Monday, April 30, 2007
MINUTEMAN BORDER FENCE FUNDING BY KOREANS AND BUILDED BY MEXICANS.
WATCH OUT FOR FOMGUARD, LETS SEE THEIR PATRIOTISM FUNDING RECORDS.IRS, SOCIAL SECURITY, INS?? ARE THEY COMPLAINT WITH THOSE REGULATIONS????? SOMETHING NOT SMELL RIGHT.. $$$$$$$$$
PHOENIX, AZ (August 23, 2006) – Chris Simcox, President of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps (“MCDC”) today announced the donation by FOMGuard, USA, a Washington-based fiber optic mesh company, of up to $7 million in fencing materials to the Minuteman Border Fence Project. Simcox released the following statement:
“We are very grateful to FOMGuard, USA for their generous donation of materials that will allow the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps to use funds we continue to raise to build fencing with cutting-edge technology along the border with Mexico on private land using these private donations. Let check with IRS about that funding..
“The United States Senate voted against a fence before voting for it, then voted against funding the fence and has yet to pass any meaningful legislation to address securing our out-of-control borders. The Minuteman Civil Defense Corps will continue undistracted from our mission to secure the borders in the interest of national security and public safety. In a time when mothers are forced to drink baby formula before being allowed to board an airplane, terrorists, drug smugglers, human traffickers, rapists and thieves can walk across our unsecured borders unabated.”
Nina May, President of FOMGuard, USA, released the following statement:
“We are proud to be part of the effort to secure America and provide a critical line of defense for our homeland security. FOMGuard is a state-of-the-art fiber optic mesh, perimeter security system that provides pin-point accuracy over miles of secured areas, with zero false alarms. It has been tested at Eglin Air Force Base and far exceeded all the testing parameters.
“Although we recognize the desire for millions of people to live in America and enjoy the freedoms and opportunities we can offer, we also understand that there are those who want to do us harm and have devoted their very existence to this end. We have an obligation, as free people to protect that liberty, secure our borders, and fulfill one of our constitutional mandates to provide for the common defense of our nation. As citizens, as the ‘we’ in ‘We the People,’ there is an understanding that we are all called to do what we can to protect our neighbor, our family and our nation from foreign and domestic terrorism.
“We believe that the addition of FOMGuard to the planned border protection program that the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps and other fellow Americans have designed, will help ensure that peace in our homeland.
“FOMGuard is designed to be used over existing structures, or can be stand-alone. It can be configured in a variety of ways to compliment, enhance or support existing programs with a complete systems integration component, utilizing cameras, face recognition software, laser and vibration sensors. It will help support and protect our hard working border guards who have been assigned an almost impossible task of protecting our open borders from would-be terrorists and illegal invasion.”
CNN's Roots on Immigration Problem.
Is Lou Dobbs the exception—or the rule? Or he is part of that wave of xenophobic and outrageous racists against Undocumented Inmigrants? Specially Mexicans? Wonder which way he is going.
CNN anchor Lou Dobbs has been a high-profile voice in the immigration debate, using his show to rail against the country's "broken borders" virtually every evening on Lou Dobbs Tonight. His openly crusading advocacy journalism has raised eyebrows and put CNN president Jonathan Klein on the defensive; as Klein told the New York Times (3/29/06), "Lou's show is not a harbinger of things to come at CNN. He is sui generis, (K.K.K., Minuteman ?) one of a kind." But a closer look at CNN programming indicates that Dobbs' slanted journalism is not as unusual at the network as Klein suggests.
As FAIR has noted in the past, Dobbs' tone on immigration is consistently alarmist; he warns his viewers (3/31/06) of Mexican immigrants who see themselves as an "army of invaders" intent upon reannexing parts of the Southwestern U.S. to Mexico, announces (11/19/03) that "illegal alien smugglers and drug traffickers are on the verge of ruining some of our national treasures," and declares (4/14/05) that "the invasion of illegal aliens is threatening the health of many Americans" through "deadly imports" of diseases like leprosy and malaria. And Dobbs makes no effort to provide a nuanced or balanced picture of the issue; as he told CNN Reliable Sources host Howard Kurtz (4/2/06): "I'm not interested—are you interested in six or seven vieweres? Because that's what I'm interested in; that's what my viewers are interested in."
But Dobbs isn't the only CNN personality uninterested in nuance or immigrants' rights perspectives. Longtime CNN anchor Jack Cafferty provides daily commentary on the afternoon show The Situation Room, where he has attacked and belittled immigrants' rights protesters while ignoring or dismissing their concerns several times in recent weeks. The day of the massive immigrants' rights rallies across the country, he launched into a scornful tirade that seemed to even threaten violence against the peaceful protesters (4/10/06):
Once again, the streets of our country were taken over today by people who don't belong here…. Look at the History and see for yourself who's not belonging here.Taxpayers who have surrendered highways, parks, sidewalks and a lot of television news time on all these cable news networks to mobs of illegal aliens are not happy about it…. America's illegal aliens are becoming ever bolder. March through our streets and demand your rights. Excuse me? You have no rights here, and that includes the right to tie up our towns and cities and block our streets. At some point this could all turn very violent as Americans become fed up with the failure of their government to address the most pressing domestic issue of our time.
Cafferty went on to suggest that the government "pull the buses up and start asking these people to show their green cards.... And the ones that don't have them, put them on the buses and send them home." It's troubling that Cafferty seems entirely ignorant of the fact that under the U.S. Constitution, everyone in this country, whether documented or not, does indeed have rights—or that illegal immigrants pay billions of dollars in taxes each year. (When the Wall Street Journal—4/13/06—surveyed economists on whether illegal immigration provided a net gain to the U.S. economy, 44 of 46 said that it did.)
In another commentary on immigration (3/31/06), Cafferty chastised students who missed school to attend a pro-immigrant protest: "Maybe it would be a good idea if they went back into the classrooms and tried to get that diploma instead of, you know, spending their day out and marching around, jumping up and down and being silly." He similarly ridiculed (4/10/06) a D.C.-area school district's policy of giving students community service credit for attending rallies: "What service are you doing for your community by running around through the streets carrying Mexican flags and advocating on behalf of people who are breaking this nation's laws?"
Recent CNN Headline News hire Glenn Beck promises to add another xenophobic voice to the CNN family's chorus when he begins hosting his own program in May. As Media Matters for America documented (3/27/06), Beck recently slurred Mexican immigrants on his radio show (3/27/06), saying Mexico "is a country that has been overtaken by lawbreakers from the bottom to the top. And now, what you're protesting for is to have lawbreakers come here."
Even some of CNN's generally more restrained journalists have slanted the immigration issue. Reliable Sources host Kurtz described the rallies (4/16/06) as "drawing heavy media coverage that served as a megaphone for their stand against tougher border control and enforcement against those who broke the law in coming to America." Of course, while Kurtz follows Dobbs in summarizing the protests as being opposed to border control and law enforcement, few if any of the organizers of the demonstrations would frame their issue in that way. In fact, many protesters say they support border control as part of comprehensive immigration reform; their primary protest, never accurately explained by Dobbs or Kurtz, is against HR 4437, the draconian House bill that not only would make all undocumented workers felons, but would even appear to make felons of anyone giving humanitarian assistance to an immigrant without inquiring about that person's legal status.
Kurtz continued on the same tack, asking conservative guest Jonah Goldberg, "Has the media coverage of this issue glossed over the fact that, by the way, these people are breaking the law?"
