Thursday, September 27, 2007

Minutemen Terrorist Group Deploy Along Mexican Border for Month-Long Harassment


What the mainstream press continuously fail to report is that this radical bunch of vigilantes -- they are actually a domestic terror organization -- is a spin-off of the Ku Klux Klan. They are being made out to be heroes. Here is the Associated Press' Houston Chronicle article:

PHOENIX — The Minuteman Civil Defense Corps and a spinoff group of disaffected Minuteman members plan separate monthlong deployments along the border, beginning Friday and Saturday, respectively.

The Minuteman group said it will have members on patrol along the Mexican border in Arizona, California and Texas, and also plans to post members along the Canadian border in Washington state.

In Arizona, the group will conduct a border watch at the King Anvil Ranch near Three Points, about 40 miles southwest of Tucson in the Altar Valley. Last week, it announced it would be conducting monthlong operations in October, with plans for media coverage of speeches and a "Granny Brigade" event on Oct. 6.

Meanwhile, the Patriots' Border Alliance, created after disagreements this spring led to the expulsion of several original Minuteman members and officers, is to stage its inaugural 30-day border watch operation starting Saturday in the Palominas area, south of Sierra Vista and west of Naco......

So we are in store for another tense October as the Minutemen put on another show of farce.

-willy

Friday, September 21, 2007

Pecos Eagles Homecoming Tonight




Kermit 28 Pecos 8

*

-progress


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Straight from the horse's mouth


We are told that County Judge Sam Contreras met with employees today at the Reeves County Detention Center Complex to explain, after the fact of course, the new insurance group plan that was approved by the Commissioners Court last Friday. Employees were told that they are still negotiating the dental plan. Contreras' presentation brought relief after a week of false reports that the new plan was a sham compared to Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the county's existing group plan.

As it turns out, the benefits to the employees will be exactly the same under the new plan forwarded by "Health Smart," while the county will save $600,000 even after moving from a $50,000 stop-gap deductible to a $100,000 county deductible plan.

Despite this good news, county employees remained a bit skeptical and on edge about what will happen next year when the contract comes up for renewed negotiations. Will the new insurance provider impose a rate hike at that time, once their hooks are in the county? Employees were told by an insurance broker brought along to explain the new policy that it all depends on the level of claims made against their insurance, a level that has steadily climbed and one possibly tied to an aging generation of county employees. There are no guarantees against renewed stressful negotiations caused by such increased claims and rising healthcare costs; nevertheless, Judge Contreras is reported to have done an excellent job in calming the nerves of many who were previously anxious because of false reports, he noted, that had even come from the Pecos Enterprise.

In the barbershop conversations afterwards, it was reported by insiders that Contreras had one embarrassing moment -- that of explaining the pay raise the commission voted themselves while denying similar raises to others just as deserving. When asked how he could justify giving himself a raise while denying others, all the while whining since his election about the dire need to rescue the budget, Contreras stated, "I have worked hard....," implying that he deserved a raise.

This caused an outburst of cynical laughter at the implied insult regarding his apparent devaluation of his county employees' own felt sense of worth. Thus, his very justification in accordance with his self-perceived value was experienced as an insult to dedicated employees who have felt a continued lack of appreciation for their own contributions and sacrifices. According to attendees of the meeting, the realization of his faux pas left him stymied; he then clumsily stumbled for a change of topic.

It should have left him stymied! His gaff must have accidentally exposed his recently acquired underbelly of avoidance, insensitivity, entitlement, arrogance, grandiosity, manipulativeness , shamelessness and duplicity. But then, he IS a politician.

