Friday, June 30, 2006

Friday Bud Blogging

He's making a wish that IndyLib has an excellent birthday

Immigration News Roundup

The Bush misAdministration's bright idea of militarizing the U.S./Mexico border appears to be yet another in a long line of instances of 'baiting and switching'. Typical politicking from the All Hat, No Cattle government.
The Bush administration has been unable to muster even half the 2,500 National Guardsmen it planned to have on the Mexican border by the end of June, officials in the border states said.


As of Thursday, fewer than 1,000 troops were in place, according to military officials in Texas, California, New Mexico and Arizona.

President Bush's plan called for all 50 states to send troops. But only 10 states, including the four border states, have signed commitments.

Some state officials say they cannot free up Guardsmen because of flooding in the East, wildfires in the West or the prospect of hurricanes in the South.

"It's not a combat priority. It is a volunteer mission," said Kristine Munn, spokeswoman for the National Guard Bureau, an arm of the Pentagon, "so it's a question of balancing the needs of the Border Patrol with the needs of 54 states and territories, and all those balls roll in different directions." - linkage
The WaPo has a piece up today highlighting the hairy buttcrack scratching by the GOP leadership as they try to figure out how to salvage this issue for the fall congressional elections. More politics, no real solutions; just a bunch of verbal diarrhea.
Republican Senate leaders are considering how to revive immigration legislation and cut a deal with the more hard-line House, a sign of increasing GOP concern that inaction on the emotionally charged issue could hurt the party with voters in November.
Keep it up, you bunch of empty suits, it's clear you don't really care about this issue enough to address it in a meaningful way. While you bicker and monger your hate, hopefully additional groups of friends won't have to take on the gruesome task as these warriors of humanity had to endure recently.
Torres' friends in Tucson, all from the village of La Loma de Buena Vista, Guanajuato, Mexico, learned about his death this week.

After a Border Patrol search Wednesday failed to find the body, his friends stepped in. After work Wednesday, 24 people armed with cell phones fanned out across the desert to find their friend.

"We couldn't leave him out there," said 36-year-old Geronimo Jimenez.

The men suspended the search as night fell and continued the next morning.

Most of Torres' friends are U.S. citizens. The others are legal residents. All work in construction or carpentry. Some own their own businesses. It's a tight-knit group that gets together every weekend.

Most came to Tucson in the mid-'80s and got their papers with the help of the 1986 amnesty.

"The sad part is, Antonio used to be a resident as well," said his friend Saul Pacheco, who coordinated the search. - linkage
A complex issue deserves comprehensive reform; something a triple-layer wall will do nothing to solve. Here's an obligatory reminder that you can support humanitarian efforts to end the ongoing flow of death through the desert by assisting the work of groups like the Border Action Network of Southern Arizona.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Gitmo: Holding Bush Accountable

The Supreme Court ruled against the abhorrent practice of detaining prisoners at the Guantanamo torture chamber prison complex in Cuba without due process. I love the opening sentence of the WaPo article, if only there will be "more of the same" of these types of instances.

The Supreme Court today delivered a stunning rebuke to the Bush administration over its plans to try Guantanamo detainees before military commissions, ruling that the commissions are unconstitutional.

In a 5-3 decision, the court said the trials were not authorized under U.S. law or the Geneva Conventions. Justice John Paul Stevens wrote the opinion in the case, called Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. recused himself from the case.

The ruling, which overturned a federal appeals court decision in which Roberts had participated, represented a defeat for President Bush, who had ordered military trials for detainees at the Guantanamo Bay naval base. About 450 detainees captured in the war on terrorism are currently held at the U.S. naval base in Cuba.

linkage (free subscription required)
Now that this issue has been somewhat resolved, will the media and political string-pullers hold George accountable for his stonewalling over the past several months, most recently during the suicides committed at the naval base?

Republican Sen. Arlen Specter Sunday criticized the administration for holding the detainees without trials.

"Those people have to be tried," said Specter, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee. Bush has said he is waiting for a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on whether the tribunals are constitutional, but Specter said the wait means "limbo and that creates a very difficult situation." The court is expected to issue its ruling by month's end.

The ball's in your court now, Junior.

Shit that irritates me

This is not directed at Cobb, per se, for the trackback he provided to my post from yesterday, but rather to a larger problem that is existing in the U.S. There is obnoxious distrust everywhere you look here that has been provided as a model of interaction by the current government in power.

Polarization is everywhere you look. Instead of dealing with the fact that we're at war and the need to address those issues, or that human beings are dying everyday in the Sonoran desert, the U.S. Congress is debating stupid shit like flag burning and definitions of marriage. It is specifically designed to divide the electorate so the GOP can pander to those who are still blind enough to believe that they are the party of "values." Bullshit.

I'm so pissed off right now I can hardly type. What the fuck is wrong with the marginalized communities, which includes minority factions for the forseeable future, that they can't see beyond petty differences to realize that unless we shelve the stupidity found in the mirror, the rich and powerful will continue to screw us all over?

I may be young and naive, full of idealism, but it is that exact type of personality that has enacted real change in our nation's history. Cobb writes the following
Everybody thinks they have their own 'civil rights movement' style concessions to get from the Man. Except few are willing or able to take the long, hard and high road. It's funny, I never thought I'd hear myself using the term 'racial spoils system', but that's basically how these low-rent politics are working. There is no consistent principle being applied here. It's just a gold rush.
That statement is proof that he has no real understanding of the movement that has been unleashed by the immigrant community over the past several months. It's not a gold rush when it involves the livelihood and legal status of peers, parents, grandparents and friends. The streets were filled by immigrant advocates because there is a real danger that the GOP-led Congress will criminalize and demonize a substantial and contributing population of this country.

My advice to anyone who doesn't understand what this movement is really about: attend a fucking meeting of the advocacy boards or one of the numerous protests/action events. You'll find much more solidarity with the message than you perceive. If not, then you are too blind to break out of your perceived helplessness.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Sugar-Coating "Concentration Camps"

Congratulations, Don, you got an apology from the paper. It still doesn't mean your framing will change reality. A Concentration Camp is a Concentration Camp is a Concentration Camp.
EFE Executive Vice President Emillio Sanchez said in a June 25 letter released Tuesday by Goldwater's campaign that the EFE stringer who wrote the June 21 article should not have reported that Goldwater supports using "concentration camps."

"We understand the very serious connotations those words have for the people of the Arizona. Upon further reflection, our investigation has determined that your plan to house illegal prisoners in a tent city is consistent with accepted practices for nonviolent American prisoners in your area," Sanchez said in the letter.

"Accepted practice" - like this?
The five men knew their two-day walk across the Arizona desert could end with the Border Patrol swiftly returning them to Mexico. But they never imagined that they would be stuck in a county jail for more than three months.

They were held under a novel interpretation of an Arizona immigrant smuggling law that allows the customers of human traffickers to be charged as conspirators in the crime.


The five inmates said they worried about their families, because they haven't been able to provide for them for more than three months and don't know when their cases will be resolved.
When is the pendulum going to swing back to the side of sanity and humanity? As I wrote yesterday, it has to begin within and ripple out to our circles of influence to cause a tidal wave change that respects the dignity of human beings of all races, creed and language.

