Monday, May 24, 2010
Tucson Public Schools has a "La Raza" program. I deliberately translated that into the English "The Race" in the title of this posting so that the reader would have no doubt about the racist nature of this program of study. I would go on about the several years of controversy on the topic but Accuracy In Media does it far better than I ever could so I quote them here:
Arizona Ethnic Studies Exposed
Cliff Kincaid, May 24, 2010
Arizona Ethnic Studies Exposed
Cliff Kincaid, May 24, 2010
We have allowed these communist progressives to take over our educational systems and, thus, the minds of children. THIS MUST STOP! WE MUST DESTROY THEIR CONTROL OVER THE MINDS OF THE CHILDREN! Get involved in your local school boards and city councils!One of Bill Ayers’ courses at the University of Illinois includes Pedagogy of the Oppressed as required reading. Author Paulo Freire, a Brazilian Marxist, declared:
“This, then, is the great humanistic and historical task of the oppressed: to liberate themselves and their oppressors as well.”
It turns out that the Freire book is required reading in “Raza Studies” or Mexican-American courses in the high schools in Tucson, Arizona, where students have been protesting Arizona’s new immigration law. Other required books are Occupied America by Rodolfo Acuña, a professor emeritus of Chicano studies at California State University in Northridge (CSUN), and Prison Notebooks by Antonio Gramsci, the Italian Communist.
Occupied America, the fifth edition, includes an image of Fidel Castro on the front cover, and Castro and Che Guevara on the back cover. It refers to white people as “gringos” and actually includes a quotation on page 323 from Jose Angel Gutierrez of the Mexican American Youth Organization (MAYO), who was angry over the cancellation of a government program. He declared:
“We are fed up. We are going to move to do away with the injustice to the Chicano and if the ‘gringo’ doesn’t get out of our way, we will stampede over him.”
The book goes on:
“Gutierrez attacked the gringo establishment angrily at a press conference and called upon Chicanos to ‘Kill the gringo,’ which meant to end white control over Mexicans.”
Reviewing this material for the National Association of Scholars, Ashley Thorne commented that, “Actually, ‘kill the gringo’ meant ‘kill the gringo.’ But admitting that makes Mexicans look radical, infuriated, revolutionary, Acuña sidestepped that image and substituted it with one of browbeaten Latinos rising to overthrow injustice.”
The Arizona citizens upset about this kind of material said that they initiated an investigation into the problem back in 2007 and found it difficult to get access to the books. One activist said the concern began when parents came to be aware of violence in the schools directed against white and black children. “This investigation was undertaken to find the roots of this hate,” she told me. Another person, in turn, “told me the books in their Mexican-American classes are kept under ‘lock and key’ and the kids can’t even take them home. She said she asked to see them but they were very secretive about them and she was prohibited.”
However, the citizen activists persisted, demanding access to the books under a state open records law. The courses, after all, are taxpayer-funded. Eventually, a list of books was produced, and a controversy ensued.
The footnotes for Pedagogy of the Oppressed tell us a lot about the nature of the book. Sources include Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, Mao, Herbert Marcuse, and Vladimir Lenin.
The American Educational Research Association (AERA), which Bill Ayers serves as a vice-president, includes a “Paulo Freire Special Interest Group” in his honor. AERA has more than 25,000 members, including “educators; administrators; directors of research; persons working with testing or evaluation in federal, state and local agencies; counselors; evaluators; graduate students; and behavioral scientists.”
More open than even Bill Ayers about the mission, Paula Allman wrote Critical Education Against Global Capitalism, incorporating the ideas of Marx, Freire and Antonio Gramsci, the Italian communist who emphasized the subversion of Western cultural institutions such as the educational system. Allman is in the School of Continuing Education at the University of Nottingham, England. The foreword to her book is by UCLA Professor Peter McLaren, one of those on Bill Ayers’ own “blog roll” of favorite websites, and an open advocate of “Revolution as education,” the subtitle of one of his books. Allman, he wrote, was “part of a bold new group of Marxist educationalists in Britain…”
Here, McLaren is leading the charge, as Ayers tags along and gets most of the “glory.”
Bill Ayers explains to his students that Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed is “a complicated and layered book that will likely take you some time and sustained commitment.” This is a book written by a Marxist for the purpose of sparking communist revolution. As the title indicates, this is a Marxist view of oppressors and the oppressed. Hence, students reading this book are supposed to come to an understanding of how various groups in society are being “oppressed.” In fact, students themselves may come to believe, under careful guidance, that they, too, are members of the “oppressed” class. Didn’t such a realization lead to the “student movement” of the 1960s, of which Ayers and his wife Bernardine Dohrn, were prominent members?
