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Sunday, May 30, 2010

On Memorial Day 2010, War and Remembrance, Tribute to the Anti-War Speech by USMC Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler, 1933

War is a Racket by Smedley Butler is a famous speech denouncing the military industrial complex. This anti-war speech by two-time Congressional Medal of Honor recipient exposes war profits that benefit few at the expense of many. Throughout his distinguished career in the Marines, Smedley Darlington Butler demonstrated that true patriotism does not mean blind allegiance to government policies with which one does not agree. To Hell with war.

Welcome to Arizona: "It's a Dry Hate ..."

by: Randall Amster J.D., Ph.D.,
t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed
Friday 28 May 2010

First, it was legally-sanctioned racial profiling, with a touch of totalitarian "Show me your papers" thrown in for good measure (SB 1070). Next, we were delivered a new law banning Ethnic Studies programs or any teaching that promotes "ethnic solidarity" (HB 2281). Then, the state's school superintendent announced a policy whereby teachers with "heavy accents" would be prevented from being in classrooms in which instruction was being given in English. Despite all of this, we're continually told by proponents that it's not about race but about upholding the laws and securing our borders. Wrong. Let's be clear and upfront about what's happening here: it's mainly about fear and hatred, and it appears that it's only just begun.

From a peace and conflict studies perspective, these laws promise to deepen divisions, drive a wedge through communities, separate family units, and undermine constructive dialogue. They pit working people against one another, and require neighbors to police one another. In this light, these laws will foster a climate of suspicion and antipathy, in which violence - both rhetorical and physical - can flourish. Indeed, on some level these laws themselves potentially constitute a form of "hate crimes" by persecuting and scapegoating a particular group based on that group's identity, and thus raise the specter of racially motivated violence in our communities. Heartbreakingly, it's more than just a mere specter of violence at this point for Juan Varela's family, as recently reported by the Associated Press:

Tension surrounding the passage of Arizona's tough new law cracking down on illegal immigration contributed to the slaying of an Hispanic man, allegedly shot by a white neighbor, a representative of the dead man's family said Friday. Police and the family said the arrested man, 50-year-old Gary Thomas Kelley, allegedly directed racial slurs at 44-year-old Juan Daniel Varela before the May 6 shooting near their homes.... 'When you have talk that becomes aggressive, it escalates the violence,' said Carlos Galindo, a Phoenix radio commentator acting as a spokesman for Varela's relatives at a state Capitol news conference.

Continue reading here.

Racial Profiling 101: Kris Kobach Teaches Reasonable Suspicion

by Prerna Lal May 15, 2010 08

The architect of SB 1070 is now training police officers in Arizona on how to conduct racial profiling, using the pretext of "reasonable suspicion."

Unlike probable cause, "reasonable suspicion" is a legal term that permits police misconduct based on a "totality of circumstances." In the following video, Kris Kobach launches into some of the factors local law enforcement can use to identify undocumented immigrants, which he says are mostly common sense.

Watch Video below

Continue reading here.

Press Should Ask: Is Deficit Commission a Social Security 'Death Panel'?

Has Obama Created a Social Security 'Death Panel'?

Read William Grieder's article "Whacking the Old Folks"  published in The Nation. Mobilize the citizenry NOW to confront Congress with the facts.

 Nieman Watchdog
ASK THIS | May 21, 2010

If the press doesn't ask tough questions and stand up for the little guy, the powerful interests stacking President Obama’s deficit commission will use it to cut the social programs that most help the middle class and the vulnerable.

By Nancy Altman and Eric Kingson
erkingso@syr.edu and njalt@aol.com

President Obama and the leadership in Congress have delegated enormous, unaccountable authority to 18 unrepresentative, inordinately wealthy individuals. The 18 individuals are meeting regularly, in secret, behind closed doors, until safely beyond this year’s mid-term election. If they reach agreement, their proposal will be voted on in December by a lame duck Congress, without the benefit of open hearings and deliberations in the pertinent committees and without the opportunity for open debate and amendment on the floors of the House and Senate. Despite the speed and lack of accountability, the legislation will affect, in substantial ways, every man, woman, and child in this nation.

