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New Year’s Call for a Border Reboot

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Posted on Dec 31, 2010
AP / Guillermo Arias

A sign that reads “Garden of friendship” hangs on the U.S.-Mexico border.

By Deanne Stillman

(Page 2)

According to a report by Brady McCombs in the Arizona Daily Star, Terry was part of a SWAT-like team called BORTAC, which was targeting one of these crews. BORTAC is part of Border Patrol’s “hunter and savior” mission, which stops people from crossing the border illegally but also rescues immigrants in trouble and monitors the bandits who regularly rob and assault the men, women, and children who are making the treacherous march to El Norte in search of a better life.

“Mexican drug-smuggling organizations have started using bandit crews to police their routes,” writes McCombs, “ensuring that competitors don’t use their hard-earned corridors, often stealing the loads. They operate all along Arizona’s international border, but the canyon-filled corridor west of Interstate 19 where Terry was killed has been a hot spot for bandits for years. In 2007, there were two fatal shootings involving bandits in the area.” (For a longer list of violent incidents involving bandits, illegal immigrants and federal agents, click on the Arizona Daily Star link above).

There are two types of border area bandits operating today, Lt. Raoul Rodriguez of the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Department tells McCombs. This includes crews that try to steal drug shipments and crews that assault and rob immigrants. “The crews consist of three to five men, dressed in dark clothes or fatigues, wearing ski masks, and carrying assault rifles or handguns,” he continues. “Groups that target illegal immigrants will usually pop up close to the border, demanding money and valuables and warning the people that they will kill them if they look back. Assaults and sexual assaults are commonplace. Crews that rip off drugs usually do it farther north, often 15 to 30 miles north of the border.”

At the moment, the FBI is investigating the killing of agent Terry, and here’s what is known so far: Apparently, he was shot in the back during a gunbattle. Four men have been arrested; their names have not been released, but they reportedly are not American citizens. A fifth suspect is on the run, perhaps heading toward Phoenix, Mexico, or just plain west.

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As columnist Hugh Holub writes in the Tucson Citizen, the lack of additional information is fueling all manner of speculation in chat rooms and local media, from the idea that Terry was shot by friendly fire to the belief that BORTAC wasn’t properly armed.

Hanging over it all is the ever-present question about whether more border violence is coming.

“It’s not a smart move to engage law enforcement the way they do in Mexico,” Lt. Rodriguez tells the Arizona Daily Star. But Sgt. Gilbert Dominguez, a supervisor of the Pima County Sheriff’s Department’s border crimes unit, figures that there will be more shootouts with bandits. And another official predicts a major violent event within a year, involving Mexican drug cartels and U.S. law enforcement on this side of the border.

Meanwhile, for the bajadores on the trail, there is plenty of swag.

It seems to me that the men and women who place themselves between those who are coming here for a new life and those who would rob, rape, or kill them are engaged in a noble calling, dealing with the day to day repercussions of forces that are so tangled and twisted that it may take the Second Coming to sort them out.

What Brian A. Terry did, and what many other unsung deputies across the border are doing, gives the lie to the perception that people in Arizona don’t care about people who weren’t born here. And please note: This is not a hall pass for la migra, whose transgressions have been covered extensively in many other venues. To reiterate, I’m asking for a reconsideration of what’s playing out on our southern border, one that acknowledges the complexities of law enforcement—and life—on a line in the sand. 

As Bill Broyles and Mark Haynes write in their new book “Desert Duty: On the Line With the U.S. Border Patrol,” those who serve “are common folks doing an uncommon job. Like police work anywhere, days of humdrum patrol and investigation are interspersed with moments of fear and heroics. Shots have been fired here, but the real count is in persons rescued from heat and fatigue, aliens apprehended, and tons of drugs confiscated. There is a toll of human life. Hundreds of aliens are known to have died in this crossing, but the total is unknown. Plane crashes have killed three Border Patrol pilots and an agent on duty in the region [in this case, the Yuma sector], and four ground agents have died, two in car crashes, one run down by a smuggler fleeing to Mexico, and one drowned as he attempted to save aliens caught in the swirling Colorado River.”

If there’s one thing we know about the border, it’s that people will not stop trying to cross it. Whether and when they merit citizenship is another question. Until that’s resolved, it says a lot about our country that some of us are dying to save those who are entering without papers, illegally, in the dark, over fences, through tunnels, barefoot, bleeding, snake-bit, penniless, hungry, thirsty, for hire, for rent, scheming, dreaming, conniving, no habla—and I’m not ashamed in the least for living here.

(P.S. For an excellent portrayal of the border conflict, including the history behind it, who’s crossing and who’s not, how various locals view it, and what’s being done about the impact on the environment, please see this article in the Sierra Vista Herald.)


Deanne Stillman’s latest book is the widely acclaimed “Mustang: The Saga of the Wild Horse in the American West,” a Los Angeles Times “Best Book ’08” and winner of the California Book Award silver medal for nonfiction. Her book includes an account of the 1998 Christmas horse massacre outside Reno, Nev., as well as the story of Bugz, the lone survivor of the incident. Her previous book was “Twentynine Palms: A True Story of Murder, Marines, and the Mojave,” the cult classic which Hunter Thompson called “A strange and brilliant story by an important American writer. It’s now out in a new, updated edition. Her work appears in the Los Angeles Times, Slate, Orion, National Review Online and other publications and is widely anthologized. Her plays, including “Star Maps,” have won prizes in theater festivals around the country. She is currently writing “Mojave Manhunt” for Nation Books, based on her Rolling Stone piece of the same name. Follow Deanne Stillman on Facebook.


