Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Summer Salsa Blogging - With Recipe

'Cause I promised to put this out there:

*2 - 14.5 ounce cans of diced tomatoes or 6 - freshly diced tomatoes
*1 - 4 ounce can of diced green chiles or 4 - freshly roasted anaheim chiles, diced
*1 white onion, diced
*1/2 bunch of cilantro
*3 sprigs of green onion, chopped in ringlets
*2 fresh jalapeños or 2 - 4 oz. cans of diced jalapeños
*6 cloves of fresh garlic
*1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
*2 tablespoons of oregano flakes
*2 limes - the juice
*2 tablespoons of salt (the amount is up to you, this was my guestimation)

Dice up the jalapeños into 1/2 centimeter rings and put them in your blender (without the stems - those get thrown away) - then add half of your diced tomatoes, half of your diced white onion, the garlic, cilantro, cumin, oregano and salt. Pulse it in your blender until everything gets ground up good. Try not to liquify it, if you do it's not a big deal.

Pour the mixture into your serving/storage bowl, then add the rest of your ingredients - green onions, remaining diced tomatoes and diced white onions, green chiles, lime juice. Stir it up with a big spoon and add salt depending on your preference. That should make a perfect-sized batch of chip-dipping salsa!

GOP Whisper Campaign Against St. McCain

Ah, rumor mills - gotta luv 'em sometimes.

At a campaign stop in South Carolina, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) was asked about reports that he may be dropping out.

"There are rumors that you may be thinking about dropping out of the campaign. Exaggerated?" a reporter asked.

"I think they have been smoking something that's not legal in the state of South Carolina," McCain replied. "I have never contemplated such a thing. I mean it has never crossed my mind."

Rumors like that can't be coming from Democratic circles. It's obvious that the rats are starting to jump ship from the U.S.S. George, but there's St. McCain, gripping the anchor of W's ship tighter than the noose that'll soon be hanging around Chemical Ali's head.

Of course, I'm of the mindset that these verbal protestations from the likes of Lugar and Voinovich are nothing more than public tantrums. I'll believe them to be principled after they start voting to end the bloodshed in Iraq. So far, it's been all talk/no action from the Hill.

Then again, at least they bother to vote.
The six senators seeking the White House can talk the talk. Voting the vote is not so easy.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has skipped roughly half his Senate votes while campaigning for president.

Dentists drill teeth. Minutemen hunt humans. Politicians are supposed to vote. We don't elect them to be campaigners. Chalk it up to being yet another infection on the system that would be better served with an amputation rather than antibiotics.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Have they done ANYTHING without incompetence?

The absurdity of this is almost too much to bear
Part of a vehicle barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border was erected in the wrong country and soon will be removed and rebuilt on American soil, federal officials say.

"We respect our international boundary, and we want to be good neighbors," U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Michael Friel told The Associated Press on Monday. "...We want to move quickly to ensure that we place the vehicle barrier where it should be, which is north of the border."

The barrier, 17 miles west of Columbus, N.M. was built in 2000 by Joint Task Force North out of Fort Bliss, Texas. It encroaches into Mexico territory between one and six feet south of the border along a 1.5-mile stretch.

To any "progressives" that are sympathetic to the hardliners, understand that any vile legislative initiative that comes out of the Hill is going to be carried out in the most incompetent manner that you can conceive.

Here's a scenario: you may not be racist, but you support workplace raids. Do you think the government will carry out their kidnappings in a colorblinded way? I don't think so.

Or maybe you support increased Border Patrol agents along the U.S./Mexico border. Do you think that they won't abuse their power and murder innocents? Good luck with that.

And then there's this, the latest "unintentional" act of imperialism. Never Mind that this portion of the Great Wall™ has been in place for seven years. Oops!

So what makes anyone - ANYONE - think that this government can be trusted to carry out immigration reform in a humane manner.

Touchbacks? Right - the people in the shadows are supposed to trust them to keep their end of the bargain if they return to their home countries before eligibility for a visa that does nothing to solve the economic plate of shit they're served regularly by the corporate world.

Get. Real.

The Desert Continues to Claim Lives

I'm too horrified to provide any further commentary.
Border Patrol agents found a body of a male illegal entrant in the Altar Valley southwest of Tucson Monday afternoon, the 11th border death registered in the past 12 days.

At 2 p.m. Monday, Border Patrol dispatch received a call about a possible deceased man near the Santa Margarita Ranch Road, off of Arizona 286 at milepost 14, said Richard DeWitt, Border Patrol Tucson Sector spokesman.


Hugh Hewitt - Arizona's Newest Senator

Senator Kyl, who has emerged out of St. McCain's shadow like a palo verde root borer, is now considered the lead negotiator for the GOP in holding together any "compromise" the Senate produces. The problem is, he brings ideas and suggestions to the table that come straight from the dung heap.

The top Senate Republican negotiator on immigration said he has heard the complaints of conservative talk-radio show hosts and bloggers, and will try to change the immigration bill to accommodate them.


'Cause, you know, when one wants some objectivity, the talk-radio circuit is the first place to go!

In talking with reporters, Mr. Kyl singled out radio host Hugh Hewitt and called him "a very smart lawyer ... who I really respect."

"He had several issues and I haven't had the ability to run all of them to ground, but we're trying to include some of his specific suggestions," Mr. Kyl said.

Was anyone else aware that Hewitt has become the newest Senator from Arizona? I must've chucked that memo in the circular file where it belongs.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Wherein I'm Attacked By A Winged Spawn of Satan

Living in the desert, one gets used to co-existing with various creatures - Snattlerakes, tarantulas, mountain lions - it's just part of the package. You learn to not even think twice about shaking out your shoes before putting them on, in case a desert hairy scorpion has decided to burrow, or checking your cocoon of sheets before bed to make sure a wolf spider hasn't decided to spoon with you for the night.

You just do these things - it's automatic.

However, I was certainly not prepared for the preemptive strike that was launched on my life last night as I emerged from my door to get the mail.

The dreaded Palo Verde Root Borer was on the prowl.

This specimen was clearly an older adult, because it was at the upper-end of the size-scale for these winged creatures of the monsoon season (5.75 inches) I'm not sure who scared who the most, but when I opened the door it hopped up in flight and made a beeline for my head.

After screaming like a banshee because I thought it was a spider (severe arachnophobe here) - I extracted it from my kitchen that it had just flew into after nearly missing my head, and went on with my business.

To be honest, I was surprised to see one so early. Usually they are more active after the rains come, but not this bugger. It was acting as if we had just been hit with the Nothing.

