Malkin — Border Surge Solution: Send 'Em to Camp David!

Colorado dodged a bullet. After a stinging backlash from local leaders and Rocky Mountain politicians in both parties, the Obama White House retreated this weekend from plans to dump in our state 1,000 minors who immigrated here illegally.

Good riddance to the feckless feds, and don't come back, y'all.

Now, let this be a lesson for other communities facing the D.C.-engineered human flood. You can and should say no — and force Washington to put first things first.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services had unveiled a hastily drawn scheme just two months ago to convert a Denver Federal Center warehouse in preparation for another springtime surge of Central American migrants coming through Mexico. Look past the sob stories. The recent surges were cunningly engineered by drug cartels and human traffickers.

As Brandon Judd of the National Border Patrol Council testified on Capitol Hill recently: "The cartels understood that the unaccompanied minors would force the Border Patrol to deploy agents to these crossing areas in order to take the minors into custody. I want to stress this point because it has been completely overlooked by the press," he told the House Judiciary Committee. The unaccompanied minors could have walked right up to the port of entry and requested asylum if they were truly escaping political persecution or violence. "Why did the cartels drive them to the middle of the desert and then have them cross over the Rio Grande only to surrender to the first Border Patrol Agent they came across?" Judd challenged.

"The reason is that it completely tied up our manpower and allowed the cartels to smuggle whatever they wanted across our border."

This is just another maddening example of Obama's warped priorities at work. Instead of building effective walls and enforcing our borders to prevent the coming illegal immigration waves manufactured by criminal racketeers, this administration rushes to build welcome center magnets that shelter the next generation of Democrat voters.

With an estimated 125,000 Central American unaccompanied minors apprehended by the besieged Border Patrol at the southern border since 2012, HHS now oversees more than 100 child migrant centers in a dozen states.

But not in Colorado — for now.

Obama's fantastical construction proposal in the Denver suburb of Lakewood came on the heels of the feds' black-hole fiasco at the nearby Aurora Veteran Administration hospital.

That project broke ground in 2010, is $1 billion over budget and over five times its original estimate, is at least two years behind schedule, and has been riddled with contract corruption and fraud.
Pressed for details by wary Coloradans in the wake of that scandal, HHS bureaucrats admitted the planned migrant center renovations would cost up to $40 million and take at least a year to complete. At least.

Now what?

The White House is preparing to ship border surgers to temporary facilities in Texas, Florida and Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico. Mum's the word on other potential illegal immigrant extended stay suites. But every community with a military base should be on high alert.

In 2014, San Antonio's Lackland Air Force Base, Port Hueneme Naval Base in Ventura County, California, and Lawton, Oklahoma's Fort Sill Army post were all used as border surge dumping grounds. As I reported after a whistleblower alerted me that spring, the Obama administration also surreptitiously sent two plane loads of nearly 200 border-crossers to Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford, Massachusetts and Boston's Logan Airport. DHS crapweasels initially denied my reports, but admitted the secret redistribution program a month later.

The issue isn't whether local American communities have "compassion" for border trespassers. The issue is whether the federal government is doing its fundamental job "providing for the common defense" and promoting the "general welfare" of "ourselves and our posterity."

Try this, Washington: Build the long-delayed facilities our veterans need. Root out all the deadly corruption in the VA system. Restore the cuts in border surveillance. Stop undermining Border Patrol and tying the hands of interior enforcement agents. Cease and desist executive amnesty orders. Finish constructing the long-sabotaged electronic entry-exit system. Now. Period.

Until then, if President Obama insists on allowing thousands of exploited Central American minors to enter the country illegally, I propose they be housed at the presidential retreat of Camp David — and that amnesty advocate Mark Zuckerberg and all the Gang of Eight lobbyists and corporate sponsors on the left and right foot the bill. The commander in chief's vacation spot in the Catoctin Mountain Park is secure. It contains 200 acres of land on which to build temporary Obamaville shelters for all the surgers. And any overflow should be handled by pitching tents on the White House lawn.

The most powerful way to make D.C. listen is to make D.C. suffer the consequences of its own detrimental actions. Not in our backyards, Mr. President, until you use yours first.

(Syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin is the daughter of Filipino Immigrants. She was born in Philadelphia, raised in southern New Jersey and now lives with her husband and daughter in Colorado. Her weekly column is carried by more than 100 newspapers.)

  • Category: Columns
  • Hits: 522

Harrop — Democrats, don't blow it

The death of Antonin Scalia has set off yet another epic partisan struggle as Senate Republicans seek to deny President Obama his constitutional right to nominate the next Supreme Court justice. They want to wait out Obama's last year in office, hoping his successor will be one of their own.

