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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 9, 2006 / 11 Iyar, 5766

How to lose immigration debate

By Bridget Johnson

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "Unless you've lived under a rock for the last 15 years, you should make a note of this: The southwest is already Chicana/o-Latina/o!" proclaims the Web site of the California State University, Sacramento, chapter of MEChA.


MEChA — the Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan — has been one of myriad Chicano-rights, pro-immigration or social justice groups that have plunged into the immigration debate. But just as a sea of fluttering Mexican flags at the rallies, the "Nuestro Himno" Spanish-language take on the national anthem, and Mexico's "Nothing Gringo" campaign timed to coincide with May Day boycotts and walkouts in the U.S. have generated anger and suspicion about demonstrators' motives among many Americans, some forces within the immigration-rights movement will also tarnish more moderate activists.


MEChA is just such a group.


There are an estimated 400 loosely organized MEChA branches on college and high school campuses across the country. Established in 1969, the group has pressured institutions to establish Chicano studies programs, protested Columbus Day and held Chicano graduation ceremonies. Some chapters' Web sites are peppered with shots of Subcomandante Marcos — the masked figurehead of Mexico's Marxist Zapatista guerillas — or Che Guevara, and the MEChA logo boasts a bird with a lit stick of dynamite in one claw and maquahuitl — an Aztec weapon — in the other. "Through a philosophy of Chicana/o Nationalism, MEChA has not wavered from its original goal of Chicana/o control at the University," states UC-Berkeley's MEChA site.


MEChA has been in the thick of the latest immigration protests, from San Diego State University members trying to avert arrests of marching high school students, to "mechistas" organizing a rally at an Albuquerque high school at which signs bore the now-familiar refrain: "We didn't cross the border. The border crossed us."


With a line in its "El Plan de Aztlan" introduction that translates to "for the race, everything; for those outside the race, nothing," MEChA's belief in the "liberation" of Aztlan — southwest territory acquired by the U.S. for cash and debt in the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo — and ethno-exclusive views continue to disturb. "Aztlán belongs to those who plant the seeds, water the fields, and gather the crops and not to the foreign Europeans," reads "El Plan de Aztlan," required reading for chapters as noted in MEChA's national constitution.


MEChA has proven to be a political liability, too. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who was president of the MEChA chapter as a University of California, Los Angeles, student in the 1970s, renounced his MEChA ties after pressure from a UCLA alumni group in his second stab at the mayor's office. Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, who lost the 2003 recall election to Arnold Schwarzenegger, didn't renounce his affiliation when his MEChA past at California State University, Fresno, was raised by opponents. State Sen. Gil Cedillo, who was also in MEChA in the 1970s at UCLA, has been trying to pass legislation to grant driver's licenses to illegal immigrants with such single-focus that he's been dubbed "One-Bill Gil."


At a time when immigrants-rights groups should be trying to present a persuasive, less-strident case to the American people, several groups with radical agendas have instead taken to in-your-face activism against tighter immigration laws:

  • The Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, whose co-founder Mario Obledo said in 1998 that California is going to be a Hispanic state, and those who don't like it "ought to go back to Europe."

  • The Mexican-American Political Association, which mapped out its demands in a flier for the May 1 boycott: "Immediate legalization without conditions, no border walls, no criminalization." MAPA President Nativo Lopez has stated his desire for Spanish to be the state's primary language. MAPA also called for a campaign of non-cooperation with Los Angeles County law enforcement last year when the sheriff's department flirted with a Department of Homeland Security partnership to better identify criminal aliens in county jails.

  • Carlos Montes, a co-founder of the original Brown Berets in 1960s Los Angeles, is helping put together an August demonstration — sponsored by MAPA and endorsed by MEChA — against a border fence and the Minutemen, as well as against the war in Iraq. He lauds Venezuela and Cuba as "examples of the possibilities for humankind."


The involvement of separatist, militant or controversial groups in a movement for illegal immigration can only backfire. By building the issue into "them vs. us," by painting tolerant Americans as racists, by sowing separatist seeds among youth in the name of cultural identity, these activists will alienate Americans who may have sympathized with the plight of immigrants but find few moderate voices left to back.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Bridget Johnson is a columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News (http://www.dailynews.com/bridgetjohnson). She blogs at GOP Vixen (http://gopvixen.blogs.com). Comment by clicking here.

© 2006, Bridget Johnson

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