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27 February 2006 @ 11:38 am
My friend Yvonne wrote me a couple of weeks ago from Richmond, Va. Searching for words to clasify the behavorial patterns of empire, she called it schizophrenic. I’ve been thinking about what she said and remembered reading an article that better described the behavior of government as psychopathic.

I can’t find the article or the reference I read, but here’s the wikipedia definition of psycopathy:

Psychopathy is most commonly diagnosed using Robert D. Hare's Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R). Hare describes psychopaths as, "intraspecies predators who use charm, manipulation, intimidation, and violence to control others and to satisfy their own selfish needs. Lacking in conscience and in feelings for others, they cold-bloodedly take what they want and do as they please, violating social norms and expectations without the slightest sense of guilt or regret."

Here is Bush discussing the imminent civil war in Iraq from today’s favorite headline from the NY Times:

Iraqi People Are at a Crossroads and Must Choose Wisely, Bush Says

I’m fucking glad that Bush is finally giving the Iraqi people a choice. He didn’t give them much choice when he decided to invade their country.

He said political upheaval in the wake of the violence was to be expected. "We're likely to see a lot of political bargaining," Mr. Bush said. "You know, that doesn't happen under dictatorships."

Another example of government psycopathy. Here in Mexico, a journalist from the Yucatan, Lydia Cacho, wrote a book uncovering a ring of child pornography and pedastry that implicated a national capitalist, Kamel Nacif Borge. In what would better be described as a kidnapping, Cacho was arrested last year and taken from the Yucatan to Puebla. She was charged with defamation and beaten and threatened with rape.

During February this year, La Jornada published transcripts of phone conversations between Nacif and the governor of Puebla, Mario Marin. Nacif congratulates Marin for apprehending Cacho and they flatter each other endlessly for their supposed accomplishment. Although it hasn’t been proven yet, Nacif likely paid Marin to arrest Cacho. Also implicated in this sordid story is another capitalist Jean Succar Kuri, builder of Las Vegas´ Cesars´s Palace. Succar is now in jail in the U.S.

Psycopathy entwines itself with capitalism and government authority.
14 February 2006 @ 05:44 pm

By Mike Whitney from the Information Clearinghouse

02/13/06 "ICH' -- -- The Pentagon has developed a comprehensive strategy for taking over the internet and controlling the free flow of information. The plan appears in a recently declassified document, “The Information Operations Roadmap”, which was provided under the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) and revealed in an article by the BBC.

The Pentagon sees the internet in terms of a military adversary that poses a vital threat to its stated mission of global domination. This explains the confrontational language in the document which speaks of “fighting the net”; implying that the internet is the equivalent of “an enemy weapons system."

The Defense Dept. places a high-value on controlling information. The new program illustrates their determination to establish the parameters of free speech.

The Pentagon sees information as essential in manipulating public perceptions and, thus, a crucial tool in eliciting support for unpopular policies. The recent revelations of the military placing propaganda in the foreign press demonstrate the importance that is given to co-opting public opinion.

Information-warfare is used to create an impenetrable cloud around the activities of government so that decisions can be made without dissent. The smokescreen of deception that encompasses the Bush administration has less to do with prevaricating politicians than it does with a clearly articulated policy of obfuscation. “The Information Operations Roadmap” is solely intended to undermine the principle of an informed citizenry.

The Pentagon’s focus on the internet tells us a great deal about the mainstream media and its connection to the political establishment.

Why, for example, would the Pentagon see the internet as a greater threat than the mainstream media, where an estimated 75% of Americans get their news?

The reason is clear; because the MSM is already a fully-integrated part of the corporate-system providing a 24 hour per day streaming of business-friendly news. Today’s MSM operates as a de-facto franchise of the Pentagon, a reliable and sophisticated propagandist for Washington’s wars of aggression and political subterfuge.

The internet, on the other hand, is the last bastion of American democracy; a virtual world where reliable information moves instantly from person to person without passing through the corporate filter. Online visitors can get a clear picture of their governments’ depredations with a click of the mouse. This is the liberalization of the news, an open source of mind-expanding information that elevates citizen awareness of complex issues and threatens the status quo.

The Pentagon program is just one facet of a broader culture of deception; a pervasive ethos of dishonesty that envelopes all aspects of the Bush White House. The “Strategic Intelligence” Dept is a division of the Defense establishment that is entirely devoted to concealing, distorting, omitting and manipulating the truth.

