- October 2014 (6)
- September 2014 (4)
- August 2014 (5)
- July 2014 (6)
- June 2014 (12)
- May 2014 (22)
- April 2014 (18)
- March 2014 (12)
- February 2014 (6)
- January 2014 (7)
- December 2013 (6)
- November 2013 (1)
- October 2013 (8)
- September 2013 (6)
- August 2013 (5)
- July 2013 (6)
- June 2013 (8)
- May 2013 (15)
- April 2013 (7)
- March 2013 (6)
- February 2013 (11)
- January 2013 (9)
- December 2012 (10)
- November 2012 (15)
- October 2012 (20)
- September 2012 (12)
- August 2012 (7)
- July 2012 (7)
- June 2012 (3)
- May 2012 (10)
- April 2012 (6)
- March 2012 (10)
- February 2012 (9)
- January 2012 (7)
- December 2011 (18)
- November 2011 (16)
- October 2011 (10)
- September 2011 (13)
- August 2011 (13)
- July 2011 (28)
- June 2011 (19)
- May 2011 (19)
- April 2011 (22)
- March 2011 (13)
- February 2011 (15)
- January 2011 (17)
- December 2010 (18)
- November 2010 (8)
- October 2010 (14)
- September 2010 (13)
- August 2010 (9)
- July 2010 (5)
- June 2010 (5)
- May 2010 (9)
- April 2010 (3)
- February 2010 (1)
- January 2010 (1)
- November 2009 (2)
- September 2009 (7)
- August 2009 (3)
- May 2009 (2)
- February 2009 (2)
- December 2008 (4)
- November 2008 (1)
- October 2008 (21)
- May 2006 (1)
My friend Donna Dymally was performing community service to work off a traffic ticket fine at Goodwill Industries International Inc.’s store in the Park La Brea area, Los Angeles 90036. Required to sign a waiver of liability for any injuries she might suffer to begin with, here is what she has recently had to endure:
On Monday, April 30, 2013, at approximately 1:57PM, I was doing community service at the Goodwill located at 817 S. La Brea, Los Angeles CA 90036. I was assisting an employee, Jennifer Sajia with moving a clothes rack when she accidentally ran over my right big toe with a clothes rack that was completely filled with garments.
I was informed by manager, Kelly White that I could call 911 but I would be responsible for all charges. Since I suffered a stroke last year, I have been unable to work and I am waiting on my disability payments to be approved, I could not afford to incur this additional debt. My daughter who works down the street came and picked me up shortly after.
I asked the acting manager, Kelly White if I could have a copy of the incident report for my record. She had me fill it out and I also gave her a hand written attachment of what occurred (which I wrote in duplicate) She informed me that Goodwill’s corporate office told her not to provide me with a copy. Kelly White did inform me that I could speak with corporate and gave me the phone number to call.
Upon immediately leaving the premises at approximately 2:08PM, I called corporate and talked with Goodwill representative Minerva (323) 223-1211. She told me corporate should respond to my call within 24 hours and that did not occur until today (May 2, 2013).
A male called me and failed to identify himself from the Goodwill corporate office. He refused to provide me with any record of the injury incident, refused to provide me with anything identifying how many hours of community service work I was credited with (so I cannot even determine if I have completed my assignment or not), and told me I would have to subpoena anything. He hung up without even giving me his name or title.
Here is my letter to the President of Goodwill, Jim Gibbons, which I sent before the guy called from their corporate office:
Jim Gibbons, President, Goodwill Industries International, 15810 Indianola Drive, Rockville MD 20855
Dear President Gibbons:
The California League of Latin American Citizens (CALLAC), an affiliate of the National League of Latin American Citizens (NLLAC), has received a request for assistance from Donna Dymally who has been performing community service in lieu of a traffic ticket fine at one of your facilities in Los Angeles. She was injured in the course and scope of her volunteer job and indicates that this may impact her ability to complete her community service.
Ms. Dymally is fully cognizant that she signed a waiver of rights concerning potential injuries during her volunteer duties. She does however need confirmation of the incident to provide to the Los Angeles Superior Court in the event that this adversely affects her legally. She indicates that in spite of being assured by her supervisor from Goodwill that the corporate office would respond to her within 24 hours and that the corporate office had directed that she not be provided with a copy of the incident report, that corporate has not returned her telephone call. Following is her narrative:
On Monday, April 30, 2013, at approximately 1:57PM, While doing community service at the Goodwill located at 817 S. LaBrea, Los Angeles CA 90036. I was assisting an employee, Jennifer Sajia with moving a clothes rack when she accidentally ran over my right big toe with a clothes rack that was completely filled with garments.
I was informed by manager, Kelly White that I could call 911
but I would be responsible for all charges. Since I suffered a stroke last year, I have been unable to work and I am waiting on my disability, I could not afford to incur this additional debt. My daughter who works down the street came and picked me up shortly after.
I asked the acting manager, Kelly White if I could have a copy of the incident report for my record. She had me fill it out and I also gave her a hand written attachment of what occurred (which I wrote in duplicate) She informed me that corporate told her not to provide me with a copy. Kelly White did inform me that I could speak with corporate and gave me the phone number to call.
Upon immediately leaving the premises at approxmately 2:08PM, I called corporate and talked with Goodwill representative Minerva (323) 223-1211. She told me corporate should respond to my call within 24 hours and that has not occurred to date.
Miya Dymally [phone number]
Jennifer Sajia – Goodwill employee
Evelyn Alvarez – Goodwill employee
Kelly White – Acting manager
Nina – Goodwill customer [phone number]
Local Goodwill (323) 931-3239
We would appreciate it if you would direct your personal attention to this matter to insure that Ms. Dymally receives proper and appropriate documentation of this matter to document for the court that she may not be able to timely complete her community service requirement.
Respectfully Yours, Jan B. Tucker, State Director, CALLAC
Okay, Goodwill shouldn’t have pissed me off by shafting one of my friends. Over the years, I’ve heard other horror stories about how they exploit their workers but these were always anecdotal and second or third hand. Now I know the story from the horse’s mouth. So, the first thing I do is check the IRS Form 990 for 2012 for Goodwill Industries International, Inc. Guess what: the 990T they filed for 2012 claims that their business is “real estate rental.” So I get confused. I started with Goodwill Industries International because that’s the entity which operates the Goodwill Industries website.
Turns out that Goodwill is locally incorporated all over the place as separate entities. There’s Goodwill Industries of Southern California whose Form 990 for the period ending December 31, 2011 shows that it’s gross revenue was $145,296,438.00. The compensation of Douglas H. Barr, listed as President and CEO, was $1,075,614.00 plus an additional $113,119.00. The total compensation of Officers and Directors of the company was listed as $3,763,936.00 compared with other salaries and wages, i.e., the rank and file workers: $33,676,900.00.
Do you think it’s right that the poverty pimps at the top are so highly paid as a percentage of total wages? I don’t.
A man who worked for Goodwill in Oregon and tried to unionize his store didn’t think so either. Here’s an excerpt from a blog he wrote about his efforts (see the full story at http://amongstthemeek.blogspot.com/2011/09/my-letter-of-resignation-to-goodwill.html):
I haven’t posted on here for a while now. There has been a reason for that. I have been trying to unionize my workplace, Goodwill Industries of the Columbia Willamette which is located in Portland Oregon and the surrounding areas. It will actually be my former workplace as of this morning. My decision to resign has been a long time coming. I had been one of the employees from the beginning to try to get GICW employees to join a union since last fall. That fall I approached another employee about it, Doug M., and the next day we had an anti-union meeting with two of the higher ups in the company. Obviously you just can’t trust some people. You’ll read about the higher ups later.
So, what can I say: fuck Goodwill and fuck the horse they rode in on. Unionize Goodwill. Boycott Goodwill. Take action.
What am I going to do? I’m going to seek action in the legislature to:
- Outlaw companies benefiting from community service, i.e., slave labor imposed by the courts on the poor, from making them sign waivers of liability for workplace injuries
- Require that community service workers and other volunteers have a right to review records kept about them on the same basis as employees under Section 1198.5 and Section 432 of the California Labor Code
- Require that tax exempt non-profit corporations agree to union-neutrality and neutral card-check rules to enable their employees to form and join unions without management opposition or interference
If you want to help, call, write or email your Assembly member and State Senator and tell them you want these reforms enacted into law.
May 25, 2013 12 noon until 12 midnight — 2277 El Dorado Street, Torrance CA 90501
The last weekend in May 1997, Gyula Tamas Zubovicz (the Dracula of the Dracula Crime Family of the Hungarian Mafia) was murdered on the orders of Semion Mogilevich (head of the Red Mafiya), but he survived having his legs blown off, only to be poisoned in his hospital bed. However, nobody cut off his head, put a stake through his heart, or dragged him out into the sunlight. We had him buried in Transylvanian Earth, so he is just resting until he gets better.
William Marshall, the actor who played Blacula, died June 5, 2003.
The only person who knew both Dracula and Blacula is Jan B. Tucker, who wears the ring of Dracula, cast from the original mold from which Bela Lugosi’s ring was made.
Join us for the annual Dracula party, now renamed to include our brother Blacula for the 10th anniversary of his going to the land of dead, so that we can resurrect them into the land of the undead by consuming BBQ Blutwurst (Body of Dracula) and Vampire Label Red Wine imported from Transylvania (Blood of Dracula) as the sacraments of resurrection.
Potluck–email for suggestions, email@example.com
Facebook Event page for RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/231572956985194/
The Small Freaky World of White Collar Crime
If you watch television and follow series like HBO’s the Sopranos or USA Network’s White Collar you might get the impression that the white collar crime world is a very small one in which there are never more than two or three (or less) levels of separation or connection between different criminals and different crime organizations. The fact is, it’s more like a Venn Diagram with multiple overlapping social circles of criminals and criminal organizations. In fact, it resembles the line of actor Robert Davi (playing “Franz Sanchez”) in the James Bond flick License to Kill when he tells his potential business partners, “Drug Dealers of the World Unite.”
Time and again, I wind up investigating the same criminals over and over and over again, sometimes for their honest adversaries, sometimes in conjunction with or directly for law enforcement agencies, and sometimes for their former criminal rivals who are attempting to stay out of trouble. During the trial of United States vs. Anthony Pellicano et al (et al = “and others”), when I was court appointed to investigate on behalf of one of Tony’s co-defendants who was adversarial to his interests, well over twenty (20) times (I eventually lost count) I had to advise my client of potential or theoretical conflicts of interest based upon my past investigations of names that kept surfacing. They ranged from people involved with the Hungarian Mafia to the Red Mafiya to the Jewish Defense League.
I’ve been on an international financial investigation over the past several years involving some serious money laundering that took on a whole new meaning with the banking melt down in Cyprus. Already, there had been some people involved that I’d investigated in the past for other clients. Then in the past few days, a name surfaced that blows everything out of proportion and puts it in a whole new light: Amr Ibrahim Elgindy.
Before I get to Elgindy’s role in this whole jigsaw puzzle of a case, review my previous posting that relates to a number of the players: http://janbtucker.com/blog/2011/09/02/information-wanted-dead-alive-or-otherwise/
Additionally, before I deal with Elgindy and what he’s been up to, let me recount a timeline to see if you, my readers, think it’s suspicious or whether I’ve just seen too many film noir movies. Unless otherwise specified, the following timeline has to do with a “Mr. L:”
6/29-30/09—ATM withdrawals in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
7/3/09—Purchases Spanish airline ticket
7/6/09—ATM withdrawal in Madrid, Spain
7/8/09—Makes an online transaction using a British firm, brzsupport.com
7/9-10/09—Financial transactions in North Carolina
7/10-7/14/09—series of financial transactions in Greece. Now, here’s where it gets really interesting, because my reliable confidential sources tell me that Mr. L didn’t want a financial paper trail leading to him going to Cyprus where Red Sea Investments (linked with Red Sea Management) happened to have an office, so he flies in to Greece and from there pays cash for a boat trip over to Cyprus.
7/14/09—Mr. L flies back in to LAX (Los Angeles International Airport for all you non-SoCal types)
7/28-8/16/09—Mr. L carries on a flurry of activity in Natick MA, August ME, Boston MA, Tampa FL, New York NY, West Hollywood CA, and finally Jamaica NY.
Why is the link to Red Sea Investments so intriguing? Well, Red Sea Investments was linked up the Kazoo to Sentry Global Securities. Check out this February 18, 2011 Reuters story:
(Reuters) – CO2 Tech Ltd, a publicly traded company that lured investors with claims about products and services to fight global warming, was full of nothing but hot air, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said on Friday.
It said the U.S. Justice Department had filed criminal fraud charges against six men, including stock promoters and traders, involved in a so-called “pump-and-dump scheme” built around shares of the company, which was purportedly based in London but had no significant assets or operations.
Pump-and-dump is a form of stock fraud in which promoters “pump up” or artificially inflate a company’s share price, usually through false or misleading press releases or other public statements, and then “dump” the stock at a profit.
According to an SEC civil complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, the CO2 Tech scheme generated more than $7 million in illicit profits from sales of CO2 Tech stock, traded in the Pink Sheets, between late 2006 and April 2007.
The scheme was perpetrated through Red Sea Management Ltd, a Costa Rican asset protection and offshore investments company founded and led by Jonathan Curshen, the SEC said.
It said Curshen, a dual U.S.-UK citizen who lives in Sarasota, Florida, was free on conditional release pending his sentencing in another, unrelated, securities fraud case.
