Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Anticipated Republican "Southwestern Strategy" Is Beginning to Emerge: Will We Allow Them to Divide The Nation Yet Again?


We've been asking the corollary question for a long time as well: If the Republicans redeploy their notorious "Southern Strategy" in the Southwest this year, using "Immigration Reform" as their superficially innocuous hate-trigger, which candidate is best suited to feed it back to them with a dash of salsa and Tejano band just to see if they can dance to their own global music?

Then, low and behold! Look what jumped into the progressive blogosphere this morning dressed in the multi-colors of hope and change?

By Chris Kelly; 05-30-08
Huffington Post

Barack Obama's Vice President Will Be...

Just the other day (okay, a month and a half ago) I was having an off-the-record conversation with an extremely influential leader of the netroots community. How influential? Let me put it this way: Without him, there would be no Ned Lamont. [Links are by BaileyWo, your editor, and not by Chris Kelly, who only hinted at his source.]
Given that triumph, we naturally wanted to know whom he thought Barack Obama should choose as vice president. I thought Bill Bradley would be a pretty good choice, and still do. Other people at our table believed that Obama needed to reach out to some Democratic elder statesmen or military man, both of which made sense to me. But my netroots friend looked at us like we were crazy. Obviously, there was only one man for the job. One electrifying figure who would capture the imagination of a generation of new voters, kick over the electoral map like a board game at an anger management retreat, and turn the 21st century on its ear, whatever that means. That man is:

Bill Richardson.

Now, I'm probably not the right person to assess Bill Richardson as a game changer, because I always get him mixed up with Sandy Berger. Also, I thought Netroots might be having us on. So I let it go.

(I've also heard that Bill Richardson is a scandal waiting to happen, since he's a sex machine with all the chicks. But, again, I might be thinking of Berger.)

Anyway, I've been asking around, and here's the general thinking on what Obama needs in a Vice President:

A Military Background
So Obama doesn't get totally marginalized when we start bombing Iran in October.

Conservative
To balance his wife, Angela Davis.

Southern
So he can compete for the hardworking racists of Hillary's Appalachia.

Hispanic
Because there's nothing wrong with pandering identity politics when nice people do it.

A Woman
See above -- "Hispanic"

Older than Time Itself
Because Barack Obama is only five years old.

Jim Webb gets you "military" and "conservative." And "loose cannon," if we want to go toe-to-toe with McCain for the crazy bully vote. But he's not old enough.

Sam Nunn? I guess he's old. And he is a creep. There's that. But why would he do it? He's already been President in his head.

Bill Richardson is Hispanic, and held many, many, many jobs in the Clinton administration, none of which immediately come to mind.

Wesley Clark? I like Wesley Clark, but he's attached to Hillary Clinton like visible panty lines.

Kathleen Sebelius? There's no such thing as Kathleen Sebelius. I checked.

I know it sounds hopeless, but it's not. Obama just needs a running mate who's old, Hispanic, southern, female and enjoys state-sponsored violence, especially war.

Two words:

Eva. Peron.

I know what you're going to say: Eva Peron can't be vice president -- she was born in Argentina. Relax. McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone. It won't be an issue.

And now you're going to say: "But Chris, isn't Eva Paron a waxy corpse, borne crazily from place to place by its fanatical followers?" Again, we'll be running against McCain. Read more at HuffingPost.com


[BaileyWo]: I can't say how excited I am by this pundidential suggestion coming from Chris Kelley and his friends. And if it's just idle speculation going on in the progressive blogosphere, let's make it a reality. Evita Peron would make a great occupant of the vice-presidential compound under the Naval Observatory that serves as the "East Wing Bunker" for running the Shadow Government. But before moving her in (or Cheney out) they should make sure to install the needed cryogenics equipment and hire a couple of necromancers with Ouija Boards just in case Cheney absconds to Uruguay and we need to contact him for the smooth transition of "unitary presidential power," or in case Hillary is not around to channel Eleanor, who could then send us the latest from Evita.



Just in case Evita doesn't work out there's always....



In addition, I've added a Bill Richardson Quotes application to, yours truly, BaileyWo's Facebook Profile.
*

Early Morning Humor: "I think we're dead!"

