Have you seen the moon the past night or two? It is full and radiating pure brilliance of moonlight and making the earth's surfaces glow. Last night, a night of clear sky and chilly air, the moonlight reflected off the water in our swimming pool and streamed into my bedroom as if it was a night light. One of life's amazements.
With the aforementioned chill in the air, there is a fine pot of chili simmering on the stove for supper. Max the dog is loving coming and going in and out of the back yard sniffing all the new smells in the air. He appreciates low humidity, too.
This morning I read of a new initiative to secure the Texas border at Laredo by the U.S. Border Patrol. It is labeled as a 'zero tolerance' operation. The plan is "to prosecute, jail and deport all illegal immigrants caught in the bustling Laredo area, marking a significant tightening of immigration enforcement along a key U.S. border corridor." That, according to James Pinkerton writing for the Houston Chronicle, is an expansion of the Border Patrol's Operation Streamline project in Del Rio and in Yuma, Arizona. Both have been very successful.
The Houston Chronicle article, however, leaves the reader to believe it is a big push by the Bush Administration and the Dept. of Homeland Security, which it clearly is not. Pardon me, but if the Bush administration felt that border security was a priority then this kind of policy would have been enforced in his first term, not as he is on the way out of office. This operation in Laredo is coming forth thanks to the leadership of Rep. John Culberson, R-TX and Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-TX. Culberson is my congressman, I am proud to say, and Cuellar represents Laredo. The Houston Chronicle conveniently does not even mention Culberson, thank you.
"The Border Patrol is expecting big results in the Laredo sector." That at the end of the article this morning. Enforce the laws on the books. It works. Crime rates drop and social services get a breather. Who knew? Just the people it affects, I guess.
And on the medical research front, on Nov. 6, Texans will vote on Proposition 15, a decision voters will make whether or not to fund $3 billion for cancer research. We have a world class cancer medical facility here in Houston, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, (recently and consistantly ranked number one by those who study such facilities) and the governor, Rick Perry, and the legislators of the state feel the time is right for an unprecedented push in research for cancer treatments and cures. The proposition enjoys broad bi-partisan support and people like Lance Armstrong are encouraging passage with public service announcements and appearances.
Today's article concerning Proposition 15 focuses on Cathie Adams, president of Texas Eagle Forum and her recent e-mail to Republicans in the state addressing the fact that the funding may be used for research on human embryos, in embryonic stem cell research. There is absolutely no indication that embryonic stem cell research is a part of the plans for the funding but Adams is sounding the alarm, just in case. The governor, for one, is a strong advocate for Proposition 15 but his spokeswoman, Krista Moody, said he "staunchly opposes" embryonic stem cell research. M.D. Anderson's president, Dr. John Mendelsohn, said it was never the intention to turn the cancer research proposal into funding for embryonic stem cell research.
However, there is no statutory language to prohibit the funding and no statutory language prohibiting the research. So, Adams fears the lines will be blurred and funding will go to grants by scientists focusing on that research.
Adams notes that the ban on embryonic stem cell research has failed to pass in the Texas Legislature two sessions in a row. Adams is known in political circles as a strong and powerful socially conservative voice. She has superior organizing abilities.
I think she's off the mark this time. I'm voting for Proposition 15.