Sunday, July 18


Unintended consequences related to homeland security, or the craven appropriation of fear used to shortchange immigrant tenants by greedy landlords. The post reports, I'll opine, and you can decide. My attention was drawn to this by Steve Gilliard In fact the only real difference between our posts is that mine adds snark.

By Michael Powell
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, July 18, 2004; Page A03

NEW YORK -- They sat there, three diminutive and worried Mexican women, in the shadows in the back pews of St. Jerome's Church in the Bronx. Father John O. Grange noticed and motioned them forward.

The women handed Grange a letter. They had asked for apartment repairs, and this letter contained what appeared to be the landlord's response.

"Dear Tenants," the letter stated, "As you know the United States Government and specifically the Homeland Security Administration is investigating illegal aliens . . . I have given them all the information that I know about my tenants (age, names, work, cars, marriage, country of origin, telephone numbers, children) . . . You should expect a visit in the near future."

Grange, 64, forms a fist and frowns.
I know how he feels. I have had to pause a few times today to unclench mine, so that I could continue typing. The list of people and things to punch grows daily. I'm looking at you Tucker Carlson. you shouldn't be flattered you are only one of many. Back to the story. There is no doubt in my mind that New York slumlords have often pulled the INS card out to curtail complaints about the living conditions in the tenements they own. So frankly I am not shocked to find out that misuse of the Homeland Security Act is going on in establishment U.S.A.

"Their hands were shaking as I read the letter -- they were scared stiff," said the priest, who is a founding member of South Bronx Churches, an ecumenical organizing group that is helping the women. "Evil has reared its head and threatens to ruin their hardworking lives."
Unbelievable, well not really, I just have to keep control of my trenchant mouth, lest it fouls this page with invective. But wait there's more also from the post.
By Brian Faler
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, July 18, 2004; Page A05

All politics is local. But this year, it is getting downright neighborly.

Take Minnesota. The state Republican Party has developed a Web site that allows its activists to tap into a database of voters whose political allegiances and concerns it would like to know. But it is not just any group of voters -- they are the activists' neighbors.

The project, dubbed WebVoter, gives GOP activists the names and addresses of 25 people who live, in most cases, within a couple of blocks from them. The party has asked 60,000 supporters from across the state to figure out what issues animate their neighbors and where they stand in the political spectrum, and report that information back to the party -- with or, possibly, without their neighbors' permission.
Just like TIPS, that brilliant administration stategy to turn us all into spies. Eric Blair may you rest in peace, I doubt I will. Some days (like today) I really wish I was a shallow-minded ditto-head. Ignorance is Bliss indeed.