Thursday, August 31, 2006

When Mierda Hits the Fan

My boss is out leaving me in charge for the week and family members are dying. Looks like my birthday curse has arrived early this year. I'll try to check in tonight.


Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Woman Defies Texas Border Patrol

How dare she?
Archeologists say a prehistoric skeleton and campsite discovered on the muddy shore of Lake Travis could be between 700 and 2,000 years old.

An archaeology crew excavated the nearly intact skeleton on Sunday so that it can be donated to the University of Texas for further study.

"The significance of this is really an understanding of the ways of people who lived here in the past," said Andy Malof, an archaeologist with the Lower Colorado River Authority. "It gives us information about their health, their diet, stresses and their environment."

He said that an on-site examination of the body indicated that it is less than 1,000 years old. But arrowheads collected at the site suggest a burial taking place between 1,500 and 2,000 years ago, he said.

No word yet on whether the remains will be burned and reduced to a pile of dust like her unidentified compatriots here in "modern-day" Tucson.

CQPolitics on the AZ8 Race

More national attention to the diverse southern Arizona Congressional District that is literally a stone's throw away from where I live.

The retirement of 11-term centrist Republican Rep. Jim Kolbe created the possibility of a Democratic takeover in Arizona’s politically competitive 8th Congressional District. And many Republican officials, including Kolbe, warned that the candidacy of conservative Randy Graf — who ran a serious but unsuccessful challenge to the incumbent in the 2004 primary — would put the seat more at risk.

Yet Kolbe’s goal of uniting party moderates around a single opposing candidate in the Sept. 12 primary have failed, in large part because Graf has drawn two combative opponents whose rivalry appears as much personal as it is political.

The most recent polling indicates that the two — state Rep. Steve Huffman, who has Kolbe’s endorsement, and Mike Hellon, a former state Republican Party chairman and ex-Republican national committeeman — are splitting the primary votes of Republicans who oppose Graf, and are making his nomination more likely.

Randy Graf, who's a proud "Minuteman for Congress", is definitely a radical rightwinger. So radical that CQ characterizes two of his opponents as moderate Republicans. I almost shot water out of my nose laughing.

Mike Hellon wants to abolish the 14th Amendment of the Constitution to deny citizenship to U.S.-born children of undocumented immigrants. If that has become a moderate position, it's news to me. As I said before, I fully support it, as long as it's made retroactive to the time when the first European ships arrived in the "New World." If they're going to play hardball, they better be prepared to be met with burning indignation from the indigenous people of this land.

The other "moderate" profiled in the race is Steve Huffman. What that should really read is "moderate on immigration." Compared to Mr. Minuteman and Mr. Deport the Brown Menace, Huffman's position is actually more in line with the center of the immigration debate (Note: the "center" is irrelevant with this GOP primary race, according to my omnipotent crystal ball)
Temporary legal workers should be allowed to fill jobs we need done
Thousands of Americans work in industries that depend on foreign labor. The problem is not that people want to work in our country, the problem is that they are here illegally. Border security reform without a temporary worker program will be economic suicide in a state like ours.
Do you hear that? It's the sound of Steve Huffman's flesh being shredded like queso by the harpy-like supporters of Graf and Hellon - perhaps additional restraining orders will be necessary as the primary approaches in a couple of weeks. Heh.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Remembering Katrina: Blogger Resources

The Opportunity Agenda posted a comprehensive list of resources to use as the gulf coast region marks the one year anniversary of the Katrina disasters (the hurricane, then the colossal federal f*ck-up). Here are some local bloggers listed that have been covering their area one year later.

Facing South

After the Levees

Reconstruction Watch

Covenant with Black America

MoJo Blog

The Third Battle of New Orleans

There have also been some great diaries over on Daily Kos. Here are just a few that deserve another look:

Breaking Report: One Year After Katrina

Spike Lee, Katrina, and Daily Kos . . .

Coming Home: The Katrina Blog Project

Little Progress in New Orleans One Year Later

New Orleans, The Forgotten City

Mississippi After Katrina

The Mental Health Crisis in New Orleans

Here's the linkage to the full resource list. Also, my amigo James at The Left End of the Dial has been blazing great posts the past few days covering the different facets of failure by the government to the people. This particular video hits hard in its poignancy.

Join the Katrina Blogswarm - hold them all accountable.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Katrina: Patience Can't Last Forever

From the September 2005 archives of this blog:
Patience is a virtue...

...but survival is an instinct. Here is a prime example of the disconnect between the government and the everyday citizens on the street:

"Certainly there are some people out there that are frustrated and in need of assistance," White House press secretary Scott McClellan told reporters aboard Air Force One. "We've got to continue working to get them assistance as quickly as we can."

"There is some level of patience that obviously is going to be required during this time," he said, "but we are urging everyone to move forward as quickly as they can to get people the help they need."

These wackos in charge forget that the victims of Hurricane Katrina did not have the luxury of being patient. They were dying. What's abhorrent is that it didn't have to be that way. If FEMA would've done its f*cking job, then the response would've been adequate, the food and water would've been delivered, and we wouldn't be hearing political bullshit like this:

On another front, 21 House Republicans sent a letter demanding that Bush find spending cuts in federal programs to offset the massive cost of rebuilding the Gulf Coast. Conservatives, worried that the deficit will balloon, have been alarmed at the pace of spending with no talk of how to pay for it.

Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record), R-Ariz., suggested dropping the Medicare prescription drug plan, which he has long opposed. "It was supposed to cost $400 billion," he told CBS Evening News. "It's now up to $700 billion. We ought to cancel it, go back to square one."

Bush last week ruled out raising taxes to pay Katrina expenses and said other government spending must be cut. His aides have said, though, that no such cuts have yet been identified and that the hurricane relief effort will temporarily swell the deficit.

Further proof that politics will always trump the greater-good with the Bush misAdministration. Wake me up when their reign of terror is over. I've run out of patience. Just like these people:

A year later, and this is the situation on the ground
President Bush said Monday the huge job of rebuilding from Hurricane Katrina was just beginning a year after the massive storm but expressed hope that the $110 billion of help sent from Washington would be enough.
The Times-Pacayune, who rocked in their coverage last year and continuing through today, offers a several-page exposé on the conditions of the levee system in New Orleans. The opening paragraph says it all
Although the Army Corps of Engineers has spent more than $352 million to bring levees, floodwalls and drainage systems in the New Orleans area back to where they were before Hurricane Katrina hit a year ago, crucial improvements aimed at upgrading the system to the level long ago authorized by Congress are barely past the planning stages.
Patience is not an option for an area that remains under threat of another catastrophe. This is yet another one of those rotten fruits that have sprung up from the seeds of failed leadership at all levels. Vote them all out.

Stones vs. Bullets: Ingredients of an Int'l Incident

As if tensions weren't high enough already.
A U.S. Border Patrol agent shot and killed a man on the Mexico side of the border during an altercation Saturday night near the U.S. Port of Entry at Andrade, Calif., according to the Border Patrol.


Van Wagenen said it was then that agents came under attack by several individuals throwing rocks on the Mexico side of the border. One agent was struck in the head. When one of the men was observed preparing to throw another rock, an agent fired one round from his gun and struck him.

“The individual who was struck began to run south into Mexico," Van Wagenen said.

Mexican authorities later found the man and took him to a hospital in Los Algodones, Baja Calif. He was pronounced dead there, according to the Border Patrol.

The Nativist Apologists will cheapen the worth of the Mexican man's life, saying that "he had it coming." I say - How much more death will the people endure before realizing that militarization is a dead-end solution to the humanitarian crisis growing in this area? Economic woes are the engine fueling the migration, yet the corporate money-hoarders calling the shots in Washington D.C. are allowed free reign. The demonization is always aimed south of the line with the hypocrits here in our midst laughing their way to the bank.

It is an injustice to humanity and I'm sick of it. This is not the first time this has happened. In prior incidents it has been swept under the rug with the rest of the immoral and illegal acts by government officials of the U.S. There is zero accountability for the fact that a family in Mexico will be grieving the loss of a man who was shot dead because he threw a rock across an imaginary line.

