Monday, September 27, 2010

Guest Voz - Latina Lista: Texas newspapers' immigration poll brings out the worst of the "American people" -- or does it?

Guest Voz: Latina Lista
Texas newspapers' immigration poll brings out the worst of the "American people" -- or does it?
Four major newspapers in Texas -- The Dallas Morning News, The Houston Chronicle, The Austin American-Statesman and The San Antonio Express-News -- decided to conduct a statewide poll on how Texans feel about illegal immigration. Since it's an issue that according to the national GOP the "American people" want resolved through punitive legislation and increased border security, it's only reasonable to find out if Texans are every bit as paranoid and reckless with their assumptions of Latinos as some Arizona residents.

The poll showed that regarding a similar Arizona law: there were clear breaks between Republicans (78 percent favoring it) and Democrats (71 percent opposing it), and Hispanics (76 percent opposing) and whites (68 percent favoring).

Yet, what surprised political analysts reviewing the poll was that the margins among the answers were so narrow. Clearly, there just isn't the same kind of manic responses that the issue elicits in other states. And there shouldn't be given the history of Mexicans with Texas before Texas was even part of the nation. But there is a concentrated effort among some people to push the issue as a divisive issue between Latinos and others. How do we know? It's all in the comments.

When local Arizona newspapers ran stories about SB 1070 in Arizona, comments ran for pages and pages online. There were insulting, dehumanizing and lacked reason.

There were three comments on the story of the immigration poll on Monday (today) in The Dallas Morning News, even though six were listed in the numerical count. One can only surmise that three were taken off for being questionable in tone.

The three remaining spoke about "concerns" that aren't voiced that often in Texas. In fact, one commenter wasn't even from Texas. All three tried to instill fear of Latinos in their comments, from saying "la raza" was trying to take over Texas" to this: We have had to endure watching our state be run over by illegals who eat better and drive better cars than us on our dollar. But thank goodness America has woken up...My fellow Americans do not believe what the liberal media would like you to believe. You can depend on Fox news giving you just about the most accurate and fair unbiased news you can get. Come November every politician that is in favor of illegal immigration will be voted out. Hide and watch.

Not sure where this person sees undocumented immigrants eat better or drive better cars than him -- could he be confusing Latino citizens with undocumented immigrants? Or just watching too much of FOX news? Regardless, the calibre of comments that try to evoke resentment, fear and anger underscore just who is driving the illegal immigration debate -- I would bet it's not most "American people."

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Hispanic Heritage Month Sept. 15 - Oct. 15: Heritage, Diversity, Integrity and Honor

Readers, we are in the midst of Hispanic Heritage month. Be sure to celebrate! Many American groups celebrate their heritage and diversity. From Black History, Women's History, Native American, Puerto Rican, Irish, Greek, Scottish, Jewish, Asian/Pacific, Carribbean, Polish, Arab, Italian, German, European, Disabled Americans, Gay Americans, all celebrate being American and their heritage.

In September 1968, Congress authorized President Lyndon B. Johnson to proclaim National Hispanic Heritage Week, which was observed during the week that included Sept. 15 and Sept. 16. The observance was expanded in 1988 by Congress to a month-long celebration (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15), effective the following year. America celebrates the culture and traditions of those who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico and the Spanish-speaking nations of Central America, South America and the Caribbean.

Sept. 15 was chosen as the starting point for the celebration because it is the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively.

Hispanic Citizen Population in America: 48.4 million
The estimated Hispanic Citizen population of the United States as of July 1, 2009, was 48.4M, today, it is closer to 50M, making people of Hispanic origin the nation's largest ethnic or race minority. Hispanics constituted 16 percent of the nation's total population. In addition, there are approximately 4 million residents of Puerto Rico, a Caribbean U.S. territory. The US has 97 men for every 100 women. However, there are 107 Hispanic men for every 100 Hispanic women.

Many celebrations are being held across the country in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. This year, the theme of these very American celebrations is to celebrate Hispanic Heritage, Diversity, Integrity and Military Honor. In Mount Holly, PA, for example, Hispanic heritage and traditions will be on full display at Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church. The parish will be honoring Hispanics with a special outdoor Mass, procession of flags of 22 Hispanic nations, traditional dances, and a meal featuring congregants' favorite dishes. "We celebrate our cultural differences and, with pride, we show what our differences are," said Father Joe Roldan, who has been at the church for five years. "Everything is done with Hispanic flavor (at the church). It's unique in that sense." Christ the Redeemer is the only Hispanic Catholic parish in the county, Roldan said. Masses are celebrated in Spanish and English. English Mass is at noon Sundays; Spanish Masses are at 7 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. Sundays. Roldan said the celebration is expected to last from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The church is at 426 Pine St.The Hispanic heritage celebration has been held for 30 of the church's 33 years.

"The purpose is to acknowledge the contributions of Americans of Hispanic descent have made to our country," said Roldan, who is of Puerto Rican and Mexican descent. After the bilingual Mass, visitors will be able to sample Hispanic foods and view traditional dances from various countries. Traditional garb will be worn by many attendees, Roldan said. "We are proud of our Hispanic heritage," parishioner Lucy Fernandez said. "It's just a prideful thing. Anybody can come and see our heritage."

Fernandez said church members might use different dialects, but they still share many commonalities. Roldan said the parish is proud of all the nations represented by its congregants and invited the public to get a sampling of Hispanic culture.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Guest Voz - Saad Nabeel, A Deported Student with a Green Card Writes the President to Describe the Atrocities Inflicted Upon Him!

Dear Mr. President,

My name is Saad Nabeel and I am writing to you from Bangladesh. Prior to my arrival in this nation, I lived in the United States for fifteen years. My parents brought me to America at age three. It is the only home I know. I used to attend the University of Texas at Arlington with a full scholarship in electrical engineering. Through no fault of my own I was forced to leave my home, friends, possessions and most importantly, my education behind. November 3rd, 2009 is a day I will never forget. My mother called me and told me that my father had been detained by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement and that we needed to leave immediately to Canada to seek refugee status. Being an only child, I had to take care of my mother and go with her.

My mother and I were denied entrance into Canada and sent back to the U.S. as if we were common criminals. I was separated from my mother and sent to a detention facility where I was forced to live with sixty men, many of whom were hardened criminals. There was no privacy and I was forced to use the facilities and showers while fully exposed. I lived in constant fear of being abused. I was without food for upwards of fourteen hours a day and received little to no medical attention. When I asked for legal counsel I was threatened with criminal charges and jail time in a federal penitentiary. To this day I still have nightmares about being detained. Everything my parents taught me about human decency was replaced with humiliation. Mr. President, I hope you are as outraged as I am hurt by this ordeal.

Bangladesh is extremely hot and humid. We have no air conditioning, as the power goes out every day. These power outages can last twelve hours or more. The air is heavily polluted and I get food poisoning every week from the poor quality of food here. Raw sewage flows in open drains in front of our apartment. I see people outside with mangled bodies dying on the street because of the heat and starvation. I see mothers practically giving their children away because they are unable to feed them. I do not know the language and I fear going outside because I am different from everyone else. Speaking in English is an easy way to be targeted here. We cannot afford to live in a safer area. I have not left the apartment for eight months. It simply is too dangerous for me to leave the apartment unless my parents go with me. I cannot attend school due to the language barrier. I do not know anyone in Bangladesh.

On top of all this, my parents are both ill and have been for months. My father suffers severe asthma attacks that make him bedridden on most days. My mother has post traumatic stress and cannot accept the fact that she is not at our home in Texas. These events transpired after we were approved to receive our green cards. ICE forced my family to leave knowing that green cards were available to us. We have been waiting for our green cards for fifteen years now.

Mr. President, you are the most powerful man in the world. All I ask from you is to bring me home. All I ever wanted was an education so I could become an engineer. I just want to go home and go back to college. Please don't keep me exiled any longer. Please bring me home.