Kurtz went on to tell an approving Goldberg that "you have to admit that these immigrants got awfully sympathetic coverage with these demonstrations...with comparisons to the civil rights movement. But 84 percent in an L.A. Times poll say they believe illegal immigration is a serious problem." In fact, that's not what the Times reported (4/13/06): "Although 84 percent of poll respondents agreed that illegal immigration was a problem, 31 percent identified it as one of the country's major problems." The poll also showed 66 percent of respondents favoring some kind of amnesty—the same position taken by the protesters.
CNN senior analyst Jeff Greenfield also skewed the immigration debate in his attempt (The Situation Room, 4/13/06) to explain how both sides use loaded language in the "name game." Greenfield noted the negative connotations associated with the word "alien" and explained the argument that labeling people "illegal" suggests that "illegality governs their lives"—arguments that several journalists' associations have also made (National Association of Hispanic Journalists, NAHJ.org). Turning then to "undocumented worker," he argued:
Undocumented, that suggests the problem here is some kind of bureaucratic snafu that could happen to anyone, showing up at the DMV without the right paperwork or trying to return something to a department store. It doesn't suggest anything about the act of getting into this country in the first place, by breaking the law and by surreptitiously crossing the border.
But as many as 50 percent of immigrants in the U.S. illegally did not break the law or "surreptitiously cross the border" to enter the country; they overstayed their visas after entering legally (GAO.gov, 5/21/04). So the fact that the term "undocumented" doesn't "suggest anything about...surreptitiously crossing the border" is actually a point in its favor.
Greenfield went on:
Worker, that's one of the most evocative words in our whole political vocabulary. It implies a host of admirable notions, hardworking, working families. And remember Bill Clinton's constant references to people who work hard and play by the rules? There's almost a hint here of the idea that, if you work hard, you must be playing by the rules, even if you broke those rules to get here.
If the term "undocumented worker" implies that such people are hard workers, then it is a generally accurate term. The fact is that the vast majority of people who come or stay here illegally do so for the express purpose of working, often doing demanding physical labor. As economist James K. Galbraith argued (Guardian, 4/13/06), "The fact that their presence may be illegal is a problem not with the people but with the law…. These marches are, mainly, about work. They are about the right to work, and to live from work, in simple dignity, independence and freedom."
Greenfield's stretch to find balance in the "name game" echoes a segment from Dobbs' program a few days earlier (4/10/06), in which Dobbs declared that "the illegal alien lobby is manipulating the language of these protests and demonstrations for much wider and often hidden political purposes." He went on to explain:
Illegal aliens and their supporters say they are marching today in support of what they call immigrant rights. They say they are celebrating the rich immigrant tradition of this country. But they fail to distinguish in their fight for illegal immigration this country's rich tradition of legal, not illegal, immigration.
Actually, until the Civil War, the United States had no immigration laws to speak of—so there's no real distinction between legal and illegal immigration for almost the first century of U.S. history (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, "Overview of INS History"). Federal immigration law began with the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, and immigration policy was explicitly directed toward keeping out undesirable nationalities until 1965—a legacy that is hard to describe as a "rich tradition."
Dobbs turned to correspondent Bill Tucker, who agreed that "language blurs the issue": Referring to the website from an anti-HR 4437 group, he said that "a viewer would think that immigrants and immigrant communities in America are under attack. The website...demands that Congress grant immigrants full rights under the law. Legal immigrants already have those protections."
In fact, under an April 29, 2003 court ruling, legal immigrants do not have the same due process rights as citizens. "Congress may make rules as to aliens that would be unacceptable if applied to citizens," then-Chief Justice William Rehnquist declared in the ruling.
Tucker concluded that "the language is important, because democracies thrive on truth and discussion." Dobbs responded that on his broadcast, "we certainly intend to use language appropriate to the meaning we intend."
That much is clear. In the same program, correspondent Casey Wian reported that the April 10 protesters "may wear white to symbolize peace, but they smell blood now that Congress has failed to pass border security or immigration reform legislation."
Language is indeed important in the immigration debate—which makes it all the more troubling that CNN gives so much space to slanted stories on immigration.
Ask CNN how it plans to balance its outspoken anti-immigration voices
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Minutemen protest tomorrow, first on Canadian soil
VANCOUVER - People in the Fraser Valley will be lining up at the US border tomorrow to protest the Minutemen who patrol their neighbourhoods, making it the first confrontation on Canadian soil.
Kirk Shields-Priddy with the Fraser Valley chapter of Project Ploughshares says it's time Canadians speak up and show the Americans who invade their private properties that they don't want them around.
'In a neighbourhood where children play and people are coming to and from work, people are working at their farms or riding horses, the presence of vigilantes possibly carrying guns is a local safety concern'
The afternoon protest will focus on 0 Avenue from Blaine to Sumas where Minutemen have been patrolling for the past two years.
The civilian border patrolling organization claims to be helping maintain security, but Shields-Priddy says even Americans in Whatcom County have posted signs on their property banning the group.
We dont want any Minuteman Group or association around our communities either in our own Country...
Another Plot of Xenophobia. blah, blah, blah and Apparently he is not reading the scriptures of the bible either. Satan behind illegal immigration,
Utah County Republican claims.
A Utah County Republican delegate may not be catching hell for calling illegal immigration a satanic plot, but he isn't gaining any converts, either.
Utah County GOP Chairwoman Marian Monnahan says District 65 Chairman Don Larsen's resolution - asserting that illegal immigration is the devil's plan to destroy the nation by "stealth invasion" - "in no way" is endorsed by the Republican Party.
"It's just free speech," Monnahan said Thursday. "It's Don's right to do that."
Provo Mayor Lewis Billings, a prominent Utah County Republican, says he understands Larsen's frustration with the federal government's slow response to immigration issues, but he doubts "there will be a lot of support for the resolution in its current form."
Party faithful will get the chance to discuss Larsen's resolution Saturday at the county's GOP convention. Monnahan notes Larsen, not the party, paid to print and distribute 1,300 copies of it for the gathering.
Larsen, who did not return a phone call or an e-mail seeking comment Thursday, is urging the closing of national borders to illegal immigrants to "prevent the destruction of the U.S. by stealth invasion."
"In order for Satan to establish his 'New World Order' and destroy the freedom of all people as predicted in the Scriptures, he must first
destroy the U.S.," his resolution states. "The mostly quiet and unspectacular invasion of illegal immigrants does not focus the attention of the nations the way open warfare does, but is all the more insidious for its stealth and innocuousness."
Members of Utah's Latino community searched for diplomatic words to respond to the measure.
"It sounds like someone who is way out in left field, living in some fantasy world," said Tony Yapias, director of Proyecto Latino de Utah and former head of the state's Office of Hispanic Affairs. "He is just an extremist, radical right-winger."
Rolando Murillo, a volunteer for ACELA (the Latin American Cultural and Education Association of Utah), is startled that anyone would believe such a plot.
"Everyone can have whatever beliefs they want to have," Murillo said. "In the state of Utah, we're grateful that the vast majority of people do not embrace these ideas."
Satan has popped up in Utah County politics before. Last year, failed congressional candidate John Jacob of Eagle Mountain blamed the devil for his flagging campaign.
Senate Majority Leader Curt Bramble, R-Provo, says he hasn't yet read Larsen's resolution, but he, too, expects it to fizzle.
"The majority of Republicans believe that illegal immigration is probably the most critical issue facing Utah today," said Bramble, who will chair Saturday's convention. "I don't think there is going to be a great deal of people attributing the problem to Satan."
U.N. Human rights expert group to identify U.S. treatment of illegal immigrants on the Criminal Detention Center Don Hutto.
A United Nations human rights expert group comes to the United States later this month to investigate a highly criticized Central Texas center for detained immigrant families.
Jorge (HOHR'-hay Bustamante is the U-N Human Rights Council's independent expert on migrant rights.
