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McCain: The Next Faux Cowboy

Wednesday, July 30, 2008
by Man Eegee
Markos asks in today's DKos Midday Open Thread:
Was McCain really trying to pretend he has a ranch?
The answer is: Yes. He has been pretending for a long time now

Exhibit A, from a February 2007 Vanity Fair Article when his campaign was in the crapper:

Photo Credit: Jonas Karlsson, Vanity Fair

My favorite part of the article:

And still McCain pushes himself, as if to combat any hint of diminished capacity. Last summer, he hiked the Grand Canyon rim to rim with his son, Jack, 20, now in his second year at Annapolis. He says the descent was torture on his knees, until a park ranger offered him some pills partway down.

It was—am I saying this right?—I.V. Propen. The stuff’s a fucking miracle drug!” It doesn’t seem fair to tell him the drug is nothing more miraculous than Advil. McCain will repeat the ibuprofen story a time or two over the course of 48 hours, and he brings it up again when I see him about a month later.

I.V. Propen...what a 'regular guy'

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Midweek Open Thread

by Man Eegee
It may not be the bubonic plague, but I feel like crap.

Here's what's shaking in the news:

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Sites Covering Jon Justice's Sexual Escapades

Monday, July 28, 2008
by Man Eegee
The list of sites calling out Jon Justice's racist and sexist behavior on 104.1 "The Truth" is growing everyday.
And for good reason - while I picked up on this story last week in a mocking fashion, the reality is that Jon Justice's webisodes crossed so many lines that it speakes volumes that 104.1 "The Truth" (not) hasn't fired him yet while he was canned from a previous gig for simulating a dog drowning.

Yes. Pretending to kill a dog on air was enough to get him fired at another radio station, while Justice's perverted video stunts with the Isabel Garcia piñata/pseudo blow-up doll has yet to motivate the corporate powers that be at the Journal Broadcast Group to remove him from the airwaves like a dusty fart in a closed room.

This is not about Isabel Garcia's work, which everyone on this earth knows Justice loathes. The second 104.1 "The Truth" allowed him to assert his male dominance over her effigy in a sexualized manner, doing so with hateful intentions, he reprised his role as a simulator of violence, this time summoning shadows of rape and molestation.

"Oh, it was just a piñata. You're overreacting."

That argument doesn't hold a candle to justice for Justice, because this entire situation has come about due to his wailing and gnashing of teeth at the audacity of protesters handling a piñata in the way they are designed. As 104.1 The Truth's Jon Justice said in his own words:

I dont know about you, but when I see children beating up on the likeness of a human being, and then another person like isabel garcia … picking up the head of that likeness of a person … and then parading that around I would take that as a threat of physical violence

—Jon Justice

Given those incriminating observations, Justice shouldn't be too surprised that he is receiving the growing backlash that he deserves.

On top of the misogynistic routine he broadcast to the world on the internet, he weaved the sexual violation of the Isabel Garcia piñata with the all-too-familiar racism that those of us who have brown skin have seen grow bold in recent years. No longer is it lurking in shadowy meetings in hushed voices, now it's laid bare on teevee, radio, the web, anywhere that a nativist can gain access.

It's another form of reasserting dominance. That Isabel Garcia is a woman, and a woman of color at that, made it too enticing for such a small human being like Jon Justice to bypass the bait. It wasn't even one minute into his perverted video before he made it clear to his opponents that he was going to show her who was in charge.

Well...sorry 104.1 "The Truth", Jon Justice (not his real name), and other nativist haters - there are legions of us who have had enough of your simulated phallic-waving. Your era is coming to an end each time you cross enough lines where a young or young-at-heart person realizes the rotting core of racism, sexism and xenophobia coming out of your antequated view of the world.

And to bring this back to the beginning of the circle that is both the past and future, think of all the children that you're detaining and/or deporting parents - one day they will be old enough to vote and lead civically; and people like Isabel Garcia, me, and countless human rights activists will still be around to remind them who was leading and supporting the racist posse.

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Another Talking Point Bites The Dust

Thursday, July 24, 2008
by Man Eegee
So much for Barack Obama's "latino problem" that the talking heads love to pretend exists, when really, like much of their reporting, little of it is based in reality. Ratings are what drive the narrative.

Hispanic registered voters support Democrat Barack Obama for president over Republican John McCain by 66% to 23%, according to a nationwide survey of 2,015 Latinos conducted by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center, from June 9 through July 13, 2008.

The presumptive Democratic nominee's strong showing in this survey represents a sharp reversal in his fortunes from the primaries, when Obama lost the Latino vote to Hillary Rodham Clinton by a nearly two-to-one ratio, giving rise to speculation in some quarters that Hispanics were disinclined to vote for a black candidate.

But in this new survey, three times as many respondents said being black would help Obama (32%) with Latino voters than said it would hurt him (11%); the majority (53%) said his race would make no difference to Latino voters.

Pew Hispanic Center Report

That being said, Obama's campaign still needs to do more to strategize and converse with latino media and bloggers. A good start would be to answer the questionnaire.

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Thanks for the Traffic, Jon!

by Man Eegee
It looks like John McCain isn't the only one who can't quite figure out these here internet tubes work. The Journal Broadcast Group doesn't want the public to know the truth about 104.1 The Truth's insistence on promoting sexism, racism, and piñata pr0n by their morning host, Jon Justice. They keep working to have the webisodes that they uploaded themselves taken down, not realizing that the moment they went up, dozens of people downloaded them so they can be forever memorialized in the Hate Radio Hall of Shame.

Here's Justice's latest message linking to this site, whining to his listeners about the scary bloggers.
In the meantime I also get to deal with blogs like this one that do nothing but make up their own pathetic versions of the story to make me look like I am some horrible monster. This is why it is so hard to wage this battle when people have no morals or ethics by which call standard too.
For someone who advocates an English-only Homeland™, Jon, some tutoring at Pima wouldn't hurt.


Thanks for the traffic! x0x0

More on this at:

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Piñata Pr0n Extraordinaire Jon Justice

Tuesday, July 22, 2008
by Man Eegee
There is no greater promoter of human rights and advocate for migrant families in Baja Arizona than Isabel Garcia. She was a recipient of the 2006 Premio Naciónal de Derechos Humanos, presented by the Mexican government for the first time to someone who wasn't born there, in order to get an idea of the scope of work she's done. Rather than accept the award, however, she took the opportunity to call a press conference and demand that the affluent and elite south of border do more to promote economic justice among the working classes. It was a perfect example of Isabel's work to keep the focus on the underlying roots of human migration and exploitation, rather than on herself.

Isabel is one of the major driving forces behind the Coalición de Derechos Humanos, headquartered in Tucson, and that's just when she's wearing her organizer hat. She also serves as one of Pima County's leading Legal Defenders, which has Sheriff Joe Arpaio's pink underwear in a snit since apparently the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America does not apply to those who serve in government.