Saad Nabeel

Sunday, September 19, 2010

American Conversation - Part 2: Immigration

Independent Stan: You do agree to a secure border, don't you Dee? You don't want them taking away our jobs, do you?
Dee: Of Course I believe in a secure border, but I don't believe in a 2000 mile fence.
Independent Stan: I used to live in El Paso. I know the comin and goin's.
Dee: That's called COMMERCE Stan and it has been that way since our country was formed. People travel back and forth every day. You lived in El Paso. You know this. And remember, the checkpoints are 15 miles in.
Independent Stan: (nods) But we seriously need to control the border. You do believe that.
Dee: Of course I do. However, I also believe in Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Our current policies are broken. We also have to think about the History of our Nation and our Founding Fathers.
TeaParty Jack: I believe in the Constitution. Have you Read it?
Dee: I know I read it. I'm for the words of Thomas Jefferson: "All men/women are created equal." Our country was formed based on Freedom. Freedom of Speech. Freedom of Religion. Freedom of the Press. Land of the Free. Home of the Brave. We are a Land of Immigrants...yearning to breath Free.
In order to understand our current state, we need to look back at history. There were NO IMMIGRATION LAWS when our country was formed. The Immigration Laws we have today were established by Restrictionists. They were formed a little over a hundred years ago with the Chinese Exclusion Act. Then with the Immigration Act of 1924, we restricted Immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe as well as Asians. Yet, we left the border to the south WIDE OPEN! Why? Because we were Nation Building! Nation Building! And we liked the Work Ethic and Christian Values of the Hispanic Values. After Slavery ended, we need these workers to Nation Build. Plus, their added value, they went home when the work was done. They didn't stick around and want to take Land for themselves as the Eastern, Southern Europeans and Asians did. That's why we left the borders to the south wide open. Then over the years, we continued to partner with our Southern neighbors with programs like the Bracero Program and other similar Guest Worker programs.
Independent Stan: (Nods, listening aptly, asking questions as I go on)
Tea Party Jack: (stands up, somewhat irritated, goes off and buys a coke)
Dee: Yet, during economically tough times, over the years, we have treated our Latino neighbors poorly. Those who are not citizens are kicked out of the country, as they were in the 1930s, during the depression; brought back in the 40's after the war as the country was flourishing, then kicked out again in the late 1950s with Operation Wet Back." And in the mix, during the xenophobic times we kicked them out, Latino Citizens were racially profiled and harassed, as is being done now by Sheriff Arpaio in Arizona as he and his masked volunteers conduct their suppression sweeps (their words) in Latino neighborhoods. Why do you think their are so many protests over sb1070? People are scared to death to go outside when arpaio and his masked volunteers terrorize their neighborhoods. We cannot allow that the re-enactment of Operation Wet Back (sb1070) and racial profiling to occur again in Arizona or any other state. That's why the protests.
Independent Stan: (Nods Heavily) I see what you mean.
Dee: And as far as jobs are concerned, Middle Class Americans DO NOT want their jobs. We want the jobs that have been out-sourced overseas by Big Business. Do you want to be a crop picker or landscaper? Honestly now. Tell the truth on this.
Independent Stan: (Shakes his head No) I understand. So knowing all this, what do you want.
Dee: Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Do you know what that is?
Independent Stan: Amnesty?
Dee: (I shake my head) Too much Fox News.
Independent Stan: (Laughs)
Dee: It's 1. Secure Borders; 2. Employer Sanctions for Exploiting Employers; 3. Allowing those who are felony free to get in line and apply for citizenship. This is not an easy process. It can take up to 10 years -- crime free, working, paying fines. Plus it means the Immigration Authorities must clear the backlog in Immigration Courts. You did know that 40% of those here "illegally" are visa overstays and are trying to correct their status in courts?
Independent Stan: (shakes head No; agrees with me; reassessing his view on Immigration)
Dee: Plus, laws like Arizona's sb1070 demand Mass Deportation -- or as they call it -- "Attrition through Enforcement." Can you imagine the cost of arresting and detaining 12M people plus their children? That's the size of the state of New York.

Independent Stan: I hadn't thought about it that way.
Dee: Well Stan, I know this is a lot of information. And there is so much more to discuss, including what is really going on with those wanting to establish "Official English" and change Birthright Citizenship. But we can save that discussion for another day.
Independent Stan: Dee, I'm glad we talked about this. I'd like to think I am informed but you taught me something here. I certainly have to do a lot more reading about this entire subject. I guess I didn't understand the issues at all.

At the end of our conversation I realized President Obama was right when he recommended that ALL AMERICANS should sit down and have civil Conversations about Race, Immigration and Other Issues. I know I have hesitated to have open discussions with those who do not have my same view. However, Friday's discussion helped convince me we should talk more, particularly to Independents, and share the facts, the history and our recomendations to help Unite America!

Domestic Terrorist Shoots Civilian and Two Police Officers in Texas Standoff

White Supremist and member of the Republic of Texas Militia, Victor White, 55, faces two counts of attempted capital murder. Trooper John Barton of the state Department of Public Safety said more charges were possible as the investigation continues. White turned himself in about 2 p.m., almost a day after police say he shot the three men on his property in west Odessa. "Just after setting his house on fire for some reason we don't know at this time, he walked toward one of our law enforcement armored vehicles and gave himself up," Barton said.

The standoff began after 4 p.m. Friday after Luke Bedrick, who works for an oil company, went to White’s property with Officer Ricky Tijerina and a co-worker to access an oil well on White’s property. Bedrick's company owns the mineral rights to the land. “When they approached him, at some point, there was a confrontation,” Sheriff Mark Donaldson said. “They started to leave and (White) pulled the gun and started shooting, hit my deputy three times and hit the citizen one time.”

“I didn’t hear three words from the guy before he started shooting,” Luke Bedrick said at his home Saturday evening. Bedrick said his co-worker was not injured. He said Officer McNeill arrived after the initial shooting.

Sheriff Donaldson said that at some point White stole a deputy’s vehicle and radio. White then used the stolen radio to taunt law enforcement officials and deride Sheriff Donaldson. White, who friends said has a long history of resentment toward Donaldson, could be heard over a police scanner calling the Sheriff a traitor and saying, “Mr. Donaldson, the wrath of the public is coming.”

“He told me he was going to put a bullet in my head between my eyes,” Sheriff Donaldson said, adding he heard bullets “whizzing by my ear.”

Pressed about his past with perpetrator White, Sheriff Donaldson said: “We’ve had different things with Mr. White and other people about his feelings about the way he thinks things should be.” Sheriff Donaldson said he could not recall any specific incidents that would have caused any resentment between the two men. “The only past we’ve had is what we’ve dealt with here years ago,” Sheriff Donaldson said.

Friends and acquaintances said White has long sympathized with the Militia group The Republic of Texas movement. White, only 55, claimed to be an ex-Vietnam War veteran. He rarely left his home and lived without electricity — flew an American flag upside down (per Tea Party design) on his property. “He’s a man that stands up for his rights. He doesn’t take any horse crap from nobody,” said cohort of White, Ken Nelson. “They’ve been trying to get him off of his property for some time.”

“It’s sad knowing that he wants to go that route,” said Rusty Evans, 49, who has lived across the street from White for years and was one of several residents displaced from their homes during the standoff. “I believe in (the Republic of Texas) myself, but I don’t believe in violence — not like that.”

Evans said he slept in a pickup Friday night. “All we could do was just hurry up and wait,” he said. “It lasted way too long.” While some West Odessa residents were distressed by the standoff, others were enthralled by the suspense. Dozens of people parked their vehicles atop a hill on 42nd Street north of White’s compound and watched through binoculars as the helicopters hovered above and perpetrator White shot at them.
Suspect sets fire to house, surrenders in Texas standoff, police say
Victor Dewayne White, 55, being held on $500,000 bond

Tea Party Candidate Christine O'Donnell Admits She Dabbled Into Witchcraft!

