Friday, January 20, 2006
HAPPY NEW YEAR ROUND-UP
Cartoon (above) From Last Year, But Still Relevant: Different Year, Same Old Crap.
Three Cheers For Google! Wired News On How To Foil Search Engine Snoops.
On Thursday, The Mercury News reported that the Justice Department has subpoenaed search-engine records in its defense of the Child Online Protection Act, or COPA. Google, whose corporate credo famously includes the admonishment "Don't Be Evil," is fighting the request for a week's worth of search engine queries. Other search engines have already complied.
The government isn't asking for search engine users' identifying data -- at least not yet. But for those worried about what companies or federal investigators might do with such records in the future, here's a primer on how search logs work, and how to avoid being writ large within them.
The Jack Abramoff Donor List.
The next time someone tells you that Democrats recieved donations from Jack Abramoff too, give them this reference.
Note: a Tribe that donates to a congressman like Patrick Kennedy because of his strong support of and respect for Native American affairs is NOT equivalent to a donation to a congressman like Bob Ney by Jack Abramoff in a "Pay To Play" arrangement. This is an important note, because a number of Republican bloggers are trying to blur this distinction so they can lump Democrats into the Abramoff mess.
Will 2006 Be A Watershed Year For Republican Race-Baiting?
The following is a brief review of some stories going back a couple of years that demonstrate the use of organized anti-immigrant and race-baiting campaigns by the Republican Party around the United States.
I have been trying to put my finger on a prime offense of the Bush Era, there are so many, after all. Today I have found it among the news headlines of my my home portal of choice:
"Hispanics Increasingly Targets of Hate Crimes"
Over 760 hate crime incidents against hispanics are reported. Experts estamate that the numbers of unreported crimes are far greater, meaning that perhaps 1-'s of thousand incidents may be occuring in the United States.
The Bush Adminsitration has been oddly silent about the anarchy that is breaking accross the land. So has the Congressional leadership.
If there was ever a time for Bush to act like the president he claims to be, then this is it! If ever there was a time for a Congressional leadership put in power by "Values Voters" to walk the values talk, then this is it.
It appears that the Rovean Polarizers managing the GOP are working overtime to ride this anti-immigration sentiment to victory in key states in 2006. The Republican Party is actively involved in anti-immigration candidacies in critical races here in the West including Arizona, Colorado and Idaho. These are states that the Democrats have placed high in their political crosshairs to turn "from Red to Blue" in the words of Chairman Dean.
Republican leadership counted on the defection of hispanic voters from the Democratic base for their victory in 2004. Karl Rove went so far as to enlist the services of Conservative Catholic Bishops to frame a vote for Bush as a 'moral imperative' among hispanic voters. It worked. Al Gore's margin of victory among hispanics shrank dramatically ending with a 5% spread from what was once a 2:1 lead. in most Western states.
So what has changed?
It's called Bush's base and the 2006 elections. The 2006 elections are local and the key states are subject to the politics of immigration--Colorado, Arizona, California...you get the message. Bush's base does not consist of the immigrant population upon whom American agriculture and service industry depends, but the base belongs to the OWNERS of those industries and the blue-collar workers who see their pay-scale threatened by cheap labor. So for the OWNERS, Bush is peddling so-called immigration reform that allows guest workers and for the HATERS Karl Rove is peddling anti-immigration initiatives that are being pushed by the Republican party in key Western States.
"...The California Republican Assembly, a Monrovia-based, ultra right-wing grassroots GOP group headed by Mike Spence, is aiming to gather enough signatures to qualify another anti-immigrant initiative for the March 2006 state ballot. According to Copley News Service, the Save Our License initiative "is a narrowed version of the polarizing Proposition 187,” a 1994 ballot measure that was handily approved by voters by a 59 percent to 41 percent margin.
Proposition 187 was later invalidated by the state’s courts, which decided to allow children of illegal immigrants to attend school and receive medical care.
The new initiative would not ban services the courts have already exempted..."