Over at The Firefly Forest blog, they have (had) this to say about these gargantuan beetles
Paloverde Root Borers, as evidenced by their unusually long antennae, are members of the Longhorn Beetle Family (Cerambycidae), and like many other longhorn beetles, they are quite destructive. Their plump, white, 5 inch (12.7 cm) long larvae (commonly called grubs) eat tree roots, especially those of paloverde trees, such as the Mexican Paloverde (Parkinsonia aculeata). Paloverde Root Borer grubs will also feed on the roots of other trees besides paloverdes, and the damage these voracious grubs can cause to a tree’s root system can prove fatal.
Using teh Google, I love how just about every entry talks about the futileness of getting rid of these winged spawns of satan. The question is: should I charge the little beasties a portion of my rent?

At Least He Didn't Commit Adultery...

....because, you know, that would definitely be grounds for Impeachment.

But torture? Nah
Cheney and his allies, according to more than two dozen current and former officials, pioneered a novel distinction between forbidden "torture" and permitted use of "cruel, inhuman or degrading" methods of questioning. They did not originate every idea to rewrite or reinterpret the law, but fresh accounts from participants show that they translated muscular theories, from Yoo and others, into the operational language of government.
Gutting Habeas Corpus? Pfffft!
...Two that particularly worried him involved U.S. citizens -- Jose Padilla and Yaser Esam Hamdi -- who had been declared enemy combatants and denied access to lawyers.

Federal courts, Olson argued, would not go along with that. But the CIA and military interrogators opposed any outside contact, fearing relief from the isolation and dependence that they relied upon to break the will of suspected terrorists.

Flanigan said that Addington's personal views leaned more toward Olson than against him, but that Addington beat back the proposal to grant detainees access to lawyers, "because that was the position of his client, the vice president."

Above the will of the people, despite this being a so-called democracy? Meh

Eager to put detainee scandals behind them, Bush's advisers spent days composing a statement in which the president would declare support for the veto-proof bill on detainee treatment. Hours before Bush signed it into law on Dec. 30, 2005, Cheney's lawyer intercepted the accompanying statement "and just literally takes his red pen all the way through it," according to an official with firsthand knowledge.

Addington substituted a single sentence. Bush, he wrote, would interpret the law "in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the President to supervise the unitary executive branch and as Commander in Chief."

Cheney's office had used that technique often. Like his boss, Addington disdained what he called "interagency treaties," one official said. He had no qualms about discarding language "agreed between Cabinet secretaries," the official said.

Go read the whole thing. This is part 2 of 4 of a WaPo exposé on Dick "Dick" Cheney.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Una Identidad Sin Fronteras: San Juan Bautista

[bumped up for the Feast Day - Man Eegee]

This weekend is the Pueblo Viejo's annual fiesta to welcome the monsoon season. It's a synergistic legacy that comes from the early days of the region's history. In honor of San Juan Bautista, la gente will gather near downtown and celebrate the cultura that thrives in Baja Arizona.
Dates: Saturday, June 23, and Sunday, June 24, 2007
4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. (both dates)
West Congress St. at the Santa Cruz River (south side, west bank)

The traditional procession and blessing will take place on Sunday from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. People interested in walking in the procession are asked to meet at the Pima College Community Campus, 401 N. Bonita Ave., north of Congress St. The procession will follow along the Santa Cruz River to the fiesta stage where Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas will perform the blessing.

The Día de San Juan Fiesta features Escaramuza and Charros Flor de Primavera performing on horseback. Live music and dance groups include Navegantes, Mariachi Brillante Juvenil, Ballet Folklórico-Tanatzin, and Danza del Venado.

Más información at the City of Tucson website

Drawing from a post I wrote last year, here's some history of this particular feast day.

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.

Perhaps it's the hostile climate that I'm reacting to in 2007, but attending and supporting events like this seem all the more important. Any opportunity to celebrate one's cultura should be taken advantage of; even if we have to create our own traditions based on the history of our roots.

In this particular case, I think of my dad who, like clockwork, goes to my hometown cemetery to de-weed and water the graves of our various ancestors every single Wednesday and Saturday. It is his way of communing with our past, as well as re-focusing his center so that he can be more present to the now and future. It comes from a deep place of respeto y orgullo - hopefully something that I will be able to continue when it's my turn to take up his shovel and mangera.

Water is something sacred to people living in the southwest. I can hear padre's voice echoing in my own throat on a regular basis that, "Man, we really need rain. The animals and desert are thirsty." I guess it's something we have our pulse on when a lot of our free time is spent outdoors - the place where we feel most at peace.

That lifeforce offered by the tierra y cielo is something that is worthy of celebration. If you're in the Tucson area this weekend, join the fiesta along the (ironically) dry banks of the Santa Cruz and feel yourself be woven into the history that surrounds us.

Doing something like that is always worth it.

Part of the Una Identidad Sin Fronteras series

Friday, June 22, 2007

Vaya con Dios - Sr. Antonio Aguilar

I join Nezua in honoring the life and cultural legacy of El Charro de Mexico, Señor Antonio Aguilar. He moved on from this life earlier in the week due to complications with pneumonia.

A highly accomplished singer, songwriter, actor and handler of horses - Sr. Aguilar is a true legend that has influenced the very identity of Mexico so strongly that his spirit will live on forever.
Jose Hernandez, director of the Mariachi Sol de Mexico, recalled working with Aguilar as a teenager during shows in Los Angeles. The young apprentice annotated the old unwritten corridos, writing notes as Aguilar hummed the musical introductions.

"He was an incredible man, very special," Hernandez said Wednesday from his Cielito Lindo Restaurant in South El Monte. "And he was so respectful of this country. He would tell all his crew, and all his musicians, 'We're going to the U.S. so we must be on our best behavior. We want the Americans to see what the true Mexico is all about, and that our culture is beautiful.' "

As a child, I always sat in awe watching his horses dance to the beautiful sounds of the mariachi as its rider belted out the stories and histories of my ancestors. When my nana passed away in the mid-80s, I inherited all of her vinyl records - Antonio Aguilar being among the treasured collection.

Serendipitously, I was listening to a CD version of his Grandes Exitos this week prior to learning of his death. They are going to stay in my listening rotation for a while now.

The Woman at the Well

Tears - all I have are tears.
The U.S. Border Patrol rescued an illegal immigrant Tuesday trapped in a 30-foot-deep well on the Tohono O'odham Nation.

The woman had climbed down to find water for her sister and her three nieces.

The five had been walking through the desert with four others for several days when the 29-year-old woman, her sister and her sister's daughters, age 6, 10 and 16, stopped because they had run out of water and were too weak to continue in the 112-degree heat, said Border Patrol spokesman Sean King.

Five women making their way to El Norte - only to find that the promised land was only a mirage. Instead of prosperity, what they found was dehydration; instead of survival, they were met with bee stings and anaphylactic shock.

