Monday, December 31, 2007

Soap Opera Politics Vol 1, Issue 2

Both sides are slinging the mud now! Here is what I am seeing:

Dem Frontrunners:
John Edwards: The "love child" rumor has died down on the Blogs. The Nat´l Enquirer (N.E.) has taken this story off its front page. My guess is the so called witnesses were not reliable and the threat of lawsuits have scared off the N.E.
Obama: The ANTIs are posting some ugly rumors about Obama´s loyalty to America. First, it was his middle name, then the lie that he did not put his hand on his heart during the Pledge. Now they are yammering about his church being an "African" "Black Only" church with no loyalties to America. Good thing all of this rhetoric is falling on deaf ears!
Hillary: It has been somewhat quiet. News of Bill eating more and spending lots of time in diners. I still say I think the Republicans want Hillary to be the Candidate. I think they think they have the best shot of beating her.
. CNN & MSNBC are reporting all 3 Dem candidates are in a dead-heat!

Republican Front Runners:
Huckabee: The ANTIs hate "The Huckster" or "Schmuckabee" (their pet names for him). They are angry at Gilchrist for endorsing him. They call his Immigration plan "resurrection of the flawed touch-back" process.
Both PRO and ANTI bloggers are making fun of "Huck" for his missteps regarding the Bhutto assassination. They reported he didn´t know much about geography (now what countries border Pakistan?) or their religions (who is the majority, Sunni or Shia?) and Huck saying we should be worried about Pakistanis coming over the Mexican border. With all sides ganging up on him, I think it is just a matter of time for him now. He may get a few votes in Iowa, but after that, its over!
Romney: Besides all of the Flip Flopper and Mormon talk, some PRO bloggers in the blogosphere are reporting Mitt´s Dad George was born in Mexico. (Some ANTI sites are trying to squelch this rumor, even though it is a fact). George was born in a Mormon colony on Mexican soil that his parents had fled to for sanctuary. "In the 1880s, as a precondition to granting Utah statehood, the United States government enacted laws to put a stop to the Mormon practice of polygamy. Those who continued to practice this principle were forced underground as federal marshals roamed the territory searching (massive sweeps - deja vu all over again!) for "polygs." In response, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints looked for safe places to send its members; many found refuge across the border in Mexico." For now, all of this talk is under the radar, but you can be sure, if Mitt becomes the GOP candidate, it will be one of the headlines.
Guiliani: Affair, Divorce, Marriage, Funds, Unethical Business Practices, Shady Friends, ANTIs hate his past stance on Immigration, plus he dressed like a girl. He has it all, most of it old news, but still very relevant! Word is Giuliani's entire campaign is predicated on chaos lasting until late January, when he thinks he can clobber his rivals in Florida
McCain: McClatchy is saying Giuliani (5%) is the big loser in the polls while McCain remains steady at 13% . However, there is so much hatred for McCain on the ANTI sites that I don´t see him as a viable GOP candidate.
Ron Paul: Even though, as I reported on my blog, Ron Paul made an idiot out of himself on "Meet the Press" and he is far behind in the polls (a mere 5% - GOP candidates), the facts are, he has raised LOTS of Money and his followers are very loyal. He has ANTI followers, Republicans, Dems and Independents. Many pretty wacky. Given the fact that the top three candidates are all skating on thin ice, it is still anybody´s game.

. Time Magazine, CNN and MSNBC are reporting the GOP may select NONE OF THE ABOVE!

Come the Convention, will NEW GOP Candidate be considered?
. Billionaire Mayor Bloomberg ?
. Jeb Bush?
. Lou Dobbs?
. Pat Buchanan?

There are those that believe:
"The Antichrist as the leader of the Beast alliance of nations will exist just before Christ's return and he will promote himself as a savior of humanity, but he will have his own deceptive good news message for humanity."

or as CNN Reports:
The End of the World on December 21, 2012

Sunday, December 30, 2007

My Choir Director, JS Bach and Humanity!

About My Choir Director - A reprint from a Previously Posted Comment:
(Please reference YouTube Video in upper right hand corner of my Blog)

My sisters and I all sang in our church choir. My oldest sister is 10 years older than me. She started the tradition by joining choir during her senior year in high school. When my next oldest sister was in high school, she joined. When I entered high school, I joined, then my two younger sisters did the same.
During Holiday Seasons, when all were in town, we sang in our hometown church choir. Three of my sisters were sopranos. Two of us were Altos.
Our Choir Director was a very compassionate man. He treated all members the same, old or young, white, black or brown, rich or poor. He was tough on all of us. He was well schooled in voice and had a beautiful, glowing tenor voice. He taught us to sit up straight, sing from our diaphram and sing with our full voice. He taught us to sing a capella. He took us through very boring voice exercises until we thought we would drop. He taught us other exercises like practicing at home and holding your nose while you sang to test whether you were singing through your nose. He taught us breathing exercises. He taught us to sing from our heart, like we meant it. He said he could tell the difference because when we sang from the heart, he would get goosebumps. He didn´t have to teach us to do all this. None of us were rich. He was barely paid by the church. He could have been another Pavarotti but he chose to stay in a small town, living life with his family, teaching at a nearby college. He taught us to sing Gregorian Chants, Mendelsohn, Brahms, J.S. Bach and songs of all of the great composers.
During Christmas times, he brought in the timpani, sometimes with flutes and a harp.We were a rag tag choir of a few former migrant workers and elderly church ladies and gentlemen. People who came to hear us were astounded by our sound, this small group in such a large cathedral. We once hosted the choirs of the city and all were just amazed by our sound. My choir director gave us these beautiful gifts to carry with us all of our lives.
Last night, I dreamed about him and about this song. It is by J.S. Bach titled "Sheep May Safely Graze and Pasture." I remember the very light runs on the organ by our Conductor. I still get goosebumps when I hear them. I am sharing them with you now. Please click on the video in the upper right hand corner of my blog to see what I mean.
Our Choir Director was our Teacher. He shared the Gift of Music and the Classics with us. He was a True Humanitarian!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Economist Robert Reich On Immigration

An Immigration Blog by my hero, the Great Economist, Robert Reich:

On Immigration
The biggest split in America today isn’t over social issues like abortion or gay marriage. It’s not even over the war in Iraq, or taxes. The biggest divide is over immigration.
Demagogues on the right and left are telling Americans our jobs are threatened, our social services overwhelmed, and their streets unsafe because of immigrants. Fear and prejudice are on the rise. According to a recent Pew survey, more than half of Hispanic adults in America today worry they or someone close to them could face deportation. Earlier this year, when Congress tried to enact a bipartisan bill that would better secure the borders and also try to regularize the plight of undocumented immigrants – giving them a path to become regular citizens and avoid the constant fear of deportation – the bill was killed by these agents of fear and intolerance.
Well, I have some news for those fear-mongers. If they think this country or this economy can succeed in coming decades without tens of millions of additional immigrants, they’re not thinking straight. The huge baby boom generation – 77 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964 – will be retiring, and there aren’t nearly enough native-born Americans after them to keep this economy going, let alone keep money flowing into the boomers’ Social Security and Medicare trust funds. The graying of America means we need this new wave of immigrants.
Remember also that most of us born here are descended from immigrants. What we’ve learned is that people with the guts and gumption to leave their country of birth and come to America are almost by definition ambitious. And we also know something else: The single most important asset of this economy and society is ambition. I’m not arguing that we throw our borders open. No, we need better border security. But to think immigrants are our enemies, or to believe that they’re taking more out of the economy more than they putting into it, is pure baloney.
At this time of year especially, we need to remind ourselves of the tolerance and generosity that built this country by allowing our immigrant ancestors to become full-fledged Americans.
Robert Reich is the nation's 22nd Secretary of Labor and a professor at the University of California at Berkeley.

