Friday, June 30, 2006

China Steps Up its Blogging Persecution

Via CNN:

The announcement comes amid a media crackdown by President Hu Jintao's government, with Web sites being shut down and journalists jailed.
The same China all internet companies as Yahoo and Google so happily went into business with. How American companies, whose industry is INFORMATION DISSEMINATION such as Google can go into business with those who want to REPRESS information is beyond me.

The only thing man has to fear is fear itself? No longer holds true. Man has now decided to fear information and education, because well you really can't control people that have access to enough information that with the right education know when they are being lied to.

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Project 21 - Some sense from African-Americans

"Those members of the black political establishment, in all of their praise of Cuba and Fidel Castro, they fail to explain one thing," said Project 21 member Kevin Martin. "If life is so good in Cuba, why are so many people leaving Cuba in rubber rafts or things less seaworthy? From hearing them talk, it should be the other way around!"

Go read.

Via The Real Cuba.

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Another Blow... Chavez and his ALBA. Peru signs free trade deal with the U. S. Publius Pundit has more.

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Vamos a Cuba book Controversy

Update 7/11: In brief, attempted "book bannings'" identical to the one in Miami-Dade, have occurred at a rate of over one a day for the last two and half decades, from sea to shining sea. In most of these incidents the ACLU and the mainstream media have been conspicuously mum. An interesting argument for all those defending the ACLU stance.


There is some news regarding the recent ACLU suit regarding the banned book Vamos a Cuba in Miami-Dade county public schools.

A federal judge has decided that the book will remain in schools for now.

Cuban American Pundits, who calls the ban censhorship, published the contents of the book back in April.

My opinion regarding this stands. I don't think this is censorship; people can still go to a store and read it, they can still own it in their homes, no one will be prosecuted for willlingly giving this to their children. However, the school system should not sponsor a pack of lies. What lies? Below my light rebuttal to the content of the book:

Page 26: Celebrations Picture of several black women and children in carnaval attire. Cuba's biggest celebration is called Carnival. It is held on July 26. People dance and sing at this festival. Since when did la toma de moncada become el carnaval?

Page 23: Older boy at chalkboard doing math equations. In school, children learn math, reading, and history. All schoolchildren do some kind of work during their school day. Some children work in gardens. Older children may work in factories. Gardens? we are calling labor camps gardens? History? The history according to Fidel which is very different from true world history.

Page 18: Transportation Picture of antique American car. There are not many cars in Cuba. In the cities, some people drive old cars from the United States. Most Cubans travel by bus. Because they have no way to acquire a truck or a car - no money. They travel by bus because they have to, not because they want to.

Page 12: Food Picture of a metal tray with food in the various compartments. Rice, banana, yucca. White rice is the most common food in Cuba. Sometimes it is mixed with black beans. Chicken with rice is popular, too. Excuse me? What the heck? People eat white rice because it's most accesible, and can get nothing else. This makes it sound like all that cubans eat is plain white rice, and they like it too.

Page 11: Picture of several bohios. Most homes in the country are simple. Some are made of wood from palm trees.The have roofs of palm leaves or grasses. Again because of lack of resources. They are not simple, they are poor. There is a difference.

Page 5: Picture of a small plaza in Cuba taken from a balcony (probably Old Havana) Below are some tables set up with handicrafts. Several people are walking with bicycles. People in Cuba eat, work and go to school like you do. Life in Cuba is also unique. No they don't. Although they do have it right when they say life in Cuba is unique.

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Iraqui Insurgents Speak

For a group that doesn't want the Americans in their country, they are giving a generous window for withdrawal.

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Babalu Blog

Update: Babalu is back up and running!

For those of you trying to access Babalu, the blog is having some technical difficulties that are already being worked on. So please be patient, and keep trying throughout the day. I'll update the post once Babalu is back up and running.


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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

On my Way to Granola Land

I live in a place where I am surrounded by environmentalists. Save the Bay! Protect the animals! Save the habitat! You chant it I know it.

