Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

A US Candidate's Community Service Draft for Boys

by XicanoPwr Fri Sep 8th, 2006 at 04:12:13 PM EST

Duke1676 at Migra Matters recently reported that on a Colorado candidate that really is not receiving that much attention, which I feel it really should. The on going immigration debate will continue to be a hot button issue. Sad thing is, it appears, Congress is unlikely to enact immigration legislation before November. In other words it is a non-issue.

However, in Colorado, things are heating up between Republican candidate Rick O'Donnell and Democrat candidate Ed Perlmutter in Colorado's 7th Congressional District, who are running to fill a seat being vacated by Rep Bob Beauprez, who is seeking the governor.

It seems two years ago, when Rick O'Donnell was serving as executive director of the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, he wrote an article in the Denver Post, titled "A new rite of passage," proposing that every male in their 2nd semester of their senior year to perform compulsory service by guarding the border with Mexico or securing the ports for Homeland Security. According to O'Donnell, after the first semester of 12th grade, "all new men in America do six months of service" and the money held would go towards establishing a national service corp. for men. Not men and women, just men.

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Mexico's Electoral Court Will Declared Prez Today

by XicanoPwr Tue Sep 5th, 2006 at 10:46:38 AM EST

Tomorrow is the day that the Electoral Court of the Federal Judiciary (TEPJF) will finally officially name Felipe Calderón president-elect. Honestly, it is not surprising, last week TEPJF had ruled that Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) had failed to prove that the irregularities in many of the polling places did not stem from fraud, nor had he successfully demonstrated that the errors affected him more than his opponent.

AMLO has already stated that he will never recognize Calderón's victory and has vowed to create a parallel government, which he and his supports are already drafting up their new constitution for Mexico.

"We don't want cosmetic changes," López Obrador told thousands gathered in Mexico City's main plaza, the Zócalo, where he has been sleeping in a tent for five weeks to protest the July 2 presidential elections.
x-posted on Para Justicia y Libertad

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President Fox Denied From Making Final Speech

by XicanoPwr Sat Sep 2nd, 2006 at 10:18:37 AM EST

By law, Mexican President Vicente Fox had been due to give a valedictory state-of-the-nation address to Congress before he steps down later this year. But, there were rumors that Andrés Manuel López Obrador and his supporters were going to stop Fox from giving his address. Regardless, Fox had vowed nothing was going to stop him from giving his speech tonight.

To ensure that nothing would go wrong and disrupt Fox from giving his speech, President Fox deployed 6,000 federal riot officers and soldiers to seal off the Mexican Congress and metro stations with miles of steel fence. Riot officers were equipped with water cannons. However, this did not stop protesters from massing a few blocks away.

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Mexican Court Rejects Election Fraud

by XicanoPwr Wed Aug 30th, 2006 at 06:38:06 AM EST

Update [2006-9-2 10:10:10 by XicanoPwr]:Clarification has been added, signified in bold.

In a 7-0 ruling, the Electoral Court of the Federal Judiciary (TEPJF), Mexico's Federal Electoral Tribunal, ruled that Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) had failed to prove that the irregularities in many of the polling places did not stem from fraud, nor had he successfully demonstrated that the errors affected him more than his opponent. Once the Mexican electoral tribunal threw out almost every legal challenge from AMLO, the Mexican electoral tribunal stated it had recognized only a minor mathematical and administrative error in the new vote count of the July 2 presidential election.

Once the TEPJF had finished recounting the votes, they determined that AMLO had only gained 4,183 votes after the court annulled 81,010 votes for Felipe Calderón and 76,897 for López Obrador. The tribunal decided that the outcomes of the recount were not enough to overcome Calderón's margin of victory.

The tribunal has until Sept 6 to issue a final tally and officially name Calderón president-elect. However, between now and the Sept 6 deadline, AMLO still has only one long shot left. TEPJF has yet to rule on one of López Obrador's challenge, if the court were to find President Vicente Fox and business groups had illegally aided Calderón's campaign, TEPJF can choose not to certify the election.

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Mexico Election Court to Rule on Monday

by XicanoPwr Sun Aug 27th, 2006 at 07:16:04 PM EST

Mexico's election tribunal (TEPJF) will announce its final ruling concern its electoral investigation on August 28, 2006, meanwhile, TEPJF are currently into the 375 challenges, which were presented by both the PRD-led coalition and the conservative National Action Party (PAN) parties. One plausible explanation for notifying their ruling apparently Mexico's new Congress is scheduled to be sworn in on Tuesday afternoon. For presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) this will be the he and his millions of supporters will find out their fate.