Deep Down, Maybe there is Salvation & Redemption for some ANTIs reports:

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) -- For nearly seven years Melina Salazar did her best to put on a smile and tend to the every need of her most loyal and cantankerous customer. She made sure his food was as hot as he wanted, even if it meant he burned his mouth. And she smiled through his demands and curses.
The 89-year-old Walter "Buck" Swords obviously appreciated it, leaving the waitress $50,000 and a 2000 Buick when he died.
"I still can't believe it," the Luby's cafeteria employee told Harlingen television station KGBT-TV in an interview during which she described Swords as "kind of mean." Swords, a World War II veteran, died in July. But Salazar learned just a few days before Christmas that he had left her the money and car.
Maybe there is Hope and Humanity for some ANTIs yet!
Happy New Year, 2008!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Glory Hound Sheriff Arpaio Costing Taxpayers Millions!

The Phoenix News Reports:

Inhumanity Has a Price
Corpses, a flesh-eating virus, the most-sued sheriff in America. Lawsuits against Joe Arpaio have cost us $41 million, so far
By John Dickerson Published: December 20, 2007
Maricopa County's sheriff Arpaio has a vivid history of ignoring the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. He's trampled the rights of prisoners, political enemies, and media critics. In partnership with the county attorney, the pair have expanded their enemies list to include the judiciary and immigrants. Private citizens and their Internet-viewing records were merely the latest victims in a long line.

The Sheriff´s antics include:
1. Establishing an Sheriff´s Enemies List
2. Identifying the identity of anyone who looked at New Times online in the past four years.
3. Vermin, filth, medical care suggestive of POW camps, chronic mismanagement, the wanton destruction of records, and a steady parade of corpses in Maricopa County jails have cost taxpayers an astonishing — and until now, undisclosed — 41.4 million dollars.
Read the entire Phoenix News article for the entire expose!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Experts Predict Arizona "OUT OF BUSINESS!"

MSNBC is reporting:
Experts predict employer sanctions will hurt AZ
Sun., Dec. 23, 2007
A quick glance at the masons who work for Rhino Masonry in Mesa reveals an interesting quirk about the company's work force - nearly every block layer on the payroll is Hispanic. Business owner Robert Ahlers said he's comfortable with his company's demographics. It simply reflects those of the region's construction industry in general, he said. However, he has no idea what impact the state's stringent new employer sanctions law will have on his company next month. "I don't know if come Jan. 1, when this goes into effect, I'm going to wake up on a Monday morning and half the people working for me are going to be gone," Ahlers said.
Hispanic workers elsewhere have been walking off their jobs in anticipation of the Legal Arizona Workers Act taking effect New Year's Day. The law is intended to change the way Arizona companies conduct business. Specifically, it's intended to prompt business owners to purge illegal immigrants from their payrolls. Businesses knowingly employing illegal immigrants face corporate death penalties. The first offense can result in a 10-day suspension of a company's business license. The second offense can mean loss of the business license altogether. The law is widely viewed as the toughest of more than 100 passed by states and municipalities nationwide since the summer to crack down on illegal immigration.
Business owners are changing the way they hire, moving to an electronic, federal system called E-Verify, which checks job applicants' Social Security numbers to confirm their employment eligibility. Also, an uncounted number of illegal immigrants living and working in Arizona are moving to other states or back to Mexico to avoid detection, according to Hispanic community leaders.

However, the law also is causing Arizona is lose its appeal among business investors, according to business leaders. Arizona clearly is dependent on immigrant labor. Of the state's nearly 2.5 million workers, close to 300,000 are not U.S. citizens, according to a University of Arizona study released in October. That equates to more than 10 percent of the total work force.
Ahlers is worried about maintaining his own work force at Rhino Masonry, 722 W. McLellan Road in Mesa. The company typically employs between 50 to 100 at between $15 to $25 an hour, plus benefits. Ahlers always has been careful to check documents for new hires, and believes every employee on his payroll is eligible to work in the United States. Still, the new employer sanctions law is forcing him to act like an immigration agent, he said. "It's making me mad, because I object to having to do someone else's job for them," he said. "The federal government has failed miserably to do their job - or we wouldn't have a bunch of illegals wandering around our country. "Now our government says, 'Look employers, you've got to fix it because we can't. You've got to do extra work. You've got to do things. If you don't do it, we're going to fine you or put you out of business,'" Ahlers said.

There's widespread misunderstanding among business operators over the new law, said labor attorney Julie A. Pace, who has lectured at more than 50 seminars about the topic since July. "Some have been paying attention and some understand different things about the law. I think many feel it's unconstitutional and are waiting for the court to rule. Others are not familiar with it at all," she said. To make matters worse, the law is filled with ambiguities and is subject to different interpretations, said Pace, of the Phoenix law firm Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll. For example, no one has ruled definitively how the law will be applied to franchised businesses. If violations are discovered at a single location of a statewide chain of gas stations, restaurants, banks or department stores, does that mean every outlet statewide will be shut down, leading to hundreds of layoffs? Pace is operating under the legal assumption the entire chain can be closed. "Everybody loses their jobs," she said. With that in mind, business owners statewide are rushing to restructure their business operations, making each location a separate corporate entity. Also, some business owners are postponing Arizona expansion plans while waiting to see how the law will be enforced. "A lot of clients of ours have already moved their operations out of state for any expansion," Pace said. "They're not going to open any businesses here."

The law already is cutting into Arizona's agricultural industry, which employs the state's highest percentage of noncitizen workers. "We already were having problems getting workers," said Joe Sigg, director of government relations for the Arizona Farm Bureau Federation, a nonprofit association of 3,000 agriculture-related businesses. The impact is twofold: Immigrant workers without documentation are leaving to avoid deportation, and immigrant workers with documentation are relocating because they fear discrimination.
Consumers nationwide could see the impact as early as next month. Nearly all of the country's supply of iceberg lettuce from November through March is grown in and around Yuma, just north of the U.S.-Mexico border. The harvest requires 50,000 laborers a day, but farm owners are uncertain whether enough workers will be available to pick the lettuce before it rots in the fields, Sigg said. "The law, in our view, has lost proportionality to the problem," he said. "There is no question that immigration - legal and illegal - causes a host of problems. But the economic side of this is: How do you unplug a work force that you can't possibly replace?" he asked.
Farmers also are encountering new difficulties in securing business loans, because lenders recognize they may not be able to bring their crops to market. Private sector investors similarly are holding back, Sigg said. The law is certain to cause the entire state's economy to slow, said Ann Seiden, spokeswoman for the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

"Our rap over the past several years has been growth - this population has been booming, our economy has been doing well. Granted, there are some other factors that have caused our economy to backslide a little, but we think this is going to further that," she said. The now-slumping housing industry is closely tied to the immigrant labor pool. Approximately 22 percent of all construction trade workers are noncitizens, according to the UA study. Noncitizens account for 56 percent of plasterers and stucco masons, 41 percent of roofers, and 38 percent of drywall and ceiling installers. Plus, naturalized U.S. citizens account for an additional 6 percent of plasterers, 7 percent of roofers and 8 percent of drywall installers. The only question is how much impact the law will have on the state's economy, Seiden said. Economic development officials are hearing business owners are reluctant to move into or expand in Arizona while business licenses remain at stake, she said. "When you're going to invest in something, you pretty much want to invest in a sure thing. Uncertainty doesn't lend itself to that kind of positive investment and growth," she said.
One certainty is that the law will be enforced, said Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas. Employer sanctions are an important component of halting the "border crisis," and sheriff's deputies and county prosecutors are prepared to launch investigations next year, he said. "These are complex investigations. I would compare them to white-collar cases, fraud cases. These are not your simple cut-and-dried robbery or burglary cases," he said. The first cases are likely to take months to get to court. And while prosecutors have had months to develop a strategy on how to pursue their first cases, which are certain to attract national attention, they haven't done so, Thomas said. He dismissed the idea prosecutors have weighed whether to first go against a corner taco shop or similar small business in a quest for quick legal victory, or to first move against a larger and wealthier enterprise to score a strong victory. "We have no preconceptions about that. We're going to wait to see what kind of evidence and information we have," Thomas said. "The resources of the company will have no bearing on our decision."

