Saturday, January 26, 2008
Police said a clerk from Wendy's on Canal Road called them around 9 p.m. to say a white man made racial slurs to the clerk at the take-out window. The man, who was apparently frustrated that the clerk could not speak better English, parked his car, got out and walked to the take-out window, Orleans police Lt. Kevin Wells said.
The apparently disgruntled customer then tried to grab or take a swipe at the clerk through the window, but could not get to him, Wells said. The man then got back in his vehicle and drove away.
The clerk was not able to give a detailed description of the suspect's appearance or his car, Wells said.
Brooklyn Surrogate Court Judge Diana Johnson is the first African-American to be elected to a Surrogate Court judgeship in New York history. With only weeks on the bench, however, someone spray painted racist graffiti inside two separate elevators at the Downtown Brooklyn courthouse. One message read "Judge Diana Johnson is Dumb," and the other read "Judge Diana Johnson is a Dumb (n-word)." Dozens of lawmakers and judges held a rally to support Johnson in the wake of the offensive and criminal acts.
A former head of the group 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement said that it was telling that the incident happened not in a criminal court, but in the Surrogate Court, which is primarily occupied with handling disputes over estates and wills. The people who frequent the court tend to be well-heeled and well-paid. Police are examining surveillance tapes from cameras placed near the elevators and looking at the judge's court calendar. Earlier in the day, Judge Johnson reportedly ruled over a contentious proceeding during which she had to admonish an attorney for using demeaning language.
On August 17, 2006, white supremacist Russ Dove was arrested and subsequently convicted and sentenced to 30 days in jail, $1,000.00 fine, 18 months probation, restraining order protecting OBL Agents and 10 hours of anger management.
Friday, January 25, 2008
TULSA, Okla. (AP) - Edgar Castorena had diarrhea for 10 days and counting, and the illegal immigrant parents of the 2-month-old didn't know what to do about it.
They were afraid they would be deported under a new Oklahoma law if they took him to a major hospital. By the time they took him to a clinic, it was too late.
A ruptured intestine that might have been treatable instead killed the U.S.-born infant, making him a poster child for opponents of House Bill 1804 months before it was enacted as the Oklahoma Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act of 2007.
"The sad part of it was the child didn't have to die if House Bill 1804 didn't ever come around," said Laurie Paul, who runs the clinic where Edgar was finally taken. "It was a total tragedy because the bill was there to create the myths and untruths and the fear."
The law, billed by its backers as the nation's toughest legislation against illegal immigration, took effect Nov. 1. It bars illegal immigrants from obtaining jobs or state assistance and makes it a felony to harbor or transport illegal immigrants.
A final portion of the law goes into effect July 1, requiring private companies to verify the employment eligibility of all new hires.
While it's difficult to characterize which state has the toughest immigration-related law, Oklahoma's goes beyond most because it includes the clause about harboring and transporting illegal immigrants, said Ann Morse, program director for the National Conference of State Legislatures' Immigrant Policy Project.
"What I think these laws may have are unintended consequences on the general public," Morse said recently. "How does the law get implemented? Who is the target?"
The crackdown has caused thousands of Hispanics to flee for neighboring states, with as many as 25,000 leaving northeastern Oklahoma alone, according to the Greater Tulsa Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
The law's fallout also can be seen in the struggling businesses, worker shortages and widespread fear among immigrants who say they are afraid to drive to church or the market because police might pick them up.
"I feel like I'm in some kind of Nazi country where if they see your color, you'll be stopped," said Maria Sanchez, a 22-year-old student who is looking to leave Oklahoma rather than risk waiting the seven years it will take to get her papers. "I can't work, I can't study, I can't go out, there's no point of me staying here."
Civil rights leaders call the law xenophobic and redundant, and say other states will wrongly look to Oklahoma to push their own anti-illegal immigrant legislation. Business and church leaders also have been vocal opponents.
"Oklahoma was settled by immigrants ... which means that diverse is normal in Oklahoma," said the Rev. Miguel Rivera, president of the National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders. "It's difficult for us to understand a state which is so Christian, that to have all this animosity toward immigrants is completely outrageous."