Who are these powerful people and what are their views?

They are the
members of President Obama’s newly-formed National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. They lack racial and gender diversity, and more importantly, they lack diversity of opinion. Their mantra is that “everything is on the table,” but their one member who has any expertise with respect to defense spending, for instance, is the CEO of a major defense contractor that devotes millions of dollars each year to lobby Congress for more defense spending. “Everything is on the table,” they say, but the members appointed by the minority leaders in the House and Senate have made clear that they do not believe that the problems in this country stem from under-taxing, rather from overspending. The one area that they seem to be in agreement on -- and which they are in fact, focusing on like a laser -- involves programs that help the middle class and those Americans who are the most vulnerable. Even liberal Senator Richard Durbin has stated, “the bleeding-heart liberals… have to…make real sacrifices to strengthen our nation.”

The co-chairs, in particular, seem to have a clear agenda. Even before the commission held its first meeting, Erskine Bowles went on record before the North Carolina Bankers' Association saying that if the Commission doesn't "mess with Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security ... America is going to be a second-rate power" in his lifetime. (And he is already 64!) Alan Simpson, known for giving ugly voice to harsh, ageist stereotypes, described the future of the fiscal commission: "It'll be a bloodbath. Let me tell you, everything that Bush and Clinton or Obama have suggested with regard to Social Security doesn't affect anyone over 60, and who are the people howling and bitching the most? The people over 60. This makes no sense. You've got to scrub out [of] the equation the AARP, the Committee for the Preservation of Social Security and Medicare, the Gray Panthers, the Pink Panther, the whatever. Those people are lying... [They] don't care a whit about their grandchildren...not a whit." (For more about Alan Simpson, see Trudy Lieberman in CRJ: More Words of Wisdom from Alan Simpson.) 

MUST READ!  Continue reading here

Read more on the Looting of Social Security here and here.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Warren: AIG a "Corporate Frankenstein" That Broke All the Rules

Click here to watch hearing.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Plunder: The Crime of our Time Now on DVD

DANNY SCHECHTER, “The News Dissector,” has spent decades as a truth teller in the media. He has worked in print, radio, local news, cable news (CNN and CNBC), network news magazines (ABC) and as an independent filmmaker and TV producer with the award-winning independent company, Globalvision.

His film “IN DEBT WE TRUST” (2006) was the first to expose Wall Street’s connection to subprime loans, predicting the economic crisis that this book investigates.

“I used to think of Wall Street as a financial center.
I now think of it as a crime scene.”
– Filmmaker Danny Schecter, Plunder (2009)

Click here for a review of Plunder

Below the Radar: HUD's Bill Would Privatize and Mortgage Off All of America's Public Housing

Submitted by Mark

The Obama Administration’s move to the right is about to give conservatives a victory they could not have anticipated, even under Bush. HUD, under Obama, submitted legislation called PETRA to Congress that would result in the privatization of all public housing in America.

The new owners would charge ten percent above market rates to impoverished tenants, money that would be mostly paid by the US government (you and me, the taxpayers). To maintain the property, the new owners would take out a mortgage for building repair and maintenance (like a home equity loan), with no cap on interest rates.

With rents set above market rates, the mortgage risk would be attractive to banks. Either they make a huge profit on the mortgages paid for by the government. Or if the government lowers what it will pay for rents, the property goes into foreclosure. The banks get it and can sell it off to developers.

Sooner or later, the housing budget will be cut back and such foreclosures will happen. The structure of the proposal and the realities of Washington make it a virtual certainty.

The banks and developers make a fortune, with the taxpayers paying for it. The public loses its public housing property. The impoverished tenants lose their apartments, or have their rents go way up if they are forced into the private market. Homelessness increases. Government gets smaller. The banks and developers win. It is a Bank Bonanza! The poor and the public lose.

And a precedent is set. The government can privatize any public property: Schools, libraries, national parks, federal buildings — just as has begun to happen in California, where the right-wing governor has started to auction off state property and has even suggested selling off the Supreme Court building.