Let's see what happens next.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

hola, allo, bonjour, etc - ready or not, here we come!

Okay, so we are not taking the Grand Tour through many countries... but our tour is still Grand! We have the best tour cuz all along the way there is... well... us!

First up, I have news about Olivia. You've heard the rumours? Normally, out of modesty, I wouldn't say anything but par for the course I have to be the one to confirm these rumours and let you know that, yes.... petal porn is back! Yessiree, in addition to Olive Oil (or is it a party favor?), red, red, red, and what could be things floating under a microscope , Olivia has brought back the famous (infamous?) frolic on pink sheets! Well done!

I bet by now you'd like a nice cool dip, no? Well have I got the perfect place for you! Family Man is experimenting again! No, no, I'm not suggesting a plunge into the ice cream maker... he's got a video/photo montage thingy of clips of his pond, set to music! I don't like bugs, snakes, alligators, mosquitos, humidity or even trees much, but how could you not want to live at this pond? Also, things could be worse!

What happens when a bunch of lefty, intellectual readers and writers start a fiery, no holds barred rant, gossip and dressing paris hilton site? Well of course they start philosophizing, seek deeper meaning in things and figure out ways to fix the world! After all, paris only has so many outfits. You have to try some of the link stuff though... so far, my favorites are storm sounds, Makeover Mona Lisa and Mr PicassoHead!

[UPDATE!] So, over at Rob's.... what? You don't know who Rob is? Hah! So I'm not the only one that doesn' t always notice things and has been typing out Interepid Liberal Journal even though all his posts are signed "Rob"! Much easier to type. Anyway, over there he's talking about reminiscing about the future, politicians who say one thing with the full intention of doing the other, and the historical dwarfing of reality in the face of a need to believe. Or strategy. Interesting stuff, go read!

I love this car that Boran is working on - such personality! Right now he's highlighted the pencil sketch in ochre and it's all starting to come together. Plus, TWO people have been voted off Blogistan! We won't miss them!

Young, old, chubby, thin, croissants or tortillas, Janet has photos of the people who are out there for peace and making a difference, at the pink house - Peace Gone Wild! Also, Imagine... if people actually practiced what they preached.

[UPDATE AGAIN!] I didn't forget the rest of you! Had to shut down for a bit cuz the little computer was running hot, hot hot! All better now though. Hopefully ;)

Over at doves, I have a question about human nature, and is it! Also, I bet you never thought of the connections between the White Feather Wielder and the Down-trodden Woman, did you? Well, dove has teased them out, and boy do they make sense!

Oh gee, is Hurricane Ernesto on the path towards New Orleans? XicanoPwr follows the wind and the clouds (and the national weather service). Also, he does some updating on the Bush family young and able folks, and what they are busy doing while they are not joining the military.

catnip has found another weird... er, very interesting picture for her Sunday Food for Thought! Also, untelevised revolutions (in case you missed it at the pink palace) and news updates!

Speaking of pictures, if you have clown issues you might want to prepare yourself before visiting deano this week! I actually don't mind clowns but some are more um... than others! But to make up for it, very pretty butterflies. Or something. Go look!

[UPDATE THE LAST! maybe] Look out below! scribe has, in the post right below this one, an excellent story that could be a metaphore for many things... or just interesting day at the beach!

James' Food for Thought covers the entire weekend! Also, being too comfortable to move is not always a good thing. And peace takes courage! No nekkid feet Open Threads though.

I'm sensing a theme here across sites and comments, even though some things may not exactly seem like the other.... hive minds, or maybe a quickening of echoes? Ductape says Americans are not malicious, so why don't they resist? And comes up with some ideas.

Duke finds all the yucky, crazy people! Well, maybe not all, but certainly enough. Like the Miniature Men who tell groups of college Young Republicans that border crossers should be shot. Oh, but that's not all! Some politicians have nothing to campaign on but hate and bigotry. What if, one day, they gave a hate and nobody came?

All is well at katiebird's, though! She had a scare last week (a car wreck! she's okay... the car? not so much), but that didn't stop her from being committed daily (drop by, you too can be committed over anything)! And she's wondering about the big question... introvert or extrovert? We shall see!

All done! I think.

Use this as an Open Thread

Saturday, August 26, 2006

The Sandcastle Kings

The boys gathered on the beach while their vacationing parents sat under big umbrellas, enjoying fancy drinks with small umbrellas in them.

The sand was just right for building, so the boys decided to make the biggest sand castle ever made! It would be SO big, that NO one could ever knock it down, not even the ocean itself! People from miles around would come to see it, and cheer for the builders.

Randy, suddenly seized by an even bigger idea, jumped up and down and said “ Wait! Wait! We could even charge people MONEY to see our castle! We could get RICH!!!!”

“Yay!” shouted the others, eager to begin. Randy, who had the biggest pail and the biggest shovel, said, “Here, let’s fill my pail, FIRST, cuz it will make the biggest blocks for the bottom!”

So, that’s what they did. They filled Randy’s bucket full, packed it tight, tipped it over, pounded on the bottom, then, all held their breath as Randy carefully removed the pail.

It was perfect! “Yay!” another cheer went up!!” “Let’s make another one!” shouted Steve, waving his big shovel like a flag!

“Yeah! A million of them!” yelled Joe, already at work with his own good sized shovel, filling up Randy’s big pail again.

Randy, Steve and Joe worked furiously, while the other boys, who had small shovels or no shovels at all, watched. When it came time to tip over and place a newly packed pail of sand, , of course, Randy got to decide where to put it, because it was his pail.

Mark sat watching, wishing he’d had the biggest pail, because he didn’t like how Randy was building the bottom layer at all: the pieces were way too far apart. Some of the others were growing bored, because watching isn’t as nearly much fun as doing. Then John decided he could help by filling in the spaces between the big pails full of packed and.

“Hey, whatcha DOIN”?! yelled Steve, when John got in his way. “Quit it! You’re gonna knock something over!”

Mark ventured, “Ya know, I think it should be a circle, not a square.”
Randy shouted with laughter. “Who ever heard of a round castle!!”
Mark, face flaming red at the other boys’ laughter, fell silent.

Soon, there was a large square of pail-shaped piles of well packed sand. “Now who’s got a smaller pail we can use for the next layer?” asked Steve, looking around, and seeing that Mark had one just the right size.

“Hey Mark! Yours is just right! Give it here!”

Mark didn’t move and he didn’t hand over his pail either. “Then I get to put the blocks on, ok?”

Randy, Steve and Joe exchanged a quick look. Steve said, “Sure, Mark!” and Mark handed over his pail, and got ready to start digging, with his smaller shovel.

“Move over, “said Randy, shoving Mark aside with his bulk. “Our shovels are bigger and we can fill the pail faster!” He was right, Mark knew, so he moved, but stayed in close, so when the pail was packed full, he’d be ready. He already knew just where the first pail should go.

But quick as a flash, Randy grabbed the packed pail and put it where HE wanted it!

“HEY!”, protested Mark, “I get to do that part!”

But no one paid any attention, as they were busy filling Marks pail again, with their bigger shovels.

Mark backed off. They were bigger than he was. It was three to one. They had bigger shovels. The second layer was soon complete.

John had the next smaller bucket. He just handed over his pail and sat back down to watch.

Randy, Steve and Joe had a wonderful time building that castle just the way they wanted to. It grew very tall, and very strong.

So did the discontent, among the watcher boys, who had donated the use of their pails, and had sat still in the hot sun a long time. The anger at the unfairness of it all felt like a bunch of too-hot French fries in their bellies.

That castle was supposed to belong to all of the guys, not just Randy, Steve and Joe. Who did they think they were, some kinda kings?

But no one said anything, until the Three Kings of the Sandcastle took off to go get their parents to come see their awesome creation.

No one said anything then, either. It was Mark who picked up the first stone, turned it over in his hand, staring at it a long while, before heaving it, hard, at the castle.

A tower fell, knocked clear off. Then another, and another, as one by one, the stones from the watcher boys attacked the castle.

When the Three Kings of the Sandcastle returned, semi-tipsy parents in tow, there was nothing to see but a big pile of wet sand.