In what way is “strategic intelligence” different from plain intelligence?

It is information that is shaped in a way that meets the needs of a particular group. In other words, it is not the truth at all, but a fabrication, a fiction, a lie.

Strategic intelligence is an oxymoron; a tidy bit of Orwellian doublespeak that reflects the deeply rooted cynicism of its authors.

The internet is a logical target for the Pentagon’s electronic warfare. Already the Downing Street memos, Bush’s bombing-threats against Al Jazeera, the fraudulent 2004 elections, and the leveling of Falluja, have disrupted the smooth execution of Bush’s wars. It is understandable that Rumsfeld and Co. would seek to transform this potential enemy into an ally, much as it has done with the MSM.

The Pentagon’s plans for engaging in “virtual warfare” are impressive. As BBC notes: “The operations described in the document include a surprising range of military activities: public affairs officers who brief journalists, psychological operations troops who try to manipulate the thoughts and beliefs of an enemy, computer network attack specialists who seek to destroy enemy networks.” (BBC)

The enemy, of course, is you, dear reader, or anyone who refuses to accept their role as a witless-cog in new world order. Seizing the internet is a prudent way of controlling every piece of information that one experiences from cradle to grave; all necessary for an orderly police-state.

The Information Operations Roadmap (IOR) recommends that psychological operations (Psyops) “should consider a range of technologies to disseminate propaganda in enemy territory: unmanned aerial vehicles, "miniaturized, scatterable public address systems", wireless devices, cellular phones and the internet.” No idea is too costly or too far-fetched that it escapes the serious consideration of the Pentagon chieftains.

The War Dept. is planning to insert itself into every area of the internet from blogs to chat rooms, from leftist web sites to editorial commentary. The objective is to challenge any tidbit of information that appears on the web that may counter the official narrative; the fairytale of benign American intervention to promote democracy and human rights across the planet.

The IOR aspires to "provide maximum control of the entire electromagnetic spectrum" and develop the capability to "disrupt or destroy the full spectrum of globally emerging communications systems, sensors, and weapons systems dependent on the electromagnetic spectrum". (BBC)

Full spectrum dominance.

The ultimate goal of the Pentagon is to create an internet-paradigm that corresponds to the corporate mainstream model, devoid of imagination or divergent points of view. They envision an internet that is increasingly restricted by the gluttonous influence of industry and its vast “tapestry of lies”.

The internet is the modern-day marketplace of ideas, an invaluable resource for human curiosity and organized resistance. It provides a direct link between the explosive power of ideas and engaged citizen involvement. (aka; participatory democracy)

The Pentagon is laying the groundwork for privatizing the internet so the information-revolution can be transformed into an information-tyranny, extending to all areas of communications and serving the exclusive interests of a few well-heeled American plutocrats.
02 February 2006 @ 08:31 pm

"It is extremely dangerous to exercise the constitutional right of free speech in a country fighting to make democracy safe in the world.....

"These are the gentry who are today wrapped up in the American flag, who shout their claim from the housetops that they are the only patriots, and who have their magnifying glasses in hand, scanning the country for evidence of disloyalty, eager to apply the brand of treason to the men who dare to even whisper their opposition to Junker rule in the United Sates. No wonder Sam Johnson declared that “patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.” He must have had this Wall Street gentry in mind, or at least their prototypes, for in every age it has been the tyrant, the oppressor and the exploiter who has wrapped himself in the cloak of patriotism, or religion, or both to deceive and overawe the people.....

Every solitary one of these aristocratic conspirators and would-be murderers claims to be an arch-patriot; every one of them insists that the war is being waged to make the world safe for democracy. What humbug! What rot! What false pretense! These autocrats, these tyrants, these red-handed robbers and murderers, the “patriots,” while the men who have the courage to stand face to face with them, speak the truth, and fight for their exploited victims—they are the disloyalists and traitors. If this be true, I want to take my place side by side with the traitors in this fight. "

Eugene V. Debs - The Canton, Ohio, Anti-War Speech. June 16, 1918

The right has consolidated its power in the judicial and executive branches of the government. Any pluralism that could have been found in the government is gone. Not that it was any good to begin with, Congress is useless.

por jen y laura centro de medios libres d.f.
español primero
english follows

Presuntamente, el gobierno mexicano ha dado la bienvenida a la gira del Delegado Zero a través de México, pero varias comunidades participantes en la Otra Campaña han reportado hostigamientos y amenazas por parte del gobierno y agentes paramilitares.

