Sunday, April 30, 2006

'Nuestro Himno'

O, sagt, könnt ihr seh'n
Bei der Dämmerung Schein,
What a kerfuffle! Some people do a Spanish version of the Star Spangled Banner and you would think the end of the world was nigh.
Ce que nous acclamions si fièrement
à la dernière lueur du crépuscule?
Whose anthem, whose flag, whose country is it, anyway?
Latino activists have not only commandeered our nation’s anthem, but bowdlerized it to suit their nefarious agenda
Can "The Star-Spangled Banner," and the republic for which it stands, survive? Outrage over what's being called "The Illegal Alien Anthem" is already building
This sacred anthem of the U.S.A.
And, then there is President Bush, who is afraid a Spanish language version of the anthem will cause the nation to lose its soul.
Czyje pasy i błyszczące gwiazdy
podczas strasznej walki
I hate raining on anyone's recreational outrage, but the Star Spangled Banner has been translated countless times in the last 190 years. The German translation at the top of this post dates to 1861. There are French and Polish versions. This Yiddish version was published in 1947.
Afn breg, durkh neplen fun yam fartunklt,
Vu dem soynes makhne iz fartayet in shrek,
The national anthem has been done in rap, swing, and jazz versions. Jimi Hendrix did a famous instrumental version at Woodstock. If you want real disrespect, here is the Pig-Latin version.
O-hay ay-say oes-day at-thay ar-stay angled-spay
anner-bay et-yay ave-way
Most fascinating to me is that the Senate in American Samoa introduced legislation last January to make the Samoan translation their official song. "We are now enjoying the 106th year of partnership with the greatest country in the world, yet we have not honored this union by memorializing the anthem of the United States in our native language," said Senate President Lolo Moliga.
I eleele o Sa'olotoga, ma Nofoaga o le au totoa.

For those people who truly believe that the Star Spangled Banner is sacred writ, the original tune is an eighteen century drinking song, To Anacreon in Heaven.

A fig for Parnassus, to Rowley's we'll fly,
And there my good fellows, we'll learn to entwine
The myrtle of Venus and Bacchus's vine.

But I don't want to leave my fellow citizens on the right-wing with undirected outrage. So, here, from the Washington Secretary of State office, is the Pledge of Allegiance - in Spanish, German, and French.

The more I think about it, the more I love the Samoan version. It is far more beautiful than the English language version. Here it is in its entirety.
Aue! se'i e vaai, le malama o ataata mai
Na sisi a'e ma le mimita, i le sesega mai o le vaveao
O ai e ona tosi ma fetu, o alu a'e i taimi vevesi tu
I luga o 'Olo mata'utia, ma loto toa tausa'afia
O Roketi mumu fa'aafi, o pomu ma fana ma aloi afi
E fa'amaonia i le po atoa, le fu'a o lo'o tu maninoa
Aue! ia tumau le fe'ilafi mai, ma agiagia pea
I eleele o Sa'olotoga, ma Nofoaga o le au totoa.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Breaking Up Iraq

I was one of those people who was against the Iraq War before it was cool. I predicted it would end badly with the partition of Iraq. It looks like that prediction is coming to pass. I just hate it when I'm right about these things.

Iran would be the big winner. They would absorb the Shi'ite region of Iraq, gaining their oil reserves. In the process Iran would become the largest country in the Middle East, larger than either Egypt or Turkey.

Turkey would invade and conquer the Kurdish region. With rebellious Kurds inside Turkey they could not tolerate an independent Kurdistan on their borders. They would have to act before Iran did. It would be a bloody invasion; the Kurds would not give up easily and the word genocide would be used. The US would have to support the Turkish invasion as the lesser evil.

What's left, the Sunnis, would join Syria out of self-protection. The end result would be horrible for the United States and even worse for the Iraqis. Pissed on Politics predicts we will be stuck in the middle and it will be the dawn of World War Three. I just pray his prediction is less accurate than mine was.

Art is the painting "Vision of Ice Breakup" by Uno Prii

What's a Little Prostitution Among Friends

Republicans partying with prostitutes hired by a corrupt contractor in the Watergate Hotel. The only thing missing is if we could get Duke Cunningham involved. Wait. He is. As an extra bonus, the pimp might turn out to the convicted felon who provides limo service to Department of Homeland Security bigwigs.

