Friday, March 30, 2012
More than 5,100 children were living in foster care in January 2012 because their parents were detained or deported, according to a study released by the Applied Research Center, which advocates for immigration reform.
Honda Motor Co Ltd is recalling about 554,000 sport utility vehicles in the United States to inspect for faulty wiring in headlights.
Honda said in a statement that the recall affects CR-V SUVs from model years 2002 to 2004 and Pilot SUVs from model year 2003. The Japanese automaker will inspect and replace parts of the headlight wiring system that could fail, causing the low-beam headlights not to work and increase the risk of crash.
No injuries or crashes have been reported relating to the issue, Honda said.
Letters will be mailed to affected owners in late April, but consumers can see if their vehicles require repairs by going to www.recalls.honda.com or calling 800-999-1009.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
In 1565, the nation's oldest city, St. Augustine, Florida was established by the Spanish. This was 42 years before the English colonized Jamestown and 55 years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock.
In 1899, the “Borinqueneers”, the all-Puerto Rican Infantry Regiment unit in the Army was formed. Among their many commendations, that unit went on to win 4 Distinguished Service Crosses and 125 Silver Stars for their heroic courage, loyalty, and skill defending our freedom.
In 1931, Rita Moreno, an energetic dancer, singer, and actress, was born. She is the first and only Hispanic woman to have won an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award, an Oscar, and a Tony Award. Moreno appeared in such American classics as The King and I and West Side Story.
Few Americans are aware of these stories
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Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Republicans have stepped up their efforts to block new rules from the Obama administration that would limit the work kids can do on farms, getting a boost from a small handful of Democrats who say they're opposing the regulations in the name of family farmers.
GOP members of both the House and Senate introduced bills this month that would preempt regulations proposed by the Labor Department forbidding kids under 16 from doing certain agricultural duties deemed too dangerous. The Senate version quickly found a backer in Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), the first Democrat to sign on as co-sponsor. Tester and fellow Democratic Sens. Max Baucus (Mont.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) have joined 39 Senate Republicans in opposing the new rules.
During an appearance on 'The Tonight Show' on Tuesday, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said that President Obama’s health care reform law should be overturned and that people with pre-existing conditions should be denied coverage if they never had insurance before
Host Jay Leno said: “It seems to me like children and people with preexisting conditions should be covered."
But Romney countered: “People with pre-existing conditions, as long as they’ve been insured before, they’re going to continue to have insurance."
“Suppose they were never insured?” Leno asked.
Romney answered: “Well, if they’re 45 years old, and they show up, and they say, I want insurance, because I’ve got a heart disease, it’s like, `Hey guys, we can’t play the game like that. You’ve got to get insurance when you’re well, and if you get ill, then you’re going to be covered."
(click on link to view video)
Gun and ammunition sales in Arizona are surging as several factors, including the upcoming presidential election, combine to spur buyers on.
It's the second major spike in sales since President Obama was elected in November 2008.
At that time, some types of ammunition ran out in Tucson and customers stocked up on high-powered rifles they suspected Obama would try to ban.
While that panic purchasing subsided by late 2009, gun and ammo sales have continued at a brisk clip since and are rising again.
"This is a surge within a surge," said John Lott, an economist and author of "More Guns, Less Crime."
Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), the only Senate Republican of Hispanic heritage and a possible vice presidential pick, is working on an alternative version of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, which would grant legal status to illegal immigrants who came to the country at a young age and serve in the military or attend college.
He declined to provide any details, but confirmed he hopes to have legislation soon.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Knowing the farmer who grows your food has become an important tenet of the modern food movement, but precious little attention is paid to the people who actually pick the crops or "process" the chickens or fillet the fish. U Roberto Romano's poignant film, The Harvest/La Cosecha (2011), being screened across the country for Farmworker Awareness Week (March 24-29), informs us that nearly 500,000 children as young as six harvest up to 25 percent of all crops in the United States.
What's illegal in most countries is permitted here. Child migrant labor has been documented in the 48 contiguous states. Seasonal work originates in the southernmost states in late winter where it is warm and migrates north as the weather changes. Every few weeks as families move, children leave school and friends behind. If you've had onions (Texas), cucumbers (Ohio or Michigan), peppers (Tennessee), grapes (California), mushrooms (Pennsylvania), beets (Minnesota), or cherries (Washington), you've probably eaten food harvested by children.
