Friday, September 30, 2016

Why I am a Solitary Pagan Witch - Lexa Moon

"People always ask me 'Why do you want to be a witch? Should anyone want to become a witch? What do you get out of it?' When I tell them you get peace and contentment and joy, they can't understand that." - Gerald Gardner - Founder of Wicca

There are a number of reasons that I identify as a Solitary Pagan Witch. First, nature has always drawn my attention; it seems to speak to me in a way. Second, I don’t believe in or support the Christian faith, as it is full of lies and stolen stories. Finally, I’ve always done magical things, sometimes, without even noticing.

Nature seems to have always been my best friend. Ever since I could remember, I’ve always been a tree hugger. I am drawn to the living entity that is our Mother Earth. She is a living, breathing, sentient entity, and it hurts me to see her suffer because of ignorant companies, and worse, people. We need to care more for her because she cares and provides for us. For further reading on on how I feel about the subject of keeping our Mother Earth safe and clean, click on the following link: .

I don’t trust or believe in the Christian faith. The Christian faith is based off of a book that was written by men who very easily modified the original texts to fit their own interests. People still do it to this day. There are branches of Christianity that nit-pick at the “Holy Book” to fit their needs. The book itself is mostly based off of pagan mythology anyways. For a god that loves all his children, he sure likes to commit random acts of genocide against them. No thank you. For further reading on how I feel about the Christian faith, click on the following link:

I’ve always done magical things, ever since I was little. There is this one specific time I can remember. I was sitting on my porch and two little birds landed on the railing. My grandmother says that I had a full conscience conversation with those two birds before they left. I believe that it has always been in my blood to do magic, and I practice it.

I apologize for not posting as often as I would like to. There has been a lot going on in my personal life, and I haven’t had the time to sit down and write an article. I promise that from now on, I'll get articles published more often.

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Twitter: @lexa_moon
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Monday, September 26, 2016

Science, History, Religion, Knowledge, and the Truth - The Great American Myth

"Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge." - Carl Sagan

"History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again." - Maya Angelou

"Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life." - Buddha

"To know that we know what we know, and to know that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge." - Nicolaus Copernicus 

"It is a sad regret to have searched for the truth and settled for an answer." - Robert Brault

        This piece will begin with an analysis of a debate between Dr. Jared Diamond, and one of his detractors. This will be followed by a broader analysis of the roles of Science, History, Religion, Knowledge, and Truth in human society. Dr. Diamond was born on September 10, 1937. He is an American scientist and author best known for his popular science books, The Third Chimpanzee (1991), Guns, Germs, and Steel (1997, awarded a Pulitzer Prize), Collapse (2005), and The World Until Yesterday (2012). Originally trained in physiology, Diamond is known for drawing from a variety of fields, including anthropology, ecology, geography and evolutionary biology. He is a professor of geography at the University of California, Los Angeles.

        The debate centered around Dr. Diamond's, Guns, Germs, and Steel. This is followed by “History Upside Down,” in The New York Review of Books, by Dr. William H. McNeil, and Dr. Diamonds response to the review, also in The New York Review of Books, along with Dr. McNeil's secondary response to Diamond. Guns, Germs, and Steel, Dr. Diamond argued, was written to show how much environmental conditions have affected the development of human society. He offered many examples from around the world that showed how one society was dominated by another because of the advantages that their given environment offered them over the environment of the people’s that they dominated, i.e., the Maori over the Moriori. These were two peoples in the far southern reaches of Polynesia that were actually of the same line. Dr. Diamond is not a historian. He is a scientist, and so when he wrote his ‘World History,’ he looked for a broad pattern in history to explain how society came to be where it is. He analyzed his sources and developed, he argued, an all encompassing answer to the problem that he was faced with. Dr. McNeil, however, is a historian, and he reviewed Guns, Germs, and Steel from that perspective. Under such constraints, historical studies normally take a much narrower approach in their work. This was Dr. McNeil's chief complaint. He felt that Dr. Diamond's approach ignored critical cultural details that were important in understanding why certain human societies made the decisions that they did.
        Observe how Diamond approached the question that he was trying to answer, one offered to him by a New Guinea native, Yali, who wondered why white people were always the ones with the best ‘cargo.’ One of Dr. Diamonds answers as to why Westerners had this advantage was that their environment was more conducive to the early development of agriculture. The Eurasian continent had the highest concentration of domesticatable wild plant species in the world, whereas; people’s in the Americas, Africa, and Australia, despite having been in their environments for some time did not have the same advantages as the Eurasians because they did not have as many such wild plant species available to them, if they had any at all. The numerous amounts of wild plant species that were available for domestication in Eurasia made it possible for those people to settle into sedentary lifestyles much earlier than the peoples of the other continents.
        Another one of Dr.  Diamonds answers to Yali’s question was that the people of the Eurasian continent had a massive advantage over the peoples of other continents in the availability of big domesticatable wild animals. Of all the major domesticated ‘work’ animals in the world, and there were fourteen that he identified, thirteen of them were in a very localized area, North Africa to the Indus River Valley, centralized in the Mesopotamian River Valley. These domesticated animals offered the peoples of Eurasia several important advantages over other peoples. He discussed this situation by observing the mass extinctions that took place in the Americas, Australia, and the Polynesian Islands upon the arrival of humans. The big animals in Eurasia and Africa had an advantage over those of the Americas and the other continents, in that their evolution took place almost directly parallel to that of humans. They evolved with humans; and thus, they developed a healthy fear of humans, which gave them certain advantages that could help them either avoid human hunters as their hunting skills improved, i.e., the Gazelle that can jump up to thirty feet into the air in one leap, or develop a mutual relationship according to the needs of the humans that were working with them. The big animals in other portions of the world had no such advantage, and so, evolving independently of humans, they were unprepared for the onslaught of highly skilled human hunters, leaving them no possible chance for future domestication.
        Yet another of Dr. Diamond's answers to the question was directed towards geography, specifically, the orientation and location of the earth’s continents. Eurasia is orientated east to west, and combined, is much larger than any of the other contiguous continents. Africa and the Americas are orientated north to south and Australia is not only the world’s smallest continent but is also extremely isolated. Such conditions, as argued by Dr. Diamond, gave the peoples of Eurasia a greater advantage over those of the other continents.
        According to Dr. Diamond, the advantages that all of these conditions offered to the peoples of Eurasia were voluminous. The greater number of easily collected and domesticatable wild plant species allowed people to settle into stationary villages a lot sooner, which also facilitated the development of agriculture a lot sooner, allowed for denser populations, the development of skilled artisans that could be fed while not having to participate in the collection of food, and the earlier development of complex political structures. The wide variety of domesticatable animal species also gave these peoples the advantage in that they were able to get more done in less time, which gave skilled artisans the time to develop more advanced technologies, such as writing and weapons, as well. This also created more surpluses in food, which allowed for even denser human populations and even more complicated political structures that came to include slave labor and organized religion. Another unique advantage that these large domesticated species gave to Eurasians was germs. Coupled with the byproducts of sedentary living, living near or directly handling bodily waste, humans were exposed to multiple deadly germs when living or working around large animals. Those peoples who were not killed by the germs, lived to pass special immunities onto their offspring. Peoples on other continents were not so lucky.
        Another big advantage of these conditions, per Dr. Diamond, was the rapid spread of food production and other technologies along the east to west axis of Eurasia. This meant that not all peoples had to spend the inordinate amount of time required to develop the technologies themselves, and more people could gain the advantages of the technologies more quickly. The Americas were disadvantaged by their isolation from the center of production in Eurasia as were Australia, Polynesia, and Africa. Furthermore, Africa suffered because Eurasian crops could not survive in the jungle and could not cross the deserts. There was also a problem in the Americas with the spread of crops and technology north to south after Mesoamericans, and the peoples of South America, developed their own crops and technologies much later.
        Once again, it seems that Dr. McNeil’s main issue with Guns, Germs, and Steel was that Dr. Diamond excluded what he considered minor cultural details that were important in understanding why certain human societies made the decisions that they did. The first question is, “Is this judgment true?” For the most part, yes, Dr. Diamond did refrain from discussing extremely narrow cultural details, however; on occasion, he did discuss cultural developments, but only in relation to a particular environmental condition that allowed for their existence. The next question is this, “Did Dr. Diamond do this on purpose?” He most assuredly did, and he did so for a very major reason. Very honestly, from the approach that he took in the book, he had very little need to care about those minor cultural details. From the reading, it can be argued that Dr. Diamond was stating that if not for the proper environmental conditions, those narrow minor details would never have had the opportunity to develop, and humans could very possibly still be hunter-gatherers, never having produced the massive and complex world-wide society that exists today.
        It's fairly clear that this is a scientific look at how human civilization came to be where it now is in the Twenty-First Century. However, like Dr. McNeil, I take issue with Dr. Diamond's story. Dr. McNeil focused on criticizing the overlooking of certain cultural developments that were important to the rise of human civilization. I, however, take with issue with the fact that Dr. Diamond's entire premise seems to to carry a heavy bias from the very beginning. When Dr. Diamond refers to human civilization, exactly which human civilization is he referring to? It is pretty clear that he is referring to Western Civilization, or that part of human civilization that sprang from the Mesopotamian River Valley; in fact, he openly notes in his introduction that he is explaining why it was Western Civilization that mastered the globe first. My question would then be, "Where did he get his information?" He has clearly missed the mark on the development of human civilization; for, long before Rome could even be considered a regional power in Europe, Chinese trade fleets were trading with east Africa, all points in Asia, the Middle East, and points in the Pacific. Further, long before Columbus ever set foot on the eastern edge of the Caribbean, Chinese trade fleets had reached the West Coast of the Americas. Further, they have maps to prove their work. He also seems to have missed out on the Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth Century West African trade fleets that dealt with the tribes in South America and as far west as Mesoamerica. What can be seen here is that DR. Diamond used selectively tuned scientific data to promote the interests of one area of the human family over another. He did so at the expense of Asia, Africa, and the Americas, who in his work, were considered to be lagging behind Europe. Can our reality be so easily manipulated? Yes.
        If you are doubtful, ask yourself a little question. How secure is your understanding of US History? US History is based on a few foundational understandings. First, Europeans were the first to "Discover" the Americas. Second, when Europeans arrived in the Americas, the Natives were "Uncivilized" heathens. Third, the United States inherited the European banner in the Western Hemisphere by "Divine Right," and was tasked with spreading the gift of "Civilization" to the "Savages." The reality, as we have already seen to some extent, is much different. First, history, and the evidence that backs it up, has proven that both the Chines and West Africans made it to the Americas long before Columbus or any other European, for that matter; though, the Vikings did reach what is now Canada by A.D. 1000, almost five hundred years before Columbus. Of course, none of this accounts for the Inuit, who lived in the Arctic regions of the globe, traveling back and forth from Eurasia and North America over the ice sheets, long before any of these sea faring peoples. Second, when Columbus did begin the mass emigration of Europeans to the Americas, the peoples there were far from uncivilized, and they heavily defied Dr. Diamonds East to West paradigm. From the North going South, there was the Mississippian Culture that inhabited the center of the North American continent, the Aztecs, or the "Mexia," in what is now Central Mexico, the Maya in the Yucatan and the Northern reaches of the Central American Isthmus, the Inca, and several empires before them, situated on the Andes Mountains, and what archaeologists are beginning to uncover the remains of, a result of deforestation combined with modern satellite technology, a civilization that likely centered around the outer Amazon River Basis. On this last one, there is much work left to be done, though. So, the basic fundamentals of "American" History are a carefully collected bundle of Euro Facts and Illusionary Falsehoods assembled to ensure that Western Civilization is given credit for "Discovering," "Civilizing," and "Globalizing" an entire hemisphere that was already inhabited by advanced civilizations that had already long had contact with the Eastern world.
        So, it has now been shown that both science and history can be intentionally taken out of context to, essentially, say or support just about whatever the person handling the information wants it to say, even to the point of ignoring or discarding information that offers a glaring contradiction to the story that the person wants to push. Religion can do much the same thing. Take the primary religion of Western Civilization, Christianity, for example. The entire religion is based upon one of the greatest fallacies ever perpetrated by human kind. Jesus the Christ, the central most figure in the Christian religion, has absolutely no basis, whatsoever, in historical fact. There is nothing written of him in contemporary historical sources. His birth and life can be not accounted for in the contemporary records of the Jews, and even more importantly, there is no mention of a Yeshua bin Yosef, Jesus Son of Joseph, or Jesus the Christ, in the contemporary records of the Roman Empire. Neither, is there any ancillary mention of such a man in the records of the Parthian Empire. This means that during the time period in which the Christian bible reports he existed, 5 B.C. to 30 A.D., there is no evidence of the man's existence in one of the most heavily populated and most commercially mobile regions of the world. Two advanced civilizations could not account for a man that healed the sick, as if by miracle, and fed five thousand people with only two fish and three loafs of bread. The first actual mention of the Christ by any historical writer was made by Josephus in 92 A.D., sixty plus years after the Jesus figure would have died and ascended into heaven, another dramatic fact that cannot be corroborated. His work has long since been discredited because he had no sources to back up his references to the Christ. What is more likely, and several historians have offered remarks to this effect, is that the story of the Christ figure is based upon several figures that existed during the period in question. They were reporting to do similar things that are accorded to the Christ, claiming to be the coming Messiah, and promising freedom from Rome. As for the spiritual aspects of the figure, most historians agree that the life of Jesus is based upon the legend of the Egyptian god Horace. Some also believe that aspects of Zoroastrianism made their way into the mix. Many say that that this is what is responsible for the Book of Revelation. Regardless of where the various parts of the story come from, a religion was crafted upon this information that is now used to control the actions of billions of people around the world.
       What has just transpired was a brief display of what people can do when they mishandle or intentionally appropriate for nefarious purposes, two very important items, knowledge and truth. Knowledge can generally be referred to as facts, understanding, and skills acquired through research and experience. Knowledge can be pursued in many ways. The three listed, Science, History, and Religion, are but a view of the methods available. Truth is, quite simply, the most generally accepted interpretation of gathered knowledge. This is a generalized definition, but what it basically means is that truth can be just about anything, as long as it is accepted by the greater majority of a given society. It also means that whatever truth is accepted does not have to be as at all accurate. It can be as biased as a society is willing to push it. As such, there are three general "Truths" accepted by a general majority of the American population, which tend to formulate what can be most assuredly referred to as the "Great American Myth." These truths are that Western Civilization is the ascendant power in the world, supported by evolution, geography, and agriculture, and millions of year of "quality" scientific data; that Western Civilization, historically, has been able to master the needed technology to overcome the most difficult of obstacles in the their pursuit of "Civilization," and are thus, somehow entitled to the spoils of their conquests; and finally, Western Civilization is backed by the power of "Almighty God," so, anything that they do, no matter how gruesome, is justified, especially when their actions are committed against the mindless heathens that were not able to master what "God" gave them. These truths have been used to justify the conquest of the Americas, Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Pacific by various European powers and the United States. It has been justified to economically enslave vast areas of globe in the name of profit and civilization.
        While these truths can be applied to the United States internationally, they have most glaringly been applied to the United States on the domestic front. So, the American Myth begins to take shape. A country has been formed on the North American continent that was established by white people, for white people, and is maintained by white people. They have established a scientific reason for their prominence, they have written history, such that it supports their way of life, and they have built a socio-religious culture that sanctifies the rule of the white man. This country was built on the backs of African slaves, whose descendants are still largely relegated to second class citizenship, if that. It has prospered on the backs of immigrants, who have been either forced to abandon their ancient cultural heritage to fit in to white culture, or who have now been deemed "Illegal," and it has been held up and justified by a religion that condemns all non-believers to the depths of hell, and more tragically, to social exclusion. The United States is still the land of the WASP, or the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant. Do you not think that this is the case? Attempt to challenge the power of the white man. Develop science that counters the pre-eminence of the white man, write history that minimizes the role of the white man, and create a religion that equalizes the soul of the white man with the rest of humanity; and then, watch your work be deemed pseudo science, revisionist history, or heresy. This is the reality in this country, and it is why it is so hard for anyone of color to break any barriers of any kind. This country was not designed to be their home. It was designed to be their prison. When Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address, he was not referring to all of the people in this country. Though, the text of his speech read, "that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from the Earth;" what he really meant was, "and that government of white people, by white people, and for white people shall not perish from the Earth."

