The Second Crucifixion of El Salvador

An immigrant from El Salvador who has been living “legally” in the United States since 1989, may soon be forced to return to that Central American nation.

Unlike hundreds of thousands of Latin Americans who are deported every year for working in the U.S. without papers, Carlos Eugenio Vides Casanova was warmly welcomed when he arrived in Miami from El Salvador; in fact he was greeted like a king and quickly granted permanent residency.

Why? Vides Casanova was Minister of Defense in El Salvador and in command of the National Guard during that nation’s Civil War (1980-1992).

It may seem strange that Vides Casanova would get a hero’s welcome in the U. S. since during Civil War in El Salvador, tens of thousands of innocent people were tortured and killed by the military and government-backed death squads.

According to the New York Times, before Vides Casanova retired to the United States with a generous pension, he “was praised by American officials as a reformer struggling to root out human rights violators from his corps.”

In fact Vides Casanova “participated in or concealed torture and murder by his troops.”

In an important decision, the U. S. Board of Immigration Appeals ruled March 11 that, among other crimes, Vides Casanova “covered up the role of National Guard troops under his command in the rape and murder of four American churchwomen in December 1980. Those killings,” the Times piece said, “as much as any others by the Salvadoran armed forces during the decade-long war, revealed the rampant violence of the military that Washington staunchly supported in its Cold War confrontation with leftist guerrillas.”

The United States provided over $7 billion in weapons and financial assistance to the dictatorship in El Salvador in the 1980s. It also provided military training for the Army, National Guard, and even to death squads organized through that nation’s Treasury Police.

Why did the United States support the dictatorship in El Salvador? They were but one legion of shock troops in a century-long effort by the U. S. military industrial complex to maintain control over all of Latin America and its people.

In the 1980s, the FMLN — a united front of progressive political groups — led the people of El Salvador against a military government that had ruled since The Matanza of 1932, a massacre of 32,000 peasants by General Maximiliano Hernandez Martinez. General Martinez, one of El Salvador’s many dictators, murdered peasants in the tens of thousands in order to crush a planned revolt organized by Farabundo Martí, the Salvadorean revolutionary from whom the FMLN derived their name.

So when the people rose up as they did in El Salvador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Cuba, Venezuela, Chile, Argentina, Guatemala and throughout Latin America, the U. S. did what they have always done when the people try to take control of their own country and make changes there: They intervened.

In fact since the proclamation of the Monroe Doctrine, every time a nation south of the border has attempted to solve its own problems in a manner that did not meet the approval of major US banks and corporations, military advisers have been sent, arms appropriated, sanctions imposed, coup d’etats engineered, and troops dispatched. As a result, nothing much has changed in Latin America since 1825 — the date of the first US intervention there.

Seventy-five thousand people died during the Civil War in El Salvador; hundreds of thousands fled the violence and mayhem during the 1980s and beyond, most of them finding their way to the United States.

It’s a terrible irony that people forced by a deranged military dictatorship to flee their homeland should seek sanctuary in the nation that supported and supplied the regime that oppressed them. It is an even crueler twist of history that those refugees, and their children, would, upon their arrival in the U. S., and for decades to come, be viewed and treated as criminals.

By interfering directly in a war of liberation, one lead by the heroic FMLN, the U. S. prevented El Salvador from charting their own destiny. As a result, even after Peace Accords were signed in 1992, and democratic elections staged, that country is still to this day recovering from the damage wrought by that war, one that leveled forests, destroyed industries and infrastructure, damaged almost beyond repair the rule of law, and wounded the very psyche of the people. The brutal and devastating war also created ideal conditions for the introduction of a massive narcotics trade, well organized narco-criminal groups, and a state of lawlessness that continues to hold that nation, and much of Latin America, in its grip.

Just last year thousands of children, many traveling on their own, endured the perilous journey from El Salvador to the U.S. in an effort to escape gang violence and mob rule. Most were quickly deported, though many await an immigration hearing. Unlike Vides Casanova, they await those appeals in jail.

