Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Public Quick to Sanction Felonies

I don't get this
Fifty-five percent say they would support a proposal that would make it a felony for businesses in Arizona to hire undocumented immigrants.

linkage (emphasis mine)
The poll was taken by the PBS affiliate in the Phoenix metro area so it's unclear if the percentage rate holds steady when the entire state (cough::Pima County::cough) is incorporated.

But still. Do people really understand what they are asking for? The biggest reason there was such potent outrage at HR4437 last year was because of the felony provision that would've targeted a large swath of people in this country. A felony is not something that the public should take lightly, in my not so humble opinion.

Is this the path that the states are going to choose? If so, perhaps the Governor is not just issuing empty threats.
"We've heard too much talk about border security and not enough action," Napolitano said in a speech at the National Press Club. She urged Congress to "end the rhetoric, stop the politics, provide sustained funding and turn away from extreme, unworkable solutions that solve nothing and only delay the benefits of real reform."

"All of America is waiting _ and time is running out," said Napolitano, who is in Washington for the National Governors Association winter meeting.

linkage (emphasis mine)
The obvious question is: what happens when the sand leaves the top part of the hourglass?

[UPDATE] More poll results here

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Minutemen Circular Firing Squad Forms

Uh oh, looks like the local vigilante group has a fraud scandal unfolding that has already toppled their Grand High Wizard founder Jim Gilchrist.
The Minuteman Project shot into the national spotlight shortly after it was formed two years ago, but now a bitter dispute over its leadership threatens to tear the anti-illegal immigration group apart.

Minuteman founder Jim Gilchrist filed a lawsuit in Orange County Superior Court last week after the group's board of directors fired him and his executive director over allegations of mismanagement and fraud. Gilchrist alleges in the lawsuit that the firings were illegal and that board members also illegally spent Minuteman money, seized its Web site and stole 20,000 pieces of letterhead.

For their part, the board members accuse Gilchrist of embezzling $400,000 in Minuteman Project donations and using $13,000 of the organization's money for his own legal fees. They recently filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service, alleging that Gilchrist illegally received a non-profit postal discount.

I wondered if anything would come out of this whole brouhaha. Questions about the other gang of vigilantes' funds were raised last summer by the rightwing rag Washington Times.
A growing number of Minuteman Civil Defense Corps leaders and volunteers are questioning the whereabouts of hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of dollars in donations collected in the past 15 months, challenging the organization's leadership over financial accountability.

Rotten roots = Rotten fruit.

The equation never fails to produce its intended outcome. Time to cut the Hater Tree down to a stump.

How Convenient...

[bumped up - Man Eegee]

Exhibit VXCIV in the ongoing battle to show how ridiculously editorialized the "journalism" in this country has become:
Law enforcement officials working near the border recovered the body of a suspected illegal border crosser and confiscated 741 pounds of marijuana in separate incidents over the weekend.

A woman found the body of a Mexican woman between 30 and 40 years old west of Peña Blanca Lake on Sunday, said Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada. She found the dead woman while checking on camera equipment for a sensor placed to spot jaguars, he said.

It appears the woman died from hypothermia or exposure, and no foul play is suspected, Estrada said.

How convenient that the death of this woman, this economic refugee, is reported juxtaposed to the seizure of marijuana along la frontera. The article ends with details of the operation, including the type of weapon being carried by the smugglers.

And what of la mujer from the first part of the article?

Her story, her desperation, is lost to the black hole of journalistic laziness. She, who had nothing to do with the nefarious actions that run rampant on both sides of the line, from both countries and their governments, has had her memory incarcerated with the dark bleat of guilt reserved for the true criminals in our midst.

This is what we mean when he speak of the Human Rights Crisis along the U.S./Mexico border. While that particular line is militarized in bolder moves everyday, the stories of the people seeking a way to survive or provide are blurred into a muddled mess with the smugglers of cargo; human and earth-made goods.

It is a heinous act upon the dignity of these refugees of greed.

Welcome DailyKos Readers


Wall-To-Wall Solidarity Event

From the good gente at Derechos Humanos:

Coalición de Derechos Humanos
Middle East Justice Now


Wall-to-Wall Solidarity Event!

Palestinian Delegation visits Tucson on their
2007 USA Speaking Tour

Community Potluck

Saturday, March 3, 2007
5:30 pm

St. Cyril's Catholic Church

4725 East Pima (Pima & Swan)
Tucson, Arizona, USA

Join us as we welcome two Palestinian activists from the West Bank, *Feryal Abu Haikal* and *Mohammed Khatib*, now on a national speaking tour with the International Solidarity Movement for an evening of solidarity-building between communities challenging militarization.

While we engage in organizing to change and demand human rights at the borders, "national security" and military occupations continue disregarding the communities most directly impacted. Through community-to-community solidarity we strengthen our vision, raising voices to demand justice, demilitarization and the dismantling of all walls between peoples.

$5 suggested donation, no one turned away for lack of funds. Please bring a dish to share for more info, please call 520.770.1373

Mohammed Khatib and Feryal Abu Haikal both live in West Bank communities that are immediately threatened with destruction due to actions of the Israeli military and settlers. From February 1 - March 7, they will be speaking in 23 cities around the US about their personal experiences with Israeli efforts to seize Palestinian land and violently expel Palestinians from their homes and communities, as well as Palestinian efforts to mobilize to nonviolently resist those measures.

Largely unreported by the media, thousands of Palestinians and hundreds of Israelis are waging a grassroots, nonviolent campaign of resistance to Israel's apartheid system of military occupation and discrimination against Palestinians. They will speak in Tucson, Arizona on Saturday, March 3, 2007 at 5:30 p.m. at St. Cyril's Church, alongside local organizers challenging the militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border region.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Sunday "What a day, what a day" tour!

Honeys, I'm home! Well, not exactly home, but here! Well, here in the sense that any of us are anywhere, especially when we are essentially nowhere when online! Or something like that.

Anyway here we are! And there we are too! And you know what that means... time to go on tour!

Arcturus is remembering Manny Babbit, tying it in to war and death and the shame of Walter Reed medical center. I've only skimmed it, but it looks like another must read! Also, the US is #1! If you are counting from the bottom up, that is... otherwise, it looks like we are dead last in the health and care of children department. I can't imagine why...

Olivia is in the pink! Color bursts all over the site, between daisies not at all like you're used to seeing and inquisitive orchids and shocking primroses, you'll have your fill! But wait, save room for cloud blogging!

I've spotted dove... but NOT in her aviary! She's been hanging out at the new and improved (and moved) everybody comes from somewhere - which has a new address! Anyway, dove has an ordinary person's guide to human development, which sounds interesting although I've not had time to read it. Also, NLinStPaul is musing on peacemakers, and there is lots more there to read. At the new address!

[UPDATE!] You ever noticed what a racket birds make when settling in for the evening? At least, I think that is what they are doing... heading on for dusk here, and they are just chirping and chattering and no doubt gossiping away about their day. All outside my window, it sounds like.