And they say Christmas only comes once a year.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Rush Limbaugh Arrested

I don't do breaking news for the obvious reason that, by the time I get to it, the news is kind of ancient. But, it just came across the news wires that Rush Limbaugh was arrested on prescription fraud charges. He will likely be released on bail.
What this says to me is that too many whites are getting away with drug use. Too many whites are getting away with drug sales. Too many whites are getting away with trafficking in this stuff....The answer is to go out and find the ones who are getting away with it, convict them and send them up the river. ~ Rush Limbaugh, October 5, 1995

Thursday, April 27, 2006

A Debilitating Bleeding

An interesting phenomenon growing from the oil price explosion is the Pollyanna reaction coming from the Right sampled here. Humorously, they are parroting many of the things we environmentalists have been advocating for decades. The high oil price is all good, they say, because it will stimulate alternative energy sources, conservation, car pooling, and high-mileage hybrid vehicles. I really can't argue with them although I will add that reducing greenhouse gas emissions is another benefit.

The problem is how we are accomplishing these good things. We are experiencing gas rationing by random price hikes. This is the least rational way possible. Well, okay, rationing through gas lines like in the 1970's was even less rational. The impact is unmitigated. The result will be inflation. Businesses have to increase their prices to cover the increased cost of transportation. This will ripple through the economy in a slow debilitating bleeding. The Arab Oil Embargo in 1973 triggered a stagflation recession that lasted for a decade.

Planned high gas prices through tax policy, as in Europe, creates a more stable market and funds extensive mass transportation alternatives to the auto. The absence of any alternatives to the car in the United States will cripple us.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Hidden Evils of the Iraq War

The evils of the Iraq War are well known. Underneath the surface there are still other depravities we have brought to torment the Iraqi people.

Trafficking in women for sex is one of the few growth industries in Iraq. Young women are being kidnapped, taken abroad with the help of corrupt officials, and sold into sexual slavery. Deprived of their husbands due to the war, other women are voluntarily turning to prostitution as the only viable source of employment open to them. The Shi'ites have revived the practice of Muta'a, pleasure marriage or temporary marriage, where a man "marries" a woman for a few minutes, just for the sex.

Child Torture and Rape
Victimizing children has become a common recreation for American and British soldiers as well as Iraqi men. There have been several reports of the torture and rape of children as young as 10 years-old by American soldiers. While there have been no criminal charges filed, the reports persist. The British are no better.

Organized Kidnappings
The occasional kidnappings of journalists or aid workers get lots of media. The gangster kidnapping of regular Iraqi citizens is rampant. Over 20,000 Iraqis have been kidnapped to date in 2006 alone. Some are kidnapped to be executed in the civil war, others are kidnapped for ransom. In Tal Afar, there are even schools that teach the art of kidnapping and murder to the ambitious young Iraqi who wants to do the job right.

Slavery by US Contractors
Halliburton is one of several US contractors that trick thousands of workers, mostly from Asia, into Iraq, confiscate their passports, and force them to do dangerous work in Iraq. The practice is described as "widespread" by General George Casey. This is against United States law and there are some investigations. There are also allegations that American firms are selling people into sex slavery.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Singular Virtue of George Bush

President Bush on Tuesday ordered a temporary suspension of environmental rules for gasoline ~ Huffington Post
Whether in war or in peace, in poverty or prosperity, in good times or ill, President Bush can be counted on to maintain a single persistant mantra. He will always find virtue in the concept of shitting in our own bed.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Imagine Bush With Boobs

