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Ten Things You Can Do to Feel Rich–Aside From Voting Republican

November 12th, 2012 § 9 comments § permalink

We all have those friends. They are Republican–for some reason–and maybe to someone like Grandpa, the Republican image and ideology made sense. But times have changed a whole lot, and the so-called party of conservatives are not conservative whatsoever.

Back in the day, just being known as a “Republican” made you feel…dunno. Like an Alex Keaton in a house of hippie parents. Suave. Smart. Well-monied. Reliable. Responsible. Upright and clean. But lately being a “Republican” makes your soul feel the pariah, as if using Rush Limbaugh’s last five minutes on stage; makes you feel bloated, like Rush Limbaugh’s Viagra satchel; cranky, as if Lou Dobbs were your conscience; out of step–like Pat Buchanan’s whip hand rhetoric. In fact, face it: almost nothing about today’s GOP makes you proud. All that remains of your affiliation…is a vague feeling that the up and comers ought to be Republicans….shouldn’t they?

Listen. Let go of the past. Now is the time. Here are ten things you can do to feel rich. Aside from voting Republican.

1. EAT TINY SANDWICHES. Word. Nothing makes me feel more elegant, refined, and just plain rich as hell than eating those miniature sandwiches, and for good measure stick sharp little wood things in them and keep your pinky aloft while you nibble.

2. WEAR PLAIN CLOTHES. I know, you think that to look rich you should be draped in silks and furs and gems. But Old Money lays low. It’s the New Money so crass and in a rush to convince the world they have style who end up looking flashy and obviously loaded. You? You go the other way. Sure, some folks might think your casual sweater and slacks are old JC Penny and you have the style of an old man, but YOU will know what’s up. Your sitting on billions. You’re so damn rich you can flaunt socks that don’t even have elastic left in them. Whatever.

3. LEAVE THE “THOUSAND” OFF OF MONEY AMOUNTS. Dropping three grand on a weekend’s outfit is business as usual for you. So when talking about the new hot tub you are going to have air lifted to the deck, just let it drop casually that it’s costing, “Oh…who remembers. Eight or nine, after the Italian marble is laid in. I think. Or not. Anyway. Have you seen the tiny sandwiches?” » Jump the border and read on «

NO MORE WAR ON THE POOR

September 25th, 2011 § 25 comments § permalink

A lot of people in the USA these days are going broke. It hardly matters if you have a G.E.D. or a Master’s degree. Unemployment is creeping through the populace like a billion-fingered thief. The number of people on food stamps in the USA today is unprecedented, and what’s left of our national safety net after Clinton and Bush took their turns hacking it apart is a threadbare mess with holes in it the size an entire city block can fit through without sucking in its belly.

More people were living in poverty in 2010, according to the census, than in all the time the census has been collecting data. People are dying from untreated dental problems, laws are appearing left and right that penalize the homeless and the poor, prisons are profiting, a dull rage is building, and the bottom line is a lot of people—far too many—are poor and getting poorer.

The kicker is that it won’t be getting better any time soon. The unemployment rate is predicted to continue to grow, well into 2014.

All of this is very bad news, indeed.

 

THE LAND OF HAND TO MOUTH

It’s an unhappy scene, poverty. And we’re not talking about the presence or absence of one or two niceties. The low, low place that living hand to mouth can bring you is much more complex and all-encompassing than not being able to afford one or two top shelf amenities that might make life a bit more enjoyable when you’re out there grinding away.

For most of my life I’ve been like most of the world, I guess—getting by without a whole lot of money. Sometimes it’s been real bad. Sometimes it’s been average. And sometimes, for a minute, life’s been pretty comfortable. The truth is, though, that those comfortable times have been pretty short lived. And even then, my standard of comparison is one you’d find in a person who grew up in a poor family.

What do I mean by “poor”? I mean at our worst we were homeless and cooking food in a campfire, or living in a house with buckets for toilets. And at our best, we were trying hard to fit into the suburban middle class, but still accepting bags of hand me downs from other families. By poor, I mean the regular presence of bargain brands; I mean the type of life where you grow up always thinking about how much things cost, and how you don’t have enough to do A, B, or C; and mostly, I mean the type of deeply-seeded awareness where poverty is a way of your thinking and acting. I’m not proud of this, and I don’t think it necessarily makes a person deep or interesting. It’s just how I grew up.