Anyway! the art crit.... this person doesn't seem too awfully hopeful about tomorrow! Or maybe they just think it'll make quite a splash. Also, giving an entirely new meaning to yon rabbity faced fellow! And, in Art News, deano is verklempt, but we won't hold it against him! Well, and plus he has links to an artist and interviews!

Well! Family Man is having a time of it, for sure. Quitting is hard work! Especially if there are stresses, like poor little sick puppies! And outrageously priced pharmaceuticals! AND broken glasses... funny thing tho, when mine broke, I also went to an old, old pair and found I could see out of them better too! Anyway tho, you can do it, Family Man! Eegeehoodians are pulling for you!

Boran details the "liberal judicial conspiracy" against Gov. Goodhair in that bastion of liberalism... um... Texas? Also, our condos are coming along nicely! Almost ready for the move in date! And cracking the Negroponte Code!

Janet and friends plant themselves in front of a townhall meeting with politicians and say... Let Us In! With details and pictures.. and a bullhorn!

[UPDATE AGAIN!] ILJ wonders what campaigns say about our culture in Champagne, the Price of Beer and Presidential Politics. Do we really want to know what it says about our culture? Yes, so go read! Also, did Hillary and Obama cancel each other out in their recent tussle, thus tossing the ball to a competing politician? And ILJ wants you to ask your boss for free drugs. How times have changed!

Over where the meta is mo betta, James has an essay on handling dissident bloggers in gated community blogs... lots to think about there, go read!

Speaking of James, Original James has an editorial response to the "creeping pacifism" nonsense. Also, the Iraq debacle week in review and interesting parallels between settler cultures a world and a few lifetimes apart.

All done! computer is doing Odd Things, so have to shut down... if I've forgotten you, tell me in comments and I will add you soonish!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Building a Coalition of Humanity

The ongoing conversation that needs to be had...

When immigrants took to the streets last year to protest a punitive anti-immigrant bill in the House of Representatives and to seek a pathway to citizenship, the public conversation focused in part on the relationship between African Americans and immigrants. And much of that conversation was framed in terms of competition and conflict.


So what does it mean to turn the conversation toward positive solutions that reflect our shared values and interests? It means, for example, replacing the “nation of immigrants” slogan with the more nuanced language of community—that we are all in it together, interconnected in our hopes and dreams, as well as in our successes and setbacks. As part of this narrative, we can invoke the history of our country as a place where people of different races, religions and nationalities have always come together to pursue the common goal of opportunity. And we can emphasize that keeping opportunity alive takes work and investment in effective public structures, systems and programs.

It means advocating a pathway to citizenship for immigrants hand-in-hand with job training, childcare and other opportunity-expanded programs targeted towards African-American and other communities with the highest unemployment and poverty rates.

It means a shared call for investment in the public systems that are crucial to the mobility of African Americans and immigrants: well-financed public schools, college aid and access, guaranteed quality health care and economic incentives for the creation of affordable housing. And it means insisting on anti-discrimination and fair labor enforcement, as well as living wages for all workers.

Finally, this conversation is not only about African Americans and immigrants but, ultimately, about everyone in our country. Embracing our shared values and linked fate, promoting common solutions and investing in the stepping stones of opportunity are essential to our nation’s progress in a new century and a changing world.

Go read the whole thing. It's well worth it.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Rising from the Ashes Redux

[originally posted last year, but always timely]

As you may know, Mardi Gras is over and today is Ash Wednesday for the Christian Church across the world, signaling the beginning of the season of Lent. I thought I would take some time to share with you how the entrance to this season of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving relates to my personal passion as a liberal.

First, a bit of history.

According to the entry over at, the use of ashes dates back to the earliest recorded histories of Christianity.
Thomas Talley, an expert on the history of the liturgical year, says that the first clearly datable liturgy for Ash Wednesday that provides for sprinkling ashes is in the Romano-Germanic pontifical of 960.
It is a ritual that was clearly inherited from our Judaic roots. The books of the prophets depict numerous references to the use of ashes and sackcloth as signs of repentance and atonement. It is a cycle that is mirrored with fasting in other traditions, such as the Muslim season of Ramadan. It is the outward expression of the people to re-center their priorities as they relate to the outward expressions of their faith.

Focusing on the Christian aspect to all of this, since it is my personal journey, I can tell you that these words of Jesus are what I focus on when I start to feel like I've moved off the beaten path of my faith:
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.

Then the righteous will answer him and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?'

And the king will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.' -- Matthew 25:35-40
I see nothing about unborn children, homosexuals, or other forms of oppression and divisiveness in those words. That's why I get so infuriated when I see leaders of my Church join the likes of Pat Robertson and James Dobson in their crusade of "morality". It doesn't ring true to the tenets of our faith, and I have to remain hopeful that over time the institution of the Church will correct their focus and return to the noble work of fighting for the rights of the marginalized and poor.

One of the images I use during this season of introspection is the labyrinth, specifically this design:

It is a replica of the labyrinth at the cathedral in Chartres, France that is laid in stone in the sanctuary of the chapel. The difference between a labyrinth and maze is that a labyrinth has only one pathway and doesn't feature wrong decisions or dead-ends. This particular design begins at the bottom-center and the path winds its way through the four quadrants till it reaches the center.

My passion as a liberal is best expressed when I am true to my center. I am most alive when I reach out to others in tolerance and respect. My soul and spirit are most inflamed (in a good way) when I am fighting for those who are victims of injustices. That is why I have such a strong reaction to real and perceived threats to the marginalized.

The past few days have been very difficult for me as I've wrestled with the various emotions that I've allowed to consume me. I'm extremely glad that Lent has arrived, because it forces me to do some inner-searching for peace and listening to my heart. How can I expect to bring peace to the world, when I don't have it fully within me? That is the question that I will be pondering when I receive the ashes on my forehead today, as well as the journey for the next 40ish days.

I hope the outcome for me will mirror that of the Phoenix. That I will be able to sing its song of passion and renewal to the world, rising out of the ashes and signaling growth and new life.

Namaste - I bow to the spirit within you

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Reclaiming New Orleans

Highlighted on Mardi Gras as a reminder that the injustice continues
On Saturday, February 10, six residents of the C.J. Peete Public Housing Complex reclaimed their apartments against the will of the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO). In a scene more fitting for a block party than a protest, tenants danced, laughed and chatted with their old neighbors, while children played and sang. Residents sang “I don’t know what you been told, but these projects are livable!”and boogied on their ballon and ribbon decorated porch to the Hot 8 brass band.

“I’m home,” declared Dianne Allen, one of the residents moving back in, “I’m home at last.” Allen has lived at C.J. Peete since she was a baby, raised 3 daughters and 2 grandchildren there and beamed with pleasure as she swept her steps. When asked about HANO’s plans to demolish, Allen pointed out that no public housing residents have been legally evicted yet. “When I left for the hurricane my rent was paid” she said, “I still had a lease, and today I still have a lease…a valid lease.”