Supporters - described by Dan Howard, the founder of an anti-illegal immigration Web site, as "good, American, God-fearing people of the heartland that bleed red, white and blue" - say the law is necessary because of Washington's bungled immigration policy. They also believe the law has helped deter crime and punishes the companies that make money on the backs of illegal labor.
The bill's Republican author, state Rep. Randy Terrill, said similar versions have been introduced or are under consideration in more than a dozen states. Last year, more than 1,500 pieces of immigration-related legislation were introduced across the country, with 244 becoming law in 46 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
"More than half the nation will soon be modeling Oklahoma's bill," said Terrill, who plans to introduce a companion piece this year that would make English the state's official language, order schools to report how many illegal children are enrolled and require people or businesses who transport, hire or rent to illegal immigrants to forfeit property.
Terrill said there's no correlation between his bill and Edgar's death, noting that the child died in July, months before the law took effect, and that the law provides an exception for emergency medical care.
"To the extent that these illegal alien parents deprived their own child needed and necessary medical care because of their ignorance of the law, then they should be in prison, frankly," Terrill said.
Edgar's parents are believed to have gone underground following the boy's death, returning either to Mexico or going to stay with family in Arkansas, according to interviews with people in Tulsa's Latino community.
Far from the halls of the state Capitol, fear leads illegal immigrants to develop elaborate emergency plans for their children in case the youngsters should find their parents missing.
Irene Maldonado, 24, has been designated as the one to call in case her sister-in-law gets deported. Meanwhile, she worries if her husband, Jose, will come home on weekends from the construction jobs he works throughout the state.
She has legal residency, he doesn't.
"I don't know if he has less fear, or he's trying to be the macho guy," she said.
Illegal immigrant Maria Saldivar, 44, searches for what little factory work she can to support her three children. Past employers now ask for papers.
"Every time I look for a job, it's always the same thing," Saldivar said in Spanish through a translator. "There was more work for me to do before."
Even workers with proper paperwork are leaving for jobs in neighboring states rather than split up their families.
"My guy who runs my framing crew, he had 70 workers, and as of Nov. 1, he lost 35 of them," said Caleb McCaleb, who runs a homebuilding company in Edmond. "My painter has lost 30 percent of his work force, my landscaper has lost 25 percent of his work force."
Some in Terrill's own party doubt the wisdom of his legislation.
"We've removed not only those here illegally and working, but those who are here legally," said state Sen. Harry Coates, a Republican who voted against 1804 and wants to repeal portions of the bill. "I'm not the smartest person in the world, but I understand economics."
Vicente Ruiz, a 47-year-old legal immigrant who runs his own electrical contracting business, put it more bluntly: "It's all about making money, and if everybody moves away, the whole state is going to suffer."
2008-01-25 19:09:14 GMT
HIGH POINT — Henredon Furniture has agreed to pay $465,000 and take remedial action to settle a racial harassment lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the agency reported Thursday.
The EEOC said it brought the suit on behalf of African-American employees who were subjected to a persistent racially hostile work environment at the High Point plant of Henredon, a division of Furniture Brands International.
A Furniture Brands spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment.
According to the EEOC, from about 1998 through January 2006, African-American employees at the plant were subjected to racial slurs and name calling — including the “N” word — as well as threats by hangman’s nooses that were displayed. The suit alleged that the harassment occurred almost daily.
“This case is the latest indicator that racial harassment in general, and nooses in particular, remain persistent problems at some job sites nationwide,” said EEOC Chair Naomi C. Earp. “It’s time for corporate America to be more proactive in preventing and eliminating racist behavior in the workplace.”
The $465,000 in compensatory damages will be divided among seven class members cited in the lawsuit. The settlement also includes a three-year consent decree that enjoins Henredon from engaging in racial harassment or retaliation, requires anti-discrimination training, requires the posting of a notice about the settlement, and requires the company to report complaints of racial harassment to the EEOC for monitoring.
The agency said it has seen a surge of racial harassment cases in the past two decades, some of which involved hangman’s nooses and verbal threats of lynching. Racial harassment charges filed at EEOC offices have more than doubled from 3,075 in fiscal year 1991 to about 7,000 in 2007, the commission said.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Save Our State Member Still Jail For Unspecified Charges Since December 21st
Posted by: The Watchdog in Police State, Protests & Activism
34 days in jail so far…
An open border anarchist reported a comment Randy posted on the SOS forum to the San Bernardino PD. Thanks to the Patriot Act, the authorities easily obtained a search warrant for “domestic terrorism.” They ransacked his home and confiscated two guns. Both guns were legal and registered. Nothing else was found.
