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What A Long Strange Trip It's Been
Saturday, 28 February 2009
Durban II and the Fight Against Racism, Social Injustice, and All That Nasty CRAP
Mood:  chatty
Now Playing: "What Is And What Should Never Be" by Led Zeppelin
Topic: Politicians

For those of you who don't know, CRAP is a technical term. Yep. I confirmed it yesterday at a Budget Planning meeting on Project Lead The Way with Jim, Eldon, Cindy and Vikki - CRAP is a technical term. Thus,  I am using it in this blog and in the title for this blog, so deal with it.

***

In 2001, a conference was held in Durban, South Africa. This conference was called the World Conference against Racism (WCAR). Prior to this conference two other conferences had been held on the same subject matter, one in 1978 and the other in 1983. This year, 2009, another conference will be held to discuss racism. It was recently announced, like yesterday or Thursday, that the US is boycotting this conference to be held in Geneva, Switerland.

There are many reasons to attend a conference on racism. The top one that I can think of is that racism still plays a HUGE unacknowledged role in the United States and around the world, and it should be discussed throuoghly by the leaders of nations around this world and mutually agreed upon as an evil that must be eliminated. Yet, there are numerous reasons why THIS particular conference on racism should be scrapped.

From all reported sources, the pre-conference meetings that have been held to plan the WCAR conference for April 2009 have been producing documents that are clearly Anti-Semetic, and contains language that some consider defeats the purpose of the conference.

The explicit purpose of the conferences is to bring to light racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance. I've read the document from 2001, the one that President Bush wouldn't sign, and it says some major things that I agree with and is very blunt in its assessment of past injustice and current injustices which are still being faced today. Still, it was imperfect and lacked some major realizations.

Here is one area that is both important for the good that it strives for, but is also woefully lacking:

Under the section titled "Programme of Action", the subsection "III. Measures of prevention, education and protection aimed at the eradication of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance at the national, regional and international levels", paragraph number 74 as follows:

74. Urges States and invites non-governmental organizations and the private sector:

a.) To create and implement policies that promote a high-quality and diverse police force free from racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, and recruit actively all groups, including minorities, into public employment, including the police force and other agencies within the criminal justice system (such as prosecutors);

b.) To work to reduce violence, including violence motivated by racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, by:

   i. Developing educational materials to teach young people the importance of tolerance and respect;

  ii. Addressing bias before it manifests itself in violent criminal activity;

  iii. Establishing working groups consisting of, among others, local community leaders and national and local law enforcement officials, to improve coordination, community involvement, training, education and data collection, with the aim of preventing such violent criminal activity;

  iv. Ensuring the civil rights laws that prohibit violent criminaly activity are strongly enforced;

  v. Enhancing data collection regardin violence motivated by racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance;

  vi. Providing appropriate assistance to victims, and public education to prevent future incidents of violence motivated by racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance;

Lots of good things in that little section we can cheer for, right? Yes. Many good ideas about the police, violence and justice system, etc. BUT...Okay, now, part of this is total CRAP (here's that technical word again). The very first statement i.) Developing educational materials to teach young people the importance of tolerance and respect;

Why is this CRAP? Because nobody wants to be simply TOLERATED. I don't want to teach my children to simply tolerate people who are different. I want my children to accept people, with all their differences, as people deserving of all the human rights and respects that they want and enjoy for themselves.

I am one of the Cultural Proficiency trainers at my workplace. People look at me and see a white woman and make assumptions about me. This pisses me off to no end! My cultural heritage and identity cannot be summed up as 'white woman'. My father's side of the family has a rich cultural heritage which goes back to Spanish colonoization of current day Mexico and the migration of the descendants of those Spanish & Amerindian offspring (the Mestizo - meaning mixed) to Spanish controlled California in the late 1780's and early 1790's. They moved and brought both Spanish and Amerindian cultures with them, and then, settled down living and marrying local indigenous people of California.

Meanwhile, my father's great great grandfather came from France and moved to California and married into the family. Then, years later, my father's other side of the family came from Southern Italy and the Spanish/French/Mexican-Amerindian married. In my great-grandfather's home, Spanish & French were spoken. In my great-grandmother's home, English & Italian were spoken. They all ended up producing my father, a rich blend of all those histories, cultures, enthicities. Family gatherings were huge at my Great Grandfather Barney's house, with large tables spread out so my Great Aunts could make tamales and chatter away in Spanish. I never learned it - my Grandmother Betty spoke with a clear accent, and she didn't want my father nor me to have the stigma that an accent carried, so she made sure that we weren't proficient in Spanish. I knew only commands like, "Siéntese" or "Cierra la boca" or "Traiga la abuela los plátanos" simple stuff. I called my Grandma Betty - Nana, and occasionally Abuela. I thought that was her name for a while until I learned it meant Grandmother. It was frustrating and now that I think about it, very sad, that my family did this to me. I never felt particularly close to them because they spoke Spanish around me and I felt excluded.

My mother's side was just as mixed up, Lithuanian, Creek Indian, and Armenian. Talk about diverse. One side of the family farmers, the other side cobblers, and factory laborers. My Grandmother and her sisters were raised speaking both Armenian and English, but my grandmother refused to teach Armenian to my mother or me. Again, it was exclusionary, and whenever my Great Aunts and my Grandmother spoke in Armenian to each other, it was purposefully to exclude us so they could talk about things privately. It felt awful. Now, my Great Aunt Peggy wasn't apparently like that and my cousin Paula speaks Armenian, and even moved back to Armenia a few years ago with her husband who also speaks it fluently.

I've attempted to learn Spanish, French, and Italian to reconnect with the various parts of my family and it iwas and is painful. I have sought to research my family ancestry because I feel disconnected and unwelcome. I don't want to be 'tolerated' at the Machado family reunion because I am not bilingual, or because I look white with pale skin and blue eyes. I am a genetic freak of nature. Both my parents have brown hair and eyes, and darker skin, olive in tint that can tan to pretty dark, yet I was a genetic improbabilty that found the genes in my Lithuanian side, and possibly French side and poof - no traces of my Amerindian, Italian, Armenian hertitage are clear. Take a look at this picture from my first birthday - at the bottom of this blog. I am seated on my Abuela's lap (that's my father's mother Betty). Next to her in the white is my Grandmother "Babe" Rose (the 100 % Armenian one). Behind her is my Grandfather Al who is the one of Lithuanian and Creek Indian heritage. The other man is my Grandfather Joe, who was 100% Italian. The other lady is my step-Grandmother Shirley, married to Grandpa Joe at this time. Do I look out of place in this picture? I mean seriously - I have my Grandfather Al's eyes, but look at my Grandmothers!

This is how I have felt my whole life. An outsider. This is why discrimination and racism hits me so hard. My Grandfather Al was a total racist and made terrible comments about my father repeatedly in front of me. He also made extremely racist comments about my adopted brother David and thought nothing of it. It hurt me even at that very young age and I understood it was wrong. His comments on the Catholic religion that both my Grandmothers adhered to were hateful, and unforgiving. He was upset that my mother would marry a N-word - yes, that's what he called my father, besides other things, because my father was mixed race in my Grandfather's eyes. Italians and Mexican/Amerindians just weren't white people. He had no problem with my Grandmother "Babe" even though she was Armenian, although the rat bastard did cheat on her and ended up marrying a nauseating "true white" woman of Polish heritage.

I applaud President Obama for not bringing the US to the table at this upcoming conference in Geneva in April. If mere tolerance is going to be on the table and nothing more, then we cannot be apart of that. We are not adhereing to the expressed beliefs of our shared American Dream if we are merely tolerating people.

Acceptance and embracing of each others diversities is what this world needs. Do not misunderstand me...I do not advocate the melting pot effect where we loose the important cultural traditions. I am not advocating seperate but equal...no not seperate...side by side embracing each other and equal. Not you over there and me over here, but both of us together, side by side, hand in hand, stepping together for justice, equality, liberty, freedom for all people in the human family regardless of the color of their skin, the language they speak, the religion they practice, their sexual orientation, their gender, their age, their national origin, their wealth, their so-called caste - all of it. One human family.


Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 11:24 AM CST
Updated: Saturday, 28 February 2009 11:30 AM CST
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Sunday, 8 February 2009
K-12 Education Needs To Be In The Stimulus Package
Mood:  bright
Now Playing: Nothing right now - Matt's asleep
Topic: Politicians

K-12 Education makes up a large part of the budget of most states. In Kansas it is just about half of the budget. As Kansas has a large airline industry, which like other manufacturing industries has been hit by the recent economic downturn, there have been significant job losses. In the Wichita area this week alone, 8,000 layoff notices were handed out by Cessna, Bombardier Learjet, Hawker Beechcraft, and others. Coupled with the jobs lost in November and December, finding a job in the Wichita area has become difficult, as my husband has found out having been laid off from TECT Aerospace (a parts supplier for Cessna) on 12/05/08.

Now, K-12 education is faced with budget cuts for our current fiscal year as well as additional cuts for next fiscal year since state revenues, due to the above mentioned job losses, have shrunk considerably. Wichita Public Schools is the fourth largest employer in Sedgwick County. With the proposed cuts from the Kansas legislature, USD 259 will lose $88 per regular education student; special education students would receive additional cuts. That's $4,286,304 (for regular education) just this fiscal year - that's by June 30. If you divide that by the district's classroom teacher average salary that's 89.81 FTE (full time equivalent positions) by June 30, 2009. Then, after July 1, additional budget cuts added to that first $4.2 million and we have NO idea how high the Kansas legislature may go. Originally, the GOP led body proposed a cut that would have meant a loss of nearly $40 million to USD 259.