And still, no compassion from some quarters of U.S. society.
Once again, an incident that could have been avoided has she not been doing something she was not supposed to be doing in the first place. The only people I feel sorry for in this case are the Border Patrol agents who had to be incinvienenced with this bullplop.
Until enough people "Get It" that the magnetic force of migration is due to utter desperation - the darkest night of the soul - the inner-most circles of mental hell - and not just some American™-prismed view that border-crossers don't respect our laws, then the deaths will continue unabated.

Imagine a situation where you had absolutely nothing. The system had completely screwed you and your family out of livelihood. Do you do what you need to do to survive? Or do you just give up?

I respect those who choose to cross the barren lands of their ancestors because they have chosen to live.

If you have some discretionary funds, please consider sending a donation to No More Deaths and Humane Borders - two organizations that understand that there is a disastrous human rights crisis occurring everyday in the Sonoran Desert. They are providing water stations and dignity to the victims of this economic war.

Your support is truly the difference between life and death. Especially now that the summer has arrived with a vengeance.

More Bodies Recovered From the Desert

A deadly week in the Sonoran Desert
Border Patrol agents have found five dead illegal border crossers since Monday, including two Thursday in the Interstate 19 corridor.

And how convenient that the Star's article finishes up with mention of drug trafficking.
In other border news, agents found 133 bundles of marijuana weighing more than ton inside a blue Dodge pickup they stopped in the Ruby Road area near Rio Rio, DeWitt said. Border Patrol cameras saw the suspicious truck cross the border and agents matched the truck further north.

They followed it into a residential area where the driver and passenger pulled into a driveway and fled. They caught one of them and turned the person over to the Drug Enforcement Administration, DeWitt said. The 2,248 pounds has an estimated value of $2.248 million, according to figures from the National Drug Intelligence Center.
A note to Brady McCombs and any other mainstream reporter that covers la frontera: These are two completely separate issues.

Do not conflate them both with your journalistic laziness. You desecrate the memory of the people who have paid the ultimate price searching for economic survival by seamlessly fusing the two. It is fucking offensive.

Man, that pisses me off.

Friday Bud Blogging

What's going on this weekend?

Any Baja Arizonans going to the Fiesta de San Juan?

Goats the Least of Trent Lott's Worries

It appears our plan is working perfectly.
Lott’s farm work apparently does more for him than shield him from angry talk radio hosts. It also informs his lack of confidence in a fence as an effective border security measure.

“I’ve got two goats on my place in Mississippi. There ain’t no fence big enough or strong enough to hold them,” Lott said Wednesday. “People are at least as smart as goats, maybe not as agile ... One of the ways I kept those goats in the fence is, I electrified it.”

Of course, Lott added, “I’m not proposing an electrified goat fence” for the southern border. “It’s an analogy here.”

As long as he remains distracted, he'll never find out the truth that the term alien is not all that far off the mark.

Arizona News Round-Up

Wow, where did the week go? It seems like only yesterday that we were hearing the voices of ghosts in Jerome tell their tales of mining history. So lets hope a quick flight to the Navajo Nation to see what's going on in the Four Corners area. Ironically, internet woes.
The Navajo Nation has overpaid more than $650,000 in "questionable and improper payments" to OnSat, the Utah-based communications company that provides Internet services to the Navajo Nation, according to an audit released this week.

In addition, according to the audit, the tribe did not effectively manage its contract with OnSat as it was continuously revised upward, committing the tribe to pay ever-higher fees to bring the reservation into the Internet age.

Navajo Times
Hopefully things get resolved soon. We could use more voices in bloglandia from the Nation. Moving south now to Holbrook, the local politicos are making arrangements for some economic development

The agreements are both with Pacific-Holt Corporation, the company that is planning a large housing development in Perkins Valley and is hoping to purchase large amounts of property in the city.

One of those property purchases, the land known as the old Finley property on East Hermosa Drive, was approved by the council through a development agreement with Pacific-Holt. The sale of the city-owned property will bring in approximately $500,000, enough to make up for the $487,000 deficit in the 2006-07 budget, according to Economic Development Director A’kos Kovach. The sale is expected to close on June 29, just before the end of the fiscal year.
Just down the road in Silver Creek, a pitch was made by Taylor's Town Manager to ask the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to come in and assist with flooding prevention.
Poczobut made a PowerPoint presentation that showed how over the past half century there have been a number of dams, hold ponds, irrigation diversions and levies built to capture and use runoff, and to control flooding. He noted that these, along with climate changes, have resulted in low flows within the Silver Creek and its tributaries, causing a deterioration of the ecosystem within the creek channel, which, in turn, compounds the potential for catastrophic flooding. Because the flushing flow has been eliminated due to Schoens Dam and the land use change, sedimentation has built up along the Silver Creek.
Do you feel the cool weather? That's because we are trekking our way into the heart of the White Mountains (where I got that nasty sunburn earlier last weekend - it was so worth it though - at least I didn't hit an elk) Wait. Huh?
According to DPS, Mike Wall, 49, of Dawson Creek, British Columbia, was driving his motorcycle east on U.S. 60 near milepost 327 around 9:15 a.m. when an elk wandered onto the road.

He's gonna be alright. The elk? Not so much. Meanwhile an Eagle Scout in Springerville is using his artistic talents to brighten up a children's interview room at the local police station (children's interview room?)
Houston took a couple of weeks to find some Winnie the Pooh pictures he felt would be appropriate for the four walls. Houston drew a grid on the pictures that later helped him as he transferred the images to the walls of the room when he began his work on June 5. To make things as exact as possible, Houston gave copies of the pictures to a local paint store employee who was able to mix the paint colors exactly as in the pictures, right down to Pooh's yellow body and bright red jacket.

There's a cool pic of the mural at the link. Check it out. [waits for you to come back] Since we're moving around this huge state at a rapid pace, make sure you take the necessary precautions against the blood-sucking vampires that invade the land (and I don't mean snowbirds)

With the summer monsoon season just around the corner, area residents should take precautions against mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus.
People, birds and equine animals, such as horses, donkeys and mules, are susceptible to West Nile. According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, West Nile is transmitted to humans and animals through mosquito bites. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds. The disease is not transmitted from person to person. No infected mosquitoes have been detected in Graham County so far this year, said Neil Karnes, director of the Graham County Health Department.

Eastern Arizona Courier
Alrighty then, that concludes this edition of our roundabout tour of the Grand Canyon State. What's going on in your part of the world?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Minutemen outnumbered by Human Activists

There is a story in the Oregonian about the Children of the Del Monte Human Raid

[link here] (Manny if you can, fix the linkage thingy... por favor) [Done!]

This is no longer America. I am no longer "fighting" to get my country "back". I am now fighting for our right to BE. I am fighting so that we all can live together. I am fighting so that we can HAVE a country, a world, a planet.