Click here to continue reading.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

FreePress: How to Save the World from Comcast

If the merger of Comcast with NBC goes through it will be the biggest media merger in a generation.

Take Action now. Visit Freepress.net to sign petition with the Federal Communications Commission

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Domestic offshore drilling does not reduce dependency on foreign oil; Market drives oil sales to highest bidders in China & India

 Chris Hayes, the Nation Magazine Washington Editor discusses political impact of oil catastrophe with Keith Oberman on Countdown, May 3.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sam Wiercinski Video: Verify Polling Place--AZ SOS Sent Wrong Polling Information to 191,000 Voters

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Phoenix police chief disputes right's claim that AZ law is needed because of violent crime

May 06, 2010 12:26 pm ET 

Conservative media have defended Arizona's controversial new immigration law by suggesting the law is necessary to fight violent crime. Phoenix police chief Jack Harris has rejected this claim, and he and many other law enforcement officials have argued that the law will distort police priorities.

Chief Harris: Police already "have the tools that we need" to fight crime related to smuggling, kidnappings, home invasions

Harris: Not "true" that "the new law provides a tool for local law enforcement." Phoenix Public Safety Manager/Police Chief Jack Harris stated during an April 30 press conference:
HARRIS: Proponents of this legislation have repeatedly said that the new law provides a tool for local law enforcement. But I don't really believe that that's true or accurate.

We have the tools that we need to enforce laws in this state to reduce property crime and to reduce violent crime, to go after criminals that are responsible for human smuggling, to go after criminals that are responsible for those home invasions, kidnappings, robberies, murders. We have those tools.

I have ten ICE agents embedded in the violent crimes bureau. We have a policy that allows officers to contact ICE when they need to access their databanks to further criminal investigation. I'm not sure what the tool is that this new law is providing to local law enforcement.

What I believe it is, is it provides a tool to divert our officers from investigating property crimes and violent crimes and divert their -- these resources, our personnel to enforcing civil portions of federal immigration law. In other words, it takes officers away from doing what our main core mission of local law enforcement is, and that's to make our communities safe and enforce our criminal codes in that effort.
Pima County Sheriff: "We don't need this law." Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik stated in an April 7 taped interview with KGUN9-TV that the law is "unnecessary" and that he won't enforce it. He added, "We're going to keep doing what we've been doing all along. We don't need this law. We're going to stop and detain these people for the Border Patrol."

Continue reading here about the opinions of other law enforcement officers.

Six questions for supporters of Arizona law


Miami Herald


This has been a bad week for those of us opposing Arizona's anti-immigration law: New polls show that a huge majority of Americans support the legislation, and key candidates for November's mid-term elections are now saying they want similar laws for their own states.

Three separate polls -- from the Pew Research Center, The Wall Street Journal-NBC and McClatchy-Ipsos -- show that about 60 percent of Americans support the Arizona law, which requires local police to question people about their immigration status when they have ``reasonable suspicion'' that they are not in the country legally.

There's no question that the polls show a clear public sentiment that something has to be done to stop the steady flow of migrants. But I would like to ask six questions to supporters of the Arizona law, and to politicians who are considering similar legislation in 16 other states:

1: Are you aware that the Arizona law turns every Hispanic in Arizona, including U.S. citizens, into a potential suspect? Do you like the idea of police stopping members of the largest U.S. minority group because of the color of their skin, or their Spanish accent?
Continue reading here. And here is the rest of it.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

C-SPAN Features AZ State Rep. Krysten Sinema's In-Depth Commentary on SB1070

C-SPAN | Washington Journal
May 15, 2010

Kyrsten Sinema, Arizona State Representative, talked about her opposition to the recently passed Arizona law which calls for more aggressive measures to find and detain illegal immigrants. She also responded to telephone calls and electronic communications.