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By ardee, January 8, 2011 at 5:11 pm Link to this comment

JDmysticDJ, January 6 at 10:11 pm

No need, in my opinion, to apologize. Your comment below, was brilliant, however snarky. I enjoyed reading it immensely , frankly, and this enjoyment has nothing whatever to do with my approval or rejection of your position vis-a-vis Mr. Walker…though I do find much truth in your noting of that poster’s stance on community in general, an opinion I share frankly.

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By JDmysticDJ, January 6, 2011 at 5:11 pm Link to this comment

Tao Walker is correct about my previous post being incoherent. I’ve posted other incoherent posts in response to Tao Walker. I won’t elaborate on the reasons for my incoherency in response to Tao Walker. For some reason I feel I have license to be incoherent in response to Tao Walker.

I regret being oblivious, I realized I was being oblivious while being oblivious. Oddly, I thought people would be oblivious to my obliviousness.

Tao Walker is also correct when he writes that I am angry, though I think irritation best describes my response to Tao Walker’s centric commentary.

I’ll concede that I suffer from an ecclesiastic sorrow, but his assertions regarding my personal life and the state of my emotional health are incorrect, but only mildly annoying.

Avoiding incoherency, oblivion, and irritation lead me to believe that avoiding Tao Walker’s idiosyncratic, and centric, commentary may be my best course of action in order to avoid these annoyances.

Tao Walker has claimed a lack of proficiency in the primary language of the greater civilization that engulfs him, but I believe it’s all a ruse. I believe that Tao Walker has created a false persona in order to facilitate his pseudo-proselytizing. Tao Walker is not sending smoke signals, or using sign language. Tao Walker is obviously intelligent, and he has demonstrated that he has facility with the language, the written word, and current technology. If Tao Walker were to truly feel inadequate in communicating his thoughts and ideas, one would think he would try to avoid being obtuse and idiosyncratic, but he seems to revel in his idiosyncratic inventions. 

I believe that Tao Walker suffers from a resentment that penetrates to the core of his being. He advocates for community while intentionally alienating himself from the greater community. He has nothing but an individualist’s iconoclastic disdain for the greater community. He holds himself aloof not only from the greater community, but also from other individuals who are his potential allies and have disdain for aspects of the greater community. His proselytizing is not so much proselytizing as it is a condemnation, replete with idiosyncratic insults. Those insults are tolerated, by those he condescendingly insults, because they are idiosyncratically masked, and because of recognition of past and present injustices.

Tao Walker has expressed a welcome to those who seek to join him in his spiritual iconoclasm, but I suspect that that welcome would have contingencies, such as an interrogation, and a catechism, to insure that the proper reverence is given, and that the interpretation of realities is correct. When posters here state an agreement with his contentions, he condescendingly commends them, and then comments regarding what’s necessary for them to become more correct.

Hey! This exchange has been really hokey.

(What happened to Deanne Stillman’s, “Call for Rebooting the Border”? This thread has been taken over by annoyed, and annoying, commentary having no relevance to her article; sincerest apologies to all who may peruse this thread.)

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By TAO Walker, January 6, 2011 at 2:37 am Link to this comment

Okay, just one more thing….then “JDmysticDJ” is welcome to the last word here if he wants it, or even if he doesn’t.  In his most recent three-part post he seemed to resent that this Old Man might actually be enjoying what goes-on around these virtual ‘parts.’  Meantime, that it is for his own-“self” mostly onerous drudgery, to participate in this weirdly linear (and so not very effective) attempt at a Council Circle, comes-across pretty clearly in both the content and the tone of his offerings.  “JDmysticDJ” just doesn’t seem to be a happy Camper.

If there’s anything to that (and it definitely is true there’s some fun to be had playing-around with the English, which is not this Indian’s first language, or even second or third), it sure is unfortunate that “JDmysticDJ,” for whatever reasons, apparently feels excluded.  Nothing Yours Truly ever says here is intended to rub him, or anybody, the-wrong-way….though let’s face it, that is likely to happen now-and-again.

This does maybe illustrate something, however, genuinely indicative of the difference between us surviving free wild natural Human Beings and our captive Sisters and Brothers in-thrall to the “civilization” disease.  This Old Savage GETS to do this, all of it, while “JDmysticDJ” seems to feel that he HAS to….and his evident resentment of his (to us) inferior condition (his half-life) erupts into the sort of rambling, incoherent, and (yes) angry outbursts exemplified by that lengthy most recent of his entries on this thread.  That it is directed not at the actual source of his torment, but instead at somebody who is not shy about saying how wonderful it is not to be caught-up in it, only serves to emphasize the depth of his suffering.   

There’s no way in Hell “JDmysticDJ” can persuade this Old Man to actually keep him company in his lonely misery….but he is welcome anytime to join us ALL in the Great Song ‘n’ Dance of Life Herownself, right here in the beautiful Living Arrangement that is our Mother Earth’s fleshing-out of Father Sun’s Sacred Vision.

HokaHey!

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By TAO Walker, January 5, 2011 at 8:27 pm Link to this comment

A couple of things, and then maybe we can all get on with discovering that “new paradigm.”  First, this Indian has never called the Tiyoshpaye, which is a D/L/Nakotah word for the Natural Organic Form of Humanity, any kind of “civilization.”  “JDmysticDJ” is, by-now, being plainly dishonest in asserting otherwise.