I don’t want to thwart Randy’s legal defense in any way so I’m not going to repeat what it is he is alleged to have written on the message board. But I will tell you that it wasn’t anything more serious than we have all read on the Internet many times before. Some of you may have written something similar. You could be sitting in jail right now too.
Randy has given permission to release this information.
Randy Dees is a former Marine who served his country for many years. After his military service, he joined the patriotic movement. He joined Save Our State in 2006 after helping run the former group ‘Illegal Immigrant Protest’. He loves his country and has been active with SOS at rallies and on their website to fight ILLEGAL immigration in Southern California.
On Dec 20, 2007, Long Beach Police executed a search warrant on the home in Long Beach where he was renting a room from the owner. Police broke the front door down at 7am (no one was home; Randy had already left for work), ransacked the whole house, confiscated Randy’s computer and two legally registered firearms and magazines and then ripped the power box out so the power could not be turned back on. They also took many of his important files. The search warrant was for DOMESTIC TERRORISM! This search warrant was issued due to a remark regarding the ACLU on the SOS forum a few months earlier. The post was seen by one of our open borders enemies who complained about it to the San Bernardino Police Department.
Randy had plane tickets to fly out of LAX the next day, Friday Dec 21 to go home to North Carolina for the holidays. Although he was shaken by the unexpected raid on his residence, he had no fear that any crime had been committed. He consulted with an attorney Friday morning and then packed up for his trip home.
At about 3pm on the 21st, Long Beach Police called Randy to tell him a warrant had been issued for his arrest and that he needed to surrender to the Long Beach Police Station by midnight. They told him if he tried to get on his flight at 8pm, he would be arrested at LAX. Randy notified his lawyer and was told to turn himself in. Randy and a friend went to the police station at about 6pm to surrender to the still unknown charges. He was immediately booked and bail was set at $550,000.
Randy was transferred to county jail in Santa Clarita in late December and has been there ever since. He was brought back to Long Beach on Jan. 15th for a hearing and the judge told Randy he is facing 4 1/2 years in prison on still unspecified WEAPONS charges. Randy has another hearing in February. His situation is looking bleak and he has lost confidence in his lawyer.
We are currently working with Randy to see how we can help him. He can only have visitors on weekends. We’ll keep you updated on any changes or go to www.SaveOurState.org for updates.
In my opinion from following this situation for the past 5 weeks, this is another witch hunt from high on a Pro-American activist to try to scare other activists away from our anti-illegal immigration cause. Little do the high powers realize, these situations just push us harder to rid the growing corruption in our own government, at all levels. This appears to have all the makings of another Ramos & Compean case or a John Monti political persecution.
PLEASE FORWARD THIS TO ANYONE YOU THINK CAN HELP.
Jeff Schwilk, Founder
The LAPD is expected to submit a report to prosecutors next week that names 29 officers who could be charged with unnecessary use of force in last year's May Day rally at MacArthur Park, officials said Tuesday.
Images of riot-gear-clad police shooting into a crowd of women and children broadcast worldwide forced Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to cut short a trade-mission trip and for LAPD Chief William Bratton to publicly apologize for what has come to be called the May Day melee.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office declined to comment on the report, saying it will wait to review the case.
"This is part of the process; we will let the process take its course," said Capt. Jeri Weinstein, head of an LAPD team that investigated the more than 200 complaints that poured in from media and protesters that attended the pro-immigration rally.
A separate internal disciplinary hearing is also being conducted. Days after the incident, Bratton demoted two commanders in charge that day, with one later retiring. Bratton later implemented departmentwide training on crowd control.
But LAPD critics say that even though they have not yet seen the department's report, it appears not to go far enough.
LAPD officials will submit the report naming 29 officers responsible for 72 different allegations to the District Attorney's Office and the FBI for review next week. In addition, the report lists 139 additional allegations that cannot be tied to specific officers.