Given the relief that it wouldn't be such a booger-bear after all, the most convincing argument against the insurance change -- not that it matters now that the County Commission saved themselves the inconvenience inherent in the democratic process, only opening themselves to questions after the fact -- was that "Health Smart" did not represent the "Cadillac" that Blue Cross and Blue Shield did. In fact, Blue Cross has a comparatively good reputation, if you discount Michael Moore's excoriating criticism of the company in his film "Sicko." One of the main reasons for their high status among other corporatist gougers is their speed in settling claims -- they underwrite themselves. So you're not dealing with layers of middlemen, as in the case of "Health Smart," which, somewhere buried under these layers of spinoffs and surrogates, is the underwriter Lloyd's of London. Despite this seeming organizational flaw, County Judge Contreras is said to have proffered a convincing argument that effectively worked to allay the fears of all but the most untrusting -- apparently those who have been burned so many times in their dealings with GEO and Reeves County that reconciliation seems beyond hope.

This is said to be the case with Substance Abuse Education and Treatment, which seems not to be a priority at all in a region of the country known for rodeos, cowboys, Bar-B-Ques, cocaine trafficking, corrupt politicians in the habit of looking the other way and DWIs. Indeed, county commissioners seem unconcerned that these programs have been reduced all across Texas in the prison system, particularly as a result of the privatization process that has left programs vulnerable before the Almighty Dollar and the profit motive. Oh well, "Pay me now or pay me later," as the Great State of California is just now discovering to their financial chagrin.

After sweating through another tough one with county employees, County Judge $am Contreras and his Ye$-Man Commission still have their raises, don't they? Nothing will di$$uade them, least of all healthy $hame, empathy and a $ense of fairness and decency, especially concerning those so highly valued by them as substance abuse counselors and educators. Oh gee, I've just listed the main criteria for a diagnosis of anti-$ocial personality disorder, haven't I? But then, they have worked $oooo hard at keeping the process transparent and democratic -- the most labor intensive form of government in existence -- that they deserve their milk and cookie$ for a job well done.

-willy the rodeo pimp

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Sam and his Yes-Man Commission Vote Themselves a Raise While Cutting Benefits to County Employees


Kudos to Reeves County Commissioner Saul Herrera for voting against a commissioner pay raise at the same time the Commissioners Court cut county insurance benefits to its employees to pay for it. Commissioner Herrera, representing Balmorhea, was the only commissioner to balk against County Judge Sam Contreras and his Yes-Man Commission despite their reported threats and intimidation. Even the County Attorney stated publicly in an interview to the local rag that the whole affair stinks of poor political judgment and a lack of ethics on the part of these elected county officials.

Many citizens have recently remarked on the politics of family cliques still at work in Pecos despite changes in the membership of the commission at the last election. As the British rock group, The Who, sang, "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss." No one has been heard to remark favorably concerning the Court's machinations.

Unfortunately, there is little that can be done about the change in insurance provider, even under such questionable ethical circumstances, short of a civil lawsuit. In Texas, recall elections of local, county and state officials are almost impossible to accomplish, despite federal constitutional guarantees. Powerlessness is no virtue in this situation; it is a curse.

Nevertheless, frustrated employees at the Reeves County Detention Center Complex are currently demanding a recall election. The Texas Office of Secretary of State has been contacted for advice on how to proceed. We are getting reports that most employees are enraged because County Judge Contreras apparently engineered the insurance change "on the down-low," avoiding any meaningful discussion of alternatives -- all the while insuring his own raise in salary as well as those of his Yes-Men. Something smells fishy at the Reeves County Courthouse and even the Pecos Enterprise can smell this one.

At this hour, the editors of TAMFR have little information regarding the actual group insurance policy the Commission has approved -- only that it replaces Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas and offers cheaper rates for the County. If employee fears regarding the new policy are confirmed, families with dependent children stand to lose the most.

There are unconfirmed rumors and accusations of kick-backs offered by the new provider in order to secure the deal but these appear to be suspicions springing from a ground of rage and anger as well as Reeves County's own dubious political history. Something certainly is stinky about a County Commission that will cut employee benefits at the same time it votes itself a raise. In-your-face arrogance, no? Or are they really this politically stupid?