Curshen was instrumental in establishing the business plan that allowed him and his co-defendants to sell CO Tech stock at artificially inflated prices and bilk unsuspecting public investors out of millions, the SEC said.
An attorney for Curshen, 46, could not be reached for immediate comment. But the SEC said entities affiliated with Red Sea, which was founded in 1998, included Sentry Global Securities, a broker-dealer licensed by St, Kitts and Nevis, and Sentry Global Trust, Ltd, a St. Kitts-incorporated trust.
Red Sea had true global reach, as it used a web of nominee brokerage accounts to sell massive quantities of stock in a firm supposedly set up to save the world from greenhouse gas emissions, the SEC said.
It said the company had opened bank accounts for shell corporations in countries including the Republic of Seychelles, Cyprus, Panama and Tanzania as part of its fraudulent stock scheme.
(Reporting by Tom Brown; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)
Now let’s get back to a prior timeline in Mr. L’s activities:
9/18/08—wire transfer from Sentry Global Securities (SGS) to Mr. L, $850,000
9/19/08—wire transfer from SGS to Mr. L, $850,000
9/23/08—wire transfer from SGS to Mr. L, $700,000
9/24/08—cash withdrawal from account by Mr. L, $2,000,000
9/24/08—cash withdrawal from account by Mr. L, $5,000
9/25/08—Domestic Funds Transfer from Mr. L to Hoffman & Pollok, a New York white collar criminal defense law firm, $25,000
10/8/08—wire transfer from SGS to Mr. L, $600,000
10/8/08—wire transfer from Mr. L from one of his accounts to another, $750,000
10/9/08—wire transfer from SGS to Mr. L, $250,000
10/9/09—wire transfer from Mr. L. from one of his accounts to another, $1,000,000
10/14/08—wire transfer from SGS to Mr. L, $850,000
10/30/08: Now here’s the big one: from various wire service reports:
U.S., Costa Rican police raid San
José office in $100M fraud investigation
U.S. agents and Costa Rican police yesterday raided Red Sea/Sentry Global offices in downtown San José, seizing documents in an investigation of a $100 million U.S. fraud scheme, according to wire reports.
The raided offices house branches for the firms Red Sea Management, Sentry Global Trust, Sentry Global Securities and Global Financial Logistics, AFP news agency reported.
The raid is in connection with an FBI sting in New York that led to the arrest of Jonathan R. Curshen, who is the Caribbean island St. Kitts and Nevis’ honorary consul to Costa Rica, on fraud allegations in September.
What’s wrong with this picture?
Don’t tell me that the Feds and other international law enforcement agencies and prosecutors don’t have access to the same kind of information I’ve outlined above. They would all have to be completely, utterly and totally incompetent not to have gotten the kind of stuff I’ve gotten on this case. So, what explains why Mr. L has not been indicted along with everybody else involved with Sentry Global? Inquiring minds want to know!
Based upon my background, training, education and experience, the timeline in which Mr. L apparently retains a white collar criminal defense firm in the middle of what a reasonable spectator would see as potentially suspicious (like, money laundering) and then continues to receive huge wire transfers shortly before the raid on Sentry’s Costa Rica offices suggests a scenario I’ve seen plenty of times in the past. If I was in Mr. L’s shoes and a federal prosecutor’s shoes, I’d get a deal with Mr. L to agree to a sealed indictment and then continue to have him act as a “confidential human source” (a fancy federal term for a snitch). He’d need a firm of the caliber of Hoffman & Pollok to negotiate such a deal for him.
Enter “Anthony” Elgindy
There are two small world stories involving Elgindy with me. First and most peripheral is that his brother used to be press spokesperson for then-Rep. Cynthia McKinney of Georgia. My great old friend Jeff Pilch also used to be on Cynthia’s staff, I admire a lot of her political endeavors, and we collaborated to an extent on the Peace & Freedom Party presidential campaign of Roseanne Barr.
The other story involves my past investigation of Elgindy, who also just happened to be incarcerated at the same time as some of my clients in Terminal Island federal prison in San Pedro, California. Amongst other things, Elgindy is notorious because, as pointed out by a May 25, 2002 New York Times article:
In a court hearing in San Diego, Kenneth Breen, an assistant United States attorney, said the adviser, Amr Ibrahim Elgindy, tried to sell $300,000 in stock on the afternoon of Sept. 10 and told his broker that the stock market would soon plunge. ”Perhaps Mr. Elgindy had preknowledge of Sept. 11, and rather than report it he attempted to profit from it,” Mr. Breen said. [Emphasis added]
According to sources who were then incarcerated with Elgindy at FCI Terminal Island, he was overheard having very interesting conversations on the telephone with certain parties, who for purposes of this article shall remain nameless and cryptic. His otherwise typical Anglo American wife would visit wearing very conservative Muslim garb.
Amongst his other exploits, Elgindy brought down with him two FBI Special Agents who went to prison or probation for unlawfully supplying him with confidential federal investigation information that he used for his pump-and-dump schemes. Wikipedia defines pump-and-dump schemes in part as:
“Pump and dump” is a form of microcap stock fraud that involves artificially inflating the price of an owned stock through false and misleading positive statements, in order to sell the cheaply purchased stock at a higher price. Once the operators of the scheme “dump” their overvalued shares, the price falls and investors lose their money. Stocks that are the subject of pump and dump schemes are sometimes called “chop stocks”.
While fraudsters in the past relied on cold calls, the Internet now offers a cheaper and easier way of reaching large numbers of potential investors.
Several episodes of the Sopranos describe how organized crime took control of brokerages to foment these schemes. For a detailed narrative of how these ripoffs took place, see http://www.sec.gov/news/testimony/ts142000.htm
In convoluted investigations of the sort in which I previously investigated Elgindy, one can never be certain of all the players, who the opposition is, who might also be out there investigating the same people for other players and other reasons; it’s always a big mess. So for example, in the investigation involving Elgindy, I wind up finding out that another Private Investigator [long time associated with the Jewish Defense League] just conveniently and temporarily wound up renting some space in a building that figured prominently in my investigation….right by a company whose principals believed that they’d been bugged…..and, some sources indicated to me that Private Investigator Anthony Pellicano, later convicted of illegal wiretapping on unrelated cases, was alleged by one of my sources to have has his finger in Elgindy’s pie.
A June 8, 2002 article in the New York Times indicated that:
a. Amr Elgindy was characterized as “…a liar and a thief who avoided prison mainly because of his willingness to turn in co-conspirators in stock frauds…”
b. A former SEC investigator is quoted as speaking of Elgindy as “He always had an in with somebody…If it wasn’t the authorities, it was the press.”
c. The FBI performed a search of Elgindy’s home about a month before the article appeared.
d. He was arrested in 1986 for ADW but the charges were dropped.
e. The government acknowledged in court that Elgindy’s “tips were valuable”regarding Wall Street criminal activity.
f. Elgindy secretly recorded conversations and showed off a stack of taperecordings to a Barron’s reporter.
g. FBI Special Agent Jeffrey A. Royer wrote a letter on Elgindy’s behalf for a probation hearing.
h. The government investigated Elgindy’s place of an order to sell $300,000 in stock the day before 911.
During a prosecution of another man indicted for Securities Fraud based upon Elgindy’s instigation, the prosecutors conveniently failed to notify the defendant of any of the above information as required by the United States Supreme Court’s Brady vs Maryland decision as potentially exculpatory evidence. Before he himself went to prison, Elgindy boasted on his website that:
Anthony@Pacific is Anthony Elgindy, a professional securities analyst and trader with over a decade of experience. He is famous for consistently making successful short-sale trades in the face of a raging Bull Market.
Anthony is also an expert witness for securities cases, and has aided the Securities and Exchange Commission, the National Association of Securities Dealers, the Department of Justice, the Internal Revenue Service, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and numerous other U. S. Federal and State agencies in putting stock criminals behind bars.
Anthony’s professional successes have been covered by most major financial publications, including Forbes, Barrons, The Wall Street Journal, and ABC Television’s 20/20 and The Discovery Channel’s Justice Files.
Enter Mr. K
Mr. K figures prominently in my obituary [posthumous hatchet job] on the late attorney, Richard G. Sherman: http://janbtucker.com/blog/2011/06/22/richard-shermans-death-buries-more-than-one-body/
Mr. W, an Israeli national convicted felon racketeer of the Jerusalem Network (who probably started snitching off Israeli ecstasy dealers all over the world in exchange for early parole in the U.S. and for not being deported to Israel upon release from prison) introduced Mr. L to Richard Sherman and to Mr. K. These circles led Mr. L to get involved, according to my sources, with all sorts of shenanigans. Many of the schemes revolved around Las Vegas, and involved a financial chess game where properties were transferred back and forth, frequently by “auction” so that a loophole permitted them to escape IRS 1099 reporting of the value of the transactions.
These transactions also involved phony and inflated repair bills for these “distressed properties” and the filing of bogus claims and lawsuits on homeowners insurance policies based on those bills. In flipping the homes back and forth between various limited liability companies, foreclosures were used to cover purported losses for tax purposes. Mr. L’s role in these swindles in part was to supply diamonds to pay off people who to the government appeared to be losing money in these transactions. I’m told that $63 million was loaned by a now failed bank to finance these transactions (one of the bank’s former officers is now serving a term in prison over unrelated allegations). I’m also told that approximately $23 million wound up in a certain Israeli owned bank in Zurich, Switzerland in an account whose signers were Mr. L, Mr. K, and Richard Sherman.
My sources also allege that a lot of the money involved began in the criminal food chain with a trough of dough derived from sales of ecstasy, primarily by the Jerusalem Network.
Downright Despicable: Affinity Fraud Against Holocaust Survivors
Arguably the most degenerate, despicable, and egregious aspect of these criminal enterprises is that these criminal circles – many of whom were exclusively or predominantly Jewish—engaged in Bernie Madoff style “affinity fraud” against holocaust survivors. An SEC bulletin describes “affinity fraud” as:
Affinity fraud refers to investment scams that prey upon members of identifiable groups, such as religious or ethnic communities, the elderly, or professional groups. The fraudsters who promote affinity scams frequently are – or pretend to be – members of the group. They often enlist respected community or religious leaders from within the group to spread the word about the scheme, by convincing those people that a fraudulent investment is legitimate and worthwhile. Many times, those leaders become unwitting victims of the fraudster’s ruse. [http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/affinity.htm]
According to my informants, Mr. L, in connection with these Zurich banking transactions, traveled to Frankfurt, Germany, flying in with an Israeli passport. He then traveled to Zurich by train, paying cash, to avoid a paper trail on his credit cards and/or his United States Passport upon passing the Swiss border. Mr. L’s role was to induce holocaust survivors and their heirs who were applying to Swiss banks for reparations payments (due to the ripoff of their funds, see http://janbtucker.com/blog/2012/01/27/romneys-swiss-account-bank-that-stole-from-holocaust-victims/), to invest their funds in the same Israeli owned bank in which he had his joint account (with Mr. K and Richard Sherman) in Zurich. Again, according to my sources, in connection with an Israeli – Lebanese Banker and the Bank’s own compliance officer, who had cohorts in the Jerusalem Network of the Israeli Mafia, about $20 million from these funds was then embezzled.
The embezzlement involved the bank setting up Panamanian corporations (highly secretive financial structures) for the survivors. Accounts at the bank were then started for those Panamanian corporations. The accounts were then moved to another Swiss bank—one at the heart of the corrupt ripoff of Jewish accounts in the first place. With connivance from this Swiss bank’s compliance officer, when survivors (all of whom were elderly to begin with) died, their accounts wound up getting transferred over to Lichtenstein business entities which were the holders of the Panamanian corporations. From there, the money winds up going to Costa Rica—where, you guessed it, Sentry Global Securities just happened to be located!
More of the Usual Suspects
In an administrative proceeding, the SEC made the following findings of fact about a friend and colleague of Mr. L, Kenneth A. Orr [http://www.sec.gov/litigation/admin/34-50941.htm]:
A. Orr, age 38, was a registered representative associated with a registered broker-dealer, J.J. Morgan & Co., a brokerage firm later known as First Cambridge Securities Corp. (“First Cambridge”), and was a registered principal and president of First Cambridge from March 1994 until May 23, 1997. First Cambridge was registered with the Commission as a broker-dealer pursuant to Section 15(b) of the Exchange Act during the period of Orr’s employment.
B. On November 10, 1999, the Commission filed a civil action in federal district court against Orr and sixteen other defendants, charging Orr with violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 (“Securities Act”) and Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, in connection with the kickback scheme outlined in subparagraph III.C hereof. SEC v. Curtis, et al., 99 Civ. 7357 (E.D.N.Y.) (“Curtis”).
C. The Commission’s complaint alleged that, while employed at First Cambridge, Orr received undisclosed compensation for selling stock of ICIS Management Group, Inc. (f/k/a/ Alter Sales Co., Inc.), a Florida corporation, and Pilot Transport Inc., a Nevada corporation.
D. On September 13, 2002, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York entered a Final Judgment of Permanent Injunction and Other Relief as to Kenneth A. Orr in Curtis, permanently enjoining Orr from future violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act, and Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, ordering Orr to disgorge $55,000 in ill-gotten gains, approximately $44,000 in prejudgment interest, and post-judgment interest, and ordering Orr to pay a civil penalty of $55,000. Orr consented to the entry of the final judgment without admitting or denying the allegations in the Commission’s Complaint.