You see, Sheriff Joe came to town recently to sign copies of his new book that blames all the ills of society on "illegals". Well, that type of thing isn't received the same way in Tucson as it is north of the Gila, so a protest was organized in conjunction with Sheriff Joe's appearance. A piñata created in Arpaio's likeness, wearing his trademark pink boxers, was...well, it was a piñata, so you can imagine.

In response to the whole thing, Arpaio and his friends in the racist right's media empire took to the airwaves in the ironically named radio station 104.1 The Truth in an effort to get Isabel fired from Pima County. The station's radio personalities spend a majority of their time and advertising money on equating undocumented workers with terrorists, drug dealers, disease carriers, and invaders of the Homeland™ - pretty standard fare for a radio channel that also features Bill "Falafel" O'Reilly, Laura Ingraham, Michael Savage, etc etc etc.

One of the local gasbags on 104.1, Jon Justice, filmed a "webisode" of his show where he carressed and fondled a piñata intended to be the likeness of Isabel Garcia. Members of the Coalición de Derechos Humanos released the following statement:
Since last Friday, our office has received numerous hate calls, and Jon Justice has posted a YouTube video of himself with a piñata with Isabel's likeness, caressing it and making comments about "wanting to take it home with me," among a few other comments about "chorizo" and "viva la raza." You can see this video at the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jk8pa5GYraQ

We ask you, as community allies, to step up with us in defending Isabel Garcia, demand accountability from 104.1FM and KGUN 9, and that hate speech not be given a platform in our communities.

It is our First Amendment Right, and our duty as members of this society, to denounce anything that goes against the basic human and civil rights that ALL posess. To try to silence those that would condemn torture and raciscm is contrary to the rights of us all!
The YouTube video has since been removed of Jon Justice's sexual escapades with the piñata, the message says that "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Journal Broadcast Group" - pretty ridiculous when you consider that it was filmed and distributed as a "webisode" from Jon Justice and his staff. Apparently they realized that they crossed the line where their money flow could be endangered.

Speaking of money, here is the list of advertisers for 104.1 The Truth. There is a massive letter-writing and phone call campaign underway to call these businesses to withdraw their support to these racist and xenophobic messages being broadcast on the airwaves of Baja Arizona:
So far, the following previously listed sponsors have informed us of their intention to immediately withdraw their support of 104.1 FM:
  • Main Gate Square
  • Patio Pools & Spa
  • The Auto Body Shop
  • Advanced Recon
  • Aung Foot Health Clinics
  • Sol Cars
Interestingly, many of them were not even aware that their "package" deal with Journal Broadcasting Group meant advertising on 104.1 FM, and most were not aware of what they were supporting, and would not choose to support intolerance.

In addition, the following companies have expressed concern about this issue, and have assured us that they will be looking into the matter immediately:
  • El Parador
  • Allstate Insurance
  • State Farm Insurance
  • The Wildcat House
  • Maloney's Tavern
  • Progressive Plumbing
  • Axiom Drafting and Design
  • Integrity Automotive
More information at Derechos Humanos, including sample letters.
Enough is Enough. Please take the time to contact local Pima County officials in support of Isabel Garcia, as well as call on the advertisers of 104.1 "The Truth" to end their support for racism and hate. Gracias.

[UPDATE] The Wildcat House has pulled their ad sponsorship

[UPDATE the 2nd] Here's the infamous Piñata Pr0n Webisode:

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Extreme Blog Makeover: Unapologetic Mexican Edition

by Man Eegee
Nezua has been busy conjuring up the next chapter of The Unapologetic Mexican - El Machete. Make sure you update your bookmarks to reflect the new site. The linkage is below the screen-cap.

http://theunapologeticmexican.org/elmachete/

Felicidades, Nez. Looks great and I'm looking forward to continuing to read tus palabras at the new digs.

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Latino Candidates at Netroots Nation

by Man Eegee
I had the opportunity to meet three latino/latina candidates for Congress at Netroots Nation. Each of them were impressive in their own way and communities in their respective districts should do all they can to learn how connected these individuals are to what's going on in the streets they're vying to serve.

Joe Garcia, Florida, District 25

Joe is one the Democratic candidates in Florida showing the GOP-dominated Cuban community that there is a different way of doing things than in the past. With respect to Latin America, his site mentions says "While the fate of Latin America ultimately lies in the hands of its leaders, the United States, and in particular South Florida, has a strategic interest in the well-being of the region. Joe Garcia fully supports the creation of partnerships between ethics reforms institutions in the United States and their counterparts in Central and South America." A good step in the right direction, in this humble blogger's opinion.

Joe understands that there is a deeper set of economic issues that affects the mass-migration we've seen to the U.S. He spoke eloquently about this at the Latino Caucus, as well as demonstrating that he understands latinos are being attacked culturally by the cries of the far-right.

A sampling of blogs covering Joe Garcia: Florida Speaks, Florida Progressive Coalition Blog, Draft Garcia

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ben Ray Lujan - New Mexico, District 3

This district is where Bill Richardson came from prior to the Governorship and stints as Ambassador in the Clinton Administration. The incumbent, Tom Udall-D, is vying for the Senate seat in New Mexico that's up for grabs in November.

On a personal note, it was great to interact with Ben Ray. He attended the Latino Caucus, Latino Bloggers Panel and the Immigration Panel at Netroots Nation. It's clear that he understands what the latino community is dealing with in the face of an organized far-right movement of hate that screams about immigration issues non-stop. Additionally, he will help New Mexico and the country develop a better energy policy that respects the environment.

A sampling of blogs covering Ben Ray Lujan: New Mexico FBIHOP, Democracy for New Mexico

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Annette Taddeo - Florida, District 18

From the website section entitled Wife, Mother, Advocate: "Annette has dedicated her life here in the South Florida community, working to improve access to education, healthcare and jobs through committee leadership, volunteering, mentoring youth, and her work as a business community leader. She has been a strong advocate for equal rights, fiscal responsibility and bipartisan solutions to our community's and nation's problems."

Marisa Treviño of Latina Lista and I met Annette on Friday morning and learned about her work with LanguageSpeak that assists with translation services and education to grow a more informed populace. At one point, the conversation veered into Spanish with Annette (Columbiana), Markos Moulitsas of DailyKos (Salvadoreño), Marisa and I (Mexicanos) doing the whole "¿De donde eres?" plática. Good stuff.

A sampling of blogs covering Annette Taddeo: Eye on Ileana, Discourse.net, Florida Speaks

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Liveblogging the Netroots Nation Immigration Panel

Friday, July 18, 2008
by Man Eegee
Alright, I'm all set up and things are getting ready for the workshop: How to Win the Immigration Debate and Beat Back ICE's Emerging Police State Info on the panelists and moderator are at the link. I will be updating this post as the session goes, so hit the refresh button. I'll update it later with links and other bloggy-type stuff.