We will keep you posted, but it sure looks to us like someone is getting the bird; that is, someone incomparably more innocent than a recently "transferred" deputy warden who had the apparently well deserved reputation of having such an irascible disposition that it was brought to the attention of the Reeves County Sheriff on one too many occasions. Family is so important out here; and if you're not related, you're not defended.

--willy

Sunday, September 16, 2007

"Pecos Texas Blues"


"...I'll give ya a little dose of it right now. Just bear with me..."



Pecos Texas Blues
Mississippi Blue Grass
* munnerus' request line *

--willy

"Plata o plomo?



Grits for Breakfast published a beautifully written and well researched article Saturday morning on El Presidente Felipe Calderón Hinojosa and his struggle with the Mexican drug cartels and corruption within his own party. His links are awesome and he taps into some of the most recent reports coming out of Mexico concerning the drugs, the violence and the corruption.

My own sources insist, with much documentation, that -- setting oil and natural gas aside for rhetorical purposes -- drug production and trafficking IS the national economy of Mexico. I strongly recommend:

Calderon and the drug cartels: Who's intimidating who?


-progress

Astronomers at McDonald Observatory Discover Supernova


Type II Supernova ROTSE3 -- J012520+085413
09/15/07 -- "We report the discovery of a supernova, located at RA: 01:25:20.1, Dec: 08:54:13 (J2000) in unfiltered CCD images taken by the 0.45m ROTSE-IIIb telescope at McDonald Observatory, Texas. The supernova was detected at 19.0 +/- 0.4 mag on Sep 8.24 UT and at 18.6 +/- 0.1 mag on Sep 14.23 UT. Note that it was blended with a nearby 16.2 mag USNO star in the ROTSE images. It was not detected to a limiting magnitude of ~19.0 in images taken on Sep 7.95 UT by ROTSE-IIIc at the H.E.S.S. site at Mt. Gamsberg, Namibia. Magnitudes quoted above are unfiltered calibrated relative to USNO B1.0 R. A finding chart of the supernova can be found at:

JPG IMAGE LOCATION

"R. Quimby adds a spectrum (420-890 nm) of the SN obtained on Sep. 15.28 UT with the 9.2m Hobby-Eberly Telescope (+ Marcario Low-Resolution Spectrograph) by M. Shetrone, V. Riley, and F. Deglman shows it to be a Type II. Emission lines from H-alpha, -beta, and -gamma are detected, and a redshift of z=0.09 is inferred from the line peaks. Weak emission lines from HeII 468.6-nm and possibly OIII 500.7-nm are also seen. An emission peak is observed at rest 588-nm, which, if identified with NaI, would imply a blueshift relative to the Balmer lines of ~600 km/s."

F. Yuan, J. Aretakis, C.Akerlof (U. Mich.) and R. Quimby (Caltech)

Amazing, isn't it? Astronomers up on the mountaintop overlooking Fort Davis and Balmorhea can find this infinitesimally small needle in the primeval haystack of expanding light and form, in constant flux within fields of collapsing dark energy and infinite emptiness, yet George W. Bush can't even find his butt with both hands when he gets up in the morning. And he's the guy we trust with our national security?

--willy

Monday, September 10, 2007

Univision Debate Last Night; First Ever for Latino Voters

In a first time ever nationally televised debate broadcast to an Hispanic audience, the Hispanic channel Univision compromised with a field of presidential campaign managers and advisers who insisted that the debates exclude the use of Spanish, accepting a rule designed to nullify the cultural appeal of bilingual candidates. Governor Bill Richardson and Senator Chris Dodd, both fluent in Spanish, were said to have surrendered the most ground because of it, but the compromise insured the participation of those who are not bilingual. Thus, a complete forum was achieved, but the controversy lingers among cultural hard-liners; although, it seems to be diminishing quickly in the interest of moving on. [Okay, so the photo is from St. Anselm's and not Univision but it free on Flickr and there's nothing up yet from last night's debate.]