This isn't a slavery issue, or an immigration issue per se. What's remarkable is that most of the migrant child farmworkers are American citizens trying to help their families. This is a poverty issue and it gets to the heart of what we, as consumers, see as the "right price" to pay for food.
The Supreme Court's conservative justices appeared deeply critical Tuesday of the requirement that all Americans purchase health insurance, the constitutional issue at the core of the legal challenges to President Obama's landmark health care overhaul.
FLORIDA’S NOW-INFAMOUS Stand Your Ground law, which lets you shoot someone you consider threatening without facing arrest, let alone prosecution, sounds crazy – and it is. And it’s tempting to dismiss the law as the work of ignorant yahoos. But similar laws have been pushed across the nation, not by ignorant yahoos, but by big corporations.
Language virtually identical to Florida’s law is featured in a template supplied to legislators in other states by the American Legislative Exchange Council (Alec), a corporate-backed body that has kept a low profile even as it exerts vast influence (only recently, thanks to yeoman work by the Center for Media and Democracy, has a clear picture of Alec’s activities emerged).
If there is any silver lining to the killing of innocent black teenager Trayvon Martin, it is that it might finally place a spotlight on what Alec is doing to our society – and our democracy. What is this organisation? Despite claims it’s nonpartisan, it’s very much a movement-conservative body, funded by the usual suspects: the Kochs, Exxon Mobil, etc.
Unlike other such groups, however, it doesn’t just influence laws, it literally writes them, supplying fully drafted Bills to state legislators. In Virginia, for example, more than 50 Alec-written Bills have been introduced, many almost word for word. And these Bills often become law.
Alec seems to have a special interest in privatisation – that is, on turning the provision of public services, from schools to prisons for instance, over to for-profit corporations. And some of the most prominent beneficiaries of privatisation, such as online education company K12 and prison operator Corrections Corporation of America, are, not surprisingly, very much involved with the organisation.
What this tells us, in turn, is that Alec’s claim to stand for limited government and free markets is deeply misleading. To a large extent, the organisation seeks not limited government but privatised government, in which corporations get their profits from taxpayer dollars, dollars steered their way by friendly politicians. In short, Alec isn’t so much about promoting free markets as it is about expanding crony capitalism.
The kind of privatisation Alec promotes isn’t in the public interest; instead of success stories, what we’re getting are a series of scandals. Private charter schools, for example, appear to deliver a lot of profits but little in the way of educational achievement.
Monday, March 26, 2012
All parents of students attending preschool through 12th grade in Arizona public schools will need to fill out new forms showing proof of residency for the upcoming school year.
The forms meet Arizona Department of Education requirements that determine whether a student lives in the state. That is determined by the residency of the parent or guardian with whom the student lives.
The requirements and forms were distributed to public schools in the fall and are based on a new law passed by the Legislature during the last session, said Andrew LeFevre, a spokesman for the state Department of Education.
The Tucson Unified School District - the city's largest school district - serves more than 31,000 Hispanic students. The district receives on average $4,900 per student each year in state funding.
Read more: http://azstarnet.com/news/local/education/precollegiate/residency-rule-near-for-arizona-students/article_eaaee439-472a-5e41-8e41-8b7e5551f5f1.html#ixzz1qHrueVus
Sunday, March 25, 2012
A 32-year-old Iraqi immigrant died Saturday, three days after being found beaten into unconsciousness in her home in El Cajon with a note near her body warning her to go back to Iraq, officials said.
Shaima Alawadi was found unconscious in the dining room of the home Wednesday morning by her 17-year-old daughter, according to El Cajon police. The note was nearby, police said. The family reported receiving a similarly threatening note days earlier, police said.
Alawadi was taken to a local hospital but was quickly determined to be brain dead. She was taken off life support Saturday afternoon.
Police have not yet labeled the attack a hate crime, but they believe the beating to be "an isolated incident," not part of a pattern of attacks.
The United States has paid $50,000 in compensation for each Afghan killed in the shooting spree attributed to a U.S. soldier in southern Afghanistan, an Afghan official and a community elder said Sunday.
The families of the dead received the money Saturday at the governor's office, said Kandahar provincial council member Agha Lalai.
Each wounded person received $11,000, Lalai said. Community elder Jan Agha confirmed the same figures.