Friday, May 14, 2010

RNC Sends Fake Census Fundraising Mailers 5 days after President Obama Signs Ban

The mailer addresses Tucson Democrats as Republicans---Congressman Carolyn Maloney D-NY Says nationwide mailer deceptive, discouraging to participation in census. RNC trying to make a "partisan buck"

Thursday, May 13, 2010

CNN: Sociologist Confronts Tom Horne on Arizona's Ethnic Studies Ban

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Shining A Light On The Shadow Bank Lobby

By Kevin Connor
Campaign for America's Future
May 12, 2010

In 2008, economist Nouriel Roubini popularized the term "shadow banking system" to describe the non-bank financial institutions that eventually helped spur the collapse of the financial system: highly-leveraged hedge funds, investment banks, and the like. This shadow system fueled Wall Street profits for years before eventually necessitating massive bailouts of the financial sector.

These days, a "shadow bank lobby," has played a prominent role in shaping the financial reform process, pushing amendments that will weaken consumer protections, water down regulation of the Wall Street casino, and increase the likelihood of continuing fraud and future bailouts. I discuss this "shadow bank lobby" in Big Bank Takeover, the report on the big banks' army of lobbyists released yesterday by the Campaign for America's Future.

Just as the shadow banking system threatens the integrity of financial markets, the shadow bank lobby threatens the integrity of the financial reform process). Both are designed to help Wall Street avoid oversight and accountability for its actions.

Two of the principal players in the shadow bank lobby are large business associations: the US Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable. As Big Bank Takeover details, each institution has morphed into an aggressive financial industry lobby over the bailout period of the past two years. During the bailout period of the past two years, as Wall Street influence has come to be seen as toxic, big banks appear to have directed significant portions of their political budget to these institutions, rather than hiring more lobbyists to lobby directly on their behalf.

Last year, the Chamber, the Business Roundtable, and several other groups partnered to set up the Coalition for Derivatives End Users. The group is supposed to be representing businesses that use derivatives to hedge against risk. But yesterday, a hedge fund manager working with Americans for Financial Reform called on businesses to leave the "sham coalition," which he said was a creation of the big banks:

“Today, there is no legitimate reason that non-financial businesses should be lobbying to weaken legislation that would prevent the next AIG collapse and taxpayer bailout,” said hedge fund manager Michael Masters. “The only explanation is that these companies are being duped by the big banks, who are desperate to escape accountability for the reckless gambling that crashed the economy and know they are not politically popular these days. It’s time for these companies to wake up to the fact they are being used.

Continue reading here.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Contrary to media narrative, crime is not out of control in Arizona

Blog for Arizona
Posted by AzBlueMeanie
May 7, 2010

The trouble with the media is that they constantly repeat GOP talking points that they have not fact-checked and thereby add to the echo chamber of ignorance. Case in point, that the Arizona Legislature acted out of frustration to enact SB 1070 because "crime is out of control" in Arizona.

This one is easily fact-checked, but the media does not bother. Media Matters reports Phoenix police chief disputes right's claim that AZ law is needed because of violent crime:

Contrary to media narrative, crime rates in Arizona have not been on the rise

Crime rates in Arizona at lowest point in decades. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics(BJS), the violent crime rate in Arizona was lower in 2006, 2007, and 2008 -- the most recent year from which data are available -- than any year since 1983. The property crime rate in Arizona was lower in 2006, 2007, and 2008 than any year since 1968. In addition, in Arizona, the violent crime rate dropped from 577.9 per 100,000 population in 1998 to 447 per 100,000 population in 2008; the property crime rate dropped from 5,997 to 4,291 during the same period. During the same decade, Arizona's undocumented immigrant population grew rapidly. The Arizona Republic reported: "While the nation's illegal-immigrant population doubled from 1994 to 2004, according to federal records, the violent-crime rate declined 35 percent."