Making sure your friends register to vote and actually show up to the polls on Election Day won't hurt either. We have much work to do.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Black vs. Brown

I'm going to tread into a complex and emotional topic because it has been on my mind lately and Newsweek is currently running an article highlighting it.
Welcome to the topsy-turvy world of ethnic politics in the 21st century, when blacks and Latinos, once presumed to be natural allies, increasingly find themselves competing for power and where promotion of racial harmony is as likely to evoke anger as admiration. Lynwood is a case study in the power of prejudice, the pitfalls of ethnic conflict and, perhaps, ultimately, the potential for interethnic cooperation. It may also foreshadow America's future; —one that will increasingly see blacks and Latinos fighting, sometimes together and sometimes each other, to overcome a history of marginalization.

Reading the linked article, I had a couple of thoughts gnawing at my brain. First, why was it written? There are many truths described in the piece, yet the writer obviously felt compelled to write it for a reason. So, what was it? Secondly, who stands to gain from the perpetuation of conflict between the African American and Latino communities?

It's not a surprise to me that there is a black/brown division being promoted (btw I hate those color characterizations, but I wasn't the one who wrote the headline for Newsweek). Growing up in a predominately Latino community I often heard the terms "pinche miate" or "negro" from friends and family. Perhaps I was born with a hyperactive sense of cultural sensitivity, but I always cringed, and still do, whenever I heard/hear those barbs thrown out in a casual way.

Why do human beings insist on fighting with one another? I wish I knew the answer to that question that encompasses a conversation spanning all philosophies, religions, political sytems, cultures, etc. In my opinion, this particular tension exists because there's a bit of turf war being waged in the middle and lower ends of the job market in the U.S. Add a dollop of cultural nuances and a perfect storm is created for outright hostility as outlined in the case study provided by Newsweek.

So who stands to gain from these racial scuffles? The answer is easy: the elite. They are the same cabal of power-mongers who are subverting democracy in the U.S. By keeping the "lower classes" focused on fighting one another, it lowers the probability that the minority communities will realize that if they unite, they have unbridled power to unleash a tidal wave of progressivism and human rights changes in a country that badly needs it.

Now, don't get me wrong, this post is not taking aim at the Anglo community. If it did, that would just expose me as a hypocrite to my personal visceral reactions to racism and xenophobia. This battle is being waged between those in power against the middle class, poor and other marginalized human beings. The situation in the U.S. has reached such an obscene point of economic, social and political polarization, accelerated by the 9/11 attacks and the divisive "leadership" by BushCo, that the divide has expanded beyond historical racial lines.

So how do we get past it? As with most Movements, it has to begin within. Unity within an umbrella of human rights advocacy must be promoted by each of us in our circles of influence. Flowing from the home, to the workplace, to everyday venues like restaurants or the grocery store, we have to be willing to reject the natural tendency to label, judge and ostracize; and call others out when they do it.

This afternoon while I was eating my lunch at a hole-in-the-wall taqueria that makes the best al pastor in town, I was approached by an older African American gentleman for some help to pay for some tacos. In that split-second I had a few thoughts: 1) do I have cash? (yes), 2) I wonder when he ate his last meal? (he looked and mentioned that he was hungry, 3) I'm very lucky that I don't have the added worry of figuring out if I can pay for my next meal and 4) the Newsweek article I read this morning does not have to be the reality. I can change it by fighting it in my own life.

After I gave the gentleman five bucks, which pays for a decent meal at that venue, I returned to my meal and pondered many things. While I was getting up to leave, the man walked over to my table with a white piece of paper that I had seen him pouring over while he was eating. On it was a beautiful drawing of a butterfly that he had created within the space of 15 minutes.

"I wanted to give you this as a small thank you. Have a great day"

The gentleman signed his mini-masterpiece with his name and a simple inscription - "Peace 2006"

I love the power of Hope on a random Monday in June. It is as life-renewing as the monsoon rains rolling through the desert; reminiscent of that moment when the capertpillar emerges from its cocoon, spreads its wings and shows the world its beauty; preparing to lift off and fly towards new horizons.

We need more of these moments. Don't you agree?

Sunday, June 25, 2006

tap, tap... are you on?

Sunday's here again! And you know what that means... but before we get into that, I want to thank James for doing the tour last week, and doing it so well too! All y'all are really great.

And, since we are already there, we might as well see what James has been up to this week. I hope no one missed this draft edition of his book review of A Question of Torture. He's looking for feedback too, so after you tell him how great it is, you can tell him what (if anything!) is wrong with it! Also, The face of Iraqi civilian casualties and tempestuous teapots.

Olivia has gone buggy again! Green, three toed bugs on cotton candy hills, to be exact. And hungry baby um... bird flowers!

Everyone will be relieved to notice that honorary great grandpapas have been sighted and so there was no need to break out the Bleating Baby Tapir Siren! (But we'll still keep it in reserve). And sometimes you have to give up a remote to gain an entirely new perspective on The Look!

[UPDATE!] I'm not going to tease katiebird today. Really! I'm just going to mention that has decided not to be elitist (and has also figured out a way to probably control spam) and has opened up the comments on her Eat 4 Today, so that there is no registration required! Just an approval of the initial comment... so if you've been waiting to chime in, wait no more! Go yap away. However, now she's determined to control destiny! Also, for those that don't know, katie has been gracious enough to open up an Eat 4 Today @ Human Beams! She's bizzy, bizzy, especially as she's building up E4T Live, the next date of which is July 5th! If you are in the area, drop on by.

I, of course, don't have tour favorites, but I have to admit... I just love this site! It's just so... so... homey. No, no, not homie! Family Man deals with weedwackers, not wickwack (whatever that is). And salmon lessons, and airy tales, although even comfortable roads sometimes take an unexpected turn!

deano has a new banner! Purple soldiers? Also a painting that announces itself as Teeth. I think it's very nice of it to tell us that. And aboriginal art meets toons!

[UPDATE AGAIN!] boran2 has decided not to take over the world! er... I mean blogtopia! (yes, skippy, etc - good heavens, are we well trained or what!? ). Darn... I bet it would have been a lot more colorful. Okay, well, maybe not. But still! This doesn't mean he's letting big business get away with anything, though!

Forget scaring us for 2006 and 2008... XicanoPwr is getting a jump on scaring us for 2028! And your papers, please.

catnip has her Sunday Food for Thought! excellent, as usual. And also breakdowns and details of much news, with angles you may have missed. Just start at the top and read down! OH! And I almost forgot.... congrats to catnip for hitting 50,000 visitors a week or so ago! Yippie!

[UPDATE! UPDATE!] Duke reminds us that Democracy Summer starts July 1. Read all about it! And there's lots more there, including from XP, and our Manny! Another "start at the top and just keep reading" thing.

We have two new blogs on the tour! First up, El Ranchero at Border Human Rights. Chock full of information about border issues, and of course human rights issues. Go say hi! And also, Keoni at The Pacific Tribune, which is a scoop site. Lots of stuff there, so say hi there too and sign up if you want.

I love Link TV. I think it's a great idea, and I hope it grows very big. Intrepid Liberal Journal has an interview with one of their directors and documentariasts (or whatever you call someone who films documentaries). Very well done, as usual!

The world was never meant to be a prison, as dove states, and the music (and impetus) of haunting words. Also an ongoing conversation (join in!) on solidarity.

[UPDATE SOME MORE!] Guess who's been nominated for both the Barry Award and the Macavity Award for best short story? AND has short stories slated to be published in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine (one of my favorites for ages)? AND who is having a regular Story Hour on her site? With stories! AND has signed copies of their books available? I'll never tell... it's all a mystery to me! ('scuze me while I run off to read about Easter Island).

I think... All Done!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

El Día de San Juan

[bumped for a reminder of today's events - Man Eegee]

I love Tucson. Everyday I learn something new about my city's quirky/synergistic culture; in this case cultura.

