Borderzine http://borderzine.com Reporting Across Fronteras Thu, 20 Aug 2015 23:16:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 African country aided by Fort Bliss unit making progress 1 year after Ebola outbreakhttp://borderzine.com/2015/08/african-country-aided-by-fort-bliss-unit-making-progress-1-year-after-ebola-outbreak/ http://borderzine.com/2015/08/african-country-aided-by-fort-bliss-unit-making-progress-1-year-after-ebola-outbreak/#comments Thu, 20 Aug 2015 16:42:31 +0000 http://borderzine.com/?p=22887 EL PASO — A year after the Ebola epidemic ravaged West Africa the risk of resurgence lingers, but communities continue to make progress toward rebuilding due to brave international humanitarian efforts, including those of soldiers from El Paso. Months after the Ebola outbreak began killing thousands of people in Liberia, more than 250 soldiers from [...]]]>

EL PASO — A year after the Ebola epidemic ravaged West Africa the risk of resurgence lingers, but communities continue to make progress toward rebuilding due to brave international humanitarian efforts, including those of soldiers from El Paso.

Months after the Ebola outbreak began killing thousands of people in Liberia, more than 250 soldiers from here shuttled the sick by helicopter from isolated villages to Nairobi for treatment at facilities they helped build.

The soldiers, primarily from the 501st Aviation Regiment deployed last October from Fort Bliss to participate in “Operation United Assistance” in Liberia.

“It was not a combat mission,” said Chief Warrant Officer Landon Dykes. “This was a different scenario, a different role for the entire task-force and our entire purpose was to help the people of Liberia combat Ebola.”

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, by the beginning of October there were more than 3,600 confirmed cases of Ebola in Liberia, and a total of 1998 deaths as well.

Worry turns into hope

Although at first the news of that mission generated some concern among the troops and their families, it quickly shifted to optimism once the task force touched ground in Africa.

“Once we got there the reality was that we were all very happy to be a part of it,” Dykes said. “It was an honor to see how thankful the people of Liberia were as a nation.”

Soldiers described the experience as different than what they expected leading up to the mission.

“It was actually not bad,” said Sgt. Cody Chambers. “The people there were really nice, really generous and they were never threatening in any way.”

Although the presence of the task-force alone was a sign of hope for the people of Liberia, the extreme working and country conditions represented a challenge for the operation.

Transportation challenges

Liberia lacks road or highway infrastructure, making transportation of goods and people nearly impossible by land, according to Dykes.

“It could take up to two-weeks to travel from one side of the country to the other,” he said.

In total, more than 1,700 flight hours were logged by the Task Force Iron Knights transporting supplies, engineers, medical personnel and equipment to construct Ebola treatment units.The operation concluded in February 2015.

Monitoring health conditions

The World Health Organization declared on May 9, 2015 that the Ebola outbreak in Liberia was over after 42 days passed without any new cases being reported. The country remained vigilant and on June 29 reported that the body of a teenage boy tested positive for the virus. The country could again be declared Ebola free by the WHO on Aug. 28 after another 42 days have elapsed with no new cases being reported.

While in Liberia, U.S. troops were constantly monitored, took anti-malaria medication twice a day and had their temperatures checked at least twice a day to catch early symptoms of malaria or Ebola.

“We were almost at no risk for Ebola,” Chambers said. “The people we interacted with everyday they were all checked. … Anytime we interacted with people we were checked ourselves.”

All the troops that participated on the mission entered 21-day controlled monitoring areas on Fort Bliss and joint base Lewis-McChord upon their return from Africa. By March they were all out of monitoring.

Combat Aviation Brigade training at Fort Bliss. Photo by Alonso Moreno, Borderzine.com

Combat Aviation Brigade training at Fort Bliss. Photo by Alonso Moreno, Borderzine.com

The Combat Aviation Brigade

The “Iron Eagles” Combat Aviation Brigade of the 1st Armored Division is based at Fort Bliss, and comprises about 2,600 soldiers. They describe themselves as a versatile, “multi-functional unit that fields military helicopters.”