Second, one wonders if he would insist that cancer, or diabetes, just to name two among a plague of ORGANIC ailments rampant in Human populations these days, “....can only rationally be perceived as being metaphorical or metaphysical.”  If so, what exactly are they metaphors for?  How come, if they’re “metaphysical,” people’s actual experience of them is about as just-plain-physical as things get?

Once more, for-the-record; “civilization,” as such, is no “metaphor” for anything.  It is an actual organic disease, with typical symptoms which are right now everywhere evident in the Living Body of our Mother Earth (including in that mass of “self”-styled “modern” domesticated Humans whose free wild Ancestors She gave-birth to).  If “JDmysticJD” has problems with the way this Old Man describes the Living Arrangement us surviving free wild Peoples actually LIVE in every Day….well, that’ll just have to be his problem.  ‘Cause it sure ain’t ours.

He’s surely welcome, though, to go on half-living in the virtual world-o’-hurt, with its make-believe CONstructs like “philosophy” and “psychology,” “metaphor” and “metaphysics.”  Where we live cancer is still just a disease….and so is “civilization.”

Finally, not meaning to insult “JDmysticDJ,” or hurt his feelings, either, but this Old Savage has to admit that both his “allegory” and he hisown-“self” do in-fact seem much “too oblivious.”

HokaHey!

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By JDmysticDJ, January 5, 2011 at 6:39 pm Link to this comment

#1

Tao Walkers assertion that I am or was angry is denied by me. I won’t attempt to elaborate on the falsity of this assertion because doing so creates a position of being defensive, which is not necessary, and not conducive to a discourse of the issue being considered. I have no desire to participate in an obfuscation of the issue being discussed.

I don’t claim to be a “know it all,” of course I’d like to believe I know what I’m saying or writing, Tao Walker disputes my ability to write what I believe, which creates another obfuscation. If Tao Walker believes I am wrong in what I write he should point out where I am wrong, and not accuse me of not knowing what I am writing. There is one thing I’m certain of, Tao Walker has put forth a centric analysis and demonstrates a resistance to even contemplating any other possible analysis… over and over again. In one sense Tao Walker is preaching to the choir, in another sense Tao Walker is condemning the choir. Tao Walker constantly, and not so subtly, berates those who question his self perceived superior analysis and proffered solution with accusations of pathological disease, and accusations of a kind of mass psychosis derived from deviating from a self ordained preferred and superior “Living arrangement.” So when I mention this phenomena, I am confident that I my “Ownself,””… know what I’m talking about,” from my perspective.
 
We seem to agree that the problems that confront us are symptomatic of a disease, but we disagree as to the nature of that real or metaphorical representation. Arguing that the problems that confront us are organic, rather than psychological or philosophical, can only rationally be perceived as being metaphorical or metaphysical. It’s not that I reject a metaphysical analysis; it’s just that the metaphysical is metaphysical and beyond substantiation, thus an argument based on metaphysics can only be perceived as effectively irrelevant, or a flamboyant metaphorical dialectic, which seeks to validate by the authority of the unknowable. Saying that Tao Walker is intentionally deceptive and appealing to romanticized superstition in order to serve his ends -  which gives rise to wondering if his agenda is essentially ego-centric at its core – this may seem insulting, but I believe that it is not as insulting as considering the alternative to be true of him.

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By JDmysticDJ, January 5, 2011 at 6:33 pm Link to this comment

#2

Perhaps semantics and an apparent self amusing word play is CONfusing the CONveyance of ideas in this instance. Clearly Tao Walker is amused by his idiosyncratic word play, because he never seems to tire of it. Perhaps Tao Walker believes his idiosyncratic word play is conducive to CONveying ideas and is a type of intellectual short hand, hopefully this idiosyncratic word play is not perceived by him to be prestidigitation, or a kind of intellectual slight of hand. Much of what Tao Walker writes is semantically idiosyncratic but easily understood. Designations such as: “The sub-species homo domesticus,””Diseased ‘individuals,’” “CONsumer units,” a “Retro-viral entity,” “Undead ‘self’” [?], are idiosyncratic in some cases and insulting in others. Though these comments may baffle in some cases, these idiosyncratic comments are clearly not complimentary, lest I be CONfused. Tao Walker furthers his idiosyncratic commentary by using phrases, descriptions, and accusations such as: certain individuals don’t live, they only have “half – lives,”” “’self’-centric ‘civilization’ disease,” and so on. Let me digress for a moment in order to provide some clarification. The word “Civilization” is not exclusive to so called advanced civilization, the word Civilization is often used to designate ancient and less modern civilizations i.e. the cradle of civilization, referring to ancient Mesopotamia, Greek civilization, Mayan Civilization etc. one might even include a Tiyoshpaye kind of civilization.

Civilization (A definition): “The type of culture and society developed by a particular nation or region or in a particular epoch: Mayan civilization; the civilization of ancient Rome.”

A blanket condemnation of civilization seems inappropriate, and I’ll argue that all civilizations are “Self” centric,” for example, I’ve heard certain “individuals” espouse the Tiyoshpaye Way as being a superior civilization concept.

Continuing with idiosyncratic phrases, descriptions, and accusations: “’global’ sick-bay turning rapidly into a world-wide ward for the terminally ill” (My favorite, it’s creative and colorful, and more than likely this phrase has more truth than many of us would like to believe.) Tao Walker continuously refers to the other and his civilization as being diseased, a cancer, etc. Not very diplomatic, and I’ll argue that these comments hail from a self absorbed, self centered “Individual,” very exclusive in perspective.

