Friday, October 31, 2008

Música para el fín de semana

Can't get this song out of my head, so I figured I'd spread the wealth ;-)


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Barack the "47-year-old mulato"

Ever wonder why the GOP is going the way of their mammoth cousins' extinction out west?

It's because the Minutemen/blatantly racist crazies are the public face of their party. I've been saying this for a long time now.
At all levels of government, the Republican party has allowed their public faces to be the most rabid of nativists in our midst. The Arizona GOP State Chairperson is not only one of the vigilantes, he was also the architect of Proposition 200. Plus, lets not forget that the now-retired JD Hayworth was a huge supporter of the Binocular Brigade. Oh, and how about the State Legislature's darling conservative Russell Pearce?

And their candidates? Last fall, Randy Graf was out spooking everyone for Halloween with pregnant girls warning against invading hordes of Mexicans while Ron Drake was advocating for the Great Wall of America™.

These are not the voices of moderation. These are not voices who are even making an attempt to understand where the Latino community is coming from on the various issues of the day. It is a group who has chosen to define us in the most negative way possible.
Instead of getting a clue that the public is more moderate than the far-right, Republican operatives think that electoral salvation will come to them in the form of returning to "core principles." Yet, they try to have it both ways by giving soft or no support to GOP candidates that appear on ballots as one of them who are truly batshit-insane, failing to organize their herd enough to keep said lunatics off the ballots.

Take Arizona's Congressional District 7 for example. This is the second time Joe Sweeney will appear as the Republican candidate facing off with Democratic incumbent Raúl Grijalva:

The Republican Party does not endorse Sweeney, a rapid opponent of illegal immigration who calls Interstate 19, between Tucson and Nogales a "Whore-i-dor" and who says illegal immigrants outnumber U.S. citizens in the 7th Congressional District.

He also complains on behalf of "Anglo-Saxon women who say they are discriminated against because they are not bilingual," and derides Barack Obama as a "47-year-old mulato."

He also supports legislation that would make being gay a crime.

Sweeney says he's just saying what other people think.

Tucson Citizen (emphasis mine)

All that's missing is the white sheet and hood - and as extreme as Sweeney is, it brings mounds of schadenfreude-laden delight that right next to his name is his party affiliation: Republican

Día De Los Muertos Events in Tucson

Sábado, 1 de Noviembre
  • 8:30AM - Día de los Muertos Pilgrimage - From St. John's Church to San Xavier Mission - sponsored by Coalición de Derechos Humanos
  • This year, Derechos Humanos has documented the recovery of 183 bodies on the Arizona-Sonora border. The lives of these men, women and children should be acknowledged and honored.

    It is our goal to have one person to carry each cross as we make this 8-mile journey. We need your help to do this, and we invite you to join us this Saturday to celebrate the lives lost on our border.
  • 5:00PM - Community Altar Celebration - Tucson Museum of Art
    Enjoy a family-oriented celebration of the ancient Mexican custom known as Dia de los Muertos/Day of the Dead at the Tucson Museum of Art, Saturday November 1 at 5:00 pm in the courtyards and galleries at 140 North Main Avenue in historic downtown. This event is free and open to the public.

    Enjoy the festive atmosphere of traditional Mexican light displays, music, and food. Join in the parade around the courtyard and over to El Presidio Park with Big Head Puppets. Marvel at the special altar created by students of St. Ambrose School and the Museum School for the Visual Arts. Bring photos or other small items to add to the Community Altar (any items that are not retrieved by the following day, Sunday, November 2 will be burned in a giant urn at the end of the All Souls Procession).

    This special celebration in honor of our loved ones and ancestors who’ve passed is a collaborative effort between the Tucson Museum of Art, Many Mouths One Stomach, St. Ambrose School, and the Museum School for the Visual Arts.
Domingo, 9 de Noviembre
  • 6:00PM - All Souls Procession, 4th Avenue to Downtown (full route here)
    Mark your calendars! The 19th Annual All Souls Procession is on Sunday, November 9, 2008. Many of you have expressed concern and puzzlement with our choice of this years’ date for the Procession. Usually we pick the first Sunday in November, and this year that Sunday is on the same weekend as Halloween. In past years, we have held the Procession close to Halloween and the Procession suffered because of it. We had crowds of drunk, rowdy people who were not at all mindful of the intention of the “ All Souls…” . They were in the spirit of Halloween revelry, which -though similar- was more about shock value, partying and raising a ruckus.