A U-N spokesman says the he will visit the T. Don Hutto facility in Taylor, Texas, which typically houses about 400 non-criminal immigrants most of them are childrens just awaiting deportation or other outcomes to their immigration cases.
He'll also examine two border areas where U-S officials have announced a crackdown on Mexicans illegally crossing the border. He'll discuss migrant issues with U-S government officials, campaign groups and immigrants during the mission, which includes a stop in Austin.
Bustamante's findings will be presented to the 47-nation rights council at its next session in June.
Friday, April 27, 2007
Shut Down Hutto; Rethink the Detention of Families
Are you agree to those childrens to be treated as a criminals?
What crimen do they committed to be treated such way?.
Are we in a War against the Childrens too?
What a shame for the Goverment and those supporters of Xenophobia against Undocumented Inmigrants.. Shame on you.. Hope you look at the mirror and ask this question. How do I feel if another Country treated my child that way? ...
EDITOR’S NOTE: The Department of Homeland Security’s T. Don Hutto immigration dentention center in Taylor, Texas treats detainees, including children, like criminals. It’s time to close it down and adopt more humane immigrant detention policies. Megan McKenna is senior coordinator of Media and Communications of the Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children, a member of Detention Watch Network, a national coalition of organizations and individuals working to reform the U.S. immigration detention system. IMMIGRATION MATTERS regularly features the views of the nation's leading immigrant rights advocates.
WASHINGTON -- The recent string of raids to net and jail the undocumented is part of a new strategy that targets immigrant families, including asylum-seekers, in the name of national security. The separation of parents from their children that has resulted in many cases has led to a nationwide outcry and a recognition that we need to re-examine how we treat immigrants in detention, particularly families.
The Department of Homeland Security’s replacement of the so-called “catch and release” policy with “catch and return” has resulted in a significant rise in the number of families detained, even those with very young children, for indefinite periods of time, in some cases in prison-like conditions.
When the Department of Homeland Security opened the T. Don Hutto Residential Center in Taylor, Texas, in May 2006, it proudly proclaimed the former prison as a new model for the increased detention of immigrant families. DHS claimed the new facility was “specially equipped to meet family needs” and would put an end to the separation of families in detention, which advocates had decried for years.
They didn’t quite get it right. When the Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service visited Hutto in December, we found that the families held there were treated like criminals.
They lived in cells, complete with open-air toilets, had no privacy, had highly restricted mobility and only an hour of recreation per day, had poor medical care and no prenatal care, and were subject to questionable disciplinary tactics, including threats of separation of children from their parents.
Children had no soft toys and inappropriately received only an hour of education a day — high school-age children were being taught when a child should be toilet trained. (We’ve been told by DHS that education has since increased to 7 hours a day, but the quality is still unclear).
Perhaps the clearest indication of how bad things were at Hutto was when a child secretly slipped a note that said, “Help us and ask us questions,” into the hand of an outside visitor.
Conditions at the other DHS family detention facility, in Berks Country, Penn., are somewhat better — education is more appropriate and families are not living in prison cells, for example—but perhaps the most disturbing aspect of the Berks Family Shelter Care Facility in Leesport, Penn, was the length of stay of some families. One family we met, a mother and her three daughters ages 7, 9 and 14, had been detained for more than 2 years.
Detention clearly takes a heavy toll on families. Every mother interviewed at both facilities cried. Many of the children were sad and depressed. Some feared separation from their parents, a common threat used to ensure that children behaved according to facility rules.
How is it that a nation that prides itself on “family values” has resorted to putting growing numbers of families in an environment that erodes, rather than preserves, family values? Many of the families in detention have already suffered deeply in the journey to the United States and likely in the country from which they fled. They do not deserve to be treated as criminals, particularly the children.
There is no reason to detain families who pose no security risk to the United States. Alternatives to detention exist and should be used more widely. Pilot programs are in place nationwide for adults in immigration proceedings. They should be used for families.
Pre-hearing release programs should be developed. Supervised release and shelter care run by nonprofit social service agencies with expertise in meeting the needs of refugee families should be used.
ICE has piloted one such program since 2004. The “Intensive Supervised Appearance Program” (ISAP) has been successful in enforcing our immigration laws and ensuring appearances in court while also being more cost efficient and humane than traditional detention based on a criminal model.
The Department of Homeland Security has reported a 94 percent appearance rate overall and appearance rates as high as 98 percent in some locations. In this program, specialists are assigned to a limited caseload of detainees and are responsible for monitoring them by using tools such as electronic monitoring, home visits, work visits and reports by telephone.
Until these desperately needed alternatives are in place, the T. Don Hutto facility must be shut down and Berks transformed into a less restrictive facility. Standards should be put in place as soon as possible—none currently exist—and monitoring of the facilities must become routine. We must do this for the sake of children like 9-year-old “Nelly,” an asylum-seeker from Honduras, who sleeps in the bottom bunk of her jail cell at Hutto with her 3-year-old sister and mother, because she is afraid. As Nelly says, “If you are not good, they will take you away from your mom.”
What sort of family value is this? Where Mr. Lou Dobbs, Mr. Tancredo, Mr. Pat Buchanan were strongly agree to have those children's under those conditions.
Keep listen to those Xenophobics and you will continue being suffering the from Alzheimer.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
African Americans, Immigrants Are Allies More Than Adversaries
New America Media, Commentary, Gerald Lenoir, Posted: Mar 21, 2007
EDITOR’S NOTE: African Americans may misunderstand the impact of immigrants on their livelihood, but there are greater reasons for them to realize why they’re really on the same side of the barricades, writes Gerald Lenoir, the coordinator of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) and a longtime antiracist activist. IMMIGRATION MATTERS regularly features the views of the nation's leading immigrant rights advocates.
OAKLAND, Calif. -- The media love to show images of a few African Americans demonstrating together with right-wing groups, such as the Minutemen, against “illegal immigration.”
With classic, blame-the-victim logic, these misguided individuals have ironically cast their lot with modern-day Ku Klux Klansmen. Last April, however, a group of African Americans and black immigrants came together in this city in support of immigrants and to present different view of black-immigrant relations.
“Black Alliance for Just Immigration was founded to support the demands of the immigrant rights movement and to engage African Americans in a dialogue about the underlying issues of race and economic status that frame U.S. immigration policy,” says co-founder the Rev. Phillip Lawson.
“African Americans, with our history of being economically exploited, marginalized and discriminated against, have much in common with people of color who migrate to the United States˜documented or undocumented,” Lawson adds, citing a long history of U.S. prejudice against immigrants of color from Latin America, Africa, Haiti, China and other regions, in favor of Western Europeans.
BAJI aims to organize a core group of African Americans prepared to oppose racism in all of its forms by actively forging coalitions with immigrant communities and organizations to build and sustain a new human rights movement that incorporates all social justice issues, including immigrant rights and civil rights.
There is basis for such coalitions. A public opinion poll conducted by the Pew Charitable Trusts in April 2006 found that a large majority of African Americans feel that immigrants are hard-working (79%) and have strong family values (77%).
African Americans were more than twice as likely as whites (43% vs. 20%) to support public benefits for undocumented immigrants. Two-thirds of whites and 79% of African Americans said that the children of undocumented immigrants should be allowed to attend public schools.
Yet, there’s also basis for misunderstanding among communities. More African Americans (22%) than whites (14%) say that they, or a family member, have lost a job, or not been hired, because an employer hired an immigrant. In fact, 34% of African Americans, as compared to 25% of whites, say immigrants take jobs from U.S. citizens.
Despite the concerns of many African Americans, the high unemployment rate endemic to their communities is not the result of immigration. Rather, its root cause, like that of current mass migration trends, lies in the worldwide phenomenon called globalization.