That being said, if you consider the universe to be a living entity, rather than an organism, I’ll temper my criticism, like I said, I don’t reject the metaphysical, I only recognize its limitations in rational debate, though using metaphysical concepts does seem to be effective in influencing: Those who lack critical thinking, those who are naively and idealistically tolerant, and those who are gullible. Perhaps the semantic bugaboo has raised its ugly head again. Referring to the Earth, or beyond, as being an organism limits its existence to being animal, or plant. Even the most primitive of civilizations recognized the existence of elements not being animal or plant. I’m not referring to the periodic chart here; I’m referring to basic elements such as fire, wind, soil, rocks etc. Does Tao Walker by any chance consider himself to be an Animist? I think not, I lean towards believing he is a well meaning masked charlatan. Watch me now, the hand is quicker than the eye, watch closely, at no time will my fingers leave my hands. I jest, forgive me; I actually believe that Tao Walker is consumed by an understandable, and justified ethno – centric resentment of the civilization that has engulfed him.

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By JDmysticDJ, January 5, 2011 at 6:25 pm Link to this comment

#3

Contrary to what you have asserted, I don’t aspire to eliminate factions. I only hope to point out the negative aspects of factionalism. For example, factions that demand adherence to their particular agendas, value systems, and beliefs create dissension, and are a detriment to unified action and coalition building to combat the very real evils that confront us. It’s not necessary for factions to be all powerful in order to have a totalitarian perspective. Perhaps you’ll argue that you are an individual, and not part of a faction, but clearly the solution you offer is factional, even if you were the only member of that faction, which is not the case.

In conclusion I’ll comment that I am something of a Luddite. I recognize the evils associated with a technologically advanced civilization. Those who are strong proponents of technological advance rightly point to the benefits of technology, but they seem blind to the very real and many negatives that are the result of technological advance. I won’t elaborate, except to point out the most obvious negative. Science and technology have created a nearly eternal poison that threatens all of the Earth’s inhabitants. As a child, while attempting to define infinity, my instructors told me that if an infinite number of monkeys were given an infinite number of typewriters they would eventually type the complete works of William Shakespeare. I’ll propose that if we don’t take steps to eradicate the previously mentioned poison, some metaphorical group of monkeys will unleash this poison on the Earth, at some point in time, to a much greater extent than they have already. I have an aversion to factionalism because I believe factionalism is an obstacle to a unified effort to eradicate this poison, and other poisons disseminated by these metaphorical monkeys. We need a concerted effort to silence these monkey typewriters. They have not yet written the complete works of William Shakespeare, but they are currently engaged in writing some really nasty stories.

Hopefully the above allegory has not been too oblivious. The difficulties that confront us are legion, but I believe these difficulties can be overcome by a simple change in attitude. I don’t believe this change in attitude will be achieved at any time soon, but that this change in attitude can create a new paradigm and should be the goal of all. All things being said, my rational expectation is that my ashes will be dispersed, or my remains will be under the knife of science, long before the goal is achieved and a new paradigm comes into existence, my legacy will be next to nothing, but hopefully the realm of a new, and better, paradigm will be the reality of future generations.

HokaHey!

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By ardee, January 5, 2011 at 7:01 am Link to this comment

It is a fight to the death down there, some of us would like to see it stay there.

There are also some who see that violence as both having its roots in the action of American interests and profitability and having a moral responsibility to combat violence everywhere. You, morongobill, are certainly free to build higher and higher walls behind which you can hide, with eyes firmly shut and ears covered.

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By TAO Walker, January 4, 2011 at 8:11 pm Link to this comment

“JDmysticDJ”‘s angry “self”-centric reaction to this Old Man’s suggestion that he suffers from a biological CONdition that is NOT, as he urges, mere “factionalism,” but “individual”-ism as-such, perhaps reveals that he’s been hit a little too close to where he actually half-lives.  He should not feel so all alone, though.  There are, at last count, nearly 7 billion members of the sub-species homo domesticus in the throes of the same ailment.

Would that his proposed “solution” could be effective.  Even as far-fetched a possibility as getting-rid of every Human “faction” certainly is, though, doing so would still only result in the largest possible random collection of diseased “individuals” These “CONsumer units” would remain completely and fatally unable to respond beneficially to even the attendant symptoms (never-mind the actual presence and process) of the retro-viral entity draining Earth of Natural Vitality in order to “energize” its own un-dead “self.”

Perhaps “JDmysticDJ” is offended by the natural fact that not all Human Persons and Peoples have been infected by the “self”-centric “civilization” disease.  Is he equally upset that not all of his own virtual Kind have, as yet, CONtractd cancer (for just one instance among many possible parallel “cases)?  Does he resent there being a few of us here still wholly alive and well, in the midst of this “global” sick-bay turning rapidly into a world-wide ward for the terminally ill?

That he feels very strongly about the seriousness of our common predicament is as obvious as it is commendable.  That he still hasn’t grasped either its real characteristics or the organic (rather than merely institutional) nature of any effective response to it, is every bit as obvious….and as understandable as it is unfortunate.

In short, “JDmysticDJ,” despite both his vehement protestations to the CONtrary and his clearly genuine and sincere concern for ALL-concerned, still doesn’t actually KNOW what he’s talking-about.

HokaHey!

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By JDmysticDJ, January 4, 2011 at 4:26 pm Link to this comment

Tao Walker

I know exactly what in hell I’m talking about, and I suspect that Tao Walker knows that what I have written is true. Speaking of ego, there are times when people their “ownselves,” are reluctant to publicly admit their errant thinking in order to save face, it’s the most obvious proof of ego, which we all have to some degree, our “ownselves.”