I am a budget analyst for Wichita Public Schools, so I do know what I am talking about. Our recent Bond issue was to be matched by the state; payments subsidized by the state making 25% of the cost. Now the state is specifically cutting payment assistance on Bond issues. There are 2 million square feet of additional school spaces (6 new schools, classrooms, gyms, etc) in that Bond Issue. Without the state’s funding, it is not likely that Wichita or many other districts in Kansas will be able to proceed as planned, meaning a loss in jobs – construction, engineering, architecture, etc.

The stimulus package has money in it specifically for Wichita Public Schools for Title I, IDEA, and Construction. The amount of indirect reimbursements to the district’s General Fund from the Title I and IDEA funds alone will help ease the state’s proposed cuts, nearly eliminating their impact. The $20 million in Construction funds would cover the Bond payments that the State of Kansas won’t be able to make, thus the Bond Issue can proceed, and all the jobs riding on Wichita Public Schools will be preserved. Jobs that will in turn pay taxes into city, county, and state coffers, spreading the effect of the stimulus package to the 10,000+ other governmental employees of the State of Kansas, City of Wichita, and Sedgwick County that reside in this community.

Senators, I ask that you seriously consider voting to pass the stimulus package without cutting K-12 funding.  The next two years of funding from the stimulus package would certainly save jobs in Wichita and see nearly 49,000 public school students and their families, as well as 5,508 USD 259 employees and their families through this tremendously stressful time, restoring faith that our federal government cares about working class people on whose backs this country was built.

The TARP passed last quarter and has done little to ease my life and stress. Giving the money to the banks didn’t stop my husband from being laid off. This stimulus package, if implemented as planned, would mean that USD 259 could remove its current hiring freeze and my husband, now on unemployment, could get a job again.

I feel victimized by greedy investment managers who sold risky mortgage backed securities. I have no debt other than my mortgage, which I pay on time and in full. Before my husband was laid off, we actually paid more each month to pay off our loan early. What have we done to deserve this? I am a public employee, working for the benefit of K-12 children at a far lower wage than if I was in a commercial fiscal budgeting and planning position, but I chose this line of work because school districts need good financial managers too. I am appalled by how out of touch with Middle America the financial community apparently seems to be if they are complaining about $500,000 salary caps. What about teachers; the people that mold the minds of America’s youth? The average Wichita Public School teacher is paid $47,727 per year! It costs that much to get a bachelors degree and teaching credential today. Solving the economic crisis and stimulus package debate on the backs of already strapped school districts and teachers is appalling, and I am ashamed that you, seemingly educated and caring people, could suggest such a thing.

 

This is the letter I sent to Senators Brownback, Roberts, Collins, McCain, and McCollum on Friday.

 

Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 7:16 AM CST
Updated: Sunday, 8 February 2009 7:20 AM CST
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Tuesday, 4 November 2008
Is it to be believed?
Mood:  bright
Now Playing: "The Wedding Chorale - Beggars at the Feast" from "Les Miserables"
Topic: Politicians

I was in line to vote this morning before the polls opened. One hour after my wait began I got to the polling machine to cast my vote. It felt historic and energy in the room was high. The woman next to me was one of the first people to get to the machines, but apparently she was writing in a lot of names on the local ballots and it was taking her a long time. Seriously, she was at the machine a good 45 minutes. I voted and started to leave and she was still at the machine. Oh well.

There was no person on the ballot for Sumner County Treasurer. I wish I knew that ahead of time, I could have started a write in campagin. That would have been very funny. I wonder who is going to get that spot. I guess I'll know this evening.

Lunch is on the way from Uptown Bistro - my chicken shawarma, hummus and fattouch salad should be arriving any minute. I am soooo looking forward to it, I may even start salivating. Can I shout it to the world how much I love hummus?

What a great day! I new government is coming. My work is chugging right along and I am getting tons of stuff done today. I may even finish reconciling October and close the month officially. My lunch is going to be awesome. Can this day get better?!

Tongue out

 


Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 12:22 PM CST
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Saturday, 13 September 2008
Racism In American
Mood:  sharp
Topic: Politicians
 

Dwarfed by the shadows of the nation's brooding, the anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 have come and gone. This week was introspective and reflective for me. What was it to you?

 

To me, the anniversary came and went with a somber feeling. I wanted to cry out against all that I see as wrong, and so I turn to my blog for relief and to purge myself of the anger I feel at all the injustice I live with and see before me.

 

The United States of America is a racist place to live, governed by a majority of people who are themselves racist and if not outwardly white supremacists, then most certainly in their heart of hearts agree with the ideals of those bent on white power. How can I say this? I'm white, right? Yes, I am white, among other things, and I do know that all white people are not racists, yet honestly, many sure do act like it, most poignantly those in power. The attacks of 9/11 were inevitable and I am not surprised they occurred. Part of me believes the government of the United States had it coming and prompted the attack with its imperialistic meddling in the affairs of nations all over the world. What? I don't mean to say that I think it was just. I don't think that all those people should have died or that the Trade Center should have been targeted. The targeting of the Pentagon, hey, I understand that, as well, as the attempts on the White House or the Capital. The World Trade Center - well, I think it was targeted because it would be highly visible and would shake the financial market. Also, America is all about the money, so what's more symbolic than the Trade Center. Still, am I saying that I don't understand the motives behind the attack? Oh, I understand them. I don't condone them or rejoice in them one bit. I ache for the loss of life that happened that day. I curse the stupid terrorists that planned and executed this horrific event. They suck. Were they trying to make a point? Yes, they were. Is there point a valid one? Yes, on many levels, their arguments against US foreign policy are correct.

 

The US government has been involved in destabilizing nations and governments all over the world since its founding as a government. Yep. The US government has taken part in what can only be called State sponsored terrorism throughout its entire history as a guise of being the helpful and caring democratic champion of the world.

 

Let me start at the beginning and paint you a picture of a country known as the United States of America. Truly - it needs to go WAY back to the beginning so you can see, this isn't something new, its in the mortar and cornerstones of the Temple to Democracy the US worships at daily.

 

When was the area of land that is currently known as the United States of America settled?

 

Did you answer 1620 in Plymoth? You're wrong. Perhaps you thought of Jamestown in 1607? Nope, wrong again. Did you go all the back in time to perhaps some Spanish conquers like Ponce de Lion, or De Soto, or maybe even back to Christopher Columbus? Well, those are all wrong, too. Vikings? Nope - sorry - wrong.

 

North America and South America were ‘discovered' and ‘settled' by persons of Asian descent that crossed the land bridge via the Berring straight tens of thousands of years ago, quite possibly as recent as 12,000 BCE (before the common era) to as long ago as 30,000 BCE. There is evidence that boats were also used pre-Columbus by Africans and Phoenicians to come to South America. Check out some pictures of the Olmec Indian heads in Mexico and tell me if you don't think those are black people.

 

Why does it matter and what bearing does it have on America's racism and imperialism today?

 

It matters a great deal! If Americans believe this land was discovered and settled by white people (yes, Spanish from Spain and Columbus be he Italian, Portuguese or Jewish are white people), then it stands to reason that America is a place belonging to white people. A country founded by white people, for the benefit of white people, ruled by white people, etc. If that is the underlying thought of believing in the Columbus or Pilgrim myth, then it permeates itself throughout history and comes to bear on today's issues with relevance. It leaves out Native Americans and Africans including all of their related accomplishments. Yes, accomplishments.

 

If you believe all the claptrap about Sir Henry navigating Africa first and Columbus coming to the Americas first, you are falling into the Eurocentric trap. Arabs invented our alphabet, numbers and much of what began as astronomy. Africans were amazing navigators and had sailed around much longer and farther than any white Europeans. Native American social structure was more democratic than anything occurring in contemporary Europe in the 1400's. The world was not civilized by Europeans, yet, by believing in the Pilgrim and Columbus myths, you believe it was. The first civilizations were in modern day IRAQ! Yes, the currently Muslim world resides on the cradle of mankind; the birthplace of civilization.

 

Also, it is important to know that this, the United States of America, was not a vacant land without inhabitants. Our history books don't stress the acknowledged number of nearly 26,000,000 people living in what is now the continental United States prior to colonization. Independent people that needed no help from the white colonists to survive and thrive. They weren't savages; they were people with a different ethos and belief structure who venerated the earth and lived in relative harmony with it. The land was tended and cared for, not raped and pillaged. The First Peoples were here and history needs to acknowledge them more than just a nod with the Thanksgiving myth.

 

Here is what http://www.nativecircle.com/ has to say about the Thanksgiving myth:

 

'Thanksgiving' did not begin as a great loving relationship between the pilgrims and the Wampanoag, Pequot and Narragansett people.  In fact, in October of 1621 when the 'pilgrim' survivors of their first winter in Turtle Island sat down to share the first unofficial 'Thanksgiving' meal, the Indians who were there were not even invited!  There was no turkey, squash, cranberry sauce or pumpkin pie.  A few days before this alleged
feast took place, a company of 'pilgrims' led by Miles Standish actively sought the head of a local Indian leader, and an 11 foot high wall was erected around the entire Plymouth settlement for the very purpose of keeping Indians out!  Officially, the holiday we know as 'Thanksgiving' actually came into existence in the year 1637. Governor Winthrop of the Massachusetts Bay Colony proclaimed this first official day of Thanksgiving and feasting to celebrate the return of the colony's men who had arrived safely from what is now Mystic, Connecticut.  They had gone there to participate in the massacre of over 700 Pequot men, women and children, and Mr. Winthrop decided to dedicate an official day of thanksgiving complete with a feast to 'give thanks' for their great 'victory'.

 

Here is something else that is hardly ever touched upon, written by Rev. Robert Two Bulls (Lakota Ogala)

 

"When the Pilgrims touched Plymouth Rock in 1620 and made it to shore, they found a deserted village, which they eventually appropriated for themselves and named Plymouth Colony. The village had been named Patuxet and was the formal home of people who were a branch of the Wampanoags. The majority of these people had died from smallpox in 1618. The village was a ghost town.