A policeman and his wife who had been using confiscated contraband had a late night scare, got paranoid and called 9-1-1 to ask for help. They didn't get charged, no one could prove they were in possession, but the guy lost his job. And then the local news station found out about it:



This story reminds me of the combination Sheriff & Dog Catcher I happened to meet in the 70s, who had been confiscating weed from the "freaks" he had stopped on the highway in the East Texas Woods. He was supposed to send in 1/2 of the fine to the State of Texas; the city kept the other half. But "Sheriff Willie" was greedy. He figured out that the only way to make it big in East Texas was to cut the state out of his bid'ness. If he did that, his "criminals" got fined but they never got a record. After all, who wants a record?

The young people got a charge for whatever Sheriff Willie could think of -- public intoxication, or speeding, or illegal parking -- and "Sheriff Willie" got the weed. This worked well for everyone. In fact, most people felt relieved; relieved that is, until someone came around so stupid and self-righteous he didn't care if he got a record.

This guy wanted revenge. Keeping his receipt for the bullshit ticket, he initiated an investigation in Austin and found that literally no one going through Sheriff Willie's neck of the woods was getting busted for anything.

Willie got busted. I never heard whether the out-in-orbit litigant was successful in getting his record placed on file in Austin.

They say that in Galveston, Texas, during the 70s, if you wanted a bag of weed, all you had to do was pull over a cop.

And then there's the case of George W. Bush, President of the United States.....



Sunday, May 25, 2008

Drug Wars Intensify in Mexico


The drug wars in Mexico are continuing to spiral out of control as cartels fight each other and the Mexican government for control of the various "plazas," or choke points for the transportation of drugs into the United States. Of late, it has been particularly violent.

Heads in coolers
by Sean Mattson of the San Antonio Express

Out of Durango, a northern state, we have reports Friday that four human heads were found in coolers. Different stories report that a note found with the heads said, "We've arrived..." and, "for the friends of El Chapo." Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán is the reputed head of the Sinaloa drug syndicate.

The cartel, named after the Pacific coast state where it is based, might be going through some bloody infighting right now, according to reports that have not been officially confirmed.
One of El Chapo's sons (not the one who was recently released from jail — he reportedly walked without incident) was killed recently in what might have been part of that infighting.

Milenio newspaper leads its web site Friday afternoon with a story out of Culiacán, the cartel's home turf: Eight people executed in eight hours. (Warning: link contains photograph of one victim.)
Other stories have a federal police officer killed today in Michoacán state, in western Mexico, and five more found dead in Ciudad Juárez, across from El Paso. From the slice of life section, we have a story on how the coroners in Ciudad Juárez just can't keep up. (Warning: see last warning.) More cops quit...

Out of Guerrero, in southern Mexico, we have news that another police force quit due to violence from drug gangs.
This would be the third small police force in Mexico to do that this year and the second one this month, and it's just one sign of the misery that small towns struck by drug violence live through. ...maybe this had something to do with it And El Universal, which seems to be breaking a lot of drug war news of late (but using a lot of unsourced or anonymous information), notes that the price drug cartels place on the head of a federal police commander is $15,000. The story also mentions a case where $5,000 would be paid to cop killers in Baja California.

Finally, AP recounts the federal attorney general giving the official statistics on drug war bloodshed in a radio interview: 1,378 people have died this year in organized crime violence, compared to 940 last year. The figure is higher than Reforma's toll but reflects the same trend noted by the paper: An almost 50-percent increase in the bloodshed when compared to last year.

What a mess.
— Sean Mattson


Shifts in cartel alliances fuel shootouts in Mexico
By DUDLEY ALTHAUS
Houston Chronicle Mexico City Bureau

MEXICO CITY — At least eight men were killed in related shootouts Tuesday as shifting alliances feed the already vicious rivalries among Mexico's criminal empires.

Initial press reports quoting town officials in western Durango state said the clashes between rival drug cartel gunmen killed as many as 19.

But a spokesman for the attorney general of Durango, where marijuana and heroin are produced and through which U.S.-bound cocaine flows, insisted that only eight men had died.

"This frightens us, because we aren't accustomed to this kind of thing here," said the spokesman, Ruben Lopez.

It was not immediately clear who the antagonists were this time. But the killings mirror others this year between criminal factions in which up to 15 people at a time have been slain.

The gangland competition for narcotics smuggling routes has been heightened by the Mexican government's success in dismantling or pressuring some of the factions that comprise the cartels, President Felipe Calderon said.

"The Mexican government has hit in a key way the financial and operating structures" of the cartels, Calderon told reporters. "This is forcing their realignment.

"A confrontation is occurring not only against public security but particularly — in a very, very intense way — between the cartels themselves."