As you can see, the Peace Activists, unlike the Hate Mongers, didn't need to cover their faces or identities. Most of the Minutemen and their supporters wore headcoverings or bandanas. They looked and acted like terrorists. People stood right next to the "terrorists", at many times they blocked their signs with their own or with their bodies, families. Which was much more effective than a typical stand-off where people took up sides on opposing streets. I think the Minutemen and their supporters were caught off guard by this tactic.

The below was written by a fellow Portland peace activist who goes by the name Joe Anybody. The "Seriously Pissed Off Grannies" (mostly made up of CodePinkers) are part of the notorious and effective Surge Brigade. They had been arrested during Fleet Week for attempting to block tanks in the street.

More photos are at Portland Indymedia's site and I'm sure more stories and accounts will come out.

"I went to show support and solidarity against the HATE protest

I am posting the minutemen signs as "news to those who were not there" but don't want to post these in a way to help spread their message

There is a 20 min video I took that I will post here on Indy Media by tomorrow morning at the latest.

It was a nice turnout of Human Right Supporters

The Seriously Pissed Off Grannies had a city Hall meeting on an un related issue of having TANKS on our city streets. When they came out of the front doors into the "protest zone" they were chanting and marching side by side. I didn't quite hear well what they were saying ...but I got it on film. When they came out with their march .....the energy ratcheted up and the minute men started getting louder to voice their (sic) message.

Those Grannies are everywhere.... (thank goodness)
Good Support and solidarity by lots of loving people for the Human Rights of all people."

I am very honored to be a member of CodePink, a friend of Manny's and most importantly - a human being. Wars are illegal. People aren't.

Manny thank you for granting me the ability to post my thoughts on your most impressive blog.

Paz & Courage.

Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez Discovers Russell Pearce

Primeramente, quisiera dar la bienvenida a Alisa y su familia.

I wondered how long it would take for you to discover our resident (and regrettably elected) National Alliance-supporter, Russell Pearce. He will definitely provide you with tons of insipiration, and judging by your latest post, each one will be worth reading.
The excellent bill, sponsored by Republican Mark Anderson, failed to pass because several lawmakers in his own party decided the word “international” was too scary. Republican Rep. Russell Pearce, one of the bill’s opponents, summarized his objections thusly: “Our schools ought to be focusing on education that we, as Americans, espouse. We ought to concentrate on United States history and United States heroes.”

Other detractors said the bill would pave the way for scary terrorist organizations like the United Nations to take over our country.

I am very supportive of their view. In fact, I am so supportive of their isolationist, American-only view of the world that I propose we give them the entire city of Mesa, where they can live their lives only with those items made in the United States or invented by an American.

Your points are well-taken on the laundry list of items and technologies that will need to be abandoned in order to support an American™ lifestyle. But please, for the love of Xochiquetzal, never ever suggest that he get naked again. The least you can do is offer him something from Sheriff Joe's pink clothing and accesory line.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Why Was David Morales Lynched?

It's too early to know any specifics, but it doesn't erase the fact that an angry mob killed this man.

A group of men fatally beat a passenger in a car that police said accidentally struck a child outside an East Austin apartment complex, police said today.

As many as 3,000 people were in the area following a Juneteenth celebration at the time, officials said. Austin police Cmdr. Harold Piatt estimated that dozens were in the parking lot of the Booker T. Washington apartment complex at the time and that preliminary information shows no witnesses apparently tried to prevent or stop the attack.


Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 477-3588.

"We know we had a number of folks who saw something," Piatt said. "Hopefully there are some good Samaritans who are as upset about we are about what happened."; 445-3605

linkage (emphasis mine)
Of course, the trolls over at FreeRepublic are taking the opportunity to call this "jungle justice", pondering whether or not Morales is undocumented since he has a Latino surname, and other bile that I won't bother linking to - but this whole incident makes me very sad.

During a Juneteenth celebration of all things.

[UPDATE] Welcome to any TailRank readers that made their way here.

[UPDATE #2] Dos Centavos is linking to a video with a joint statement from local LULAC leaders and the Austin Black Democrats to help alleviate any prospective racial tension.

Tohono O'odham Burial Site Desecrated

While lawmakers far, far away from the borderlands dictate to us what will happen in our own backyards - such as increased military presence, permanent roadblocks/checkpoints, several-hundred foot observation towers, increased roads and barriers across previously undisturbed land, etc. etc. etc. - the respect of indigenous people is being sacrificed.

The Tohono O'odham Nation (map to the right) is split in two by the current configuration of the International Border. With the egregious actions of the Department of Homeland Security continuing unabated, something terrible like this was bound to happen sooner or later.
To: Tohono O'odham Nation Tribal Government

Statement from the Elders of Ali Jegk Community of the Tohono O’odham Nation

We Demand the Return of Human Remains Unearthed During a Recent Desecration of a Sacred Burial Ground

On May 17th and May 21st of 2007 the remains of at least three humans were unearthed during the construction of a border zone “Vehicle Barrier” wall. These remains were found buried near the International Border, inside of Tohono O’odham Nation lands in Arizona.

The unearthed people are the direct ancestors of five families living in the Ali Jegk community of the Tohono O’odham Nation. The remains are currently in the possession of the tribal government’s cultural authority – an institution that has a non-O’odham director.

Initially, when the remains were unearthed during construction of the “Vehicle Barrier,” the tribal government authorities stopped the construction to investigate the findings. Unfortunately, they failed to protect the remains from desecration as is required of them under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990 (NAGPRA).

linkage to full text of petition demanding action
I urge you all to please sign the petition and spread the word that this type of disrespect is utterly unacceptable. Also, please contact Congressman Grijalva's office, if you're in CD87, and ask him to put pressure on the Department of Homeland Security to never make a mistake like this again.

The people within the nation will deal with their own internal politics with respect to the involvement of the Tribal Leadership, but we can put pressure on our end.

This makes me sick beyond belief.
“Why do these non-O’odham continue to mistreat us? We are humans, we do not go to their [Anglo] graves and dig them up and put them in boxes.”

Tip of the sombrero to
Daniel Patterson for the heads up on this

Do they know? Do they care?

The Sonoran Desert continues to claim lives as the temperatures rise for the summer. Is it even on the pulse of the country? Do they know? Do they care?

The nativists among us certainly do, but their reaction ranges from one of glee, "they had it coming to them", to wondering who is paying for the retrieval of the bodies - sometimes I wonder if they are even fully-functioning human beings instead of robots feeding off the negative energy from Lou Dobbs and Tom Tancredo.

The humanitarians among us know too, in fact there are several organizations in the area that exist to help alleviate some of the tragedy that strikes everyday; but it's a big desert and many areas are sparsely inhabited so not everyone can be saved.