The soldiers said they did their best to live up to the motto behind the Combat Aviation Brigade, one of the outfits that provided units for Operation United Assistance:

Be combat ready, worldwide deployable, disciplined, and ready for any mission. We are ‘always ready’ for the next fight.”

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Campus crime reporting effectiveness questionedhttp://borderzine.com/2015/08/campus-crime-reporting-effectiveness-questioned/ http://borderzine.com/2015/08/campus-crime-reporting-effectiveness-questioned/#comments Mon, 17 Aug 2015 05:54:58 +0000 http://borderzine.com/?p=22884 By Nadia Dreid, SHFWire.com WASHINGTON – When Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., called for the repeal of the Clery Act at a campus safety conference in June, Annette Spicuzza clapped. She wasn’t alone – the room rumbled with the applause of a hundred plus educators. “I know the mess it is,” McCaskill said of the law. [...]]]>

By , SHFWire.com

WASHINGTON – When Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., called for the repeal of the Clery Act at a campus safety conference in June, Annette Spicuzza clapped. She wasn’t alone – the room rumbled with the applause of a hundred plus educators.

“I know the mess it is,” McCaskill said of the law. “So my goal would be to remove it.”

The Clery Act, enacted in 1991, requires all colleges and universities receiving federal money to collect and publish information on crimes that occur on or around campus. The law’s namesake, Jeanne Clery, a Lehigh University student, was murdered in her dorm room in 1986.

The Clery Act has been amended and expanded since then, and schools across the country have hired compliance officers like Spicuzza, who works for Stanford University, to keep up with its requirements.

 ‘As if we’re being set up to fail’

Spicuzza applauded McCaskill’s statement because she said the law has become too complicated to accomplish its own goals.

“Clery is – the spirit of it is wonderful,” Spicuzza said. “It’s just become very confusing and very difficult for individuals to define and navigate through.”

The Clery Act requires schools to have a public crime log that is updated within two days of any reportable incident. Schools are required to report crimes that fall into seven categories, including criminal homicide, sex offenses and aggravated assault.  They are also required to publish an annual security report that includes three years of crime statistics.

Schools are responsible for devising notification and response systems for emergencies, to inform students of danger in a timely manner, among other requirements.

“It’s become so bureaucratic and so confusing in terms of property, location, geography, crime classifications and now the addition of dating, domestic and stalking,” Spicuzza said. “It almost makes you feel as if we’re being set up to fail.”

‘The Department of Education just accepts it’

If a university is found out of compliance with the Clery Act, it can be fined up to $35,000 per violation, or it could lose all federal funding.

The bill McCaskill is sponsoring, the Campus Safety and Accountability Act, would not repeal Clery. It seeks to reduce sexual assault on college campuses by creating cooperation between university and town police, providing additional information to students and providing more training to campus officials.

CleryNumbersWith bipartisan support from 33 cosponsors, the bill was considered by a committee last month, but has not yet been put to a vote. The bill would require schools to publish Clery information online and raise the maximum penalty for a Clery violation to $150,000.

But even with the current fines, few schools pay penalties. Since 2012, only eleven schools have been issued notices for violations and proposed fines.

What’s even more troubling to people like Frank LoMonte, director of the Student Press Law Center, is the number of schools that aren’t reporting at all. Or rather, their reports don’t match reality.

“We have universities with 20,000 and 30,000 people on campus claiming to have zero rapes,” LoMonte said. “And the Department of Education just accepts the report, files it, posts it on the web and says thank you.”

Higher numbers of reported rapes can be a good thing, Alison Kiss, executive director of the Clery Center said. They usually mean more women feel safe enough to come forward and report their assaults.

From 2010 to 2012, 30 percent of colleges and universities with over 1,000 students reported zero forcible sex offenses. If large colleges are regularly reporting zero assaults, women either aren’t coming forward or numbers are getting fudged, Kiss and LoMonte said.

“There is every incentive to lie because the Department of Education is so ineffective at auditing people that you’re almost certain to get away with it,” LoMonte said.

The Department of Education has published reports citing violations at 19 schools since 2012, but oftentimes, investigations drag on for years.