Even through all of that, there was the sense that you could escape it. Maybe. One day. Going to bed hungry means you and your little brother would meet up and sneak food from the fridge after everyone else was asleep. But even on nights you couldn’t quell the hunger that was so much deeper than stomach pangs, you imagined that if you were talented enough and motivated enough, you would be plucked out of such fates and arrive in the Land of Where You Have Always Belonged; that there was a golden cot with your name on it, just waiting for you to show your mettle. After all, woven deeply into the American consciousness are a few narratives. One of them is the Rags to Riches myth; essentially the Conservative notion of Bootstrap. The myth that we live in a land of abundant opportunity, and in which no matter what your meager beginnings, if you stick it out, there is gold enough to go around.

I guess we all buy into that in this place. But recent times have put a harsh dent into those kinds of ideas.

» Jump the border and read on «

Them Who Shall Be Asked For Papers

May 5th, 2011 § 5 comments § permalink

WE BEGIN, but do not end, with the sensational incident where the Obama White House, under Trumpian pressure, produced for public inspection the President’s “long form” birth certificate.

I do not know how successful I will be in my attempts to navigate the journey, but I think it’s important to move from an immediate feeling of hurt or anger to a broader view of the very thing that moves behind this event and is so upsetting about it. This is what I will try to do.

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Why can’t we roam this open country?
Oh, why can’t we be what we wanna be?
We want to be free.

–Bob Marley, 3 o’Clock Roadblock

ROADBLOCK

What a frenzy.

What a storm of feelings, thoughts, tweets, and emotions were exploded into view with that one event, where the President of the United States of America—a man of color—answered the insincere jeering of a single white citizen by producing his identity papers for inspection. As if our duly elected President was but a teen at a police checkpoint, wearing baggy pants and with his hands up against the hood. As if he were a young man standing on a corner looking Mexicano, immediately suspect and thus beholden to the law man to prove he was not up to criminal acts. What a shaking of the timbers of racial history were felt up and down the blogosphere in this one simple happening.

And rightly so. What a harsh reality we trade in; that it will take far more time than our grandparents’, parents’, or our own lifetimes to evolve past the sickly, sadistic, inhuman history we Americans share on matters of race. In matters of history—look to Mexico, or China, or Egypt—this country is in an infantile stage. And the things that were done to African Americans, and Indians (indigenous peoples from el Norte as well as from south of the “border”); to Chinese and Japanese and Chileans and so on…. these ghosts will not fade fast.

Donald Trump is one of those ghosts, his ailing caricature of a human form cavorting to and fro, swaying recklessly but cleverly. Almost as if animated by an actual soul, he bellows nearly-intelligible sounds, and the media flocks to absorb the spittle. His expression remains forever puckered like a lemon-shocked anus-mouth, his mind alight with tired stereotypes and bursts of fart-static. A clown who doesn’t have the decency to laugh at himself.

And Donald is so easy to hate, isn’t he? Because he is a hateful man. And because he enlists the powers of hate, hate long rooted in American soil. Hate that long ago drew blood and tossed ropes and smiled for the picture as the body cooled to a dusk-like temperature. Hate that raided Native American villages to murder sleeping children. Hate that buffed its boots before demanding that black men duck their eyes, and go drink from some other fountain. Hate that considers women, and Blacks and Cubans and Haitians and Iraqis and Afghanis and Mexican and Chinese and Vietnamese and Puerto Rican as less than human. Hate today that spends Joe Arpaio’s paycheck, props up his decaying frame, and parades his prisoners in pink. Hate yesterday that reneged on treaties, and swallowed up gold, and burned codices. » Jump the border and read on «

News With Nezua | The Invisible Flower

February 15th, 2011 § 12 comments § permalink

AND SO IT FALLS ON US here at UMX—as well as at other blogs and independent news sites—to spread the word; to remember the name and smile of Brisenia Flores; to make clear that this killing is no isolated event perpetrated by a couple “crazies,” but is woven tightly to the anti-Mexican/anti-immigrant/anti-Latin@ sentiment that festers in so many layers of popular US culture.