Since the 1970s, globalization has meant the de-industrialization of the United States, with union jobs in manufacturing being moved to low-wage countries in Latin America and Asia. More recently, it has meant the corporate outsourcing of jobs in the high tech and service industries.
Add to that the historical employer biases against African Americans, the deterioration of the tax base due to white flight from inner cities, and the systematic public and private disinvestment in urban areas, and you have the formula for the devastation of black communities across the U.S.
A clear example of the bilateral and multilateral international policies of the United States that force migrants to risk their lives to come to the U.S. in search of a better life is the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Ratified by the U.S. Congress in 1996, NAFTA forced Mexico to open up its markets to subsidized food crops from the United States.
As a result, 2.8 million Mexican farmers could not compete with cheap U.S. commodities and lost their land and their livelihood (according the New York Times). Many of those farmers and their dependents have migrated to the U.S., looking for employment.
Consequently, African Americans and immigrants of color are pitted against each other for the proverbial crumbs on the table. This competition is a result of the normal operation of an unjust economic system.
The U.S. is now attempting to impose a Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) on countries in the region. Similar, so-called free trade agreements are also being proposed or implemented in many countries in Africa, Asia, South America and the Caribbean.
The Black Alliance for Just Immigration believes that African Americans must join forces with immigrants to fight for economic and social justice for all.
Unite Here Local 11 has set an important precedent for our mutual struggle. In its latest settlement with the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, the 5,000-member, predominantly Latino and immigrant union, won a contract that obligates the hotel to increase wages, maintain an employee health plan and hire more African Americans. This victory is a model for the union’s negotiations with 25 other Los Angeles hotels.
"The tensions between African Americans and immigrants will not be lessened until you increase the quantity and quality of jobs for African Americans," says Steven Pitts, an economist at the University of California Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education. "It's good that one industry is taking baby steps in that direction.”
Pitts maintains that African Americans would benefit if undocumented immigrants were granted legal status, citing recent studies, which show that legalization would improve wages and working conditions for both, immigrant and non-immigrant workers.
The African American struggle for civil and economic rights has never been waged without allies. Conversely, the struggle of immigrants for recognition of their human rights cannot be won without friends and supporters. If they join together, the two movements can take giant strides toward victories now and for future generations
Monday, April 23, 2007
The Dictator. Second worst congressmen.
No politician better embodies the zealotry of the 109th Congress than Sensenbrenner, chairman of the powerful House Judiciary Committee. His solution to hot-button issues is always the same: Lock 'em up. Sensenbrenner has proposed legislation that would turn 12 million undocumented immigrants into felons, subject any adult selling a joint to a teenager to at least ten years in prison, and incarcerate college kids for failing to narc on their hallmates. He also wants to prosecute anyone who utters an obscenity on the air. Big fines just aren't tough enough for indecent broadcasts: As Sensenbrenner told a group of cable executives last year, "I'd prefer using the criminal process rather than the regulatory process."
In addition to his assault on free speech, Sensenbrenner has also played a major role in curtailing civil liberties. He was the lead House sponsor of the Patriot Act, which gives the government broad powers to spy on Americans. Although the measure was intended to stop terrorists, Sensenbrenner insists it should also be used in routine criminal cases.
Sensenbrenner's iron-fisted rule of the judiciary committee was on nationwide display last year during a televised debate over reauthorization of the Patriot Act. When Democrats began discussing the treatment of detainees at Guantanamo, the chairman abruptly ended the meeting and cut off their microphones. When Democrats refused to leave the room, Sensenbrenner's staff pulled the plug on C-Span and turned out the lights. As The Daily Show host Jon Stewart put it, "He literally took his gavel and went home."
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called Sensenbrenner's abuse of power "disgraceful." But Democrats should take heart: The GOP chairman is an equal-opportunity bully. "He treats us all equally," says Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.). "He treats us all like dogs."
Sensenbrenner, whose $10 million fortune stems from his great-grandfather's invention of the Kotex sanitary napkin, won $250,000 in the lottery in 1997. He also enjoys the perks of office: No congressman has racked up more frequent-flier miles on junkets sponsored by corporate lobbyists. While he was enjoying the good life last year, Sensenbrenner took time out to make life tougher on working families, winning approval for a bill that makes it harder for Americans overwhelmed by debt to declare bankruptcy. The congressman refused to consider an exemption from the bill's restrictions for victims of Hurricane Katrina -- and even voted against the aid package designed to help them recover from the disaster.
Tom Tancredo has a 7% rating from the ACLU, the lowest of any 2008 presidential candidate.
Opposed federal legislation written to prevent states from legalizing medical marijuana.
Holds a B+ rating from the NRA.
Abortion and Birth Control:
Opposes Roe v. Wade.
Has received a 0% rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America.
Supported a constitutional amendment banning flag desecration.
Known primarily for his controversial views on immigration.
When a Colorado paper profiled a high school honor student whose family had immigrated from Mexico illegally, Tancredo personally attempted to have the teenager and his family deported.
Has condemned what he refers to as "the cult of multiculturalism," saying that "if we don't control immigration, legal and illegal, we ... will actually have to face the fact that we are no longer a nation at all."
Supports the forcible deportation of all undocumented immigrants.
Opposes citizenship track for undocumented immigrants.
Tends to oppose guest worker programs.
Supports revising the Constitution to revoke the citizenship of infants born in the United States to undocumented parents.
Lesbian and Gay Rights:
Supported the Federal Marriage Amendment.
Supported legislation that would have banned joint adoption by same-sex couples living in Washington, DC.
Race and Equal Opportunity:
Receives unwelcome praise from leaders in the white supremacist movement, who regard him as an ideal candidate.
Has close ties with several organizations that have been classified as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Refers to Miami, which is 66% Latino, as "a Third World country."
Was one of only 33 members of Congress to oppose renewal of the Voting Rights Act in 2006.
Has publicly called for the abolition of the Congressional Black Caucus, as well as Hispanic caucuses in both parties.
War on Terror:
Has called for nuclear strikes on Saudi Arabia in the event of another al-Qaeda attack. When asked about the likely civilian death toll, Tancredo responded: "When we bombed Hiroshima, when we bombed Dresden, we punished a lot of people who were not necessarily [guilty] ... You do things in war that are ugly."
Tom Head's Take:
Within a matter of minutes, I will start getting emails from angry Tancredo supporters who will tell me in forceful terms that this profile is unfair and inaccurate. I wish it were, but the truth is that you're looking at the scariest candidate in the 2008 race.
Friday, April 13, 2007
Another Lou Dobb Stunt... That is still the most ridiculous statement I've ever heard. Both of these windbags are there just to keep our attention away from the REAL PROBLEMS.
Is Tancredo the Best the Republicans Party Can Offer?
You should be looking for somebody else.
Tancredo is a bully and a hypocrite. He got national attention after he learned about a 14-year-old honor student who had let slip to the media that his parents were undocumented aliens. Tancredo promptly called the federal immigration authorities in an apparent effort to get the boy and his family deported.
Tancredo is an irresponsible blowhard. Practically while the crime scene tape was still up, he was frantically sending out press releases trying to capitalize on the tragic 2005 murder of Denver police officer Donnie Young by an illegal immigrant who escaped back to Mexico. His performance utterly disgusted Denver's crime fighting authorities, who went so far as to criticize him for hampering their efforts to solve the case and get the murderer back to the U.S. He immediately introduced resolutions in Congress - which, like anything else Tancredo touches, didn't accomplish anything but were merely designed to look good on a press release - to supposedly force Mexico to extradite the murderer back to the U.S. While others worked diplomatically and professionally to try to get the problem solved, Tancredo acted like a bull in a china shop.