The injured, angry wails of the Sandcastle Kings could be heard a long way off. Their echo, and the cooing sounds of mother-comfort, the empowering murmur of father-vengeance , soon faded away, as they walked off toward the consolation of ice cream stand.

The watcher boys had scattered, silently, to their own home bases on the beach.

Mark’s Dad asked if he’d had fun with his friends on the beach. Mark shrugged and said, “It was ok.”

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Racism and Hatred in American Culture, Part 2

I was going back through the archives and wanted to expand abit on this post I wrote back in April regarding the undercurrent of racism that is flourishing here in the U.S.
All emotions exist in varying degrees. I have found that the key to a healthy lifestyle is striking a balance that feeds the good ones such as compassion, love and humility while not completely ignoring the latent shadows of hate, xenophobia and racism that exist inside of me. To deny that they are there in some form allows them to grow and fester without my knowledge. While I may never spray paint hate messages on the building of a perceived enemy, or beat up another human being until they were unrecognizable, I could make statements or observations that are damaging towards the dignity and respect entitled to all human beings; even those, and perhaps especially those who refuse to show me the same courtesy.

Personal responsibility is one of those things that is bipartisan and universal. There will always be others who have no concept of that type of individual accountability, or outright reject it, but I have to be willing to hold myself to the highest standard if the tide is ever going to rise again in this country and flood out the toxins.
I say flourishing because that which usually lurks in the shadows is slowly but surely making its way out into the open. Crooks and Liars has the Caferty File segment covering just three recent examples by politicians.

Also, Arcturus posted a link to the following news story on the Eegee Board:
Nine black children attending Red River Elementary School were directed last week to the back of the school bus by a white driver who designated the front seats for white children.

The situation has outraged relatives of the black children who have filed a complaint with school officials.

Superintendent Kay Easley will meet with the family members in her office this morning.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People also is considering filing a formal charge with the U.S. Department of Justice. NAACP District Vice President James Panell, of Shreveport, said he would apprise Justice attorneys of the situation this week. He's considering asking for an investigation into the bus incident and other aspects of the school system's operations, including pupil-teacher ratio as it relates to the numbers of white and black children, along with a breakdown of the numbers of black and white teachers employed.

"If the smoke is there, then there's probably fire somewhere else," Panell said in a phone interview from New Orleans. "At this point, it is extremely alarming. We fought that battle 50 years ago, and we won. Why is this happening again?"
In my opinion, it's happening because there are plenty of unabashed racists being given plenty of airtime on television and radio stations - Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, Bill Bennett, Pat Buchanan, Chris Simcox - the list goes on and on and on.

Latent feelings of hostility towards Otherness is stoked and comforted by having people like that given prominent spotlight attention instead of public denouncement - it allows the flaming racist/bigot/xenophobe who sits at home disgusted with the Mexican "terrorists" crossing the border, or the new Arab family in the neighborhood, or the gay couple he saw leaving one of those bars holding hands to feel justified in their perpetual state of hate.

When I say that the political climate in the U.S. is poisoning the well, I wish I was being flippant. In reality, I want to be convinced that there will be a huge outpouring of compassion and tolerance but the crickets are chirping. Why is that?

That rhetorical question will go unanswered in an acceptable way as long as I keep seeing Rush's face scowling at me every time I pass a Clear Channel Billboard on my way to work.

Press Release on Migrant Deaths

Some things require no commentary, like this press release from Derechos Humanos:

For Immediate Release
August 23, 2006

38 Migrant Deaths in July Brings Arizona Death Toll to 171

The deaths of at least 38 migrants in the month of July on the Arizona-Sonora border bring the official migrant death count to 171 known deaths for the fiscal year. The count, which includes numbers compiled from Pima, Yuma and Cochise Counties, includes the deaths of three children, ages 16, 12, and 11, during the month of July. To date, there have been 8 deaths of children since the fiscal year began on October 1st, ages ranging from 1 to 16.

“The continued rise in the deaths of children and women is alarming, and speaks of the incredible desperation and love” says Dulce Ruelas of Derechos Humanos. “We talk about family values—these are people who risk everything to keep the family unit together. To them, there is nothing of greater value than family.”

As immigration and border security continue to be hot issues debated in Washington, D.C., the border communities on which these failed policies are unleashed continue to suffer the trauma of dealing with hundreds of deaths each year, an increased vigilance of law enforcement, and a growing strain as xenophobic and racist rhetoric is given regular play in the debate. The creation of a space for meaningful dialogue is vital to ending the deaths and creating change on the border.

As a non-profit human rights organization that seeks to bring change and justice to the border, Coalición de Derechos Humanos calls upon all friends, allies, and people of conscience to stand together and demand that our leaders put an end to border deaths by implementing immigration reform that addresses the issue of migration and immediately demilitarizing our borders. As we have witnessed for more than a decade, and as the increasing loss of human life serves to attest, the current border and immigration policies have failed us in our communities, and have failed in their obligations to humanity.

The list of migrant deaths is available to the community on the Derechos Humanos website: This information is available to anyone who requests it from us and is used by our organization to further raise awareness of the human rights crisis we are facing on our borders.

For more information, please contact Kat Rodriguez at Derechos Humanos: 520.770.1373.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Ambassadors of Peace and Hope

An early peek at tomorrow's peace photo journal:

I dedicate the below to my dear friend, Manny.
In more ways than one, you were with me tonight.

We were all touched by these four new faces.
Such lovely souls.
So expressive, so caring and so gentle.

Our true and only treasures.

Una mas, por favor, una mas...

Compassion, dignity, and purity.

I saw a young Manny tonight.
Tonight I saw more hope for tomorrow.

NRSC Unveils Their "Brown Menace" Campaign

Looks like Rhode Island is the test market to see how their message of hate and bigotry plays with the people.

(hat tip to kos)

Last week, I took the DSCC to task for equating border-crossers with terrorists. What good am I if I can't hold my own political party(ish) accountable for playing the race card when the other side is doing it in an overt way? Regardless of where the message originates, the Latino population (specifically Mexicans but to the shallow-minded, all Latinos) are doomed to suffer the consequences of all this xenophobia.

Rhode Island is very far away from the U.S./Mexico border, obviously, but the National Republican Senators Committee's decision to run this ad against one of their own shows a glimpse of the ugly political battles that are on the horizon as the elections get closer.

I take this all personally because when I look in the mirror, the face staring back at me is one that I'm proud of - one that is shared by the same "brown menace" that these fearmongers are growing in the minds of U.S. Americans. It is the height of irresponsibility from the thrones of the elite of this country to send a continuous message of hate and anger into the public psyche. The endgame will only result in violence and more war - things that I denounce with every ounce of my core.

What's it going to take to make it stop?

Quick and Dirty Salsa Recipe

I shared this yesterday with the FBC crew after one of them admitted to eating Pace Picante Sauce on a regular basis. (!) It works if you're pressed for time and need to throw something together quickly (plus it's much better than the Minutemen's Offering of Hate)
-1 large can of diced tomatoes, or two 14.5oz cans
-4 tbsp of garlic powder or 4 fresh garlic cloves chopped fine
-1 bunch of cilantro
-4 stems (1 bunch) of green onions diced
-1/2 teaspoon of red peppers (the pizza kind works if you're not a fan of fire), I use one serrano chili diced finely but I like fire
-2 tbsp of salt, or to taste Directions
Blend the garlic, cilantro, salt and red peppers with half the can of diced tomatoes (if you're using the smaller cans, then use one full can in the blender). After it's blended finely, pour it into your serving bowl and mix with the rest of the tomatoes. Stir in the green onions and enjoy! I also add a squeezed lime but that's up to you.

Open Thread! Open Thread! Open Thread!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Great Wall: Militarizing the US/Mexico Border

Back in May, J.D. Hayworth (R-Minuteman/Az) had this to say
"As for Mexican President Vicente Fox's concern that the border will become militarized, don't make me laugh. There are areas all along the border that already resemble a war zone. The border has already been militarized by the drug smugglers, human smugglers, and Mexico's own military. Anyone living along the border will tell you that Fox's concerns are not only absurd but insulting as well."
I wrote about it in a post that provided J.D. with the definition of the word in order to clear up any confusion as to what is happening down here in the Borderlands. Now, three months later, the line is crawling with National Guard troops from all across the country as well as armed vigilante operations interspersed between Border Patrol checkpoints and local law enforcement units that are re-interpreting federal immigration laws to arrest "suspected illegal immigrants."

