Saturday, July 30, 2005

SOS/MMP show their true colors today!

SOS MMP Stormfront racists

"But we're just enforcing the law. We're not racists, we're just concerned about the border." --SOS/MMP

The anti-immigrant groups' frail arguments fail to explain their close-knit association with proto-fascist and white supremacist groups. Today at the Laguna Beach Day Laborer Center they showed their true colors. Proudly flying confederate and swastika flags along with state and U.S. flags, we see the real face of their racism. SOS/MMP are nothing more than their skinhead partners without the haircuts. We ended up running them all off in the end. Stop the hate, stop the racsim, stop the SOS/MMP/Stormfront!


Friday, July 29, 2005

Friday Catbloggin'

Counterclockwise: Kissy, Komodo (Modo), Lucky, Cookie, and Mama-San (Fumiko).
All due respect to Atrios.


Thursday, July 28, 2005

We're just enforcing the law?

Texas Minutemen head quits, cites racism in group [This is now in a pay-for-archive. Preserved verbatim here free.] Not that we weren't already crystal clear on the inherent racism of MMP/SOS et al. But this article is a strong counter to those attempting to maintain this is about "enforcing the law." When their own members begin defecting citing racism, it is hard to argue that it isn't the prime motivator. This and the recent admission by a SOS member that a comment by Turner was racist (although he tried to rationalize it after conceding the racism).


Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Deferment queens

My best friend mentioned that an election in Ohio is of interest because one of the candidates is an Iraqi war (read invasion) veteran. This wouldn't be of too much interest except that the reactionary GOP types are smearing the individual by saying that the only reason they served was to use it for later political advantage.

We live in strange reactionary times don't we. The ruling class servants will start imperialist wars, but can't stand the thought of participating in them (other than profiting of course). This is why Operation Yellow Elephant is so to the point. If you are one of the people that had the misfortune of having served in the military to further ruling class agendas, you are subject to ridicule (think Purple Heart band-aids). The simple fact that not one individual in this administration and other top GOP leadership roles have served active duty military is repugnant and disgusting in light that they have started and support (in speech only) so many conflicts abroad.

The utter cowardice, yet at the same time possessed of a jingoistic propensity to use force whenever profitable has lead me to steal and modify a phrase from the ultra reactionary b-movie star who occupied Pennsylvania Avenue during the eighties. I will call these cowardly, draft dodging children of privilege "deferment queens" from this day forward. According to the deferment queens, veterans are the new "Freedom Haters." As a veteran, I stand in solidarity with my fellow working class veterans who are insulted by the GOP. Cheney, Bush, Rove, Delay, Rice, O'Reily, Carlson and all the other deferment queens can try to twist things all they want. The reality is that they are cowards through and through.


Come fight the proto-fascists

Unapologetic white supremacist Joe Turner and his little band of hood-less klan members (nee SOS) are out to show more brown shirt tactics against the poor, hardworking day laborers. Here is a preliminary announcement from the coalition against them:


The SOS scumbags are coming back to Laguna Beach this Saturday -- this
time to a day laborers center. We'll have an actual post about it
soon, but for now plan on an event:

Saturday, July 30, 10am - 2pm
Laguna Beach Day Laborer Center
1765 Laguna Canyon Rd.
Laguna Beach, CA 92651


Sad depiction of imperialism

An Iraqi dies every hour. This blog feature graphic photos of the ongoing horror the U.S. ruling class has created in Iraq. I know reactionaries don't recognize brown people as being human, but the rest of us know better and need to fight against this ongoing series of crime against humanity. The blog features interesting photos.


Pigs and monsters

U.S.-backed groups organize regime change in Iran Not only is the thought of this frightening, the article describes the despicable racism of Jerome Corsi. This xenophobic pig talks about Islam like the reactionary corporate media, and the way our right wing extremist administration would if they could get away with it.


Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Some new articles

Red Christmas on Counterpunch
Depleted Uranium: States Take Action to Protect Their Soldiers and Veterans on GNN (think about the Iraqi people with this one)


Tuesday, July 19, 2005

They just can't get it together

I don't even want to speak about today's game. If they keep playing like his, going on this long road trip, they probably won't even make the playoffs.