The AP reported from Coral Gables, Florida:
"I'm disappointed today that 43 million Latinos in this country, for them not to hear one of their own speak Spanish, is unfortunate," said Richardson, the governor of New Mexico. "In other words, Univision is promoting English-only in this debate."

Dodd, who served in the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic, also speaks Spanish fluently. He called for more U.S. engagement with Latin America, including a lifting of trade embargo against Cuba. "We're allowing a Hugo Chavez to win a public relations effort in Latin America because we don't invest enough in Latin America," he said.

Former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel boasted that he's also bilingual -- in French. "I honor everyone who comes to this country as an immigrant because we are all immigrants."

Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich said he would make Spanish a second national language, but no leading candidate was willing to go that far.
From our own Progressive perspective, the remarks of Senator Chris Dodd were significant. His call for investment in Latin America is the first hint from any of the candidates that an alternative to building fences exists to address Mexico's economic related emigration phenomenon.

Reminiscent of John F. Kennedy's "Alliance for Progress," announced in 1961 and proffered by the late-great Texas journalist Molly Ivins [as well as the Progressive bloggers in West Texas], Senator Dodd's inferred -- if not implied -- challenge to address the cause rather than the symptom was perhaps not as clarion as preferred; but at least it was a nod, if only a quiet allusion to true progress to all parties interested in making real progress on immigration and getting beyond the race bating that is the current context for discussions on reform.
The candidates were asked why they supported a wall along the Mexican border -- and not a similar fence along the U.S.-Canadian border -- a question that seemed to catch them somewhat off-guard. Most avoided answering directly, saying simply that they believed security was a key part of comprehensive immigration reform.
Thus far in the campaign, Governor Richardson seems the most sure footed of all the candidates in promoting border security (without wasting capital and political resources on fences) as the place to begin. He even has shown his hand early in favoring some type of migrant worker program that could lead to citizenship for them. But so far he hasn't dared to take the step that Senator Dodd appeared to have last night in his tentatively implied forwarding of a fair trade policy that hints at the renegotiation of the Clinton negotiated NAFTA treaty, a treaty that has served the neoconservative-Corporatist designs for exploitation in Mexico and Latin America while exacerbating the immigration problem. At least, among political hacks, a fair trade alliance is the most recently established context for such allusions to renegotiations.

Richardson's reticence in this area may represent an early campaign strategy emphasizing caution -- perhaps there is a political wisdom in placating those in the middle who fear a renewed progressive policy which echoes the long-term reaching-out of the Kennedy years, a program many believe would be too expensive.

Of course, any such proposal from the Progressive wing would invite discussion concerning the extent of government participation in partnership with private investment. Notwithstanding the nervousness of some given this context, we should brook no such argument of fiscal restraint from the neoconservative right after they have poured so much into an unnecessary war with Iraq in the interest of establishing "the economic independence of Israel," as their Policy for a New American Century touts.

Neither should a renegotiated economic alliance with our southern neighbors involve another attempt like NAFTA to hoodwink or bribe the leaders of our trading partners as well as labor union leader in the U.S. These shenanigans in Central America -- including diplomatically expressed economic threats -- were turned down flatly when presented in the form of a South American Free Trade Agreement. Naturally, as we have come to expect in response to the Bush Administration, when South American countries walked away laughing in our faces, it so angered our shamelessly neoconservative negotiators that they increased the level of threats and name-calling, especially against Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, to whom Sen. Dodd made reference in last night's debate, revealing his ignorance of the part the Bush Administration has played in driving him even more leftward.

This Corporatist American arrogance reveals yet another example -- in addition to our behavior in the Middle East -- of the one-sided, ethnocentric, amoral and imperialistic thinking of this neoconservative cabal of pork-pie-chasing oligarchs who want to piss on the people of Latin America and expect them to call it rain. When the astute, socialist leaning leaders of Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, Ecuador, Chile, and Bolivia turned them away, their mouths stood agape "like Death standing in the corner sucking on a LifeSaver," as the Texas colloquialism goes.