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Anonymous Videos

Anonymous videos. We've all seen them. The crash of suspenseful music, some crazy-cool newscast-style graphics and then the familiar masked and hooded figure sitting at a desk threatening the world with a modulated voice.

But how effective are they? To be honest, I used to watch every one of them after the Snowden incident and get excited. "Oh man, they're gonna take out Capital One!" and "Holy shit! The world government is going to fall!?". "10 MILLION people showing up for a rally? I'm there, man!" But then nothing happens. That rally? The Million Mask March? Maybe 100 people showed up at the biggest location, and what about the imminent government collapses? It doesn't take long to recover from a DDOS, and a defaced website can be loaded from backup in under a minute after it's spotted. It shouldn't come as much of a surprise that the governments of Israel, Syria, Russia, France, etc can manage to function while their websites are down. They've operated for hundreds of years without websites and email.

After almost a full year with over 100 different videos coming out threatening everything from individuals and businesses, to entire governments and often mythical entities like the Illuminati, the NWO, and even God himself, nothing of any importance has really happened. We all want to believe that the world can be changed by the hacker. The "keyboard cowboys" of the world will come riding to our rescue and put right what went wrong, but when their battlefield is limited to "a series of tubes" that the governments themselves maintain and operate, what can Anonymous really do?

For one, you can dig up information and spread it. You can reach millions of people online, if you know how to market your information correctly; and in doing so, you can cause considerable shame and embarrassment to public figures. However, how many of them actually have the ability to feel shame? They've reached the positions they have by being ruthless, and they are backed by even more powerful entities who use them for their own gain. Can you ever truly shame a puppet? I can't imagine  how piling on more shame to the most bought-and-paid-for individual would affect them at all.

So, I pass over these videos now. They can be made by one person with some video editing software and don't even have to come close to representing the general consensus. I've actually seen one video directly threaten the makers of a different video before. The whole thing is just crying wolf. When you make empty threats constantly, nobody respects them, and after a while, people just ignore them. The creators of these videos need to understand that with each new video they put out, they are taking away just a little bit of respect for the movement.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

End The Drug War Now

The time has come for some people to change their minds about the marijuana plant. It's time to admit you were lied to, so that other people could make a quick buck. You were used as a puppet to denounce this plant and anyone who uses it, and you were complicit in the imprisonment of millions of people, for nothing. If you still won't believe the truth, when at this point it's difficult to avoid it, then, I and most other people in the modern world, would prefer you just stowe it, so that the rest of the world can move forward without you.

Cower in your homes as the "marijuana addicts" finally win, and in a few years, feel incredibly stupid when nothing happens. Colorado is in the middle of an economic boom because of decriminalization, while traffic accidents and crime, across the board, have dropped. If you're still standing in the way of progress, it's not the plant that gets people bug-eyed. It's you.

You were bought, back in 1934, when William Randolph Hearst first learned that hemp made better paper than wood. You believed the racist lies he invented and lobbied congress with. You were convinced that black people smoked the "devil's weed" and raped white women. You watched the movies he funded like "The Devil Weed" and "Reefer Madness," and you believed the propaganda. You agreed that millions should be jailed like common criminals, and you helped ONE man continue his printing empire while the rest of the country descended into a drug war that stole our wealth, our children, our trust in the police, and our integrity. It was also just so ONE man could make a profit.

William Randolph Hearst

The drug war has ruined and ended more lives than the Vietnam War, Slavery, and the Civil War combined. It even rivals WWII, but nobody wants to talk about it from that angle. The numbers, when compared to things like slavery don't "feel" right to people, so they're dismissed. How many more good, innocent, people will we destroy before we stop asking "Why should we decriminalize?" and instead ask "Why should it be illegal?" and "Why was it ever made illegal in the first place?".

Once the war on drugs ends, and the only reason police have to accost and search people and enter their homes is gone, I foresee a new trust developing between the people and police. Frankly, I'm looking forward to it. I really want to trust and respect the police again, but marijuana decriminalization puts millions at odds with law enforcement because the police are required to enforce an unjust law. I can't trust the police because it's me who they're after.

It's ME who they want to lock in a cage like an animal, and all because I enjoy setting small bits of a plant on fire and inhaling the ash. That's it, that's my crime. I've picked a plant, and I've smoked it,, so that's excuse enough to kick in my door, shoot my dog, beat the shit out of me, and drag me off to jail. This, of course, is where I will spend thousands of dollars in court and lawyer fees to try and defend myself from men in suits who want to press me into modern slavery for private prison profits. This, all because I was in possession of a plant. They want hardened psychopaths to have sexual access to my body, and to thrust me into a gang-infested hole where I HAVE to join a gang just to survive. They're not arresting monsters, they're creating them.

This is the world we live in; where nature has become illegal. It, of course, quite simply does not have to be this way. All it takes is a choice.

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Monday, September 19, 2016

Technological Attenuation (Hipster Security)

So, just how effective are those "hacking tools" you can find on most sites that consider themselves underground? The answer is complicated, and applies to both hacking AND security.

The biggest factor is, of course, the userbase. It's the sheer amount of people using all-purpose scanning technology that makes them almost entirely useless. I'm sure that scanning whole IP ranges will net you a misconfigured router here, and an unpatched web server there, but isn't the whole point of an attack being that it was targeted specifically? What point are you making by defacing the website of a small flower shop and some kid in Norway's football website? They were wide open, but you still didn't break the system you wanted.

I run my website from a local server, and I can say with some authority that the internet is flooded with portscans and bulk exploit attacks every second of every day. So much so, that if the internet were a radio signal, they would be the "white noise" in the background. Before I even had a placeholder page up during development, the log file was showing large blocks of spammy attempts to get into phpmyadmin, apache config, and a host of other generic "exploits" that haven't been effective since 2004. Each block of bad requests was branded with the name/catchphrase of the program running the scans.

Here are a few examples, and note that they are only three attempts because my server bans bad requests after three contact attempts in a short period of time. Some of these attacks would continue for 10 lines or more. - - [25/Jun/2016:21:31:38 -0400] "GET / HTTP/1.1" 404 588 "" "ZmEu" - - [25/Jun/2016:21:31:38 -0400] "GET /phpMyAdmin/scripts/setup.php HTTP/1.1" 404 588 "" "ZmEu" - - [25/Jun/2016:21:31:39 -0400] "GET /phpmyadmin/scripts/setup.php HTTP/1.1" 404 588 "" "ZmEu"

This is clearly either from some scanning software named "ZmEu" or that's the name of the hacking group that coded it. It first identifies itself (why?) to the server and then proceeds to spam every known phpmyadmin setup location hoping that a site admin didn't delete the setup files. - - [28/Jun/2016:10:43:25 -0400] "GET /user/ HTTP/1.1" 404 588 "" "Morfeus Fucking Scanner"

It's pretty obvious the name of this scanner, and it's looking for a file called This Article explains this exploit, and it was written 8 YEARS ago. - - [26/Jun/2016:17:22:23 -0400] "GET /phpTest/zologize/axa.php HTTP/1.1" 404 588 "" "" - - [26/Jun/2016:17:22:24 -0400] "GET /phpMyAdmin/scripts/setup.php HTTP/1.1" 404 588 "" "" - - [26/Jun/2016:17:22:24 -0400] "GET /pma/scripts/setup.php HTTP/1.1" 404 588 "" "" 

I call this one the "Zologize" attack and it's just another phpmyadmin probe. - - [26/Jun/2016:19:40:26 -0400] "GET /HNAP1/ HTTP/1.1" 404 588 "" "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 4.01; Mac_PowerPC)"

This is probably the most common exploit attempt I've seen. It's looking for a misconfiguration in a d-link router described Here and was patched at least 6 years ago.

I've got a 600k log file just from today of hundreds of script-clickers hitting my server in their much larger IP range sweeps for vulnerabilities. The fact that there are so many, means that any exploits they attempt to use get patched immediately because people like me notice them, right away, clogging up the logs with errors. Continued probes make admins even more paranoid, we institute flood controls, and that my friends, is the real problem. This situation is unavoidable with most scanning suites since you have zero control over how they run, how quickly they send requests, or how many people before you hit those same servers with that same script. Their overuse makes it so that by the time you hear the name of a hacking tool, it's already too late to use it to any real effect.

This concept works against security as well, however. Apple has long touted its operating system as superior to Windows because it "doesn't get viruses" and for now, it's not really worth the effort to develop a virus or worm to infect Macs. Most businesses, banks, governments and anything else worth breaking into, including the majority of all home computers, are running some flavor of Windows, but as any security expert will say, as Apple's market share increases, they WILL attract the attention of hackers, and there will be a serious lack of anti-virus technology to stop them once it begins.

Whatever operating system you use though, if you're using any major anti-virus suite like McAfee, Norton, AVG, or Avast, you're not safe because, once again, too many people use them. Most viruses and exploits are written to disable the top scanning software by default before they even begin their attack. It's the users of any piece of software alone that render it useless in the long run which means that to continue to be viable on the internet, for good or for evil, you sadly have to abandon things as they become popular. I call it "Hipster Security".

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Chelsea Manning Deserves a Medal

“Be without fear in the face of your enemies. Be brave and upright that God may love thee. Speak the truth always, even if it leads to your death. Safeguard the helpless and do no wrong – that is your oath. This is a kingdom of conscience, or nothing. What man is a man who does not make the world better” - Lord Balian, Defender of Jerusalem, 1187 A.D.

"I wrote this piece for the news section of the website of the Texas Communist Party when I was still the State Organizer for the Texas Young Communist League. It is just as true, now, as it was then." - Kent Allen Halliburton

Memorial Day is an important day in the United States. This is a day to recognize and honor American Veterans. It is a tradition in this country. Now, commemorating Veterans is not all that happens on Memorial Day. Many people do much more. They go camping, swimming, and they have barbecues. These are also traditions in this country.

This past Memorial Day on May 28, 2012, the Texas Young Communist League did not fail to recognize these traditions, and they did so in a unique way. Members of the Red River and Rosa Luxemburg Clubs of the Texas YCL met in Killeen, Texas to pay tribute to US Army service member, PFC Bradley (Chelsea) Manning, to whom the barbecue was formally dedicated.

Nobel Peace Prize Nominee PFC Bradley Manning, now Chelsea Manning, is a former Army intelligence analyst who was accused of releasing the Collateral Murder video, which shows the killing of unarmed civilians, as well as, two Reuters journalists by an Army Apache helicopter crew in Iraq. She was also accused of sharing the Afghan War Diary, the Iraq War Logs, and a series of embarrassing US diplomatic cables. These documents were published by the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, and they have illuminated such issues as the true number and cause of civilian casualties in Iraq, along with a number of human rights abuses committed by U.S. funded contractors and foreign militaries. It has also shown the role that spying and bribes play in international diplomacy. It has since been confirmed that PFC Manning did release these documents. Given the war crimes and criminal acts that these documents exposed, she should be given the Medal of Honor. Trying her for treason is just one more criminal act in a long line of criminal misdeeds conducted by this government.

The barbecue lasted from 2 pm to 4 pm. The YCLers discussed this and other issues with vigor and enjoyed a finely cooked meal. After the barbecue, members of the Red River Club used the remainder of the day to enjoy time at Buchannan Lake, west of Burnet, Texas. The lake, fed by a natural spring, has a visibility of five feet.

Chelsea Manning is a fine example of a person that possess impenetrable moral courage. If you would like to join what is now Refuse to Cooperate, in showing her support, you can do so at,

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Community Members Stand Up for Soldiers’ Right to Heal

"Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership." - Colin Powell

"Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys; look on them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death." - Sun Tzu

"America's fighting men and women sacrifice much to ensure that our great nation stays free. We owe a debt of gratitude to the soldiers that have paid the ultimate price for this cause, as well as for those who are blessed enough to return from the battlefield unscathed." - Allen Boyd

"I would like everyone to know that this piece was written Leslie S. Robinson back in 2012. It was then, and still a great piece of work. Though I have I have note heard from him in while, I still consider Leslie to be a very good friend of mine. His dedication to cause of my fellow veterans was both an inspiration and an honor to behold." - Kent Allen Halliburton

A demonstration was held on May 24, 2012, outside the Fort Hood main gate in Killeen, Texas. It honored soldiers who have committed suicide due to trauma inflicted in combat, and asked General Campbell, then Commanding General of III Corps at Fort Hood, to enforce policies which would improve service members’ access to behavioral healthcare. A group of veterans and civilian supporters identifying as Operation Recovery passed out flyers for a memorial day BBQ along with copies of command policies MEDCEN01 and SURG1 to vehicles entering and exiting the gate.