At a 2014 deportation appeal, Vides Casanova’s attorney, Diego Handel, told an immigration judge that it was unfair to deport his client because “The United States government was an active participant on the side of the El Salvadoran government,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

“U.S. officials have not been held accountable for their role in the violence,” the attorney said.

copyright © 2016 J. P. Bone


to read the New York Times piece by Julia Preston, published March 12, 2015 click on the following link:





Hillary is the Bomb

“He has said he would do anything I asked,” Hillary Rodham Clinton declared with astonishment, extra double-A eggs with blue bulls-eyes dangerously close to popping out of her head.

Hillary was, of course, referring to her housemate, publicist, political strategist, campaign manager and chief fundraiser Bill. A delighted crowd purred with expectation as Hillary waited for just the right moment: “I would put him to work!” she said adding a huge exclamation mark just outside the dialogue balloon.

Bill in a pink apron cooking lentils, Bill tending to the roses in the garden, Bill paying the bills, Bill cleaning the tub, Bill washing the dishes, Bill coaching a girl’s soccer team…

Wait a minute — nothing domestic for Bill! This is an international assignment.

But Bill going around the world? And with Hillary’s blessing? So theirs IS an open marriage, after all…

Suddenly Hillary takes great pride announcing how many people “love Bill.” And many have. “I’m very lucky that my husband has been so experienced in all these areas,” she said with a twinkle in her eye.

If it is possible for Hillary to get out of character for just a minute it seems that she may be violating some tenet of bourgeois feminism invoking as she has the image and influence of her husband to further her own career.

Or am I still living in the 60s?

Next thing you know the Democratic front-runner will be flirting with the notion of including Bill in her cabinet, which would require a legislative measure of some audacity, which, flashing forward then back, would require a miracle of some magnitude – that Hillary be elected President of the United States.

Of America.

Or perhaps all of this is simply a campaign ploy, part of “the conversation,” Hillary’s way of helping us “visualize the future.”

Let’s try.

Close your eyes for a moment and tilt your head back… That’s it.

Keep your eyes closed tight now! Yes there you are, in the crowd… And there SHE is… Hillary, right hand raised in the brisk morning air, palm arched, fingers stiff, nearly a military salute, Oliver North swearing to tell the truth, a hand gesture laden with more meaning than any other, save one.

A Woodstock-size crowd hushes, poised as it is to witness history and take cell-phone photos of the Capitol Rotunda, Hillary Rodham Clinton, uncharacteristically on the left, facing the Supreme Court Chief Justice, on the far right as usual, a historic moment, the climax of a long career, faithful spouse Bill facing the crowd, behind the Bible, he has Nancy Reagan eyes…

“So help me God,” Hillary swears.

The masses erupt with adoration, a seething orgasmic swirl of love gushing across the land. Another Clinton White House! Let the party begin!

Ah but that is all just a fantasy now, though among oddsmakers six will give you nine that Clinton will win the nomination. That’s clearly what corporate America expects, where they’ve wagered their bread… Yes almost all the big boys are behind Hillary, behind Bill, behind the Clintons. Politics makes strange bedfellows, it is said, in this case bringing together an estranged husband and wife and the military industrial complex in a ménage à trois, weapons of mass destruction far more arousing than leather, whips and chains.

“I can’t think of a better cheerleader for America than Bill Clinton, can you?” Hillary said with an impish grin.

But wait a minute, there’s just one problem with Bill as national cheerleader – remember? He got caught with his pants down. Yes it was just a blow-job, yes it was just a little white lie he told, but he said it under oath and was impeached. Bill should have said it under his breath, under the covers, under wraps. But he didn’t. And yes, it’s damn unfair — Republicans can screw people and get away with it when democrats get in trouble just opening their mouths.

But Bill DID have sex with that woman. Yes that one. And it was such a humungous moment in history that it even changed the way people define carnal relations. PART OF THE LEGACY of Bill Clinton is that a lot of young people think they can have oral sex and claim they didn’t – have sex, that is…

But despite Bill’s violation of marital vows he proved over and over again his fidelity to something bigger — the Clinton’s unorthodox open marriage, a blissful union of free markets and new age fascism.

