Monday Morning Photo Dump

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Had a great weekend taking pictures around Silver City, so I thought I would share the love (click the images for larger versions).

Somei Yoshino Taiko Drumming Ensemble
Somei Yoshino Taiko Drumming Ensemble

Somei Yoshino Taiko Drumming Ensemble

39th Annual Great Race
Team Apocalypse

Great Race
Root Skankadelic Earth Day Concert
Root Skankadelic

Easter in Alamogordo

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I drove my grandmother to Alamogordo this weekend so we could spend Easter with my Auntie Marge. I once lived with her for the summer, back in 1998 I believe, so she has a special place in my heart. Anyhoodle, I was able to take a camera along with me, so I have a few shots to show off.

The first is of Cissy, one of the turtles living in my aunt’s back yard. Cissy’s been underground for the past five months (or so) and therefore has a dirty shell:

Cissy the turtle

The second is of some flowers I saw during a hike today. It was a 4-mile hike (which usually isn’t that rough) through the Alamogordo desert, in 90 degree heat. That got to me. At any rate, these were everywhere — I guess they just bloomed. I believe they’re a form of Ocotillo, but I’m not positive.


I’ll try to get more pictures uploaded soon. I hope everybody had a good weekend. Cya tomorrow!

Jesse Jackson talks immigration on CR

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Is it just me, or was Jesse Jackson delivering a thoughtful, coherent message on the Colbert Report Tuesday night? I know I’m late getting to this, but I wanted to find the video before I posted it. Check the Comedy Central site to watch, but here are a few tidbits, starting with one on undocumented workers:

Well, many of them have been sent for — they’re coming across the border.

As so long as they were working for low wages, working without health insurance, as long as they were picking lettuce, and tomatoes, and grapes, and in the corners, they were just fine.

Once they started asking for the right to organize, and dignity and health care, then they became a problem

The fact is these are human beings who deserve human rights, and we cannot be the nation we’re supposed to be unless we afford them human rights. You’re not going to send 11 million people back across the border.

Jackson also touches on our relationship with Mexico, which, along with Canada, is one of our two largest trading partners:

We share 2,000 miles of border with Mexico, we’re either going to lift them up, or in substance they’re going to lower us down. I say build bridges and not walls.

This is absolutely right. We can close our border all we want, but that still leaves more than 25 million undocumented workers (not every undocumented worker is a Mexican) in the U.S. We simply cannot send them all home. If we don’t provide a route to citizenship, we relegate them to second-class status, with all the consequences of that action: poverty, poor educational attainment, and discrimination.

In addition, we encourage businesses to exploit them, yet whine about the jobs they take away from Americans.

Anyway, I spoke with Sen. Bingaman yesterday afternoon (see the Daily Press today) and he said there would likely be no action on an immigration bill in the Senate this week. So, I guess we’ll see what goes down over the weekend.

The sleeping giant grumbles

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I was going to do a post on the huge protests occuring throughout the country this week, which are being sparked by moves in Congress to crack down on illegal immigrants:

How does the United States count the cost of at least 11 million immigrants living and often working outside the law?

For business groups – now urging a path to citizenship or other legal status for such workers – it’s the lower cost of a head of lettuce, new home construction, or a restaurant tab, because these people will do the work that Americans won’t.

For local officials across the country – no longer just those near a border – it’s the strain illegals pose to schools, hospital emergency rooms, law enforcement, and other social services, driving municipal budgets deep into the red.

For illegal immigrants and their supporters – rallying by the hundreds of thousands around the country in the run-up to this debate – the issue is freedom from fear.

500,000 Pack Streets to Protest Immigration Bills

As I was saying, I was going to do a post on the subject, and provide some thoughts on how this is good for progressives and bad for Republicans, but David Niewart over at Orcinus has a post so thorough I won’t even try:

The Associated Press report of the rally noted that the legislation “would make it a felony to be in the U.S. illegally. It also would impose new penalties on employers who hire illegal immigrants, require churches to check the legal status of parishioners before helping them and erect fences along one-third of the U.S.-Mexican border.”

The Republicans in Congress who spearheaded these measures — particularly Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado and Rep. James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin — represent a resurgent Cro-Magnon wing of the party, one that is threatening to swamp the genteel grip of corporate conservatives whose approach to immigration is decidedly different, if equally poisonous.

The Cro-Magnon approach, embodied by vigilantes like the Minutemen, is to blame the pawns. Their policies are predicated on the laughable idea that we can build a fortress wall around the country and just keep people out, a pretty notion that quickly runs aground on the reality that no wall can contain the larger forces driving illegal immigration. They consistently scapegoat the emigres while ignoring — and indeed abetting — those same larger forces. (emphasis mine)

Go check out his work, his analysis is spot on:

So what the American far right is doing is appealing to white Americans’ base racial instincts: associating the immigrants with crime and disease, accusing them of being part of a “conspiracy,” complaining that they’re polluting white culture. These are all significant features of the rhetoric used by both the Minutemen and their supporters in Congress. (emphasis mine)

Two weeks ago, Dr. Magdaleno Manzanarez presented a discussion on Hispanic/Latino issues at the Grant County Democratic Party’s issue lunch. If you missed it, check with CATS. Nonetheless, one of the items he spoke about was the so-called sleeping giant: a bloc of unified Hispanic voters. As the largest (and fastest growing) minority in America, with 40 million people, this sleeping giant could easily sway any election in which it participates. No wonder Bush is calling for “civic debate.”

Blogroll addition

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I’ve tossed some new linkage over the on the New Mexico blogroll: DemFemme. Maggie Toulouse is our writer, a career “political activist” who blogs on the progressive side of things in New Mexico.

Maggie appears to be taking a break this weekend, but she has some excellent coverage of last weekend’s Democratic Party convention:

Why is this a story? Well, I guess it’s maybe because we haven’t had much in the way of a real platform for so long that people are finally starting to take notice. Republicans are having a field day with it, of course. Apparently, in the article, Republican state party chairman Allan Weh waxes eloquent about what “mainstream Democrats” believe. As if he has the first clue? No offense, but he is about the last person on Earth who should try and speak for Democrats of any kind. But I digress again…

The fact that this is the big story out of the convention is both good and bad. If you believe Weh’s take on the thing, a crazy mob of lefty freaks passed this unconscionable amendment giving mainstream Democrats a bad name. The truth of the matter is that I think what we are really seeing is that the Democrats are tired of not standing for anything.

So, got check out DemFemme, and spend the weekened catching up!