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Racism in Arizona: More Intrigue, Plot Thickens

3 Jun

On May 1o, 2010 I posted Arizona’s Law of Hate, providing documentation that the Bill signed into law, the “Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act”, is actually a free license for racial profiling and the denial of civil rights to those with brown-colored skin.

The next day, I posted Update: Arizona’s Law of Hatred, an editorial in The Washington Post by Phil Gordon, the Mayor of Phoenix, denouncing the law as “hateful” thanks to “political opportunists such as state Sen. Russell Pearce, the author of the legislation, and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.”  (Maricopa County encompasses the majority of the Phoenix Metropolitan area.)

As it turns out, Pearce was not the author of the law,  but merely its sponsor in the State Legislature. In the May 31, 2010 print edition of The Arizona Republic newspaper (or the Republic of Arizona as I like to call it), the author was Kris Kobach, an immigration attorney from Topeka, Kansas.

Kris Kobach, a member of FAIR

Kobach, however, is not your garden variety attorney who helps immigrants with US work permits or attaining citizenship. On the contrary, he is a member of FAIR — the Federation for American Immigration Reform — an organization recently listed as a nativist hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

A May 10, 2010 article by John Hanna of the Associated Press had this to say:

Before the law was passed … Kobach spent several years consulting with its main sponsor [Pearce]. And he has a $300-an-hour contract to teach deputies in Maricopa County [Arpaio], which includes Phoenix, to enforce immigration policies. [Bold is mine]

Bill Straus, Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Arizona office, said in February 9, 2010 press release, which I have as a Microsoft Word document:

We find it absolutely outrageous that Sheriff Arpaio has chosen an individual with an obvious bias, who works on behalf of an anti-immigrant group to conduct training on immigration law and ethnic profiling. This shows that he is not serious about dealing with the concerns that have been raised about his tactics and treatment of immigrants.

Well isn’t this a cozy little bunch. I have shown that all three compadres (excuse me, gentlemen) have links to white supremacist or neo-Nazi groups. This is not immigration reform, but unabashed hatred of any human being who is not White.

Pearce isn’t finished, not by a long shot with a willing and compliant legislature and governor — a Republican governor whom we inherited after Democrat Janet Napolitano was tapped by the Obama administration for Director of Homeland Security. Napolitano kept Pearce in check by vetoing and shredding all his bills that sullied her desk. Jan Brewer, however, is a staunch supporter.

The last paragraph of The Arizona Republic’s “report” is totally outrageous:

Next year, Pearce has said, he will propose a measure that would make Arizona the first state to stop the practice of giving citizenship to children who are born to in the United States to illegal immigrant parents.  Ending the practice of granting citizenship to “anchor babies,” as they are sometimes called, is one of FAIR’s legislative goals and is supported by Kobach.

Never mind that immigration law is a federal matter; Pearce, Arpaio, and Kobach openly disregard it. And why shouldn’t they? The reaction so far from President Obama is a shaking of his head and his usual speechifying.

Period.

Posted from Chandler, Arizona, June 3, 2010.

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A Mandate for the Malicious

19 Aug

 The Register are covering the story of John Pinnington, a former headmaster who has lost his job because an enhanced security check revealed unsubstantiated rumours about him.

“A recent landmark ruling by the High Court takes the UK one step closer to becoming an “informant society” along the lines of the former East Germany or Soviet Union.”

I have no idea about the veracity of the allegations against Mr Pinnington, but the idea that someone’s life can be ruined by little more than tittle tattle is not only shocking, but against everything the UK legal system is supposed to stand for. I have children at school so of course I agree with security checks, but I’m more concerned about dedicated and talented teachers leaving the education system only to be replaced by those who are squeaky clean but otherwise second rate.

Teaching is a poorly paid occupation with, in many cases, a high level of stress and responsibility. At the time of writing, the profession finds it hard to recruit graduates with good degrees. Adding yet another disincentive will only serve to further deter the very people who would be of most benefit to young minds. Why on earth would these people want to teach when they can earn considerably more doing a job which does not expose them to the risk of public humiliation and ruin!

What is (or should be) of concern to us all is the idea that an individual is no longer considered innocent unless proven guilty – a system which has served us well for centuries – instead gossip and spite are seen as proof of guilt. In an ideal world, no one would ever make false allegations against another person. However, out here in the real world people do, even children. The law should serve to protect the innocent from such claims, not to give a mandate to the malicious.

David Davies resigns on point of principle

12 Jun

David Davies, Conservative MP and shadow home secretary has resigned following the government victory in the 42 day detention vote.

“He told reporters outside the Commons: ‘I will argue in this by-election against the slow strangulation of fundamental British freedoms by this government.'”