Let us not forget that Bill ushered through the GATT and NAFTA treaties, cut the safety net for immigrants, attacked poor people under the guise of welfare reform, while always — always — demonstrating absolute fidelity to the big corporate donors that are the holy union of Clinton, Inc.

As far as the whole Lewinsky affair goes, Bill confessed and asked to be forgiven, establishing what is now ritual, a key element of political liturgy — the blessed act of contrition. Bill paid penance for his sins; he traveled the world and visited the sick and homeless, raising money for the disadvantaged and the poor.

And now he has been called again, this time to help poor Hillary.

“I believe in using former presidents, particularly what my husband has done,” Hillary explained, “to really get people around the world feeling better about our country. We’re going to need that. Right now, they’re rooting against us and they need to root for us.”

And Bill can do much to buttress what voters think about Hillary, to make them feel better about her, to root for her, to send her money.

Remember this is a Clinton we’re talking about, not some left-liberal or progressive, for godsakes, certainly not a reformer. She’s as safe a bet to stand for, well, nothing as a $20 wager that Bill will get caught with his pants down again, something that simply won’t happen with Hillary… And Hillary wears pants, too, a la Diane Feinstein, the Democratic trend-setter in the Senate, modeling the last word in fashion as well…

Some of her critics suggest that Hillary is no longer a feminist: No liberated woman would put up with someone like Bill, the argument goes. Okay maybe Hillary isn’t as militant as Maria Shiver, so what? Her corporate backers know what she is, the voters know what she stands for, which is more than they can say about a lot of the other candidates for president. Hillary has a clear identity: She is a hawkish dove, a conservative liberal, a foe of welfare and friend of the indigent. Hillary opposes the War in Iraq and “certainly wouldn’t have voted” for it if she knew then what she knows now, though clearly it was not a mistake for her to give George Bush the power to bomb Baghdad.

In short Hillary is as Clinton as they come. All she needs is a little more sex appeal. And that’s simple: She just needs to threaten to invade Iran, and to “not rule out” the use of nukes. Not rule out, mind you. That is an important detail. Yes Hillary has to show us her muscles, demonstrate her strength, prove she will take-no-prisoners. U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.! THEN her nomination will be assured because then Hillary – not George, not Barack, not Tom, Dick or Harry, but Hillary will be the bomb.

Still relevant after all these years

originally written for These Green Times

copyright © 2008 J. P. Bone

Why Mandela accepted a market economy

The media is still trying to figure out exactly why — or even if — Nelson Mandela changed his views about socialism. Clearly Mandela was a socialist prior to becoming president (he said so in his autobiography, The Struggle Is My Life ).

What would it have meant if South Africa had become a socialist country rather than a capitalist one? And why is it that, at least in public, Mandela seemed to abandon the socialist  dream?

If South Africa had become socialist, the oil, gas, coal, and mining companies, the big banks, and medical industry would have been nationalized. No longer would the rich control all of the nation’s wealth. The people — the working people — would have more than just a vote: they would have some measure of social justice. In real day-to-day terms that would mean clean water, decent housing, competent medical care at no cost, and an  environment protected from the ravages of capitalist exploitation.

A living breathing socialism should promise freedom from hunger, disease, poverty, and the God-given right to dignity, self-respect, and a life with purpose and meaning. Sadly that is not the condition of the working class or the poor in South Africa — or just about anywhere else.

But socialism was not in the cards in South Africa in 1992. Why did Mandela appear to backtrack on his views before becoming the nation’s first democratically elected president?

In a revealing column in the business section of today’s New York Times, Andrew Ross Sorkin shared his view, and that of author and Mandela biographer Anthony Simpson, about why Mandela “changed his mind,” and embraced capitalism…

Ironically things appear to have changed after Mandela met with representatives of the People’s Republic of China at the 1992 meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. According to Sampson, the Chinese capitalists told Mandela, “We are currently striving to privatize state enterprises and invite private enterprise into our economies. We are ‘Communist Party’ government, and you are a leader of a national liberation movement. Why are you talking about nationalization?”

