Tuesday, August 30, 2005

On Using Derived Terms to Further Their Racist Ideology

The far right employs the following convoluted logic. Aliens are persons who are not citizens nor naturalized under current immigration law. Any "alien" who gains entrance without documentation is breaking current immigration law. A person breaking immigration law is hence called an "illegal alien" in reaction-speak. The most reactionary drop the word alien and refer to undocumented peoples as "illegals."

The problems with this derived description are manyfold. First off, when did we begin associating what we call individuals by a single action they have committed? If we follow this line of thinking, what other derived terms can we come up with? Clearly any one using the term "illegal alien" has, at one time or another, broken the law. More than likely they have exceeded the speed limit or failed to come to a complete stop at a sign or signal. Using reaction-speak we should start calling these people illegal drivers. If these people are citizens should we call them illegal citizens? After all their single action of breaking the law should be forever associated with their citizenship status according to the above logic. Another example. When an executive flagrantly breaks international law by illegally detaining and torturing people should we call them an illegal president?

Calling another human being illegal because of their immigration status is nothing short of institutionalized racism. If we apply the illegal moniker to anyone who breaks laws, why do we reserve the term just in relation to immigration status? The answer is it allows the right to further villanize these poor working class peoples. They are not human beings displaced by oppressive economic or political situations, they are illegals. The very term allows them to segue into even more inflammatory descriptions. Never mind the racist and elitist USCIS quota system that overwhelmingly favors political refugees agreeing with reaction, or workers with a particular skill needed by large capitalists. No, our immigration policies are fair, and hence anyone who doesn't follow them deserves special terminology. The USCIS doesn't even use the term "legal alien" anymore, they call such status a "permanent resident.'

Employing the word illegal at every opportunity, right wing extremists weave apocalyptic phrases intended to heighten the culture of fear the government and corporate media work so hard to maintain. Examples of the fear mongering:

"...devoured and plundered by the menace of tens of millions of invading illegal aliens." -- MMP W3 Site

"...community is ravaged by the illegal alien invasion and turned into a Third World cesspool." -- SOS W3 Site

"...our borders are wide open and accessible to illegal aliens and terrorists." -- FOBP W3 Site

SOSSuch reactionary prose finds a home with uneducated citizens who have been whipped into an ongoing condition of fear with state supplied color "Threat Advisories." While the border extremists and their apologists continually maintain they aren't racists, their actions and rhetoric are nothing but. Wasn't too long ago when this photo was taken of a SOS rally against the Laguna Beach Day Laborer Center. Swastikas and confederate flags held aloft by their sister contingent of white supremacists intermingled with and encouraged by the SOS membership. Funny how the AN/NV/Stormfront types use the phrase "illegal alien" in the same sense as the so called "law respecting border security" folks do.


Thursday, August 25, 2005

Feral Feline Motorcycle Rider

cats Feral Feline Rider I was writing last night when I was overcome with a chocolate craving. When I went to the kitchen, I noticed a feral cat sitting on my RC46. At first I wanted to get him off, but then realized it would make for some fun photos.


Bush Administration Renews Offensive Against Title IX

Save Title IXBush has stated his disdain for Title IX on various occasions and even mentioned changing the law which has been in place since 1972. Women's groups and concerned parents forced the administration to reconsider drastic changes in 2003 to satisfy Bush's stated position of being "opposed [to] quotas or strict proportionality." A recent Department of Education Title IX policy under the guise of a clarification now threatens the very foundation of Title IX.

The Bush administration's new policy allows schools to skirt previous requirements of gauging interest in programs through serious research by merely sending out a mass email survey. School can then take non-replies as a lack of interest and not have to commit to "equal" funding. As the Save Title IX site says: "Given the notoriously low response rates to surveys in general and this era of excessive e-mail spam, the Department's new policy undermines the law and its intent to provide more opportunities for women and girls."

Title IX, while still not providing real equality, has been a major factor in advancing academic, athletic, and other opportunities for women over the past thirty years. As Ralph Nader wrote once: "The law gave women access to classes, facilities and opportunities that had historically been male-only." Decades of Title IX opportunities have produced myriad advances for women in various fields and even created conditions for professional women's sports leagues like the WNBA. The current attack on Title IX is part of a broad attack on women in general by the Bush administration. From reproductive rights to educational opportunities, it is time for a movement that fights back unapologetically against Bush's misogynistic policies!