Read the full story

Judge not, lest ye be judged

22 May

A leaked document published in The Times yesterday outlines a government proposal to encourage council employees, doctors and charity workers to inform the authorities about anyone they believe may, possibly, be violent.

What a great idea! Lets not worry about silly, little things like evidence, or being innocent until proven guilty, lets just lock up anyone who looks a bit funny, or acts in a manner we don’t agree with. It doesn’t matter if they haven’t actually done anything illegal, it’s best to be on the safe side. And I’d like to get the ball rolling with the following tip off.

I have discovered that an organised group in this country have been responsible for the deaths of thousands of people over the last few years. None of the group’s members are in the least bit sorry for this. In fact, several have stated that they feel a sense of pride and would happily do the same thing again. Clearly, this bunch have a major capacity for violence. The leader even admitted that he believed God had made him commit these acts. Now, if that isn’t a sign of mental illness I don’t know what is. 

If the powers that be wish to curb the activities of this gang they will find them hanging around Downing Street and the Houses of Parliament. Well, all except the above mentioned leader, he has fled the country.

The Stealthy Erosion of our Civil Liberties

3 May

Writing for the Comment is Free section of the Guardian, Henry Porter discusses the current UK government’s track record on civil liberties – or, more accurately, the apparent removal of many of our freedoms by stealth.

I feel quite strongly about this subject, and have written about it in the past. I’m not a great believer in conspiracy theories, and I don’t spend my time fretting that the government is out to get me, but, this gradual erosion of basic rights and liberties – which go back centuries in some cases – is deeply worrying. Maybe, this government are telling the truth and are only doing these things because they believe they will protect the people of this country. Maybe, they would never dream of using these powers for any malign purpose, but that doesn’t mean a future, less ethical government would behave in the same wa.

We are in danger of losing freedoms our forebears fought long and hard for, and sadly, a large number of people seem to be prepared to let this happen. Some, are simply unaware of the situation, others feel it’s all for the greater good. ‘If you have nothing to hide . . .’ they say. To them I ask this: If you have nothing to hide, why do you have curtains at your windows? Why don’t you tell every Tom, Dick and Harry your PIN? Why don’t you discuss your entire medical history with the queue at the bus stop? Is it possibly because some things are private?

The issue isn’t whether anyone has anything to hide. It’s a simple matter of living free from state monitoring and interference. Or, to put it another way: When you get up in the morning you put on clean knickers/pants, you wouldn’t expect your mother to come around to your house to check you had. If she did you would feel very silly, and rather offended. Surely, she should trust you as a grown adult to put clean underwear on in the morning? Well, yes she should, and the government should trust us all to behave like responsible citizens too! The money spent on badly designed and intrusive schemes would be better spent on more police officers to enforce the laws we already have.

In my previous post I quoted Shami Chakrabarti, I’ll repost the quote here because I think it is pertinent.

“If you throw live frogs into a pan of boiling water, they will sensibly jump out and save themselves. If you put them in a pan of cold water and gently apply heat until the water boils they will lie in the pan and boil to death. It’s like that.” – Shami Chakrabarti of Liberty

If, like me, you would rather not go down the boiled frog route, try the following links:

Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill and the Germans…

20 Sep

The “Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill” bares an uncanny resemblance to another bill passed prior to World War 2.

The Enabling Act (Ermächtigungsgesetz in German) was passed by Germany’s parliament (the Reichstag) on March 23, 1933. It was the second major step after the Reichstag Fire Decree through which the Nazis obtained dictatorial powers using largely legal means. The Act enabled Chancellor Adolf Hitler and his cabinet to enact laws without the participation of the Reichstag.

Enabling Act, wikipedia

Having written to Mr R. Gale (my MP) I have gotten a reply. I asked him for his views on the subject but instead I got copies of the current paperwork on the topic.

I shall have to assume that this means that he is calling a safety and not voicing an opinion.

“…you will note that Her Majesty’s opposition – which of course I am a member – made stringent efforts to oppose the offensive sections of the Bill but the government has of course used its majority to force many measures through…”
Roger Gale MP

He claims that the Labour party used it’s majority to force the issue. This “majority” is so slight that they require the support of the Conservative party to be sure to get a bill through (especially if the “back benchers” revolt).

So what’s going on here? Have Labour suddenly found power that commentary has over looked or are the big three secretly in favour of this bill?

Mr Gale voted against the Bill during it’s third reading on 16 May 2006 (He also voted against ID cards on 16 & 21 Mar 2006).

I doubt, then, that this issue of what is happening on a party political scale reflects directly on Mr Gale but it gives me cause to worry nonetheless.

Catch up on the issues here and here. This article contains substansive text taken from another article by the same author found here.