Though socialist Cuba offered to help Mandela build socialism, there was little they could do to assist an economy as large as that in South Africa. After all, the Cubans were trying to keep their heads above water after the U.S. capitalists imposed a brutal embargo on their tiny island nation.

It is easy to understand why Mandela “changed his mind”: if China embraced capitalism, who could Mandela turn to for support?

What’s more the ANC was a liberation movement, a united front of many different tendencies and social groupings, including capitalists. Due to its class basis, structure and stated goals, the ANC was in no position to lead South Africa to a revolutionary social system.

As it was they faced a monumental task: uniting the people of South Africa — a multi-ethnic, multi-national people — into one nation, while abolishing apartheid and dealing with an entrenched racist ruling class.

Being a practical man, Mandela chose the fight he thought he could win. By doing so, the people of South Africa, led by Mandela, made one of the most astonishing achievements  of the 20th Century — they abolished apartheid.

I’m pretty damn sure Mandela knew that to bring true democracy to South Africa, freedom from want, and dignity for all the people, it would eventually need to become socialist.

He made the correct decision, under the circumstances. And the struggle that remains  for the masses of people in South Africa is the same great struggle which all of us who support social justice, peace and freedom around the world must undertake if we are serious about saving our planet: Socialism.


The following Sorkin’s piece as it appeared in today’s NYT:


The Struggle is my Life

By Nelson Mandela

Murdock, the Chamber of Commerce and Immigration “Reform”

You’ve really got to wonder just how terrible a bill must be if Rupert Murdock and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce actively support it.

Yet these and other Big Corporate groups are now promoting legislation they refer to — with a straight face — as “Immigration reform.”

Have you taken a careful look at the “reforms” being kicked around by the U.S. House of Representatives?

Wow. I thought the SENATE BILL was Bad.

Yet things are so horrendous in the House of Representatives that the Mad Tea Party faction thinks the Senate immigration bill is too damn liberal, especially the so-called “pathway to citizenship.”

Among other loathsome provisions, the Senate bill would create a system forcing  undocumented workers to come forward, declare that they are living in the U.S. “illegally,” register with the government, pay a “penalty” for their status, and pay taxes but receive absolutely no benefits whatsoever — no unemployment, social security, disability, medical care — no nothin. And they would have to live that way for 13 years before they could apply for a green card.

Not enough for the far right. Members of the Mad Tea Party get red-faced and start foaming at the mouth about the Senate Bill, claiming that such a program would encourage “illegal immigration” and reward “lawbreakers.”

But exactly who is breaking the law? It is those who pay workers less than the minimum wage; that force people to work in unsafe conditions without benefits or legal rights; it is a government that requires workers pay taxes but refuses to give them any benefits from those taxes. The Law Breakers — the real criminals — are those that deny people their democratic rights. And we all know exactly who they are: they are the capitalists, the big corporations, and the government that they rule.

There are many honest dedicated progressives that are being duped into defending  legislation — such as the Senate bill — that claims to fix the “immigration system.” They are understandably anxious to win some sort of victory this year.

But progressives need to take a very careful look at what specifically is being proposed before endorsing any bill simply because it claims to be Immigration Reform.

In the current situation — one where right-wing conservatives are battling with the extreme far right — we need to focus on one element of true immigration reform: We must actively  support the Dream Act — legislation that would give permanent status to all young folks who came to this country without papers. .

There are thousands of dedicated people who have worked hard and put themselves on the line for this most righteous cause.We need to support them! Let’s make sure their efforts are not undermined by politicians eager to expand their political base by passing    corporate-friendly anti-worker legislation dressed up as immigration reform — bills like that passed by the Senate and even more treacherous ones currently floating around in the House of Corporate Representatives. Let’s focus on the Dream Act and make it clear we won’t be fooled into supporting anti-worker, anti-immigrant bills promoted by Rupert Murdock, Marco Rubio, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

What if?

