User-agent: * Allow: / Legal news, political opinion, Satire, and lawyer thinking by Tim Paynter, Attorney at Law: 2010-12-26

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Raquel Teran Appeals For Promise Arizona


from twitter

Petra Falcon, third from left at table;  Raquel Teran, stands in support behind Petra.


When I was an intern for Promise Arizona some of the leaders spent extra time with me, helping me understand what needed to be done.  One tireless leader is Raquel Teran, who has worked for immigration reform for years, including with the Reform Immigration For America effort.

Raquel is writing to ask people to donate to a wonderful organization.  In the aftermath of the bomb blast of unjust laws, while people were wandering the streets, lost, while they held a vigil at the Capitol, Promise was born.  This is a membership organization which sparks the hopes of a generation of young people.

If you have a little extra this year I hope you will think of Promise Arizona as a great place to put the money to work.  They manage money very well, so it goes to the effort and not into administration.  They have clear goals for immigration reform and have helped a legion of people find power at the polls

Many people cannot spend the time away from work and family to take on the critical battle for justice in Arizona.  What I am asking, what Petra Falcon is asking and what a wonderful mentor named Raquel Teran is asking, if you can’t give your time, would you at least donate a little money?

If you make your donation before the end of the year there may be tax benefits on April 15th.  If it is after the first of the year, the funds will be appreciated just as much, with the tax benefits available the following year.  Any way you look at it, the funds are a great investment in the future of our great nation.

Thanks to Sue Chinn, Petra Falcon and Raquel Teran for their great work and sacrifices for an immigrant community still reeling from the fallout of SB 1070.


Tim Paynter


promise arizona 094

  Chris Torres, who was the field director, was a wonderful guide who challenged us to do our very best every day.  He has a knack for helping people find the best within themselves, and then using that to better the cause of human rights and reform.





Dear Tim,

2010 was a challenging year for us here in Arizona. We experienced the passage and signing of SB1070, the most anti-immigrant bill in the country, which suddenly made us the nation’s battlefront for immigrant rights. From that fire arose extraordinary and inspiring leaders. People who were never engaged in civic life suddenly became engaged in actively transforming injustice into power for the immigrant community. Since April 2010, Promise Arizona organizers and leaders achieved remarkable accomplishments as they:

Nerd smile  Mobilized over 10,000 people to the Arizona state capitol for a vigil that lasted 103 days to demand an end to SB1070.
Registered 13,040 new voters

Sarcastic smileRecruited and trained over 1,5000 volunteers
Ran a 3-week nonpartisan "Get Out the Vote" effort during which canvassers knocked on 37,120 doors & contacting 9,877 voters

AngelYour support this past year has enabled a new set of leaders from Arizona with the tools and resources possible to transform the politics of Arizona to one of justice for all people. Thank you.

But we have much more to do and we can’t do it without your continued support in 2011.

Can I please rely on you to make a year-end donation to Promise Arizona today? Its not too late to make a tax-deductible year-end donation. Click here to donate now.
Your online donation directly fuels the courageous efforts at the frontlines of the fight for immigrant rights. With your help, we can support more organizers and volunteers on the ground by providing them with resources and trainings. We can initiate more meetings with members of our state legislators and create the impact we’ll need to win the fight for just and fair immigration reform.
You can support us by giving what you can with a tax-deductible year-end donation to Promise Arizona today.

(Above Promise Arizona leaders receiving MVO award at RootsCamp) Receiving the Most Valuable Campaign at RootsCamp validated our approach and belief that, the people of Arizona have the ability to transform injustice to power through a grassroots approach to organizing.
With only three days left, we are counting on you to help us reach our year-end funding goal.  As a Promise Arizona supporter, you understand the significance of this moment for immigrant families across the country, and particularly Arizona.
It's impossible to overstate this truth: the power we build now — today — will have a big impact in this upcoming year.

Thank you for your help in our shared endeavor.


Petra Falcon
Promise Arizona


P.S. Please forward this email to a friend and ask them to get involved! Remember; give any amount before December 31st to secure your tax deduction  (If you would like to write a check for your donation, please mail it to: 2106 W. Van Buren St. Phoenix, Arizona 85009)


Petra Falcon and the leaders at Promise Arizona are my mentors.  They have shown us the way to empowerment in the community.  They give of themselves endlessly, and ask nothing in return.  Thanks to these hard workers for the cause of immigration reform!


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  This painting hangs in the Promise facility, and was painted by one of the immigrants who volunteered.


Remember SB 1070 and a vicious congress which sacrificed the immigrant community so they could become famous.  They set Arizona up for the loss of millions of dollars, forced 200,000 refugees to flee the state, and have set the state up for years of expensive legal battles.  At the end of the day, their solutions did nothing for immigration reform, but they sent a clear anti-Hispanic message to all of us.

