Friday, July 30, 2010

Immigration Futures: Arizona Law Placed On-Hold

Just hours before the new Arizona Immigration law would go into effect, a federal judge placed the heart of the law on hold. U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton placed a hold on law enforcement checking the immigration status of any person detained for a crime; by also placing on-hold the requirement for immigrants to carry citizenship status documents. The other item she temporarily stopped is the ban on soliciting employment in public places as day laborers do, in most cases, impeding traffic while acknowledging that there are problems with border security.

What I am in conflict with is her ruling pertaining to immigrants not carrying their papers to prove their status, when federal rules and regulations all ready requires all immigrants to carry their papers on them at all times. Does her ruling supersede this regulation, or is there going to be a debate over this? This lawsuit is beginning to raise issues that will complicate the proceedings and guarantee a date with the Supreme Court. One must monitor their actions to insure that their decisions or judgment does not adversely affect or defeat the purpose of what they are attempting to correct, such as a judge over immigration issues.

I believe that most people can agree with being in the following situation or know someone who has been in this situation at one time or another. You are stopped by a law enforcement officer, he ask you for your license and registration so that he can see proof that you are who you say you are and that you vehicle is registered with the state. He asks you to stand by while he runs a check on you and or write you a ticket. Once he gets into his vehicle and make a call to "central" to validate your information using the number on your card, your address and if necessary, your date of birth. Even if you are a pedestrian, he will have you to stand by until he runs this check. The response comes back that you have no warrants, and no priors, but he suspects that you are not supposed to be in the area. So when he returns to you he asks you specifically for the reason that you are in the area.

Now, let's change the criteria of the situation. All is the same except that you do not have your driver's license or state identification to produce when the officer ask to see it. Now the cop's query goes in a different direction because he has no way of validating you and now he is even more suspicious of you being here. He notices your nervousness, voices his observation to you jokingly, and continues with more questions.

You are required to present some form of identification or face the possibility of being detained until proper identification can be made. Normally, you are expected to get your identification by the time you are 18 years of age, and present it whenever law enforcement request to see it during the course of their duties. However, some law enforcement agents, depending on the situation, do not enforce it, and allow you to proceed.

During this contact, the officer used your I.D. to verify your residence, your age, and if you are here legally (at this present location). Every citizen of the United States are required to have a document of birth (not on their person at all times), and some form of identification (on their person at all times) in the form of a state identification card or driver’s license.

An immigrant is required by federal law to keep with them at all times documents showing their immigration status. If the immigrant has been issued a green card showing residency status, whether permanent or temporary, he is required to have it on his person or immediately available. If they do not have such papers, they are to be detained until proof can be provided. Most times an enforcement agent will not request to see an immigrant's documents unless he either all ready know their status or suspect that they are here illegally.

What is the difference in what the Arizona law requires compared to the requirements of the federal immigration law? The answer is the agency that is enforcing the law and who created the law. Federal laws and regulations are supposed to be enforced and followed by every state of the union but are wrong if they decide to add their own provisions. The federal government, the Mexican government, and the other opponents of the Arizona law know this, can see this, but still want the law of the land to be broken. Racial profiling is not a matter of question, but a reality because the biggest illegal immigrant population in the United States is of Hispanic or Latino descent. The majorities of the Arizona law opponents are either Hispanic Latino descendants, have ties to the Mexican government, have ties to a drug cartel, or feel that there is similarity to the days of black slavery, the holocaust or have political value.

The Mexican government is preparing for a large influx of its citizens returning because of SB 1070 whether it is overturned or actually goes into effect. Is this what they are afraid of, the influx or the pressures of being forced to uphold its responsibilities to its citizens? The United States has taken on this job for far too long.

If Arizona’s immigration law goes from being blocked to being ruled unconstitutional, this will open the door for the supposed “federal immigration amnesty” that is in the rumor mill. That would mean at least a few million plus possible instant citizens, but it will also present new problems by making changes to portions of the immigration issue that the opponents of the law were using to get it permanently blocked. One possible future is that the new citizens will decide that their current earnings are not enough, and they do not have to take the jobs no one else wants any more.

Why would they want to when they are now citizens? “I am an American now, and I demand to be paid like an Americans” just might become their battle cry. This will mean a rise in prices for the consumer items they were producing because the employer would need to increase his prices to meet his payroll and production costs.

In another possible reality where law enforcement can not ask for immigration documents based off suspicion while performing their duties, employers will no longer be required to affirm immigration status for employment. They would just have to go off the word of the person that is seeking employment at their business.

In a final reality or alternate universe, English will no longer be the national language spoken or written in the United States, making it easier for illegals to hide. There would be no need for sanctuary cities or any other type of safe haven. Quietly and openly Mexico’s citizens and criminals have out-populated the United States majority, and non-violently invaded our nation by electing Hispanic or Latin-born politicians into key government positions. All of this happened because of the "unofficial open" southern border, and no real enforcement to keep the illegals out of the country.

Where did it all start? Who foresaw the quiet invasion of the United States? Who was it that gave Mexico the key allowing not only illegal Hispanic and Latinos into the country, but possibly disguised terrorist as well? It started before SB 1070, but 1070 was the catalyst of the above possible futures taking place. The main people responsible, in my opinion, would be our government for letting Mexico strong-arm them. Mexico and its citizens will be the most benefited if we can not come to terms and forge a strong immigration reform.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Immigration Reform: Who, What, Why, & How

One man's view:

The real problem with the United States immigration laws are enforcement, and interpretation of the laws to do so. It is obvious that federal laws are to be enforced by the federal government, but they are not doing the job, and this lack has placed the burden on the lower echelons of government.

With the problems immigrants have caused not only to the Border States, but to the nation as a whole by utilizing state services that they have not contributed to and committing crimes that they are not being punished for, the states have taken it upon their selves to enforce the law. Who gets upset about this and challenges our nation's laws? The nation whose citizens are the heart of the problem: Mexico.

Mexico's immigration laws and policies are far stricter than any implemented or proposed in the United States, and is strongly enforced on their southern border. How do they enforce it on their northern border? They do not have a reason to enforce it there since it is the United States that has a problem with illegals crossing over. Why keep your problems confined when you can place the burden on someone else.

In the desert of Arizona the border patrols occasionally find bodies of migrants that have successfully crossed the border only to die, and others that have been killed after crossing or being brought over by smugglers and the drug cartels. An assumption would be that perhaps half of the people crossing are the undesirables like criminals and drug carriers. Then there are those that have family in the United States that they are trying to get to.

Arizona SB 1070 echoes the federal immigration law, but adds a specific punishment which the federal doesn't. It also adds to the equation how and who will enforce it by allowing local and state law enforcement to check immigration status of anyone they encounter during the course of their duties that they have reasonable suspicion to believe is here illegally.

Countering the federal law are cities that have taken it upon themselves to give sanctuary or a safe haven to illegal immigrants and are known as "sanctuary cities". In these cities illegals that are criminals are being released without notifying federal immigration officials. In some of the sanctuary cities police and other city employees were told not to inquire about immigration status, and if they come upon an illegal to not report them to federal authorities.

Were these cities challenged by the federal government for violating federal law? No. It was not a big deal for a subordinate entity so low on the totem pole to say "I will not enforce this law, because it would entail a huge amount of resources" they can not afford or will use.

Here is where the problem of non-enforcement of immigration laws lies. If the cities would follow the law, the number of illegals would diminish because they would not only be unable to use public services, but they would not be able to find employment. A provision added to the immigration law in 1996 says that agencies both local and state, "may not prohibit or in any way restrict" their employees from sending information about a person's immigration status to the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

State government could oversee and support their municipalities with their efforts by giving them the finances and resources necessary to enforce the immigration law. Their biggest job would be to insure that the cities and counties are enforcing the federal laws all ready established leaving illegals no place to hide and deny them the funds they need to survive.

At the federal level provide support to the states by, first, setting up punishment for illegals since they are criminals breaking the law. While supporting the lower governments they should shut down the entry point - the U.S.-Mexico border. Do not depend on another government that has something to gain by non-enforcement, or wants to bully you into doing things their way by disguising their support as international diplomacy.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Arizona Takes On World To Protect Own

Mexico has received supporters from other nations in Latin America and parts of the world against Arizona's new immigration law that, unless blocked by the courts, will go into effect next Thursday. A federal judge formally accepted Mexico's filing July 1 but did not immediately rule on the latest motions filed late last week that will allow Uruguay, Panama, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guatemala, Cuba, Turkey, Senegal, Micronesia and Ghana to join in the lawsuit. The support comes at the end of the three-day Third World Conference of Parliamentary Presidents, which ended Wednesday in Geneva, Switzerland.