The Great Wall of America™ is also being erected in new places.
The feds are planning to build another stretch of fence along Arizona's border with Mexico in Cochise County.

A Border Patrol spokesman says the project will connect with existing fencing in the Douglas and Naco areas. The result, he he says, will be to create a continuous barrier between the towns – along about a 40-mile stretch of border.

In addition to these "official" barricades being constructed, the racist vigilante Minutemen have received some manna from heaven hell.
A Washington-based company is donating up to $7 million worth of fiber-optic security fencing material for the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps to use in any new barriers the group erects to try to keep illegal immigrants out of Arizona.

The mesh has embedded sensors that can differentiate between human and animal contact and conditions such as high winds or heavy rain. Tied into cameras and alarms, the system can alert monitors to the precise location of any intrusion.


FOMGuard USA represents FOMGuard Co., a South Korean enterprise that developed the fencing material.

May said the mesh security fencing was designed for use along the demilitarized zone with North Korea.

linkage (emphasis mine)
This deal stinks worse than a dead skunk along one of the dirt roads travessing the Tohono O'odham Nation. First the Minutemen ran out of volunteers to complete their original fence project. Then, their accounting practices were called into question. Now, they are getting $7 million dollars worth of technology/hardware donated?!?

Who ARE these people?

FOMGuard is typical of Fiber Optic Sensor Fence developed by FOMGuard Inc. which protects from various intrusion attempts through perfect detection for cutting or excess force. It injects lightwave pulse to Fiber Optic Sensor Netattached at the fence and checks the timing and strength of the returning pulse.

FOMGuard is the only perimeter security system in Asia passed USAF technical evaluation test over 3 years after being adopted by FCT Program of US DoD. In the test, FOMGuard got outstanding achievement that location accuracy of ±25cm, no false alarm, 100% detection for intrusion of fence top and corner,easy maintenance, interface with annunciator.

linkage (emphasis mine)

The .pdf of the actual product can be found here. According to Security Middle East Magazine:

FOMGuard is a fiber optic sensor fence solution that was approved by the USAF in 2004. FOMGuard injects lightwave pulses into the Fiber Optic Net made of specially designed fiber optic cable and checks the timing and strength of the returning pulses. If it detects irregular pulses the system immediately displays the intrusion location and generates an audible and visible signal. FOMGuard adopts the OTDR technology measuring optical fiber status, which functions as important part providing pinpoint accuracy of FOMGuard. FOMGuard perfectly detects cutting, putting excess force for pass through, climbing over, and intruding at the top by using ladder and at the bottom by digging ground. It gives an alarm pinpointing the intrusion spot with a marginal error of ± 25cm using the patented software algorithm, PINPOINTGuard. FOMGuard is designed for the existing iron fence or on the block fence instead of barbed wire, or can be installed as stand alone.

United States Air Force and Korea-based Certifications can be found here. Also, from a 2005 Issue of Government Computer News
According to Charles Harvey, CTO of Washington-based International Trade and Technologies Inc., which helps Korean companies crack the U.S. market, the FOMGuard system has been tested and deployed at certain U.S. military bases. It consists of a net of fiber-optic cables thrown over a perimeter fence. The net links back to a central surveillance system and, thanks to the fiber optics, can pinpoint within inches where a security breach may occur.

Nope, nothing to see here. A vigilante militia is being GIVEN top-notch security technology to do as they wish. The silence from the government is deafening because they are giving the wink-wink nod-nod treatment to Chris Simcox and his racist band of thugs. It is the SAME hardware being used to guard military bases for FSMs sake!

M - I - L - I - T - A - R - I - Z - A - T - I - O - N

Am I the only one horrified at the thought that they may be using these walls someday for the purpose of keeping us locked in?

Ladies Of The Night

Ladies of the Night

One night I woke up in a whorehouse.
This is a true story.

I was 29 years old. It was 11 PM , I had been up for three days and nights straight, sitting in a surgical waiting room and then by my husbands hospital bed. I was all alone in this huge (and of course evil!) big city that no one from my nice little white-bread-religious home town ever even visited, unless they absolutely had to.

Surely there must be rooms to rent around this huge inner city hospital complex. I HAD to get some real sleep soon so I could keep going: already any surface I was walking on seemed to be on a 90 degree incline, and everything looked surreal to me. I saw a three story brick building that had the huge word " Rooms, $19.95 " painted on the side, stumbled up the steps and rang the bell.

The woman who answered was in her nightgown, and seemed startled to see me. Understandable, I thought, it was very late. Yes, she said, she did have rooms to rent, but.. "I'll take one." I interrupted, and stuck out a twenty, thinking only that if I didn't get to a bed quick, I was going to pass out right there in her hallway.

It was on the third floor, third door on the right. I was only slightly aware of the drunk sleeping and snoring away on the first landing, or of the smell of the place, or anything else. I did notice bugs scurrying off into corners when I finally found the string hanging from the bare bulb in the middle of the room, and the fact that the spread on the saggy bed looked anything but clean, just before I fell across it and went unconscious for the next six hours.

I was rudely awakened by a fierce pounding on my door, and a drunken, angry male voice yelling..." RUBY! GODDAMMIT, RUBY, OPEN THIS FUCKING DOOR!" followed by a crash, as a body hurled itself against it. And again. I'm on my feet, pasted up against the far wall, without a clue as to where I even was or what the hell was going on. Finally, he went away. After shoving the dresser in front of the door, I got back to sleep.

So went my first night in what I was to discover was a whorehouse. I finally caught on in the morning, when I went down the hall to use the communal bathroom, and met some of my neighbors, all of whom looked at me like I'd landed from a different planet, and who themselves looked like they had all traveled some very long, very hard miles. Such language had never passed through these innocent small town ear canals ever before.

But there wasn't time to think about any of this: I had been gone from the hospital for way too long..he was all alone, and so desperately sick after an 18 hour last ditch transplant effort. What if he had died while I was sleeping, oh gawd, I'd never forgive myself.

I ran all the way back to the hospital in a panic. He was still there,and it was another long and terrifying day. and my Mom couldn't get here till tomorrow.

Mid afternoon, I ran back to the rooming house to pay for another night. The woman was still in her nightgown, and tried to tell me I did not want to stay there: that this wasn't a safe place. Her eyes were very kind, and sad, too, as she listened to me say I had to stay there , I had no where else to go, and I needed to stay close to the hospital.

She had no time to reply. I shoved another twenty in her hand and took off back to the hospital: it was looking bad, rejection symptoms present already. You just don't live too long without a functioning pancreas and kidneys.

Late that night when I got back to my room, there were crisp clean sheets and a new bedspread on the bed. Clean towels on the dresser. The floor had been swept. No one bothered me that night.

The next morning,there was a thermos of coffee standing outside my door. Two women in the bathroom called me 'Honey" and asked how my husband was. I could notice these things, but could not react to anything but the driving need to get back to the hospital.

My Mom came that day. She went looking for a better place close by that we could afford, long haul. She couldn't find anything. That night she want back to the brick place with me. It didn't take my Mom long to make the decision we'd stay put: she had a gift for seeing gold where no one else could.

I stayed with those ladies for the duration, until he blessedly died six weeks later. Every night there were sandwiches and cookies in the room, every morning there was coffee and rolls left outside the door.

They would take no more money from me for the room, which slowly was transformed into a really sweet place to be, right up to fresh doilies on the dresser top and new curtains.

Other than kind greetings and inquires about how he was, they did not probe, or burden me with the need to make conversation at all. They just quietly took care of me, and protected me, and somehow, understood. They had let me use their phone number as an emergency contact, so when the hurry-up-get back here-right-away call came, we all knew what it meant. It was a long hard day of saying good by and letting go.

