Enero 28, 2008

Latest News From Ciudad Juarez

The brutal murder of young women and girls continues in Juarez. Here is a message from there about the last month of violence:

Please help publicize the disappearance of 15 year old Adriana Sarmiento Enriquez. She is a friend of one of our Amigos. She disappeared on her way home from school on Friday, January 18th. She is fifteen, 55 kilos, 155 cm, has hazel eyes and long brown hair. She was last seen by her friend when they departed from a bus stop on their way home from eating after school. Adriana disappeared sometime on her walk from the bus stop to her home.
Her mother, Tina Enriquez can be contacted in Juarez at 0115265666327463. She has a daughter, Veronica, who lives in El Paso and can be contacted at 915-564-5206.

Most recent murders
The level of violence in Juarez has escalated Since January 1, 2008, there have been 29 murders in Cuidad Juarez. Three of these were women. The latest murders are:

Jan. 18th, Maria Guadalupe Esparza Zavala died of stab wound to the heart. Her 12 year old daughter told police she and her stepfather had been arguing.

Jan. 20th, Mirna Yeremia Munoz Ledo Marin was found nude inside her house, stabbed several times.

Jan. 21st, Ericka Sonora Trejo, 38 and 8 months pregnant was found in the bathroom of her house. Police said her father-in-law allegedly bludgeoned her with an axe.

United Nations and EU meetings
Some members of Amigos [de Mujeres de Juarez] will accompany members of Justicia para Nuestras Hijas and Centro de Derechos Humanos de Mujeres de Chihuahua to Mexico City and meet with delegations from the UN and EU. Both groups have been involved in a bringing the continued injustices to the attention of these international bodies.

Posted by steev at 11:35 AM | Comments (0)

Enero 22, 2008

On The Edge podcast continues

The podcast of my documentary about the Juarez femicide continues, with the 3rd installment posted yesterday. I'm getting quite a few hits on it, and a link from Narco News, and other good reaction, which is great to see. The podcast is really turning out to be a great way to encourage a "long tail" to a project, in addition to a "leading edge buzz" for a project in-progress.

Posted by steev at 01:52 PM | Comments (0)

Enero 18, 2008

Learn to Pick Up The Phone!

The Arizona Indymedia website was badly broken for like, 17 days - since the new year - links to individual newswire stories were broken. As users discovered this, they stopped posting stories. The site was dying. This problem was noticed pretty quickly by somebody else on the editorial collective. I honestly hardly ever look at the site, much less the newswire, so I hadn't noticed. But immediately, I was the one people went to and asked about it.

Okay, so, often people that know me pigeonhole me as a "geek", as a "computer person" or "techie" - but the AZ IMC site is not in my power to fix. It's administered by ubergeeks in the bay area and belgium and pittsburgh, or god knows where else, and even if i knew how to futz with sf-active i don't have admin permissions on the machine.

So usually all I do when something goes wrong is go on the indymedia chat system, irc://irc.indymedia.org - and get on the sf-active channel there, and ask for help. And usually within a few hours someone sees my question and fixes it.

WHY can't someone else do that, ever? IRC is not rocket surgery. It's just not that hard.

So the site stayed broken for a couple weeks because, frankly, i was busy and, well, i wanted to see if anyone else would step up and do it. I refuse to be "the tech guy", when all that really entails in this case is knowing how to ask the real tech guys a question. I refuse.

I guess it's kind of like arriving at a burning building and sitting there watching it burn down while the other residents sit there next to a phone, because nobody wants to learn how to pick up the phone and call the fire department. eventually you can't sit there anymore and watch, but at the same time you're just going, WTF, why didn't someone call before? Why? And is it worth having that building if every time anything goes wrong with it I'm the only one that will bother to call the rescue crew?

Posted by steev at 06:30 AM | Comments (0)

Enero 17, 2008

Misogyny Alive and Well

The New York Times has a great op-ed about treatment of women and how little attention presidential candidates give to it.

If there was ever a story that deserved more coverage by the news media, itís the dark persistence of misogyny in America. Sexism in its myriad destructive forms permeates nearly every aspect of American life. For many men, itís the true national pastime, much bigger than baseball or football.

I hate making people register for the NYT site so I'm cutting and pasting the whole thing, below...

Op-Ed Columnist
Politics and Misogyny

Published: January 15, 2008

With Senator Hillary Rodham Clintonís win in New Hampshire, gender issues are suddenly in the news. Where has everybody been?

If there was ever a story that deserved more coverage by the news media, itís the dark persistence of misogyny in America. Sexism in its myriad destructive forms permeates nearly every aspect of American life. For many men, itís the true national pastime, much bigger than baseball or football.

Little attention is being paid to the toll that misogyny takes on society in general, and women and girls in particular.