Mexico has contended ever since the bill was signed by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, that the law is nothing more than racial profiling and a violation of civil rights since the major illegal immigrant population in both Arizona and the United States are Hispanic or Latino and the law would be targeting them as a group of people.

The law, SB 1070, authorizes law enforcement officers at all levels during the performance of their normal duties to inquire about a person's citizenship if there is reasonable suspicion that they might be in the country illegally. It also makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally if caught within the state of Arizona.

What is it about the United States' southern border that has other nations involved with our country's politics? It can not only be that the new law is racial profiling, or violating a person's civil rights. What is involved in the big picture that the public is not being made aware of and is turning our nation into an international political battleground?

Each international opponents of Arizona’s law has a personal stake in what will occur at our southern borders. The United States government should be placing its citizens and the union as a top priority and insure that we have effective national security by protecting our southern border against illegals.

The south eastern most border of our country is like a revolving door for Cuban nationals to enter illegally. There is a long history there with Cuba's citizens trying to escape their country tyranny, but what was once easy is now becoming harder since 9/11 as national security is continuously changing and improving on enforcement. Cuba has an established community in the state of Florida known as "Little Cuba." The only other possible route for Cubans to enter the United States illegally would be at our Southern border neighboring Mexico.

Mexico has an immigration reform that is way more stringent than any imposed in the United States, especially when they are dealing with illegals at their southern border with harsh punishment, do not allow foreigners to get involved in their government’s business, and that includes protesting or voicing out their objections. Every level of law enforcement and the military are required to enforce immigration laws.

By their laws, they keep records on every tourist and foreigners that enter Mexico, as well as detailed records on its citizens. The immigration laws they have seems to work well for them. Perhaps it might be that they leave the actual policing of their Northern border to its northern neighbor, the United States. Getting into Mexico illegally is much harder than leaving it illegally. This is partially due to the work of the United States Border Patrol.

The Mexico - United States border is known to be the gateway to freedom to not only Mexicans that cross illegally, but for their southern neighbors that successfully get into Mexico and make their way to north. In the movie “Red Dawn” starring Patrick Swayze, Cubans and Mexicans crossed the border illegally, and strategically positioned themselves around the country. Then one day along with the Russians, for the first time, the world went to war on the North Ame3rican continent

From the very start in April, when Governor Jan Brewer signed off on SB 1070, Arizona has been attacked by organizations, municipalities, nations, celebrities and even their own federal government. Economically, organizations and municipalities have boycotted Arizona and tourism has been hurt with warnings to avoid Arizona because of this law.

The majority of the Americans polled support the action taken by Arizona, but in the past months, the politicians that represent them has denounced Arizona’s immigration law citing that it conflicts with federal law, would disrupt immigration enforcement and would lead to police harassment of those who cannot prove their lawful status. There are a minor number of lawmakers that are starting to show support for Arizona as well.

In this war of World versus Arizona, big brother can not be depended on for support. It will have to come from the people it protects.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Arizona Immigration Law Vs Mexico Immigration Laws

Article first published as Immigration: Mexico Cannot See The Man In The Mirror on Blogcritics

In an article by Michelle Malkin titled "How Mexico Treats Its Illegal Aliens", I found a well layed out argument showing the contrast between Mexico's immigrations provisions and SB 1070 in Arizona. Upon completion of my reading, I felt compelled to offer my opinion in which I used the information obtained by Ms. Malkin.
Reality: Mexico is making demands on the United States that it will not concede to its Southern neighbor: Central America. Just as immigrants cross the U.S. - Mexico border there are immigrants from Cuba and Central America crossing Mexico’s Southern border into Mexico. Does Mexico treat their illegal immigrants the same way that they demand Arizona and the United States treat their illegal immigrants?

Of course not. In fact, Mexico’s immigration laws and policies are far stricter than any imposed in the United States.

If a person crosses Mexico’s Southern border illegally into their country and are detained, by law, "illegal entry into the country is equivalent to a felony punishable by two years’ imprisonment. . . Document fraud and alien marriage fraud is subject to fine and imprisonment; evading deportation is a serious crime; illegal re-entry after deportation is punishable by ten years’ imprisonment. Foreigners may be kicked out of the country without due process and the endless bites at the litigation apple that illegal aliens are afforded in our country."

If a person crosses the United States’ Southern border into our country in the State of Arizona the punishment that they can expect to receive is no where near what Mexico hands out. First, the immigrant has to have been “found out” and by law this will be when an officer of the law is suspicious of their citizenship status while executing his duties for a crime. If the officer becomes highly suspicious of a person being in the country illegally, he can request documents of proof from that person. At this point the new law requires the law enforcement officer to check with U.S. Immigrations or another federal agency to confirm and detain the person if they are in the country illegally.

Some type of civil offense has to have taken place before an officer even approaches an individual about their immigration status in Arizona. This is not the case in Mexico, just suspicion of a person, mostly foreigners, citizenship is all the Mexican authorities needs to detain and question a person.

It is a national mandate that all law enforcement, local, state, and federal are required to enforce Mexico’s immigration laws. Not only is the military required to assist, a civilian/citizen can make an arrest. No where in the United States is a citizen authorized to arrest someone that they think is here illegally.

Mexico’s National Catalog of Foreigners tracks every tourist and foreign traveler at all times. Their have a National Registry that tracks and verifies the identity of all mexican citizens, they must carry identification card, just as Americans are required to do in the form of an identification card or driver license. If someone is unable to produce this they can be arrested as an illegal alien.

In Arizona the difference is that there is no registry listing every non-citizen within its borders. That is not a state responsibility, but falls on the United States government to maintain and enforce. At state level the ability to check ones citizenry in support of the 14th Amendment by local and state law enforcement or even businesses is all ready a requirement by the federal government. Whenever you are approached by the police they will ask to see identification, if you are in a vehicle he wants to see your driver license, and when you are being hired by a business you are given paperwork that specifically ask for proof of citizenry.

The provisions of Mexico’s Ley General de PoblaciĆ³n (General Law of the Population) lay out the above and there’s been no public outcry for  immigration reform, because it is illegal for any non-citizen to express such in public gatherings. Is this not what the Mexican government doing here by registering complaint with the President and joining in on the lawsuits against Arizona’s new immigration law?

They do not allow any noncitizen to participate in or be involved with the political affairs of the country. There are a lot of Mexican statutes that limits the participation of foreigners in everything from investment, education, mining and civil aviation to electric energy and firearms. This is especially true when it comes to both private property and your rights at your place of employment.
If an individual applies for citizenship with the Mexican Consulate they:

-- must not upset “the equilibrium of the national demographics.”

– must enhance the country’s “economic or national interests”

-- “not found to be physically or mentally unhealthy,”

-- show no “contempt against national sovereignty or security.”

-- must not be economic burdens on society and must have clean criminal histories…

-- "must show a birth certificate, provide a bank statement proving economic independence, pass an exam and prove they can provide their own health care".

If we applied this to the immigrants that enter this country illegally or apply to become an American citizen, would it ease the tensions that have been brewing ever since SB 1070 was introduced? Perhaps not, but by presenting this argument to those that has a need to know just might make Mexico sit back and do as they say, and not as they please.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

K2 & Spice: If You Smoke It You Need To Know This

If you are a K2 or Spice smoker or thinking about smoking it, there are some steps that you need to take immediately to prevent the terrifying side-effects that many have experienced and may have been involved in one teen's death. Perhaps the most important facts you need to know from the beginning is that K2/Spice/JWH-018 is not intended for human consumption and never been tested on humans and K2/Spice/JWH-018 is three to five times stronger than marijuana, so it takes a less amount to achieve a good high. This is perhaps some of the most important information to never forget.

1. Do you have the real thing or is it a designer product? Users and websites have reported that there are fake K2 sites and home made or designer K2 being distributed using forged packaging that looks just like the real deal. It is hard to tell, but there are certain things that you can look for to avoid buying something you do not want. For instance, look at the ingredients and location of where it was produced.

One site that you can check for a list of fake K2 websites unless you're buying from a verified source is and you can verify through if whether the product you're getting does not come from the original K2 manufacturer. Here you can see a growing list of counterfeit sites.

2. If you are ready to smoke, puff - wait 5 to 10 minutes, then take a second puff and wait 5 to 10 minutes again. Users have reported that 2 to 3 puffs or "hits" is all you will need to get a "good high". Realize the strength of K2/Spice/JWH-018 is 3 to 5 times stronger than marijuana, so if you smoke it like a joint, you are smoking too much and may be in for one scary adventure. Remember, do not approach it like you know it, treat it like a stranger and be cautious.

3. Know what you probably can expect to experience so that you are not going in totally blind, and then expect the unexpected. The following is not the complete or confirmed listing of all of K2's negative side-effects, but are the most commonly reported by alleged users in comment sections of many of the articles researched..