If the Democrats choose Bernie Sanders as their presidential candidate, Republicans will almost certainly get their wish. Furthermore, the Republican president would probably have a Republican-majority Senate happy to approve his selection.

The makeup of senatorial races this November gives Democrats a decent chance of capturing a majority. Having the radical Sanders on the ballot would hurt them in swing states.

Some Sanders devotees will argue with conviction that these purplish Democrats are not real progressives anyway, not like our Bernie. Herein lies the Democrats' problem.

No sophisticated pollster puts stock in current numbers showing Sanders doing well against possible Republican foes. The right has not subjected Sanders to the brutality it routinely rains on Hillary Clinton — precisely because he is the candidate they want to run a Republican against. Should Sanders become the nominee, the skies will open.

One may applaud Sanders' denunciation of big money in politics, but a moderate Democrat in the White House could do something about it. A democratic socialist not in the White House cannot. Campaign finance reform would be a hard slog under any circumstances, but a seasoned politician who plays well with others could bring a reluctant few to her side.

Some younger liberals may not know the history of the disastrous 2000 election, where Republicans played the left for fools. Polls were showing Al Gore and George W. Bush neck-and-neck, particularly in the pivotal state of Florida.

Despite the stakes, prominent left-wing voices continued to back the third-party candidacy of Ralph Nader. You had Michael Moore bouncing on stages where he urged cheering liberals to vote for the radical Nader because there was no difference between Gore and Bush. Republicans, meanwhile, were running ads for Nader. That was no secret. It was in the papers.

When the Florida tally came in, Bush held a mere 537-vote edge. The close results prompted Florida to start a recount of the votes. Then, in a purely partisan play, the conservative majority on the Supreme Court stopped the recount, handing the election to Bush.

The bigger point is that Gore would have been the undisputed winner in 2000 had Nader not vacuumed up almost 100,000 Florida votes, most of which would have surely gone to him.

Same deal in New Hampshire, where Nader siphoned off more than 22,000 votes. Bush won there by only 7,211 ballots.

Now, Sanders is an honorable man running a straightforward campaign for the Democratic nomination. One can't imagine his playing the third-party spoiler.

But what makes today similar to 2000 is how many on the left are so demanding of ideological purity that they'd blow the opportunity to keep the White House in Democratic hands. Of course, they don't see it that way. This may reflect their closed circle of like-minded friends — or an illusion that others need only see the light, and their hero will sweep into the Oval Office.

The other similarity to 2000 is the scorn the believers heap on the experienced liberal alternative. They can't accept the compromises, contradictions and occasional bad calls that attach to any politician who's fought in the trenches.

The next president will almost certainly be either Clinton or a Republican. Democrats must ask themselves: Whom would you prefer to name future Supreme Court judges?

  • Category: Columns
  • Hits: 415

Harrop — And the Oscar for Most Stunning Actress goes to...

We are here not to discuss the complex #OscarsSoWhite controversy but to address another sore point with perhaps similar origins: the #OscarsSoGorgeous phenomenon.

At the risk of running afoul of some ardent fan clubs, let us note that the Academy Awards for best actress tend to favor the young and beautiful, often for playing the down and out. Some older actresses survive the nominating process, but observe how many wouldn't be there had they not established their careers on earlier goddess roles.

This helps explain why there are so few good parts for women who are dark and short — or, for that matter, white but less than spectacular. As with the lack of black nominees, the perpetual dearth of non-beautiful actresses surely reflects the socializing preferences of the white men in charge.

This is not to disparage Jennifer Lawrence's acting talents, which many say are considerable. But it seemed odd that she was chosen to play the lead in "Joy," a performance for which she has been nominated as best actress. "Joy" is based on the true story of Joy Mangano, a hard-luck working mother who found success inventing and selling homely mops.

Now the real Mangano is a fine-looking woman with strong Mediterranean features. But she was not born porcelain-skinned and blue-eyed. She did not pursue her dreams with a team of hair stylists maintaining the highest standards through her deepest indignities.

The Hollywood version lingers on endless close-ups of Lawrence's mug — a picture of northern European perfection, currently a "face of Dior." Of course, Lawrence has been on the cover of Vogue, which calls her "Hollywood's blockbuster blonde."

In 2006, Julia Roberts won best actress for "Erin Brockovich," a real-life story about a blunt, working-class girl's legal victory.

Nothing wrong with the real Brockovich's looks, but Erin was never the Roberts-level babe who could dominate the glossies from the lowliest fan mags to Vogue.
Roberts broke into stardom in "Pretty Woman," playing a character who was supposed to be beautiful. Had Roberts not already achieved stardom as a dazzler, would she have been cast in the meaty role of a vulgar crusader?