 ‘Do you feel safe?’

During her keynote speech at the conference, McCaskill called Clery ineffective and a mess. She suggested scrapping it entirely and replacing it with what her bill calls a “campus climate survey.”

“The campus climate survey is really what parents want,” McCaskill said. “The campus climate survey is going to ask kids, ‘Do you think your school is trying to do a good job? Have you been told where you can go if you were assaulted? Do you feel safe?’”

But the climate survey would gauge only students’ feelings and opinions about campus safety. It wouldn’t produce hard data on campus crime.

LoMonte said he thinks McCaskill is well-intentioned, but that her aims are misplaced.

“I think that she is probably awakening to the reality that those statistics are not worth the paper they’re printed on,” LoMonte said. “When you realize how unreliable the numbers are, it makes you question whether the reports are helpful.”

But that is an argument for better enforcement of the Clery requirements, LoMonte said, not to remove them.

“It just shouldn’t be that hard to count crime,” LoMonte said. “Colleges seem to struggle with this, and they have such a hard time with it. But that’s because they have every incentive to downplay the numbers and very little incentive to tell the truth.

McCaskill’s communications director did not respond to several requests for clarification on her comments about the Clery Act.

Reach reporter Nadia Dreid at nadia.dreid@scripps.com or 202-408-1491.

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The way to power is through ballots, not bullets, Julian Bond told me decades agohttp://borderzine.com/2015/08/the-way-to-power-is-through-ballots-not-bullets-julian-bond-told-me-decades-ago/ http://borderzine.com/2015/08/the-way-to-power-is-through-ballots-not-bullets-julian-bond-told-me-decades-ago/#comments Mon, 17 Aug 2015 05:27:45 +0000 http://borderzine.com/?p=22880 Julian Bond answered my question and then with a smile bestowed the supreme compliment on a rookie reporter — “You did your research,” he said. That was 44 years ago and I was in my first year as a cub reporter at the Winchester Evening Star, a small afternoon newspaper that is still in business [...]]]>

Julian Bond answered my question and then with a smile bestowed the supreme compliment on a rookie reporter — “You did your research,” he said.

That was 44 years ago and I was in my first year as a cub reporter at the Winchester Evening Star, a small afternoon newspaper that is still in business today in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Bond, an African American leader going back to the early days of the civil rights movement who died Saturday at 75, had stopped on a lecture tour in this conservative bastion of Old Virginia where the ghost of Jim Crow was still flapping.

I was surprised to hear he would speak at the Shenandoah Conservatory of Music. I had arrived in this southern town just a few months before and felt I had dropped into a 1950’s time warp. The city was still largely racially segregated and I had been cutting my teeth covering high school basketball games, about which I knew very little. But coming from Washington, D.C., I did know something about the civil rights and anti-war movements that Bond had been involved in.  I was determined to meet him.

I am reprinting the original article I wrote all those years ago here along with a photo I took of Bond talking with college faculty. I find that that it rings true and timely still. One thing he said stuck with me all these years — “Malcolm X once said, that there were two ways to power, bullets and ballots,” and smiling again he said, “and since it’s highly unlikely that any of us will use bullets, that leaves us ballots.” Julian Bond will be missed.

Julian Bond

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Bone marrow donor program seeks Hispanics to help save lives of Hispanicshttp://borderzine.com/2015/08/bone-marrow-donor-program-seeks-hispanics-to-help-save-lives-of-hispanics/ http://borderzine.com/2015/08/bone-marrow-donor-program-seeks-hispanics-to-help-save-lives-of-hispanics/#comments Mon, 17 Aug 2015 05:19:41 +0000 http://borderzine.com/?p=22869 “Wait a minute, this wont hurt at all will it?” Anthony Aguilar asks while holding a registration packet for Be The Match, a project to match donors with people who need bone marrow transplants. That’s the most common question asked, says Anita Gonzales Southwest representative for Be The Match, which is operated by the National [...]]]>

“Wait a minute, this wont hurt at all will it?” Anthony Aguilar asks while holding a registration packet for Be The Match, a project to match donors with people who need bone marrow transplants.

be the match 7.jpg

Anita Gonzales

That’s the most common question asked, says Anita Gonzales Southwest representative for Be The Match, which is operated by the National Marrow Donor Program to help match healthy bone marrow donors with patients battling illnesses like leukemia, sickle cell anemia, or other life threatening blood diseases.