Saturday, March 24, 2012
The two most controversial campaign financing practices of the post-Citizens United era aren’t actually the Supreme Court’s fault.
The court's conservative majority most certainly expected that its 2010 ruling, which granted First Amendment rights to corporations and equated money to speech, would unleash unprecedented amounts of political spending.
But when people rail against Citizens United these days, they’re often complaining about two things in particular: the candidate-specific super PACs that implausibly claim to be independent of the candidates they’re backing, and the political slush funds that can accept unlimited secret donations by claiming to be issue-oriented nonprofits.
Neither were inevitable byproducts of Citizens United -- or a subsequent lower court ruling.
They are things that could be fixed either legislatively, administratively, or both. But without a good shove, Congress, the Federal Election Commission and the Internal Revenue Service all appear unlikely to pursue solutions.
Health care reform's so-called individual mandate is either a crucial element in the plan to give nearly all Americans better access to medical care or the greatest threat to liberty since Abraham Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus. Either way, it's the law of the land and barring a repeal by the Supreme Court or a Republican president, we're all going to have to deal with it come 2014.
When the biggest parts of the health care reform are in place in less than two years, almost every legal U.S. resident will have to prove they have some form of health insurance or they'll be subject to a tax penalty. The basic idea behind the mandate is that people shouldn't wait until they're sick to buy health insurance or expect the rest of us to foot the bill when they get treatments for which they can't pay.
The Supreme Court will hear arguments next week about whether the mandate and other elements of the law violate the Constitution.
A Tea Party group, under fire for its work in the Utah Republican Senate caucuses last week, is pledging to continue fighting to oust Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and to play a role in other Senate races.
Washington-based FreedomWorks for America said that it plans to press on with the effort to replace Hatch with former Utah state Sen. Dan Liljenquist (R), while also helping Tea Party candidates win U.S. Senate nominations in Indiana, Texas and Nebraska, among other states.
"I think the Tea Party movement is stronger this year," said Ryan Hecker, who works on campaign initiatives for the group. "In key states, we are working for conservatives. This is a turning-point year to retake the Senate majority."
Every year during tax season, scammers find new ways to steal money from taxpayers. In response, every year the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) publishes a list of common scams to help taxpayers avoid fraud.
This year the IRS is warning about a scam that promises fake tax refunds and targets senior citizens and low-income individuals. The agency says that in recent weeks this scam has been increasingly reported across the country.
Scam Offers Free MoneyScam artists promise tax refunds which are supposedly part of The American Opportunity Tax Credit, originally designed to help people with college expenses. They claim incorrectly that the refund is available, even if the person attended college decades ago.
How to get helpThe IRS website has lots of resources. It includes links to forms and publications, information on how to file taxes online and instructions on how to arrange payment plans and installment agreements.
You can also call the IRS directly at 1 (800) 829-1040.
USA.gov and GobiernoUSA.gov are the U.S. Government’s official web portals in English and Spanish, and part of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA).
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
At the center of the controversy surrounding the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin is a Florida law that changed America's definition of self-defense.
The "Stand Your Ground" law, which enables people who perceive a threat to use deadly force without first trying to retreat from a confrontation, was a landmark when it passed in 2005. Since then, 16 more states have adopted similar laws, which are far more lenient than the widely adopted "Castle Doctrine," which allows people to defend themselves in their homes.
Adoption by states http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castle_doctrine
When Justin Bassett interviewed for a new job, he expected the usual questions about experience and references. So he was astonished when the interviewer asked for something else: his Facebook username and password.
Bassett, a New York City statistician, had just finished answering a few character questions when the interviewer turned to her computer to search for his Facebook page. But she couldn't see his private profile. She turned back and asked him to hand over his login information.
Bassett refused and withdrew his application, saying he didn't want to work for a company that would seek such personal information. But as the job market steadily improves, other job candidates are confronting the same question from prospective employers, and some of them cannot afford to say no.
Monday, March 19, 2012
Friday, March 16, 2012
A university president apologized after members of the school's band yelled "where's your green card" at a Latino player during a NCAA basketball tournament game Thursday.
Monday, March 12, 2012
The Justice Department’s civil rights division on Monday blocked Texas from enforcing a new law requiring voters to present photo identification at the polls, contending that the rule would disproportionately suppress turnout among eligible Hispanic voters.