June 24th is the Catholic feast commemorating the birth of Saint John the Baptist, who is a very prominent figure in the New Testament as both a cousin of Jesus and the person responsible for "preparing the way" before the Messiah's ministry began 30A.D.ish Wikipedia has a comprehensive roundup of John's prominence in religious tradition that spans Christianity, Islam, and Mandaeanism.

Spending time here in the desert southwest of the U.S. you quickly realize that water availability is an issue. Our "rivers" only run with water when the torrential rainfall of the monsoons are unleashed in the area. Irrigation systems, dams and the practical effects of supply and demand are the major causes.

According to an article in today's Caliente section of the Arizona Daily Star:
Local lore has it that a 16th-century Spanish conquistador couldn't handle the parched Sonoran Desert to which he was stationed and thus appealed to St. John the Baptist, the patron saint of water, to make it rain.

"His faith was so great, it did, in fact, rain," according to the story told by Lillian Lopez-Grant.

Since then, celebrating the feast day of San Juan has been a popular activity in Tucson, said Lopez-Grant, chairwoman of the committee of community volunteers that's putting on this year's observance on Saturday, St. John's actual feast day.

"While it had its roots with the missionaries and the Catholic Church," she said, "it has become part of the culture of Tucson now."

linkage (and info on the fiesta)
I'm always fascinated by the way traditions evolve from a single point. In the case of El Día de San Juan on Saturday, the night before is celebrated across Spain with bonfires and rituals of cleansing and renewal; messages preached by Saint John at the waters of the River Jordan. The fires are kindled across cultures and borders to the shores of Ireland where the bonfires trace their roots to Celtic influence.

While I haven't read any mention of bonfire-hopping for the fiesta here in the Old Pueblo, Tucsonans will be gathering at the dry banks of the Santa Cruz to enjoy the sounds of mariachi, eat to their corazon's content of tamales and tacos, and continue the discussion of how immigration policies are affecting our area.

The Border Action Network is using the holiday to highlight the crisis that heats up every year as the mercury rises in the thermometers on the patios of wealthy foothills mansions by hosting a Radio-Thon to raise money for their advocacy work. These people are on the front lines of the battle everyday with their opposition to the various vigilante groups, militarization of the border region, and the xenophobic hate that is directed at the Latino community.

Please help spread the word so that the message of human rights with respect to the U.S./Mexico border debate is spread loud and clear.

Click for more information

[/shameless promotion]
"Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our ancestor'; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. 9 Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire." 10 And the crowds asked him, "What then should we do?" 11 In reply he said to them, "Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise." - Luke 8:3-11
The prophets were hardcore liberals, just ask Jim Wallis.

Crossposted at Human Beams

Friday, June 23, 2006

Don Goldwater Supports Concentration Camps

I thought Mike Hellon's suggestion of denying citizenship to children born here in the U.S. was over-the-top and ridiculous, but this takes the cake.

A Republican gubernatorial candidate's call for creation of a forced labor camp for illegal immigrants drew rebukes Friday from two GOP lawmakers, who labeled it a low point in the immigration debate.

Don Goldwater, nephew of the late Sen. Barry Goldwater, caused an international stir this week when EFE, a national news agency of Spain, quoted him as saying he wanted to hold undocumented immigrants in camps to use them "as labor in the construction of a wall and to clean the areas of the Arizona desert that they're polluting."


But two Republicans, Arizona Sen. John McCain and Rep. Jim Kolbe, called Goldwater's comments "deeply offensive" and asked state Republicans to reject his candidacy in the Sept. 12 primary.
Nothing like some Friday evening stress balm in the form of GOP infighting. Now if only I could stop the nightmares that abound when I think that many people agree with Don's extremist viewpoints.

Which reminds me, July 1st is the kickoff for Democracy Summer. Time to bring the popular grito from the March/April rallies to life: Marchamos Hoy, Mañana Votamos

Friday Bud Blogging

Gives new meaning to LMAO, eh?

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Arizona Immigration Ballot Initiatives

Mixed results on the GOP-led Arizona State Legislature's efforts to get their failed proposals from the now-vetoed "comprehensive" immigration bill they sent to the Governor last month on to the fall election ballots.
Arizona voters will decide in November whether to expand the list of government benefits denied to illegal immigrants and make English the state's official language.


They failed Wednesday night to push through the Legislature ballot measures that would have criminalized the presence of illegal immigrants in Arizona and set state punishments for businesses that hire illegal labor.

They also couldn't muster enough support for a ballot proposal to make communities get rid of policies that prohibit police officers from enforcing federal immigration law. - linkage
I'm breathing a sigh of relief that the meatier issues that would've put us on a further path of a police state were defeated, but it's still astronomically obnoxious that the voters in Arizona are going to be forced to vote for 1) the further restriction of basic services to people who share our environment and 2) the continued dumbing down of the general population by continuing the stigma of bi/multilingualism.

While the political suits and pearls keep chugging along in their game of political football, news stories like this will keep piling up worse than a chain-reaction wreck on I-10 during a monsoon dust storm.
Along the deadliest stretch of the U.S.-Mexican border, coroners and consulates are struggling to keep up with a record volume of bodies that are pouring into morgues like the one in Tucson. Border officials have dealt with unclaimed bodies and burials for decades, but they also face financial, moral and political questions as the bodies pile up.

Dr. Bruce Parks, the Pima County chief medical examiner, has more than 100 bodies of undocumented immigrants in the morgue, some new arrivals, others dating as far back as 2004. Since Jan. 1, he's received a record number - 83 - compared with this time last year, when he had 60. The start of the summer temperatures has been brutal, he said, with six dead in one June weekend, the worst so far this year.

"The main thing now is just bracing ourselves for the new people coming in," Parks said. "We're already behind, and it's picking up again."
Don't forget to give groups like No More Deaths, Coalición de Derechos Humanos and the Border Action Network some well-deserved support for helping to end the loss of human lives in the parched desert of the frontera-lands.

Crossposted at Migra Matters

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Mike Hellon is Smoking Crack

I moved out of the 8th Congressional District a year ago, but since it spans the east side of Tucson I get the awesome opportunity (embrace the snark here) to still get bombarded by campaign ads and the steady slew of emails from the different camps.

There are six Democrats running in the primary and I have yet to pick a favorite. If you want a full listing of candidates check out the Secretary of State's website. The point of this post is to register my disgust with one of the Republican candidates who has bought a few advertising slots to invade my important television time - Mike Hellon

His "Border Security Plan" ad can be viewed at his website here. At the end of his ridiculous diatribe, the narrator ends with these words:
...will say no to Amnesty and he'll fight to end the practice of giving U.S. citizenship to the children of illegal aliens. Mike Hellon. Proven Leadership. Arizona Values.
I think the commercial should've ended: Mike Hellon. Typical Republican. Extremist Values. This guy is no fringe Elephant, according to his online bio he is...
A lifelong Republican, Mike was elected to the Republican National Committee as National Committeeman for Arizona in 1992. From 1997 to 2004, he served on the RNC Executive Committee as a representative for the Western Region. And in 1997 when Dodie Londen announced her resignation as chairman of the Arizona Republican Party, Mike was elected to take over as chairman. During his tenure, the party successfully elected Republicans to fill all but one of the statewide constitutional offices, including governor.
Remember that, my Latino friends. While immigration is not an issue that solely affects our community, looking at the map of the district Mike Hellon is vying to control should provide some insight into the witchhunt that would ensue if you don't show up to the polls on Election Day and elect a Democrat who will contribute towards a majority that will fight against this type of hate-mongering.