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Ron Paul: Idiot on Meet the Press today!

Ron Paul looked like an idiot on Meet the Press today!

What did he say?
1. End Income Tax and STOP ALL Government Programs including Social Security!
2. Stop Funding for all Public Services including Public Schools !

3. Pull all troops back from Around the World & Close most military Bases

4. Lincoln Advice: You should never have gone to War. Slavery could have been stopped by the Government buying all Slaves!?!
5. Hitler: He wasn´t ALL Wrong!
He looked like a total nutcase.

Was it just the format or was it R. Paul?
Time will tell, but....
do you see the similarities?

Holiday Pictures of Commenters on my Blog

Every time someone posts a comment on my Blog, I always visualize what they look like as they are commenting. Here is the picture I get of a few of my frequent commenters. Happy Holidays!



Ultima (young) & Lupita:
Ultima Now:

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Migrants from Arizona Returning Home!

"I don't want to live here because of the new law and the oppressive environment," he said. "I'll be better in my country."

PHOENIX, Arizona (AP) -- Illegal immigrants in Arizona, frustrated with a flagging economy and tough new legislation cracking down on their employers, are returning to their home countries or trying their luck in other states.
For months, immigrants have taken a wait-and-see attitude toward the state's new employer-sanctions law, which takes effect January 1. The voter-approved legislation is an attempt to lessen the economic incentive for illegal immigrants in Arizona, the busiest crossing point along the U.S.-Mexico border. And by all appearances, it's starting to work. "People are calling me telling me about their friend, their cousin, their neighbors -- they're moving back to Mexico," said Magdalena Schwartz, an immigrant-rights activist and pastor at a Mesa church. "They don't want to live in fear, in terror."
...Under the employer sanctions law, businesses found to have knowingly hired illegal workers will be subject to sanctions from probation to a 10-day suspension of their business licenses. A second violation would bring permanent revocation of the license.
...State Rep. Russell Pearce of Mesa, the author of the employer sanctions law, said his intent was to drive illegal immigrants out of Arizona. "I'm hoping they will self-deport," Pearce said. "They broke the law. They're criminals." Under the employer sanctions law, businesses found to have knowingly hired illegal workers will be subject to sanctions from probation to a 10-day suspension of their business licenses. A second violation would bring permanent revocation of the license.
Nancy-Jo Merritt, an immigration lawyer who primarily represents employers, said her clients already have started to fire workers who can't prove they are in the country legally. "Workers are being fired, of course," she said. "Nobody wants to find out later on that they've got somebody working for them who's not here legally." When immigrants don't have jobs, they don't stick around, said Dawn McLaren, a research economist at Arizona State University who specializes in illegal immigration. She said the flagging economy, particularly in the construction industry, also is contributing to an immigrant exodus. "As the jobs dwindle and the environment becomes more unpleasant in more ways than one, you then decide what to do, and perhaps leaving looks like a good idea," she said. "And certainly that creates a problem, because as people leave, they take the jobs they created with them."
Pearce disagreed that the Arizona economy will suffer after illegal immigrants leave, saying there will be less crime, lower taxes, less congestion, smaller classroom sizes and shorter lines in emergency rooms. "We have a free market. It'll adjust," he said. "Americans will be much better off." He said he's not surprised illegal immigrants are leaving the state and predicts that more will go once the employer-sanctions law takes effect next month. "It's attrition by enforcement," he said. "As you make this an unfriendly state for lawbreakers, I'm hoping they will pick up and leave."

Friday, December 21, 2007

Las Posadas at Christmastime!

In my hometown in Michigan, my father help found the Catholic Church for Mexican Americans. Back in those times, most of the Mexican Americans were migrants brought up to Michigan by the State of Michigan and the various Farm Bureaus to harvest the crops. Most of the migrant families were from Texas and Mexico. Most did not speak English. After the busy harvest season, many of the men who decided to stay in Michigan with their families found jobs in the auto industry as my father did.

Most of the migrants were Catholic, as my family was Catholic. Many of the Catholic churches conducted various masses in Spanish, just for the migrant workers. Our church was the same.

Within a few years, there were a significant number of Mexican American families. My father, along with several other Mexican American leaders, petitioned the church for their own Mexican American church. With so many new members, the church complied.

The church provided was previously an old Baptist Church. It was in an older section of town and the building was built around the turn of the previous century. All the parishioners pitched in and help refurbish the church, painting meeting rooms and the church itself.

During Holidays, everyone helped to festively decorate the church. The year it was established, at Christmastime, we conducted our first Posada.

Las Posadas were a special time in our church. We reenacted Joseph´s journey with Mary to Bethlehem. Las Posadas started on December 16 and continued through Christmas Eve. Our families went to church every evening during this time for the reenactment. We went from house to house and sang songs. It was a beautiful time of togetherness. It also helped all of us understand the true meaning of Christmas. Mary and Joseph arrived at the inn and we were all welcomed in for the birth of Christ at Christmastime.

When I think of those times, I think of the birth of Christ, the singing and the feeling that we were all joined together in this Celebration of the True Meaning of Christmas!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Soap Opera Politics Vol 1, Issue 1

Both sides are starting the mud-slinging and the soap operas. Here is what I am seeing:

Dems Frontrunners:
John Edwards: The juiciest rumor is being reported by several blogs, "Rielle Hunter and John Edwards have been rumored to be having an affair for months. It’s only this evening, when the National Enquirer announced that it had, not only photos of a pregnant Rielle, but also testimony from several sources close to her and Edwards, that her name became well-known." Say it ain´t so John (for the record, he has denied it but now, supposedly, there are witnesses and a baby). We love your wife and if you did this, you have lost your shot, forever!
Obama: The mud slingers keeping bringing up Obama´s loyalty to America. False! Obama is a very loyal American! Now, are the Hollywood Superstars helping or hurting him?
Hillary: Quite honestly, I think the Republicans want Hillary to be the Candidate. I think they think they have the best shot of beating her.

Republican Front-runners (the rest don´t stand a chance!)
Huckabee: Using his religion on his shirt-sleeve. Gilchrist as his backer. Flip flopping on border security. Even the ANTI sites say there are other scandals blooming!
Romney: Flip Flopper Supreme, plus his Mormon religion are all targets.
Guiliani: Affair, Divorce, Marriage, Funds, Unethical Business Practices, Shady Friends, ANTIs hate his past stance on Immigration, plus he dressed like a girl. He has it all, most of it old news, but still very relevant!