E. Additionally, on January 3, 2002, Orr pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to launder money. United States v. Orr, 99 CR 1019 (E.D.N.Y). On May 21, 2002, a judgment in the criminal case was entered against Orr. He was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to pay a $3,000 fine.
Interestingly and maybe coincidentally, Orr has enmeshed himself with an affinity group similar to those targeted in the scam against the holocaust survivors. From Orr’s own blog [http://orrkenneth.wordpress.com/about/]
Other causes that have benefited from the Orr Foundation’s contributions include Kick-It, Ascent: A School for Individuals with Autism, Mosdot Shuva Israel, American Friends of Meir Panim, Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, and The Brendan & Liam Shanahan Foundation. Kenneth Orr sits on the Board of Directors of Aish HaTorah and the North Shore-LIJ Health System New Leadership Division. He is a Trustee for the Old Westbury Hebrew Congregation…..
So here’s the intriguing thing. After I posted my September 2, 2011 blog that listed Orr, I get some very interesting documents sent to me by a whistleblower concerning a company called Ecologix Resource Group, Inc.. In speaking with the whistleblower, he indicates that the name of Mr. L’s primary public business entity sounded familiar. Before I get to the interesting linkages, here’s a tidbit about the company from Wiki Answers: “The Company was formerly known as Battery Control Corp. and changed its name to Ecologix Resource Group, Inc. on July 14, 2009. Ecologix Resource Group was founded in 2007 and is based in Beverly Hills, California” [http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Who_is_Ecologix_Resource_Group].
An internal shareholders report I obtained dated September 16, 2009 likewise lists the company’s address as SUITE 918 9903 SANTA MONICA BLVD BEVERLY HILLS CA 90212 but yet, the California Secretary of State’s online corporate indexing system seems to have no record of the entity under either Battery Control Corp. or any variation of Ecologix (there were three former “Ecologix” entities, two suspended and one dissolved, but all were formed in 2002 or before). The company’s last SEC filing indicated that it was a Delaware corporation (IRS No.: 980556644 | State of Incorp.: DE | Fiscal Year End: 1231) but given that it continues to list it’s headquarters in Beverly Hills (269 SOUTH BEVERLY DRIVE STE. 1197 BEVERLY HILLS CA 90212) California law requires the company to have registered as a foreign corporation with the California Secretary of State.
The shareholders report lists stockholders all over the world, with quite a few in Israel.
Although Kenneth Orr wasn’t listed as a shareholder, a Barbara Orr of West Palm Beach FL and Brooklyn NY owned 855,000 shares (Kenny’s mother according to one of my informants) while a Jacqueline Orr of New Hope PA owned 30,000 at the time the report was generated. Penson Financial Services, Inc. of Dallas—an entity that Mr. L had accounts with—owned 300,000 shares of Ecologix and Kenny Orr controlled Triumph Small Cap Fund, Inc. of NY owned 3,102,999 shares. Penson incidentally, also figured in a complicated series of financial transactions that attracted the likes of criminals from Bernie Madoff to Semion Mogilevich (head of the Red Mafiya, implicated in the assassination of Gyula Tamas Zubovicz amongst others) [http://www.calibratedconfidence.com/2011/12/chapter-7-bernie-madoff-cover-up-blind.html?m=1]. Also invoking my analogy of the Venn Diagrams and a series of overlapping circles, an internal spreadsheet shows numerous ties including wire transfers between an attorney, Mr. DLK, who is also associated with Mr. L. The spreadsheet must have been generated by an auditor because it contains a number of questions (in red, apparently literally raising “red flags”) on certain line items, such as:
What is Majorie Group and what is the nature of the expense?
Is this a loan with Azure? Need a copy of the loan agreement
Is this a loan? If so, from who?
What was this a payment for?
Who is JD Lauren? What is the nature of this expense?
This is a loan payment but I do not see a loan from him.
Was this paid to him for consulting services? Did he obtain any assets for the company with this money?
Get the picture?
Another of Mr. L’s cohorts is Eric Weichselbaum, who was President of the Swiss Forex Group and Secure Currency Investments, Inc. (a suspended California Corporation). In 2004 he was convicted in federal court [http://www.lawfuel.com/may-25-2004-lawfuel-the-former-owner-of-a-beverly-hills-inves/]:
May 25, 2004 – LAWFUEL – The former owner of a Beverly Hills investment firm has been sentenced to 46 months in federal prison for his role in a scheme that bilked investors out of more than $2 million dollars through a foreign currency options trading scam.
Eric Weichselbaum, 34, of Studio City, was sentenced yesterday by United States District Judge Percy Anderson. In addition to the prison term, Judge Anderson ordered Weichselbaum to pay $2.4 million in restitution to victims. Weichselbaum pleaded guilty in January 2003 to three counts of mail fraud.
In 2010, the sentencing judge issued a request by the United States Attorney’s office to order the sealing of a garnishment order concerning Weichselbaum to Mammoth Financial Services, Inc. based in Agoura Hills.
One of my sources claims (although I have seen no substantiating documents), that Weichselbaum was involved in auctions of homes in Las Vegas as described above, involving renovation and high priced sales with Israeli money that utilize a federal loophole in which no IRS 1099 is issued. This same source indicated that he assisted an individual currently serving time in Federal Prison to move about $500,000 to Israel.
The most surprising thing for me is that when I floated Weichselbaum’s name in this blog, out of the clear blue sky one of my completely unrelated clients in Nevada called and fingered Weichselbaum as a guy somehow associated with two of his own employees who’d embezzled a significant amount of money from his firm.
MORE TO COME, but meanwhile, you can help by circulating this blog to help me garner more information from the world-public at large:
As you have seen this is very unusual case that involves all sorts of white collar crime and I’m eager to get in touch with anybody who has information on any of the following people, places or institutions. Note that inclusion on the list doesn’t mean that they have done anything wrong; some of the people listed may be potential victims. Note also that some of these names may be very common so do not impute anything adverse just because somebody’s name might be in the list because of its commonality. If you know anything or know anybody who might know anything about these folks, bad, good, or otherwise, please e-mail me at:
1. Carmel Towers, Haifa, Israel (20-22 Hannah Senesh)
2. Dizengoff Models, Tel Aviv, Israel
3. Assaf Waknine
4. Hai Waknine
5. Meshulam Riklis
6. Norbert Aleman
7. Judah Hertz
8. Gala Asher
9. Kenneth A. Orr
10. Scott Kaplan
11. Eric Weichselbaum
12. Gyula Tamas Zubovicz
13. Semyon Mogilevich
14. Attorney Oscar A. Sabido, Belize City, Belize
15. Riverside Holdings, Belize
16. Union Securities of Canada
17. Caixa Galicia, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
18.David C. Ricci
19. Ronny Morales Salazar
20. Eric Ariav Weinbaum
21. Yitzhak Zigdon
22. Robert L. Weidenbaum
23. Michael S. Krome
24. Steven Rothschild
25. Barbara Rothschild
26. Tasha Utendahl
27. Sentry Global Securities and Sentry Global Trust, Ltd.
28. Penson Financial Services
29. Red Sea Management
30. Global Financial Logistics
31. CO2 Tech Ltd
32. Ryan Reynolds
33. Nathan Montgomery
34. Timothy Barham, Jr.
36. Amr Ibrahim Elgindy aka Anthony Elgindy or Tony Elgindy
37. Philip Gurian
38. Alter Sales Company, Inc. aka ICIS Management Group, Inc.
39. Roddy DiPrimo S.A.
40. Adler, Coleman Clearing Corp.
41. Louis Ottimmo
42. Anthony Ottimmo
43. EKN Financial Services, Inc. formerly known as Ehrenkrantz, King, Nussbaum Inc.
44. Philip Pritchard
45. Pietro Cimino
46. Global Development & Environmental Resources, Inc.
47. Red Sea Investments aka Red Sea Management Ltd
48. Jonathan Randall Curshen
49. Jeffrey A. Royer (incarcerated former FBI special agent)
50. Richard Gilbert Sherman (deceased attorney)
51. Jerusalem Network (Israeli Mafia)
52. J.J. Morgan & Co. aka First Cambridge Securities Corp.
53. Pilot Transport, Inc.
54. Ecologix Resources Group, Inc. aka Battery Control Corp.
55. Triumph Small Cap Fund, Inc.
56. Majorie Group
57. J.D. Lauren
58. Swiss Forex Group
59. Secure Currency Investments
60. Mammoth Financial Services, Inc.
61. Bruce Grossman aka Brushes L. Grossman
63. First Curacao International Bank
64. Andres O. Hayes
65. Lucia Shum
66. Rabbi Gershon Miletski
67. Industrial Biotechnology Corp.
My friend, attorney Bill Shibley, is the son of George Shibley, late esteemed defense lawyer for the Sleepy Lagoon defendants and for Sirhan Sirhan amongst many others in his distinguished career. Los Angeles Mission College is doing a commemorative event on May 8 for the historic and infamous Sleepy Lagoon frame up trial and the Zoot Suit Riots, an ethnic cleansing pogrom against Chicano/Mexicano and African American Zoot Suiters by American soldiers, sailors, and marines in 1943 Los Angeles:
Wednesday, May 8, 2013, 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
For more information: Contact: Darlene Montes, (818) 364-7792Honoring the 70th Anniversary of the
Sleepy Lagoon Trial and Zoot Suit Riots of Los Angeles WHO/WHAT: CSUN Chicano Studies Professor Dr. Jorge Garcia and Pasadena City College Social Science Professor Dr. Enrique Orozco will discuss the events that took place during the Sleepy Lagoon Trial and Zoot Suit Riots of the 1940’s.Specials guests Eleanor Mendiaz and Candace Leyvas-Fortythe, surviving niece and great niece of Henry Leyvas, defendant in the Sleepy Lagoon Trial.WHEN Wednesday, May 8, 2013 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.WHERE Los Angeles Mission College
13356 Eldridge Avenue
Sylmar, CA 91342Event Site: Campus Center Main
Sleepy Lagoon Trial and Zoot Suit Riots of Los Angeles WHO/WHAT: CSUN Chicano Studies Professor Dr. Jorge Garcia and Pasadena City College Social Science Professor Dr. Enrique Orozco will discuss the events that took place during the Sleepy Lagoon Trial and Zoot Suit Riots of the 1940’s.Specials guests Eleanor Mendiaz and Candace Leyvas-Fortythe, surviving niece and great niece of Henry Leyvas, defendant in the Sleepy Lagoon Trial.WHEN Wednesday, May 8, 2013 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.WHERE Los Angeles Mission College
13356 Eldridge Avenue
Sylmar, CA 91342Event Site: Campus Center Main
WHY: The event, co-sponsored by LAMC Chicano Studies
Department, MEChA, and Associated Student Organization
(ASO), is an informational session to provide students and the community with an overview of the incidents that lead to the Sleepy Lagoon Trial in 1942.COST FREE!INFORMATION John Morales, Chicano Studies Professor
Phone: (818) 364-7679
Phone: (818) 364-7679
My Note: The Los Angeles Plaza in downtown is technically “Fletcher Bowron Square.” Mayor Fletcher Bowron urged the MP’s and the Shore Patrol to unleash the soldiers, sailors, and marines so that they could continue to beat, rape, and otherwise fuck over Zoot Suiters during the riots. California League of Latin American Citizens (CALLAC) has long been demanding a historical monument at the plaza to memorialize that Fletcher Bowron was a pig and a racist. MAKE THIS AN ISSUE IN THE LOS ANGELES MAYOR’S RACE!–Jan B. Tucker, State Director, CALLAC
“Justice” Since the Sleepy Lagoon Case: Has anything changed?
According to Wikipedia, during the Sleepy Lagoon trial (People v Zammora et al):
Judge Fricke also permitted the chief of the Foreign Relations Bureau of the Los Angeles sheriff’s office, E. Duran Ayres, to testify as an “expert witness” that Mexicans as a community had a “blood thirst” and a “biological predisposition” to crime and killing, citing the culture of human sacrifice practiced by their Aztec ancestors.
People v. Zammora, 66 Cal.App.2d 166 (Oct. 4, 1944); in the appellate court decision it was noted that:
It was the contention of the prosecution that appellants had conspired together to commit murder, assaults with intent to commit murder, assaults with a deadly weapon and assaults by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury; that the objective and common design of such conspiracy was to wreak vengeance upon and against the so-called “Downey boys” who had allegedly assaulted some of the appellants earlier on the night in question; and that, in furtherance of such common design of revenge, and, as a natural and probable consequence of such common design and conspiracy, [66 Cal.App.2d 202] one or more members of such unlawful combination committed all of the crimes charged in the indictment. However, our examination of the record in this case convinces us that there is a complete lack of material and relevant evidence from which the jury could properly find or infer that appellants formed a conspiracy of the kind and type, or for the purposes, claimed by the prosecution. The most shown by the evidence is that appellants banded themselves together to “have it out … with their fists” with the “Downey boys” in retaliation for the fistic encounter that had taken place earlier that night. But, to say that they combined together with the avowed purpose of committing murder does violence to the factual situation presented by the record herein. There is also a total lack of evidence to show that any of the appellants murdered Diaz, and only the unsatisfactory evidence hereinbefore discussed in connection with defendant Parra to show that any defendant committed any assault with a deadly weapon. Indeed, respondents confess in their brief that “the evidence, however, in the hands of the prosecution unerringly pointed to the conclusion that some one or more of the defendants had been perpetrators of the crimes charged,” but we are not directed to any evidence in the record which identifies any of the appellants with the murder of Diaz or the assaults charged in counts II and III, except the testimony hereinbefore discussed as to appellant Parra in connection with the assault upon Joe Manfredi charged in count II.