Hate that I should mention is becoming mainstream thanks to people like Mike Hellon, JD Hayworth and Russell Pearce.

Cheesecake Corazon Open Thread

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Accidental Activist: Saving Lives with Applesauce

I got a couple of emails yesterday from a lurker (Hi George!) who refuses to understand how the immigration debate in this country is driven by human rights for people like me.

In his last missive, he wrote: "I challenge you to cite any international convention on human rights that gives authority to citizens of one nation the right to violate the sovereignty of another's."

I tried explaining to George that he should open up his history books and take a hard look at the hypocrisy of his worldview before continuing to dialogue with me, but he just characterized the mass-migrations of U.S. history as "bygone eras...irrelevant to modern America". If anything, it gave me some insight into how some of these people think.

Rather than take a hard look into the mirror of the past to see that it was due to a lack of will for a group of English citizens to fight the monarchy for religious freedom back home instead of exporting their Manifest Destiny ways to the "New World", or the scores of Irish settlers escaping mass poverty due to potato famine, or boatloads of Cubans fleeing the hard hand of dictatorship; people like George the lurker fail to see that immigrants coming to the shores of the United States have always arrived in large droves because they were/felt powerless to reform their home countries from within.

Today's plight by Mexican and Latin American has an added twist, though; it can be argued quite successfully that the reasons their countries are undergoing severe economic stagnation is directly resulting from United States' policies. NAFTA has had devastating repercussions north and south of the U.S./Mexico border, and it is now becoming a major issue in the Mexican Presidential Campaign.
Leftist presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took his hardest line yet against free trade with the United States, saying for the first time that he would not honor Mexico's commitment under NAFTA to eliminate tariffs on U.S. corn and beans.


Mexican farmers say hefty agricultural subsidies in the United States give American white corn and beans an unfair advantage over the Mexican market, which depends in large part on small-scale and mostly subsistence farmers. As Mexico's staple crops, corn and beans carry immense symbolic importance.

Mexicans worry that if the farmers can't sell the nation's signature crops at a price that competes with trucked-in produce from the United States, they will go out of business.

Farmers say Mexico's agricultural economy has suffered since the trade deal went into effect in 1994, forcing many to migrate to the United States.

As always, Duke1676 puts all of the the context much more clearly than I could ever muster the energy for, with his latest post at Migra Matters. He examines the ways that we got to this point, as well as a challenge to realize that a major paradigm shift is necessary to move forward in a progressive way that will benefit a majority of folks regardless of which country they reside or what their immigration status is at a given time.

Looking out for the common good: that's what I call human rights, George. If you refuse to even try to listen to where we're coming from, you are only going to be guilty of the same echo-chamber phenomenon that you accused me of in your opening email salvo. Perhaps you're right, blogging is nothing more than preaching to the choir on the best of days, but they can also be a vehicle for activism.

Which reminds me, here's a notice I got from No More Deaths. They need assistance as the summer heat fires up its intensity.

Monetary: We welcome donations to continue the work of No More Deaths. Your financial donation is tax-deductable through St. Mark's Presbyterian Church. At this time, you can send donations by writing a check to us directly. Please write checks to: "St. Mark's Presbyterian Church." Please write No More Deaths in the subject line and mail it to the address below:

St Mark's Presbyterian Church
c/o No More Deaths
3809 E. Third Street
Tucson, AZ 85716-4699

or, if you're in the area, you can help construct these Life-Saving Packs:

DESERT SURVIVAL PACKS: Into Gallon-Sized Closable Plastic Bag, place 7-10 items, a least 1 from each line below:
  • Meat in PLASTIC PACKAGES (tuna, Vienna sausages, chicken, etc.)
  • Sports Drink (Capri Sun Sport pouch, Power Gel, Gatorade)
  • Nuts, trail mix, dried fruit, chips, fig bars or cookies
  • Granola, Power, or snack bars
  • Applesauce, pudding, or fruit cups in PLASTIC containers (with spoon)
  • Peanut butter or cheese filled crackers

FIRST AID KITS: Use Small Closable Plastic Bag
  • 4 to 8 bandages
  • Gauze Pads
  • Small first aid cream or ointment
  • Alcohol Wipes
  • Sunscreen, Chapstick, Hand Cream, or Lotion
  • Footcare creams, powders, or Moleskin
  • Wrapped Candy or throat lozenge
  • Aspirin, Tylenol, or Advil packets
PERSONAL HYGIENE KITS: Suggested items in Gallon-Sized Closable Plastic Bags
  • Toothbrush (in wrapper)
  • Small Toothpaste
  • Shampoo
  • Soap
  • Razor
  • Comb
  • Washcloth/Hand Towel (does not need to be new, just clean)
  • Rice
  • Blankets
  • Dry beans
  • Dry milk
  • Ramen noodles
  • Sports drink powder
  • Half-liter bottles of water
  • Toilet paper
  • Shoes (no high-heeled or dress shoes)
  • Socks (do not have to be new, just clean)
  • Baseball caps and soft hats (no straw hats)
  • Bandanas
  • Grocery gift cards: (Only stores located in Pima & Cochise counties, please)
  • Phone cards
  • Gasoline cards
We thank you in advance for your generous contributions that will save lives in the desert.

Crossposted at BooMan Tribune

Monday, June 19, 2006

Who's the Decider?

I know who THE Decider is, but what about during missions like this:

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said about half the 2,179 people arrested in the 19-day nationwide raids — dubbed Operation Return to Sender — had criminal records, including convictions for sexual assault of a minor, assault with a deadly weapon and kidnapping.

While criminals were targeted, agents also asked neighbors and curious onlookers about their immigration status and, if they were in the country illegally, they got hauled away for deportation, too.


San Diego's Linda Vista is a hardscrabble neighborhood of two-story homes favored by Mexican, Filipino and Vietnamese immigrants. As in other cities, the fugitive task force arrived in unmarked vehicles and agents were dressed like civilians. Mack said agents wore something to identify them as law enforcement, perhaps an agency insignia on a shirt or a bulletproof vest marked POLICE.

Day laborer Fredy Calleja said his uncle was arrested about two weeks ago while watering plants outside his home. An agent asked him about someone suspected of selling drugs in the area. When the uncle said he didn't know the drug dealer, the agent asked if he was in the country illegally and arrested him when he said he was.

linkage (emphasis mine)

Growing up, there was always joking involving La Migra, short for Border Patrol, coming after you, or one of your misbehaving primos. I guess the joke is on all of us now as the process for citizenship identification is becoming more arbitrary and covert.

Have you ever been asked if you were a U.S. citizen (aside from at a port of entry)? I have, numerous times. Should I be offended, or is this just one of one those things the barrios of the southwest will have to deal with all in the name of The Rule of Law™?

The answer is important. There is an abundance of unmarked vehicles available for the next Operation I-Can't-Believe-They-Named-It-That-Offensively.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Manana, manana is today!

[UPDATE! UPDATE!] Yes, I am feeling much better, thank you all for your good thoughts.... but that's not the UPDATE!

James has done the Eegeehood tour! Yes, indeed, and has done it well too! So, if you have been missing your Sunday fix, or even if you are not, go look! And not only are there links to all the great Sunday bests, but he's sneaked (snuck?) some Latin in there!

Thanks, James!

---------------------------- old stuff

I am, once again, a Bad Blogger!

I am not feeling so good today, BUT...that doesn't mean that Eegians are off the Sunday hook to have on their best... because we might be coming 'round tonight, or we might be coming 'round tomorrow or... and we are not even Santa Claus!