But what about the rest of the country?

Are they aware that it's official U.S. policy to funnel the flow of migration into remote areas? Do they know that border communities like Arivaca are revolting against the planned (and permanent) intrusion by the military? Is it a surprise that the cultural aspects of the newly arrived immigrants from Latin America are not a threat to this area, where it is something that has synergistically thrived for centuries?

I don't really know, but that's why I write about it here. Hoping against all odds that the humanitarian crisis will finally be considered prominently into the planning for future actions by the U.S. government. Economic stability and humility on the part of a corporate beast that continues to maul the life out of people, using the sun's blazing rays as its weapon of choice.

Irrationally idealistic - yes. But also the humane thing to do.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Summer Salsa Blogging

Thoughts on the Goldwater Institute Analysis

Let's pick some nits, shall we?
Hispanic support for Republican candidates plummeted by 10 points, to 30 percent from 40 percent, between the 2004 presidential election to the 2006 congressional election debacle, costing the GOP as many as four congressional seats. In next year's presidential election, Hispanic votes could make the difference in four Western states, including Arizona. If Republicans continue chasing Hispanic voters away, they can kiss their national electoral prospects goodbye.

The best way to reverse the trend is to get the immigration issue behind us as quickly as possible. Hispanic Americans are conservative on most social issues, including immigration, making them a natural constituency, or at least open to voting, for Republicans. But what Hispanics saw in Republicans who made the 2006 elections a referendum on deporting illegal immigrants was a face of hostility.

I suppose a good starting point is to state the obvious: Latinos are not a monolithic group.

We are as diverse within that umbrella term as the United States itself, if not more. I guarantee you that the politics of a Marielito is nowhere near the same as a Xicano activist in East Los Angeles or a Puertorriqueña in Nueva York - to provide a small example of what I'm talkin' about.

However. I think there has been some consolidation of sentiments nationally despite our diversity, due to the fierce bickering over immigration reform. Mr. Bolick is right to characterize it as "hostility". When the headlines ring out regarding the latest workplace raid, we pay attention to those officials who praise the gestapo actions of ICE. After all, the articles usually provide a laundry list of nationalities that were apprehended.
According to John Chakwin, special agent in charge for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 20 of the women who were detained were Mexican, three were Salvadoran, seven were from Honduras and one was from Nicaragua.

We are also aware that this hostile climate has reinforced a long-standing stereotype among non-Latinos that we are all border-hoppers.
Some neighbors said they hadn't noticed anything unusual at New Century Roofing.

"We didn't see anything suspicious, but there's so many Hispanics that are employed in the labor force that it doesn't surprise me," one neighbor said.

If one can't see why a statement like that is offensive, especially an elected official, then I suggest a leukotomy stat. Hispanic/Latino/Illegal - they're all the same. Right?

Going back to the Goldwater Institute analysis, Bolick states:
The best common denominator for Republicans and Hispanics is religion. Two major recent studies found that religion is central to the lives and political beliefs of most Hispanics and that their approach to religion is deeply conservative. Most Hispanics pray at least once a day and attend church at least once a month; nearly half of Hispanic Catholics, twice as many as other Catholics, believe the Bible is the literal word of God.
No, no, no, no and hell no. Can you feel the propaganda waves bouncing off your face from the monitor?

"...their approach to religion is deeply conservative" - Speaking on this from a practicing Catholic point-of-view, it is true that the Church is (regrettably) tracking hard to the right, especially under this current Pope - but if you go to a predominately Latino parish you will see that the social justice/liberation theology wing of Catholicism is alive and well despite the hierarchy's continued attempts to stamp it out or at least ignore it, hoping it'll go away. It won't.

It is troubling to me that the GOP thinks the best way to recover from their electoral woes is to do more illegal meshing of political and religious platforms. Having spirituality (sometimes it's even within an organized religion, but not always) is, in my opinion, about discovering the best way to live your life within the context of a wider community - the world.

The authoritarian tendencies of the conservative dog-whistle that Bolick is tooting out is not something that will fly - especially if the outcomes threaten our families, educational systems and ability to live our culture unabated. Speaking of education, he goes on to say
Hispanics consistently rank education as one of the top issues of concern but currently favor Democrats on the issue by more than 2-1.

Republicans can change that equation by championing school choice among Hispanic families and voters.
Again - no. What would certainly get the attention of just about every single person in this country is to adequately fund the schools that are already in place. Equalize the ability for a barrio school to provide the same quality of education that you would find in an affluent area. You would get virtually no opposition for advocating that we pay teachers what they are worth, and ending the atrocity that is the No Child Left Behind Act that is straining the entire education system to the breaking point.

Ending his analysis, Bolick writes this:
Hispanic Republicans have won significant offices in Florida, New Mexico, New York and elsewhere. But in Arizona, the GOP seems decidedly unwelcoming: There are few Hispanic Republican officeholders across the state, and even conservative Hispanics cannot win contested primaries against opponents sounding anti-immigration themes.
The reason can be summed up in one word: Minutemen.

At all levels of government, the Republican party has allowed their public faces to be the most rabid of nativists in our midst. The GOP State Chairperson is not only one of the vigilantes, he was also the architect of Proposition 200. Plus, lets not forget that the now-retired JD Hayworth was a huge supporter of the Binocular Brigade. Oh, and how about the State Legislature's darling conservative Russell Pearce?

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

These are not the voices of moderation. These are not voices who are even making an attempt to understand where the Latino community is coming from on the various issues of the day. It is a group who has chosen to define us in the most negative way possible. Take the Superintendent for Public Instruction, for example, in a Letter to the Editor to the AZRepublic in February:
In a column dated Jan. 29, 2007 "Let's ditch '50s mentality," Republic editorial writer Linda Valdez criticizes me for one of my lawyer's arguments in the Flores case.

This argument was that Tucson Unified should not be heard claiming that their English-language program suffers from lack of state funds. In fact, they waste huge amounts of the money they do receive on programs like "ethnic studies," including "Raza" studies. ("La Raza" means "the race.")

The discrediting of MEChA is something that the far-right has been trying to do for decades. It is part of a coordinated fear campaign that ties very strongly into the Reconquista myth. XicanoPwr has done the best dissection that I've seen on the tubes of how these nativists are trying to stamp out any efforts on our part to keep the indigenous cultura of this area alive.

When the Superintendent of Public Instruction directly targets programs that help equalize the education for young Latinos using macro-propaganda (La Raza means The People, you ignorant fool, as in 'We, The People') then policy recommendations from people like Clint Bolick and the Goldwater Institute are frivolous at best. It is just one example of how this campaign of division is no accident.

Nice try, though.

Crossposted at the ePluribus Media Community Site

Monday, June 18, 2007

A Note to Self

Note to self: reapply sunscreen in a liberal fashion.
Mexicans really DO get sunburned.