Having been barred from their homes for over 17 months, the Peete residents decided to return to their apartments in the face of possible arrest, the threat of terminated housing assistance, and HANO’s plans to demolish the complex. “Since they don’t want to do nothing to fix up the units, we’re going to fix them up ourselves” said Allen ‘Lenny’ Harris, resident of C.J. Peete for 52 years. The tenants have generators and supplies to keep them going and plan to clean out dozens more apartments.

These people are reclaiming their homes after nearly a year and a half of b.s. bureaucracy at all levels of government. The Red Tape Brigade obviously doesn't understand what it means to lose everything, and the anguish caused by having to wait on the foot-draggers to start a new chapter of a life interrupted by tragedy.

This campaign has come about from true grassroots organizing. Good on these NOLA residents for telling the Housing Authority where to go and how to do it.

Instead of going out and getting drunk tonight for Fat Tuesday, how about throwing some coinage into the coffers of the ongoing hurricane relief campaigns? I've got my eye on the NOLA Musicians Hurricane Relief Fund and Direct Relief Int'l.

Monday, February 19, 2007

A Sampling of Texas Immigration Bills

This is what the rabid members of the Texas State Legislature have in the coffers with respect to immigration reform inhumane treatment of people.

  • HB127: Requires state agencies to ask customers whether they are legal U.S. residents and report the cost of services provided to illegal residents.

  • HB38: Requires proof of legal residency in the U.S. to obtain professional licenses.

  • HB40: Applicants for medical assistance must prove their legal status.

  • HBs578, 691, 1377: Applicants for a marriage license must swear they are not marrying as a way to circumvent immigration laws.

  • HB28: U.S.-born children of undocumented immigrants would be ineligible for state services and state jobs.

  • HBs104, 141, 159, 39: Eliminates undocumented immigrant students' ability to receive in-state tuition rates.

  • HBs858, 905, 907 1012, 1256: Allows state and/or local police to enforce federal immigration laws.

  • HB904: Prohibits cities from setting up day labor centers.

  • HBs931, 932: Requires proof of legal status for a driver's license and a citizenship label on driver's licenses.

  • HB29: Imposes a fee on money undocumented immigrants send to Central and South America.

  • HCR11: Resolution calling on the Texas attorney general to pursue lawsuits to collect money from the federal government to repay the state for the cost of undocumented immigrants.

  • linkage (emphasis mine)
    All are egregious, but the ones I highlight are to show you the true gall of these rabid hardliners. They care nothing for the well-being of the targets of these bills. Can you imagine? Medical care only provided if you're able to prove your legal status - and nope, there won't be any racial profiling ::cough:: ::gag::

    Plus, the Constitution is little more than toilet paper to them. They wish to pretend that the 14th Amendment doesn't exist. Actively trying to create new classes of citizenry is just another way for the privileged and elite to preserve their vantage point in society - sneering down their noses at them.

    There was a time when such radical action by a legislative body would be mocked and exiled to a political graveyard - but in this era of vigilante-ism and blatant hate-mongering by radio and tv personalities, there is no limit to this type of extremism.

    And I wonder why I'm so disgusted with the news...

    Sunday, February 18, 2007

    Sunday days are here again!

    Hello everyone, guess what!? It's Sunday! ALL day today. Only... for some reason I didn't think so. heh

    We'll swing right into the tour, no silly little notes, no dithering here and there, just straight and serious trotting around the Eegeehood - peeking!

    Whew! katiebird is back and firmer than ever! She's letting us know what's for lunch, and a bombshell from bombshell (congrats!) and plenty of daily firmings! Welcome back, katie!

    ILJ has a podcast interview (can we call him a journalist yet?) with NY state senator, Liz Krueger, who he calls a change agent. Also. Albany's winter heat (which I think they could probably use more of... the real stuff, that is - brrr!) And a memo to Hillary!

    Boran2 has made subtle changes to the condos on the rocks, that nevertheless make a big difference! Also some things, once lost, can never be regained. This makes no difference to those whose only thought of gain is monetary, tho!

    [UPDATE!] Hah! People are always trying to hide things from me, as if peeking were not a time honored profession! Take Family Man... he had a birthday when? Last weekend! But he doesn't mention it until Monday! Little does he know (and I'll never tell) that in the Eegeehood time runs mostly from Monday to Sunday, so in Eegeehood time, we can still wish him a Happy Birthday this week! Also, this is one reason why I gave up on wire glasses. But not grocery stores!

    Oh gee... it's about Olivia. Well... what's the best way to put it. Hmmm... not only is her head in the clouds, and not only has she gone totally buggy, and not only does she blatantly display morning glory's fascinating inner bits... there is just one last thing you should know about Olivia. She's getting pretty fishy! And has one too! Oh, what to do, what to do... go see! That's what.

    supersoling has a song of the day and fine rant (that contains no critters at all!).

    Original James has the Iraq Debacle week in review, and also a snippet from Who is IOZ about a hot topic in some parts these days, American Exceptionalism.

    Speaking of, Mo Betta has a few Metas, one being the connections between exceptionalism, jingoism and racism, and how language is used, from Arcturus. Also, catnip thinks about recent controversies, such as blog amnesty, and the future of blogs and what comes next? And an excellent conversation going on in this post by James, which highlights a bit of out of control speech... but the comments have evolved on their own to be about something very different!

    [UPDATE AGAIN AND MAYBE THE LAST BUT MAYBE NOT!] Arcturus has one of those "start at the top and read down!" type pages today. From UN peacekeeping militarism, to a question few probably know the answer to - or at least free to state it, to the Legacy of Torture and the SF8 and much more! Scroll down!

    Nezua too is a start at the top and read down one. Lots of good stuff there! Definitions of terms, which I've only just noticed is Chapter 1! Which is cool, cuz that means there are more to come. Also, I'd not heard of Robert Franklin Williams before, but he sounds interesting... and still timely, after all of these years. Funny how the speech of justice and humanity changes little over time, culture or location. And loads more, all interesting and great reading! And watching, too. Scroll down!

    Um... she's melting? Okay, maybe not! I just looked at the title... she's maybe just really, really relaxed. Not like this next lady, elegant tho she may be! Or this fish wielding guy, whose standing as still as statue! Oh, did I mention that all of this was at deanos? go look!

    Janet has the whole scoop on some nasty Senator (Smith), that targets peace activists. She also has a way to let him know what you think about that!

    I haven't read the story yet, but I love this title from Duke, so am copying the entire thing:Lies, damned lies, and anything coming out of a Minuteman's mouth. It sounds well worth reading!

    Don't forget to visit Everybody Comes From Somewhere, and also scroll down here! Manny's got some great stuff too.

    All done! (maybe)!