“I dabbled into witchcraft - I never joined a coven. But I did, I did. ... I dabbled into witchcraft,” O’Donnell said during a 1999 appearance on the show, which ran from 1994-2002 on ABC. “I hung around people who were doing these things. I'm not making this stuff up. I know what they told me they do.” She then described one of her first dates – with a witch “on a satanic altar.”
“I didn't know it,” she said. “I mean, there's little blood there and stuff like that. We went to a movie and then had a midnight picnic on a satanic altar.”

Saturday, September 18, 2010

American Conversation - Part 1: Economy, Jobs, Drugs, Education

True Story: I had lunch with a couple of old insurance agent acquaintances of mine yesterday. I generally don't talk about politics, immigration or religion with acquaintances, but since they were so concerned about the economy, I decided to make an exception.

They were both long time insurance agents, selling Life, Health and Property & Casualty insurance. They both had their own agencies making very comfortable livings until the economy dropped through the floor a couple of years ago. Their agencies went bankrupt. Now they are struggling to find some sort of income. They never thought they would be in this dire financial situation in their sixties.

A couple of weeks ago, they both found jobs at a call center to sell Health insurance to senior citizens. In good economic times, these gentlemen would never have taken a job in a call center. However, these are very dire, economic times. Even so, they still dress very professionally, in business suits and ties and are very grateful to be employed. (They reminded me of my Dad when he found a job trucking up Latino employees to Michigan to pick crops during the Depression. These guys are heroes!)

I decided to share this conversation with my readers on my blog. In the spirit of anonymity, I'm showing their names as: Independent Stan and TeaParty Jack
After they caught me up on their job status, our conversation went something like this:

Teaparty Jack: I don't think the government has a clue about what is happening to the middle class in this economy. We have a domino effect going on. Unemployment is high. Let me give you an example. The general public is not buying cars. The car dealers aren't selling cars. Therefore people don't need new car insurance so insurance agents are out of work. This economy is KILLING the Middle Class.
Independent Stan: (nods) It certainly looks that way. And there is so much screw up in government departments. Look what's happening with unemployment. They don't know anything about the insurance industry. They don't know anything about takebacks. I've been working for no salary for months and now they are disputing my eligibility for unemployment. I had to take this job to pay the mortgage and feed my family, yet at the same time they said I shouldn't be applying for a call center job considering my previous salary. They said I shouldn't be looking for jobs paying less than $33 an hour.
TeaParty Jack: I don't have any use for any of them..for either party. I think we need to kick them all out of office.
Dee: President Obama is trying to fix the economy but the Republicans are blocking him every step of the way.
Independent Stan: I don't like either side, but you are right about the Republicans.
Dee: Bush sent us off the cliff and we could have been in a deep depression if not for the bailouts and the stimulus programs.
Teaparty Jack: Socialism. We can't let the government control us.
Dee: Control us? Are you talking about regulation? During Bush's regime, they deregulated everything. Now look what's happening with BP and Eggs/Poultry and Beef.
Teaparty Jack: Hah! You can't keep blaming Bush for everything.
Independent Stan: Wait a minute. How long did it take us to get out of the Great Depression? 15 years?
Dee: Yep. That's about right. We didn't' get out 'til about 1945. We need to give them a little time to allow the Stimulus and Jobs programs to work.
Independent Stan: (the older of the two, chuckling to himself) You know these were exactly the same conditions before Hitler came into power.
Dee: Oh yes, I know and he was a great orator too (eyes roll).
Teaparty Jack: I still say Kick the bums out! All of them! Both Sides. Let's get people in there that listen to We The People.
Dee: Oh yeah, kick them all out and then we're stuck with the wacko Tea Party candidates.
Teaparty Jack: Wackos? They're not wackos. Like who?
Dee: Well, Sharron Angle for one. The teaparty candidate in Nevada.
Teaparty Jack: (silence. shrug. almost nod.)
Independent Stan: (Nod, Nod, Nod)
Dee: And what about Christine McConnell in Delaware.
Teaparty Jack: I don't see anything wrong with her.
Independent Stan: Come on! She falsified her educational documents and there were problems with her PAC funds...
Dee: (nod, nod, nod)
Teaparty Jack: (shrug -- giving up)
Dee: I agree. But let's get back to the real issue. We do need a Jobs Program. The problem nobody talks about is outsourcing. Big business is outsourcing the jobs the Middle Incomers want offshore. We need to bring those jobs back to America, at least a percentage of them. And for the companies that do bring them back, give them the tax breaks their begging for. It would cost our country NOTHING.
Independent Stan: (nods) Yeah but do you feel like paying $1500 for a flat screen TV that costs you a hundred and fifty bucks today?
Teaparty Jack: Yeah. That's cuz overseas, they only pay a buck an hour.
Dee: A day....I know, but those are the jobs that Americans want. Look at all the IT companies and Telecoms. They outsource most of their jobs offshore. The other thing, we are not doing a good enough job educating our children.
Independent Stan: Yes. They'd rather sit around and do Meth. Did you see that special the other day?
Dee: (Nod) I see what you are saying. The U.S. is the number one abuser of illegal drugs in the world. Other countries start early with their focus on education. I've heard that many countries in the Middle East, India for example, started focusing on education for their pre-schoolers in the 80's and 90's in preparation for the IT jobs of today. We need that kind of focus for our kids. Education is the great equalizer.
Independent Stan: I know what you mean but we do have freedom of choice. Unfortunately the choice our young people seem to be taking is Meth and other similar drugs. They'd rather sit around, smoke pot, do meth and play video games. They want the old manufacturing jobs, but those jobs have been outsourced overseas and they are never coming back.
Tea Party Jack: We can't let the government run our schools like the do in the Middle East. More Socialism.
Dee, Independent Stan: (shrug, shake head)
Indepent Stan: I bet you believe the President is not an American.

Tea Party Jack: I've never seen his Birth Certificate.
Independent Jack: (laughing) I've seen his Birth Certificate and they had a birth announcement the week after he was born. Come on. They've shown the same kind we all have. And he's not a Muslim anyway. It wouldn't even matter if he was one. Freedom of religion. Remember? That argument is silly.
Tea Party Jack: (Shrugs)
Dee: Drugs. We are the number one abuser of illegal drugs in the world and the cartels are falling all over themselves to supply us. And, on the other hand, we are the number one supplier of Guns to the Drug Cartels.
Tea Party Jack: We need to wall up the border.
Independent Stan: (Nods)
Dee: (head turns sideways) Jack! You do not want to have this conversation with me. (they do not know I have a blog) You will lose this discussion. You cannot tell me you want to build a 2000 mile wall on our Southern Border.
Independent Stan and Tea Party Jack: (both sit up straight, Stan stares at Jack, waiting for his response)
Tea Party Jack: (Backing up a bit) Well, maybe not 2000 miles, but we do have to secure the border. Don't you agree?
Independent Stan: (switching his stare back to me) You do agree to a secure border, don't you Dee?
(See: American Conversation - Part 2: Immigration)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Breaking News: President Obama Endorses the Passage of the Dream Act

WASHINGTON--President Obama met with Rep. Luis Gutierrez, Sen. Robert Menendez and Rep. Nydia Velazquez at the White House on Thursday to discuss an upcoming Senate vote on immigration legislation--which includes the DREAM Act, designed to provide students who are not in the country legally a way to continue their studies. The DREAM Act allows undocumented students who came to the US before age 16 to become legal residents after five years by completing higher education or military service.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he will attach the non-controversial DREAM Act to the more controversial defense authorization bill which includes the repeal of the military’s "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" policy to be considered at some point next week in the Senate.

Mitch McConnell, the top Senate Republican said on Tuesday that the "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" repeal and the DREAM Act were “extraneous measures that have nothing to do with defense,” making the bill “needlessly controversial.”

Sen. Menendez defended the move today following the Oval Office meeting, saying it is “appropriate” and he hopes Republicans will join Democrats on this. In a paper statement following the meeting, Rep. Luis Gutierrez, the bill’s sponsor, said he’s certain the House has the 218 votes to pass it if the Senate can. "With the White House standing with us and the Senate poised to act, I think we are seeing the immigration reform effort begin to bear fruit. There are at least 218 votes in the House to pass the DREAM Act. The House is ready to act. We call on the Senate to pass the bill," he said in a statement.