From the fearful, punitive talk about immigrants espoused by Republican and Democratic politicians alike, to the video games that posit Mexicans as criminal invaders, to the movies that only present Latinos as gangbangers or cocaine kingpins or street thieves or knife wielding degenerates, to the movements in states like Arizona to wipe out Chican@ culture and history and aim to have us living in fear, to the judicial brutality and disproportionate police punishments meted out to the brownskinned, signals are continually broadcast to the public at large that mark us as less than human and offer us as viable targets for derision, fear, and violence.

Uncovering that—clearly—is far too big a story for any station today to break.

This episode of News With Nezua throws a pointed jeer at the contortions these mainstream news sites must adopt in order to justify turning away from this particular story and stories like this.

This episode of News With Nezua is brought to you by Center for New CommunityYouTube version here.

Past episodes of News With Nezua are archived here.

Che Guevara. Should a Chicano Care?

January 19th, 2011 § 21 comments § permalink

¡hasta la victoria siempre!CHE GUEVARA IS A HERO not only to many Cubanos, but to all people who understand and fight for autonomy from oppressive forces and human rights for all.

Why do I write of this now? Recently a question was posed as to if he deserved his place as a Chicano icon and legend; after all, went the argument, why should we revere this Argentinian who fought for Cuba’s independence? After all, it went on, he did nothing for México. He never once uttered the word “Chicano.”

But posing this division—that Cuban icons (or Argentinians) ought not be embraced by Mexicanos, or Mexican Americans—is not only ignorant of Che’s legacy, but at heart yet another symptom of the colonized mind. And I should make clear that my reply here—and any hints of ire you may pick up in putting down my thoughts—are not directed to the online friend who inspired this post. I think it was a good set of questions. And I’m glad I have the chance to answer it. Any intensity I employ here is aimed at the matrix of obfuscation and lies that demonize gente in our ancestral lands and attempt to keep us mental and physical captives of a corrupt system. If I wanted to play snarky, I’d simply reply that much-revered Chican@ (and Mexican@) icon Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe certainly never uttered the word “Chicano,” either. But I think the question deserves some thought, not a cheap semantics volley. Which is why I brought it here.

What is it that Latin America has in common? Why would México understand revolution? What unites the movements in Latin America—from México to Venezuela—so often? What oppression is it that has spread throughout all of Latin America and does to this day? What shadow covers one and all, despite their other struggles? It is the same shadow that has fallen on Haiti, on Iraq, on Afghanistan, on India, and on México. It is greed and white supremacy. It is non-concern for human rights. It is a loathing of the poor. It is a yearning to be of the elites at the expense of all else. It is the audacity of hypocrisy—such as President Obama’s criticizing China’s Hu Jintao on human rights while the USA maintains torture sites on foreign soil, the right to assassinate US citizens without due process, and drone attacks that slaughter countless innocents in illegal and undeclared wars abroad.

This shadow that unites Latin America specifically is cast by the imperialist exploitive forces of Europe and North America who time and time again install occupational forces throughout so much of the world, steal resources, undermine populist efforts, and then, propagandize the media with tales of Latin America’s deviance; their criminality; their weakness. Do we, as Chican@s, suffer here in the USA from the echoes of this propaganda? You better believe it.