Perhaps the editors here at TAMFR are making an unfounded assumption. Perhaps Dodd's allusion was unintentional. At any rate we want more clarification from both Dodd and Richardson, for it is clear that Clinton offers the neoconservative status quo of NAFTA as a concession to middle-of-the-roaders like her life-partner, formerly known along with the likes of Sen. Lieberman as "New Democrats," but now labeled "Blue Democrats."

John Edwards is clearly not an intellectual capable of researching and posing solutions on his own. Like most politicians, he can only respond politically along the recommended lines of his handlers. Even JFK depended to some extent on the brilliance of Sorenson. Not to denigrate Edwards unfairly, it must be noted that George Bush never even knew what his handlers were talking about -- he was known, in crucial political situations, to simply repeat what he heard in his earpiece. Who knows, maybe that is what Elizabeth's role will become.

The AP went on to report that John McCain, Republican senator from the border state of Arizona, is the only GOP candidate who has responded to the invitation to debate before a Latino audience.


NEXT WEEK'S FEATURE STORY:
Julio
[photo on the left], an Illegal Immigrant from a well known border state in northern Mexico south of Presidio on the Rio Grande, crosses the International Bridge at Ojinaga in broad daylight in order to "do a job in Texas." When apprehended by U.S. border police, the illegal alien insisted that he was absolutely not a "terrier" but a "Chihuahuan Citizen with rights just like anyone else."

-progress

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Medical Insurance: The Horror

L.A. blogger, Fire Dog Lake posted a brief article on medical insurance and was suddenly swamped with comments relating the horrors of dealing with Health Management Orgs (HMOs).

Late last week, we posted a story about the September 10th meeting of the Reeves County Commissioners Court during which they plan to discuss dropping Blue Cross & Blue Shield for a cheaper carrier, effecting Reeves County employees. Continuing to track this development, which the Commissioners apparently have been keeping on the down-low in order to avoid controversy, we've discovered through unofficial sources that they are now saying 3-4 plans will be discussed, not just the one, as we initially reported.

Most county employees we have contacted want to keep the current Blue Cross & Blue Shield coverage and have begun to contact their commissioners to weigh-in against a change. In fact, employees are in an uproar over the proposal, one that appeared destined to pass without a fight, or so it was hoped by County Judge Sam Contreras, according to anonymous sources working for the county.

Crime Stoppers may have found the dumpers they were looking for late last week -- Sam Contreras and his cabal of Yes-Men. Contact your commissioners and voice your opinion.

--progress

Monday, September 3, 2007

Mexican president blasts U.S. for deportations; promises to fight for immigrant rights

After a month-long volley of disgustingly pandering Republican anti-migrant rhetoric, coming especially from the red-state Republican minions of the righteous, Mexican Presidente Felipi Calderon fires back:
MEXICO CITY (AP) 07-Sep 2 - President Felipe Calderon blasted the United States on Sunday for immigration policies that have divided families and slowed the amount of money sent home by Mexicans living north of the border.

The criticism earned Calderon a standing ovation during his first state-of-the nation address.

"We strongly protest the unilateral measures taken by the U.S. Congress and government that have only persecuted and exacerbated the mistreatment of Mexican undocumented workers," he said. "The insensitivity toward those who support the U.S. economy and society has only served as an impetus to reinforce the battle ... for their rights."

He also reached out to the millions of Mexicans living in the United States, many illegally, saying: "Mexico does not end at its borders. Where there is a Mexican, there is Mexico." more....
Yesterday's comments by Felipe Calderon are sure to inflame conservative Republican Anglo-Americans and excite with joy the National Republican Committee whose strategists are planning to use Immigration as a wedge issue in the 2008 national elections. Their tentative exploitation of racism and ethnocentrism among conservative, undereducated and authoritarian-minded Anglos of the Southwest during the 2006 election cycle was met with strong resistance in the region by Mexican Americans who read the issue for what it was -- a newly proffered dust-up over immigration that disingenuously included the undercurrents of anti-Latino sentiments, designed by party wonks as a last gap strategy in their 2006 loss of Congress, a strategy that resurrected the Republican "Southern Strategy" that was designed and implemented by the infamously nefarious Republican campaign dirty-trickster Grover Norquest and his protégé, Karl Rove.