Negative Side effects may include:

Here are the most common effects that I noticed by what the commenter said happen after using K2. First the negative: almost immediately there were severe headaches lasting anywhere from approximately two hours to about 10 days, sometimes much longer. The headaches were accompanied with nausea lasting at least two hours, experiencing blackouts, flashbacks like what PCP users experience, severe paranoia to the point of total panic, and an extreme high lasting for over two hours, sometimes over 24 hours. Also observed were clammy, sweaty skin, a pale appearance, increased heart rate, depression, psychotic episodes, anxiety, an "I'm going to die" feeling, erratic breathing, severely impaired vision, twitches, convulsions, shakes, seizures, tremors, blood pressure bottoming out, sheer terror, dizziness, delayed reactions to surroundings, mind wandering, vomiting, profound sweating, sleepiness, disorientation, high blood pressure, severe hallucinations, confusion, claustiphobia, short-term memory loss and severe agitation. As you can see, this list has some life threatening side effects, and the list is going to continue to grow.

Reported Positive Side-Effects

Many stated they believe that K2 is the perfect substitute for the illegal marijuana that is so widely used. The best compromise would be to replace K2 with the natural herb, marijuana, by making it legal to possess, use, purchase or barter. The majority has concluded that marijuana is the lesser of the two evils because its effects are not as dangerous as those present with K2.

The users proclaim that they have not run into any adverse problems because they go in smoking a lesser amount K2 compared to using marijuana. A person can get an enjoyable high if they smoke K2 in moderation instead of jumping off a tall building or bridge knowing that you would be safer if you 1. Were able to fly or 2. Were close enough to the ground or water when you leapt so as not to be fatal. On the average taking about one to three puffs (hits) of K2 will give you the same level of intoxication as in smoking at minimum a whole joint. You know the saying, ". . . puff, puff, and give".

The high feeling from K2 comes a lot faster than marijuana, by being felt almost immediately, where as marijuana's is delayed because it has to penetrate the lungs, to get into your blood. Everyone is claiming to not having an adverse experience, but a mild chilling feeling, and smoked a minimum amount because they did not know how they would be affected.

4. There is no official study or report that can tell you everything about K2/Spice/JWH-018 and this reason alone, makes consuming it dangerous. Before long K2/Spice will be banned in perhaps every state, probably to go underground until a study is conducted, but a study takes time.

These are the four most important pieces of information that I feel should be disseminated as expediently as possible. Keep in mind that this is a compilation of information derived from alleged users. None of this information is from personal experience, for I do not condone drug usage, but I do feel that for safety purposes this information is the minimum amount of knowledge needed to hopefully prevent someone from being killed.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Arkansas Poultry Business Busted For Illegal Employees

Article first published as Payment Method Request Prompts Federal Immigration Investigation on Blogcritics.

Local companies were attempting to hire employees to catch chickens following federal hiring guidelines and laws, but potential employees wanted to know if they would be paid in cash like another local company pays its workers. By paying in cash, criminals forego filing paperwork like Form 1099 Income with the government, and puts up a red flag that the employer might be hiring illegal aliens. If caught, the following could unfold as it has in the state of Arkansas.

On Friday, July 16, 2010, the company, Amador-Villenueva Contracting and J&A Loading, was charged with hiring and harboring 33 illegal immigrants plus laundering over $8 million in the U.S. District Court in Fort Smith, Arkansas, before Judge Robert T. Dawson. The owners of the business were the two oldest Amador-Villenueva brothers, Leoncio, 42 and Juan, 44.

The investigation was initiated after federal officials received information from “sources stating they were having a hard time hiring employees to catch chickens because the potential employees questioned whether they were going to get paid in cash as Amador Poultry pays its employees,” according to court documents.

The two brothers along with their younger brother Jose Manuel Amador-Villenueva, 39, all had previously plead guilty to a single count of conspiracy to harbor, transport and employ illegal aliens. Also prosecuted in the case was Leoncio’s wife, Kelle Stubbs-Amador.

Pleading guilty to a single count of money laundering, Lenico Amador-Villanueva received a sentence of 18 months of a recommended guideline of 30 to 37 months in prison with three years of supervised probation. Lenico along with his wife were also ordered to forfeit almost $640,000 in cash and assets worth an estimated $160,000 as part of a plea agreement.

Kelle Stubbs-Amador plead guilty to a single count of conspiracy to harbor, transport and employ illegal aliens and received a sentence of three years of supervised probation. Judge Dawson stated in response to his leniency in her sentencing to believing that her criminal activity was primarily a product of her spouse and also cited the couple’s five children, including twins born in June.

The youngest brother, Jose Manuel was sentenced to 12 months in prison plus three years of supervised probation and forfeiture of $73,000 as part of his plea agreement.

Juan Amador-Villenueva was the last to appear in court receiving 15 months in prison of a sentencing guideline of 24 to 30 months plus three years of supervised probation and forfeiture of about $800,000 in cash and assets including more than $600,000 in cash as part of his plea agreement.

The investigation conducted by Special Agent Scott Woodrow, of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement revealed that Jose Amador-Villanueva, had claimed to be a simple “field worker” but when he filed his 2008 tax return he reported income of $2 million and his occupation as “poultry contractor.” The $2 million reported were checks paid directly to him from OK Farms, were cashed, but never deposited in a financial institution.

Each of the defendants and their character witnesses were seeking leniency from Judge Dawson, however, Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracy Triplett reported that at least 33 illegal aliens were harbored by the defendants, more than $8 million was laundered through their business and not one employee was supplied with a Form 1099 to report income.

Arizona and like minded states are trying to prevent crimes of this type and magnitude from happening within their borders. Crimes that are federally regulated but are not being enforced as the illegals migrate farther away from the U.S.-Mexico border.

Monday, July 19, 2010

K2 Contributes To Teen's Suicide

Article first published as Death Validates Dangers of Synthetic Marijuana on Blogcritics.

On June 6, 2010, Indianola, Iowa, teen, David Rozga, 18, committed suicide after having a panic attack attributed to smoking K2 with his friends. After consumption, he told them that he was going to hell then went home where he shot and killed himself. His parents and the police place the blame for his actions on K2, because according to David’s parents, this was out of character.

This is the first death reported that might be directly linked to consuming K2, and has prompted the Governor to issue a statewide warning about its use and potential dangers. Iowa lawmakers are also looking at how they can ban K2, following the steps of the increasing number of municipalities and states that have done so all ready.

People that have smoked the synthetic marijuana have reported such side effects as deep depression, hallucinations, feelings of “I am going to die”, and severe panic attacks, which may be what, drove David Rozga to kill himself.

There has always been the danger of using an untested substitute and assuming that it will respond the same as the substance that it is supposed to imitate. Marijuana causes a phobia that users appear to enjoy, and depending on its grade, the quantity it takes to achieve the desired level of intoxication varies from person to person. The same holds true for using K2 whose potency is 3 to 5 times stronger than marijuana warranting a less amount consumption and new users do not know this. They just assume that smoking the same amount of K2 that they smoke of cannabis the results will be the same.

One of his friends bought the K2 in Des Moines, since no store in Indianola sells it, and shared it with him. They consumed it together, but David was the only one to react so negatively. The purchase price for 3 grams of K2 typically is around the same amount as marijuana, but is legal to possess, not detectable by current tests, apparently has no age restriction and use will probably continue to rise nationally as the banning of K2 continues to spread.

The sad reality of prevention is that most people have not heard of K2 until incidents, as David’s becomes public knowledge or passed on by word of mouth. This incident should prove that not just for public safety, but also for the importance of educating the public on K2 usage, someone should take the time to conduct a study.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Federal Government Issues Quiet Warning To States

Article first published as Is DOJ Immigration Lawsuit a Warning to the States on Blogcritics.

When the Justice Department (DOJ) filed its lawsuit against Arizona’s new immigration law was it a warning to other states thinking about implementing similar laws, that immigration is their venue, and not the states? That matter of nationality is also a federal responsibility?

With the number of lawsuits filed with the federal courts, the DOJ did not need to file a suit of their own. The law opponents may think that by the government suing Arizona adds strength to their cause just because they are the federal government, which may be true, but there was really no need to sue for the same things that are all ready headed to federal court to be decided on.

The government in their claim says they do not want the states to come up with their own solution to immigration issues, and that immigration and nationally laws and policy are in their purview and is not delegated to the states. That federal law takes precedence is these matters. Getting an injunction to prevent Arizona’s immigration law from going into effect on July 29, 2010 would be considered a victory. This alone would say that there is a reasonable doubt as to how far a state can involve itself in federal matters or change precedence.