The 2003 Oscar went to former model Charlize Theron for her role as serial killer Aileen Wuornos in "Monster." Fan magazines at the time marveled at how teams of makeup artists were able to turn a stunner into an ugly wretch.

You'd think that roles to play these tortured women would create opportunities for extraordinarily talented actresses of ordinary appearance, but that's not how Hollywood usually works. Hollywood demands that female actors do double-duty as thespians and glamour queens.

On Oscars night we see how, when it comes to gender, Hollywood actors inhabit two entirely different planets. The men romp into the Dolby Theatre, while the women must run the gauntlet of red carpet humiliation. You see them freeze in cheesy poses, every detail of their facades followed by a week of microscopic critique.

At the ceremony itself, the male winners joyfully bound up the stairs to the stage. The female winners in spikes gingerly climb the stairs, no doubt terrified that a heel could lock into a long hem.

So this is a night to pity the bombshells as well as the great female actors who never had the chance to win the great parts. Why even bother with this dated vision when we can stream fascinating stories of three-dimensional women on our own screens day or night? And small wonder the Oscar audience numbers have been tanking.

  • Category: Columns
  • Hits: 546

Gunstock Acres in Gilford offers many choices

By Frank Roche, President of Roche Realty Group, Inc.

Gunstock Acres overlooks Lake Winnipesaukee on one side and the Gunstock Ski Area on the other. (Courtesy Photo)

Gunstock Acres overlooks Lake Winnipesaukee on one side and the Gunstock Ski Area on the other. (Courtesy Photo)


We have so many interesting communities in the Lakes Region worth considering. Let's take a look at Gunstock Acres in Gilford. This large community was developed in the mid 1960s and has developed over the years into one of the largest communities in our region. The land area includes 711 acres, sandwiched between Gunstock Mountain Resort and Lake Winnipesaukee. Fifteen miles of roadways were constructed over the years on several mountain ridges overlooking the lake along with fine amenities. Today, the properties within Gunstock Acres has grown to an assessment value of approximately $125.5 million. Initially, close to 600 lots were approved by the Planning Board; however, a number of them were merged. Over 400 private homes have been constructed to date.
The amenities include 504 feet of prime shorefront on Lake Winnipesaukee off Route 11 with panoramic lake and mountain views, a large natural sandy beach, community dock, sundeck, bathhouse, picnic and play areas with racks for canoes, and kayaks and dinghies with a small boat launch. A congregate mooring field accommodates 42 boat moorings. Residents can register on a waiting list which maintained in chronological order for use of the moorings. Approximately a quarter of them become available each year and a small usage fee is charged by the association. There are also two tennis courts and a basketball court located near the gate entrance to the shorefront recreation area. All of this is included in a park-like setting at the water's edge.
The Gunstock Acres Common Property Trust functions as the association. Dues are only $75 per lot per year. Owners obtain two electric key cards to operate the gate to the Gunstock Acres beach, located next to Samoset condominiums. Additionally, all Gilford residents have access to the Gilford Town Beach on Lake Winnipesaukee, which is another beautiful natural beach with 1,700 feet of frontage on 17 acres with a snack bar and large swim raft, and swimming lessons are held there.
In 1981, the citizens of Gunstock Acres voted to create the Gunstock Acres Village Water District. This private water system delivers 80,000 gallons of water per day for district accounts. The district is self-funding, and a flat fee of $400 per year is charged for water usage per residence. The community water system eliminates the need for individual wells; however, individual septic systems are required.
Additionally, many of the lots in Gunstock Acres are bordered by a natural wooded buffer known as "green space" owned by the Gunstock Acres Common Property Trust. Many of the lots in Gunstock Acres offer breathtaking views of the lake, islands and mountains beyond, while others have fantastic views of Gunstock Ski Area, especially at night when many of the trails are lit up for night skiing! The neighboring ski resort offers 227 acres with 55 trails, eight lifts and year-round activities such as zip lining, tree-canopy tours and a new "mountain-coaster" to be constructed this summer.
Today, Gunstock Acres has a mix of vacation properties, permanent homes and semi-retirement homes, all with many architectural designs at various price ranges.
Pulling up some sales statistics at Gunstock Acres over the past three years shows the following:

[INSERT GRAPH]

So there you have it, a thumbnail sketch of Gunstock Acres in Gilford. Take a look on Google.com and search "Gunstock Acres" or "Buy Property in Gunstock Acres" ... RocheRealty.com will pop up first and direct you to the Gunstock Acres Community page on our site showing all available properties for sale.

Next time you're up at Gunstock Mountain, take a ride across the road and you can see for yourself there's a vast parade of housing choices on three beautiful mountain ridges overlooking the lake.


