Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Please remove me from this blog

this blog is no longer being updated. Please remove my account from it.

Rabid conservatism defeats itself!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Thoughts on the Swift meat packing raids

I've been too swamped with finals to really have the time needed to comment on the recent ICE raids at six Swift meat processing facilities, including the one in nearby Cactus, TX. Not that I haven't noticed, of course. Thankfully, there's already plenty of fine commentary available on our government's latest Gestapo tactics, so I won't have to add too many of my own. I did want to first note something a nearby Dumas resident Fate Bennett said about the raid:
The storey [sic] regarding the raid in Cactus, TX is not completely forth-coming regarding the events that took place in the small texas town this morning. The story does not mention the fact that immigration agents were going door to door in Cactus demanding birth certificates, drivers licenses, social security cards and other identification documentation from people outside the Swift meat packing plant who were peacefully going about their daily routine in their own homes. Texas citizens were also be stopped on the roads in Cactus, and were requested to produce the documents mentioned previously. Immigration services also requested identification documents for all members in the households, children and adults, they shook down. I think that the actions not covered in any news story I have read are quite extreme, and racially motivated. If any person there were hispanic or hispanic looking, then immigration agents and other officers working in the area zeroed in on them!

I mean really, since when do people carry their birth certificates around with them. And since when could a federal agent knock on your door and request these items from you. Last time I checked, people didn't have to provide anything identifying themselves to authorities without either a warrant or probable cause. I don't see any probable cause when going door to door, and no warrants were provided to any of the people I spoke to that were in Cactus this morning.

I feel that the entire events of a something like this should be covered in the news, and not just the main focus of the what it is that authorities are trying to do. I don't know how many people were detained from their homes, and I don't know if it is within the powers that be to go into residents homes, and interrogate them in this manner, but I don't agree with it. Mabye [sic] if the immigration services and the authorities would get their rear-ends down to the borders and start patrolling them properly, then we would not have to waste our tax payer dollars on raids like this.

The state and federal agencies act like this is something that has just come up. I lived in Dumas most of my life, and I'm now in my 30's, and I know that there have been illegal immigrants in this area in large numbers for as long as I can remember. I know that the focus of these operations was to prevent identity theft, but identify theft was just another means for this government to carry out the new witch hunt for illegal immigrants. I know that the area their will take an economical hit if large numbers of illegal immigrants are deported, and it just seems like a bad way to do things. Think of the people that will be seperated [sic] from their families as well. Just doesn't seem like the right thing to do!
My emphasis added. An anonymous reader of the same Amarillo newspaper added this remark:
Now how are the little children that went home today on the bus to not find there parents at home, or better yet how about the children that couldn't get home because there parents weren't there to do so.
The effect on the kids has got to be devastating, as a quote from this Desmoines-are article cited at Man Eegee suggests:
The baby left behind has her own problems.

She has been difficult to feed since her mother was arrested, Feagan said.

“The mother was breastfeeding the baby,” Feagan said. “The baby doesn’t want to eat. Another tried to breastfeed, but she knew it wasn’t her.”

Feagan said she and advocates for local Hispanic families have tried to pinpoint exactly how many children are in family-limbo to try to organize help.

A total of 408 students were absent in the Marshalltown community school district as of Wednesday morning, district officials reported.
Other bloggers of note who have the lowdown include Nezua, XicanoPwr, Latina Lista, Duke1676 of Migra Matters, and David Neiwert.

The decimation of the Writ of Habeas Corpus that the last Congressional session foisted upon us is already having its consequences, just in time for the Holidays. Can't help but wonder if to add to the already fascist behavior exhibited by the raids themselves if those Haliburton concentration camps are now being put in to use.

One a related note: on the right sidebar of my blog you'll now notice a list of all the Senators from this last Congressional session who voted to do away with Habeas Corpus. As my friend Manuel notes, they aren't all Republicans - and to drive that point home I've put the Dems who voted to kill Habeas Corpus in boldface type.

Rabid conservatism defeats itself!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Global Transformation


Rabid conservatism defeats itself!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Please remove me as a blog contributor

I aplogize about this "off-topic" post, but I've tried to email.

Contributor Link:
AMERICA the Blog
: http://www.americatheblog.com/ (no longer exists)

Contributor:
David
: http://www.blogger.com/profile/1864066

I just never contribute so I'd like the blog removed from my "line-up".

Thank you and please forgive the inconvenience.

David

Rabid conservatism defeats itself!

Monday, August 21, 2006

More arrogance and incompetence from the Texas Attorney General

The Corpus-Christi Caller-Times reports this rather alarming -- even for Greg Abbott -- defiance of a federal judge:

U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack is incensed at Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott for seizing X-rays, some of which are now missing, that are key to federal and state investigations into potentially fraudulent diagnoses of the lung disease silicosis.