Joshua Holland of Alternet is the moderator. "Immigration, sadly, is an issue that has failed to get traction in the greater progressive blogosphere. Been relegated to ethnic media and labeled as a "pet issue". Gross human rights abuses are being committed in the country with little focus. Guantanamo Bay receives global condemnation, but right here in the US the poorest of the poor are being rounded up in a migrant gulag. Many are not charged with crimes, health care access is withheld, etc.

30 minutes to the north of Austin, the T. Don Hutto, half of the detainees are children, as young as three years old. It is a medium-security prison that has been changed very little to house families. ACLU has sued. Guards have threatened children, withheld access to recreation, etc.

Since 9/11, ICE holds more detainees a night than the Clarion has hotel guests each night. Politically, it is a big wedge issue. The question is who will it wedge? "I believe it's an issue we can win if we embrace it instead of running away, partly because our oponents have overreached." Republicans have about 40% of their base that are what he calls immigration hardliners. Tom Tancredo ads, for example have gone from subtle to overt racism.

Duke1676: glad to see so many people at the workshop, and also happy to see that there was slot given to immigration reform at this conference since there is often ambivalence about it in the progressive blogosphere.

Green cards are issued for various reasons - those who have family members already citizens, those with special skill sets, education, etc. 1.2 million cards issued last year, only 5000 were for unskilled labor. You can see the disconnect with reality. 7% cap per country, according to the system, can receive a visa. What happens is that countries with small populations end up getting preferencial treatment to larger population countries. The system is basically cobbled together from various laws that often contradict each other.

GOP tactics are very hardlined. Border Security - cameras, walls, razor wires, border patrol agents, etc. It is becoming big business for companies that haven't been making money in Iraq. Boeing, CCA, Halliburton, etc. going to the border to 'create another business' by a whole prison-for-profit system.

Switched from family to merit-system to handle incoming immigration. Shifting of demographics, which before was hemispheric and low-skilled workers, is now going to a more global look. Regarding people already here, we've seen different types of legislation that involves fines, permits, deportations, and quota systems that don't make any sense to reality.

We have to be willing to address what's happening in sender nations. Economic policies

Marisa Treviño: created a page at http://www.latinalista.net/nn with more information about what she's sharing today since the time is so short.

ICE will focus on border security and interior operations. 1000 new detention beds will be added, 2000 agents, expanding their 287g program - there are 55 police departments, with 80 pending requests for local law enforcement agencies to enforce federal immigration laws. While they say they don't profile, they do.

Reasonable Doubt, East Valley Tribune in Phoenix, looked at Sheriff Joe Arpaio's 387g program. Recommends the read to see what's happening. The reporter did a ride-a-long with a detective and wrote about his experience. Lots of abuses with the 387g program. Nashville, TN - there was a mother who was 9 months pregnant, she went in to labor early, treated like a midlevel criminal. Shackled until right before the birth. Criminalization is growing in this country. Immigration charges are now outpacing white collar crime and drug offenses.

Hand in hand is the way ICE goes about enforcing their programs. In Laurel, MD, five agents arrived at a home, were there to arrest a mother and her daughter. The husband was legal, asked the agents what authority they had to enter his home. The response was a gun to the head. Children witnessed all of this. They are doing pre-dawn raids, dragging them out of beds, it has become traumatic. Legal citizens are also jailed and mischaracterized.

ICE is now starting to target children. They will go by schools and park their vans to send a message. It is really sending a mistrust of law enforcement and fear. We are receiving more reports of children needing psychiatric help from the trauma. Many times children, often citizens, are separated from their parents - automatically putting them in the CPS system, creating orphans.

Detention facilities - many reports of sexual abuse of female detainees. Groups trying to expose the abuse and negligence. Voices from Detention - chronicled abuses at a center in the northwest. ICE's response - it was a "work of fiction". Regarding T. Don Hutto, they changed their tune about community outrage reached a level that caused attention to their abuses of the detainees and children.

Jackie Mahendra: After the failure of comprehensive immigration reform. We are seeing in the absence of federal reform, we are seeing state and local laws being patched together that are affecting different issues. 43 states passed 182 laws concerning immigration last year - enforcement, not reform. The 287g program has taken a different form depending on where you're at in the country. In Missouri, two directives were passed - one regarding 287g which gave local cops to get training to become immigration agents. The other was to force all contractors to verify the citizen status of workers. E-Verify system is unreliable, there is a lawsuit in Illinois to stop the requirement of employers needing to use it.

Forced status check required for residents by landlords to keep undocumented migrants from being able to rent. Creates a hostile climate. In Maricopa County, Sheriff Joe Arpaio is charging migrant workers with smuggling laws. They are being charged for smuggling themselves. This week a lawsuit was filed against the Sheriff and his office due to racial profiling.

In Arizona, there is now talk about how to create a guest-worker program to bring workers back in to the state after they left due to hostile in environments. Economics are being affected. There are ways to integrate immigration populations.

Josh Holland: Want to talk about where the debate needs to go. Supported 'comprehensive immigration reform' in the past but having to swallow a lot of compromise that wasn't worth it. Now that there have two failed attempts, thinks we need to strive for a more progressive vision of immigration reform. Pivot Points for the GOP - focused on law enforcement, nativism/fear of outsiders. Need to work on workplace reform. We need to talk about conditions for workers.

Conservatives have taken on the thought of "anarchy" that immigrants are a de-stabling the country. Argues that it's true, but the anarchy is rather in workplaces. Private Prison system has been revived after a drop in the late 90s due to the new police state that is emerging. Our opponents don't want to address a reform of the system, they are only about law enforcement.

We need to work on backlogs, we need to better develop skill sets, we need to address economics because migrant workers get targeted in times of economic anxiety - and we are certainly in a period like that. We need to talk about how corn/agribusiness in Mexico and trade agreements like NAFTA have decimated work industries south of the border and driven migration. Take responsibility and as progressives push for worker protections, etc.

"Immigrants do the jobs Americans won't do" - not true. We need to understand that millions of Americans do the jobs side-by-side. Millions of workers are being cheated out of their wages, work in unsafe conditions, etc. and we can

Q&A - talk more about guest workers? feels like they are a form of indentured servitude

Duke: so far, in legislation, we haven't seen how there is any path to citizenship. The question is: what is a temporary job? is there such a thing? what's the purpose of a guestworker program? When we're using it to fill permanent jobs on a temporary basis, then exploitation and problems will be widespread.

Q: Highly skilled labor - aren't the companies natural allies?
Duke: H1B program is capped out at 65,000 per year - run out in the first day or so. They are being monopolized by groups and industries. There needs to be reform to tie them to reality.
Jackie: we were trying to collaborate, but it's difficult

Q: politically, why do we identify people by a crime they committed?
Josh: we have not been in the lead to frame this issue. We are trying to catch up to an organized conservative movement. There is a lot of debate on language, but we have to coordinate.