If you were a mad scientist and cloned George Bush using two X chromosomes, what would walk out of your lab?
Would it be harpy Congresswoman Mean Jean Schmidt? She certainly can personify the spirit of Bush's agenda. But Bush projects himself as a compassionate conservative and this is a woman who would kick a sick dog.
What about neo-Nazi Ann Coulter? I hate being churlish (well, really, I enjoy it), but Coulter looks like a high-priced call-girl addicted to snorting the powdered extract of Rush Limbaugh's spleen. She's sick, but hot. If there is one thing George Bush is not, it is hot.
Okay, maybe the Bush Twins. I mean, they already share lots of his DNA (at least according to Laura) and thay have that drink until you're shitfaced concept down to an art. The problem is, does it really take two women, even as shallow as those two, to make one George Bush?
Well, the cloning has been done and the result looks like this. ---->
Hillary Clinton has become a Democratic version of George Bush. She is a defender of the Iraq War and an Iran War hawk. Her latest bon mot is coming out in favor of rebuilding the Berlin Wall along the US-Mexican border. Like Bush, she adds the compassionate conservative position of partial legalization. More than any Republican spoken of for the 2008 presidential race, Hillary promises to continue the Bush agenda intact.

Additional links: Joshua Frank, Molly Ivins

Sunday, April 23, 2006

In Iraq to Stay

How I wish they'd go away
but I know they're here to stay
~ Revenge of the Popple People,
poem by Sara Russell
The US Army is building several huge bases in Iraq. Balad Air Force Base is 17 square miles, including its security buffer, and will house 25,000 troops. It is a complete city with fast food joints and a minature golf course. Camp Anaconda is 15 square miles and will house 20,000 troops. Newsweek reports there will be four "superbases" inside Iraq. In total, there are 106 American military bases inside Iraq. Then there is the planned 100 acre embassy in Baghdad, as large as Vatican City. These Christian enclaves are as far as any "troop pullback" is going to go. The occupation of Iraq will last through the remainder of my life.

Additional source: Index Research.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Opportunity Lost

The solution to the Iran nuclear crisis was presented to the Bush Administration three years ago. After the Iraqi army was defeated, before everything started going wrong in that country, the Iranian goverment approached us through the Swiss Embassy. They wanted to discuss ending their nuclear program and ending their support of Hezbollah. The Bush response was to rebuke the Swiss ambassador for passing the message forward. (Kevin Drum in Wash. Monthly)
That night, that stormy night long past,
She came to my door,
And I left her there with waiting arms and cold,
And between us closed my door.
~Opportunity Lost, poem by Gokarran Sukhdeo

Thursday, April 20, 2006

It's that Country South of Mongolia

NEWS REPORT: The meeting between President Bush and Chinese President Hu Jintao began with a gaffe Thursday when an announcer referred to China by the formal name of Taiwan, which China considers a rebellious province.
Guys, come on. Try, at least try to pretend to be minimally competent. Really, I mean it. If you need one I'm willing to buy you an atlas.

'Round the Mulberry Bush'

Here we go 'round the mulberry bush,
The internet is abuzz with changes at the White House, as if they are meaningful. HuffPost is a good example.
The mulberry bush, the mulberry bush.
But, it is only a game of musical chairs. OMB (Bolton) goes to Chief-of-Staff, trade negotiator (Portman) goes to OMB, a deputy negotiator moves up a step (Susan Schwab). This is the kind of management shuffle that can give recycling a bad name.
Here we go 'round the mulberry bush,
But ... but, you say, Karl Rove got demoted. He is no longer chief policy coordinator. It is just a title, a change of cosmetics. Rove still has his security clearance, he still has every inch of power he ever did.
So early in the morning.
In the immortal words of that great American, Officer Barbrady, "move along, nothing to see here."

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

'And the World Will Live As One'

This video presents President Bush singing John Lennon's Imagine. It is touching and beyond sadness that Bush lacks the humanity to feel even the faintest hint of Lennon's dream.

Produced by Irish filmmaker John Callaghan and found on YouTube. Thanks to Down With Tyranny! for finding it.

Kansas School Board Attacks Faith

In a shocking attack on religion, a member of the Kansas State Board of Education ordered an image of the Creator removed from a Wichita teacher's door.
The image of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Intelligent Designer of the Universe and Creator of the Cosmos, was ordered torn down by Pastaphobic Board member Connie Morris.
This is a free country. Even though the scientific evidence of the FSM is manifest, people have the right to believe any silly alternative they want. But, government enforced religious intolerance must be fought.
Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

The Bush Tax Increase

Why does a slight tax increase cost you two hundred dollars and a substantial tax cut save you thirty cents? ~ Peg Bracken
If Rupert Murdoch in 2003 was right and his $20 a barrel oil price pipe dream would be "bigger than any tax cut," that would make $70 a barrel oil bigger than any tax increase.