This is why the politically involved Chicano understands Che’s fight. Che ought only be a Cuban icon? Perhaps. Many Cubanos do not embrace Che for where some of Fidel Castro’s choices, or for the same reasons as posed at the link above. Che was not Cuban, but an Argentinian whose family lived in Mexico while he fought in Cuba. He was a doctor in el D.F! But what took him away from his familia? Corazón did. Concern for imbalance and human suffering. Che Guevara was horrified by poverty and by peoples’ inability to be treated for sickness. He was not someone who wrote in a blog every day thinking that was somehow going to attain this goal. He was a man of action. Is that something a Chican@ ought to get behind? Yes, he was extreme, and willing to bring violence behind such goals. Only unlike powerful nations in that they bring violence to continue an unfair imbalance of wealth and hegemony in the name of fossil fuels. Just as Batista’s military brought violence on his own citizens, torturing adults and executing even children attempting to squeeze them for information on the rebel forces in Cuba. Che’s violence was meted out in the name of human rights. Much as the mythical character Robin Hood. But instead of wearing tights, he brought a rifle and machete. Che’s vision was for global revolution to attain justice. Not just for Cuba. After Cuba, he wanted to take his fight first to the rest of Latin America. Which is why he died in captivity in Bolivia, after all.

Why did so many campesinos in Cuba accept him, ultimately, and support the revolution? Why did he win the support of not only the poor but the middle classes eventually? Do not the divisions that cause this question about whether us Xican@s should celebrate his life and efforts exist, too, between all Latin Americans? They do. And as you know, there is no common and all enduring bond between “Latin@s” within the US. The USA holds a microcosm of those divisions. Cubanos, Mexicanos, Puerto Ricans, Chileans, Argentinians, Venezuelans, and so on—you don’t need me to tell you that we struggle within the hierarchies and divisions sown between our peoples by the government that rules this very nation. Despite our being lumped together as Hispanics, or Latin@s—or Spics. These divisions, even while we all live here, are a product of colonization themselves and too often, prove stronger than the bonds that ought unite us.

Why was Che able to bridge the differences in ideology and methods that created various rebel factions in Cuba when he brought Fidel’s war to Santa Clara, closer and closer to Havana, and united them under his command? Why did Che speak (in the UN, no less) about blacks and Latinos and other minorities in the US living in “invisible cages”? What did he mean, referencing a sleep that we would (and should) wake from? He was reminding us, in public, in the full glare of cameras and history, standing in the belly of the beast that these cages—oppressive containers created by corrupt systems we cannot see—determine so much of our fate. And they keep us fighting amongst each other. They pose divisions between peoples who ought to band together to fight the real oppression. He warned us not to buy into the “Self Made Man” myth.

The amount of poverty and suffering required for the emergence of a Rockefeller, and the amount of depravity that the accumulation of a fortune of such magnitude entails, are left out of the picture, and it is not always possible to make the people in general see this.”

– Che Guevara

Che’s philosophies and speeches and diaries reflect ideas much larger than an effort to oust Batista from Cuba. When he talked of love in the revolutionary’s heart; a love that enables her to fight for justice, her family, and her puebla, he talks of ideas that unite all people. (Or should.) When he speaks of the Imperialist US forces that divide and suck blood from Latin America, he speaks of ideas that affect not just Latin America, but you and me—we “Chicanos.” Us, the hybrid results of that colonization meeting the indigenous with a sprinkle of distance and comfortable living thrown in the mix.

Some of us, far too many of us, who are descended from Latin America (often with family there even now), fight to defend those very divisions and that exploitation, because we benefit from it or because we have been brainwashed by the ocean of propaganda that informs the mainstream of literature and film and television, all intended to continue the influence and inertia of anti-populist reign. Imperialist nations punish severely any of their intended subjects for remembering the truth, for having heart, or worse—throwing off the chains that bind. Haiti, Cuba, and México are all nations that pay this toll to various extents. It was the USA that sent weapons into Bolivia and trained their soldiers, aiding and abetting in the capture and murder of Che Guevara. Just as it is the USA today who sends weapons into México to aid the corrupt and installed Felipe Calderón as he slaughters the citizens of México. You see what the USA’s vision of human rights and health care is. It certainly isn’t to treat all and any whenever they suffer. It certainly isn’t to educate any and all, despite what nation they came from. Look to Arizona.

Where ought the Xican@ stand in this continuum?

Here the US government is occupying Guantánamo as we speak! The USA’s military forces reside on Cuban land and have constructed a torture and prison facility that the government stocks with individuals from Afghanistan in a perverse retaliation for an attack on Wall Street that was (ostensibly) perpetrated by Saudi Arabians. And all the while, we well-to-do, well-educated, well-fed offspring of both the oppressor and the oppressed who ought to be using all our power to help our disempowered brethren in Latin America are instead, arguing against a liberator and rebel worthy of lionizing, if any ever were.