Q: how do we do public education on the brokenness of the immigration system?
Marisa: "seeing is believing" - but this debate has been so highjacked that any attempts at a middle-of-the-road approach is characterized as amnesty. We just have to keep on keep on keep on, etc.

Comment: Postville, people were forced by prosecutors to sign paperwork claiming guilty charges for criminal charges. Dept of Justice is colluding ICE for charging and increasing police state.

There is a movement afoot regarding the 14th Amendment to get rid of the birth-right provisions. That's how extreme of an opponent we're dealing with.

Comment: what's up with the Minutemen and how do we deal with them?
Duke: we have to document and expose them. Dave Neiwert mentions that he will have a piece in American Prospect soon with a six-month investigation on their finances.

More live-blogging goodness from Lisa at Long Island Wins

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Liveblogging the "Dos Centavos" Latino Blogger Panel

by Man Eegee
Live from Austin, Texas in Room 19 at Netroots Nation. This post will be updated as the session goes. I'll finalize it afterwards with all kinds of linky goodness.

Matt Ortega, Moderator:

Two questions he gets the most 1) who are the latino bloggers and 2) what are they writing about?

The perspective you'll get is on a more human level. Don't cover polls or horserace politics so much, but rather on the people and how many communities are affected. Many wear the cultura on their sleeve in the writing and design of sites.

Regarding immigration, we are trying to point out that it is more than a "latino issue" - it affects many different communities.

Panelists are giving introductions. Information for all of them is here.

Discussing how our communities care about many issues, like education, healthcare, the war in Iraq, immigration, etc. just like the greater community, but it affects us in a specific way. Drop out rates, lack of latinos in college, women and the abuse seen in ICE detentions, are some examples.

Question: What brought you to blogging?

Mynor Rodriguez: ironically, it had nothing to do with being a latino, but rather speaking out to bigger civil rights issues that affect many communities. "sometimes you have punch a bully in the face" - in 2003 budgets for prevention were cut and it affected communities.

Edmundo Rocha: researcher by heart, noticed that alot of blogs would post snippets of articles and comment. Interested in seeing what was behind a story, what caused certain things. Got more involved with ePluribusMedia, doing some background research on various stories. People were talking about healthcare, but not about how bad it was in the sense of the hispanic community. "I am one of the statistics" - of people who don't have coverage. Trying to get role models out there. We got sucked in to the immigration debate with the Sensenbrenner Bill (HR4437). Nonprofits in the barrios were being targeted in his area.

Marisa Treviño: wanted to get a Latina perspective out there. After the immigration bills came out, we got sucked in. Question: do you see gender barriers? Answer: very elitist attitude when it comes to Op/Ed boards. Thankful for the blogosphere, because we are able to write in our voice, and not something that may be expected from a mainstream sources. There are some big blogs out there that could probably use more diversity. As far as writing, doors are opening more in the blogosphere than in the traditional media.

Question: do you believe the internet is colorblind?

Edmundo Rocha: it depends on your blog name. If you go by XicanoPwr, then that's not being blind. It depends on how you approach stuff. Follow-up question: do you think it should be colorblind? Progressive movement is inclusive.

Mynor Rodriguez: it's difficult when you're typecasted. You are limited by the greater blogosphere on your credibility when you want to talk about different topics.

Matt Ortega: human nature feature going on here, where people are organizing and being attracted to others who have similar interests and backgrounds.

Marisa Treviño: we are reaching a point in the latino blogosphere where we are asking "do we want to be bloggers who are latino or latino bloggers". It's something I ran in to in mainstream journalist. Wanted to just be a family columnist, but the editor said that he didn't have a 'latina columnist' - at first it put me in a corner, only comment like that, but you end up learning that all issues have an impact on the latino community. not represented very much in traditional media or the blogosphere.

Edmundo Rocha: I started out general. Wanted to use research skills on the inside stories, background. Asks why links were always sent out to the same people.

Matt Ortega: Perceptions of latinos as homogenous group. If you just listen to the panelists today, you see that we are very diverse within our own community. Mexicans and Cubans, etc. Thinks a lot about backgrounds. We have black latinos, asian latinos, etc. When the 2008 Election gets talked about, it's like we are talked about as one big group. Will we all vote one way or the other? Never gets talked about how anti-war we are, often patriotic, many serve in the military. Many come from disadvantaged communities, and one way to get an education is to join the military.

Mynor Rodriguez: The first casualty of the Iraq War was a latino. Many of our values are the same, religion has a lot to do with it. But we are a very diverse people. We've been lumped in, for better or worse. Cubans are going to be different because they have a very different American experience. Mexicans who have been here and had the border cross them have a different view of this country. Salvadorans in New York, etc. Perhaps that's what we need to do with our blogs, to give that perspective.

Marisa Treviño: That's a good point, but there is some type of pride involved when we see a latino/latina from any group win an Olympic event, for example. We'll take credit!

Edmundo Rocha: taking credit can also being dangerous. Alberto Gonzales is an example. How far do we take credit? We have to ask hard questions like do we have to censor our voices in order to be able to get on the media. How do we bring in the community as a whole.

Matt Ortega: focus of a lot of the latino blogosphere is on detention centers, the marches, many things that fell through the cracks of the greater media. Many latino bloggers worked to get the information out. What are your thoughts in getting the content out to pick up steam?

Marisa Treviño: The reason that many of our blogs exist is out of frustration. It is often a response to what we see is not receiving notice from the mainstream press. When first started, would write the post, email the person she wrote about it. Linking is important, people who have empathy on what we're writing about. Most of the blogs I read, deal with issues that are frustrating us all. That common bond, if you will.

Mynor Rodriguez: Mentions Markos being a latino. Mixed-race American. Platforms where we have such an audience like DailyKos. Opinion-makers, politicians, etc. finally gotten to the point where people are paying attention. Traditional media has failed us the seven years. We've taken it upon ourselves to get the news out.

Edmundo Rocha: Detention centers were picked up. But conditions have not changed. Out at the Hutto facility, protests have been covered by us. We can put a human face on what's happening. Trad/media doesn't want to hear about immigrants being detained in vans without airconditioning, or 13 people sharing one bottle of water, women being stripsearched in front of men, having to use the bathroom with the door open. When I blog, I blog for them. No one is listening to them. The traditional media just writes their little thing. Goes back to balance, spoke to one gentleman who was afraid of talking because of fear of ICE. Didn't want his wife deported. Stories like these that need to be told. But what's the shelf life?

Matt Ortega: problems with disgusting comments at some of the progressive blogosphere when it comes to immigration/pro-migrant threads. Can't believe they call themselves progressives, broader implications. This issue has been tied to latinos, we don't grasp why these things happen. Many want to just put a stop-gap instead of solving issues. When we go out to the greater progressive blogosphere, it becomes difficult. "Illegals" get blamed for everything.