Ostensibly,the Mexican government is welcoming Delegate Zero's tour throughout Mexico but several communities participating in the Other Campaign have reported harrassment and threats from government and paramilitary agents.

Las comunidades involucradas con la Otra Campana enfrentan un gran riesgo de repression por parte de grupos organizados antes y despues de la llegada del Delegado Zero. Por su naturaleza revolucionaria, el EZLN no es bienvenido en muchos sectores de la sociedad mexicana. Durante su doceavo año de existencia, las comunidades del EZLN han sufrido ataques, asesinatos, intimidacion y acoso de partidos politicos mexicanos y paramilitares.

Por supuesto cada lugar que la Otra Campana visita se ha llenado de agentes de gobierno encubiertos, observando y documentando las actividades, las caras y los nombres de las personas participando en las actividades.

Una serie de incidents han ocurrido en Mexico los pasados meses, donde las organizaciones e individuos han enfrentado hostilidad y amenazas por su participacion en la Otra. Gente de los estados de Oaxaca, Tabasco, Veracruz, Quintana Roo, Chiapas, Campeche y la Cd. De Mexico han experimentado distintas formas de hostigamiento.

Una de los casos mas extremos ocurrio en el pueblo de Rosario, Chiapas. El 17 de enero, tres distintas organizaciones paramilitares incluyendo militantes del PRI llegaron a provocar disturbios en el pueblo, destruyeron las rejas de un corral de caballos y algunos campos de maiz pertenecientes a los Zapatistas.

Al siguiente dia a las cuatro de la manana, el Sr. Lopez fue liberado tras ser forzado a firmar un documento donde renunciaba a su postura. Fue amenazado de ser colgado si no cambiaba su posicion. Despues de ser liberado, los agresores volvieron a caballo para robarse el maiz de los Zapatistas.

Otras situaciones han ocurrido cuando distintos colectivos fueronprevenidos de poner mesas en espacios publicos en Veracruz y el Estado de Mexico. El 5 de diciembre del 2005, miembros del Partido Revolucionario de los Trabajadores (PRT) en la Candelaria, Campeche recibieron una visita de agentes del gobierno federal que trataron de intimidarlos y obstaculizar su participacion en la Otra.

En Tabasco, donde la Otra Campana esta pasando ahora, un grupo que espera recibirla, fue visitado por la policia federal en enero 23, para verificar
si el Delegado Zero va a llegar. En el pueblo de Francisco I. Madero en Tabasco, un agente de Seguridad Nacional de Mexico estuvo tomando video en
varias locaciones del area, incluyendo las casas de las personas identificadas como simpatizantes de la Otra. Los residents han observado un incremento de presencia y movilizacion militar en esa zona.

Una familia que caminaba por el pueblo costero de Tulum, Quintana Roo, distribuyendo volantes anunciando la llegada del Delegado Zero, fueron
amenazados por la policia local quienes destruyeron esos volantes y los siguieron todo el recorrido. Mas tarde en la estacion de policia, la familia fue informada que no es illegal distribuir propaganda, pero que la reglas cambian cuando se trata de la imagen del Subcomandante Marcos y las siglas EZLN aparecen. Cinco miembros del colectivo RATA (Resistencia de Anti-Tortura Animal), un colectivo punk antiautoritario fue seguido por la policia estatal en Oaxaca. Una vez que los miembros del colectivo RATA fueron aprehendidos, los interrogaron y los agredieron fisica y verbalmente.

El 20 de noviembre, Gustavo Jimenez, defensor de derechos humanos, fue casi asesinado por sujetos armadas. Dos dias despues, despues de hacer una denuncia publica sobre este acto, sufrio un atentado mas contra su vida.

Esta situacion demuestra el peligro que representa organizarse por un cambio social justo en Mexico. Historicamente, los movimientos de justicia social en Mexico han sido hostigados, intimidados y masacrados por el gobierno mexicano y los palamilitares auspiciados por el gobierno mismo.