I have to admit, never been much of a tree-hugger, granola environmentalists but have always been pro some degree of protection. For example, though I know some of you will disagree with me, I sort of admire what Tompkins is doing in Chile.

Yes I know he is preventing certain developments from going forward, but in the end the truly necessary developments - access roads for the hospital and electricity - will prevail. In the meantime, he has single handedly managed to preserve a lot of land in one of the most beautiful areas of Chile - its South - from being destroyed by uncontrolled development, which is usually the result of uncontrolled growth.

Back to the environment. There is a lot of buzz (or non buzz) about "An Inconvenient Truth" the global warming movie. One of my readers, in his newly minted blog Telling Stories, has today a great post not only about the movie but about all the controversy regarding whether there is or not global warming, and whether humans are or are not at fault. And it ties in nicely with two recent developments in my household and in our personalities.

This morning we went walking on the beach, and on our way back we found ourselves picking out of the water plastic bags and mylar balloons because of our concern of what this could do to the marine life. I even joked that we were getting granolized.

A month ago I got an offer in the mail from National Grid, my electricity provider. For 10% more a month, I could become environmentally conscious and switch to windmill power. That means I would not be using fuel for my electricity. My spouse sort of barked at the 10%, but then realized we would be taking a step towards not being oil dependent. So we went for it.

So you see, even a free market capitalist conservative Republican like me, can do this why is everyone else just focused on debating whether or not something is happening? Something is happening - the hole in the Ozone layer, the smog in Mexico City and in Santiago de Chile did not create themselves - and we can all take small steps towards helping in the meantime that scientists reach a consensus of what is going wrong and what to do about it.

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Monday, June 26, 2006

La Ventanita

I don't have the traffic of Dean Esmay or Wizbang.

I don't have the amount of posts of Michelle Malkin.

I don't have the insightful commets of Professor Reynolds.

I don't have the war knowledgeof Iraq the Model or Ed at Captain's Quarters.

I don't have as many commenters or cool videos as Hot Air.

I don't have the number of contributors of Babalu.

But I do have one thing that makes me the proudest littlest blog - respect. I look at my readers, who often disagree with me and with each other, and I can't help but smile. My readers can handle an open debate, both sides of the issue without stooping to insults or name calling. Debating an issue the old fashioned way - with logic and with respect. Recognizing the differences, the different view points, the different beliefs and respecting those while trying to advance their own.

So to you my loyal faithful readers - the few, the proud, the coffee drinkers at La Ventanita - a big thank you not only for your patronage but for your class and for your true interest in advancing debate and solving issues. This great nation could benefit of having more of you in Congress and the Senate and less of them.

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Sunday, June 25, 2006

The New York Slimes

Update: You may or you may not agree with me, that's what makes this great. But regarding the SWIFT article published with by the Times, I completely agree with Reynolds.

Yup. The New York Times has done it again. This time about a classified Pentagon meeting talking about troop reduction in Iraq.

Honestly, are people at this newspaper at all concern with the security and safety of our nation and our people? Are these editors and reporters so selfish, so self absorbed, so in search of self glory that they are willing to endanger not only our nation but also the life of our troopsmen?

This is treason, sedition.

The New York Times should be criminally charged; cleansed of these idiot reporters, editors and publishers who put themselves before the United States of America and her people.

Freedom of information, the right to know is a veil to disguise their clearly anti-American agenda. This is not even left wing bias. This is outright anti-Americanism at its best.

Being a reporter takes guts, yes. But it also takes responsibility, maturity and selflessness. And that means knowing when to put the interests - in this case the safety - of others ahead of your own. You know, being a true socialist.

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Friday, June 23, 2006


This morning two news stories are buzzing everyone: the arrest ot the Miami Seven and the leak to the NY Times. The blogosphere is having a busy a morning: Malkin, Babalu, Schlussel

So let's see, the nation - mainly the Democrats, Liberals and of course the ACLU - is up in arms because the governement allegedly is listening in to domestic phone conversations - versus just those from or to over seas - and examining bank transactions of average Americans who they are quick to point out are not terrorists.

