Saturday, January 06, 2007


I've shared Glenn Beck's "Real Story" with you before, but Thursday he featured a pair of stories that I thought were quite interesting. Both touched on national security and/or illegal immigration, two huge issues facing our country that have barely been mentioned since the November elections.

The first story is about the city of Phoenix. Turns out there have been more than a handful of terrorism-related stories that came out of or point to Phoenix. Here's part of the story:
First, remember that FBI memo from right before 9/11 that caused a huge political uproar because it supposedly had documented the idea that Osama bin Laden was sending terrorists to flight schools in the U.S.?

Guess what -- it's actually called "The Phoenix Memo" because it was written by the Phoenix FBI. It reads, in part, quote, "Phoenix has observed an inordinate number of individuals of investigative interest who are attending...civil aviation...colleges in the State of Arizona."

Hmmm, interesting.

And when the 9/11 report was finally issued, it contained 59 references to terrorist activity in Arizona and mentioned, for the first time, the existence of a highly classified FBI/CIA report titled, "Arizona: Long Range Nexus for Islamic Extremists." That report has still not been made public.

Nothing to see here people, move along.

Now, fast forward to this past November. A guy is stopped by Detroit police and is found to be carrying $80,000 in cash, information about cyanide, nuclear power plants and suitcase bombs, along with newspapers commemorating the 9/11 attacks. And just in case you think all of that is coincidence, he also had a hand-written note that said:

"This community is angry. Something is going to happen. We are going to see justice. This is a powder keg waiting to go off."

Oh, one other thing I forgot to mention...he was arrested in the airport on his way to, yes -- Phoenix.

Now, move ahead another couple of weeks. Remember those six Imam's who were kicked off a flight after acting suspiciously like the 9/11 terrorists? Yeah, you guessed it, they were also headed to Phoenix.

But here's the best part...Despite all of those incidents, and despite the fact that Arizona sits right on our unsecured border with Mexico, and the fact that Arizona's been called, quote, "the most important nexus for international jihad outside of...Pakistan and the Middle East," the city of Phoenix lost 60% of their homeland security funding last year -- that's more than any other urban-area.
Maybe those are coincidental, isolated incidents. But it seems like at least enough circumstantial evidence to keep Homeland Security from taking away that much funding - that 60% cut was from $10 million to $4 million. Phoenix is now in the process of seeking up to $17.6 million in "Urban Area Security Initiative" (Or UASI) grants. (Data collected from this story in The Arizona Republic.)

The other story is about our friends to the south and Social Security. What does Mexico have to do with our Social Security system? Well, it turns out that illegal immigrants may soon be eligible to collect Social Security benefits. Here's Glenn's take on this "Totalization" agreement:
After breaking into the country and using fake documents to secure work, an illegal may soon be able to actually claim social security benefits! A new agreement, if signed by the President, would allow an illegal alien who subsequently becomes legal, to claim benefits for the work they did prior to becoming a citizen. Put another way -- we'll ignore how you got here and how you got your job, as long as you do it the right way later.

Are you outraged yet? Well what if I told you that while most Americans need ten years of work to qualify for benefits -- Mexicans would qualify with as little as 18 months of work! NOW are you getting that rage back? I hope so, because our leaders have once again proven that the only way this insanity will end is through the will of the people.
This deal with Mexico isn't exactly unprecedented, but it is relatively unparalleled. The United States currently has totalization agreements with 20 countries. However, most of them are more "developed" countries with economies and systems much more like ours than Mexico's. An article from WorldNetDaily explains:
It's not the first such agreement; the U.S. already has nearly two dozen other agreements with other nations. They are intended to eliminate dual taxation for people who work outside their country of origin. But the other agreements are with developed nations with economies similar to that of the U.S., the league said.

For example, a worker who turns 62 after 1990 generally needs 40 calendar quarters of coverage to receive retirement benefits. Under the cross-country agreements, workers can combine earnings from both countries in order to qualify for benefits in the U.S.

The agreements generally provide that workers need only 18 months of coverage in the U.S. to qualify.

However, the league said Mexico's retirement system is "radically" different from other nations, the group said. "There, only 40 percent of the non-government workers participate in the system, as opposed to 96 percent of America's non-government workers. Additionally, the U.S. system is progressive, meaning lower-income workers get back much more than they paid into the system. But in Mexico, workers get back only what they put in, plus interest."
According to the article, a Washington Post story reported that, "The Bush administration reached an agreement with Mexico that would permit illegal aliens, after they are granted amnesty in the future, to claim Social Security benefits for the work they performed while in the U.S. illegally, even if they committed felonies by using fraudulent Social Security documents."

The way I see it, there are two HUGE problems with this. One is the apparent rewarding of illegal immigrants for falsifying documents so they can obtain jobs here. And the second is the added drain on our Social Security system. Again, from the WorldNetDaily article, "at the end of 2003, the Social Security System owed retirees and current workers benefits valued at $14 trillion, with assets of only $3.5 trillion." Now we're going to add the strain of people from Mexico putting in only 18 months of work to qualify for benefits while the rest of people - whether American citizens or immigrants from other countries with totalization agreements - need a combined 10 years of coverage under the system to qualify for its benefits.

Glenn's current Real Story can be found here. There is a bar of links to the "Real Story Archive," along with links to "Research Articles" used in putting together the Real Story.

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