Thursday, February 21


I want asparagus!

My roommate and her boyfriend are eating dinner at our house--finally. She's been so absentee, spending all her time at his place.

But I ate grains all day. Like...2 bowls 6 servings of oatmeal w/ brown sugar.
Ick. (No, I don't know why I thought I was that hungry for oatmeal the 2nd time.)

We both want something easy, since we won't start cooking till late, and I have to leave town early tomorrow morning. But I do not want more grains.

So I'm looking Cooking For Engineers as I start thinking about what should be for dinner, and though there's not much that's vegetable-oriented (I've also gone overboard on meat lately), the site did have directions for cooked asparagus.

Great. Now I can't get off my mind how easy and yummy asparagus would be.

But I can't begin to imagine the conditions asparagus at this time of year would have been raised & harvested under.

And I know, I know, I know what BFP, the author of that link, would say. She'd tell me to eat asparagus tonight and spend 2 hours fighting for labor rights when I get back in town.

But dammit, when I get back in town, I need to throw myself into my anti-light-rail-on-University work. So that's just not gonna happen.

And I just don't like the idea that if I buy asparagus, I know that to enjoy the quality time with my roommate that I'm seeking tonight, I'm going to put the labor conditions out of mind. Because you can't pay serious attention to the human being across the table from you when you're thinking about social justice issues.

So...given that I'm not going to do any labor activism when I return...........

Monday, February 18

Need Anti-Racism Help

I'd like to put out a call for help proofreading a website for content.

I created a web site to accompany a petition I'm circulating, collecting signatures from businesspeople and residents of a street in St. Paul, MN, where government agencies want to put a commuter train.

It has two audiences at once:

  1. Businesspeople and residents of that street and its surrounding neighborhoods who took home my web site from a flyer hanging on a bulletin board and would like to register their opposition to commuter rail with me
  2. Non-neighborhood people who think of themselves as liberal, yet currently support the commuter rail and don't care what path it takes, whom I might be able to convince to become opponents of the path the government agencies want to put it on.

For that second group, I believe I'll need to have a lot of explanation about why the current route is so detrimental to the well-being of businesspeople and residents of the area that it'd even impact their own lives negatively in 15-40 years.

But in the process of explaining that, I don't want to say anything racist/classist/otherwise harmful about the social groups who make up the majority of businesspeople and residents of that street/neighborhood. Firstly, because it's wrong to do so, and secondly, because they'll be reading my words, too.

So before I really start promulgating this web site, can I get some help proofreading pages like this, this, this, and perhaps this?

Thank you,

Monday, February 4

Hillary Clinton Comes Out Against Due Process For An Already Kicked-Down Population Of Our Country

Listen, I'm totally biased in my presentation of this, but I think the issue is hugely important, so I want to post it fast.

Sen. Hillary Clinton has at least 3 or 4 times (so it's not just something she said once, reconsidered, and dropped at this point) advocated deporting immigrants with "criminal backgrounds" without any legal process.

I have only seen the quotes in text--haven't found all 3 that were written down on YouTube yet--but if they're accurate, I really do consider this a horrendous thing that I absolutely couldn't stand in my next president. I WILL either write in a candidate or vote for some third-party candidate come November if Sen. Clinton is the Democratic nominee and her quotes are accurate.

If this doesn't seem like a big deal to you, read these quotes from an editorial at

"Even if we agree for a second that yes, we want to deport 'bad criminals' and not let them live here like the 'good immigrants,' how can anyone possibly think you can figure that out 'immediately' with 'no questions asked?' The whole point of due process is that you determine who’s actually a criminal and who’s not, right?"
"The point is that...since not all crimes are committed equally, we have a process. And of course, even the process does not work perfectly, so there are appeals; we don’t just throw people away. Well actually, we do under the current administartion — but you’d think a candidate who trumpets about change would not be encouraging the current state of affairs..."

I think this quote from comments on another page that the author linked to (admittedly, many of the comments there are at a much lower quality level than her own writing) sums up how I've always felt about the types of positions Sen. Clinton is willing to take:
"Where have I heard the circular "we don't need a legal process because they're bad people and don't deserve it!" argument before? Hmm...."
More quotes
"There are far too many stories like this one, described by crankyliberal, an immigration attorney:
'Really, Hillary? Do you want to know how many Lawful Permanent Residents I’ve helped lately who were in proceedings for a single drug possession conviction? These people have been here for over 20 years in most cases, have families and jobs, and screwed up. One of them was a bit stressed out after surviving cancer and also having to take care of her mother who is suffering from cancer. So she did some drugs. Right now, they have a chance to prove that they deserve to stay because the positive equities outweigh the negative. Now, that’s their only chance- if they ever screw up again, they’re removed, no questions asked.
'But you want to take that away? Take away their chance to prove their worth? A chance that people value so much they’ll sit in detention for six months (not to mention the extra time if there is an appeal lodged- that means a year or more easily)even though many of them have never been in jail once?'"
"It’s not as if we’re currently operating on some incredibly lax system that’s letting all sorts of people in. Quite the contrary: I hear more and more stories all the time about families who slip through the cracks, deportations of kids who have never lived anywhere else, countless abuses by the Homeland Security..."
"The most deeply disturbing thing here is that Clinton’s rhetoric, whether she believes it or not, is supporting a medieval, unconstitutional worldview where there are 'bad people' out there who don’t deserve rights, who don’t deserve due process. We can just recognize them — through some sort of 'faster' un-process, whether that means profiling, arrest, or glancing at their record — and then boot them. I really hope someone can explain to me how this is all a mistake or a misunderstanding. Otherwise, the only explanation I can come up with will be that the last eight years of constant abuse of our laws and principles have shifted discourse a grotesque degree towards a paranoid police-state."
Also from the comments on the previously mentioned page I'm not bothering to link to:
"I worked for an immigration court last year. I've WRITTEN DEPORTATION ORDERS that immigration judges issued... Let me tell you, "no legal process" is not a sign of seriousness about the immigration process. Quite the opposite. It's exactly the sort of cheap demagoguery that got our immigration system where it is today: inhumane, ineffective, & above all, totally arbitrary."
"crankyliberal goes on to talk about how absurd it is that Clinton implies that we ought to condemn and deport criminals who have a criminal record in their country of origin. I guess we don’t need due process if we just trust every other legal system in the world, huh? How can you even make a statement like that without thinking about all the corrupt, despotic laws and criminal justice systems in the world? Without thinking of people who apply for asylum after having been persecuted in their own countries?"

I am scared shitless of someone who would propose things like deportation without due process being elected President of the United States.

You know, you don't even have to vote for Sen. Obama. Write in Sen. Edwards or Gov. Richardson or Congressman Kucinich or something tomorrow, but if you now feel like I do and have since 2006 about Sen. Clinton's likeliness to restore due process and fairness to at least the level it was at in 2000, please don't vote for her for President tomorrow.

I had a hunch she was like this back when I was trying to figure out whom to support in late 2006 / early 2007.

Within a couple of weeks ago, her supporters had pretty much convinced me my hunch was wrong.
But then this came out.

And now my hunch is that not only was my earlier hunch dead on, but that the confirmations are going to get worse and worse from here on out.

Recent headlines from the blog "Black and Missing but Not Forgotten:"