Well, maybe an Independent will win.

After all, Liquid has thrown his hat in the ring and is now a candidate!

MMs Gilchrist and Simcox and Gheen still fighting!

Just a quick update (I won´t belabor this subject but wanted to give you an update):

Gilchrist sent out a very angry letter to his MM email broadcast code calling Simcox and Gheen Hypocrits, Liars and Charltans. On his website, Gheen angrily fights back and says "Jack Sharpe" is a known alias of Gilchrist.. The shxx is hitting the fan and mass broadcast emails are flying back and forth. Here are excerpts from Gilchrist´s first email. I am providing links to various responses below.
by Jack Sharpe (aka Jim Gilchrist)
For years now, many leaders and volunteers of the Minuteman Movement have remained quiet about things they know to be true. We all believed it would hurt the movement if Americans knew how their donations were being spent, or what kinds of narcissistic nitwits are leading some of these organizations. Minutemen held their tongues and soldiered on with the mission. Despite this attempt to protect the movement through silence, Americans have not turned out in the numbers that the original founders had hoped. Why? Because America still sees us as a racist, kooky, fringe group. In three years there have been less than 6,000 Minutemen that have ever patrolled the border. They are divided into several organizations with many members belonging to two or three of these organizations. Some of these organizations charge a “membership fee” (sometimes referred to as a background check), or monthly dues. But the bigger groups also use professional fundraising companies to raise money from direct mail campaigns and donor drives. Patriotic Americans often give money in lieu of going to the border, and many of these groups exploit them by claiming that the donations are used to support the Minutemen on the border. However, more often than not, most of the money goes straight into the pockets of the leadership. Not that they are stealing vast sums of money, but after half of the donations are paid back to the fundraising firm, and twenty-five percent split between various creditors, and another twenty percent to operating costs (staff), that only leaves five percent (5 %) of the donations left to actually fund the cause.Chris Simcox is the president of one of the largest Minuteman Project spin-off groups, the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps (MCDC). Chris and MCDC split away from Jim Gilchrist’s Minuteman Project over two years ago to become a “project” of Declaration Alliance. Chris hired a slick Washington Consulting company (Diener and Associates) to handle MCDC’s finances and raise money for the organization. Before Simcox knew it was happening, he had lost control of his organization to a DC beltway insider’s coalition. They took control of MCDC’s parent corporation after Simcox was convicted of a weapons violation on Federal land. For the record: Simcox was legally wearing a sidearm until he accidentally entered a state park. The felony prevented him from remaining the head of the group, but the fundraising company kept him on as the “Founder” and sent him on the paid lecture circuit. With a wife and children to consider, Simcox was in no position to turn on his masters. Last year almost half of the members of MCDC revolted against Simcox and tried to take the organization away from its real owner, fundraiser Diener and Associates. The members claimed that they received no financial support from MCDC and were instructed to send what little donations they could scrape up to Headquarters for redistribution. Many Chapter leaders complained, but they were dismissed or ignored. At one point the majority of the chapter leaders called for a meeting with Simcox to ask where the money went. Simcox had no idea and no one from the fundraising company would tell him. The rebelling members demanded to see the financial books, but Simcox didn’t have them and wasn’t sure who did. He then did the only thing he could do; he ran away and hid. At this point Simcox had become jealous of the success of Jim Gilchrist’s Minuteman Project.

...Without so much as a phone call to Jim Gilchrist asking him why, several leaders of Minuteman fringe groups viciously attacked Jim and Mike Huckabee with the hopes of getting some cheap publicity for themselves... It only took Simcox two days to pile on and take his cheap shot at Jim Gilchrist as well. He and his friend William Gheen (ALIPAC) have started a “destroy Gilchrist and Huckabee” campaign with help from among the kooks and zealots of the movement. William Gheen, President of ALIPAC, has had a personal grudge against Jim Gilchrist since the Minuteman Project was founded. Gheen makes his living soliciting donations from unsuspecting Americans in the name of border security. What most people don’t know is just how much of the donor money coming into his organization Gheen pockets. He has never opened his books to the public or explained what happened to the money that many hard working people have given to him. William Gheen uses fear- mongering and race baiting to scare old people out of their savings with stories of “the savage invasion from the Southern border”.When Gilchrist founded the Minuteman Project many patriots believed that Jim was doing more for the movement than all of the dozen of other activist organizations combined. This caused the donor money to dry up for Gheen and ALIPAC, and Simcox and MCDC. And, oh, how they ranted and cursed Gilchrist and the Minuteman Project! To preserve their “cash cows”, the naïve American donor base that has already sent them millions of dollars, Simcox, Gheen, and other so-called secure-borders advocates have to attack Gilchrist’s endorsement of Mike Huckabee. ..Meanwhile, Gilchrist’s Minuteman Project, which does not require “membership fees” to participate in saving America, stoically plods onward, relying on only a hope, a prayer, and a vision inspired by our Founding Fathers.

Jack Sharpe, for Jim Gilchrist and The Minuteman Project

This is turning into a HUGE Soap Opera!! Will Huckabee be hurt by all of the infighting? Only time will tell!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Tancredo Pulling Out of Presidential Race

The AP is reporting:

Tancredo to Abandon Presidential Bid
By GEORGE MERRITT – 1 hour ago
DENVER (AP) — Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo, whose forceful opposition to illegal immigration vaulted him to national prominence, plans to announce he is abandoning his long-shot bid for the presidency, a person close to Tancredo said Wednesday. The five-term Colorado congressman planned to make the announcement at a news conference in Des Moines, Iowa, on Thursday, the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak for Tancredo or his campaign.

Tancredo's campaign would only say he planned a "major announcement" Thursday.
Tancredo has consistently polled at the back of the nine-person GOP field. He has based his campaign on opposition to illegal immigration, a top issue in many areas of the country. He has run television ads that link lax border security to terrorist attacks, rape and other crimes.

I wonder who the ANTIs will vote for now? Many sites are saying Romney, but didn´t we all just agree he is a Flip Flopper?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Mitt Romney, Immigration and Flip Flops

My husband and I watched Mitt Romney on Meet the Press today. My husband is not impressed by any of the candidates for President and today´s interview did not change his mind. At the end of the interview he said, "I will not vote for anyone who tries to pander to all sides of these issues." I agreed with him.

I was particularly puzzled by Romney´s so called "hardline" on Immigration. After hearing then reading this portion of the interview, I am still puzzled.
"On immigration, Mr. Russert raised a 2005 Boston Globe interview in which Mr. Romney called proposals by Senator John McCain and others on illegal immigration that would have offered a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants “reasonable,” which seemed to contradict his hardline stance today.

But Mr. Romney said he had been careful to say in the interview that he had not endorsed any of the proposals that were out there and not had formulated his own policy, adding that he still believes the 12 million illegal immigrants already here should be allowed to apply for permanent residency or citizenship, provided they are not given a “special pathway.”

Mr. Romney also defended himself from accusations of hypocrisy on his tough rhetoric on the issue in light of the recent embarassing revelations that a yard service company he used at his Massachusetts home was found for a second time by the Boston Globe to be employing illegal immigrants.

He said that his son Tagg, now a senior adviser to the campaign, met with the owner of the company after the Boston Globe revealed a year ago that the company was using illegal Guatemalan immigrants and got assurances that they would henceforth make sure they were using only legal workers.