Mynor Rodriguez: Tactic of divide and conquer has been done for ages. Many Texas laws have been proposed to blame migrant and latino communities for all the ills. Stopped making arguments to them on a moral basis, they're not listening, but rather make pragmatic arguments at them. "How are you going to deport 12 million people when the government couldn't even evacuate New Orleans."

Edmundo Rocha: It's not just policy reform, it's about media reform. Nightly news has a narrative about crime that is racist. Names are Ortega, Rodriguez, etc. We are lumped in by the greater media. Public opinion is based on what people see, so we need reform our media.

Marisa Treviño and Mynor Rodriguez: Think it's a lost cause to get the traditional media to reform, but there are goals we can set to accomplish something. Push them on identifyiers: don't use "illegal". because they are not saying "people without papers", they are saying something far different.

Matt Ortega: New topic - Sees more latino faces getting involved in campaigns. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton campaigns are training many more community organizes. Hopes to see a new generation of latinos running for office and getting involved. Examples of City Councilman who won a race at age 22.

Before Q&A, want to let everyone know about www.LatinoNetroots.com which is a good aggregator. Other site is The Sanctuary. It's a pro-migrant site that was started by a group of latino bloggers. A place for people to come together and support one another without fear of racist and nativist comments.

Comment from the crowd: I'm Half Persian/Half Mexican - Two of the most forceful advocates in San Antonio for latinos is a white guy and another is a black guy. Looking around the room, there are many different people here, important that we have a seat at the table, a presence. We shouldn't be typecasted to talking about immigration, baseball and Catholicism. Hutto Facility is no different than Guantanamo.

Lisa from Mothertalkers: how close are latino pundits and public voices to the Democrats? We should have a presence in the way GOP puts latino faces on TV. It would solidify latinos as a constituency when someone like us is able to speak. We need to get Leslie Sanchez, other CHC members to be more presence.

Michael Signorile: we have to inter-connect. We have to work together on campaigns. An example regarding a coordinated attack on the word "illegal"

From the crowd: what are your thoughts on Bill Richardson's campaign and the fact that he may possibly be a vice presidential selection for Barack Obama?

Mynor Rodriguez: I believe he is one of the most qualified Americans to be President.

Matt Ortega: he is one of the most genuine people I've ever met in politics. Thinks he is qualified for any number of posts.

Comment from crowd: Regarding Bill Richardson, he has had problems in the past regarding the Wen Ho Lee. Same problems that migrants face.

Regarding Alberto Gonzales, we have to hold each other accountable, too.

Marisa Treviño: We are still at the point where we are very independent. We have to learn how to come together and support when we have a qualified candidate.

Matt Ortega: thankful to everyone for attending. Genuinely showing interest in what we are doing.

Mynor Rodriguez - wants to give a plug to Juan Garcia down in Corpus Cristi who has been able to build coalitions. Keep an eye on him.

[UPDATE] Matt Ortega has the video feed from the panel up at his blog.

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Netroots Nation - Jueves Update

Thursday, July 17, 2008
by Man Eegee

This morning after registering, I and my roommate made our way to the Scholarship Caucus with the peeps at Democracy for America. It was a basic chair circle meet and greet type thing with some amazing work being done. You can check out everyone's profiles and their affiliate organizations and blogs here.
Right outside of our gathering space in the hallway was this amazingly powerful display:


kossack kainah created this display with the handwritten names of all the fallen service men and women in Iraq. Powerful stuff, especially when you think about how much longer of a hallway they would need if all the casualties from this war-of-choice were able to be quantified.


After I spent a few minutes there, I walked outside where chaos was ensuing Texas-style. A live country artist was performing for a growing crowd of people, awaiting the arrival of Gov. Howard Dean, Chairman of the Democratic Party. I joked earlier that today is Howard Dean Appreciate Day at Netroots Nation, and really, that's the truth. He's like the pied piper for many of these bloggers, they'd follow him straight out to sea.


Dean is a great speaker, and I think he's doing worthy work to transform the Democratic Party; but I also see the need for party bosses to do more to craft their message in a way that doesn't make White America the default mode of operation. His comment that they have different sets of pictures available in case an activist is walking a neighborhood that doesn't quite look like the photos they were given, made me bust out in laughter at the ridiculousness of the way it sounded to my ears.

Lordy, lots of work to do!


Coming up: Blogs United Caucus and the Latino Caucus (which, incidentally, is scheduled for the same time as the Black Caucus; we may have to do some political jujitsu and combine the groups to show some solidarity)
More Later...

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Checking In From Netroots Nation

by Man Eegee

I arrived about 11pm last night at the hotel in downtown Austin. Right outside the main lobby was this bus, which was begging to be defiled. We managed to control ourselves and behave. All bets are off for the rest of the week, though. jejeje
For those of you in Twitterdom, I'm trying to put up regular tweets here. Also, you can see all the posts coming from participants by checking out the #NN08 tag.
The good thing about conferences like this is when you meet people who say things like "I hate politics," followed by announcing that they are the field director for a presidential campaign for overseas voters in Asia. Terri has asked that if we know overseas voters, send them to VoteFromAbroad.org so they can get information on how to register and get more involved in the civics of this country from beyond its borders.
Alright, will be checking in later. Hasta tarde, blogamig@s

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On the Eve of Netroots Nation

Tuesday, July 15, 2008
by Man Eegee
I'm almost done packing for my trip to Austin, Texas for the Netroots Nation convention, which was made possible by a scholarship through Democracy for America (the obligatory commercial, heh). I've already talked about three sessions that I'm looking forward to, outlined in this post, but I wanted to take a moment to discuss some thoughts that have been stewing in my head and heart the past couple of weeks.

The greater progressive blogosphere still has a lot of work to do in order to reach out and respect bloggers of color and so-called "single-issue bloggers". I've already heard some language touting how scholarship recipients are diverse and intended to add brown voices and faces to the crowd in Austin. While I think that's a worthy goal, and I'm certainly greatful for the selection and opportunity to attend, comments like that send an immediate shiver down my spine.

We need to get to a point where our voices and viewpoints are not just incorporated but given trust and responsibility for portions of the program at events like Netroots Nation - given input and leadership roles, you know, as colleagues. It still feels more like a handout, like we're just being asked to assist and assimilate instead of being seen as an integral part of what progressive blogging is all about.

I understand that a big part of it is the differences in mission. Netroots Nation, which has a different name this year, is still organized like Yearly Kos was in the past, just with a different title. DailyKos' mission is partisan in nature and while our goals largely overlap, they don't always do so due to many Democrats who hold offensive positions to many people of color and "single-issue bloggers". As someone who has written extensively on immigration issues over the past few years, I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to crosspost entries at DKos, but hold off because I don't want to deal with the onslaught of comments from posters that don't understand where I, or many people that I deal with everyday in my community, come from.