Those whose egos have been suppressed by their “ownselves” handle criticism well, and do not take offense.

No amount of stylized esoteric centric dialectic can refute the existence of a centricity that is manifested, over and over again.

My “Operating system’s solipsistic fallacy,” for example, is a seemingly clever comment completely devoid of any actual relevance to our discourse, except as an esoterically intellectualized diminution of me, be you, your “ownself.”  Recognizing the existence of one’s “ownself” is only solipsism when one doesn’t recognize the existence of others, their “ownselves,” which clearly isn’t my problem. I recognize you, your “ownself,” along with the centricity you exhibit over and over again.

Let me state the obvious, the Earth is not the center of the universe, nor are you, or I, (Believing so is an errant centricity issue.)

HokaHey

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By T*Rose, January 4, 2011 at 5:21 am Link to this comment

I agree with winsome1 This is not a well written piece and a waste of time.

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By TAO Walker, January 3, 2011 at 5:16 pm Link to this comment

This Old Indian can only surmise that “JDmysticDJ” has erected in his own ‘mind’ some kind of straw-man “image” that his comment below is evidently intended to first sketch-out and then to demolish.  Where in any offerings here (or anywhere, ever) has Yours Truly “advocated”-for any “civilization” at all, let alone the blood-thirsty out-breaks of it that erupted around these parts?

For the-record, and hopefully to arouse “JDmysticDJ” from his hallucinatory fever-dream, “civilization,” as such, is a disease.  It is killing us all, including our Mother Earth Herself and all of Her Children, Our Relations.

Maybe his own “individual” failure to escape the thing’s virtual clutches has “JDmysticDJ” fallen-prey also to its operating system’s solipsistic fallacy, which holds that nobody ‘else’ can be free from whatever predicaments one’s “self” is stuck in, or naturally immune to any CONdition of sickness it suffers.  In-short, misery loves company.

His (apologetically?) admitted “ego”-centric misrepresentations of this Old Savage’s words here, whether intentional or merely careless, expose only his own crippling misCONceptions.  It reveals nothing at all about us surviving free wild Human Peoples, who in-fact have no “centric” agenda whatsoever.

As vital components in Earth’s natural immune system, we simply Do what we ARE.  It is our co-opted and corrupted tame Sisters and Brothers of the virtual subspecies homo domesticus (of which “JDmysticDJ” is now a “self”-CONfessed card-carrying member) who are trapped in a “self”-centric ‘dominance’ paradigm that is literally eating them all alive….which is its retro-viral agent’s own “self”-serving ‘agenda,’ its ultimately cannibalistic ‘process.’ 

If he is offended by the natural fact of his co-opted CONdition, maybe the thing to do would be to get free of that captivity….and its CONfining device, his own suffocating “self.”  Throwing rhetorical brick-bats at those who happen to bring his actual ‘status’ to his attention, probably won’t accomplish anything at-all worthwhile.

Before going-off half-cocked again, maybe “JDmysticDJ” should make damn-sure he knows what-in-hell he’s talking-about.

HokaHey!

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By JDmysticDJ, January 3, 2011 at 3:17 pm Link to this comment

TaoWalker

The accrued atrocities that occurred over the centuries perpetrated on the inhabitants of the Americas are known to many. I personally, am part of a miniscule minority who advocate for any and all reparations proposed to alleviate irreversible horrific historical abuses, but irreversible are just what they are. Advocating for a utopian, reactionary, ethnic religious or philosophical centricity can not reverse these events of history. Upholding and adhering to previous cultural practices is laudable, but only available to the very few. In my youth I had fantasies about participating in the Sun Dance, sweat lodges, and vision quests, to become more attuned to the spirituality of my Native American brethren, but such individual participations would not have reversed the events of history, or changed the current realities, except possibly for the individual.

Some will argue that the current civilizations in the Americas are preferable to the previous civilizations of the Americas, ignoring the human sacrifices that occurred over the centuries, but, if the historic record is to believed, western culture had no monopoly on human sacrifice or barbarity, though the magnitude of the barbarities perpetrated against the indigenous inhabitants of the Americas is evident to students of history, and the reality that those abuses are continuing is also evident to the astute. Righting wrongs must sometimes be accompanied by coping with realities as they are, while struggling to change those realities where feasible. What you advocate is desirable in the purest sense, but simply not feasible, except by the fortunate few, may they be blessed in their spiritual endeavors.

In the final analysis we are, all of us, confronted by the same problems. If the activities of human beings are truly threatening our quality of life, and our very existence, only a unified effort by the majority of human beings can cure the problems and prevent the prognosticated catastrophe. The obstacle to this unified effort is factionalism, and the demands of different factions. Ethnic, economic, national, political, religious, and other centricities serve as obstacles to this unified effort. Factions holding themselves aloof and being intolerant of other factions serves to fragment a unified effort, and create a dystopia. The concept of citizenship, or membership, as it relates to States and all the different centricities is, I believe, counter productive to the greater good. Primitive societies frequently defined themselves as being “THE people.” We in the U.S. define ourselves as “We the people” and many consider this designation as being exceptional. The fundamental adherents to all centricities believe themselves to be exceptional. We human beings are, all of us, residents of the Earth. The most basic definition of citizenship is defined as residency in a specific locale. I like to consider myself a citizen of the world, or in my most grandiose and metaphysical of contemplations, a citizen of the cosmos. I’ll advocate for tolerance of my fellow citizens and for unified actions by all factions to promote the common good. I’ll advise that you do the same, without being yourself ethno or spiritually centric.