    As organizers of the Procession, our priority is always quality of experience over quantity of participants, and though the Procession has grown exponentially, we will always strive to propagate an “ALL SOULS PROCESSION” that is a grassroots, non-commercial, hyper-inclusive, sacred event dedicated to honoring our ancestors and loved ones who have passed on.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

KAET Poll Shows 2-Point Margin in AZ

I've been following this poll for the past few months, as it's locally based and the people that do the final sampling know how to interpret the realities of the state better (my opinion, of course).
TEMPE, Ariz. ––Republican John McCain leads Democrat Barack Obama by two points (46 percent to 44 percent) in Arizona, a margin that makes the race too close to call, according to a new Cronkite/Eight Poll. The poll of 1,019 registered voters in Arizona was conducted Oct. 23-26 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. According to poll director Dr. Bruce Merrill, “The race in Arizona is very close. Supporters of both candidates are highly committed to their candidates, with 94 percent of Obama’s supporters and 93 percent of McCain’s supporters indicating that they are firmly committed and won’t change their mind before Election Day. In addition, the undecided vote is very low, which means that there are few people remaining to be persuaded during the last week of the campaign. Obama has been closing the gap by attracting independents and women to his campaign. McCain does well among conservative Democrats and evangelicals. Still, a week is a long time in a political campaign and anything can happen. Who wins will be determined by which candidate gets their supporters out to the polls on Election Day.”

AZPBS.org
Mwahahahahahaha

A Great Reminder To Obama Supporters

The media team of this campaign is phenomenal.


Cynthia McKinney Responds To Sanctuary Questionnaire

Green Party Candidate Cynthia McKinney has responded to the Sanctuary's comprehensive questionnaire on policy stances related to human migration and human rights. As you may know, Barack Obama previously responded while John McCain responded with crickets.

Since Ms. McKinney will be appearing on numerous ballots across this country, it is our democratic duty as pro-migrant advocates to make sure everyone has an opportunity to engage the public with their views.

With a week until Election Day, Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney today released a comprehensive and thoughtful response to The Sanctuary's questionnaire on immigration and issues of concern to the Latino community.

Showing the vitality and importance of voices from outside the mainstream two-party political paradigm, McKinney puts forth not only a strong understanding of the complexities of these issues, but also a vision of real-world solutions. Her refreshing willingness to confront the broader social and economic realities which undergird international migration further demonstrates that practical solutions will not come from political compromises and "bipartisan" gamesmanship, but rather from rigorously-grounded assessment and analysis.

Simple put, McKinney gets it right.

Read her full answers here

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Temper, Temper

Since Senator McCain refuses to answer the Sanctuary's comprehensive questionnaire on immigration-related policy stances, we're going to have to glean whatever nuggets we can from random press reports.

Like this one:

At one point in the interview, McCain grew frustrated with a Tampa television reporter during her questions on immigration issues. McCain twice said illegal immigrants who have committed crimes would be rounded up. Katie Coronado of WFLA-TV asked if that meant using raids to round up immigrants.

"What did I just say that had any connotation of raids?" McCain said, raising his voice with impatience. "Let me try one more time."

He again explained the idea of forcing illegal immigrants out of the country by issuing ID cards and fining employers who hire illegals. He then softened his tone.

"I apologize," he said to Coronado. "I understand how important an issue it is. I didn't mean to be flip."

AP via teh Google

This issue alone almost caused McCain's candidacy to crash early in the GOP primaries, it's no wonder that he would get testy when asked to actually spell out his have-it-both-ways views on reform of the immigration system.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Listen Up, Democrats

I mailed my early ballot this week for the 2008 General Election. Back on Super Duper Tuesday this past February, I voted directly at the polls in the Democratic Primary as a registered member of the party. In other words, I'm one of you officially. So, I have no problem giving tough love when I feel the need.

Recently, Speaker Pelosi was quoted saying the following:
Pelosi also said Congress would have to tackle the politically sticky job of overhauling immigration laws in the new Congress, after a bipartisan measure collapsed last year.

The estimated 12 million immigrants in the U.S. illegally "are part of the U.S. economy. We cannot send them all home, and we cannot send them all to jail, so we have to address it," Pelosi said.

Any solution would have to be bipartisan, she said, so it may require sacrificing some of Democrats' past priorities, such as giving illegal immigrants a path to citizenship.

"Maybe there never is a path to citizenship if you came here illegally," Pelosi said. "I would hope that there could be, but maybe there isn't."