Arizona Republic: Crime rates in Arizona border towns "have remained essentially flat for the past decade." In a May 2 article, The Arizona Republic reported, "FBI Uniform Crime Reports and statistics provided by police agencies, in fact, show that the crime rates in Nogales, Douglas, Yuma and other Arizona border towns have remained essentially flat for the past decade, even as drug-related violence has spiraled out of control on the other side of the international line. Statewide, rates of violent crime also are down." The article also reported that Sheriff Dupnik "said there always has been crime associated with smuggling in southern Arizona, but today's rhetoric does not seem to jibe with reality. 'This is a media-created event,' Dupnik said. 'I hear politicians on TV saying the border has gotten worse. Well, the fact of the matter is that the border has never been more secure.'"

The local Tucson media engaged in the same wild distortions last year over Prop. 200 on the city election ballot, claiming that "crime is out of control" in Tucson despite the fact that the Tucson Police Department crime statistics showed violent crimes were down substantially in Tucson in recent years.

Why does the media so readily lie about crime statistics? Have you ever watched a local television news broadcast? Their business model is "if it bleeds it leads." Crime stories are the foundation of their newscast. So it is important to the media to gin up fear of crime to get you to tune in and watch. They are merchants of fear. It just so happens this fits nicely with the Republican Party's model of fear mongering politics.

We are all worse off for the deception and lies posing as "news" in the media.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Apple Isn’t the Problem. Wall Street’s Big Banks are the Problem.

By Robert Reich
TUESDAY, MAY 4, 2010

Why is the Federal Trade Commission threatening Apple with a possible lawsuit for abusing its economic power, but not even raising an eyebrow about the huge and growing economic (and political) muscle of JP Morgan Chase or any of the other four remaining giant banks on Wall Street?

Our future well being depends more on people like Steve Jobs who invent real products that can improve our lives, than it does on people like Jamie Dimon who invent financial products that do little other than threaten our economy.

Apple’s supposed sin was to tell software developers that if they want to make apps for iPhones and iPads they have to use Apple programming tools. No more outside tools (like Adobe’s Flash format) that can run on rival devices like Google’s Android phones and RIM’s BlackBerrys.

What’s wrong with that? Apple says it’s necessary to maintain quality. If consumers disagree they can buy platforms elsewhere. Apple was the world’s #3 smartphone supplier in 2009, with 16.2 percent of worldwide market share. RIM was #2, with 18.8 percent. Google isn’t exactly a wallflower. These and other firms are innovating like mad, as are tens of thousands of independent developers. If Apple’s decision reduces the number of future apps that can run on its products, Apple will suffer and presumably change its mind.

On the other hand, the four largest U.S. financial institutions are so big and the rest of the economy so dependent on them that if one of them makes a bad decision it can take us all down. Between them they hold more than $7 trillion in assets, over half the size of the entire U.S. economy.

So why is the FTC nosing around Apple and not around Wall Street? Because the Federal Trade Commission Act allows the agency to stop “unfair methods of competition” almost anywhere in the economy except in the financial sector. Banks are explicitly excluded.

Another reason for financial reform.

And how are we doing on that front? Senate Dems and Republicans have just agreed to jettison a $50 billion fund in the financial reform bill that would have been used to wind down operations of a failing bank. Republicans had created a smokescreen by alleging that the fund could be used for more bailouts. They don’t want the public to see the real problem – that the biggest banks are so big that if one or two gets into trouble, the Fed or the Federal Deposit Insurance Company will almost certainly have to bail them out in order to protect the financial system. And this implicit guarantee allows them to make even riskier bets that generate even bigger profits – enabling them to grow even larger.

The only way to make sure no bank is too big to fail is to ensure no bank is too big. The biggest banks should be broken up. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Ted Kaufman (D-Del) have introduced an amendment that would do exactly that. And a growing number of House members are getting ready to do the same.

Hands off Apple. But cut the big banks down to size.

SOS Ken Bennett's Firm Sued for Fraud, Breach of Contract

by Craig Harris -
The Arizona Republic
May. 2, 2010 09:04 PM

PRESCOTT - A small building-insulation company whose chairman is Secretary of State Ken Bennett is facing two suits that allege it engaged in securities fraud and breach of contract and failed to pay six employees more than $143,000.

The suits were filed in Yavapai County Superior Court against Prescott-based Global Building Systems, which makes energy-efficient wall and roof structures with foam blocks and embedded steel.