Be the match 6.jpg

Anita Gonzales Photo credit: Michael McClure

Gonzales explains that the registration process doesn’t require needles

“It’s the most simple and painless process really,” Gonzales says. “Its a simple saliva sample. It’s a sterile medical swab, you take it and run along the inside of you’re cheek, up and down ten times, put it in the registration envelope, and just like that the process is done.”

be the match 2.jpg

Registration sample Photo credit: Michael McClure

Although the common ages of donors range from 18 to 44, it’s the need for minority donors, especially Hispanic donors, that is crucial to Be The Matches mission to help out not only patients in need but also minority patients in need.

“We usually aim to gather donors who are between the ages of 18 and 44.” Says Gonzales. “However, in that age range we aim to gather the minorities. There is an increasingly low amount of minorities in our registry.”

be the match 3.jpg

Anita Gonzales informing the increasingly low rate of Hispanic donors. Photo credit: Michael McClure

As the numbers in the registry show, 75 percent of the registered donors are Anglo compared to the remaining 25 percent being minorities consisting of Hispanics, African Americans, and Asians.

stat2.jpg

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“In some cases it can take eight to nine years to find an actual Hispanic minority DNA match,” says Gonzales. “… When it comes to donating and surgical procedures, the majority of minorities will only help their direct families, not the life of a complete stranger. And we really try to educate and bring awareness to these minorities because it can help save the live of another person of the same minority.”

You Could Be The Cure

If you are interested in joining the bone marrow donor registry, here is how the process works.

  • After the registration process is done, the potential donor’s DNA sample is sent to the Repository Center in Minneapolis, Mn.
  • It is then tested for possible DNA matches to patients in need of bone marrow. If no matches are found, the person will be placed into a registry of possible donors.
  • Donors only need to be an 80 percent DNA match to be eligible to donate. And once the system has linked and found it’s match donors are then contacted and asked if they would like to go through with the donation process.
  • If yes, the project will pay expenses to bring the donor to Dallas to make the bone marrow donation.

There are three ways to donate bone marrow:

  • Peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) donation – which is similar to a blood donation
  • Surgical direct bone marrow donation – an outpatient process where a needle is inserted to the the hip.
  • Cord Blood- Only acquired through a newborn’s umbilical cord.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCB4CAPI1JU

For more information visit: http://bethematch.org/

http://bethematch.org/Support-the-Cause/Participate/

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Rise of undocumented immigration slowed after Great Recession, analysis showshttp://borderzine.com/2015/08/rise-of-undocumented-immigration-slowed-after-great-recession-analysis-shows/ http://borderzine.com/2015/08/rise-of-undocumented-immigration-slowed-after-great-recession-analysis-shows/#comments Mon, 17 Aug 2015 04:57:18 +0000 http://borderzine.com/?p=22866 By Jeffrey S. Passel and D’Vera Cohn of the Pew Research Center An estimated 11.3 million unauthorized immigrants lived in the U.S. in 2014, according to a new preliminary Pew Research Center estimate based on government data. This population has remained essentially stable for five years after nearly two decades of changes. An estimated 11.3 million [...]]]>

An estimated 11.3 million unauthorized immigrants lived in the U.S. in 2014, according to a new preliminary Pew Research Center estimate based on government data. This population has remained essentially stable for five years after nearly two decades of changes.

U.S. Unauthorized Immigrant Population Levels OffAn estimated 11.3 million unauthorized immigrants lived in the U.S. in 2014, according to a new preliminary Pew Research Center estimate based on government data. This population has remained essentially stable for five years after nearly two decades of changes.

The recent overall stability contrasts with past trends. The unauthorized immigrant population had risen rapidly during the 1990s and early 2000s, from an estimated 3.5 million in 1990 to a peak of 12.2 million in 2007. It then dropped sharply during the Great Recession of 2007-09, mainly because of a decrease in immigration from Mexico.