Perhaps this has something to do with the “new SDS,” a new group of student activists being groomed by the Movement for a Democratic Society, under the watchful eyes of Ayers, Dohrn and their comrades.
The “Oppressed” in America
In the hands of a skillful “educator,” and in the context of the reading of Pedagogy of the Oppressed and Occupied America, the apparent aim is to convince the Mexican-American youth that they are the victims of the “oppressors”—white society. Occupied America opens with a map of “The Mexican Republic, 1821,” showing Mexico in control of the Southwest United States. The subtitle of Occupied America, “A History of Chicanos,” sets the tone. Freire promises them “liberation” from the gringos.
There are many obvious flaws in the book, and the treatment of communist subversion in the Western hemisphere is one of them. The book examines the wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua in the 1980s from the standpoint of the U.S. trying to maintain “North American hegemony” and the power of the “ruling elite.” President Reagan is portrayed as a fool for insisting that the Soviets and Cubans constituted any kind of threat to the region. Pro-communist groups such as the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) are depicted as helping refugees and countering “Reagan’s propaganda.”
But Reagan is attacked not only for resisting communist subversion. “In 1981 Reagan declared war on working families by firing 11,400 air traffic controllers…” it declares. When Reagan was elected president, “he appointed his Mexicans to offices.” (emphasis in original). The book explains that Reagan’s Mexicans were not “committed people” but “were conservative” and, for the most part, had “few links to the community.” What’s more, “resistance to bilingual education increased during the Ronald Reagan years,” it says ominously.
Despite a controversy over the use of such books as Occupied America in the Tucson, Arizona schools, the University of Arizona in 2008 co-sponsored a four-day institute with Tucson Unified School District’s Mexican American/Raza Studies program that featured Peter McLaren as a keynote speaker. McLaren’s website opens with music and the face of Che Guevara on a red flag urging people to “join the revolution,” while another speaker, Sandy Grande, an associate professor of education at Connecticut College, has a website that features a Che Guevara quotation:
“The first step to educate the people is to introduce them to the revolution. Never pretend you can help them conquer their rights by education alone, while they must endure a despotic government.”
Grande’s research “has focused on critical theory and American Indian intellectualism and she has written widely on topics that include revolutionary struggle, identity, power and environmental ethics.” According to her bio, Professor Grande’s approach “is profoundly inter- and cross-disciplinary, and has included the integration of critical, feminist and Marxist theories of education with the concerns of American Indian and environmental education.” It says that she “teaches Foundations of Modern Education, School and Society, and Methods of Teaching. In addition to these courses, she has also taught courses in Multicultural Education, History of American Education, and the Pedagogy of Revolution.”
Grande, chair of the Education Department, says that “our legacy builds upon on a long list of teacher/intellectuals: Paulo Freire, Maxine Greene, Peter McLaren, Michelle Fine, Antonia Darder, Joel Spring, Michael Apple, Marie Clay, Linda Thuwai Smith, Lisa Delpit, and Vine Deloria.”
Ayers must be wondering why he failed to make the grade.
One of the leading critics of the Freire approach is Sol Stern of the Manhattan Institute, who points out that China and Cuba, “whose regimes Mr. Freire praised,” never reformed their own educational systems along these lines and instead have concentrated on producing more industrial managers, engineers and scientists.
It seems that Pedagogy of the Oppressed is being reserved for the capitalist countries still in need of “liberation.”
In a lengthy analysis, Stern notes that Pedagogy of the Oppressed “has achieved near-iconic status in America’s teacher-training programs” and that one study found that it was “one of the most frequently assigned texts” in the curricula of 16 schools of education — 14 of them among the top-ranked institutions in the country. “These course assignments are undoubtedly part of the reason that, according to the publisher, almost 1 million copies have sold, a remarkable number for a book in the education field,” he noted.
Cliff Kincaid is the Editor of Accuracy in Media, and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. This is an excerpt of one of his columns, which can be read in its entirety here.
Mexican President Calderone came to the USA and insulted us, we all know that. But, he also LIED and manipulated our lame stream media and called for an assualt weapons ban in the USA. Knowing full well that our pathetic, statist loving agit-prop media would run with it and misrepresent it, he actually told the truth. Eighty percent of the guns that the USA has traced for Mexico originated in the USA. That is not 80% of all guns confiscated in Mexico. See the trick? Well, sucks to be Mexico, doesn't it? I guess you better step up enforcement of the northern border to keep all those dangerous weapons out. Why have they not done so already if this is such a problem? Why don't they build a fence? Why don't they deploy their military? We all know the answer to this. Cut off the flow south, and you cut off the flow north (or at least restrict it to certain locations which we can then easily patrol) which in turn cuts off the flow of $20 billion per year south.