Congress Institutes Draft!

All young men and women

Ages 17-30

Required to Register!

President Issues Order

To Draft 500,000 Soldiers

For international battlefronts

Register Today and you can pick your own theater of war

Battlefronts include: Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Vietnam, Taiwan, India, Pakistan, Burma, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Yemen, Egypt, Korea (North or South)

That’s right get ready to go and fight for the big corporations that rule this country because if the U.S. attacks Syria — which is an act of war — War likely will be the result.

Just because some right-wing republicans oppose Obama does not mean that Obama is in the right. The U.S. is controlled by big corporations — oil companies, big banks, television, internet, drug manufactures, finance companies, etc.

That means that Obama is not really in charge. He is essentially the CEO of the Board of Directors of Corporate America. Ultimately he must do as they say.

Let the People Speak Up and Demand: No War in Syria!

The Arabian Nights

Will the United States attack the war-ravaged nation of Syria, raining down upon the ruins and masses of people huddled there a hailstorm of tomahawk and hellfire missiles?

Will President Obama follow in the footsteps of the Bush/Cheney Regime and intervene directly, without provocation, against an Arab nation, committing yet another horrible war crime?

The drums of war are pounding and unless the people stand up and oppose any intervention in Syria, there is a very real chance that more innocent people will die and that the civil war in Syria may become the first front in a global cataclysm.


Days ago, Secretary of State John Kerry warned that the United States may intervene in the terrible civil war in Syria after hundreds of innocents from a town just outside of Damascus were killed by something that may — or may not have been a chemical weapon.

Kerry described the murderous incident — which may or may not have been sanctioned by the regime of President Bashar Assad — as a “moral obscenity.”

It’s hard to imagine what could be more obscene than for the U.S. military to turn its firepower on a nation already  devastated by war. Such an attack would do absolutely nothing to bring back the innocents who died in Moadamiyet al-Sham, the small town outside of the capital where hundreds of guiltless people, including small children, perished in the night.


The Cheney/Bush Regime clearly thought attacking Iraq and Afghanistan would be relatively easy, and as modern wars go, it was: It’s relatively easy for a powerful nation to unleash a military attack against a smaller and less-powerful country.

It is war that is difficult, brutal, onerous and seemingly without end.

And if anything should have been learned by the wars fought in the past fifty years, it is this: superior firepower does not ensure victory. In the long run, no invader, no matter how powerful, can defeat the people if they are united against an aggressor. This is a lesson that all superpowers — and would-be superpowers — should have learned.

If the U.S. military attacks Syria, a country that has done nothing to this nation or its people, such an act of war, no matter how “limited,” will undoubtably result in calamitious consequences for the people of Syria, the United States and the world.

One of many ironies in the current crisis is that many right-wing “Republicans” are demanding that President Obama get authorization from Congress before any military action in Syria. They point to the U.S. Constitution as the basis for their demand.

The satire is, of course, that the Republican Party, in particular the Mad Tea Party caucus, is savagely militaristic and would launch a military attack on the inner cities and poor hamlets and towns of the United States if they thought it would be to their advantage and that they could get away with it.

What’s more, past presidents, especially in the current era, have managed to attack countries without provocation, without penalty, backed by both republicans and democrats.

The irony this time is that if Obama authorizes an unprovoked attack on Syria, the republicans will likely impeach him: he will  have committed an impeachable offense, violating Article I, Section 7, of the U.S. Constitution.

Of course it was also an impeachable offense for the Republican Bush/Cheney Regime to lie to Congress about the existence of “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq in the prelude to war there, a war that devastated that nation, the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent people, and thousands of American soldiers who went to fight believing they were defending the United States against terrorists.

In fact, the Bush/Cheney Regime, brought to power by illegitimate means, should have been impeached for that and other crimes. What’s more they should have been tried in a court of law for High Treason.