Jack made national headlines last year when she issued an opinion that the majority of more than 10,000 silicosis lawsuits before her were about litigation rather than medical care and that the "diagnoses were driven neither by health nor justice: they were manufactured for money."

Abbott's office, along with a congressional committee and the U.S. Attorney's Office, have been investigating since.

Four armed agents from Abbott's office visited the storage facility where thousands of X-rays related to the case were being housed on behalf of the federal court with a subpoena June 23, threatening to arrest the storage supervisor if he did not turn them over.

When Jack learned July 5 that the state attorney general's office had removed the X-rays, she ordered the office to return them by noon the following day, according to court records.

Forty boxes of X-rays came back, but an inventory by records custodian Gary Cosgrove showed that 152 X-rays are missing.

"Let me tell you that real, real clearly. It may be a criminal matter, and we're going to have to turn this over to the appropriate people," Jack said during an Aug. 11 telephone hearing that included representatives from Abbott's office. "The arrogance of taking those documents from a federal court supervised depository is astounding. You all took documents that did not belong to you, under - with armed guards."


How is it beneficial to anyone -- the plaintiffs, the defendants, the courts, an atmosphere of cooperation between federal and state authorities and oh, maybe all of the people of the state of Texas -- when the OAG runs amok, seizing X-rays from a US federal record depository using men with guns, and then losing some of them?

Or are the X-rays even actually "misplaced"? Can we next expect Greg Abbott to grandstand something outlandish in order to bring attention to himself in an election season?

Abbott, suddenly realizing that he's in a tough re-election fight, is scrambling to show that he has been doing something -- anything -- to justify his term as the state's chief law enforcement officer and protector of Texas consumers (clue: he hasn't done a damn thing for anyone except conservative evangelicals and greedy corporations). All he's got to show for the past four years is a couple of online child predator convictions and some charges of voter fraud against little old ladies who took mail-in ballots to the post office.

Appalling. This is what it looks like when power-mad Republicans get desperate. To paraphrase the car commercials: they are arrogant, incompetent, and built to stay that way.

Of course, no matter how this matter is eventually resolved between Judge Jack and Abbott -- whether by sober discussion, flying subpoenas or flying bullets -- you have a clear choice in the Texas Attorney General's race.


Rabid conservatism defeats itself!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Tom DeLay must stay on ballot for Nov 2006 election.

Hubris "In Greek, an excess of pride; the most common character defect (one interpretation of the Greek hamartia) of the protagonist in Greek tragedy. "Pride goeth before a fall" is an Elizabethan expression of this foundation of tragedy."

The picture which should come to mind now is Tom DeLay. He has been the House Majority Leader since before Bush was selected President in 2000. He has been quoted as saying "I AM the government!" and has been called the most powerful leader of the House in over a century. But his efforts to gain Republican control of the Texas House of Representatives so that they would do a mid-decade redistricting of the Texas Congressional House Districts and increase the Republican majority in the House by five appear to have been his undoing.

While the redistricting worked and in 2004 four Texas Democratic Congressmen were replaced by Republicans, the District Attorney of Austin, TX determined that Tom DeLay used corporate funds to gain control of the Texas House. This violates a century-old Texas law. Since Tom DeLay knew this would be a problem, he arranged that the corporate funds be laundered the funds through the Republican National Committee before they were sent to his TRMPAC in Texas. The trial is pending. Remember that the trial is pending. It is important to the rest of the story.

Besides the Texas charges against Tom DeLay, several of Tom DeLays' Congressional aides have admitted guilt to the Justice Department in connection with bribery schemes run by Jack Abramoff. The aides and Jack Abramoff are all expected to testify against Tom DeLay in similar charges.

When Tom was indicted by Ronnie Earle he was required by the House Republican rules to step down as House Majority Leader. This rule was put into effect in 1994 when the Republicans first took control of the House under Newt Gingrich with Tom as Whip.

This rule was window dressing put in place during the euphoria when the Republicans for the first time in forty years took control of the House. It was because the Republicans had run against the "corrupt Democratic leaders of the House", and the rule was intended to show that the Republicans were the new, clean broom which had come in to correct the problems of the long term Democratic Leadership.

When Ronnie Earle had first begun investigating how the Republican takeover of the Texas House of Representatives had been finance in 2002, the Republicans in the Federal House of Representatives had attempted to rescind that rule, but the public outcry at the obvious corruption of such a move made them reinstate it. This was the lead-up to Tom DeLay's resignation as House Majority Leader and his replacement by Rep. John Boehner when the indictments were handed down.