The Pilgrims were helped out by Squanto (or Tisquantum), a Wampanoag and a former inhabitant of Patuxet. Squanto spoke English. He had learned this language over a period of several years, following his capture by English traders and sale into slavery in Europe. He had made it back home, a heroic nine-year journey, only to find his people pretty much wiped out.

After teaching the Pilgrims basic survival and agricultural techniques, the Wamponoags and Pilgrims kept peaceful relations for well over fifty years. Some have said that Squanto was eventually killed by the "good Puritans."

Perhaps we as a nation need to celebrate the life of Squanto, who was the real hero of this sad story. Instead we celebrate a false mythology that plays into our notion of greatness. It is presented like a bridge that connects a mythic past of one's ancestors having nothing to present-day descendents having a superabundance of everything. The troubling aspect of this symbol is that the foundation on one side of this bridge is unstable, and I am not sure that making a connection from this myth to giving thanks today is a very good one to make. We have to remember that land in America was largely acquired dishonestly by outright theft and by breaking treaties with the first peoples of this land. American History that only considers the false myths as truth will always diminish the past and present lives of Native American Indians.

There is the other problem that arises from this mythmaking, and that is the one about a certain special relationship being established between God and America. We have to ask the question, "Did God really send the diseases to annihilate all the indigenous inhabitants and then give the land to the Europeans?" Christians have conveniently found support through the years in the passages found in the book of Deuteronomy. One example is today's reading about the Israelites being given land to occupy that was already settled by other peoples. This problem surrounding land ownership is one that we will be fighting over for years to come."

 

Why is knowing about this important?

 

Well, if we believe that Europeans are the most civilized, than that makes the rest of the world savages and thus, that perception dictates our actions towards them. Also, if we believe God purposefully destroyed the First Peoples and gave this land to the Europeans, then, God must favor America, right? Meaning, that the Protestant northern Europeans who did all this stuff to the First Peoples are kind of like the Israelites who entered the holy land after 40 years of wandering in the desert. America is the Promised Land and Americans (white, Anglo-Saxon Protestants who are Americans) are the chosen people then by this belief. Mr. Bush may be the President of the United States and was born and raised here, but his ancestors weren't - they were the chosen people coming to claim the Promised Land. They came from Europe as all white people's ancestors did. So, if whites are descended from Europeans and Europe was the smartest most civilized place in the world then it could be reasoned that we are awesome too, yeah America! Bullshit! Seriously. Can you see how all of this plays into the belief that America is always right? America is the new Promised Land founded by Christians who accepted Jesus as the Messiah, unlike the Jews who asked the Romans to put him to death. America has God on its side and thus everything it does, particularly to non-whites and non-Christians is blessed. This seriously is the foundation of our government. In God We Trust?

 

History textbooks and the monitoring groups that oversee their approval and disbursal are the cause of American ignorance of the facts of our past. I am going to throw out a few whoppers right now and I'll be back to address them later in the blog:

 

  • 1) The United States is a imperialist power with a manifesto of world domination

 

  • 2) The actions by the United States over the course of its 230 year history have been consistently pro-white, pro-Protestant Christian, pro-affluent, and anti-everyone else not fitting into those three groups.

 

What actions of the past cause me to come up with these statements?

 

  • 1) Genocide of the Native American peoples
  • a. Including stealing the land by violating treaties
  • b. Purposefully infecting Native Americans with diseases
  • c. Forced relocation to inadequate lands
  • d. Systematic destruction of language and culture via Indian Schools and all the various Indian laws passed to terminate Indians and Indian rights

 

  • 2) Slavery of the African people and continued oppression of their descendants
  • a. General "unofficial" acceptance by US law enforcement of white supremacist groups like the KKK and actual membership and support of these groups by political leaders around the country. I'll give a nod to President Ulysses S. Grant for his signing of Benjamin Franklin Butler's legislation, the Civil Rights Act of 1871 (known as the Ku Klux Klan Act), but this one action didn't stop the KKK's reformation in 1915 with the film birth of a Nation. The Klan was actually promoted by Woodrow Wilson in his book "History of the American People" and by his enthusiastic endorsement of the film while he was President of the US.
  • i. Notable Klan members who went about the business of making life for African-Americans tough through their political power:
  • 1. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black was a Klan member in the 1920's
  • 2. West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd was a recruiter for the Klan in his 20s and 30s - STILL A CURRENT SENATOR and currently third in line in the presidential line of succession!
  • 3. Theodore Gilmore Bilbo Governor of Mississippi from 1916 - 1920 and again from 1928-1932 as well as a US Senator from 1935-1947 - nicknamed "The Man"
  • 4. Ross Robert Barnett Governor of Mississippi from 1960 - 1964
  • 5. David Bibb Graves Governor of Alabama from 1927-1931 and again from 1935-1939
  • 6. Theophilus Eugene "Bull" Connor Public Safety Commissioner of Birmingham Alabama in 1960's
  • 7. Edward L. "Ed" Jackson Governor of Indiana from 1925 - 1929
  • 8. Arthur Raymond Robinson US Senator from Indiana 1925 - 1935
  • 9. James Eli Watson - US Representative 1894 - 1987 and 1898 - 1909 and Senator from Indiana from 1929 - 1933
  • 10. Clarence Joseph Morley Governor of Colorado from 1925-1927
  • 11. Rice William Means US Senator from Colorado 1924 - 1927
  • 12. Clifford M Walker Governor of Georgia from 1923 - 1927; also Mayor of Monroe, Georgia
  • 13. David Ernest Duke Republican member of the Louisiana House of Representatives 1989-1992
  • b. The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiments - look it up, you'll be horror stricken
  • c. Segregation of all sorts - definitely not separate by equal either and all the issues arising from this, mainly:
  • i. Poor housing conditions - overcrowded and vermin infested with high infant mortality rates
  • ii. Inadequate educational systems
  • iii. Unequal rights under the law for trials, voting, basically everything
  • d. Crackdown or murder on black civil rights leaders and their movements by the US Government - FBI Chief J Edgar Hoover labeled the Black Panthers as "the greatest threat to internal security of the country".
  • i. The shooting and imprisonment of Huey Newton
  • ii. The persecution and eventual exile of Eldridge Cleaver
  • iii. Bobby Seale, bound and gagged at his trial in Chicago
  • iv. Fred Hampton short dead by police in his bed while they raided his house

 

  • 3) Constant support of the Colonialism and Imperialist of non-white nations around the world (the middle east, Asia, the Pacific Islands, and South America)
  • a. The multiple invasions of American troops into Mexico during the administration of Woodrow Wilson
  • b. The invasion of Russia to aid in the overthrow of their revolutionaries in 1918 under the administration of Woodrow Wilson
  • c. The United States assistance to the Shah of Iran's faction in deposing the rightful Prime Minister Mussadegh and returning the shah to the throne in 1953 - thank you President asshole Dwight D. Eisenhower, former general and major douche bag - more on that in a second. The Shah of Iran was for secularism not an Islamic state, so even though he wasn't Christian, the US supported a secular state rather than an Islamic one. Starting in 1924 secularism in Iran suppressed the outward expressions of Islamic faith, so of course the US supported the Shah who supported secularism. Look what a backlash that caused in 1979 & 1980 though - Islamic revolution in Iran, the taking of American hostages, and now Iran is a totally hostile country under the thumb of an Islamist theocracy.
  • d. The United States actions in Vietnam (yes, thank you again you asshole Eisenhower for dragging us into that mess in 1954 - you prick - He formally allied the US with the South Vietnamese! Sending a few hundred advisors was the beginning of the downfall into war you shithead. I don't like Ike!)
  • i. Just as an aside - President Eisenhower is credited in ending the Korean War, but to date a peace treaty has never been signed!

 

A little bit about the Vietnam War:

The French maintained dominant control of their colony of Vietnam until World War II, when Japanese forces invaded and occupied Vietnam, using the country as a base to launch attacks against Southeast Asia and India. After the war France attempted to reestablish its colony, however a communist insurgency that had arisen during Japanese occupation forced the French into the First Indochina War that lasted until 1954. The French suffered a major defeat at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu and shortly afterwards withdrew from the country. The world community divided the country at the 17th parallel into North Vietnam and South Vietnam during the Geneva Accords. This division was meant to be temporary, pending democratic elections and reunification.

This did not turn out to be the case. North and South Vietnam both formed geopolitical alliances, the North aligning itself with Communist China and the Soviet Union and the South with the United States (rah rah America). Think about what was going on at the time in the United States - yes - we are talking about mid-1950's history here, something rarely talked about in the classroom. McCarthism - The Red Scare - the beginning of the Cold War in full force! In 1954, Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy and The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) were investigating everyone - entertainers (yes, Ronald Regean and Shirley Temple were questioned before a congressional committee!), international entrepreneurs (like Howard Hughes), anyone they wanted to smear really. People were blacklisted and fear began to rise in this country. Fear of communism, and I can't even explain why - but I could take a few stabs - educated guess.

Anyway, the Northern Vietnamese government sought implementation of the Geneva Accords, including reunification following an election that would likely lead to a victory for the Communists, while the government of the South sought to make the division of the country permanent, and was supported in this by the United States, which saw the "nation of South Vietnam" as a bulwark against the spread of "international communism" in the region.

Someone please tell me why the rest of the world should have had a say in what went on in Vietnam? It was the right of the people who lived there NOT the world community to decide anything. I don't think the United States should have ever been involved. So what if the people voted for the Communists? Other countries don't get involved in our elections. Why did we think it was right to get involved with theirs? Could it be that we thought we were more civilized than they? Perhaps we wanted to help France get back their colony and by destabilizing either the South or the North we'd help with white supremacy in Asia? What was the REAL reason behind thousands of American men being sent to their deaths in the jungles of Vietnam? Can we even begin to grasp the irreparable damage done to a generation's psyche? My mother and father are of that generation and were involved as my father was in the air force during the Vietnam ‘conflict'. I was born in a different country as a result of it - on an American military base to be sure, but still born outside the United States technically - as the place I was born reverted to its own population's control just months before my birth.

