Reader’s Forum – Maureen Albanese

Maureen Albanese
Maureen Albanese

Francisco Cantú’s depictions of the harsh landscape will not deter immigrants looking to escape the desperate and horrendous conditions back home.

It is those depictions, and how he describes the landscape, that make me think of this book as novel rather than a non-fiction book. This book sets a mood to get the reader to feel the border and makes you want to read more. Many of the immigrants leaving home would choose not to leave but their countries are in chaos and they are unable to survive there.

We as Americans also must remember that out country is responsible for some of the chaos created in these countries, and we have done nothing to ameliorate the effects of what we have wrought. We should educate ourselves, and can start by reading this book.

I had a little knowledge about our southern border by being a Housing Host for Performing The World, an international event co-produced by The East Side Institute and the All Stars Project. My guest was Sandra Paola Lopez Ramirez, who did a performance dance that she and her team created by interviewing women who cross the border from Mexico to El Paso . The performance was informative, and you really got a sense of who these women were.

El Paso, Texas (Image by David Mark from Pixabay)

Ms. Lopez Ramirez is an adjunct professor at the University of Texas at El Paso, and an immigrant from Columbia, and used her performance skills to have us understand the people we often demonize along our southern border. We need more of this kind of understanding.

I not sure what the right policy is, but it’s not what’s happening now. What’s happening now is cruel and doesn’t solve the problem.

I’m lucky I was born here, but I am aware that I am the product of illegal immigration. My mother’s father didn’t come through Ellis Island as my other grandparents did. He had a forged passport, and worked on a merchant ship from The Ukraine when the Russian Revolution hit so he wouldn’t wind up in jail for being in the Czarist Army. He jumped ship in Philadelphia, made his way to family in Brooklyn, and lived in the shadows until there was a general amnesty so he could become legal.

It’s time we had an amnesty again. We’ve had them in my lifetime, and we need to educate ourselves about immigration so that we can force the politicians to do something about it.

Maureen Albanese is an administrative assistant and activist. She lives in Manhattan.


Francisco Cantu

Politics for the People
Conference Call
The Line Becomes a River
With Author Francisco Cantú
Sunday, June 2nd at 7 pm EST.
Call in number: 605-313-5156
Passcode 767775#


Founder of the Politics for the People free educational series and book club for independent voters. Chair of the New York County Independence Party.

One thought on “Reader’s Forum – Maureen Albanese

  1. “Hans Rosling Swedish pronunciation: [hɑːns ²ruːslɪŋ] (27 July 1948 – 7 February 2017) was a Swedish physician, academic, statistician, and public speaker. He was the Professor of International Health at Karolinska Institute[4] and was the co-founder and chairman of the Gapminder Foundation, which developed the Trendalyzer software system. He held presentations around the world, including several TED Talks[5] in which he promoted the use of data to explore development issues.[6]” – Wikipedia.
    If his claim that except Siub-Saharan Africa, all the world has achieved virtual zero population growth (that the apparent continuing growth ii’s really due to greater longevity due to Improved healthcare), then there must be some other cause for these current migrations. Prolly not yet desertification. Maybe the CO2 is even improving production. Could be the drug cartels making things miserable, but that’s not something new. Its always been too buggy. Or that the Dems got a majority of the popular vote, even while Hillary said “citizenship”, AFTER winning the nomination. Perhaps there’s a combo of causes.This ought to include their continued reliance on the unsustainably corrupt two party system in use there, even if its something else that’s always been.
    Better is they had Ranked Ballot RB will give us PRACTICABLE, Instant, FULFILLED Democracy EVERYWHERE, A PERFECT MARRIAGE OF Freedom with an eye for Justice & Justice with an eye for Freedom, Woman & Man, Frugality & Liberality, Red, Brown, Black, Purple & Yellow, Tradition & Modernity, Young & Old, Rich & Poor, Left & Right, Self-interest & Idealism, City & Country, & Palestinian & Jew, Women’s Equal Representation, Creativity, Consistency & Direction, an Ecological Politics, A Head for the Headless (Tech) Beast & All Powers to their Lowest Appropriate Level: A HOW TO

    Because it gives an equal chance of winning to not just all parties, but all combinations of programs, Ranked Ballot, voters ranking candidates in order of preference, is simultaneously both most Just AND most Free. Because of this great light in the eyes of the world & cause it always takes its majority from the middle (while giving an equal chance to all PROPOSALS, on a case by case basis & to all VIEWPOINTS to sway the mass in their direction) RB is more top-dead-center counter-extremist than all the many recent retrenchments combined. The (simplest to explain & sufficient for all good purposes, requiring no legislation to accomplish) “Additive” form of RB is counting the first choices & then, if no-one has 50%, adding in the next, & so on, til someone finally does. Running on the single issue of RB, promising an RB/”Organized Communications”-based Citizens Advisory Board, will give us instant practicable fulfilled Democracy everywhere (& could even make insecure electronic voting unnecessary, ten levels of groups of ten being sufficient to organize the entire world). OC is randomly assigned discussion groups electing reps (by RB) to higher & higher random levels, til one small group remains, most in the middle.