A U.S. counternarcotics official characterized Calderon's campaign as "a muddy, bloody uphill climb."

"It's not over. It's going to get worse before it gets better," said the official, who spoke on condition that his name not be reported.

$1.4 billion package

The U.S. House voted last week to approve the first annual installment of a three-year, $1.4 billion package of equipment and training for Mexican and Central American police fighting the drug war. But the first year's spending was trimmed by about $100 million to $400 million, all going to Mexican security forces.

The Merida Plan, proposed during a summit between Bush and Calderon in that Mexican city last year, must be approved by the Senate before it is implemented.

Durango is considered the territory of the so-called Federation, which includes criminal groups based in Chihuahua and Sinaloa states.

The Federation, whose nominal head is Sinaloa trafficker Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, has been rattled recently by the reported desertion of the Beltran Leyva clan, considered a major trafficking gang. It joined the Gulf Cartel, based in the Mexican cities bordering Texas' Lower Rio Grande Valley, the Mexico City newspaper El Universal reported, quoting Mexican officials.

Fighting between the Beltran Leyvas and the Gulf Cartel's gunmen, the Zetas, has caused much of the nation's violence, including the Nuevo Laredo and Acapulco areas.

The Federation and the Gulf Cartel reportedly negotiated a truce last spring which diminished the violence for several months. But the bloodshed resumed this spring as the cartels — and the smaller criminal gangs that comprise them — jockey for dominance.

The violence was particularly intense in Sinaloa state in northwest Mexico on the Gulf of California. Among those slain there was one of Guzman's sons. In addition, Arturo Beltran Leyva, the leader of his family's clan in Sinaloa, has been singled out by Mexican officials as the likely mastermind of the May 8 assassination of a senior federal police office in Mexico City, Edgar Millan.

The Gulf Cartel's reputed chieftain, former policeman Osiel Cardenas, awaits federal trial in Houston on drug-related charges after Mexico allowed his extradition in January. Police now consider Heriberto Lazcano, a former special forces soldier who heads the Zetas, as the de facto head of the organization, officials said.

Tuesday's shootout in Durango was linked in the Mexican press to the weekend kidnapping of a state police commander in the area and to the attack on the family of a local politician.

But Lopez, the attorney general's spokesman, dismissed those reports as speculation.

Read More at Houston Chronical.......

Violence erupts in Mexico's drugs heartland

A TOWN SEIZED
Associated Press:

There are no police anymore in Villa Ahumada. Even the mayor has fled. Drug gangs have virtually seized this town of 1,500 not far from Texas. The Mexican military took over the police department this week because all 20 officers have either been killed, run out of town or quit, officials said Tuesday.

Mayor Fidel Urrutia took refuge in the state capital of Chihuahua City 600 miles away, where he's waiting for the soldiers to recover his town. The killings came a month after soldiers arrested eight men, including a police officer, during the burial of an alleged drug hit man in Villa Ahumada, about 80 miles south of El Paso.


Blogged with the Flock Browser

It's a Dog & Pony Show Weekend


Who would'a thunk it?



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Monday, May 19, 2008

Think Progress » As Pope Calls For Treating Immigrants With ‘Dignity,’ Bush Administration Carries Out Raids In Five States

 popebushPope Benedict XVI has been a vocal supporter of U.S. immigrants, regardless of their legal status. On his flight between Rome and Washington yesterday, the pope made clear that discussing the treatment of Latino immigrants would be a priority during his meeting with President Bush. AFP reports:

The United States must do “everything possible to fight…all forms of violence so that immigrants may lead dignified lives,” the pope said when asked if he would address the issue of Latin American immigrants with the US leader.

The White House viewed the pope’s visit as very important. In a rare gesture, the President and his family even traveled to Andrews Air Force Base to greet the pope as his plane arrived.

Unfortunately, the Bush administration also chose today to carry out immigration raids, arresting more than 280 undocumented workers employed at Pilgrim’s Pride plants in five states. According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), several — but not all — of the immigrants were suspected of identity theft or document fraud. [Yea, right! -ch] According to a Justice Department press release:

For those arrested solely on immigration violations, that information will assist ICE in making decisions about whether to detain the individual or permit a conditional humanitarian release. Similarly, the information will be provided to the relevant U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and state social services agencies so they are fully informed about humanitarian-related issues that may arise in the individual cases being handled through the criminal justice system. Those being prosecuted on criminal charges will be remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service and housed at various facilities near the arrest sites.