"I fully expect we will get these settled if we can sit down and negotiate," said Bennett, who became a director in April 2006 and chairman seven months later. "The company will be successful in the long run."

Bennett said the company, formed in 2002, spent numerous years in research and development to make an insulation product that will significantly reduce utility costs. The product also is highly resistant to fire, mold, water and termites, according to Global Building Systems.

Bennett said problems began about two years ago, when the company was ready to go to market but was hit by the recession and housing-industry meltdown.

Bennett, who is seeking to stay in office in this fall's election, said he's not paid as chairman and that he had invested $50,000 in the company.

The former state Senate president was appointed secretary of state in January 2009, when he replaced Jan Brewer, who became governor upon Janet Napolitano's taking a Cabinet post with the Obama administration.

Bennett is running unopposed in the Republican primary. He will face the winner of the Democratic primary between Sam Wercinski and state Rep. Chris Deschene.

The two lawsuits were filed in late March.

In one, Christopher and Cyndi Pronger, who lived in Williamson Valley, allege Bennett and other board members failed to properly monitor James Beavers, who now is the company's vice president.

Continue reading here.

And here is the rest of it.

RFK Jr., WaterKeepers Alliance Uncover Willful Negligence That Led to Spill

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Environmental Lawyer Files Suit vs BP | 'Acoustic Switch' Could Have Prevented Catastrophe | Fault Lies With Bush-Cheney Deregulation

BP Delayed Release of True Impact| Media Not Reporting All the Facts

Blog for Arizona's
AZ Blue Meanie dissects the right wing spin of this catastrophe:
"Spill Baby Spill"

The right-wing media only cares about political narrative. Death, destruction, natural and environmental disasters are not reported from a humanitarian point of view but rather from "how can we spin this story to our political advantage?" by making as many outrageous claims as possibe in this Post-Truth Politics era.

Shortly after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, with more than 200,000 dead, the response of the right-wing media was not "what can we do to help?" but rather was the narrative "this could be President Obama's Katrina." Remember that?

Given the scope of the catastrophe, the massive devastation of a poor country without any resources and the overwhelming number of deaths, the response of the U.S. and the World in coming to Haiti's aid has been quite remarkable and a success by any reasonable measure of relief efforts. The shrill criticism of the relief effort was a direct criticism of the U.S. Armed Forces who were the first responders. Hence, the right-wing media quietly abanondoned its "Katrina" meme.
But wait! The right-wing media which daily sings the praises of a "free market economy," deregulation of business, and "drill, baby, drill" is back. The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, directly attributable to the deregulation of the oil industry by Texas oil men George W. Bush and Dick Cheney and the "drill, baby, drill" mentality, is somehow now President Obama's fault.
The response of the right wing-media to this looming environmental disaster is not to ask "how can we help?" but rather is to blame the federal government, curiously not BP oil, and to assert the narrative once again that "this could be President Obama's Katrina." The right-wing media is desperate to get the Katrina monkey off the back of George W. Bush to rehabilitate his legacy by creating false equivalencies to President Obama. They are shameless in this "post-truth politics" era.

Continue reading here.

Arizona Diamondbacks LD 26 Fun Fun Fundraiser Open to All

The Truth About Arizona’s New Immigration Law

In These Times
MAY 1, 2010

Upon signing Arizona’s new statute requiring police officers to demand citizenship papers from anyone they believe is in the country illegally, Republican Gov. Jan Brewer last week claimed the bill is not designed to “tolerate racial discrimination or racial profiling” of Latinos.

Responding to critics who say the legislation does just that, she, like many conservatives, insisted, “I don’t know what an illegal immigrant looks like”—the implication being that Republicans are colorblind.

It sounds reassuring, but methinks she doth protest too much, and I say that because one of the Republican Party’s leading law enforcement voices has already disclosed the true objective of precisely this kind of legislation.

