Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Mexico 2014/2015 Who are the terrorists ?

1. The Mexican and U.S. tax payers pay billions of dollars for the drug war, mainly to military contractors, to no avail and creating no improvement for either country’s national security. As Musa al-Gharbi wrote for Al Jazeera:
“In 2013 drug cartels murdered more than 16,000 people in Mexico alone, and another 60,000 from 2006 to 2012 — a rate of more than one killing every half hour for the last seven years. What is worse, these are estimates from the Mexican government, which is known to deflate the actual death toll by about 50 percent.”

  Alfredo Estrella, Agence France-Presse/GETTY IMAGES

2. The U.S. military and intelligence communities collaborate with and empower acorrupt narco-state in Mexico.

1                                             Daniel Aguilar/GETTY IMAGES
3. The DEA collaborated with the Sinaloa Cartel, providing them with support such asvisas and legal access to move drugs into the U.S., including inside of a cocaine-packed 747 cargo plane, in exchange for “intel” on the other cartels.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Selma's Truthful Martin Luther King

 A Radical Despised by the Establishment

This is not your sanitized, Hollywood version of Dr. King.
December 26, 2014
Selma trailer
As "Selma" opens in a number of cities this week and expands to nationwide release in a couple of weeks, the country is given a chance to assess the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement. Doing so is particularly relevant right now, in light of boisterous protests against police brutality that have been going on since the summer.
Selma has won nearly unanimous praise from film critics – it is currently perched at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes with dozens of reviews in – partly for its unflinching look at King as a true radical who upset not just a fringe of racists in the South, but the entire political establishment. Writing in Time Magazine, nonprofit leader Salamishah Tillet praises the film for reclaiming “Hollywood's sanitized versions” of Dr. King as simply part of a “simple story of American racial progress.”
In the conventional wisdom, King was a beloved figure who worked with national politicians to defeat a fringe group of Southern racists; Selma upends this narrative by showing King facing off not only with Alabama governor George Wallace but also the Democratic president Lyndon Banes Johnson (LBJ) and his FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. King, and all those who stood alongside him in the demonstrations in the South, are shown not as conciliators looking to simply make racial harmony through dialogue, but as both agitators and lawbreakers – in the most righteous ways.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Holiday Greetings from the UFW

Arturo and Sonia Rodriguez
As we enjoy the holiday season and look forward to the New Year, I want to ask you to join our holiday pledge drive. Please make your gift of any amount or even make a New Year’s resolution that lasts all year long by joining our monthly pledge program.
2014 was an extremely busy year for the UFW. We are proud of all we accomplished on a slim budget. We negotiated contracts for thousands of workers in the citrus, berry, wine grape, vegetable, flower and almond industries. We were able to improve each and every one of the UFW contracts we renegotiated.
Besides this, we are working intensely to bring the benefits of a UFW contract to the more than 5,000 workers at Gerawan Farming -- who sell their fruit under the Prima label. It’s a hard battle as Gerawan believes they are above the law. For the last three months our attorneys have been in court presenting testimony that Gerawan committed a litany of violations against its workers who are fighting hard for their contract. Already, more than  60 workers have testified in this hearing, many attesting to intimidation and unlawful company interference in efforts to get rid of the UFW. The hearings are expected to last through January and a decision isn't expected until at least next summer.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

La Pastorela de Sacramento 2014

Migrants are tempted by devils and consumerism
Archangel Gabriel defends migrants

Produced by La Raza Galeria Posada. Dec. 21, 2014. 
Note. The Sacramento Bee posted a story from the NY Times about a parallel event in Germany. They did not cover the one in Sacramento.  

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Win for the Cuban Revolution

Tom Hayden 
No one in the mainstream media will acknowledge it, but the normalization of American relations with Havana, symbolized by release of prisoners today, is a huge success for the Cuban Revolution.
The hostile US policy, euphemistically known as “regime change,” has been thwarted. The Cuban Communist Party is confidently in power. The Castros have navigated through all the challenges of the years. In Latin America and the United Nations, Cuba is accepted, and the United States is isolated.
It is quite legitimate for American progressives to criticize various flaws and failures of the Cuban Revolution. But the media and the right are overflowing with such commentary. Only the left can recall, narrate and applaud the long resistance of tiny Cuba to the northern Goliath.
For those actually supportive of participatory democracy in Cuba, as opposed to those who support regime change by secret programs, the way to greater openness on the island lies in a relaxation of the external threat.