Let’s make certain that the Obama Administration, one that many of us supported at the ballot box, does not go down in history for committing their own war crimes and authorizing what could well be the first strike of World War III.


Immigration Bill Fire Sale

Despite the tremendous effort by thousands of activists to develop and help usher into law real immigration reform, the sad truth is that the Senate bill recently passed and sent on to the “House of Representatives,” for the most part, is a step backward for working people, in particular those without papers.

This is the “immigration bill” as it stands now, in the Senate form, before the Republican and Mad Tea Party in the U.S. Congress get a shot at it:

1) A totally militarized border with tens of billions of dollars allocated to create the most formidable and forbidding land border since the Great Wall of China, one that could rightly be called a monument to American racism and paranoia;

2) A 13-year minimum security sentence for undocumented workers who, during the  “waiting period” it establishes (euphemistically termed the “pathway to citizenship”) will not be eligible for Social Security, disability, or Medicare, though they must continue to pay into all those systems. (In states such as Arizona, Texas, and Alabama, those on this road to nowhere will also be ineligible for any state benefits such as unemployment);

3) Undocumented workers will have to register with the government, and if they step out of line, or if a local official accuses them of breaking the law—even a local ordinance that is totally unjust or trivial—these workers, and possibly their families, will be subject to deportation;

4) Undocumented workers that “qualify” for the “pathway to citizenship” will be required to learn English — though they may not be allowed to attend state-funded schools in some states (Arizona, Alabama, etc.); this requirement will either pave the way for expensive private language schools and testing services, or put additional burdens on our already-overtaxed educational system.

5) They will be forced to pay a penalty for having lived, worked and contributed taxes in the U.S.;

6) Latin American workers who get roped into the “guest worker” program should be told: “Welcome to the U.S. You are now a willing participant in Apartheid.”  But what exactly is “The Guest Worker Program” and how does it work? Think of a company town in the 1800s, only one where workers are not allowed to leave and have very few of the rights guaranteed to any other “class” or workers in this country. And that’s the beauty of the program, from the capitalists’ point of view, because those in the “guest worker program” will not really be guests: they will have few of the democratic rights enjoyed even by green card holders, susceptible to the whims of their employers, prevented from protesting violation of labor laws or other mistreatment by the always-existing threat of immediate deportation.

“Why that can’t be,” you might say. “Why would ‘Democrats’ agree to such a program?” Because big corporations and banks — who support both the Republican and the “Democratic” Party, love it, and in so many different ways! What could be better than having a group of workers unable to organize and pitted against U.S. workers, hundreds of thousands of innocent people who come because they need to support their families, not knowing that they will be pawns used to drive wages down for other Americans. A splendid idea indeed — for corporations, banks, and agribusiness! And there’s more still! The “guest workers” will be available for all those jobs that “Americans don’t want,” not just in agriculture, but in the hotel industry, corporate restaurants, and construction. And imagine their value in the right-wing’s propaganda war when it deploys this army of surplus labor. You can hear it already: “Immigrant workers are taking your jobs! And it’s all THEIR FAULT!”

7) Under the Senate’s “immigration bill,” U.S. citizens from many countries will lose the right to petition to bring family members to the U.S. Instead the children of rich foreigners, who attended the finest schools in their own countries, and here, due to their class privilege, will be given special entry to the U.S., able to claim professional jobs from working people in THIS country, many of whom had to borrow huge amounts of money, work full-time while attending school, and study hard just to get to a position where THEY could qualify for those jobs! But thanks to billionaire computer wonks like Mark Zuckerberg, who donated tons of money to members of Congress who did his bidding, those jobs, which the Senate has described as  positions for “skilled workers,” will be rewarded the privileged children of foreigners. Why? From Zuckerberg’s point of view, he can pay them less than American workers while they are in the federal job-giveaway program. And from a politician’s point of view, there are huge benefits as well, since this pampered class of “workers” will have rich parents more than willing to open their pocketbooks for needy Congresspeople.