So has anybody learned anything from the history of the Sleepy Lagoon trial or is it still the case as H. Rap Brown once put it, that “Justice in the United States means ‘Just Us White Folks?'”
In a case that I recently worked on–pro bono because the judge refused to appoint either myself or our expert witness psychologist and where the attorney wound up effectively pro bono after his meager retainer ran out–check out what the court allowed as admissible “expert testimony” — http://janbtucker.com/blog/2012/09/01/lapds-gift-to-ms-13-defense/
Here’s an excerpt from a brief I wrote for the defense in People v Irving Guevara regarding the so-called expert testimony given to the court by LAPD so-called gang expert Officer Edgar Muro:
At page 76 (Exhibit 2) of the Preliminary Hearing Transcript, the following exchange took place (with the exception that the word “Consafos” was mis-spelled as “Consados” in the transcript):
BY MR. YARDLEY:
Q IN CONNECTION WITH GANG — STRIKE THAT.
IN CONNECTION WITH MS GANG GRAFFITI AND
TATTOOS, ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THE LETTERS C.S?
A NO, I AM NO.
Q ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THE TERM CONSADOS?
A I’VE NEVER HEARD OF IT WITH THE EXEMPTION OF
WHEN IT WAS BROUGHT UP WHEN OFFICER BOYLE WAS ON THE
Aside from the fact that Officer Muro had several days between his testimony that of Officer Boyle, apparently he lacked the basic scientific curiosity or even normal human curiosity to take the time to find out why the question was being asked and what it’s relevance to the Defense might be, his (and Officer Boyle’s) lack of knowledge demonstrate that whatever the extent of their expertise, it is limited to a very recent time period. In 1993, Jose Antonio Burciaga wrote in “Drink Cultura: Chicanismo,” [Joshua Odell Editions/Capra Press, 1993] that Consafos has long term and deep meaning within Chicano culture, especially as it relates to graffiti:
At one time or another many of us have seen the c/s sign-off on Chicano ‘placas’ and graffiti in the Southwest or Midwest. It’s a very common Chicano symbol but its true origin and significance is nebulous. It is not a Mexican symbol but a Chicano, a Mexican-American, symbol. Its origin is unknown but, like the ‘Pachuco’, it probably originated in South El Paso’s ‘Segundo Barrio’. The c/s sign-off means ‘con safos’, and translates literally as “with safety.” It was meant as a safety precaution, a barrio copyright, patent pending. No one else could use or dishonor the graffiti. It was an honorable code of conduct, a literary imprimatur. Like saying “amen,” it ended discussion. Above all, it meant, “anything you say against me will bounce back to you.” Most kids respected a ‘placa’ if signed off with the c/s. Without that symbol, a placa would sooner or later get scribbled on or erased. Some kids would put a double c/s sign or put xxx after it, or a skull and cross bones, which physically threatened anyone who did not honor and respect the code. The closest possible Spanish word from which safos could have come would be ‘safo’ from ‘safar’, or ‘safado’, which translates to slip or slipped. This is a plausible definition since the c/s is meant to let insults slip off, to protect and shield from attacks. In a game of marbles, Chicano kids used the word ‘safis’ if they let the marble slip before shooting it in the right direction. By saying safis the marble shooter was allowed to try again. Some Chicanos will also end a placa, graffiti, with the message ‘con o sin safos’, which means that with or without safety, with or without this code, whether you like it or not, whether you insult me back or not, this placa, insult or praise, stands.
Within the context of the academic discipline known generally as “Chicana/o Studies,” to call ones-self an expert on gangs [in Exhibit 3, Officer Muro’s CV, he claims that he has expertise in “Identifying and photographing gang members/associates and gang graffiti”) without knowing the term Consafos or its abbreviation “c/s,” is considered laughable and nothing short of astounding. If indeed law enforcement gang expertise as taught in Los Angeles—home to more persons of Mexican descent than any city in the world save Mexico City—is unaware of the term consafos and/or the use of “c/s” in graffiti, by its nature it has to be so recent an invention as to be considered by analogy, a “recent fabrication” within the meaning of People v. Manson (1976) 61 Cal. App. 3D 102. Therefore, the test Kelly/Frye test of People v. Leahy (1994) 8 Cal.4th 587, 34 Cal.Rptr.2d 663; 882 P.2d 321 should apply, because the so-called science of insular law enforcement gang-expertise is in fact not generally accepted by the larger scientific community.
Here’s another problem with Muro’s testimony:
The literature which Muro’s CV contends he has read demonstrates that his opinions are selectively designed to dismiss anything that contradicts what he believes the prosecution wants him to say. For example, at page 45 of the Preliminary Hearing Transcript, Exhibit 4, in which he states:
Q DO YOU AGREE WITH OFFICER BOYLE’S ASSESSMENT THAT NORMAL GANG CODE IS — FROWNS ON THE KILLING OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN?
A I AGREE WITH THAT.
Q OKAY. AND DO YOU ALSO AGREE THAT THE NORMAL GANG CODE OF MS-13 FROWNS ON KILLING WOMEN AND CHILDREN?
A I BELIEVE THAT.
The literature and resources Muro cites for his qualifications in his CV contains much that contradicts this opinion and nothing whatsoever that supports it. There is in fact no responsible literature that supports the contention that MS-13 “frowns on the killing of women and children.” If Muro is reasonable, he cannot possibly believe this to be true and his statement to the court that he does should be analyzed in light of Section 125 of the California Penal Code: “An unqualified statement of that which one does not know to be true is equivalent to a statement of that which one knows to be false.”
Finally, what takes the cake as to the LAPD’s so called “expert” testimony in the Guevara trial is that they claimed, under oath, that Irving Guevara’s (a 16 year old high school student that was also working 40 hours per week) nickname of “Dreamer” was consistent with his having adopted a gang name. Many of my readers are in fact “Dreamers” and many others know exactly what is meant by a “Dreamer” in the immigrant community. It means that you are a DREAM Act student hoping to go to college even though you are an undocumented immigrant. In other words, the best of the best, not the worst of the worst of society.
In spite of the fact that the police and prosecutors acknowledged that Irving tried to interfere with the attempted murder of the victims by warning the victim’s girlfriend at the scene of the crime that the shooter had a gun and trying to get the victims’ group to flee the scene, and despite the fact that Irving later identified the shooter for the police, they charged him, claimed he was a member of MS-13 and tried to give him LWOP (Life Without Possibility of Parole). At the last minute, rather than either side throwing the dice at trial, we got him a deal for eight (8) years in prison (the other side’s offer had been 20 years).
Is it okay with you for business as usual in the courts for police “experts” to claim that a “Dreamer” is a gang alias and that you can be sent to prison for the rest of your life, or maybe given the death penalty for being a Dreamer? Since that is the current state of affairs in Los Angeles, then H. Rap Brown is still correct about our system of law…..so what are you going to do about it?
Former U.S. Representative Cynthia McKinney spoke last night at Chuco’s Justice Center (1137 Redondo, Inglewood) and as an added bonus, Kathleen Cleaver, Yale lecturer and attorney of Black Panther Party and Peace & Freedom Party fame, just happened to show up. Kathy had been in town for an event on Sunday which I missed (I was recovering from a trip with the National Brown Berets de Aztlan to Chicano Park in San Diego) and it was a real delight to get to meet her.
Cynthia is on tour promoting her new book, Ain’t Nothing Like Freedom. During the question and answer session, she responded to a question from Kathy about her views of President Barack Obama with some very choice insights:
The Black community fell head over heels in love with the white approved candidate
There has been the largest transfer of wealth out of the Black community since the transatlantic slave trade
This is how our President says hello to Africans: we are killing more people in Africa than ever before.
Although I’d met her late ex-husband, Eldridge Cleaver (author of Soul on Ice, 1968 Peace & Freedom Party presidential candidate, and Black Panther Party Minister of Information–the same title my friend Miguel Perez now holds with the Brown Berets) on a couple of occasions, I’d never met Kathy. I had heard stories about her from my old Black Panther and PFP friends over the years which led to my great admiration for her (far more than I ever respected Eldridge, a convicted rapist who in the 1980s became a Mormon, a Republican, and endorsed Ronald Reagan for President). I recall in particular one story illustrating just how hard those early days of the BPP and PFP were from my old and dear friend Trudy Saposhnek, who was transporting Kathy & Eldridge’s children around town in Los Angeles. A car backfired on the freeway and both of the children hit the floor of the car, ducking and covering because they thought it was gunfire. They were used to hearing gunfire around them.
Kathy had been Communications Secretary for the BPP and the first woman on the organizational decision making body. In 1968, she ran for the California 18th Assembly District seat as the Peace & Freedom Party candidate. It was a nice surprise for her when I told her I was going to send the photo of us to Lanric “Rick” Hyland (who managed Eldridge’s 1968 Presidential candidacy) and Elbert “Big Man” Howard, a founder of the BPP, both friends and colleagues of mine.
Well on to the next adventure: the revolution continues and whether or not it will be televised, it will be blogged…..
Guest Opinion, by Sherry Lear, Esq. & a leader of Miss Revolutionaries
Like many others, I was absolutely shocked to find out that Steve Landsburg had published a blog which posed the question:
“Let’s suppose that you, or I, or someone you love, or someone we care about from afar, is raped while unconscious in a way that causes no direct physical harm– no injury, no pregnancy, no disease transmission. (Note: The Steubenville rape victim, according to all the accounts I’ve read, was not even aware that she’d been sexually assaulted, until she learned about it from the Internet some days later.) Despite the lack of physical damage, we are shocked, appalled and horrified at the thought of being treated in this way, and suffer deep trauma as a result. Ought the law discourage such acts of rape? Should they be illegal?”
(For those who missed the original, it has been edited as of 4/5/2013, but the basic content is the same: http://www.thebigquestions.com/2013/03/20/censorship-environmentalism-and-steubenville/.)
Of note, this is the Third Question posed in the blog. The first two also present hypothetical questions about two individuals, notably each of those is given a name. The rape victim is not given a name, she is only identified as a female and presumed to be someone that the reader loves or cares about. From the moment of identification, the rape victim – and she would be considered a rape victim in any state in this Country as having sex with someone who is incapable of consent is the very definition of rape — is treated differently. She has no name but she is only considered to be worthy of consideration if she has a relationship to the reader – the very least of which is being someone that the reader must care about “from afar.”
What about the rape victim who fits this scenario but is NOT someone that the reader, or even society in general, cares about? What if the victim happened to be an unconscious child, of such a tender age that the child did not and could not appreciate that she (or he – please remember that 10% of male children in the United States are the victims of sexual abuse) had been violated? What about the drug addict or alcoholic homeless woman who has passed out lying in an alley who is raped? What about the woman, that someone else loves or cares about, but that the reader does not know? What about a woman (or man) who has been intentionally drugged so as to facilitate the act of rape? Are these victims not worthy of consideration? Why has such a limitation been placed that the victim must be someone of value to the reader? What does that say about society in general or the person posing the question?
The author of this piece has, it seems intentionally, asked the reader to assume an emotional connection with the victim. Notably, the presumed emotional connection is not designed or intended to show support for the victim; but rather, to point out what author sees as a flaw in logic by virtue of the reader’s reaction to the proposed scenario, as opposed to those proposed in Questions One and Two.
In Question One, Farnsworth McCrankypants suffers “deep psychic distress” from the mere idea of someone viewing pornography, even though McCrankypanks does not believe that pornography causes bad behavior. Landsburg asks if Farnsworth “preferences” are to be considered when making public policy relating to pornography or used as an argument for discouraging pornography through taxation or regulation. Landsburg’s opinion about this is obvious from the title to the article which references this as “censorship.”
In Question Two, Granola McMustardseed, a female, suffers from psychic distress at the idea of altering the natural state of a wilderness area. Landsburg asks if the psychic harm suffered by Granola should be considered, for example, as a reason to discourage oil drilling in in Alaska even if she has no plans to visit that area or “derive any other direct benefits from it.” Again, the title to this article gives us a clue to Landsburg attitude about Granola since he sums up such concerns as “environmentalism.”
The MetaQuestion then posed is what is the critical difference between Questions 1, 2and 3 if the answers to these questions are not all the same.
There are many issues which could be addressed. I will only attempt to tackle a few. First, is the hypotheticals themselves. As I have already noted, both of the “victims” in Questions One and Two are given names. Those names, standing alone, carry certain judgments about person being discussed. One can imagine an elderly, White, Christian male of conservative values and political affiliations as “McCrankypants.” The very name makes Farnsworth an unreasonable person. Granola, on the other hand, conjures up images of an “environmentalist” – read tree-hugging hippy-type — who is equally unreasonable. While all three questions are posed as hypotheticals, Questions 1 and 2 carrying enough stereotypical images that the reader can create an image of a person – one that the reader may likely already have some preconceived biases(either positive or negative) about.