Speaking of enforcing their northern border, local news just reported that the US Consulate in Nogales has issued a travel warning due to unauthorized police check points which have begun to appear on Highway 8 which is the main highway from Lukeville, Arizona south 50 miles to the beach resort of Puerto Penasco (aka Rocky Point), Mexico. The warning also states "Consulate staff on official travel between cities must use armored vehicles" and "At some checkpoints, motorists who have not stopped at unofficial checkpoints have been shot at and killed.". Many Arizonans vacation there regularly and have for years. Some even foolishly own homes or condos there in spite of the rampant and open corruption. Unauthorized police checkpoints should frighten you. We all know that a huge percentage of the police in Mexico are on the payroll of the drug cartels. Americans turn up missing in Mexico often enough to concern us all. Anyone foolish enough to continue to go to Mexico after these episodes should study this picture. Innocent mistake or malicious intent or just plain stupid. That is what you're dealing with.
Back to Calderone's lies. From The Heritage Foundation:
In his speech before a Joint Session of Congress yesterday, President Felipe Calderon of Mexico made a bold claim. He asserted that:
"Just to give you an idea, we have seized 75,000 guns and assault weapons in Mexico in the last three years. And more than 80 percent of those we have been able to trace came from the United States — from the United States."
The media immediately picked up on this claim. As Reuters summarized the President’s remarks:
"[He] said more than 80 percent of [the guns] came from the United States"
Except that, of course, was not what the President said. The President included a crucial qualifier in his statement: he was referring only to the guns that Mexico has (with U.S. assistance) been able to trace. And in that context, the President’s claim is correct: he was referring to a U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report concluding that, of the guns seized in Mexico and given to the ATF for tracing from 2004 through 2008, approximately 87 percent originated in the U.S.
But this number says nothing about the percentage of guns seized in Mexico that originated in the U.S., because the U.S. does not trace the majority of guns seized in Mexico. Figures like “87 percent” sound impressive, but actual numbers are more illustrative. According to the GAO, the number of guns seized in Mexico that have been traced back to the U.S. has ranged from 5,260 in 2005 to 1,950 in 2006 to 3,060 in 2007 to 6,700 in 2008.
Thus, if the “last three years” the President mentioned are 2007, 2008, and 2009, only 9,760 of the guns seized in those years – the total of 2007 and 2008 – definitely came from the U.S. The U.S. share for 2009 has not yet been reported, but even if it doubled the total of 2008, the U.S. share for all three years would be less than a third of the 75,000 seizures in Mexico. A more realistic U.S. share is between 20 and 25 percent.
The argument the President made today has been refuted again and again, but it is not surprising that he relied on it. The only surprising fact is that the President couched his remarks in the context of a request for an ‘assault weapons’ ban, instead of in the context of support for the OAS’s Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, and Other Related Materials, commonly known as CIFTA.
Perhaps this is a tactful admission that the Convention is seriously flawed. But if the President was trying to be tactful, he might have omitted his argument that the U.S. faces an incipient armed rebellion unless it acts on his request. The basic fact is that Mexico’s problems are fundamentally homegrown. It may be politically convenient for the President of Mexico to claim U.S. responsibility, but in the form he presented them today, those claims are regrettably misleading.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
President Obama, Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, California Governor Arnold Schwarzeneggar are all governing against the will of the American people. And by American people I mean American citizens. The vast majority of American citizens agree with me!
Viva Los 1070!
Mr Calderone, when you go home to the corrupt crime ridden region you call a country, take your citizens with you.
See the entire poll here (pdf).
32. Do you think the current level of security at the country’s borders is toostrict, not strict enough or about right?
Too strict Not strict enough About right (Don’t know)
18-19 May 10 2% 76 18 3
Democrats 4% 65 28 3
Republicans 1% 85 13 1
Independents 2 % 81 11 5
29-30 Aug 06 4% 77 15 4
35. Do you favor or oppose requiring people to show documents proving their immigration status if government officials have reasonable cause to ask for them?
Favor Oppose (Don’t know)
18-19 May 10 84% 13 2
Democrats 75% 21 3
Republicans 95% 4 1
Independents 82% 15 3
36. Do you favor or oppose allowing local and state police to detain anyone who cannot prove their immigration status?
Favor Oppose (Don’t know)
18-19 May 10 76% 19 5
Democrats 69% 27 4
Republicans 85% 9 6
Independents 73% 19 7
37. (Skip if in AZ: n=884, ±3) Would you favor or oppose YOUR state passing an immigration law like Arizona’s new law?