But in his initial statement after the company was found for a second time to be using illegal immigrants, Mr. Romney had seemed to imply that he had met with the company personally after the first incident.

“After this same issue arose last year, I gave the company a second chance with very specific conditions,” he said in a statement. “They were instructed to make sure people working for the company were of legal status. We personally met with the company in order to inform them about the importance of this matter. The owner of the company guaranteed us, in very certain terms, that the company would be in total compliance with the law going forward.”

What do you think?

Friday, December 14, 2007

A Trek through the Political Immigration Swamp!

I came across this interesting article from the Washington Post:

The Immigration Swamp
As the presidential campaign intensifies, so does the nativist ferocity.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
THE IDEA that 12 million illegal residents of the United States can be induced to quit the country en masse within four months is absurd on its face -- a non-starter in logistical, humanitarian, political, diplomatic, commercial and economic terms that would leave an indelible stain on this country for years. Yet that is the wrathful centerpiece of
Mike Huckabee's "Secure America Plan," which the Republican presidential candidate issued the other day in the course of his party's escalating enthusiasm for nastier-than-thou prescriptions to deal with illegal immigrants.

Never mind that Mr. Huckabee, when he was governor of Arkansas, actually pursued a pragmatic policy in regard to illegal aliens, urging that exemplary youngsters be eligible for scholarships to public universities even if they were undocumented because, as he put it, "we are a better country than to punish children for what their parents did." Having lately surged enough in the polls to sniff the sweet smell of success, he is not about to let experience, common sense or simple decency get in the way of short-term electoral advantage.
Mr. Huckabee was promptly rewarded for his reversal with an endorsement from Jim Gilchrist, founder of the Minuteman Project, a group of xenophobes who spend their time videotaping and harassing day laborers wherever they find them. The candidate, apparently once fazed by the Minuteman group's vigilantism, said he had undergone a conversion and cravenly apologized for his past skepticism; Mr. Gilchrist, for his part, said of the Huckabee immigration program: "It was a plan I myself could have written."

It's a fair guess that this cruel campaign of immigrant-bashing will eventually turn toxic for the Republican Party itself, whose own strategists (Karl Rove, among others) have long grasped the growing electoral clout of Hispanics. Those Hispanic voters, native-born or not, are anxious and angry about the intensifying nativist zeal in political rhetoric, which many are rightly blaming on the Republicans. In a new survey by the Pew Hispanic Center, half of all Hispanics in America reported that the debate on immigration has had a specific negative impact on their lives; 41 percent said that they or someone close to them had suffered discrimination in the past five years -- up from 31 percent in 2002. The new data undercut the Republicans' frequent protestations that their targets are not legal immigrants but illegal ones. The attacks have become so venomous, and the policy proposals so pernicious, that, predictably, they have caused collateral damage among Spanish-speaking and non-native-born people generally. The anti-illegal-immigrant crowd would have us believe it honors and admires legal immigrants; in fact, it is making America a less hospitable place for them.

The candidates are stepping into a breach left by the colossal failure by Congress in June to enact comprehensive immigration reform, which held out the promise of calming a turbulent national debate. The bill would have tightened security at the borders; cracked down on employers who knowingly hire undocumented workers; established a legal mechanism for immigration for the hundreds of thousands of workers who enter the country each year to fill low-skill jobs; and provided a path to legal status for the illegal immigrants now living in America. It was a sensible response to a problem that will not be fixed by grandiose and far-fetched schemes such as Mr. Huckabee's -- cadged from an anti-illegal-immigrant think tank -- which goes heavy on enforcement and security but suggests no realistic plan to address the economy's appetite for immigrant workers in the future, let alone those here now. Virtually all the presidential candidates now tip their hats to tougher enforcement of existing laws, with the Democrats generally differentiating themselves by saying or hinting that illegal immigrants might subsequently be offered a shot at legalization. But in Congress, some Democrats, mostly from red or purple states and wary of being attacked as insufficiently fierce on illegal immigration, are also going the enforcement-only route. A bill co-sponsored by freshman Rep. Heath Shuler, a North Carolina Democrat, which seeks to purge undocumented immigrants from the work force, would probably drive millions of them further underground; nonetheless, he has attracted a few dozen sponsors from his own party.

Such measures, in addition to state and local legislation that would deny some benefits and services to illegal immigrants, are a response to understandable and legitimate concerns that the nation's borders are porous; that illegal immigrants are straining government services and budgets; and that neighborhoods are being degraded by flophouses, day laborers and immigrant gangs. But the rhetorical excess that has accompanied the proposals, and the suggestions that millions of people might be expelled or hounded from the country, not only respond to popular disquiet; they also whip it up. According to the latest FBI statistics, from 2006, hate crimes against Hispanics had increased by more than a third since 2003. America has had its paroxysms of anti-immigrant fervor in the past, also accompanied by spasms of violence and persecution. Today, as in the past, the national atmosphere is subverting the discussion, drowning out reason. Look at the uproar that overwhelmed New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer's sensible, safety-minded proposal to make illegal immigrants eligible for driver's licenses, and you will see logic defeated by posturing, political cowardice and the poisonous diatribes of talk radio. Sen. John McCain, the Arizona Republican who championed comprehensive reform, is now chastened by the ferocity of the demagogues who mischaracterized it as an "amnesty"; he says he "got the message" and will now speak only of enforcement in the near term. In such an ugly environment, the best one can hope for is candidates who can appeal to the nation's self-interest as well as its better instincts; who can explain that resolving the immigration mess through a comprehensive approach is not only an economic imperative but also the only realistic way out of a political swamp.

Jobs Americans Won´t Do!

Are there Jobs Americans Won´t Do? If you listen to the employers in areas where strict restrictionist Immigration laws have been imposed, they are telling us they cannot find employees to do these jobs.

The Role of 7.2 Million Undocumented Workers

Mitt Romney Fired His Landscapers, but What About Your Waiter, Maid and Contractor?

The dirt under Mike Mendenko's nails reveals more than his 52 years at Village Nurseries in Hightstown, N.J., where he has worked since he was a teenager. As owner of a seven-acre tree farm and landscaping company, he's facing the toughest job of his life — finding workers. And if Mendenko challenged the fragile documentation of the workers he's got, he might have no business at all.
Immigration advocates say he is not alone. If all small-business owners did the same, whole industries — landscaping, restaurants and construction — might collapse. For Mendenko, it's hard to compete against big-box retailers, and, it's even harder to find labor, especially as the debate over the role of immigrants has escalated in the presidential nomination campaign.
"Very few American folks are willing to do this kind of work anymore," said Mendenko, whose son left the nursery to study white-collar science at Cornell University. "We're desperate for the help." Mendenko has stopped trying to find teenagers to do the backbreaking physical work. These days, he says he relies on a legal — "if you believe what people tell you" — immigrant work force.

A Migrant Child´s Christmas

At Christmastime, Mom taught us to celebrate Christmas in a special way. We were Catholic and we believed Christmas meant we were celebrating the Birth of Christ. Starting two weeks before Christmas through to January 6 of the New Year (the Feast of the Epiphany), every evening at 7:00 pm, our family gathered in the living room and said the Rosary.

