Thursday, May 24, 2007

A Quarter of Americans Want to Open the Borders to All Immigrants

According to a New York Times/CBS News Poll. The poll was mostly disappointing from an immigrant rights standpoints with the press using the result to promote the horrible compromise Senate bill on immigration.

Most disappointing to me was this: "Seventy percent of those polled said recent illegal immigrants tend to weaken the United States economy by using public services without paying corresponding taxes." Of course this is not supported by evidence, but the right-wingers have made that lie stick somehow.

Most encouraging was this: "a quarter of respondents saying the United States should open its borders to all immigrants." That's a sizable base to work with for all those trying to organize the immigrant rights movement and fight off the Minutemen. What's most incredible about this statistic is that I doubt a single representative in Washington would agree.

Monday, May 21, 2007

More on the Alleged "Islamic Terrorists" Planning an Attack on Fort Dix

See my original post here.

Nicole Colson adds: "The media's reports on the arrests immediately deemed the six as 'Muslim fanatics' and 'Jersey jihadists.' But some of the men were known to be not particularly religious. In fact, according to the New York Times, investigators have quietly admitted that 'there is little indication that they were devout--or even practicing--Muslims.'"

She also talks about how one of the defendants actually called police at one point to report possible terrorist activity by one of the Feds' paid informants.

Then there is this about a study conducted by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse: "In all, the study found that in nearly 6,500 cases treated as 'terrorism' investigations by the Justice Department since September 11, only about one in five defendants have been convicted. And the average sentence for those convicted in 'international terrorism' cases was just 20 to 28 days, and many received no jail time at all, the study found. The reason: Many of these cases involve lesser charges like immigration violations or fraud."

Again, this is all particularly alarming since the government (and the corporate media) seems to be treating the more obviously terroristic activity of the Alabama Free Militia quite differently. The militia members actually had a stockpile of weapons and explosives and informants weren't necessary to encourage their plot to massacre Mexicans.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Israeli Thugs Destroy Palestinian Orchard for Illegal Settlement Sewer Pipe

Read the story here.

See photos here.

Watch the video.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Supporters of Israeli Apartheid and Occupation Lay It On Thick

Couldn't they come up with one more piece of propoganda to squeeze on this billboard?

This is an ad in response to ads that have been installed in Washington DC for the June 10-11 mobilization to protest 40 years of Israel's illegal military occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip. Apparently there are two different counter-ad campaigns.

This particular ad is racist and horribly misleading.

1. Where did they get this photograph? How does it compare to the kids in the U.S. who dress up like Rambo for Halloween? O.K. I'm getting old, but I know there is some similar, more modern, American hero that likes to slaughter "bad guys" with automatic weapons that American and possibly Israeli children emulate. I mean, who taught our soldiers to torture prisoners at Abu Ghraib? Who taught Israeli soldiers how to humiliate women and children at checkpoints?

2. Does this child really know what he wants to be when he grows up? In fact because of the Israeli occupation and policies in the Middle East, the hopes and dreams of Palestinian children are very limited. This is the same kind of racist nonsense that claims African American children want to grow up to become drug dealers - and it's all because of their flawed culture (or worse).

3. There is little proof that six-year-olds in Palestine are raised to dream of suicide, etc. What seems to make more sense is that decades of humiliation, apartheid and war might drive people to acts of desperation. Perhaps if Palestinians had the billions of dollars in aid from the U.S. that Israel does they would fight the occupation in more civilized ways - with cluster bombs.

4. They DO NOT target Israel because it shares America's values - unless you count the militaristic, racist and imperialist values of our politicians and their peers at the Pentagon. All of the Americans I know who have visited Palestine have been treated with greater respect and hospitality than they are used to. Palestinians target Israel because they long for freedom, not because they hate it.

5. Israel struggles, but only to win its own war OF terror. It kicked people off their land and continues to wage war against the Palestinians and its other neighbors. It humiliates and murders Palestinians and acts like a victim when anyone dares to fight back. Americans will be safer when we stop supporting the Israeli regime and when we recognize that Palestinians deserve compensation for Israeli war crimes, and the same dignity and freedom that Israelis enjoy.

6. "Israel the frontline of the free world." Nice. How much did that slogan cost? I can see the Fox News graphic already.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Lou Dobbs Spreading Unfounded Fear Of Immigrants

AlterNet is reporting on Dobbs' false claims about leprosy. They go into detail about how wrong the numbers are - his lie of 7,000 in the last 3 years versus the verifiable 7,000 in the last 30 years. But they don't go into how he takes this one greatly distorted fact and uses it to vilify immigrants and frighten the public. From the May 7 edition of Lou Dobbs Tonight (transcript from Alternet): "It's remarkable that this -- whatever, confusion or confoundment over 7,000 cases. They actually keep a registry of cases of leprosy. And the fact that it rose was because of -- one assumes because we don't know for sure -- but two basic influences: unscreened illegal immigrants coming into this country primarily from South Asia, and the -- secondly, far better reporting."