La Jornada explains TEPJF met in a closed meeting to discuss whether to annul 43,858 ballots. The coalition asks to annul the voting in 31,336 ballots from the 7,532 ballot boxes (65%) out of the 11,839, which resulted from the recount of the votes; the PAN demanded to annul 4,990 ballots.

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Fox Caught in Mexico's Election Henhouse

by XicanoPwr Wed Aug 23rd, 2006 at 08:41:58 AM EST

It have been over seven weeks after the July 2 elections, Mexico still does not know who will be their new president. What is certain, the coalition Por el Bien de Todos (For the Good of All) continues to denounce the pro-government fraud, while maintaining their protests to defend democracy.

The partial recount ordered by Mexico's Federal Electoral Tribunal (TEPJF) has uncovered evidence of widespread irregularities. While the tribunal has not released any official results, judges discovered there were 49,000 more votes cast than there were people who actually voted in 11,839 polling places; ballot boxes were illegally opened; votes for coalition candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) had not been counted; and National Action Party (PAN) presidential candidate Felipe Calderon was credited with 14,847 more votes than he should have been. In Mexico, building an access road on disputed property is a minor offense, but enough to disqualify AMLO from running. It is obvious PAN and PRI that López Obrador is a master at self-promotion. AMLO turn the tables around and the used the situation to his advantage. He played the martyr and the victim of the power elite and the enemies of democracy, which resonated well with the people.

According to online newspaper, People's Weekly World, the tribunal will begin examining unclear ballots on Aug 21 with the goal of deciding whom to award the votes. The tribunal will also try to resolve other election disputes involving the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies.

From the diaries - whataboutbob

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Need of Assistance: Questions Regarding the EU and the Schengen Agreement

by XicanoPwr Sat Aug 19th, 2006 at 11:31:51 PM EST

I am working on a diary regarding American isolationism in the Americas. True we already have NAFTA and soon CAFTA will be implemented. However, there are those who would prefer us to be isolated from its neighbors to the South. It seems that their is a swift boat attack by scaring people into thinking that there is a secret plot between Canada, Mexico, US to form a North American Union, with the evil Spanish conquistadors behind this master plan. Yes, you read correctly, it is bad enough the US is worried about the evil Mexican reconquistadors taking back its lost territory, but now the original conquistadors, Spain, is wanting to get a piece of the pis and is wanting to taking back its lost territories.

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***Mexico's Election Fraud: More Questions Raised

by XicanoPwr Wed Aug 16th, 2006 at 09:16:33 AM EST

Since Mexico's Electoral Tribunal (TEPJF) ordered a re-count of 9% of the nation's 130,000 precincts, evidence of election fraud continues to mount up. Nearly every Mexican polling station recounted either result with the original count of paper ballots being wrong, sealed packets have been tampered, and in one case, a whole polling station's ballots have disappeared.

The magnitude of the fraud is so evident that it can no longer be considered only as discrepancies because of human error. As of yesterday, over 130,000 votes have been found to be "altered."

From the front page ~ whataboutbob

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***Protests Around Mexico

by XicanoPwr Fri Aug 11th, 2006 at 04:58:28 AM EST

As thousands of supporters for presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador (known by his initials as AMLO) continue protesting what is barely covered are the people who are participating in the acts of civil disobedience. So far, protest has crippled key areas of the capital, Mexico City, that includes its financial district (via Mercury Rising) and the elegant Reforma boulevard that houses the US Embassy and the headquarters of banks and major companies. According to Reuters, Mexico's stock market building was shut down for a short time because it was meant to show how far the protesters willing to go to protest.

They withdrew from the area at around 11 a.m. (1600 GMT), claiming a symbolic victory and threatening to return Friday.

"We're leaving now. This was a show of what we can start to do," said Graco Ramirez, a senator-elect from Lopez Obrador's Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD.

After two days of declines, Mexican stocks and the peso did recover on Wednesday, which analysts say the street blockade has contributed to their fall. President Vicente Fox has said the demonstrations were costing the capital commerce and keeping people from their jobs.

From the front page - whataboutbob

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***Media's Aggression towards López Obrador

by XicanoPwr Sun Aug 6th, 2006 at 03:01:38 PM EST

It is not a surprise that the Bush administration has been chagrining by the Latin American New Left. The electoral results throughout South America have not been going Dudya's way, the countries being governed by new left-leaning presidents are: Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Venezuela, and Chile. And when it comes to attacking unbacked leaders, the US is famous for its propaganda style attacks, such as those used during the US "dirty wars" in the 1980s.