Monday, July 18, 2005

Another home loss

I would have to check, but it seems as if the Sparks have lost more home games this year than in the past few years combined. We get Mwadi back, we loose Dixon. As soon as they announced Masciadri in the starting spot that is Holdsclaw's I knew something was wrong. The game notes for Tuesday's game list her as day to day with a hamstring problem. Despite the injuries and flatness in their play, this game was really won by a Seattle team playing to their potential. The zone left Jackson open for several open three point shots, and there were times when the press allowed Bird to find outlet players to easy layups. Again I credit the Storm for playing one of their best games of the year. Bird and Jackson played extremely well.

Infamous referee #35 Bryan Enterline was up to his usual tricks. Thomas fouled out, Mwadi was a foul short of the that and recipient of a dubious technical. Although there was only a seven team foul difference by the end of the game, there were also some calls that were hard to believe even with #35 officiating. I lost count of the times Burse was allowed to catch the ball in the paint and then take three to four baby steps before shooting. We're not talking change of pivot foot here, we're talking no pivot foot. Lennox was in her usual form, throwing elbows coming around screens, shoving players and more with only one call all game for all her rough and tumble.

While it will be nice to see long time Sparks standout Delisha Milton-Jones on Tuesday, the Sparks absolutely need that game before starting a long and difficult road trip. The Lynx are right behind them, and Seattle is waiting in the wings as well.


A letter never sent

I was going through my email and found a letter that I had written in April 2005 after a spiritual retreat that I had given myself a cooling off period before sending. In the end I decided not to send it. However, looking through it again I decided that this would be an appropriate place for it.

Padre X, CP:

I was on the April 15 weekend retreat with my parish - St. Teresa of Avila. I have some concerns for things that came up on the last day in the 'wrap up' meeting. I want to thank you for your handling of the delicate task of informing those suggesting the most reactionary of future possible retreat themes of the difficulties surrounding such topics. However, I want to voice my concerns for anything that would remotely reflect those requests. I would not be able to take part in a retreat that remotely resembled the types of themes that were being suggested that weekend.

It was only with the upmost restraint that I held my peace while retreat goers repeated reactionary, extreme right wing jargon, euphemistically known as 'talking points,' around the room as themes they would be interested in. It seemed as if it was naturally assumed that everyone present was subject to the same slavish devotion to ruling class ideology. While sounding innocent, the phrase 'culture of life' in its manifestation of current reactionary propaganda is anything but. I am in no way arguing against the church's stance on reproductive issues or care for the terminally ill. I will argue that the phrase was coined and brought into public conscienceless by a group of reactionaries who's actions have shown an utter contempt for life. A few examples:

Under the U.S. 'culture of life' regime hundreds of our Catholic brothers and sisters in Haiti have lost their lives after the illegal kidnapping of their democratically elected leader and subsequent occupation.

Under the U.S. 'culture of life' regime thousands of our Catholic brothers and sisters in Columbia have died while the U.S. funds reactionaries in their decades long extermination of the poor, first under the guise of a 'war on drugs,' now repackaged as the 'war on terror.' Notice how these neatly packaged phrases all sound so familiar.

Under the U.S. 'culture of life' regime 108 detainees charged with no crimes, have died horrible deaths, usually while being tortured, in illegal concentration camps like Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay.

Under the U.S. 'culture of life' regime thousands of Afghans, and in Iraq at least 20,117, and by some estimates over 100,000 civilians have died under the unprovoked invasion and subsequent occupation. This in addition to the now estimated millions that died under the inhumane sanctions maintained by the previous administration representing the 'alternative' (read not as reactionary) ruling class party.

Under the U.S. 'culture of life' regime Catholic clergy, religious, and lay services workers remain top targets of SOA/WHINSEC trained and U.S. funded death squads. All for subversive actions like teaching the poor to read and preaching the gospel. While the vast majority of the retreat goers clamoring for a 'culture of life' retreat, blissfully unaware of their white privilege, have probably never even heard of U.S. assassination victims like Bishop Oscar Romero, Bishop Juan José Girardi, or of the countless other victims of the church in South and Central America.