By consensus, the majority of the nation is behind Arizona and applauds their actions since there is no real federal law enforcement taking place. The Arizona law authorizes law enforcement officers in the course of performing their normal duties to question suspects about their citizenry if there is reasonable suspicion that they are in the country illegally, and makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally. The law also targets employers who knowingly employ illegals and seek out illegals to perform work for them.

It is the belief of the law’s opponents that this law is just a legal route to racial profiling and violation of civil rights because the majority of illegals in the nation are of Hispanic descent. The law’s wording does not specify any one group of people falls under this statute, just illegals, which cover all illegals no matter their race, creed, religion or nationality.

Prior to proposing any legislation regarding immigration, those states that are considering imposing laws similar to Arizona’s should wait and observe how this pans out. If the decision is in Arizona’s favor, seeing how they go about implementing it, how it takes shape and how it helps the problem would be the best course for other states to follow before implementing one of its own. The question of economics also should be taken into consideration since such laws normally bring constitutional challenges in court by organizations that advocate for civil rights, and in this case, boycotts could be very harmful.

If this is indeed a warning from the federal government to the states thinking about implementing laws similar to Arizona’s, the United States government, Obama and his crew, need to come up with a workable plan to protect our borders instead of just accepting responsibility for its failure to do so.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Synthetic Marijuana Sales Soar As Demand Rise

Article first published as Synthetic Marijuana Sales Soar As Demand Rise on Blogcritics.

Spice and K2 users are grabbing this product off the shelf so fast that some stores are claiming on Fridays they pulled in $10,000 in Spice sales alone. This rise can be contributed to states rushing to have it banned and a user rushing to hoard the product before it is banned in their area.

The number of states that have either banned synthetic pot or has lawmakers working on bans is increasing as Missouri Governor Jay Nixon signed a state ban last week. Just as with alcohol and other items that have been prohibited by law in the past, is K2, Spice and related substances going to go underground? Right now spice and other K2 products can be legally purchased mainly online and head shops.

Capitol Hemp owner Adam Eidinger said that in the 18 months he has been stocking spice, the demand has doubled every month now making up a third of his revenue. If other spice retailers are experiencing this same effect on their sales, what is going to happen when it becomes prohibited in every state?

The debate over the use of K2, spice has been getting stronger as lawmakers react to not only the cries of their constituents, but to the lack of data or official study on the effects of its use. Other than what is reported by retailers and spice customers, there has been no official report on the number of its users.

There has been an increased in the number of calls to poison centers across the nation concerning spice. Across 41 states the American Association of Poison Control Centers has logged over 500 cases of bad reaction to spice for the first half of 2010 and only 13 cases for 2009.

Arkansas Board of Health recently placed K2 and all of its derivatives on its banned substance list in an emergency order signed by Arkansas Governor Beebe. Kansas was the first state to outlaw the products in March 2010 followed by Kentucky, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and Arkansas with other lawmakers working on bans in their states.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Department of Justice Joins Fight Over Immigration

Article first published as U.S. Takes On Arizona Over Immigration on Blogcritics.

The United States government has officially filed a lawsuit challenging the state of Arizona’s new Immigration law that goes into effect at the end of this month. In their filing the United States Justice Department (D.O.J.) cited “. . . The nation's immigration laws reflect a careful and considered balance of national law enforcement, foreign relations, and humanitarian interests." reported by the Associated Press

"In our constitutional system, the federal government has pre-eminent authority to regulate immigration matters which is derived from the United States Constitution and numerous acts of Congress. The nation's immigration laws reflect a careful and considered balance of national law enforcement, foreign relations, and humanitarian interests." The question raised by different states either imposing or considering imposing similar immigration laws at state-level is where is the national law enforcement?

Arizona’s law authorizes law enforcement officers that during the course of their regular duties reasonably suspect the citizenship of an individual to be illegal; the right to question them as to their immigration status. The law also makes it a crime to be an illegal immigrate within the state and makes it punishable as a violation of state law.

The DOJ has been researching the constitutionality of Arizona’s proposed new law since it was signed by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer back in April 2010, but does not go into effect until July 29, 2010. Many outside eyes have been watching and hoping that the DOJ would file and hopefully get an injunction prior to its enactment date to stop it from going into effect.

They contend that by Arizona making it a state crime, adding punishment and enforcement to it, that Arizona is violating the Government’s supremacy clause of the Constitution since there are laws all ready in place against illegal immigration.

Sen. Russell Pearce, the author of the law in question, and was co-sponsored by dozens of Republicans legislators, denounces the lawsuit as an insult to the rules of law, as well as to the citizens of Arizona. He sees this as they not wanting the immigration laws enforced and an attempt to go back and continue their non-enforcement policy.

The law is a result of “. . . years of frustration over problems associated with illegal immigration, including drug trafficking and violent kidnappings. “ Arizona is home to an estimated population of 460,000 illegals, and their state is the biggest gateway into the U.S. for illegal immigrants.

It may seem that by the Justice Department filing suit adds some strength to the lawsuits that have all ready been filed opposing the law because of the feeling that Federal laws trump state law. Maybe this was the intent, however, with the number of lawsuits all ready filed with the federal court there was no real need for the DOJ to file. Their lawsuit will not override the others, nor will it expedite any decision that will be made, but just add to the paperwork involved, an unnecessary redundancy, if you would.

It does stand to reason that since this law encroaches on a level above state authority, the federal government would want representation to show that they are serious about immigration matters at minimum, for its political merits in foreign diplomacy. The question that is not being asked is the federal government willing to compromise the security of its own citizens, to better their relationship with a nation whose citizens are the heart of the issue that now is being challenged in court, or will they start enforcing the laws that are in place to prevent the events that are unfolding?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Arkansas Health Board Bans Synthetic Marijuana In Emergency Rule

Article first published as Arkansas Health Board Bans Synthetic Marijuana In Emergency Rule on Blogcritics.

On July 2, the Arkansas Board of Health adopted an emergency rule banning synthetic marijuana, known as K2. Governor Mike Beebe signed the rule, which is effective immediately. The Board of Health has 24 members that were present during the voice vote at an emergency meeting, with one member voting against it.

The emergency ruling will be in effect for 120 days or until it is permanently replaced with a new rule. The plan right now is that a law will be introduced and passed in the 2011 session, but this emergency ruling was brought about because Arkansas cities and counties have been taking it upon themselves to enact a K2 ban. The statewide approach simplifies the difficult task of each municipality being responsible for crafting and adopting local ordinances which may face legal challenges in court.

Dr Marvin Leibovich, a member of the state Board of Health, was the only member to vote against the emergency rule, because he felt that there is/was no emergency reason for adopting such a rule, citing that compared to 40,000 alcohol-related emergencies in the state per year, there have only been 26 possible K2 medical emergencies. Dr Leibovich does feel that some type of control is needed, but objected to this being an emergency circumstance, but rather a political one where pressure has been place on the Board to take action.

State Health Officer Paul Halverson assured reporters after the meeting that this emergency ruling was not attributed to any pressure being politically applied, but to recent knowledge gained through research. There is now a way to detect K2 and measure the extent of the substance via laboratory testing. Research has also shown that K2 is capable of causing medical problems like tremors and convulsions. With fair certainty, the potential harm that K2 could create warranted an action to the danger it presents.

What makes K2 and its variations such a threat is that there are no rules, restrictions or regulations on its sale and use like the ones in place for alcohol. The effects of alcohol are known whereas K2 affects are not, and with its availability being so easy, action needed to be taken to protect the public and especially our children until such can be determined.

In response to a question from State Rep. Donna Hutchinson, the attorney general has stated that it was within the Board’s authority to ban K2 with an emergency rule.

With this ruling, anyone caught in violation will receive a misdemeanor punishable with a fine up to $500 and up to one month in jail plus a civil penalty up to $1000.

Immigration Reform: A Change Is Gonna Come

The Mexican Consulate in Little Rock, Arkansas, has partnered with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Public Health, and the Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas to set up a new health initiative at the Consulate in the state capital that will provide health services for Mexicans in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. Does this initiative counter-mine the immigration debate taking place?

The initiative called “Ventanilla de Salud” or Health Windows saw its first patients in March and is now open for full service providing health information and screenings for Mexican Nationals. Little Rock became the 40th of 50 consulates to provide this service. It has been so successful that France and Brazil has set up similar service at their consulates. The first initiative program was set up in San Diego in 2002.

The Consul General Carlos Garcia stated that Mexican immigrant is 11 per cent of Mexico’s citizen, the third largest group in the world. Of that 11 per cent living outside Mexico, 98 percent lives in the United States compared to about 1.5 million American citizens living permanently in Mexico. He did not say that any of the Americans were living here illegally.

While health services are being provided for so many Mexicans within our borders, there is no telling how many of those treated are here illegally. It must be very promising to the illegals in our country to know that while so many eyes are on the immigration laws and the state of Arizona that no one is looking at how health services are being taken out of the equation pertaining to public services.