Weinstein declined to detail any of the 139 allegations but said nearly all have to do with unnecessary use of force.
Based on the report, prosecutors will decide whether any of the officers can be charged, while the FBI will determine whether there were any civil-rights violations.
Bratton said Tuesday that he was confident no violations of civil rights would be found.
But opponents of the department were already questioning the report.
"As far as I can tell, almost every Metro officer was involved somehow," said Carol Sobel, a lawyer representing dozens of clients in a lawsuit against the department.
"It seems really narrow to only identify 29 officers. I think what they have done is limit it to those caught on tape striking someone," she said, adding, "it violates somebody's rights to stand by while another officer hit somebody."
Citing an ongoing investigation, Weinstein declined to comment further on whether the LAPD is recommending that the D.A. charge officers who watched and did nothing as protesters and media were roughed up.
"We trust that each of the officers involved will be given a fair review that will evaluate their actions in the context of what they had been ordered to do, the tools and training they were given to accomplish those tasks, and the conditions under which they were operating," said Tim Sands, president of the LAPD's police union. "As Chief Bratton once said, `Policing isn't pretty.' Skirmish lines are not pretty, and, as we all know, the events of that day were exacerbated by command and control problems that have already been brought to light."
The LAPD's own searing report on the incident released last year found that the elite Metropolitan Division officers had no idea who was in charge and hadn't been trained in crowd control for 18 months.
Despite a similar protest one year earlier, the department was caught off guard and when things spun out of control not a single supervisor or member of the command staff involved attempted to intervene, according to the report.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Frances Semler, the Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners appointee whose membership in the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps caused a political controversy for Mayor Mark Funkhouser, has resigned.
In a statement faxed to area media outlets, including The Kansas City Star, Semler writes “ENOUGH, I am resigning.” In the letter she cites repeated and ongoing personal attacks against her character as a reason, and blasts her most vocal opponents and levels her own criticisms at Kansas City Police Chief Jim Corwin and unnamed City Council members, saying some on the council have made “vicious, false and irresponsible claims about me.”
Also apparently, in recent days, Semler has taken issue with comments made in published reports by Mayor Mark Funkhouser and his wife, Gloria Squitiro.
“I do believe I have been a positive asset. There are many projects I eagerly wanted to pursue,” Semler writes. But after reading quotes from Funkhouser in the The Star last week, “I feel BETRAYED.”
Semler could not be reached Tuesday morning for comment.
Funkhouser in June appointed Semler, a neighborhood association president, to be the sole Northland representative on the five-member park board.
The appointment triggered sharp protests from several minority organizations, including the National Council of La Raza, In October, of La Raza voted to pull its convention from Kansas City, at a projected loss of $5 million, because of Semler’s connection to the Minutemen, a divisive group that takes a hardline stance on immigration issues.
On Jan. 15, the leader if the Southern Christian Leadership Conference said that the SCLC had decided to move it’s convention from Kansas City to New Orleans and would call for a boycott of Kansas City if Semler was not removed from the park board.
Rita Valenciano, head of the local Coalition of Hispanic Organizations, said Semler’s decision to step down was a welcome outcome. But she, added, she would have preferred if the mayor had taken action himself.
Semler had offered to resign last year when controversy first erupted over her appointment, but Funkhouser declined the notion and publicly backed her appointment.
“It’s something that should have been taken care of in the very beginning,” she said. “It was a lack of leadership … my concern is if the mayor is going to accept her resignation.”
Before launching into her criticisms of city officials, Semler writes “as a United States citizen I have always felt able to express my views freely. Out of respect for the Mayor, I have allowed my voice to be stilled. No longer.”
While referring to illegal immigration as a “well-organized invasion of illegals,” she defends the Minutemen as an unjustly attacked group dedicated to the enforcement of immigration laws.
John Shultz, firstname.lastname@example.org
Text of the Semler resignation letter:
ENOUGH, I am resigning.
Any individual or organization who speaks with concern of the impact of the well-organized invasion of illegals in this country is subjected to being called terms such as bigot or racist. Many citizens are reluctant to do so for fear of being subjected to the destruction of their character as I have been.
