Monday, September 29, 2008

Deep Thought

I guess they're fresh out of bootstraps on Wall Street.

One Week To Go For AZ Voters

Monday, October 6th is the deadline for Arizonans to register to vote and be eligible to cast a ballot for the general election in November. As I've written before, groups like Mi Familia Vota and Voto Latino are working hard to get latinos engaged and empowered.

I'm sure the vast majority of people who stumble upon this website are already registered, but if not, please do so today. Arizonans, you can register online at:

Casting a ballot on election day, especially in 2008, is more than just picking a President. Voters will be evaluating the jobs of every single member in the House of Representatives, in some states Senators (not AZ this year, unfortunately), and many powerbrokers on the state level.

It's easy to dismiss the political world as something that "doesn't affect me" or politicians as a bunch of "clueless elites who don't listen anyways". Words to that effect can certainly be found in the archives of this blog; but the reality is that we can make a different in the direction of this country if a groundswell of common purpose rises up from the streets among the employers of politicians - We, The People. Raza.

There are just a few days left in the Grand Canyon State to be a part of what will hopefully be the beginning of a new, and saner, era of politics.
  • If you haven't registered to vote: take five minutes and go to right now
  • If you have registered to vote: email, text, call, hire a blimp with a blinking billboard to communicate with everyone you know that they should stop what they're doing and take five minutes to visit

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Tina Fey Returns as Sarah Palin

The saddest part of this hilarious bit?

Tina Fey repeated one of Palin's answers word-for-word - an indictment of McCain's judgment to choose someone so unprepared (and unvetted) for second in command of the U.S. government. Enjoy:

Friday, September 26, 2008

A Week To Remember

As a certified (and probably certifiably insane at this point) member of the news addict crowd in the U.S., I've been cycling through moments of horror and disbelief over the past few days. This has certainly been a week for the books in the annals of U.S. presidential politics.

The horror comes as George W. Bush performs one of the signature moves of his non-governance: raise a valid problem affecting the country and suggest such a ridiculous solution that hardly anyone takes the time to remove their jaw from the floor to stop what he and his murdurous, greedy band of criminal cronies intend to inflict on the world.

It's almost predictable. Junior Caligula swoops in with his proverbial big stick, reprises his role as The Decider, and makes horrible situations worse (often acting a few days later than a real leader would begin showing, you know, competent leadership). Exhibit A: Attacking Iraq as a response to 9/11; Exhibit B: the 2004 tsunami that devastated coastal communities of the Indian Ocean; Exhibit C: Hurricane Katrina.

This week we collectively watched in disbelief as a $700 billion bailout to Wall Street muckity-mucks was proposed to the nation in a prime-time address complete with dilated pupils and vacant expressions of a man who had absolutely no clue what he was talkin' about. $700 billion? Really? Which orifice did they pull that number from? Here's a clue:

"It's not based on any particular data point," a Treasury spokeswoman told Tuesday. "We just wanted to choose a really large number."
My friends, this is your brain country on drugs. Or is it lunacy?

I've come to the conclusion that John McCain, for example, has completely lost his mind. I almost feel sorry for him but the schadenfreude is too succulent to pass up. A consensus seems to be building that the abrupt "suspension" of his campaign to fly back to Washington was a total disaster.
If McCain believed he could be a constructive force by busting his way into the center of the delicate negotiations between congressional Democrats and Republicans and the White House, he was not able to show it Thursday. The objective evidence is that things got worse, not better, in Washington after McCain arrived. There was a tentative deal, announced by congressional leaders, when McCain landed in Washington. Hours later, there was chaos and recriminations.
The quote marks are used above because in this case "suspension" equals "surge". Instead of truly putting the breaks on their campaign, the Palin-McCain ticket had surrogates all over the place peddling spin, both nominees gabbed with Katie Couric (but not David Letterman, which may prove to be a fatal mistake to their bid for the White House), ads continued to run across numerous media markets, and the donate button was kept live on the website.

Can anyone tell me how that all equals a suspension?

Suspension of belief, perhaps. It makes me nearly speechless to see McCain's campaign engage in blunder after blunder after blunder.

Make the focus of the campaign on experience? Pick Sarah Palin, who has little to none.

Make the focus of the campaign on McCain's Mavericky Jedi Skills to bring about change? Use the Karl Rove Handbook to attack the media, lie repeatedly about your opponent's positions, and shut down any investigations with an army of lawyers that could lead to embarrasment.

Make the focus of the campaign on McCain's steady hand in crises? Allow him to behave batshit loony by suspending his campaign, swooping in to Washington to attend a meeting he allegedly called for, saying very little at aforementioned meeting, threatening to pull out of the first debate, and then claim to have won the thing before it even occurs.

...all while there are legitimate problems that need to be solved with the financial system.

Yup, the behavior pattern definitely rings a dissonant chord that we've all been hearing for the past eightish years.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Secure The Hawaiian Border

Hawaii's borders are broken, therefore the United States must defend its sovereignty by deploying bazooka-wielding dolphins along the shores of the 50th state of the union.