Communities involving themselves with the Other Campaign face a great risk of reprisal from other organized groups before and after the arrival of
Delegate Zero. For its revolutionary nature, the EZLN is not welcomed in many sectors of Mexican society. During their twelve-year public existence, EZLN communities have suffered attacks, killings, intimidation and harassment from the likes of Mexican political parties and paramilitaries.

Surely ever place the Other Campaign visits is swarming with government agents both undercover and marked, watching the activities and documenting the faces and names of the people participating in activities.

A series of incidents have occurred the past few months in Mexico where organizations and individuals have encountered hostility and threats for their participation with the Other Campaign. People from the Mexican states of Oaxaca, Tabasco, Veracruz Quintana Roo, Chiapas, Campeche and Mexico have reported distinct forms of harassment.

One of the most outrageous cases occurred in the town of Rosario, Chiapas. On Jan.17 people from three different paramilitary organizations including the PRI arrived to provoke people in the town, ripped out horse corral fencing and razed corn fields belonging to Zapatistas. They also broke a window and the door to the town church. They violently detained Jose Rodrigo Lopez and ransacked his house.

The following day at 4 a.m., Mr. Lopez was released after being forced to sign a document where he renounced his position. He was threatened to be lynched if he did not resign from his community position. After releasing him, the agressors returned on horses and stole the Zapatista’s corn.

Other situations have occurred where different collectives were prevented from tabling in public spaces in Veracruz and Mexico State. On Dec, 5
members of the PRT Revolutionary Workers Party in Candeleria, Campeche received a visit from federal agents who tried to intimidate and provoke them for their participation with the other campaign.

In Tabasco, where the Other Campaign is now passing through, a group waiting to receive the Other Campaign was visited by federal police on Jan. 23 who wanted to verify that Delegate Zero was going to arrive. In the village of Francisco Madero in Tabasco, an agent from Mexico’s national security walked about the town videotaping various sites, including the homes of people identified with the Other Campaign. Residents have also observed an increase in military presence and movement in the area.

A family walking about the beach town of Tulum in Quintana Roo posting flyers announcing the arrival of Delegate Zero was threatened by local police who tore down their flyers and followed them as they walked about. Later at the town police station, the family was informed that it was not illegal to post propaganda but the rules change when the image of Subcommandante Marcos and the letters of the EZLN appear. Five members the Collective RATA (Anti-Animal Torture Resistance), an antiauthoritarian punk collective, were followed by state police in Oaxaca. Once the cops caught up, RATA members were interrogated, beaten and insulted.

On Nov. 20 Gustave Jimenez, a human rights defender was almost killed by armed individuals. Two days later, after making a public denouncement of his experience he suffered another attempt at his life.

These situations represent the danger of organizing for just social change in Mexico. Historically, movements for social justice in Mexico have been harassed, intimidated and massacred by the Mexican government and paramilitaries obstensibly supported by Mexican government.

28 January 2006 @ 02:39 pm
by the Centro de Medios Libres

In a six month journey throughout Mexico, Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) plans to meet with multitude grassroots organizations and collectives for the initial stages of the Other Campaign, a proposal launched by the EZLN last year to search for a non-electorate, anti-capitalist left in Mexico. Renamed as Delegate Zero, Marcos will spend one week in each of Mexico’s 31 states and the federal district of Mexico City, consulting the bases for the next step in this struggle for national social justice.

So far, media coverage has unfortunately focused on the word of Marcos in each of his stops and not on the people and organizations he meets. Anticipating this treatment, Marcos recognized early on the role of alternative media in the Other Campaign. Calling alternative media the vertebral spine of the Other Campaign, Marcos asked that all independent media makers covering the Other Campaign record the unknown histories of the humble people he encounters along the way.

Delegate Zero is scheduled to arrive in Guerrero in mid-April. A state mired in political violence, extreme poverty and massacres of indigenous people, Guerrero is one of the most dangerous places on the Mexican map. Guerrero also serves as home to the armed insurgency of the People’s Revolutionary Army (EPR).

A laboratory of self-determination, the other campaign has already begun in the ejido of Buena Vista in San Luis Acatlan, Guerrero. Buena Vista was an integral and fundamental part in the beginnings of the Policia Comunitaria (Community Police), a movement that ten years after its founding has practically solved the region’s security problems and since 1998 with the formation of the Regional Coordination of Community Authorities (CRAC) deals out justice in an autonomous matter based upon the customs of the people of Costa Chica.