Please forgive my apparent egocentricity; in actuality I don’t consider myself to be exceptional in many respects, but I do believe this perspective to be exceptional, defensible, and worthy of implementation, and I will continue to confront those I perceive as being irrationally and counter productively errant in their centric perception of being exceptional.

HokaHey

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By TAO Walker, January 2, 2011 at 1:58 am Link to this comment

Grant that “REDHORSE” comes-by and holds his “belief in America” honestly, as do many millions of domesticated people.  “America” remains even-so, despite all that faith-based allegiance, nothing but a figment of fevered captive collective imaginations….which is why it must be “believed-in” to have any semblance of actual existence at-all.

Turtle Island, on-the-other-hand, requires no such belief-system to BE.  Us surviving free wild Natives here are made-of it….in Body and Spirit.  We are nourished, clothed, sheltered by the generosity of All Our Relations who are also natural expressions of our Mother Earth’s Vision, Her Living Arrangement, here.

“America” was a CONjurers’ trick from its outset.  It was designed to fool gullible Two-leggeds into thinking, and acting as-though, they could abuse Earth and Her living Arrangement at-will, with never any adverse repercussions.  It worked, too, for awhile.

Now that the trick is being exposed for the CONfidence scheme it always has been, however, and the rubes are beginning to realize they’ve been taken for everything they had (including their organic integrity as components in Her natural immune system), and are making noises about wanting at-least their “money” back (Their “country” has never been theirs for a minute.  It is and has always bee Indian Country.), it’s time to call-out the armed thugs to keep the suckers at-bay while the charlatans make-good their long-planned escape.  Their bag-of-tricks is as empty now as the increasingly miserable half-lives of those who threw-away their Humanity for a fleeting illusion of comfort and CONvenience.  Talk about your cheap thrills. 

The allamericanfeverdream is over.  Waking-up to the social and ecological wasteland left in its wake is sure-as-hell hard to do.  No wonder so many desperate “individuals” are so eager to sign-on to any ‘program’ holding-out the false “HOPE!” of keeping the illusion going a little longer.

There is no “illegals problem” here on Turtle Island.  The collapsing and disintegrating “global” eCONomy is simply rendering “inoperable” all the best-laid plans of homo domesticus and the wannabe “owners” of that virtual subspecies which they’ve been breeding-up for so long.           

Welcome to Turtle Island, Sisters and Brothers….and remember to check your guns and your egos at the door.

HokaHey!

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By REDHORSE, January 1, 2011 at 7:55 pm Link to this comment

TAO WALKER/JDMJD: We three know that sane solutions to the “illegals” problem and the drug war could easily be implemented and we know why they aren’t. The chaotic violent social/financial impact of both issues is real. The “red meat” “racecard” exploitation of both for political purpose and easy MSM journalistic boiler plate serves the same obfuscatory function and sends the same message as the other “I-just-can’t-believe-its-happening” issues we discuss here: The hogs are at the trough and they ain’t givin’ way. (And, they’re dangerous hogs. Like poor Julian and Brad—watch your back. I’m convinced that what happens to those two determines our future.)

      I wish Xenophobia was the easy explanation to the “illegals” problem. It isn’t. The mask is indeed off. Racial division represents just one of the fractures splitting the American Psyche. I have to stand in the middle because I have family on both sides of both American Borders. We’re Mexican-Scots-Native American and Scandinavian. Some of us are dark skinned and some of us are white as snow. In short, we’re American. Sadly, American Latino Politicos here in the S.W. have exploited race for political manipulation, to create unity (us/them) and to control dialogue (—“Still beat your Wife?—”). I don’t like racists of any color and racism isn’t exclusive to whites. In reality poverty, depressed wages, failed social systems and poor education ensures ignorance and fear. That’s a color blind fact. Do what you want with it.

      I enjoy your posts and wish you and all posters here a Happy New Year!! I think we’re all agreed that the United States has crossed a still undefined line of demarcation. I suspect the Nation is just beginning to comprehend that the total absence of a moral center is the real terror of our times. TAOWALKER: We all need new eyes and I appreciate your voice.  My belief in America may or may not take me to a “DEAD END” but remember, we’ve both died before.

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By Carl, January 1, 2011 at 2:45 pm Link to this comment

We need to put U.S. soldiers back on the border to patrol these remote and dangerous areas, which was their main mission until 1940.
For those who “think” this is a bad idea, read reality here: http://www.g2mil.com/border.htm

Here is part of that link:
US citizens are not demanding new immigration laws, they just want the federal government to enforce existing laws.  If the nation needs more immigrants, quotas can rise and those selected screened for diseases, criminal records, and motives.  People who break the law by entering the US illegally, then break more laws by working illegally using false identification, do not qualify as potential good citizens.  To keep the gates for cheap labor open, corporate television along with corporate sponsored politicians have used irrational slogans to convince many Americans that putting US troops on the border is unconstitutional, illegal, impractical, dangerous, and futile.  This is why the few thousand “National Guardsmen” recently deployed to the border are prohibited from guarding the nation; they can only perform menial chores.  Let us review these myths:

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By JDmysticDJ, January 1, 2011 at 2:03 pm Link to this comment

Regarding the incidence of kidnappings in Arizona; according to Law Enforcement Officials, news reports, and word on the street, a significant percentage of these kidnappings are a result of drug deals gone bad i.e. you give me what you owe me and I’ll give you your loved one(s) back.