Tancredo's "chicken hawk" attitude on national defense sickens and disgusts fellow Republicans like Colorado Secretary of State Mike Coffman, a decorated Vietnam and Gulf War veteran who refused to share the stage with Tancredo at a pro-Iraq-war rally - since Tancredo avoided service in Vietnam by getting a medical deferment for mental health reasons. Despite not having served in the military, Tancredo likes nothing more than running around with a U.S.S. Ronald Reagan "gimme cap" on his head: a reminder of his Congressional tour of the warship. He even has the gall to question the personal courage of his most recent opponent, decorated Marine and Navy veteran Bill Winter.
Tancredo is a leech. The power of federal incumbents to get re-elected is well known. Only a small fraction of incumbents in any district ever lose an election. Tancredo's district is normally a safe Republican seat, and it will get even safer for Tancredo over the years now that he has actually broken his term limits pledge and been elected to a fourth term Ufffff Another Hugo Chavez???. Tancredo now has job security unlike anything remotely enjoyed by the vast majority of his forgotten constituents.
Unless, that is, the voters finally get wise and decide that somebody else could do a better, more effective job for the district's inhabitants, and that Tancredo is all hat and no cattle.
Tancredo panders to racists. He likes to talk in apocalyptic terms about the forces of "radical multiculturalism" threatening to knock down America's doors. For example, according to commentator Paul Jacob, Tancredo recently said: "There are places right now in East L.A. and southern Texas that you would honestly - there is absolutely nothing that you would say makes them part of the United States of America. They are a separate country - it is a separate country - right now, at this moment." (Mr. Jacob responds: "Uh . . . how about a desire for freedom and to build a better life, Congressman Tancredo? Isn't that what makes these people Americans - regardless of the language they speak or their race or creed?") Tancredo's support by racist groups and heavy funding by known racists was exposed by the Bill Winter campaign in 2006.
Tancredo disparages American Muslims in general: "Now how many people in their heart of hearts in (the Islamic Community) want to see the demise of this country? How many would cheer, not out loud maybe, but in their hearts when things like 9/11 occur? I'll tell you; it's a majority." (Mr. Jacob replies: "Cripes. I guess if you can't prove your lineage going back to the Mayflower, you're some kind of traitor.")
Of coure, it's attitudes like that - all Muslims are bad - that make it easy for Tancredo to slip into mind-blowing "hypothetical" suggestions to "take out" Islamic "holy sites" in response to a terrorist attack on America. Tancredo is truly at war, in his heart, with the entire 1.5 billion Muslims in the world, including patriotic American citizens - not just the few extremists who are responsible for terrorism.
Tancredo pandered to racists by attending a rally in South Carolina in 2006, speaking from a Confederate-flag-bedecked podium to an audience that included people in Confederate uniforms and "redshirts" from a local white-supremacist group, and even - he admits this! - joining his audience in singing "Dixie"! No wonder racist groups like American Vanguard and Stormfront absolutely love him.
Tancredo is out of touch with what his constituents need. Most of Tancredo's constituents are in no imminent danger of having illegal aliens at their doorsteps. (Unless, like Tancredo, they've actually paid such aliens to remodel their homes). If Tancredo wants to be a modern-day, single-issue crusader, he can damn well do so on his own nickel, and instead let someone else represent the many, varied needs of the 6th Congressional District's residents. At a time when Colorado is losing more tax money to Washington than it gets back, maybe, just maybe, his district's voters will someday conclude that Colorado can afford "losing" Tancredo and his paltry few years of Congressional seniority so that a more effective and trustworthy candidate can replace him...
But don't count on it anytime soon. Tancredo will likely be in office for years to come, feeding at the public trough, occasionally uttering controversial statements so as to stay in the public eye... yet continuing to accomplish nothing of substance.
Want more details? Visit the Tancredo Watch blog for the continuing pathetic saga that is Congressman Tom Tancredo.
Tancredo support in N.H. shifts by 50 percent!
But in the wrong direction.
The latest poll for likely Republican New Hampshire primary voters has seen Tom Tancredo's support drop by 50 percent in the last three months: from a meager 2% in January to a humiliating last-place finish of 1% in April.
At this rate, Tancredo will soon be in negative numbers.
Tancredo trails Huckabee, Paul, Hunter: every last one of 'em. And that's with Pat Buchanan's sister Bay feverishly working on Tom's behalf, trying to re-create some of that 1992 Pat Buchanan "culture war" magic.
Heck, non-candidate Fred Thompson - whose only claim to fame since 2002 is that he plays a fine, baritone-voiced prosecutor on "CSI" - has six times Tancredo's support.
Sorry, all you Tancredo supporters out there who so feverishly email me, assuring me that Tancredo is going to roll to victory in 2008. Ain't gonna happen. Save your money.
Polling Data Voting intention - 2008 New Hampshire Republican primary
Apr. 2007 Jan. 2007
Mitt Romney 25% 13%
John McCain 25% 26%
Rudy Giuliani 19% 20%
Fred Thompson 6% --
Ron Paul 2% 1%
Chuck Hagel 1% 3%
Mike Huckabee 1% --
Duncan Hunter 1% 1%
Tom Tancredo 1% 2%
Condoleezza Rice -- 7%
Newt Gingrich -- 6%
George Pataki -- 1%
Undecided 17% 15%
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Ku Klux Klan Rebounds With New Focus On Immigration, ADL Reports
New York, NY, February 6, 2007 … The Ku Klux Klan, which just a few years ago seemed static or even moribund compared to other white supremacist movements such as neo-Nazis, experienced "a surprising and troubling resurgence" during the past year due to the successful exploitation of hot-button issues including immigration, gay marriage and urban crime, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
The League, which monitors the activities of racist hate groups and reports its findings to law enforcement and policymakers, has documented a noticeable spike in activity by Klan chapters across the country. The KKK believes that the U.S. is "drowning" in a tide of non-white immigration, controlled and orchestrated by Jews, and is vigorously trying to bring this message to Americans concerned or fearful about immigration.
"If any one single issue or trend can be credited with re-energizing the Klan, it is the debate over immigration in America," said Deborah M. Lauter, ADL Civil Rights Director. "Klan groups have witnessed a surprising and troubling resurgence by exploiting fears of an immigration explosion, and the debate over immigration has, in turn, helped to fuel an increase in Klan activity, with new groups sprouting in parts of the country that have not seen much activity."
The full ADL report includes a slide show of recent Klan meetings and rallies and a state-by-state listing of active Klan chapters, or "Klaverns," across the country.
ADL has identified the following states as being notable for active or growing Klan chapters:
SOUTH: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas
MIDWEST: Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio
GREAT PLAINS: Iowa and Nebraska
MID-ATLANTIC: Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia
The troubling Klan resurgence has manifested itself in a number of ways:
Longstanding groups have increased their activity and experienced a rapid expansion in size.
New groups have appeared, causing racial tensions in communities previously untroubled by racial issues. They hold anti-immigration rallies and recruitment drives and distribute racist literature with a new emphasis on the immigration issue, and Hispanics.
Klan groups have become more active in parts of the country that had not seen much activity in recent years, including the Great Plains States such as Iowa and Nebraska, and Mid-Atlantic states such as Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Klan groups increasingly are cooperating with neo-Nazi groups, especially the Minnesota-based National Socialist Movement.
The Klan has adopted new publicity tricks, such as sending racist fliers to school teachers during Black History Month, and has embraced the Internet as a means to spread anti-Semitism and racism. One group, the Empire Knights of the KKK, runs an Internet-based radio station, dubbed "KKK Radio," which broadcasts white power music and racist and anti-Semitic propaganda.
