The Tar Pit

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Temporary look for The Tar Pit

Because of my admitted deficiencies in formatting CSS code, blog text on The Tar Pit has been hard to find for Internet Explorer victims (although not a problem in any other non IE browser, to my knowledge).

Since I'm a good sport and all around great guy, I'm temporarily switching back to the fine Sand Dollar template until I can get the bugs worked out of my customization of Sand Dollar.

I do suggest to anyone such as Hugh Hewitt who is still plodding along in the tabless legacy browser, Internet Explorer, leave your burdens behind you and download Firefox 1.0 at your earliest convenience.

IE isn't scheduled for an update until 2006.

Your internet experience is about to get better.


And so...

By Michelle Malkin   ·   December 23, 2004 11:14 AM

Sabertooth blogs about his call to Hugh Hewitt's radio show Monday afternoon. Here is part of his post:

...Hugh surprised me. When I told him that there was no difference between legalization and regularization, he said that President Bush's guest worker program wasn't a legalization of illegal aliens, because they could "never become a citizen, never." When I assured him that illegal aliens most certainly could become citizens under the Bush plan, Hugh replied again "no it's bracero, they will never become citizens."

Sabertooth provides plenty of evidence to the contrary. Assuming Sabertooth accurately reports what Hewitt said, it sounds like a correction is in order. (Hewitt's e-mail address is

Thanks for everything, Michelle!


Wednesday, December 22, 2004

President Reagan's Final Motorcade

Originally posted on June 12, 2004

Yesterday was a beautiful afternoon in Southern California.. I drove up the 101 toward Thousand Oaks a little after 2, not sure of where I'd end up viewing the motorcade bearing President Reagan back to the Reagan Library.

Then, as I made my way along the 23 toward Simi Valley, cars started to back up several exits before the exit for the library, so I got off the highway and asked for directions from a couple of policeman to a good spot to view the motorcade. They directed me toward Olsen Road, which has a lot of trees and shade. So, I drove along Olsen for a while, to get a look at the crowds as they were setting up along the way. There were good numbers of folks in patches, along with long empty stretches. Many children were out, with flags, and I saw some girls with red, white, and blue ribbons in their hair.

I drove past California Lutheran University and thought it looked picturesque, so I pulled off and parked at Thunderhead Road and walked back and set up my lawn chair. There were lots of people at the intersections at either end of CLU, so I decided to set up on a vacant stretch of sidewalk between them, to fill in a little.

I needn't have worried, because over the next few hours hundreds of people filled in around me, and the sidewalk was two and three deep. Folks were handing out American flags to those that didn't have any.

About 4 in the afternoon the Presidential jet bearing President Reagan flew into view over the bluff across the street from us, on its way to Pt. Mugu. The crowd stood to watch, in whispered excitement as the plane circled to its landing near the coast.

I had a little radio tuned to the Hugh Hewitt Show, and Hugh was playing clips and speeches from the Memorial yesterday morning in Washington. When Hugh replayed the speeches of President George HW Bush and Lady Thatcher, I turned up the little radio as loud as it would go and held it above my head. The crowd around me went silent and listened, still moved by what they'd heard earlier that morning.

I flicked the dial round to other stations periodically, to get updates on the progress of the motorcade. The John and Ken Show was providing the most information, so I settled there, and did my best to let those around me listen in. At the same time, they had a reporter at the Library with updates from there.

One particularly touching moment was when John and Ken described a scene from a video feed they were watching, as the motorcade made its way South on the 101. I held up the radio again, and again the crowd went silent, as we heard that cars were stopped along the median of the northbound 101, and that people had gotten out and were leaning on the concrete barrier to pay their respects to the motorcade as it passed on the other side of the highway. Only the far right lanes were moving at all.

One of the hosts quipped that "the people on the far right are the Democrats," to the great laughter of the crowd.

Democrats on the far right? I guess President Reagan had that effect.

By this time traffic had learned along Olsen Road, and I could see that some Secret Service men had discreetly placed themselves along our stretch of sidewalk. The local police made several sweeps, and then dozens of motorcycle cops pulled up and positioned themselves every forty yards or so along the crowd.

Then, President Reagan's final motorcade came over a little hill into view.

The crowd was silent, and people held their flags high.

I saluted. I don't know if that's appropriate, as I never served in the military, but it was all I could think of to do.

First the police, and the press car rolled past. Then a limo. Before I realized it, I was looking right in at Mrs. Reagan, Patti Davis, and Ron Reagan looking right out at us. Ron was furthest away, and silhouetted, but I could see that he was fixed on the crowd. Patti, pretty as ever, appeared both stunned and moved as she looked out at the well-wishers.