I often wonder what happened to my country.  As I write this two Viet Nam veterans are facing deportation after being in the country for 50 years!  I trust Petra Falcon, Sue Chinn,



Raquel Teran and others to restore the Grand Canyon State to a degree of sanity, but they can’t do it alone!  Please help out if you can.  It is not about tax breaks, though there may be some.  It is about justice!  Please make a donation with your heart for those who are working to help the people who have nothing.


promise arizona 042


  Veterans for Promise Arizona


Monday, December 27, 2010

Cuba Jeopardizes Normalization, Publishes Wiki Leaks

Cuban Government Chooses A Path Of Controversy Rather Than Peace

The original article appeared as Cuba Jeopardizes Normalization, Publishes Wiki Leaks by Tim Paynter on Technorati

Published: December 27, 2010 at 7:47 am



Anna Ardin made several trips to Cuba and has written articles opposing the Cuban regime.  She made claims of rape against the founder of Wiki Leaks, though she has not been willing to proceed with her prosecution as of last reports.  Some suggest the allegation are a hoax in an effort to hunt down the man who violated the secrets of US diplomats and damaged our relationships with other countries.

It is unfortunate the island nation of Cuba has decided to continue a path of sparring with the US rather than allow old resentments to die.  The Castro's continue to associate with rebel countries which are hostile to the United States, like Hugo Chavez and Venezuela.  Clearly, their neighbor only 100 miles to the West could provide significant benefits and assistance in the growth of Cuba.  However, so long as the regime sides with countries bent on destroying the Western world, Cuba will have a hard time fitting in with main stream life.  The following article was published in technorati and outlines a continued slap at the US.  The indication is, Cuba will take each chance it gets to cause harm to the US as the opportunities present themselves.  Hence, normalizing relations with this rebel country remains a high risk.

Despite recent reforms in Cuba which encourage normalization of trade relations between Cuba and the United States, the communist island nation continues to take hostile actions against US national security.

After Fidel Castro launched a small boat full of insurgents from Tuxpan, Mexico, in his final assault to take control of the island nation of Cuba, relations with the U.S. have been strained. The failed CIA invasion of the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban missile crisis which nearly brought an end to the world as we know it and a trade embargo that continues to this day, contribute to frigid relations.

However, Cuba, desperate for outside currency, has launched a series of reforms which suggest the country is moving in a more civil direction. Moves towards privatization were recently announced by Raul Castro, who has taken the reigns from his brother Fidel.

A new entrepreneurial, if not capitalistic, economy is being encouraged. The Cuban government seeks to create a new private sector to help replace jobs lost in a series of massive government layoffs.  Political prisoners who criticized the government are being released from Cuban prisons after being silenced for years, although 11 still marked their eighth Christmas in prison this year.

The Cuban administration seeks to establish Cuba as a first class tourist destination.  In a recent agreement, Cuba agreed to cut the taxes it charges on Western Union money transfers sent to the island nation, thus causing an immediate rise in transfers over the 2010 holiday season, says the Buenos Aires Herald.  The Cuban government continually seeks the dropping of the trade embargo, and the international community agrees. Clearly, these moves are a positive step forward in the argument for normalization of relations with Cuba.

Yet, Cuban leadership insists on shooting itself in the foot each time it has a chance to join the international community. Recently, the country took a nasty swipe at the U.S, reminding conservatives why relations should stay in the deepfreeze. The Cuban government is broadcasting loud and clear that it will cause whatever harm it can to US interests as the opportunities present themselves.

Read more:

The most recent Cuban action underscoring a hostile attitude towards the U.S. is the decision to translate and publish 2000 of the Wiki Leaks documents says the BBC.  The first 62 documents have already been translated.  In some diplomatic communications, U.S. diplomats describe Cuban opposition groups as disorganized and not likely to ever run the country.  More, they were described as "out of touch" with ordinary people, says the BBC.

Thousands of pages of diplomatic information which is mostly embarrassing to the U.S. were posted on Wiki Leaks. In some circumstances, the information may actually put US operatives lives at risk or jeopardize undercover operations.  One of those operatives may have been the victim of sex crimes by Wiki Leaks founder, Julian Assange. Anna Ardin of Sweeden made various trips to Cuba between 2002 and 2006, says the Miami Herald.  Ardin has written for a Cuba dissident publication and been associated with a political movement which encourages anti-Semitic remarks. 

Even if the actions of the Cuban government do not pose significant security threats to the U.S., since the information is available elsewhere, it is a reminder the Castro's wish to cause harm to the U.S. even as they seek normalization of relations.

Sooner or later the US is bound to drop the trade and tourist embargo which plagues Cuba. The Cuban government could help their own cause by refusing to fuel the fire against the CIA and US diplomatic corp they deeply resent.

Cuba’s anti-US attitude is regrettable.  There is a great deal each country could gain from the other.  There are developing opportunities for tourism in Cuba and the Island nation would benefit from the robust type of economy that China has.  None of these options remain open while the two countries remain at loggerheads.