Use this as an open thread, or to post any jewels (Eegeehood or otherwise) that you've found, and we can take a comments tour! Or a comments led tour. Or maybe it's a tour activated by a comment.

Anyway... it's all yours!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

A Lightbulb Moment

I figured out why I have writer's block.

I've only been feeding the part of me that's angry. So I guess I need to expose this particular shadow so that I can get past it.

Anger is only one part of who I am, but it is certainly not the aspect of my personality that defines my existence. No wonder I've been feeling friggin' drained lately! I'm reacting to the world in a way that doesn't fully reflect who I am.

The echo chamber of the blogs has a lot to do with that I think. The big sites that I visit in Lefty Blogtopia (yes, skippy, I know) are very angry. And rightfully so. There is an abundance of reasons to be righteously pissed off. But. And this is a big but. Where does the anger go when it needs to be released?

I've witnessed it take on different forms over the past couple of years of blogging. One is like a pressure cooker that goes BOOM when the flame gets alittle too high. Instead of seeing food splattered on the kitchen ceiling, this type of anger usually leads to infighting and a chilling of the atmosphere to the point where tiptoe'ing through the tulips becomes an artform worthy of mastery.

The other form of anger is like the slow boil of water needed to make cinnamon tea. It fills the room with an aroma of pleasantry because it has been the evolving status quo (oxymoron alert!) and unless I've removed myself from it for a period of time, I don't even notice that it's there until I've received third-degree burns that don't produce much pain due to lack of nerve endings. This is the type of anger that is getting me down, I think. It's more numbing than anything else.

For me, the antedote is action. It gives me hope and a sense of purpose when I do something concrete to fight against whatever it is I happen to be seething about on a given day. I wish it wasn't such a reactive posture, but I guess that'll have to be the case until some type of sanity is restored in society.

So to make a long post longer, I wrap up with these words from my mentor, Cesar Chavez:
It is possible to become discouraged about the injustice we see everywhere. But God did not promise us that the world would be humane and just. He gives us the gift of life and allows us to choose the way we will use our limited time on earth. It is an awesome opportunity.
Whether it's God, Yahweh, Allah, Indra, the Buddha, Plato's Forms, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or the Cosmic Muffin; the purpose of my personal recentering today is to let my anger go and use this 'awesome opportunity' to do what I can do according to my abilities to advance my ideals of equality, justice and love.

For now, that involves finishing the paperwork on my desk so my workplace doesn't lose our funding for a financial literacy program that serves the immigrant population of Tucson.

Namaste (y paz)

Crossposted at Human Beams

Screaming Banshee Open Thread

She's world famous.
She makes me laugh until I can't breathe.
She's the screaming banshee of Hallmark.

The downloads are worth it, especially if you need to release some pent-up tension
Happy Day-Before-Friday Everyone!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Dam'd if you do...

Theodore Roosevelt Dam, photo courtesy of Bureau of Reclamation

I'm feeling out of sorts this week. I feel like everything I write is the same recycled stump speech only with a different set of headlines. It seems like nothing changes in the world. Nothing. How do you stay sane while waiting for the dam to finally break against the neocons?

Here's a quick list for me:
  • animals, obviously Bud - unconditional love with a heaping side of snuggling
  • music, specifically mariachi - reminds me of my deceased grandparents and gives me a chance to re-connect to my cultura
  • calligraphic drawing - give me a blank paper and a good pen and I'll spend hours writing quotes and shading the calligraphy letters in different ways
  • camping - I'll always be an Eagle Scout at heart
Where/how do you find your happy place?

More Casualties of the Oil War

Keep clapping, maybe tinkerbell will flicker back to life; meanwhile the rest of us have to deal with reality.
United Airlines will eliminate at least 1,000 salaried and management jobs by the end of the year as part of its efforts to reduce costs, CEO Glenn Tilton said Wednesday.

The employees to be laid off from the nation's second-largest airline represent about 11 percent of its 9,400 salaried workers and nearly 2 percent of the company's work force of approximately 57,000.


Soaring oil costs have continued to hurt the bottom line for United and other carriers, and Tilton said the airline is refining its route schedule accordingly, although he did not specify flights to be dropped.

"Said simply, some long-haul routes that worked at $50 a barrel don't fly at $65 a barrel," he said. "We'll continue to redeploy assets to other opportunities, such as the recently announced Washington-Kuwait route, which we'll initiate in the fall."


Worry not, dear readers, at least you can sleep well knowing that yet another oil company has posted record profits. The "economy is strong" according to the former oil executive currently occupying the White House. I bet the laid off workers from United Airlines are not clapping in applause at his team's performance.

Crossposted at The Left End of the Dial

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Blood Moon Will Still Rise

I just read this article and, while predictable, it still made me sick to my stomach.
Hopes for a quick compromise on immigration were dealt a blow Tuesday after House Speaker Dennis Hastert said he wanted to take a "long look" at a Senate bill offering possible citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants.

Hastert said hearings on the Senate bill should be held before appointing anyone to a House-Senate committee to negotiate a compromise immigration bill. Later, he said he was unsure what the House's next move would be.
The Republican-led Congress made a gamble by focusing on immigration last December with HR4437. I don't think they realized the backlash that would be unleashed from their draconian and xenophobic pontifications. The streets across the United States were filled in March and April with over a million activists who were everyday people demanding that their voices be heard in a debate that has been monopolized by extremists. The passion continued on May 1st with El Gran Paro (The Great Boycott) that showed the economic power of the people being targeted.

The politics of division have been given the spotlight since George W. Bush and his gang of thugs entered the scene in D.C. in 2000. There were many of us who knew that the immigrant community would eventually become the targets of their policies. While I'm halfway glad the congressional "negotiations" have been stalled for the time being, it doesn't stop the fact that everyday there will be horrific news items like this.
The Border Patrol found more dead when a Customs and Border Protection helicopter with a search-and-rescue agent aboard spotted a campfire near Cowlick on the Tohono O'odham Nation on Saturday night, Hawkins said. Five illegal immigrants had run out of water and started the fire to signal for help. Agents reached the group and found two men dead.

A Border Patrol agent found a sixth body in Gardner Canyon in Sonoita on Sunday, Hawkins said. An apprehended illegal immigrant told an agent he had passed a body on his trek north.
Six dead human beings in one weekend. You would think this would be enough to cause a major outpouring of support and compassion, but instead it's met by the congressional leadership with a blind eye and a "perhaps this wasn't a good issue to bring up after all"-type reaction. It's disgusting.

This past weekend was the deadliest so far in this fiscal year. It brings the total deaths to 95 since October 1st. Again, disgusting.

Why the spike? Two words: Full Moon
According to the Sheriff, more illegals make their way into this country using the light of the full moon to illuminate their way through the southwestern desert. - linkage
That short exerpt comes from an article that announced the beginning of Maricopa County's deputization of civilians last month to seek and capture "illegals". It is a controversial move by Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who ironically is a child of Italian immigrants, but he's never been one to care much for human dignity or shy away from wave-making.

I know this a complex issue, but I would not be able to sleep at all each night if I didn't fight against policies that are designed to destroy the lives of human beings who are simply seeking financial stability for themselves and their families. For me, this is a fundamental question of human rights. While I try not to ignore the economic, environmental and racial facets of the discussion, the fact is, I'm trying to minimize the loss of life. Period.