Its forms are limitless. Hard-core pornography is a multibillion-dollar business, having spread far beyond the stereotyped raincoat crowd to anyone with a laptop and a password. Crowds of crazed photographers risk life and limb to get shots of Paris Hilton or Britney Spears without their underwear. At New York Jets home games, men regularly gather at Gate D to urge female fans to expose themselves.

In its grimmest aspects, misogyny manifests itself in hideous violence ó from brutal beatings and rape to outright torture and murder. Fifteen months ago, a gunman invaded an Amish schoolhouse in rural Pennsylvania, separated the girls from the boys, and then shot 10 of the girls, killing five.

The cable news channels revel in stories about women (almost always young and attractive) who come to a gruesome end at the hands of violent men. The stories seldom, if ever, raise the issue of misogyny, which permeates not just the crimes themselves, but the coverage as well.

The latest of these obsessively covered stories concerned a pregnant marine, Maria Frances Lauterbach, who had complained to authorities that she had been raped by a fellow marine. Her body was found last week buried in a backyard fire pit in North Carolina.

It just so happens that the Democratic presidential candidates are campaigning this week in the misogyny capital of America: Nevada. Itís a perfect place to bring up the way women are viewed and treated in this society, but donít hold your breath. Presidential wannabes are hardly in the habit of insulting the locals.

Prostitution is legal in much of Nevada and heavily promoted even where itís not. In Las Vegas, where prostitution is illegal but flourishes nevertheless, Mayor Oscar Goodman has said that creating a series of legal, ďmagnificentĒ brothels would be a great development tool for his city.

The fundamental problem in all of this is that women and girls are dehumanized, opening the floodgates to every kind of mistreatment. ďOnce you dehumanize somebody, everything else is possible,Ē said Taina Bien-Aimť, executive director of the womenís advocacy group Equality Now.

A grotesque exercise in the dehumanization of women is carried out routinely at Sheriís Ranch, a legal brothel about an hourís ride outside of Vegas. There the women have to respond like Pavlovís dog to an electronic bell that might ring at any hour of the day or night. At the sound of the bell, the prostitutes have five minutes to get to an assembly area where they line up, virtually naked, and submit to a humiliating inspection by any prospective customer who has happened to drop by.

If you donít think this is an issue worthy of a presidential campaign, consider the scandalous way that women are treated in the military and the fact that the winner of this election will become the commander in chief.

The sexual mistreatment of women in the military is widespread. The Defense Department financed a study in 2003 of female veterans seeking health assistance from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Nearly a third of those surveyed said they had been the victim of a rape or attempted rape during their service.

The Associated Press reported in 2006 that more than 80 military recruiters had been disciplined over the course of a year because of sexual misconduct with young women and girls who had considered joining the military.

There continue to be widespread complaints from women about rape and other forms of sexual attacks in the military, and about a culture that tends to protect the attackers.

To what extent are the candidates of either party concerned about these matters? Do they have any sense of how extensive and debilitating the mistreatment of women and girls really is?

Weíve become so used to the disrespectful, degrading, contemptuous and even violent treatment of women that we hardly notice it. Staggering amounts of violence are unleashed against women and girls every day. Fashionable ads in mainstream publications play off of that violence, exploiting themes of death and dismemberment, female submissiveness and child pornography.

If weíve opened the door to the issue of sexism in the presidential campaign, then letís have at it. Itís a big and important issue that deserves much more than lip service.

Posted by steev at 11:07 AM | Comments (1)

Enero 16, 2008

Stupid Dreamhost

Dreamhost, the company that hosts practically all of my websites and email and stuff, made a HUGE mistake yesterday and accidentally billed about, well, ALL of their customers, most of whom who didn't owe anything, including myself, totalling about 7.5 MILLION dollars.

Yeah. Wow. They explain how it happened, a combination of software operator and software design error, on their blog, which, while apologizing profusely, also takes a really flippant, humorous tone that has pissed off many many of their patrons, including myself. This humorous tone is typical for them, and usually it's fun and entertaining, in their newsletters and documentation, but when you're talking about hundreds of dollars disappearing mistakenly from your bank account it's not the time to get some comedy act in response.

I'm going to start trying to figure out who I could switch to and how hard it would be to switch, because this is pretty damn not acceptable. Luckily I did have the money in my account to cover the mistake, just barely, so I wasn't charged by my bank for overdrafts, but it could have been different, and I'm sure for many it has been a nightmare. So just out of the principle of the thing I kind of feel like it's my duty to take my business elsewhere.

I even feel sort of guilty for all the friends who I've referred to Dreamhost over the years and probably also got screwed on this. yikes.

Posted by steev at 11:14 AM | Comments (0)

Enero 10, 2008

new podcast of my juarez film

I posted and announced this on Monday but i figure i should put it on here too.