It’s no wonder that the pope is concerned about the treatment of immigrants. At a recent House hearing, Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA) noted that children at immigrant detention facilities have reportedly been “put in cells alone for hours, awakened in the middle of the night with flashlights in their faces and threatened with being permanently separated from their parents.”

Under the Bush administration, deportations have increased sharply. In the last fiscal year ending Sept. 30, ICE deported 280,000 people, a 44 percent jump from the previous year. The Bush administration has also come under intense fire from lawmakers and immigration activists for carrying out politically motivated raids against immigrants who criticize the White House’s policies.

[read the update plus reader comments here:]

Think Progress » As Pope Calls For Treating Immigrants With ‘Dignity,’ Bush Administration Carries Out Raids In Five States

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

You're So Vain I'll Bet You Think This Blog Is About You




*
Southern man better keep your head
Don't forget what your good book said
Southern change gonna come at last
Now your crosses are burning fast
Southern man

I saw cotton and I saw blacks
Tall white mansions and little shacks.
Southern man when will you pay them back?
I heard screamin' and bullwhips cracking
How long? how long?

Southern man better keep your head
Don't forget what your good book said
Southern change gonna come at last
Now your crosses are burning fast
Southern man

Lily Belle, your hair is golden brown
I've seen your black man comin' round
Swear by God I'm gonna cut him down!
I heard screamin' and bullwhips cracking
How long? how long?

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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Hillary: Holding Out for a Dream;Or Holding Forth on a Nightmare?


I'm going to stick my neck out and make a prediction. You heard it first on This Ain't My First Rodeo [and on the Wayne Madsen Report]

The Clintons have stuck it out this long and common sense itself now demands that Hillary drops from the race on behalf of party unity. But, if I read them correctly, the Clintons have always been closer to the neocon "middle" than any other candidate. Declaring themselves "New Democrats" and racing everyone else to the middle was the strategy they used to beat an incumbent Bush-41 in the wake of the conservative "Reagan Revolution."


McCain has been nailed down on the far right, probably with the help of the Clintons in the back rooms. They are currently furiously working to associate him with the Reverend John Hagee, a right wing-nut. The country has had it with these hate-filled apocalyptic Dominionists who have sold their populist souls to the elite corporatists of "the Military-industrial Complex."

We've all figured out by now they are not really even "Christian," at least in the ancient foundations they themselves would have a revivalist America focus upon -- they are Zealots, the chief rivals of early Christians who struggled to come to terms with Roman occupation in the midsts of The Jewish Wars of Zealot insurgency that led to the destruction of the Second Temple in 68 AD, followed by the Great Diaspora and th
e final stand of Zealot forces at Masada in the second century. Early Christianity thus took hold among the Hellenized general diaspora of Jews already scattered throughout the Roman Empire. Once the decision was made to admit into full communion the Gentiles who had already taken an interest in Judaism, the course for peace and reconciliation with the reality of Rome's supremacy "in the world" was set. The next stage of development, in the face of the persecutions, occurred when the Christianized diaspora began to distance themselves from the the Jews of the homeland whose Zealot insurrections they saw as the cause of their persecutions as Jews. This began with the efforts of Paul to convince Nero that the Christians were of a different character and that they intended to remain "subject to the higher authorities." St. Paul never saw the affects of his writing; nevertheless, the final and complete severance from Judaism occurred in the fourth century when Constantine declared of political necessity,Christianity the religion of the realm without ever having been baptized himself.

Stay with me; I'm not just bullshitting for the sake of bullshitting.

Any educated "Christian" knows full well that the Messiah was not a messiah of insurrection; he was "The Prince of Peace." So in reaction to the arch-conservative nationalism and triumphalism of right-wing Zealots such as Richard Land, Rev. John Hagee, Pat Robertson and the politicians wh
o have exploited them, there has emerged within the various populist movements a pervasive ethical and religious ambiguity. This cultural ambiguity can be summarized as a confusing mix of metaphors, for example the leftest Christian view of "Washington-as-Rome" versus its polar opposite in the left-wing Zealot black community, "Washington-as-Babylon" versus the extreme right-wing view that the Catholic Church is the Whore of Babylon in Rome. To wit, any less strident, tolerant and ethically directed notion of the historical and political role of Christianity in a secular society has to come to terms with the democratic concept of pluralism with its inclusive respect for both the inalienable rights of the individual and minorities, as well as the safeguards against the tyranny of the majority institutionalized in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. Opposing the ever resurgent Theocracy sought by the Extreme Right from age to age, this more Enlightened pluralistic view of our forefathers moves the multifarious and contravening institutions of religion which from time to time run afoul of Civil Liberties with the best of intentions, to a more peripheral political role of influence, while respecting their universal spiritual value, by avoiding absolutist and authoritarian abuse in the nation's own state of affairs.