MEDCEN01 and SURG1 were enacted on Fort Hood to give soldiers the access their appropriate treatment plans. The weight of the Uniform Code of Military Justice was supposed to cover them, so that, despite, the disruption in operational readiness, they would be allowed to seek care without fear of retaliation from their unit. Unfortunately, they are not always enforced at the company or battalion level, for the sake of expediency, and further, due to a culture of silence around these issues.

“This action is to shine a light on the fact that those two policies are in place but are not being enforced, and the general needs to take steps to ensure that the policies he put down on the books aren’t just merely words but that those words carry meaning,” said Jason Matherne, a  member of Iraq Veterans Against The War (IVAW) and the Resident Organizer at Under The Hood, a GI outreach center and café in Killeen. This is the facility through which the Operation Recovery campaign is conducted.  Matherne deployed to Qatar in 2008 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Neglect of soldier care has led to a host of appalling consequences over the course of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. General Chiarelli, who compiled a report on the effects of the wars on military personnel entitled Generating Health and Discipline In The Force, told the New York Times in January that 164 active duty service members took their lives in 2011. This sets a record high and can be credited to multiple deployments and a general lack of treatment for conditions like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Military Sexual Trauma. 

In spite of these costs, education about MEDCEN01 and SURG1 has not been a priority on Fort Hood. Operation Recovery is determined to change that. Not only are they working to get these policies into the hands of active duty service members, but they are also pressuring General Campbell to hold a post-wide Safety Stand-down in lieu of these policies.

Post-wide enforcement and knowledge of MEDCEN01 and SURG1 could conceivably force a change in the culture at Fort Hood, giving service members a basic dignity which has already been denied to too many military personnel. The culture in the Army, and the military as a whole, has been that seeking mental healthcare for oneself is a sign of weakness. 

Overall, the message seemed to resonate with the passing motorists. Matherne told me, “There was a little bit of negativity, as there always will be. There was some indifference, but there were a lot of thank you's from soldiers when we gave them flyers. There was a lot of horn-honking, and there was some genuine interest in it. So, yeah, it was really positive.”

Under The Hood is carrying on the legacy of the war resistance coffee houses of the Vietnam era, like The Oleo Strut, whose doors were open in Killeen from 1968 to 1972. The café is run by members of IVAW, active duty service members, and the Civilian-Soldier Alliance (a group of civilian activists working closely with IVAW). As well as being a hub of war resistance culture, and action, Under The Hood is a place which champions the rights of service members and their families.

To find our for more about MEDCEN01 and SURG1 by logging onto visit,

To find out more about Under The Hood and how effective it was, check out

If you are an active duty soldier and need counseling, medical or legal referral, or just want to know what your rights as a service member are, call the GI Rights Hotline at 877-447-4487.    


Friday, September 9, 2016

Marxism Made Easy - Part 5: Revolution

"The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win."
- Marx and Engels, "The Communist Manifesto"

Disclaimer: In places like first world countries, such as the US, at the time of this writing, revolutionary conditions do not exist, and it would be the height of stupidity to push for revolution when there are no revolutionary conditions and no mass movement to carry them out.

In the last article, we identified the main features that lead capitalism into constant crisis and pointed out the grim future unchecked capitalism will lead us to. Now, we need to look at how we get rid of the problem.

The term revolution is thrown around a lot these days. Every day marketing firms tell us of new products the will "revolutionize" every aspect of our lives; they paint us as revolutionaries in order to get us to buy these new products, as though buying a product were a great act of rebellion.

Populist politicians cheapen the term in much the same way, trying to get us to buy their agendas of reform with slogans of "political revolution." With these slogans, they imply that their policies will somehow destroy existing power structures.

The term revolution, however, has a specific meaning in politics. It is. very plainly, the forcible overthrow of a government or social order for a new way of doing things. It isn't pretty, it isn't a dinner party, it isn't just a fashion statement or a bought product, it isn't anti-authoritarian, nor can it be achieved or defended after the fact without authority. Engels put it this way:

"A revolution is certainly the most authoritarian thing there is; it is the act whereby one part of the population imposes its will upon the other part by means of rifles, bayonets and cannon — authoritarian means, if such there be at all; and if the victorious party does not want to have fought in vain, it must maintain this rule by means of the terror which its arms inspire in the reactionists. Would the Paris Commune have lasted a single day if it had not made use of this authority of the armed people against the bourgeois? Should we not, on the contrary, reproach it for not having used it freely enough?"

That's a pretty strong statement, and it is likely one the average liberal would most certainly cringe away from in horror!  After all, can't great social progress be achieved by nonviolent means? What about Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.? 

Well, what about them?  Gandhi could be said to be revolutionary in some sense, as there was at least a change in hands of power in the Indian government, but to what degree was he or his movement responsible for that? The main reason the British left India was World War 2 and the cost of maintaining and defending a sprawling empire. Even when the British left, in reality, they did so on their own terms. They also continued to maintain large business interests in the nation and made certain the new Indian government wasn't going to be a danger to those interests. That doesn't sound all that revolutionary, now does it?

Gandhi was a darling of the British press, who loved to trot him out as a good example for how the Indian people should push for positive change. Why? Because his policy of nonviolent resistance made British rule easier and kept the Indian people from uniting under more revolutionary minded Indians, such as Bhagat Singh. To this day, liberals trot out the Gandhian "revolution" as an example to shame modern social activists and keep them in line with literally no knowledge of the actual situation.

To much the same extent, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. picked up Gandhi's pacifist torch, and thereby, hindered much of the Civil Rights Movement's progress. I say to some extent, because although Dr. King admired Gandhi, he was far from a total pacifist. He was fully in sympathy with rioters, fully supported self defense, and was a strong supporter of gun rights for the African American community. Dr. King, like Gandhi before him, is now trotted out as a liberal example, this time to African Americans, to show them the pre-approved way to make social change, that is, incrementally and without any real threat to the established way of doing things. It should be pointed out that most of Dr. King's goals were never actually achieved. Racial discrimination remains strong, police brutality remains high, much of the US is actually more segregated than in Dr. King's time, and the pay gap and unemployment differences that he fought against remain. The only great achievements of that era appear to be the right to vote and abolition of legalized segregation. These are big achievements, to be sure, but even these appear to be more like concessions made by the US government to pacify the African American community that was becoming ever increasingly militant. Rioting was on the rise, and people and organizations like the Black Panthers, Malcolm X, and the Deacons for Defense were formed to engage the government in a more aggressive manner. In other words, most of the credit for the progress of the Civil Rights Movement belongs to the militants not to the pacifists.

Similarly, we can dismiss most other pacifist movements for change on the grounds that they too are not actually revolutions, in the first place. No government or social order is actually being forcibly overthrown; for example, if the same class remains in control, the only thing that may change is which faction of that class is now in power.

This is not to say that nonviolence can't bring about any positive change, nor is it to say we shouldn't use nonviolent means whenever it would be most effective. We definitely should, but there are very specific conditions which have to be met for such means to be effective:

a. The change being pushed for doesn't threaten anything fundamental to the society to any real degree.
b. The public must sympathize with the protesters in question.
c. It must be disruptive of the status quo, or else it will be ignored.

This leaves us to consider some other forms of resistance, namely adventurism and rioting.
Both of these forms of pushing for social change are violent, so they have that in common with revolution, however, neither is revolutionary.  Adventurism is a small scale organized attack, typically on some perceived part of the system, insurrectionist anarchists defend this type of thing, calling it "propaganda of the deed." It is intended to inspire others to join in, and thereby, create a revolution. What typically happens is the masses condemn what they see as terrorism, the group is caught and made examples of by the state. Essentially, nothing changes. Hence adventurism must be condemned as counter productive in the strongest terms.

Rioting, while it is violent, and even sometimes proportionally massive, it also is not revolutionary. It is typically a spontaneous outpouring of grief or rage by a community, "the language of the unheard" according to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  As such, it is disorganized, and so is unable to effectively replace an existing system with another. It can achieve positive concessions from those in power, just generally, nothing truly significant.  For this reason the correct perspective of Marxists towards rioting is sympathy for the rioters, while pushing attention to the causes of the rioting. In addition, we recognize that most mass movements start out with rioting before becoming organized, over time. So, we always view such things within their larger historical context.

When Marxists talk revolution they mean something quite specific, an organized mass movement, typically led by a mass based party engaging in a fundamental reordering of society. As Marxists we understand that mass movements, and correspondingly, revolutions require specific material conditions to exist and succeed. In places like first world countries, such as the US, at the time of this writing, revolutionary conditions do not exist, and it would be the height of stupidity to push for revolution when there are no revolutionary conditions and no mass movement to carry them out.

In the first world nations revolution is not possible due to a few major reasons:

a. A good chunk of the workers are bribed with super profits extracted from third world countries, thus pacifying them
b. Workers are divided against themselves within the nation on the basis, mainly of race. White workers identify with the mainly white ruling class, rather than with their nonwhite fellow workers.
c. Workers are divided against themselves globally on the basis of nationalism with first world workers willingly accepting the ruling class bribes and bettering themselves at the expense of third world workers.
d. Linked to all these problems is the lack of a Leftist mass party that could meaningfully challenge the status quo

This leaves first world Marxists in a predicament, on the one hand revolution is necessary, but also for the time being, it is impossible. So what are first world Marxists to do? 

Well, the capitalists are already countering the first problem for us: as capitalism continues to fail,  those bribes from the ruling class are being cut back in the name of "austerity," pushing workers and even petty bourgeois types away from the ruling class. Unfortunately, this process is pushing many white workers straight into the hands of racist reactionary populist movements like those of Donald Trump or David Duke.
As first world Marxists, there are a few key strategies that should be at the center of all that we do.

1. Winning white workers to the Leftist cause rather than the right wing cause is critical. Getting white workers to join with nonwhite workers, to own and challenge their privilege, rather than either denying it or feeling guilty about it. Working class whites need to realize the necessity of allying themselves with nonwhites. Currently, nonwhites are among the most oppressed, and thus, also the most potentially revolutionary groups in the first world. There is a danger here as well, namely that rather than fighting against the ruling class, many African Americans, for example, are attempting to join it in the name of equality. The, "if you can't beat 'em join policy," will not work. Joining the ruling class, as though it will actually ultimately change their condition, is not the solution to their predicament. This is the dangerous narrative of Beyonce and Michael Jordan. They call for equality, while their products are built by sweatshop labor, and they vote for Democrats. It is the narrative of President Obama. He stands up as an example of African American achievement, while bombing nonwhites, and presiding over one of the most racist nations on Earth.

2. We need to counter oppressive forms of nationalism that favor first world workers over their global counterparts. We need to push for "proletarian internationalism." We need to adopt the strategy of all workers uniting and rising in global solidarity, and we need to promote the struggles for freedom and revolutions in other nations, as they occur. The idea here is to replace a single national identity with a global proletarian identity.

3. We need to encourage the organizing of all leftists into a single mass party organization. Existing parties, if they share the same positions on major issues, need to hash out differences. We also need to come together with regards to dealing with non-Leftists. We need to defend actual socialism. We need to convince who we can, through debate and healthy discussion, to come to our side, and we need to isolate ourselves from those groups with whom their is no hope of cooperation.

The other main objection to revolution in the first world is that it is impossible because those in power are too well armed and too advanced for revolution to be possible. This defeatist attitude is very revealing, since so many of those arguing for it are the same people who argue for the disarming of the general populace via gun control. Supporting such a policy, it is quite clear who's side they are really on. It is also very ignorant to educate fellow leftists of the historical reality that poorly armed forces have overcome technologically superior forces. They have to know that wars are won by people, not fancy technology.

So, in summary, revolution ain't a dinner party. It is a necessity but currently an impossibility in the first world nations. However, that doesn't mean we don't still have lots of work to do as first world Marxists. The work ahead of us is extensive, but it must be done. Next, we will look at what comes after a revolution. Workers must form a socialist state.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

An Exploration of Sovereignty on The U.S. Border with Mexico

"The fate of every democracy, of every government based on the sovereignty of the people, depends on the choices it makes between these opposite principles, absolute power on the one hand, and on the other the restraints of legality and the authority of tradition." - John Acton 

"Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves; therefore, are its only safe depositories." - Thomas Jefferson

"The United States, not Iran, poses the greatest threat to world peace." - Noam Chomsky

"In the absence of justice, what is sovereignty but organized robbery?" - Saint Augustine


        There are going to be eighteen books that will serve as the foundation for this discussion. The texts for the discussion are: Semblances of Sovereignty: The Constitution, The State, and American Citizenship, by Alexander T. Aleinikoff, Migrant Imaginaries: Latino Cultural Politics in the U.S-Mexico Borderlands, by Alicia Schmidt Camacho, Braceros: Migrant Citizens and Transnational Subjects in the Postwar United States and Mexico, by Deborah Cohen, Imaginary Lines: Border Enforcement and the Origins of Undocumented Immigration, 1882-1930, by Patrick Ettinger, Migra! A History of the U.S. Border Patrol, by Kelly Lytle Hernandez, Revolution in Texas: How a Forgotten Rebellion and Its Bloody Suppression Turned Mexicans into Americans, by Benjamin Heber Johnson, Militarizing the Border: When Mexicans Became the Enemy, by Miguel Antonio Levario, Entry Denied: Controlling Sexuality at the Border, by Eithne Luibheid, Fevered Measures: Public Health and Race at the Texas-Mexico Border, 1848-1942, by John McKiernan-Gonzalez, Smeltertown: Making and Remembering a Southwest Border Community, by Monica Perales, Line in the Sand: A History of the U.S.-Mexico Border, by Rachel St. John, and Fugitive Landscapes: The Forgotten History of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, by Samuel Truett. These twelve books will be central to this discussion on how sovereignty dictates action on the U.S. Border with Mexico.

        Two more books, Borderlands, La Frontera: The New Mestiza – Fourth Edition, by Gloria Anzaldua and Chinese Mexicans: Transpacific Migration and the Search for a Homeland, 1910-1960, by Julia Maria Schiavone Camacho will also be a part of this discussion. These fourteen books, specifically, will offer a general definition of sovereignty, show how it can be resisted or challenged, and delve into the historiography of sovereignty in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands. Four other books, When Corporations Rule the World, by David C. Korten, Sovereignty: Organized Hypocrisy, by Stephen D. Krasner, The Time of Popular Sovereignty: Process and the Democratic State, by Paulina Ochoa Espejo, and Consumer Sovereignty and Human Interests, by G. Peter Penz, will serve to offer some comparative understanding of sovereignty and how the definition of the word can change with changing circumstances. The purpose of this is to show that sovereignty has been deeply examined by many scholars and to show that these scholars still argue about if and why sovereignty has many different forms. There are also newspaper articles, a magazine, several websites, two propaganda posters, a few journal articles, some court rulings and legislation, some images, and several other books that will be used to help make various points in this study. However, the books mentioned here will be the most vital to the discussion. Ultimately, this study will show how sovereignty can and does dictate the actions, whether good or bad, of individuals, organizations, and governments in the United States' borderland region with Mexico.