Pedro Guzman Blogging and Other Musings

Here's where things stand so far in blogtopia (y!sctp) with respect to coverage of Pedro Guzman's forced exile and subsequent disappearance:

Lots of search engine hits over the weekend here, did this topic make its way to the corporate media while I was out fishing? If so, good, but as mariachi mama said in the comments here the other day, this type of blatant viciousness by ICE and other tentacles of the Department of Homeland Security happens everyday.

"Probable cause" for vehicle searches, requests for verification of citizenship at a workplace or even standard government services boil down to the same thing: skin color.

Again, not something that can be proven with charts and poll numbers. It is something that is experienced everyday by those with tierra-colored skin. I know because I am one of them.

There was a time when I thought that I had a persecution complex. But you can only ignore the sideways glances, the extra attention at checkpoints, the request for additional pieces of identification, the "where are you from" question so much before you just accept that this is the reality you must live.

This 'probable cause' is why vigilante groups like the Minutemen are racist, despite the howls of indignation you get from some of their members. When a group is committed to ferreting out "illegals", it begs the question: How are they identifying them?

The answer to that is why you will find uncompromised deference towards the immigrant community at this blog. They are me, regardless of status. The key to brightening the future, however, is when the larger progressive community says 'They are we too'. A humble blog like this can only do so much to raise the alarm that human rights abuses are occurring on a constant basis.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Come one, Come all, to the Eegeehood Someday Tour!

OMG, where have you all been?? Oh wait... what do you mean you've been here? Without me!? The nerve! That's okay tho, all is forgiven (ahem). No time for recriminations when there is peeking to do!

*Looks at Bud... wanders off whistling to get her peeking gear*

First up... gasp. Deano. The art crit. I think he has decided that we are all a bunch of heathens who cannot appreciate good art (or even know what we are looking at... okay, so that's just me, but still), and so he's decided not to... to... hang up his red pen! Thanks for all the intros to the new artists and ways of looking at art, deano! Hopefully you'll be back and critiquing again one day.

All righty then... I'll just say that if you have a dentist phobia, wave at Family Man from afar! Not that he's a dentist, mind you, but he's been having an awful lot of contact with them lately and while I am sure they are very nice people at home or at the pool... just remember, in their own offices they reign! In happier news, Cat still lives (amazingly).

Original James had much the same reaction to the new "Save Darfur" music and cd effort that I did. I think heart's are in the right place, but still. Also - taking off from a post of Arthur Silber's, he explores some facets of white heterosexual privilege and victim blaming - should make for an interesting discussion! And Katrina victims might be considering negotiating with France to buy back Louisiana in order to get some help down there. There is much more there, scroll down! Jazzy James may be still in Vegas, but in case you missed all the Miles Davis stuff to download... go look!

[UPDATE!] Wow, did you know we were painting a most excellent building? Well, by "we" I mean boran, but anyway... I quite like that building! Mind you, if I saw it in person it might make me seasick, but I love the curves in the painting. I can't wait to see how we finish it! Also, while boran may lean left his logo, I'm sad to say, leans right in my foxy browser! What say you? And contemptuous familiarity - don't we know it well!

ILJ highlights and talks about a Foreign Policy article, and details the interlocking fortunes of a trio of major players, whose causes feed each other, in the Middle East region. Also, is is possible for the US military to win the hearts and minds of Iraqis after all this time? A Marine captain gives his opinion and ILJ brings it to us.

Have I got some moos for you! It's about Olivia, of course. See, it's like this - Olivia didn't have any clouds, but she did have this cow-- don't ask me why Olivia has a cow--so anyway, no clouds but there is a cow with a cloud nose just sitting there, and so... I mean, what would you do? But, that's not all! Then this Friday there's this frog (yes, a frog! and not a flowery one, either) up there that obviously doesn't believe a word I, or anyone else, just said! And, then, in between skeptical frogs and cloudy nosed cows, she has lovely flowers and bees! Go look!

[UPDATE AGAIN!] It took me a long time to figure out who Jessica Alba was... but it looks like it's taking even a longer time for her to figure it out! Sad. Nezua has compassion and advice. Oh man, superheroes I can identify with! Aren't they great? Also, don't you think it's about time that casting directors sort of, you know, choose people who already look the part? Well, unless the part is Chewbacca or something - (nothing against any Chewbacca lookalikes, by the way). There is more there, but not as much as usual cuz the chronicles of Nezua have taken an unexpected turn this month. Oh wait! I almost forgot... haunting, fascinating and well worth it... this time, it's go listen!

katiebird is continuing on her quest to educate people on healthcare and get the politicians moving! They don't know that they are dealing with someone who is firmed daily, so they'd better watch out! Oh hey, she's on two weeks vacation now - but is not going on a cruise or anything! Not even to the vibrating tanning beds, that I can see. Also, this is an older post, from the eat4today lounge, but one that is definitely still timely... What will the ‘homeless’ do when our libraries go virtual?

Manny has bunches of good stuff here, too! Old buses, water woes and more (what was a double decker bus doing in Az anyway?) Also, he wants to know if there are any old buses (or news!) in your part of the world... so tell him! And making fun of Ahnold, as everyone should do. We should have a rally and, in a coordinated way, shout phrases in Spanish at him. See if he melts. There is more there, scroll down, scroll down!

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

Friday, June 15, 2007

Friday Bud Blogging

I kept messing with his paw,
it was too cute to leave alone.

Arizona News Round-Up

Now that you're done marking your calendars for Gila Bend's Desert Scorpion Shrimp Festival, lets take another trip down the unbeaten path to see what's going on in the Grand Canyon State.

Lake Havasu City - Mecca of Jet Skis, Boating, and...Rusty Buses
The double-decker bus in the English Village has hit the road.

Not that the bus could make it anywhere on its own. The bus was pulled Thursday from its base with a crane and then towed off the property through a donation by Steve Getter, owner of Steve's Towing service.

Today's News-Herald
I'm pretty sure that thing puts the Death in Death Ride. Anywho, heading up the highway towards Laughlin Kingman, the Mohave County Board of Supervisors grasp with the effects of Proposition 101 on rural areas.
The focus of Tuesday's budget workshop for the Board of Supervisors seemed less about what the different county departments were asking for and more about what funds were being taken away from the county. The effects of Proposition 101 on the county's coffers was repeatedly brought up by not only the Board but various department heads as well.

Proposition 101 was passed by voters in November. It limits the amount the county can increase the property tax rate to 2 percent each year plus new development.

