Monthly Archives: July 2014

Betsy Ross would be proud: See the world’s “tallest tribute to freedom”

by Village Lane

We proudly fly this flag because we are blessed to live and work in the United States of America.”

 Ben Salzmann, President and CEO, Acuity

In Sheboygan, Wisconsin, American individuals and companies have created the world’s “tallest tribute to freedom” in the form of a giant American flag.

Learn how this extraordinary project was built.

[Credit: ACUITY and ARUP for this video.]

Mortensen Flag Facts:

  • 400-foot flagpole weighs approximately 420,000 pounds
  • There are two versions of the 60- by 120-foot flag:
  • 220-pound flag is flown during normal conditions 
  • 350-pound flag is flown during harsher weather
  • Each star is 3 feet high and each stripe is 4 1/2 feet wide
  • 680 cubic yards of concrete used in foundation
  • Over 500 gallons of paint cover the pole
  • 11-foot diameter at base tapers to 5 1/2-foot diameter at top
  • Three pendulum-style tuned mass dampers reduce movement and vibration
  • Designed to withstand a low temperature of -42oF

Read more:

Photo of painting: The Birth of Old Glory, Percy Moran, artist, copyright 1917.


Immigration Meltdown: The Far-Reaching Consequences for America

by Michael Cutler

The human tsunami of illegal aliens, principally from Central America, many of them minors, continues to flood the southwest border of the United States, garnering attention from journalists around the country and, indeed, around the world.

Michelle Malkin’s June 11, 2014, column, “The New Dumping Grounds,” provides insight and perspective on what this means to the U.S. and our citizens, especially veterans. It is clear that these illegal aliens will see doctors and receive medical treatment far more quickly than our sick and dying veterans. Adding insult to injury, this is happening on military bases across the nation.

It’s been said that “Nothing succeeds like success.” While many politicians from both sides of the political aisle are quick to say that these aliens who are flooding our borders must be quickly returned to their home countries, the reality is that many are being relocated northward to cities across the U.S.

In many instances, they’re simply being released. Reports make it clear that when ICE agents are able to locate parents or family members of illegal alien minors, the minors are handed over to family, with no questions asked about immigration status of family members.

Desperate families in Central America, and perhaps elsewhere, are handing their children over to alien smugglers – many of whom are members of violent gangs and drug cartels – thus endangering the children and adding to what is being described as a humanitarian crisis.

The message is clear. Once in the United States, the odds are good that such illegal aliens will be afforded every opportunity to successfully play the game of Hide & Seek with little fear that the Department of Homeland Surrender will seek to locate them when they ignore their notices to appear for immigration hearings. More than 90 percent of aliens served with a Notice to Appear are no-shows. Hence these notices have long been known as Run Letters and Notices to Disappear and are associated with the practice referred to as Catch & Release.

As the illegal alien flood continues, the entire immigration system – not just along the southwest border, but throughout the U.S. – is being utterly overwhelmed. Already unable to cope with the workload, immigration courts are likely to suffer a crushing caseload increase, as will the USCIS adjudications officers. ICE personnel are being called upon to take a role in this onslaught.

The administration that, at inception, promised to be transparent has been most opaque, with conditions under which aliens are being detained shielded from view. Similarly, there is scant information being made available concerning the criteria for determining whether to release aliens from custody with those Run Letters.

Understandably, images of children being smuggled into the U.S. evoke strong emotions. What is seldom discussed or generally understood, however, is that violent gang members may well be in their early teens.

While certainly not all aliens are gang members, thousands of gang members are citizens of Mexico, El Salvador and Guatemala. This should raise concerns about the potential for violent gang members seizing the opportunity to hide among the masses of aliens running our borders.

Meanwhile, as large numbers of Border Patrol agents are sidetracked from their primary national security mission of securing our borders to providing Concierge Service for Illegal Aliens, more illegal aliens, including criminals and potentially terrorists, are evading detection and apprehension. Along with this, more contraband (heroin and other drugs) is being successfully smuggled into our country.

As I’ve said:

Law enforcement is at its best when it creates a climate of deterrence to convince those who might be contemplating violating the law that such an effort is likely to be discovered and that, if discovered, adverse consequences will result for the law violators. Current policies and statements by the administration encourage aspiring illegal aliens around the world to head for the United States. In effect the starter’s pistol has been fired, and for these folks the finish line to this race is the border of the United States.


Michael Cutler is Senior Special Agent, INS (Ret.)
and Senior Fellow, Californians for Population Stabilization