Mrs. Reagan held a sad, grateful smile as she waved at us gently. One couldn't help but feel privileged to be there, to offer her what small measure of consolation we could in this time of her great loss.

I let my gaze linger on their car as it passed, still saluting. I turned to the next family car, which I assume held Michael Reagan, though I'm not sure I could make him out. Someone in the far seat of that car leaned across the others as it passed and flashed us a huge "thumbs up" against the window to us.

A car or two later a blue Lincoln Town Car passed, and I saw an elderly, red-haired lady with her head bowed down in the back seat.

It was Lady Thatcher.

I couldn't tell if she was weeping, or weary, or both, but she was heroic in the frailty of that moment, having traveled so far at such great effort to her to honor her old friend an ally, President Reagan.

Eventually, as the sun settled toward sunset, the remainder of the motorcade passed, and the silent crowd stirred, and talked softly, and in awe, at the History, and the life, that had just passed before us.

To the West

In America’s vast heart an ember’s kept
And sometimes we may slumber to its burning.
Yet times have come to wake for what has slept,
To remember myths and truths... and souls returning.

In Washington’s moist skies of mourning grey
Salutes have thundered to a good report--
As clouds have wept for him who’s passed away--
For good endures, though all our time is short.

All Presidents, Prime Ministers, and Princes
May hold their reigns awhile, but all will bend
To Providence, Who will seek evidences,
That each was just, and humble in the end.

Now in the air, a President rides West
To the edge of sunset, peace, and well earned rest.

Originally post onJune 10th, 2004, as the Presidential jet bearing President Reagan took off from Washington to bear him home.<

Reflections on the Repose of President Ronald Reagan

Originally posted June 7th, 2004

I just got back from the Reagan Library a couple of hours ago, after paying final respects to President Reagan. The scene is crowded, but orderly. I went with my daughter, and our wait in line was a couple of hours for the shuttle from Moorpark Junior College. The line looked to be twice as long when we got back, snaking down the back lawn of the campus

Quite a few folks brought kids, which I think is a great thing. Not only was President Reagan immensely fond of children, his memorial will forever be a touchstone in their lives. It's important, I think, to convey to children early on that they are a part of History.

For this reason more than anything, I wanted to attend for my daughter’s sake. She's sixteen, and once when she was eight she got to spend about 15 minutes one-on-one with President Reagan at his office in Century City. He was the kindest, most genial man imaginable. So, I wanted her to have the chance to say good-bye, and thank you.

As our shuttle bus turned past the sign at the entrance to the Reagan Library, we saw the mounds of flowers and many American Flags planted there by the President’s mourners. On the street lamp on the opposite corner was a banner with a portrait of George Washington. More portraits gazed at us through time as we made our way up the winding hill -- Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe – every President that ever served this great nation. Simple streetlamp banners serving notice that we were making our way through History up to that little “City on the Hill” that is the Reagan Library.

At the top of the hill there is a rocky peak above and adjacent to the library, where we saw a white easy-up tent and Secret Service men stationed as sentries. My daughter and I got off our bus and filed into the main courtyard, where a mighty bronze eagle holds a bronzed Old Glory in his talons. The eagle is perched on a pedestal made of red granite, white marble, and what I took to be blue lapis lazuli, arranged in stars and stripes. The top rim of the pedestal is inlaid with brass plaques reproducing the signatures of the men who signed the U.S. Constitution. History made tangible.

As we entered the Library’s Main Lobby where the President was lying in repose, across the hall from us one white-haired old soldier paused as he was leaving. He saluted one last time to his fallen Commander in Chief and brother-in-arms against the great tyrannies of the Twentieth Century.

There was a solemn majesty to seeing the President's flag-draped casket, watched over by a motionless Color Guard. My daughter teared up, and I found myself touched by the simple, yet mythic nature of the moment, much like that of the man himself. For before me lay a warrior at peace, a hero who had changed the world for all of us, called home and called to merciful rest by his Creator. The world has changed once again with his passing.

Old Free Republic Posts

For a few years I've also posted as Sabertooth over at the Free Republic webiste. From time to time I'll be reposting and linking a selection of them here, for archiving.

I was just listening to Laura Ingraham reminisce about the funeral for President Reagan. For no other reason than that I'll repost a few items from my experiences that throughout the day.

A "Hugh Hewitt Hate Site?"

Hugh suggested to a caller on his fledgling radio show yesterday that I'd set up a Hugh Hewitt hate site at something called ""

Well, color me baffled.