The overall estimate has fluctuated little in recent years because the number of new unauthorized immigrants is roughly equal to the number who are deported, leave the U.S. on their own, convert to legal status, or (in a small number of cases) die, according to the Pew Research analysis. The new unauthorized immigrant total includes people who cross the border illegally as well as those who arrive with legal visas and remain in the U.S. after their visas expire.

Pew Research estimates that, since 2009, there has been an average of about 350,000 new unauthorized immigrants each year. Of these, about 100,000 are Mexican, a much smaller share than in the past. In the years leading up to the Great Recession, Mexicans represented about half of new unauthorized immigrants.

See the complete article at the Pew Research Center here.

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Bienvenidos, Monsoon Stormshttp://borderzine.com/2015/08/bienvenidos-monsoon-storms/ http://borderzine.com/2015/08/bienvenidos-monsoon-storms/#comments Wed, 12 Aug 2015 20:45:33 +0000 http://borderzine.com/?p=22861 How pleasant it is to say “adios” to scorching June. As possible proof, during this June, my Rio Rico, Arizona suffered through ten consecutive days of torrid highs between 96 and 105F, according to my possibly trusty patio thermometer. This June’s sun was also so bright and hot that I spent far too much time [...]]]>

How pleasant it is to say “adios” to scorching June.

As possible proof, during this June, my Rio Rico, Arizona suffered through ten consecutive days of torrid highs between 96 and 105F, according to my possibly trusty patio thermometer.

This June’s sun was also so bright and hot that I spent far too much time hibernating indoors with all my blinds pulled down.

But June finally has eased into July, which has become, perhaps, one of my favorite months here. Because the arrival of July means it will bring Monsoon storms.

Like the one I experienced just the other day, whose vivid lightning strokes and following thunderclap nearly scared me silly.

I’d witnessed that first flash of lightning while I was foolishly standing under my metal garage door.

That big flash-n-boom made me flee into my house, where I then looked out to witness still another spectacular downpour. Horizontal rain slapped at my kitchen windows in what meteorologists call a “microburst.”

But what I liked most about that microburst was that it dropped the outside temperature almost twenty degrees in less than ten minutes.

Which caused me to recall a July day when I emigrated here from Connecticut more than a decade ago, when my two dogs and I headed down into the Santa Cruz River Valley for our usual late afternoon walk.

I should have known better, because I’d seen two big storms forming – one off to the northeast and the other off to the southwest.  They were actually heading in opposite directions, believe it or not.

Anyway, they obviously spotted us and decided to have some fun. We’d walked only a half-mile away from the car when they commingled to dump drops that must have weighed at least a half a pound each.

I got soaked to the skin and shivered. How cold Arizona’s monsoon rains can be!

We were pummeled, and, to my credit, I giggled.

My golden retriever Utah, being the water dog he is, was ecstatic.  But my sissy Bandida (a shepherd plus “who-knows-what?” mix) scuttled off ahead to my van.

When I huffed back to my van, I saw that my frightened Bandida had wedged herself under the tailpipe, while Utah had settled into a rapidly forming mud puddle just a few feet from the rear of the van.

I barked at him, and Utah reluctantly arose out of the puddle with a great sucking sound.  When I opened the back door of the van, Bandida leapt in, followed by Utah. His gleefully wagging tail then splattered Bandida and the windows with a film of mud.

And so, in my moist car, I drove my two dogs and me back home – less than a mile away.

And, of course, there was not a drop of rain falling when we drove down the driveway and under those metal doors and into the garage.

But that night, I found myself reaching for an extra blanket.

Which I also did after that other “microburst,” just the other day.

To repeat: Bienvenidos, monsoon storms.