The decision, which follows a similar move in December blocking a law in South Carolina, brought the Obama administration deeper into the politically and racially charged fight over a wave of new voting restrictions, enacted largely by Republicans in the name of combating voter fraud.
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Sen. Nancy Barto (R-Phoenix) told the Claims Journal that she sponsored the law because she did not want claimants to blame a doctor for a baby born with disabilities. Under the provisions of her bill, a doctor could not face a medical malpractice suit if the doctor withholds information from a mother about health issues facing a child that could cause her to have an abortion. In addition, a lawsuit could not be filed on the child's behalf regarding a disability.
Thursday, March 8, 2012
Southern Poverty Law Center. In 2000 the center reported that there were 602 hate groups; in 2011 that number had climbed to 1,018.
“We’ve never had a count that high before,” Mark Potok, the author of the report, told ABC News. “It’s just steady significant growth, 3, 4, 5 percent every year going back to the turn of the millennium.”
Potok said the increase from 2000 to 2008 was primarily fueled by the immigration debate.
“Around 2000, we saw very dramatically neo-Nazi groups, Klan groups and similar kinds of groups simply drop their propaganda about the alleged evils of black people, of gay people, of Jewish people in order to concentrate pretty much 100 percent on illegal immigrants,” he said. ”In 2008, we have two more factors come into play.
Top Obama re-election adviser David Axelrod took a page from the neocon playbook on Wednesday, arguing that Mitt Romney's unwillingness to call out Rush Limbaugh for making incendiary remarks raised questions about whether he would be able to face the world's worst dictators if elected president.
The president's communications guru, along with campaign manager Jim Messina, held a conference call with reporters to spin the results from Super Tuesday. But at various points the talk turned to Limbaugh, whose comments about Georgetown Law School student Sandra Fluke -- in which he called her a "slut" for wanting her birth control covered by insurers and demanded to see sex tapes in return -- landed him in hot water among advertisers, syndicators, and lawmakers.
In response to Limbaugh's comments, Romney has said "it’s not the language I would have used." Of the Republicans who actually criticized the conservative talking head, Romney's response was among the more timid. And on the call, Axelrod pounced.
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
According to a FOX News poll none of the GOP candidates would garner more than 14 percent of the Latino vote come November. “And that’s fine with us” said one national party spokesman. Arizona State party Chair Ed Whitey said,” When Dolores Huerta said Republicans hated Latinos she was wrong. We don’t hate them. We just don’t want them around. There’s a big difference.” Whitey claimed some of his best friends hire Latino laborers and that he personally loves those old Speedy Gonzales cartoons as much as the next guy. Whitey argues that the party has been discouraging Latinos from joining their party because that they aren’t dependable when it comes to voting.” You’ve seen all those statues on everybody’s porch of ‘em sleeping under a saguaro haven’t you? How does that help a candidate on election day? It doesn’t. Where there’s smoke there’s fire. It’s our plan that the more Latinos learn about our candidates the more likely it is they’ll say ‘No way, Jose’ or whatever it is they say.” Whitey said he’s heard they are nice people but most of the ones he has met are headless illegals or Hamas terrorists. “Democrats can have them. Since the start of the primaries our candidates have been working harder than Mexican hotel maids to lose support among Latino voters. They make great landscapers but terrible Republicans.”
Read more: http://azstarnet.com/news/blogs/fitz-blog/gop-plan-to-alienate-latino-voters-a-success/article_5afbc042-687e-11e1-952b-0019bb2963f4.html#ixzz1oUomLS6A
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Six members of the suspected computer hacking groups affiliated with Anonymous were charged -- including the suspected ring leader, who directed the entire operation from a Manhattan apartment complex -- after it was revealed one of the group's most high profile members has been working with federal authorities for months.
Hector Monsegur, a 28-year-old American believed to use the name "Sabu" on the internet, was arrested by federal agents last year and has been cooperating with law enforcement ever since, officials said. He pleaded guilty last August, a plea unsealed in federal court in Lower Manhattan today.