Please understand why I was under duress listening to revolting suggestions that the reactionary corporate media was somehow promoting a 'culture of death' in direct opposition to what these men believe they stand for. The irony of them suggesting the media was somehow anything than corporate propaganda struck me hardest realizing that on the wall there is a photograph that many of them probably miss. A photograph of a man and his wife, founder and owner of a large fast food concern, who I know is a big supporter of Mater Dolorosa, and undoubtedly a very good and devout Catholic. Sadly, his company's major ad campaigns are at best sexist and at worst utterly degrading to woman (one viewing of the 'mechanical bull ad' should support my assertion). The insinuation that the media serves anyone other than the ruling class is a sad misinterpretation on behalf of my fellow retreat goers.

My further dismay while spending a weekend in prayer for all the brown children--Catholic and otherwise--dying as a direct result of the U.S. ruling class' penchant for imperialism and current 'culture of life' administration's preemptive war on the poor, was to have to stand in line for the Chapel behind a fellow retreat goer wearing a 'Surfers for Cheney and B___' t-shirt. I can't bring my self to type out the name of an individual responsible for extensive crimes against humanity. I am sure you will know what name it is. If any individuals are the embodiment of a so-called 'culture of death,' it is those named on that person's shirt. Other than a brief (and by the look on some people's faces, unwelcome) Sr. Judy's prayer on behalf of Iraqis after a meal, I felt as if I was at a P.N.A.C. convention rather than on a spiritual retreat.

It took everything in me not to stand up and suggest a retreat theme based on Liberation Theology, how it is the only modern Catholic school of thought that tracks true to the Gospels. How it is needed far more here; in the cradle of imperialism, than it is in the oppressed world countries where it flourished. If 'culture of life,' or any similar theme of self-righteous reaction is chosen for next year, please let me know. I will attend the 12 step retreat instead, since at least there we know how to focus on real issues of spiritually. Not ruling class ideology somehow cloaked as christian charity.

Your brother in Christ


Saturday, July 16, 2005

Little epiphanies

Last fall I was at my friend's house and they were discussing how a PBS program was cancelled because it would include a lesbian couple in a discussion of families. Her husband, a lawyer and one time leftist (not a former leftist, just one that is no longer active) made a comment about how the constitution was designed to protect the few from the many. That the producers of the show should fight for their right to have their point of view presented.

We have all be indoctrinated with this bourgeois notion, seemingly noble, that the minority would be protected from mass sentiment because of the brilliant design of our representative bourgeois "democracy." Nearly all my life I espoused that seemingly noble view, but was never able to come up with one concrete example of how any minority had ever been protected from oppression.

Until that day. It was so clear. Finally I understood and was able to articulate it. "The only minority the constitution is designed to protect is the ruling class. It is the only thing it has ever protected and ever will." My lawyer friend smiled and agreed. He knew at the time, but it took me a little longer to understand. That was my breakthrough from understanding Marxist theory to taking the path of the revolutionary.


Friday, July 15, 2005

Not too controversial

At the suggestion of a friend, I reposted my "An open letter to anti-immigrant groups" on Indymedia's site. I wasn't aware that it would generate such a great deal of controversy. Read through the comments to see what I mean. Unfortunately, those who seemed offended by the simple call to action can't seem to do anything other than quibble over statistics or attack me personally, when the clear path for them to solve what they consider the problem is laid out in my letter.


Never too many cat photos

Los Gatitos y Los Gatos | More Cats


Thursday, July 14, 2005

Mwadi's back

Tuesday's game was good in that the return of Mwadi Mabika saw her score 11 and get 7 assists. Her shooting form and first step weren't what they usually are, but I'm sure in time she will be back to normal. From some of the lead passes she made on the break, I have a feeling that Holdsclaw is really going to enjoy playing with Mwadi. Hopefully, this will mark a turn around in the Sparks' consistency this season. The game was a little too close until the end. The Sparks shouldn't be struggling to win at home against last place teams, but that is how this season has been.

The team waived Grubin and Nieuwveen over the last weeks. Dixon didn't play, and I heard rumors on the smoking patio that she needed to have her knee drained again. Saw Caron Butler at the game, I suppose that is before the Washington trade happened.


Excellent Venezuela article

Good Things Happening in Venezuela: Having just seen a Trotskyist speaker from Venezuela recently, it was nice to see an article by someone who recently visited. The whole region is exiting because working class people are starting to understand their strength and potential. Bolivia, Venezuela, Ecuador and others are models of how things can change when the U.S. ruling class is too occupied oppressing other parts of the globe.

