Friday, June 13, 2008

Full Citizen Rights For Immigrants- Amnesty Now!


If one remembers back only two years ago to May Day 2006 when there were massive protests led by Hispanics in the West, the Southwest and elsewhere over the question of immigrant rights then one would have thought that we would have some justice on this question by now. That has clearly not been the case and mainstream politicians have fallen all over themselves to distance themselves from the mere thought of justice for such people (who moreover either do not or cannot vote, a mortal sin for any politician). There are political reasons for this, including the conscious policies of Hispanic politicians, and others who represent immigrant constituencies to not rock the boat in this august presidential year. This year the protests were rather muted and, in any case, were placed on the back burner by the overwhelming capacity of the current presidential political campaigns to suck all the political oxygen out of the air.

More ominously, since 2006 there have been any numbers of la Migra (immigration service) raids on factories in the Midwest and the South, including one this spring which netted over 400 immigrants at a meat processing plant and that nearly decimated the life of one town. The only rationale for such governmental actions is to tell those who are here illegally (and some who are here legally but want to in the age old tradition of America get 'uppity"- that is, defend their rights) that it is hunting season and they are the targets. Moreover, such actions graphically tell immigrants not to organize themselves for collective protection in such things as trade unions- or you will wind up back from where you came, one way.

There are a whole lot of issues that need to be resolved on the immigration question but no one, and I mean no one in mainstream politics is proposing any just solution to the question. All one hears about there days the need for more deportations, more walls and more cops. Oh, I forgot this gem- also a return to some form of indenture servitude straight out of the 18th century, as well, if some of the proposed legislation in Congress goes through. What this all tells me is that today militants should be proposing a general amnesty for all immigrants, legal or illegal, who have made it here. If anyone, including one Barack Obama whose life profile includes recent immigrant experiences, should in the great by and by propose such a scheme then we will support it. In the meantime the fight is clear- Full citizenship rights for all who make it here. We will worry about the green cards later.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Hands Off The Mormons!


I thought I was done talking about Mormons for a while after the demise of Mitt Romney’s Republican presidential campaign, but apparently not. At that time I spent not a few words on Mr. Romney’s family history, including an admiring comment on the executive ability of his great-grandfather in presiding over a household with five wives. I mentioned at the time that, in the old days, I had my hands full when I has more than one girlfriend. I also have in the past expressed an interest in Joseph Smith, the founder of the Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS), not for his finding golden tablets, or whatever, out in the wilds of upstate New York in the 1820's but as a Free-Soiler (anti-slavery advocate) and presidential candidate in the mid-1840’s before his murder by the rabble in Illinois. Today, though I have to speak of more serious issues, even though belatedly.

We have all become painfully aware over the past several weeks of the plight of several hundred women (mostly mothers) and children of the separatist Fundamental Church of Latter Day Saints as they were hounded and rounded up by a phalanx of Texas legal and social service authorities over some sexual abuse that was allegedly going on at their rural ranch. This sect, which has no direct relationship to Mitt Romney’s mainstream LDS’ers, holds the practice of polygamy as one of their central tenets, a tenet given up by the mainstream Mormons in 1890. Since that roundup which eventually scattered the children all over the state in foster homes and state institutions, a series of Texas court actions, including a successful appeal to the Texas Appeals Court, the state’s highest court, has finally gotten the children back with their kin. There are, however, still rumblings by the state authorities about their self-ordained right to carry out such invasions at will.

But here is the real issue for socialists and just plain civil libertarian types. Why was this sect being so readily prosecuted by the state on what, at best, were flimsy and unsubstantiated charges that proved to be laughable in court? As distant as I am from the beliefs of this seemingly harmless, reclusive and isolated sect and as distant as I am from either wanting to have several wives or being one of several husbands of a woman (polyandry) for that matter, I find it that it is necessary to defend these fundamentalist Mormons against the ravages to their personal lives by the state actions. As long as the question of effective consent is given, the only real criteria that should govern such relationships, it is nobody’s business, especially the state’s what social relationships people enter into. For all those shocked by the notion of so-called "child brides" look to the history of marriage regulation or for that matter the common law of your locale (if in a common law state).

I think that the way that the state of Texas has handled this matter has outraged more people than normally would be the case, unlike the Waco governmental invasion under Bill Clinton, and that is to the good. As the old adage goes- if they can get away with carting off the helpless and reclusive then what about the rights of rest of us- is fully operational here. But this episode should also make us aware, very aware, of why we leftists support the slogan- Government out of the bedrooms! Hands Off The Mormons! And Keep Them Off!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

*Free The Cuban Five Update-In Defense Of The Cuban Revolution

Click on title to link to National Committee To Free The Cuban Five Committee web site for the latest political and legal updates.

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the sentences of the Five last week (the week of June 1, 2008). As the legendary comic and social commentator Lenny Bruce, no stranger to the American 'justice' system himself, once said- "In the halls of justice, the only justice in the hall". I might only add here, class justice cannot even be found in the halls in this case. Go to the link listed on the right of this page for more details. Remember the defense of the Cuban Five is the concrete manifestation of the defense of the Cuban Revolution. Venceramos! Free The Cuban Five-Ahora!