None of the ladies were around when we came back to pick up our stuff and leave for home. Not a one. The hallway was silent.

But in the room was a thermos of coffee, a bag of sandwiches and donuts ready to go, and a silver sugar bowl stuffed with money. Three hundred dollars.

No note, and none left by me. I understood that words and good byes were not wanted or needed.

These ladies, these " Others", have stayed with me ever since.

It has always been The Others who have been there for me in darkest times. Not my own kind.

Always, The Others.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Peeking at the neighbors!

Could it possibly be Sunday again already? It sure could! The proof is in the pudding... what? You don't get Sunday Pudding!? I am not sure that is legal, we'll have to check it out.

But in the meantime... time to see what's happening in the barrio!

Boran2 has started the new picture of the cool car! It's just a sketch now, but we'll be able to follow along weekly. Also, all that is green and growing on the lawn may not be what it seems!

I don't think spiderleaf knows about our petitions! Okay, so we've only used them one and a half times, but still... one has to conserve on such fearsome things!

Family Man has been gifted. Twice! But what does it all mean? Also, Cat is caught in the act! As FM says "My life takes on the trappings of a sitcom more and more it seems. "
And don't we love it!

[UPDATE!] Olivia in space! She must have been, otherwise how could she have taken this picture? Although she is not admitting that that is what it is, but we know better! Also, if you were suffering from nonbuggyness, suffer no more! Olivia has what could reasonably be termed a bug fashion show, with each preening and setting themselves against colors that show them to advantage.

XicanoPwr draws our attention to racist hate, salsa style! Also, Schumer and the DSCC are On Notice!

Picking up on XP's salsa post, Duke points out a dilemma some racists face with their "love the food, but hate the people” , and their attempts to keep the one while getting rid of the other. Also, he debunks yet another myth, this time about immigrants and crime!

[UPDATE AGAIN!] Proof that it is Sunday... catnip has her Sunday Food for Thought! Much there to chew on. Also, like a polite host should, she offers the Pentagon some cheesecake!

For gossip, rants and dressing Paris Hilton you can't beat Mo Betta Meta! Where we find out that Ductape is having a birthday and, even though there is no ice cream, it's melting, it's melting! Ahem.

supersoling is singing on Sunday with the Fourtops! Okay, so maybe he's not singing, and that may be a good thing, but still.

w00t! katiebird is back, and just in time! I've been checking all morning and now... there she is! Seems she migrated servers and is quite happy about it too. Yay! After this, it will be back to her regular schedule of vibrating beds, ladders and skinny jean dreams and being committed daily!

[UPDATE SOME MORE!] scribe has a wonderful essay in the post right below this one (scroll down!). Also our Manny has been spreading petals for peace, and has escaped the managerie for the weeekend! A long weekend, let's hope he comes back rested and renewed!

Speaking of manageries, James has a bit of chimp nostalgia to share! Also, silly wabbits... you can't have shakes on a plane!

Ductape notices that, sadly, there are some things that do bridge the gaps and unite people. Not birthday cake!

deano has an angel... of sorts. Quite fiery, too! Interesting painting and the artist is in the comments, which always makes things more fun.

[UPDATE THE LAST! i think] dove has thoughts on smoke and mirrors and terra attacks. And good news! poco has been released from parental unit duty and is now back!

Janet has video of a CodePink troops home fast, and more peace vigil pictures and memories! If you can't be there yourself... the next best thing.

We haven't visited Intrepid Liberal Journal for a couple of rounds, but he's got a great post up today about power, politics and latex gloves! How can you resist?

All Done! (i think)

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Laredo Lessons

When I first moved to Laredo, what I really wanted to see the Rio Grande. I am deeply drawn to rivers wherever I am, and this one especially.

But my plan to go to the Nature Center, where there is more direct access to the river than allowed in the public park near the International Bridge, was received with alarm, and strong resistance to my plan to there alone on an afternoon. I was from Minnesota, where river banks are easily accessible and safe places where one can sit in peace with a with a river a long as one wants!

But I couldn't go there, they said because of the shootings there had been, between border patrol and drug smugglers. It was just too dangerous. That vast and beautiful space, set aside to honor nature and the river, could no longer be visited. I could feel the Rio Grande calling to me, but I could not get to her.

The closest I could get was the large public park near the International Bridge. And then I could only get glimpses of the great river, because a strong fence kept us well back, and the tall reeds were so thick they that all but blocked all view of the Rio. There were border patrol officers all over the place, in cars and on foot, and as I walked along the path by the fence, I notice all sorts of plastic bag type refuse hanging from the bushes on the other side of the river.

They were, I was told, the discarded plastic bags people swimming across had brought dry clothes in, to change into once they reached this side. Here? In this most public place full of border guards? It seems so, and it wasn't long before I got to see it happen.

I was really startled the day when, walking along the path by the fence, a young mans face broke through the reeds practically at my elbow! A boy, really, wet hair plastered over his eyes, which were very wide and scanning around fast. I stopped dead in my tracks, then heard my friend urgently whisper to the kid, "Policia! Policia!". The head disappeared back into the reeds, and their rustling tops marked his rapid departure to safer territory.

I tried to think of how it would feel, to want to leave my country so badly I would swim a river, and risk near certain arrest and possible imprisonment to try to get into another country.

But I couldn't imagine it.

I'd sit transfixed by the view of that huge International Bridge literally crammed full of people on foot and in cars lined up all across it's expanse, as far as the eye could see, every single day...crossing over here for daytime jobs, crossing back over each night to go home. walking miles each way. You could see the weariness in the weariness of the body languages of those going home, compared to the briskness of the morning gait.

I tried to imagine having to go to those lengths, day in and day out, for the kind of wages I knew most made .. in order to survive.

But I couldn't imagine it.

One day I went across that bridge with my new friends, to Nuevo Laredo to shop. Our car held only us older women, so we only a cursory sniff and quick looking over, on the way over. But the sheer and endless volume of cars and people, flowing back and forth over that river, just astounded me.

We went to a big box chain store, and again, I was almost unable to take it all in. The different food smells permeating the air, the sounds of a language I could not understand swirling all around me and a store full of signs and price tags and packaging language I could not read at all.
I needed to use a rest room. How was I even going to ask anyone where one was?! If I found one, please let me to at least be able to figure out which was for women, which for men! How am I going to figure out how much things were? Or ask for things I needed and could not find?

This was not a good experience, to feel like a total alien in a new land where I could not even communicate. I got separated from my friends, and felt very vulnerable, and very lost and alone, till I found them again.
Powerless. I felt powerless. And SO alone.

Is this how it feels, I wondered, for immigrants to come to the US, especially those without our language, and with no idea of what they will find? Would they find us as willing to make eye contact, and try to offer assistance, even without a shared language, like those I found there, find in that Mexican store? My confusion seemed to be totally obvious, and familiar (even funny!) to many there that day, many of whom who smiled their understanding. and offered me an assist.

On the way home we had a very long wait in the car, as there had been a bomb threat that closed the bridge. What?! I snapped to full red alert status n a hurry, until told "Oh, it's nothing. This happens all the time. We just wait now."

And wait we did, for a very long time. . Hundred and hundreds of cars full of people, and what looked like thousands on foot. No shoving, no impatient honking of horns, just. people waiting, because waiting is simply a part of life there. Bomb threats are a part of life there. Walking miles and miles and waiting in endless lines in order to make a living at all, is a part of life there, for so many human beings.

Josie, the young woman from the first Laredo story, did this every single day, to feed her children. I saw thousands of Josie's that day on the bridge, waiting, waiting, on tired feet. And so man older woman who lokked even tireder, snd working men, yound and old, carrying small lunch bags, crossing over every day to see if anyone would hire them for a days work from where they waited in plaza downtown. I tried to imagine living such a hard, patient life.

But I could not imagine it.

When the bridge was cleared, we moved forward very slowly. I got a birds eye view of what a massive, impossible task these crossing authorities face, day in day out, in trying to enforce the law, prevent crime, and weed out as much danger as possible from these huge masses of moving humanity. It's clear as glass to me that what they are being asked to do is humanely impossible to do. We could have stashed enough drugs and bombs in our mostly un-inspected car full of little old ladies to pay for and fuel no end of catastrophic destruction within these borders.