Reinventing the Klan
"Although some Klansmen may still hold cross-burnings dressed in robes and hoods, today's young Klansmen are more likely to look virtually indistinguishable from racist skinheads or neo-Nazis," said Ms. Lauter. "Today's Klansmen may be as likely to gather at white power music concerts or socialize at so-called 'unity rallies' with other white supremacists, as to participate in ritualistic cross burnings in the rural wilderness."
Since the early 1990s, Klan groups have become increasingly "nazified," with members embracing and immersing themselves in neo-Nazi and racist skinhead subcultures, adopting the music, dress, tattoos and imagery of neo-Nazis, according to ADL. Another trend has been "the collusion and cross-fertilization" of Klan chapters and other major American racist groups.
In March 2006, for example, about 80 members of the National Socialist Movement and various Klan groups met in Laurens, South Carolina, to discuss ways to increase cooperation. Groups on hand for the event included the National Socialist Movement, Aryan Nations, the Griffin Knights of the KKK, the Teutonic Knights of the KKK and the Yahweh Knights of the KKK.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
The Project for the New American Century.
The People versus the Powerful is the oldest story in human history. At no
point in history have the Powerful wielded so much control. At no point in
history has the active and informed involvement of the People, all of them,
been more absolutely required.
William Rivers Pitt: 02/25/03
The Project for the New American Century, or PNAC, is a Washington-based
think tank created in 1997. Above all else, PNAC desires and demands one
thing: The establishment of a global American empire to bend the will of
all nations. They chafe at the idea that the United States, the last
remaining superpower, does not do more by way of economic and military
force to bring the rest of the world under the umbrella of a new
socio-economic Pax Americana.
The fundamental essence of PNAC's ideology can be found in a White Paper
produced in September of 2000 entitled "Rebuilding America's Defenses:
Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century." In it, PNAC outlines
what is required of America to create the global empire they envision.
According to PNAC, America must:
* Reposition permanently based forces to Southern Europe, Southeast Asia
and the Middle East;
* Modernize U.S. forces, including enhancing our fighter aircraft,
submarine and surface fleet capabilities;
* Develop and deploy a global missile defense system, and develop a
strategic dominance of space;
* Control the "International Commons" of cyberspace;
* Increase defense spending to a minimum of 3.8 percent of gross domestic
product, up from the 3 percent currently spent.
Most ominously, this PNAC document described four "Core Missions" for the
American military. The two central requirements are for American forces to
"fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theater wars," and
to "perform the 'constabulary' duties associated with shaping the security
environment in critical regions." Note well that PNAC does not want America
to be prepared to fight simultaneous major wars. That is old school. In
order to bring this plan to fruition, the military must fight these wars
one way or the other to establish American dominance for all to see.
Why is this important? After all, wacky think tanks are a cottage industry
in Washington, DC. They are a dime a dozen. In what way does PNAC stand
above the other groups that would set American foreign policy if they could?
Two events brought PNAC into the mainstream of American government: the
disputed election of George W. Bush, and the attacks of September 11th.
When Bush assumed the Presidency, the men who created and nurtured the
imperial dreams of PNAC became the men who run the Pentagon, the Defense
Department and the White House. When the Towers came down, these men saw,
at long last, their chance to turn their White Papers into substantive
Vice President Dick Cheney is a founding member of PNAC, along with Defense
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Defense Policy Board chairman Richard Perle.
Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz is the ideological father of the
group. Bruce Jackson, a PNAC director, served as a Pentagon official for
Ronald Reagan before leaving government service to take a leading position
with the weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin.
PNAC is staffed by men who previously served with groups like Friends of
the Democratic Center in Central America, which supported America's bloody
gamesmanship in Nicaragua and El Salvador, and with groups like The
Committee for the Present Danger, which spent years advocating that a
nuclear war with the Soviet Union was "winnable."
PNAC has recently given birth to a new group, The Committee for the
Liberation of Iraq, which met with National Security Advisor Condoleezza
Rice in order to formulate a plan to "educate" the American populace about
the need for war in Iraq. CLI has funneled millions of taxpayer dollars to
support the Iraqi National Congress and the Iraqi heir presumptive, Ahmed
Chalabi. Chalabi was sentenced in absentia by a Jordanian court in 1992 to
22 years in prison for bank fraud after the collapse of Petra Bank, which
he founded in 1977. Chalabi has not set foot in Iraq since 1956, but his
Enron-like business credentials apparently make him a good match for the
Bush administration's plans.
PNAC's "Rebuilding America's Defenses" report is the institutionalization
of plans and ideologies that have been formulated for decades by the men
currently running American government. The PNAC Statement of Principles is
signed by Cheney, Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld, as well as by Eliot Abrams, Jeb
Bush, Bush's special envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad, and many
others. William Kristol, famed conservative writer for the Weekly Standard,
is also a co-founder of the group. The Weekly Standard is owned by Ruppert
Murdoch, who also owns international media giant Fox News.
The desire for these freshly empowered PNAC men to extend American hegemony
by force of arms across the globe has been there since day one of the Bush
administration, and is in no small part a central reason for the Florida
electoral battle in 2000. Note that while many have said that Gore and Bush
are ideologically identical, Mr. Gore had no ties whatsoever to the fellows
at PNAC. George W. Bush had to win that election by any means necessary,
and PNAC signatory Jeb Bush was in the perfect position to ensure the rise
to prominence of his fellow imperialists. Desire for such action, however,
is by no means translatable into workable policy. Americans enjoy their
comforts, but don't cotton to the idea of being some sort of Neo-Rome.
On September 11th, the fellows from PNAC saw a door of opportunity open
wide before them, and stormed right through it.
Bush released on September 20th 2001 the "National Security Strategy of the
United States of America." It is an ideological match to PNAC's "Rebuilding
America's Defenses" report issued a year earlier. In many places, it uses
exactly the same language to describe America's new place in the world.
Recall that PNAC demanded an increase in defense spending to at least 3.8%
of GDP. Bush's proposed budget for next year asks for $379 billion in
defense spending, almost exactly 3.8% of GDP.
In August of 2002, Defense Policy Board chairman and PNAC member Richard
Perle heard a policy briefing from a think tank associated with the Rand
Corporation. According to the Washington Post and The Nation, the final
slide of this presentation described "Iraq as the tactical pivot, Saudi
Arabia as the strategic pivot, and Egypt as the prize" in a war that would
purportedly be about ridding the world of Saddam Hussein's weapons. Bush
has deployed massive forces into the Mideast region, while simultaneously
engaging American forces in the Philippines and playing nuclear chicken
with North Korea. Somewhere in all this lurks at least one of the "major
theater wars" desired by the September 2000 PNAC report.
Iraq is but the beginning, a pretense for a wider conflict. Donald Kagan, a
central member of PNAC, sees America establishing permanent military bases
in Iraq after the war. This is purportedly a measure to defend the peace in
the Middle East, and to make sure the oil flows. The nations in that
region, however, will see this for what it is: a jump-off point for
American forces to invade any nation in that region they choose to. The
American people, anxiously awaiting some sort of exit plan after America
defeats Iraq, will see too late that no exit is planned.
All of the horses are traveling together at speed here. The defense
contractors who sup on American tax revenue will be handsomely paid for
arming this new American empire. The corporations that own the news media
will sell this eternal war at a profit, as viewership goes through the
stratosphere when there is combat to be shown. Those within the
administration who believe that the defense of Israel is contingent upon
laying waste to every possible aggressor in the region will have their
dreams fulfilled. The PNAC men who wish for a global Pax Americana at
gunpoint will see their plans unfold. Through it all, the bankrollers from
the WTO and the IMF will be able to dictate financial terms to the entire
planet. This last aspect of the plan is pivotal, and is best described in
the newly revised version of Greg Palast's masterpiece, "The Best Democracy
Money Can Buy."