Currently, lawmakers or candidates in 18 states want laws similar to Arizona’s to be implemented in their states. Such have already been introduced in some of the states that are the farthest from the U.S.-Mexico border: Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Michigan, Minnesota, and Rhode Island. They are some of the states that foresee an influx of illegals fleeing from Arizona crossing their borders in numbers that their states might not be able to handle.

Arguments about immigration reform have become common discussions at family dinner tables. Some argue that Arizona’s immigration law is racial profiling while others feel that being an illegal is not a race, but a crime against our constitution’s 14th Amendment and asking for legal documents when someone is suspected to be here illegally is nothing new to any country protecting their borders. All American citizens have to present identification when law enforcement requests such. This is mostly done by presenting your driver’s license since law enforcement mostly come in contact with motorist, and also required when they are called to any disturbances to properly identify the people involved. Most countries require individuals to have their passports in their possession at all times.

Our major immigration problem is largely Hispanic because other than Canada, Mexico is the only country bordering the United States where illegal entry is almost an inborn talent. Even though Canada is also a gateway for illegals, the problem is not as bad or noticeable because of their checkpoint procedures, and their citizens are not in a big hurry to cross over and have the life they are already living.

The concern that is being raised here is how much of the fight is going to be fought openly, and how much of the fight is being fought behind closed doors like the health initiative being put in place before the issue of public services use by illegals are brought to the forefront.

As stated in another article I wrote and published on BC, to confront immigration reform, one must also look at the children born to illegals in the United States that receive automatic citizenship, a right derived from the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Arizona State Senator Pearce realized this when he proposed S.B. 1070, and is comtemplating on challenging it giving automatic citizenship to the children of illegal Parents.

As soon as a decision is made on the constitutionality of Arizona’s Immigration law and automatic citizenship, there is going to be a major change across our nation. This stands to be true if the Arizona law is deemed unconstitutional.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Nation's Highest Court Takes On Immigration Issue

Article first published as Nation's Highest Court Takes On Immigration Issue on Blogcritics.

The first of many court appearances for immigration reform is coming before the nation’s highest court, the U.S. Supreme Court. The lawsuit to appear first is the 2007 Arizona law penalizing employers who knowingly hire undocumented workers. The Obama administration asked the court to review the Arizona employment law and has indicated it will sue to block enforcement of the state's broader immigration law, scheduled to take effect July 29.

The issue of this suit varies somewhat from the main issue of immigration enforcement, but both center on the extent of a state's authority to enforce immigration-related laws without infringing on exclusive federal power. Laws similar to the 2007 Arizona law are in effect in 5 states, requiring employers to determine their workers' immigration status through a federal database. Employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants face a license suspension for the first offense, and revocation if there is a second offense.

A federal appeals court in San Francisco last year affirmed the law as an exercise of a state's traditional power to regulate businesses, and noted that federal law allows states to use regulations against employers of illegal immigrants. Obama’s administration challenges that the Arizona law is a hiring ban, not a licensing law, and uses such action solely as a means of punishment. The Justice Department lawyers and opponents of Arizona's new Immigration law argue that the law is broader than federal law and violates the federal government's sole authority to regulate immigration.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Civil Liberties Union requested and the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case Monday and is due to issue a ruling by the end of June 2011. The case is Chamber of Commerce vs. Candelaria, 09-115.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer on Friday asked the federal court to dismiss 5 lawsuits filed that challenge the new law. They generally argue that Arizona's law will lead to racial profiling and that it is the federal government's responsibility to regulate immigration.

The federal government response to the problem is to send 1200 National Guard members to the border, giving Arizona 500 of the 1200 troops to add to those that are all ready protecting the U.S.- Mexico border in Arizona. Governor Brewer feels that this is not enough and that Arizona needs 3000 (and the entire Mexican border 6000) more troops.

VISITORS BEWARE!! And the other appear to be juvenile: posting signs on federal land within Arizona’s borders that warns visitors of possible illegal smuggling and immigration that might occur and that they are in an active drug and human smuggling region. Why now when the problem is nothing new? Is it the government’s way of looking at the immigration issue with a joke? Or is it to ridicule Arizona for its way of handling this problem? It makes the appearance that the government is also boycotting one of its 50 “children” by deterring tourist/visitors thus hurting their economy.

Other states are attempting to provide a more mature solution to their immigration issues than the federal government’s sign postings. Such as:

A constitutional amendment is being proposed by Secure Arkansas, a grass root organization in Arkansas that would restrict public benefits to illegal immigrants’ children 14 years of age and below. No one above the age of 14 would be eligible for public benefits such as healthcare, which now seems to be redundant since the Mexican Consulate began its health initative in the state capital city, Little Rock, in March of this year. It is the most recent one to be opened in the nation since the program began in San Diego in 2002 as a joint venture between the city and the Mexican government. Little Rock’s initative is the 40th to open for citizens of Mexico.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

U.S. Supreme Court Reaffirms 2nd Amendment Rights

Article first published as U.S. Supreme Court Reaffirms 2nd Amendment Rights on Blogcritics.

Gun owners across the nation’s ownership rights were reaffirmed by the nation's highest court on Monday, June 28. This came about when the Supreme Court Justices in a 5-4 decision ruled in the case of McDonald v. Chicago, which challenged Chicago’s handgun ban, by stating that the 2nd Amendment right “applies equally to the federal government and the states.”

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel co-sponsored an amicus brief by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott in the McDonald lawsuit by Chicago community activist Otis McDonald challenging Chicago’s handgun ban. The amicus brief was signed by 38 attorney generals who supported a nationwide right to bear arms.

The ruling will have little effect on states such as Arkansas whose state constitution includes a provision protecting their “constitutional right to keep and bear arms within their state.” The Supreme Court made it clear that their ruling does not strike down states’ ability to impose restrictions on gun ownership, but it does restrict the states from imposing an outright ban. One of the regulations that will not be affected is the concealed carry permits issued in the state of Arkansas.

Will their decision allow regulations that appear to be unreasonable to gun owners? It does not prevent such action, so it obviously would be something to be worked out in the courts when it occurs.

Justices John Paul Stevens and Stephen Breyer, joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor, each wrote a dissent noting that, unlike the Washington case, Monday's decision "could prove far more destructive — quite literally — to our nation's communities and to our constitutional structure."

With this ruling cities should be able to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and terrorists while respecting the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens. How many states and cities that this decision will affect are unknown, but it proves to be a victory for the supporters of the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Arizona State Senator challenges the 14th Amendment

Article first published as 14th Amendment Rights Coming Under Fire on Blogcritics.

As I stated in an earlier article and blog, Congress needs to look closely at the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution in regards to automatic citizenship to see if the wording is valid today, compared to the times it was passed into law. The Immigration issues being presented by the law passed by the State of Arizona is going to include the 14th Amendment at one point or another, because there is no way that you can deport an undocumented immigrant with a family member born on United States soil.

It is not surprising that the politician who proposed the immigration law approved by the State of Arizona would be bringing the problem to the steps of Congress. Our leaders adopted the 14th Amendment in 1868 they did not foresee that the nation that they loved would be forced into deciding whether an individual born in the United States could or could not be a citizen when their parents are not legal.

The law that is going to be diverting attention to the Constitution was introduced by Arizona state senator Russell Pearce and passed by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, and allows law enforcement officers to check for proof of citizenship if they suspect that the person detained might be in the country illegally, thus making it a violation of state law.

Senator Pearce now wants it to be declared that children born to illegal immigrants be denied citizenship because of the parents’ status. The 14th Amendment states, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the state wherein they reside.”

Legislation similar to Sen. Pearce's ideology on citizenship was introduced at the federal level by Rep. Nathan Deal, R-GA, in 2009. At this time, it is stalled. If Congress does not take on the immigration problem, it perhaps will become one of the biggest issues they have ever faced in their careers. Their action or inaction is going to become a political platform in the near political future.

The immigration problem Not only affects the numbers crossing the border, but the economy as well. Next to slavery, illegal immigrant workers are the cheapest work force in this area of the country, helping the economy with their income and low cost employment. That seems to be California’s biggest concern, other than that their elected officials may have some relatives about to be deported.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Controversial K2 Ban Spreads Across Nation Spawning Pro vs Con

Article first published as Controversial K2 Ban Spreads Across Nation, Spawning Pro vs Con Debates on Blogcritics.

Over the past few days I have been researching news reports and the Internet for information reported about the dangers or safety of using K2 and its byproducts. For someone outside looking in, the controversary over the effects and legality of the substance known as K2 is very dynamic in collecting the facts. There are some very distinct commonalities in almost every article, and blogs that are K2 centered, but the biggest source of realistic information comes from the comment sections of each one. The comment sections are very opinionated, bias and with anonymity, but it is perhaps the only place filled with the actual facts on the effects of K2. Their individual experiences.