Midway through the piece I had to fight back tears. When I got to this line:

I visited one of the government-supported community food stores that are located around the country, mostly in low income areas. These modest establishments sell canned goods, pasta, beans, rice, and some produce and fruits at well below market price, a blessing in a society with widespread malnutrition.

There were several more items like the previous, which really brought out the emotions. I can't speak for anyone else, but it is things like this that made me a leftist. When Chavez and the Bolivarians are able to accomplish the most basic things that a government should provide, it is inspiring to continue the struggle. Countries as resource rich as Venezuela, Columbia and Argentina should never have people going for want. The Venezuelan and U.S. ruling class can try to vilify the democratically elected Chavez all they want. In the end who is closer to Matthew 25:35-40, Chavez or the monster in the White House?


Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Reflecting on London

SW: Casualties of Bush and Blair’s war. Socialist Worker's concise way to view the London tragedy. A PDF version with a reverse side featuring statements from Mike Marqusee and George Galloway.

GNN: So you want to stop the suicide bombers? This is a reasonable discussion that provides actual proof of what the real left has been saying all along. If you want terrorism to stop, then stop occupying and supporting occupations. Pure and simple. Telling is the finding that "Once the occupying forces withdraw from the homeland territory of the terrorists, they often stop..." Robert Pape's book will certainly be ignored by the corporate press, because it proves the stereotypes and vilification of Islam completely wrong. The U.S. ruling class needs the mythology of 'freedom hating islamofacists' intact to justify its policies of mass murder and colonialism abroad, while keeping dissent to a minimum at home.

AP: Al-Qaeda has changed; Bush strategy also needs to shift. Wesley K. Clark sums up the liberal view of the situation. Notice how the focus is to 'encourage "moderates" in Islam,' in other words, perpetuating the entirely false notion that this is somehow tied to religion and not U.S. imperialism. The 'stay the course,' but involve moderates attitude reflects the liberal democrats' stance that they can somehow support invasions, occupations, and wholesale dismantlement of civil rights at home, but they are different than the administration because they have a different approach. If the Democrats were a real opposition party they would have unified in total opposition to the continued occupation. Since they serve the same masters all they can offer is slightly more "humanitarian" version of occupation.


Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Unexpected encounter

Waiting at the terminal to return home after Socialism 2005 this past weekend, I saw a man sit down across from me. His baggage had little basketballs on all the zippers, which I thought was cool. I got up to throw out an apple core and noticed a WNBA tag on the top of his bag. Although not good at speaking to strangers, I decided to ask the man if he was somehow involved with the league. Very cordially he replied he was a referee and that he was flying to Los Angeles for the Tuesday game. I told him that I was a season ticket holder and we talked ball the rest of the time waiting for the flight. Jeff Smith #53 works WNBA during the summer and men's NCAA during the winter. He was friendly and very knowledgeable about the game. He had played when he was younger and coached for many years before becoming an official. We discussed a great many things things basketball, including Ray Allen's career.


Up and down season continues

I can't remember the Sparks being this inconsistent since their days at the GW Forum. I know the continued absence of Mwadi is part of the problem, as is Macchi's absence and the injuries that Leslie and Teasley are playing through, but please. New York isn't a bad team, but they are a sub-500 team that doesn't have the talent to beat the Sparks at home if the Sparks played with some enthusiasm. Maybe it was the energy they expended Saturday (a game I missed since I was out of town). They looked flat and tired with the exception of Raffaella Masciadri, who continues to play with a great deal of energy.

Again, there were points in the game when I believe they should have dropped the zone defense and played man on man, but Bibby seems quite stubborn. Maybe this will pay off at a latter point in the season, but there have been some games in which it cost them the win. I don't remember them dropping games like this at home in the first place, and what should have been the game to place them in double digits for wins this season was squandered. Chamique Holdsclaw had a miserable game, but considering how well and how many minutes she has played this season she was probably entitled to an off game. She missed shots she nearly always makes, including several lay-ups. Her defense on Shameka Christon made Christon look like a starter instead of a reserve.

Lisa played well, considering how physically Wauters played her. Whitmore missed some of her usually money shots, and was fouled quite a bit under the basket in the second half without the benefit of calls. The Sparks really need to get it together after the All Star break. They probably won't catch the front runners for home court in the later playoffs, but really need to work on at least trying to finish in second place to have home court in the earlier rounds.


