Archive for April 24th, 2012

by lizard

Whenever I travel, I make a point of finding and visiting bookstores. For the last week I’ve been in Kansas City, visiting the in-laws and a few close friends. During this “vacation” I’ve managed to squeeze in some quality book time, which has resulted in the purchasing of nearly 20 poetry-related books (thanks to a used book store, the damage to my bank account is not as severe as the number indicates).

With such a major influx of titles, selecting a poem for this week’s poetry series has been rather difficult. I initially wanted to feature a poem by Michael Robbins, from his collection Alien Vs. Predator. It’s the first book of poetry that I read completely, front to back, in quite awhile. His gratuitous use of pop-culture references is, some critics may argue, too limiting, relegating the potential impact of his poems to those “in the know”, but I loved it, and for poetry nerds, I highly suggest checking him out.

From my poetic expenditure, I now own “new” books from Robert Creeley, Adrienne Rich, Sharon Olds, and Diane Wakowski, not to mention a few books from poets who, I imagine, no one has ever heard of, like James Kavanaugh and Lenore Kandel.

The poem I finally decided to select for this week’s poetry series is from an anthology of poems, titled Junkyard Ghost Revival.

The first time I read this poem, written by Sonya Renee Taylor, it gave me chills. It’s an imagined response, of sorts, from Laci Peterson, brutally murdered by her husband, Scott Peterson, who now rots on death row, where he belongs.

Considering all the (mostly useless) bloggy chatter about sexual assaults against women, it’s a timely piece that deserves some attention. Continue Reading »

by lizard

Congratulations, America. Thanks to a bipartisan effort, Mexicans have finally gotten the message: GO HOME!

The net flow of Mexicans into the US has dwindled to a trickle and may now be in reverse, giving the lie to right-wing warnings of an “invasion” of illegal immigrants and bringing to an end four decades of inward migration.

Will Republicans acknowledge that—with the help of the Obama administration—aggressive deportations, border patrol impunity, and a shitty economy have helped reverse the MEXICAN INVASION we’ve been told to fear? Yeah, right. From the link:

President Barack Obama says he backs immigration reform, announcing last month an initiative to ease deportation policies, but he has sent home over 1 million illegal immigrants in 2-1/2 years — on pace to deport more in one term than George W. Bush did in two.

The Obama administration had deported about 1.06 million as of September 12, against 1.57 million in Bush’s two full presidential terms.

This seeming contradiction between rhetoric and reality is a key element of debate over U.S. immigration policy, and stakes are high for 2012’s presidential election as Obama faces criticism from both conservatives and liberals.

Neither side of the political spectrum seems very good at acknowledging reality these days, so don’t hold your breath. Instead, both Democrats and Republicans point to just the rhetoric while ignoring the reality of what the Obama administration policies actually do, on the ground.

For a glimpse of reality, here’s Democracy Now covering the violent beating death of Anastasio Hernández Rojas, a father of five who doesn’t get to be a father anymore, because he’s dead.

So Obama says he supports immigration reform? Bullshit. Obama supports getting himself reelected. That means he will say things to get elected, while doing the opposite to ensure Republicans can’t point to actual actions being taken to make that rhetoric resemble reality.

Of course, even if he was being earnest with *wanting* to reform immigration policies, it’s doubtful he could get enough of his own team to go along with it. Remember, our own senator, Jon Tester, helped kill the very modest reform known as the Dream Act. And what was Jon’s rationale for his vote? Here is what Jon said in an e-mail:

Illegal immigration is a critical problem facing our country, but amnesty is not the solution. I do not support legislation that provides a path to citizenship for anyone in this country illegally.

Like I said, reality doesn’t matter to politicians; reelection, though, does.

Will Jon Tester amend his position in light of this new data showing the “critical problem facing our country” is no longer critical? It’s an election year, so I doubt it. If the topic comes up, maintaining the bullshit rationale that the Dream Act represented some kind of “amnesty” will still be the smart thing to do, since Montanans probably still mostly fear and despise the idea of Mexicans flooding across the borders to steal their jobs and sell their middle-school kids weed, because that’s what Fox News and the GOP say.

Meanwhile, Obama will outpace Bush kicking people out of the country, families will continue being ripped apart, and politicians like Jon Tester will continue ignoring reality in order to win elections.

America, you should be so proud.

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