I wondered how it would feel to if me this border town, now under such siege, and such incredible pressure from all sides at once. was the beloved home of my own origins and beloved family.

But I could not imagine it.

I could not imagine these things because I am, and always have been, a white American. All I really can know, or understand on intimate personal levels, is what I have experienced directly, as an white American born and raised only within these borders.

My mind has the capacity to log and store FACTS about how life is for others in other countries and cultures, my emotions can and are engaged by awareness of conditions in which I know others must exist, but my GUTS cannot "know" how it actually IS for those others. And never will be able to, unless I were to try to become one with them and live the same lives they do, for a very, very long time.

When it came time to leave Laredo, and move back to St Paul, Minnesota, our mover couldn't find any loading help, and we had to go to the plaza to seek some day laborers. He asked me not to mention this, as it was not legal for hum to do. Soon, two Mexican men crawled into the back seat of my car: both looked tired and worn, and a long ways from being young men, and neither had English.

The young (white) mover man from the (major) moving company, was not happy, but had to make do with, as he put it "Old guys who don't know a thing about packing a moving truck," which of course meant a lot more work for him. But if willingness to work damned hard meant anything, these two had no match.

When the moving was finally loaded, the mover man called me out to the front porch to sign all of his many forms. Then he asked me what I thought he should pay these guys.

I asked him what he would have paid the regular, more experienced guys he thought he had lined up, and he said sixteen dollars an hour. "But I'm sure not paying THESE two than much! Five bucks an hour ought to be enough."

A reminder to him that what he had done, by hiring unauthorized workers, could get his little systemized back behind in considerable trouble, helped him decide they were worth ten dollars an hour.

The two men were still in the house, wanting for me to drive them back to the plaza, when we remembered all the stuff still in the refrigerator. We were flying out in the morning so we asked these men if they wanted the food left in here.

I will never forget those faces either, as they stared into that full refrigerator, then looked up with disbelieving looks, at us. One backed up a step, pointed to the fridge, then to himself, then back to the fridge. as if he wasn't sure he understood that he could actually HAVE all of this.

Finally convinced it was all right, they excitedly began to their bags. I had to look away, because the sheer joy they were expressing in tone and body language just plan hurt too much to watch.

The last sight I had of these two men, when I dropped them back off at the plaza, was of two very straight backs walking away from me toward the bridge, carrying heavy bags of food and condiments, chattering excitedly to each other. I wondered if they were talking about how good it would feel to share thus unexpected bounty with those waiting at home. (but for all I know, they could have been discussing how much money they could get for it all, so they could get drink or high). I doubt it though, given what I had seen on those eyes that were practically swimming in unshed tears, as they thanked us. And given that can still feel the warmth of those rough hands that grabbed one of mine, and the quick gentle kiss delivered to back of my unwilling hand, for the simple gift of food that was no longer needed.

You can't buy experiences like this, not for millions. You can't find teachers like this in any University setting. And there is no way I know any better designed to equip a person with the kind of essential humility that serves to make one into more than they were.

Let this stand as my tribute to my Mexican and Mexican American Teachers, every single one of you. Thank you from the deepest places in my heart.

Even racists get hungry.

something XP uncovered I few days ago got me to thinking, and inspired this little piece of snark

With the ever-increasing multicultural nature of US society, has come a revolution in the eating habits of the average American. Exposed to the cuisine of different cultures, Americans have been enthralled with the foods and flavors of strange and exotic places. From little Thai restaurants in strip-malls in Texas to the Caribbean infused cuisine of Miami, Americans can’t get enough of the tasty treats offered by other cultures.

But this influx of new foods has created a conundrum for racists and xenophobes. While thoroughly enjoying some of these foods, with their strange and delicious mix of ingredients and spices, your average garden-variety racist seems to have problems accepting the fact that they “love the food, but hate the people” when it comes to some very popular ethnic items.

Now it seems they’ve found a solution to this problem, at least when it comes to America’s new number 1 condiment. A group of five clever entrepreneurs from San Antonio have introduced “Minuteman Salsa - America’s 100% US-born and bred Southwestern salsa”

Apparently, not unlike the immigrants themselves that the minutemen wish to deter, foreign salsas have also been “slipping over the border” to “invade US pantries,” and stolen the place of many traditional US condiments at diner tables across America.

America's Patriotic Salsa

Minuteman Salsa is proud to be America’s 100% US-born and bred Southwestern salsa.

You don’t support illegal immigration. Buy Minuteman Salsa and keep foreign-made salsa from slipping across the border into your pantry.

A portion of the proceeds of every sale of Minuteman Salsa will benefit the courageous men and women of the Minuteman Project, guarding America’s borders.

Evidently the company is also at the forefront of some amazing new technologies. According to the company's website they make their salsa from what they claim are inorganic materials. Whether this is some new form of cutting-edge genetic engineering using inorganic and organic materials or some heretofore-unknown technology, we can not be sure:

What are the ingredients? Tomatoes with tomato juice, salt, calcium chloride, citric acid, onions, Serrano peppers, cilantro, garlic, lemon juice, vinegar. It tastes great, and we don’t think any of the ingredients are organic.

The entrepreneurs first came up with the idea for their new product while watching the immigration rallies this past spring on TV and realized that the salsa they were eating at the time was “at odds with (their) values.” After thoroughly researching the economics of the salsa industry they realized that:

most salsa was made outside the United State by companies ... who contribute to flood of illegal immigration by employing foreign workers and using foreign produce. We weren’t going to compromise our values, and sure as heck weren’t going to stop eating salsa, so we had to create an alternative. Thus, Minuteman Salsa - America’s Patriotic Salsa was born.

Although not currently accepted by any economists, this new "theory" that manufacturing products in foreign countries using foreign labor and materials somehow directly contributes to a "flood of illegal immigration", has been gaining steam as of late in certain anti-immigration circles and will most likely become a major talking point for Lou Dobbs shortly. He'll be keeping a close watch for French streaming over the border due to Perrier and Grey Poupon I'm sure.

Launched this past July 4th, Minuteman salsa seems to be just the ticket for those who crave the tastes of other cultures yet really would prefer to have nothing to do with them.

Minuteman Salsa launches “Secure the Border” operation against foreign salsa

Minuteman Salsa, a delicious American-made and fully documented condiment. Minuteman Salsa is a Native Texan product containing no fat, low sodium, and 100% American pride.

“We’re sick and tired of foreign-grown produce and foreign-made salsa entering our country. Few Americans support illegal immigration, but they spend hard-earned dollars on what we see as illegal salsa,” explained Founder & CEO Ryan Lambert. “Foreign salsa takes American jobs, disrespects Americans sovereignty, and this Fourth of July, we’re encouraging Americans to re-declare our independence and deport foreign salsa.”

Perhaps this represents a whole new trend in racists/xenophobe foods. Hoping to cash in on America’s love of ethnic foods while still playing to ingrained racism, can it be long before we see KKK Kreplach and Aryan Nation Jamaican Beef Patties….I think not.


gracias a XP por encontrar esto

Friday, August 18, 2006

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Petals for Peace - Spread the Word

Tomorrow is another day of action for Accidental Activists across the country. Dust off your favorite protest gear and join in our campaign to end the Iraq War.
WHAT: “Petals for Peace” Public Action - More info at
WHEN: Deliver 9am to 5pm and/or gather between 1:30 to 2:30 pm Friday August, 18th 2006.
WHERE: Outside Rep. Mike Rogers office, 1327 E. Michigan Avenue, Lansing,
Michigan FAX (517) 702-8642.
WHO: Called by Greater Lansing Network Against War & Injustice

Petals for Peace - Position Statement

Petals for Peace is a metaphor for a different kind of foreign and domestic policy—one designed to achieve real and lasting security for Americans. Brutality and force toward all opponents and double-standards for America, its interests, and its supporters are not and cannot be the foundations of real peace and security. Each flower in Petals for Peace represents the recognition of “the other” and a willingness to develop and use non-violent methods of conflict resolution. These methods are not complete pacifism; instead they are a rejection of brutality, violence, and force as the appropriate response to opposition, even when violent.