Los Angeles Times (emphasis mine)
In the past, I've been called purity troll and dead-ender for calling out the idiocy of politicos who supposedly are "on my side". This, because I'm not one to give a pass to Democrats when they signal intentions that are antithetical to my belief system. Well, as Duke says over at The Sanctuary: WTF.

At best, Speaker Pelosi's comments were taken out of context or simply misquoted, but the alternative that I suspect is that she was testing the waters to see if a path to citizenship would be politically expedient to compromise upon when the next Congress is gaveled into session (hopefully under a President Obama). These are seasoned public speakers, and especially when they're chatting to a member of the press, every single word that exits their lips has a reason behind it.

So let me make it absolutely clear to the leadership of the Democratic Party: There is no compromise on a path to citizenship for the hard-working family members within the borders of this country who have fallen out of legal standing or are simply undocumented. What a bone-headed statement to make two weeks out from the election when there are literally millions of volunteers and dollar bills bankrolling efforts to get out the vote among the latino community.

The enforcement-only policies of this government have savaged communities of color, especially the greater latino community, by gestapo-like tactics of rogue sheriffs and ICE agents. They bust into homes and businesses armed like they're rading a building in Falujah, snaring hard workers who have the unfortunate and unchangeable suspicion of being "foreign". The racial profiling, the neglect of connected family members, the malpractice of medicine in the gulag system of prisons are all violations of human rights and it is far past the time that they are stopped.

I have no problem leaving a section blank on a ballot if there is enough of a lesser of two evils-type situation involved. In fact, I did so regarding Arizona's Proposition 202 this week. I couldn't, in good conscience, bring myself to vote yes to "take the fangs out" of Arizona's Employer Sanction Law that I abhor because a 'yes' vote would mean that I was saying it was still okay for vile individuals like Sheriff Joe Arpaio to continue to terrorize families. The Minutemen Wing of the Arizona Republican Party (are there any other wings?) want this Proposition to go down because they think it'll be a roadblock to their master plan to reinstitute Operation Wetback. Well, despite their protestations, I left it blank because I will always sleep better knowing that I held true to my principles.

So let this be a warning to you, Speaker Pelosi, that the voters the Democratic Party are trying so hard to woo this election will not be taken for granted. I look forward to reading any follow-ups to your comments regarding the possibility of capitulation on a path to citizenship. You will be accused of supporting AMNESTY!!!!! no matter what gets passed in the next Congress by the loony, racist side of the political spectrum - don't shoot yourselves in the foot by shafting those of us who will work our hearts out for you if you truly speak for us and our families.

[UPDATE] Amig@s chime in:

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Final Episode of 'La Pasión'

Great work by Rosario Dawson and the rest of the celeb crew at Voto Latino for their final episode of La Pasión de la Decisión. This novela has had me howling in laughter each time a new portion was released.


I noticed it was mentioned today on CNN's Headline News as an important GetOutTheVote effort for latin@s, felicidades on getting the word spread further as the campaign has moved forward.


You can view the other four episodes here.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Columbus* Day


To sum up the great profits of this voyage, I am able to promise, for a trifling assistance from your Majesties, any quantity of gold, drugs, cotton, mastic, aloe, and as many slaves for maritime service as your Majesties may stand in need of.
-Christopher Columbus

*or as I prefer it, Día de La Raza

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Yes We Carve

Here's my first contribution to
Yes We Carve



...much harder than it looks

So McCain Opposes Prop 102, Eh?

Well, knock me down with a feather.

Can we add Senator John McCain to the endorsement list at the homepage of the No on 102 Coalition now?

The Washington Times reports that in 1986, John McCain wrote a note on House stationery to Charles Keating, chairman of a failed savings and loan association who went to prison in the late 1980s. In the letter, McCain apologized for listing Keating as part of his Senate campaign finance committee. Keating wrote in response: “You can call me anything, write anything or do anything. I’m yours till death do us part“:


Think Progress

200th Anniversary of U.S. Spanish Media

Felicidades a toda la gente que trabajaban al Misisipi

The City of New Orleans will commemorate the 200th Anniversary of "El Misisipi," the first Spanish-language newspaper in the United States, Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. at the New Orleans Museum of Art at City Park. There also will be an evening reception from 5-7 p.m. at NOMA.

New Orleans was the birthplace of this multilingual publication, which served the area from 1808-10, using the printing press of the Louisiana Gazette. The bicentennial celebration began Sept. 7, the launch of a national call to commemorate this historic time period for Latinos and for Latino news media in this country.

The Times-Picayune

More info at LatiNola (great site name!)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Jorge Ramos Interview with Obama/Biden

Somehow I missed this.