Theologically,
if only for the sake of respite, we leave the Book of Revelations to the realm of the angles without forsaking the Gospels, we can acknowledge that mainstream Christianity represents The Kingdom of Heaven which is "IN the world but not OF the world." The recognition of this universal spiritual principle calls us to an altogether higher level of freedom. Subsequently, as the underlying scriptural ambiguities brought to light by our contemporary "Culture Wars" are worked through in the mainstream, the ongoing reconciliation process is driving folks of all extremes back to a less confrontational, less muscular Middle Way, to a place more in partnership with "the poor" and in identification with their suffering. Moreover, the traditional Christian notions of community, compassion, reconciliation, surrender, conversion at depth, spiritual growth and the longing for Peace -- The Way of Wisdom -- seem ever resilient in the face of such Zealotry as we have tolerated from the authoritarian Right to the point of impatience. A coalition of human secularists with mainstream Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Native American and various "churched" and "unchurched" is beginning to emerge into a new Progressivism and is drawing populists of every tradition back to that middle place.

And Here Waits the Clintons.
Hillary is holding on, working the split within the Democratic Party so that in September or early October she will have brought the nation to the great political nexus that has been coming anyway.

The Independent Party candidate for 2008
who will win the presidency will be

Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The "October Surprise" of 2008

Independent Joe Lieberman will move quickly to endorse her followed by hundreds from both parties, perhaps even Rush Limbaugh who knows full well where his bread is buttered.

John McCain will go away into retirement exasperated and confused.

John Edwards will have recognized that holding off any endorsement of Obama was wise for him personally but traitorous to the cause of Progressivism.
*The only viable candidate with any chance of facing Clinton in 2012 will come from a new Progressive Party, formed under resentment by minority members and ideologically dedicated liberals who felt betrayed by a Democratic Party turned "independent" who abdicated their economic and social responsibilities to the people while appropriating the "Southern Strategy" to maintain its hold on power.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.





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Thursday, May 8, 2008

GEO's Pearsall Unit -- Mounting Reports of Sexual Abuse & Assault on Migrant Detainees


In the last minutes of the WOAI news video segment [located here], following Warden D.C. Cole's standard company comment, "I am not at liberty to discuss the matter at this time," you will note that corrections officers, following his lead, declined to speak as well. In fact, many denied knowledge of any wrong doing. The editors here at This Ain't My First Rodeo can only surmise, despite the leaks that are occurring early this morning by those finally coming forward, that many officers feel intimidated by a company becoming notorious for retaliation against those who do not toe the company line with the press. As for this staff of editors -- we do not work for The GEO Group; although, some have worked for Reeves County, a much preferred employer.

It seems that when it rains it pours.

Allegations of sexual assault and abuse were reported on Tuesday, May 6, at The GEO Group run South Texas Detention Complex in Pearsall, Texas. The unit is located an hour southwest of San Antonio and is contracted to GEO by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Many readers here in Pecos will remember that Deputy Warden David C. Cole, who appears briefly in the video below, was reassigned to the Pearsall Unit last year by The GEO Group after a string of complaints by employees alleging what many described here at RCDC-III as an insufferable authoritarian attitude. So we send our warm wishes to D.C. Cole in the hopes that he can manage the stress on his unit without "losing it." That may be difficult.

This is by no means the first unit managed by The GEO Group from which reports of sexual abuse and assault have been alleged. GEO lost the Coke County Juvenile Center contract last year for problems not only of abuse; but also, for a level of neglect of adolescent detainees so egregious that the inmates began displaying what appeared in the estimate of some experts to be signs of decompensation of the personalities of some youth into brief reactive psychosis, indicated by such behaviors as smearing feces on the walls and floors.

In 1999, GEO, then known as the Wackenhut Corrections Corporation, lost its contract at the Travis County State Jail, east of Austin, due to sexual abuse and assault. At the time, a female inmate became pregnant by what DNA testing proved to be the night supervisor over Security. Administration officials at the jail had been ignoring complaints from female inmates concerning the abuse until an anonymous employee reported it to county officials. When an investigation was launched, it was alleged that Wackenhut officials began shredding documents before search warrants could be issued.