Never mind that the blog address is "The Tar Pit dot blogspot dot com", never mind that I tried to give Hugh a boost in self confidence by linking his Hugh Hewitt site higher in the sidebar than the Radio Blogger site of Hugh's longsuffering boss and mentor, Generalissimo Duane -- I posted nothing hateful about Hugh, nor did I besmirch him in any way.

Looking back, at one point I did describe Hugh as a "Big Ten fan," not that there's anything wrong with that. There are Michigan alumni littered in my own family tree. As a native Californian I have many fond childhood memories of the electrified atmosphere on certain November Saturdays, when we gathered in front of a television with neighbors from Ohio State to watch the the Wolverines and Buckeyes collide in their storied annual rivalry to determine who would lose the Rose Bowl.


Tuesday, December 21, 2004

President Bush's Citizenship Path for Illegal Aliens

I had an interesting conversation with Hugh Hewitt on his radio show Monday afternoon, about details of President Bush's proposal to legalize several million of the more than ten million illegal aliens currently in the United States. At one point I used the term "legalization" of illegal aliens, and Hugh objected, preferring the term "regularization."

Now Hugh's a smart guy, but the subject of illegal aliens hasn't been of acute interest to him over the years, as some listeners to his show are no doubt aware. Perhaps it's because Hugh's a native Ohioan, but there are some elementary points of understanding one must gain to parse what government officials and politicians, who are genetically obfuscatory anyway, are saying when they gloss over the subject of illegals.

If a politician wants to make some illegal aliens no longer illegal, it can only mean he wants to make them legal. Yet politicians are allergic to that truth, so they lay veil after veil of euphemisms over their intentions, and "regularization" is just one example. "Change status," and "normalization" are a couple of other catch phrases, but the result is the same: aliens whose illegal status subjected them to potential deportation are granted some form of legal status. They are therefore legalized.

Once the curtain is drawn to reveal a legalization of illegal aliens, politicians get itchy because the citizenry soon rightly recognizes that an illegal alien amnesty is afoot, and "amnesty" is the most allergenic term of all.

But amnesty is a topic for another post, because Hugh surprised me. When I told him that there was no difference between legalization and regularization, he said that President Bush's guest worker program wasn't a legalization of illegal aliens, because they could "never become a citizen, never." When I assured him that illegal aliens most certainly could become citizens under the Bush plan, Hugh replied again "no it's bracero, they will never become citizens."

I realized then that semantic clarity over legalization and regularization would have to wait, because President Bush had successfully enshrouded the mechanics of his guest worker program from Hugh Hewitt, nationally syndicated radio host, Nixon biographer, former underling of Pat "The Hat" Morrison, intrepid snowmobiler, and all around smart guy, as Big Ten fans go.

I asked Hugh if he would be able to support the President's guest worker program if it allowed legalized illegal aliens access to citizenship.

"I won't like the program," he said.

So, I told Hugh I'd drop him an e-mail on the matter, which has now morphed into this blog post.

Back in January of this year, President Bush announced his long awaited immigration reform proposal:

Undocumented workers now here will be required to pay a one-time fee to register for the temporary worker program. Those who seek to join the program from abroad, and have complied with our immigration laws, will not have to pay any fee. All participants will be issued a temporary worker card that will allow them to travel back and forth between their home and the United States without fear of being denied re-entry into our country. (Applause.)

This program expects temporary workers to return permanently to their home countries after their period of work in the United States has expired. And there should be financial incentives for them to do so. I will work with foreign governments on a plan to give temporary workers credit, when they enter their own nation's retirement system, for the time they have worked in America. I also support making it easier for temporary workers to contribute a portion of their earnings to tax-preferred savings accounts, money they can collect as they return to their native countries. After all, in many of those countries, a small nest egg is what is necessary to start their own business, or buy some land for their family.

Some temporary workers will make the decision to pursue American citizenship. Those who make this choice will be allowed to apply in the normal way. They will not be given unfair advantage over people who have followed legal procedures from the start.

President Bush Proposes New Temporary Worker Program
Remarks by the President on Immigration Policy

The East Room | January 7th, 2004

In his proposal the President adopts the politically correct euphemism "undocumented workers" to describe illegal aliens. Under his plan, illegals would pay a "one time fee" to get into the guest worker program, joining foreign nationals who've obeyed our laws and applied from their nations of origin. All would be issued a temporary worker card. The plan makes wise provisions to insure the eventual departure of the temporary workers through financial incentives. However, the President goes on to say that temporary workers may pursue American citizenship, but "they will not be given unfair advantage over people who have followed legal procedures from the start."