Some Resources for Title IX
Save Title IX
League of Fans - Title IX Action!
Join the Fight for Title IX by Ralph Nader


Monday, August 22, 2005

Right Wing Extremist Cleric Advocates Assassinating Chavez

Robertson called for the assassination of Venezuela's president. Amidst a string of lies about the State Department funded coup attempt and the classic corporate media's characterization of democratically elected President Hugo Chavez as a "strong-arm dictator," reactionary Pat Robertson joined the ranks of "violent extremists." The 700 Club and Christian Coalition of America founder unapologetically called for the outright assassination of the popular Venezuelan president, who has been elected by a majority of popular vote several times in succession. The reforms in place by President Chavez have done much to alleviate the abject poverty of the Venezuelan people. From food subsidies to medical clinics, the Bolivarian reforms had been a welcome relief from the brutal Washington Consensus (neoliberalism) of the years before Chavez's election.

As the U.S. has increased its overt and covert hostility towards Chavez and the people of Venezuela, he has increasingly taken a more defensive posture. Recognizing the imperialist nature of U.S. foreign policy Chavez has begun modernizing the Venezuelan military and forming alliances with other nations. Recently as State Department saber rattling has increased, Chavez has stated that he will consider cutting off oil to the U.S. This has the U.S. ruling class in a frenzy and Robertson's calls for state sanctioned murder come as part of a conscience campaign to prepare the way towards more overt action towards the sovereign nation of Venezuela. Any claims of Robertson respecting rights to life or being against extremism can be put to bed with this. The monstrous call for assassination by Pat Robertson can only be seen as real terrorism.

Thanks to Atrios


Review: Women and Socialism: Essays on Women's Liberation

Women and SocialismWomen and Socialism: Essays on Women's Liberation by Sharon Smith

Sharon Smith's book tackles current issues employing historical and sociological evidence to show how traditional feminism is bourgeois and hence offers no real hope for addressing the issues working women face on a constant basis. After providing the historical causes for women's oppression and the abortion debate in the first two chapters, Smith explains the sad state of modern feminism, its cause, and demonstrates why only a class-wide struggle will ever provide women with real equality and emancipation. A favorite quote from the end of chapter 3:

"Feminists have traditionally accused socialists of subordinating the fight against women's oppression to the class struggle. Yet socialists have held to the principles of women's liberation that long ago fell by the wayside for mainstream feminists, precisely because socialists fight for the interests of the entire working class."

Chapter four lays out the clear hypocrisy of Bush's supposed liberation of woman in the near east, which only substituted one form of oppression with another. It also makes the case for self determination as part of the road to woman's liberation, and condemns the racist policies cropping up in the western world under the guise of helping women. An important point throughout is how all mainstream religions are typically reactionary and used to enforce ruling class ideology on women.

The final chapter shows a glimpse of what society could look like without the existing bourgeois oppression against women and other super-exploited members of the working class by drawing on the aftermath of the 1917 Russian revolution. The massive gains made by woman under the short lived worker's state have still to be realized in supposed "free western democracies." Unfortunately we don't have a complete picture because Stalin's reactionary counter-revolution took away the vast majority of gains women made under the Bolsheviks. Nevertheless, the potential is visible in this and the argument made for women's liberation through class struggle is stronger now than ever.

The major retreats on every front of the women's movement combined with the post-feminist (read bourgeois) concepts like "power feminism" demonstrate why a grassroots effort by working women in conjunction with the working class is the only answer to solving exploitation and oppression. This book is a must read for anyone concerned with equality and emancipation of women, other exploited minorities, and the working class as a whole.

1 The Origin of Women's Oppression
2 Abortion Rights: The Socialist Case
3 What Ever Happened to Feminism
4 Women and Islam
5 Women and Socialism


Friday, August 19, 2005

feline friday

This series is fun, and there is a short video to boot.


Thursday, August 18, 2005

Cindy Sheehan Vigils

vigil vigil

I was probably at one of the smallest in town, but that doesn't diminish the fact that we, like the multitudes across the nation, stand in solidarity with Cindy Sheehan against the murderous policies of the Bush administration. Cowardly repugnant man who dodged the draft in his youth, he is now avoiding the bereft mother because there is nothing he can say to her to justify the ongoing occupation.


