Monthly Archives: December 2011

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CNN) — In the latest volley between the federal government and states pushing anti-illegal-immigration laws, the Obama administration announced Thursday it was establishing a new hotline for immigration detainees who feel they “may be U.S. citizens or victims of a crime.”
The 24-hour-a-day, 7-days-a-week hotline is part of a “broader effort to improve our immigration enforcement process and prioritize resources to focus on threats to public safety, (on) repeat immigration law violators, recent border entrants, and immigration fugitives while continuing to strengthen oversight of the nation’s immigration detention system and facilitate legal immigration,” a news release from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said.
The new measure was launched by the Department of Homeland Security to ensure detained individuals “are made aware of their rights” or “properly notified about their potential removal from the country,” according to the release. The hotline number is 855-448-6903.
A new “detainer” form — which includes Spanish, French, Portuguese, Chinese and Vietnamese translations — also is part of the new policy. The detainer — or notice to detain — form is official paperwork giving law enforcement the authority to hold a person in custody for a time.
Administration to lower number of troops on Southwest border
“The new form allows ICE to make the detainer operative only upon the individual’s conviction of the offense for which he or she was arrested,” the release said.
Immigration rights advocates told CNN there “has long been a need for more accountability and oversight of the issuance of immigration detainers.”
“The ACLU and other advocates identified four native-born U.S. citizens who were held unlawfully in custody through immigration detainers in Los Angeles County. One of these citizens was held for two days because of an immigration detainer despite repeatedly telling officers that he was a U.S. citizen,” Laura Vazquez, immigration legislative analyst for the National Council of La Raza, told CNN in a statement. The council is a national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization.
CNN attempted to get reaction on the new policy from the attorneys general in Alabama and Arizona — two states viewed as having among the most strict immigration reform laws — but were unsuccessful. An official in the Alabama attorney general’s office said Thursday officials had no comment.
The move by DHS comes just before the beginning of the new year, when new immigration laws in Louisiana, Tennessee, South Carolina and Georgia will require businesses to enroll in the federal E-Verify program to ensure employees are eligible to work in the United States, according National Conference of State Legislatures.
E-Verify is a controversial program designed to check a prospective employee’s citizenship or immigration status.
Supporters say it helps businesses avoid unintentionally hiring illegal immigrants. Critics complain that it is expensive to operate, pushes undocumented workers further underground, and is not always accurate.



— An Argument from Ignorance or Evidence?
“But over centuries of research we have learned that the idea ‘God did it’ has never advanced our understanding of nature an iota, and that is why we abandoned it.” (Jerry Coyne)

In a recent essay in The New Republic, evolutionary scientist Jerry Coyne asked, “Does the empirical nature of science contradict the revelatory nature of faith? Are the gaps between them so great that the two institutions must be considered essentially antagonistic?” Coyne has no doubt that the answer is yes.

Religion is so hopelessly inimical to scientific progress that any attempt to reconcile them is futile. As Coyne explains, “Accepting both science and conventional faith leaves you with a double standard.” And to make sure you are clear on what religion is at issue, Coyne adds that “rational on the origin of blood clotting, irrational on the Resurrection; rational on dinosaurs, irrational on virgin births.”

God Did It – Science-Stopper?
Is the notion that “God Did It” even allowed in mainstream science? While hallowed bodies, like the National Academy of Sciences, claim publicly that faith and science do not conflict, privately, their “dirty little secret” is that religion is a science-stopper. Their public face, Coyne lets on, is all in the interest of maintaining public trust—one that is overwhelming religious and, professedly, Christian—and with it, public funding.

To the illuminati, a believer lumbers to the edge of every frontier of knowledge, poised to retire his investigations with “God did it!” contentment. Meanwhile, dead ends caused by their own faith in scientific materialism remain unexamined—the premature designation of “vestigial” organs and “junk” DNA being two examples.

Contrary to modern criticism, the scientist who approaches the world as a product of intelligence, rather than of matter and motion, is less likely to stop short of discovery. Instead of dismissing a feature that, at first glance, appears inert, unnecessary or just plain mystifying, he is more inclined the push the envelope of investigation to unravel its function and purpose.

Rather than obstructing science, Christianity, with its emphasis on a personal Creator, inspired an age of discovery that opened the way for science.

God Did It – Igniting Discovery
The ancients generally viewed the world as an unpredictable place governed by the fates or by the whims of the gods. But once investigators understood the universe as a creation—the work of a rational God embedded with rational principles—they dared to imagine that discovery was possible. One of the first was an astronomer whose theories ignited the scientific revolution.

