Rants and ruminations by a classical liberal with radical Chicano tendencies
While we understand that this is a term that is extremely offensive to many people in those communities, it is our job to use plain, clear language that the general public can understand. The term gay doesn’t reflect reality because many lesbians and transgendered persons do not identify with that term. The term (acronym) LGBT doesn’t clearly describe the reality of the situation, i.e., that all of these are in fact homosexuals.
While we could use the term homosexual, it is a bit too scientific for the general public; hence, we prefer the term most easily encapsulates the reality of these groups. Homo both refers to the more scientific description while also being easily grasped by non-smart people.
Of course we wouldn’t encourage journalists to use terms such as butt-pirate or carpet-muncher, as this would be crossing a professional line. The sensitivity of the topic requires careful deliberation.
Our goal is to report fully and carefully on homosexual matters without obscuring the fundamental facts of the situation.
P.S.: One Special Case
We’ve been asked that if a person had homosexual sex once in college or at band camp but never did again and can be shown to be now living in a completely heterosexual relationship, should that person be called a homo? In this case we believe that said activity was a phase and we would not be responsible journalists if we labeled such a large segment of society as homos. They are clearly heteros.
This was inspired by the ridiculous defense of the term “illegal immigrant” by the Associated Press, I couldn’t help but follow their logic all the way through. Read a point-by-point legal rebuttal to their argument here.
“Tactics mean doing what you can with what you have.”
Let me very clear, Barack has absolutely, incontrovertibly been horrible on immigration with the exception of a few executive orders that theoretically make ICE deprioritize certain non-dangerous or young immigrants. The immigrant activist community should certainly hold his feet to the fire.
But I’m NOT certain it’s the BEST strategy for community activists, lawyers, and other leaders to do it now, just before the election. All that is going to happen is that immigrants, especially Latinos, will be disillusioned even more than they are now and will just stay home on November 6th. That means you make it more likely that you will get the other guy. I’m not going to endorse anyone, but my question is: If you do get the other guy, what exactly does the immigrant community gain by that?
Dan Savage made a very good point the other day when he said that the immigrant rights community has not been able to unify their message–unlike the gay community which has solidly unified on an agenda that includes the repeal of DADT (victory) and getting the President to re-volve on Gay Marriage publicly (victory). I personally have never worked on Barack’s campaign despite having several friends who are extremely close to the Obamas–why? because of his immigration stance in the Senate. I did, however, vote for him. But that was my personal decision.
The question I am asking now is: does it make strategic sense for the immigrant activist community to vilify him and his record RIGHT NOW versus waiting until after the election in order to unify and focus their power to push him like LGBT community has done. Again, if you get the other guy what exactly do you win?
Showing, yet again, his complete ignorance when it comes to diplomacy and foreign policy, Mitt Romney recently implied that the Palestinian economy was weak and the Jewish economy was strong thanks, at least partially, to “cultural differences.” This, of course, has sparked outrage among the Palestinian and Muslim communities. Many have gone so far as to call Romney a racist.
What you might not have noticed is that Romney’s full quote also explains away the differences between the economies of the U.S vs. Mexico and Chile vs. Ecuador:
“As you come here and you see the GDP per capita, for instance, in israel which is about $21,000 dollars, and compare that with the GDP per capita just across the areas managed by the Palestinian authority, which is more like $10,000 per capita, you notice such a dramatically stark difference in economic vitality,” he said.
“And that exists also between other countries that are near or next to each other. Chile and Ecuador; Mexico and the United States. And I noted that part of my interest when I used to be int the world of business as I would travel to different countries was to understand why there was such enormous disparities between the economic success of various countries…I recognize the power of culture.”
I am assuming that Romney has never heard of the Mexican-American War, NAFTA, or any of the major policies that the U.S. has undertaken in Latin America that may have had an effect on Latin American economies. Culture must be the culprit. Those lazy Latinos sure look a lot like those lazy Palestinians. Of course, he does praise Chile–thank God for Pinochet who clearly had the right culture when he invited the Chicago Boys in. Chile’s white elite certainly had the superior culture compared to those lazy Indians in Ecuador. (Not that Chile’s non-elites are doing that great either).
Well, I guess the world is full of idiots running for President these days. I’m thinking that if Romney does win, he will be in good company with Mexico’s Enrique Peña Nieto–clearly Romney has never read a book either.