Going back to Question One – Farnsworth is painted as unreasonable by virtue of the fact he hates the mere idea of people looking at pornography but has no concern about or belief that pornography causes bad behavior. The question does not even assume that Farnsworth has a religious or moral objection to pornography – he just does not like the mere “idea” of someone viewing pornography – even if he does not see that act or never sees the pornography himself. Thinking more deeply, does a person like Farnsworth actually exist? Most who would regulate or “censor” pornography (a word which in itself carries negative judgments) – even the stereotypical elderly, White, Christian male with conservative political leanings – are able to articulate some rational for doing so. Farnsworth is not afforded such an opportunity. Why is this? With the scenario described, Farnsworth is actually someone who does not exist. Thus, his“preferences” would never bear on public policy or legislation.
On to Question Two – the hypothetical again lacks critical details. When Landsburg uses the term “a wilderness area,” what does this refer to? Wilderness in terms of undeveloped, virgin land? Who owns this wilderness? Has it been designated as “wilderness” by the United States Government (a designation which carries very specific meaning and protections) or some other country? Is there anything unique to this wilderness – be it in the flora, fauna, history or the location itself? How much flora and fauna does this wilderness area support and will the alteration of the wilderness area have a negative effect on these life forms? Moreover, are there humans (since Landsburg seems to assume that human needs are all that matter) who are presently deriving some sort of “benefit” from the wilderness in question besides Granola? Question Two also overlooks the fact that Granola may derive some benefit without visiting the wilderness –such as enjoying photographs of it or even some sort of natural product (think organic honey) that may be gathered there.
Unlike Farnsworth, Granola can be a real person. There are many people (some who may call themselves environmentalists and others who may not) who find the idea that virgin wilderness, undisturbed by humankind, has a value in and of itself. Why is Landsburg so quick to dismiss this? Landsburg then moves on to ask the question if Granola’s concerns (which are initially described as for “a wilderness area”) should be considered when deciding to drill for oil in Alaska. Well, there are parts of Alaska that are designated as wilderness and parts that are not. That wilderness also has some unique values in and of itself – such as supporting species of endangered animals, containing important layers of permafrost, etc. etc. But, Landsburg’s blog minimizes the entire environmental movement by claiming that the concerns of a person with no plans to visit a wilderness area being proposed for oil drilling should not be considered when making public policy. Granola concerns are not invalid, nor is a concern for preserving wilderness overall one that should be invalidated.
In contrast,the Third Question is far from a hypothetical. It is a direct correlation to an actual rape scenario, one which has garnered national attention, response and, rightly, outrage. The Steubenville victim is not a stereotype but a real person. Moreover, she is one of hundreds of thousands of rape victims in the United States. She is a victim of an acquaintance rape –having been raped by someone that she knows – and not a stranger rape. She was intoxicated at the time of her rape,which is also a common scenario for many rape victims. She is not merely sitting in her home and suffering from psychic distress as the thought of what someone else might be doing in a place far, far away, as part of an act which she herself will never witness. Moreover, we have all also witnessed this act by virtue of the publication of photographs showing her unconscious and naked body being dragged about in a room full of partygoers. We not only know that this woman was violated, but we have seen it displayed – across the Internet – – where she has been violated all over again.
Landsburg is troubled by the fact he can find no reason for the victim (or the reader) to be upset by finding out about a rape which occurred when “safely unconscious” and therefore, “shielded from the costs of an assault.” Clearly, the Steubenville victim was not “safe”when she passed out intoxicated and was dragged around a party by a rape crew,photographed and left violated. Clearly, she was not shielded from the “costs” of an assault. There are many, many rape victims – intoxicated or not – who pass out or black out during the act and are unable to remember all, part or much of it. This is quite common as the brain, once it perceives that the assault cannot be prevented, will go into a crisis reaction mode. The normal human reaction of fight having been overcome by the perpetrator will turn to flight – which might be that therape victim’s subconscious blocks memory of the attack. But such “relief” may be only temporary. Many, many victims of rape block these events from memory for months and even years, only to have some trigger bring the event back to memory and, along with it, very real psychological trauma.
Landsburg clearly knows little, if anything, about the realities of rape, the psychological effects on the victim or the reactions of rape survivors. His comment that rape can ever cause merely “psychic harm” shows he has little understanding of the female anatomy. Having a foreign object penetrate a vagina that is unprepared for such penetration and without consent is, by definition, a physical harm. There are many physical changes which need to occur in a women’s body to ready it for sex, for example, increased blood flow to the sexual organ area, swelling, the loosening of vaginal and cervical muscles and creation of lubrication to allow the object to move into the vagina without discomfort or damage.
Rape in and of itself is a physical damage. To equate being raped with being penetrated by photons (light particles) from a street lamp is an extremely poor analogy and even more dismissive than Landsburg’s attitude toward environmentalists who want to save wilderness areas from desecration.
Sex is the most personal of contact that any two human beings can have. It can, and must, require consent. A sexual penetration achieved without full, willing and knowledgeable consent of both parties is a rape. If we allow someone to “reap the benefits” of such a penetration without consent, or even consider the idea of legalizing such action if the perpetrator takes efforts to make sure the victim does not remember the assault, then what are we condoning? It must involve some act to render the rape victim unconscious; an act which would, again, be done without consent. Would that involve physically knocking the victim out, administering drugs, hypnosis? If a would-be rapist comes upon a person who is unconscious for whatever reason (asleep, ill, comatose, intoxicated)how would the rapist be able to ensure the victim would not wake up during the attack? Drugs? Chloroform? What if the drugs administered themselves cause a physical harm (separate from the penetration itself.) Would that be a crime while the rape is not?
If we, as a society, were to allow sexual penetration to occur in such a circumstance, what would we teach our children about this? Little Johnny or Jane, I want you to know that if you get drunk and pass out at a party, or you happen to be in a deep sleep, then someone is allowed to sexually penetrate you as long as you don’t know about it. And, it really is not a big deal since that person has not really “harmed” you. What parent is going to have this conversation with a child? None that I can imagine in any hypothetical.
On to Landsburg’s scenario, how can the rapist ensure that the act of penetration,done without consent on an unconscious victim won’t cause harm? A vagina can suffer tearing from consensual sex. What if the victim is a virgin and her hymen is torn during the act? Is that not a harm? How do we really know that the victim will not experience pain during the attack? As noted before, what if the memory of the incident and the pain come back months or years later? Can the perpetrator be prosecuted at that time? And who is the one to decide if the victim has suffered physical “harm.” Is it enough that the victim say something like, “I was passed out and I don’t remember the act, but I had spotting afterward or my vagina felt sore.” Who is to make such a judgment as to whether the “harm” was physical or “enough” to merit prosecution? What about a victim who suffers from PTSD (as many victims of sexual assault do?) Is this a physical harm? The questions are endless and so are the potential problems that allowing anyone to “reap the benefits” of non-consensual sex under any circumstance.
Is Landsburg actually serious when he proposes the idea that rape of an unconscious person be legalized if the perpetrator takes precautions “to ensure the victim never learns about it?” And why limit the scenario to sexual assault? What about the homeowner who leaves his home unlocked while away at work? Is there any physical harm, if a passerby enters the home and makes herself comfortable while the owner is gone? After all, the homeowner is not being deprived of the use of the home himself and so long as nothing is disturbed or removed, the homeowner will never know. So, why not let the passerby “reap the benefits?”
Which leads me to my last thought for this response. No one should ever “reap the benefits” of a sexual assault. There is no benefit for anyone in a rape. It is a dehumanizing and animal act, not just for the victim but also for the perpetrator. The very thought of legalizing rape, in any form or any circumstance, is not something which merits “critical thought.” It appropriatelymerits disgust and revulsion. And, I for one, am disgusted that someone who holds the position of professor at an institute of higher education would ever suggest this.
My commentary: Sherry has been careful and proper to avoid argumentum ad hominem (abuvise) terminology to refer to Landsburg. Normally, I am careful to do so as well, but in this case, I can’t refrain. He is either an idiot, an asshole, a male chauvinist pig (MCP) or some combination of the foregoing.
Americas and Caribbean Islands Union
NOTE: Ruben is my friend, companero and colleague, serving as State Director of the Pennsylvania League of Latin American Citizens.
By Ruben Barrera Botello, JD
Immigration is a major issue in the United States today. U.S. Latinos often express interest in this issue because of its direct impact on their families, schools, jobs, communities and governmental affairs.
Latinos are the largest minority group in the U.S. and in the following states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington and Wyoming (see factfinder2.census.gov). Most Latinos in the U.S. are not immigrants, but most immigrants in the U.S. are from Latin America — and especially from Mexico — while most U.S. Latinos are of Mexican descent.
Latino immigrants bring their languages, cultures and traditions with them from their native lands, and this adds to the sense of kinship or affinity many U.S. Latinos have with new arrivals. This natural phenomena makes it difficult to separate the two distinct groups of Latinos in the U.S. — immigrants and non-immigrants — when discussing the immigration issue even though most U.S. Latinos are not immigrants.
There are an estimated 942 million people in the Americas and Caribbean Islands: 346 million in North America, 200 million in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean Islands, and 396 million in South America (see http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/america.htm). Spanish-speaking Latinos are thus the majority population of the Western Hemisphere (see http://www.state.gov/p/wha/ci/), and the majority of immigrants in North America, while Spanish is their dominant language.
Latinos are not a singular race, color or nationality. Latinos include multilingual people from all the races, colors, nationalities, ethnicities, cultures, religions and creeds in the world. Because most U.S. Latinos are bicultural and bilingual (Spanish/English), they have helped build bridges of understanding and cooperation between the U.S. and the rest of the Western Hemisphere.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are around 52 million Latinos in the U.S. today. About 37 million of these Latinos speak Spanish, and over half of those fluent in Spanish also speak English.
The total population is expected to grow to about 132 million U.S. Latinos by 2050. An estimated 63% of U.S. Latinos are of Mexican ancestry, 9.2% Puerto Rican, 3.5% Cuban, 3.3% Salvadoran, 2.8% Dominican and 18.2% Others. (See http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/cb12-ff19.html )
Over 50% of the total U.S. Latino population lives in California, Texas and Florida (see http://www.census.gov/popest/data/state/asrh/2011/index.html). Almost five million Latinos live in Los Angeles alone (see a href=”http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-04.pdf”>http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-04.pdf). While most Latinos in California and Texas are of Mexican descent, most Latinos in Florida are of Cuban and Puerto Rican descent (see http://www.southbendtribune.com/sns-graphics-latinos-in-florida-gx,0,4916788.graphic).
The time has come for the U.S. government to go far beyond short-term solutions to immigration problems, especially as they relate to Latino immigrants. Instead of clashing over these problems from election-to-election, all the good citizens of the U.S., and of the rest of the Western Hemisphere, should be able to live, work, study, travel and conduct business and commerce freely throughout this region like European Union (EU) citizens do within their member states.
The Americas and Caribbean Islands need an international union (like EU) to tackle their major problems including human trafficking, drug cartels, community, business, economic, commercial and industrial development, terrorism, poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, hunger, homelessness, sickness, disease, natural disasters and unsustainable environments. Regarding immigration, law-abiding citizens in this proposed new union would be able to live, work, study, travel and conduct business and commerce freely throughout the Western Hemisphere, as EU citizens do over there.
THE EUROPEAN UNION
EU has proven multilingual people from diverse cultures and traditions are able to move freely from nation-to-nation, while living and working together to protect, preserve and promote their peaceful, civil and prosperous lifestyles. EU was established to end the frequent wars between neighboring European nations that resulted in World War II. It is now composed of 27 member states: Austria (1995), Belgium (1952), Bulgaria (2007), Cyprus (2004), Czech Republic (2004), Denmark (1973), Estonia (2004), Finland (1995), France (1952), Germany (1952), Greece (1981), Hungary (2004), Ireland (1973), Italy (1952), Latvia (2004), Lithuania (2004), Luxembourg (1952), Malta (2004), Netherlands (1952), Poland (2004), Portugal (1986), Romania (2007), Slovakia (2004), Slovenia (2004), Spain (1986), Sweden (1995) and United Kingdom(1973).
The structure of an Americas and Caribbean Islands Union could be similar to EU, as follows:
* European Parliament
* European Council
* Council of the European Union
* European Commission
* Court of Justice of the European Union
* European Court of Auditors
* European Economic and Social Committee
* Committee of the Regions
* European Central Bank
* European Investment Bank
* European Investment Fund
* European Ombudsman
* European Data Protection Supervisor
Other EU bodies include:
Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER)
Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC)
Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO)
European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA)
European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders (FRONTEX)
European Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice (IT Agency) – currently being set up
European Asylum Support Office (EASO)
European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)
European Banking Authority (EBA)
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)
European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop)
European Chemicals Agency (ECHA)
European Environment Agency (EEA)
European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA)
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)
European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (EUROFOUND)
European GNSS Agency (GSA)
European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE)
European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA)
European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA)
European Medicines Agency (EMA)
European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA)
European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA)
European Police College (CEPOL)
European Police Office (EUROPOL)
European Railway Agency – promoting safe and compatible rail systems (ERA)
European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)
European Training Foundation (ETF)
European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA)
Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (Trade Marks and Designs) (OHIM)
The European Union’s Judicial Cooperation Unit (EUROJUST)
Translation Centre for the Bodies of the European Union (CdT)
The following agencies operate within the framework of the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy:
European Defence Agency (EDA)
European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS)
European Union Satellite Centre (EUSC)
A prime example of how citizens of the Americas and Caribbean Islands can benefit from an international union is reflected in the EU policy that permits EU Nationals to travel in its passport-free Schengen area composed of:
Cross-border workers also have equal rights with native-born workers (see http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/work/cross-border-worker/your-rights/index_en.htm), and EU citizens are entitled to attend school in any EU country under the same conditions as nationals of that country (see http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/education/school/enroll/index_en.htm). EU workers, students and their entire families can also relocate and establish permanent residence in another EU country after living there for five years (see http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/residence/worker-pensioner/rights-conditions/index_en.htm).