U.S. Comes in from Cold War Cold - Recognizes Cuba

Latin America’s top officials appeared unanimous in their celebration Wednesday of a new chapter in United States-Cuba relations, which will witness the renewal of diplomatic ties and the easing of sanctions that have helped raze the Cuban economy.
Latin America has long lobbied the U.S. to lift its 55-year embargo against Cuba.
The changes will have a profound impact on Cuba — where isolation has fundamentally shaped the island’s economy, its politics and even its national identity.

[Ed. Note: The U.N. General Assembly voted against the embargo for the 22nd time in a row; while 188 countries voted to lift the embargo this time around, only two maintained that it should continue, the U.S. and Israel.]

Venezuela, Cuba’s strongest ally in the region, called the news a “moral” and “historic” victory. President Nicolás Maduro, whose own country is at risk of U.S. sanctions due to political repression, said the release of the three Cuban detainees marks “a victory for Fidel and the Cuban people.”
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto called Cuba a “brother country” that deserves “equal status and equal rights with all other countries of the hemisphere.” Peña Nieto said his government fully endorses normalized relations between the United States and Cuba, and will continue to take actions to support the island nation.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Ayotzinapa - The Mexican Federal Police were involved

A report by two researchers, one from Mexico and one from U.C. Berkely has made a major connection. They demonstrate that the Mexican Federal Police were significantly involved in the murder and disappearance of the students in Ayotzinapa and Iguala as protestors have long claimed.  This report reveals that the Mexican government has lied from the beginning.

At present the report has not received attention in the U.S., except on Huffington Report.  It has been published by Proceso in Mexico, a legitimate news magazine.

Mexico's federal police collaborated with local forces in the September attack on 43 students whose disappearance and presumed killings have led to mass protests in the country, according to an investigative report published Sunday in the Mexican magazine Proceso.
Federal authorities also likely tortured key witnesses who offered critical testimony for an investigation by the Mexican attorney general's office into the disappearances, the lead reporter for the Proceso story told The Huffington Post.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Join the Day of Resistance. 12/13/2014

SACRAMENTO PROGRESSIVE ALLIANCE: Join the Day of Resistance. 12/13/2014: The movement for justice launched almost exclusively by black youth in Ferguson this summer has turned into a wave of indignation sweepin...

The existing educational system will not solve our social problems

Things to No Longer Believe In, and Things to Do in 2015
by Jimmy Franco Sr.

We all have a general tendency to believe in myths that have been consistently repeated to us all of our lives as this type of conditioning process has instilled within our minds a subjective faith in certain feel-good concepts and abstractions that do not really exist. We are not born this way, but we are propagandized and programmed to accept as true what political authorities, schools and other social institutions implant within us even though many of these ingrained myths, concepts and historical occurrences that we are taught are often not real or actually didn’t happen within our society. So, there is a contradiction between what many of us have been conditioned to believe and what actually exists or simply put, illusions versus social reality. With the approach of 2015, we need to reject this conditioning process and discard most abstract concepts, theories and illusory beliefs that are detached from the objective world and which hinder us from confronting important social issues and changing conditions within our society…Here are some beliefs that many of us hold or have once held, that actually don’t exist or do not correspond to the real world. As such, they need to be discarded into the trash bin of 2014.

The existing educational system will solve our social problems:
The traditional message that we have all heard is to tell students to attend school and do well and that this effort will most likely produce a good future. However, this educational road is a lot more complicated and difficult than implied by this simplified message. Numerous young casualties are being left along the academic pathway as many students have tried their best in school and still have fallen by the educational wayside. While we should motivate