That being said, it is a two-way street. I consider it my responsibility to build coalitions and relationships with groups and people that will ultimately bring about a more just and humane society. If anyone or any group is willing to listen and embrace what I have to say on these things, then I consider it a blessing to be there. As a Xicano, when I write about immigration issues, I do so with a family and community background that has a complicated relationship with border policy, often hostile, in addition to receiving the same flack from nativists who forget that Mexicans are indigenous to "their" country. I can no more ignore that part of my thinking when I write than I can bleach my skin. Not that I'd ever want to, being morenito is a blessing. jejeje.

So I go to a conference this week where I will be meeting up with quite a few people who I've interacted with online over the years. A mixing of worlds of sort between longtime friends in the Kos-centric world as well as a few of my fellow blogmig@s from the Sanctuarysphere. My fear is that I will be just another token brown face in a crowd of bloggers rather than someone who may be able to teach them a few things about how political policies affect people like me. Sort of sounds like a contradiction, eh? I like to think of it more as a conundrum. There is hope, however, that the discussions in the various caucuses, workshops and keynotes will be more resonant to that diverse world that I think we are all seeking in the end. The people who are responsible for this gathering are passionate and have made an effort to reach out, and I see an opening for future forward-movement in dialog.

The short gist of this post? It will be a great opportunity for some plática.

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A Nugget of Hope

by Man Eegee
Well, this is certainly a good sign. Every hardliner that sees the light is a win for human rights.
MORRISTOWN -- The former Mount Olive resident who organized an anti-illegal immigration rally headlined by Mayor Donald Cresitello in 2007 now says he regrets holding the event and no longer supports a crackdown.

Robb Pearson, who previously endorsed Cresitello's call to deputize local police for federal immigration enforcement, said he underwent a personal evolution after a "rapid financial decline" and other hardships led him to relocate to Muhlenberg, Pa.

"If I had the mindset as I have now, I never would have had the rally," Pearson said, explaining that his own challenges had given him greater empathy.

"I was caught up in the ultra-conservative fervor that surrounds the illegal immigration camp," Pearson said.

"I think we should let them stay," Pearson added of those in the U.S. illegally.

Daily Record - Morristown, NJ
"Greater empathy" - something that U.S. society could use a lot more of, in my opinion.

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Video of Kety's CNN Appearance

by Man Eegee
She did a fantastic job.



Transcript:
CHETRY: Well, joining me here in New York this morning is Kety Esquivel. She is a Christian progressive blogger and the founder of the blog crossleft.org.

Thanks for being with us today.

KETY ESQUIVEL, FOUNDER OF CROSSLEFT.ORG: My pleasure.

CHETRY: Good to see you. You know, a lot of people talk about getting out the Latino vote. A lot of people associate Latino votes with immigration. But you have a chance in your blog to communicate daily with Latinos around the country.

What are some of the biggest concerns, if you can boil it down?

ESQUIVEL: Of course. Well, the Latino community is definitely interested in the immigration issue that the candidates are speaking to. But there are many other issues that are also important to our community.

There are issues that are important to the American population as a whole. Issues of the economy, issues of education, health care, et cetera. We, at the sanctuary, a group of Latino bloggers came together to put together a survey speaking to all of these different issues of interest to our community.

CHETRY: You're listening very closely to what the candidates have to say about these issues. You have not taken a position yet? You're not supporting or endorsing either one of the candidate so far, correct?

ESQUIVEL: Exactly. Right.

CHETRY: I understand that you guys did send in a questionnaire, though, with a lot of questions about issues that are important to Latino voters. You're still waiting to hear back.

ESQUIVEL: Exactly, yes. We are waiting and we are a little bit frustrated because with all of the energy that both campaigns have been putting into trying to garner the Latino vote, for them not to respond, creates a pause for us, you know. We are wondering why aren't they responding. Why the silence?

CHETRY: So you sent this out at the end of June. You're still waiting for a respond. So, it hasn't been a month yet. So you're going to give them a little bit more time to get back to you about some of those issues.

ESQUIVEL: That's correct. And we're hopeful that -- you know, we were reported actually in "The Wall Street Journal" blog, through here, this conversation on CNN, that the candidates will be looking and listening and that they will respond so that we actually have specific policies as well as the lip service that they've been paying to us today.

CHETRY: All right. Well, they certainly been at least trying to get out there and get the Latino vote. They spoke to the National Council of La Raza. It's one of the country's largest Hispanic organizations.

And Senator Obama actually accused Senator McCain of backing down on immigration reform for political reasons. Let's hear what McCain's response was to that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCCAIN: At a moment of great difficulty in my campaign, when my critics said it would be political suicide for me to do so, I helped author with Senator Kennedy comprehensive immigration reform and fought for its package, not once but twice.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CHETRY: It really did almost cost him supporting this, which included some pathway to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants. It almost cost him the Republican nomination. Is that resonating with Latino voters that he tried?

ESQUIVEL: I think that our community is very interested in what both of these candidates have to say as it relates to the undocumented workers. And specifically, John McCain is a candidate that we're watching very interestingly because there's been some differences in so far as what he stated as it relates to immigration, as it relates to things such as the Dream Act.

And so, for us, it's very important to see consistency. So, what he says to us we're hoping that he will also say to the general electorate. Therefore, when he's in office, hopefully he will be having the positive stances that he stated in such conferences such as the National Council of La Raza, which has just happened.

CHETRY: Yes. On paper it seems that he and Barack Obama actually have a quite similar plan. They talk about border security first. They talk about some pathway to citizenship. They talk about many things as it relates to immigration.

Yet, Barack Obama is, at least in the latest polling, he's got 60 percent of the Hispanic vote to McCain's 30 percent in a recent poll. Why is he seeming to have a much more Latino support?

ESQUIVEL: Well, I think one of the things that has given us pause as a community has been the flip-flopping, has been him going back and forth on different issues that are important to our community. So if, for example, he says to our community in a closed- door room meeting --

CHETRY: You're talking about McCain here?

ESQUIVEL: Correct. If he says to us one thing, we want to be able to see that that's the same thing that he thinks the American populace as a whole. Unfortunately, we haven't seen that consistency. And that's I think what's giving a lot of people pause.

Also, Obama has been stating that he's very interested in the Latino vote and we're very interested in hearing back from his campaign with specifics as it relates to policies. That's really what we're going to gauge -- what our response will be when it comes to the '08 election.

CHETRY: All right. Very interesting. Kety Esquivel, the Christian progressive blogger of crossleft.org. Thanks for being with us this morning.

ESQUIVEL: My pleasure. Thank you for having me.