President Bush has said that Americans have only reluctantly gone to war. Sadly, that is completely false for the war in Iraq—a fiasco for our country. Petals for Peace symbolizes a way of thinking and acting towards one’s opponents where the reluctance to go to war is real, not rhetorical.

A Different Kind of Policy
  • “Terror”: The United States needs a new policy to combat indiscriminate violence that targets civilians (what others inappropriately call “the war on terror”). Iraq was never involved in the events of 9-11-2001, and force, inappropriately applied around the world, serves our opponents’ goals, not our own. The goal of our policy should be to isolate and reduce those who supportand use violent means, not to provide them with ready justifications—as we currently do.
  • Iraq: The U.S. military presence in Iraq is an occupation; if continued, it will only extend and deepen the violence. “Staying the course” is the worst option. The U. S. should begin an orderly and thoughtful withdrawal of its forces and seek other means for holding Iraq together as a single state.

    Permanent bases in Iraq would represent a continued occupation, source of regional anger, and justification for attacks on the U.S.

  • Lebanon: U.S. efforts to delay a cease fire so that Israel could pursue its military campaign against Hezbollah and our quick re-supply of Israel with 500 lb. bombs demonstrated to the world that it cares more for its policy of force than the lives of people. This was yet another set-back in the effort to curb indiscriminate violence. Both the U.S. and Israel lost ground in Lebanon in their efforts to achieve real peace and security. Solving Lebanon requires addressing Palestine.

  • Detention and Torture: Our government has detained without trial hundreds of individuals whose engagement with indiscriminate violence is without demonstrated foundation. Many are clearly innocent of any such action, many have been tortured, and most have experienced humiliating and degrading punishment.

    Treating detainees without basic human respect is one major cause and justification of violent extremism. It must stop. All acts of torture must be prosecuted.

  • Civil Liberties At Home: This administration has lost its credibility when it claims that restrictions of the civil liberties of American citizens, including programs of domestic surveillance, are justified by legitimate security concerns. The public and/or its elected representatives have a right to see the evidence. Surveillance of anti-war groups is wrong and wasteful.

    It is important that U.S. policy not be one of aggression or preemption. Petals for Peace represents our desire for the U.S. to break its dependence on force to solve conflicts between governments, organized groups, and individuals.

    We ask for peace and social justice.

Thanks to everyone who has replied to let me know you will be delivering, ordering, or faxing a Petal for Peace to Rep. Mike Rogers in Lansing, Michigan -- and/or to your own US Representative, wherever you are in the United States.

To let us know you will be delivering - if you haven't already - just hit "Reply".

Thanks to all who've sent their information

Margaret, checking email.
Please consider supporting my Brother in Peace, Terry Olson, in this noble endeavor and also feel free to start your own chapter of Petals for Peace by targeting any local war-supporting Congress(wo)men or Senators.
To order flowers for tomorrow (Friday)'s Michigan Protest, call Bancroft Flowers as early as possible at (866) 476-8608. Carnations are the preferred symbol of this particular movement.

Warning to Immigrant Rights Advocates

Tonight there will be a town hall hosted at Armory Park with several speakers, including Congressman Raul Grijalva. Please be advised that Ray "Tricolor Burning" Warden and his racist, National Alliance thugs are planning to attend in force. The Arizona Daily Star's comment sections have given him a forum to spread his hate speech:

Listen up, Raul and Isabel, and all the rest of you Pendejo Thugs.

It's gonna be "in your face", and "good old fashiioned American rock and roll tonight" in Armory Park, back where it all began.

You keep saying you're gonna rise up and take this country by force. Well, tonight you have a chance to put your money where your big fat mouths are.

We're coming after you. Soon enough a few of us will be chasing you cowardly punks all the way back to Mexico City.

You illegals talk tough, but you 'aint got no huevos. You hide behind Pendejas like Isabel Garcia. You don't have the guts to fight for Mexico, and liberation from the White Castillano Pendejos who have robbed your country for 400 years.

If just 300,000 of you would have remained home to vote, Mexico would now belong to the Mexican people.

I guess you were more interested in standing in line under Rape Trees, waiting your turn to violate a defenseless woman. You act just like the Mexican Army in Chiapas!

Nice guts, Pendejos!!

Armory Park, 6:00 pm.



Please note that Congressman Grijalva and Isabel Garcia of Derechos Humanos are U.S. born, yet Mr. Warden continues with his bile-spreading rhetoric. The liberal community across this country, and perhaps even sane moderates, need to understand that we are dealing with an explosive danger in this country. While you might not equate illegal immigrants with legal immigrants, or even Latinos by extension, there is a growing number of people who do.

It is a fact that can't be ignored, and as long as you remain on the sidelines instead of helping us fight back against this tide, Warden-like vigilantes will eventually be doing more than flag burning. I have yet to hear from elected officials (besides Grijalva and other human rights-minded Democrats) completely denounce the radical hatemongers in our society. That is telling... but it is not something that is going to go away.

I won't be able to attend tonight's forum but I pray for the safety of all participants as they are obviously going to be met with vicious counterprotesters. paz

Meta Meta Meta

Just a heads up, I'm taking a long weekend to get out of the desert heat and relax for a few days. So, I won't be around from Friday to Monday. I'll make sure Bud holds down the fort tomorrow, but I'll trust the regulars around here to keep the lurking trolls entertained (yes, we have them, but they're of the trollus emailatae variety)

Other than that, things are running smoothly. I'm happy to have added a couple of new voices to this humble space. Scribe's words evoke powerful emotions, which I think we have to be in tune with to help break out of the ongoing cycle of outrage that the headlines provide. Also, Janet has been given posting privileges, which she hasn't used yet ;-), as I consider her on-the-ground protest work to be both noble and desperately needed.

Of course, there is also the (very, very, very)1000 much appreciated Sunday Roundups provided by Nanette. It takes alot of work to compile those lists and is also a great way to see what each of us are doing in our own way to either stop the political insanity or simply offer the world some beauty in photos or storytelling. I love each of the different sites that are building stronger everyday, thanks for all of your contributions to this world.

Okay, that's about it for now. Gotta finish up some work so I can get out of here on time today! And don't think I forgot:

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


She is receiving the support of activists around the country, including Dolores Huerta.
Immigration activists around the country are taking up the cause of a single mother who invoked the medieval principle of sanctuary and took refuge in a Chicago church rather than submit to deportation to Mexico.

Elvira Arellano, 31, was holed up for a second day Wednesday at Aldalberto United Methodist Church with the support of the congregation's pastor. With her was her 7-year-old son, Saul, an American citizen.

Federal officials said there is no right to sanctuary in a church under U.S. law and nothing to prevent them from arresting her. But they would not say exactly what they planned to do, or when.

The protest raised the spectacle of agents barging into a church and dragging her out.

If they drag her out of the church and out of the arms of her son, watch the streets of the U.S. fill up again with intense anger. Stay tuned for updates.

Response to DSCC's New Ad

Dear Senators Schumer, Boxer and Reid:

I am writing today in response to the new advertisement by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), entitled Secure, which the DSCC unveiled earlier this week as part of the fall election campaign. According to the DSCC's blog, From the Roots, you are promoting this commercial as a way to "make the nation safer and challenging GOP opponents on their national security stance."

Your Communications Director's decision to include the segment regarding illegal immigrants alongside imagery depicting the 2005 London train bombings, Osama bin Laden, and leaders of Iran and North Korea is nothing short of despicable. At a time when thousands of local activists are working to engage and register new voters, many of them Latinos, to support you in the fall elections, this type of fear-mongering does nothing to instill confidence in Democrats' ability to advocate for the forgotten communities of this nation.

If you recall, earlier this year the streets of the United States were filled with hundreds of thousands of people to rally and protest the moves by the Republican-led Congress to demonize the undocumented immigrant community and its supporters with House Resolution 4437. Many of your colleagues, including Senators Kennedy and Obama, attended and addressed the rallies that rose up from true grassroots leadership. Have you forgotten us already?