A Gift for Bush Defenders
Current oil prices are not the highest in US history. Adjusting for inflation, oil prices were over $102 a barrel at the end of the Civil War. So stop your whining, you didn't hear Horace Greeley complain.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Will We, Won't We Dance With Iran

Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, won't you join the dance?
~ Alice In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
The questions people are afraid to ask: Will we go to war with Iran? Won't we go to war? Are we already at war with Iran?

We Will. Alexandra von Maltzan at the gorgeous

Monday, April 17, 2006

War for Oil, Part 2

Remember back in 2003, those good old days when war in Iraq was just George Bush's nightly wet dream. Back then, Rupert Murdoch, owner of Fox News and propaganda arm of the Republican Party, predicted wonderous things.
"The greatest thing to come out of this for the world economy, if you could put it that way, would be $20 a barrel for oil. That's bigger than any tax cut in any country." ~ Rupert Murdoch
Today on Fox News, Stephen Forbes predicted that war with Iran will lead to a $15 drop in oil prices. When Murdoch spoke, oil prices were under $30 a barrel. Today, the price is about $70. But, it is just Spring Fever, when a young neo-con's fancies turns to killing Moslems for petroleum.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

'And To the Republic for Richard Stands'

As someone stood up to lead the Pledge of Allegiance at a GOP dinner (in San Diego) Thursday, it was suddenly realized there was no flag in the room.

Pledge to the elephant!” shouted Bob Watkins of the county Board of Education.

So the audience, which included Rep. Darrell Issa, state Senate Minority Leader Dick Ackerman, Assembly Republican Leader-Elect George Plescia and (San Diego) Mayor Jerry Sanders, turned toward the GOP banner and recited the pledge while facing the party's symbolic pachyderm. ~ Diane Bell, San Diego Union Tribune column, April 15, 2006


Says everything we need to know about where their loyalties and patriotism truly resides.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Many of our Republican supporters are not happy because we are spending money like a drunken sailor. ~ John McCain
To compare Republicans to "drunken sailors" is to insult the far superior financial prudence of inebriated servicemembers around the world. This latest speech just echoes his own words from years past. But, he is just flapping his gums.

Project Vote Smart lists 25 appropriations votes in the Senate in 2005. McCain voted yes on 17 (68%), no on 5 (20%), and missed the votes on three. Three of the nos were procedural; he voted to spend the money, just not waive the rules first. McCain's answers to the National Political Awareness survey shows a man who likes spending money.

McCain talks a good game, but he Slings the Flowing Bowl as greedily as the rest of them.

The Taxman

It is not so much that I hate paying taxes, I hate the tax forms. If ever there was definitive proof of the existence of a living Satan it is the 1040 Forms and Instructions booklet, a Codex Gigas. Okay, so where the hell did I put that damned Schedule D form?

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Cal. 50th CD Special Election

I'm getting closer to you
My fiftieth gate
But still I had to wait
At the fiftieth gate
~ At the Fiftieth Gate, Attrition
In the special election to complete Duke Cunningham's term, Francine Busby won with 44% of the vote (56,147). Brian Bilbray was the top Republican with 15% (19,336). No real surprises except the turnout was atrocious.

By percentage, Busby did about as well as expected. If I were her, I would be very disappointed. There were almost 40 thousand people who voted for Busby in 2004 who didn't vote in this election. That is a Get Out The Vote failure. Busby's campaign manager is a young gunslinger out of Colorado, Brandon Hall. I don't know how much effort he put into GOTV, perhaps he simply couldn't overcome massive apathy.

What to do now? If I'm Busby, I'd want to know where my voters went. She needs to do a quick critique of the election and find out why her message didn't click with the people who have a history of voting for her. The Republican, Brian Bilbray, is as fresh as year-old tofu. His resume - surfer turned politican turned lobbyist - is as inspiring as a rousing chorus of '99 Bottles of Beer.' I'd label him "Revolving Door Brian" and pound the theme that Bilbray is posterboy for what is wrong with modern politics.