Prior to 1995, Guerrero’s Costa Chica region was rampant with violence. Robbery, paramilitary activity, rape and murder occurred regularly on the rough mountain roads that string together these indigenous Mixteca communities. Drug abuse and delinquency fueled the crisis. Fed-up with government incompetence and complicity in the crimes, three communities decided in 1995 to take up arms to defend themselves. Since then the Policia Comunitaria has grown to encompass 62 communities in five municipalities.

“We don’t look for recognition but only a good relationship of respect from the government,” said Cirino, one of the founders of the Policia Comunitaria. “As original people of Mexico, we have every right to arm ourselves.”

Carmen, a woman involved with Policia Comunitaria since its inception, said the EZLN uprising in 1994 helped to inspire the Policia Comunitaria’s self-organization.

“We knew that all of the good projects that we wanted to do here would have to come from us, not from the government,” she said.

The success of the Policia Comunitaria stems from its communal approach to criminal justice. Each community selects 8 to 12 men to serve as police. Five comandantes elected from each municipality serve with CRAC. After detaining an individual, the policia launches an investigation, looking into family and community matters that could be involved with the crime. A council of community elders delivers judgment. Once a punishment is rendered, the individual is placed into a program of reeducation where they perform community services and meet every Sunday with town elders for consultation.

Now the ejido of Buena Vista turns its focus toward the other problems that affect their territory. Guerrero’s Mountain and Costa Chica regions are historically forgotten and left behind. Two of its municipalities account for the highest rates of maternal mortality and extreme poverty in the country, San Luis Acatlan and Metlatonoc respectively.

On the contrary, the region is rich in natural resources: lush forests, abundant fresh water, coffee, pineapple and sugar cane. Marginalization, insufficient public education and government assistance programs have created a loss of community consciousness for production and self-sustainability. Buena Vista does not have an adequate educational system nor health services that guarantee the life and well being of the people. Insufficient production in the fields provokes dependence on outside products, creating more poverty, delinquency and domestic violence. This occurs throughout the entire region.

“The Policia Comunitaria emerged from a national social context and we have made many gains, but now we are losing participation from the people,” said Bruno, Buena Vista’s community authority. “There’s a lot of problems to keep people from getting involved and they are mostly economic. The origins of delinquency are poverty.”

In its rejection of Procede (a national program that plans to privatize ejidal lands and expropriate natural resources) Buena Vista, an ejido consisting of eight Mixteca communities, has fueled a discussion and internal analysis about the consequences of this program, which has led them to the identify the root problems of their situation: lack of education, health care and community self-sustainability.
In response to this conflictive and degrading situation, the citizens of Buena Vista have created certain committees that look to resolve these problems.

“We have to start a new process where we maintain the Policia Comunitaria and the process of justice that we already have. We now have to combat the problem of poverty,” Bruno said.

In education, a group of teachers originally from the ejido, are working to create a program that fits to the needs and specific situations of their culture, strengthening their people’s identity and molding their history. This led to the realization of a series of murals in the town hall that narrate the history and cosmic perception of Mixteca culture and dignity. Also, they are putting together a community library and have started a book collection campaign.
With health care the women of Buena Vista have begun discussions about how to confront sickness through prevention, motivating families to take sanitary measures like the creation of ecological latrines and the production of organic soap. Through education, the community has tackled the problem of maternal mortality.

Palonia, a women in charge of opportunities for Buena Vista’s women, said during the two years the community has offered the talk about maternal mortality only five women have died from maternal mortality.

“Ten years ago there were many deaths (from maternal mortality) because of a lack of medicine and information,” she said. “A lot of men did not have money to take their wives to the doctor or to the hospital in San Luis. Sometimes, men became jealous of the women’s relationship with the doctor.”
In production, they have formed a committee of community development that manages resources and channels different groups of producers of sugar cane, bread, coffee, pineapple, beans, bananas, avocado and aguardiente. The goal was to reduce the consumption of outside goods and to be self-sufficient in food production. From that emerged a cooperative of artisan women that are beginning to distribute their crafts throughout the region.

“People don’t realize the value of their own products and outside companies are telling us that what we produce is worthless,” said Bruno.

“If we are capable of producing what we eat, we are capable of creating an economy that stays within the community.”
Also they have formed a popular communication committee that among other things promotes an anti-soft drink campaign and educates the community in the points mentioned before. They also hold regional meetings of women for workshops about gender equality.