I just wish the prevailing wind was at my back instead of blasting me in the face. Until that changes, there is one thing that remains constant: the moon will continue to cycle each month and every time it lights up the deserts de la tierra frontera, the great trek to el norte will begin in desperation for a better life.

Monday, June 12, 2006

A Weekend of Lessons Reaffirmed

Where to begin.

It started as I was driving to my 11 year old cousin's birthday party on Saturday afternoon. The key word is not party, nor Saturday, even though that means I wasn't at work, but rather driving. You see, my truck left me stranded on Friday night when I went to the grocery store to restock on provisions.

I've been living in Tucson for eight years and while I've met some great friends here, most of them were through college and have re-scattered across the world after graduation. There are a few family members here, but I have limited contact with them for personal reasons. So, I found myself at a loss when I realized that there was a real possibility I was stranded in the city I've called home for quite some time.

Within 10 minutes of discovering my vehicle's death, an immigrant gentleman from Mexico came over to me in the parking lot to see if I needed a jump-start. I thanked him profusely and was able to get the truck started but it wouldn't stay running without me keeping the gas pedal depressed. I suspected the alternator, but it turned out to be just a completely dead battery.

The gentleman was my saving angel Friday evening. He even followed me back to my complex to make sure I didn't stall on the way home. It was uninhibited compassion - the kind that transcends borders, or at least it should.

Throughout the drama, I learned that he had been living in Tucson on and off for the past fifteen years but was worried because his father was sick back home and he was afraid that if he crossed back into Mexico, he wouldn't be able to make it back safely to his wife and two children here in the states. His english was fairly good, but I could tell that he was more comfortable speaking spanish so I rambled my way through mutual storytelling in my heart's language.

As I was re-telling the ordeal to my family at my cousin's bday party, I think we spent more time talking about the fact that I characterized my angel as an "immigrant gentleman from Mexico" rather than my near-strandedness. My aunt thought that was the funniest thing she had ever heard in her life. Despite the fact that the Xicano/Mexican American people share the same roots as Mexicanos, there is a plethora of the usage of mojado in conversation. (spanish for wet, in this case 'wetback')

I'm actually glad we had the conversation, even though there was some indignation at calling out family members for their lack of sensitivity, because I was able to use the time to discuss how we (Xicanos) often treat the Mexican people badly, or worse, than some factions of mainstream U.S. North Americans. It's shameful, in my opinion, and at best screams of hypocrisy if we expect to be treated equally in society.

If there's one thing I've learned as I've broadened my sphere of information influences (read: blogs) it's that everyone has their brain in a different place due to their history. That's why I'm big on telling stories. While politics interests me greatly, I am energized by the ways in which it affects lives. I'm equally repulsed when certain policies are destructive. I'm thinking specifically of wall-building, war and torture at the moment.

So how do we change the prevailing winds in the country (and world)? At the moment, I find the climate to be one of suspicion of motives and apathy among the masses. That's several time zones and hemispheres away from a politic and society of generosity, which I think we discuss here everyday.

So, what do you think? How do we do our part in our spheres of influence to grow a coalition of compassion?

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Zigzag stitching through the Eegeehood!

It may not come as a surprise to some that I think in pictures, quite often. I'm fairly right brain dominated, according to the tests! (Only 3 of 18 questions I answered were left brain answers, or something like that). Anyway, all that is a lead up to (not only everyone taking the test.... it's fun!) but to saying that while preparing the tour I sometimes see the Eegeehood as an actual street, and sometimes as a carnival, other times as a garden - today I see the Eegeehood as a quilt.

Some quilts are just quilts... lovely to look at, to be sure, but they are pretty much just coordinated pieces of fabric sewn together in a pattern. The ones that fascinate me, though, are the ones where each panel or piece of fabric tells a story or holds some significance for the quilter. Old fabric, new fabric, odd shapes, all held together more or less by the strength of the threads... some pieces needing greater care and finer stitching, due to the fragility of the fabric, other pieces of a heavier weight that provide a support for the surrounding panels, or act as borders. Or maybe where the entire thing, put together, sends a message (maybe).

So, I hope no one has crooked seams this Sunday, cuz we're on our way to see what the quilt pieces are up to today!

First up, a velvety midnight black panel, appliqued with colors both brilliant and soft... faerie snow white, golds, dusky rose fading into the palest pink and in the middle a lovely bug!

Then there is the denim panel... deceptively simple, until you look closer at all the interlocking and intersecting threads, and you realize that in the still attached pocket is still another story.

[UPDATE! A NEW PIECE!] This next panel is a bit more complicated. Turn it one way and you have a hedgehog somehow sitting on a balloon. Look from the opposite direction and it's a beautiful arrangement of exotic flowers. Look again and it's a bird of prey. Turn it around and it's a baby tapir blinking at you innocently. Definitely an accomplished quilter here! (and nekkid people too!

Soft, sturdy flannel (US flannel, not UK flannel, which is apparently a washcloth). And buttons! Lots of them... big ones, little ones, whimsical ones, commemorative ones - all different shapes, too. Each one from a different garment, old and new, memories of a life.

[MORE UPDATE! AND MORE PIECES!] Don't ask me why, but this panel has trains on it. Is there anything about trains there? noooo. Not even a hoot. (Or is it toot?) But still... trains it is. Maybe an old time caboose crisscrossed with a new speed train, and of course tracks sewn all around and through it.

Winding, interlocking rings fill this panel. All made up of tiny patterned pieces within the pattern, one leading right into the other, so there is continous movement and color, and always new, depending on which pattern you focus on each time.

You don't often see quilt panels made of leather! (note: no cows were harmed in this tour. or ostriches.) Soft, tanned leather to be sure... resilient and versatile, large and small studs anchoring the edges and in the center sewn a jumble of small flags and snippets of memory fabric.

[UPDATE SOME MORE!] Starbursts! (Or is it sunbursts?) Whichever, they are bright and lively and always look like they are reaching or pointing to good stuff. Sometimes the rays are wavy, sometimes straight and other times a mixture of each, both short and long. Oh, and sometimes you'll find a surprise in there! (link fixed)

At first, this next panel looks a little unusual. Made up of many tidbits of memory fabric, the ones you know are the oldest pieces are bright, colorful full patterns. Towards the middle the pieces fade and the patterns are difficult to see... but then you get to the still being completed portion, with the new fabric again bright and colorful, with new bold and difficult to dismiss designs, and you just can't wait to see how it turns out.

It's not that no one's ever thought of making a quilt panel out of smoke or mist, it's just that it's somewhat difficult to do. This is not to say the panel is not solid and sturdy... it is. Sometimes even quite sharp, although I wouldn't want to be the one who had to describe what sharp mist was like (so I won't!).

[UPDATE AND THE FINAL PIECES!] Tumbling music notes and toe prints border this panel, with the center filled with interwoven streamers in various colors, dark and light, a few feathering over the border while others neatly form a pattern in the middle.

Of course we have to have the kaleidoscope panel. Pictures within pictures, patterns that lend themselves to the eye and depend on the viewer to figure out what the quilter meant by them. Sometimes it's quite a mystery!

Lots of little pieces in this one, some connected to others, some in patterns in themselves... circles and squares, triangles and unformed shapes together filling the panel.

And our last (but of course not least) piece... the one you are standing on! It's okay to look down, you'll see we all fit on it. A fascinating center... deep blues and golds and reds and lions, strong threads that are constantly replenishing themselves, with each pass gaining strength and gathering incoming threads and fabrics to add to the panel. The edges are not neat and squared off... instead, parts of all the above quilt panels overlap along the borders, creating yet another mosaic pattern that is a picture in itself.