Please feel free to visit www.rocherealty.com to learn more about the Lakes Region and its real estate market. Frank Roche is president of Roche Realty Group in Meredith and Laconia, NH, and can be reached at (603) 279-7046.

Those owning homes in the Gunstock Acres development have access to 47 boat moorings on Lake Winnipesaukee. About a quarter of them become available to those on a wait list each year. (Courtesy Photo)

Those owning homes in the Gunstock Acres development have access to 47 boat moorings on Lake Winnipesaukee. About a quarter of them become available to those on a wait list each year. (Courtesy Photo)

 

 

  • Category: Columns
  • Hits: 656

Buchanan — How Republicans perish

If you believed America's longest war, in Afghanistan, was coming to an end, be advised: It is not.

Departing U.S. commander Gen. John Campbell says there will need to be U.S. boots on the ground "for years to come." Making good on President Obama's commitment to remove all U.S. forces by next January, said Campbell, "would put the whole mission at risk."

"Afghanistan has not achieved an enduring level of security and stability that justifies a reduction of our support. ... 2016 could be no better and possibly worse than 2015."

Translation: A U.S. withdrawal would risk a Taliban takeover with Kabul becoming the new Saigon and our Afghan friends massacred.

Fifteen years in, and we are stuck.

Nor is America about to end the next longest war in its history: Iraq. Defense Secretary Ash Carter plans to send units of the 101st Airborne back to Iraq to join the 4,000 Americans now fighting there,

"ISIS is a cancer," says Carter. After we cut out the "parent tumor" in Mosul and Raqqa, we will go after the smaller tumors across the Islamic world.

When can Mosul be retaken? "Certainly not this year," says the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart.

Vladimir Putin's plunge into the Syrian civil war with air power appears to have turned the tide in favor of Bashar Assad.

The "moderate" rebels are being driven out of Aleppo and tens of thousands of refugees are streaming toward the Turkish border.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is said to be enraged with the U.S. for collaborating with Syrian Kurds against ISIS and with Obama's failure to follow through on his dictate — "Assad must go!"

There is thus no end in sight to the U.S. wars in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq, nor to the U.S.-backed Saudi war in Yemen, where ISIS and al-Qaida have re-arisen in the chaos.

Indeed, the West is mulling over military intervention in Libya to crush ISIS there and halt the refugee flood into Europe.

Yet, despite America's being tied down in wars from the Maghreb to Afghanistan, not one of these wars were among the three greatest threats identified last summer by Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

"Russia presents the greatest threat to our national security" said Dunford, "If you want to talk about a nation that could pose an existential threat to the United States, I would have to point to Russia ... if you look at their behavior, it's nothing short of alarming."
Dunford agreed with John McCain that we ought to provide anti-tank weapons and artillery to Ukraine, for, without it, "they're not going to be able to protect themselves against Russian aggression."

But what would we do if Putin responded by sending Russian troops to occupy Mariupol and build a land bridge to Crimea? Send U.S. troops to retake Mariupol? Are we really ready to fight Russia?

The new forces NATO is moving into the Baltic suggests we are.

Undeniably, disputes have arisen between Russia, and Ukraine and Georgia which seceded in 1991, over territory. But, also undeniably, many Russians in the 14 nations that seceded, including the Baltic states, never wanted to leave and wish to rejoin Mother Russia.

How do these tribal and territorial conflicts in the far east of Europe so threaten us that U.S. generals are declaring that "Russia presents the greatest threat to our national security"?

Asked to name other threats to the United States, Gen. Dunford listed them in this order: China, North Korea, ISIS.

But while Beijing is involved in disputes with Hanoi over the Paracels, with the Philippines over the Spratlys, with Japan over the Senkakus — almost all of these being uninhabited rocks and reefs — how does China threaten the United States?

America is creeping ever closer to war with the other two great nuclear powers because we have made their quarrels our quarrels, though at issue are tracts and bits of land of no vital interest to us.

North Korea, which just tested another atomic device and long-range missile, is indeed a threat to us.

But why are U.S. forces still up the DMZ, 62 years after the Korean War? Is South Korea, with an economy 40 times that of the North and twice the population, incapable of defending itself?

Apparently slipping in the rankings as a threat to the United States is that runaway favorite of recent years, Iran.

Last fall, though, Sen. Ted Cruz reassured us that "the single biggest national security threat facing America right now is the threat of a nuclear Iran."

"Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded," wrote James Madison, "No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare."

Perhaps Madison was wrong.

Otherwise, with no end to war on America's horizon, the prospect of this free republic enduring is, well, doubtful.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of the new book "The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority."

  • Category: Columns
  • Hits: 519