There will be adverse side effects. The siege mentality average Americans
are suffering as they smother behind yards of plastic sheeting and duct
tape will increase by orders of magnitude as our aggressions bring forth
new terrorist attacks against the homeland. These attacks will require the
implementation of the newly drafted Patriot Act II, an augmentation of the
previous Act that has profoundly sharper teeth. The sun will set on the
Constitution and Bill of Rights.
The American economy will be ravaged by the need for increased defense
spending, and by the aforementioned "constabulary" duties in Iraq,
Afghanistan and elsewhere. Former allies will turn on us. Germany, France
and the other nations resisting this Iraq war are fully aware of this game
plan. They are not acting out of cowardice or because they love Saddam
Hussein, but because they mean to resist this rising American empire, lest
they face economic and military serfdom at the hands of George W. Bush.
Richard Perle has already stated that France is no longer an American ally.
As the eagle spreads its wings, our rhetoric and their resistance will
become more agitated and dangerous.
Many people, of course, will die. They will die from war and from want,
from famine and disease. At home, the social fabric will be torn in ways
that make the Reagan nightmares of crack addiction, homelessness and AIDS
seem tame by comparison.
This is the price to be paid for empire, and the men of PNAC who now
control the fate and future of America are more than willing to pay it. For
them, the benefits far outweigh the liabilities.
The plan was running smoothly until those two icebergs collided. Millions
and millions of ordinary people are making it very difficult for Bush's
international allies to keep to the script. PNAC may have designs for the
control of the "International Commons" of the Internet, but for now it is
the staging ground for a movement that would see empire take a back seat to
a wise peace, human rights, equal protection under the law, and the
preponderance of a justice that will, if properly applied, do away forever
with the anger and hatred that gives birth to terrorism in the first place.
Tommaso Palladini of Milan perhaps said it best as he marched with his
countrymen in Rome. "You fight terrorism," he said, "by creating more
justice in the world."
The People versus the Powerful is the oldest story in human history. At no
point in history have the Powerful wielded so much control. At no point in
history has the active and informed involvement of the People, all of them,
been more absolutely required. The tide can be stopped, and the men who
desire empire by the sword can be thwarted. It has already begun, but it
must not cease. These are men of will, and they do not intend to fail.
William Rivers Pitt is a New York Times bestselling author of two books -
"War On Iraq" (with Scott Ritter) available now from Context Books, and
"The Greatest Sedition is Silence," available in May 2003 from Pluto Press.
He teaches high school in Boston, MA.
Scott Lowery contributed research to this report.
Why is the American press silent on the report of more than 655,000 Iraqi deaths?
Most of them innocent kids. edited by me. Respond to this Mr. Tancredo, Mr. Lou Dobbs, Mr. Pat Buchannan. Why???
The US media is virtually silent on a new scientific study that estimates the Iraqi death toll from the US war at more than 655,000. The study, conducted by Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health and funded by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was posted Wednesday on the web site of the British medical journal, the Lancet.
The study is the only systematic estimate of the number of Iraqi civilians and military personnel to have died as a result of the US invasion and occupation to be brought to the attention of the American and international public.
Unlike previous estimates, which were based on reviews of media reports or tallies made by the US-backed Iraqi government, the Johns Hopkins study was carried out by Iraqi physicians who interviewed—often at great personal risk—nearly 2,000 families spread across the country, utilizing standard and widely used statistical methods to arrive at an objective estimate of the death toll from the war and occupation. The vast majority of the reported deaths were substantiated by death certificates.
The study concluded with a 95 percent degree of certainty that the number of “excess deaths” in Iraq since the invasion—the number of people who have died in excess of the number that would be expected on the basis of pre-invasion mortality rates—is between 393,000 and 943,000. The figure of 655,000 is given as the most likely number. This represents an astonishing 2.5 percent of the entire Iraqi population.
The researchers further estimated that about 600,000 of the deaths were due to violence in some form, including gunshots, air strikes and bombings. They concluded that US and allied military forces directly caused at least 31 percent—or 186,000—of the violent deaths.
Some 336,000 people, or 56 percent of those killed in violent actions since the invasion, died from gunshot wounds. The study also found that the number of violent deaths in Iraq has steadily increased every year since the invasion. In the period from June 2005 to June 2006, the researchers found a nearly four-fold increase in the mortality rate relative to pre-invasion levels.
There can be no legitimate doubts about the credibility of the study. Lancet is one of the oldest and most prestigious peer-reviewed medical publications in the world. The Johns Hopkins public health school is the largest in the world, and regularly ranks as the top public health school in the United States. The journal article was reviewed and approved for publication by four independent scientific experts in the area.
It is difficult to overestimate the significance of the report, even if one assumes its low-end estimate of 393,000 Iraqi deaths to be correct. It demonstrates that the American intervention in Iraq has produced a social and humanitarian catastrophe of historical dimensions, with vast political implications not only in the Middle East, but throughout the world and, above all, in the United States itself.
By any objective standard, the report merits front-page coverage in every major newspaper in the country and extensive discussion and reporting on television news broadcasts. Yet the response of the US press has been to virtually ignore the report and limit its coverage to news accounts on inside pages which report, uncritically, unsubstantiated statements by government and military officials dismissing the report as “not credible.”
In burying the story, the New York Times and Washington Post have played a particularly significant role. The original articles published by these newspapers on Wednesday were relegated to the inside pages: in the Times on page 8, in the Post on page 12.
The Post decided to bury the story in its back pages despite the fact that the article it published vouched for the scientific validity the Johns Hopkins study, noting that it, and an earlier report on Iraqi deaths published by the same team, “are the only ones to estimate mortality in Iraq using scientific methods.” The “cluster sampling” technique used by the scientists, the newspaper wrote, “is used to estimate mortality in famines and after natural disasters.”
Minimal coverage in the press continued on Thursday, despite the fact that the issue was raised by a reporter at a White House press conference on Wednesday. President Bush contemptuously dismissed the report, stating that it was not credible. He was not challenged and the question was not followed up by any of the other reporters at the news conference.
Bush’s remarks were followed by statements from various supporters and architects of the war similarly dismissing the Johns Hopkins study’s casualty figures. General George Casey, the commander of US forces in Iraq, admitted that he had not bothered to read the report, but nevertheless concluded that it did not have “much credibility at all.”
A spokesman for British Prime Minister Tony Blair said that the figure of 655,000 killed is “not one we believe to be anywhere near accurate.” Iraqi government officials likewise declared that the figure was “exaggerated.”
On Thursday, neither the Times nor the Post published an editorial on the Johns Hopkins report, or even a follow-up article on the report and the response of the Bush administration.
There was not one challenge in the establishment media to the official attempts to disparage the report. Instead, the minimal coverage on Thursday was largely devoted to reporting the statements by Bush, Casey, Blair and the Iraqi stooge regime. The Los Angeles Times, for example, published a story on its inside pages, “Iraq Disputes Claim of 600,000 War Dead,” reporting the statements by the Iraqi government. The newspaper added its voice to the chorus by remarking that it had conducted its own survey and reached a figure of 50,000 killed.
The attempts to discredit the report are not backed up by any factual or methodological arguments. The administration and its supporters assume, correctly, that they can simply make unsubstantiated claims and the media will not challenge them.
Lee Roberts, a co-author of the study, noted in an interview with the radio program Democracy Now! on Thursday that the cluster survey approach the researchers used “is the standard way of measuring mortality in very poor countries where the government isn’t very functional or in times of war.” He pointed out that both the United Nations and the US government have used the method in determining mortality, including after the Kosovo and Afghan wars. “Most ironically,” he said, “the US government has been spending millions of dollars per year... to train NGOs and UN workers to do cluster surveys to measure mortality in times of wars and disasters.”