CNN.com

Wall Street Journal Covers Our Questionnaire

Monday, July 14, 2008
by Man Eegee
The Wall Street Journal has provided some traditional media coverage to The Sanctuary's candidate questionnaire that we sent out to the various presidential campaigns.
Latino bloggers covering the presidential campaign reacted this week to recent efforts by both candidates with their usual spotting of simplistic stereotypes in the candidates' outreach efforts, and with a new joint initiative that raises some tough questions - 38 to be precise.

A group of bloggers responded to Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama's speeches to the League of United Latin American Citizens and the National Council of la Raza, with coordinated posts about a 38-point questionnaire that The Sanctuary, a pro-immigrant group, sent to the presidential candidates last month demanding answers on immigration policy issues. Neither McCain nor Obama has responded to the questionnaire.

Wall Street Journal's Washington Weave

The post I wrote here at Latino Político on Friday was also referenced, but really, it's not about me or any of the other Sanctuary editors. It's about human rights, it's about humane treatment of our fellow human beings, and hopefully the candidates will understand that we are asking for answers in order to discern what to expect in our communities beyond the Bush regime.

Those issues and others that we are highlighting will be discussed tomorrow, July 15th, on CNN at 8:24AM with a scheduled appearance of Sanctuary editor KetyE. We are also in talks with the network to have another editor speak in the afternoon about these vitally important issues. As I wrote on Friday, enough with the soundbites - it's time for the presidential candidates to give us some substance.

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Shackled Like An Animal During Labor

by Man Eegee
What is it going to take, America™, for you to snap out of your complacency to see that in your furvor to deport and criminalize people in your midst, the goon-squad deigned to carry out the mission are serial human rights abusers? Quit thinking that this is about Mexicans or Central Americans or any other unwanted hordes of brown menaced invaders. As long as that mindset continues to fester, stories like this will continue to be a blight upon the pure and spotless homeland you are so want to protect, yet only exists like a deceiving mirage.

Police in Berry Hill, Tennessee decided that Juana Villegas DeLaPaz needed to be arrested after a routine traffic stop even though she produced proof of insurance and her consulate card to the officer that stopped her. Since local officials have decided that federal immigration law enforcement is the new hip, and she didn't have the necessary paperwork to prove citizenship, Juana was detained like an animal.

Nine months pregnant and in labor, she was shackled until two hours prior to the birth of her child and then re-shackled afterwards. Following the birth of the baby, authorities denied her the ability to breast feed the newborn, who was at a high risk of jaundice as a result of it.

So far, this story has been confined to NewsChannel 5 out of Nashville (their story was the sanitized version) and pro-migrant blogs. Tim Chávez of Political Salsa has been doing yeoman's work to cover this horrific tale of torture and human rights abuse in Tennessee.
Every mother in Middle Tennessee knows the difficulty in giving birth. Now multiply the pain and discomfort by being handcuffed by your wrist and ankle to a hospital bed through hours of labor. And you are not allowed to call your husband or family to tell them to come and be with you.

Then consider being shackled at your feet when you try and go to bathroom to simply clean yourself after all the mess of childbirth. This hygiene is necessary to prevent infection and more pain.

Finally, imagine the mental and physical pain of having your newborn taken from you, before you have the all the necessary time to breast feed your child to ensure he or she receives all the early nutrients to build a body's immune system to full capacity. The sheriff department officer overseeing your every move -- and wanting to return you to your jail cell -- prevents your nurse from giving you a breast pump to drain your milk.

Nurses caring for Mrs. Villegas DeLaPaz were reduced to tears.

So you are returned to your jail cell with your breasts swollen and hurting, the pain preventing you from sleeping after one of life's most draining ordeals.

While on one hand, the sheriff's department tonight defended itself to NewsChannel 5 by saying it followed procedure and the law in the terrible treatment of Mrs. Villages DeLaPaz, its spokesperson then noted that it let her go after seven days of illegal holding when it should have deported her.

Political Salsa
Clearly they were being lenient.

Monsters.

Here is the contact information for officials who should be called upon to immediately investigate and halt these inhumane procedures.
Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) - Democrat
Nashville Office: Phone: 615-736-5295, Fax: 615-736-7479
DC Office: Phone: 202-225-4311, Fax: 202-226-1035

Chairman, Rep. Christopher Carney (PA-10) - Democrat
House Subcommittee on Management, Investigations & Oversight of Department of Homeland Security
DC Office: Ph: (202) 225-3731, Fx: (202) 225-9594

Berry Hill Police Department
Chief Robert Bennett, Email: rbennett@berryhilltn.net
Phone: (615) 297-324, Fax: (615) 269-9819
"I was just doing my job." ¡Madre Santa!

Crossposted at Booman Tribune

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Netroots Nation Workshops I'm Anticipating

Sunday, July 13, 2008
by Man Eegee

Some workshops I'm looking forward to liveblogging later this week at Netroots Nation in Austin, Texas.

  • Examining the Maze of Injustice: Our Nation's Failure to Protect Indigenous Women From Violence

    Native American women are subject to much higher levels of sexual and domestic violence than any other women in the United States. Due to a confusing maze of tribal, state, local and federal laws, rapists and batters rarely face prosecution, regardless of the evidence against them. Perpetrators are aware that they can rape and brutalize, then often walk away with no consequences. This panel will explore what can be done to ensure equal protection under the law for Native American women and the role the Netroots can play in combating these injustices.

  • Our "Dos Centavos": Strategies For Latino Bloggers

    Since 2006, the Latino blogosphere in the United States has grown by leaps and bounds--often spurred on by hateful anti-immigrant ordinances and laws considered by states and communities across the nation. Several of Texas' most prominent Latino bloggers will discuss strategies for communicating both with their Latino and non-Latino audiences and developing a blog that is a resource for progressive Latino activists.

  • How to Win the Immigration Debate and Beat Back ICE's Emerging Police State

    Immigrants built this country and remain a vital part of our communities. Yet immigration has become a political hot potato in recent years. With Congress held hostage to a vocal minority of hard-line immigration restrictionists stirred up by right-wing websites and talk-radio, the Bush administration has launched a series of showy "crack-downs" that have divided working families and transferred billions into the hands of well-connected DHS contractors, but done nothing to reform a deeply dysfunctional immigration system. We can do better.

    Come by for a lively discussion of this vitally important issue with activists speaking from a variety of perspectives.

Oh yeah, and I heard Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi and some congressional candidates will be lurking around the complex. Should be interesting!

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More Than Soundbites on Immigration Reform

Friday, July 11, 2008
by Man Eegee
Over the past few years and beyond, political leaders of all levels - local, county, state and federal - licked their chops as they calculated which issues to focus on in order to win an election and gain power. Ideology and party registration often has little to do with their decisions, because if they or any of their advisors get a whiff that a certain topic would be political danger from them, the item either gets conveniently ignored, spin-dried and sanitized, or in the case of supposed allies, entire communities get stabbed in the back.

