Archive for April, 2010

the high cost of feeling better than others

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Today the Hill reports on Republican Connie Macks outrage over the new Arizona Police State Act. Clearly, the new law is revealing a fracture line between the teabaggers and the economic old liners of the Republican Party. Echoing the fracture is Republican Charlie Crist leaving the party Lieberman style, capitulating to (Florida) teabag challenger Marco Rubio. While this story is largely a replay of Bush’s failure to instigate immigration reform, those against comprehensive reform now have a new political weapon in the white supremacy teabag movement. The root of the problem with immigration reform is of course, same as it ever was, in that federal reforms are likely, for practical reasons, to develop into some form or other of amnesty for the illegals already in the country. The new law in Arizona is a repudiation of immigration reform, that seeks to rid the country of illegals through other means, instead of integrating them into society legitimately. This is amply illustrated in the said fracture within the Republican Party, with one side looking to maintain and legitimize the advantages of a cheap labor force, and the other side wanting to eliminate it altogether. Passage of the new Arizona Police State Act is nothing less than a major  victory of the white supremacist teabagger mentality over the old school Republican Party.

Seeing that under no circumstances the white supremacist teabagger movement can be imagined as racist, the justifications for the new law all revolve around the legality and undue costs incurred for public services and crime prevention that’s caused by the illegals. This might all be believable were one to disregard how the law is framed and the implications that flow from it. On the first count, the law is formulated with dubious constitutionality, as a state power riding tandem and dependent on federal law. This is likely to generate countless federal and state lawsuits that could cost the state millions in litigation. The second two counts can be considered together in that the first is likely to remain the same and the second is even more likely to explode both in terms of crime and enforcement costs. If we think of the half million illegals as being already disenfranchised (with hate crimes already up 40% this year) in terms of rights and protection under the law, the new law, since it is aimed at eliminating them altogether, will in all likelihood intensify that disenfranchisement to the extent that they become even easier prey for those looking to extort, blackmail, and exploit them. This will no doubt escalate crime, and the costs of crime, in a state already reeling from elevated crime statistics. It’s no wonder that the Association of Chiefs of Police in Arizona are opposed, in that they know the law will not only decrease cooperation in the prosecution of crime, open themselves up to lawsuits from citizens for not arresting more illegals, make them add as many as 15,000 new officers to enforce the law, but will also force them to incarcerate and fine all the captured for up to six months, all on the states dollar.

So there you have it, in a state with escalating crime rates, the early release of prisoners from incarceration due to budget reduction, a two billion dollar deficit, record foreclosures, and a flagging economy – what good could possibly come from a law that does little besides legalizing fear,  harassment, and racism – that will little doubt, cost massively more than the costs already incurred?

This is nothing more than the price of white supremacist teabagger feel good.

UPDATE:

As if the above weren’t obvious enough team Arizona is at it again:

Just a week after signing the country’s toughest immigration bill into law, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer now must decide whether to endorse another bill passed by her state legislature — one that outlaws ethnic-studies programs in public schools.

The bill forbids Arizona schools from using any curriculum that promotes “the overthrow of the United States government” or “resentment toward a race or class of people.” It also disallows any curriculum that’s “designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group” or that seeks to “advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.”

[…]

In another controversial shift in state education policy, the Wall Street Journal has reported that the Arizona Department of Education has begun telling principals to remove teachers who speak English with an accent from classes with students who are still learning English. Some school officials are complaining that the move will remove experienced teachers from classrooms that need them. Margaret Dugan, the state’s deputy superintendent of schools, told the Journal the request is “politicizing the educational environment.”

tea party and arizona anti-immigration

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Just in case anyone thought that the teabaggers might have an (anti-fascist and principaled constitutional) ideological problem with the new Arizona police state law, rest assured that  the Arizona Tea Party Network sent out word to gather at the capital to support the governor as she signed the most draconian anti-immigration bill in the country, into law. So much for the anti-fascist sentiment. And just to be sure, the Rachel Maddow video below outlines just where the legislation originated and was formulated – and that would of course, be through an interconnected network of personalities and organizations with connections to white supremacist and pro-eugenics groups.  This comes as a confirmation (of sorts) outlined in the kkk posts below, in that the teabag movement is both harmonic (if not beholden) to the ideology of white supremacy and follows the similar trajectory of kkk infiltration of the Democratic Party  and their operational strategy during the 1920’s.

In a lot of ways the situation in Arizona can in kind, be construed as a similar pressure cooker where teabag rubber meets the proverbial  hard hot highway of racial demographics, crime, and religion, all of which constitute a  resurgence of a kind of hyper threat to traditional white privilege, not at all unlike the similar milieu of the 1920’s. Arizona is a tender box, where 1/3 of the legal population are  Latinos, and has an additional, estimated 500,000 illegal Latino immigrants, with little doubt, accounting for the states unparalleled rank of the fastest growing state in the union.  Phoenix the largest city in Arizona, rates 5th in crime of all U.S. cities, and features itself as the kidnapping capital of the United States,  following only Mexico City as the biggest kidnapping city in the entire world. And finally there is the little discussed issue of religion, where the immigrant population from Mexico is up to 90% Roman Catholic, in a country with a comparable 24% Catholic affiliation.

As far as I can see, the issues are the same, and the response is the same.