It can never be stated categorically that a corporation is directly at fault for the criminal behavior of its employees. Nevertheless, one has to wonder at the history of "lobbying efforts" utilized by The GEO Group in the past on behalf of healthy "preventative" PR with local and state politicians and inspectors who might "inadvertently" apply "too rigorous" a standard when monitoring GEO's contracts or who might benefit by "personal contact or encouragement" when the company is seeking assistance with damage control.

In fact, we posted an article last week, thanks to Texas Prison Bid'ness, that documented GEO's position at the top of the charts in Texas on behalf of "lobbying efforts." Much of The GEO Group's "pouring in of resources," occurred in the wake of the Coke County fiasco, and was directed at members of Sen. John Whitmire and members of his Senate Criminal Justice Committee who had initiated hearings looking into GEO's operations in Texas. At the time, it was reported by many news agencies and bloggers that the Senator and his committee felt highly insulted by The GEO Group's near overwhelming presence via professional lobbyists at the doors of his committee chambers and at the offices of committee members. Even if the GEO Group had no shame, Senator Whitmire was incredulous that they spared no efforts in impugning his good name. Call it what you want, "lobbying" is under the national spotlight during this election season, especially by those who want to see a return to viable democracy.

The article, written by Brian Collister, comes from WOAI.com in San Antonio. Note as well, there are allegations of a cover-up:
Startling allegations of sexual assault are coming out about a facility that holds illegal immigrants. It's said to be happening in Pearsall, just about an hour outside of San Antonio. News 4 Trouble Shooter Brian Collister is uncovering how some guards may be victimizing the women they are supposed to be protecting.

Many of the immigrants held here are women. Some have fled abuse in their home country, only to be reportedly abused again behind these bars.

A former detainee, who asked us not to identify her told us, "It was going on a lot. It was going on almost all the time, the sexual abuse."

She claims sexual abuse came from the guards. She said while she was there she rejected advances by one of the guards, but said other girls were too scared to put up a fight.

"Some of the guards actually tried to force themselves on the girls and that they've told them that if they ever said anything about it, that they have the power with ICE to deport them," explained this former detainee.

The guards work for a private company called GEO, hired by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, to run the prison. Sexual contact with detainees is not allowed. In fact, it's a crime.

The former detainee said, "Some of the girls ended up pregnant by some of the officers there." [story continues here]

We will continue to track the ever increasingly notorious GEO Group. In the meantime, here is the Comment Section of Topix for Pearsall. We hope you find it as interesting as we did.

+
There is a prescription for burnout that is ranked above all others for its destructive potential on the human psyche; that is, being held responsible for conditions one has no power to control.

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Saturday, May 3, 2008

Globalization and its Discontentents; The Insurgency from the Left


Last week, the presidents of Mexico and the United States met with the prime minister of Canada in New Orleans to discuss economic and political strategies that will effectively unite us in the vein of the European Union. Plans are quietly being laid, as per long reaching neoconservative policy initiatives, for the North American Union. The matter is not under democratic discussion. The Age of Nationalism has ended.

These plans are apparently proceeding at a pace -- under the radar of the mainstream press -- that leaves even the most credulous of right-wing populist conspiracy theorists incredulous. The popular Snoops rumor investigation site finds the evidence of such planning incredible but they will not discount the possibility completely. They only allege that it will not happen by the rumored date, 2010.

Going a step further in denouncing the possibility of such a grand union of nations under one flag, Wikipedia, an encyclopedic website of information authored and edited by informed readers and scholars, contends that populist fears regarding a North American Union have resulted from exaggerated reports of more mundane and traditional trade talks between these nations, such as the NAFTA enhancements proposed by the Bush Administration and the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America. In fact, Wikipedia convincingly asserts that post 9-11 security measures have changed the character of these negotiations such that any trade agreements affecting a dissolution of common borders has been moved to the back burner. In the same cautionary regard, Mexico witnessed the removal from the negotiation table of its long-desired immigration reform agreement with the United States.

Yet, aside from the questionable economic promise of open trade agreements, discussions aimed at allaying the fears of an arch-conservative and stridently patriotic right-wing, obsessively concerned over secure borders, distinct nationalities, effective conferral of statehood, the open flow of migrant workforce populations, a common currency, major trade corridors that might exacerbate problems with drug trafficking as well as the tormenting issues associate with imminent domain and the like, all seem to ignore the preponderating realities imposed by globalization.