Favor Oppose (Don’t know)
18-19 May 10 52% 31 18
Democrats 31% 48 20
Republicans 73% 10 17
Independents 55% 33 12
38. Some businesses and organizations are boycotting trips to Arizona or business with Arizona because of the state’s new immigration law. Do you support or oppose these types of boycotts?
Support Oppose (Don’t know)
18-19 May 10 23% 66 11
Democrats 34% 53 13
Republicans 10% 81 9
Independents 28% 65 7
39. After publicly questioning the constitutionality of the new Arizona immigration law, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder recently admitted in a House Judiciary Committee hearing that he hadn’t read the law. Do you think it is shocking for the attorney general to take a stand about laws he has not read, or is it not a big deal?
Shocking Not a big deal (Don’t know)
18-19 May 10 83% 12 5
Democrats 77% 19 4
Republicans 92% 5 3
Independents 81% 13 6
Felipe Calderone. Harvard man. Racist. Open borders progressive - as long as it's not his southern border.
As an Arizonan, I'm disgusted at our President standing there and not defending Arizona and it's law which is less strict than Federal Law. I'm also disgusted at half the Congress for giving Calderone a standing ovation. You all take a look at who stood up and vote those people out of congress! Actions should have consequences so make them pay.
My new friend BJinAmerica wrote this article yesterday:
Yesterday, the President of Mexico took the opportunity of a White House Press Conference to share his opinion of Arizona’s attempts to solve the rise in crime it’s experiencing due to an open Southern border. Obama looked on as President Felipe Calderón criticized Arizona law in front of foreign and American reporters. Obama followed with some comments of his own. The event had a very unreal quality about it. You can watch some of it here:
Calderón comes from a political family, and he is no novice to diplomatic decorum. He earned degrees in both law and economics in Mexico before going to Harvard University. When he returned to Mexico, he proved himself a capable and gifted politician as he advanced from one position to the next honing his executive skills. He has always seemed more savvy, discreet, capable, and diplomatic than his actions showed yesterday. The whole episode was confusing – until I woke up.
I now realize we were treated to a dog and pony show, sanctioned by the White House. Perhaps Chitown Rahm even whispered in Calderon’s ear and gave him a wink and a nod. It’s more than possible that the statement was suggested or at least sanctioned. I mean what foreign diplomat uses a White House photo op to criticize an American law and American citizens? It was uncouth, and Calderón is getting much criticism on numerous blogs for his actions. (Another sacrifice for President Obeyme, but this one will hurt Mexico tourism.)
As for the POTUS, he stood there and allowed a foreign President to criticize an Arizona state law that mirrors our federal law on immigration. Calderón said, “such laws as the Arizona law that is forcing our people to face discrimination.” What did Obama have to say in response? He said a “fair reading” of the law, which suggested that he has read the legislation, unlike his Attorney General last week. Obama says he fears “harassment” and believes the judgments law enforcement would need to apply the law are “troublesome.” He said the Justice Department is looking at the legislation to make sure it’s consistent with “existing legal precedent.”
Legal precedent? That’s a good idea, MR President. Given how you and yours have a soft spot for international law, let’s look at how Mexico treats foreigners, including legal and illegal immigrants. It turns out Mexico has stricter immigration laws than the United States of America. These laws are contained in Mexico’s Constitution and Mexico’s Immigration Law (General Law on Population). Mexico’s laws answer at least ten important immigration questions.
1.) What immigrants are welcome in Mexico?
• Mexico welcomes only foreigners who will be useful to Mexican society. Foreigners admitted “according to their possibilities of contributing to national progress.” (Article 32) Immigration officials must “ensure” that “immigrants will be useful elements for the country and that they have the necessary funds for their sustenance.” (Article 34)
• Foreigners may be barred if their presence upsets “the equilibrium of the national demographics,” when deemed detrimental to “economic/ national interests,” when they do not behave like good citizens in their own country, when they break Mexican laws, and when “they are not found to be physically/ mentally healthy.” (Article 37)
2.) How does Mexico track its immigrants?
• Mexican authorities must keep track of every single person in the country: Federal, local and municipal police must cooperate with federal immigration authorities upon request, i.e., to assist in the arrests of illegal immigrants. (Article 73)
• A National Population Registry tracks “every single individual who comprises the population of the country,” and verifies each individual’s identity. (Articles 85 & 86)
• A National Catalog of Foreigners tracks foreign tourists and immigrants (Article 87), and assigns each individual with a unique tracking number (Article 91).