The question is, will it work,  will it be deemed unconstitutional, or will it exacerbate  the problems, and lead to more draconian solutions?

glenn beck anti-fascist watchdog, or is it lap dog?

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010
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The very conservative Arizona Republic is against it.

Joe Scarborough thinks the law is “totalitarian”.

Even anti-immigration icon Tom Tancredo thinks the law goes too far.

What does vigilant anti-fascist spokesman Glenn Beck think:

“It will be the toughest piece of Immigration enforcement in the country. Now, get this: What Arizona is doing is they are making it illegal to be illegal.

“I just can’t believe I live in a country where we have to pass a law to make it illegal to be illegal. Why don’t we just leave it at you’re illegal? Not an illegal illegal.”

I guess this means that Hispanics are the new Gypsies.

UPDATE:

Rachel Maddow explains how this happened and who wrote the new Arizona law:

bill black, still not dead

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Bill  Moyers had the intrepid Bill Black on tonight, and as usual Black lays out the entire financial crisis in clear and precise language without the slightest whiff of partisanship. And in no way minces any of his conclusions into the usual television conciliatory claptrap we’re all so stoned on. The man is a gift.

Click here to watch the interview

UPDATE:

It’s occurred to me that what Black is describing here, with the emphasis on fraud as the universally accepted mindset of the financial elite, is that what they really had in mind was something akin to the infamous Nazi notion of the big lie. It’s pretty clear that all the insiders knew that what they were doing – was fraudulent – they also knew that as long as they were all doing it the net effect would be that no individuals could be singled out. And so therefore, the entire escapade it could only be thought of as some kind of accepted “conventional wisdom”. This sort of thinking is reinforced specifically when it’s thought of as conventional wisdom, in that conventional wisdom is so big in it’s implications and consequences, that it would be impossible to be thought of as  fraudulent. So it would seem, they were “to big to fail” primarily because what they did was “to big to be believed”. Until it all collapsed. And then they all went suddenly clueless.

food, inc.

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Last night PBS ran the documentary Food, Inc. If you haven’t seen it, its well worth checking out- (you can see the whole thing by clicking here). While there are many controversial and disturbing things about our food supply the film addresses, there were several things that really caught my attention. First off,  I didn’t know it but apparently there are laws on the books that make it illegal to publicly criticize food processors and manufacturers.This originally saw daylight in the 1998  11 million dollar celebrity lawsuit against Oprah Winfrey by the Texas Cattle Producers, who blamed her for their fledgling market following the mad cow scare, after she said “eating beef made her think twice about having a burger”. While she won that case, she was only able to do so because she could throw as much money into the legal case as the cattlemen could, while anyone without her resources would simply have to concede. Of course the larger question is how can it be that certain corporate interests can have laws passed that criminalize speech critical of those corporate interests?

The second point made in the film was especially troublesome, as it also involved the legal system in a more profound sort of way. Former Monsanto employee and (current) Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was part of the Courts decision to enable genetically modified crops to become a patented product. The film illustrates just how this decision and process has taken ill effect in soybean agriculture. Monsanto’s genetically modified  “Roundup Ready” soybean product is sold to farmers only with the stipulation that the seed is not to be harvested for later use. The product has become pervasive enough in fields that cross pollination has now affected the genetic makeup of over 90% of all soybeans – which means that Monsanto now has a total monopoly on  the entire soybean crop in the United States, and makes it illegal to reuse or resell seeds. The film then focuses on the last remaining farmers who still wash, process, and sell  seeds for replanting. And how Monsanto then hires detectives to track them down like dogs, slapping them with huge lawsuits (that they could ill-afford to fight) that force them to divulge lists all the other farmers that traditionally have bought seeds from them.

This is just the beginning, and the predictable result of where corporate power has not only infiltrated the political realm, but has made headway into co-opting the judicial branch of government through the same revolving door system as well. This business of tracking down the violators of corporate power is nothing less than  corporate McCarthyism, for the new corporatist world that is emerging on all fronts.

cloud cult – pretty voice

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

….strike up the band

here comes the story line;

about the usual struggle,

between fear and love.

this is the lifelong song

we’re all  singin’.

it’s been so long

since i’ve heard your

pretty voice….

“i beg you to pray for clarity on my part”

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

“We in the lead found ourselves with a following inspired in many ways beyond our understanding, with beliefs and purposes which they themselves only vaguely understood and could not express, but for the fulfillment of which they depended on us. We found ourselves, too, at the head of an army with an unguessable influence to produce results for which the responsibility would rest on us — the leaders — but which we had not foreseen and for which we were not prepared. As the solemn responsibility to give right leadership to these millions, and to make right use of this influence, was brought home to us, we were compelled to analyze, put into definite words, and give purpose to these half conscious impulses.”

Quote by Imperial Wizard Hiram Wesley Evans in 1926.

Here’s Glenn Beck struggling with the same general theme:

rumors

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Currently, there are  four new anti-Islamic rumors  Barack Obama circulating out there.

1) Obama’s health care program will exempt Muslims from required participation.

2) Obama holds Islamic prayers at White House, and gives praise to Allah.

3) Obama cancels the National Day of Prayer Service.

4) Obama orders new stamps commemorating Muslim holidays.

I guess we can all breath a sigh of relief, that none of these accusations could be considered as racist.

This has become like a cottage industry.

signs

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

9 part history of the kkk

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

From the History Channel, long but informative.