The influx of criminality from a small minority of immigrants from South of our borders is actually the result of criminality on the part of U.S. citizens. Eliminating or greatly reducing this influx of criminality could be achieved by eliminating the prohibition of controlled substances, or by U.S. citizens giving up their “harmless” criminal pastimes, but I doubt very much whether these criminal U.S. citizens will be willing to give up their “harmless pastimes,” or the perceived “edge” that these controlled substances give them. It’s a simple matter of fact that many U.S Citizens enhance their incomes and social lives dealing with controlled substances. There is a significant subterranean counter culture and black market that permeates our society; which does not absolve criminals from their criminal behavior, but it does explain and define the problem.

It’s a matter of entrepreneurial economic realities. Where there is a market, there will be suppliers. Blaming the totality of immigrants for this criminal behavior is myopic and smacks of xenophobic scapegoating. 

The history of immigration as it pertains to the U.S. is replete with examples of discrimination, crime, and xenophobia, but only those of darker skin have not become members of the invisible assimilated.

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By G.Anderson, January 1, 2011 at 10:44 am Link to this comment

meanwhile down at the local airport grandma has to endure full body ex rays, being
patted down for explosives, and In future a cavity search.

While a regiment of former Iraqi imperial guards, could slip over he border undetected
and soon be on line at the DMV without to much trouble.

The problem our government has with illegals is how to satisfy the political forces that
want amnesty but still exploit them financially at the same time.

Their easy presence here gives testimony to the real purpose of the terror war, to turn
this country into a police state, and take away the freedoms of those who live here.

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By winsome1, January 1, 2011 at 10:11 am Link to this comment

Dear Truthdig,
This piece exhibits inferior writing, in style and content.
Please work harder to keep up the standards.
Thank you.

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By TAO Walker, January 1, 2011 at 1:04 am Link to this comment

The entire “global” system runs on gangster rules.  The “basic rule” is FEAR….now become again an outright reign-of-terror.

For a long time theamericanpeople were rather easily kept CONvinced that their make-believe allamericanexceptionalism guaranteed them effective immunity from the ruthless depredations they were CONtent to underwrite with their voluntary support of military and intelligence operations “offshore.”  Most of ‘em had no qualms, either, about the cheap oil and CONsumer goods made available by the systematic corporate looting of so-called “third-world” Peoples, their coerced labor and stolen “resources.”

Them days, as “REDHORSE” says below, are gone.  The monster has turned with a vengeance upon its foolish enablers.  The masks have come off, along with the kid-gloves, and theamericanpeople are in for a full helping, and more, of the shit they so slap-happily dished-out to ‘others’ all around the world for far too long.

Here’s the real kicker.  In the eyes of their gangster rulers the “huddled masses” here have never been really legitimate….essentially landless peasants half-living at the pleasure of the ownership class.  Now there are laws on the cooked books making that official.  “REDHORSE” is every-bit as much an “illegal” now as any of those he rails about here, in his fear and frustration….hell, probably more so, since he’ll maybe resist violently the ongoing dismantling and degradation of this always-imaginary-anyway CONstruct he calls “America.”

Turtle Island and our Mother Earth Herself are rejecting everything about the “civilization” disease….including the corrupted Humans that were CONned into believing they could rape and pillage Her Living Arrangement with no adverse consequences.  “REDHORSE” should not take this personally, because he comes-across for-the-most-part as a generally decent “individual,” but his obsession with “America” is going to take him to a DEAD END….and much sooner than later.

This is, after-all, the land of the FREE and the home of the WILD….Indian Country!

HokaHey!

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By REDHORSE, December 31, 2010 at 11:28 pm Link to this comment

Lets call the “illegals problem” by its real name:Reverse Outsourcing. We have Immigration Law. It isn’t enforced because Capital wants cheap labor and weak Unions. As in the issue of tax equity Capital doesn’t want to pay a fair share of health care or other social benefits so YOU subsidize it with your tax dollars. It bankrupted health care in California.

    The “drug problem” exists because the huge money in “illegal” drugs lines the pockets of D.C. thugs. Armed Mexican gangs operate thirty miles inside the U.S. Border and the Cartels run “grow farms” in U.S. National Forests? Listen, armed Mexican gangs operate all over the U.S. They busted major American Banks openly laundering Black Market cash and there were small fines and no prosecutions. The Mexicans understand what you refuse to. The U.S. is wide open and anybodies punch. Washington is controlled by an International Black Market criminal conspiracy. It deals in arms, human trafficking, illegals smuggling, money laundering, credit card and forged document crime, kidnapping, murder for hire, torture, you name it.The “shadow boys” of the MIC and revolving door political fixers serve as the interface. What do you think K-Street is? Can YOU afford 5K shower curtains and 2K lunches?

    The violence in Mexico is already here. Arizona is number two in the World in for profit kidnapping. I have to arm myself to leave home. The “reconquista” is well under way. There are “illegals” cardboard, tarpaper and plywood slums without water or heat all over my State. Strip malls are being purchased outright and refurbished to launder cash. As far as Washington is concerned, you’re just “blowback”. Hell, Russian oligarchs are openly buying sports teams and American real estate. The fix is in and you’re on your own.

    Latino’s here are kicking sand with outgoing Gov. Bill Richardson. They say he can’t speak for the Latino Community anymore. He let them down. I suppose the 50,000 plus Drivers Licenses he issued to “illegals” wasn’t enough. Ever had someone pass you on the shoulder in heavy traffic at 80MPH?