Those who criticize youth for wearing Che's image would much rather you be too embarrassed to continue than actually inform yourself.

When Che was able to recruit so many peasants and townspeople to his cause, his ability and methods echo the dynamics that allowed the people in México to defeat the imperialist French at the Battle of Puebla, using ordinary objects. Rakes, sticks, stones, stampeding cattle. Like the mythologized early American patriots who attacked the Imperialist British scattershot and hiding out in the woods; like the Han warriors in China who defended against Cao Cao’s superior forces in the Battle of Chibi (Red Cliffs), Che fought off larger numbers and more powerful weapons, and eventually gave his life, for the Peoples’ right to be free from tyranny. How involved in la lucha today are you to believe that changing avatars on a social media application is resistance to government oppression?How revolutionary is it to sit in a well-cooled theater, chewing red licorice and cheering for the rebel alliance to defeat George Lucas’ imagined Empire, but then return to the bosom of the actual Empire and condemn true rebel forces?

Does Che deserve to be an icon for Xicanos, Xicanas, Latinas, Latinos? Only if we remember where the struggle lies and what it is about, at heart. Only if we believe that truth and autonomy and human rights are worth dying for. Only if we truly believe that those with the truth, and the welfare of the People, on their agenda are in the moral right, despite how many guns, tanks, or hypocritical speeches about Democracy and Justice are on the other side.

News With Nezua | Empire Games

October 18th, 2010 § 15 comments § permalink

This episode of News With Nezua is brought to you by Center for New Community. YouTube version here. Past episodes are archived here.

News With Nezua | One for the Dreamers

September 21st, 2010 § 11 comments § permalink

This episode of News With Nezua is brought to you by Center for New Community. YouTube version here. Past episodes are archived here.

News With Nezua | Happy Anniversary to Us!

September 1st, 2010 § 25 comments § permalink

For the past year, News With Nezua videos have been sponsored by La Frontera Times, and many past episodes can be found there, as well as here on UMX. A YouTube version has always been posted as well, but this may soon be discontinued as Vimeo now creates a mobile-ready format, such as in the video above.
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HERE’S A FUN ONE that yanks back the curtain and gives you a glimpse of some “making of” moments. From bulbs blowing to flies buzzing to flubbed or forgotten lines, you can see that things don’t run as smooth as the final cut pretends.

It’s a good time, also, to let you know that for the time being, LFT’s sponsorship of these videos has come to a gracious close. Perhaps temporarily, perhaps permanently. There is no bad blood between myself and LFT or Alfredo—in fact, it has been a fantastic and rewarding relationship, and this switchup in direction is only due to administrative matters at LFT that I am not at liberty to disclose. But the willingness to continue the relationship remains strong, and perhaps in a few months, they may pick up the show again.

Even if not, life brings changes and we learn that the road to our own success lies not in resisting those changes, but in adapting and understanding how our path has moved to different ground because we require it in some way.

I will be taking a break from my grinding video production schedule in honor of this change for one week, two weeks at most. When I come back, the next couple videos will be sponsored by another organization, which will be noted at that point.

Big love and big thanks to all of you, who provide a reason to keep making thes, who show up and dig my work. The feedback I’ve got on these posts—in the comment threads, as well as privately—has been amazingly rewarding, giving me glimpses into how my videos have concrete effects on other people and in the world. So making these has been a double satisfaction. In one because I have to say what I say (and I get to share it), and in another because that matters to other people sometimes.

See you soon! Stay safe, stay strong, stay weird and wild, baby. Peace.

sunlight on skeletons

August 29th, 2010 § 21 comments § permalink

YESTERDAY’S SICK WARMONGERING SCION OF AMERICA, George W. Bush, once appeared on television and sternly scolded the People for taking television too seriously.