Back to my rant...

  • 1) What other actions make me believe the United States is no better than the terrorists it hunts?
  • a. How about trying to assassinate Fedel Castro dozens of times?
  • b. How about the actual assassinations of heads of state around the world?

Wait, didn't you know about that? Yes, in the 1970's the CIA disclosed there were many plots BY THEM to assassinate foreign leaders. This deeply embarrassed the U.S. and since has made the CIA, whether it is involved or not, the prime suspect whenever a foreign leader is assassinated. It took a presidential declaration by Ronald Reagan in 1981 a true executive order stating that "no person employed by or acting on the behalf of the U.S. government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, assassination" to try and clear the nation's image.

  • 2) What about the suppression of the actual citizens of the United States?
  • a. Anti-black laws even after slavery
  • b. Anti-women laws throughout its history
  • c. Anti-non white laws (various immigrant legislation)
  • i. Hello...Japanese concentration camps during WWII - our own citizens born here, speaking English, had never been to Japan!
  • d. Illegal domestic spying on US citizens by the CIA
  • 3) Anti-Immigration Laws in general throughout this countries history. Early immigration restrictions began to be moved into place almost immediately after the Revolutionary War ended. First, I'll make note of them, then I'll expound on why:
  • a. The Aliens and Seditions Act of 1789 - declared that the President could expel anyone he thought dangerous
  • b. A Naturalization Act of 1790 - established than any free WHITE person "of good moral character" who had resided in the U.S. for two years could acquire citizenship.
  • c. The Alien Act of 1798 - This act extended the residence requirement for naturalization from the original two years to fourteen years. It also added that undesirable aliens could be deported. (Is there a definition of undesirable somewhere - hmmm?)
  • d. The Alien Act revision of 1800 - scaled back the fourteen years to five years.

Some quick figures for you - between the Revolutionary War and 1819, an estimated 250,000 foreign-born persons had arrived via ship and settled in the United States. This doesn't include persons arriving overland from Mexico and Canada. In 1819, an act was passed that required more careful record keeping, and since that time, seriously, from 1820 until September 30, 1985, a grand total of 52.5 million people immigrated to the United States. The peak intercensal (you know like the 10's, 20's, 30's) decade of immigration was 1901-1910, with 8.8 million recorded immigrants, while the peak decade (just a period of ten years) was 1905-1914 with a count of more than 10.1 million. The largest single year was 1907, when 1,285,349 immigrants were counted.

Now keeping that entire issue in mind, let us return to the lovely acts of our government and its racist Anti-immigration laws:

  • e. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 - barred the immigration of laborers (but not teachers, diplomats, students, merchants or tourists) from China for 10 years. This act was renewed in 1892 and 1902 and rescinded only in 1943, when the US and China were wartime allies against the Nazis and Japanese. Here is some other important info about this: The precedent of this act as the first exclusion of a national group was more important that its impact on immigrant numbers! Why do I state this, well, because at the time of this acts passing, Chinese immigration amounted to 39,579, in 1882, compared to 250,000 immigrants from Germany that very same year. So - the law was Anti-Chinese (non-white) and anti-lower class (laborers).
  • f. Gentlemen's Agreement of 1907-1908 with Japan - barred entry to laborers from Japan (and from Korea after Japan annexed Korea in 1910) and in 1917, immigration was prohibited for laborers from an "Asiatic Barred Zone" (most of China, India, Indochina, parts of Afghanistan and Arabia, Burma, Siam, the Malay Stats, Asiatic Russia, most Polynesian islands, and all East Indian islands).

By 1911, more immigrants were coming from southern Europe instead of northern Europe - so more Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Greek, Hungarian people rather than British, Germany, Belgian, Norwegian, etc. The Dillingham Joint Commission on Immigration, supposedly scientific and impartial, concluded that the new immigrants were racially inferiors, "inclined toward violent crime", resisted assimilation, and "drove old-stock citizens out of some lines of work".

  • g. By 1921, the Quota Act, established immigrant quotas for each admissible nationality based on its share of the U.S. population counted in the 1910 census. Some 60 percent of the quotas went to northwestern European countries.
  • h. In 1924, the National Origins Act, passed a final definitive restrictive legislation. The quotas were similar to those in the 1921 document. As implemented in 1929, the allotted 82 percent of a maximum of 150,000 annual immigrants from the Eastern Hemisphere to countries of northwestern Europe, 16 percent to southeastern Europe, and 2 percent to all others, effectively barring the entry of all Asians. They were "aliens ineligible for citizenship". * Take note here that this was northwestern Europe - which is heavily Protestant in nature whereas southern and eastern Europe is heavily Catholic and Jewish. Also, take note that this passed at a time when the Klu Klux Klan had US Senators and a Supreme Court Justice as members working in Washington DC on their behalf.*
  • i. In 1952, the Immigration and Nationality Act was passed, over the veto of Democratic President Harry Truman (gotta love and appreciate Harry - one of our truly great presidents even with his awkward brush with the KKK). He objected to this piece of legislation because of the continuation of immigrant quotas. This act, also known as the McCarran-Walter Act after its congressional sponsors - is still in effect today, although heavily amended in 1965 and 2003.

Shame on Senator Pat McCarran (D-Nevada) and Congressman Francis Walter (D-Pennslyvania) - disgraceful men of the Democratic Party who obviously hearken back to the old days prior to the flip flop in idealism that took place. Yes, products of their time, but still, disgraceful.

McCarran, a child of Irish immigrants, was a staunch anti-communist, friendly with Joseph McCarthy, establisher of the Subversive Activities Control Board,  sponsored unconstitutional pieces of legislation (McCarran Internal Security Act) that were "pro-security" and exclusionist. Here is a quote from Senator McCarran:

"I believe that this nation is the last hope of Western civilization and if this oasis of the world shall be overrun, perverted, contaminated or destroyed, then the last flickering light of humanity will be extinguished. I take no issue with those who would praise the contributions which have been made to our society by people of many races, of varied creeds and colors. America is indeed a joining together of many streams which go to form a mighty river which we call the American way. However, we have in the United States today hard-core, indigestible blocs which have not become integrated into the American way of life, but which, on the contrary are its deadly enemies. Today, as never before, untold millions are storming our gates for admission and those gates are cracking under the strain. The solution of the problems of Europe and Asia will not come through a transplanting of those problems en masse to the United States. ... I do not intend to become prophetic, but if the enemies of this legislation succeed in riddling it to pieces, or in amending it beyond recognition, they will have contributed more to promote this nation's downfall than any other group since we achieved our independence as a nation."

Francis Eugene Walter (D-Pennsylvania) was an outright racist. The Walter Family's roots rest in Holland - yes, he was a Pennsylvania Dutch, his last non-US born ancestor being born in Holland in 1790 - that being his great-grandfather, immigrating to the US between 1800 and 1832. He was Lutheran, as well as being a member of the Eagles, Elks, and Junior Order. Oh, and the Odd Fellows - not quite the Masons, but certainly exclusionist lodges intent on their own designs for society. He served in WWI & WWII in the Navy and became a lawyer 1919. He was a US Congressmen from 1933 to 1963. He was known as holding "reactionary and racist" viewpoints, as well as being a strong anti-Communist. He served as the chairman of the Un-American Activities Committee and was connected with the Pioneer Fund, a foundation best known for its advocacy of IQ variation among races. The Pioneer Fund was also known for their philosophy of Eugenics - basically a social philosophy which advocates the improvement of human hereditary traits through various forms of intervention such as selective breeding, forced sterilization, and other various types of birth control. YES! Can you believe this? It is true. This man was the director of a foundation that spewed a philosophy that has been used as a justification for coercive state-sponsored discrimination and human rights violations, such as forced sterilization of persons who are claimed to have genetic defects, the killing of the institutionalized population, and in some cases, outright genocide of races perceived as inferior or undesirable. Funding for the study of Eugenics came from prominent sources such as the Rockefeller Foundation, the Carnegie Institution of Washington, and the Harriman family. By 1930, Ernst Rudin was using eugenic rhetoric into the racial policies of Nazi Germany. The Pioneer Fund is still at it today and no matter how much they try to sound neutral and scientific - the are a group of racists - check it out: http://www.pioneerfund.org/

In the United States, the eugenics movement had largely lost most popular and political support by the end of the 1930s while forced sterilizations mostly ended in the 1960s with the last performed in 1981. Many US states continued to prohibit biracial marriages with "anti-miscegenation laws" such as Virginia's The Racial Integrity Act of 1924, until they were over-ruled by the Supreme Court in 1967 in Loving v. Virginia. The Immigration Restriction Act of 1924, which was designed to limit the immigration of "dysgenic" Italians, and eastern European Jews, was repealed and replaced by the Immigration and Nationality Act in 1965.

Okay - so - the United States, a country founded on the idea of liberty and freedom (supposedly) has been steadfastly passing legislation to keep non-desirable races (non-northern European) out of this country. Why does most of the world hate the U.S.A?

Well, our own laws (the immigration ones I noted above) tell the world populace straight out that the US thinks they are unfit to become Americans. Additionally, our lovely CIA has been doing things around the world, without most Americans knowledge, that aid America's world domination and control interests by supporting America's goals and keeping other nations crippled with drugs, wars, and well, you name it. The CIA sponsored anti-communist subversive literature ‘behind the Iron Curtain' prior to it falling to help motivate the populace against the communist governments. The CIA was involved in drug trafficking during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War, as well as in Central American prior to the US invasion of Panama.

As an aside - do you even remember the US invasion of Panama? It was called Operation Just Cause, and its intent was to depose general, dictator and de facto Panamanian military leader Manuel Noriega during George Bush I's reign as President.