I will admit that even though my family is historically form the Southwest–i.e. not immigrants to the U.S–I hate being asked for identification. I know it’s important, especialy at a bank or at an airport, but when a white person asks, I occasionally imagine that they are just asking asking me because they are wondering if I’m a citizen or a criminal, given my obvious brownness.
But of course, I can be a bit neurotic or strange–so I’m told. So it’s a little tough for me to distinguish between normal requests and racist interrogation. Idiosyncrasies aside, I would have to get some serious therapy if this had happened to me:
Erandy Pacheco, a Mexican American, calls it one of the great humiliations of her life.
Pacheco, 35, a Spanish-speaking translator, had stopped at the Fifth Third Bank on Coolidge in Berkley June 20 to deposit a U.S. Treasury check for just under $10,000 she received for work on a criminal case for the U.S. District Court in Detroit.
Instead, she was arrested, handcuffed in the bank and taken to the Berkley police station on suspicion of trying to pass off a fraudulent check.
Problem was, the check was real.
If you read my other post, Pesos in Politics, you may be thinking I was totally right about the Mexican elections. The PRI has retaken Mexico and money had a lot to do with it. But you would only be half right. It turns out the the state I was focusing on, Guerrero, ended up being a strong backer of the leftist People’s Revoultionary Democratic Party (PRD) whose presidential candidate is likely to be officially declared to have lost to Enrique Peña Nieto tonight.
Honestly, I’m a bit surprised that the guy I think should have won for Town President of Iguala, Guerrero and who faced an uphill battle against the well-financed, professional campaign of PRI candidate Erik Catalán Rendón; actually, well, won. Abarca is a business leader whose claim to fame was developing the best, coolest mall in the region. He is also a smart, balanced guy according to the locals. So, congratulations to the citizens of Iguala–the birthplace of the Mexican Flag and the Plan de Iguala (kind of like the articles of confederation in the USA, a precursor to the Constitution). You defied the cynics, ignored the propaganda, withstood the inappropriate and unethical favoritism of the mainstream media, and elected the candidates of your choice.
So while everyone is lamenting the fall of Democracy in Mexico with the return to power of the PRI–the party that Mario Vargas Llosa called the “perfect dictatorship”–I actually am feeling quite inspired that a state like Guerrero, one of the most affected by drug trafficking, didn’t buy the argument that much of the rest of the country bought: that a return to the PRI would be a return to peace. Sure, the PRI will certainly cut the necessary deals with the cartels so that there is in fact a reduction of violence. Some people will be happy with that outcome–reasonably so. But for those people that are dedicated to the cause of a clean, free, democratic, and safe Mexico; returning to the days when the PRI could rob everyone blind in exchange for some degree of safety, isn’t going to be enough.
With defiance of states like Guerrero, the unexpected ex-pat vote going to the PAN, and the bizarre coalitions necessary to win an election these days in Mexico (e.g. the PRI had to join the Green Party to push them over the top); I think the switch back to the old party is a good thing. No party should get too comfortable. The PRI had to rebuild, rebrand, and re-launch. They did. Sure there was fraud, but not likely enough to get them the 7-ish percent margin that they appear to have. They bought some votes, but they had to win a whole lot more. Whatever the craziness that happened yesterday–even taking into account the special polls that shockingly ran out of votes–at the end of the day, yesterday’s election was competitive. And the PRI won’t be able to take everyone for granted. There are too many pockets of resistance now.
That’s a good thing.
En hora buena.
thanks to a friend for reminding of this poem:
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
While I know everyone is gushing right now about the Obama administration’s announcement that up to 800,000 youth could be eligible to stay in the U.S. with work permits, we should be careful not make this out to be more than it really is.
First, it is true that undocumented kids with blemish free records who arrived here before the age of 16 and have completed high school or served in the military, may now be eligible to have the deportations suspended.
Second, it is also true that they may be eligible for work permits that would be valid for two years with the possibility of renewal.
This is certainly a change from the status quo and it does give youth a leg up in their deportation proceedings.
But let’s be clear, this is not a DREAM Act equivalent. The 800,000 kids are only theoretically eligible. In the real world, this will be administered via the prosecutorial discretion process. This could be a big problem. Take the Morton Memo, for instance. A year after its announcement, only 300,000 cases were reviewed at all and of those only 5000 cases were actually closed. A tweep of mine is betting that they won’t be able to process even a quarter of the applications by the November election. Permits will not fall from the sky.