    Friday, February 16, 2007

    Friday Bud Blogging

    Bud doesn't need to 'Crash the Gate',
    no one can withstand his imploring eyes
    (or Basset Boogers)

    Thursday, February 15, 2007

    Border Policy: The Deadly Funnel

    The University of Arizona's Mexican-American Studies Dept. has released a report, in conjunction with the American Immigration Law Foundation, highlighting the humanitarian crisis experienced along the U.S./Mexico Border

    For almost a decade now, there has been an unprecedented increase in the number of deaths each year among unauthorized border-crossers in the deserts and mountains of southern Arizona. The official statistics compiled by the U.S. Border Patrol consistently undercount the actual number of deaths in Arizona and elsewhere along the U.S.-Mexico border. But various academic and government studies estimate that the bodies of between 2,000 and 3,000 men, women, and children have been found along the entire southwest border since 1995, including at least 1,000 in the inhospitable terrain of southern Arizona. Experts, including the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), now explain this crisis as a direct consequence of U.S. immigration-control policies instituted in the mid-1990s.1

    The Binational Migration Institute (BMI) of the University of Arizona's Mexican American Studies and Research Center has undertaken a unique and scientifically rigorous study of all unauthorized border-crosser (UBC) deaths examined by the Pima County Medical Examiner's Office (PCMEO) from 1990-2005.2 [Read the complete BMI study] Because the PCMEO has handled approximately 90 percent of all UBC recovered bodies in the U.S. Border Patrol's Tucson Sector, an analysis of such deaths serves as an accurate reflection of the major characteristics of all known unauthorized border-crosser deaths that have occurred in this sector since 1990.

    Linkage to Policy Brief

    More to come later, after I've had a chance to read through the full report. I'm sure I won't be disappointed, though, I highly respect Raquel Rubio-Goldsmith's work.

    Tuesday, February 13, 2007

    More Signs of an Emboldened Klan

    Straight from the mouth of the devil
    In Gaston County near Charlotte, the imperial wizard of the Mount Holly-based chapter of the Klan says membership is growing faster than he's seen since joining in the 1960s.

    "People are tired of this mess," said Virgil Griffin, 62. "The illegal immigrants are taking this country over."

    Griffin recounted 1960s Klan rallies when dozens, sometimes hundreds, marched through towns such as Mount Holly, Salisbury and Wilmington. "We were strong in the '60s," he said. "We're not that strong now. We're hoping to get there."

    The group wants to increase its numbers so it can influence local and national politics. The Klan's goals include military border enforcement and ending taxpayer-funded services to illegal immigrants.

    This type of backward slide into the darkest reaches of U.S. history can be stopped, but not until there is a solid coalition of people willing to recognize the ways anti-immigrant rhetoric has been allowed to flourish and go unchecked by the media and lawmakers congresscritters.

    There is real fear out there, but you won't find it in the headlines or within the pages of a report. It is coupled with a growing anger that is building - one that finds its seed in the lack of support for basic human rights by the great population.

    Something will have to give eventually.


    Sunday, February 11, 2007

    Sunday Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head Tour!

    One thing I've noticed about we Californians (or, at least some of us... not me, tho! Really!)... give us two days straight of clouds and rain and wind and we're moaning and groaning as if we'll never see the sun again! I'm not like that at all... me, it takes a lot, something really egregious. Like the fact that it's been THREE WHOLE DAYS! Or half days, anyway, of clouds and rain, sigh.

    But I bet it's sunny somewhere! ('Fess up... are you the one that took our sun?) And in honor of that, we'll have a nice, sunny tour of the Eegeehood today!

    First up - a reason to smile even through the clouds... dove is back! In a piece fittingly titled How to break a silence, where she gives us a clue as to what she's been up to lately, and why! Which, of course, leaves us clamoring for more (and keeping our petitions handy!)

    Also, I saw Iowa Victory Gardener peeking in in the comments here, so I went to see what he's been up to (nosy, nosy, I know... but for a good cause!) and guess what? He's got crabby flowers for Olivia! Well, he calls them curmudgeonly flowers, but crabby is much easier to spell. And he has lots of other things too - lovely red flowers, including one especially for Janet which, as the town crier, I have to make sure she knows about! He is sad it isn't pink, but I think red is just extra pink and so that works!

    Boran2 has added windows to our condos - which makes them far more marketable, I think. What good are condos on the rocks if you can't see the rocks? Also, apparently bird flu is going to the highest bidder? And a well deserving someone gets the boot off the island!

    [UPDATE!] XicanoPwr is on fire! The blog, that is. New design! But wait, his writings are on fire too! He takes some recent dustups, weaves them into an essay on enemies and language, manipulations and emotional blackmail, and ties it all into various national and international issues. Whew! Go read! Also, he has some good questions for John Edwards, and dissects the words we use, and the rhetoric of race. More there too, pull up a chair, get comfy and go read!

    Gasp, I almost forgot! There's a new kid on the block. Just born! You'll recognize many familiar faces and realize that, of course! Everybody Comes From Somewhere! Already lots of very interesting conversations going on, on everything from war and resistance to poetry to building community. Start at the top and scroll down!

    Arcturus shows us how the war on drugs has become a war on immigrants, and how when you have prisons run by for profit agencies one thing they always need is... more product! Or is it more consumers? Anyway... bad stuff happens. Also, an irreversibly multipolar world order? There is more there too, scroll down!

    [UPDATE AGAIN!] Original James needs sunny days! The world is a mess, but it always seems more so when it's cloudy. Of course, some things no weather will help, like an Iraqi interrogator, in his own words. Also, come coverage of the Watada trial... how about how that one turned out, eh? (Jazzy James is still in hiatus... )

    I am not - NOT! - going to say anything about supersoling's site. OR fluffy tailed rats. Not a word. Nope. Not me!

    Uh oh... katiebird hasn't been firmed for 4 whole days! I hope she's not toppling over again... I think she needs sunny days too! Get well soon, katie!

    Family Man goes from brand new nieces to sister's in law that slink through the night, moving things, to the philosophy of borrowing.... all in one post! You've gotta read it, if only for the picture (and stuff) wars. Also, why some things are better left unsaid! Or, at least, some ways of saying them. Sometimes.

    Well now... deano has gone from pink and purple livers to green balls of fire, which may or may not be an improvement in the comfort level, no doubt depending on one's point of view. And I'll say nothing more about that! Also, the art crit has gone political!

    [UPDATE THE LAST! MUCH LATER!] Olivia has a black hole in space masquerading as a flower! Also, crabby pigeons have a confab! Hmmm... and she wonders, Do you know this flower? It's very pink and delicate and pretty! And don't miss the cloud blogging!

    Art or food? You be the judge, in Nezua's Sunday Skillet Blogging! And he has part 6 of The Skin of My Soul series up... if you've not read it yet, what better day than today? And at the Movies with Nez, where the topic is Pan's Labyrinth (have you ever noticed that that word sounds *nothing* like it's spelled? well, maybe a little) ... very few spoilers as he's just tackling a small part of the movie!

    Janet has more stories and pictures of resistance, protesting and the surge protection brigade! Just start at the top and read down!