That is, this pampered rich boy who had every thing stolen for him in his life, swaggered up on his pulpit and berated the entire nation, warning us not to have too many emotions and thoughts due to all the televised news about death in Iraq; about suicide bombings in Iraq; about the Empire spasms that lashed out taking lives, maiming babies, weeping spent uranium. “The explosions on your TV.”

And I think that little irony there says it all about today’s media, about today’s “News” channels. We are supposed to take them seriously, even as they tell us not to do so. An inverted knot of suppressed and sublimated emotion and mangled thought process is how they’d have us. A busted open container they can pour poison into. But before that, like a vampire, suck up the energies and spirit of so many, and from all sides of the political spectrum. Inside this beast’s festering jaws are clenched a fabricated world brightly and wretchedly illuminated as if by 100,000 limbs set alight by white phosphorus.

Inside that box, the Iraq disaster is done with. Inside that box, it makes sense to keep bleeding billions into the Afghanistan sands. Inside that box, no important questions matter. Inside that box, your own heart and mind can’t fit. What would (does) our world look like outside of that box?

Today’s Right wing is not worth listening to any more than it makes sense to stick your arm into a spinning garbage disposal. What of those those who watch these hell-hearted plasticmen and seethe? Or mock them on a blog? Or debunk TV arguments every day of the year? A massive amount of energy and time is spent doing this. It’s sort of weird. Who do they watch for? Not for me. Some will claim it is a service. Do they do it for you? They deplete their own energies, and accomplish what? What is accomplished each day by doing this?

In truth, I’m sure it is a service for a few. Is it the most valuable service? Perhaps not. What of pooling all that time, pooling any monies, and creating a new station. Or perhaps a new network via radios. Yes, radio. This tool that many more people can use, and even carry mobile. A tool that many of lesser means can broadcast with, no less.

And to do what? Simply reporting the state of the world as it truly is. Sowing the airwaves with hope, with positivity, with history lessons. With plans, with campaigns, with community. Completely tuning out the false narrative as you would tune out  a sick individual on a corner, ranting about death, devils, and disaster. Would you follow that person around, reinterpreting all their madness for the crowd? Would you shout side by side and call it a service?

This motion is not so much popular, though. The shape of thought that would completely swerve away and build something new in the place of something unsightly, unsafe, or unsound. Is that a revolutionary act? It is, by definition. Reform seeks to take something broken and reshape it. Redundancy says do it over and over even when it does nothing much. Revolution says that Thing is not worth reshaping, nor is it worth your energies and time. Revolutionary thought says you have the power and means and ability to make something new, in place of the old. But today’s Left is not revolutionary, of course.

Lately I hear a lot about how while so many are misguidedly blaming ALL muslims for 9/11, it was only a small cadre of radical extremist muslims who attacked us on 9/11.

Is that true?

Do you even know–as a person–who attacked us on 9/11? I don’t. How am I to know? How are we to know? I still have the newspaper where some foggy screen caps of a Fake Osama Bin Laden were shown supposedly crowing about the WTC attacks. For a tape that would be the hardest evidence in USA possession of who made the biggest hit on our country in its entire history, it faded out of existence very fast, eh? But then, I already said it’s fake.

Do you know it was the Taliban? Really? Why? Because your TV told you? Because the lying, corrupt government told you? That same government that was making deals with the Taliban in August of 2001? The same government that has been trying to sink its derricks into Central Asian oil fields for years? Why? Because they claimed 19 passports floated out of the completely exploded plane down onto the street and somehow stuck out in all that clutter, debris, ash, and litter?

What evidence do we have that the WTC were taken down by the people our government claims? What evidence personally? What trials brought to light the guilty? What process made this clear? What oracle pronounced this truth? The very same TV that our own government’s head of state told us not to take seriously? What forces forbade you to question this? The Right, and yes, the Left, too. From Bill Maher to DailyKos—earnest questions about this catastrophe that changed everything in our nation, from law to war to monies spent in congress, to school lessons—were verboten. Despite the shabbiest case ever built against any major crime. And those who insisted we examine it were demonized by those same Liberal forces, as we are today. Just as it has been the Liberals overwhelmingly leading the charge to sneer at those of us who still believe in protest, rallies, and boycotts.