Jorge Ramos interviewed the Democratic candidates for President and Vice President the day after the first debate between Senators Obama and McCain. Since there have now been three debates and not one question asked about immigration reform or border policy, I think it's important to note that these are still pressing issues for many of us.

Here's how Obama answered a question on the Great Wall of America:
Jorge Ramos
SENATOR THE LAST TIME THAT WE SPOKE YOU TOLD ME THAT YOU DIDN'T KNOW IF A FENCE WOULD WORK TO STOP UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS FROM CROSSING FROM MEXICO TO UNITED STATES. NOW IF WERE YOU STILL UNSURE, WHY DID YOU VOTE ALONG WITH SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN TO AUTHORIZE THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE FENCE?

Barack Obama
Well, here is what I said that I'm skeptical that…you can't build a fence along a border like the one between the United States and Mexico. There maybe areas were having barriers could actually prevent the kinds of flows into the United States, some of which really dangerous for the potential undocumented worker as well. But what I do think we have to do is to get serious about border security in combination with cracking down on employers like the ones in Iowa that were hiring 13 and 14 year olds to engage in some of the most dangerous work there is, meat packaging and we got to have a system to lift undocumented workers out of the shadows and provide a pathway to citizenship. Now, what we are seeing is because the decline in the construction industry in particular but the economy slowing down generally, that the flow of undocumented workers is slowing and that remind us once again that to the extent we are working with Mexico to relieve poverty there and provide jobs and opportunity. That is going to be the best recipe for us to be able to deal with this thing long term.

Blog de Obama
For a more comprehensive look at how an Obama administration would tackle an overhaul of the immigration system, you can always look at how he answered the Sanctuary's questionnaire.

Senator McCain, it seems, will be able to slide through the next few weeks without revealing that he is a minuteman, not a maverick.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Pima County Renews Water Station Funds

Thank you for continuing to save lives by showing that there is still compassion in the region.
Pima County has approved a grant of $25,000 to help a humanitarian group maintain emergency water stations in the Sonoran Desert outside of Tucson.

Tuesday, the county Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to fund Humane Borders' 90-plus water stations dispersed in the desert.

The supervisors first funded the water stations in 2001.

Tucson Citizen
To the readers here, you can support Humane Borders' efforts by visiting their website and donating.

Meanwhile, I'll be writing four of my county supervisors expressing my pride in their actions. The lone dissenting vote, on the other hand, will get a howler.


Monday, October 06, 2008

Today Is The AZ Deadline for Voter Reg

Residents of the Grand Canyon State - email your friends and family, today is the final day to register to vote and be eligible to cast a ballot in the November 4th General Election. I think the final time is 11pm tonight.

Direct them to ServiceArizona.com, where they can do it online

¡Gracias!

Friday, October 03, 2008

My Sweet Coconut?

My sweet coconut...

''Talking a little about his personal experience, he was famously born in Panama and has traveled all over the hemisphere for many years.'' Fontaine said. ``In fact, I saw, I guess it was last week, that his old girlfriend in Brazil has been found from his early days when he was in the Navy and was interviewed. She's a somewhat older woman now than she was then, but it sorta speaks to the long experience he has had in the region -- in the most positive terms.''

Fontaine was referring to former model Maria Gracinda Teixeira de Jesus, who recently gave an interview to O Globo saying the former sailor was quite the kisser. According to McCain's memoirs, `Faith of My Fathers,` they met in 1957, when his ship, the USS Hunt docked in Brazil.

''I called him John but also my darling and my sweet coconut,'' she said. ``He was a great kisser. I liked it so much that I bought a book to learn how to kiss myself.''

Miami Herald
What the....you've got to be......how could they possibly think....GAAAAAAAH!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Deep Thought

The federal deficit isn't getting a bailout anytime soon

Yet Another Reason to Fire Sheriff Joe

Sheriff Joe Arpaio is Arizona's version of George W. Bush - struts around with a proverbial big stick while the operation he's supposedly managing turns to a pile of manure.
Maricopa County jails are no longer accredited by a national health commission because the facilities failed to meet federal standards for care and that county officials provided incorrect information to the accrediting agency, officials said.

The National Commission on Correctional Health Care sent Maricopa County administrators a letter late last week notifying them the group was pulling its accreditation of the county's jail system.

Tucson Citizen
Fortunately, residents of Maricopa County have a choice in the November election to get rid of Sheriff Joe's racist and mismanaged tenure as sheriff, replacing him with a competent, proven leader: Dan Saban.