Of particular interest is the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (see http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2010:083:0389:0403:EN:PDF). A similar Charter to protect, preserve and promote the fundamental rights of all the people of the Western Hemisphere would go far toward establishment of genuine liberty, equality and justice for all in this region of the world.
AMERICAS AND CARIBBEAN ISLANDS UNION (ACIU) PROPOSAL
Several Latin American countries are working, as a bloc (CELAC ) with EU, today. The Rio Group stands out as the most active and promising international alliance of sovereign states in the Americas and Caribbean Islands that includes: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay and Venezuela. Also known as the “Community of Latin American and Caribbean States” (CELAC), the Rio Group meets with the European Union every two years on a ministerial level.
CELAC, the U.S. and Canada are not working together, at this time. CELAC was established as an alternative to the Organization of American States (OAS), the regional body organised largely by Washington DC, in 1948 that has focused primarily on U.S. interests.
The following blocs have worked to integrate much of Latin America for economic and political purposes without an overall union:
– Latin American Integration Association (known as ALADI or, occasionally, by the English acronym LAIA)
– Central American Integration System (Spanish: Sistema de la Integración Centroamericana SICA)
– Mercosur or Mercosul (Spanish: Mercado Común del Sur, Portuguese: Mercado Comum do Sul, Guaraní: Ñemby Ñemuha, English: Common Southern Market)
– Organization of American States (OAS)
– Union of South American Nations (Dutch: Unie van Zuid-Amerikaanse Naties – UZAN, Portuguese: União de Nações Sul-Americanas – UNASUL, Spanish: Unión de Naciones Suramericanas – UNASUR)
– Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Spanish: Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños, CELAC, Portuguese: Comunidade de Estados Latino-Americanos e Caribenhos, French: Communauté des États Latino-Américains et Caribéens)
– Andean Community (Spanish: Comunidad Andina – CAN)
The Caribbean Community at http://caricom.org/ (CARICOM) brings together 15 states in the Caribbean, including Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Haiti, Jamaica, Grenada, Guyana, Montserrat, St. Lucia, Suriname, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago. There is also discussion about a more exclusive North American Union (NAU) between the U.S., Mexico and Canada.
All the above blocs, organizations and initiatives aimed at uniting various states in the Americas and Caribbean Islands lack overall coordination, commonality and cohesion. Some even work against each other to the detriment of their own citizens. Clearly, a more perfect union is needed to bring all the neighboring states of the Western Hemisphere together, as one Union, so they can work out their differences in a stable, peaceful and civil setting, and tackle the major problems they each and together face in strategic, coordinated and effective ways.
U.S. LATINOS SHOULD PROMOTE FORMATION OF THE AMERICAS AND CARIBBEAN ISLANDS UNION (ACIU)
Millions of U.S. Latinos raised the consciousness of America with a resounding vote in support of immigration reform, in the 2012 Presidential Election. This forced the major political parties to become more responsive to U.S. Latinos by promising immigration reform during President Barack Obama’s final term in office.
To most Americans, immigration reform does not even remotely include establishing an international union where people from all the races, colors, nationalities, ethnicities, cultures, religions and creeds in the Western Hemisphere can live, work, study, travel and conduct business and commerce freely, as do the good citizens of the European Union within their own member states. A major paradigm shift is needed, not only to tackle immigration problems, as we know and understand them to be today. U.S. Latinos need to promote unification of all the Americas and Caribbean Islands, in order to improve international relations and raise living standards for the almost one billion men, women and children in this region.
In the front lines of the pro-immigration movement that helped defeat the anti-immigrant forces during the 2012 U.S. Election were “DREAMers,” young Americans born in the U.S. whose parents were undocumented immigrants when they were born (see http://dreamact.info/). Millions of other U.S. Latinos supported the DREAMers and all immigrants working hard to feed their families here because, as mentioned above, U.S. Latinos have a sense of kinship or affinity with Latino immigrants and their families.
Latino students today are in a good position, to educate, advocate and work toward an international union like ACIU, in order to help improve the quality of life for all the people of the Americas and Caribbean Islands. This new union could create millions of new jobs, as well, and promote peace and prosperity throughout the Western Hemisphere.
Beyond immigration, several U.S. policies toward Latin America and the Caribbean seem to be in preparation for war and other armed hostilities against Latinos, the type of conflicts Europe was experiencing, as its nations were dragged into World War II over there. An ACIU modelled after EU could bring all the nations, states and territories of the Western Hemisphere under one umbrella, to work out their differences in a peaceful, stable and civil manner, in order to tackle their major problems together instead of resorting to more warfare and other hostilities.
As with immigration reform, U.S. Latinos need to encourage the U.S. government to work with the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and some of the other blocs mentioned above, to establish an integrated and democratic international union composed of all the nations, states and territories of the Western Hemisphere that choose to join. It may take decades to convince the U.S. government to join the rest of the Western Hemisphere, as a Union, but millions throughout the region would welcome this positive transformation in hemispheric relations.
U.S. Latinos who want to work toward an Americas and Caribbean Islands Union should begin by contacting the President of the United States in support of this innovative proposal (see http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact). They should follow-up by contacting their U.S. senators (see http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm) and congressional representatives (see http://www.house.gov/representatives/).
The National League of Latino Elected Officials should be contacted (see http://www.naleo.org/) along with prominent Latino organizations like the National Council of La Raza (see http://www.nclr.org/) and the League of United Latin American Citizens (see http://www.lulac.org/). Government officials, agencies and organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean Islands including those mentioned above should be contacted and encouraged to work toward such a Union.
Today’s Latino students are the future leaders of our thriving communities, and they must be prepared to help meet the growing demands Latinos are placing on society and government in a more responsive, productive and functional way. Opening doors for Latinos and other Americans, to lawfully experience life, liberty and happiness throughout the Western Hemisphere is a need best met by those who appreciate all the rich nationalities, cultures and traditions of this diverse region.
All students are encouraged to do extensive research, and to critically analyze and expand on this proposal’s innumerable possibilities in their classrooms, workshops, conferences, mass media and other publications, to educate themselves, their communities and society-at-large about the Americas and Caribbean Islands Union approach to hemispheric and world affairs. If Europeans can come together, as one Union after all their centuries of conflicts, wars and hostilities, the Americas and Caribbean Islands can, too.
– U.S. Census Bureau. American FactFinder, Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://factfinder2.census.gov
– Nations Online. The Americas and the Caribbean, Retrieved March 10,2013, from http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/america.htm
– U.S. Department of State. Countries and Other Areas of the Western Hemisphere, Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://www.state.gov/p/wha/ci/
– U.S. Census Bureau. Hispanic Heritage Month 2012, Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/cb12-ff19.html
– U.S. Census Bureau. State Characteristics: Vintage 2011, Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://www.census.gov/popest/data/state/asrh/2011/index.html
– U.S. Census Bureau. The Hispanic Population: 2010, Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-04.pdf
– South Bend Tribune. Graphic: Latinos in Florida, Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://www.southbendtribune.com/sns-graphics-latinos-in-florida-gx,0,4916788.graphic
– Europa –EU. Official Website of the European Union, Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://europa.eu/
– European Parliament. Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://www.europarl.europa.eu/portal/en
– European Council. Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://www.european-council.europa.eu/home-page.aspx?lang=en
– Council of the European Union. Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://www.consilium.europa.eu/homepage.aspx?lang=en
– European Commission. Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://ec.europa.eu/index_en.htm
– Court of Justice of the European Union. Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://curia.europa.eu/jcms/jcms/j_6/
– European Court of Auditors. Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://eca.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/eca_main_pages/home
– European Economic and Social Committee. Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://www.eesc.europa.eu/?i=portal.en.home
– Committee of the Regions. Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://cor.europa.eu/en/Pages/home.aspx
– European Central Bank. Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://www.ecb.int/home/html/index.en.html
– European Investment Bank. Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://www.eib.europa.eu/index.htm?lang=en&
– European Investment Fund. Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://www.eif.org/
– European Ombudsman. Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://www.ombudsman.europa.eu/home/en/default.htm
– European Data Protection Supervisor. Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://www.edps.europa.eu/EDPSWEB/edps/lang/en/EDPS
– Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER). Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://europa.eu/agencies/regulatory_agencies_bodies/policy_agencies/acer/index_en.htm
– Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC). Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://europa.eu/agencies/regulatory_agencies_bodies/policy_agencies/berec/index_en.htm
– Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO). Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://europa.eu/agencies/regulatory_agencies_bodies/policy_agencies/cpvo/index_en.htm
– European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA). Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://europa.eu/agencies/regulatory_agencies_bodies/policy_agencies/osha/index_en.htm
– European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders (FRONTEX). Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://europa.eu/agencies/regulatory_agencies_bodies/policy_agencies/frontex/index_en.htm
– European Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice (IT Agency). Retrieved March 10, 2013 from http://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/policies/borders/borders_it_agency_en.htm
– European Asylum Support Office (EASO). Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/policies/asylum/asylum_easo_en.htm
– European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://europa.eu/agencies/regulatory_agencies_bodies/policy_agencies/easa/index_en.htm
– European Banking Authority (EBA). Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://www.eba.europa.eu/Home.aspx
– European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://europa.eu/agencies/regulatory_agencies_bodies/policy_agencies/ecdc/index_en.htm
– European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop). Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://europa.eu/agencies/regulatory_agencies_bodies/policy_agencies/cedefop/index_en.htm
– European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://europa.eu/agencies/regulatory_agencies_bodies/policy_agencies/echa/index_en.htm
– European Environment Agency (EEA). Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://europa.eu/agencies/regulatory_agencies_bodies/policy_agencies/eea/index_en.htm
– European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA). Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://europa.eu/agencies/regulatory_agencies_bodies/policy_agencies/efca/index_en.htm
– European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://europa.eu/agencies/regulatory_agencies_bodies/policy_agencies/efsa/index_en.htm
– European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (EUROFOUND. Retrieved March 28, 2013, from http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/
– European GNSS Agency (GSA). Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://europa.eu/agencies/regulatory_agencies_bodies/policy_agencies/eurofound/index_en.htm
– European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE). Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://europa.eu/agencies/regulatory_agencies_bodies/policy_agencies/eige/index_en.htm
– European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA). Retrieved March 10, 2013, from https://eiopa.europa.eu/home/index.html
– European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA). Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://europa.eu/agencies/regulatory_agencies_bodies/policy_agencies/emsa/index_en.htm
– European Medicines Agency (EMA). Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://europa.eu/agencies/regulatory_agencies_bodies/policy_agencies/ema/index_en.htm
– European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://europa.eu/agencies/regulatory_agencies_bodies/policy_agencies/emcdda/index_en.htm
– European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA). Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://europa.eu/agencies/regulatory_agencies_bodies/policy_agencies/enisa/index_en.htm
– European Police College (CEPOL). Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://europa.eu/agencies/regulatory_agencies_bodies/pol_agencies/cepol/index_en.htm
– European Police Office (EUROPOL). Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://europa.eu/agencies/regulatory_agencies_bodies/pol_agencies/europol/index_en.htm
– European Railway Agency – promoting safe and compatible rail systems (ERA). Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://europa.eu/agencies/regulatory_agencies_bodies/policy_agencies/era/index_en.htm
– European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) . Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://www.esma.europa.eu/
– European Training Foundation (ETF). Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://europa.eu/agencies/regulatory_agencies_bodies/policy_agencies/etf/index_en.htm
– European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://europa.eu/agencies/regulatory_agencies_bodies/policy_agencies/fra/index_en.htm
– Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (Trade Marks and Designs) (OHIM). Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://europa.eu/agencies/regulatory_agencies_bodies/policy_agencies/ohim/index_en.htm
– The European Union’s Judicial Cooperation Unit (EUROJUST). Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://europa.eu/agencies/regulatory_agencies_bodies/pol_agencies/eurojust/index_en.htm
– Translation Centre for the Bodies of the European Union (CdT). Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://europa.eu/agencies/regulatory_agencies_bodies/policy_agencies/cdt/index_en.htm
– European Defence Agency (EDA). Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://europa.eu/agencies/regulatory_agencies_bodies/security_agencies/eda/index_en.htm
– European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS). Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://europa.eu/agencies/regulatory_agencies_bodies/security_agencies/iss/index_en.htm
– European Union Satellite Centre (EUSC). Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://europa.eu/agencies/regulatory_agencies_bodies/security_agencies/eusc/index_en.htm
– EU – Travel Documents for EU Nationals. Your Europe, Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/travel/entry-exit/eu-citizen/index_en.htm
– EU – Social benefits for cross-border commuters. Your Europe, Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/work/cross-border-worker/your-rights/index_en.htm
– EU – Starting school in another EU country. Your Europe, Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/education/school/enroll/index_en.htm
– EU – Residence rights when working in another EU country. Your Europe, Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/residence/worker-pensioner/rights-conditions/index_en.htm
– EUROPA – Official documents. European Union, Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://europa.eu/publications/official-documents/index_en.htm
– Official Journal of the European Union. Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2010:083:0389:0403:EN:PDF
– Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_of_Latin_American_and_Caribbean_States
– Latin American Integration Association Retrieved March 11, 2013, from http://www.aladi.org/nsfweb/sitioIng/
– Central American Integration System Retrieved March 11, 2013, from http://www.sica.int/
– Mercosur or Mercosul Retrieved March 11, 2013, from http://www.mercosur.int/
– Organization of American States Retrieved March 11, 2013, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organization_of_American_States
– Union of South American Nations Retrieved March 11, 2013, from http://www.unasursg.org/
– Community of Latin American and Caribbean States. Retrieved March 11, 2013, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_of_Latin_American_and_Caribbean_States
– Andean Community. Retrieved March 11, 2013, from http://www.comunidadandina.org/endex.htm
– Caribbean Community. Retrieved March 11, 2013, from http://caricom.org/
– North American Union. Obama Supports North American Union Agenda, Retrieved March 11, 2013, from http://www.rususa.com/news/news.asp-nid-34448-catid-3
– 2012 Presidential Election. Retrieved March 11, 2013, from http://www.latinodecisions.com/blog/2012/11/07/obama-wins-75-of-latino-vote-marks-historic-latino-influence-in-presidential-election/
– DREAMers. Retrieved March 11, 2013, from http://immigrationpolicy.org/just-facts/who-and-where-dreamers-are – DREAM Act. Retrieved March 11, 2013, from http://dreamact.info/
– The White House. Corresponding with the White House, Retrieved March 11, 2013, from http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact
– U.S. Senate. Senators Home, Retrieved March 11, 2013, from http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
– U.S. House of Representatives. Retrieved March 11, 2013, from http://www.house.gov/representatives/
– National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. Empowering Latinos from citizenship to public service, Retrieved March 11, 2013, from http://www.naleo.org/
– National Council of La Raza. Retrieved March 11, 2013, from http://www.nclr.org/
– League of United Latin American Citizens. Retrieved March 11, 2013, from http://www.lulac.org/
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ruben Barrera Botello has been an ardent Latino activist since 1970. Born and raised in Texas, he moved to California in 1965 and joined the Marines. After Vietnam, he earned an associate degree in journalism, a baccalaureate degree in political science and a doctorate degree in jurisprudence on the GI Bill. The longtime activist has taught Chicano Studies courses, at Ventura College and Humboldt State University in California. Now retired, he lectures on Latino Issues, at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania, and is the state’s director for the National League of Latin American Citizens.