Bush said at the time that the invasion was to 1) safeguard the lives of US citizens in Panama, 2) defend democracy and human rights in Panama, 3) combating drug trafficking, and 4) protecting the integrity of the Torrijos-Carter Treaties. Rarely do people bring up the fact that the US had a strangle hold on Panama with harsh economic sanctions and  was playing games with their military by conducting constant, provocative military maneuvers that were prohibited by the Torrijos-Carter Treaties. So - does it sound like the big Gorilla US is messing with the smaller country's business or what? The invasion which sounded like it was targeting Noriega caused widespread damage to civilian neighborhoods, burning a few to the ground deliberately according to eye witnesses. According to Physicians for Human Rights, 300 Panamanian civilians died due to the invasion. Additionally, reports that upwards of 15,000 people were displaced because of the invasion and the US military only provided support for 3,000. According to official Pentagon figures 516 Panamanians were killed during the invasion, and the Army, well, their internal memos estimated it at more like 1,000. Finally, an Independent Commission of Inquiry on the US invasion of Panama estimated Panamanian deaths of 1,000 - 4,000. The Organization of American States passed a resolution deploring the invasion of Panama by the US. The US violated the groups charter, to which the US is a signatory and party, which prohibits members from invading other members for any reason. The US ratified that charter in 1948 (thank you again Harry Truman!) That charter states, "Every States has the right to choose, without external interference, its political, economic, and social system and to organize itself in the way best suited to it, and has the duty to abstain from intervening in the affairs of another State." Under the US Constitution, Article VI, treaties ratified by the US are among the supreme law of the land of the US. I laugh at that part of the Constitution which is so readily ignored. The US broke treaties with Native American nations right and left, is the government going to start honoring treaties all of a sudden? YET - get this - after the resolution was passed, it was vetoed by three permanent members of the UN Security Council - guess who - come on, guess. Yes, think about it - France, the United Kingdom, and the US who cited its right of self-defense of 35,000 Americans present on the Panama Canal. Later, the UN General Assembly voted 75-20 with 40 abstentions to condemn the US invasion as a "flagrant violation of international law".

Again - why do people around the world hate the U.S.A? Why shouldn't the USA's own citizens hate the government? Well, back to drug trafficking circa the 1980's and the CIA dealing in the whole Contras affair. Yep. The CIA brought cocaine into the US, sold it to drug dealers in Los Angeles who in turn went to poor neighborhoods already beset with urban blight and helped to start the crack cocaine epidemic. Money from the drug sales was used to fund the Nicaraguan Contras. Yes, the US and Argentina aided the Contras with financial and military support. It was an attempt to remove the Sandinistas. The Sandinista's are a Nicaraguan political party founded on the broad leftist principles of the popular front. The Sandinista's are definitely anti-imperialists. Yes, they have Marxist leanings. They have been in and out of power in Nicaragua over the last three decades voted there by their own people. At first it was the Junta of National Reconstruction (11 years), but then free democratic elections occurred - although the US denied that the results of the election were real because the people voted a prominent leader of the Junta into power as the president.

Hmmm - sounds familiar doesn't it. The US doesn't like the anti-imperialist leanings of a government. They try to subvert that government covertly, sometimes resorting to instigating revolution, sometimes supporting the revolutionaries with money and military might. Then when a government is formed after a mess of war, and the people vote into power the leaders they want, the US denies that the people's votes were true. Sounds like the mess in Israel with Palestinians electing Hamas. Sounds like Iran and Iraq, oh, and every other mess the US has meddled around in the last 100 years from the invasions of the newly formed Soviet Union, to the training of Osama Bin Laden by US forces to help overthrow the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and all the various dictators the US has placed into power in Africa. On and on it goes.

WOW - I could go on and on about the foreign policy mess. Again with my question, why does a great deal of the world despise the United States government and why do I feel that the United States government is a racist one bent on world domination? Haven't I made my argument?

My Italian and Armenian ancestors came here in because of the ideology and American propaganda what filled the world at the turn of the twentieth century. This poem sums up why they came:

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

What's happened to the ethos behind such words? Did you know they were written by a woman who was a descendant of Portuguese Sephardic Jews? Most Americans don't know these words, or the woman who wrote them. They don't understand what they were conceived to mean at the time of their inscription on the plaque inside the base of Liberty Enlightening the World aka the Statue of Liberty. This is what my ancestors from Italy and Armenia saw when they entered the country at Ellis Island. They were fleeing from economic distress, as the case with my Italian ancestors. They were fleeing from religious persecution and genocide, as the case with my Armenian ancestors. They felt America would welcome them and they knew that the woman with the golden torch meant freedom when they saw here.

This female figure walking upright, dressed in a robe and a seven point spiked rays representing a nimbus (halo), holding a stone tablet close to her body in her left hand and a flaming torch high in her right hand means what to us today? The tablet bears the words "JULY IV MDCCLXXVI" (July 4, 1776), commemorating the date of the United States Declaration of Independence. Does it mean independence from monarchies? Worldwide, the Statue of Liberty is one of the most recognizable icons of the United States and more generally, represents liberty and escape from oppression. The Statue of Liberty was, from 1886 until the jet age, often one of the first glimpses of the United States for millions of immigrants after ocean voyages from Europe. Visually, the Statue of Liberty appears to draw inspiration from il Sancarlone or the Colossus of Rhodes. The Statue of Liberty's obviously classical appearance (Roman stola, sandals, facial expression) derives from Libertas, ancient Rome's goddess of freedom from slavery, oppression, and tyranny. Her raised right foot is on the move. This symbol of Liberty and Freedom is not standing still or at attention in the harbor, she is moving forward, as her left foot tramples broken shackles at her feet, in symbolism of the United States' freedom from oppression and tyranny. The seven spikes on the crown represent the Seven Seas and seven continents. Her torch signifies enlightenment. The tablet in her hand shows the date of the nation's birth, July 4, 1776. What a majestic idol, right? Yet, what is behind this façade of equality?

My family can be considered lucky. They came here and quickly assimilated abandoning their languages and culture and embraced the American dream. They were fair skinned (the Italians were) and if they weren't, they married true ‘white' people. They changed their names. Hagop became Jacob, and Baitzar became Florence. Giuseppe became Joseph and Giovanni became John. As for my northern Europe ancestors whose name sounded a little too eastern - Yezenkavachus (or Jazenkavechkus) which was too hard to say for most people not Lithuanian in origin, became Yesinkevich, which sounded too Jewish or Polish -which it is neither, which eventually became Zink. They didn't quite shake the religious thing though. My Italian side remained Catholic up until my father and his cousin JoAnn who are both now Evangelical Christians (in the last twenty years). My Armenian side remained Eastern Orthodox type Catholic if you understand my meaning - and for the most part they still are - those that still embrace being Armenian. Although, there are parts of the Lithuanian side of the family that went Lutheran and Methodist, most of them abandoned religion all together.

YET - the side of my family that didn't immigrate had a much different road for them. My Native American side was forced moved from Alabama when the Creeks (Muskogees) were told to leave and finally did. My great-grandmother Mary and her mother were the last to ever have anything to do with their tribal affiliation and gave up - assimilating into the larger predominantly white cultural around them.

My Mexican ancestors continued to speak Spanish until my father was born in 1949 and they have resided in what is now Southern California since 1791. They are still Catholic, yet, they too have married into ‘white' families and have stopped embracing their Mexican ancestry as a whole. My French ancestors, well, I consider them dead with my great-grandfather and his daughter, my grandmother, who were the last to speak French and Spanish coincidently.

They were all sucked into the great American melting pot. All of my ancestors were sucked in. They assimilated and became Americans with the American dream as their goal. I am a mut, a product of the mingling of all these people. I am a product of immigrants as is everyone in this country who isn't 100% Native American.

Really, it comes down to how long you've been here, doesn't it. My husband's family has been here since this was the colonies. Most of my family - well, next year will be 100 years of them coming to America.

Today's immigration laws and the whole immigration debate make me sick. Here is what I would do:

  • 1. Open the boarders to all those wanting to come to America for the purpose of becoming United States Citizens, no limit on how many want to come, no quotas, with these stipulations:
  • a. They must file an application for citizenship while still in their country of origin or while in another country if their country of origin is hostile towards them.
  • b. They must submit to full fingerprinting and DNA sampling to ensure that if they commit crimes while in the United States, there is some record that can be turned to, as a vast majority of US citizens today have had their fingerprints input into national databases. I have - for my teaching jobs and my employment with several city governments, and for my gaming license.
  • c. They must wait a period of 30-days while a background check is run.
  • i. No convicted criminals shall be admitted - period.
  • d. They must submit to a full physical including drug tests to determine if they have any highly contagious diseases or are habitual drug abusers. At this time, they can also be asked if they would like to be organ donors (in case of death while in the US), blood donors, or platelet donors, or marrow donors which could help many medical organizations.
  • e. They must pay an application fee, which includes the submission of photos, fingerprints, and DNA and which will cover all the expenses of the background search, physical and lab work. The application fee also pays for the printing of the resident alien card, social security card, special ‘in-process' passport and all the required citizenship classes and educational upgrade classes. The fee will also help defer the cost of the personnel required to run the program and monitor the resident alien's progress biannually. This fee is non-refundable. (This should be a substantial fee not dissimilar to the fees charged by coyotes that smuggle people from Mexico - something like $500 to $5,000 per application. If there were 2,000,000 applications a year each paying $500, that would be $1,000,000,000 or if it was $5,000 that would be $10,000,000,000.)
  • i. Okay - here is a special caveat, if they cannot afford to pay the application fees (say they have a very large family or something), then they must at least pay 10% of the total application fees cost and then have a small percentage withheld from their paychecks, like a garnishment, to pay the remaining fee over the resident alien period.
  • 2. Once the applicant for immigration is accepted and a resident alien card is given, the following steps must be taken before full citizenship is granted:
  • a. The applicant will be assigned a social security number with the resident alien card, and must use it to acquire a legal paying job within the first 60 days of residence.
  • b. The applicant must continue to be employed for a full five years without significant breaks or periods of unemployment.
  • c. They must notify their case worker every time they move, change jobs, or phone numbers.
  • d. The applicant must not take any welfare, food stamps, HUD services, etc - government sponsored handouts during this five year period. They must prove that they are a self-sufficient member of the economic society.
  • e. They must file and pay income taxes just like every other legal working American in the United States. The IRS will have full rights to audit them just like they do everyone else. They will also be entitled to all the same tax benefits.
  • f. The applicant must take citizenship classes: United States History, and English (reading, writing and speaking) the full five years. A written and oral exam must be passed to demonstrate proficiency.
  • g. In addition to these classes, the applicant must demonstrate that they are a willing participant in society by serving on Jury duty if called, and volunteering occasionally in social programs for other immigrants.
  • h. During the resident alien period, the applicant may not leave the United States for longer than a two week period per year except in the case of the death of an immediate family member.
  • i. The resident alien must meet twice a year with a case manager who will monitor the progress of the resident alien.
  • j. The applicant must remain crime free during the resident alien period. This includes abiding by all state regulations such as car insurance, driver's licenses, etc. Not even a parking violation or traffic ticket.
  • k. During the resident alien period, should the applicant like to attend college or universities, the applicant will be eligible for resident tuition prices if they meet the criteria of the institution.