The run-off has an interesting dynamic, it coincides with the primary election for the next term. Bilbray will likely have a contested primary election while he's engaged in the run-off. While it is interesting, I wouldn't try to get too cute with it. The important thing is beating Bilbray and winning the seat now. It is important to stay focused on that goal alone.

Monday, April 10, 2006

The Right To Hate

You've got to be taught before it's too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate,
You've got to be carefully taught
~ South Pacific, Richard Rodgers
A new movement among fundamentalist Christians is suing for the right to hate. They don't call it that. They say that businesses and universities that restrict their homophobic utterances are violating their free speech and freedom of religion. Basically, they claim that it is intolerant to be against intolerance. I thought to show some examples, but the vileness of their Faith of Hate was too much for me. When in doubt, offer poetry.
The fix was in but you made sure
Good Christian
and where you had a soul is only hate
~ Diogenes Once Sighted Must Go Blind,
poem by Richard Wells

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Ohio '04 Vote Count Fraud

Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything.
~ Josef Stalin
I knew, like a vulture finds the scent of rotting flesh from miles away, that the vote counting in Ohio in 2004 was foul. I had no evidence, not a scintilla of proof. Maybe it was all those years tracking sewage spills in San Diego, I could smell it.

While the Cleveland Plain Dealer goes out of its way to sugarcoat the story, the facts are simple. The Cuyahoga County Elections Board was faced with a recount of the November 2004 presidential election that might overturn the results of the election.

The Elections Board pre-screened the precincts, selecting out for "random" selection later only those precincts that would confirm the original count. The hand-count was restricted to the pre-screened precincts and the recount changed little. A truly random selection of precincts would have changed the outcome of the election. That is proven by the fact of a pre-screening.

Why would the Elections Board go through this extra effort unless they didn't trust the machine count? The official argument, that they were lazy or trying to save money, doesn't wash. The pre-screening was unnecessary extra work and expense unless the Elections Board believed the machine count was inaccurate.

Friday, April 07, 2006

The Whaley House

One of my vices is the British television show "Most Haunted." Today on the Travel Channel on US cable is the "Most Haunted" crew's visit to the the Whaley House. The 150 year old Whaley House is one of the most haunted buildings in the United States and my home town ghostly pride.
photo credit: a Whaley House ghost

Thursday, April 06, 2006

"I Am Sullied"

Colonel Ted S. Westhusing was a military ethicist, a West Point graduate with a PhD in philosophy from Emory University. He also held PhDs in Russian and military strategy. Forty-four years old, he was married and had three children. He taught at West Point and volunteered for service in Iraq. He was scheduled to leave Iraq at the end of June, 2005. On the Fifth of June, Col. Westhusing put his 9-mm service pistol to his head and pulled the trigger. Or so goes the official story. There is another story circulating.

One of Col. Westhusing's assignments in Iraq was working with the civilian company USIS to train the Iraqi armed forces. Formally a federal agency, it was privatized in 1996 and is financially tied to the Carlyle Group. USIS is one of those highly paid ($79 million) mercenary outfits that provide "security" operations in Iraq.

What is known is that Westhusing had received an anonymous complaint that USIS had cheated the U.S. government and committed human rights violations. USIS was accused of deliberating cutting corners in training staff to maximize profits. There were also reports of USIS consultants participating in the random killing of Iraqis. He reported this to his superiors. Westhusing went to Camp Dublin, the USIS compound south of Baghdad on June 4, sleeping overnight in a guest trailer. In meetings on the morning of June 5, Westhusing was highly critical of USIS. After lunch, Westhusing was found dead in his trailer in Camp Dublin. A military psychologist said Westhusing was unable to reconcile his military ethos with the contractor's profit motives.
I cannot support a mission that leads to corruption, human rights abuse, and liars. I am sullied. I came to serve honorably and feel dishonored. Death before being dishonored any more. ~ Col. Westhusing's suicide note.
There are many suspicious circumstances. Westhusing traveled from his Green Zone office to the USIS compound without his bodyguard. Highly unusual. The USIS employee who discovered the body picked up the gun and actually credited his "law enforcement training" for disturbing the crime scene. Westhusing was a devout Catholic. Those who knew him said suicide was out of character. His wife reported hearing fear in his voice during a phone conversation in May, "He did not like the nighttime and being alone." Then there is the existence of USIS and its connection to the Carlyle Group, an organization that is closer to a secret society, like the Illuminati, than an investment firm. Wayne Madsen reported on TheTruthSeeker that Westhusing had been "suicided." Murdered to protect Carlyle Group profits.