    [UPDATE AFTER THE LAST!] ILJ has done all the work for me! Well, not all the work, but some of it - he has new stuff, and put it in comments (cuz I sorta missed him, but not really, as I was coming back to check although I am still not back, but anyway... here tis!) ' Eliot Spitzer Takes On New Yorks Nomenklatura is my post about NY Governor Spitzer's battle with the entrenched Albany establishment and Losing the Janes is a post about my email correspondence with "Jane," a voter from Ohio who I persuaded to vote in November and her current dissatisfaction with Democrats and also Afghanistan: the Forgotten War is my post about a war we've all seemed to have neglected while we focus on Iraq."

    It's possible that I am not done, but I have to go. If I've missed you, leave a note in comments and I will update later!

    Friday, February 09, 2007

    Friday Bud Blogging

    Who's lurking?

    Calling All Latinos: NPR Seeking Input

    First, I'd like to thank staffmember "J" from National Public Radio American Public Media for following up with me on a previous request to post this information. I dropped the ball on it, and for that, lo siento mucho!

    APM's regular show Marketplace is seeking insight from the Hispanic/Latino community on better ways to service the unique needs of our people with respect to the economy. Here is the link to their online survey.

    As a regular listener of National Public Radio, I am glad to see their efforts to diversify the information they provide to listeners. A big part of good business is evaluation, and this is the perfect opportunity for us to let them know 1) how they're doing so far and 2) what we'd like to see them focus on in the future. I recommend checking out the Hispanic Trending blog for an example of the ways our voice is/isn't reflected in the consumer world.

    Marisa, over at Latina Lista, posted a similar query in December to her readers. Hopefully the people over at Marketplace will continue to hear valuable feedback.

    Here's the link to the survey again, in case you missed it.


    New Orleans Levy System Still Crumbling

    Citizen journalism being done by blogger mcbrid35

    On Dec. 30th, 2006, New Orleans experienced a relatively slow, steady rain most of the day and evening. Near the end of that storm, as the rain was pumped out along the London Avenue canal (site of two breaches in Katrina), the water rose above a depth in the canal called the Safe Water Level. In the London Avenue canal, that depth is a mere four feet above sea level (Lake Pontchartrain - at the end of the canal - is at sea level). That level is dictated by the extreme weakness of a stretch of unbreached canal wall just south of Mirabeau Avenue. In practical terms, this means that the water in the canal is not even allowed to touch the walls that top the levees. For most of the canal's length, the tops of the levees (i.e. the bases of the walls) are above four feet. The tops of the walls are over 14 feet above sea level.

    So when the water rose above four feet, the local drainage agency, the New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board, called the Corps, who dispatched their pumping guru to the pumping station (station 3) that drains the water into the London Avenue canal. He agreed that the water depth, which can now be seen by virtue of a new set of level sensors installed along the canal, was unacceptably high and that something needed to be done.

    There is only one thing that can be done to drop the water level in the canal in a situation like this: cut back on the amount of water going into the canal. So that's what was done. There are five pumps in station 3, and one of them, a 1000 cfs pump representing almost a quarter of the station's capacity, was shut off. It was kept off for a half hour until the water in the canal dropped to an acceptable level. This reperesented water not being drained from the streets of New Orleans during that time. Fortunately, the rain had mostly let up by that time and there was no serious flooding. But the worst was yet to come...


    Much more over at Fix the pumps.

    Bush Profits From Iraq War

    No, not GeeDub - Uncle Bucky!
    One of President Bush's uncles, William H.T. Bush, was among directors of a defense contractor who reaped $6 million from what federal regulators say was an illegal scheme by two executives to manipulate the timing of stock option grants, documents show.

    The uncle, known as "Bucky," is the youngest brother of former President George H.W. Bush. William H.T. Bush was an outside, nonexecutive director of Engineered Support Systems Inc., a defense contractor whose profits were bolstered because of the Iraq war.

    St. Louis-based ESSI supplied equipment and electronics to the military. It was acquired last year by a defense contractor, DRS Technologies Inc. ESSI has been under investigation by federal prosecutors and the Security and Exchange Commission concerning the alleged options backdating scheme.

    I'm shocked! Shocked that this happened under a system of no-bid contracts that is heavily protected by the cabal of moneychangers.

    Thursday, February 08, 2007

    Another Domestic Terrorist Attack In Arizona

    The blood of the indigenous flows again due to a corrupt sense of exceptionalism from cowards wielding fatal hate.
    A group of armed men attacked nine or 10 illegal entrants on the far Northwest Side this morning, killing three men and injuring two other people, authorities said.

    The illegal border crossers were headed north near the Silver Bell mine in a Dodge truck when they encountered three or four men in another vehicle, said Pima County Sheriff's Department Bureau Chief Richard Kastigar.

    In the altercation one man was shot and killed, a woman suffered a gunshot and neck wound and another man suffered a hand injury and lost several fingers, Kastigar said.

    The survivors were taken to a local hospital.

    Detectives later found the white truck driven by the border crossers with two dead men in the cab, Kastigar said.

    This comes on the heels of last week's Domestic Terrorism Attack in Eloy. What the fuck has to happen here in the fronteralands to wake people up to the crisis we are experiencing?

    Innocent human beings are dying everyday. Their crime, according to their murderers?


    Please contact your elected officials, no matter where you are from, and demand that they address immigration reform in a humane and comprehensive manner. It cannot wait any longer. Our dried rillitos have flowed with enough blood.

    Wednesday, February 07, 2007

    Eegeehood Reading Room

    [UPDATE #5]

    I'm not in the mood to write anything coherent, so let's play a little game. Here's how it works:

    1. Grab the nearest book.
    2. Open the book to page 123.
    3. Find the fifth sentence.
    4. Post the text of the next 4 sentences in the comment section along with the title and author of the book.

    I'll update the post with your contribution. Here's mine:

    From Translation Nation: Defining a New American Identity in the Spanish-Speaking United States by Héctor Tobar
    A new set of clippings was gathering on his desk, nearly all of them upbeat articles about the Georgia Project, founded by Mitchell and other local leaders who wanted to ease the adaptation of the new arrivals to the state. "The factories need the workers, and the workers come with families," he told me. Without good schools for the workers' children, the county would leave itself open to a whole host of social problems down the road. Giving Dalton's Mexican kids a decent education was the sensible thing to do, "pure self-interest," he said.
    Supersoling: From Soldiers In Revolt/GI Resistance During the Vietnam War:
    "One of the first publically disclosed acts of sabotage during the Vietnam period occurred on May 26, 1970, aboard the destroyer U.S.S. Anderson, in San Diego. As the ship was preparing to steam into the Pacific for Vietnam, it suffered a major breakdown, resulting in some two hundred thousand dollars worth of property damage and a delay of several weeks. An investigation disclosed that someone had dropped nuts, bolts, and chains down the main gear shaft. Three sailors were charged with willful destruction and sabotage, but because of a lack of evidence the case had to be dismissed."
    Right on!

    a small quiet voice: Excerpt from 'Where The Domino Fell' America And VietNam,1945-1995 By: James S. Olson & Randy Roberts
    If the communists escalated the war,he did not think South Vietnam would be able to handle it. Johnson later recalled, "The political base in the South....was probably too shaky to withstand a major assault."