Politico quotes Janet Napolitano, herself, saying that ”a grant of deferred action is not immunity, it is not amnesty,” Napolitano told reporters. “It is an exercise of discretion.”
I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade. I certainly do think that this makes a huge statement and that some kids will benefit temporarily. It’s a lot like Barack’s statement on Gay Marriage–it does make an impact on the public discourse. He should get Kudos for making such statements.
But these kids deserve way more than a dream deferred.
I’m sitting at an interesting symposium hosted by the University of Illinois’ Institute of Governmental & Public Affairs. The Symposium is part of a roundtable convening movement called the Illinois Integrity Initiative.
All the big names in good government, i.e. the goo goos, are here: Dick Simpson, Gov. Jim Edgar, Theresa Amato, Paul Green, Kent Redfield and more.
The agenda? First assess the problem of corruption and answer these questions: 1) is there a culture of corruption beyond just illegal acts? 2) if so, can anything be done about it?
While there are certainly some the greatest minds in Illinois who care about democracy reform here, I think there is something missing: people of color, youth, and lower income folks. It’s easy enough to notice that at this moment, I’m only one of two colored folks in the room, but understanding why diversity isn’t here is more complicated.
As someone who has spent nearly two decades organizing people of color and poor folk to participate in society, I understand that until recently good government issues seemed remote from the day to day work on the street, e.g., helping people deal with gun violence or lack of health care. What else keeps us from seeing issues like campaign finance reform, redistricting reform, ethics reform, etc., as our issues? How can we change that?
First published at CommonBlog.com
Dave Weigel has a point: SuperPac money has certainly made the Republican Primaries interesting. But Weigel’s larger point—that Super PACs are good for Democracy–ultimately falls flat.
Here’s what Wiegel got right:
- Super PACs have made it more difficult for the Republican Establishment to anoint Mitt Romney as the inevitable candidate.
- Super PACs have allowed a handful of other rich people to make their voices heard, which is in a twisted way, an expansion of democracy, i.e. the net effect is that more people have a voice in the process.
But here’s what Wiegel got wrong–very wrong. Democracy isn’t about diversifying the group of rich people that have already captured our once hallowed halls of government. Our Democracy, our Republic really, is about the majority of citizens having the opportunity to influence and even control the agenda pursued in those halls.
Whether it’s the Republican Establishment’s rich guys or the other maverick rich guys that Wiegel points out; we still have the makings of a true plutarchy (plutocracy + oligarchy = plutarchy). Even if we cede his point about the expansion of voices thanks to SuperPacs, we get a plutocracy at best.
Every lover of freedom—especially libertarians—ought to lament the loss of true Democracy through manipulation of the laws by the richest among us.
The ancients had a word for the kind of state that functions under laws that have been shaped by one person or one class: thrasymachan. Classics buffs will recognize the reference to Thrasymachus, a devil-like character in opposition to the Justice of which Socrates spoke and the fundamental freedoms necessary for public life. For Thrasymachus, justice was defined as the interest of the stronger; in other words, might makes right.
The thrasymachan state is evil because in it freedom is sacrificed for the preferences of a person or a class. The laws are rigged for them and those who do not challenge such unjust laws and obey them blindly are not free people; in fact they could be best described as slaves.
SuperPacs may have angered the Republican Establishment, but their success in the Republican primaries reminds us that it is the super-rich who have the most to gain from them—not the average citizen. SuperPacs, even if they do occasionally get exposed by the Fourth Estate (or at least what’s left of it), are designed to promote the interests of the stronger. Their very existence is an attack on our ability to be free people.
While some people look at cockroaches as disgusting pests, We view them as resilient organisms that predate humans and will likely outlive us as well. People of color, the poor, the downtrodden, and the oppressed, much like cockroaches, are often despised, feared and in some cases have been the objects of extermination.
We started this blog as an attempt to understand the complicated world we live in. Things have changed since the old days of conquest, colonization, and slavery. Anonymous living, consumerism, and mass media have made it difficult to identify the forces that make modern-day oppression possible. Thus, posts here tend to focus on corruption, media, bureaucracy, ethics, economics, law, human rights, etc...in short, We try to take a second-order inquiry into assumptions and systems that some of us take for granted. We also take time to challenge stereotypes that function to place us in a box. Occasionally, We just rant.
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