THIS, then, is the bill currently being debated in the U.S. Senate, certain to be passed on to the House of Representatives, where there are so many right wingers that even a tepid Republican-like bill such as Obamacare has been voted down dozens of time just to rub Obama’s nose in it.

Are there ANY provisions of the bill that should be enacted into law? Yes one very important one: The Dream Act. Let’s put all our time and muscle into THAT ONE PROVISION, tell the few remaining honest and progressive “Democrats” that we want them to pass the DREAM ACT and abandon all the other nonsense until they can come up with a real immigration bill that is good for immigrants, especially undocumented workers.




Immigration Reform? Not likely

Despite all the talk from Washington, it’s likely there will be little meaningful immigration reform this year.

What there will likely be are changes in immigration policy that will further benefit big corporations and the rich at the expense of the working class – especially undocumented workers.

This “immigration reform” plan debated by the Senate is the result of a “bi-partisan” committee of senators that brashly call themselves the “Gang of Eight.” The group includes some of the most reactionary members of the Republican Party – Mad Tea Party members Lindsey Graham and Mark Rubio.

Gang member John McCain, senator from the fascist state of Arizona, is considered a “moderate” in the group.

Then there are the “Democrats.” After being made an offer they could not refuse, they decided to go along for the ride.

Though there are over 800 pages to the bill, three key areas reveal the true intent of the proposal:

The so-called “Pathway to Citizenship”

Most undocumented workers might as well be shackled to a chain-gang, laboring on a highway to hell under the Senate Gang of Eight bill — a road that would go nowhere for 13 years.

Yes that is the so-called “path to citizenship,” a 13-year waiting period during which undocumented immigrants would be required to continue to work without any of the protections afforded permanent residents. They would also be required to avoid even the most trivial of run-ins with the law, learn English, and pay a “penalty.” That’s in addition to the 13-year minimum security sentence they would serve.

So what would change under the Gang of Eight’s proposal? Well, there’s this: undocumented workers would be registered with the government.

Someone has to keep track of them, you know…

Immigrants “on the path” would be required to continue to pay federal, state, local and sales taxes, and any “back taxes” they might owe. They would not get credit for taxes withheld by dishonest employers, however.

There’s one more provision of the Gang of Eight’s immigration legislation important to note: During their 13-year “waiting period,” undocumented workers would be forbidden to receive any federal, state or local benefits, including, it appears, unemployment, disability, or Medicare.

Taxation No Representation

Though one of the slogans of the American Revolution was “no taxation without representation,” undocumented workers would not be allowed to vote or have any input whatsoever about their lives or their communities. Again, they would be denied even the rights and privileges guaranteed permanent residents.

As a result of their status, in states like Alabama and Arizona, speaking at a Board of Education meeting could easily put someone “on the pathway” at risk: All an official would have to do is suggest a speaker was “being disruptive,” call the police, and that could be the end of the road.

To summarize, what benefits would people “On the Path” have? The same as undocumented workers have now: None.

Greater Militarization of the Mexican border

The Senate Gang of Eight want the border to be a fortress guarded by police, national guard, immigration officials and the U.S Army, an area of towering barbed wire secured by a concurrent row of fences and walls, lit at night by prison-yard lights, watched over by roving bands of agents, helicopters, airplanes and drones.

That is to say they want every inch of the border to be “protected” the way great stretches are now. In fact the goal of this element of “immigration reform” is to have the border “100 percent secured.”

No other provision of the so-called reform legislation could be implemented unless and until this goal is reached.

Slave Labor Program

One element of the immigration bill very likely to become law is an extension of the “Guest” Worker Program.

This proposal would officially create an apartheid system in the U.S. In fact the provisions for workers brought into the U.S. to work “under contract” and for specific time periods would go beyond your “traditional” apartheid system, establishing what would essentially be prison labor camps.

The authors of this bill, however, claim “guest” workers would be paid more than the minimum wage, and would be “well treated and provided for” during their temporary carefully supervised stay.

Yet since these temporary workers would have virtually no rights, if they attempted to organize a union, spoke out against poor or unsafe working conditions, if they complained about being forced to work overtime, or of being cheated out of their pay – if they so much as had a disagreement with the boss, they could be deported.