The facts and theories in the articles and some of the blogs come from professionals in the medical and psychological field and are very insightful. Here we are hearing from doctors, policemen, and politicians with common and extreme views covering their aspect of researching and/or experiences with K2 and its users

What Is K2 And How Is It Used

K2 and its derivatives are produced in the countries of China and Korea as incense and potpourri treated with various chemicals that make it an alternative method to getting a marijuana-like high without the marijuana. The main concerns regard its dangers to its users since it is becoming very popular with teenagers and is sold legally without any federal laws or regulations in place to govern it and its uses. The exact number of chemicals added by spray is unknown, however, one of the main ingredients identified is a chemical identified is a synthetic THC name JWH-018.

JWH-018 was created in the 1990s by a science student at Clemson University named Huff who intended to test the effects of THC on rats. No humans were used for testing, meaning that there has been no concrete data collected about its possible side effects, benefits or use in/for human beings. It is not known how, but someone got hold of Huff's formula then discovered that it had the ability to give a person a marijuana-like high. When and how the formula made its way out of the United States and into China or Korea is also unknown.

Disregarding the labeled warning on the K2 packaging that it was not for human consumption, teenagers and adult abusers ingest K2 by rolling it in paper like marijuana, then smoke it like a joint/cigarette, in pipes, bongs or vaporizers as they would with marijuana. Unlike marijuana and other drug favorites, there are no procedures available, chemical or otherwise, that can detect K2 in its user. This makes it hard for law enforcement officers and medical personnel to identify an abuser of K2 that has been detained for a traffic stop or medical treatment.

Being undetectable is the main reason for its increasing popularity with the teenagers and people whose employer requires its employees to drug test, because they still want to get high. They can not be terminated for ingesting K2 prior to reporting for work since K2 is so new that no one has created a detection procedure for it plus it is sold legally. Some retailers have reported that their customer base is not only filled with teens, college students, and parolees, but with professional people as well, including law enforcement.


K2's Alternative Identities

You can find K2 by various names sold mainly in Head Shops and on the Internet. Keep in mind that this list is non-inclusive because time has proven that manufacturers will undoubtedly work around any ban put in place by the government on their products by making small changes to it and giving it a new identity or name. The following list of K2 names were collected mostly from the comment section of articles and blogs posted on the Internet by users and professionals.

K2 is also known as: Spice, Supernova, Genie, zohal, skunk and spirit with various blends like blonde, citron, summit, standard, space, watermelon chiba, Spice Silver, pink, Spice Gold, Spice Diamond, K2 Blue, K2 Blue Supper Summit and Yucatan fire.


Dangerous Or Safe

Observed And User Reported K2 Effects

The Negative Side

K2 like many dangerous and safety tested products; K2 does not react the same way in everyone's biological system. By running a search on the Internet for the keywords of "K2" and "ban" I received around 3 pages of valuable "hits" providing me with enough information to determine what may be the truth or just someone’s opinion.

The side effects had both positive and negative reactions that were common to most of the comments and article contents that I read. Before I start, I need to point out that there is not any verifiable data for using K2, and by not knowing what will happen once you consume or digest something presents a potential danger to the person consuming it.

The most common effects that I noticed by what the commenter said happen after using K2. First the negative: almost immediately there were severe headaches lasting anywhere from approximately 2 hours to about 10 days, sometimes much longer. The headaches were accompanied with nausea lasting at least 2 hours; experiencing blackouts; flashbacks like what PCP users experience; severe paranoia to the point of total panic; an extreme high lasting for over 2 hours, sometimes over 24 hours; clammy, sweaty skin; a pale appearance; increased heart rate; depression; psychotic episodes; anxiety; an "I'm going to die" feeling; erratic breathing; severely impaired vision; twitches, convultions, shakes, seizures, tremors; blood pressure bottoming out; sheer terror; dizziness; delayed reactions to surroundings; mind wandering; vomiting; profound sweating; sleepiness; disorientation; high blood pressure; severe hallucinations; confusion: claustiphobia; short term memory loss and severe agitation, As you can see this list has some life threatening side effects, and the list is going to continue to grow.

There was one report of a 16 year-old male attempting to jump into his swimming pool from a second story widow. This was after smoking "fake" marijuana and as you may imagine the results were not like receiving a score of 10 in a diving competition. His mother stated that he had to have 69 stitches. Another person that reported to a hospital with multiple K2 adverse reactions listed above said that he saw the devil dragging him to hell and demons mocking him.

A Doctor Scalzo, St. Louis University in Missouri also reported that he had treated 30 teenagers at a hospital emergency room after they had consumed K2, and their reaction was nothing like the kind normally seen with marijuana use. They had experienced 10 of the above listed reactions. Another doctor stated that 160 cases where K2 were treated for respiratory problems and high blood pressure. It is also possible that K2 attacks the cardiovascular and central nervous systems.

In Colorado, a television reporter equipped with a hidden camera walked into a Head Shop to purchase some K2. Not only was he able to buy some K2, the store clerk told the reporter how to get high with K2 taking 1 or 2 hits and waiting for 5 minutes.


The Reported Positive Side

For every Con, there is a Pro side to every issue ever debated. I would be unfair and commit an injustice if I did not also report on the expressed positive effects of the substance named K2 or Spice. There has not been an official study on the effects of K2 making what I present here based on what was placed in the comment sections of the blogs and articles I research for this article. One comment stated that there is not any official information from a study or testing, but everyone wants to present the alleged negative effects of K2 to support the proposed banning of K2.

What I present here is public information (literary material placed in a public location for all to see) taken from the alleged commenters’ that are professed drug users.

Many stated they believe that K2 is the perfect substitute for the illegal marijuana that is so widely used. The best compromise would be to replace K2 with the natural herb, marijuana, by making it legal to possess, use, purchase or barter. Since the opinion of the majority, the consensus has concluded that marijuana is the lesser of the two evils because its effects are not as dangerous as those present with K2.

Comparing K2 usage to marijuana use, the problem that is making K2 so dangerous is that no one is very familiar with K2, there is no official documented information on the long and short term use of K2, that the people having the adverse reactions are using it like marijuana and not entering the river without knowing what to expect. The adverse user does not know that K2 is 3 to 5 times stronger than marijuana and that they should use less to obtain the high they get from smoking a lot of marijuana.

The users proclaim that they have not ran into any adverse because they go in smoking a lesser amount K2 compared to using marijuana. A person can get an enjoyable high if they smoke K2 in moderation instead of jumping off a tall building or bridge knowing that you would be safer if you 1. were able to fly or 2. was close enough to the ground or water when you. On the average taking about 1 to 3 puffs (hits) of K2 will give you the same level of intoxication as in smoking at minimum a whole joint. You know the saying, ". . . puff, puff, give".

The high feeling from K2 comes a lot faster than marijuana, by being felt almost immediately, where as marijuana's is delayed because it has to penetrate the lungs, to get into your blood. Everyone is claiming to not having an adverse experience, but a mild chilling feeling smoke a minimum amount because they did not know how they would be affected.

If you pay attention to what blend you or your buddies are using, you will find that K2 Blue is one of the strongest K2 blends, if not the strongest.

Experienced users reported the following positive K2 effects that they had: relaxation; at worse, a mild headache; giggly; dreamlike trip from K2 Blue; it's legal; high last less than marijuana; drops off rather quickly; it does not support gun toting drug dealers and cartels; an entire body high feeling; and you use lesser quantity than you do with marijuana.


Who Should Take Action About K2

In areas that have all ready banned all K2 products by introducting ordinances making it a misdemeanor to sell, barter, possess or use any products containing the substance titled JWH-018 and other chemicals contained in K2 and on average could face a fine of up to $1000, and one year of confinement. Arrests have all ready been made in Lawrence, Kansas, for being in possess of K2 and Spice for distribution in a locale where it has been banned. The raid was conducted by the Food and Drug Administration along with the sheriff department proclaiming that the search and seizure was for prohibited drugs and not for the possession of K2, which was confiscated and the owner detained by law enforcement personnel for violating a new ordinance making K2 illegal within the state at a future date. This means that the owner, if facing charges for having K2 for sell on the premises, was illegally arrested for a law that is not in force until July 1, 2010, a later date than the date of arrest.

There has been arrests made in Crawford and Sebastian Counties in Arkansas, and in the state of Kentucky where laws banning K2 has all ready been enacted. In each instant there was no known means or physical indication that K2 had been used in either location of arrests. A great portion of the controversy could be eliminated if the Congress would introduce and pass legislation that would make K2 and its derivatives be listed in the scheduling of the FDA as a controlled substance or drug. Then states would not have to go through the steps of making K2 illegal, but they would just have to come up with the dealings of K2 when their law enforcement come upon a K2 situation constituting a violation of the new federal law.

