uppsala University remarked that this is “an absolutely incredible find” because most of the Peking Man fossils were lost during World War II.  This adds a fourth tooth to their collection, and the only canine tooth.  The press release did not explore what this means to the story of human evolution; they just want to figure out the person’s diet.    Last month, Ann Gibbons on Science Magazine News showed fossil footprints of about 30 “archaic” humans of various ages found in volcanic ash near an African lake.  They look surprisingly modern for being “120,000 years old”.  Gibbons said that researchers “have uncovered 350 tracks made by anatomically modern humans (as shown by their arched feet), over an area of 150 square meters.”  In her focus on what the tracks reveal about the social behavior of the group, she did not explain how the “well-preserved trail” could have lasted for 120,000 years.If you were to look at these fossils without the Charlie & Charlie Brand Eyeglasses (Lyell & Darwin), they would look completely different.  Would you see evolution?  Would you see phylogenetic trees emerging from the data?  Would you see exquisite preservation lasting millions of years?  Arguably not.  You would see catastrophic burial and young-looking objects.    Evolutionists are blind to their contradictions because they begin with the premise that evolution is true.  It is impossible for fossils to falsify evolution, therefore, because evolution is a given.  The truth of evolution is not under investigation.  Neither is the evolutionary timetable.  Their only challenge is keeping their imaginations exercised enough to come up with stories that sound plausible to keep the public in check and give the illusion of understanding, so that they can maintain their brotherhood and authority.  They all know the price of disunity.(Visited 60 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Walter Sisulu’s Garden

first_img19 March 2004The Witwatersrand National Botanical Garden outside Johannesburg has been renamed the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden, in honour of the freedom fighter was was also “the father of everyone” with whom he spent a quarter of a century behind apartheid’s prison bars.Under a white marquee and against the backdrop of the rushing Witpoortjie Falls, around 100 people gathered on Tuesday to celebrate Sisulu’s life by unveiling a plaque and renaming the gardens in his honour.Among those in attendance were Environmental Affairs and Tourism Minister Mohamed Valli Moosa, the Sisulu family and Sisulu’s widow, Albertina, Adelaide Tambo, several deputy ministers, and long-time friend and comrade Ahmed Kathrada.Sisulu’s life closely reflected the struggle of the African National Congress which, like him, celebrated its 90th birthday in 2002. Almost a year later, Sisulu died. He was buried on 16 May 2003, a day short of what would have been his 91st birthday, at Johannesburg’s Newclare Cemetery, where a memorial garden has been established in his honour.The Roodepoort garden, some 30 kilometres west of Johannesburg’s city centre, is one of a network of eight botanical gardens around the country.It consists of around 300 hectares of landscaped and natural veld areas, planted with only indigenous trees and 600 species of indigenous flowering plants and shrubs. Over 230 species of birds have been recorded in the garden, as well as a number of reptiles and small mammals.Kathrada, asked by the Sisulu family to speak on their behalf, said that on Robben Island, Sisulu “was the father of everyone – loved, admired and respected by every prisoner. He was a leader, policy-maker, historian. This honour is well-deserved and most appropriate.”Mandela and Sisulu, Robben Island prison yard, 1966.(Photo: UWC-Robben Island Mayibuye Archives)On 11 July 1963 Liliesleaf Farm, the ANC’s secret headquarters at the time, was raided by police. Sisulu, Govan Mbeki and others were detained, and Sisulu was held in solitary confinement for 88 days. He was charged in the Rivonia trial in October 1963, and on 12 June 1964 sentenced to life imprisonment for planning acts of sabotage.On the following day Sisulu, Mandela and the other convicted Rivonia trialists were sent to Robben Island.Prisoners had individual cells on Robben Island, but once they were moved to Pollsmoor Prison outside Cape Town in 1985, Kathrada and Sisulu shared a cell for four years. Saturday nights for Sisulu were family nights – he used to spend hours going through his photograph album, slowly turning the pages.Kathrada said Sisulu was “crucial in opening doors that were previously closed”. Sisulu was released from prison in 1989, after spending 26 years behind bars.In the foreward to “In Our Lifetime”, the recently published biography of Walter and Albertina Sisulu, Nelson Mandela writes: “If we as a liberation movement and a nation were to be given the choice of one life story to be told, that story would have to be Walter Sisulu’s.“In his life and the work of his life are captured and demonstrated the best, the noblest, the most heroic, the most deeply humane that our movement and our country represent and seek to represent.”Source: City of Johannesburg websitelast_img read more