Now that is a bill the big corporations can take to the bank.


To show you how weak most union leaders in this nation are, Richard Trumka, the current president of the AFL-CIO, joined with the reactionary Chamber of Commerce in support of the “guest worker” provision of this bill.

One might wonder, “why?”

OH, well, because during his negotiations with the Chamber of Commerce, “both sides” agreed that “only” 200,000 wage slaves from Latin America would be brought into the industrial prison camps to toil as “guest” workers.

Trumka, whose title should be the AFL’s CEO, thought by joining the monopoly capitalists in this way he would prevent them from importing even MORE workers.

Recently when the Republiklan surprised Trumka by suggesting the number of “guest” workers may be raised to 400,000, he disavowed the deal, assuring union members that everything would be fine once the “Democrats” retake Congress and Nancy Pelosi becomes Speaker of the House.

You know, the “Democrats” – the brave steadfast party of the people, the uncompromising indisputable friend of the middle class and the poor, the reliable and principled defender of all things righteous and true.

They see a lot of potential in immigration reform.

And there is a lot of potential to this business, specifically the “guest worker” program: potential political contributions, that is.

You see the plan would go beyond the traditional scope of providing “cheap labor” to corporate agriculture, long a sector loyal to the Republiklan. The Senate proposal, if it became law, would extend the perimeters to include the hotel, restaurant, and construction industries – all “seasonal” in nature, these politicians would tell you, all areas where where “Democrats” have corporate allies, and all areas, if you believe the Gang of Eight, where it’s tough to find Americans who are willing to work!

So in addition to reaping an even greater profit from the labor power of “guest” workers, such a system could be used to knock north American workers out of the labor market altogether and into the reserve army of the unemployed, to crush what few unions remain, and as an additional benefit, to create resentment among the 11.5 million North American workers currently unemployed.

And guess who they would be mad at? Well after FOX and other right-wing propaganda outlets were done, some American workers might be convinced to point the finger of blame at immigrants.

Divide and conquer. It works every time.

You’ve got to hand it to them, those gangsters in the Senate sure know how to work in a bi-partisan way! All they needed to do was put aside their petty differences and find the common thread that held them all together. And what might that be? The big banks and corporations that rule America.

UN arms treaty opposed by North Korea and NRA

The United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly approved a treaty April 2 to reduce the international sale of attack helicopters, combat aircraft, large-caliber rifles, missiles and launchers, and other weapons that kill thousands of innocent people every year.


The treaty, which according to the New York Times took seven years to negotiate, was opposed by North Korea, Syria, Iran and the National Rifle Association (NRA).


While currently focusing its fire-power on efforts to introduce handguns and other weapons into public schools, the NRA blasted the United Nations vote, claiming it would violate the “sovereignty of the United States.”


The U.S. is the world’s largest exporter of weapons of all kinds, with reported sales estimated to be $70 billion a year.


Other neo-fascist groups, such as the Heritage Foundation, also opposed the treaty, suggesting it “blames weapons” for the problems and “not those who use them.”


The NRA and founders of the Heritage Foundation supported covert arms shipments to the Contras and other terrorist groups in the 1980s. (The Contras were a armed band of mercenaries that attempted to overthrow the Sandinistas in Nicaragua.)


Right-wing fanatics also backed the secret shipment of missiles and other sophisticated weapons to Afghanistan during that nation’s insurgent war against the former Soviet Union.


President Ronald Reagan and leading members of the Republiklan secretly approved massive spending to arm and train what they called “freedom fighters” in Afghanistan. Those groups would later become known as the Taliban and al-Qaeda. One of the darlings of the “freedom fighters” in Afghanistan was the dashing young Saudi, Osama bin Ladin.


Using the logic of the NRA and Heritage Foundation, groups like al-Qaeda should, perhaps, be allowed to purchase and otherwise acquire weapons since, after all, it is not weapons that kill people but “those who use them.”