In Colorado, the anti-immigrant fever and the campaign inspired by it has a particularly partisan twist. The Website for the Rove Reactionaries (read: pro-Republican) running the campaign states
"...The Colorado General Assembly was in session between Jan. 12 and May 11, 2005. Four pieces of pro-citizen, pro-legal immigrant, anti-illegal alien legislation were drafted by Representative David Schultheis (R-Colorado Spring) and supported by [Defend Colorado Now] and many others in committee hearings at the Colorado Capitol. In a straight partisan vote, the Democrat majority voted to "kill" the legislation in committee (6-5), calling all those who supported the legislation "hated filled" and "racist." These six Democrats are surely traitors to our country and should be thrown from office; they should never hold elected office again..."
Defend Colorado Now, http://www.defendcoloradonow.org/
In Arizona, the anti-immigration 'movement' has taken on overtly racist characteristics:
"...Meanwhile, some anti-immigration activists have been reaching out to unambiguous white supremacists. The recent "Protect Arizona Now" (PAN) initiative, an anti-immigration ballot initiative that recently passed in Arizona, was spearheaded by a group led by Virginia Abernethy, an unabashed "white supremacist" associated with the racist publication, "The Occidental Quarterly." " From Anti-Defamation League Report, http://www.adl.org/PresRele/Extremism_72/4731_72.htm
These patterns are seen throughout the country where there is an anti-immigration zietgeist.
Racism Shocks Anti-Defamation League Into Action.
While Rove's politics of polarization has a tried and true formula of success, many powerful groups and organizations are shocked at the overt racism of the anti-immigrant strategy. The AntiDefamation League noted last June:
… With mounting public awareness and concern over illegal immigration in America, the issue is being co-opted and exploited by anti-immigration activists, some of whom are reaching out to racist and anti-Semitic hate groups, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). The rhetoric of these activists is largely aimed at Mexicans, not other illegal aliens, and frequently does not distinguish between Mexicans and Mexican-Americans...
The ADL notes that a three day conference held in Las Vegas held to discuss immmigration reform was festooned with racist overtones:
"...In the most recent effort by radical anti-immigration organizations and individuals to exploit mainstream immigration concerns, a three-day summit to "Unite to Fight Against Illegal Immigration" was held in Las Vegas, Nevada, May 27 – 29. More than 400 people gathered to hear speakers describe illegal immigrants as "the enemy within" and "illegal barbarians," while suggesting that America was "at war" with illegal immigrants and calling for the need to "take America back." "
The ADL continues:
"...Organized by Mark Edwards, a local talk radio host and his "Wake Up America Foundation," a new anti-immigrant group, and promoted by Team America, an anti-immigration PAC founded by Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo, the Las Vegas rally was held as a follow-up on the perceived success of the so-called "Minuteman Project," which organized vigilante patrols of the U.S.-Arizona border in April. The project attracted a number of white supremacists. At the rally, Minuteman Project co-founder Jim Gilchrist claimed his group wasn't racist, but referred to immigrants as the "Mexican Klan" and "Mexican Nazis."
In the weeks leading up to the event, the virulently anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi National Alliance circulated fliers throughout southern Arizona describing illegal immigration as an "invasion" that would cause whites to become a minority.
National Alliance spokesman Shaun Walker endorsed the project and a number of National Alliance members took part. Another white supremacist group, Aryan Nations, called the Minuteman Project, "a call for action on the part of ALL ARYAN SOLDIERS." "
How Do Republicans Use Immigration?
The carefully managed image of the Republican Party being divided over the President's Reform package is a straw man. This gives the campaign strategists cover to fill the mailboxes of voters with anti-immigration positions and not be vulnerable to accusations of partisan Racism. Brilliant. And the tactic is working all over the country:
The Massachussetts Eagle-Tribune Reports:
With two weeks to Election Day, the Massachusetts Republican Party is taking aim at select suburban Democratic lawmakers with mailings that accuse them of "educating illegal immigrants over our children."
Some of the 100,000 fliers sent to targeted districts statewide arrived in local mailboxes last week, accusing state Rep. Barbara L'Italien of Andover of giving illegal immigrants a tuition break and "turning her back on some of our best and brightest students here in Massachusetts."