Ethnic studies courses develop academic skills & an enhanced sense of cultural pride
students to do well in school, the existing reality of an unequal educational system, poverty, parents working long hours to survive, inferior schools with low expectations and sub-standard teachers, effectively derail the enthusiasm and academic achievement of many low-income Latino students. Adding to this deplorable situation is the rapid increase in college tuition costs and resulting loan debt. These social and economic barriers are widespread in many of our schools and prevent many students with good intentions from not successfully completing their studies. Besides being supported and motivated to do well academically by family and friends, students also need to be encouraged by them to become involved in the growing political movement to reform and change their schools by demanding more funding and resources for their classrooms, a higher level of expectations and accountability from teachers and administrators and lower college tuition costs. The participation by students in this struggle to change and improve our schools is an important aspect of a student’s education and is a way for them to give back to their communities while enhancing their own world outlook and academic work. The ability of all students to actually have an equal opportunity to succeed in school requires that we continue our efforts to fundamentally change and reform our present educational system. Otherwise, a sizable number of these students with good intentions and who are trying their best will continue to fall through the educational cracks of a broken system.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Ethnic Studies to be required in San Francisco

Ethnic Studies Victory! San Francisco Unified, 3rd District in CA Making it a Graduation Requirement

The San Francisco Unified School District has approved Ethnic Studies as a graduation requirement.  SFUSD is the 3rd district in California, following the wake of El Rancho Unified and LAUSD.
Inspired by Ethnic Studies programs such as Raza Studies in Tucson and their struggle, high school and college students were joined by teachers, researchers, and the general community in this historic victory. 
Follow the legal battle for Raza Studies: The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will be hearing Maya Arce v. John Huppenthal on January 2015 .

"Ethnic Studies is a game changer in starting the process of loving ourselves...The more I learn about myself and my history the more open I am about learning your history and who you are, and thus our collective history..." - Ms. Kim-Shree Maufas

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Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Black Lives Matter + photos from around the nation

The Unprecedented Scale of the #BlackLivesMatter Protests
The past weeks have seen the largest number of Americans taking to the
streets since the Occupy and Iraq War protests. But what really sets
today's ongoing actions apart is that they are in so many cities—and spread
out across them.


Thursday, December 04, 2014

Black Prophetic Fire - A Review

By Kurt Stand
On October 14, Cornel West spoke to a capacity crowd at the 5th and K Street Busboys and Poets bringing a message of hope and determination in the struggle for justice, a struggle that has grown sharper in recent years.  The occasion was publication of West’s new book, Black Prophetic Fire – an exploration of the contemporary relevance of the legacies left by Frederick Douglass, Ida B. Wells, W.E.B. DuBois, Ella Baker, Martin Luther King Jr., and Malcolm X.   A set of dialogues with Christa Buschendorf (a German scholar at the University of Frankfurt/Main specializing in African-American studies), the work emphasizes how these figures championed a different, alternative conception of US democracy by uniting demands for racial and economic justice.
Rejecting the caricatures and simplifications by which history remembers them, West reminds us of the prophetic tradition – the “Black Fire” referred to in the title – within the African American community, a tradition which strove for liberation from the shackles of racism by positing a vision of human liberation.   Each leader he discusses, in his or her own unique way, connected the dots that link the pervasive social and personal alienation inherent in a system of racial privilege to the exploitation and violence that pervades everyday life.   Thus, as they spoke out and organized against the horrors of slavery, lynching, and segregation, they sought not acceptance into an oppressive system, but rather social transformation that would make society worthy of inclusion.   Whether we look at the largely forgotten Ida B. Wells, whose pioneering role documenting the scourge of lynching served as a precursor to Progressive Era muckraking, or recall DuBois, whose towering intellectual importance has been placed in a corner by anti-Communism, dominant historical narratives leave out the substance of the struggles for equality that have been at the core of political struggles throughout our history.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Father of Missing Mexican Student Speaks Out as U.S. Protesters Stage Da...

Banned Mexican American Studies improved student achievement - Study

by Roque Planas
The Mexican-American Studies curriculum in Tucson public schools banned by the conservative-dominated Arizona legislature helped boost student achievement and offers a promising approach to bridge the achievement gap between Hispanic and white students, a new study says. 
The study, published in the December edition of the American Educational Research Journal, says that students who took the Mexican-American Studies courses when compared to Tucson students who didn’t take the courses. 
To test the effect of taking the defunct classes, the researchers used administrative data from the 2008 to 2011 school years to assess the relationship between taking the courses and high school graduation rates and performance on state standardized tests. 
Students who took the courses performed better on the state tests and graduated at a higher rate, the study found. 
“The estimated relationship between MAS participation and student educational attainment was surprisingly strong,” the study says. “These results corroborate findings that ethnic studies can lead to increased student development.”