At the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Dinner on Wednesday evening the president personally vouched for the bill. “The Senate is going to have a chance to do the right thing over the next few weeks when Senator Reid brings the DREAM Act to the floor. Keep in mind, in the past, this was a bill that was supported by a majority of Democrats and Republicans. There’s no reason why it shouldn’t receive that same kind of bipartisan support today.” The president said he will do “whatever it takes” to help pass the bill so he can sign it into law, “It’s the right thing to do. We should get it done."
Obama Promises to Push for the DREAM Act

Arpaio's House of Cards Wobbles During DOJ Investigation

As ITWAMA has long reported, Maricopa County's Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his volunteer masked henchmen have run a reign of terror over Maricopa County for several years. He has abused his power by racially profiling Latino neighborhoods and has attacked his enemies by initiating false investigations against them. For this, Local Politicos have petitioned the Dept. of Justice (DOJ) to investigate his Sheriff's Office. Now, in the middle of this DOJ investigation, Arpaio's top aide has requested an investigation of the Sheriff's second in command and other Top Deputies for Abuse of Power and mismanagement.
It looks like Arpaio's house of cards will soon be crumbling down around him! Perhaps we will see Justice at last!
AZCentral reports:
A top aide to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has requested an investigation of the sheriff's second-in-command, Chief Deputy David Hendershott, and two of his allies, signaling growing concern among the sheriff's top hierarchy about the agency's management. A memo written by Deputy Chief Frank Munnell and recently delivered to Arpaio alleges years of misconduct and mismanagement by Hendershott, who has directed day-to-day operations of the Sheriff's Office since 2008 and has been in the department's top echelon since the mid-1990s.

The alleged wrongdoing amounts to criminal activity in the eyes of Munnell, a longtime law-enforcement official. The 63-page memorandum obtained by The Arizona Republic is the first clear inside account of a law-enforcement agency that is under investigation by the FBI and U.S. Attorney's Office for suspected abuses of power and has had considerable publicity about its failed corruption investigations into county officials and judges.

Munnell's memo has been turned over to the FBI and U.S. Attorney's Office for their probe. Both agencies declined to comment. (read complete article)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Republican John Boehner - In the Pocket of Big Business

NY Times Reports:
A G.O.P. Leader Tightly Bound to Lobbyists

WASHINGTON — House Democrats were preparing late last year for the first floor vote on the financial regulatory overhaul when Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio and other Republican leaders summoned more than 100 industry lobbyists and conservative political activists to Capitol Hill for a private strategy session. The bill’s passage in the House already seemed inevitable. But Mr. Boehner and his deputies told the Wall Street lobbyists and trade association leaders that by teaming up, they could still perhaps block its final passage or at least water it down.

“We need you to get out there and speak up against this,” Mr. Boehner said that December afternoon, according to three people familiar with his remarks, while also warning against cutting side deals with Democrats. That sort of alliance — they won a few skirmishes, though they lost the war on the regulatory bill — is business as usual for Mr. Boehner, the House minority leader and would-be speaker if Republicans win the House in November. He maintains especially tight ties with a circle of lobbyists and former aides representing some of the nation’s biggest businesses, including Goldman Sachs, Google, Citigroup, R. J. Reynolds, MillerCoors and UPS.

They have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to his campaigns, provided him with rides on their corporate jets, socialized with him at luxury golf resorts (that's why Boehner is so Tan and called the Tan Man) and waterfront bashes and are now leading fund-raising efforts for his Boehner for Speaker campaign, which is soliciting checks of up to $37,800 each, the maximum allowed. Some of the lobbyists readily acknowledge routinely seeking his office’s help — calling the congressman and his aides as often as several times a week — to advance their agenda in Washington. And in many cases, Mr. Boehner has helped them out.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Europe is watching the US Tactics Towards Immigrants

I heard a quote attributed to Nietzsche recently that reminded me of the Immigration debate. The quote: "The Poor were made so the Rich could could feel better about themselves." I've been reading about the Immigration issues in Europe. In Europe, France in particular, they are targetting the Roma people. The Roma's immigrated to Europe in the 11th century. A few decades ago, many people referred to the Romas as "gypsies." They are more of an ethnicity vs a race. They are caucasians, generally brown-skinned but many are light skinned. Most references say that more and more Roma people are not self-identifying themselves as Roma for fear of racial profiling/retribution. Andrea Nill from the Wonk Room wrote the following article detailing the issues now being faced by the Romas. What is happening to the Romas is very similar to what is happening to Latinos in America. As Andrea says below, the world is watching what we do here in hopes of mirroring the same policies in their own countries towards their own target groups.
From --
The Wonk Room:
This summer, while the immigration debate broiled in the U.S., the government of France launched a countrywide crackdown on the Roma, an ethnic group with origins in South Asia or Eastern Europe, that drew criticism from both the United Nations and the Roman Catholic Church. And, in a “rare” move, the European Parliament called on France this week to suspend its expulsion of the Roma, accusing French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s government of “targeting Roma as a group” and “ignoring essential European human rights guarantees.”

The total number of Romanian and Bulgarian Roma deported from France so far this year has reached 8,313. The French government has defended its actions by pointing out that the deportations are necessary to combat crime and that they have paid about €300 per expulsion.

However, courts in Lille have stated that many Roma deportation cases “did not meet the legal standard of a real and immediate threat.” A court in Nantes ordered the state to pay damages to the 29 Roma concerned. Critics have described the ramped up expulsions “as part of a drive by Sarkozy to revive his popularity before 2012 elections and divert attention from painful pension reforms and spending cuts.”

The Roma represent the largest ethnic minority group in the European Union and, throughout history, they have been the target of persecution. The immigration debate in Europe is by no means limited to neither the Roma nor to France. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has praised France’s expulsion of Roma as a model to follow and accused the left of wanting an “invasion of foreigners.” Muslim, African, and Latin American immigrants have also been common targets of European xenophobia.

All of this is despite the fact that the European continent’s population is aging so fast that it desperately “needs young newcomers to fill the gaps.” Nonetheless, a survey released this week by the Financial Times found that many Europeans have a negative view of immigration.

Ultimately, during this modern era of globalization, almost every nation — including the U.S. — is grappling with the immigration issue in one way or another. But Europe’s harsh response to the influx of newcomers doesn’t diminish what is happening in Arizona, nor does it make it okay. If anything, immigrant-receiving nations throughout the world are keeping a careful eye on the U.S. to see how the longtime “nation of immigrants” deals with the issue. And rather than adopting the marginalizing policies that have aggravated Europe’s immigration woes, the U.S. would be better off leading the way in building a humane immigration system that’s in tune with today’s modern global economy.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Amazing But True: Man Catches Giant Goldfish, Larger than a Dog

File this under amazing but true. Fisherman Raphael Biagini reeled in what is believed to be a 30-pound koi carp in France, where the fish are quite popular. The fish, a vivid orange, looks a great deal like a giant goldfish.

This really isn't that amazing. There are giant Goldfish (Gold Carp) in San Antonio too, though not quite as large. They are located in a pond at the Japanese Tea Gardens near the San Antonio zoo.

Shocking Report: Study Identifies -- Mexican Crime, American Guns

Shocking News! Not only is the US the number one abuser of drugs in the world with drug cartels from many countries fighting with each other to be our dealer, now new studies indicate three of four guns used in Mexican Violence came from US Border States!
ABC News Reports: Study of ATF Data Says Three Of Four Guns Used in Mexican Violence Come From US Border States
A shocking new report obtained by ABC News says that as many as three out of four guns used in crimes in Mexico can be traced to gun stores just across the border in the U.S. The numbers bolster complaints by Mexican officials that the country's unprecedented bloodshed – 28,000 people have died in drug-cartel violence since 2006 – is being fueled both by the U.S. appetite for drugs, and by American weapons.
"We can say that there is enormous violence in Mexico and most of the killing is done with guns and most of the guns used in the killing are originally from gun dealers in the United States," said Arkado Gerney, one of the report's authors.