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. Hopefully the arrest of seven possible terrorists in Miami - five of which were American Citizens and one who was a Legal Resident Alien - might finally once and for all tell the nation and the civil rights groups that not all terrorists are in the Middle East or of Arab descent.

We have to be attentive to outside as well as inside threats. We must monitor ALL suspicious activity - whether domestic or foreign. There is no choice; security MUST supersede everything else.

I am not calling for a military state. I am calling for all citizens who are in favor of our government - Bush and subsequent presidents - protecting us better, to meet the government halfway.

Give and take people; this is a two way street. We must give up some of our liberties and the government in turn must make a stronger effort to protect us.

And no, the government does NOT have the duty to be upfront with us. Surveillance works when it is SECRET, not when it is known. How many people have incriminated themselves over the phone while aware Big Brother was listening? Not many.

Terrorists tend to be intelligent suspicious people - therefore a high degree of secrecy is not only warranted but needed for surveillance to have a preventive effect.

I can only hope that the arrest of this alleged seven terrorists - most of them American - will make people (Democrats, Liberals, ACLU and all those against the surveillance programs) think and ponder about where their priorities lie: with their "civil liberties" or with the security of the nation; are they more concern with themselves or with the safety of others.

As Americans we are individualistic by culture, maybe its time we become more of a collectivist nation: putting the good/safety of the nation ahead of some of our priorities. It seems some, as I write this, are expressing the same view.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Venezuelan Military in Bolivia

Venezuelan military flights have unleashed a media war with cries of Venezuelan military interference in Bolivia. The opposition party Podemos has denounced the interference while the governing party, MAS has denied the allegations.

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Saturday, June 17, 2006

The Inequalities of Communism

Apologists will make the Bearded Stooge into a hero, claiming that Cuba can boast of universal healthcare, education and equal rights. There is no poverty in Cuba and everyone has a home. Yeah, right.

As it turns out, even if you are a law abiding member of el partido (the party) - meaning you follow your ration book, donate blood to the comité de barrio (the committe that controls the neighborhood), and even vote in them fake elections can get kicked out of their makeshift homes and be left without a place to live, without a roof over their heads. For no apparent reason.

On the other end of the spectrum you have what are known as quedaditos - or literally "stayers". Who are these people? They are the sons and daughters of high ranking officials of the Cuban government, that live in Madrid Spain. Yes you read right, they live outside of Cuba. Now, if things in Cuba are so great - especially for the sons and daughters of government officials - why would you live out of Cuba?

Living outside of Cuba is the least of their problems. According to one of them interviewed under anonymity the main problem is that while they live outside of Cuba they cannot take an anti-government stance because they could be banned from ever traveling to Cuba again - meaning they would not be allowed to see their families.

"Si uno dice algo aquí, en Cuba lo sabrán y nunca más uno verá a la familia'', dijo una abogada cubana de treinta y tantos años que reside en Madrid. 'Por ejemplo, si usted publica mi nombre en el periódico y cita que yo dije `Cuba es un país de porquería', me llaman y me dicen: 'Después de haber declarado eso, no volverás más a Cuba' ''.
Control and fear, even outside of Cuba and even among government officials. In Cuba no one is safe, unless of course you play along.

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Dixie Chicks

Michelle Malkin has a post on the Dixie Chicks, that for me is disturbing. You all remember a few years back when the Dixie Chicks during a concert in France of all places vocally expressed their dislike for Bush, and took a lot of heat for it. They came back, and are still claiming, that they are not un-patriotic for saying that. Well, look at what one of them had to say:

"The entire country may disagree with me, but I don't understand the necessity for patriotism," [Natalie] Maines resumes, through gritted teeth. "Why do you have to be a patriot? About what? This land is our land? Why? You can like where you live and like your life, but as for loving the whole country… I don't see why people care about patriotism."
Excuse me? Is she saying that we should not be patriotic? That loving your whole country is wrong? Again, excuse me?