The Bush Administration has used potent fear as a weapon against the American people since the 9/11 attacks. Your decision to follow their lead and attempt to scare the voters into voting for you this fall is yet another negative frame, one that does not empower the electorate to stand with you for the values the party claims to uphold, such as equality under the law, fiscal responsibility and a foreign policy based on coalition-building and diplomacy.

If "securing our borders" is truly a national security issue, then why is there only attention given to the southern border? I have yet to receive an answer from any elected official to that valid question. The Minutemen and other racist vigilante groups would be proud of the message your advertisment sends to the American people - that illegal immigrants are terrorists.

I call upon you and the rest of the DSCC's leadership to request the removal or amendment of the ad immediately from your website and from all media outlets. I also request a direct apology to the grassroots activists of this country, whose wind you're ripping out of our sails, for this affront to the communities we live within and call family.

The DSCC has a decision this fall to either promote electoral successes through positive messages of hope and a commitment to human rights, or through the ongoing campaign of fear that has dominated this country's political narrative. I hope you will choose a more empowering and uplifting path, as it not only withers the GOPs divisive propaganda but also energies your base which you will need to show up on November 7, 2006 to end the Republican Rubberstamp Congress' reign.

Thank you for your consideration.

[Man Eegee]
Tucson, Arizona

Make your voices heard:
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NH), DSCC Chair
Online Contact Form
(202) 224-6542

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), DSCC Co-Chair
Online Contact Form
(202) 224-3553

Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), Senate Minority Leader
Online Contact Form
(202) 224-3542
Copies Sent to:

DSCC General Information:
DSCC Media Inquiries:

Crossposted at Booman Tribune and Daily Kos

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Just Call Me Oscar the Grouch

[UPDATE by Man Eegee] It looks like the YouTube user deleted the DSCC's ad. You can still view it at this link.

One of these things is not like the others,

One of these things just doesn't belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish my song?

Did you guess which thing was not like the others?

Did you guess which thing just doesn't belong?
If you guessed this one is not like the others,
Then you're absolutely...right!

tip o' the sombrero to Dos Centavos y XicanoPwr

Feel free to use this as an Open Thread.
I need a siesta.

Oh yeah, can't forget a big Eff and a big Ewe to the DeeTripleSea DSCC. Rotten, pandering culos.

Manifest Destiny Thrives in 2006

Republican lawmaker Tom Tancredo was in Tucson yesterday to campaign for the Minuteman for Congress, Randy Graf, in CD8. While his support of the vigilante movement and Graf's candidacy was expected, the Arizona Daily Star pulled the following quotes that give further proof of the ongoing danger rising out of the GOP.
The event ended with Tancredo leading a chorus of "God Bless America."

"It is by divine intervention that we are here," Tancredo said, referring to the founding of the country. "It's OK to ask Him again to keep His hands around us."

It's official - Manifest Destiny is alive and well in the Old Pueblo in 2006 wihout guise or apology. The same Manifest Destiny that murdered countless natives of this land through disease and genocide. The ideology that will justify any and all atrocities committed as long as the believer is convinced that their actions have a blessing from whatever form of God they decide is useful to their cause.

This mindset is not coming from some amoebous faction of crazies in the backwater hills of the boonies. It's coming from a sizeable, and everyday more vocal, segment of the population. It is a rotten fruit of the Politics of Division that has been orchestrated and blatantly pushed by the Bush misAdministration since they came to power.

Tom Tancredo is nothing more than a modern-day John O'Sullivan, who was ironically a Democrat. It was about race then, and it is about race now. Tancredo and his vigilante supporters will continue to hunt the indigenous people of this land under the false god of patriotism. We must all work together against this dangerous ideology that has deep roots in United States history.
The far-reaching, the boundless future will be the era of American greatness. In its magnificent domain of space and time, the nation of many nations is destined to manifest to mankind the excellence of divine principles; to establish on earth the noblest temple ever dedicated to the worship of the Most High -- the Sacred and the True. Its floor shall be a hemisphere -- its roof the firmament of the star-studded heavens, and its congregation an Union of many Republics, comprising hundreds of happy millions, calling, owning no man master, but governed by God's natural and moral law of equality, the law of brotherhood -- of "peace and good will amongst men.". . .


Peeling Back the Layers of History

Madman in the Marketplace has a phenomenal diary up at Liberal Street Fighter. I highly suggest you take the time to read the whole thing. He begins with an excerpt from a NYTimes article profiling one of the Minutemen who is "Poised Against Incursions, a Man on the Border, Armed and Philosophical."

Gag me with a rusted spoon. The so-called Liberal Paper of Record™ ends their in-depth profile with these words.

Mr. Craig came to be a Minuteman from St. Augustine, Fla., for what he called Second Amendment reasons. Namely; he wanted to know whether a man could still belong to a militia and carry a gun on federal land. He found he could.

“But what I really found out was how messed up the border situation really is,” he says. “I’m not saying we are at war. But in the course of human history, wars have always started because of one tribe pushing into the traditional boundaries of another.”

And in that spirit, he has parked himself in the middle of a drug smuggling route, at serious risk to his own life. Men on horseback have uprooted his camp. Border Patrol agents testify to that. Still, Mexicans rarely cross his way anymore. They go around.

Each morning he takes his 12-gauge and his 9-millimeter pistol and inspects the smuggling paths. He lets it be known that he has respect for the young coyote. Especially the one who wears size 7 soccer cleats. Mr. Craig has often noticed his tracks.

“I respect that man immensely,” he says. “I harbor no ill will against him. He’s very good. I would do the same thing in his position. Still, I’d like to see those cleats hanging from my mirror like baby shoes.” (all emphasis mine)

First of all, I have to say that I can't disagree with Mr. Craig the Vigilante's first observation on the recipe for war. I would be remiss, however, if I didn't point out that he is also a paragon of hypocrisy.

Campo, California, where he's positioned, has a long history of settlement, one that pre-dates the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, that swindled Mexico ended the Mexican War and cut Mexico's territory in half.

Early history of the present San Diego County area records occupation solely by American Indians from the Central Division of the Yumans and identified as Dieguenos by their proximity to the Mission San Diego de Alcala. Their travels led westward from the Yuma River as far as the Pacific Ocean. As seasonal hunter/gatherer's, they are known to have occupied territory from Carlsbad south along the coastal strip, easterly along the southerly side of present Escondido and northeasterly to the Warner Ranch area. "Northern" Dieguenos now occupy the eastern part of present San Diego County and a somewhat indefinite portion of Baja California. "Southern" Dieguenos inhabit the present district of Campo, La Posta, Manzanita, Laguna, and some territory in Baja California. The Dieguenos have long been proud, independent people resisting intrusion into their lives. During winter they formed small groups living in upland valleys on the desert's edge. They migrated to the foothills in the spring seeking ripening plant food. Summer was a time for return to their small group life at higher elevations. 1, 2.

The Dieguenos called the Campo district "Milquatay" (Meel-ka tah-ee') translating to "Big Foot" which describes the general shape of the valley. Early settlers came to know the area as Campo Valley, a natural Spanish description of their campsite by itinerant Mexicans. At a later time, the Milquatay was also known as Ursery Valley.


I can't help but imagine the ghostly ancestors of the Dieguenos gathered around him as he sits in his lawn chair, shotgun in hand. He only acknowledges one narrative, handed to him by the powerbrokers in Washington that he and his ilk claim to despise because they are "failing to uphold their oath" to Secure the Homeland™. Peel back the layers of history, though, and all of a sudden the tables are turned. Mr. Craig and the Minutemen are simply minute players in the rich narrative of time that spans the area they are so hell-bent on "defending."

I'm reminded of the end of the movie Men in Black II where the screenshot pans out from the Earth to the stars, continuing to draw away until the galaxy fills the screen, then on and on until the universe is depicted as a small globe being used as a golf ball-like sphere in a game of alien croquet.

During this period of time with tension raging from San Diego to Brownsville, I have to remember that even though the national rags are swelling the egos of the vigilantes to galactic portions, they're just a bunch of pawns like the rest of us. Unfortunately for some of players, though, this game is just a gunshot away from being lethal.