Tuesday, July 05, 2005

An open letter to anti-immigrant groups

This letter is aimed primarily at the Minutemen and S.O.S., but the content applies equally to any anti-immigrant group that has taken up vigilante like actions. I have grown weary of constant complaints from your groups that you are mischaracterized as racist simply because you are "trying to enforce the law." Let us put aside the fact that statements like Joe Turners' about "cultures that are inferior" are inherently racist. Let us put aside the fact that your activities have emboldened, encouraged, garnered praise from and even drawn participation from white supremacist groups. Let us suspend the understanding that scapegoating immigrants under an ideology that they somehow threaten the middle class is frighteningly reminiscent of basic fascist tenets. Lastly let us ignore the fact that while your memberships occasionally hint at targeting northern or other borders, your focus to date has been on one border and against one group of people.

Instead let us examine your assertion you are merely enforcing the law. More importantly let us explore the economic reasons behind your claim. Towards this end I suggest a simple and modest proposal that you may have overlooked in a fervor of nationalism. If you were to adopt this methodology, you could accomplish your stated goals while avoiding the correct and necessary labeling of racism stemming from you current activities. I suggest you marshal your membership and resources and take on the following tasks.

Your claim that undocumented immigrant labor "steals" jobs from able bodied "American" workers could simply be dealt with. Using your pools of enthusiastic membership you could find all these un/underemployed Americans and match them with these jobs. I am quite sure, following your logic, that there is an unending supply of Americans ready and willing to do this work. They merely need your help in locating it and maybe assistance with transportation. Your groups could easily handle this task. By doing this you accomplish several things. You eliminate the economic incentive for undocumented labor because all the positions will be filled by Americans. Who would be willing to break immigration laws when all incentive to do so would be gone? Secondly, you further demonstrate your patriotic nationalism and avoid being labeled as racists because you have opened employment to thousands of Americans who otherwise would have had their jobs "stolen" by immigrants.

Additionally, by eliminating all economic incentive for undocumented labor to come here, you address two major factors you cite for your current activities. Since all potential jobs currently held by undocumented labor would now be held by U.S. citizens, it is highly doubtful that many undocumented people would want to come here. This would deal with your complaint that undocumented immigrants utilize public services at the tax payer expense. While this conception proves untrue since undocumented labor contributes much more to the tax pool than it ever uses, it wouldn't mater since they wouldn't be here. This also takes care of your concerns that local communities are being turned into what the S.O.S. website terms "third world cesspools" (and you wonder why you are called racists). Surely communities of red blooded Americans working at the same wage scales as undocumented labor does now would be the epitome of what Mr. Turner calls "great American culture."

You could call the effort something like "American Labor for American Jobs." Think of the benefits that your efforts would reap. Instead of long nights in the desert with binoculars, Minutemen membership could witness the joy on the face of a fellow American when they are matched with a much desired job in California's fruit picking industry. Instead of long hours in the sun protesting a misunderstood phrase on a train station monument, S.O.S. members could hear the praises of Americans happily employed in Los Angeles garment sweatshops. Since Mr. Turner has already targeted a large home improvement chain for its loose association with day laborers, that would be a great place to start. Instead of ineffectual flag waving, why not show up with a group of able bodied Americans to take back the work from these job stealing day laborers? There are so many jobs that you could open up in the agricultural, textile, construction, service, and janitorial fields to your fellow "legal" American citizens, and it is certain that they would be eternally grateful for the opportunity.

Think about it. All of your concerns: stolen jobs, tax expenditures, over-utilization of public services, so called dilapidation of local communities, and immigration law enforcement would all be addressed in one fell swoop if you and your memberships were to undertake this task. Avoiding the labeling of racism, you might even become heros through eliminating what you state as the cause of so many social ills in this country. In light of this I call on you, in fact I defy you, to drop all your current activities and resolutely take up the program of action stated above. Prove that our characterization of your racism is patently false. Prove us wrong in our understanding that it is our economic system, not undocumented immigrants, that causes misery in our society. Demonstrate that you really are just concerned with the law through removing all incentive for people to break it. Now that you have an easy and foolproof solution to your concerns, anything less would be disingenuous. Anything less will continue to expose you for what you really are.