After the five years are up and all criteria are met the applicant will be granted full legal US citizenship, the right to vote, full legal status for trials, et al. During the five year period, any children born to the resident alien will automatically gain legal US citizenship status should the applicant parent meet all the required criteria. Any children under the age of 18 that come with the applicant to the US and live in the United States the full time during the resident alien period will automatically receive US citizenship but an application fee must be paid for each of the children at the time of entry into the US and the children must not violate sections d, h, or j of the above area. Any minor that turns 18 during the resident alien period, must begin their own five year period in addition to the time they have already been in the US and meet all the requirements of the above section. They will not have to reapply or pay an additional fee over an above their initial fee.

If the applicant does not meet all the requirements during the resident alien period, the applicant and all the dependent minors will be deported from the United States. The applicant cannot reapply for immigration. The minors may apply on their own when they reach the legal age of 18. In the case of one parent meeting requirements and another parent not meeting requirements, the children may stay with the parent meeting requirements for citizenship within the United States. The parent not meeting requirements will be deported.

Special incentives for immigration -

  • 1. Those resident aliens willing to move to rural areas of the United States (mostly the mid-west and northern plains) or communities shown to be in decline population wise on the last national census will receive additional tax credits as long as they remain in those communities and as long as those communities are considered rural or in decline. Any current US citizens willing to do this (move to rural areas or areas in decline) will be afforded the opportunity, although current citizens must not be on any form of welfare and will not be eligible for welfare during their stay in the rural areas or areas in decline. They exception to government assistance shall be declared natural disasters or emergencies.
  • 2. Once the five year period is completed and citizenship granted, new citizens will be encouraged to seek higher education for themselves and their children in the areas of education and the medical fields. Should resident aliens that receive citizenship already hold degrees in those fields, the review and approval of their licensure will be expedited should they agree to serve in rural communities or those in decline areas.

For all those illegal immigrants that are currently working in the United States, they may file an application and begin their five year resident alien period. They will not be prosecuted for their current illegal status, but all those that do not meet the requirements as stated above will be either 1) deported to their country of origin, or 2) jailed should it be found through the fingerprinting and DNA process that they have committed a crime. After serving their full sentence they will be deported to their country of origin.

Now, with regards to VISAs and other immigration, like for work or education, the process remains the same as it currently is with quotas and whatnot. I think coming here to work or for education and then returning to their country of origin is bogus in general. It takes all their acquired knowledge back with them and doesn't really benefit the US. Now, if they came here, became US citizens, and then split their time between the US and their country of origin (still spending more time in the US) then I could be okay with it. Still, they have to become Citizens in all ways - including paying taxes.

I would encourage large corporations that have sent their factories aboard to bring them and all of the workers that are over them back to the United States. Yes, they would have to pay them minimum wage at the least, but the jobs would be in America and taxes would be paid here in this countries by the workers. As an added benefit should the companies do this, they could wave the employer share of the payroll taxes. Each of their employees would have to meet all the requirements of the immigration law as I stated above. This would help keep their employees loyal to the company who is helping them with meeting the employment criteria. Additionally, it would bring over all of the employees minor children and spouses who would have to have applications as well.


Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 12:01 AM CDT
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Friday, 15 February 2008
My Email to the FCC
Mood:  incredulous
Now Playing: Volunteers - Jefferson Airplane
Topic: Politicians

This is not a complaint. This is a statement and a request from one citizen to the FCC.

When I awoke this morning, I heard on the radio that the media was all ‘a buzz’ about something Jane Fonda said on the Today show. Intrigued about what she said and how she said it, I looked it up on YouTube and watched the video on purpose!

The discussion was about the award winning play the Vagina Monologues, and Ms. Fonda inadvertently said “cunt”. It was a part of the discussion and not shocking to me at all. She did not highlight the word in negative way, nor did she mean it to be offensive. She said it in context of the various monologues in the play. As an intelligent person, choosing to watch the Today show clip and knowing something “naughty” was going to be said I wasn’t shocked. It did make me wonder if some person watching the live broadcast on the East Coast might have been shocked, and I pondered that for a little while. Really, if they were paying attention to the conversation and its topic they probably were not shocked.

I am writing to the FCC because I know that the Parents Television Council will most assuredly jump on this wanting the FCC to fine either Jane Fonda or NBC. The Parents Television Council has been nothing but invidious in their workings and hardly speaks for the majority of Americans. Their ostentatious grand standing on behalf of the children and public morality is what disgusts me. If parents want to shelter their children from adult discussions, they should have ushered their children out of the room when the entire interview regarding the Vagina Monologues began. Obviously, with such a topic, the discussion could be fraught with words, ideas, and expressions regarding the contents of the monologues.

As a woman, I am tired of the Parents Television Council trying to make any mention of the female genitalia something of controversy and disgust. The message that sends is that the female body is something of which we should be ashamed. With everything they’ve done since Janet Jackson bared her breast, I have been hard pressed to ensure my daughter maintains a positive body image and doesn’t feel that her body is something dirty. By making such a fuss about every uttered perceived obscenity or uncovered female body they’re causing more damage to society’s perception of women than helping it.  They are narrow-minded, puerile, and harp on trivial things. Their President Tim Winter’s statement yesterday was inflammatory.  I do not feel assaulted by the Today show, and their apology was more than enough since I was not offended. Nobody should be fired; that’s reactionary.

I feel the Parents Television Council is trying to limit this nation’s populous’ first amendment rights with their attempts to sway Congress and the FCC into further punitive actions against those that wish to express themselves. Their bourgeois attitudes, and pedantic fear mongering hardly helps to cultivate an accepting, tolerant, and free society.

Honestly, I have two children ages 9 and 12, and they have both told me they have heard that word and others on their school playground from their classmates. So, the Parents Television Council and their pretentious moral posturing over the past decade have done little to stem the flow of so-called curse words into the ears of children. I am not encouraging the use of these words nor am I asking that they be banned. I am expressing my belief that the first amendment protects free speech, and if Jane Fonda wants to say “cunt” when discussing a monologue she declined to read or Diane Keaton says “fuck” when discussing something with Diane Sawyer, or 60 Minutes airs a music video featuring several people raising “the bird’ – so what – that’s their inalienable human right, not a privilege, a right that cannot and must not be infringed upon. Whether this profanity is fleeting or not, it is within the rights of those persons to express themselves. The Supreme Court ruled on this topic decades ago. The government cannot limit our speech, for should that day come, how will we as a people be able to speak out freely against injustice predicated by our government?

Since the Bush Administration foisted Mr. Powell upon the American people as FCC chairman fines against broadcasters have sky rocketed, and the stifling of creativity and expression has crept across the airwaves. There are songs I can no longer listen to from my favorite morning radio program because their content might be perceived as obscene, and the broadcasters of that show have made it clear that they fear retribution via fines and whatnot at the hands of the FCC. Now, with Mr. Martin, another Bush Administration insider, as chairman I will hardly be surprised if the FCC, a so-called independent US government agency who should be directly responsible to Congress and not the Executive, continues to pander to the wishes of the extremely conservative groups like the Parents Television Council.

I have remained silent these past years because I have felt that the PTC’s complaints were laughable and hardly worth my effort. Yet, the actions of the FCC has proven to me that the PTC and their several million sheep-like followers who cut and paste their complaints because they can’t express themselves well enough to formulate an intelligible free thought apparently hold great sway even though they represent less than 5% of the American population. There are 390,000,000 Americans and how many complaints did the FCC receive over Janet Jackson, Bono, Diane Keaton or 60-Minutes that were not prompted by the PTC? I have had enough, and it was time that I made myself heard. This is beyond ridiculous. Does the FCC not realize that the various countries in Europe has far more explicit material on their broadcast television?

I can’t wait until either Hillary Clinton or Barak Obama takes office and the government can get back to the business of solving issues of importance and relevance with regards to American’s wellbeing and continued freedom, rather than trying to legislate morality and foist puritanical dogma upon the populace.


Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 7:12 AM CST
Updated: Friday, 15 February 2008 7:14 AM CST
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Friday, 18 January 2008
Rational and Compassionate Immigration Law
Mood:  sharp
Topic: Politicians

Immigration is an issue that is created to give people something to rant about and direct the blame for a tanking economy at people who come here looking for something all of our ancestors came here looking for (that is if you are not 100% Indigenous /Native American) that being work, and basic freedoms; the opportunity for success. Immigration laws in this country have been biased, bigoted and exploitative since the Constitution was inked. I am all for fair, rational immigration law, as the current laws do nothing but make criminals out of people looking for a better life.