Kingman Daily Miner
Heading east, the town of Williams is facing an emergency that will probably become an inevitability for the entire Southwest region - water woes
"We are finding ourselves, currently, in what I would term a water crisis. Williams has had water crises in the past," said Wells. "This last winter created virtually no rainfall or snow of any amount and we are looking forward, as we always do, and we came to realize that, within a year, this town could be totally out of water. To compound things, our Dogtown I Well recently went down. The electric motor has burned out and we plan, at some point this summer, to replace the motor and get Dogtown I back up, so we currently only have one producing water well that is available for usage and our reservoirs are precariously low. June is the month of the year that tends to reduce the levels of our reservoirs rather dramatically. It is what I would term a crisis, because we know if the drought continues, and it is expected to continue, then within one year this community is out of water."

Williams-Grand Canyon News
Continuing down I-40 to Flagstaff, the newest Democratic candidate for Congressional District 1 announced her bid.
Mary Kim Titla hopes to become the first Native American woman in Congress. She has announced her candidacy and plans to unseat Rick Renzi from Arizona's Congressional District One.

Titla took her campaign race onto the winding woodland trail above Flagstaff's Thorpe Park that has served as the route for the Native Americans for Community Action (NACA) Sacred Mountain Prayer Run for several years now.

Navajo Hopi Observer
Here is her campaign website to get more info on her candidacy. I recall her stint with Channel 12 in Phoenix, it'll be interesting to see what happens.

Dipping south now towards Camp Verde, some residents will finally reap the rewards of the town getting their crap together.
In 1993 an election was held in Camp Verde to annex a large tract of the town into the sanitary district.

The landowners that were taken in have been paying taxes just like everyone else in the district. Only they haven't been hooked up to anything. In many instances they have had to pay additional fees to have their septic systems repeatedly pumped.

That is going to change.

On Wednesday, sanitary district Chairman Rob Witt took a trip to Phoenix to the offices of the district bond council Fred Rosenfeld. There he signed the paperwork that finalized the last $11 million needed to finish the expansion project.

Camp Verde Bugle
Speaking of sewage - two vigilantes in Prescott are facing charges for harassment
A Prescott Police investigation has revealed that two members of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps had provoked the alleged attack by a man they photographed picking up the day labor at the corner of Lincoln and Grove avenues on May 18.

Lt. Ken Morley said that David Hunter and Bentley Bremmon could face misdemeanor harassment charges.

"They were harassing him to the point where Scott Blair got out of his truck and went after these two guys," Morley said.

Prescott Daily Courier
And not really news, but definitely intriguing (at least to me), an excerpt from historical and creative writing out of the former mining hamlet of Jerome.
Lillie watched as the driver turned and started running down the rocky canyon road toward Jeome. She knew that he would probably run all the way to town. She wiped the handkerchief around her lace collar. It was hot. One of those spring days in Arizona that reminded you of just how hot it could be by the time summer came around. She knew that she should have waited for Jack to arrive from San Francisco, but she just couldn't resist the idea of coming over the mountain in a stagecoach. She realized that soon there would be no more stagecoaches, and since it was only a day trip from Prescott to Jerome . . . well . . . She just hoped that the booming mining camp was all that it professed to be - the luxurious Hotel Montana, the spectacular view, the Opera House.

Lillie leaned her head out of the coach and surveyed her surroundings. They had just come down from the pass where they had been surrounded by pine woods and meadows. Then abruptly the terrain had changed. She was now in a small rocky canyon. Instead of pine forest, it was highland desert - red rock, manzanita, cactus, and desert flowers. Her eyes ran down the canyon to where it opened into the valley a couple of thousand feet below. She could see all the way across the valley to the massive red rock cliffs on the other side. Lazy white clouds drifted across the blue sky. The sun was growing hotter in the canyon.

Jerome Times
What's going on in your part of the world?

Beware the Seductive Sinfulness of Univision

Public Service Announcement

You and your family are in grave danger. Thanks to the intrepid research done by no other than Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, it has been revealed that cerebral functions are adversely affected by radiative rays emanating from the least-likely of sources:

The crystal blue eyes of Univision Anchorman Jorge Ramos.

Gazing for long periods of time will severely diminish one's ability to contemplate any English spoken, written or acted out in a friendly game of charades. Side effects of regular exposure include overuse of the hips during dancing, Tourette Syndrome-like actions that cause the victim to yell gritos in public spaces, and an insatiable hunger for salsa that doesn't come in a can.

It is imperative that you alert everyone and anyone to this virulent pathogen of anti-assimilation disease. The future of the No Child Left Behind Act is dependent upon your vigilance.

Eegee Board - Refreshed 6/15/07

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Path to Citizenship Needs Inclusion in Senate Bill

It appears that one of Kris Kobach's vigilante colleagues in Kansas City is feeling the fire for her active participation in Minutemen hate-mongering.
Kansas City organizations representing various racial and religious groups will call today for newly appointed parks board commissioner Frances Semler to resign because of her anti-immigrant views.

And six of the 13 City Council members on Wednesday said they agreed that for the good of the park board’s image, Semler should step down.

The Coalition of Hispanic Organizations, the Jewish Community Relations Bureau/American Jewish Committee, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and other groups will gather 11:30 a.m. at Gage Park to protest Semler’s membership in the local Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, which has taken a militant stance against illegal immigrants.


This is exactly what needs to happen across the country - grassroot groups that span racial, religious, even political lines need to unite against the campaign of xenophobia that has been fueled brightly through the efforts of vigilante activism.

It's not rocket-science to figure out that the worst aspects of human nature would be allowed time to play in the playground given the current political climate wrt immigration. I can't help but feel the sting of burning irony that Mr. Bush is seeing his approval ratings further erode now that he has royally pissed of his base for pushing his (flawed) immigration initiative through Congress.

In the poll, Bush’s approval rating is at just 29 percent. It’s a drop of six points since April, and it represents his lowest mark ever on this question in the NBC/Journal poll.


This drop comes as Bush tries to resuscitate the comprehensive immigration reform bill in the U.S. Senate, which has angered many Americans -- particularly conservatives -- because they believe its provisions allowing for a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants amount to “amnesty.” Bush and other supporters of the legislation dispute that charge.


This is truly a divided country when upwards of 75% of Republicans support the bloodthirsty sociopath and still his approval ratings are hovering or submerging under the political "Mendoza line". (Why does that have to have a Latino connotation, btw?)

A divided nation - or is it?

Poll after poll after poll shows that the public overwhelmingly supports a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Yet, you won't find that in the stalled Senate bill - "guest worker" sure, but that's to appease the corporate slave-owners who want to make sure their profits continue to soar. The workers are left hanging, as usual, with tons of loopholes and continued discrimination.

So what we have at the moment is a Congress that is controlled by Democrats that are still taking their cues from the hard-liners. No attention is paid to their base (or the majority of U.S.-born Americans for that matter). They only fear of losing their jobs if they piss off the right wing too much. Sound like another issue in the headlines?

