Saturday, January 12, 2019

Who Pays The Price Of Failed Immigration Enforcement

Erin Marie is with Amy Smith.
We spent all day yesterday at the ICE detention center in Denver waiting to free a good friend. He has no criminal record nor any minor infractions of any kind.... In his life, and the 14 years he has lived in the states raising his son (who was born here) he has had zero interaction with the law. He is a beloved Community member and a family man. He has been actively working with a lawyer for years to update his legal status. There isn’t a hoop he hasn’t jumped through. In mid-December he went to the courthouse in telluride to pay his first and only speeding ticket. ICE was waiting outside, and after he paid his ticket, they threw him in an unmarked SUV and took him to the detention center in Denver where has has been imprisoned in sub-human conditions for three weeks.
The story of his imprisonment and the conditions he was subject to will stop you in your tracks. If you have a heart, even a small one, it will bring tears to your eyes. I can barely wrap my mind around the details. There are 1000 inmates spilling over in a facility that holds 600 at the maximum. The overflow is NOT due to the incarceration of rapists and drug dealers and criminals, but of hardworking family men, mothers, grandmothers and grandfathers and mostly those (legally) asking for asylum. Sure, there are some criminals that have justly earned their way in. But you would be hard pressed to find even a few cases in which a wall would have quelled their entry.
Historically, ICE has focused their energy on apprehending people with some prior record or offense. Not so much nowadays. There has been a major shift in our own community, with numerous recent arrests, indicating that someone in a position of power within our little town is working very hard to target even those people with no record, wasting resources and lots and lots of $. My heart hurts knowing this.
And then to end the day watching a public temper tantrum of lies and fear-mongering, realizing that we are now personally, inextricably, woven into the web of this “manufactured crisis”...I’m so ashamed for my country.
But, I am grateful to know I will not be on the wrong side of history. I am grateful that my friend will see his family tomorrow. I am grateful that I know many brilliant, energetic people that will not stand for this wasteful, baseless ignorance. I am grateful for my privilege and the opportunity to bear witness to the truth. I am grateful that it will never be hate that calls me to action, but instead, overwhelming love.
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My response to the above: 
I speak as a retired US Border Patrol/ICE agent.  Ultimately our insidious system of immigration is about political profit, corporate profit from cheap labor and billions of US tax dollars poured into the US Border Enforcement Complex.

This enforcement fiasco - by design - will never stop or solve the problem and was never designed to do so. The political and financial elite who run all countries involved will continue to enrich themselves as long as their never-ending failed programs and failed political promises rule. 

Ironically Washington’s immigration argument swings back and forth.  “Let them all in” or “boot them all out” and “keep them all out” – all depending upon the administration du jour.  And yes, changes in immigration laws have been made. 

Yet overall - the madness goes on.  Greed runs the show and poverty is the result.  Poverty that exacerbates the flow of illegal immigration and illegal drugs into the US.  Meanwhile the elite running all countries involved keep getting richer while the good people on all sides of the border suffer the financial, emotional and life-threatening consequences.               

Your example exemplifies perfectly who pays the price.  The good people caught in the middle.  Those who want to better their lives and those of us who have compassion for those who try.