With its silence, the media is once again taking its cue from the government. It does not challenge Bush’s ignorant and cold-blooded dismissal of the Johns Hopkins report, just as it did not challenge Bush’s offhand remark at a December, 2005 press conference that 30,000 Iraqis, “more or less,” had been killed since the March, 2003 US invasion—an absurdly low estimate.
The corporate-owned-and-controlled media have buried this story because they do not want the American people to know the truth of what is happening in Iraq.
They want to conceal this truth—as they have done consistently since the war began—because they are complicit in a massive war crime in Iraq, and continue to support the bloodletting by the US military.
The Johns Hopkins report, by revealing the colossal dimensions of the death and destruction wreaked by the United States in Iraq, shatters the edifice of lies that has been erected in an attempt to deceive the people and justify the war—from the phony claims of weapons of mass destruction and Iraq-Al Qaeda ties, to the current claims of a war for “freedom and democracy” and the overarching deception of the “war on terrorism.”
The report inevitably highlights the culpability of the media itself, which has combined an acceptance of unprecedented censorship by the military with self-censorship and deliberate misinformation in order to whitewash an imperialist war for oil and geo-strategic domination of the Middle East.
The scale of mass killing revealed in the Johns Hopkins study published by the Lancet stands as an indictment of the entire American ruling elite, both of its political parties—Democratic no less than Republican—and all of its official institutions, among which the media has played a particularly sordid role.
What the corporate, political and media establishment fear are the explosive social and political implications of growing popular revulsion over the crimes of US imperialism in Iraq and around the world, combined with mounting anger over relentless attacks on working people’s social conditions and democratic rights. The entire political system is being exposed and discredited before the eyes of the people. Such a process inevitably brings with it revolutionary consequences
Why we are not hearing from Mr. Lou Dobbs anything about this mass killing or we are not supposed to have a war against Saddam Hussein and his regime?
So why many of thousands of innocent people from Irak have been killed and nobody said anything or feel sorrow for their families. Why Mr. Lou Dobbs?
Face the fear, people
Let's just put it out there -- we're screwed. Governmentally, socially, globally, militarily, economically etc. ...
Why do you blame undocumented inmigrants for being screwed.
So what do we do about it? Stock supplies and watch the news. I personally love the show House but others like American Idol.
Are we insane? Do we not know the dangers facing us? Have we been dumbed down to the point of incoherence?
You want to know the answer? It's NO
-- we know exactly what's happening. But there is one HUGE elephant in the room.
It's fine for me to protest, as long as the cops don't beat me down. It's fine for me to write my congressperson, so long as I don't piss someone off and have someone in a suit with a gun and handcuffs knocking at my door. It's fine to argue with my Bush-lovin' neighbor, as long as tensions aren't too high and one of us doesn't end up in the morgue.
We're afraid of what might be coming to us if we act, and we're afraid of what we might do if we’re confronted. Will we risk our kids to child services if we get arrested and go to jail? Will we give up our homes? Can we physically fight back against a cop if we’re illegally threatened? Will we risk being killed for what we believe? Can we spend months, even years, in a courtroom or "holding cell"?
Now what? Our "elected officials" aren't listening. The staff at every media outlet in America are more worried about their paychecks and possible Homeland Security troubles than telling the truth. The quality of our lives is circling the drain.
We now have to look in the mirror and face our fears. We have to make those plans. Who will take care of our kids if we're detained? Who will pay our bills or mortgage or provide shelter if our accounts are frozen? What lawyer will we have on speed dial if confronted and have to fight back? What lawyer will we have for the long term if we are detained for speaking our minds? Which one of our friends knows the laws and law libraries of each state to give us a fighting chance? Who will bury us if we fight and don't live to see the outcome?
All the underground basement supplies and emergency shelters in the world won't help, if we're detained or in some encampment for an "undetermined period of time." We know how this game ends. We watched Hitler play it, and Nero long before him.
Face the fear, people. Make the hard choices. Make the contingency plans -- for very shortly time will run out. Then there will be no "one phone call" privilege. The beasts are at our doorsteps.
Feel the fear. But fight anyway.
Police raid finds a plant of growing operations.
Except: Guns drawn, police serving a marijuana search warrant at a Pullman apartment found green leafy plant material. It just wasn't the kind they normally find in residences in the college town.
It was tomato plants.
In America, your home can be raided by police, solely because it's alleged that you possess a heat lamp for growing plants -- an item so common it's sold in virtually all hardware stores, garden shops, at Target stores, etc.
If America is not yet a police state, then Police Commander Chris Tennant, who thinks possession of a heat lamp is "credible" evidence of a crime, will be reprimanded or fired.
If America is not yet a police state, then the judge who issued a search warrant on the basis of a heat lamp allegation will be removed from the bench.
Or, if America is a police state, then this raid was nothing much newsworthy, and this will probably be the last you'll hear of it.
As an addendum, please note, we've reprinted the entire news item, as it originally appeared on the website of KNDO/KNDU, twin TV stations in the Tri-Cities and Yakima, Washington.
The public doesn't get to know the names of the people whose apartment was raided.
We don't get to know the name of the judge who OK'd a search warrant based solely, according to the article, on a landlord's claim that he'd seen "a specialized plant growing lamp inside a closet."
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Agent Ramos needs Support.
Warning!: Please do not donate to Chris Simcox, MCDC, Minuteman PAC, his group is not part of the Minuteman Project or other Minutemen groups who support the Agents. Thank you. -- Joe Loya -- http://www.agentramos.com
April 3, 2007
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF AMERICA'S HERO:
Agent Ramos is in a federal prison cell - about the size of a bathroom - 23 hours a day. There is a small window; but it is painted dark gray. He is allowed out of his cell one hour a day "for a walk."
Reading material is forbidden. The family and advocates have pleaded with prison officials to let Agent Ramos be provided with reading material. But prison staff state: they must enforce the rule: NO READING MATERIAL in solitary confinement.
The 911 Families sought to present Agent Ramos with a Holy Bible; prison officials stated Agent Ramos, in solitary confinement, could not receive the Holy Bible.
The 911 Families and members of congress contacted prison officials. After extreme pressure, the prison allowed Agent Ramos to receive the Bible. Agent Ramos is allowed no photos in his cell...sleeps on a cot. Agent Ramos can only read one book, the Bible, but:
AGENT RAMOS CAN READ ALL OF THE MAIL SENT TO HIM!
HERE IS THE REQUEST DIRECTLY FROM AGENT RAMOS BELOW:
Agent Ramos would like you to send him letters! His wife, Monica, and father-in-law, Joe, said yesterday: "PLEASE write to Agent Ramos America."
Monica said Agent Ramos used to receive about 50 letters a day - now he is only getting 10 letters a day. Or less. Agent Ramos said the prison staff gage how muchAmerica supports him via his mail volume.
PLEASE write Agent Ramos once a week or more! PLEASE get your children and grandchildren to send Agent Ramos a letter! Have your friends and relatives write a letter - hold an AGENT RAMOS LETTER WRITING party.
You cannot send him a postcard: ONLY a letter in an envelope.
The letters must be addressed EXACTLY as follows:
Ignacio Ramos #58079-180 FCI
Yazoo City Medium Federal Correctional Institution
P. O. Box 5888
Yazoo City, MS 39194
He's a coward. He is very tough when he has a shotgun and he's in the middle of a desert intimidating defenseless immigrant families, but when it comes to being challenged by peaceful protesters and by people who understand this man and his organization for what they are, he runs away