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Racism persists as long as we don’t try to understand each otherhttp://borderzine.com/2015/08/racism-persists-as-long-as-we-dont-try-to-understand-each-other/ http://borderzine.com/2015/08/racism-persists-as-long-as-we-dont-try-to-understand-each-other/#comments Mon, 10 Aug 2015 23:37:20 +0000 http://borderzine.com/?p=22853 I was born in Ciudad Juarez Mexico, next door to El Paso, Texas. My family and I moved to El Paso in 1997 for better work opportunities,education, and a better standard of living. I attended U.S. public schools from third grade through high school, and then went on to study at the community college level, [...]]]>

I was born in Ciudad Juarez Mexico, next door to El Paso, Texas. My family and I moved to El Paso in 1997 for better work opportunities,education, and a better standard of living. I attended U.S. public schools from third grade through high school, and then went on to study at the community college level, first in El Paso and then in Lubbock.

When we moved across the border from Mexico to the U.S, I didn’t notice much difference in culture. People still spoke Spanish to me, we continued to celebrate the same holidays, including el Dia de los Muertos and Cinco de Mayo. My style of dress didn’t change much. The only difference was that most residents of the U.S. side of the border had new cars, cell phones, computers and brand name purses.

In school, I didn’t feel discrimination from my fellow students or teachers, or from our neighbors on the east side. Most of them also spoke Spanish.

That all changed when I moved to Lubbock to attend college. The city is primarily white (165,000 residents are white), but has around 108,000 Hispanic and other races and ethnicities.

At my school, I noticed that the only time white students mingled with students of other backgrounds was for group assignments. The rest of the time each racial or ethnic group stuck with its own.

Most of the time the white students and even the Hispanic students ignored me. I believe it was because they thought I was “too Mexican” compared to them. I still spoke with a strong Spanish accent and wondered if they avoided me because I was different. Maybe they thought I wanted to fight them or steal something from them.

If I overheard someone make a derogatory comment about a black or Latino student, or any other race, I would keep quiet because I knew intuitively that if I complained the school officials wouldn’t believe me.

Some teachers used to make jokes about Latinos. One male teacher joked in front of the class: “If I were to take this shirt to a poor country they will steal it from me,” the teacher said. The rest of the class broke into laughter but I didn’t think it was funny.

At first, I didn’t feel comfortable walking down city streets or going into stores because I felt I didn’t fit in. I still feel sad about how I was treated there.

Over time, I acclimated to the predominately white culture and made friends with whites, Blacks, Hispanics, Arabs, Asians and Indians. I realized that anyone can harbor racist feelings toward other races, even Latinos against whites. It depends on your personal experience.

Three years ago I returned to El Paso to pursue my bachelor’s degree. I felt at home again within my Latino culture and native language.

On the other hand, the racism is something that is not going to stop and I know how it feels because I lived it. I realize that racism is still present everywhere. Some recent examples are events in Ferguson, New York City, and Baltimore where black men were mistreated and killed by white police officers. I am disappointed that President Barack Obama, our first black president, hasn’t been able to do more to stop racism in this country.

I know how it feels to be discriminated against because of my skin color, nationality and accent. I know others have experienced similar discrimination. Racism will continue to be part of our society until people start treating others as they want themselves to be treated. With dignity and respect.

 

 

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CrowCaw* on Trump – just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get youhttp://borderzine.com/2015/08/crowcaw-on-trump-just-because-youre-paranoid-doesnt-mean-theyre-not-out-to-get-you/ http://borderzine.com/2015/08/crowcaw-on-trump-just-because-youre-paranoid-doesnt-mean-theyre-not-out-to-get-you/#comments Mon, 10 Aug 2015 23:24:52 +0000 http://borderzine.com/?p=22850 Fox News threw a beanball right at Donald Trump’s weird hairline with the opening question of last week’s Republican debate, and he took it like a man, falling right into their trap. Only his hand went up to affirm that he would not rule out an independent run for the White House if he failed [...]]]>

Fox News threw a beanball right at Donald Trump’s weird hairline with the opening question of last week’s Republican debate, and he took it like a man, falling right into their trap.

Only his hand went up to affirm that he would not rule out an independent run for the White House if he failed to win the Republican nomination. The question was framed to show that a positive response would lead to a sure defeat for the Republicans in the national election.