3.) What happens to foreigners using false papers/ pretenses to enter?
• Foreigners who use fake papers or false pretenses to enter Mexico may be imprisoned.
• Foreigners with fake immigration papers may be fined or imprisoned. (Article 116)
• Foreigners who sign government documents “with a signature that is false or different from that normally used” are subject to fine & imprisonment. (Article 116)
4.) What happens to foreigners in Mexico who break its immigration laws?
• Foreigners who fail to obey the rules are fined, deported, and/or imprisoned as felons. Foreigners who fail to obey a deportation order are to be punished. (Article 117)
• Foreigners who are deported and attempt to re-enter without authorization can be imprisoned up to 10 years. (Article 118)
• Foreigners who violate the terms of their visa may be sentenced to up to six years in prison (Articles 119, 120 and 121).
• Foreigners who misrepresent the terms of their visa while in Mexico — such as working without a permit — can also be imprisoned.
5.) What’s Mexico’s penalty for illegal immigration?
• Under Mexican law, illegal immigration is a felony.The General Law on Population says: “A penalty of up to two years in prison and a fine of three hundred to five thousand pesos will be imposed on the foreigner who enters the country illegally.” (Article 123)
• Those with legal immigration issues may be deported not imprisoned. (Article 125) Foreigners who work against national sovereignty/security are deported. (Article 126)
6.) What happens to Mexican citizens who break Mexico’s immigration laws?
• Mexicans who help illegal aliens enter Mexico are considered criminals.
• A Mexican who marries a foreigner with the sole objective of helping the foreigner live in the country is subject to up to five years in prison. (Article 127)
• Shipping and airline companies that bring undocumented foreigners into Mexico will be fined. (Article 132)
7.) How do non-citizens participate in Mexican political Life?
• The Mexican Constitution forbids non-citizens to participate in the country’s political life. Non-citizens are forbidden to participate in demonstrations or express opinions in public about domestic politics. Article 9 states, “only citizens of the Republic may do so to take part in the political affairs of the country.”
“Foreigners may not in any way participate in the political affairs of the country.” (Article 33)
8.) What property rights do foreigners have in Mexico?
• The Mexican Constitution denies fundamental property rights to foreigners. If foreigners wish to have certain property rights, they must renounce the protection of their own governments or risk confiscation. Foreigners are forbidden to own land in Mexico within 100 kilometers of land borders or within 50 kilometers of the coast. “Only Mexicans by birth or naturalization and Mexican companies have the right to acquire ownership of lands, waters, and their appurtenances, or to obtain concessions for the exploitation of mines or of waters.” (Article 27)
• The State may grant the same right to foreigners, provided they agree before the Ministry of Foreign Relations to consider themselves as nationals in respect to such property, and bind themselves not to invoke the protection of their governments in matters relating thereto; under penalty, in case of noncompliance with this agreement, of forfeiture of the property acquired to the Nation.
• Under no circumstances may foreigners acquire direct ownership of lands or waters within a zone of one hundred kilometers along the frontiers and of fifty kilometers along the Shores of the country.
9.) What employment rights do immigrants enjoy in Mexico?
• The Mexican Constitution denies equal employment rights to immigrants (even legal ones) in the public sector. Mexicans have priority over foreigners “under equality of circumstances for all classes of concessions and for all employment, positions, or commissions of the Government in which the status of citizenship is not indispensable.” In peacetime no foreigner can serve in the Army nor in the police/ public security forces.” (Article 32)
10. What citizenship rights do immigrants enjoy once they are naturalized?
• The Mexican Constitution guarantees that immigrants will never be treated as real Mexican citizens, even if they are legally naturalized. Foreigners, immigrants, and even naturalized citizens of Mexico are banned from serving as military officers, Mexican-flagged ship and airline crew, and chiefs of seaports and airports. (Article 32)
• In order to belong to the National Navy or the Air Force, and to discharge any office or commission, it is required to be a Mexican by birth. This same status is indispensable for captains, pilots, masters, engineers, mechanics, and in general, for all personnel of the crew of any vessel or airship protected by the Mexican merchant flag or insignia.
• An immigrant who becomes a naturalized Mexican citizen can be stripped of his Mexican citizenship if he lives again in the country of his origin for more than five years. (Article 37) Mexican-born citizens risk no such loss.
• Foreign-born, naturalized Mexican citizens may not become federal lawmakers (Article 55), cabinet secretaries (Article 91) or supreme court justices (Article 95).