The White House maintained that the an official policy is not to intervening in other countries' elections. However, this rule has always been violated when it concerns US interest and Mexico is no exception. (more below)

from the front page (with title edit) - whataboutbob

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The Day After: Mexico's Electoral Chaos

by XicanoPwr Fri Jul 7th, 2006 at 10:24:08 PM EST

After Mexico's Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) vote count, the IFE declared Felipe Calderón the top vote-getter in what is seen as the tightest presidential election in Mexico's history.

Final Count:
Felipe Calderón: 35.88%
Andrés Manuel López Obrador: 35.31%
Difference/Diferencia - 0.57 pts

What seemed to be a López Obrador victory on July 5, was nothing but an illusion. During the hard count, which López Obrador enjoyed a lead all day, AMLO saw his lead fall to under 0.5 percentage points after 94% of the votes were counted, AMLO with 35.84%, while Felipe Calderon was at 35.35%.

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BushCo Wins Mexico Loses

by XicanoPwr Mon Jul 3rd, 2006 at 03:16:52 PM EST

PAN's Felipe Calderón declared victory in a bitterly contested election over as official returns show him ahead of Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), 36% to 35% with 96% of the votes counted.

But like a thief in the night, what seemed like a win for López Obrador, turned out to be just a dream. At 11:20PM CT López Obrador had declared victory with the current numbers dwindling for Calderón, which he told his supporters that it was confirmed by the Federal Election Institute (IFE).

"Tenemos información de conteos rápidos en donde estamos cuando menos 500 mil votos arriba. Vamos a seguir informando a los ciudadanos", subrayó el candidato izquierdista.

Confirmó su respeto a los resultados del IFE el próximo miércoles e hizo un llamado a las instituciones electorales a que respeten los resultados.

Oddly, within a few minutes, Cardenas declared victory too.

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Marketing A Word That Kills: "Illegal"

by XicanoPwr Mon Apr 10th, 2006 at 09:47:01 AM EST

On Saturday, April 8th, in a joint venture with Harris County's Democratic Party and Houston's Democracy for Houston held a workshop on Immigration Reform in their first in a series of "Fighting Back! Workshops: 'Talking the Talk'" workshops. The forum was hosted by Murvin Auzenne, chair of the HCDP Communications and Message Committee and the presenter was Immigration Attorney/College government professor Toni Medellin.

Stace Medellin at Dos Centavos gave a great summary of the workshop:

Medellin presented on the legal/legislative background to the immigration issue. Of importance was Medellin's statement that neither the Senate Judiciary Committee or McCain/Kennedy bills have anything to do with "amnesty." Medellin gave the legal definition for amnesty, which basically is defined as forgiveness for past wrongdoing without any punishment or sanction against those forgiven.
Murvin Auzenne proved how great an asset he is--not just by organizing the workshop, but by also providing his insight on the framing and reframing of issues. Several discussion groups were formed for the purpose of creating values statements. Whether it was about valuing the workforce, or improving the security of the country, or valuing the diversity that a every ethnicity and race (including immigrants) provide to this country, the statements were the exact opposite of the republican and white supremacist mantra (they really aren't much different if you visit websites like those of the White Camelia Knights of Cleveland, TX, the Minutemen, and Stormfront (White Aryan Resistance).
However, Toni Medillian did remind us of one important point: "If you take anything away from this workshop, it should be that we all learn not to call these hard-working people "illegal". No Human Being is illegal."

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Bush's "With Us or Against Us" Foriegn Policy and "The Great Border Wall"

by XicanoPwr Thu Mar 9th, 2006 at 05:49:23 PM EST

Since coming into office in 2001, the Bush administration has consistently opposed to having the International Criminal Court, based in The Hague, hold US military and political leaders to a uniform global standard of justice. The court was set up to prosecute individuals accused of the world's worst atrocities -- genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity -- in a belated effort to fulfill the promise of the Nuremberg trials, which tried Nazi leaders after World War II. The Bush argues that the court, could be used for frivolous or politically motivated prosecutions of U.S. troops.

BushCo has aggressively negotiated bilateral agreements with other countries to insure immunity of US nationals from prosecution by the Court. Sadly, BushCo is willingly to play the school yard bully to dozens of other poor countries by cutting off foreign aid, foreign trade and foreign direct investment (FDI) for defying the US because of their support for the International Criminal Court.