* Eliminate quotas based on education and country of origin

* Open up immigration

* Give each (adults and children) incoming immigrant something akin to a social security number and identification like a green card that they can use to achieve legal, gainful employment from which taxes are collected

* Additionally every immigrant will continue to pay an immigrant fee on each paycheck until they become a full legal citizen; this will help offset the immigration program

* Higher fees for areas of the country that are already densely populated

* Lower fees for areas of the country with shrinking populations

* Identification green card pseudo passport must be used when the exit or enter the US

* If they leave the US for more than a six month period, and then return, they must pay the immigrant fee they would have been paying on each paycheck while they were gone up to a maximum of $500

* Applications for citizenship are immediately created and an application fee is collected (adults and children, same application fee for children, no exceptions)

* Many illegal immigrants pay people (coyotes) to sneak them in to the United States. Why not make it fair and up front having the fees come to the US Government to help offset the immigration program?

* Applicant Immigrants must establish a bank account (checking and savings account at the time of entry with minimum deposits)

* Partnership with national banks to encourage applicant immigrants to be a part of the system and become a part of the community

* Provide information about the applicant immigrants destination community with contact information community outreach, including translator services

* Information could include: education opportunities for citizenship classes, basic living skills for US life, employment opportunities for various levels of skills in that community, training opportunities to fill positions currently unfilled, basic guide to that community and its various social services like schools, libraries, etc.

* Upon entering the US immigrants do the following: Provide a set of fingerprints entered into a national database, take a drug test (and if they fail, no entry into the county), have a picture of themselves taken, including any identifiable marks (like tattoos), have a physical to determine if they have any contagious diseases (like TB), and if they do provide them with treatment

* Additional benefit of making these people legal is they won’t be as worried to be a part of the system since they will have rights, protection, and services from the police and emergency services. Many crimes among the illegal immigrant community go unsolved and unreported due to their fear of being found out.

* Using the database that is created from the application and identification process, provide access to businesses to verify applicant immigrants legality.

* If businesses are found to be employing illegal immigrants, severe penalties and the removal of any tax breaks for that business

* Possible criminal charges against the persons directly responsible for hiring the illegal immigrant

* No additional fences

* All current illegal immigrants must go through the application and identification process, paying all associated fees, submitting to all the fingerprinting, drug testing, opening a bank account, etc, and will begin paying the non-citizen fee. They are in essence a new applicant immigrant. No additional penalties for being here illegally

* Any criminal felony violation committed by the applicant immigrant during the application and citizenship process means immediate deportation

It might seem radical and liberal to allow everyone to just come to the US, but why not? Is it that we are worried they will take jobs? Jobs like what, picking fruit or working in a meat packing plant? Or changing sheets at motels or busing tables? Many Americans find that work beneath them and feel they are entitled to a job of a certain status and pay – they don’t want to do grunt work. Well, if there are people out there will to hustle and work hard for a living than I think those jobs should go to them. Besides, there are a lot of places in the US that are having a shortage of specialized workforce. Here in Kansas we are so hurting for teachers that we are importing them from the Philippines. YES! And why? Because unemployed teachers in other states are unwilling to move to Kansas or don’t have the credentials to pass Kansas’ tough certification process for teachers.

Anyway, for all those out there that think immigrants don’t contribute to US society…

One of my great-grandfathers was an immigrant from Italy. He moved to New York in the 1890’s. He worked delivering ice and coal. It was a dirty, sweaty job, but he did it. His son went on to become a grocer. His son went on to become a telephone repairman and then an insurance salesman. His daughter (me) went to college and holds teaching degrees and is a professional budget analyst. That’s just one of my great-grandfathers.

Another was a mason from Armenia that escaped the Armenian Holocaust. Coming to America saves his and my great-grandmother’s lives. There daughter went on to work in the airplane factories during WWII, and then to raise three children all of whom are successful – small business owner, program director for NASA, executive assistant for Raytheon.

Another set of great-grandparents came to America from Lithuania just before the Czar was killed in Russia and the Soviet Union came to power. Again, who knows what would have happened to them had they stayed there. He was a cobbler. His son was also a cobbler, and his son served in WWII fighting at Iwo jima, and after the war was over, came home to become a small business owner.

I am now a married, middle class person, tax paying, home owning, and college educated all because my ancestors came to America. Yes, I do not believe I would be here today if they hadn't come to America - for one thing at least the Armenians would have been killed by the Turks. Anyway, I think the community I live in is better off for me being a part of it.

Immigrants (and their eventual descendants) have PLENTY to offer this country.


Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 12:52 PM CST
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Saturday, 5 January 2008
Super Tuesday is one month away!
Mood:  energetic
Topic: Politicians

Be sure to mark your calendar. The time is close! We have one month to rally support. One month, because on February 5th we'll decide who is going to be the Democratic Party Candidate for President!

It's now or never time.

Please pass this information on to others.

Yes, it is true that Kansas tends to be a Red state in Presidential elections, but look who we have for a governor – a Democrat! Our State Senator is a Democrat from the Cowley County. We just need to energize people. If Kansas can go Blue what other States can too?

Ask people - why on God's Green Earth are they voting Republican? The Republican Party is the party of rich white American corporate jerks! Some people think that’s overstating. Is it? Is it really? Take a hard look at what the Republican party says and what they do, seriously. They were the party of fiscal responsibility – remember that no new taxes BS from the previous Bush Administration? The Republican Party has been in control for the last eight years and where does that put America? We are on the verge of economic recession! The country is drowning in debt! Tax breaks for the wealthiest. Are you rich? I'm not!

Look at this current administration’s actions – the response to Hurricane Katrina, the treatment of the war Veterans by the Pentagon (not just the terrible conditions at Walter Reid, but the cancelling of Veteran’s benefits for ‘bad’ behavior by Veterans who are clearly suffering from PTSD) – they don’t support the Troops – they support grasping at Iraqi oil. How about all the vetos on important issues like Energy – yes, vetos on bills that would have supported renewable resources like Wind and Solar power. How about vetos on important issues for healthcare of poor children? YES! Bush vetod the bill that would have provided healthcare to millions of poor children because some adults MIGHT get healthcare, too. Talk to anyone in the healthcare field and they’ll tell you that it is important to treat the whole family especially when young children are involved – it was a principal code of ethics at United Indian Health Services where I worked in the mid-90’s. What about Social Security and their attempts to privatize it? The idea of allowing the market to dictate prices and savings – yeah that’s worked so well for us NOT – but it has for them – gasoline prices are higher than ever and who is profiting – Bush, Cheney and their oil friends. Look at what deregulation has done to various industries – don’t even get me started on the mortgage issue! Bush’s response to that mess was laughable, besides he is so out of touch with what it means to live paycheck to paycheck why should he and his party care about people loosing their homes? He’s just like his father – do you remember that the first Bush didn’t know how much a gallon of milk cost or a head of lettuce?

If Mike Huckabee (the Republican front runner after Iowa's caucus) wins he is planning on a flat sales tax and doing away with income taxes. That means no more refunds for you on your taxes AND it means that the poor and middle class will pay a majority of the taxes in this country - there are more of us than them you know. A flat tax of 30%, that’s on top of your state and local sales tax. That ends up meaning more out of your pocket than you pay in income taxes right now. The tax breaks only help those that make millions of dollars a year – a very small percentage of the American population.

Millions of people are duped into voting Republican because they think it protects 'morality' or their Christian viewpoints. You know, Democrats can be Christians, too. If you are voting Republican because you think that they are magically going to overturn Roe vs. Wade or create a Constitutional Amendment to ban gay marriage – take a look at the last thirty five years. Ronald Reagan beat Walter Mondale in 1984 carrying the vast majority of the country – he won 49 of the 50 states with Mondale carrying his home state of Minnesota by a mere 3,500 votes! He appointed Supreme Court Justices and couldn’t have more power than he did – and did HE overturn Row v. Wade – NO. Why are we wasting time debating gay marriage and flag burning? Isn’t this country supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave? Are we really scared if someone who is gay gets married, or if someone else burns the flag? Does it make who or what WE are less? Should you or any of us try to deny people their freedoms? Why would we want to put more restrictions on our freedoms? Hey, if it is okay for someone to walk around with a loaded deadly weapon in their possession, I think it should be okay for me to torch the flag. Burning that cloth isn’t putting holes through people or robbing liquor stores, nor is marrying someone you love be they the same sex or not. Freedom is freedom and with this current administration and the Republican Party the country is headed towards limiting personal freedom even more. Don’t even get me started on the whole domestic spying bull.

Why am I saying this all to you? Because only you can help find others who have lost hope, or are voting Republican because their parents did, or who are apathetic towards politics. You may work for a defense contractor or be in the military or rely upon government funding in some form or another with your job like being a teacher who is employed with funds that come to your district via No Child Left Behind. I work for a school district and manage those federal funds. I know that a vote for the Democrats means change. I am more than willing to change if it will make a difference in the world – and yes, I really do think that voting for a Democratic candidate will make a change in the world. Look what voting for a Republican did – look how America is viewed by the world now as compared to when Bill Clinton was president. You’d think there would be some pity for the US with 9/11 but the actions of the current administration since that fateful day has done nothing but isolate us from former allies and promote the hatred of America. This administration’s actions has proved many of the ‘haters’ out there to be correct – America’s imperialism seems to know no bounds right now. Isn’t it time we the American people do something to stop this?

So – register to vote. Get out there and do something. The time has come to put aside your excuses and care about something.

Please - send the message out. Now is the time! We've got to choose the person who will be the next President and lead the country out of this mess.