The study, based on Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) data and prepared by the advocacy group Mayors Against Illegal Guns, shows that three out of four guns used in crimes in Mexico and submitted for tracing were sold in the four U.S. states that border Mexico.

According to the report, from 2006 through 2009, 19,000 guns used in crimes in Mexico were traced to an original sale at a US gun dealer, and the bulk of the guns came from Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. Texas supplied four in ten of those weapons, and the other three border states provided an additional one third.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Students' Success comes through Adequately Funding Inner City Schools and Unity of All Races/Ethnicities

A commenter asked me to blog about a recent article that discussed the Racial Violence incident that occurred at South Philadelphia High School. The article was about a group of Asian students returning to school. Apparently the previous December, some Asian students were harassed by other students (mostly Black) who they said were antagonizing them. The word was the mostly Black student body felt the Asian students were receiving preferential treatment so they hazed the Asian students. The article details how the Asian students felt they had enough and they started picketing the school letting the powers that be know they had enough. Afterwards the hazing stopped. Now, ten months later, this article detailed the struggles of the Asian students that are returning to school.

What I found most interesting were the comments. Most were from Anglo commenters complaining that "This story confirms what many Americans already know about Phili. Phili, like Detroit, has a demographic that is predominately African American as a result of white-flight, brown-flight, and anyone-who-could flight.While African Americans have successfully portrayed themselves as victims of racism, their perpetrating racism is also part of the African American experience. "Get the Whitee" has been expressed in more ways than just a verbal altercation."

I read this same story in numerous news outlets and the rhetoric in the comment sections were the same.

I decided to go back to earlier articles about the incident at SPHS. It turns out the December, 2009 incident wasn't the first incident. It seems like similar bullying incidents have been happening for some time. The Black Students, not content with the limited services they were receiving, were angry that the Asian Immigrants and Latino students were receiving additional counseling/coaching in ESL type classes and other services.

I started thinking about these incidents, my own high school experience and about poverty stricken neighborhoods. When I was in high school, there was always a hierarchy. At the top of the heap were the Jocks and the Cheerleaders. Next came the Brains and kids with money. Then the regular students. Then the minorities and the nerds. The Jocks, Cheerleaders and Brains/Rich Kids were the stars of the show and people, including teachers, catered to them. By the time my children came along, I learned that in order to help them succeed, I had to move to the suburbs and make sure they were enrolled in team sports and I made sure they studied. Even so, the hierarchy remained basically the same.

The biggest difference was my flight to the suburbs. The inner city schools did not have the services to help me or my children learn, as in South Philadelphia. I could see from the articles, the struggle on both sides.

In the recent SPHS (South Philly High School) articles, I was glad to see the Asian students stood up for themselves and marched to make sure their voices were heard. New Immigrants have even more obstacles to surpass than the traditional school hierarchy. I also felt sad for the young Black students who must be challenged even more, in the poverty stricken inner city schools, with limited services in a very poor environment. The real answer is for our school systems, especially in the inner city, to provide adequate educational services for all students.

Now is the time for Unity, not for divisiveness. We all need to overcome the bullying of the past. We also need to unify to ensure our students, especially the inner city students receive all the tools they need to succeed. After all, Education is the Great Equalizer! Let's not create lines or divisions. Let's unify so all students can succeed.

Update: Keith Luke - Charged with Murder Rampage of "Non-Whites"

In January, 2009, Keith Luke decided to cleanse his town of non-whites trying to destroy the white race. He placed a 9 mm gun, 200 rounds of ammunition, handcuffs, a hammer, a mouth gag, and a blindfold into his backpack. He then proceeded to his neighbor’s home, where he handcuffed and brutally raped a 22-year-old Cape Verdean immigrant. The woman’s sister, 20-year-old Selma Goncalves, tried to stop him. He shot and killed Selma, and then shot her sister in the chest through a white teddy bear she was clutching. He fled the scene, firing several shots at neighbors. He didn’t get far before he happened upon a neighborhood vagrant, 72-year-old Arlindo Depina Goncalves (no relation to the other victims), as he pushed his shopping cart. Luke shot Arlindo in the head, and told police he was “surprised” that Goncalves didn’t “die immediately.” He then shot him in the back — just to be sure. He drove off in his van again, but two police officers managed to head him off, and fired shots at his van, causing him to crash. He was arrested without further incident. But that’s when things got even scarier. He was read his Miranda rights and confessed to the Brockton police after his arrest that the killings were part of a plan to kill “non-whites” and he had planned to open fire on a bingo game at a local synagogue later that night. Luke was charged with two counts of murder as well as armed assault with intent to murder, aggravated rape and kidnapping. He pleaded not guilty, and is currently jailed without bond.
In August, 2010, Luke's lawyer is asking for his confession to be tossed out and wants the case dismissed. His lawyer argued the court can’t meet its “heavy burden of providing beyond a reasonable doubt that the statements made by the defendant were made following a knowing, intelligent and voluntary waiver of his right to remain silent.” His lawyer also notified the court he may pursue an insanity plea.
Luke also faces charges that he attacked a defense psychiatrist, Dr. Keith Ablow, who had gone to the Plymouth County jail to examine him. Krowski said he will now get a second psychiatrist to examine Luke.
The Superior Court Judge has scheduled a hearing to hear arguments.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Top Compensated CEO's have Highest Rate of Lay-Offs and Outsource Jobs Overseas

The companies that Lay Off the most Americans also pay their CEOs the highest compensation and many of them outsource off-shore (those highlighted in Red). They are all Global Companies entrenched in the Global Economy.
The 10 Highest-Paid CEOs Who Laid Off The Most Workers: Institute For Policy Studies
A grim fact of the recession is that it pays to lay people off. The CEOs who laid off the most employees during the recession are also the CEOs who took home the biggest pay checks, according to a study released last week.

CEOs of the 50 U.S. firms that slashed the most jobs between November 2008 and April 2010 took in 42 percent more than the average CEO at an S&P 500 firm, according to the 17th annual Executive Excess study by the Institute for Policy Studies, a progressive Washington think tank.

The study (
PDF) also found that 36 of the 50 layoff leaders "announced their mass layoffs at a time of positive earnings reports," suggesting a trend of "squeezing workers to boost profits and maintain high CEO pay." The 10 "highest-paid CEO layoff leaders" ranked in the report include the CEO of Hewlett-Packard, Mark Hurd, who earned $24.2 million in 2009 as the company laid off 6,400 workers and Walmart CEO Michael Duke, who earned $19.2 million as the company laid off 13,350 workers. No Wall Street banks were included in this list, but three banks -- Citigroup, Bank Of America and JP Morgan -- showed up on the study's list of the 50 firms that laid off the most employees.

Overall, the study found that executive pay remains astronomically high compared to previous decades. "After adjusting for inflation, CEO pay in 2009 more than doubled the CEO pay average for the decade of the 1990s, more than quadrupled the CEO pay average for the 1980s, and ran approximately eight times the CEO average for all the decades of the mid-20th century," the study says. Currently, CEOs of major U.S. companies average 263 times the average compensation of American workers, the study claims.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Brewer LIED About Beheadings in AZ, now she Claims she Mis-spoke. YOU Be the Judge!

Gov. Jan Brewer, who gained National attention defending the state's tough new immigration law and warning of increasing border bloodshed, has spent the time since last week's gubernatorial candidates' debate trying to repair the damage done from her cringe-worthy contest against underdog challenger Terry Goddard.

"That was an Error, IF I said that," the Republican told The Associated Press on Friday. "I MISSPOKE (if I said Beheadings were in Arizona), but you know, let me be clear, I am concerned about the border region (even though violent crime is at a 10 year low in Arizona) because it continues to be reported in Mexico that there's a lot of violence going on and we don't want that going into Arizona."

Machete Movie Review! WOW!