As a United States citizen I have always felt able to express my views freely. Out of respect for the Mayor, I have allowed my voice to be stilled. No longer
Yes, as a member, I have associated with men and women members of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps. I have found them to be dedicated to the belief that laws must be respected and enforced. Accusations against this organization have been unfounded and unjust. Members advocate for protection of all borders and enforcement of our laws. A report by the American Legion includes these same concerns.
The controversy regarding my membership in MCDC was fueled by Kansas City Star reporters and the President of the Coalition of Hispanic Organizations, Rita Valenciano. John Fierro, President of the Kansas City Park Board, has been connected with this same group. This Coalition is associated with La Raza, led by Janet Murguia, who was pictured on the front page of the Kansas City Star with fist raised. Are these paid positions and are our tax monies involved? Reverend Charles Steele Jr., President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, has threatened to “shut” the city down. It has been my experience that many of those supporting illegals are immigration lawyers, also paid with taxpayer funds.
Members of the City Council of Kansas City have made vicious, false, and irresponsible claims about me. One member has publicly, with arrogance, expressed her support for “open borders.”
Have the 12 to 20 million illegals in this country made an impact on the economy of Kansas City? Estimates are as high as 40% unemployment in some areas of this city. The invasion of illegals willing to take low wages for long hours has resulted in the income of working men and women being depressed here and nationwide.
Yet, we have a police chief who has publicly boasted about the protection of illegals at the Westside Can Center, staffed by Linda Callon. Chief Corwin spoke to this at a forum held at Penn Valley Community College sponsored by Missouri State Legislators. He was challenged by State Representative Gary Dusenberg for not upholding the law as he had pledged to do. Dusenberg is a former Missouri State Highway Patrolman. Kansas City is not designated officially as a “sanctuary city,” but it is.
It was with great enthusiasm that I accepted the responsibilities of the Kansas City Missouri Parks and Recreation Board. I do believe I have been a positive asset. There are many projects I eagerly wanted to pursue, but after reading the Mike Hendricks article in the January 17, 2008, issue o the Kansas City Star quoting the Mayor and the untrue statements made by Gloris[sic] Squitiro in a recent January publication of the Kansas City Hispanic News, I feel BETRAYED.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Making coded appeals to white racism is nothing new for Huckabee. Indeed, well before he was a nationally known political star, Huckabee nurtured a relationship with America's largest white supremacist group, the Council of Conservative Citizens. The extent of Huckabee's interaction with the racist group is unclear, but this much is known: he accepted an invitation to speak at the group's annual conference in 1993 and ultimately delivered a videotaped address that was "extremely well received by the audience."
Descended from the White Citizens Councils that battled integration in the Jim Crow South, including at Arkansas' Little Rock High School, the Council (or CofCC) has been designated a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
In its "Statement of Principles," the CofCC declares, "We also oppose all efforts to mix the races of mankind, to promote non-white races over the European-American people through so-called "affirmative action" and similar measures, to destroy or denigrate the European-American heritage, including the heritage of the Southern people, and to force the integration of the races."
The CofCC has hosted several conservative Republican legislators at its conferences, including former Representative Bob Barr of Georgia and Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi. But mostly it has been a source of embarrassment to Republicans hoping to move their party beyond its race-baiting image. Former Reagan speechwriter and conservative pundit Peggy Noonan pithily declared that anyone involved with the CofCC "does not deserve to be in a leadership position in America."
During a lengthy phone conversation in 2006, CofCC founder and former White Citizens Council organizer Gordon Lee Baum detailed for me Huckabee's dalliances with his group. Baum told me that Huckabee eagerly accepted his invitation to speak at the CofCC's 1993 national convention in Memphis, Tennessee.
Huckabee's plan was complicated, however, when Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker journeyed out of state and appointed a state senator to preside over the governorship. The Arkansas state legislature passed a resolution forbidding the lieutenant governor from leaving Arkansas until Tucker returned, thus preventing Huckabee from attending the CofCC's conference.
In lieu of his appearance, according to Baum, Huckabee "sent an audio/video presentation saying 'I can't be with you but I'd like to be speaker next time.'" (The CofCC promptly replaced Huckabee with Michael Ramirez, a right-wing cartoonist whose work is currently syndicated to 400 newspapers by the Copley News Service.)