As in most Hispanic family homes, we always had a crucifix and a small altar in our Living Room. During Christmas time, mom decorated the altar with the Nativity scene. My mother loved ceramics and so our Altar was always very special. Each figure was made of hand painted porcelain ceramics standing about six to ten inches tall. Mom would find straw either from a farm or craft store. She used the Christmas lights to string across the top of the roof. The baby Jesus had a beautiful, radiant face and was carefully layed in a manger, filled with straw. He lay atop a handmade silk blanket and mom hand sewed his silk baby gown. Mary kneeled on his right, Joseph on his left. The Shepherds and their sheep were on the right, the three wise men on the left. An Angel perched from Heaven above as if to say “Hosanna in the Highest.”

At exactly 7:00pm, our parents and all of my siblings stopped whatever we were doing, picked up our rosaries, found our favorite spot facing the altar, knelt down and started to pray. Usually our Mom led the rosary, saying the first half of each prayer as the rest of us contributed the last half, in unison.

For those not familiar with the rosary, it is said in five sections, with the leader reciting the appropriate “Mystery” of the rosary after each section. We followed the tradition and added a song after each mystery.

Our Dad was so strict about our speaking English at home, but he did make an exception for the Rosary. While we said the prayers in English, Mom often read the Mysteries from her Spanish prayer book. She also taught us a special song to sing at Christmas during the Rosary. It was in Spanish. It was a song her mother taught her as a child. It went like this: “Ya rompió el alba del día, nacio el Niño Manuelito. Cantemos con alegría, Alalu, Niño Chiquito. Alalu, Niño Chiquito.”

It was a short, simple song with a very beautiful melody. Two of us rocked the baby Jesus as we sang it.

It´s funny. When I think about my childhood Christmases, I don´t think about toys or gifts of any kind. Instead, I think of the rosaries we always said. Each year, as I put up my Christmas decorations, I make sure to put my Nativity scene right over the fireplace. As I am putting it up, I keep hearing that beautiful melody playing, “…Alalu, Niño Chiquito. Alalu, Niño Chiquito.”

Those are the memories you never forget!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Minutemen Leaders Turning on their Followers!

Unbelievable events are occuring in from the Minutemen Ranks. The "Heinous MM Leaders," as I´ve often reported, have their own agenda and it is called Personal Power and Media Attention. Now their followers are seeing this for themselves.

First, MM Founder Gilchrist endorses Mike Huckabee, much to the chagrin of their largest ANTI group Leaders. (e.g. Alipac´s William and American Patrol´s Spencer).

Now, the Arizona Daily Star is reporting Simcox is saying he has been misunderstood and we do need to institute some Comprehensive Immigration Reform Policies.

"I had pretty much written him off," Rios said of Simcox. Rios and Flores were willing to concede the border needs to be secured for a guest-worker plan to work. And earlier in the day, Simcox, a controversial figure who is credited and criticized for being the first to organize a citizen border patrol, made what some found to be stunning statements: He supports public education for the children of illegal immigrants and sees the fix as not just an issue of enforcement, but of reforming Mexico's economy and basing the number of U.S. visas on the nation's labor supply. "People have never really listened to the entire scope of what our organization stands for," Simcox said. "

The day, filled with panel discussions and retorts from county sheriffs and lawmakers from around the state, was not devoid of disagreement. Some questioned the accuracy of academic studies portraying immigrants as a net gain for the economy — not a drain. Others wondered whether those who want to stem the flow of illegal immigrants are really standing behind the rule of law — or are just scared about the "browning of America," as Rios put it. While this group of about 70 was able to find consensus, there was an acknowledgment of political reality: Congress has failed to institute federal immigration reform. The location — downtown Phoenix — was fitting. Less than six miles away the immigration debate is unfolding in a vivid way at M.D. Pruitt's Home Furnishings. The Phoenix store has attracted national attention because of a standoff among immigration activists, sheriff's deputies and the store owner, who has hired off-duty deputies to catch day-laborers.

"That's not the way to go about it," Simcox said, admitting he'll take flak from border activists for standing against the action. "My followers end up criticizing me because I'm too soft,"
he said at one point in the day.

Arizona Daily Star Publisher and Editor John Humenik stressed immigration is a local issue, pointing to the impact it has on the Tucson economy and culture. "I think our role here in Arizona and as communicators with the newspaper is to help the rest of the country understand what is a very local issue," Humenik said. "It can't be done in Washington. It has to be done in groups like this. It has to be done in communities like Tucson and Phoenix."

Some of the recommendations out of the forum included asking legislators to form a bipartisan immigration caucus, and one break-out group suggested "eliminating the word amnesty from the dictionary." But bridging the gap from a policy meeting controlled by moderators to the partisan halls of government — either Congress or the state Legislature — is a challenge. "It's very concerning to me — the rhetoric," said State Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, a Phoenix Democrat. "Our discussion around the issue of immigration has never been able to be focused on real pragmatic and practical solutions. We really need to have a well-rounded set of options on the table."

My Gosh! Ultima, Liquid, and all ANTIs, what´s next? Is your side really softening towards Comprehensive Immigration Reform? Can we come together as a Nation? Will this issue be resolved in time for the 2008 Elections?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

ANTI Leaders Rally Against Huckabee, Call Minuteman Leader Gilchrist a Lunatic!

As many of my readers know, I frequently peruse the Immigration websites to see "What´s New!" I came across this message today. I think "W" is right in his prediction that the shxx will hit the fan now!

Alipac´s William Gheen is rallying all the ANTI Leaders against Huckabee while calling Gilchrist a Lunatic!

Urgent Warning to all Leaders in the Immigration Enforcement Movement

Fellow leaders of the NIIBC:

As many of you are aware, Jim Gilchrist, has endorsed Mike Huckabee for President, which pretty much erases any good he has ever done for our cause. Mike Huckabee is pro Amnesty for illegal aliens, supports benefits for illegal aliens such as in-state tuition, and has decried ICE raids on chicken plants in his home state. Furthermore, Huckabee has released an "Immigration Plan" which contains the deceptive 'touch back" provision that the pushers of Amnesty tried on us in DC this past year. Huckabee wants to trick the nation by having illegal aliens leave for a day to pick up new papers at an office setup across the American border and then walk right back.

Many of you are already aware that the vast majority of groups and leaders in our movement have distanced themselves from Mr. Gilchrist over the past year due to his increased egomaniacal, destructive, and increasingly bizarre behavior. We have kept this problem low profile in the best interest of the movement, but today Jim Gilchrist just displayed his severe problems to the nation by endorsing a pro amnesty candidate!

ALIPAC has been working on a warning release about Mike Huckabee's stances and record we will release it by tomorrow morning. We are writing all of the leaders in our network to ask that each of you move quickly to go on the warpath against Huckabee as soon as possible. Huckabee is scheduled to take the next poll plunge as his record on illegal immigration is scrutinized, following the trend of McCain and Guiliani.

Now we must all work together to expose the problems with Huckabee, while trying to minimize the damage done by Jim Gilchrist. Our opposition in Socal knows about Mr. Gilchrist's instabilities and now the rest of the nation is about to find out. If we all focus our energies on Huckabee, we can bring his numbers down and hopefully relegate Mr. Gilchrist's endorsement of a pro illegal alien candidate into the past as his final embarrassing act that harms our cause.

Are you willing to have your name, position, and organization added to a letter that we put out by national press release next Monday in support of...