So, there are two competing theories. In one, a highly ethical soldier, depressed beyond measure about the corruption and thrill-killings going on around him, does the honorable thing. In the other, a highly ranked member of the United States Army was murdered in Iraq to silence a whistleblower. A murder in service of war-profiteers that has been covered up by the very government he has patriotically served his entire life. Whatever the truth, I am heartsick.

My thanks to Pissed On Politics for leading me to this story.

Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

She Said, He Said

A week ago, Condi Rice said we had made thousands of tactical errors in the Iraq War but it was the larger aims that mattered. Sort of the international diplomacy way of saying, "Sorry about blowing up the house, but aren't you happy I got rid of all the snails?"

A couple of days ago, Donald Rumsfeld said of Rice, "I don't know what she was talking about." Sort of the exact way of saying, "Sheesh, women, What do they know?"

The military hasn't made any mistakes in the war, according to Rummy, it has just been adapting to the enemy. Those crafty Iraqis. When Rummy ignored Army chief of staff, Eric K. Shinseki, when he said the occupation of Iraq would take several hundred thousand soldiers, why that wasn't a mistake. When the military failed to stop looters in the weeks after the fall of Baghdad ("It's untidy, and freedom's untidy"), that was just part of the plan to train Iraqis to fend for themselves. The fact that IEDs so easily blow apart Hummers was just an adaptable enemy realizing that Army Humvees are crackerboxes. No mistakes there. Why, Abu Ghreib was .... sorry, drawing a blank.

I often wish I could live in that wonderful fantasy world that is Donald Rumsfeld's secret garden.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The Crooks Just Keep On Coming -
April Edition

popping in and out of chalk pavement pictures, consorting with race horse persons, fox hunts. Yes, well I don't mind that so much at any rate, it's tradition. ~ Mary Poppins
Let's see. Last month it was the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy, Claude Allen, arrested for stealing several thousands of dollars from Target. This month, today in fact, the Deputy Press Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, Brian Doyle, was a arrested. The charges against him? Using a computer to seduce a minor and transmitting harmful material (i.e. pornography) to a minor. The alleged victim is a 14 year-old girl. Well, actually, a cop pretending to be a 14 year-old girl.

At some level, these guys upset me more than Libby, Abramoff, and Delay. The big three of Republican corruption were outing spies, spreading bribes, and rigging elections. Traditional political crimes. There's a comfort level with that kind of tradition. But these other guys.... Petty thievery at Target. The absolute worst attempt at child seduction since God invented sex. These are the kind of crimes you'd expect out sleazy winos, not highly paid Administration officials. It's embarrassing, really. I hate saying it, but when I say I expect more out of the Bush Administration, I mean at least a higher class of criminal conduct.

The Long, Inglorious
History of Xenophobia

The United States has a long history of xenophobia dating back to the beginnings of the country. The current wave of hatred for Mexican immigrants is only the latest example. It is funny how the trends repeat. What was said about Chinese laborers in the 1880's is being said again, word for word, about Mexican workers today. The faces and skin tone may change from decade to decade, but the hatred is consistent.

1790 Immigration Law (non-whites)
Declared only "free white persons" could become naturalized American citizens. Was not repealed until 1952.

Know-Nothings - 1850's (Irish)
When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except Negroes and foreigners and Catholics." ~ Abraham Lincoln
The Irish Potato Famine led to the massive immigration of Irish families to the United States. A semi-secret political movement sprouted around the hatred of Irish Catholics. The name came from their habitual answer, "I know nothing," when asked questions. They fielded a presidential candidate, Millard Filmore, in 1856. He lost.