Friday, November 23, 2018

The Truth Behind Trump's Caravan Propaganda

NERMEEN SHAIKH: President Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton just gave a major speech in Miami on U.S. policy in Latin America. Bolton described Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua as a “troika of tyranny,” saying, quote, “This triangle of terror stretching from Havana to Caracas to Managua is the cause of immense human suffering, the impetus of enormous regional instability and the genesis of a sordid cradle of communism in the Western Hemisphere.” Professor Chomsky, can you respond to that? “Troika of tyranny,” says John Bolton.
NOAM CHOMSKY: Well, that, of course, immediately brings to mind the “axis of evil” speech of George Bush back in 2002, which was the precursor, laying the groundwork, for the invasion of Iraq, the worst crime of this century, with horrendous consequences for Iraq, eliciting ethnic conflicts that are tearing the region apart—a major atrocity. John Bolton was behind that. And his new troika—I doubt that the U.S. will dare to do something similar, but that’s what it brings to mind.
It’s kind of interesting to see this hysterical raving alongside of another astonishing propaganda campaign that Bolton and his colleagues are carrying out with regard to the caravan of poor and miserable people fleeing from severe oppression, violence, terror, extreme poverty from three countries: Honduras—mainly Honduras, secondarily Guatemala, thirdly El Salvador—not Nicaragua, incidentally—three countries that have been under harsh U.S. domination, way back, but particularly since the 1980s, when Reagan’s terror wars devastated particularly El Salvador and Guatemala, secondarily Honduras. Nicaragua was attacked by Reagan, of course, but Nicaragua was the one country which had an army to defend the population. In the other countries, the army were the state terrorists, backed by the United States.
The most extreme source of migrants right now is Honduras. Why Honduras? Well, it was always bitterly oppressed. But in 2009, Honduras had a mildly reformist president, Mel Zelaya. The Honduran powerful, rich elite couldn’t tolerate that. A military coup took place, expelled him from the country. It was harshly condemned all through the hemisphere, with one notable exception: the United States. The Obama administration refused to call it a military coup, because if they had, they would have been compelled by law to withdraw military funding from the military regime, which was imposing a regime of brutal terror. Honduras became the murder capital of the world. A fraudulent election took place under the military junta—again, harshly condemned all over the hemisphere, most of the world, but not by the United States. The Obama administration praised Honduras for carrying out an election, moving towards democracy and so on. Now people are fleeing from the misery and horrors for which we are responsible.
And you have this incredible charade taking place, which the world is looking at with utter astonishment: Poor, miserable people, families, mothers, children, fleeing from terror and repression, for which we are responsible, and in reaction, they’re sending thousands of troops to the border. The troops being sent to the border outnumber the children who are fleeing. And with a remarkable PR campaign, they’re frightening much of the country into believing that we’re just on the verge of an invasion by, you know, Middle Eastern terrorists funded by George Soros, so on and so forth.
I mean, it’s all kind of reminiscent of something that happened 30 years ago. You may recall, in 1985, Ronald Reagan strapped on his cowboy boots and called—got in front of television, called a national emergency, because the Nicaraguan army was two days’ march from Harlingen, Texas, just about to overwhelm and destroy us. And it worked.
I mean, this spectacle is almost indescribable. Even apart from noticing where they’re coming from, the countries that we have crucially been involved in destroying, it’s—the ability to carry this off repeatedly is quite an amazing commentary on much of the popular culture.
But the troika, just like the “axis of evil,” are those who just don’t obey U.S. orders. Colombia, for example, has the worst human rights record in the hemisphere for years, but they’re not part of the troika of tyranny.
All of this rings very familiar bells. It’s a long—it’s been a long-standing element of the U.S. propaganda system on the—mostly on the far right, but not only, which goes way back and which is a kind of pathological feature of the dominant political culture that should be understood, analyzed and dismantled.
AMY GOODMAN: The world-renowned professor, linguist and dissident Noam Chomsky. We’ll return with him in a moment to talk about the twin threats of climate change and nuclear war.


Friday, July 20, 2018

Trump Tries To Normalize Putin - Impeachment March DC Summit 2

Our racist, lying, cheating, mentally ill president is now trying to normalize Russia's murderous autocrat. 

Trump thinks he can shoot someone on 5th Ave and not lose a vote.  And I am ashamed to say that there are a certain amount of really stupid Americans who make this true.

How about the mother of all marches and a general strike to greet Trump's pal?

Sunday, July 15, 2018

World's Hearts Torn Apart

Minds programmed in fear
Cultures unconscious of love
World's Hearts Torn Apart

Haiku by John Randolph 7/15/2018

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Haiku Works Through You - Book by John Randolph

“Sacredness Of Life"

Behold breath divine
God's embraced by embracing
Sacredness Of Life

Writing haiku poems presents a bit of a paradox.  What one writes is limited to seventeen syllables typically in the form 5, 7, 5.   
Words themselves are limiting.  They can only refer to or point one to something or someone.  With words we attempt to represent “real” objects that never can be the object they represent i.e. the ink and paper describing the “Ruben Sandwich” on the menu can never taste the same as the real thing with the sauerkraut, corned beef, Swiss cheese and the 1000 island dressing on rye!

Although the analytical mind easily points to the limits of haiku, I nevertheless found something fascinating occurring as I spent more time writing.
The inspiration to write all of my haiku comes from something that is or was stirring inside of me.  That “stirring” (which was usually troubling thoughts or emotions) “called me” to write about it. 

In other words, I did not sit down to write a haiku.  Something stirred in me and called me to attempt to write about it.  Big difference.
Most times it took over an hour to take this undigested stirring and put it into haiku form.  Most times the stirring came from unsettling dreams or worries that filled my mind.  Most of the time these stirrings or disturbances came during the early morning hours.  More peaceful “stirrings” came in our hot tub or simply driving in the car.

What I write isn’t always “negative” or “heavy” or “troubling”.  I write about clouds, my wife, my dog, cool breezes and other mysteries of life and death. 
What I do know is that a shift in energy occurs within me every time I am able to write a haiku about something that was stirring within me. 

I also think that stepping back from something that is “undigested”, "stirring" in the body and/or “looping” in the mind and actually working with it – and trusting - resolves issues (or at least gives me a different perspective).  That is what the haiku process is for me.   

Does the right side of brain write the haiku using material held in the body that the left side of the brain isn’t incapable of digesting?  Or does the eventual languaging of the haiku come from or through one from outside of one’s self (Grace, God, Jesus, Spirit, etc.)?   

My guess is yes.  And whatever the cause is, it is magical!
So I say, give it a shot.  Like any other art form, it may take time.  And you may be surprised at the outcome.    

Finally please don't throw the baby out with the bath water if my haikus don't inspire you.  Write your own and in time you will be inspired!  

Please check out my "Haiku Works Through" facebook page 

Love and blessings to you all!