Three Voices on the Immigration Debate
Immigration: The Death of the Chicana/o Left
By Rodolfo F. Acuña
Prior to 1986 a clear Left voice could be heard on immigration reform. Among its priorities was that there would be no guest worker program, there would be no employer sanctions, there would be a more humane border enforcement policy, and there would be a clear path to citizenship with an absence of penalties and fees. For the most part we lost, and the only real victory was that proposals for a guest worker program died.
The truth be told, immigration reform has never been a high priority among American progressives; as a consequence, no clear vision of what immigration reform was developed outside the Mexican American community. This lack of understanding and consensus has led to the probability of compromise — that invariably leads to a negation of meaningful and just reform.
The question has become so muddled that not even the so-called Latino leadership knows what it wants. Having been invited and having sat at the Democratic Party table as guests of honor, they don’t want to rock the boat –or like my mother used to say quieren quedar bien con todo mundo.
As it is shaping up liberals seem committed to a path to citizenship for the undocumented, but they also seem willing to ignore the abuses of ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement), and are going along with the increased enforcement of immigration laws — a grotesque and massive immigration apparatus that spent $18 billion on immigration enforcement last year.
It is obvious that large chunks of the Latino leadership is willing to forget the extensive and rich literature on the bracero program, and are disposed to place their trust in President Barack Obama. The hard Left – what is left of it — opposes a guest worker program that excludes a clear pathway to citizenship for the bracero. They don’t want to go back to the days where American farmers rented Mexicans at will, and repeat a program that was full of corruption and abuses.
As a matter of fact, historically the U.S. has refused to deal with guest workers as “free labor” with the rights enjoyed by other workers. Consequently, the U.S. has engaged in a cut your nose to spite your face policy that has weakened American agriculture, with the nation importing food from China and other countries because it cannot get its crops picked.
As conservative columnist Richard M. Estrada testified in in 1995: “One must …insist that the absence of slavery does not imply the presence of freedom. As commonly understood, the term free labor also implies that an individual can sell his or her labor on the open market to whomever will contract for it. It is in this regard that guest worker programs are, by definition, unfree labor arrangements or, at the very least, not totally free labor arrangements…To be specific, the agricultural guest worker is explicitly obligated not to sell his or her labor anywhere else but to the agricultural employer who sponsors entry. Employers tend to prize guest workers for their abilities, true. But they also value them because they have no options and are, therefore, more malleable. (Employers tend to prefer the term ‘disciplined.’)”
It is difficult to talk to Democrats about “free labor;” they prefer to concentrate on the globalization, which is important. However, globalization has always been with us, and not presuming to argue with the great theorist Immanuel Wallerstein, global capitalism is part of world history, beginning before the time of Christ. Numerous transformations caused the uprooting of entire societies.
We must keep in mind that population growth in China and India caused the migration of ideas into the Middle East, Egypt, and Greece. The growth of the Chinese population and its markets moved the exploitation of the Americas, and the movement of “unfree labor.”
Another transformation took place during the Industrial Revolution, and as Oscar Handlin makes clear in his classic The Uprooted global changes in production and population growth led to the uprooting of entire societies – dispersing people not only to the United States but globally.
However, at this point, I am more concerned about what is happening today in the Latino community, and how can we cope with it? In my view, ideas are important, and the role of a Left voice is vital in counteracting the contradictions of capitalism that lead to unbridled exploitation and the loss of liberty.
At one time, the Soviet Union served as a brake on the imperial obsessions of U.S. foreign policy. Left ideas in this country have made this society more democratic by initiating major reforms. This contribution is obvious when you consider that the American right wing has not introduced a single reform. The Right’s myopic worldview seems unique to the U.S.; witness that even ultra-conservative German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck initiated universal health care in the 19th century.
In recent times, Mexico was developing a Left voice, but it was muffled by the absorption of the left parties into el Partido de la Revolución Democrática, PRD, in the late 1980s. The coalition of left parties then became a social-democratic political party, and electoral politics softened its voice.
History suggests that a similar process has occurred within the Mexican American community. As we have become more invested in electoral politics, our electoral gains have softened the voice of the Left within the community on issues ranging from identity to police brutality. Our elected officials seem more willing to make arrangements, and at the national level our organizations often move to the right to accommodate the interests of other middle class Latinos. Witness that there was no outcry when Marco Rubio pretended to speak for “Latinos” on immigration.
Because of the size of the Latino community, 70 percent of which is Mexican American, it is inevitable that we have been drawn into the game of politics. Without a doubt, the 2012 Presidential Election is a watershed in Chicana/o History. It is a recognition of our numbers not our skill at playing the political game. In my view, in order to survive the game, we must play it collectively and have clear principles.
Not wanting to sound cynical, it will become more difficult for the Left to be heard because of the transformations brought about by the 2012 election. It is significant that a cadre of wealthy Latino business owners, entertainers, lawyers and financiers formed a PAC and collected roughly $30 million for Obama’s re-election.
The sum contributed is not significant, but the emergence of the Latino PAC is. Its bundlers sit or will sit on the boards of national Latino organizations. As a group they will represent Latino interests and collectively their political clout and leverage will increase – neutralizing left of center views. Necessarily their schooling and class interests will diverge from positions of the Left on questions such as immigration.
I am not questioning the good faith of the members of the Latino PAC members; however, how they acquired their knowledge and life experiences often form their views and how strongly they feel about them. Attending an Ivy League is an accomplishment but it also acculturates you, and may even make you more willing to compromise on issues such as immigration. You rationalize that a half a loaf is better than none.
Consider that for a time our voices could be heard through massive demonstrations such as those in 1994 and 2006. If history teaches us anything, we should study why after 1994 they diminished in size largely due to the 1996 Presidential Election and again after 2006 due to the 2008 Election.
SAVE APRIL 27, 2013 FOR A TAKE BACK YOUR HISTORY NIGHT
HELP, SEND ME YOUR EMAILS AND SPREAD THE WORD
Response to Rudy Acuna, Carlos Montes
Rudy many of us on the Chicano left have continued the fight for immigrant rights and the struggle for equality of Chicanos! We have continued to raise it also in the fight to defend public education and our anti war work. You may be too focused on other issues or writing to have noticed, (csun) is one of the only big colleges that has not invited us (me) to speak on this topic and the recent FBI/police attack on me and the 23 other anti war activists who denounced Romney/Bush/McCain at the last two RNC Conventions and made the struggle for immigrants rights a front and center issue. At the large 2012 march on the RNC I was an invited main speaker on the fight for immigrants rights and the FIRST speak at the press conference attended by the the WORLDWIDE media. My first sentence was; “from Alabama to Arizona immigrants especially Mexicans face racist repression by the US ICE/police”…The international media carried that message, coming from a Chicano left activist. Locally in LA, December of 2008 we founded the SCIC Southern California Immigration Coalition, a independent grassroots coalition of community Chicano groups and left organizations. We have consistently demanded Legalization for ALL, NO Guest worker programs, and and End to the ICE/police repression. For the last several years we had the campaign to stop police checkpoints and car impounds targeting mostly the Mexican/Chicano poor barrios, and we won some victories. Along the way we protested and pressured LAPD Chief Beck and Mayor Antonio. We have also held our own May 1 march and rallies were we have consistently held and voiced an anti imperialist political view and insisted on our basic demands and had the voice of the rank and file undocumented workers. We have refused to settle for less and demand legalization for ALL, not just a few. We have also organized state wide conferences and united our fight to issues such as Drivers Licenses for undocumented and have take these issues to our local city government and the local Neighborhood Councils. One other example we organized a campaign to protest and expose the LAPD killing of Manuel Jamines, a Guatemalan/Mayan in Pico Union and denounced the SCOMM police/ICE collaboration, and US intervention in support of the military repressive government of Guatemala that has led to the mass displacement of Guatemalans to LA!
Last night the Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council(mostly Chicanos) voted on and passed a motion to support the Legalization for All National Call to action statement!! See the link below. Anyway, Rudy, and at the Riverside National Leadership Summit at UCR we all united on Legalization for all, NO to a guest worker program, no more ICE enforcement, AND WE REJECTED THE CURRENT OBAMA US SENATE PROPOSALS!
The struggle continues, even thought the Chicano business class try to settle for less we will not accept this and fight for Legalization for All and struggle for equality and self determination for the Chicano people! see links and web sites below, this was just a quick response.
The time is now!
Legalization for all!
Jan B. Tucker: with few exceptions, the Latino political class ignores the views of the immigrants themselves in the immigration debate
Some years ago, I met with leaders of several of the Mexican immigrant “Federaciones,” the primarily social/educational organizations of paisanos of various Mexican states/regions/cities that had recently begun to be politicized as a result of the massive Mayday immigration marches. The meeting took place arranged by the then leaders of LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens), Angel and Argentina Luevano and others, prior to the pro-Republican/Puerto Rico New Progressive Party government takeover of national and state LULAC (after which we all made our Exodus to the National League of Latin American Citizens, NLLAC).
During this meeting the Federacion leaders showed us a white paper presented to them by the Congressional Latino Caucus which amounted to the CLC pronouncement of what the Federaciones were expected to swallow whole and tell their members to accept. Of course, their had been and would be no input expected from them in return on the policy positions that CLC had already arrived at. When I looked it over, I opined that the CLC position was bullshit, that it amounted to more of the same, i.e., United States of America (EEUU) unilateralism which ignored the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the Protocols of Quaretaro, the International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights, and other very relevant aspects of international law, not too mention that the CLC’s position had no respect for the history of the border, immigration, and human rights issues from the perspective of Mexico and Mexicans. After Angel Luevano translated my remarks, the Federacion leaders looked at each other and then their primary spokesperson said, “what he [me] just said; have him write that up.”
So I did. I called it El Plan de Arleta, for the barrio I grew up in:
El Plan de Arleta
(The Manifesto of Arleta)
Speaking Truth to Power
The purpose of this “Plan,” this Manifesto, is to speak truth to power.
It was with power, not authority, not the force of law or morality that in 1846 the United States of America began a war of aggression against Los Estados Unidos de Mexico. Some in America at that time attempted to speak truth to power. On May 11, 1846 President Polk asked Congress to declare war on Mexico. Freshman Representative Abraham Lincoln introduced “spot resolutions” and told the House of Representatives that:
…the president unnecessarily and unconstitutionally commenced a war with Mexico….The marching an army into the midst of a peaceful Mexican settlement, frightening the inhabitants away, leaving their growing crops and other property to destruction, to you may appear a perfectly amiable, peaceful, un-provoking procedure; but it does not appear so to us.
Henry David Thoreau refused to pay his taxes because they would support the unjust war against Mexico, was jailed for his refusal, and later wrote in his essay Civil Disobedience that “Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison.”
It is appropriate that this Plan is commenced to be written on St. Patrick’s Day, for it pays homage to the San Patricios, who left the American invasion forces and then fought for and died for Mexico. They fought under a flag which said “Libertad para la República Mexicana” and “’Erin go Bragh’ (Ireland for Ever).”
The Resistance to Agression In Alta California
Following the occupation of Los Angeles by American naval and marine forces, the Marine garrison, led by Captain Gillespie, treated the populace with such brazen contempt and oppression, that it revolted. On October 8, 1846 Californios resisted American occupation and routed the forces of Capt. Gillespie of the U.S. Marines in the “Battle of the Old Woman’s Gun” in Southern California. The local militia that had been organized sent a contingent to San Diego which liberated that town from the American forces. They chased Capt. Gillespie and the Marines out of Ventura, out of Santa Barbara and liberated the territory up to San Luis Obispo.