    When Johnson asked about bombing Vietcong targets in retaliation for the attack on Ben Hoa, the joint chiefs passed the question on to General Westmoreland in Saigon. Westmoreland found himself in a quandry.
    Nezua: Don Quixote - Miguel de Cervantes
    As for the good carrier, whose lusts kept him awake, he had heard his wench from the moment she came in, and had been listening attentively to the knight's every word. Suspecting that the Asturian maid had broken her promise to him in favor of another, he edged nearer and nearer to Don Quixote's bed, silently waiting to see what his incomprehensible speech might lead to. But, when he saw the maid struggling to break loose and Don Quixote trying to hold her, the jest seemed to have gone too far.
    blueneck: From Fighting for Air: The Battle to Control America's Media by Eric Klinenberg
    If one media company (or "voice") dominates the production and distribution of local information in a market, regulators reasoned, that organization would have an unhealthy influence on its political, cultural, and economic life. "The reasons for these rules are simple," explained former U.S. Senator Ernest Hollings, a Democrat from South Carolina who said he owed his political career to laws that prevented a local media giant that opposed his candidacy from monopolizing the market and using the position to crush his first campaign. "Diversity in ownership promotes competetition. Diversity in ownership creates opportunities for smaller companies, and local businessmen and women...."
    (This book was given to everyone who registered and attended the National Conference for Media Reform, recently held in Memphis.)

    alohaleezy: From Living a Life that matters: Resolving the conflict between Conscience and Success by harold S. Kushner...
    "And just as with material gifts, the satisfaction of pleasing someone you care about is as gratifying as the pleasure of discovering how much someones cares about you. Ralph Waldo Emerson put it this way: "The glory of friendship is not so much in the outstretched hand or even in the kindly smile. It is in the spiritual inspiration that comes when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with his friendship."

    Friends have been defined as people who know you at your worst and like you anyway, people whose company you can be yourself.
    Nanette: Seven Steps on the Writer's Path: The Journey from Frustration to Fulfillment - by Nancy Pickard
    "Hardly anything in this world is never, always or totally this or completely that. If you think it is, you're on a sure route to wavering about whatever it is you want to do with your writing.

    We catastrophize because we're afraid of the unknown, like a certain little rabbit who came up out of his hold one day, looked around and exclaimed, "Oh,! what a lovely day! I think I'll go for a romp. But what if the fox eats me? I wish I could decide---"

    Arcturus: Denise Levertov, "Statement for a Television Program," the poet in the world, New Directions, 1973:
    It seems to me that a "balanced" view of genocide and of actions which are leading directly toward the extinction of life on earth is itself a kind of insanity. It is evident, moreover, that a program that first invites people to speak on whatever they feel it is important to say, and then rejects their words in the name of "balanced coverage," is a little short on sincerity. Here is my statement:

    I have been asked to speak on this program because I am a poet. One of the obligations of the writer, and perhaps especially of the poet, is to say or sing all that he or she can, to deal with as much of the world as becomes possible to him or her in language.
    stormkite: George Soros, The Age of Fallibility
    Power is a tricky word; it belongs in the realm of natural science, where it can be precisely defined and measured. When the word "power" is applied to human affairs, it is used metaphorically and its various facets cannot be reduced to a common denominator. A Nobel Prizewinning scientist can be knocked down by an illiterate thug; a powerful dictator can be exploited by a quack or turn into putty in the hands of his wife or mistress. Power is rather like the children's game called "scissors, paper, stone": Sicissors can cut paper, paper can cover stone, stone can crush scissors.
    Your turn!

    In the comments, anomalous is offering Excel Presentation Manuals and Janet is wrangling with farting gorillas. I love it!

    Nativist Head Asplosion Watch

    SmokeyMonkey lays down the scene:

    The USA Today reported yesterday that former border patrol agent Ignacio Ramos was attacked Saturday night in prison.

    Prison officials on Tuesday confirmed assertions by a congressman and relatives of Ignacio Ramos. He was attacked Saturday night after his case was described on the TV show "America's Most Wanted," the officials said.
    If you are not familiar with the story, it is not because of a lack of effort on the part of the anti-immigration cabal, including Lou Dobbs, the Minuteman Project, Free Republic, Liberty Post, and WorldNet Daily, among others. I provide no links to these fanatic militant sites because they are too incredibly easy to google. There is little legitimate reporting on the subject (as with many these days), but I thought I would give it a shot because when I heard of the story, I found only bunk to lead my research.

    Using the article linked above, this initial description is a good introduction to the story:

    Ramos and Compean, who reported to prison in January, were each sentenced to more than a decade behind bars... The agents were convicted last year of shooting Osvaldo Aldrete Davila in 2005 near El Paso and then trying to cover up the incident. Davila was shot once in the buttocks.
    If you go check out the DKos version, you can already see people on "our side" defending the Border Patrol hooligans for shooting an unarmed man in the nalgas. And I wonder why I don't crosspost over there on a regular basis...

    It's alright Democrats, keep selling out human rights. Your big tent will be meaningless when there's no one left underneath it.

    meta: beating skippy's dead horse

    hell hath no fury like a bush kangaroo scorned

    we got yer 'amnesty' right here

    we agree with jon swift who finds the use of the word "amnesty" in the current blogrolling bloodletting ironic. to paraphrase his words so loosely as to almost be using another language, it's as if the blogs doing the roll trimming were the u.s. government deporting illegal aliens, but calling "king's x" when it came time to accept responsibility for the actions. in other words, it's duncan and kos who want the amnesty, not the blogs they are ruthlessly slashing off their rolls.

    in blogtopia, and yes, we coined that phrase, the coinage of the realm is linkage. and versa visa. the only way to give value to your peers is thru links. and a spot on your permanent blogroll is the highest value you can give.

    so, in spite of the protestations that it's "nothing personal," it's quite literally the opposite: you cut a blog from your roll, you are stating to your readers that you don't find that blog of any value. that cut blog is no longer your peer.

    in case you have no idea what is behind the "week and day before st. valentine's day massacre", dailykos, eschaton and other sites purged their blogrolls - and with it cut loose many sites that helped build the so-called movement used as reasoning for said purge. personally, i think it's more bowel movement than revolution, but that's for a future diary.

    so skippy is pissed. rightfully so, in my opinion. we have been linked up at their site for months thanks to their generosity to grow blogtopia (which, yes! they coined that phrase!) so it is of no surprise to me that the blogroll purges have been met with a neighborhood rampage hearty protestations.

    in response, skippy has offered blogroll amnesty - promising to link to any site that links to them. I will join this cause of blogtopia revolution and make the same promise.

    now. on to the dulce de leche cheesecake:

    Tuesday, February 06, 2007

    White Supremacy Groups Flourishing

    This is what happens when you let irresponsible blowhards like Lou Dobbs and Tom Tancredo run amok.
    Groups linked to the Ku Klux Klan, skinheads and neo-Nazis grew significantly more active, holding more rallies, distributing leaflets and increasing their presence on the Internet — much of it focused on stirring anti-immigrant sentiment, a new report released by the Anti-Defamation League says.