The Definition of Sovereignty

        In doing the research for this project, there were a few questions that needed to be answered. What is Sovereignty? Who can exercise sovereignty? Can individuals and corporations exercise sovereignty alongside nations? Of the texts used for the basis of this discussion, it was in Imaginary Lines that a real definition of the word began to take shape. In chapter three of this text, the definition came out of Supreme Court case, Chae Chan Ping v. United States, 130 U.S. 581 (1889), in which the court, ruling in an immigration case, ruled that any independent nation should have the right to exercise “jurisdiction over its own territory,” which included the power to determine who it will or will not admit into its territory. This same case was mentioned in Luibheid's, Entry DeniedLuibheid referenced the case, which she quoted from Chang’s “A Meditation on Borders,” which is a chapter in Immigration Out! The New Nativism and the Anti-immigrant Impulse in the United States, edited by Juan Perea, to make the same point as Ettinger. She also quoted Foucault’s History of Sexuality, where it was stated, “Sovereign power came to assume not the right to kill but to foster and expand life.” Related to this, she offered another quote, “The calculated management of life represented a break from earlier rationalities of state that were driven by concepts of divine ordering or the power of monarchs to take life or let live,” which is from Foucault’s “On Governmentality,” a chapter in the book, The Foucault Effect: Studies in Governmentalityedited by Graham Burchell, Colin Gordon, and Peter Miller. Utilizing this as a starting point for one's thought process, in conjunction with Semblances of Sovereignty, it would not be difficult to reason out a definition of sovereignty that answers all three questions here. It should go a little something like this, “Sovereignty is the ability of a nation-state entity to exercise control over a vast geographical region or territory, the ability to control the actions of the people within that region or territory, the ability to determine who can and cannot enter that region or territory, the ability to define who is or is not eligible to enjoy the rights of citizenship within that region or territory, the ability to retain control of the resources within that region or territory for the profit of the nation-state, and the ability to do these things in an organized and coherent manner over a sustained period of time.”
        This definition of sovereignty will be referred to as National Sovereignty from here on out. Under this designation, it is clear that only a nation-state can exercise sovereignty. No one should expect or even fathom that an individual, a group of individuals, or a corporation could possibly exercise sovereignty by this definition. However, as it turns out, there are other definitions of sovereignty that can apply to individuals or corporations. There is first, Corporate Sovereignty. This term, though, comes off as more of a deal made with various governments for a corporation to receive special benefits that most other entities or persons would not be privy to and that governments agree to protect. A quote in When Corporations Rule the World, says exactly that, “Today’s business corporation is an artificial creation, shielding owners and managers while preserving corporate privilege and existence. Artificial or not, corporations have won more rights under law than people have, rights which government has protected with armed force.” It would seem that corporations are working to slowly gain more and more privileges as time goes on, to the point that they are taking on burdens that the government is no longer willing or able to bear. Such a case can be seen in an article on the Think Progress blog. Corrections Corporation of America, The GEO Group, and Management and Training Corporation all run major prison facilities that detain undocumented workers, a former government responsibility, from which they profit immensely. It should also be noted that they do so at the expense of the inmates health and well being.
        Second, there is Popular Sovereignty. In The Time of Popular Sovereignty, Popular Sovereignty is defined as, “The people coming together and expressing their “popular will” to establish an agreement on the appointment of leaders to act in their stead, the leaders of which are then responsible to the to the people, in whom supreme authority resides.” It is important to point out when considering this definition that the author of the text admits that getting a great many people together to take such action has historically been extremely difficult. Next, there is Consumer Sovereignty. In Consumer Sovereignty and Human Interests, Consumer Sovereignty is defined as, “…the principle that [in a free market economy] what is produced, how it is produced, and hot it is distributed are to be better determined by consumer preferences expressed through individual choices in the free market.” In Sovereignty: Organized Hypocrisy, there are four other types of sovereignty that are encountered. They are International Legal Sovereignty, Westphalian Sovereignty, Domestic Sovereignty, and Interdependence Sovereignty. These terms refer to, in turn, the international implications of sovereignty, the ability to keep foreign powers from exerting authority over a nation-state’s territory, the ability of a state to establish authority and control over the population within its own borders, and the ability of a nation-state to control the flow of goods, people, capital, etc. across its borders.
        Just to be clear, the purest form of National Sovereignty that one can get will come from the text, Semblances of Sovereignty. “[National Sovereignty is the] supreme legal authority in a national state to control one’s borders and the entry of aliens, the authority to acquire new territory by conquest, treaty, or purchase, the exclusive jurisdiction over one’s territory, the ability to exercise their laws in another nation’s territory, and the power to protect citizens overseas.” Given this more concise definition of National Sovereignty, this is what will be used as the definition from here on out. In the context of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, it the most appropriate. Further, this definition clearly condenses the terms in Sovereignty: Organized Hypocrisy into a single more manageable term.  As for who exactly can exercise this type of sovereignty, given the implications that military force may be necessary in the assertion or defense of this type of sovereignty, only nation-states can exercise national sovereignty, which is what this project is dealing with. To be sure, this does not leave individuals and corporations powerless. There are countless examples that make this fact very clear, such as cases of undocumented immigration, war, violations of laws, insurrection, and many others. Over the next several paragraphs, a litany of such examples that show how individuals and corporations can resist or challenge the sovereignty of nation-states will be reviewed.

Resisting Sovereignty

        The discussion should begin first with individuals. There are four ways that individuals can resist the sovereignty of a nation-state. They can use violence, they can simply ignore a nation-state’s laws, they can refuse to play the racial or social role that has been designated to them by the government, or they can join radical political organizations. There are a couple of interesting examples of how individuals have used violence to resist a nation-state’s sovereignty on the U.S.-Mexico Border. In Fevered Measures, one should look to the El Paso Bath Riot, which occurred on January 28, 1917. The United States Public Health Service, responding to a recent outbreak of Typhus Fever in El Paso and Ciudad Juarez, as well as, the death of some very prominent local officials in El Paso, instituted full disinfections of any workers coming into El Paso from Ciudad Juarez, via the Santa Fe Bridge. That morning, a young woman, Carmella Torres, was not having it. She, and others with similar motivations, refused to submit to the inspections, and for a number of hours, blocked the Santa Fe Bridge off from all international traffic. It is safe to say that this was not the only thing that was done in El Paso as a result of the feared outbreaks of disease. One common action was for law enforcement officials to enter Mexican neighborhoods in El Paso, raid homes, and arbitrarily carry people off to be quarantined. It was also common for houses that were deemed unsanitary to be destroyed to “protect the public health.” One can imagine that such events may have very likely contributed to the outbreak of the El Paso Bath Riot, as well as, later riots.
        Another instance of an individual using violence to resist a nation-state’s sovereignty would be the actions of the Mexican General, and later, Rebel, Francisco “Pancho” Villa. A good sense of what happened is outlined in both Fugitive Landscapes and Militarizing the BorderIn the midst of the Mexican Revolution, Villa resisted the sovereignty of both the United States and Mexico. Prior to mid-1915, Woodrow Wilson, then President of the United States, had endorsed Villa for the Presidency of Mexico. However, after Villa suffered some major military defeats, Wilson transferred his support to Venustiano Carranza, which made Carranza the recognized leader of Mexico and able to take action on Mexico’s behalf. Villa, affronted by this change in fortune, and smarting from a weapon sales ban that had been placed on him by Wilson, refused to accept the endorsement of Carranza. Acting on his own, Villa took his army, turned on Carranza, and then attacked several outposts under Carranza’s control. Auga Prieta was one of the battles where Villa’s forces faced off with Carranza’s forces. There was also an instance where Villa resisted the sovereignty of both the United States and Mexico simultaneously. This was at the site of the Santa Ysabel massacre. Villa gave the okay for his troops to attack a train that was carrying American engineers from the American Smelting and Refining Company (ASARCO). All of the men pulled of the train were executed. This showed resistance to Mexico’s sovereignty because Carranza had guaranteed these men’s safety. It did so to the United States’ sovereignty because the men were American Citizens. Carranza lost control over Mexican territory and the United States was not able to ensure the safe flow of its people across the border. Villa also later crossed the U.S.-Mexico border and launched a reckless attack on the town of Columbus, New Mexico, after he realized that Wilson had allowed Carranza to transport troops through U.S. territory to meet him in battle. Line in the Sand tells the story of this assault very well. Though reckless, the attacked showed the United States that they were not impervious to attack, and led to a huge invasion led by General John J. Pershing, whose sole mission was to find Villa. He failed, thus Villa's resistance actually damaged the credibility of the United States' sovereign control of its own territory.
        To see how individuals can resist a nation-state’s sovereignty by simply ignoring their laws, one can look to Imaginary Lines. In this text, laws like the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 are examined. This law barred all Chinese nationals, minus a few exceptions, i.e. merchants, teachers, and the like, from entry into the United States. Later, even those few exceptions were eliminated in amendments passed in 1884 and 1888. What did the Chinese immigrants do in response to this? Well, they simply found ways around the inspection stations where they would have been barred from entry. At the earliest points, they found routes into the country across the western Canadian border and later, after that became more difficult, across the Mexican border. Further, they did this, in most every case, at their own peril. Examples of this peril can be seen in pictures in Line in the Sand and Imaginary Lines. The Line in the Sand picture shows Chinese immigrants crossing under the border fence near Nogales, Arizona. They crossed the border in violation of U.S. law, resisting the United States’ sovereignty. These immigrants were facing persecution in Mexico after the repatriation of many Mexican citizens from the United States, during the Great Depression. To flea this persecution, they turned to the United States, a nation that had deemed them excludable since 1882. The Imaginary Lines picture is a black and white drawing by Frederic Remington that appeared in the March 1891 edition of Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. This drawing shows how Chinese immigrants resisted U.S. sovereignty by trying to use its vast unmanned border, at least in 1891, against them to gain entry into the United States. What it also shows, however, is the harsh conditions that the Chinese immigrants fought in their attempts to cross the border. They were constantly at risk of perishing in the dry and hot environment that exists in the American Southwest. Solely on the Mexican Border, Mexicans did much the same.
        In Entry Denied, one will find one of the most severe cases that reveals how Mexicans resisted the United States’ sovereignty at their own peril.  This is the case of Blanca Bernal. Ms. Bernal and a friend of hers, Ana Gomez, crossed the border through a hole in the fence. They spent some time with friends, went to a couple of restaurants, and were then picked up U.S. Border Patrol Agent, Larry Selders. He asked for their papers, and when they could not provide any, he ushered them into his vehicle. He then offered to take them back to Mexico, without arresting them, in exchange for a sexual favor. Upon refusing, Gomez was ejected from the vehicle, and Bernal was then transported to a secluded area where she was raped. In response to the Immigration Act of 1917, and other laws like it, which made crossing even harder, some immigrants continued the effort to find clever ways around immigration checkpoints. However, other went a different route. One sly trick would be to memorize the lines from a stolen copy of the literacy test that was required by this law. Though this did work sometimes, it was not always the best way to go. The literacy test was changed out on the regular. If they were reading off a stolen copy of an earlier test, they could be charged with fraud on top of attempting to cross the border illegally. This could land them in prison for a number of years, without representation, before they ever stood before a deportation hearing.
        To see how individuals can refuse to play the racial or social role that has been designated to them by the government, one can look at the case of Richard Rodriguez in Migrant Imaginaries. Rodriguez is the polar opposite of what a Mexican in the United States is billed to be. He is highly educated, he speaks English, he is gay, he is incredibly Americanized, he is a prolific and creative writer, and he is at odds with the Chicano Civil Rights Movement. He is, of course, fighting the image accepted by many and perpetuated by the government that Mexicans are supposed to be barely literate, ignorant of English, masculine, foreign, lazy, and radical. To get a sense of how intense Rodriguez’s emotions about his identity are, one should look to a quote from his book Days of Obligation, which appears in Migrant Imaginaries. In this quote, he says, “I am on my knees, my mouth over the toilet, waiting to heave. It comes up with a bark. All the badly pronounced Spanish words that I have forced myself to sound during the day, bits and pieces of Mexico spew from my mouth, warm, half-understood, nostalgic reds and greens dangle from long strands of saliva. I am crying from my mouth in Mexico City.” By refusing to meet the norms that the United States government set for the behavior of Mexicans and Mexican Americans in that country, Rodriguez resisted and even damaged their ability to control the behavior of the people living in the confines of their physical territory. This, of course, worked to put their sovereignty in the region, and as a whole, in question. If they can't control one man, how are they to control millions of similar individuals?
        To see how someone can resist a nation-state’s sovereignty by joining radical political associations, one can look to the case of Emma Tenayuca, which is also in Migrant Imaginaries. As a member of the Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA) in the 1930s, at the time a Marxist-Leninist organization, she was considered an enemy of the state. This was the case because one of the main tenements of Marxist-Leninism is the violent overthrow of the government, under the leadership of a small but dedicated band of professional revolutionaries. She was a leader in the Worker’s Alliance, especially during the Pecan Sheller’s Strike, and she was an author, having been published in the party journal, The Communist. She was also a teacher. In each of these roles, Emma Tenayuca espoused a program that was designed to empower the poor working class Mexican community of San Antonio, Texas. She also did some work in California for a brief period. As a communist in the 1930’s, Tenayuca’s association with CPUSA opened her up to investigation, arrest, and the possibility of violent reprisal at the hands of government. Precedent for such possibilities had already been set, as is evident in the passage of the Immigration Acts of 1903 and 1918, as wells as, the Palmer Raids, which were a part of the first Red Scare that reached its height from 1919-1920. This all made her out, in the eyes of the government, to be a direct threat to the National Sovereignty of the United States. The Immigration Act of 1903, also referred to as the Industrial Commission Bill, or the Anarchist Exclusion Act added anarchists and communists, a reference to leftist radicals in general, to the list of persons automatically denied entry into the United States. The bill also added epileptics, prostitutes, and professional beggars to the list. All of Tenayuca's work located her in the U.S.-Mexico Borderland region, which meant that her work would have involved undocumented workers, as well. Attempting to politically organize undocumented workers was a crime under the Immigration Act of 1903, which meant she was resisting the United States' sovereignty in the region by hampering their ability to determine who was or was not allowed to enter into and work in their nation.
        The Immigration Act of 1918, 40 Stat. 1012 (1918), also known as the Dillingham-Hardwick Act, was enacted on October 16, 1918. Paul Arvich covers this in his book, Sacco and Vanzetti: The Anarchist Background. A major purpose of this act was to amend the definition of what the government felt an anarchist is. The act defined an anarchist as some who believes in, advises, advocates, or teaches, or is a members of, or is affiliated with, any organization, association, society, or group, that believes in, advises, advocates, or teaches (1) the overthrow by force or violence of the Government of the United States or of all forms of law, (2) the duty, necessity, or propriety of the unlawful assaulting or killing of any officer or officers, either of specific individuals or of officers generally, of the Government of the United States or of any other organized government, (3) the unlawful damage, injury, or destruction of property, (4) sabotage, as well as, someone who writes, publishes, or causes to be written or published, or who knowingly circulates, distributes, prints, or displays, or knowingly causes to be circulated, distributed, printed, or displayed, or knowingly has in their possession for the purpose of circulation, distribution, publication, or display any written or printed matter, advising, advocating, or teaching opposition to all government, or advising, advocating, or teaching (1) the overthrow by force or violence of the Government of the United States or of all forms of law, (2) the duty, necessity, or propriety of the unlawful assaulting or killing of any officer or officers of the Government of the United States or of any other government, (3) the unlawful damage, injury, or destruction of property, (4) sabotage.
        The Palmer Raids were attempts by the United States Department of Justice to arrest and deport radical leftists, especially anarchists, from the United States. The raids and arrests occurred in November of 1919 and January of 1920, at the height of the Red Scare, under the leadership of Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer. Around three-thousand people were arrested and over five-hundred foreign citizens were deported, including a number of prominent leftist leaders. The raids covered more than thirty cities and towns in twenty-three states, and the raids targeted entire organizations, which resulted not in just leftist radicals being arrested but also non-affiliated visitors. They are intricately recounted in Robert K. Murray's Red Scare: A Study in National Hysteria, 1919-1920 and in Louis F. Post's The Deportations Delirium of Nineteen-twenty: A Personal Narrative of an Historic Official ExperienceThe First Red Scare was a period during the early 20th-century history of the United States, marked by a widespread fear of Bolshevism and anarchism. At its height, from 1919 to 1920, concerns over the effects of radical political agitation in American society and the alleged spread of communism and anarchism in the American labor movement fueled a general sense of paranoia. The Scare, as it is called for short, had its origins in the hyper-nationalism of World War I. When the war was nearly over, following the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, American authorities saw the threat of revolution in the actions of organized labor, including such disparate cases as the Seattle General Strike and the Boston Police Strike, as well as, the bombing campaign directed by anarchist groups at political and business leaders. Bolshevism and the threat of revolution became the general explanation for challenges to the social order, even such unrelated events as incidents of interracial violence. On January 7, 1920, at the first session of the New York State Legislature, Speaker Thaddeus C. Sweet attacked the Legislature's five new socialist members, declaring they had been elected on a platform that he said was “absolutely inimical to the best interests of the state of New York and the United States.” For a good recounting of the period, look to Louis Waldman's Albany, The Crisis in Government: The History of the Suspension, Trial and Expulsion from the New York State Legislature in 1920 of the Five Socialist Assemblymen by their Political Opponents. This just serves to show the length to which the United States and its subordinate governments were willing to go to defeat supposed threats to their National Sovereignty, specifically their ability to control the actions of the people within their borders, which they felt were posed by radical leftists organizations, their members, and their sympathizers.
        So how do these particular instances demonstrate how individuals resisted a nation-state’s sovereignty? In the case of Carmella Torres and the El Paso Bath Riot, the United States was exercising its right to determine who can or cannot enter their nation. The United States Public Health Service was tasked with keeping people out of the country that they felt would be a disease risk. By rioting, Carmella Torres and her compatriots were resisting this. In the case of Pancho Villa, the United States and Mexico were both exercising their right to exert control over their territory. President Wilson was interested in bringing the Mexican Revolution to a rapid conclusion. An end to this conflict would alleviate the threat of war or the violence of the revolution from spilling across the U.S.-Mexico border. It would also ease tensions on the border as the United States prepared to ship troops to Europe. Carranza, now as the recognized leader of Mexico, was trying to do much the same. A quick end to the conflict would solidify his rule, and reduce the risk of conflict with the United States, which would then allow Mexico to begin the recovery process under his leadership. By, rejecting the legitimacy of Carranza's Presidency, and by attacking a U.S. city, Villa was resisting Mexico's right maintain order in its territories and the United States' ability to enforce the security of its borders against unwanted intrusions. Levario backs this assessment in Militarizing the Border.
        In the case of the Chinese immigrants of the late nineteenth century and the Mexican immigrants of the early twentieth century, the United States again had to defend its right to determine who could or could not enter its territory. Laws were passed to exclude these persons, and yet they crossed the borders in direct violation of those laws, which the United States had the sovereign right to pass. This does not excuse the laws, as they were intentionally exclusive and discriminatory; it just recognizes that the United States, according to the definition of National Sovereignty espoused in this piece, had the right to pass them. This assessment is supported in Migrant Imaginaries, “Migrants…troubled the Republican ideals of a bounded, regulated population in the United States.” It also contends that, “they threaten to expose the failures of development policies that shaped trans-border terrains.” It seems that this is a threat to the promises of economic improvement in the borderlands, which also brings a nation’s sovereignty into question, over its failure to deliver to its own citizens.
        In the case of Richard Rodriguez, in Migrant Imaginaries, it is really very simple. By refusing to adhere to the United State’s definition of what it means to be a Mexican, Rodriguez challenged their ability to quantify who is or is not a full citizen. He became simply an “American,” in defiance of the role assigned to him. As far as Emma Tenayuca was concerned, she was part of a political party, CPUSA that was considered a direct threat to the United States government. This is enough for her actions to be seen as a threat to the United State’s sovereignty. As a member of a party that espouses the violent overthrow of the government, she was challenging the United State’s sovereignty on every level. A fallen government has no power. Her participation in the Pecan Sheller’s Strike also threatened the sovereignty of the United States. She encouraged and led people in a thirty-seven day walk-out that limited the ability of the government to control those people. She also inhibited the country's ability to effectively conduct commerce. The fact that she was a threat is plainly seen in the passage of the Hatch Act of 1939, formerly entitled, “An Act to Prevent Pernicious Political Activities.” This law, one in a long line of such laws, was designed to limit the ability of radicals to spread their “pernicious” agenda. Her actions in Texas, which coincided with actions in other parts of the country, helped secure the passage of yet more legislation limiting the freedom of speech of person's who sought to limit the ability of a capitalist government to take advantage of its people. The full effect and purpose of the law was outlined very well in George B. Tindall's The Emergence of the New South, 1913-1945.