All done! (maybe... if I've missed anyone, please let me know. We are growing but my brain is not!)

Friday, June 09, 2006

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Regarding Bloodlust

Crossposted over at Human Beams

Well, I tried to go to sleep earlier and failed miserably. So here I am sitting on my couch watching CNN where BREAKING NEWS!!!!! has sent the talking-head zombies into a frothy madness.
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the al-Qaida-linked militant who led a bloody campaign of suicide bombings, kidnappings and hostage beheadings in Iraq, has been killed in a U.S. air raid north of Baghdad, Iraq's prime minister said Thursday.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said al-Zarqawi was killed Wednesday evening along with seven aides.

The Jordanian-born militant, who was believed to have personally beheaded at least two American hostages, became Iraq's most wanted militant, as notorious as Osama bin Laden, to whom he swore allegiance in 2004. The United States had put a $25 million bounty on al-Zarqawi, the same as bin Laden.

The Press Conference involving the leadership of Iraq's puppet legitimate government as well as General Casey of the U.S. has succeeded in making my stomach turn into several knots. There was thunderous applause when the announcement was made.

Here's where I become unreasonable to the "mainstream" of the United States of North America.

Rather than pop open a bottle of champaigne and toast this Victory for Freedom™, the crazed look of revenge in the eyes of the warmongering power brokers I see before me takes my mood to a dark place. The world, especially the U.S., is in a tight grip of bloodlust that is making rational behaviour impossible.

Yes, 'terrorists' want us dead. Yes, 'terrorists' have already killed innocent human lives. Yes, I have no idea what a 'terrorist' really is. Wait. Huh?

The ire has been raised against the West because we have failed in diplomacy and humanitarian assistance. Instead of letting sovereign nations be sovereign, we have interfered and exposed unending levels of hypocrisy when it comes to military might and political power. The war hawks in Congress rattle their sabres against certain nations for their aspirations to have nuclear power, yet they expect a free pass to test new weaponry for our forces to use at the whim of a trigger-happy cowboy and his testy gang of thugs.

I'm sick of war. Period. I'm sick of death, murder, killing, torture, rape, genocide, embargoes, frozen assets, the list is unending.

When's it going to end, my fellow human beings? To my American friends reading this, when are we going to hold our government accountable for hypocrisy and its inability to use diplomacy as a tool for nation-building instead of bunker-buster bombs?

Gandhi made my point more concise than this post has been thus far
An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.
Is it still a cliché if it's the truth?

Monday, June 05, 2006

Meanwhile in the real world...

You know, it's bad enough that the country has been engaged in pre-emptive war, drowned in soaring deficits accompanied by tax cuts for the rich, healthcare and energy legislation written by industry lobbyists, illegal wiretapping of its citizens, and perpetrators of widespread torture due to blurring of the lines on what is and what is not "acceptable", but this has to be the ultimate rotten cherry situated atop the steaming pile of dung that has been offered thus far by U.S. elected officials, so-called "representatives" of the People.
Cheered by conservative supporters, President Bush gave a push Monday to a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage as the Senate opened debate on an emotional, election-year measure that has little chance of passing.
Meanwhile in the real world, a Border Patrol agent found the body of a three year old boy in the desert not because he saw him wandering around helplessly, but because he smelled the toddler's rotting, dead body while tracking the faxed-over image of the boy's mother's shoe.

I had the displeasure of being outside for abit this past weekend. It was the hottest I've felt it this year and it's only going to get worse. As I was driving with friends in Phoenix on Saturday night at 9pm it was 104 degrees. Think convection oven, because that is how the heat feels as it radiates from the concrete at all hours. I can't bitch though, all I had to do to escape was re-encase myself in the air conditioned bubble that makes life somewhat bearable here in Arizona during the summer.

Edith Rodreguez, her unnamed son and countless other desperate human beings don't have that leisure. United States policies over the past several decades have stacked the deck against them to make matters worse.
Border Patrol statistics show that while the death toll mounts annually, the number of those apprehended while crossing the border has not changed significantly since 1993. But because federal agencies have tightened the border in urban areas, smugglers who move the men, women and children seeking to enter the United States illegally have funneled them onto increasingly perilous trails where temperatures are high, water is scarce and danger is abundant.

"All the evidence is that increased enforcement on the border has achieved no benefit at all except in additional employment of Border Patrol agents," said John Fife, a Tucson pastor and founder of No More Deaths, a coalition of charities devoted to stopping deaths during desert border crossings. "What has changed is the devastating elements of this policy. You have a number of deaths that surpasses the number of American deaths in Iraq. And yet still we are determined to persist and redouble our efforts."

My forehead is morphing into a flat surface due to all the head-to-wall banging. I'm so sick of the silence. The compassion from Capitol Hill flows at the same rate as the Gila River south of Phoenix.

Monday Monday

Doesn't look like the chaos is going to subside anytime soon. I'll probably have to shift the blogging/writing to the evenings since the Slack Meter at work is stuck on Empty. Sigh.

Here are some headlines I found in the meantime:

  • Border bill posing dilemma - Gov. Napolitano has until tomorrow to make a final decision on the horrendous proposal the state legislature passed.
  • Utah National Guard on its way to the DMZ, er....U.S. Mexico border.
  • At least one immigrant died this weekend due to the hellacious heat.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Peekin' at the Eegians!

Ready or not, here we come! The Sunday voyeu -... er, I mean tour of the Eegeehood has commenced.

First up... Deano's back, yay! And he seems to have come across a rather discombobulated lady somewhere along the way. Very interesting!

Also, XicanoPwr has throttled the killer flu and has returned full blast to let some lookers know that yes, someone is looking back at them too. As usual, lots of great background and info provided as well!

And speaking of a wealth of information, I wouldn't understand most of this stuff half as well if Duke wasn't so good at putting the pieces together and explaining the issues and proposed policies in such clear terms. As he's done with his latest piece, Broken borders or broken system. Go read!

Ductape, who has been updating his site at an alarming rate lately (no complaints tho! we love it! [even though we know he's trying to avoid a petition]) gives us a primer on understanding (and recognizing, which is sometimes the hardest part) American Exceptionalism.

[UPDATE!] katiebird, fresh from a successful first step to take Eat4Today to 3D people (I heard rumors that she was great!), has been bizzy since she got back! Besides all the regular stuff, she's done a movie review (very interesting one too. Canadian!) Go read.

catnip takes on the right AND the left, and in between does a news roundup and wonders why people think Canadians are in denial about terrorism just because they are not freaking out and losing their minds. Also, Sunday food for thought... but I don't know where Tintin comes in?

Olivia's flowers and bugs have been modestly on their best behaviour this week! (darn.) But of course they are lovely and well worth looking at anyway! I love this one... for some reason it reminds me of a Broadway show. Which is odd, cuz I've never been to a Broadway show, but if I had, it would look like this flower, I'm convinced. What do you think?

[UPDATE AGAIN!]A ghost ship that will haunt you for days. "Anomalies" that have a very disturbing consistency. Things I bet you didn't know about migrants. And a hopeful story of people who have made what could have been a harrowing choice - but which was the only one they felt capable of. Get a comfy chair, a cup of coffee or a long cool drink and settle in to read... you won't want to miss a thing at dove's place.

And then go for a ride in FamilyMan's first car! Do I have to tell you that it wasn't a smoothly riding, fully tuned beaut? With working brakes?Thank goodness it wasn't or this story might never have been written ;).