That is your (Professional) Left.

Obviously, in 2010, what is ancient is again new. The empire is well into its recycling phase. We see conquer and divide. Hucksters and snake oil salesmen. Blatant class war. PSYOPS and a host of control mechanisms to provide a manufactured reality that keeps the People scattered, confused, scared, angry, and mostly, full of fake information. We were attacked and traumatized a decade ago, lied to about it by those who are supposed to protect us and be of us, and this rending of the truth helped destroy us as a confident and sane people.

We tried again to hope and believe in truth when Obama was elected, but as much as some “progressives” still cling to their ideology and party, it’s clear on a gut level that we were had and that the strongest forces in our nation today are those of war, greed, and deception.

And now, nobody believes in much of anything anymore as a result. And we are fast unraveling. Truth means nothing and TV pays it not even the tribute of a gesture. Racism is part of everyday speech, political campaigns, and dialogue. Hate groups are hand in hand with government. White supremacists roam the border and carry badges and guns, too. Laws that let police be even more racist in their operations than before are being launched left and right.

Even those who fight every day to maintain belief know, in their belly, that the game is rotten to the core. This is driving us mad, it is wrecking national sanity. Or causing people to simply turn away.

It’s not just because Obama is black that the nation is flipping out. It’s also because all the illusions of national identity and ideology that we were given as children have fallen apart. Now naked power rules, and shows itself in gross class war and cooked up news shows, court rulings, and police actions that make clear who will be okay tomorrow, and who will not. Those of us with little money or position understand we will soon be living in mildewed tents on the outskirts, while those with money or power will continue to enjoy tax breaks, ballrooms, and well-buttered toast smothered with imported jams.

Dreams of justice and fairness have been toppled.

Once that sinks in fully, things will become very ugly indeed. But many of us are in denial, in shock, or yet to see the final foundation buckling. Still listening to the siren song of TV.

Were there someone or some ones capable of organizing even a fraction of us—they’d need lots of money, and yet not to be beholden to the ideology of the Right—we might have a chance against our enemies. Our enemies are greed and disinformation. And a state out of control. It is those same illusions given us as children. It is the inertia that shoves us cliffward. It is the voice of the Television. It is today’s Liberal brain, brain like a slave, stooped over with the load of delusion, but weary and with no place to go to get away from it. The Left is a zombie holding a flag, with all its sly use of the Right’s most drastic weapons, with its reinforcing at key moments, what harms the People, with no real plan or courage to enact something better, something revolutionary. At every juncture where the Left might make a real stand and make a difference, it suddenly caves in. Just when the People might again hope or benefit. But it must. Because, you see, even the “left” politicians on the national stage know the deal. They hold no hope for justice or truth, either. But LIBERAL is their brand and they are stuck with it.

The GOP? The GOP is but the blood-flecked ID expanding like a rogue universe of wicked cells, the diseased and disintegrating lobe of the human condition. The freaked out, frantic, midnight acid-head mind that whips and coils like a half-smashed snake in the sand.

I’m not better than anyone else in all of this. I soothe myself with TV, too. I dive deeply into illusion. I simply happen to turn to it for storytelling, for movies. Otherwise, I’ll be out in nature. Give me the sun, the wind, the water, and the touch of someone close to me. And give me stories. Stories of clear-eyed humans, of paths lined with golden wheat that sways in the sun, trod by brave souls undertaking important journeys. Give me stories of unpolluted hearts, and simple, wise, and humble humans. Give me stories of the past, of over there, of a day faraway. A day when this looming tower of babbling bullshit has finally collapsed and lain itself upon the ground to bake and bleach under an aging sun, before long to be but a skeleton for tomorrow’s mountains.

News With Nezua | Mosque Madness

August 26th, 2010 § 17 comments § permalink

News With Nezua vids first appear Monday mornings at La Frontera Times. Wednesdays they show up at UMX. YouTube version here.

News With Nezua | Terror, Baby!

August 18th, 2010 § 16 comments § permalink

News With Nezua vids first appear Monday mornings at La Frontera Times. Wednesdays they show up at UMX. YouTube version here.