Baum's account of Huckabee's videotaped message was confirmed by a CofCC newsletter obtained by Edward Sebesta, a veteran observer of the neo-Confederate movement. "Ark. Lt. Governor Mike Huckabee, unable to leave Arkansas by law because the Governor was absent from the state, sent a terrific videotape speech, which was viewed and extremely well received by the audience," the 1993 newsletter (Vol. 24, No. 3) reported.
The following year, in 1994, the CofCC held its national conference in Little Rock, Arkansas to accommodate Huckabee. According to Baum, Huckabee initially agreed to speak before his group, but became apprehensive when the Arkansas media reported that he would be joined on the CofCC's podium by Kirk Lyons, a white nationalist legal activist who has hailed Hitler as "probably the most misunderstood man in German history."
"He didn't know anything about Kirk Lyons or anyone else," Baum said of Huckabee. "He said he would show up if we took Lyons off."
But Baum refused to remove his friend Lyons from the bill. Huckabee, who was more concerned about receiving bad publicity than by the racist underpinnings of the CofCC, withdrew his promise to speak. The CofCC replaced him this time with former Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Jim Johnson, a White Citizens Council founder who organized the mob that rioted against the integration of Little Rock High School and later served as the star narrator of Rev. Jerry Falwell's discredited film, "The Clinton Chronicles."
In the end, Huckabee's aborted relationship with the CofCC benefited the group. "We had the biggest crowd in our history because of the publicity" surrounding Huckabee's planned appearance, Baum said of his 1994 conference.
The CofCC has since rebuked Huckabee for his insufficiently intolerant political behavior. Unfortunately, Huckabee has never rebuked the CofCC. Instead he embraced the group, ignoring its well known legacy of promoting racism and only severing ties when his political ambitions were threatened by bad publicity.
Cross posted at The Nation and The Huffington Post.
Posted on January 18, 2008
Columbia, S. Car. -- The populist campaign of Mike Huckabee, seeking to mobilize an insurgency of white evangelicals against the Republican establishment, took an abrupt turn today after the former Arkansas governor directly appealed to voters on the issue of race, summoning his fellow candidates to stop calling for the removal of the Confederate flag from government offices.
"You don't like people from outside the state coming in and telling you what to do with your flag. ... If somebody came to Arkansas and told us what to do with our flag, we'd tell them what to do with the pole. That's what we'd do," he declared to applause at a campaign rally in Myrtle Beach Thursday.
At the same time, an Atlanta, Georgia, based organization, Americans for the Preservation of American Culture, began running radio ads attacking John McCain for his opposition to displays of the Confederate flag on public buildings and praising Huckabee.
"McCain has been doing it -- calling the flag a racist symbol -- for years," the announcer declares. "After McCain, Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee stands as a breath of fresh air. Governor Huckabee understands that all the average guy with a Confederate flag on his pickup truck is saying is, he's proud to be a Southerner." The ad concludes: "In South Carolina, we're proud to be Southerners."
The addition of a powerful, racially-freighted issue into the Republican primary contest appears designed to enlarge the constituency of voters supporting Huckabee, expanding the circle of white conservative Christians to include descendants of George W. Wallace's campaigns in the 1960s and 1970s - a constituency that has shown the potential to become influential in southern elections, as David Duke demonstrated by nearly winning the governorship of Louisiana in 1991.
The emergence of the confederate flag as an issue -- if past elections are a guide - holds the possibility of inflicting damage on McCain.
When McCain ran in South Carolina in 2000 against George W. Bush, he, like Huckabee now, said the confederate flag issue is a matter of states' rights -- a laden term in these parts -- and should not fall under federal jurisdiction. Later in 2000, after losing the nomination, McCain renounced his states' rights position, acknowledging, "I chose to compromise my principles. I broke my promise to always tell the truth.... The Confederacy was "on the wrong side of American history. That, my friends, is how I personally feel about the Confederate battle flag. That is the honest answer I never gave to a fair question."
Debates over flying the Confederate flag above southern statehouses and other government buildings have been bitter and intense in recent years across the states of the former Confederacy, including here in South Carolina. Opposition to flying the Confederate flag has resulted in defeats for both Democrats and Republicans.