Wow! Wow! Wow! What a ride! "Machete" is an AMAZING Movie! Action! Humanity! Good vs Evil! Violence! Hot love scenes! No wonder it was number one box office this weekend! It was so fast paced, it seemed the 2 hour movie was over before you knew it. I liked the fact that the Hero was so ugly, he was handsome. Remarkable! Caution to ANTIs -- Be Aware: This movie might tick you off! (But Get Over It!)

Here is what one reviewer said:
Dixie Sun reports:
Machete makes for must see film
Director Robert Rodriguez of “Sin City” fame gives us a super-charged movie based on his fake trailer that premiered before his B-movie tribute “Planet Terror.” That’s right. For those of you who remember, Quentin Tarantino and Rodriguez teamed up for the “Grindhouse” double feature many years ago. These two films, “Deathproof” by Tarantino and “Planet Terror” were a send-up to the violent B-movies of the ‘70s.
The double feature didn’t get a lot of play in theaters, but found a home with the cult crowd.

The two movies even came with two trailers to fake movies, one of those trailers was for “Machete.” In fact, if you bring up YouTube and watch the original trailer and compare it with the trailer from the 2010 film, they are almost identical. The things the new trailer includes however, is a long list of actors that make you say, “seriously?” This movie was the perfect cocktail of actors you thought were dead and actors who leave you wondering what they did to have to do a movie like this.

Danny Trejo plays the title role, and gets it on with Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, and, wait for it, Lindsay Lohan! He fights bad guys like Steven Segal, plays shoot-em-up with the likes of Cheech Marin, and thwarts evil plans by a politically-charged Robert De Niro. You cannot go into this movie expecting a serious film. Rule number one when seeing a film like this is to know you are about to see something outrageous. And this movie delivered just that, and then some.

Don’t get me wrong. I abhor movies that portray realistic violence. When you can feel the pain of someone on screen and it makes you want to look away, then the violence is too real. But for movies like this, the violence isn’t so bad because it’s so fake. Oh, and don’t go to this film if you get uncomfortable seeing Lohan with her clothes off. But with the super-fake violence, over-the-top blood, ridiculous one-liners and a plot that conveniently mirrors the drama we are experiencing on the border right now, we get the recipe for the perfect sit-back-and-watch-the-heads-fly movie.

Even though there isn’t a credit cookie, I will still go and see this movie again, if only to see the demonstration of how long a human intestine really is. You’ll get it when you see it.

Need for Regulation: eColi Outbreak in U.S. -- Be Sure to Thoroughly Cook Your Meat!

E. Coli Outbreak Puts Focus On Meat Oversight
ST. PAUL, Minn. — The first known U.S. outbreak linked to a rare strain of E. coli in ground beef is prompting a fresh look at tougher regulations to protect the nation's meat supply. Three people in Maine and New York became ill this summer after eating ground beef traced back to a Cargill plant in Wyalusing, Pa. Cargill Meat Solutions, a subsidiary of Minneapolis-based Cargill Inc., recalled about 8,500 pounds of ground beef on Saturday, and regulators warned consumers to throw out frozen meat purchased at BJ's Wholesale Clubs in eight eastern states. The ground beef had a use-by-or-freeze-by date of July 1.

The New York Times first reported the USDA interest in federal oversight of other strains of E. coli following the Cargill recall. The federal government currently requires meat plants to test for the most virulent strain of E. coli, O157:H7, which causes an estimated 70,000 illnesses a year. They don't have to test for six other less common strains of E. coli, including the O26 version that sickened those involved the Cargill recall.

Consumers can avoid getting infected from tainted meat by cooking it thoroughly and using a meat thermometer to make sure it reaches an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees.

Note: Cargill is a Global Company which has been subject to numerous criticisms over a number of topics including environmental issues, contamination and humans rights abuses. Further, as a private company, Cargill is not required to release the same amount of information as a publicly-traded company and, as a business practice, keeps a relatively low profile, creating suspicion.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Glenn Beck Admits He LIED at DC Rally!

Glenn Beck admitted Thursday that he LIED because he "thought it would be a little easier."

During his "Take Back the Civil Rights Movement Rally" Beck LIED claiming he held George Washington's handwritten first Inaugural Address in his hands at the National Archives, but a spokeswoman at the institution said he did NO such thing. Keith Olbermann, Ed Schultz and others called him out for the fabrication.

Beck admitted his LIE: "I thought it would be a little easier in the speech," Beck said, than to go into the following elaborate explanation (via Mediaite):

"YES. I LIED. I NEVER TOUCHED THE DOCUMENTS. Yesterday I went to the National Archives, and they opened up the vault, and they put on their gloves and then they put it on a tray. They wheeled it over and it's all in this hard plastic and you're sitting down at a table and you can't, because of Sandy Berger, I had a long conversation with him about this, you can't actually touch any of the documents, these are very very rare. So what they do, they have it in this plastic thing and they hold them right in front of you, you can't touch them but then you can say 'can you turn it over,' and then they turn it over for you and then you look at it. I thought it was a little clumsy to explain it that way."

Switched At Birth: Marco Rubio and Levi Johnston (Bristol Palin's Baby Daddy)

Just Thinkin'!
And I wouldn't Vote for Either!

Update: Minutemen Shawna Forde & Gunny Bush Murder Trial Update (for murders of 9 year old Brisenia Flores & her Dad)

Guest Voz: (my friend) Porter Corn - Immigration Clearinghouse
Possible defense strategies revealed for Minuteman Shawna Forde’s Trial
Before Forde defense attorney Eric Larsen left on vacation, he filed some documents in Pima County Superior Court outlining his defense strategy in the upcoming trial of Minuteman Shawna Forde, accused mastermind in the murder of 9 year old Brisenia Flores and her father Raul. This move was required under the Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure.

The prosecutions theory is that Forde needed money for her little border vigilante group, MINUTEMAN AMERICAN DEFENSE, so she enlisted the aid of Jason Bush and Albert Gaxiola to rip off Raul “Jr.” Flores, a purported drug dealer. Forde discussed this with others who are expected to testify for the prosecution, including two Colorado Minutemen and the star of the show, Oin Oakstar, who was supposed to be the fourth person but got too drunk and forgot to show up for the party.

Some of Larsen’s defense strategies were expected, such as “the state failed to prove their case,” but then, there were these others:
•Gaxiola was romantically involved with Flores’ widow
•Forde wasn’t present at the crime scene.
•Forde was misidentified as a suspect.
•Gaxiola and Oakstar conspired to eliminate Flores as their drug trade competitor.
•Flores’ widow named Gaxiola as a perpetrator.
•Gaxiola had been feuding with Flores.
Larsen said he also plans to impeach the expected testimony of Forde’s mother, brother and Oakstar.

In addition, he says the jewelry found in Forde’s possession isn’t Flores’ widow’s, as alleged by prosecutors.
Larsen also filed a document listing the mitigating factors he intends to tell jurors about during the penalty phase of the trial. Some of them include;
•Neuropsychological deficits/damage/frontal lobe deficits.
•Multiple abandonments as child.
•Sexually abusive childhood.
•Dysfunctional childhood.
•Volunteer work, public service, lack of felony record, productively employed
•History of non-violence
•Polysubstance abuse
•Medical records, including records from a stroke
So in a nutshell, the defense will be that Gaxiola was screwing Flores wife in order for Gaxiola and Oakstar to ripoff the cuckolded husband of drugs and cash they may or may not have had. And in the course of things, Forde wasn’t present at the crime scene yet she was misidentified as a suspect at the crime scene.

With that kind of logic, we can expect the trial to last less than a week. And where does the shooter Jason Bush fit into all of this? After all, his blood was found in the teal van parked at the Gaxiola residence and seen cruising the hood around the Flores property the morning of the murders with a “blonde woman” in the passenger seat. And let us not forget one of Forde’s staunchest defenders, Laine Lawless, who accompanied Chuck Stonex to the Gaxiola house to patch up Bush’s bullet wound.

And once the jury comes back with a guilty verdict, to keep Forde out of death row, the “mitigating factors” to Fordes actions has me falling off of my seat laughing my axx off.