Challenging Sovereignty

        The discussion can now move on to corporations. There are five ways that corporations can challenge a nation-state’s sovereignty. They can break the nation-state’s laws, they can lobby, they can use violence, they can use outright theft, or they can take advantage of their location, their foreign business ventures, and an already existing phenomenon, mass migration. The case where a company broke a nation-states’ laws is in Fugitive Landscapes. In this text, the story of the Cananea Consolidated Copper Company (CCCC), ran by William Cornell Greene, shows what a company can do. They purchased lands at Ojo de Agua. The old owner of the land, Jose Maria Arvallo, had left the land to seven heirs. What this meant was that the land, under Mexican law, was held in commune. For the land to be leased, built on, sub-divided, farmed, mined, or anything else, all of the owners had to agree. CCCC routinely ran into conflicts when it attempted to make a profit off the land without consulting the other owners. The company then, in violation of Mexican law, built fences around the property, which was not approved by the other owners. Additionally, the hired local men, known to oppose the land owners, to defend the land against the owners attempts to retake their property. This was American company challenging the Mexican government's control over its own territory. For other examples of how a company can break a nation-state’s laws and thus, challenge its sovereignty, one can look to Migra!. Imaginary Lines can also contribute to this. In both Texas and California, U.S. growers routinely hired undocumented workers to plant and harvest their crops. This, of course, just encouraged the workers to keep coming across the border for work without passing through inspection points. This, then, challenged the United States’ ability to determine who was and or was not allowed to enter its territory. Not surprisingly, this is still a common practice.
        The instance where corporations can lobby a nation-state is also seen in Imaginary Lines. When the Immigration Act of 1917 was passed, farmers and railroad executives bombarded the Labor Department with complaints about the ill effect that the law would have on their businesses and the economy. They also used the specter of a looming war to push their point. After enough rattling, the restrictions that they did not like, those that would have severely limited their access to cheap immigrant labor from Mexico, were waived for a total of fifteen months. This of course, was not the only law where companies lobbied the government for exemptions from the immigration restrictions placed on their Mexican immigrant laborers. They also lobbied for exemptions for Mexican workers from the quota and head tax requirements of the 1921 and 1924 immigration acts. Lobbying is an effort to force the government to act against its ability to control the flow of persons across its border. Admittedly, this is not necessarily a challenge to a state's sovereignty by itself. However, there are other actions that when combined with this lobbying, make it so. If after the lobbying, the government has held fast, legally the companies are required to look to another labor source. However, the companies lobbying against the bills did not do this. Rather, they near openly encouraged Mexican nationals to cross the border anyways, in defiance of the new legislation. This gave them their cheap labor source; of course, but it also directly challenged, again, the federal government's ability to control the flow of persons across its borders. Further, the federal government, and the border patrol agents they assigned to police the area, did not have the resources to effectively stop this defiance, thus, damaging the United State's sovereignty over the its side of the border region.
        To see how a corporation can use violence or outright theft to challenge a nation-state’s sovereignty, go back to Fugitive Landscapes. In the case of the 1906 Cananea Strike in northern Mexico, during the meat of the conflict, when workers were rioting and burning down buildings, it was reported by a local Judge, F. Lopez Linares that William Cornell Greene and other company officials were running through the streets instructing Americans to kill Mexicans. There were also armed company men at the Arizona border that were eventually allowed to cross the border to help put down the strike. Private citizens from a foreign country entered Mexico, in violation of orders from their central government, to help brutalize and even kill citizens of that nation. The Mexican government was not included in this affair for two reasons. One, their control over northern Mexico was weak to begin with, but also, the company was not obeying Mexican labor laws. Workers were starved, underpaid, beaten, and fired without compensation if they resisted the treatment. It is likely that had the Mexican government deployed troops to assist, the armed Americans would have engaged them, as well. The instance where it is clear that corporations can use outright theft is visible in the physical orientation of companies like CCCC’s and Phelps-Dodge’s operations in Mexico. Granted CCCC and Phelps-Dodge both entered the country with the permission of the Mexican government, but the railroads that they built to the mines were not sending resources to Mexico City. The railroads sent the resources mined by these companies back to the United States to service that economy, leaving Mexico with only customs fees. Normally, the idea of inviting a company into one's country to mine resources, is for the company to mine the resources, then deliver them to the government of the country in which they are located. Further, if the resources are to be sent elsewhere, the conditions of that delivery have be approved by the government of the nation where the resources are located. In these cases, none of these conditions were met, and Mexico's economy suffered for it.Further, it displayed to the world what little control the Mexican government had over its territories, opening Mexico up for further theft, and on many occasions, bribery.     
        To see how a company can take advantage of their location, their foreign business ventures, and an already existing phenomenon, mass migration, one can turn to the case of ASARCO (American Smelting and Refining Company). Their story is told quite clearly in Smeltertown. This company built lead, copper, and zinc smelters on land that rested right up against the Rio Grande River. This, of course, was not the only operation that the company possessed. They also owned mining operations in the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Durango, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas, Coahuila, and Michoacán. There was also, of course, the ever present mass migration of workers from Mexico. With ASARCO’s position on the border just outside of El Paso, at least in the beginning, it was in a prime spot to offer jobs to migrants that were passing through and who were willing to take low paying jobs as they were moving through. This gave the company the benefit of high turnover, which lowered the risk of labor problems. Despite this, they did still have labor problems on several occasions. ASARCO also very easily, in violation of federal law, intentionally directed some of this traffic, encouraging people from their Mexican mining operations to stop at the smelters in El Paso on their way into the United States. It would have been fairly easy to point their workers who wanted to migrate to the United States, during events like the Mexican Revolution, towards the smelter in El Paso. The company was even known to assist in the physical process of smuggling people into the county to ensure that their workers would not be turned back at the border checkpoints. This is an open challenge to the United States' sovereign right to control who enters its territory.
        So how do these instances show how a corporation can challenge a nation-states’ sovereignty? In the case of CCCC and its violation of Mexico’s property laws, the company challenged Mexico’s ability to control the actions of the people in its country and its ability retain control of its territory. In these property cases, the Mexican government, at the time, sided with the company, as they knew that they did not possess the resources necessary to challenge the companies influence in the region. This led to a loss of territorial control and a lack of confidence from these people, many of whom were later involved in the Mexican Revolution. In the case of the farmers and railroad executives lobbying against the restrictions of the Immigration Acts of 1917, 1921, and 1924, the United States gave concessions as to who was or was not allowed into the country. They gave up their control of the issue, by submitting to the pressure put on by the lobbyists. Though on some occasions, the government did stand firm, they were forced to recognize the fact their resources in the region were limited. Given their limitations, were they to completely refuse the company's requests, they knew that the companies would work to get their laborers into the country anyways, which would encourage even further violations of their border. They surrendered a measure of their sovereign control over the border in order to limit, and possibly reduce, the occurrence of criminal violations of the federal immigration statutes. Needless to say, those concessions did not have the desired effect. They actually helped to reinforce an already existent centuries old migration pattern. Interestingly, and obviously enough, this migration patter is still operating in full force.
        As regards CCCC’s use of violence in the Cananea strike, this company and its leadership ordered Americans to kill Mexican nationals in Mexican territory, and later, were able to get armed Americans brought across the border to help kill more Mexicans. These forces challenged Mexico’s ability to keep control over the people within its borders by intervening in a civil conflict that was clearly under Mexican jurisdiction. As regards the company’s theft of resources, this is a challenge to Mexico’s right to benefit from the bounty of its natural resources. Regardless of any fees they may have garnered from the company’s use of the land, the money from the fees paled in comparison to the profits made from the sale of those resources in burgeoning U.S. markets. Finally, when discussing ASARCO, it is clear that their operations in the El Paso region would have served as a draw to the refugees of the Mexican Revolution and later economic depressions. Whether the company was complicit in drawing these workers or not, their being where they were and their connections in Mexico helped to make the problem of undocumented immigration worse. Many people, like the Lujan family, read about in Smeltertown, who came from Mexico, made the choice to immigrate specifically because they knew that it would be possible to get a job with ASARCO once they made into the United States. Most of them came without “authorization,” which weakened the United State’s ability to control who could or could not enter its territory. The fact that the company was complicit just makes the situation all that more egregious, and shows what lengths companies will go to secure cheap labor and bypass federal regulations. The main goal of this, of course, is to secure their bottom line and increase their profit margin. If anything, things like this should serve as proof that the capitalist free market economy is not interested in nation states' ability to secure their interests. In fact, it can actually be taken as a hint that if they could, companies would eliminate the need for borders altogether, at the expense of whichever nations are roadblocking their pursuit of profit.
        Now, what of the ability of a nation-state to challenge the sovereignty of another nation-state? Can one nation do such a thing to another nation? There are two big cases where the answer is shown to clearly be yes. They are in Line in the Sand. They are the Mexican-American War and the United States’ interventions in the Mexican Revolution. In both of these cases the United States challenged Mexico’s ability to exercise control over its own territory. In the Mexican-American War, the United States used military force to wrest about half of Mexico’s territory from its control. During the Mexican Revolution, the United States occupied the Mexican port of Veracruz to keep Huerta from gaining control of the city, and they ordered General John Pershing to enter Mexico, under arms, in pursuit of Francisco “Pancho” Villa.  This was in direct response to Villa’s raid on Columbus, New Mexico. With all of this resisting and challenging of sovereignty, another question presents itself: How do these events affect the United States’ and Mexico’s ability to exercise their sovereignty? Well, the first thing to point out is that from the looks of it, Mexico has almost always been the nation to suffer the most loss. In almost every case where the United State’s sovereignty was resisted or challenged, in this discussion, it has come out on top. In the El Paso Bath Riot, Carmela Torres was captured by Mexican Forces in Juarez, and the riot ended with U.S. forces having to do very little. After Villa’s raid on Columbus, New Mexico, he had very little left that he could do, and he certainly never gave the United States any more trouble. As for Rodriguez and Tenayuca, the United States is still trucking along, attempting to force artificial definitions on people in order to get them to assimilate. They are still fighting against organized labor and political radicals. The only real issue that still faces the United States, in this regard, is undocumented immigration, which growers still have a tendency to take advantage of. No amount of legislation has been able to stem the flow, and undocumented immigrants have continued to devise crafty methods of evasion.
       One might question whether or not undocumented immigration is a challenge to a nation-state’s sovereignty. One should, then, just go back Migrant Imaginaries. Where the author comments on that very fact, “Migrants…troubled the republican ideals of a bounded, regulated population in the United States.” This, of course, imposed on their ability to determine who was or who was not allowed to enter their territory. There is one case in which Mexico was able to reverse the pressure and make demands on the United States. In Braceros, one can see how, During World War II, the United States and Mexico came together to establish the Bracero Program. This program was designed to meet U.S. labor needs in a time when most of their able bodied men were headed off to war. The program had a major side effect, though. It limited who was eligible for the program. Women and children were not eligible, and only very specific categories of males were eligible. Another issue was that for a long time, Texas was barred from participation in the program by Mexico because of the discrimination that Mexicans were forced to endure in Texas.  These three circumstances led to increased undocumented immigration along the U.S.-Mexico border, despite there being a legal avenue for migration to the United States during this period. This increased undocumented migration was causing a severe labor shortage for Mexico’s industries. They then, through their government, put pressure on the United States to take steps to remedy the issue, which it later made attempts to do by making concessions to Texas farmers who now found the program more appealing, and who they were more willing to deal with. Mexico would also routinely allow the Bracero Program to lapse if they felt that the workers in the United States were not receiving the benefits guaranteed them by previous agreements. The United States would also regularly engage in mass deportations. Such a ramshackle event were these mass deportations that on one more than one occasion, American citizens were deported to Mexico and then denied reentry. 
         Now, who suffered from all of this the most, the United States or Mexico? It would not take long for one to see that Mexico clearly suffered from the negative effects of losing their workers to higher wages in the United States, which would later lead to them cooperating with U.S. efforts to stem undocumented immigration. Losing these workers made it more difficult for Mexico to keep their own economic development apace with desired goals. Even earlier, Villa’s actions perpetuated the Mexican Revolution. More battles were fought, more leaders were assassinated, and peace was not achieved until the early 1920s under Alvaro Obregon. The United States’ actions during the conflict did much to perpetuate the problem, as well, causing conflicts between competing factions. Mexico could have very easily lost complete control of its territory, having no way to rapidly re-establish order and peace. This could have, conceivably, led to complete mayhem, in a chaotic winner-take-all situation, which would have led to Mexico remaining in a state of civil war for many more years. As regards the actions of companies like CCCC in Mexico and the challenges to Mexico’s sovereignty that it presented, events like this were contributors to the outbreak of the Mexican Revolution. People across Mexico grew tired of the poor conditions under the “Porfiriarto.” They rose up and took Mexico into a decade long tail-spin that nearly destroyed them and caused a great many of their citizens to seek safety in the United States, a fact that would later hurt Mexico, as it sought to rebuild its economy. Related to this would be the actions of ASARCO. Again, whether they did so intentionally or not, they served as a quasi-magnet for immigrants and contributed to Mexico’s thinning labor force, making it difficult for Mexico to recover from the destruction of the Mexican Revolution.
        Of course, the biggest case of all, when comparing who suffered or benefited from a conflict of National Sovereignty the most, is the Mexican-American War. Mexico lost about half of its total territory after a brutal war with the United States. The United States reaped the benefits of their successful challenge and Mexico’s loss. Over the next century, the economic gains that the United States received from this territory are immense, which, of course, contributed to the United States’ ability to exercise its sovereignty much more effectively in the region. It could also follow that this led directly to Mexico’s chronic inability to maintain a viable economy, as well as, its incessant political instability. They lost the richest of all of their lands, and it seems like, ever since then, they have been in a constant struggle to just tread water. To this very day, they are still having a hard time. Historically, it is clear that the United States has most benefited from this competition, and to date, despite the continued problems with undocumented immigration, the United States has more effectively enforced its sovereignty along their border with Mexico. To this very day, Mexico has a difficult time controlling the actions its citizens in the borderlands. The Mexican government, if it is not paid off, is in constant conflict with the drug traffickers that inhabit the region, many of whom double as human traffickers. When thy are not running drugs, they move immigrants across the border into the United States. Sometimes, they do these things simultaneously. Either way, Mexico's lack of control, made so dramatic because of chronic U.S. misbehavior in the region, becomes the United States' enforcement problem. The one thing that this all really shows is how truly fluid the U.S. border with Mexico really is, despite efforts by both nations to make it a rigid line of demarcation.