We don't know for sure, but go ahead and report it Lou.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Terrorists Versus Militia Members: Two Planned Machine-Gun Attacks Foiled in Two Weeks

Here are some media accounts of the 6 men charged with plotting to attack Fort Dix and "kill as many soldiers as possible" ...

FBI Agent Jody P. Weis: "Today we dodged a bullet ... What we witnessed here was a brand new form of terrorism."

Federal Prosecutors: "Islamic militants"

Associated Press: "White House spokesman Tony Snow said there is 'no direct evidence' that the men arrested in the Fort Dix plot have ties to international terrorism."

Washington Post: "Six foreign-born men inspired by Islamic radicalism were in the final stages of preparations to attack a military post in New Jersey when federal agents made a series of arrests last night and disrupted their plot, federal officials said today."


Compare to information on a different set of six men arrested less than two weeks earlier ...

Associated Press: "Five members of a self-styled militia were denied bail Tuesday after a federal agent testified they planned a machine gun attack on Mexicans, but a judge approved bail for a sixth man."

Birmingham News: "Simultaneous raids carried out in four Alabama counties Thursday turned up truckloads of explosives and weapons, including 130 grenades, an improvised rocket launcher and 2,500 rounds of ammunition belonging to the small, but mightily armed, Alabama Free Militia."

ATF Agent: "We classify these groups as violent and anti-government ... Any time you have a self-appointed colonel or a self-appointed major and they've got weapons and explosives, it is a recipe for tragedy."

Federal Prosecutors: "They just have a beef with the government, and they stockpile munitions."


Some questions:

Why all the discussion of terrorism in relation to the alleged Fort Dix plot, but not the other? In fact it was hard to find the word "terrorist" or "terrorism" used in any articles about the Alabama militia.

Why was there no talk about religion in the stories about the Alabama militia plot? Perhaps they never discussed Christianity during their militia meetings or in any Fed-monitored conversations, but we just don't know. I'm willing to bet some or all of those arrested from the Alabama militia were Christians.
Ruben Navarette Lectures Immigrants About The Gift of Living and Working in the United States, Calls Those Who Call for Amnesty "Jerks"

His article can be found here: The Arrogance of the Legalization Movement

So I sent him an email ... From your column on arrogance:

One man in Los Angeles told television reporters that he demanded a "general amnesty without conditions just like in 1986.'' And forget that business about requiring people to leave the country and reapply to enter legally. No way was he going to do that, he said.

What a jerk. Here he is getting a gift and he wants it wrapped with a bow. Heaven forbid, he'd have to lift a finger.


Since when is the freedom to live where one chooses, or to work where one chooses, or to simply find work when there is no other choice a gift? You admit that immigrants are contributing to our nation yet at the same time you claim their simple act of living here without jumping through all the (often arbitrary) hoops a bunch of politicians in Washington create for them is a gift. You are the jerk and the arrogant one for utilizing your privileged status and great power as a columnist and commentator to call hard-working human beings, who have relatively little power, names for simply living and working.

--
Carlos Villarreal

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

How "Law and Order" Covers for Bigotry in the Immigration Debate

Central to the debate on immigration has been the appeal to law and order. But behind all the propaganda about respect for the law the core of the anti-immigration movement is about bigotry. Not surprisingly, the laws they appeal to are, in word and practice, unjust and barbaric.

We have heard that we should make a distinction between immigrants on the one hand and illegal aliens on the other. This is a way for the anti-immigration lobby to claim they are not racist or even xenophobic. They simply believe in obeying the law. But forget about the law for a moment. There is no reason why the millions of people who have moved here from Latin America in the last twenty years should be deported or criminalized. No one is being harmed by their presence, and there is strong evidence that we are all benefiting from this influx. So why is it so important to enforce these laws? After all, people violate genuinely serious laws all the time--citizens even. Driving while intoxicated, insider trading, corporate fraud, violating clean air laws are all much bigger problems. So why focus on immigration unless out of ignorance or hate? The truth is, just as with the the bigots of the past who disguised their hatred with the rhetoric of "law and order" when the law was apartheid in South Africa or "black codes" in the American South, the core of the anti-immigration movement today is about hate.

We can see this clearly with the conduct of the raids that have swept up thousands of people across the country in recent months ...

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