• The president of Mexico must be a Mexican citizen by birth AND his parents must also be Mexican-born citizens (Article 82), thus giving secondary status to Mexican-born citizens born of immigrants.
• The Mexican constitution singles out “undesirable aliens.” Article 11 guarantees federal protection against “undesirable aliens resident in the country.”
• The Mexican constitution states that foreigners may be expelled for any reason and without due process. According to Article 33, “the Federal Executive shall have the exclusive power to compel any foreigner whose remaining he may deem inexpedient to abandon the national territory immediately and without the necessity of previous legal action.”
Here is Arizona Governor Jan Brewer sharing her feelings on the issue:
The Obama-Calderón Tag Team was very memorable;it will take us years to push it from our collective memory and forget it. We have a President who holds his country and its citizens in contempt. The POTUS did not mention the murders, kidnappings, drug and human trafficking on the US-Mexico border, but then we’ve become accustomed to him holding our great country in low regard so that it mirrors his own meager capabilities.
He has distinguished himself as the one and only US President, who bows to our enemies as he systematically dismantles our economy, security, and achievements on his never ending apology tour. The fact that he allowed a foreigner in the Rose Garden to slam the USA was small potatoes in comparison to the countless ways he and his minions are working overtime to de-develop our country. It’s ok; we are a resilient people, and we look forward to November. It is just around the corner.
I can see November from my house!
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Just saw this story told on Glenn Beck so i looked it up. Union thugs intimidate 14 year old boy and the police. Thugs! As you know if you're read this blog before, I despise unions. They are thug communists!
Thank Heavens Nina Easton is this guys neighbor and has the balls to tell the story because you haven't heard this story anyplace including the news shows on FoxNewsChannel!
This kind of evil along with the blatant lies you're all hearing in the media about my beloved state of Arizona has gone far enough!
NOTE: I know that many people are forced to join a union in order to be employed. YOU are not who I am talking about unless you engage in or encrouage this type of behaviour. But the leaders of these unions are communist thugs. The union stewards are dupes, dopes, useful tools, or willing accomplices.
NOTE: I know that many people are forced to join a union in order to be employed. YOU are not who I am talking about unless you engage in or encrouage this type of behaviour. But the leaders of these unions are communist thugs. The union stewards are dupes, dopes, useful tools, or willing accomplices.
What's really behind SEIU's Bank of America protests?
Every journalist loves a peaceful protest-whether it makes news, shakes up a political season, or holds out the possibility of altering history. Then there are the ones that show up on your curb--literally.
Last Sunday, on a peaceful, sun-crisp afternoon, our toddler finally napping upstairs, my front yard exploded with 500 screaming, placard-waving strangers on a mission to intimidate my neighbor, Greg Baer. Baer is deputy general counsel for corporate law at Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500), a senior executive based in Washington, D.C. And that -- in the minds of the organizers at the politically influential Service Employees International Union and a Chicago outfit called National Political Action -- makes his family fair game.
Waving signs denouncing bank "greed," hordes of invaders poured out of 14 school buses, up Baer's steps, and onto his front porch. As bullhorns rattled with stories of debtor calls and foreclosed homes, Baer's teenage son Jack -- alone in the house -- locked himself in the bathroom. "When are they going to leave?" Jack pleaded when I called to check on him.
Baer, on his way home from a Little League game, parked his car around the corner, called the police, and made a quick calculation to leave his younger son behind while he tried to rescue his increasingly distressed teen. He made his way through a din of barked demands and insults from the activists who proudly "outed" him, and slipped through his front door.
"Excuse me," Baer told his accusers, "I need to get into the house. I have a child who is alone in there and frightened."
When is a protest not a protest?
Now this event would accurately be called a "protest" if it were taking place at, say, a bank or the U.S. Capitol. But when hundreds of loud and angry strangers are descending on your family, your children, and your home, a more apt description of this assemblage would be "mob." Intimidation was the whole point of this exercise, and it worked-even on the police. A trio of officers who belatedly answered our calls confessed a fear that arrests might "incite" these trespassers.
What's interesting is that SEIU, the nation's second largest union, craves respectability. Just-retired president Andy Stern is an Obama friend and regular White House visitor. He sits on the President's Fiscal Responsibility Commission. He hobnobs with those greedy Wall Street CEOs -- executives much higher-ranking than my neighbor Baer -- at Davos. His union spent $70 million getting Democrats elected in 2008.
In the business community, though, SEIU has a reputation for strong-arm tactics against management, prompting some companies to file suit.