The Historiography

        The next several paragraphs will explore the role of sovereignty in the historiography of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands. Talking on the border, the most obvious thing to point out is the fact that the border was artificially created. Before the end of the Mexican-American War, the border, as it is seen on maps in the present day, did not exist. The U.S.-Mexico Border was established by the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo. The U.S.-Mexico Border has since been a challenge for both the United States and Mexico to handle. This treaty birthed the U.S.-Mexico border. It can then be assumed that it is also the beginning of the historiography on the specific subject of the U.S.-Mexico Border. Though the region itself has a much more extensive history, for this project, the beginning will be the treaty that ended the Mexican American War. This, of course, can also count for the role of Military history in the creation of U.S.-Mexico Borderlands history. The United States and Mexico engaged in a serious military conflict that resulted in Mexico losing over half of its territory. The United States won. In doing so, they imposed their will on Mexico. They violated Mexico’s sovereignty and exercised their own. Look to Line in the Sand for this information. For another example of how Military history has a role in U.S.-Mexico Borderlands historiography, one can look to Militarizing the Border. In response to an assault on Columbus, New Mexico by Francisco “Pancho” Villa, General John Pershing was ordered to pursue Villa across the border into Mexico. In this case, both men violated the sovereignty of the opposing nation, and their example shows how Military history played a role in the writing of U.S.-Mexico Borderlands history. The Mexican-American War can also serve to show how Political history played a role in the creation of U.S.-Mexico Borderlands historiography. These two are actually interrelated, in that, in articles written by Justin H. Smith, “American Rule in Mexico,” in 1918 and Kevin R. Johnson, “Citizenship, and U.S./Mexico Relations: The Tale of two Treaties, Bilingual Review of The Legacy of the Mexican and Spanish-Wars, Legal, Literary, and Historical Perspectives," in 2000, one can see that the United States used its military might to ensure that it got what it wanted during the political wrangling that went on during negotiations for the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The United States also later failed to fulfill provisions of the treaty that required them to protect Mexican nationals that had become U.S. nationals by virtue of the treaty. What this shows is that the United States used its military as a political tool to get what it wanted, while in the midst of violating the national sovereignty of Mexico.
        This, however, does not mean that the border is artificial. It is a very real place; it has a face. There are people that live there, work there, and die there. There was drama on the border when it was first created, and there is drama on the border now that continues to make it difficult for the United States to enforce its sovereignty over its border and general territory, as it continues what seems to be its never ending struggle with undocumented immigration. Furthermore, Mexico is struggling to retain control of its side of the border against the might of the drug cartels. For an example of the difficulty that the Mexican Government is having in controlling its side of the border, look to a posting on the website of the news engine The Guardian. In an article entitled “Mexican Vigilantes Take on Drug Cartels - And Worry Authorities,” Joe Tuckman discusses the recent rise of vigilante militias in northern Mexico. The vigilantes have risen up in response to the government’s inability, or unwillingness, to engage effective military force against the drug cartels. However, they are not just a threat to the drug cartels. The government is also worried about the vigilante’s actions and the implications that those actions might have politically. The Mexican government is facing resistance to its national sovereignty from both the drug cartels and the people that have spontaneously risen up to fight them. What is more is that this does not seem to be slowing down. Immigration reform is still a very serious issue in U.S. politics. President Obama, just after the recent partial government shutdown, encouraged the reconvened Congress to take action on Immigration Reform stating, “Rather than create problems, let’s prove to the American people that Washington can actually solve problems.” This clearly shows that immigration and the challenge that it poses to national sovereignty is still alive and thriving on the U.S.-Mexico Border. The President was quoted in a piece by the Associated PressObama Urges Congress to Finish Work on an Immigration Overhaul.”
        Also, the border, and in a larger sense, the borderlands, are not a peripheral area. In fact, it is the exact opposite. The border has been at the center of U.S. and Mexican policy making for many years. The story above is an example of the role that Immigration history still plays in the historiography; and furthermore, immigration history is not the only type of history that is played out in the historiography of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands in the context of national sovereignty and the cases where that sovereignty can be resisted or challenged. African American history, Asian American history, Economic history, Environmental history, European American history, Labor history, Medical history, Mexican American history, Military history, Native American history, Political history, the history of Revolutions, Social history, and Women’s history, all have a place in the historiography of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. Of course, United States history and Mexican history are affected, as well, but it is safe to assume that each of the aforementioned categories are related sub-categories of United States history and Mexican history, so the more broad categories do not need to be addressed. Furthermore, these are just the examples that came to mind. There are, of course, one can only imagine, many others that can be considered.
        To begin, look to African American history in the U.S.-Mexican Borderlands. The most prominent story that stands out is that of the Buffalo Soldiers. In Militarizing the Border, one can find mention of the Buffalo Soldier’s role in the San Elizario Salt War of 1877-1878. The war broke out as the result of conflict between Mexican and American citizens over access to the local salt licks in El Paso County. After a series of disturbances, Judge James Howard encountered Luis Cardis, a local political boss, in a grocery store, where he preceded to shoot him dead. The murder of Cardis gave rise to a local militia. The militia was made up of Mexican citizens. These men, numbering in the hundreds, searched out Howard. They found him at the home of Sheriff Charles Kerber, where they ordered him turned over and upon receipt of Howard, executed him. Reprisals continued back and forth until the “Buffalo Soldiers,” from Fort Davis, and other surrounding posts were dispatched to the region to reestablish order. This story shows how Mexican citizens threatened the United States' sovereignty by crossing the border and attacking an American citizen, and Militarizing the Border brought them into the historiography of the U.S. border with Mexico.
         Ron Field and Richard Hook talk about them further in, Buffalo Soldiers, 1866-1891The Buffalo Soldiers received their name from Native Americans, who referred to them as “Wild Buffalo.” This referred to the color of their skin, the texture of their hair, and their fierce fighting style; The Buffalo Soldiers engaged in countless battles against Native Americans, at the behest of the United States government. In many cases, they were the sole representatives in battles against the natives. They served as the arm of U.S. National Sovereignty in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands and in many other places throughout the West. It was their job to protect the United State’s ability to control the population within its borders. This shows, in a brief sense, the interactions that they had with other people in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, and how, despite their only, it seems, recent popularity in popular culture, they were an intricate part of the happenings of the border region. What is more is that they made up a full twenty percent of the active U.S. military force toward the end of the nineteenth century. It seems that this would run up against the “white” tide myth as the US spread across the continent of North America in pursuit of Manifest Destiny. The presence of African Americans on the plains, playing such a big role in military engagements, despite the well known fact that they were predominantly commanded by white officers, challenges the destiny story and the glory of the white man. It shows that the era was more so just an “American” thing, as opposed to a victory just won by white men.
        For another example of how African Americans played a role in the creation of U.S. Borderlands history. One can look to the story of African American cowboys. In The Negro Cowboys, written by Philip Durham and Everett L. Jones, their role in the history of West is discussed, which involves U.S.-Mexico Borderlands history. The book discusses African American cowboys all over the West, but chapters four and seven speak of their roles in the cattle drives out of Texas and their presence in Tombstone, Arizona, respectively. One might wonder how this relates to the resisting or challenging of sovereignty. Given the well known idea of Manifest Destiny and the “brave” conquest of the frontier by “white” men, the presence of African American cowboys on the frontier also challenges the United State’s right to determine who is counted as a full citizen and who can enjoy the rights of that citizenship. Given the well documented practice of segregation in that era, which was designed to push a certain image of the United States, the presence of African Americans is a direct challenge to this idea. One can also see it in the book itself. It comes off as slightly paternalistic; the title of the book itself can lead one to this assumption. Furthermore, the book was published in the middle of the 1960s, right when shows like Gunsmoke and Bonanza were at the height of their popularity. Despite the book’s paternalistic nature, its publishing in 1965 offered a very different perspective on the West than what was on television. The book, to a degree, perpetuates the challenge started by African Americans working and living in what was supposed to be a “White” man’s sphere.
        Next, look to Asian American history. A case of particular interest would be that of the Chinese, in particular the Anti-Chinese movements in both the United States and Mexico. Chinese Mexicans  does an excellent job of telling their story. Seeking better economic opportunities, a great number of Chinese nationals, mostly men, immigrated to both the United States and Mexico. In the United States, Chinese immigration picked up dramatically with the discovery of gold in California in 1848. This, however, was swiftly interpreted as a threat by many Caucasians. Eventually, this ire made its way to the federal government. It 1875, the Page Law was passed excluding Chinese prostitutes, and later, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 excluded laborers. By 1888, the Chinese were banned entirely. These laws remained in effect until after World War II. To avoid this discrimination, many Chinese nationals immigrated to Mexico instead. Despite this, some still later crossed the U.S.-Mexico Border as undocumented workers. In Mexico, anti-Chinese sentiment picked up during the Mexican Revolution and lasted until the 1930s. These Chinese were faced by negative legislation, such as Law 31, which barred Mexicans from marrying an ethnic Chinese. Of particular interest was the Chinese Expulsions. Throughout the 1930s, with the help of government personnel and vigilantes, a great majority of the ethnic Chinese in Mexico were removed from the country. They were forced out by mob violence, arrest and deportation processes, and exit deadlines. Many of these people immigrated to the United States, giving the U.S. another wave of undocumented Chinese immigration. Others hid from the government and mobs. Still, others challenged the expulsions in Mexican courts.
        In both of these cases, the Chinese faced legal oppression, and violence. These cases show that despite their discriminatory nature, in that they made the Chinese out to be slaves, criminals, and even, enemies of the state, the laws passed and the deportations ordered were supported by the United States and Mexico’s sovereign right to determine who could and could not come to their nation, who counted as a citizen, and their ability to control their borders. They also show that by bypassing these laws, through undocumented immigration, facing them in court, or hiding, the Chinese resisted the sovereignty of the two nations. The American case can double as Women’s history because of the women who were barred from entry by the Page Law, and the fact that law led to a great many Chinese women who were not prostitutes being classified as such. By telling these people’s story Chinese Mexicans makes it known what Chinese immigrants were forced to endure, how they reacted, and shows how their actions and experiences enriched the historiography of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands.
         The Chinese are also mentioned in Imaginary Lines. Chapter One quotes California Senator John Miller, who argued that overpopulated conditions in China had created workers who had become, “by long training and heredity…automatic engines of flesh and blood…with such marvelous frame and digestive apparatus that they can dispense with the comforts of shelter and subsist on the refuse of other men.” It also quoted a memorial to Congress issued by the California State Senate, which stated, “We find one-sixth of our entire population composed of Chinese coolies, not voluntary, but, by the unalterable structure of their intellectual being, voluntary slaves.” These quotes offer an image of the discrimination that lead to the laws that barred the Chinese from the U.S. To get an idea of the discrimination that the Chinese faced, leading up to the expulsions, look again to Chinese Mexicans. On p. 43, one will find a drawing from Jose Angel Espinoza’s, El Ejemplo de Sonora, entitled “Mexicano.” The image is of a Mexican official speaking to a crowd of Mexican workers. The speaker is saying, “Mexican man: Of every peso you spend buying from a Chinaman, fifty cents go to Shanghai and the other fifty keeps you in chains and prostitutes the women of your race!!!” There is also a caption on the drawing credited to Jose Maria Arana, which reads, “…and those who do not hear my words will lament tomorrow the agony of the Motherland we failed to defend.” Reading statements such as these, and seeing such an image, leads one to believe that the Chinese had many good reasons to resist the sovereignty of both the United States and Mexico, as the laws passed against them, the judgments made about them, and the physical actions taken against them were based on paranoia, racism, and economic jealousy, none of which excuse being so crude to a person, let alone an entire group of people. It seems that their successes and resistance were used as the reasons, in both cases, to make them a target. Their ingenuity and good business sense and willingness to press the boundaries would have made for a rigorous competition with both white and Mexican business interests, as well as, with the United States and Mexican governments. The willingness of poorer Chinese laborers to take jobs with very little pay would have undercut both white and Mexican wage laborers. This shows that the Chinese also played a big role in the history of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, despite their relative obscurity in popular culture. These books taking the time to mention their struggles challenges that obscurity.
        Next, one can look to Economic History and Environmental history. These two can be combined in their relation to the actions of the American Smelting and Refining Company (ASARCO). This is a second look at ASARCO, but this section will show how ASARCO’s actions relate to these parts of history, how it challenged the United State’s national sovereignty, in a different way than was discussed earlier in this project. It will also show how ASARCO played a role in writing the historiography of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands. On December 17, 1963, the United States Congress passed the Clean Air Act. Section Two of the Findings Section states that the Clean Air Act recognizes, “…the growth in the amount and complexity of air pollution brought about by urbanization, industrial development, and the increasing use of motor vehicles, has resulted in mounting dangers to the public health and welfare, including injury to agricultural crops and livestock, damage to and the deterioration of property, and hazards to air and ground transportation.” Section One of the Declarations section states that one of the main purposes of the law is, “to protect and enhance the quality of the Nation’s air resources so as to promote the public health and welfare and the productive capacity of its population.” It would be good to note that an amendment was passed to the Clean Air Act in 1970, which increased restrictions on pollution that were in the law passed in 1963. It is also important to note that President Richard Nixon endorsed a proposal to Congress that the Environmental Protection Agency be formed. It began operations on December 2, 1970. There were also amendments passed in 1977 and 1990.
         Smeltertown, it is easy to see. In 1970, ASARCO came under investigation for excessive sulfur emissions. Two years later, the Environmental Protection Agency brought them under investigation for lead contamination. They protested that they had done all that was required of them; however, subsequent investigations found that the entire region around El Paso, Texas, the largest city in the Texas border region, had suffered contamination. There is no way to formally prove that ASARCO was lying, but the contamination is a pretty big sign that they were holding something back. This shows that they violated U.S. Environmental Law. They did so in violation of the United State’s sovereign right to pass such laws, and this shows how Environmental history played a role in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands. So, one might ask, then, how does this relate the historiography of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands and its relationship to Economic history, Environmental history, and resistance or challenges to the United State’s sovereignty. Robert Gottlieb's Forcing the Spring: The Transformation of the American Environmental Movement, offers a great analysis of the Clean Air Act and its impact on industry in the United States.
        As regards Economic history, consider what this ordeal did to the residents of Smeltertown, the unofficial company town that was built by ASARCO workers over the years. Look to the text Smeltertown for this tale, as well. They were forced by the city of El Paso to clear out of the area. They were not left out to dry, but they were given no other choice but to commute across town to get to work. This is an economic drain for someone that is already getting paid poorly. Furthermore, ASARCO was not shut down by the government. Despite all of the damage that it did to the environment, it continued to operate until 1999. One can imagine that it was such a large money maker for the City of El Paso that the city did not want to risk losing the income that it provided through taxes, and they did not want a factory worth of workers out of a job. It was finally shut down by bankruptcy and economic failure. These both show the role that Economic history played in the writing of the history of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands. Smeltertown tells a very clear story about the economic drain that this placed on the ASARCO workers. It also made note of the widespread damage done to the region in and around El Paso, but tended to give ASARCO too much credit. The story, however, does place Economic and Environmental history in an important place in the historiography of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands. If one is to gain a truly comprehensive knowledge of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, it would seem that Environmental and Economic history would play a big role. The actions of companies like ASARCO, CCCC, and Phelps-Dodge are important to understand why people and governments acted the way that they did, and the same is true in the reverse. The fact that authors like Perales place such things at the center of their narratives helps to provide permanent record of events that can serve to help prevent similar situations in the future. Perales, along with other authors, shows how the U.S-Mexico Border played a big role in ASARCO’s and other’s actions in the borderlands and how their actions shaped the borderlands region.