    Look. The America we knew is over. What’s coming is anyones guess. I enjoy Stillmans articles but this is just “red meat” and the “racecard” is still an airball. Save your sympathy for yourself.

    GET LEGAL OR GET OUT!!

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By frecklefever, December 31, 2010 at 3:16 pm Link to this comment

THE HEROES THAT ARE SHOWN ON THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHANNEL ..ARE MEXICAN
AMERICANS…WORKING AS BORDER PATROL AGENTS..DESPITE THE INSULTS AND THREATS THEY
ARE COMMITTED TO ENFORCING THE LAWS..PLUS BEING SYMPATHETIC TO ILLEGALS HAS ONLY
INCREASED THEIR NUMBERS..AND SO THE ENABLERS HAVE BEEN MULTIPLING THE
PROBLEM…MEXICO IS A DYSFUNCTIONAL STATE AND AMERICA WILL HAVE TO FACE SOME TOUGH
DECISIONS SHORTLY…OBAMAS MODUS OPERANDI OF ONE FOOT FORWARD AND ONE FOOT BACK..IS
NOT THE DECISION NEEDED ...

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By BigTom, December 31, 2010 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“If there’s one thing we know about the border, it’s that people will not stop
trying to cross it.” Ha…..Can you think back to a time when the people of
Mexico would not even try to cross the border? When ‘Migra’ had respect from
Mexican citizens? When ‘Migra’ had the full force and backing from our own
federal government to enforce the law of theses United States? Too many
Americans are ‘looking over there’ where the finger is conviently and
suspiciously pointing at the humanitarian aspect of illegals crossing ‘just trying
to feed their families’. Of course most all this at the expense of the now
collapsing middle class taxpayer and the foundation of this country along with
it, while ‘over here’ and behind our backs the real problem of this isssue goes
sneaking by unnoticed by all the pc humanitarians out there.  If this self
indulgent author spent more time writting about the topic of this article in the
space alloted her and less time on irrelevent ‘hot tub orgasmic’ issues
concerning herself perhaps she may have accidentally stumbled upon the real
issue of this pressing problem…that being…..drum roll please…now you go
find the answer Ms. Stillman instead of trying to do a paste over with wall paper
covering both sides of this issue with your name in big letters on it ......

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By JDmysticDJ, December 31, 2010 at 12:51 pm Link to this comment

Wikipedia:

“...there were a total of 12 people [immigrants] killed by agents in 2007 and 2008.

Furthermore, Amnesty International has taken concern regarding the excessive brutality inflicted upon illegal immigrants.
 
Numerous evidence and reports detailing cruel and excessive force by Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in which victims were “subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, including beatings, sexual assault, denial of medical attention, and denial of food, water and warmth for long periods”
 
Lack of legal representation and advice when brought to court, especially illegal immigrant children who are given no rights to a lawyer.”

So much for the concept of compassionate, heroic, border guards.

From Dena Wurman immigration attorney:

“The number of individuals held in custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in the just-ended FY 2009 is now estimated to have reached 369,483 detainees, more than twice what the total was in FY 1999. ICE runs a decentralized network of detention facilities that hold aliens pending proceedings or deportation. Immigration proceedings are civil proceedings and immigration detention is not punishment.

Because ICE lacks facility space for this growing population, they contract with local governments and private businesses such as Corrections Corporation of America (CCA). Since 2004, revenue at CCA, (which has a contract with the Department of Homeland Security) increased from $1.1 billion to $1.5 billion. The success of the private prison sector is an externality that fuels the pressure to grow an ever increasing detention population.”

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer is the most powerful proponent of SB1070. It was recently revealed that two of Jan Brewers top advisors are or were lobbyists for the above mentioned Corrections Corporation of America (CCA).

Deanne Stillman, an expatriate of the East coast, via anti-immigrant California, needs to go back to her dude and hot tub, and to writing stories about horney turtles, pretty horses, and true life stories about murdering marines, not to mention pitching scripts and plays. I’m sure she’s very knowledgeable about the Hollywood literary community, and an aficionado of desert wildlife, but I don’t believe she’s very knowledgeable about: Arizona politics, what it means to be xenophobic, police state mercenaries, or the hard lives and poverty of Hispanics both here and South of our borders.

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By morongobill, December 31, 2010 at 12:20 pm Link to this comment

What is not propaganda is the absolutely barbaric nature of the violence going on south of the border. Watch any of the spanish news channels here for the gory details.

There is nothing to stop it from coming across the border but our law enforcement efforts.

It is a fight to the death down there, some of us would like to see it stay there.

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By dcrimso, December 31, 2010 at 11:09 am Link to this comment

Close the border with Mexico.  Bring in the Military and set up a DMZ similar with Korea.  Oh we can’t close the border because we’re the land of the free.  BS.  There is a War going on in Mexico.  The drug cartels control at least one third of the country.  Immigration reform and drug law reform need to be addressed NOW!

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By ardee, December 31, 2010 at 9:05 am Link to this comment

The author of this little propaganda piece noted that she writes screenplays, thus this fictional accounting is just more of the same. Ski masks and dark clothing in the desert…well maybe. A paramilitary organisation roaming the same desert with military weaponry, performing altruistic rescue missions? Yeah, right. Those who have been there usually paint a rather less heartwarming picture of the border patrols actions than this little article provides.

There are certainly solutions to the problems of illegal aliens flocking to our country in search of a means to feed their families. I am certain that Ms. Stillman might do her due diligence and learn some of them, if, that is, she can stop her paeon to brutal police methods long enough to find the time.

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