Despite the overwhelming opposition by Latinos, a stewing cauldron of multi-diverse political caldo chilante in the 21st century, a minority the Republicans wanted to recruit in mass by pandering to their cultural traditionalism in 2006, when Rove and his Machiavellian cabal of swift-boating neocon Baalists figured out that their Southern and Midwestern conservative Anglo base was still strongly predisposed to a strategy that brazenly exploited ethnic paranoia and covert racism, they created in redux the "Republican Southwestern Strategy" and are currently implementing it across America.

Yes, folks, they will be sticking with their right-wing base in 2008, betting again that the working and middle classes of white conservatives will vote against their own economic interests to express an underlying repressed sense of economic class insecurity, misdirected blame for their powerless condition, and their hatred and bigotry channeled against all things different. They are "even now" fomenting this racist subversion and "culture war" while the Democrats still wander leaderless, lost in denial, many of whom -- instead of resurrecting JFK's "Alliance for Progress," his progressive New Frontier economic package for Latin America reminiscent of the the Marshal Plan and recommended by the late great Progressive Texas journalist Molly Ivins as a real cure -- weave and bob like our "Blue Democrat" brothers and sisters, thinking themselves more "moderate" and representative of the electorate, are myopically attacking the symptom -- the migration of a hapless impoverished people not of the same ethnicity and European American culture as their own. The wedge is set.

Calderon is morally right and we support his call for fairness and justice.

-progress

For a mult-faceted tracking of this issue, we recommend the Progressive Blog, Dos Centavos Net and our archival posting on background below.

BACKGROUND ON PROGRESSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM
* * * * * *
John Fitzgerald Kennedy
*
PRELIMINARY FORMULATIONS OF 'THE ALLIANCE FOR PROGRESS'
Address by President Kennedy at a White House Reception for Latin American Diplomats and Members of Congress, March 13, 1961
We meet together as firm and ancient friends, united by history and experience and by our determination to advance the values of American civilization. For this new world of ours is not merely an accident of geography. Our continents arc bound together by a common history-the endless exploration of new frontiers. Our nations are the product of a common struggle -the revolt from colonial rule. And our people share a common heritage - the quest for the dignity and the freedom of man. . . .

As a citizen of the United States let me be the first to admit that we North Americans have not always grasped the significance of this common mission, just as it is also true that many in your own countries have not fully understood the urgency of the need to lift people from poverty and ignorance and despair. But we must turn from these mistakes-from the failures and the misunderstandings of the past-to a future full of peril but bright with hope.

Throughout Latin America-a continent rich in resources and I n the spiritual and cultural achievements of its pecple-millions of men and women suffer the daily degradations of hunger and poverty. They lack decent shelter or protection from disease. Their children are deprived of the education or the jobs which arc the gateway to a better life. .

If we are to meet a problem so staggering in its dimensions, our approach must itself be equally bold, an approach consistent with the majestic concept of Operation Pan America. Therefore I have called on all the people of the hemisphere to join in a new Alliance for Progrcss - alianza para Progreso - a vast cooperative effort, unparalleled in magnitude and nobility of purpose, to satisfy the basic needs of the American people for homes, work and land, health and schools - techo, trabajo y tierra, salud y escuela.

First, I propose that the American Republics begin on a vast new 10-year plan for the Americas, a plan to transform the 1960's into an historic decade of democratic progress. . .

And if we are successful, if our effort is bold enough and determined enough, then the close of this decade will mark the beginning of a new era in the American experience. The living standards of every American family will be on the rise, basic education will be available to all, hunger will be a forgotten experience, the need for massive outside help will have passed, most nations will have entered a period of self-sustaining growth, and, although there will be still much to do, every American Republic will be the master of I . ts own revolution and its own hope and progress.