Federal agents arrested 21 illegal immigrant workers early Monday morning at a Honokowai condominium construction site, the second such raid at the same site in a little more than a month, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

The arrests were for "administrative immigration violations," particularly for entering the country without authorization, said agency Special Agent in Charge Wayne Wills.

The workers were at the Honua Kai project site where 23 alien workers from three different companies were taken into custody on Aug. 20.

The Maui News

In case the dolphin idea doesn't fly (swim?), perhaps the Washington imperialists can erect a giant wall around the island chain. It would help with tsunami deflection. Kupua forbid Congress actually pass legislation that brings these workers out of the shadows...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

McCain's Flip-Flops on Immigration

Once, John McCain was a champion of Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

He fought the anti-immigrant forces and pushed for doing what was right for our country; but the Republican Party did not stand by his side.

Now John McCain is running for President in two languages.

In English, he tries to make anti-immigrant Republicans happy.

In Spanish, he tries to make Latinos happy.

But he's not telling the truth
In either language.

Republicans killed immigration reform, and the anti-immigrant forces are getting stronger every day.

Senator McCain: Be a champion, not a politician,

In English and in Spanish.

Obama's Answers to Sanctuary's Immigration Survey

The Editorial Team of The Sanctuary has released Senator Barack Obama's full responses to our survey outlining specific policy proposals with respect to a complete overhaul of the U.S. immigration system and foreign policies that drive migrations of human beings to different parts of this chunk of earth we all call home.

Senator John McCain's campaign didn't bother to respond to our numerous attempts at dialog. As such, here's part of the statement we are releasing with today's post:
While our original intent was to present a meaningful side-by-side comparison of the policies and positions of all presidential candidates in order to better inform voters, Senator McCain's unwillingness to answer our questions, or to go on the record with his positions on the specific details covered in the questionnaire, has made this impossible. Senator McCain's reluctance is all the more troubling in light of the fact that his previously published positions, available on his website, appear to directly contradict those in the official platform coming out of the Republican National Convention earlier this month. This has left many of us who are concerned about immigration reform at a loss to know exactly where the Senator actually stands on vital issues.

Link to full post with Sen. Obama's responses
My personal thoughts on Obama's replies coming soon...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Questions Remain Unanswered for Ana Romero's Family

On August 21st, Ana Romero became the latest undocumented worker to die in custody. The Kentucky jail where she was being held ruled her death a suicide, as she was found with a sheet tied around her neck, but her family is demanding further investigation to the conditions of her imprisonment and the cause of death.

Preliminary media reports show that she was placed in solitary confinement due to not eating. The question is, why?

But Mario says for weeks, Ana complained about the jail food - saying it smelled, upset and her stomach and she often vomited.

“Thursday she died, Monday she called and said she wasn’t feeling well,” he says.

Now Ana’s dead and her sister can’t bear to tell their mother.

“She’s very old and she’s sick with heart problems. I’m not giving her the news yet, I have to go there personally and give her the news,” she says.

After grassroots outrage and family calls for a full investigation, a second autopsy has been granted.

State police are investigating her death as a suspected suicide but are awaiting autopsy results from the state medical examiner's office in Frankfort.

Meanwhile, Dr. George Nichols II, a former chief medical examiner for the state, is examining Romero's body in Louisville as well, according to Shelbyville attorney Matthew Pippin, representing Romero's family.

"Just like everybody else at this point, we're waiting for answers," said Pippin on Thursday. "We're making some steps right now because there is a grieving family that wants to bury their loved one.

"There's a second opinion to be gotten. We would like to go ahead and get it and be prepared to allow this family to pay their last respects to their loved one. We are just waiting and want answers however we can get them. Hopefully someone will step up and provide definitive answers here very soon."

Pippin said the family expected to get state preliminary autopsy results by Aug. 29.

The State Journal

As you can see by the time stamp of this post, August 29th has come and gone. The Romero family has still not received any information from authorities on the death of their loved one. A petition has been initiated, calling for authorities to release the results of the autopsy and answer the many questions involving Ana's death (including the fact that they withheld medication from her).

Justice for Ana Romero Petition

The recent tragic death of Ana Romero while in the Franklin County, Kentucky jail raises many questions of morality, decency, and the humane treatment of persons awaiting deportation. Ana Romero (44 years old) was living and working in Shelbyville cleaning houses in order to support her 92 year-old mother and two grown sons in college in El Salvador.

In January, she was arrested at home and detained by state police for giving federal immigration officials a false identification card, along with a previous immigration-related violation. This type of police action is part of the nation-wide ICE dragnet operation being carried out in places like Shelbyville, Kentucky; Pottsville, Iowa; New Bedford, Massachusetts; and Laurel, Mississippi, in which immigrants are being subjected to raids and detentions. These operations have torn families apart, including many U.S. citizens, and has instilled pervasive fear in our communities owing to the terrorizing tactics used by the authorities and the lack of due process afforded the immigrants afterwards.