Now those strong-arm tactics, stirred by supposedly free-floating (as opposed to organized) populist rage, have come to the neighborhood curb. Last year it was AIG executives -- with protestors met by security guard outside. Now it's any executive -- and they're on the front stoop. After Baer's house, the 14 buses left to descend on the nearby residence of Peter Scher, a government relations executive at JPMorgan Chase (JPM, Fortune 500).
Targeting homes and families seems to put SEIU in the ranks of (now jailed) radical animal-rights activists and the Kansas anti-gay fundamentalists harassing the grieving parents of a dead 20-year-old soldier at his funeral (the Supreme Court has agreed to weigh in on the latter). But that's not a conversation that SEIU officials want to have.
When I asked Stephen Lerner, SEIU's point-person on Wall Street reform, about these tactics, he accused me of getting "emotional." Lerner was more comfortable sticking to his talking points: "Millions of people are losing their homes, and they have gone to the banks, which are turning a deaf ear."
Okay, fine, then why not continue SEIU protests at bank offices and shareholder meetings-as the union has been doing for more than a year? Lerner insists, "People in powerful corporations seem to think they can insulate themselves from the damage they are doing."
Other reasons why SEIU might protest
Bank of America officials dispute Lerner's assertion about the "damage they are doing," citing the success of workout programs to help distressed homeowners, praise received from community groups, the bank's support of financial reform legislation, and the little-noticed fact that Bank of America exited the subprime lending business in 2001.
SEIU has said it wants to organize bank tellers and call centers -- and its critics point out that a great way to worsen employee morale, thereby making workers more susceptible to union calls, is to batter a bank's image through protest. (SEIU officials say their anti-Wall Street campaign has nothing to do with their organizing efforts.) Complicating this picture is the fact that BofA is the union's lender of choice -- and SEIU, suffering financially, owes the bank nearly $4 million in interest and fees. Bank of America declined comment on the loans.
But SEIU's intentions, and BofA's lender record, are ripe subjects to debate in Congress, on air, at shareholder hearings. Not in Greg Baer's front yard.
Why the media wasn't invited
Sunday's onslaught wasn't designed for mainstream media consumption. There were no reporters from organizations like the Washington Post, no local camera crews who might have aired criticism of this private-home invasion. With the media covering the conservative Tea Party protesters, the behavior of individual activists has drawn withering scrutiny.
Instead, a friendly Huffington Post blogger showed up, narrowcasting coverage to the union's leftist base. The rest of the message these protesters brought was personal-aimed at frightening Baer and his family, not influencing a broader public.
Of course, HuffPost readers responding to the coverage assumed that Baer was an evil former Bush official. He's not. A lifelong Democrat, Baer worked for the Clinton Treasury Department, and his wife, Shirley Sagawa, author of the book The American Way to Change and a former adviser to Hillary Clinton, is a prominent national service advocate.
In the 1990s, the Baers' former bosses, Bill and Hillary Clinton, denounced the "politics of personal destruction." Today politicians and their voters of all stripes grieve the ugly bitterness that permeates our policy debates. Now, with populist rage providing a useful cover, it appears we've crossed into a new era: The politics of personal intimidation.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Yeah, I got yer boycott right here. Rolling blackouts in Los Angeles. I grew up in Los Angeles. Blackouts = riots and race attacks. Fine. If it were up to me, the power would already have been switched off. First on a Saturday as a warning. Then, first thing Monday morning. And it wouldn't come back on without an apology either. From Villaraigosa and Schwarzenegger too. I'd feel bad about the impact on regular people but stupid words and votes have consequences.
Former Community Organizer and now Mayor of Los Angeles, Villaraigosa, take that!
From hotair which says "The Los Angeles City Council voted to boycott the state of Arizona over its new immigration-enforcement law, and now the Arizona Corporation Commission has responded. Gary Pierce, one of the commissioners chosen in state-wide elections to the utility regulation panel, notes that Los Angeles gets about 25% of its power from Arizona producers. If the City of Angels really wants a boycott, Pierce offers his services to help, as he explains in a letter to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and copied to Hot Air"
A scan of the letter can be downloaded here".
Dear Mayor Villaraigosa,Commissioner Pearce has my vote for the foreseeable future!
I was dismayed to learn that the Los Angeles City Council voted to boycott Arizona and Arizona-based companies — a vote you strongly supported — to show opposition to SB 1070 (Support our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act).