On November 16, 1846 American and Mexican militia battled at Natividad, near Salinas.
On December 6, 1846 Californio liberation forces killed 22 Americans under Gen. Stephen Watts Kearny during the “Battle of San Pascual” in Southern California.
On January 10, 1847 Gen. Kearny and Commodore Stockton recaptured Los Angeles from Californio rebels and on January 13, 1847 at the “Capitulation of Cahuenga” organized resistance to American rule in California came to an end.
The Treaty Rights
Of Mexicans and their Descendants
The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was entered into between America and Mexico on February 2, 1848. Its provisions include:
ARTICLE VIII Mexicans now established in territories previously belonging to Mexico, and which remain for the future within the limits of the United States, as defined by the present treaty, shall be free to continue where they now reside, or to remove at any time to the Mexican Republic, retaining the property which they possess in the said territories, or disposing thereof, and removing the proceeds wherever they please, without their being subjected, on this account, to any contribution, tax, or charge whatever.
Those who shall prefer to remain in the said territories may either retain the title and rights of Mexican citizens, or acquire those of citizens of the United States. But they shall be under the obligation to make their election within one year from the date of the exchange of ratifications of this treaty; and those who shall remain in the said territories after the expiration of that year, without having declared their intention to retain the character of Mexicans, shall be considered to have elected to become citizens of the United States.
In the said territories, property of every kind, now belonging to Mexicans not established there, shall be inviolably respected. The present owners, the heirs of these, and all Mexicans who may hereafter acquire said property by contract, shall enjoy with respect to it guarantees equally ample as if the same belonged to citizens of the United States.
ARTICLE IX The Mexicans who, in the territories aforesaid, shall not preserve the character of citizens of the Mexican Republic, conformably with what is stipulated in the preceding article, shall be incorporated into the Union of the United States. and be admitted at the proper time (to be judged of by the Congress of the United States) to the enjoyment of all the rights of citizens of the United States, according to the principles of the Constitution; and in the mean time, shall be maintained and protected in the free enjoyment of their liberty and property, and secured in the free exercise of their religion without restriction.
The Protocols of Queretaro explain why portions of Article IX were revised in the Treaty. Article IX stated in pertinent part that :
The Mexicans who, in the territories aforesaid, shall not preserve the character of citizens of the Mexican Republic, conformably with what is stipulated in the preceding Article, shall be incorporated into the Union of the United States, and admitted as soon as possible, according to the principles of the Federal Constitution, to the enjoyment of all the rights of citizens of the United States. In the mean time, they shall be maintained and protected in the enjoyment of their liberty, their property, and the civil rights now vested in them according to the Mexican laws. With respect to political rights, their condition shall be on an equality with that of the inhabitants of the other territories of the United States; and at least equally good as that of the inhabitants of Louisiana and the Floridas, when these provinces, by transfer from the French Republic and the Crown of Spain, became territories of the United States.
The Protocols then say that:
The american Government by suppressing the IXth article of the Treaty of Guadalupe and substituting the III article of the Treaty of Louisiana did not intend to diminish in any way what was agreed upon by the aforesaid article IXth in favor of the inhabitants of the territories ceded by Mexico. Its understanding that all of that agreement is contained in the IIId article of tile Treaty of Louisiana. In consequence, all the privileges and guarantees, civil, political and religious, which would have been possessed by the inhabitants of the ceded territories, if the IXth article of the Treaty had been retained, will be enjoyed by them without any difference under the article which has been substituted.
Violations of The Treaty Rights
The story of how Joaquin Murrieta was forced into “banditry” to gain justice is one of the many stories of injustice meted out to Mexicans in spite of the guarantee of their civil and political rights.
When Joaquin Murrieta and his brother were arrested in Murphys, California for robbery, he was tied to a tree next to the jail and brutally beaten. His brother was hanged from the same tree. Joaquin’s wife was dragged out into the middle of the street and gang-raped. He went to the county sheriff to file charges against the mobsters and was informed that in California it was not illegal for whites to rape Mexican women or for whites to kill Mexicans. He was advised to “forgive and forget.”
The theft of Mexican land and its exposure by Reies Lopez Tijerina has been well documented. Tijerina’s causa to restore the land grant rights was recognized and supported by the League of United Latin American Citizens in 1972.
Children were denied their rights to education. In Mendez v. Westminster, 64 F. Supp. 544 (1946) the court wrote:
That for several years last past respondents have and do now in furtherance and in execution of their common plan, design and purpose within their respective Systems and Districts, have by their regulation, custom and usage and in execution thereof adopted and declared: That all children or persons of Mexican or Latin descent or extraction, though Citizens of the United States of America, shall be, have been and are now excluded from attending, using, enjoying and receiving the benefits of the education, health and recreation facilities of certain schools within their respective Districts and Systems but that said children are now and have been segregated and required to and must attend and use certain schools in said Districts and Systems reserved for and attended solely and exclusively by children and persons of Mexican and Latin descent, while such other schools are maintained attended and used exclusively by and for persons and children purportedly known as White or Anglo-Saxon children.
That in execution of said rules and regulations, each, every and all the foregoing children are compelled and required to and must attend and use the schools in said respective Districts reserved for and attended solely and exclusively by children of Mexican and Latin descent and are forbidden, barred and excluded from attending any other school in said District or System solely for the reason that said children or child are of Mexican or Latin descent
These depredations and violations of the Treaty and the Protocols continue today.
In 2004 the City of San Juan Capistrano approved a commercial development over strenuous protest including a sports lot that was constructed over the burial grounds at the Ancient village of Putiidhem, “Mother Village” of the Acjachemen, otherwise known as the “Juaneno” Indian tribe.
Tim and Steph Busch, the developers who benefited from this project, are known racists who were sued by the manager and assistant manager (and other employees of a hotel they owned and operated) for, amongst other things, ordering the firing of all their non-white employees and ordering the firing of all their employees who spoke with an accent, i.e., all immigrants.
The Juaneno tribe of Mission Indians was a Native American tribe recognized by the United States of Mexico during the period of that nation’s sovereignty over what is now the State of California and the City of San Juan Capistrano.
This development was allowed despite the fact that Article VIII of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo guaranteed to the former citizens of the United States of Mexico the right to retain “the property which they possess in the” former territory of Mexico and the Juanenos were only dispossessed of their land by force, discrimination, and harassment in the years following the conquest of their land by the United States of America in spite of the further guarantee of Article VIII that “property of every kind, now belonging to Mexicans not established there, shall be inviolably respected. The present owners, the heirs of these, and all Mexicans who may hereafter acquire said property by contract, shall enjoy with respect to it guarantees equally ample as if the same belonged to citizens of the United States” and in spite of the fact that Article IX of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and the First Protocol of Queretaro in conjunction with the rights guaranteed by the United States and California Constitution prohibit the desecration of the religious institutions including sacred burial grounds.
It is possible to recount the depredations and violations of the Treaty and the Protocols in the past and presently ad nauseum. The question is, what is to be done.
Assuming Arguendo that the Immigration
Laws of the United States are even
Enforceable in light of the Constructive
Abrogation of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo &
Protocols of Queretaro, The United States is
In Pari Delicto as a party to any legal
Proceeding Against an “Immigrant” from Mexico
To start, it should be noted that to gain the ratification of the Treaty itself, the United States had to agree to the Protocols. Even with the Protocols in place, it is historically researched and documented that the United States had to bribe Mexican Senators to secure the treaty’s ratification.
In light of the on-going record of violations of the Treaty, minimally, the United States of America has lost all moral force to continue to enforce its provisions. It may have the power to enforce its rights under the treaty while failing to enforce the rights of Mexico and Mexicans under the treaty, but we assert that these breaches constitute constructive abrogation of the treaty and release Mexico and Mexicans from legal and moral obligations to abide by its provisions.
We assert that as a matter of law, that in any proceeding before any court or tribunal, whether state, federal, or international, the United States of America, in charging any Mexican citizen with a violation of immigration statutes of the United States is In Pari Delicto and should be estopped and barred from bringing such an action because the United States of America cannot as a sovereign power maintain that action in good faith.
We Demand that Mexico Invoke
Neutral Arbitration to Settle the
Matter of Immigration Rights of
Its Citizens in Light of the Constructive
Abrogation of the Treaty of Guadalupe
Article XXI of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo provides for neutral arbitration by a third party friendly nation of disputes between the United States of Mexico and the United States of America to resolve disputes between the two nations.
It is demeaning for the government of Mexico to continually go hat in hand to the government of America and beg for the United States to unilaterally use it’s own political institutions to pass laws concerning the matter of immigration. It is the right of the government of Mexico to demand neutral arbitration of the dispute and if the government of Mexico has any cojones at all it will demand the right of the Mexican people under Article XXI for neutral arbitration. Article XXI states:
If unhappily any disagreement should hereafter arise between the Governments of the two republics, whether with respect to the interpretation of any stipulation in this treaty, or with respect to any other particular concerning the political or commercial relations of the two nations, the said Governments, in the name of those nations, do promise to each other that they will endeavour, in the most sincere and earnest manner, to settle the differences so arising, and to preserve the state of peace and friendship in which the two countries are now placing themselves, using, for this end, mutual representations and pacific negotiations. And if, by these means, they should not be enabled to come to an agreement, a resort shall not, on this account, be had to reprisals, aggression, or hostility of any kind, by the one republic against the other, until the Government of that which deems itself aggrieved shall have maturely considered, in the spirit of peace and good neighbourship, whether it would not be better that such difference should be settled by the arbitration of commissioners appointed on each side, or by that of a friendly nation. And should such course be proposed by either party, it shall be acceded to by the other, unless deemed by it altogether incompatible with the nature of the difference, or the circumstances of the case.
We Anticipate American Politicians,
Including Those of Mexican Descent
Will Shrink from their Moral Responsibility
In speaking this truth to power, we anticipate that American politicians, including vendidos and coconuts, will speak in sound bites and call us irresponsible for speaking this truth, la verdad. To them we point to Premier Georges Clemenceau’s statement that “Any man who is not a radical at age 20 has no heart. Any man who is still a radical at age 40 has no head.” They will nod at the “logic” of this statement as though it contains wisdom.
These politicos must be told that no es necesario para cambiar tu corazon para cesos.
Jan B. Tucker, March 17, 2007
Somewhat to my astonishment, El Plan went viral in Mechista circles on the internet. People I’d meet for the first time, especially young Mechistas, would marvel when they found out I was the guy who wrote it. Some people wanted to know why I’d changed my name from “Juan” or whether “Jan” was just a typo, because they couldn’t believe I wasn’t Chicano (if they realized in the first place I was a guy because many others assumed I was a Chicana with an anglicized name).
Anyway, after I left LULAC and was appointed as State Director of the newly formed CALLAC (California League of Latin American Citizens) I began to somewhat hesitantly build my image of CALLAC’s immigration position in the context of overall history and the question of the legitimacy of the border with the United States of Mexico itself. To my delight, my vision was welcomed by the founding leaders of NLLAC who immediately adopted our CALLAC articles of incorporation and initial public leaflet describing our program as templates for other state organizations to follow (I was the first state director appointed and CALLAC became the first incorporated state affiliate of NLLAC). That program explicitly was formulated as including:
Recognition of the need to redress grievances of the special status of Mexicans and people of Mexican origin in the context of the conquest of Mexican territory in an unjust war, the unlawful ethnic cleansing of 2 million people including 1.2 million United States citizens in the 1930s, and continual US interference in the internal affairs of Mexico
Recognition and respect for the rights of indigenous Native Americans in the context of their conquest, de facto attempted genocide and negotiated peace treaties.
Politicians, including incumbents, that we have endorsed through our alliance in the Same Page/Misma Pagina Coalition, have been required to respond to issues involved in those principles in their written questionnaire responses. For them, that process has been educational and their responses have been reasonable and respectful concerning our position—in fact far more respectful than I ever imagined I would ever see. Interestingly, Anglo politicians have had more intelligent responses than some so-called Latino or Chicano politicians, in part because I think they have more respect for the views of immigrant constituents whether or not they can vote. All too often, Chicano politicians behave as though they are the old PRI (Partido Revolucionario Institucional) who can exercise the dedazo to choose which of their cronies will inherit their seats and what their supporters are supposed to believe and espouse.
Even more interesting, whenever I have discussed the issues with Mexican diplomats, they have agreed with me without qualification that Article XXI of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo should be invoked to deal with not only immigration but with the underlying question of the legitimacy of the border.
NLLAC has become an independent and uncompromising voice for a radical viewpoint in the debate over “immigration,” and if you think I’m kidding, check out our press release that was approved by and at the highest level of the organizational leadership: http://janbtucker.com/blog/2013/01/28/3201/
We reiterated our issues with regard to demanding invocation of Article XXI of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo to deal with all issues historically and currently that impact the debate over immigration on both sides of the de facto border. Let the liberals and the reformers debate differing views of how American unilateralism should be carried out in the immigration debate. Let so-called radicals prate their slogans of “open border,” whether or not anybody in Mexico wants or would be willing to accept such a state of affairs without a complete questioning of the legitimacy of the border itself. The bottom line is, as Heywood Campbell Broun once wrote, “A liberal is one who leaves the room when the fight begins.”