        To get a look into how Medical history can play into the historiography of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands and the resisting or challenging of National Sovereignty, go back to the stories of Carmella Torres and the raids on the Mexican barrios in El Paso in Fevered Measures. Torres and her compatriots were subject to medical inspections in search of Typhus and Typhoid, which was the United States defending its sovereignty by determining who was or was  not allowed to enter their nation, and this was, of course, Torres resisting the United State’s sovereignty by refusing to submit to the medical inspection and then  starting a riot. The barrio raids in El Paso were also an example of how the United States was defending its sovereignty by determining who was fit to be a citizen or to live within the United State’s borders. By mentioning this particular case Fevered Measures gave a peak into the way that Mexicans and Mexican Americans were treated in the U.S,-Mexico Borderlands. According to the United States, these people did not even have the legal right to control their own bodies. The state, according the United States, in defense of its sovereignty, had every right to violate these people’s bodies. This can be used as a comparison to how things were done at the border when it was first created and how things are done at the border now versus how they were down at the time of the riot and the raids. This can be done in the context of the development of disease treatment, flow of disease across borders and in urban centers, and changes in race relations, along with many other possibilities.
        Next, one can consider Native American history. The best case is to look at the actions of the Apaches, outlined in Fugitive Landscapes, who regularly migrated between the U.S. southwest and northern Mexico, after 1860. The Apaches refused to accept the sovereign authority of either Mexico or the United States, thus resisting the National Sovereignty of both nations, and for many years, they successfully evaded both nations by using the border as a buffer. If the United States was pursuing them, they would cross the border into Mexico, and do the same in the reverse. They continued this strategy into the 1880s when it finally no longer worked for them. By that time, the United States and Mexico had signed a couple of mutual assistance agreements that allowed either side’s military to cross the border if they were in pursuit of the Apaches. The last of the most prominent Apache chiefs to be captured was Geronimo, who, at the time of his surrender, stated, “I give myself up to you. Do with me as you please. I surrender. Once I moved about like the wind. Now I surrender to you and that is all.” Dee Alexander Brown tells this story in intricate detail in Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West. The Apaches wrote themselves into the history of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands by fighting both the United States and Mexico, and by using the border, essentially, as a weapon. The inclusion of their story in Fugitive Landscapes and Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee solidifies their place in the historiography of the region. Perhaps such work will lead to more in-depth studies of the Apache’s role in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands.
        It would be interesting to do an analysis on the National Sovereignty of the Apaches. It is well documented that they had lands that extended well beyond both sides of the U.S.-Mexico Border. Given that it easy to assume that the Apaches were there before both the United States and Mexico, and Spain before them, how did the actions of Mexico and the United States, and Spain before them, affect the sovereignty of the Apaches? The obvious answers is that their actions completely destroyed the Apache’s ability to exercise any semblance of sovereignty whatsoever. However, an event by event analysis would help to better understand how the Apache’s, and other tribes for that matter, worked to maintain their sovereignty, in an effort to protect their culture and their homeland. Such a piece would contribute greatly to the historiography of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands.
        Next, one can look to Labor history and Social history. In Migrant Imaginaries, one can see that on October 17, 1950, Local 890 of the International Union of Mine, Mill, and Smelter Workers struck against the Empire Zinc Company at their mine located in Bayard, New Mexico. They were striking against discriminatory working conditions and a dual wage system, which paid Mexican and Mexican American workers less than Caucasian workers. The male workers picketed the gates for eight months until the Grant County District Court issued an injunction against them, threatening them with jail time. In response to the injunction, the worker’s wives took up their places on the picket line. The women also expanded the demands of the strike to include better living conditions in the company housing. Local police arrested some of the women, and a few of the women even suffered injuries at the hands of the police, police dogs, and strike breakers. While the women were striking, the men took on domestic duties. The women were able to participate in the strike in this manner because they were not formal members of the union. They were, however, members of the Auxiliary, which meant that by the charter of IUMMSW, they could vote on strike actions. This development initially received very narrow support from the men of the union. This strike is also documented in the files of the Global Non-Violent Database operated by Swathmore College. Look for, Mexican-American Miners Strike for Wage Justice in New Mexico, 1950-1952” in the school's online files.
        This, of course, brings in Labor history because of the Union’s strike. It brings in Social history because the strikers were striking against the discrimination of the era, which was a product of De Jure segregation. This was their challenge to the United States' national sovereignty. They were challenging the definition of who deserved the full rights of citizens. It also brings in Social history because the story got to see men and women switch what were considered their traditional roles in the 1950s. Men were the breadwinners and money makers, the ones that would be out defending the picket line for the Union, and women were the ones that were supposed to stay at home in the kitchen, caring for the children and attending to the domestic chores, whether or not it was something that they enjoyed being confined too. For obvious reasons, this can also count as Women’s history. One got to see how Women reacted to being outside their normal sphere. The women who participated in this strike proved well up to the task. Melody L. Miller, Phyllis Moen, and Donna Dempster-McClain tell the story well in “Motherhood, Multiple Roles, and Maternal Well-Being: Women of the 1950s.” This was also a challenge to the United State’s national sovereignty because it reversed accepted gender roles at the time that the United States government had invested a lot of time and money into promoting. Migrant Imaginaries solidified these people’s role in the historiography of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands by showing how they defied the accepted norms of their day and how they chose to work outside their “traditional” spheres to get what they felt that they deserved for their hard work, whether it was in their home or in their public lives. Migrant Imaginaries, and the many other books that that have been recently written on this topic, were not the first instances where Empire Zinc was made an important part of the historiography of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. The movie Salt of the Earth told these people’s story. Despite it being restricted in many parts of the country upon its initial release, and the admitted alterations to the story line to make the story more cinematic, it opened U.S. Labor and Economic history to a broader audience. One should wonder whether or not the Empire Zinc strike would be as widely known if this movie had not been made.
        To get an idea of some of the propaganda that has been used to help engender a certain image of the Woman’s role in the family, one can look to a World War II era propaganda poster designed by Alfred Charles Parker, which is on the website of the University of North Texas’s Digital Library. The poster shows a woman and a little girl working in their kitchen doing some fruit canning. It is encouraging people to save time and money by growing their own fruits and vegetables and then preserving them at home. Notice, though, how there is not a man in the picture. This comes across as an early step towards putting women back in the home environment, once their men come home from the war to go back to work, thus ending the days of Rosie the Riveter that are such a common memory for so many people of the day. The image is entitled, “We’ll Have Lots to Eat this Winter, Won’t We Mother?” To get some back stories on women that were real “Rosie the Riveter” workers, visit the “Rosie the Riveter: Morris County Women During World War II.” Also on the website of the County College of Morris County, New Jersey, one can find the propaganda poster of Rosie the Riveter produced by the War Department's War Production Coordinating Committee with J. Howard Miller doing the art. This will show the image that was eventually suppressed by “the need” to put women back in the home so that their men could work.
        Finally, one can take a look into the history of Revolutions. Revolution in Texas tells of the Plan de San Diego, which makes a good example for the role of Revolution in the historiography of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands. This revolution not only shows how the Tejanos of south Texas resisted the National Sovereignty of the United States, but also how the delegated governmental institution of the region, the state of Texas through the Texas Rangers, chose to defend that sovereignty. It also shows how local Caucasians willingly got caught up in the violence. The Plan de San Diego was an obscure but important part of the history of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, and it shows how Tejanos and the Texas Rangers helped to write the event into the history of the region. The plan was uncovered when Basilio Ramos was captured by local authorities and found to have in his possession a Manifesto that declared the intentions of the Plan de San Diego. The plan had six points: to proclaim the freedom of African Americans, to separate the states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and California from the United States, to rejoin these states to Mexico upon the restoration of peace at the end of the Mexican Revolution, to help African Americans to gain control of six more states, and to return the homelands of the Apaches and other native groups to their control in exchange for their support.
        It is not entirely sure whether or not this event was really as organized as it sounds, and some of the points seem to be slightly contradictory, given that the Apache’s land is within the states that the revolutionaries wanted to return to Mexico. However, the violence was definitely real. The violence committed by both the “Revolutionaries” and the Texas Rangers was fatal. The Texas Rangers committed atrocious acts, i.e. mass lynchings, shootings, raids on innocent local’s farms, and prideful posings with the corpses of dead Mexican Americans. There were, of course, fighters that took up arms before these actions, but the stories of men like Aniceto Pizana show how many people reacted to the violence of the Texas Rangers and the local Caucasians that were encouraged by their actions. Local officials, using the conflict to their advantage raided Pizana’s ranch. They killed members of his family and seized his land. They failed to catch him, though. He subsequently became a revolutionary. The paranoia was also real. This event, combined with the ever present threat of the Mexican Revolution, led the United States government to deploy the Army National Guard to the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands region. Militarizing the Border offers an image of the abuses that this generated. Women were raped, men were executed without trial, and many helpless and innocent refugees were turned back at the border, with only the violence of the Mexican Revolution to return to.
        All of this showed how the history of Revolutions played a big role in the historiography of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands. The United States Army came to the aid of the locals on many occasions, but that did not change what happened next. These events subsequently made life very difficult for Tejanos as time went on. They had held considerable political power before these events; this changed very quickly. They also faced increased racial stigma, which led many to reject the Tejano identifier. They formed organization like the League of United Latin American Citizens. They rejected their Mexican cultural heritage, and they worked to embrace a more American style of living. Despite this action, they still faced De Jure segregation, loss of lands, and political marginalization. Many Mexican Americans even served in the military during World War II, but still faced discrimination when they returned home from the war. Such discrimination did not end until the 1960s with the successes of the Civil Rights and Chicano Rights Movements. The recounting of this “obscure” event in Revolution in Texas returns the event to the purview of critical scholarship, and gives people the opportunity to adjust their understanding of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands.
         For an example of this discrimination, one can look to the website of the Oral History Project at the University of Texas at Austin Library. Nicanor Aguilar, Sr. experienced discrimination upon his return from the war, which he articulated in an Oral History interview conducted by Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez, "There was the same discrimination in Grand Falls, if not worse. First, we'd work for a dollar a day. After the war, they raised it to $2 for 10 hours. And the whites would get $18 a day in the petroleum field." Another such example during the period was the case of Private Felix Longoria, Sr. Private Longoria died in the Philippines. When his body was returned to the United States, his family was refused service by a Caucasian funeral parlor owner, who was worried that other “Whites” would not like it. It was not until, then, Senator Lyndon Baines Johnson and the founder of the American G.I. Forum, Hector P. Garcia, stepped in on their behalf that the situation was rectified. He was later buried in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors and a cast of important national figures in attendance. The full story can be found in Lianne Hart's, “Texas Town Remains Divided Over WWII-Era Racial Dispute Controversy is Re-ignited by move to Rename Post Office for Latino Soldier.”
         It is essential that stories like this be a part of the historiography of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands. They do so much to explain the tense nature of the border region. It helps one to understand the well documented caution that Mexicans and Mexican Americans have towards whites, as well as, U.S. state and federal forces in the border region. It also helps to understand the paranoia that was present in both governments and local whites at the time, as well as, the paranoia that exists in those same people to this day. To better understand this paranoia and the fear that immigrants feel towards institutions in the United States, be they government or civilian, one might also take the time to consider the experiences of the Irish, the Germans, the Italians, the Muslims, the Africans, and many more. It is important to make such connections in order to see how historic problems are really not just in history. They are, especially in this country, still a part of our present society. Immigrant's fear of persecution and white's paranoia towards immigrants are still very much alive to this day. For an example of this look to “Ánti-Muslim Violence Spiraling Out of Control in America: Sen was Pushed to Death by a Woman Who “Hated Muslims,” as Anti-Muslim Bigotry in the U.S. Sinks to New Depths,” on and read the story of Sunando Sen, a Muslim man, who was pushed off the platform in a subway station in New York City by a woman who, quote, “hated Muslims.” Granted, this was in New York City, but it is emblematic of the problem across the country. There have been accounts of Muslim business suffering damage, Mosques being vandalized, people being beat up in broad day light, and many other things right here in the border region. Accounting for similar occurrences in the history of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands will lead to a better understanding of the present issues. It will also, hopefully, broaden the study of immigrant issues in the United States, the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands specifically, which is, of course, already voluminous, and thus, enrich the historiography of the issue. This will show what a central role occurrences like this have played in the history of the borderlands region. This all, of course, presses home the point made in Revolution in Texas about the Plan de San Diego, and its accompanying issues. A now obscure, but no less important, event was made more visible and has rightfully taken its place in the well documented historiography of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands.
        Finally, it is also important to understand how the history of the LGBTQ community intertwines with sovereignty and the historiography of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands. La Frontera and Entry Denied are both good texts to review to see what role the LGBTQ community played in the historiography of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands and how they might have resisted National Sovereignty. The biggest thing to note is that right up until 1973, all people who classified as LGBTQ were considered mentally in the United States. Further, right up until 1990, as per the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 (79 Stat. 911), immigrants who classified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or anything similar, when they sought entry into the United States, were immediately denied entry into the United States on the grounds that they would either become a ward of the state or a threat to the public order. After 1990, when this legislation was amended, however, the United States became a sanctuary state for such immigrants. So, how might people have gone about challenging or resisting the sovereignty of the United States or Mexico? In Mexico, just being a member of the LGBTQ community will get a person persecuted. This is a result of the repressive culture of the Catholic church, which still has a strong hold over the citizens of Mexico. Simply put, in the United States, they would just have had to lie about who they were, and then continue to lie to keep from being deported. If they were denied at the border for being a member of the LGBTQ community, undocumented immigration was the next step for them. Until recently, the LGBTQ community still faced laws like the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (110 Stat. 2419), which gave states the right to invalidate gay marriages that were granted in another state if the couple moved to their state. Imagine the challenge that this could have presented to immigrants whose legal status was based on a marriage in a state where gay marriage was legal. If their marriage were to be invalidated, they could have risked deportation. United States v. Windsor, 570 U.S. ___ (2013), limited this by expanding the federal definition of spouse to include gay and lesbian couples; however, the fact that still remained that in thirty-one states, gays and lesbians still could not marry. Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. ___ (2015) changed this for the good. Gay marriage is now legal in all fifty states, and it is now a fully recognized path to citizenship. This has hopefully eliminated some of the troubles that people have faced in the past, which are enumerated in La Frontera and Entry Denied.