    "Extremist groups are good at seizing on whatever the hot button is of the day and twisting the message to get new members," Deborah M. Lauter, ADL Civil Rights director, said Monday. "This one seems to be taking hold with more of mainstream America than we'd like to see."

    Old Klan chapters have been revived and new ones started throughout the South, historically the heart of the group, and in other places such as Michigan, Iowa and New Jersey, says the report, which was scheduled for official release Tuesday.

    Here is the link to the full report from the Anti-Defamation League on the resurgence of hate that is not new news to the people who have to deal with its effects everyday.

    Magnetic Words of Wisdom

    From the magnet that sits a few feet away from me:

    it does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. it means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.

    Any volunteers to take the red marker out of my hand so you can draw a big giant F on my forehead?

    The past few days have been a rollercoaster of emotions. I hadn't even unpacked from my trip to D.C. when I found out that one of my best friends received orders for redeployment back to Iraq.


    Some days I wish that I could disappear deep into the mountains as a hermit and leave this world behind. Unfortunately the connections I've made with other human beings on this earth are too important for me to fully let go.

    I would be a bad Buddhist.

    Again, and again, and again I will ask the question: Why must we kill one another?
    Whether the death is physical or metaphorical - it matters not.


    They speak of the art of war,
    but the arts
    draw their light from the soul’s well,
    and warfare
    dries up the soul and draws its power
    from a dark and burning wasteland.
    When Leonardo
    set his genius to devising
    machines of destruction he was not
    acting in the service of art,
    he was suspending
    the life of art
    over an abyss,
    as if one were to hold
    a living child out of an airplane window
    at thirty thousand feet.

    by Denise Levertov
    USA (1923-1997)

    Monday, February 05, 2007

    Lt. Watada's Courtmartial Trial Begins Today

    Last summer, the headlines were ablaze with the first military officer who refused deployment back to George Bush's Bloody Adventure in Iraq. From June 2006:

    In a rare case of officer dissent, a Fort Lewis Army lieutenant has refused orders to head out to Iraq this month to lead troops in what he believes is an illegal war of occupation.

    1st Lt. Ehren Watada was scheduled to make his first deployment to Iraq this month. His refusal to accompany the Stryker brigade troops puts him at risk of court martial and years of prison time.

    "I feel that we have been lied to and betrayed by this administration," Watada said Tuesday in a telephone interview from Fort Lewis. "It is the duty, the obligation of every soldier, and specifically the officers, to evaluate the legality, the truth behind every order — including the order to go to war."

    Today, Lt. Watada's courtmartial trial begins. I encourage you to check out for the latest information on the support he is receiving. In my opinion, this trial is central to the future of the debate in this country with respect to George Bush's Bloody Adventure in Iraq. It touches on what it really means to have 1st Amendment Rights, how the military is not really "All-Volunteer" in the pure sense of the word, and whether or not the elephant in the room is finally going to get its star power - Iraq was a mistake and the Commander in Chief abdicated his responsibility by lies and manipulation.

    Lt. Watada's courage to stand up against the corrupt system is one that I am proud to support - along with groups such as Veterans for Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War, and CODEPINK.

    Archbishop Tutu has also weighed in:
    I reiterate what I said briefly on the telephone that I admire your courageous and moral stand. In Christian tradition, ethicists insist on the absolute primacy of obeying one's conscience. It is a categorical imperative.

    Many of us salute your stand and want to assure you of my personal support as you face a courtmartial. Your name will be emblazoned in the annals of all the stalwarts who have taken a similar conscientious stand.
    Amen to that.

    Sunday, February 04, 2007

    Sunday "Whew, I made it!" Eegeehood tour!

    'ello, 'ello everyone! We are here! Well, we being me, who almost wasn't because the Blog Platform That Shall Not Be Named almost didn't want to let my name in! The nerve.

    Anyway, are we ready for the Sunday tour!? I'm sure everyone has a lot of stuff up, things to see, places to go, and people to... well, I think I messed that saying up somewhere, but you know what I mean. People to peek at!

    First up, I'm in the mood for one of Family Man's stories and guess what? He has a great one... drama, compassion, tension, allegorical references, cliffhangers,.... and that's just the one about his dog George (what a face)! Just wait til you get to Aunt Sally and the Baby!

    catnip thinks Republicans don't want to talk about Iraq. I wonder where she got that idea? Also, words are not enough, for the Iraqi war casualties... and a cool video tribute to Janis Joplin.

    Original James is done playing doctor and is back where he belongs... blogging about things like Oklahoma joining some other states in the resistance against the Real ID thingy! Also, the Iraq Debacle Week in Review, which is always not very joyful reading, and the partisan blogging code of ethics. I think somewhere along the line here, people are going to need to have real, open and no holds barred conversation about the intersection of blogs, money, politics and politicians. Or we'll all face the consequences. That's all in my humble opinion, of course!

    [UPDATE!] If you've not yet seen Nezua's product prototype "Mr Clean Obama" yet, you really must! It's a hoot. Also, The Case of the The Magical Mysterious Corn Cake, which I have not read all of yet, but it looks like fun! And news of a Palestinian family that was released from a US detention camp - good news!

    Yay! Olivia has ended her boycott of bugs! Okay, so it's winter in Canada and maybe every self respecting bug is in hiding, but still... she has a lovely bug (and flower) that she has been saving, that was in her garden last fall! Well, she's not been actually saving the bug (as far as I know)... just the picture of it. Also, a black eyed susan that, for some reason, reminds me of a pleading puppy... ears canted back, with big soulful eyes that say... "feed me". And, of course, cloud blogging! I've got nothing, picture wise, in that cloud... unless it's an eagle in flight. Hmmm.

    You may or may not be surprised to learn that there is META at Mo Betta! And news, too! Also, gratuitous kitty pics.

    [UPDATE AGAIN!] Duke has an excellent article on immigration, multiculturalism and the threat to western civilization, and it's amusing as well. The silly things ignorant folks perpetrate, sigh. Also, news on escalating violence at the border.

    ILJ has a podcast of the history of civil rights in Yonkers! New York, that is. Just in case there are other Yonkers around. Cuz you know... some names are just plain fun, and so lots of places have them. Also, an interview with Congressman Jerry Nadler!