Rum, Romanism, and Rebellion - 1880's (Irish and Italians)
We are Republicans, and don't propose to leave our party and identify ourselves with the party whose antecedents have been rum, Romanism, and rebellion. We are loyal to our flag. ~ Samuel Buchard speaking to the Religious Bureau of the Republic National Committee, 1884
By the 1880's, the corruption and scandal within the Republican Party had diminished the party. In 1884, the Republican Party nominated for president the Tom Delay of their day, James G. Blaine was a notorious bride taker. (Oddly Democrat Grover Cleveland was the Bill Clinton of his day, having fathered a child out of wedlock.) Republicans were reduced to a three word platform, opposition to: Rum (appealing to the religious temperance movement), Rebellion (blaming Democrats for the Civil War), and Romanism (opposition to all things Catholic).

Chinese Exclusion Act - 1882
The Chinese must go. ~ Denis Kearney
Denis Kearney was an Irish-American who led the movement to expel Chinese from the United States. Chinese immigration to the west coast started with the California Gold Rush. The Chinese were accused of driving down wages and take jobs away from Americans (sound familiar?). The act excluded all Chinese laborers from the United States. Two years later the law was amended to apply it to all ethnic Chinese, whatever country they were born in. The law was renewed in 1892 and again in 1902. It was repealed in 1943. The United States Code: Title 8, Chapter 7 is still entitled "Exclusion of Chinese."

The California Alien Land Act - 1913 (Japanese)
Prevented aliens, mostly Japanese farmers, from owning land. Repealed in 1948.

National Origins Quotas - 1924 (Jews)
Popular music is a Jewish monopoly. Jazz is a Jewish creation. The mush, slush, the sly suggestion, the abandoned sensuousness of sliding notes, are of Jewish origin. ~ Henry Ford 1920
Escaping pogroms in eastern Europe, two million Jews had entered the United States by 1924. This law restricted immigration mostly to western and northern Europe and was drawn up to limit Jewish, Polish, and Italian immigration. Interestingly, Mexican immigration was unrestricted because of the need for cheap labor in the Southwest; however, in separate legislation, the concept of "illegal alien" was introduced in 1924.

Japanese Interment - World War II
A Jap's a Jap ~ General John L. DeWitt, commander of the internment program
The forced relocation of over 100,000 Japanese-Americans, two-thirds US citizens, into interment camps. Authorized by executive order. The round-up was facilitated by the FBI, which had compiled its Custodial Detention index two years before the US entered the war. Some of the legal justifications developed for the Japanese Internment are being used to justify President Bush's acts today.

Operation Wetback - 1954 (Mexicans)
The only racing I like is spic racing. Watching the wetback run for the border is fun. ~ comment found via Google on an internet chat
An INS program that rounded up and deported one million Mexican laborers. Many Hispanic and Native American citizens got caught up in the sweeps.

California Proposition 187 - 1994 (Mexicans)
They keep coming! ~ from a Pete Wilson campaign commercial
"They" were Mexicans. Pete Wilson, Republican Governor of California in the mid-1990's campaigned on an anti-immigrant platform. Proposition 187 was the pointy end of the wedge. It provided that no one could get public services, like primary school education or medical care, until they had proven they were in the country legally. Prop 187 passed with 59 percent of the vote; Wilson won reelection with 55 percent. The proposition was declared unconstitutional, Wilson's presidential ambitions evaporated, and California went from a swing state to a solid blue.

Some additional links:
Outline of Immigration to the US
Events Affecting Interracial Americans
Mexican Immigrant Labor History
Landmarks in Immigration History

Monday, April 03, 2006

Iraq War: Quarterly Update

How many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
~Blowing In The Wind, Bob Dylan
American Military Deaths
1st quarter 2006 ..... 148
Total ................ 2,336

American Military Wounded
1st quarter 2006 ..... 331
Total .............. 16,653

Journalists Killed
1st quarter 2006 ...... 7
Total (est.) .......... 80

Iraqi Security Forces and Civilian Deaths (est.)
1st quarter 2006 ..... 2,720
Total .............. unknown