In the meantime, hundreds of thousands of migrant workers, mostly from Mexico, languish in detention facilities and prisons across the United States for having committed the "crime" of crossing the border "illegally." Migrant workers and their families now represent the fastest growing population of incarcerates in a country quickly becoming known as Prison Nation.

Yet, despite what would appear to be a contradiction in social and economic direction revealed by the irony imposed by the notion of a North American Union, there is no conflict, at least in terms of neoconservative goals and objectives revealed in their social control strategies. The private prison industry is "big bid'ness." It serves the ever increasing needs of a Corporatist empire in maintaining order, not so much by detaining radicals and law breakers, but by placating a population of authoritarian followers who insist on "law & order." Even as an incipient major economic recession threatens to deepen into depression -- the result of the trillion dollar neocon war in the Middle East -- The GEO Group, the second largest contractor of Bureau of Prison services, announced first quarter gains that double previous quarter profits.

The prison population in the United States recently surpassed a frightening magic number, a first for any nation -- we now currently have 1% of the adult general population of the United States incarcerated. This number excludes migrant workers and their families. It amounts to over two-million citizens, mostly drug offenders caught-up in the politically-driven Law & Order chicaneries of a conservative nation gone paranoid at the perception that minorities are taking over the streets.

Although the following video is obviously presented as part of an educational film series ostentatiously supportive of the American penal system, it nevertheless reveals a starkly status quo ethnocentricity -- possibly even with conservative middle class racist undertones -- that its producers may not have intended to reveal yet nevertheless functions, despite its pretentious affects, as a good example of institutional media propaganda. Despite this, it is a film we belief is worthy of presenting in this article because it unintentionally depicts the reality of American culture in microcosm. Now, this is a reality we can see contained in the visual dynamics but a reality that is denied and thus betrayed by an uninformed narrative that presents "rehabilitation" through substance abuse treatment, education and jobs skills training as the mission of the system when, if fact, they are virtually becoming nonexistent. Unfortunately, the privatization of the prison system has led to underfunding and/or complete gutting of such programs in favor of "the bottom line" and has resulted in an enormous surge in recidivism rates. The "swinging door phenomenon" has especially become the reality for members of minorities who populate our prisons in numbers disproportionate to their make-up within the general population. And as if to accentuate the already agonizing irony in a manner that may even reveal an intended re-framing and watering down of a phrase become tragically popular, the film is entitled Prison Nation.



National Geographic's mollifying reinterpretation of Prison Nation depicts a nation in microcosm. The real Prison Nation is still in its ascendancy. There is increasing anxiety among Progressives, both of the Democratic and Independent Party temperament, that surrounds the current Democratic Primary. If New Democrat Hillary Clinton can hold-out against truly Progressive Democrat Barack Obama until the National Convention in Denver this August, the risk of increased racial tension will become dramatic in a way not seen since the 60s Civil Rights Movement. If the superdelegates betray Obama -- and at this point there is little likelihood of that happening -- it may unleash racial strife at a national level that can only encourage the implementation of authoritarian security measures that will further encroach upon our civil liberties. We can expect the same level of outrage if another election is stolen by operatives such as Karl Rove and the terminally sycophantic John McCain is escorted into office to serve as another ignorantly officious Howdy Dooty on strings.

No one should assume that a declaration of martial law and the postponement of national elections is not already under strong consideration by the Bush/Cheney Regime. A national outbreak of racial discord during the current "War on Terror," a Straussian meme that is wholly constructed out of neocon propaganda and red, white and blue cloth, could easily serve as another "Pearl Harbor" in the vein of 9-11 and secure their goals of "never-ending war," increased social control and Corporatist economic exploitation of both.