Huckabee, ironically, has been campaigning throughout the state accompanied by former Republican Governor David Beasley, a conservative white evangelical who lost a 1998 bid for re-election after he called for the removal of the flag from the South Carolina statehouse. During that campaign, cars across the state displayed a bumper sticker declaring "Keep the flag, dump Beasley!"
In next-door Georgia, former Democratic Governor Roy Barnes, who had appeared to be unbeatable with high popularity ratings, lost a 2002 bid for re-election after replacing the state flag, which prominently featured the Confederate battle emblem, with a flag that reduced the flag emblem to a barely visible icon. Sonny Purdue, Barnes' successful Republican opponent, issued campaign brochures declaring, "Remember who changed your flag."
Thomas B. Edsall is the political editor of the Huffington Post. He is also Joseph Pulitzer II and Edith Pulitzer Moore Professor at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.
© 2008 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
View this story online at: Alternet
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Court overturns $400,000 award to Portuguese man claiming discrimination
BOSTON - A U.S. appeals court has overturned a $400,000 jury award to a Portuguese man who sued American Airlines Inc., claiming he was removed from a flight because of racial discrimination.
In 2003, the 40-year-old John Cerqueira was removed from a flight from Boston to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, along with two Israeli men seated in his row. He was described as hostile by one flight attendant.
State Police later determined the three were not a security threat, but they were not allowed to re-board.
Cerqueira sued claiming flight personnel cited him as a security risk because he looked similar to the Israelis.
The U.S. Court of Appeals vacated the award to Cerqueira and criticized the federal judge for not dismissing the complaint.
Under the Air Transportation Security Act, carriers are permitted to turn away passengers who might be "inimical to safety," the panel ruled Thursday.
Because an airline captain must decide to refuse passage in an expedient manner, "even mistaken decisions are protected so long as they are not arbitrary or capricious," Circuit Judge Sandra Lynch wrote in the decision.
David Godkin, Cerqueira's attorney, told the Boston Herald he was disappointed and may appeal.
Michael Fitzhugh, American's attorney, declined comment.
New Jersey radio host Hal Turner is well known as one of the most vicious neo-Nazis in America, a man who routinely suggests killing his enemies.
Railing against President Bush, he told his audience last June that “a well-placed bullet can solve a lot of problems.” He has written that “we need to start SHOOTING AND KILLING Mexicans as they cross the border” and argued that killing certain federal judges “may be illegal, but it wouldn’t be wrong.” In 2006, after he published an attack on New Jersey Supreme Court justices that also included several of their home addresses, state police massively beefed up security for the members of the court, checking on one justice’s house more than 200 times.Hal Turner is one serious extremist. He may also be on the FBI payroll.
Read more here: HateWatch
Sunday, January 06, 2008
Saturday, January 05, 2008
The law, one of the toughest in the nation, requires jurisdictions to investigate complaints by ordinary citizens against local businesses that may be employing illegal aliens. But apparently most Arizonans have better things to worry about. A spokesman for the state attorney general said his office had received about a half-dozen calls. Some jurisdictions, including Pima County, which runs along the border with Mexico, received no complaints. It's not exactly what you'd expect if Arizonans were champing at the bit to run illegal aliens out of the state and punish their employers.
A new study by the conservative think tank Americas Majority Foundation (www.amermaj.com) suggests a possible explanation why more Arizonans aren't rushing to run off illegal workers. It turns out Arizonans may be better off – not worse – because of the presence of so many immigrants in the population. This sounds counterintuitive, at least if you believe current political rhetoric and tendentious research by anti-immigrant groups such as the Center for Immigration Studies, NumbersUSA and the Federation for American Immigration Reform.
But the Americas Majority Foundation data are pretty persuasive. States with the highest percentage of immigrants or the largest recent influx of immigrants – 19 High Immigrant Jurisdictions, or HIJs, in all – are wealthier, have better employment numbers and most have better crime figures than those with fewer immigrants. In Arizona, for example, personal income is higher, as is the gross state product, the measure of all economic activity in the state. Unemployment is lower, as is household poverty. And crime is lower than both the national average and the average among states with fewer immigrants.
And, the trends for HIJs are every bit as good as the absolute numbers. Not only are gross state product, personal income, per capita personal income, disposable income, per capita disposable income, median household income and per capita median personal income higher than in other states, but they have been growing at faster rates between 1999 and 2006 than in other states.