So to wrap up the defenses that will be used to keep her off the gurney, the defense will accurately portray Forde as a crazy bxtch who wasn’t born with the proverbial silver spoon in her mouth, who had challenges in her childhood that others have. A crack head who couldn’t decide on any one drug of choice so she tried many as she plowed her way through life conning people and being conned herself. Selling her axx to undercover officers on the streets of Tacoma at age 14 might be considered a sexually abused childhood by some, but not by others. And she was productively employed hunting Mexicans on the border so her life should be spared for the heinous and calculated crime which took the life of an innocent 9 year old child because she has a history of non-violence. Did I get all that right?

I rest my case. Thank you Kim

Update: Dannie Baker, Murderer of Chilean Students, To Stand Trial

On February 26, 2009, Dannie Baker, an RNC volunteer and consumed by Hate for all Latino Immigrants, peered through the apartment window of visiting Chilean Students and shot 5 of them, murdering two, Racine Libia Balbontin-Argandona, 22, and Nicholas Pablo Corp-Torres, 23.
As I previously reported, Baker admitted the shooting to police and they arrested him. However, during his trial for the murders, the Judge found him incompetent and sent him to Florida State Hospital in Chattahoochee for treatment in November 2009.

In July, 2010, eight months after being found incompetent to stand trial, Baker has been discharged from the state hospital, was taken to Walton County Jail to be re-examined. In August, 2010, Baker was found competent to stand trial for the murders.
Public defender Lenny Platteborze told Walton County Circuit Judge Kelvin Wells on Tuesday that psychologists have said that Baker, 61, can go to trial. Assistant State Attorney Bobby Elmore, who is prosecuting the case, asked Wells to review Larsen’s findings and rule on whether to go to trial. Wells said he will review Larsen’s report and scheduled a pre-trial hearing for Oct. 21. In the meantime, Baker’s attorneys will collect evidence, Elmore said.

Hate Crime Trial of Piekarsky & Donchak set for October 4, 2010 in Scranton, PA

Brandon J. Piekarsky and Derrick M. Donchak, charged by Federal Prosecutors with a Hate Crime in connection with the July 2008 "Kick in the Head" death of Luis Ramirez, will be tried in Scranton instead of their hometown Wilkes-Barre, a judge ruled last Thursday. In 2009, both were given only 6 month sentences by their hometown jury for the murder.
Both Piekarsky and Donchak will be tried in October in Courtroom 1 of the William J. Nealon Federal Building and United States Courthouse, Senior U.S. District Judge A. Richard Caputo ruled in a one-sentence order. Caputo, who is presiding over the trial, did not explain the reason for the change. Caputo did not change the scheduled start of the trial, which is 9:30 a.m. Oct. 4.
Donchak, 20, of Shenandoah, and Piekarsky, 18, of Shenandoah Heights, are each charged with a HATE CRIME due to their alleged "Kick in the Head" beating and hurling of Racial slurs in the July 12, 2008, beating of Latino Luis Ramirez on West Lloyd Street, Shenandoah. Donchak also is charged with obstruction of justice.

Ramirez, 25, of Shenandoah, died two days after the "Kick in the Heat" beating and head injuries at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

DOJ Suing Arpaio for Refusing to Cooperate on his Abuse of Power Investigation. Now He's Crying Crocodile Tears! reports:
Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been sued by the U.S. Justice Department for refusing to cooperate with a civil-rights probe into police practices and jail operations. Arpaio said the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Phoenix, is disappointing given that he and his office were cooperating on the federal probe. "I thought we were really close to getting this resolved," the sheriff said. (the Sheriff made this claim however previous reports indicate he has refused cooperation)

The lawsuit comes after weeks of the DOJ pleading for cooperation, threats to strip the county of federal funding, and a meeting in Washington last week among attorneys to discuss the investigation. A spokeswoman for the Justice Department has said this is the first time in the last 30 years that a police or sheriff's agency has refused to cooperate with a Title VI investigation. Thursday's action marks the first time the agency is suing to compel access to documents and facilities.
Since March 2009, the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division has been investigating Arpaio's operation amid accusations of discrimination and unconstitutional searches and seizures related to the sheriff's immigration-enforcement efforts. The investigation is being conducted under the authority of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which forbids discrimination related to programs that receive federal funds. The civil-rights probe is not related to a separate federal abuse-of-power investigation of Arpaio's office that has been the subject of grand-jury testimony. In the 1990s the Justice Department investigated Arpaio for civil rights abuses in Maricopa County Jails and then, he cooperated, leading to a consent decree to change certain jail conditions.

Arpaio's initial decision not to cooperate with this investigation has led the Sheriff's Office and the Justice Department into uncharted territory. But Arpaio has changed course in recent weeks, implying that his office is trying to cooperate with federal civil-rights investigators. "Can't they wait another week?" Arpaio asked. "Why can't they give us a little more time." "I thought we were really close to getting this thing resolved.

Arpaio appeared with Arizona Sen. Russell Pearce and Rep. Steve Montenegro (two other ANTI CIR zealots) at a press conference Thursday to promote a political non-profit group the men are affiliated with, but he quickly found the event dominated by news that the federal government had sued his agency. "They can sue me but as Russell always says, 'take the handcuffs off the cops'," Arpaio said. "I'm not going to be intimidated by the federal government going to court against us." The sheriff's failure to cooperate could cost the county millions of dollars of federal funding. Last year, the county received $113 million in federal funds, according to county records; of that, the Sheriff's Office received $3.8 million. County officials must agree that they will not discriminate in order to receive those funds.

Arpaio believes the inquiry is focused on his immigration sweeps, patrols where deputies flood an area of a city — in some cases heavily Latino areas — to seek out traffic violators and arrest other offenders. Critics say his deputies pull people over for minor traffic infractions because of the color of their skin so they can ask them for their proof of citizenship. Arpaio denies allegations of racial profiling despite the blatantly obvious proof, suggesting people are stopped if deputies may have probable cause to believe they've committed crimes and supposedly that it's only afterward that deputies find many of them may be illegal immigrants. The sheriff's office has said only half of the 1,032 people arrested in the sweeps have been suspected of illegal immigration.

Last year, the federal government stripped Arpaio of his special power to enforce federal immigration law due to his abuse of power and racial profiling accusations. The sheriff continued his sweeps through the enforcement of state immigration laws.

Last year, the nearly $113 million that the county received from the federal government accounted for about 5 percent of the county's $2 billion budget. Arpaio's office said it receives $3 million to $4 million each year in federal funds.

In a separate investigation, a federal grand jury in Phoenix is examining allegations that Arpaio has abused his powers with actions such as intimidating county workers by showing up at their homes at nights and on weekends.

Jan "La Bruja" Brewer's Puppet Masters: Private Prison Lobbyists from CCA

As I've always blogged, you have to FOLLOW THE MONEY in order to find the root cause for the actions of corrupt politicians.
This CBS5 Investigative report details how Private Prison Lobbyists are filling the pockets of political candidates --specifically of Jan "La Bruja" Brewer. This reports also sheds light on the sb1070 - Correction Facilities of America (CCA) Private Prisons connection:
. 23,000 Immigrants turned over to ICE, numerous detained at CCA facilities.
After this CBS5 investigative report, CCA cancelled all of the Governor's campaign advertising on CBS5-Phoenix.
see the video
CBS5-Phoenix reports:
Brewer Linked To Private Prisons Housing Illegal Immigrants
New Questions Raised About Lobbyist Advice
-Morgan Loew, CBS 5 Investigative Reporter
-- Gov. Jan Brewer’s campaign chairman and policy adviser is also a lobbyist for the largest private prison company in the country. Chuck Coughlin is one of two people in the Brewer administration with ties to Corrections Corporation of America (CCA). The other administration member is communications director Paul Senseman, a former CCA lobbyist. His wife still lobbies for the company. According to campaign finance records, CCA executives and employees contributed more than $1,000 to the governor’s re-election campaign. The company’s political action committee and its lobbyists contributed another $60,000 to Brewer’s top legislative priority, Proposition 100, a sales tax to help avoid budget cuts to education.