Let me stress that only the most determined efforts of the American nations themselves can bring success to this effort. They, and they alone, can mobilize their resources, enlist the energies of their people, and modify their social patterns so that all, and not just a privileged few, share in the fruits of growth. If this effort is made, then outside assistance will give a vital impetus to progress; without it, no amount of help will advance the welfare of the people. . . .

Secondly, I will shortly request a ministerial meeting of the Inter-American Economic and Social Council, a meeting at which we can begin the massive planning effort which will be at the heart of the Alliance for Progress.

For if our alliance is to succeed, each Latin nation must formulate long-range plans for its own development-plans which establish targets and priorities, insure monetary stability, establish the machinery for vital social change, stimulate private activity and initiative, and provide for a maximum national effort. . . .

Third, I have this evening signed a request to the Congress for $500 million as a first step in fulfilling the Act of Bogota. . . . The money will be used to combat illiteracy, improve the productivity and use of their land, wipe out disease, attack archaic tax and land-tenure structures, provide educational opportunities, and offer a broad range of projects designed to make the benefits of increasing abundance available to all. We will begin to commit these funds as soon as they are appropriated.

Fourth, we must support all economic integration which is a genuine step toward larger markets and greater competitive opportunity. The fragmentation of Latin American economies is a serious barrier to industrial growth. . . .

Fifth, the United States is ready to cooperate in serious, case-by-case examinations of commodity market problems. Frequent violent changes in commodity prices seriously injure the economies of many Latin American countries, draining their resources and stultifying their growth. Together we must find practical methods of bringing an end to this pattern.

Sixth, we will immediately step up our food - for-peace emergency program, help to establish food reserves in areas of recurrent drought, and help provide school lunches for children and offer feed grains for use in rural development. For hungry men and women cannot wait for economic discussions or diplomatic meetings; their need is urgent, and their hunger rests heavily on the conscience of their fellow men.

Seventh, all the people of the hemisphere must be allowed to share in the expanding wonders of science-wonders which have captured man's imagination, challenged the powers of his mind, and given him the tools for rapid progress. I invite Latin American scientists to work with us in new projects in fields such as medicine and -agriculture, physics and astronomy and desalinization, and to help plan for regional research laboratories in these and other fields, and to strengthen cooperation between American universities and laboratories. . . .

Eighth, we must rapidly expand the training of those needed to man the economies of rapidly developing countries. This means expanded technical training programs, for which the Peace Corps, for example, will be available where needed. It also means assistance to Latin American universities, graduate schools, and research institutes.

We welcome proposals in Central America for intimate cooperation in higher education, cooperation which can achieve a regional effort of increased effectiveness and excellence. We are ready to help fill the gap in trained manpower, realizing that our ultimate goal inust be a basic education for all who wish to learn.

Ninth, we reaffirm our pledge to come to the defense of any American nation whose independence is endangered. As confidence in the collective security system of the OAS [Organization of American States] spreads, it will be possible to devote to constructive use a major share of those resources now spent on the instruments of war. Even now, as the Government of Chile has said, the time has come to take the first steps toward sensible limitations of arms. And the new generation of military leaders has shown an increasing awareness that armies can not only defend their countries-they can, as we have learned through our own Corps of Engineers, help to build them.

Tenth, we invite our friends in Latin America to contribute to the enrichment of life and culture in the United States. We need teachers of your literature and history and tradition, opportunities for our young people to study in your universities, access to your music, your art, and the thought of your great philosophers. For we know we have much to learn.

In this way you can help bring a fuller spiritual and intellectual life to the people of the United States and contribute to understanding and mutual respect among the nations of the hemisphere.

With steps such as these we propose to complete the revolution of the Americas, to build a hemisphere where all men can hope for a suitable standard of living and all can live out their lives in dignity and in freedom.