“There’s a lot of violence against women here. The men don’t allow the women to participate. The men think that they can decide what the women do and that what they say is worth more than what women say,” Palonia said.

Every week a workshop is held to inform women of their rights. Palonia said about 5 percent of the women of the ejido participate. “We invite the women so they can come and participate and listen to the information we have to give them,” she said.

Buena Vista has begun to organize for the arrival of Delegate Zero. Signs, T-shirts, and flyers are being created to spread the Other Campaign throughout the entire region. As Buena Vista struggles with its problems, maybe they could learn something from the EZLN. Or better, the EZLN has something to learn from them.

“We have to organize ourselves and strengthen ourselves internally. When the rich try to divide us it doesn’t matter that we’re not intellectuals,” said Bruno.

17 January 2006 @ 01:58 pm
One friend told me recently that I’ve got the dirtiest Spanish vocabulary. My favorite part about Mexico is speaking slang. Everytime I hear a new word or phrase, I duly note it and practice it in my spare time. It’s also one of my favorite party tricks here- the gavacha with a foul mouth spouting off words from the street. It gets a lot of attention. Then people grow enthusiastic about teaching me more. The level of creativity in regards to language here is remarkable.

On Sunday, my friend Simon left Mexico after a year of living in San Cristobal. He spent his last week in D.F. going to museums and soaking in his last moments of street food and beer drinking. I kept him company for parts of it. On Friday night, we headed out to Garibaldi Square where dozens of mariachis gather to perform. We drank micheladas until 4 a.m and drunkenly rambled with chilangos in the plaza. The next night Simon performed at a café; strumming his guitar he would give testimonies about his experience in Mexico, baring his soul to people he didn’t know him but it was important for him to do it. I recorded all of it.

Sunday we took the metro back into downtown. We were to depart on the train. He got quiet, his plane was leaving in a few hours. I let him know how important the work was he did in Mexico and that he’ll always come back. I could see his eyes tear up. I know what it’s like to go into the unknown and leave everything you’ve built the past months behind.

I think the most important contribution I made for Simón before he left was the elaboration of his name in Mexican slang. People say simón here to be in agreement. For instance, if someone asks you if you want to go get beer, you say simón.

Simón is a construct of ¡Sí monto la cabra! It translates, Yes, I’ll get on that goat! Meaning, yo I’m down with you and your crazy trip.

Some more Mexican slang that is usually accompanied by fist pumping on my part:
¡al huevo!- fuckin cool
¡no mames! – don’t fuck around
¡puta! – geez!
Bambi- okay
30 December 2005 @ 06:09 pm
I was curious to check up on the pueblito of Ocotitlan, where the families of the undocumented workers I know in the U.S. live. In March earlier this year, my sista Julia and I started hitchhiking through Mexico, stopping periodically to volunteer on WWOOF farms, whose guidebook directed us to Tepoztlan. I knew that's where my co-workers were from. One day while in Tepoz, I picked up the phone and rang up Francisco, who left me his number one drunken night at work. He returned to Mexico before I embarked on my journey. He invited me to his hilltop pueblito... and now I'm making a documentary about the workers I know in the U.S., the lives they left behind in Mexico, the politics of immigration and that nasty U.S. Mexico border. 

Francisco said he never believed I would call...
Christmas filled me with the guilt of the church and an awestruck, homesick witness of the humble navideña celebration of Ocotitlan. For several days leading up to the birth of jesus, the search of Mary and Joseph for a posada was reenacted in churches throughout this valley and this country. Gifts of sweets, mandarin oranges, peanuts and household items such as plastic collanders were shared to those who sang in the church while outside a piñata was smashed open to the squeals of scrambling children as a delicious warm ponche flowed into ready styrofoam cups.

On the night before g.o.d. returned to his earthlykingdom, we surrounded the church in the hilltop town, myself with all of the other family members of the equally homesick sandwichmakers at Mary Angela's. Under the glow of sizzling sparklers we cradled little baby jesuses in baskets or handkerchiefs and walked around the church in a long procession. The party continued as we traveled from house to house, singing, asking for posada and returning the baby jesuses to their mangers. 