        So, a definition of National Sovereignty has been reached. It is, "the supreme legal authority in a national state to control one’s borders and the entry of aliens, the authority to acquire new territory by conquest, treaty, or purchase, the exclusive jurisdiction over one’s territory, the ability to exercise their laws in another nation’s territory, and the power to protect citizens overseas.” It is also been shown how people and corporations can resist or challenge a nation-state’s national sovereignty. The role of sovereignty, and the people and corporations resisting or challenging it, in the historiography of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands has also been reviewed. It was done by briefly exploring aspects of African American history, Asian American history, Economic History, Environmental history, European American history, Labor history, Medical history, Mexican American history, Military history, Native American history, Political history, the history of Revolutions, Social history, and Women’s history.
        This discussion has further shown that the border was artificially created by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo at the end of the Mexican-American War, but it has also shown that despite the fact that the border started off as “merely the mental image of politicians, lawyers, and intellectuals,” as Michiel Baud and Willem Van Schendel describe it in, “Toward a Comparative History of Borderlands,” it is a very real place; it has a face. There are people like Emma Tenayuca, Nicanor Aguilar, Sr., and Geronimo that have lived there, worked there, and died there. It has also been shown that the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands are not some far off place out of the way not to be bothered with or thought of. In many cases, the region is the center of national policy in both the United States and Mexico. This can be seen in the present sense in the newspaper articles quoted in this project. “Private Prison Companies Make Big Money Off Detaining Undocumented Immigrants,” “Obama Urges Congress to Finish Work on an Immigration Overhaul,” “Mexican Vigilantes Take on Drug Cartels - And Worry Authorities,” and “Texas Town Remains Divided Over WWII-Era Racial Dispute: Controversy is Re-ignited by Move to Rename Post Office for Latino soldier,” and many others, all show how the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands are still a central part of action and policy in both the United States and Mexico. They also show that in many cases, one cannot make policy in other areas without first considering the existing conditions in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands.
        There are some other semi-recent instances where historiographical issues have played out in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands. In 1994, roughly seventy-thousand Mexican immigrants and Mexican Americans marched through the streets of Los Angeles to protest a proposed amendment to the California State Constitution, Proposition 187. This proposition restricted access to all basic social programs such as food stamps and disability. California felt that this issue was a threat to the United State’s National Sovereignty. The bill was passed in a statewide referendum. Despite it later being overturned by the federal court system, this event showed how Immigration history has remained a part of the historiography of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands. Patrick J. McDonnell and Robert J. Lopez discussed the issue in, “L.A. March Against Prop. 187 Draws 70,000: Immigration: Protesters condemn Wilson for backing initiative that they say promotes 'racism, scapegoating,” in the Los Angeles Times, on October 17, 1994. A similar, but more recent event, took place in Dallas, Texas. Thousands of Mexicans and Mexican Americans marched in Dallas in support of legislation that would offer clemency to undocumented workers. Here, they did much the same that the people did in Los Angeles in 1994. They were, however, not marching for exactly the the same purpose, but they did march for a program that would offer clemency to people that had violated U.S. immigration law, a threat to the United State’s National Sovereignty, and they were marching for undocumented workers. There is an even more recent example of how Immigration history is remaining a part of the historiography of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands. Dianne Solis discussed the push for legalization in, “Thousands at Dallas Immigration March Call For Legalization Program,” in the Dallas Morning News on May 5, 2013.
        There is also an example of how Environmental history is still playing a role in the historiography of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, as it relates to issues of National Sovereignty. In December of 2013, a truck carrying radioactive materials was stolen en route to Mexico City. The truck was later found abandoned. One can only imagine what would have happened if the trucks contents had been released or stolen. The damage to people and the environment could have been costly, and it has not yet been determined whether any of the materials are missing. It is possible for such materials to be used to make deadly weapons. This was a threat to Mexico’s National Sovereignty, obviously because there was no telling what the thieves intent truly was, as they were never caught. With such an issue going on so close to the U.S.-Mexico Border, this was also a threat to the National Sovereignty of the United States. With the thieves never found and the materials, minus some, showing up only after two days of intensive searching, one can imagine that both nations were on high alert. Rafael Romo , Nick Parker, and Mariano Castillo discussed the issue in, “Mexico: Stolen Radioactive Material Found,” for CNN News, on December 4, 2013. This has also been evidenced by reviewing the history of groups like the Buffalo Soldiers and African American cowboys, by reviewing discriminatory laws like the Page Law or Law 31, by looking at the actions of companies like ASARCO and reading up on federal environmental laws, like the Clean Air Act. It is has also been shown by following the Apache people’s struggle to retain their homeland, by understanding the Empire Zinc Strike and how it reversed accepted social roles in the family, by following the actions of U.S. military leaders like General John J. Pershing and Mexican revolutionaries like Francisco “Pancho” Villa, and by seeing how Tejano men, frustrated by their new circumstances caused by the racial discrimination and economic invasion of Caucasians, chose to fight these incursions in the Plan de San Diego.
        To end, it would be a travesty to have a discussion such as this without mentioning Frederick Jackson Turner’s work, The Significance of the Frontier in American History. His idea was that the frontier was the outer edge between civilization and savagery. In this piece, he indicates that only American civilization played a significant role in the development of North America and its frontiers/borders, with any other peoples being mere bystanders. This could not be further from the truth. This project has shown that not only is the region not tamed, but it is filled to the brim with people that can influence what goes on there and who can challenge a nation-state’s ability to keep the area under control. Better still, it shows that the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands were, from the beginning, and are still, a centerpiece for the study of sovereignty, and that sovereignty is a good tool by which to review the historiography of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands. This region could also serve as a test case for other similar sovereignty problems around the world. In the end, after all is said and done, the point that should be taken from this is that the historiography of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, and the role that sovereignty plays in the concept, is much broader than the actual border itself. It is also very easy, as has been shown, to assume that the U.S.-Mexico Border will continue to play a prominent role in U.S. and Mexican national policy and that people will continue to write about it. This will change a lot, but it will enforce some of the same generalities. There will continue to be issues of race, pollution, gender discrimination, violence, labor strife, and many other issues taken up in the writing, as long as the United States and Mexico both continue to treat the region as a peripheral zone, to be legislated but not effectively confronted, despite its persistent claim to the national spotlight.