Whether or not you agree with the criminalization of immigrant workers and families who have entered the U.S. without documents, the consequences of the Ana Romero case should touch a nerve. During her nearly 8 month imprisonment in the county jail while awaiting deportation, Ana was distraught and suffered from medical ailments, refusing to eat the food which she told family members "…stinks and there is something wrong with it."

Shortly before her death, she was placed in solitary confinement. Her jailers have yet to explain why this was done.

Although the state autopsy indicates that Ana Romero died of asphyxiation by hanging, the circumstances of her death continue to be investigated. Her family has requested a second opinion because they do not believe she took her own life, given that she was waiting anxiously to return to her country and her loved ones.

The delayed public disclosure of the autopsy results and the silence from the relevant authorities only highlights the potentially scandalous nature of this case. Is there something they are trying to cover up?

The family of Ana Romero and the general public deserve answers.

What kind of treatment do persons awaiting deportation receive in jail?

Why was Ana Romero placed in solitary confinement?

What was the true cause of her death?

How can deaths such as these be avoided in the future?

And finally the biggest question of all: While we all know that immigration policy needs fundamental reform, how many hard-working immigrants, many U.S. citizens, across the U.S. are going to have to suffer from the deepening climate of repression and fear created by the racist and exclusionary policies implemented by ICE? These policies continue to criminalize immigrants who have come to work from south of our border.

How much longer will low-paid, hard-working communities of immigrants be traumatized by raids and detentions?
More information can be found at - to sign on to the petition, please send an email with your endorsement to

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Isabel Garcia's First Amendment Rights Upheld

Good news regarding Pima County Administrator Chuckle Huckleberry's decision whether or not to remove human rights promoter Isabel Garcia from her position as a county public defender.

You'll recall that the nativist crowd, lead by the perverted and sexist Jon Justice of 104.1 The Truth (not!), were trying to get her fired after participating at a protest for a Sheriff Joe Arpaio book-signing event in Tucson.
Huckelberry's memo, which was released Monday, states that "no disciplinary action is warranted in this matter."

According to the memo, Garcia and Arpaio were both appearing at the event as private citizens.

Tucson Citizen
Here's my favorite part of the article:
The county heard from 775 writers and callers in favor of Garcia's actions, 229 against.
Well done, gente.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Voter Registration Challenge

If you're worried about polls showing the Presidential race tightening, work on registering people to vote and educating them on the issues. It's the only way this country is going to get zapped out of its trance - one that I have been calling Nine Eleven Fever for the past seven years.

Arizonans have absolutely no excuses. If you're eligible to vote, please please please click on this link to Service Arizona and you can be registered within five minutes. My goal is to get 20 people signed up to participate in this country's civics between now and November 4th.

Groups like VotoLatino, Mi Familia Vota, and Chicanos por la Causa have mobilized throughout the state, so there is plenty of opportunities to get involved. If you're sick of the lies, the smears, and the illusions of a dark reality that kept George Bush and his merry band of slaughterers in power in 2004; then join the movement to say ¡Ya Basta! - Enough Already! so John McCain is not allowed to continue the massacre of human lives and constitutional democracy in the U.S.

The thought of McCain and his warmongering advisors winning in November scares the shit out me. I have no reason to complain, though, if I don't work to keep him away from the red button and the pen that will ultimately sign a military draft into existence.

Friday, September 05, 2008

All Men Are Created Equal*

From McCain's convention speech last night:
"My tax cuts will create jobs. His tax increases will eliminate them. My health care plan will make it easier for more Americans to find and keep good health care insurance. His plan will force small businesses to cut jobs, reduce wages, and force families into a government run health care system where a bureaucrat stands between you and your doctor."

(emphasis mine)
It should be noted that if he is elected, McCain will ensure that a bureaucrat in the form of a Supreme Court Justice will stand between a woman and her doctor.

Just sayin'

*Emphasis on men

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

A Word From The Patron Saint of Irony

I will light as many candles as necessary for this whole media narrative to be true:
Tonight, Sarah Palin will be nominated as the Republican Party's choice for vice president of the United States.

But back home, she has cheered the work of a tiny party that long has pushed for a statewide vote on whether Alaska should secede from those same United States. And her husband, Todd, was a member of the party for seven years.

Los Angeles Times
The thought of the most rabid hardliners on the right who've spent years howling in outrage at mythical Mexican reconquistadores having to swallow the gallons of irony elixir being served by John McCain's pick for #2 in line of Presidential succession brings great joy to my life.

On top of that, how stupid does the GOP think voters really are? You expect the public to believe that you did a full vetting process prior to the announcement? Really?

The country doesn't need another President who rewards sycophants with cushy appointments. As someone who has conducted interviews for many years, what looks good on paper doesn't always translate to what's in the best interest of the organization. It's clear that McCain put politics ahead of the country with this selection, and given the irony that Sarah Palin is supportive of a political party that advocates secession from the union, the karma wheel is spinning faster than usual.

Not that I'm complaining, of course.