My film "On The Edge: The Femicide in Ciudad Juarez", will become available, in sections, online over the next several weeks. I'm starting a podcast, so that every Monday, beginning this week, another of the 10 different sections of the film will be posted for anyone to watch and download.

The first section of the film, the 7-minute introduction, is available now, at http://panleft.net/cms/ote-podcast1
The podcast page is here: http://panleft.net/cms/taxonomy/term/186
And to subscribe to the podcast with iTunes or another podcast-viewing application, use this address: http://panleft.net/cms/taxonomy/term/186/0/feed

you can also watch it in-browser right here:

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

Posted by steev at 07:07 AM | Comments (0)

Enero 06, 2008

Esteban Caliente interviews Steev Hise

It's been over a week since I uploaded this to the Pan Left video blog, but I forgot to mention it here. It's an interview between my alter ego and me, another humorous Esteban Caliente piece that I started at the G8 in Germany back in June and never finished editing. So I decided to complete it on the last couple days of 2007. It's a bit of retrospection and introspection, a look back at a week of marches and rallies and yelling and chanting, and questioning of progressive activist tactics and strategies as well as my own place in them.

Your browser is not able to display this multimedia content.

it's downloadable too.

Posted by steev at 03:43 PM | Comments (0)

Enero 02, 2008

This is Where It's The Worst

There's an extensive cover story in the current issue of the Phoenix New Times about Sherrif Joe Arpaio and the Maricopa County Attorney who are "teaching the rest of the nation how to terrorize illegal immigrants." I'd been hearing about Sheriff Joe's career of opressive and racist "policing" (a better word would be persecution) since I moved to Arizona, and in special detail lately from the excellent blog of a fellow Arizona Indymedia volunteer in Phoenix. But this article should be a great primer for anyone from out of state and/or is not familiar with what's going on in Maricopa county, and Arizona in general....

Basically for immigrants Arizona is really really sucking. And it's true, the worse it gets here, the more the national debate and resulting national policy gets dragged along the spectrum to the right.

The article is actually really intense and I couldn't even read it all. Some of the personal focus reads like the Diary of Anne Frank or something. It's just sick what people are doing to migrants who come to this state and this country.

Daniela has very few friends ó there's no one she can trust not to report her, especially now that the county sheriff has an illegal immigration hotline.

She can't leave her house to buy groceries; she's heard that the sheriff stations deputies at Food City....

...She's learned how to walk quietly, to stay in the shadows. The only place Daniela allows herself to go is her children's elementary school. She volunteers there six hours a day. She says it's her responsibility to be active in her children's education. But when she walks to school (she won't drive, ever) she makes sure to go with one of her few friends or her kids.

How can we stop this? Can it be? In 50 years or so (given that total industrial collapse hasn't taken out everything anyway), will we look back at this time as a dark period of history where things went astray, like Germany in the 1930s, that we've recovered from?

Or will it be even worse?

On our way down to the beach in Mexico for xmas, we saw hundreds of cars loaded down with cargo, everything from bikes to mattresses to TVs to wrapped presents, driven by Mexicans returning south to their families from Arizona, California, and even further away. To some extent this happens every year, the now-good-wage earners bringing back gifts and necessities for their relatives, but I've heard that many many of these folks are going back for good this time. They're giving up. Those mattresses aren't Christmas gifts, they're their own beds.

They're going back, for good, because it's too hard, but what will they do? They're now rich by comparison to their family members who stayed behind, but for how long will their savings last when it has to support all their hermanas and hermanos and tias and abuelas?

In a way it's great that they will be reunited with these loved ones. But they came north because they had to. They and theirs had no other recourse, except for joining the ranks of the narcotraffickers. NAFTA had stripped them of their livelihood and dignity. Now Sheriff Joe and his ilk have stripped them of their last chance.

What will they do now? And what of the masses of others whose lives are about to be destroyed by the next phase of NAFTA, and those further south soon to be devasted by CAFTA?

And on a related note, what a refreshing surprise to see this article come out of the Phoenix New Times, which is part of a corporate chain that publishes cookie-cutter alt-weeklies around the country. The issue also covers the recent fiasco in which the New Times editors were jailed for a night for publishing news of the grand jury subpoena which demanded they turn over to the County Attorney all records of any stories they published about Sheriff Joe and anyone who looked at their website for the last 5 years.

This fascist bullshit didn't stand for long, and there was national outrage that caused the county to drop the charges immediately and fire the deputy attorney who was running the case.

Anyway, it's just great to see these journalists standing up for what's right and taking a progressive stance in Phoenix when here in Tucson, which is supposedly the most progressive big city in Arizona, we have this racist hate-rag the Tucson Weekly which regularly publishes the insulting drivel of assholes like Tom Danehy and Leo Banks.

An infuriating look back at 2007. Sigh.

Posted by steev at 12:15 PM | Comments (0)