    Here’s a HOW TO:

    Let everyone for Ranked Ballot write it in, in EVERY election, leastwise for their least significant contest, let all for RB, particularly students, professors, churches & other local associations, with their great proximity & pre-existing democratic organization, install RB internally (no matter how absurdly unneeded), try to get on the ballot to run on the single issue, ask those who’ve signed their petition to petition for them as well, promise a RB/OC-based CAB, do local bulk postcard mailings, demand a response from office holders to RB, vote for those supporting RB, tell all their friends about RB, help publicize RB (a full page US national ad would be sufficient to put RB to all the world, assuring that everyone knows that everyone knows about RB, making it impossible to ignore (as big media did in the case of the 2016 victory in Maine (including NPR & PBS) &/or see Preferentiality on Yahoo Groups. (PREFER-entiality. PREFERENTIAL-ity.) for what RB might & might not accomplish). RB being the Top-Dead-Center perfect compromise, these are things you can do without going outside your comfort zone.
    SHOULD THE PEOPLE SO DECIDE, RB might give us truly anything, all the way FROM Sharing The Work (the workweek attached to the unemployment rate), THROUGH Women’s Equal Representation (one of each district’s (2) reps a woman), ALL THE WAY TO reforming education with having to prove literacy to vote (now that literacy is universally valued, freeing teachers to make all their charges into independent learners, besides the usual babysitting role) now that there’s 5G, 24/7, infinitely reiterative teaching machines, aka cell phones).
    (Meanwhile, party &/or public funded campaigns will undermine all rationale for authoritarianism, removing all cause for fear of usurpation by monied interests. Publicly financed campaigns might be difficult to accomplish, but there is nothing preventing left-leaning &/or other “Democracist” parties from doing so in THEIR own primaries. Running it on the web would save tons & result in largely text based campaigns with all contenders in constant debate with all others.)
    Ironically, (state-diminishing) STW, will make politics way less relevant (& maybe even end the simmering neo cold war through its marriage of community & free market). STW is what’s best for BOTH all workers & all bosses. The legislature might, for instance, set a small % by which the pay for each additional hour beyond the first hour’s agreed upon rate would be increased, making employers give less OT & hire more new workers so as to spread the work around, thereby sharing it. This will end both too-big-to-fail & any need for make-work or foot dragging, motivating maximum productivity, giving us TRUE full employment & making workers so earnestly productive as to to end the need of lots of management.
    FDR (or Bismarck?) gave us the 40-hour week, so this is not unprecedented. The % difference between a 40 & 35-hour week is greater than the unemployment rate at the depths of the recent Great Recession. Workers, always having the prospect of more work, would, with a minimum of PR, take to being as (creatively!) productive as possible, eliminating large parts of the welfare state & lots of management, maybe even the need for standing armies, with all the consequent savings. Had we had such a scheme, at the start of the recent Great Recession, no-one would have seen any need for spending trillions to save giant corporations. Perhaps STW would make government so small it might be hard to find volunteers to do the job. It will cause other countries to adopt a similar plan to stay competitive (& drop costly plans to dominate the world) & the current US duopoly to let go of their own (structural) authoritarianism. Whoever adopts STW first will outstrip all others. With STW, employers would still have the right to fire for laziness or incompetence & hire for less or more than the standard work week. There’d soon be more free time, greater productivity & wealth, as well as more opportunity for individuals to start their own businesses &/or improve their skills. (Meanwhile everyone works hardest when they work for themselves.) STW is not mere “full” employment, or just a workers’ job market, but an actual Commonwealth. We’d be working half as hard for twice the wealth in no time. It will be the end of poverty. Once the rich realize they don’t have to pay all that freight for exclusivity, & that RB will give us All Powers To Their Lowest Appropriate Level, they’ll be leading the parade.
    The recent win for Ranked Ballot in Maine USA, the FIRST RIGHT-LEANING PLACE to adopt it, will be tranformative. RB is the answer to all things. It will give us the breathing room to sit back & work out all the details at our leisure, secure in the knowledge that whatever the result, there will be maximum Freedom AND maximum Justice, but it will not change the essence of anyplace that adopts it, only give more nuance. No program could possibly be worth more. Men do not light a light & set it under a bushel. The lodestar of RB must be kept in mind in relation to all individuals, advocates, politicians & policies. RSVP. Tell us where we’re wrong.

    zoe morgan sydney
    movement for ranked ballot
    USA, Planet Earth

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