You explained your support of the boycott as follows: “While we recognize that as neighbors, we share resources and ties with the State of Arizona that may be difficult to sever, our goal is not to hurt the local economy of Los Angeles, but to impact the economy of Arizona. Our intent is to use our dollars — or the withholding of our dollars — to send a message.” (emphasis added)
I received your message; please receive mine. As a state-wide elected member of the Arizona Corporation Commission overseeing Arizona’s electric and water utilities, I too am keenly aware of the “resources and ties” we share with the City of Los Angeles. In fact, approximately twenty-five percent of the electricity consumed in Los Angeles is generated by power plants in Arizona.
If an economic boycott is truly what you desire, I will be happy to encourage Arizona utilities to renegotiate your power agreements so Los Angeles no longer receives any power from Arizona-based generation. I am confident that Arizona’s utilities would be happy to take those electrons off your hands. If, however, you find that the City Council lacks the strength of its convictions to turn off the lights in Los Angeles and boycott Arizona power, please reconsider the wisdom of attempting to harm Arizona’s economy.
People of goodwill can disagree over the merits of SB 1070. A state-wide economic boycott of Arizona is not a message sent in goodwill.
Commissioner Gary Pierce
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Riehl World View is right. McCain should be apologizing to Arizona. He has been the Senator from Arizona for decades but in Washington he represents himself and his own ambitions with little or no regard for his constituents.
McCain was pro-illegal, pro-amnesty, anti-fence, anti-border enforcement in 2007 and many times before. Now he expects us to believe that he's flipped on the issue? Fine. Even if we believe he is a flip-flopper, which stance represents his real values and which of those will he take back to Washington if re-elected? The anti-border enforcement pro-amnesty stance of 2007? Or this new border hawk stance of 2010? And why should we trust him since we can't tell where he truly stands?
McCain is also trying to blame Washington for this lack of border enforcement. Senator McCain, you are Washington and have been for decades! YOU are the problem!
Forget it McCain. You are long past your rotten-by date. Please retire. Someplace other than Arizona.
For the record, I voted against Obama, for Palin, and not for you in the '08 Presidential election.
McCain's Shameful Irresponsibility On Illegal Immigration
I see others are laughing at McCain's illegal immigration ad I mocked the other day. Michelle Malkin calls it desperation. It's that and worse. John McCain has been in Washington for freaking ever. He was supposed to be representing Arizona. But when people in Arizona and across the country were calling for a secure Southern border, he ridiculed them. Then he jumped in bed with Ted Kennedy to play politics on comprehensive reform no one wanted, because we know we can't trust DC on the enforcement angle.
McCain should be apologizing to Arizona, not engaging in weak attempts to make the issue his own, now. He's a big part of the problem and wasn't interested in being part of a real solution when it was needed, because he was positioning himself to run for President in 2008. (Kirls - While I believe McCain should have been retired before '08, I believe this is a typo and should have read 2010)
McCain is the worst kind of joke on this issue, an old and a sad one. And he needs to be retired in 2008.
John McCain is everywhere now preaching the gospel of secure borders. He’s inescapable. And shameless. And desperate.
Read this by Michelle Malkin. She has links to his past pro-amnesty, anti-fence stance from '07. Michelle reminds us that McCain is "The man who proudly named Soros-funded, open-borders radical Juan Hernandez as his Hispanic Outreach Director" for his '08 Presidential bid.
And let's not forget the Vanity Fair piece in 2007 where he is quoted as saying By the way, I think the fence is least effective. But I’ll build the goddamned fence if they want it.” So, it was the gd fence then and the dang fence now. Nothing has changed but the presentation.
Join me everyone. Support JD Hayworth for the Senate!
Thursday, May 06, 2010
I have added a new widget to my sidebar which you can click on to sign a petition to show your support of Arizona's new Immigration Law (SB 1070) which merely echoes Federal Immigration Law. The difference is that we here in Arizona, will, for the most part, enforce the law. The protestors are singling Arizona out for that reason alone. The protestors like the lack of enforcement which allows them and the gangs and the human traffickers and the drug traffickers to slip back and forth across the border at will. Sign the petition!
Tuesday, May 04, 2010
The world knows that the entire country, and some outside the country, have protested Arizona's controversial SB 1070 which simply echoes Federal Immigration Law. The entire world knows this because that is all the main stream media in this country has talked about since the bill passed. As if this law, which only codifies what the Phoenix police have been doing for years (ie, if there is some other lawful contact, also check the immigration status). Arizona is overrun. There are less than 6 million people in this state and nearly half a million are illegals. Do the math. The percentage is not trivial.
What the world may not be aware of is the real agenda of these protestors. In addition to the fists and masks and open borders agenda observed in Phoenix, the protestors in California are showing more of their real agenda. All the pictures below are taken from KFI.