    Do you know who Josh Wolf is? I didn't either! But Arcturus is not going to let him be forgotten. And that's a good thing, as he is a video journalist/blogger... and his incarceration, charges and court case is of importance to many of us. [ UPDATE IN THE MIDDLE!] Also, don't miss Arcturus' piece on prison labor and e-waste! Chock full of information about hidden aspects of our prison system, and also environmental issues.

    Boran is blocking in our condos on the rocks, and they are starting to take form! Also, the sneaky way to allow something politically and environmentally important to die... underfund it!

    [UPDATE THE LAST!] katiebird is in a tussle with time stealers! BUT... she has the secret weapons to win! Also, she is still being firmed daily and also has more on healthcare, in Healthcare Thursday! Even tho it's not Thursday now, but it was then. I think.

    Well now... deano is getting organic! Or something. Grooved liver? Also a colorful city, which I quite like (am not all that fond of liver, tho) and then there is the holy moment! Lots of neat things there (but who would want to paint liver? this is what I want to know. I am going to haunted, I just know it).

    Janet has news, a story and pics on the arrest of six grandmothers! Obviously, grannies are the new Threat To Civilization. Sigh.

    Supersoling has some cool news about the kindness of friends, dads and very cool pictures. Go read!

    Speaking of pictures, our Manny came back with lots of them from the march! Scroll down!

    All done! If I've forgotten anyone, let me know.

    Friday, February 02, 2007

    Friday Bud Blogging

    Will you give me a biscuit cookie?

    How about you?

    Una Identidad Sin Fronteras: Remembering 1848

    El Segundo de Febrero - the 2nd of February. An important date for scores of Mexican Americans/Xicanos/Latinos/whatevertheywishtobecalled, yet only a speck of us know why it is significant. In 2007, it is either just another Friday or a day to fuss over a marmot groundhog.

    I have to admit that I had no clue why this day was important until it was introduced to me by an active Xicano movement here in Baja Arizona several years ago. You see, today is one of our birthdays as a people.

    In December 1845, the U.S. Congress voted to annex the Texas Republic and soon sent troops led by General Zachary Taylor to the Rio Grande (regarded by Mexicans as their territory) to protect its border with Mexico. The inevitable clashes between Mexican troops and U.S. forces provided the rationale for a Congressional declaration of war on May 13, 1846.

    Hostilities continued for the next two years as General Taylor led his troops through to Monterrey, and General Stephen Kearny and his men went to New Mexico, Chihuahua, and California. But it was General Winfield Scott and his army that delivered the decisive blows as they marched from Veracruz to Puebla and finally captured Mexico City itself in August 1847.

    Mexican officials and Nicholas Trist, President Polk's representative, began discussions for a peace treaty that August. On February 2, 1848 the Treaty was signed in Guadalupe Hidalgo, a city north of the capital where the Mexican government had fled as U.S. troops advanced. Its provisions called for Mexico to cede 55% of its territory (present-day Arizona, California, New Mexico, and parts of Colorado, Nevada and Utah) in exchange for fifteen million dollars in compensation for war-related damage to Mexican property. - linkage (emphasis mine)

    I say "one of our birthdays" because five years after Mexico lost half of its territory at the receiving end of a military assault, la frontera was moved north yet again to its current form.

    The territory desired by Gadsden and his group was then a sort of no man's land, experiencing frequent Indian raids. The United States wanted to make certain "boundary adjustments"; Mexico needed money and wanted a settlement of her Indian claims against the United States; and Gadsden and his friends wanted a route for their railroad. In 1852 Gadsden agreed to pay Santa Anna $10,000,000 for a strip of territory south of the Gila River and lying in what is now southwestern New Mexico and southern Arizona.

    Many Americans were not especially proud of the Guadalupe-Hidalgo Treaty and considered the price of the Gadsden Purchase as "conscience money." The Gadsden Purchase has an area of 45,535 square miles and is almost as large as Pennsylvania. This tract of nearly 30,000,000 acres cost Uncle Sam about thirty-three cents an acre.

    The deal was so unpopular in Mexico that Santa Anna was unseated as dictator and banished. Gadsden was recalled as Minister to Mexico for mixing in Mexican politics and domestic affairs and did not live to see the Southern Pacific Railroad built through his purchase. When the inhabitants of Arizona asked Congress for a Territorial government in 1854, one of the names suggested for the new Territory was Gadsonia, a Latin adaptation of the surname of James Gadsden. - linkage

    These dates have been on my mind lately because I honestly feel like they are important threads of history to consider while indigenous families continue to be raided in their workplaces, splitting up homes forcefully the same way they were 150+ years ago (hat tip to Madman for the CounterPunch link).

    I think the "uphold the law" crowd likes to pretend that there is no history when it comes to the cultural and political dynamics that exist between the United States and Latin America (mainly thinking of Mexico here). The reason that places like Texas are part of the U.S. is because illegals were invading the territory in droves during the mad rushes of gold fever and Manifest Destiny. The only differences between them and the current illegals were/are skin color and language.

    It should be noted that when the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed, the U.S. Congress decided that it needed to make changes when they got their hands on it. They stripped away guarantees of property rights and ties to the mother languages of the people who suddenly found themselves citizens of a different government overnight.

    But, as we all know, life is a stubborn child that will get its way despite the rules. That is why we still have countless homes of citizens and non-citizens that speak only Spanish, or cities such as El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles del Rio Porciúncula within the United States (L.A. for the uninformed), or United States-born Americans who can say things like "that's as American as salsa de tomatillo!" without flinching.

    There are Xicanos in the United States with a bicultural identity because we have a history that is bicultural. It is not rocketscience. And I don't think it is asking too much that we be allowed to live it through our language or synergistic reality, much to the chagrin of the nativist brigades.

    Walking the streets of Washington D.C. last weekend by myself was something that I have done before. This time was different, however. I felt disconnected from the meaning of the glow of the lit monuments at night. I'm aware that my history also flows in the direction of the Potomac, but it seems like that is the mundane tributary at the moment. I'm on a quest to unearth the spring that can be found in the dusty river bottom of the Gila instead.

    At some point I will find the source. From where all of the water flows. But for now, all I can see is the sangre-tinged currents and wonder what it will take for all of us to stop and figure out a way how to coexist without conquering or killing one another.

    Más Historia:
    Crossposted at BooMan Tribune

    Thursday, February 01, 2007

    Domestic Terrorism Attack in Arizona

    Let's call this what it is.
    Authorities are searching for four men who attacked 12 undocumented immigrants, killed an Eloy man and shot a teenager, Pinal County Sheriff's Office officials said.

    Authorities said David Norris Jr. was driving a pickup truck containing 12 illegal immigrants late Saturday in an Eloy farm field when four heavily armed men in a white full-size van began firing on them.


    The four suspects were wearing military-style berets, one red and three black, and green camouflage pants and shirts, authorities said.

    Three of the suspects are described as White and one Hispanic, who spoke limited Spanish, authorities said.

    If you have any information regarding this ambush, please contact the Pinal County Sheriff's Office at 1-800-358-4636 or 1-520-866-5105.