People like Frances Semler, mentioned at the beginning of this post, are not in the majority, but you would think they were after seeing the inaction of the House and Senate. Clearly, this is a problem that needs to be resolved; otherwise the case will continue to strengthen that there are no longer two-political parties, but one that is beholden to profit and power.

Crossposted at Booman Tribune

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Plane Wreck at Los Gatos (lyrics)

Woody Guthrie wrote this song after hearing about a plane crash in Los Gatos where the news announcer said, "it was just some deportees". This song has been on my mind for years... and since yesterday afternoon when ICE made human raids in Portland. 167 people were arrested for working at a cesspool called DelMonte. Children are alone today. Unable to see their parents or attend school. Who will feed and care for them?

For Manny and all my brothers and sisters on this Big Blue Planet of OURS.

Plane Wreck At Los Gatos (Deportees)

The crops are all in and the peaches are rott'ning,
The oranges piled in their creosote dumps;
They're flying 'em back to the Mexican border
To pay all their money to wade back again

Goodbye to my Juan, goodbye, Rosalita,
Adios mis amigos, Jesus y Maria;
You won't have your names when you ride the big airplane,
All they will call you will be "deportees"

My father's own father, he waded that river,
They took all the money he made in his life;
My brothers and sisters come working the fruit trees,
And they rode the truck till they took down and died.

Some of us are illegal, and some are not wanted,
Our work contract's out and we have to move on;
Six hundred miles to that Mexican border,
They chase us like outlaws, like rustlers, like thieves.

We died in your hills, we died in your deserts,
We died in your valleys and died on your plains.
We died 'neath your trees and we died in your bushes,
Both sides of the river, we died just the same.

The sky plane caught fire over Los Gatos Canyon,
A fireball of lightning, and shook all our hills,
Who are all these friends, all scattered like dry leaves?
The radio says, "They are just deportees"

Is this the best way we can grow our big orchards?
Is this the best way we can grow our good fruit?
To fall like dry leaves to rot on my topsoil
And be called by no name except "deportees"?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Where is Pedro Guzman?

Hopefully alive, somewhere in the vicinity of Tijuana, Baja California. He is the latest victim of Operation Wetback v2.007
The family of a mentally disabled man claims that the federal and local governments mistakenly had an American citizen deported and said U.S. officials should help find him in Mexico.

Relatives of Pedro Guzman, 29, are suing the Department of Homeland Security and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in Los Angeles federal court.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit this week over what the civil rights group contends was the wrongful deportation of a developmentally disabled man.

Of course, ICE is spinning their actions faster than the wheels of my nana's shopping cart at CostCo.
"ICE only processes persons for removal when all available credible evidence suggests the person is an alien," ICE officials said. "That process was followed here and ICE has no reason to believe that it improperly removed Pedro Guzman."

This is a chilling story, on top of all the rest of the ICE-covered atrocities committed everyday (how's that for a pun?) It's hitting hard personally, because if one were to alter the age of Pedro by a few years and change half of his name, it would be me. While his disability probably factored heavily in this particular situation, Latin@s are being deported physically and verbally everyday.

So now's your chance, progressive blogosphere.

This issue could use some bigger coverage beyond the Latino blog borders. Steven D at Booman Tribune has already stepped up to the plate (in fact, he alerted me to it). Will you be the next one to stand in solidarity?

(Hopefully) To be updated:

Follow Up on Latin@ Blogger Study

Part of the Una Identidad Sin Fronteras series

Spoke with Toni this morning, it was a great interview regarding the role of Hispan@/Latin@ bloggers in the wider realm of blogtopia (yes! skippy coined that term); I thank her once again for reaching out.

She is still seeking participants, I'm going to forward over a non-comprehensive list courtesy of k/o's Blogs United group, but if you know of others who would provide good commentary on what it means to be a Latin@ blogger, please get in touch me via email at man.eegee at gmail dot com so I can get you in touch with her.

One question that has stuck with me from the interview was when she asked if there were any issues that pertain specifically to Latin@s. The truth is, we blog about the same things that other ethnic and non-ethnic blogs write about, only using our lens. And really, that's how it is with each individual blogger. After some crafty evasion on my part (probably not too crafty since it was 7am'ish, hehe), I expanded a bit on what it means to talk about immigration reform from a Latin@ perspective.

I've come across alot of people on the "left" end of the political spectrum who hold the same exact positions as the Minutemen-wing of the GOP, but for completely different reasons. It's difficult to get them to understand that there is no way to separate the way race intersects with the overall discussion of immigration reform. It takes dance steps more complex than a full-blown salsa competition to pretend otherwise, in my not so humble opinion.

The Latin@ community feels the direct impact of racial discrimination in this environment of workplace raids, increased police-state environments, and English-Only based nativism. It's not something that is proven by statistics or widespread news coverage (cough), but rather through our experiences. Here's a perfect example of what I'm talking about.

On Sunday I was eating breakfast with one of my closest amigas at a Mexican restaurant in downtown Tempe. As we were chatting, a raised voice gonged its way through the room from the front register area. It was an older Anglo gentleman with a camouflaged baseball hat adorned upon his salt and peppered hairy head.

He was berating the woman at the register because he claimed she was overcharging him for four pints of frijoles. Berate is one word for it, the other would be humiliate and denigrate. He cussed her out as if she had just spit on the grave of his mother.

The woman was visibly shaking, but in as forceful a tone as she could muster, told him that he needed to not be disrespectful to her nor the rest of the customers. He continued on his tirade, and at that point the entire dining room had stopped their conversations and tuned into the show.

My blood was at a rolling boil at that point. I wanted to intervene but the line hadn't been crossed yet - she was handling it fine on her own.


First, he demeaned the way she spoke English. It was flawless, but apparently her accent was too much for him to handle. Second, he uttered the words that got me out of my booth and in his face, "Go back to where you came from!"

As I walked up and stared him down, he was standing at the exit and continued to yell offensive mierda. I told him that if he didn't leave, I would be the one to call the cops. After telling me to go Cheney myself and that I wouldn't dare do any of that, he ended his temper tantrum and left.

So, you see, we have plenty of perspective to add on what the immigration free-for-all has done to our communities. These are our families, our sisters, our very dignity being trampled upon and, unfortunately, the situation is often ignored or deemed insignificant when it comes to the larger goal of political point-scoring by the Democrats and Republicans.

It is why we must continue to give voice to the struggles and hardships endured by our people. If our stories are not told, then who beyond la gente latina, will receive the flicker of motivation to stand up for our basic human rights?

Thanks again for the opportunity to go into full meta-mode this morning, Toni, you've helped me shoot some adrenaline into the bloodstream of my groggy muse.

Paz, Man Eegee