"We the undersigned have dedicated our lives to fighting illegal immigration and we are compelled to warn the American public about the immigration stances and record of Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee. Mike Huckabee is pro amnesty for illegal aliens and favors a "path to citizenship" for illegal aliens currently in the US, which would require a lifting of the current penalties. Mike Huckabee is against ICE raids and decried them in his home state, while supporting benefits for illegal aliens such as taxpayer subsidized in-state tuition. Governor Huckabee also favors a "touchback" provision, which we feel is a trick to confuse voters. He would have illegal aliens leave for a day, pick up new papers, and then enter the US LEGALLY, which is not the back of the immigration line! SIGNED Name, position Organization ---
Please let me know quickly if you will sign.
William Gheen ALIPAC

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Migrant Child

As we are approaching the Holiday Season, my mind becomes more thoughtful of times past. As most of you know, I completed my first book. I reference it on the links on the right side of my blog. As I often mention, as children, we worked as Migrant Laborers. Life is not about money or how many times we win. Sometimes, it is about family and love. When I think of those times in the migrant labor camp, I think of them as others might remember going to Summer Camp. We were all happy children in those camps. We enjoyed being together and we enjoyed life.

"Resilience": Chapter 5

Dad loved our country and was a proud American. He knew so much about hard work and sacrifice and wanted to instill his work ethic in each of us. Dad was also a realist. He experienced the pangs of racism. He realized by sharing his own experiences he was teaching us to separate the frailty of our fellow man versus the opportunities we could attain in our great country if we applied our work ethic and education. He often said, “In America, anyone with a good education who is willing to work hard and has the resilience to overcome obstacles can be successful.” We took these lessons into the cherry fields and later, we took these same lessons into our adult lives.
In the cherry fields, entire families joined ranks, starting their work day at 6:00 am each Monday morning, ending their day at 6:00 pm and working half a day on Saturday. We worked in the Traverse City area picking Cherries from June through the end of July.
The farm owners paid about fifty cents a lug. It took two full buckets of cherries to fill a lug. On a good day, a hard working adult could average 1 – 2 lugs an hour or about 12 – 16 lugs a day. When my oldest brothers were around, they used to race to see who could pick the most cherries. I think the record was twenty-five lugs in one day.
By the end of the week, Mom had a tidy sum. She collected the lug vouchers twice a day from the owners who came around in their tractors to collect them. We generally raked in about a hundred fifty dollars cash a week. Mom saved about fifty dollars for groceries, with a few extra dollars put away to give to Dad when he came up for a visit. The rest she handed out in allowances to all the kids. The money you received each week was based upon the amount you produced. This taught us another good lesson about work. The harder you work the more you are paid.
Throughout the week, at the end of each day, we went to beautiful Lake Leelanau to swim. We went to the area of the lake reserved for all the migrant workers. There was a great sense of camaraderie at these camps. We were poor hard-working Mexican-Americans working and playing together.
There were so many kids in the camps that in the early evenings, after swimming, we gathered in the huge yard area near the barn and played games. We played softball, volleyball, kickball and frozen tag. Sometimes we made up games. I remember sliding down this big hill on pieces of cardboard. It was similar to sledding with no snow. It was so much fun.
Sometimes, the farm owner´s daughter Janice joined us. She was my age and a tomboy just like me. I liked Janice. She was my friend. She was about my height and she was athletic, like me. We were as good as most of the boy players and we played most evenings. Janice was always getting in trouble with her mom though. Her mother constantly yelled at her to come inside and quit being a tomboy. We were never short of children even when Janice wasn´t there with us.
On Saturdays, we rushed home from work at noon to take a shower and clean up for our trip to the city. We had separate community shower houses, one for males and another for females. After we showered and dressed, we lined up in front of our mother with our hands out. She neatly laid our earned dollars in our palms. The big boys got the most, but there was always money for each of us.
At about two in the afternoon, we headed into Sutton’s Bay, a bigger town with a movie theater. Once there, we went to the drug store and drank sodas or we went directly to the movies. Saturday nights there were often dances and music. Everyone joined in on the fun. The rhythmic sounds filled the air as we swayed and swirled to the Latin sounds. We played more than just Latin music though. We were also just like other kids in America, listening to Elvis, Johnny Mathis and all the Motown sounds from Detroit. “He’s So Fine” was one of my all time favorites.
Every other week, Dad drove up from Lansing and spent the weekend with us. It was a four hour drive, but it was worth it for him to see us.
On Sundays, we got up early, dressed up and went to church in Lake Leelanau. It was a pretty little church. They saved the 11:00 mass just for the migrant workers and said the Mass in Spanish.
Sometimes, various religious groups visited the camps to “save us.” It was kind of funny. Here we were, hard working, religious people trying to scrape a living together and these people were coming to save us. Mom asked us kids to stay away from them since we were Catholic and they were not. Mom didn’t mind too much though. So we went with the workers, sang their songs, colored their coloring books and listened to them preach. They even brought us old clothes in boxes. The clothes were the worst. They had little second hand sweaters and dresses in old fashioned styles. I grabbed a sweater but Mom made me take it back. I handed it back to the lady and just sort of shrugged. She looked like she felt sorry for me. She just didn’t get it. Sure we shopped in the second hand stores for our clothes, but we picked what we wanted and paid for it with money we earned.
My parents were not big believers in handouts. The whole time Dad was laid off from the factory, he refused to take welfare. He said we should rather starve than take something for nothing. “It will ruin you!” he said. “Never take anything you didn’t work for, otherwise you will get lazy and grow to depend on the handouts!” The only time we received any kind of support was when my father was laid off in the early 60´s. My mother would stretch a dollar as far as she could by cooking beans and rice at almost every meal. Mom also canned tomatoes and chili peppers. Her homemade salsa, beans rice and home made tortillas were delicious. Even with all of her efforts, she sometimes had difficulty stretching her dollars. Once in a while she received “Kennedy Food” from her sister, Aunt Lucy. Another time when Dad was laid off, Aunt Lucy´s husband was also out of work. She picked up “Kennedy Food” from the area food bank. She brought over canned meat, powdered eggs, powdered milk and box cheese so we would have enough to eat. Mom tried to sneak this food into her menu and hide it from Dad, but this was hard to do since these foods were different than most of her cooking. At first, Dad refused to eat any of it, but allowed us kids to eat it versus starving. Then Dad finally gave in. That is when he named it “Kennedy Food.” This was because Dad felt that he voted for a good man and this was like a payback for all the taxes we paid. He made my mother promise not to take any more than we absolutely needed. She agreed.
Nineteen-sixty-two was our last year picking cherries. By that year, most of the older kids already moved out. Only Mark, me, Rick, Tina and Baby were left at home. With so few children, it wasn’t worth the trip. Picking cherries was only profitable if you did it in volume.
That last year up north was quite a summer. Two great things happened. I received my first kiss and I got boobs. My first kiss was special to me. That summer, I was 12 years old and I became a woman. I just started my period. I had no idea what was happening to me. My stomach started cramping and when I went to the bathroom, there were spots of blood on my underwear. I thought I was getting cursed or something. My older cousin Maggie was there.
“Oh Maggie. I don’t know what’s wrong. I’ve got a stomachache and I’ve got blood in my underwear. What should I do?”
She started laughing. “You stupid girl. Hasn’t your mother told you anything?”
“You’re turning into a woman.”
“You have eggs in your body and that’s why you’re getting blood down there. Your body is getting you ready to have babies someday.”
“What? I don’t want to have babies. I’m just a little girl.”
She stood up next to me, nose to nose and said, “Look at you. You are tall as me and I’m sixteen years old. I’m a woman. See those little nubbies on your chest? Those are your boobs. Not much, it’s true. But they’re your boobs. You’re a woman, you baby. Grow up.”
With that, she left me, exasperated. I sat down. My head filled up with all the troubles in the world. Was God cursing me? Oh why was this happening to me? Why didn’t Mom tell me anything?
I went back to our family area and laid down on my bottom bunk bed.
“What’s the matter?” Mom said.
“Why didn’t you tell me about being a woman? Maggie told me everything and now I have blood.” I whined and whimpered and then laid back in bed.
Mom didn’t say a word, She handed me a box of napkins. Now why the heck did I want stupid napkins? When I opened the box, I understood why.
That summer, I started getting tingling feelings every time Jamie Casanova looked at me. He was my age. He and his family came to camp for years but I never noticed him paying any attention to me in previous summers. This summer, every once in a while, when he was standing next to me, he made sure to touch my arm. When he did that, I got hot.
“Why was he doing that? Did he like me? Why?” I wondered. I didn’t understand it because I always thought I was such a nerd. I studied myself in the mirror a lot that summer. Hey. Maybe I wasn’t so bad if Jamie Casanova was looking at me.
One Saturday, all the girls were changing into their swimsuits in the community dressing area near the beach. You couldn’t be modest in that environment. If you wanted to get into your suit, you had to bare all in front of everybody. The majority of girls were well endowed. At 12, while I was taller than most of the other girls, I couldn’t say the same about my boobs.
“Hey! Watcha got there? No cheechones? Just little nubbies, hey girl?” They laughed.
I was so, so embarrassed. I pulled up my swimsuit straps and ran outside. Outside the dressing area, I hid near the bushes and I said a prayer, “Oh please God, please. Let me have big boobies like the other girls. Please let them grow.”
Little did I know that God would more than answer my prayers. By the time I was eighteen, I wore a 36 D.
Jamie Casanova didn’t seem to mind that I just had little nubbies. He kept staring at me every day.On our last day at camp, when everyone was packing into their cars to go home, I decided to run to the bathroom. Behind the huge, community lavatories stood Jamie C. He looked all nervous as he whispered, “Come here a minute.”
My pulse started racing and my forehead was hot. I tiptoed to where he stood. He grabbed me by the arm and pulled me towards him. His lips landed square on my top lip. I was so nervous and hot that I thought I was going to faint. I noticed that he was just starting to get a stubble on his cheeks and they scratched my cheek ever so faintly. I heard my brother calling me, “Kiki…where are you? We gotta go.” I pulled quickly away. In a throaty, husky voice that I didn’t recognize as my own I said, “I..I looo…”
“Kiki!!” Ricki screamed again.“I gotta go.” I pulled away quickly and left him standing there.I turned and ran. My whole body was so hot I thought it would explode. Ricki had been calling me and was standing on the other side of the lavatory. I grabbed him on my way past and headed towards the station wagon. Ricki climbed in the back window and I quickly followed. I laid down in the backseat and Mom asked, “Where were you and what took you so long?”
“Bathroom…” was all I could get out. My voice sounded strange and I thought, for sure, they could see Jamie’s kiss all over me.On the four hour ride back, all I kept thinking was, “Can’t they see how different I am? I’m a woman now. I was kissed.”
My whole body felt different after that. I really felt like a woman.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Global Economy, Dollar Nosedive and Illegal Immigration