Tom DeLay has been paying for lawyers ever since. It hasn't been cheap, either. He currently has about $1.5 million on hand, and roughly $1 million in unpaid legal bills. Since the Federal Election Commission provided a ruling to then Congressman (and now federal prisoner) Randy "Duke" Cunningham permitting him to use campaign contributions to pay for his legal bills for accusations related to his job as a Congressman, Tom DeLay has happily used his campaign contributions to pay his legal bills.

This is rather obviously one reason why he ran in the Texas Republican Primary for reelection. As long as he was running he could collect more campaign contributions, much of which he knew would be needed for legal bills. His defense attorney, Dick DeGuerin (interestingly a Democrat) is one of the best and most expensive defense attorneys in Texas.

The other reason he ran in the Primary as he has since made clear is that he detests the three Republicans who were attempting to take advantage of his political weakness and replace him in his Congressional seat. By Running in the Primary for reelection Tom felt that he could defeat them and decide who his replacement in Congressional District 22 would be. So he ran for the Republican nomination for reelection to his own seat in Congress, and won. All he had to do then was drop out of the race and have the Texas Republican Party appoint someone with less political baggage to run in his place. Congressional District 22 has been gerrymandered to have a majority of Republican voters. With DeLay running, the Democrat running against him could almost certainly win the seat, but with some other Republican candidate it would be more difficult to pull out a Democratic win.

The problem is that Texas has a law requiring that once a candidate has won his party primary he may withdraw but his party cannot replace him. His name must remain on the ballot. The idea is that it is unfair for a party to have a candidate who for some reason deconstructs as a viable candidate, then have the party bring in a ringer at the last minute. So DeLay declared that he had moved his residence to his townhouse in Virginia, and the Texas State Republican Party would declare him ineligible to run for his district 22 seat. Then they would choose his replacement.

The Democrats then took this to court, stating that since Tom still owned his home in Sugarland, TX and his wife still lived there no proof existed that he was ineligible to run for reelection. A Republican-appointed federal Judge agreed with the Democrats and ordered the Texas Republican Party to keep his name on the ballot. Tom appealed to the fifth circuit court of appeals in New Orleans (one of the most conservative courts in America) where the three judge panel who drew the case just decided that the district court judge was completely correct (See CNN.) The result is that Tom is still required to keep his name on the ballot.

The Democrat, Nick Lampson, is an experienced Congressman who had lost his seat as part of DeLay's redistricting. He has a war chest of at least $2 million with which to campaign for the seat. Tom has only $.5 million left and still has to pay lawyers when D.A. Ronnie Early actually tries him on the charges for which he has been indicted. As of this time there are only three months left until the election, and Tom has not begun to campaign, assuming that he dares spend the money to campaign rather than pay his lawyers.

So Tom has, of course, appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. By now, even if the USSC reverses the lower court decisions (a long shot) the Texas Republicans still have to anoint a candidate, start a campaign and let the voters know who is is, and try to defeat the well-known and well-funded Nick Lampson. All of this in the face of a strong national anti-Republican mood and the clear legal and ethical problems that have caused Tom DeLay to withdraw.

So that's the story of Tom DeLay. Barring some really unanticipated events between now and the November general election, he is toast as a Congressman and Nick Lampson will represent the district 22.

See the Hubris? Tom DeLay is the lead in a Greek tragedy of his own making.


Previous posts about the DeLay case. (Note- there are links in each post to other news sources. This is intended as a research source.)


[Cross-posted from Politics Plus Stuff]

Rabid conservatism defeats itself!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Greg Abbott = Big Hypocrite

Go read the new blog on what will undoubtedly be a lengthy, detailed subject, particularly with this news today.

Rabid conservatism defeats itself!

IMPLODING RIGHT WING?

A site for cross-posting and posting original stories from around Texas that reveal the character of the Texas right wing. So much dirt. Such a big state.

This site brings Texas bloggers together to keep an eye on the actions of Texas right-wingers. Yes, friends. The radical conservative Republican politicians and activists who rule this state assume that nobody is watching.

They are hoping that nobody remembers Sen. John Cornyn's statements justifying violence against judges or Majority Leader Tom DeLay's zealous intervention into a private family dispute that spawned a media circus. Or Congressman Sam Johnson's intimation that he could personally nuke Syria. Or that Kay Bailey Hutchison has hired one of the "swift boat" smear architects for her gubernatorial campaign. Or that Republican corruption in the Dallas County Police Department has contributed to outrageous crime rates. Or the actions and stunts of the Young Conservatives of Texas on college campuses all across the state.

Well, they have had over ten years to lead. They haven't led. We will.

"Adios, MoFo."

Email GaremkoReport at yahoo dot com to join.

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