In the area of crime, the trends are especially encouraging for HIJs. The 10 high influx states, those that experienced the most dramatic percentage increases in immigrant population from 2000-07, had the lowest rates of violent crime and total crime, according to FBI figures. In 1999, the 19 HIJs did have higher crime rates, but the rates declined much faster than they did in lower immigration states over the next seven years: 13.6 percent faster compared with 7.1 percent in total crime and 15 percent compared with 1.2 percent in violent crime, leading to lower crime rates overall in HIJs in 2006.
These statistics don't suggest that illegal immigration is not a problem for many jurisdictions. Illegal immigrants do impose costs, including increased health care and education expenses. Ironically, one of the growing costs is for incarcerating illegal aliens picked up in immigration raids or for offenses that usually don't justify jail time.
These increases are a direct result of efforts to crack down on illegal immigration. And if states such as Arizona decide to vigorously enforce their new laws, we can expect to see these costs go up without much, if any, offset in savings to those jurisdictions.
The immigration debate is likely to continue untempered by the facts the Americas Majority Foundation has pulled together, at least through the political primary season. But the overwhelming majority of Americans – two-thirds to three-fourths, according to most polls – have no wish to see most long-term illegal alien residents rounded up and sent home. What they do want is a more concerted effort to secure the borders so the numbers don't keep increasing.
Citing a November Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll, the Manhattan Institute's Tamar Jacoby noted recently that “63 percent of Democrats, 64 percent of Republicans and 57 percent of independents favor allowing illegal immigrants who meet certain conditions – registering, being fingerprinted, paying a fine and learning English – to earn citizenship over time.” Jacoby points out that the politicians don't seem to be listening. But if we can get through 2008, maybe the sound of silence emanating even from places like Arizona will finally be heard.
Chavez, a nationally syndicated columnist, is the author of “An Unlikely Conservative: The Transformation of an Ex-Liberal.”
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
THIS SERVER GOT HACKED YESTERDAY
HACKERS TRIED TO TAKE COMPLETE CONTROL OF THE SERVER BUT WERE STOPPED
Sadly, they did a lot of damage before they were stopped.
Here's what we know right now: The new content management system "PostNuke" for the new subscription web site had a major security vulnerability which was exploited. Once exploited, the hackers gained root access and changed the front page of my site boasting of thier efforts.
They used their exploit to copy all the user names and passwords from the PostNuke site. They next published all those user names and passwords at one of their hacker sites for all their hacker buddies to use. The page was published at cp.lulzhost.net.
Today they took the list down from the site above but I have a screenshot of the site to prove who did what.
Some of those hackers and their buddies are now using the passwords to access YOUR PERSONAL E-mail accounts at your personal ISP. In at least one case, the hackers sent a suicide note to everyone in the address book of one client, claiming to be that client! I strongly recommend you change your ISP e-mail account password if you used the same password for my site.
They next changed the root password on my server in an effort to lock me out of my own server, but I was already in. They detected my connections and started shutting them off in an effort to prevent me from fighting them. I managed to order the server to shut down before they could go farther.
So brazen were these hackers, they contacted the data center which houses my server, impersonated me and asked the data center to reboot my server!!!!! They even went so far as to login to the data center help desk to create a trouble-ticket asking for my server to be rebooted.
They didn't realize I was on the telephone with the data center when their false trouble ticket arrived at the help desk arrived.
The damage done is significant: All my web pages are gone. Seven years of archives of my radio shows are gone. All sites I host for others are gone.
The server has been fixed. The PostNuke Software is no longer installed so the security vulneraability is gone.
The attacks were planned on 7chan.org to "celebrate" the one year anniversary of their previous efforts. A screen shot of the 7chan web page on which this attack was orchestrated has been obtained by me. It has since been deleted from 7chan.org.
I am told they still intend to attack this site again tomorrow, January 1 to "rape" my bandwidth in an effort to force the site to go dark. Thankfully, I have an UNLIMITED BANDWIDTH package from my data center, so the effort to rape bandwidth will fail.
At this point, I must start all over again and frankly given the lack of interest in the subscription service, I doubt it is worth the effort.