I watched MSNBC yesterday. The news and business types were discussing the economy and housing bubble burst vs the jobs outlook. We continue with one of the lowest unemployment rates in recent history. The newsperson asked why our economy and jobs were not being affected. The business person sat back contentedly and said, “Because we are largely invested in the Global Economy.”

This brought me right back to our Global Economy discussions here. We discussed this on a recent blog per our friend Lupita´s recommendation:

"Our economy is just an illusion of economic growth. Big business has partnered with the Administrations from Reagan forward to develop a method to expand our labor force, push wages down and increase corporate profits. The method, via NAFTA and other agreements is to bring in non-English-speaking, easily exploitable, foreign, preferably semi-literate, deportable workers. As Bernanke has stated , “Higher incomes also tend to increase the demand for medical services so that, indirectly, higher incomes may also increase federal health expenditures.” That is why the immigration laws have gone unenforced and why they are in no hurry to pass any type of Immigration Reform. As long as they remain status quo, they will continue to reel in the profits."
Ultima provided us a very good link about the Dollar Nosedive (see summary below).

Given all we know about the Global Economy and the Dollar Nosedive, is the media just playing dumb? Or, is it part of the overall strategy to mislead and distract the public?

The Dollar Nosedive: (summary) The dollar era began on July 22, 1944. Delegates from 44 countries met in a conference in Bretton Woods, NH. The group, led by British Economist Maynard Keyes supported strongly by President Roosevelt, decided the U.S. Dollar, tied to gold, would be Global Economic Standard. Other countries´currency would derive their value from this standard. If an individual country's currency became too strong or too weak in relation to the US currency, its central bank would intervene by buying or selling US dollars. This was the start of the “Global Economy.” In 1973, the Bretton Woods system ended and per President Nixon´s recommendation, the dollar stood as the World standard with no Gold guarantee.

This worked well for the US. Americans could print green bills and sell them abroad without driving up inflation in their own country. They can go into debt to pay for war or enjoy the benefits of tax cuts. This attitude has led to a record US national debt of $5 trillion. Americans also enjoyed the luxury of consuming more than they produced. The balance of trade deficit grew from $80 billion in 1990 to a projected level of more than $700 billion in 2007. This is more than 5 percent of the country's GDP.

America paid for its economic boom by borrowing money. For years, huge amounts of capital have been flowing from poorer emerging economies into the United States, the richest nation on earth. This influx of foreign capital, most of it coming from the Far East, amounts to roughly $2 billion a day.

China holds the astonishing sum of more than $1.4 trillion in its reserves. The Chinese have invested most of their money in US Treasury Bills, a low-risk but also relatively low-return investment. In doing so, they have kept the dollar high and their own currency low, ensuring that their exports remain competitive.

While Asia finances America's excessive consumer spending, the Americans buy Asia's cheap T-shirts, cars and flat-screen TVs. "Getting this much into debt while at the same time enjoying returns on long-term government bonds of less than 5 percent -- I'd call it the biggest free lunch in modern economic history," says Harvard historian Niall Ferguson, referring to the audacity with which the Americans take advantage of their privileges as holders of the world's reserve currency.

The dollar's plunge in the last 10 weeks is a sign that America's pact with East Asia has become fragile. The Asians have become far less willing to buy dollars and Treasury bills. As the countries of the Far East become increasingly impatient with the United States, they have begun shifting their reserves to euros.

Lenders are unwilling to simply look on as the value of their US Treasury bills drops; they have already lost billions upon billions in recent weeks. The dollar's share of worldwide currency reserves has shrunk from 80 percent in the 1970s to about 65 percent today. China, Russia and Malaysia have already partially uncoupled their currencies from the dollar, and Kuwait plans to follow suit in May 2008. Many oil producers are now distancing themselves from the US currency, both for economic and ideological reasons.

Investment bank Morgan Stanley considers it unlikely that Saudi Arabia would abandon its peg to the dollar. But according to a recent study, smaller Gulf states could follow Kuwait's lead: "This could deal yet another psychological blow to the dollar" -- and to America, that once-proud economic power.

The nation is deeply uneasy, as the collective head scratching begins over the causes of the crisis. Many Americans feel by now -- and justifiably so -- that their future could be far gloomier than the present.
Note: All of this does tend to make the Pyramid of Capitalism all the more relevant today.

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