Caroline Isaacs from the American Friends Service Committee, which advocates for social justice issues, said the money is evidence of influence the company has on the governor. Isaacs said private prison companies have been buying influence in Arizona politics for years. The number of private prisons and jails operating across the state shows the result of that influence, he said. Currently, there are at least 12 for-profit prison, jail and detention facilities in Arizona. Isaacs said the state has something else that attracts these companies. “The other Holy Grail, if you will, of private prison construction is immigrant detention,” Isaac said.

Corrections Corporation of America holds the contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to lock up illegal immigrants picked up in Arizona. Tough immigration laws like Arizona's SB 1070 could send thousands of new bodies its way, and millions of dollars. But CCA’s lobbyist and Brewer’s adviser, Chuck Coughlin, told CBS 5 News and other media outlets that there is no connection between his client and illegal immigrants arrested by local law enforcement. Coughlin appeared on KAET TV’s “Horizon” two weeks ago. “When somebody gets arrested, they go to jail. There are no private jails. Those are public jails. ICE has said they are not taking prisoners arrested under that, so there would be no transport into the state prison system when this happens,” he told the host of “Horizon.”

But ICE’s spokesman in Phoenix told CBS 5 News the agency gets most of its detainees from local law enforcement. Records obtained through a Freedom of Information Act Request show Arizona agencies turned over 23,000 illegal immigrants to ICE over the past three years. Hundreds of them ended in up CCA facilities.
Anyone who is a serious criminal or is a flight risk is more than likely going to end up in detention here in Arizona,” said Vinnie Picard from ICE.

CBS 5 News invited Coughlin to explain what he told the governor about the effects of SB 1070 on CCA, but after weeks of negotiating through e-mail, Coughlin backed out of an on-camera interview. He sent CBS 5 News e-mail from CCA, which stated: “CCA has neither directly, nor indirectly attempted to influence immigration policy, including SB 1070, and absolutely did not engage anyone in the Governor’s Office on signature of that bill.”

People like Carline Isaacs, who study the private prison industry, said they don’t buy it. “My reaction to that statement is then why did they give them all that money?” she said. Chuck Coughlin’s company canceled all of the governor’s campaign advertising on CBS 5 News.

Jan "La Bruja" Brewer Melts Down During Debate Last Night! (Looks like the Poor Dear Has Alzheimers! -- Sad!)

During last night's AZ Gubernatorial debate, La Bruja had a melt down. It is very clear (or at least this is what it appears) she is in the early stages of Alzheimers. Very Sad! Her sb1070 supporting, hate mongering puppet masters are jangling her strings. It's too bad they can't do it on Live TV.

Burger King Bought Out by Brazilian Company

Burger King Holdings Inc., the nation's perennially No. 2 hamburger chain, said Thursday that it is selling itself to little-known private equity firm 3G Capital in a deal valued at $3.26 billion. 3G Capital is largely owned by Jorge Paulo Lemann, a Brazilian business mogul. 3G has previously invested in Wendy's and Arby's.

Burger King, Wendy's, Arby's and McDonald's are prominent examples of the rapid globalization of the American fast food industry. While McDonald's is a US owned corporation, as an interesting side note: The soya that is fed to McDonald’s chickens is supplied by agricultural giant Cargill and comes directly from Brazil. Greenpeace alleges that not only is soya destroying the Amazon rain forest in Brazil, but soya farmers are guilty of further crimes including slavery and the invasion of indigenous peoples’ lands. The allegation is that McDonald's, as a client of Cargill's, is complicit in these activities.
Additionally, as I noted in an earlier blog, Swift & Co., one of the largest meatpacking companies in the nation, is owned by JBS USA, a Brazilian owned company.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Border Deaths: While Rate of Illegal Immigration is at a 20 year Low, the Death Rate of Border Crossers in Arizona is at a 5 year High!

Illegal immigration into the United States has slowed considerably in the last several years, a study released Wednesday concludes. The decline marks the first significant turnaround in two decades, researchers with the nonpartisan Pew Hispanic Center say. As a result, the U.S. illegal immigrant population may have fallen as much as 8 percent from 2007 to 2009.

"We've seen a reversal in what had been the long-term growth in the illegal immigrant population," researcher Jeffrey S. Passel said Wednesday. An estimated 11.1 million illegal immigrants live in the United States. Possibly because of tighter enforcement measures and economic circumstances driving some immigrants back home, the population is down from its estimated 2007 peak of 12 million. "Particularly along the southern border, enforcement has ramped up considerably," Passel said. "It's harder and more dangerous for immigrants to cross into the country."

While studies prove the numbers are at a 20 year low, the death rate along the Arizona border is at a 5 year high!
Deaths of illegal immigrants in Arizona have soared this summer toward their highest levels since 2005 - a fact that has surprised many who thought that the furor over the state's new immigration law and the 100-plus degree heat would draw them elsewhere along the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border.

But at the Pima County morgue in Tucson, Ariz., the body bags are stacked on stainless-steel shelves from floor to ceiling. (Imagine the carnage!) A refrigerated truck has been brought in to handle the overflow at the multimillion dollar facility.

In July, 59 people died - 40 in the first two weeks when nighttime temperatures were the hottest in recorded history, hovering around the low 90s. The single-month death count is second only to July 2005, when 68 bodies were found.

Of this July's deaths, 44 were on the Tohono O'Odham Nation, a reservation the size of Connecticut that shares 75 miles of Arizona's border with Mexico, in Pima County - the home of the murder of Brisenia Flores, the location of the Neo-Nazi's and Minutemen's border stalkings. The Tohono tribe is opposed to humanitarian aid on its lands, believing it invites violence. Eighteen more people died in the first 23 days of August. Even with the prospect of a torturous death, and the bitter wrath they face in Arizona - Minutemen, Neo-Nazis and Arpaio, the immigrants, say the state's vast, sparsely populated terrain is still the best place for border jumpers. One can only imagine the horror these innocents face in their homeland that causes them to take such risks.

Migrants say Arizona worth risk of crossing
Study: Illegal immigration has slowed considerably

Breaking News: Police Stop Discovery Channel Domestic Terrorist

Police shot the alleged hostage taker James J. Lee who barricaded himself at the Discovery Channel's Maryland headquarters. No news yet on his condition. The three hostages he held have been released and are safe.

The suspect identified as James J. Lee, 43, has a long history of protesting the Discovery Channel network. He has written: "All programs on Discovery Health-TLC must stop encouraging the birth of any more parasitic human infants and the false heroics behind those actions." Lee wrote that diatribe on this
website, which lays out his "demands" to the network. His demands are demented and filled with controlling the population and ending immigration. They include:
. Focus must be given on how people can live WITHOUT giving birth to more filthy human children since those new additions continue pollution and are pollution.
. Civilization must be exposed for the filth it is.
. Immigration: Programs must be developed to find solutions to stopping ALL immigration pollution and the anchor baby filth that follows that. Find solutions to stopping it. Call for people in the world to develop solutions to stop it completely and permanently. Find solutions FOR these countries so they stop sending their breeding populations to the US and the world to seek jobs and therefore breed more unwanted pollution babies. FIND SOLUTIONS FOR THEM TO STOP THEIR HUMAN GROWTH AND THE EXPORTATION OF THAT DISGUSTING FILTH! (The first world is feeding the population growth of the Third World and those human families are going to where the food is! They must stop procreating new humans looking for nonexistant jobs!)
. The oddest part of his diatribe is HIS LOVE FOR ANIMALS?!? He said: Saving the Planet means saving what's left of the non-human Wildlife by decreasing the Human population. That means stopping the human race from breeding any more disgusting human babies! You're the media, you can reach enough people. It's your resposibility because you reach so many minds!!!

I also read this kook's
myspace page. What is always so mind-boggling about reading one of these kook's personal pages is -- these angry domestic terrorists and their friends, live among us. What does a domestic terrorist and his friends look like? They look like everybody else. So scary!

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