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Border Bigot to Run for Congressional Seat

Right wing extremist and not so closeted racist Jim Gilchrist has declared his Congressional candidacy for Orange County District 48. Still trying to justify his bigoted vigilante organization by evoking 9/11 [1], he is attempting to raise funds and garner support for a congressional run. Although many suspected the leaders of these various white supremacist groups couched in rhetoric of border security have had political aspirations all along, Gilchrist is the first to fulfill this prediction.

All those concerned with preventing this hate-filled reactionary from making a serious run at congress need to mobilize. While Gilchrist and others like him are responsible for shootings and various other human right violations at the border, the corporate media and reactionary extremist California Governor have done their very best to make heroes out of them. These jingoistic individuals have spent so much of their lives in a culture of overt racism, they make racist statements while maintaining they aren't racists.

Some quotes from the MMP site:

"...while their nation is devoured and plundered by the menace of tens of millions of invading illegal aliens."

I've yet to see undocumented people devouring or plundering anything. Why are they a menace Jim? Is it the brown thing?

"Future generations will inherit a tangle of rancorous, unassimilated, squabbling cultures..."

Well Jim, you aren't trying to suggest that cultures other than your own are all rancorous and squabbling are you? Aside from the blatant ethnocentrism, your racism shows through this quote as well.

The racist rhetoric, affiliations, actions, and dire consequences of Jim Gilchrist's MMP are of grave concern and cannot be rewarded with a seat in the U.S. Congress. Making it clear that running for office on supremacist ideology will not be tolerated is critical. Stopping Gilchrist will prevent his fellow hate mongers like James Chase and Joe Turner from following suit in the future.

[1] "You've lost patience with politicians who do nothing meaningful to mend our broken borders, especially since 9/11." -- from jimgilchrist.com


Monday, August 15, 2005

some real gems today

Ongoing Halliburton hyjinx in Cheney and Halliburton: the Stench Gets Worse, Blood and Gravy. Chris Floyd discussing the ongoing pillage by criminal mastermind Dick Cheney and his KBR/Halliburton thugs.

People that are begining to understand what real democracy looks like take care of dealing with transnationals like this: Bolivians Struggle for Democracy! Too bad the folks here aren't as interested in freedom as the Bolivians are.

An Open Letter to Cindy Sheehan, Crawford, Texas May You Prevail, Where Others Have Failed, Ralph Nader's searing critique of this criminal, murderous administration.


Saturday, August 13, 2005

something good after all

After watching the Sparks string together an astonishing amount of losses and basically dropping out of the playoff picture, they actually beat a decent team. Although their chances of making the playoffs and for that mater, advancing, are slim at best, at least they gave us a home game win for a change.

Quite frankly the zone defense and many of the offensive sets have proven to be a major problems. Understanding the injuries and integrating new players are somewhat to blame, the problems this year must rest upon the new coach. A disappointing year, considering the talent, and definitely in need of drastic change in the course of how things are called on the floor.


Friday, August 12, 2005

Ali on Blair

Blair's New Authoritarianism: Terror and Democracy Tariq Ali's latest insight.


Monday, August 08, 2005

366 miles to stand against Chase's Minutemen

bikers against borders Rode with a friend from La Tierra es de Todos coalition to Campo California to join in in the united efforts against the racist right wing Minutemen Project this past Saturday. Will post a longer account of the trip soon.


Friday, August 05, 2005

Remembering in silence. Only one country has ever used WMDs.

This weekend is a solemn one. It is the anniversary of when the U.S. ruling class callously decided to frighten their rivals by employing the most terrible weapons of mass destruction known at the time against hundreds of thousands of innocent and helpless Japanese civilians. The fortunate ones died instantly in the fires of capitalism's wrath. The less fortunate died miserably in the throes of radiation sickness. The tired old song about saving countless lives has been long exposed for what it is, and it is high time the working class take a hard look at the greatest crime ever committed against humanity.

The Hiroshima Cover-Up
Noam Chomsky: Revisiting Hiroshima
Hiroshima And Nagasaki: Worst Terror Attacks In History

Having been to that country, and having friends from there, I would attend the memorial at the Japanese American National Museum this weekend. Unfortunately I have to be in Campo CA at the border fighting against another set of disgusting racists--the Minutemen.