News With Nezua | Clowns on the Left, Jokers to the Right

August 11th, 2010 § 20 comments § permalink

News With Nezua vids first appear Monday mornings at La Frontera Times. Wednesdays they show up at UMX. (Truncated) YouTube version here.

News With Nezua | We Will Not Comply

August 5th, 2010 § 12 comments § permalink

News With Nezua vids first appear Monday mornings at La Frontera Times. Wednesdays they show up at UMX, as well as in a dim setting at The XOLAGRAFIK Theater. YouTube version here.

Why Didn’t the FBI Save Little Brisenia?

July 29th, 2010 § 13 comments § permalink

IF EVER THERE WERE A STARK EXAMPLE of the cruelty and inhumanity that powers so much of the white supremacist/anti-immigrant/neo-nazi movement, it is the manner in which a sweet little nine year old girl was shot dead in her own home, in the middle of the night.

Shawna Forde and her lackies pulled the trigger in this case, in June of last year. Many of us relate to and deeply feel for the Flores familia—whether it be because we are all humans; because nobody wants to be shot in their own bed; because we agree that children must be spared the spiritual sicknesses that adults trade back and forth like baubles; or because we are Mexicano or otherwise under the crosshairs these days. Those of us who do fit into one or more of these categories are often frustrated beyond belief that while the antics of boys in balloons or Ladies Gaga or Sad Sack Gibsons prove to be prime-time material, home invasions and murders tied to the current anti-Latino hostilities in the USA aren’t worth even two minutes on our major news channels.

This is institutionalized racism. As is the fact that nothing good or benevolent is ever reported about Mexicans or Mexicanos. Only a constant spew of criminality and demonization. Some might not care. And then, others might drown in their own blood in their own bed because so many don’t care. As our dear Brisenia did.

Does this institutionalized racism reach into the FBI? Or was it simply lackadaisical sloppiness that inspired them not act to either closely monitor or apprehend Forde and her ilk, even when warned ahead of time about the murderous plans of the Minuteman Defense League?

This is the news that just broke:

The FBI was told that Shawna Forde was planning a home invasion in the Arivaca area weeks before a man and his 9-year-old daughter were shot to death there.

According to documents filed this week in Pima County Superior Court, two confidential informants for the FBI say they told agents in April 2009 that Forde was recruiting people to raid a house she believed was filled with illicit drugs, money and guns. …

In a phone conversation taped by the FBI, Forde tells one of the informants that future jobs would be something of a test for a new recruit, saying: “Our hands are already dirty. We’ve got to know he can pull the trigger.”

Earlier this week, Forde’s defense attorney, Eric Larsen, filed a motion asking Judge John Leonardo to force prosecutors to hand over all FBI documents pertaining to the two confidential informants. The documents indicate neither was paid for his information, nor were they cooperating to avoid prosecution in any unrelated cases.

The documents include transcripts of separate interviews conducted by Pima County sheriff’s Sgt. Jill Murphy and by defense attorneys. Also included are nonconfidential FBI reports summing up what the informants told agents.

While the men say they told the FBI about Forde’s plans before the slayings, the FBI reports don’t reflect when it received the information.

Dave Joly, a spokesman for the FBI’s Denver division, said the bureau received the information “after the fact.” He declined to comment further because the case has not yet gone to trial.

So the informants claim they told the FBI, and now the FBI is covering its ass and saying “Hunh??”

Ass-covering is a human response. The problem is that this ass-covering that the FBI is doing will damage the prosecution’s case against Brisenia’s killers. So it’s a failure to protect on top of a failure to protect.

Larsen said that, assuming the FBI actually was aware of the alleged plot, he wants to know what the FBI thought about the information because, he said, if the agency chose not to act on the men’s information, that damages their credibility.

“If the FBI didn’t believe (the informants), why should the jury?” Larsen said.

Indeed. And why should the news cycle care at all about any of this?

Echoes of Noam Chomsky in my mind…about how terrorism is defined by the directions in which the guns point.

SB 1070 and LULAC: Is the Fix In?

July 29th, 2010 § 6 comments § permalink