Regarding an overhaul of the immigration system in the United States, it's been written many times here that it is not a latino/latina issue; yet it is an undeniable truth that our communities are feeling the brunt of hardliner policies. When you have pundits and legislators equating our diverse culture with a citizenship test, or interchanging the terms hispanic/latino/illegal/criminal/invader/terrorist/gang-banger/etc., you can bet that groups and leaders advocating for our equal place in society will be demanding an end to such institutionalized bigotry and fear-mongering.

With the 2008 Presidential Election in full swing, the Editorial Board of The Sanctuary developed and distributed a candidate questionnaire to the campaigns that would give us some substance on how a White House under their direction would overhaul the immigration system, handle border policies, and collaborate with other countries on trade and economics. It has been nearly three weeks since we made contact with the Barack Obama and John McCain camps, and we have yet to hear an answer to any of our queries. We've also reached out to third party candidates because the U.S. is a democracy and they will appear on many ballots, whether the two parties that have the most money like it or not.

To any campaign operatives reading here or at the various Sanctuarysphere sites that are sponsoring the questionnaire, know that we want more than just promises and soundbites from our next President on what they will do with respect to immigration reform. This questionnaire covers a wide range of topics related to it, and it would be to your advantage to educate your candidate and staff on the implications of many of these decisions and how they disproportionately affect latino/latina communities across the United States. I recommend a perusal of our blog archives if you need a crash course on what that has looked like in the past.

This is all the more pressing as both McCain and Obama take the time to speak to conventions such as the League of United Latin American Citizens, National Council de la Raza, and Unity '08 where immigration will most certainly come up in their speeches and conversations this month. These groups and initiatives represent a part of "hispanic" and other POC communities that has suddenly become so sought after for votes, and we represent another. Your campaigns may not be getting millions of dollars from our sites, but many of us do march in the streets and cast our ballots in elections regularly.

Immigration reform is one of those topics that should be a human rights issue, but often gets treated like the next coming of Osama bin Laden. It conveniently fattens the military- and prison-industrial complexes and further racializes United States society. There are many of us who would like to know how you will be dealing with it all come January 20, 2009, after yet another string of failures by the Bush regime.

Gracias.

Más Información:
  • SanctuarySphere Sites that developed the questionnaire and are promoting it:
  • A small sample of the questions:
    • 7. Do you support the "touchback" requirements of previous comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) legislation that would require undocumented immigrants to return to their countries of origin in order to normalize their status?
    • 17. Do you support the Detainee Basic Medical Care Act, the bill that would require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to develop procedures to ensure adequate medical care for all detainees held by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)?
    • 23. Would you support the incorporation of requirements that would tie
      both future economic aid and trade agreements to substantive benchmarks
      in sender nations that would alleviate some of the economic and
      humanitarian conditions that foster continued migration?
    • 36. How do you address the overwhelming amount of money the U.S. federal
      government spends on defense and military expenditures, at home and
      abroad, and would you see to it that less money is spent on
      militarization and more money is spent on social programs?

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G. Gordon Liddy Speaks Illegal Alien

Thursday, July 10, 2008
by Man Eegee
Another zombie on the radio turns your brains to mush
On the July 9 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, while discussing a July 8 speech in which Sen. Barack Obama discussed the importance of learning a second language, G. Gordon Liddy claimed that Obama "wants you to be sure your child can speak fluent illegal alien." He added: "Sadly, with every legal and cultural step we take to make our life more immediately convenient for non-English-speaking illegal aliens, we merely feed the beast." Liddy later stated: " 'Round here, let's see, I speak some French, some German as well as English. Franklin [Liddy's producer] speaks fluent French, fluent Italian, as well as English. But none of us here, so far as I know, speak illegal alien."

Media Matters
Liddy, Liddy, Liddy. Vous êtes une pomme de terre avec le visage d'un cochon d'inde

Thanks for the heads up that we should all remain vigilant and be on the lookout for those illegal Irish who only speak gælɪk

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More Bodies Found Along La Frontera

by Man Eegee
David Teibel of the Tucson Citizen has done southern Arizona and the global community a great service by providing an update on the growing body count of border crossers along la frontera. 109 by their count, 128 by Derechos Humanos for the current fiscal year. While heads explode among the trolls in the comments sections ("they asked for it" and "good riddance" is common), these types of news items should be featured regularly in traditional and non-traditional media sources.

Teibel's article today deserves mentioning because he did not do the journalistic lazy move by juxtaposing drug bust incidents with this separate facet of border news. It is solely about the human rights crisis that unfolds and grows year after year in the Sonoran Desert. The fact is, the vast majority of crossers are economic refugees; but due to fork-tongued pundits like Lou Dobbs, Tom Tancredo, the Minutemen vigilantes, and lazy journalists, the perception of border crossers usually involves shading their identities with drug runners and terrorists.

It's all part of the cycle of dehumanization that makes it convenient for government personnel to treat human beings with less dignity than animals. This does not just pertain to border crossers, but rather any person in the United States who finds themselves lacking the paperwork necessary to earn money for their families. A recent example is the workplace raid that occurred at a meat-packing plant in Postville, Iowa. Dr. Erik Camayd-Freixas who was one of the federally certified interpreters assigned to assist the workers has shared his story with The Sanctuary and it will be posted following a New York Times article that is slated for Friday. The link to the entry will be here.

The human aspect of the broken immigration system is an inconvenience to those who salivate at the continued practice of Operation Wetback 2008, where any undocumented worker is deported without a blink of an eye. Never mind children or spouses who may be citizens, they are merely collateral damage to a populace that is so fixated on war that they see enemies even among those who have the audacity to simply work. Even lower on the "why should I be bothered" list, are the walkers who head to El Norte from all across the world.
Increasingly alarming are the high number of unidentified human remains recovered. Of the 35 female remains recovered, 21 are still unidentified, and 51 of the 86 males have yet to be identified. All in all, 72 of the 128 remains recovered are unidentified, and not enough of the remains of six of these individuals were recovered to even determine gender; this speaks to the anguish that family members suffer as they wait to hear of their loved ones, and the reality that some might never know what became of them.

While the Border Patrol continues to applaud their efforts to control the border, men, women and children are pushed into more harsh, isolated areas, where humanitarian aid and detection is less likely. This is, in fact, an intentional strategy that has proven deadly as more than 5,000 men, women and children have died on the U.S.-México border. And through this, there is no evidence that these militarization efforts have done anything to affect the numbers of people crossing the border.

Coalición de Derechos Humanos (.pdf warning)
Imagine the outrage if numbers like this were stacked up among U.S.-born Americans.

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McCain Didn't Vote on FISA

Wednesday, July 09, 2008
by Man Eegee
I feel as though I've written this post before.

Oh wait! I have! Twice!

linkage

Talk about a conundrum.

What's worse? A Senator who doesn't vote? Or a Senator who votes the wrong way?

What a sad day for the United States.

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