As we say in Cuban Spanish - le sumba el mango, le ronca los cojones y le pone la tapa al pomo. I cannot these women are putting down being patriotic. I do hope the entire country disagrees with this nonsense.

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Friday, June 16, 2006

Vamos a Cuba book banned

Cubans have mixed feelings about banning the book, taking on the ACLU and giving the book more publicity than it would've ever had while at the same time furthering the image of the intransigent dictatorial Cuban.

Others are jumping for joy and feel a wrong was somewhat righted, since the Vamos a Cuba book presents inaccuracies of life, politics and education in Cuba - like the 26th of July being a Carnival instead of the celebration of the revolutions <i>Toma de Moncada</i>.

I am somewhat in the middle, and try to think what I would do if I had a child in this situation.  At the same time I think what would African-Americans do if a book came out about <i>Vamos a Sud Africa</i>, Let's visit South Africa, and the book somehow failed to mention apartheid.  Or what would Jews do if a book came out into schools about Let's visit Palestine, and the book spoke of how Israel is the monster and Palestinian the victims; or neglected to mention the indoctrination of Palestinian children.

In all three situations these books would be in the library, and could be used to complete homework assigned by the teachers.  While I'm all for free speech, and no to book banning, I would certainly would not want my child to be exposed to the wrong information; to be misled or to be deceived.  And that is what is at heart here, this book is a deception.

If the book depicted truthfully what live is like for kids in Cuba, and how this is the communist youth uniform and not boy scouts, I wouldn't have a problem with it.  However, lies and deception in a book geared to children aged 5-7 years old I cannot take.

Democrats are in uproar because Bush lied; Bush deceived us; yet we can sit here and allow a foreign government, enemy of the United States of America to lie to our children while our tax dollars fund the bill.  I will have none of it.

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The Censure of Venezuelan Private Television

Imagine if you will that President Bush woke up tomorrow saying that the government was going to review the operating licenses of all privately owned television channels, because they were transmitting an un-American message that is causing a rift amontg Americans.

Of course, those stations would be those that run anti-government content, so let's say tomorrow Bush announced that the operating license of CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS and ABC would be reviewed and quite possibly they would either cease operations or turn into FOX News clones.

Democrats would be in an uproar. Republicans would be in an uproar. Independents would be in an uproar. Government controlled media and news? That's a violation of Free Speech, Freedom of the Press - that would truly be a dictatorship. Scary right?

Well, that's exactly what Hugo Chavez is trying to do in Venezuela. Where are the protests?

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Thursday, June 15, 2006


You may have noticed my rythm of blogging is not the same as's not lack of interest, or running out of's those damned COMPS!!!!

What are comps you ask? Well comps is short for Comprehensive Examination. You see, I just ended the second year of my doctoral program, which means I'm done with classess. So in the fall I have to take and pass these written and oral comprehensive examinations for which ALL the material from the first two years of classes is game. ALL OF IT.

In the end comps are reduced to three questions to be answered in two days - five hours each day. Questions are open ended which means you have to basically write an essay that is supported with references. So it is like writing three term papers on the spot.

Having said that since I have to prepare for said exams, blogging will be erratic. It may be heavy at times, and non existent at others. So please, do come by every day and check - because I'll be blogging when I take breaks!!!!!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Hypocrisy of ACLU and UN

American Civil Liberties Union. Get that? American. United Nations. Get that? United.

Yet they are all over Gitmo and the treatment of the prisoners who are suspected terrorists, together with the U.N., while ignoring the treatment of US Soldiers. What the heck is wrong with that picture?

They are all over protecting the rights of American to travel to Cuba, but ignore the plights of all those on hunger strikes or imprisoned because of the lack of human rights and free speech in Cuba. People who are committing SUICIDE because the conditions are horrible. Isn't that the argument to accuse the US of the Gitmo suicides?

Silence; the ACLU and the U.N. say nothing. Hypocrites.

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US speaks Cuba screams

The US Interest Section in Havana has no electricity. This was reported yesterday by The Miami Herald and ABC News.

Well, not so says the Bearded Stooge.