Clearly with the caveat regarding those who didn't break our laws, President Bush is describing legalized illegal aliens by contrast. Under the President's guest worker plan, illegal aliens would be allowed to try and become citizens after being accepted into the guest worker program. It's also not true that those illegal aliens would not have an unfair advantage, but I'll address that in a subsequent post.

To emphasize the point about putting illegal aliens on a path to American citizenship, the President made a little covered speech to the League of United Latin American Citizens during last Summer's Presidential campaign:

We have many issues to discuss, but I want to end on this important issue. The third commitment of an opportunity society is a policy of Fairness and justice toward those who have come to America to live and work. Our country must confront this basic fact: Jobs being generated in our growing economy are not being filled by American citizens, and these jobs represent an opportunity for workers who come from abroad, who want to put money on the table for their children. Yet current law says to those workers, "You must live in a massive, undocumented economy."

And so we've got people in America working hard who live in fear and who are often exploited. And this system isn't fair, and it's not right. So I proposed reforms that will match willing foreign workers with willing American employers when no Americans can be found to fill the jobs, a system that would grant legal status to temporary workers who are here in the country working, that will increase the number of men and women on the path to American citizenship.

The reason I do so is because I know this proposal is good for our economy, because it would allow needed workers to come into the country under an honest, orderly, regulated system. And the reason I made this proposal is because it's humane. It would bring millions of hard-working people out of the shadows of American life. This proposal reflects the interest and best values of America, and Congress should pass it into law.

Satellite remarks to the League of United Latin American Citizens convention:
July 8, 2004

The President could hardly be more clear. His plan would put legalized illegal aliens into an increased "number of men and women on the path to American citizenship."

By the way, when "out of the shadows" is used in any conversation about illegal aliens, it always means legalizing them. There's a whole lotta euphemizing going on around here.

In his press conference yesterday, the President said:

It's a compassionate way to treat people who come to our country. It recognizes the reality of the world in which we live. There are some people -- there are some jobs in America that Americans won't do and others are willing to do.

Now, one of the important aspects of my vision is that this is not automatic citizenship. The American people must understand that. That if somebody who is here working wants to be a citizen, they can get in line like those who have been here legally and have been working to become a citizen in a legal manner.

President Holds Press Conference
December 20th, 2004 | Dwight DC Eisenhower Executive Office Building

Here again, the President is saying that legalized illegal aliens can get in line for citizenship with "those who have been here legally."

So, what does the President mean when he says "one of the important aspects of my vision is that this is not automatic citizenship?"

He really doesn't mean anything.

The President is making an irrelevant distinction. He might as well say "one of the important aspects of my vision is that I am not giving each of them a million dollars," because illegal aliens have never been given automatic citizenship, or a million bucks apiece. Under the massive Reagan Amnesty and under the three smaller Clinton Amnesties illegal aliens weren't given "automatic citizenship" either.

Under both of President Bush's predecessors legalized illegal aliens were given timetables dictating when they could apply for green cards or citizenship, just as President Bush is proposing for the millions of illegal aliens he seeks to bring into his guest worker program.

Getting back on track...

Well, it's been a while since I took a crack at this blog. I grew frustrated with problems formatting its HTML template for all of the different available browsers, particularly for Internet Explorer on Windows systems. IE is not as compliant with various standards to which the other browsers adhere, and it decided to grow my pages about eight screens wide and hide my text out in the nether realms.

Rather inconvenient, don't you think?

With the recent release of the outstanding new Firefox 1.0 browser , which has passed 12,000,000 downloads since November 9th, I've decided to continue to format as I was because Firefox is the preferred browser of the folks at Blogspot.

The response of Bill Gates and Microsoft in anticipation of my decision has been swift:

New Microsoft Patch Blocks Firefox Downloads (2004-12-19) -- Microsoft Corp. today released a new security patch for its Internet Explorer (IE) web browser which prevents users from accidentally or intentionally downloading the new free, open-source Firefox browser from The Mozilla Foundation.

"Firefox is a dangerous and contagious browser that could seriously jeopardize marketshare," said an unnamed Microsoft spokesman. "Unless consumers take action to block Firefox, it could speed up web surfing and return control of user computers to the users themselves."

The source added that Internet Explorer is a superior product because it allows computer experts, called 'hackers', to control your computer.

Well, it's not like I'm a major shareholder.

In any case, the template and links are a work in progress, so now's the time to make progress.

The other thing that kicked me in the butt was a conversation I had with Hugh Hewitt on his radio show yesterday. I've promised Hugh an e-mail explaining an aspect of President Bush's controversial guest worker proposal to legalize several million illegal aliens, but realized as I was putting it together that it would be better suited for posting here, so I'll have it up shortly.