Since there is a perceived danger to using this substance, Congress should forego recessing the current session until legislation could be introduced and signed into law. They are expected to recess for the summer next week. Using this being an election year as an excuse for not confronting volatile issues that is plaguing this country now like the Arizona Immigration Law and use of K2. This not the time to side-step when their constituents need the people they elected to office to represent their interest and affairs.


In Closing

One notable adverse reaction is that many users feel that "Big Brother" is strong arming its way into people lives by banning a product that is legal before conducting a thorough study on the effects of K2 denying American citizens from exercising their constitutional rights. The feeling is that the federal government is stepping into the States’ operational domain.

K2, Spice and their derivatives are the newest plague to attack the American society along with the international controversary over a state in the US enforcing federal legislation that affect its citizens and helps the rest of the nation. K2 is not as deadly as the terrorist group Al-Quaeda is to the United States, but it is alarmingly becoming one of the most dangerous enemies to weaken our youths. Is K2 a plan to weaken America's future or is it just a coincidence that it migrated to our shores at a time when the Obama Administration is facing hard times politically.

Contrary to what is happening across the nation where the smallest elements of our government, the cities, are making decisions that Congress should have convened on. This is not just a young issue that is affecting "Billy Bob" in the country, but a quickly maturing problem that is dividing our nation just as the controversial immigration reform law passed in Arizona is doing. This issue just is not as volatile as offending a neighboring nation whose people are creating the problem our nation is fighting over.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Arkansas County's K2 Ban Lands First Arrest

Article first published as Arkansas To Conduct Study On K2 Effects on Blogcritics.

Across the nation, city, county and state officials are taking action to deter the use of K2, which is referred to as a synthetic marijuana, and produces a marijuana-like high to those who consume it.

Arkansas cities (Alpena, Greenwood, Ozark, Paris and Springdale) along with Benton, Crawford and Sebastian counties have joined the ranks of Kansas, Missouri and a number of nations which have banned the substance. K2 presently is not classified as an illegal drug, making it legal to purchase, possess and use in most areas internationally, and thus leaving the lower level governments to take protective measures for their citizens. Most are doing this by adding an emergency clause to the proposed ordinance banning K2, allowing it to take effective immediately once the ban is passed.

Spice, aka K2, has been made illegal to possess, purchase or use in the following nations: Austria, Chile, Finland, France, Ireland, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Russia, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom. This shows the need to control K2 in the world marketplace.

Manufactured in Asia and sold online or in local stores, K2 and similar substances are marketed as herbal incense. A disclaimer on a K2-selling web site reads: "K2 Herbal products are novelty incenses and are not for consumption."

Unlike most drugs, there is no way to detect its use in a person, making concerns over its dangers even greater, with effects that appear to be much stronger than marijuana, three to five times more potent, making it a major a threat to communities. In the United States, hospitalization cases have been reported in Florida, Maine and Arkansas, in addition to St. Louis, Springfield and Kansas City.

The psychoactive drug can cause users to experience rapidly increased heart rates, loss of consciousness, paranoia and, occasionally, psychotic episodes. One hospitalized user claimed that he could see his heart beating out of his chest. Individuals react differently to the drug.

Since the ban has been in place, one K2-related arrest has been made in the Arkansas county of Crawford. It seems that the police were notified of a possible drug transaction in the parking lot of one of the city's malls. As one vehicle was departing, one of the arriving officers noticed a traffic violation, giving cause to conduct a traffic stop.

The officers found an unopened package of K2 in the driver's glove compartment. There was no indication that the driver or his juvenile passenger had used the substance. They each now face a fine of up to $1000 and/or confinement for up to a year.

Sold in various flavors in 3-gram bags, the product consists of herbs that are sprayed with synthetic substances that mimic THC, the high-causing natural chemical found in marijuana. Laboratories have found that K2/Spice contains large amounts of synthetic tocopherol, which is not listed as one of its active ingredients.

Until the U.S. Drug Administration places the ingredient, JW-018, on its scheduling, K2 or Spice will continue to be sold legally by public retailers and on the internet.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

K2 Arrest Made In Arkansas

The first arrest involving K2 since the ban on the substance went into effect, has been made in Crawford County, Arkansas. A teenager was involved in a traffic accident in Van Buren, in which when the police searched his vehicle they found a bag of K2 in the glove compartment.

This is the first arrest since the law went into effect. The story has been on televised news locally.

Arizona Immigration Law On Path To U.S. Supreme Court

The Arizona immigration law has taken a step closer towards its destiny in the United States Supreme Court, the nation's leading civil rights groups coalition filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Phoenix on Monday. This moves the issue of racial profiling and alleged civil rights violations closer to its finality. Not an immediate solution, but it shall come to pass.

The Arizona law requires local and state law enforcement to check a person's citizenship if they are suspected to be in the United States illegally. What probably need to be clarified is that this will only happen during typical policing if at that time it is suspected that the individual is an illegal regardless of race. Especially scince individuals and organizations are claiming that it will promote racial profiling and violate individual civil liberties. The Coalition further claims that it violates the Constitution's supremacy clause.which trumps the state law. They argue that immigration enforcement is an exclusive federal authority.

The coalition includes the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project, the NAACP, the National Immigration Law Center, plus others piggy-backing onto the suit. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer foresaw that the law could be and probably would be legally challenged on its constitutionality. The defendants named in the lawsuit include the county attorneys and local sheriffs in Arizona. This is the fifth federal lawsuit filed so far.

With the Justice Department considering taking action in court against the law will either file its own lawsuit or piggy-back on a suit all ready filed. This is what leads to the fact that this legal battle is going to go before the U.S. Supreme Court before it is over. No matter what the District Court's decision, an appeal will be filed.

The nation is divided on the issue of immigration. Those "for" feel that it is time that someone take action on either eliminating or controlling how immigrants enter the United States. At the same time, those "against" either feel that the federal government is not fulfilling its responsibilities to the people, or that it violates civil rights to infringe on a certain individual rights.

I see that no matter what lawsuit is filed, no matter which nation voices its objections, or individual public figure voicing their displeasure, the Supreme Court is going to have the final decision and the federal government takes over protecting our southern border.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Palin, Palin, Palin - Why Forth Art Thou, Palin

Where there is national happenings you can bet that certain people will add their two cents. The Reverend Al Sharpton will be wherever there is a racial injustice, as one perceived  so profoundly as the immigration law passed by Arizona Governor Brewer. This man has had a presence since the days of marches and boycotts with Martin Luther King Jr. So,  his presence here is expected. But Sarah Palin?

Palin, Palin, Sarah Palin, why forth art thou involved? It seems that every time there is something negative reflecting on the Barack Administration, you are one of the first to open their mouth to criticize. No one can deny that enforcing our immigration laws should be a federal matter, but why do you feel that it is your job to help make it a point? The migration of illegals into the United States is not new, and discouraging illegal aliens, deporting them, does not seem to work on any level. It has gone on for far too long.

You agree with the actions of Governor Brewer, and I do too, but do you feel that this will help clear you a path to the White House? Do you really believe that Governor Brewer took the appropriate action to bring this problem to the American people and the world?

Everyone is attacking Governor Brewer and the state of Arizona. Arizona's own cities, their neighboring states, neighboring nation, and different public figures and celebrities here and abroad.

Do you think, Ms. Palin, that Mexico is upset because it is targeting their native people, or is the Mexican government mad that they may no longer have a way to get rid of its undesirables? That it will cut off its drug cartels pipeline into the United States? Hmmm, loss of finances.

Ms Palin, do you feel that this is a national or international matter? Mexico has no business trying to get involved in the internal affairs of another nation. Our nation. Your actions on this matter may decide your political future. Is this your thoughts too? Going from speaking to a group of hunters to getting in the political spotlight as just a window of opportunity to keep your name in the American people's mind.

This is just my opinion of your involvement.

Another Arkansas County Considers Ordinances Banning Of K2 (Spice)

Sebastian County in Arkansas is the latest in the state to consider banning the purchase, possession and sale of K2. K2, currently,is a legal substance sold in  various stores and by retailers nationwide. The substance is packaged and marketed as an incense and labeled not for human consumption, and gives its users a marijuana-like high when it is smoked.

Unlike marijuana and other drugs, there is no known method of detection to identify its use in individuals. The long term effects are unknown, but is potentially dangerous to those that use it. If the ordinance is passed, punishment will be the same as other counties, municipalities and states that have outlawed K2. Violation will be a misdemeanor, and upon conviction will carry a fine up to $1000, and/or confinement up to one year. Law enforcement officials and legislators have indicated that banning K2 within the state will be under consideration in its January session.