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Monday, June 12, 2006

Cuba Suicides

The world seems to be in an uproar due to the suicide of three Guantanamo prisoners. Guantanamo, the same prison where about a month ago some prisoners went on a fake hunger strike in order to attack US guards.

Three suspected terrorists commit suicide and the world points the finger at the US. Who is pointing the finger when thousands of Cubans commit suicide due to the hopelessness and frustations of living in Cuba?

Previous post: Suicide in Cuba

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Quote of the Day

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Cuba's Internet Police

For those people who still want to believe that there is no censorship in Cuba's Internet, I give you this video not intended to be viewed outside the island nation. The video is the session in which they justify suspending five Cuban students for up to five years for violations that their information technology school deemed ''very grave'': running chat rooms and using school servers to sell Internet access to others. It goes to show the lengths Cubans are willing to go to in order to have access to information.

In May The Real Cuba posted the video series of Guerrilleros en la Red in which a plan to train cyber warriors to control internet access in Cuba backfired and found its students using their skills to hack their way to the outside world.

The hour long video, which is a must see and please note the Venezuela shirts, can be summarized as follows:

"There are more than 100 counter revoultionary websites....financed by CIA Cubanet and CANF website with more than 10 years presence on the Internet. There are other sites from other countries, like Spain, that attack our Cuban Revolution. Our sites have been attacked by hackers, that one can think are financed by the CIA. For example Cubaweb has been attacked various times."

The students were providing chat services using a University server - which is a very grave offense. They had relationship with a Cuban American in the US - my what a grave offense. They appropriated themselves of Internet accounts. One student had pornography and sensitive information. Indiscriminate violations of the technology code.

Arian Molina Aguilera - had a chat service in his university computer and an illegal proxy; and had sensitive University information such as student databases, had hacking softwares, chatted on which is a US site knowing the site was hosted in the US and NOT in Cuba.

Magdiel Hernandez Ramos - used Infomed accounts illegaly, administrator of MiCuba chat and had personal relationship with Relis, moderated an illegal forum illegally hosted in the computer with three illegal chat rooms, illegal use and distribution of University accounts

Ibrahim Ortega Rodriguez - illegal use of Internet accounts, principal provider of illegal passwords and accounts, he accessed illegal and pornographic sites and innocents were questioned because he was using other people's accounts, hacking and virus software

Reynaldo Mezquita Martinez - Armed Forces cadet (uproar in the audience), operated one of the chat rooms, offering chat service, use and distribution other user's accounts for web surfing, hacking and virus software. Shameful coincidence that he was a member of one of the "comites". They will pursue him being expelled from the comite and the juventud comunista.

In addition two other students were suspended: Jose Luis Malbar operated a chat room and had illegal accounts, hacking and virus software, Raul Vallejo operated a chat room in, used others accounts, hacking and virus software, illegal proxy.

The forum was opened to the public - students are aware of these "indisciplines" and do nothing about it. In other words, we need to be better informants to the authorities. Another student asked if these culprits would be penalized by criminal law as well. Man had I been there I would've get shot on the spot.

In this university 80% of our students belong to the Communist Youth.

I just finished watching the video and frankly it makes me want to throw up. The students, according to the principal speaker, were suspended rather than expelled because they are young and still in their formative years. Yeah, right. This guys are screwed for life in Cuba; they are marked for life. Even if they get to finish their education they will never amount to much because of their high treason. Sadly, it seems that more students will fall prey to this "suspensions" as the investigation is ongoing.

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Friday, June 09, 2006

Thoughts on Haditha

Update: A reader, Ziva, pointed out that William Kristol has some very interesting thoughts on Haditha, the President and the war effort. I think everyone should read it. Also, Roberto has a wonderful comment on what separates US from THEM.

I don't post much about the war, don't consider myself and expert and I'm entirely disgusted by the media coverage of it. I feel other sites, do a much better job of getting the truth out there.