London Olympics 2012: Michael Phelps wins 200 IM for record 16th Olympic gold; Ryan Lochte takes silver

first_imgMichael Phelps added to his medal collection with his first individual gold of the London Games, and handed Ryan Lochte a double disappointment on his rival’s final night in the pool.Phelps set the tone right from the start Thursday to become the first male swimmer to win the same individual event at three straight Olympics, capturing the 200-meter individual medley for his 20th career medal – and 16th gold. He touched in 1 minute, 54.27 seconds, just off his winning time in Beijing, but still good enough for gold.Lochte settled for silver and Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh took the bronze.So a farewell games that started as a bit of a disappointment for Phelps is definitely looking up. He’s now won two golds and two silvers in five races – not up to his standards when he went 8-for-8 in China four years ago, but a fitting capper to a brilliant career that still has two more events to go.In fact, as soon as Phelps finished off Lochte, he hopped out of the pool and headed to the nearby diving well to warm down, knowing he still had a semifinal of the 100 butterfly before the night was done. He was the top qualifier in that one, setting up a rematch in Friday’s final against Milorad Cavic – the outspoken Serbian who still seems to think he got to the wall first in Beijing but lost by a hundredth of a second.Lochte had gone through the same warm-down routine just a few minutes earlier, trying to pull off an impressive double 31 minutes apart. He came up short in both races, fading to bronze in the 200 backstroke behind fellow American Tyler Clary, then touching after Phelps in the medley.advertisementPhelps’ reaction wasn’t a water-pounding celebration, just a dazed smile and a definite look of relief. He seemed to be soaking it all in, relishing a gold of his own in London with his previous victory coming in the 4×200 freestyle relay.”Going into every call room, I said it’s my last semifinal or my last prelim or my last semi of the 100 fly, so tonight is the last semi ever,” said Phelps, who plans to retire from swimming as soon as he touches the wall for the final time in London. “We’re kind of chalking up all the lasts of certain things.”Lochte shook hands with his rival before crawling out of the pool for the last time at these games. In a symbolic gesture, he tossed his cap and goggles into the crowd, his work done. His final tally: two golds, two silvers, one bronze and a fourth-place finish – impressive, but undoubtedly shy of what he had predicted would be “my time.”This time still belongs the Phelps. At least for a couple more days.”Ryan has probably been one of the toughest competitors I’ve swam against, all-around competitors,” Phelps said. “We’re seeing a lot more competitors coming up.”Rebecca Soni made quite a splash, too, on a night dominated by the Phelps-Lochte showdown.Tearing through the water in her favorite pink suit, Soni set her second world record in as many days to defend her Olympic title in the 200 breaststroke. She finished in 2:19.59, breaking her own mark of 2:20.00 set in the semifinals.Soni broke into a big smile when she saw the time, racing the clock more than she was anyone in the water. Japan’s Satomi Suzuki took silver, more than a second behind at 2:20.72, while Russia’s Yulia Efimova claimed bronze in 2:20.92.”I’m so happy,” Soni said. “I can’t believe I did it.”Ranomi Kromowidjojo carried on the Dutch tradition of producing top sprinters and prevented a red, white and blue sweep of the night, taking the 100 freestyle in an Olympic-record 53.00. Aliaksandra Herasimenia of Belarus claimed the silver in 53.38, while the bronze went to China’s Tang Yi in 53.44.American teenager Missy Franklin got off to a terrible start – she was last at the turn – and couldn’t rally. She finished fifth, two-tenths off the podium. The other U.S. swimmer, Jessica Hardy, finished last in the eight-woman field.”I’m really unsatisfied about the time, but a gold medal is a gold medal,” Kromowidjojo said. “I’m really happy with the gold medal.”In Soni’s victory, South Africa’s Suzaan van Biljon led at the first turn, but the American quickly seized control on the second lap. She was comfortably ahead by the second turn, then turned on the speed for the record.”It’s been my goal since I was a little kid to go under 2:20,” Soni said. “That’s when my coach told me you’re going to be the first woman to go under 2:19. I’ve been chasing it ever since. I’m just so happy.”advertisementWhile Lochte couldn’t hold on in the backstroke, it was still quite a night for the Americans. Clary rallied on the final lap to pull off the upset in an Olympic-record 1:53.41. Japan’s Ryosuke Irie also got by Lochte on the final stroke, taking silver in 1:53.78. Lochte’s time was 1:53.94.”You always have big dreams in your head that you think you might be able to pull off something like that,” Clary said. “The fact that it just came to fruition is something that hasn’t even processed in my mind yet. The fact that I’m now an Olympic champion and Olympic-record holder is something that is very humbling. It’s also very motivating for the next four years.”Last year, Lochte looked as though he had surpassed Phelps at the top of the swimming world when he captured five gold medals at the world championships. The Floridian didn’t come close to that total at the Olympics, failing to defend his Olympic title in the 200 back and coming up short of Phelps again in the 200 IM.Lochte won his first race of the Olympics with a dominating performance in the 400 IM on the opening night of swimming, but that was his biggest highlight. He failed to hold on in the anchor leg of the 4×100 freestyle relay, leaving the Americans with a silver, and he finished off the podium in the 200 free.He did pick up a relay gold in the 4×200 free.last_img read more