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Real public servants are free enterprising individuals who, inspired, embrace challenge, take risks, and create, sometimes big, and often, they create jobs in the process, all out of their ideas, and self initiative...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I've been thinking a lot about how Mariachi and Bolero Music and song pull as hard on my heart, for their expressions of tender love and passion as do Country, great Country.

Some of the great Country composers and performing artists realize this. George Straight, for example, sings a wonderful delightful rendition of the marquee song of Jose Alfredo Jimenez, one of Mexico's legendary greatest composers, romantic and dignified, rugged and individualist, hearty and tender. I love this music, the lyrics,the grit and vulnerability, the Spanish words and their sound and meaning stir me deeply. They describe how I want to love and be loved and they are poetry. This music stirs my deepest passions for being an individual with liberty. I am saddened by the rancor in the current political discourse around a particular issue. Sensibilities are delicate and precious. Communication is critical, but glory be if we may speak always lovingly, as we strive to do with a brother, sister, neighbor, friend, son or daughter.
The vast majority of people who share my sensibilities for Mariachi and Bolero, even if they don't articulate them, are legally here and have a right to legally vote.

For a great many like me, when they were growing up, the mariachi and bolero music was always playing, when the aunts and uncles got together, and all of us cousins got to play while the adults danced, talked, drank and laughed, and the men played dominoes or cards.

It was always on the record player at home, on Saturdays and Sundays. It was played or performed at all the baptism and 1st Holy Communion celebrations, and at the wedding and anniversary receptions.

It is joyful and playful, romantic, tender, humble and celebratory. It ties generations together with its historical evolution.

I love the words. I am familiar with the language of love, honor, dignity, courage and freedom, in both English and in Spanish, and I love and treasure them both, deeply. My sons don't know the Spanish language. For them it is lost, but they know my passion and my heart. The values are expressed in our music, which includes the lyrics of the songs.

It is this door though which I always hope to enter, so that I may ask my brethren, my brothers and sisters, to join me, or welcome me to join them, to be a stand for liberty, for our sake, and for that of our children, our families, our neighbors and our friends, for our future.

Being in love with the Spanish Language doesn't preclude me from being in love with the principles of Liberty we hold dear and which were so magnificently articulated in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America. The one love is a fertile ground for the other, and the two are one in me.

The words in these revered documents are bold and declarative.
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Botched Paramilitary Police Raids: An Epidemic of "Isolated Incidents"

"If a widespread pattern of [knock-and-announce] violations were shown . . . there would be reason for grave concern." —Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, in Hudson v. Michigan, June 15, 2006. An interactive map of botched SWAT and paramilitary police raids, released in conjunction with the Cato policy paper "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids," by Radley Balko. What does this map mean? How to use this map View Original Map and Database


Death of an innocent. Death or injury of a police officer. Death of a nonviolent offender.
Raid on an innocent suspect. Other examples of paramilitary police excess. Unnecessary raids on doctors and sick people.
The proliferation of SWAT teams, police militarization, and the Drug War have given rise to a dramatic increase in the number of "no-knock" or "quick-knock" raids on suspected drug offenders. Because these raids are often conducted based on tips from notoriously unreliable confidential informants, police sometimes conduct SWAT-style raids on the wrong home, or on the homes of nonviolent, misdemeanor drug users. Such highly-volatile, overly confrontational tactics are bad enough when no one is hurt -- it's difficult to imagine the terror an innocent suspect or family faces when a SWAT team mistakenly breaks down their door in the middle of the night. But even more disturbing are the number of times such "wrong door" raids unnecessarily lead to the injury or death of suspects, bystanders, and police officers. Defenders of SWAT teams and paramilitary tactics say such incidents are isolated and rare. The map above aims to refute that notion.

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