Thanks for listening to me rant! 


Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 11:39 AM CST
Updated: Saturday, 5 January 2008 11:50 AM CST
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Friday, 4 January 2008
Support Hillary Clinton!
Mood:  energetic
Topic: Politicians

So, the Iowa caucus results are in and everyone is praising Obama and bashing Hillary. Why?

It's one state and there are many more primary elections and caucus meetings to come.

I've read that people are touting that 2 of 3 Democrats in Iowa didn't vote for Hillary Clinton. You know statistical information can be manipulated easily. It's all about spin. She finished less than a full point behind John Edwards but nobody is saying anything about 2 of 3 Democrats not voting for him. Why is that?

Well - honestly, I think there is an underlying tone of "get Hillary Clinton". I think that Republicans are scared of her. I think that men who won't admit that they just can't vote for a woman are scared of her. Yes, I really think that there are people who are sexist enough to put aside their racial prejudice and vote Obama instead of Clinton to keep a woman out of the oval office. Yes, even possibly hoping that if Obama gets the Democratic nomination that perhaps enough racists will then come out of the woodwork to vote Republican white guy whomever rather than vote Democratic.

Do I really think people would do that? Hell yes I do!

I am voting for Clinton because of her experience. Her willingness to listen to all the sides and move toward the action that seems the most prudent and beneficial at the time while continuing to look towards the future. She's a planner. She's not way out their on the left wing like I wish she would be - yes, she is a wee bit conservative for my tastes, but then again, I realize that she needs to be in order to actually accomplish anything in Washington DC in the current climate.

Does that mean I think when she's President that she won't liberal up a little? Well, I think she would be more liberal than her husband, and that she would go a little more left when she's in office. That's my hope anyways, but being a Senator in a Senate that is split even-steven, the only way to get things done is bi-partisan support. She knows that and she works with it.

Am I upset by her war vote? No, not really. The nation was lied to. Collin Powell stood up there and said there were WMD. I believed him. Why should I blast her for believing him too. Did I want us to go to war in Iraq? No - I didn't, and I still don't. I didn't think that Saddam had anything to do with 9/11 and I think the feartactics used by the current administration are shameful.

Why Clinton? Well - she's already lived at the White House and been exposed to the intense emotional, phyiscal, psychological pressure that one must endure. Remember White Water - yes, she surrived that. Ken Star ended up with jack and Republicans hounded her and Bill Clinton over that with what result? Can you even remember?

She showed her meddle when her husband's private affairs were blanketed across the press. So, Bill couldn't keep it in his pants. It's embarassing, yes. Men in power do lots of stupid stuff. Numerous presidents have had well documented affairs, does that make it right? No. But is it important? No - not to Bill Clinton's presidency. It shows that Hillary Clinton can hold her own though. She was publically humiliated by his actions and how she could forgive him - I don't know, but she did. She cared more about keeping their family and marriage together - whatever her motivations. That doesn't make her weak, that makes her strong in my book. Besides, most of the world was laughing at America's prudish, Puritanical ways at the time with all the fuss over a blowjob that was being made. He's a man and had urges. Monica's comment to her former employer about going to Washington to earn her 'Presidential kneepads' and all the manipulative stuff she did - why would you keep a frickin' dress with that on it and how could you ever believe he'd leave his wife and political partner for some braindead interin is beyond me - anyways, her comments - just go to show that she wanted it to happen and was pissed when it didn't go the way she had planned. I am not trying to reduce the blame that Bill Clinton should carry, I'm just trying to point out it took two people to get into that mess.

SO - look what Hillary has weathered. She's a survivor. She's experienced. All those people that want change for change's sake, let me ask you, what does Obama or Edwards really have to show for their lives? Can either of them show that they've experienced as much as she has in the political realm? She's been the first lady of this nation, as well as the first lady of the State of Arkansas. She's been in politics longer than either of them. They are wet behind the ears compared to her and I am just not ready to allow either of them the opportunity to cut their leadership teeth on the presidency as George Bush has done. Yeah, so what he was Governor of Texas - yeah - that helped him a lot - NOT. Mr. former cocaine addict, C student, draft dodger, daddy's boy - frickin' Cheney Haliburton puppet. Okay - that's the topic of a whole rant altogether - why I hate Bush rant still in the works. How to edit it down from 20 pages so it will fit on this website is a difficult task.

I want a politican who knows how to play well with others and get the business of the American people done. I want one that understands the real pressures and has proven themselves capable of withstanding what it means to be ON 24/7. She knows. She lived it for eight years.

Hillary Clinton was the most active first lady since Eleanor Roosevelt. She wasn't some non-entity like Laura Bush. She was out there, traveling for her husband's sake, working on issues and projects. She was his partner in his presidency more than people will acknowledge and I for one found the Bill Clinton years some of the best out of the last 35! If he could have run in 2000 I would have voted for him.

Yes, I know she isn't Bill Clinton - duh! She does have him in her corner though. It is her turn to shine and he will support her every bit as much as she supported him.

I think it is a package deal people, but honestly, I'd still vote for her even if Bill Clinton dropped dead tomorrow.

She's the one - our first female president is coming!

 


Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 12:01 AM CST
Updated: Saturday, 5 January 2008 12:41 PM CST
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Tuesday, 26 June 2007
Liberal or Conservative ? Liberal All the Way Man!!!!
Mood:  energetic
Topic: Politicians
You scored 0% which means you are

a hardcore liberal.

You believe in governmental action to achieve equal opportunity and equality for all, and that it is the duty of the State to alleviate social ills and to protect civil liberties and individual and human rights. Believe the role of the government should be to guarantee that no one is in need. Believe that people are basically good.

Conservative or Liberal
Create MySpace Quizzes




Didn't we all know this already? If you read my blog consistently you know I am a total liberal freak, right?

Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 8:19 PM CDT
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Saturday, 12 May 2007
What is important to Native American's today?
Mood:  energetic
Topic: Politicians
This is a response to a survey on the Democratic National Committee website - follows:

In your opinion, what are the most important issues facing the Native American community today (Check up to three):
Upholding the government-to-government relationship between tribal governments and the federal government
Quality healthcare for reservation-based and urban Indians
Quality education for Native American students
Adequate funding for the Indian Health Service
Access to affordable housing
Ensuring the water rights of tribal governments
Protection of Native American sacred sites and appropriate access for ceremonial purposes
Basic infrastructure to further economic development on Indian lands
Small business assistance programs
Rebuild the trust relationship between federal and Native Americans by coming to a fair and equitable settlement of the mismanagement of tribal trust funds
Preserve and protect tribal lands while developing sustainable energy resources
Local/Other Issues

I chose: Upholding the government-to-government relationship between tribal governments and the federal government; Basic infrastructure to further economic development on Indian lands; Preserve and protect tribal lands while developing sustainable energy resources

And here were my further comments (remember I am 1/16 Creek):

As the former Acting Chief Financial Officer for the Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe of California, I can tell you it was very difficult to select only three of the above topics. Public Law 93-638 only goes so far in providing the basic compacts and contracts that continue to regulate Tribes relationships with the Federal government. Tribes are continuously under-funded on all fronts. Just a few years ago when the BIA did the road survey for the reauthorization of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA), the funding projected as needed for tribal lands was in the billions. The allocation to tribes was nowhere near that. It would take 50 years just to get to all the roads and bridges on that list for this one reauthorization, and by that time more roads and bridges would need to be built. This under funding, the paltry amounts spent on Health Care, the tremendously lousy HIP housing, and no money for Tribal justice to protect children from being taken from their parents are all systematic symptoms of neglect. Neglect of the government-to-government relationship and the responsibility of the United States government to uphold its promises. Should we be surprised? No, not really.

The Federal government has been trying to renege on treaties before the ink was even dry. The Termination Era should still be etched clearly in the minds of all Tribal members. For the lucky few Tilley Hardwick tribes of California, they had their rights and lands restored to them, but for the others, they are still awaiting federal recognition. That tribes have to be recognized as such by a neglectful untrustworthy government is sad.

All of the issues you listed are important. Without quality healthcare, how can a child grow strong? Without quality education, how will a child learn what they need to know to fight for their rights to protect sacred sites, to further economic development, to preserve and protect tribal lands? So many tribal youth are despondent because they don’t see a future for themselves. They feel they must leave the Res or Rancheria and abandon what’s there to make a new life with a future. A vast gap in knowledge is growing wider everyday as youth are lured away. The tribe I worked for, only one elder was left that could speak Wiyot fluently. Granted the Wiyot were basically massacred on Indian Island by the white people of Eureka, and the youth that did survive sought to protect themselves from further hostility by blending in or moving away. But fear, and a lack of basic protection nearly terminated the Wiyots. They are growing again, but it is only because of strong leadership and true self-determination. If not for strong leaders like Arla Ramsey, the Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe would be dwindling rather than growing as they are now. She is an inspiration and knows the truth of life on the Res. What truth is that?

Truth: The government’s under-funding and lackadaisical support of Tribal programs only helps to breed despondency and alienation among tribal members isolated on rural reservations. Did your Res or Rancheria ever receive free government clothing? You know the blue jeans with the big white stripe down the leg so everyone you went to school with (at the white school in town) could see that you were living on government money? Ever embarrassed to bring non-Res or Rancheria residents home for a visit because HIP housing looked…well, basically like the ghetto?

What more can be done to make a once proud people ashamed of whom they are? What more could the government do to make youth abandon their tribes? As more and more youth leave the ‘service area’ and the blood quantum is diluted, what tribe will there be? Who will be left? And, once they are all finally humiliated into leaving the reservation and abandoning themselves, the government can simply…declare the tribe disbanded and terminate them.

Only with strong economic development and a reliable infrastructure, education, health care, and a self-determined tribal government elected by its members can the indigenous people of this land stand up and claim what is theirs.

Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 9:04 PM CDT
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