It was fairly touching to share this day with my friend Maricruz (babymama of Francisco, now back in the US.) , but I couldn't help thinking about the lost traditions of this indigenous community. All this jesus and god talk, I asked people, "What about your pachamama?" Only to get blank stares. "You know, worshiping the mother earth and all of its bounty?" 

That's conquest for you. 

The next day I soaked in a rodeo (jaripeo) in Mexico City neighborhood of San Mateo as the specially invited guests of the band of Ocotitlan wailed on with their trombones and clarinets. The specially invited ponche makers (this time with a lil kick) of Ocotitlan livened up the crowd while passing around pitchers of the magical elixir. 

The bulls were ridden, the crowd got drunker, men forgot to pull up their zippers after pissing, I clung onto my abuelito (to fend of advances of borrachos) in fascination of the spectacle unfolding around me. Some women had to be held back as they screamed in protest of their loved ones riding bulls. 

This is my first live journal entry. I crafted the name denihilist a while ago, hoping to paint it on some walls. Denihilist is in response to all of those disaffected youth I know out there. So when I applied for this account, denihilist already existed. I guess it goes to show no truly original idea exists. Fuck it, I'm still using the name, slightly altered.
20 December 2005 @ 11:59 am

I’m at the airport in Tijuana now, waiting for my flight to Mexico City. I’ve come a full circle to when I decided in June that I was going to come back to Mexico. Since departing in July, it’s as though I never left. Traversing the continent in a horizontal and vertical leap of faith at many times I questioned whether or not I was going to make it. I try not to think about the distances I’ve covered the past ten months of my life.

My heart has been in so many places and with so many people. Eternal gratefulness showers upon those I have met and those that have enriched my life altogether. Every one of you. I learn so much from the slightest interactions. While workingisolated in the redwoods of in northern california, at many times I felt utterly lost without the resources or community to put my energy into. But now I realize how privileged I am to be able to go to different places in this hemisphere, insert myself in a community and make a positive contribution.

Tucson, Mendocino, Richmond, San Diego, San Cristobal, Mexico City

The border breaks my heart every time I'm near it, every time I think of it, which is about a million times a day. My heart breaks a million times a day not only with the border but with the shuddering of the world. Every day is an exercise to find the strength to keep hope alive. Hope versus optimism. Hope requires action and construction; optimism is way too passive for me.

The government wants to build a wall to keep Mexicans out. Why can't people see through this two-faced policy of being tough on border enforcement and criminalizing people looking for better lives while permitting an economy that thrives off the exploited labor of millions of underpaid and overworked people? Schwarzenegger wants to classify the border between Mexico and Cali as high risk for terrorism. The U.S. embassador to Mexico Anthony Garza calls the people entering the U.S. a security risk. CALIFORNIA is MEXICO! It was taken after the U.S. invaded 150 years ago.

It's time to dust of the brownshirts and black boots, fascism is no longer sneaking about in the country. It's out in the open and being propogated by the likes of Lou Dobbs, who makes the border a central issue on his CNN show. While I was in San Diego and participating in the resistance against the Minutemen, a member of the coalition Gente Unida, Enrique Morrones, constantly called Dobbs out. I understood why one afternoon while sitting at my parents' home in Northern, Va. My Dad flipped the TV on to Lou Dobbs. Not only did Dobbs praise the Minutemen, he also criticized the NAACP's decision to stop using racist mascot names of first nations people.

"Dad, please don't watch this show anymore." My dad's a quiet, simple man who reads a lot and pays attention to the mainstream news. While at home I talked with my parents about their lives as workers. "Jen, we're not going to have a middle class pretty soon. It's the government's goal to wipe out anything we've made for ourselves the past thirty years." "I know, pops. I don't have a very positive vision for the future. It's only going to get worse." He didn't say anything but his eyes gave away his sadness.

Despite my Dad's perspective on class, he still watches Lou Dobbs. Why is such a narrow racist analysis allowed to dictate the thoughts of millions of people?

I woke up early today and a friend dropped me off at a trolley stop for Tijuana. A metal turnstile acts as the barrier to cross into Mexico. No one looks your way. I decide to pay my visa at the border instead of at the airport. A little flirtation with the border officials gets me a six month stamp. I look for a taxi to take me to the airport. I ask if they can take me along the road that travels along the border wall. It's a sheet a metal, festooned with white crosses and murals.

This is Mexico, where they take the ugliest and transform it into haunting beauty.