There was no escape.  The question was designed to single him out at the very start since he had already said as much in the past. Then, realizing that the game was rigged, he determined to get in some licks too. Megyn Kelly later threw the bat at him with a question quoting Trump’s grotesque insults to women.

It was so obvious it was embarrassing, that Rupert Murdoch’s marching orders had only one objective – kick Trump, out of the race. After all, he’s bleeding the conservative cause every time he clears his throat, dragging the Republican sheep closer to the abyss of loss in the national election.

But Trump being Trump couldn’t care less and he picked up the gauntlet swinging it at Kelly then and after the debate to draw blood in a way that horrified the reasonable populace of America, but which only bolstered Trump with his base.

The first question in any case was a complete fabrication based on false assumptions.  A smarter Trump would have realized as much. Electoral history based on actual facts shows that the question contains a false premise. An independent run for the White House by another right wing candidate would not necessarily mean a loss for Republicans.

In any case, it is clear that the real candidate on the stage was not lined up with the others. Hell-bent on winning the White House this time, Murdoch was there, hovering as his unholy trinity asked the questions.

*A CrowCaw is an anti-Tweet, tightly measured but powerful enough to hammer in the nail.

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International leaders meet in El Paso, Juarez for U.S.-Mexico Summit 2015http://borderzine.com/2015/08/international-leaders-meet-in-el-paso-juarez-for-u-s-mexico-summit-2015/ http://borderzine.com/2015/08/international-leaders-meet-in-el-paso-juarez-for-u-s-mexico-summit-2015/#comments Mon, 10 Aug 2015 17:35:38 +0000 http://borderzine.com/?p=22847 [View the story “U.S., Mexico Summit 2015 shows power of collaboration” on Storify]]]> ]]> http://borderzine.com/2015/08/international-leaders-meet-in-el-paso-juarez-for-u-s-mexico-summit-2015/feed/ 0 Beyond Twitter: Crass and raw musings from the editorhttp://borderzine.com/2015/08/beyond-twitter-crass-and-raw-musings-from-the-editor/ http://borderzine.com/2015/08/beyond-twitter-crass-and-raw-musings-from-the-editor/#comments Sat, 08 Aug 2015 21:12:12 +0000 http://borderzine.com/?p=22843 Crow-caw 1—come the deluge – Two weeks in Saint Petersburg Beach, Florida, have been marked by near constant rain, not the sin-ganas rain of the Southwest, but the turbulent cascades of tumbling airborne rain sheets I remember from my childhood in Costa Rica. My daughter claims global warming is to blame for the downpours. But I [...]]]>

Crow-caw 1—come the deluge – Two weeks in Saint Petersburg Beach, Florida, have been marked by near constant rain, not the sin-ganas rain of the Southwest, but the turbulent cascades of tumbling airborne rain sheets I remember from my childhood in Costa Rica. My daughter claims global warming is to blame for the downpours. But I love the rain.

Crow-caw 2 — I’m calling these musings crow-caws because I find that Twitter Tweets are just too fine and tweety a vehicle to express how I felt after watching the Republican clown car belch out its payasos the other night , so I’m using this new medium, crass and raw, not subject to fine little tones and yet not too wordy.

 Crow-caw 3 – The so-called debate that brought all the Republican presidential candidates to the Fox lair Thursday was terrifying but totally predictable. They repeatedly  praised their God and damned the devil and its associated demons –the federal government, Social Security, Dodd-Frank,, the Affordable  Care Act, immigration reform, abortion and by extension women and immigrants. They salivated at the thought of an extended war in the Middle East against Isis and Iran. They displayed with pride their ignorance of history and economics and piped their voices like students in speech class when they sensed a stir in the audience.

It is terrifying to contemplate the possibility that one of these individuals could land in the White House.

Crow-caw 4 – The jury in the Denver theater shooting massacre spared the life of  the creepy maniac with life in prison  instead of death. Death would have been too easy anyway — a contrast to the death sentence of the Boston marathon bomber who got his wish.

During work I did as a journalist in my youth I saw the terrible  suffering of convicts  in solitary confinement. I too would prefer death to life in prison.

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