James is on a roll! Just start at the top and read down... he's found a number of stories to highlight about racist scapegoating, can we call it a dictatorship yet and sadness over Haditha. And more! Go read.

Intrepid Liberal Journal asks us to remember the other survivors of the US invasions... the soldiers themselves, especially the ones living with PTSD.

Boran2 has two stories about scary food and GM (not general motors) trees and other products. I am not sure most US people even know how much genetically modified foods they eat... I know I had no clue until I met people from Europe and the UK who informed me of the fact. Sigh. Anyway, go read Boran! Lots of info there.

All done! (maybe)

Friday, June 02, 2006

Bud entertains some lady freinds open thread

Apparently with Manny so busy, Bud has decided to keep himself occupied by having a little soirée with some of his lady friends. Rather elegant, don’t you think?

(Pst…. Bud… the one on the right’s rather fetching, don’t you think?)

[yikes, work was so crazy I forgot to upload a pic of Bud, lo siento mucho! - ManEe]

Petals for Peace - Spread the Word

I am going to re-post BostonJoe's diary here in its entirety, because WOW, it knocked my socks off. Please help out today if you can, he's on the front lines bringing democracy straight to his war-supporting congressman's front door. Literally. (recommends appreciated at DKos and BooTriib)
I cant believe the news today
Oh, I can't close my eyes and make it go away
How long...
How long must we sing this song?
How long? how long...

Sunday Bloody Sunday, U2 -- A song about war.

It is 0400. Eastern Standard Time. And I'm up out of bed. The world is black outside. And I'm reminded of being woken in my old Army barracks. Being rousted out of bed. Off to train. Letting a drill sergeant strip away my natural human tendencies toward love and charity for my fellow man.

First they shave off your hair. Then dress you up in drab clothes. Everyone the same. And they don't let you sleep enough. Going to bed late. Getting up early. Five minutes to eat and then, get the fuck out of my chow hall. Always they are barking at you. Do this. Don't do that. Get down maggot and give me 20. I'm saving your ass private. So it don't get shot off someday.

No, it's not a cult. It is the United States Army. They're breaking you down. De-humanizing the enemy. Getting you ready to fucking kill. And then you are just a running and a singing:

I want to be an Airborne Ranger.
Living the life of death and danger.
I wanna go to Vietnam.
I wanna kill some Viet Cong.

I want to be an Airborne Ranger.
Living the life of sex and danger.
Send me off to the Russian front.
Bury me in a Russian's. . . .

I personally can't imagine how our fine young Marines would kill innocent [racism]Ragheads[/racism] in Haditha. Preposterous.

I'm singing a different song today, though. Riding on the Peace Train. I'm up at oh-dark-thirty so I can go to the anti-war protest. Petals for Peace. I'm off to secure the prime parking space in front of Mike Rogers' Lansing office. To park the peace car. To buy a few dozen flowers. And to talk to total strangers on the street. Asking them, "Are you against the war in Iraq?" About two-thirds of them say, "Yes." At least that's been my experience so far. And to those, I say, "How would you like to deliver a flower to Mike Rogers, to ask him to stop the war?" And about half of those opposed to the war will have the time to take a flower in and join our protest. At least that's been my experience.

How long must we sing this song? How fucking long? Didn't we just do this in 1968? The disabled veteran who I'll be protesting with today -- Spike -- whose is riding around in one of those Costanza-mobiles, because he got fucking shot in the last stupid fucking war -- tells me we did just do this a couple of decades ago. How fucking long, people?

So, I'm going to ask you. "Are you against the war in Iraq?" And if you say, "Yes," I'm going to say, "Then read the fucking blockquote right under this sentence and help me do something, okay?"

On Friday, June 2, 2006 (9am - 5pm EST) deliver a single flower to pro-war Rep. Mike Rogers (NEOHAWK-MI). He knows that the flowers are a protest. We've delivered almost 500 in five days. There are three easy ways to deliver:

Phone your Flower -- Bancrofts Flowers. Toll free at 1-866-476-8608. Order one carnation for delivery to Rogers in your name (or anonymously, if you'd like to keep your name out of it). I think it is $1. Maybe $1.25.

Fax your flower -- Draw a flower on regular paper and fax it to Rogers' district office. (517) 702-8642. Don't worry about your artwork. Just a simple flower. And if you jam his Lansing fax, then try Washington. (202) 225-5820. But Lansing first.

Deliver your Flower -- If you are local, stop by Bancroft Flowers (1417 E. Michigan Avenue, Lansing), buy a carnation, and walk it over to Rogers' office (1327 E. Michigan Avenue). His office is right next door. To the west. If you can't afford the dollar, we'll be out front of the office all day with a free flower you can deliver yourself.

That's it. It is simple.

If you're bored, you can deliver one to Joe Schwarz (R-MI-07) as well. We've expanded to include him in our protest. His contact info: 6604 W. Saginaw Highway, Lansing, Michigan -- Fax (517) 327-7488.

You can also send one to your own Congressperson, if you'd like. Make sure you explain the message. We don't want them thinking that the flowers are because we are so happy with them.

And let me know if you are participating. A note in this diary works. Or e-mail me ( It helps us keep count.

If you like this protest, there are a couple of other things you can do. Hit recommend. Let the message hang around for a while.

Also, tell your family and friends. It doesn't take a lot of flowers over the course of the day to make a big deal.

We've got pledges of a 171 flowers to be delivered so far, plus the rank-and-file of a UAW local is taking up a collection to send more (they did 156 flowers in the last round). Even without the union flowers, that averages out to a flower every three minutes or so. Imagine sitting at your desk with these flowers and faxes rolling in. Think you'd get a message that day. I think Rogers will. And at the very least he will probably let his fellow pro-war Congressmen know just how upset people are.

That's my pitch. I've got to go sing a different song. Or I'd stay and chat with you.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Te Amo MetaJesús

First and foremost, thank you all for your participation here. It is humbling to me everytime I see a new comment in each of the threads. This site picked up alot of steam in February with the cartoon fiasco and while that was a rough time, it unexpectedly created a neighborhood of blogs that I find amazing.

A growing spirit of collaboration has emerged among real-life strangers who have become compadres via the written word. As you know, Ductape, Duke, Nanette and katiebird have posting priviledges here; but it dawned on me that there's a bunch of us doing group writing all over the place. At Eat4Today any registered user can submit an article that will appear on the frontpage to enrich the health (literally) of all who choose to take their words and advice to heart. At Migra Matters, Duke has assembled a team of bloggers with different writing styles to tackle the immigration debate from a progressive point-of-view. James dared to give the keys of his blog to a few of us when he went out on vacation (I'll post something there soon, I promise!).

Plus, if you read any of the comment threads at the home-blogs of regular people visiting here, you'll see a bunch of familiar names with an unending stream of conversation and fellowship. It's pretty cool when you think about it, we're growing the Revolution just by supporting each Others' efforts (couldn't resist the pun).

So, without further ado, I would like to invite you all to check out the latest addition to the collaborative circuit, which has been getting off the ground this week. Nanette's awesome site Human Beams has launched Blogger's Row in the Both Sides Now section of the online magazine. It's in the infancy stage, but like I told Nanette, her site reminds me of my favorite t-shirt that's over 10 years old: soft and comforting. I think it will be a perfect addition to the neighborhood as there are times when we could all use some soul food - in addition to cheesecake, of course.

That's all on this end today, how are you all doing? Work. Sucks. But at least I'm feeling better! Time to forget the shadow for abit and let our Human Beams light each other up for awhile. Whattayathink?

Oh, and someone please grab MetaJesús a kleenex.