Speculations about a sun-centered universe had been around for some time; but challenges to the Aristotelian model refined by Ptolemy didn’t gain serious attention until the “Copernican Turn” in the 16th century.

Nicolaus Copernicus was a Christian who understood the universe as an intelligible creation that operated according to mathematically coherent principles. His initial attraction to heliocentrism was not the result of new observational data, but of his notion that the sun—symbolic of God as Light and Lamp—seemed a fitful center of divine activity. He, along with other early researchers, believed that the elegant structure observed in creation should be describable in an elegant fashion. Thus, when heliocentrism proved more mathematically simple than the reigning earth-centered model, it gained a slow following.

Like Copernicus, Johannes Kepler was a man of faith who believed that the mysteries of nature could be unlocked with the key of mathematics. Kepler put it this way: “The chief aim of all investigations of the external world should be to discover the rational order and harmony which has been imposed on it by God and which He has revealed to us in the language of mathematics.”

Kepler’s belief in the mathematical precision of the universe led to his discovery of three fundamental laws of planetary motion—the foremost, that the planetary orbits are elliptical, rather than circular as modeled by Copernicus.

While the discovery of mathematical elegance was the product of faith for these pioneers, it has been the source of faith for others. In his book, Truth Decay, Douglas Groothuis shares the account of a Russian physicist: “I was in Siberia and met God there while working on my equations. I suddenly realized that the beauty of these equations had to have a purpose and design behind them, and I felt deep in my spirit that God was speaking to me through these equations.” In that moment, the young scientist stepped over the chasm from atheism to theism and, ultimately, Christianity.

God Did It – On the Shoulders of Giants
Christians using science to show that “God Did It” remained in the vanguard of scientific discovery well into the 19th century. Groundbreaking advances in electro-magnetism, microbiology, medicine, genetics, chemistry, atomic theory, and agriculture were the works of men like John Dalton, Andre Ampere, Georg Ohm, Michael Faraday, Louis Pasteur, William Kelvin, Gregor Mendel, and George Washington Carver—all believers whose achievements were the outworking of their Christian faith.

Scientists in the truest sense of the word, these were investigators who doggedly followed the evidence wherever it led, approaching the gaps of understanding not with “God did it!” resignation, but with “God created it” expectation.

Whether they realize it or not, every scientist, including Jerry Coyne, stands on the shoulders of these giants. As German physicist Ernst Mach once acknowledged, “Every unbiased mind must admit that the age in which the chief development of the science of mechanics took place was an age of predominately theological cast.”



An airport-based agent with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Atlanta, Georgia, believed he was shipping drug money and illegal guns to Mexican cartel members in Arizona, officials said Thursday.

Agent Devon Samuels, 45, was among 13 people arrested today on suspicion of a multitude of crimes, including taking payoffs from — and providing guns and cash to — people he thought were international drug dealers. A side investigation into a major drug ring resulted in a near-record-breaking seizure of an estimated $2.8 million in Ecstasy, according to a news release from the office of the U.S. Attorney in Georgia, Sally Qullian Yates.

Samuels, who also goes by “Smokey,” believed he was meeting with lackeys from drug cartels three times in November, but his contacts were really undercover officers. Here’s what Yates’ office said about the Arizona angle:

Samuels is charged with accepting five firearms and approximately $20,000 in alleged drug money from an undercover police officer on Nov. 30, 2010. Samuels went directly to [Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport] with the firearms and money and unlawfully used his badge to bypass security again, smuggling the money and guns into the airport. Once inside the airport, Samuels allegedly gave the firearms and money to a second undercover officer who told Samuels that he was going to transport the firearms and money to Arizona for a meeting with members of a Mexican drug cartel.
On two other occasions earlier in November, authorities say, Samuels took $72,000 in make-believe drug proceeds through the airport to Jamaica, where he handed it over to people he thought were drug-gang affiliates.

Samuels’ wife, Keisha “Platinum” Jones, a Delta Airlines employee, went on one of the Jamaica trips, officials said. She was also arrested.

In his spare time, Samuels is said to have used federal computers to check if his buddies were under investigation, and one of those people, Jerome “Romey” Bushay, was linked to the alleged Ectasy-and-pot ring. More than 700,000 tabs of Ecstasy were seized in the investigation, known as “Operation Rude Beast.”

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