That seminal admission came in November 2001, when the emotional aftermath of 9/11 momentarily removed politicians’ rhetorical filters. There on the floor of Congress, GOP Rep. Scott McInnis delivered an address about “the need for profiling for the national security of this country.”

Brandishing his past experience as a police officer, he implored lawmakers “to quit being politically correct” and let authorities make “ethnic background a legitimate component” of law enforcement investigations—just as Arizona’s new statute allows.

David Sirota is a senior editor at In These Times and author of the bestselling books The Uprising and Hostile Takeover. He hosts the morning show on AM760 in Colorado and blogs at OpenLeft.com. E-mail him at ds@davidsirota.com.

Continue reading here.

The Real News: U.S. Supported Economics Spurred Mexican Emigration

Click picture to watch video.


Dan La Botz is a prominent labor union activist, academic, journalist, and author in the United States. He was a co-founder of Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU) and has written extensively on worker rights in the United States and Mexico. His writing appears frequently in Against the Current, Counterpunch, Labor Notes, Monthly Review, New Labor Forum and Z Magazine. He is the editor of Mexican Labor News & Analysis.

Violence is not up on Arizona border despite Mexican drug war

Mexico crime flares, but here, only flickers

By Dennis Wagner
The Arizona Republic
May. 2, 2010 12:00 AM

NOGALES, Ariz. - Assistant Police Chief Roy Bermudez shakes his head and smiles when he hears politicians and pundits declaring that Mexican cartel violence is overrunning his Arizona border town.

"We have not, thank God, witnessed any spillover violence from Mexico," Bermudez says emphatically. "You can look at the crime stats. I think Nogales, Arizona, is one of the safest places to live in all of America."

FBI Uniform Crime Reports and statistics provided by police agencies, in fact, show that the crime rates in Nogales, Douglas, Yuma and other Arizona border towns have remained essentially flat for the past decade, even as drug-related violence has spiraled out of control on the other side of the international line. Statewide, rates of violent crime also are down.

While smugglers have become more aggressive in their encounters with authorities, as evidenced by the shooting of a Pinal County deputy on Friday, allegedly by illegal-immigrant drug runners, they do not routinely target residents of border towns.

Continue reading here.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Hate Group Wrote Immigration Law in Prince William Experiment

Clip from Interactive documentary 9500 Liberty about the battle over immigration in Northern Virginia. The film 9500 Liberty is playing at Harkins Valley Art in Tempe, Gateway Pavilions in Avondale and Harkins Scottsdale 101 this weekend. Depicts the result of a resolution in a Virginia County similar to SB1070 in AZ. Does Help Save Manassas sound just a bit like Protect Arizona Now?

EXCLUSIVE: Email From Author Of Arizona Law Reveals Intent To Cast Wide Net Against Latinos

From Think Progress

Yesterday, Arizona lawmakers made a handful of changes to the immigration bill Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ) recently signed into effect that appear to be in response to many of the criticisms aimed at the bill. One of those changes replaces the phrase “lawful contact” with “lawful stop, detention or arrest” to “apparently clarify that officers don’t need to question a victim or witness about their legal status.” However, the legislature also implemented a third change that some call “frightening.” As part of the amended bill, a police officer responding to city ordinance violations would also be required to determine the immigration status of an individual they have reasonable suspicion of being an undocumented immigrant.
Wonk Room recently obtained an email written by Kris Kobach, a lawyer at the Immigration Reform Law Institute — the group which credits itself with writing the bill — to Arizona state Sen. Russell Pierce (R), urging him to include language that will allow police to use city ordinance violations such as “cars on blocks in the yard” as an excuse to “initiate quieries” in light of the “lawful contact” deletion:

Click here to continue reading.

Also see: Joe Arpaio's Nativist Attorney Kris Kobach Gets $300 Per Hour, Plus Expenses, Plus Air Fare, to Advise MCSO

Maddow Tags FAIR, As Group Behind 'Papers Please Law' and "Protect Arizona Now" that pushed 'Proof of Citizenship' Prop 200 to Ballot in '04

Public Records Show FAIR President Stein Lied: Fair Linked to Nativist, Separatist Extremists