Last fall, Mexico became a signatory to the ICC making them the 12th country from the Latin America-Caribbean area to be punished under the U.S. American Service-Members' Protection Act. This law prohibits US military assistance to countries that have not signed "Article 98" agreements. An "Article 98" agreement is the agreement between the US and those countries who pledge not to seek the prosecution of US citizens in the International Criminal Court.

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Fortress America

by XicanoPwr Tue Feb 28th, 2006 at 10:41:37 PM EST

Regardless of the political season, the issue of immigration is always considered a hot topic. In fact, the topic of immigration brings out every political spectrum when trying to solve the issue. Moreover, the most vocal of the groups most likely are xenophobic hate groups. Frighteningly, their presence have seeped into Congress and are constantly advocating for draconian measures to be included in any type of immigration reform bill. Even more alarmingly, nativism - a movement which is oftentimes fueled by xenophobia and hate - have  already entered into the mainstream media.

Nativism, the hostile reaction towards the flux of immigration, is not really a new phenomenon that currently was spawned within this new century. According to David Bennett, author of The Party Fear, nativist movements usually occur during times of major social, economic, or political disturbances are taking place. Oftentimes, American nativists will project their insecurities on the immigrants, ethnic/religious groups, or anybody different from their own for the troubles that America is experiencing.

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Corruption in the Drug Enforcement Administration

by XicanoPwr Thu Jan 26th, 2006 at 05:56:11 PM EST

A story that fly under the radars of the mass media. A memo from a Justice Department lawyer has accused agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration in Bogotá, Colombia of massive corruption.

Published earlier this month by Narconews.com, an Internet publication that performs very aggressive investigative journalism, reported that the memo mentions allegations of murderous corruption in the Bogotá office of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), a cover-up by DEA and Justice Department internal-affairs officials, and a sale in Spain for weapons-grade nuclear materials.

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U.S. Beef, It's Not for Dinner: A Serious USDA Blunder

by XicanoPwr Mon Jan 23rd, 2006 at 01:35:16 PM EST

Two years ago, Japan imposed a blanket ban on US beef imports after mad cow disease was first discovered in a US infected cow in Washington state in 2003.

Only a month after resuming beef imports from the United States, Japanese insecptor found a banned cattle part that is believed to be a risk of mad cow disease. One condition for lifting the import ban was that all Japanese risky animal parts, such as the spinal column that was found, were to be excluded from imported beef.

On now Japan announced the closing of its border to U.S. beef imports, again. One would think, after the two year ban, inspections would be made very carefully. But that was not the case.

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Follow-up: U.S. Allows Cuba's Baseball Team in U.S.

by XicanoPwr Sun Jan 22nd, 2006 at 07:01:03 PM EST

Back in December, I wrote how the U.S. denied the Cuban baseball team into the U.S., Denied Entrance to the US for Possible Enjoyment of Financial Gain.

The week before Christmas, the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control, denied the Cuban Baseball Team a license to enter in the U.S. because the Bush administration had "concerns that Castro's government could enjoy financial gain by participating."

Looks like the Bush administration changed it's mind and is now letting Cuba "play ball."

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Denied Entrance to the US for Possible Enjoyment of Financial Gain

by XicanoPwr Tue Dec 27th, 2005 at 07:07:49 PM EST

It seems one of the conditions to enter into the US is NOT to seek any financial gain. The week before Christmas, the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control rejected Cuba's application to play in the World Baseball Classic, because of "concerns that Castro's government could enjoy financial gain by participating."

Based on the regulation of tournament, Cuba would get the 1 percent of tournament revenues and 5 percent if it won, that is not allowed by U.S. Treasury Department.

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RNC Pays Legal Bills for Convicted Senior GOP Official

by XicanoPwr Thu Dec 22nd, 2005 at 04:53:03 PM EST

x-posted on ePluribus Media

Committee chairperson and the former White House political director, responded to Mr. Brian Lunde and Mr. Mark Hearne's, of the American Center for Voting Rights, report on voter fraud entitled: "Vote Fraud, Intimidation & Suppression In The 2004 Presidential Election" in a letter. In this poignant letter, Mehlman writes:

I strongly support your proposal of a zero-tolerance policy toward election fraud and intimidation...The position of the Republican National Committee is simple: we will not tolerate fraud; we will not tolerate intimidation; we will not tolerate suppression. No employee, associate, or any person representing the Republican Party who engages in these kinds of acts will remain in that position. Republicans do not need to resort to fraud and intimidation to win, and no Republican who does deserves victory.

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