Monday, March 5, 2012
Telmex's Carlos Slim Richest Man in the World - Telco Monopoly Leads to $68.5 Billion Net Worth | DSLReports.com, ISP Information
According to Bloomberg's billionaire index, Mexican telecom tycoon Carlos Slim is the richest living human being on the planet with an estimated net worth of $68.5 billion. Most of that wealth comes courtesy of Slim's Telmex, which dominates 80% of the landline voice and broadband market in Mexico, with Slim also controlling about 70% of the wireless market with America Movil. While Slim's personal wealth is staggering, a recent OECD report found Mexico had the lowest per capita public investment in telecommunications in the 34-member OECD, while Telmex maintained a profit margin of 47 percent, among the highest of all member countries. The report also found that Mexicans are overcharged $13.4 billion a year for phone and Internet services. As an aside, Slim's getting ready to launch a Netflix-esque streaming service.
For once, now might be a good time to have a Bank of America home loan.
Under the $25 billion foreclosure settlement signed last month, Bank of America will offer to write down the loans of more than 200,000 underwater homeowners to market value, said Shaun Donovan, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, in an interview Monday with The Huffington Post. Other banks will also make these principal reductions, but are not required to offer as much relief, Donovan said.
Bank of America must offer the deal to any borrowers who meet a certain set of criteria: Homeowners must be underwater, which means they owe more on their loan than their home is worth. They must be delinquent by more than 60 days on their mortgage payments. And their mortgage payments must account for more than a quarter of their income.
The judge, appointed byPresident George W. Bush12 years ago, maintained after the email became public that it was meant to be seen as anti-Obama and not racist, but added, "I can obviously understand why people would be offended."
Based in Billings, the 67-year-old judge says he forwarded the email to six "old buddies" after receiving it from his brother. It describes a boy asking his mother why he is black when she is white, and her response: "Don't ever go there Barack! From what I can remember about that party, you're lucky you don't bark."
The email was titled, "A Mom's Memory," and started with the words, "Normally I don't send or forward a lot of these, but even by my standards, it was a bit touching. I want all of my friends to feel what I felt when I read this. Hope it touches your heart like it did mine."
The water bill at Maria Arizmendi's home in Bell has gotten so expensive that she's cut back on gardening and started using paper plates. Often, when it's time to shower, she heads over to the home of a friend, who is served by a different utility.
Arizmendi, 70, said she pays about $50 a month for water, but her friend pays roughly $20 every two months.
"There must be something that's not working right," said Arizmendi, a retired L.A. County employee who lives alone. "It just doesn't make sense what they put in these bills, and when you call, you can't get them to pick up, or you can't get an answer."
Friday, March 2, 2012
Some people were surprised by my conclusion, yet I have spoken on the floor of the Senate for years about the dysfunction and political polarization in the institution. Simply put, the Senate is not living up to what the Founding Fathers envisioned.
Apart from their general entertainment value, and obvious benefits like keeping in touch with friends, and staying up to date on news, sites like Facebook and Twitter offer a united voice to the American consumer. When so many individuals express their opinions via these sites, they gain power as a collective. This infographic shows that companies will stand to attention if enough people post regarding one of their policies or practices.
Thursday, March 1, 2012
HB 56, enforcement is emphasized to the extreme. "The way this bill is now," Smith said, "if you have anything to do with them whatsoever, you're breaking the law. If you see 'em and they're hungry, or if they're out here run over by an automobile layin' in a ditch, and you help 'em, you're breakin' the law." He swung to smash a fly on his desk and missed. "It's just not right."
." At a Republican Party breakfast prior to the bill's passage, Beason warned: "If you allow illegal immigration to continue in your area, you will destroy yourself eventually. If you don't believe illegal immigration will destroy a community, go and check out parts of Alabama around Arab and Albertville." (The mayors of both towns, both Republicans, bristled at the claim that their towns were going to hell.) Before returning to his seat, Beason called on his fellow Republicans to "empty the clip, and do what has to be done."
As HB 56 was moving through the Legislature, Hammon made remarkable claims, telling the Anniston Star that illegal immigrants cost Alabama between $600 and $800 million annually in "a lot of things," including unemployment benefits for pushed-aside legal residents, health care costs, education, and lost tax revenue. When the Star fact-checked his figures, it discovered that he'd simply extrapolated from a much-criticized Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) study that claimed illegal immigration cost Arizona $2.6 billion. The study's own estimate of Alabama's burden was only $298 million. Beason, meanwhile, cast HB 56's purpose as "putting Alabamians back to work," promising it would be "the biggest jobs program for Alabamians that has ever been passed."