To achieve this goal political freedom must accompany material progress. Our Alliance for Progress is an alliance of free governments-and it must work to eliminate tyranny from a hemisphere in which it has no rightful place. Therefore let us express our special friendship to the people of Cuba and the Dominican Republic-and the hope they will soon rejoin the society of free men, uniting with us in our common effort.

This political freedom must be accompanied by social change. For unless necessary social reforms, including land and tax reform, are freely made, unless we broaden the opportunity of all of our people, unless the great mass of Americans share in increasing prosperity, then our alliance, our revolution, our dream, and our freedom will fail. But we call for social change by free men-change in the spirit of Washington and Jefferson, of Bolivar and San Martin and Marti-not change which seeks to impose on men tyrannies which we cast out a century and a half ago. Our motto is what it has always been-progress yes, tyranny no - Progreso si, tirania no!

But our greatest challenge comes from within-the task of creating an American civilization where spiritual and cultural values are strengthened by an ever-broadening base of material advance, where, within the rich diversity of its own traditions, each nation is free to follow its own path toward progress.

The completion of our task will, of course, require the efforts of all the governments of our hemisphere. But the efforts of governments alone will never be enough. In the end the people must choose and the people must help themselves.

And so I say to the men and women of the Americas - to the I [peasant] in the fields, to the obrero [worker] in the cities, to the estudiante in the schools - prepare your mind and heart for the task ahead, call forth your strength, and let each devote his energies to the betterment of all so that your children and our children in this hemisphere can find an ever richer and a freer life.

Let us once again transform the American Continent into a vast crucible of revolutionary ideas and efforts, a tribute to the power of the creative energies of free men and women, an example to all the world that liberty and progress walk hand in hand. Let us once again awaken our American revolution until it guides the struggles of people everywhere-not with an imperialism of force or fear but the rule of courage and freedom and hope for the future of man.



Source:

from The Department of State Bulletin, XLIV, No. 1136 (April 3, 1961), pp, 471-474.


Powered by ScribeFire.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Texas Democratic Presidential Straw Poll

Not to be outdone by the Republicans, who selected California's Representative Hunter as their presidential favorite in a straw poll conducted yesterday, The Texas Democratic Party is offering an e-Primary Poll at its site. You can vote throughout the week.

While you're there, stop-off and post a comment on behalf of Reeves County at the Reeves County Progressive, buried somewhere in the confetti at the Texas Democrats website.

Okay, I'll go ahead and admit it: I voted for Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico. I know he doesn't stand a chance against the money backing Hillary, Obama and Edwards -- and especially that the State Clique, dominated from Austin, Houston and Dallas, is pushing southern boy, John Edwards as the favorite son of the South -- but I just think if I can stir up a ruckus for him, he may stand a chance as a long-shot vice-presidential pick.

By the time the primary circuit riders make it to Texas, it may be too late for Texas Dems to push even John Edwards, who I don't like -- he's just not very charismatic. The motivation behind Hillary may already be too great to stop her from rolling into the national convention with all the delegates she needs.

Richardson is the best statesman of the lot. He has the most foreign policy experience and may even be the most intelligent. From a West Texas point of view, Richardson brings a lot of political muscle to the region, he's 3/4 Latino and has the most progressive immigration plank. Given the changing ethnic demographics, especially in the Southwest, Richardson may best represent the future of the Democratic Party in the 21st Century.

If he's lucky enough to win the VP position, he'll be a shoe-in when the Right-Wing-Nuts in the country go berzerko and kidnap the woman or the black president with the Muslim name and hide them in a cattle shed in Idaho until the toe tappin' is over in Boise.

Despite my soap box, and despite that you, my reader, my be infinitely more practical and moderate than me, now is a good time to start becoming engaged in the process. So go and vote in the straw poll and let's all see what kind of candidate Texans are backing in the early rounds.

**I have cross posted this note to The Balmorhea Progressive. The reason may not be obvious = it's because I'm learning the Scribefire editor, an extension of FireFox Browser.

-progress
* * *

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,


Powered by ScribeFire