For all these nefarious acts and possible future acts of political exploitation resulting in the era of Law & Order Corporatism, we have the heroically affable, panderingly racist cowboy from the 50s era of Hollywood westerns to thank -- demented as he was under the makeup. Yet more realistically, the credit for the exploitation of drug offenders, alcoholics and migrant workers should go to The Gipper's man in the shadows, the ivy league CIA careerist, born with a silver spoon in his mouth, who presided over the October Surprise, the Iran-Contra Affair, the organization and "taxation" of the cocaine cartels of Latin America channeled through the Panamanian plaza del narcotraficantes, and the secret illegal arming of Pakistan that resulted in the Afghanistan-Turkey heroin pipeline and the spreading of nuclear technology throughout the Islamic Middle East that it helped to pay for -- George Herbert Walker Bush, the current titular head of the Republican Party, point-man for Global corporatism and its plutocrats, and son of the notorious financier and congressman, Prescott Bush, who participated in the failed right-wing coup d'état against FDR then served in some peripheral way, probably financial but still being traced, in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The role of George Bush 41 should not be overlooked or denied. He was present in Dallas in November of 1963 as the CIA's administrator of Guatemalan and Cuban-exiled paramilitaries who, scholars now reveal from analysis of recently unclassified documents by the Kennedy Archives, were awaiting orders for a second invasion of Cuba, pending the successful assassination of JFK and its exploitation as a false-flag act of provocation against Fidel Castro.

It would be expected of any social analyst to opine that the growing number of migrant workers held in detention facilities across the United States is the result of increased law enforcement efforts by the Bush Administration in answer to right-wing public demands. The truth is more sinister. The American myth of freedom, liberty and justice is devolving before a corporatist juggernaut -- what Eisenhower warned of and labeled as a Military-Industrial Complex -- now taken over by the financial sector of a global economic surge-to-empire and directed by Straussian Neoconservatives who seek to ingratiate themselves among its patricians. The coup d'état of 1963 has emerged from the shadows of successive conservative administrations, including Clinton's, and has now gained full political and military hale under Richard B. Cheney.

Since its onset within the shadows of the Nixon Administration, the pragmatically imperialist goals and objectives of the reining coup can best be understood through the writings of neo-aristocratic classicist scholar, Leo Strausss of the University of Chicago, and his now infamous students Paul Wolfowitz and Alan Bloom, who along with their "neoconservative" followers, are now accused of egregiously misconstruing and conflating Strauss' teaching with a perniciously Machiavellian form of Kissingerian realpolitik and an aggressively militant Zionism that belies Strauss' more academically oriented views. The often enigmatic views of Leo Strauss are said by the opponents of neoconservatism to be more comprehensibly restrained within a framework of the history of political philosophy rather than as the Straussian version of neoclassic conservative political philosophy itself, an allegedly esoteric philosophy meant only for the elite who can interpret and direct a disciplined class of aristocratic civil servants toward their fulfillment in public policy and law. The latter may well explain the sometimes delusional sense of entitlement presented by their adherents. This has especially been the case with such quasi-interpretative Projects for a New American Century and the policy initiatives that Wolfowitz, Perle, Bloom, Ledeen, Kristol, Podhoretz, Libby, Feith, Kagan, Bolton, Gaffney, Chalabi and others of the Neocon ilk have asseverated.

We ardently pray that the Father of All Nations, the Everlasting and Sublime Glory, who provides refuge and succor under the shadow of His wings to all He calls as His own, will set all captive free, place their feet upon a Rock of Salvation and put a new song of joy on their lips.

Isaiah 61:
1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
Because the LORD has anointed me
To bring good news to the afflicted;
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to captives
And freedom to prisoners;
2 To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
3 To grant those who mourn in Zion,
Giving them a garland instead of ashes,
The oil of gladness instead of mourning,
The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting.
So they will be called oaks of righteousness,
The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.
4 Then they will rebuild the ancient ruins,
They will raise up the former devastations;
And they will repair the ruined cities,
The desolations of many generations.
5 Strangers will stand and pasture your flocks,
And foreigners will be your farmers and your vinedressers.
6 But you will be called the priests of the LORD;
You will be spoken of as ministers of our God.
You will eat the wealth of nations,
And in their riches you will boast.
7 Instead of your shame you will have a double portion,
And instead of humiliation they will shout for joy over their portion.
Therefore they will possess a double portion in their land,
Everlasting joy will be theirs.
8 For I, the LORD, love justice,
I hate robbery in the burnt offering;
And I will faithfully give them their recompense
And make an everlasting covenant with them.
9 Then their offspring will be known among the nations,
And their descendants in the midst of the peoples.
All who see them will recognize them
Because they are the offspring whom the LORD has blessed.
10 I will rejoice greatly in the LORD,
My soul will exult in my God;
For He has clothed me with garments of salvation,
He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness,
As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland,
And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
11 For as the earth brings forth its sprouts,
And as a garden causes the things sown in it to spring up,
So the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise
To spring up before all the nations.

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