As of date, there has been one incident in their neighboring county in Oklahoma where a driver involved in an automobile accident was alleged to have been under K2's influence.

At the current rate waves of ordinances are going in place to control K2, the federal government will have to pursue banning K2 and Spice on the national level. However, in the meantime local and state officials are taking action to protect their citizens.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Un-Concealed Weapon - Daze Of The Gunslinger Returning?

Concealment, that is what a concealed weapon license requires of its holder. In order to receive a concealed license you must have training on the type of gun you are registering. I.e., a revolver or a semi-automatic. You can not be a felon, that is a big no-no. What is the problem?

There are states that are trying to pass legislation to allow weapons to be worn publicly, and not concealed. They think that this will be a deterent to crime, and make it safer for their citizens. How will they control who is carrying a weapon legally, and who is not? Will law enforcement have itchy trigger fingers because they will not be able to tell the criminal from the victim or potential victim?

When I read this in the newspaper about the Oklahoma Governor vetoe-ing such passage allowing citizens to carry weapons publicly, I was filled with concern. They have around 95,000 people with a concealed license, and estimate that only about ten per cent actually carry one on them. State representatives (both houses) are planning to try to override the governor's veto.

If such a law was passed, I believe that more people would began carrying their guns. Both registered and non-registered. It'll be like returning to the old west where you could not tell who were criminal until they committed a crime. People, especially the young and inexperienced, may see this as an opportunity to flex a little muscle, or a place to hide in the open before and after they commit a crime. Others not registered, having not gone through any type of training, might feel that they will need to start carrying because they feel threaten seeing all of the people wearing guns.

I am a licensed concealed weapons holder, and if such a law was in effect in Arkansas, it would make me nervous. Being an Army veteran, I have had more weapons training, and trained more people with weapons usage than most people I meet. I have also been robbed by two young black males. One with what looked like a shotgun in the dark. The front door of my home was smashed by a "friend" strung out on crack cocaine. He threatened me and put a gun in my wife's face. Fortunately for him, I was not near any of the weapons in my house. His pistol was a pellet gun, but point blank range it is still capable of killing.

So, returning to the days of the gunslinger is an option I do not want to see.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Arizona: A Nation Of One - Will Illegal Immigration Bring Down A Nation?

Slavery divided a young nation causing a civil war between its Northern and Southern states. Will illegal immigration pit a nation or even the world community wholly against a state over a mirror law?

It has long been illegal to be in the United States without the proper documentation, just as it is in almost every nation around the world. The only difference here is that it affects a people that is making a contribution to a nation whose ancestry can be traced to where they come from.

There are individuals, nations, and now the second largest city in the nation, Los Angeles, boycotting Arizona over a law that appears to be bias and discriminatory toward the largest group of illegals in any nation. Hispanics. Racial profiling is nothing new, and never has it gotten so much publicity until now. Why?

With Los Angeles it is simple: it was practically built by Hispanics and has legalized Hispanics, called Mexican-Americans, governing it. True, their ancestors were immigrants, but were they here illegally? Most undoubtedly they were not. They lived and worked here following the laws of this nation.

I have nothing against my Hispanic and Latino brothers and sisters, I just want them to follow the same laws that I have to. It is a problem meeting someone that does not speak the national language, drive illegally, were criminals in their country now continuing their practice here, and do not contribute financially to a system that supports them.

Someone has to take the first step, and Arizona is being penalized for doing just that, taking the first step toward controlling illegal immigration. It seems that everyone is willing to fault a state on a racial issue when it has been known to object to such things as celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday.

To the individual state and federal governments, just because popular belief and foreign pressures are forcing you to take action against one of your own, you need to realize that the step Governor Brewer has taken was much needed at this time of political, financial, and terrorist concerns.

If similar action is not taken at minimum by the states bordering Mexico, follow by neighboring states, we may see times worse than Birmingham, Memphis, and Chicago where our nation encountered racial unrest. The problem is going to escalate spreading into the states that do not have similar legislation in place. Look at the statistics following Oklahoma implementing their immigration law.

Some people (politicians included) are comparing Arizona’s action to Adolph Hitler in his treatment of Jews. I compare checking a suspected illegal alien of their resident status to being in Germany where you had to produce military ID, passport and/or a visa when requested by the German police. It is a necessary measure that everyone will have to get used to.

In closing, think about this, in George Lopez’s HBO show, "George Lopez: Tall, Dark, & Chicano," he jokes about immigration laws. He said something to the effect that in five years when the Hispanic and Latinos are the majority, when police pulls over or stop a white person they will be asked for their license, registration, and proof of citizenship. With the illegal population growing, it just might come to be.

Look around, the Hispanics and Latinos are becoming the new majority.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

History Revisited: The Hispanic Emancipation

Doesn't the immigration issue today remind you of the years the Afro-American people had to fight for their rights to be called an American citizen? The biggest difference being that the Afro-Americans were brought here from abroad, but the Hispanics came here willingly, walking across the border. The Afro-American had no rights, no basic citizen benefits. The Hispanic, however, is receiving state benefits, gainful employment, and they have a voice we did not have.

They have the nation divided, and they are screaming loudly. Much like the North and South during the Civil War, somebody wants to be free. In this case some are saying, "deport the illegals", while the other side is saying, "it is cruel and inhuman to single out one race and send them away from a land proud to be a Democracy." A land built on immigrants. Actually, this country was built on the blood of a people that did not choose to be here. Today, however, they are proud of their people's contributions to the society of a great nation that once look down upon them.

Is this where we have come to, revisiting our past, but with different players, but no bloodshed? Yet. Between immigration laws and the health reform, we are a nation torn.

My opinion is to send the illegals back to Mexico, the ones that are not willing to comply with the laws of this land, and become legal. The ones that cross the border day and night putting our border patrol in harm's way. The ones that have violence in their past, or since they have been here.

This is one issue that is going to linger for years, just like the civil rights movement. Since we are unable to avoid it, maybe this one will get resolved to the people's satisfaction.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Arkansas Eyes On Arizona Illegal Immigrant Legislation

In another show of loss faith in the federal government, the State of Arizona has imposed an illegal immigration law in an attempt to stabilize their state economy. The law requires immigrants to carry papers showing that they are in the United States legally. It also requires police to question people as to their immigration status if they are suspected of being here illegally.

One group that is monitoring the end results of the law is a non-profit organization in Arkansas called Secure Arkansas. Since the state of Arkansas has no such law in place, the group is very interested in modeling similar legislation in Arkansas. Oklahoma is another state that has tough illegal immigration laws. During the period that it went into effect, Arkansas became a safe haven or sanctuary for illegals aliens.

Secure Arkansas is currently collecting signatures for a ballot proposal amending the state constitution to deny state services to most illegal immigrants. One of their concerns is the drain illegal immigrants has had on the state's coffers. During these days of tight financing, providing such services to illegals overwhelms the taxpayer.

When such actions are being considered that affects such a large number of people, you have a pro and con side of the issues. In this case, the opposition to having laws similar to Arizona is a group called the Arkansas Friendship Coalition. The A.F.C. was formed to oppose any laws that targets illegals. They foresee such laws or legislation to legalize racial profiling. Another group that said it would oppose such laws within the state, is the state chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens, or LULAC.

Both groups feel that actions governing such laws should rest on the shoulders of the federal government, and not the states individually. One of the reasons the State of Arizona created such legislation is that the federal government is failing in this area of their responsibilities.

The Last Partner has long thought that illegal immigrants were a major concern to our country and our country's economy in that commonly they join our work forces at lower wages, taken on employment that a legal citizen should be performing. Whether that employee be a natural American or not. It would not be so bad a problem if the large corporations and companies would enforce the intention that all its employees are legal citizens of this country. As long as they sanction such practices similar to this, the problem will never be resolved.

Contrary to our nation's policies, the Mexican government has been in the news condemning such practices as sending their own citizens back where they came from. Mexico. I believe that this is because we are getting a large number of their criminals elements. You know the violent domestic abusers and drug peddlers. The Mexican government should be held accountable for its non-existing support of this problem. That might reduce some of the financial burden to the American taxpayer.

Do not get me wrong, I am not against the Mexicans, prejudice or biased against their race. If the problem was reversed I feel then that our government should be held accountable. My Hispanic associates believe this also. If they want to come over here, get the proper authorization.

To ease up on the problem of illegal aliens, the president wants to offer amnesty. If all of the states bordering (including) Mexico would adopt and enforce similar imigration laws, we would not have to increase our number of border patrols, and we would more or less see the deportation numbers drop. This might even shut down some drug cartels if background checks are performed prior too crossing the border.

Tell those wishing to come and live in the United States to get their green card, apply for citizenship and follow this country's laws. Then we can welcome them with open arms.

This is the voice of the Last Partner.

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