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!

I should have done this yesterday

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Just wanted to send some props to my friend Amanda over at Pandagon. Regulars around here know how much I respect her writing on women’s issues. However, you probably don’t know how much of an impact she’s had on me, as a blogger and person.

I’ve had my share of friends in life, but Amanda was somebody who, when I first sent her an e-mail, was instantly responsive to my questions. Sha had no idea who I was, and had no reason to get back to me, except she’s a great person. And now, from a thousand miles away (or something like that), this person I’ve never actually met has become one of my best friends. She’s always there for me when I’m stressed, and always has the best insight in things going on in my life.

To boot, she’s a kick-ass blogger: witty, thorough, and passionate.

I doubt she know’s it, but I was reading Mouse Words before I started reading Pandagon — it wasn’t until she moved to her new cyber-home that I became a loyal minion of the Panda. I think the move was a good one, and think Pandagon is better for it.

Anyway, she’s celebrating two years of blogging this weekend, so, Happy Birthday Amanda. I hope there are many more in the future.

D.C. Trip review

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Flying Star DowntownSo, a little bit more about my trip. I awoke early last Thursday to grab a bite of breakfast with Jim Baca. We met at the Flying Star Downtown, which is a great building with some delicious blueberry pancakes. Props to the gang there!

Jim and I talked about politics, mainly here in Southern New Mexico, and about the future of news media. Specifically, we discussed the ways newspapers might have to change in the future, and how blogs have developed over the last few years.

After taking a lengthy drive around the Albuquerque area in search ofGail Chasey a Best Buy, I met up with Joe Monahan. We grubbed at Yanni’s on Central, which is apparently quite the politico hangout. Our discussion focused on many of the same issues I had covered with Baca in the morning: media ownership, blogging, local sports coverage. It was a good discussion, and I’m glad I had an opportunity to finally meet the guy. He also introduced me to a few folk who were eating at nearby tables, including N.M. Rep. Gail Chasey and Barry Bitzer, Abq. mayor Marty Chavez’s chief of staff.

After lunch, I caught a flight out to Chicago. The flight was a bit delayed, but all that meant was I had no layover in the Windy City. From Chicago I was off to D.C. I grabbed a pulled pork sandwich from the Capitol City Brewing Co. in Shirlington, Va., along with a pint of ale with my mom.

V for VendettaOn Friday I met with a few friends up on Capitol Hill to shoot the breeze, and then it was time to help my sister move. We got most of the big stuff piled into her Dorchester House apartment on Friday, leaving us free for dinner and movie after. We watched V for Vendetta, (see Pajiba for their review). I was entertained, though the editor could have been more useful. Still, a timely theme, and the Wachowski Bros. are still able to turn out a decent flick.

Saturday we slept in, and then my mother, sister and I all drove down to the Potomac Mills outlet mall in Virginia. It’s been three years since Aislinn had her own place, so we hit up the JC Penney’s and bought her a set of dishes, cooking utensils, mixing bowls, and iron and a toaster. We next stopped at Fuddruckers there, ate a burger, and headed home.

Aislinn went to get a few things from her old place, while my mom and I watched Head in the Clouds (another movie that needed an editor). Aislinn joined us, and we ended up staying in and watching a second DVD, Domino (which, again, ran too long).

Sunday was a treat. We moved the last of Aislinn’s things, including a chest that had been at my mom’s, and then stopped at the National Zoo to see the new panda cub. The cute little thing had climbed a pine tree and was lazing around for the photogs who were there early to beat the crowds.

Flying Star DowntownAfter, we drove downtown to the Corcoran Gallery of Art for breakfast. They feature a brunch buffet and Gospel music every Sunday, with entrance to the gallery included in the admission price. We all gorged ourselves on the excellent waffles, omelets, fruit, French toast and other fare, listened to some beautiful music, and then toured the gallery. The Corcoran is featuring a retrospective on Robert Bechtle which was simply amazing. Wow. In addition, the gallery was showing a series of prints from David Seymour, the renowned photojournalist.

From there, it was off to the airport. You can read more about that in the post below.

OOTO again

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Well readers, I must apologize, but I’m leaving for the weekend. My sister found a new apartment in Washington D.C., and I’m heading up there to help her move. For now, I’ll direct you to the LFSC Forums.

I’ve only hosted the discussion board for a week, but we’ve already got one thread started. Hopefully, by the time I return on Sunday, you’ll have all sorts of posts on all manner of subjects going. Don’t let me down.

Also, if you have technical problems with the board, send me an e-mail. The board is young, and still buggy, but I’d rather get all these problems fixed sooner rather than later.

I’m meeting with two fellow bloggers tomorrow in Albuquerque: Jim Baca (who’s also running for state Land Commissioner), and Joe Monahan. I’m hoping to pick their brains about blogging (they’ve been doing it longer than I have) and New Mexico politics (same thing).

I’ll try and log in from D.C., but no promises. Effectively, you’re on your own. Take care, and have a good weekend.

Past the Peak?

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Via Slashdot, I see that world oil production peaked last year:

Princeton University geology Professor Kenneth Deffeyes has been studying world petroleum production data and has come to the conclusion that the world hit peak oil last December 16, 2005. If he is correct, total world oil production will never surpass what was produced last December.

From the post (link may change) over at Hubbert’s Peak:

There are some interesting additional bits in the end-of-year statistics. Compared to 2004, world oil production was up 0.8 percent in 2005, nowhere near enough to compensate for a demand rise of roughly 3 percent. The high prices did not bring much additional oil out of the ground. Most oil-producing countries are in decline. The rise in production was largely from Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Angola. The Saudi production for 2005 was 9.155 million barrels per day. On March 6, 2003 Saudi Aramco and the government of Saudi Arabia announced by way of the Dow Jones newswire that they were maxed out at 9.2 barrels per day. In retrospect, that statement seems to be accurate.

Not much to say at the moment, so I’ll leave it to you guys… any comments?