We now have Haditha, which honest to God, none of my 18 summer students had a clue of what the word meant or entailed. They were clueless as to the case of the US Marines accused of murdering 12 civilian Iraquis. These are college students - lost in oblivion, not aware of the world that surrounds them or what is going on elsewhere.

It is this state of enajenamiento and of apathy that will cost us dearly as a nation. This lack of interest to inform themselves and to take sides; to be active and involved. It's that lack of involvement that makes us such and easy target for terrorists. We are not capable of even knowing and understanding our own nation, our own politics and our own problems how can we expect the future generation to care or be protected?

Now back to Haditha. Until proven otherwise these Marines are innocent in my view. I do not know the pressures or the enemies they have to fight every minute of any day to consider myself holier than them, or to even pretend to judge their judgment. But everyone, including Americans, are so quick to make them out to be guilty, to use them as scapegoats for the hate that they feel towards this nation - USA, their nation - and its leader, President Bush. What's worse, they ignore the real criminals those who everyday kill innocent civilians and members of the armed forces without thinking twice about it. Yoan Hermida said it best:

In the following weeks and months we will see a media and left-wing crusade under the banner HADITHA, much like we saw with Abu Ghraib. Let us assume - like those two groups are doing now - that the Marines are guilty of murdering 24 Iraqis. This would be morally wrong and inexcusable, and the perpetrators would be punished accordingly. The alleged crime is discovered, investigated, the accused tried, and justice served. The media and the left can have their field day. Protest, march, scream, kick, break windows, and rail against America. But what of our enemies? How many Iraqi civilians have they killed? How many contractors have they beheaded? How many burnt and hung from bridges? Thousands. Where is the moral outrage on the left for that? WHERE? How many more Iraqis will have to be blown to bits by suicide bombers and VBIEDs before a single "pacifist" group demands that violence to stop?
I wonder the same thing....when will all this groups focus on the REAL bad guys instead of the possible mistake of some of our boys?
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Some Representatives are Listening

Through all the immigration debate, one major topic has been beaten to the death - Senators were not listening to their constituents.  Apparently, learning from that lesson some Representatives are in fact listening to their constituents as they try to reconcile the bill approved by the Senate  - focused on amnesty - with the one approved by the House - focused on border security.

I personally wrote emails to my senators and representatives.  Sadly enough, only one answered trying to convince me of his stance.  The kicker was that he answered after they had approved the bill.  I'm not re-electing my two senators.

No matter which side you are on, if you vote, make your voice heard and tell Senators and Representatives alike your feelings regarding immigration.  You voted them in, they answer to YOU.  In addition, you can vote them out - and of this they are fully aware.

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Let the Brainwashing Begin

Chavez is anti-American, not anti-Bush or anti-Imperialism. There is a difference. He fills his speeches of references to the "Empire" and "Mr. Danger" while at the same time gives poor Americans discounted oil for heating so as to make his position appear POLITICAL. But he fools no one.

Now he has decided that Hollywood is also part of this evil Empire of the US. People in Venezuela are poor, hungry, without homes, without medicines and Chavez wants to make movies. Nothing like keeping people distracted from reality. Let's just hope that this doesn't turn into major brainwashing.

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Thursday, June 08, 2006

Internet Freedom

Update: Uncommon Sense has great coverage of today's Miami Herald's Editorial

This week I have two stories about Internet Freedom. The first one is the case of Google's belated mea culpa in its China entry.

The second story, is a painful one - and one that could've ended a long time ago if the world woke up from its opium induced romantic relationship with Cuba and The Bearded Stooge. Yes I'm talking about Guillermo Fariñas again. It doesn't get old, because no matter how much I scream about this story it just doesn't get any coverage.

As some of you may know he recently underwent surgery to drain his lungs. Liquid in his lungs - the guy can barely breathe. Even still, he pushes on with a hunger strike that he started in January 31st 2006 - that's 129 days ago - in order to gain access to the Internet so he can continue his job as a journalist/reporter and as head of the independent press bureau Cubanacan. The guy is DYING and all he wants is access to the Internet for him and his felllow independent journalists. The latest report on his health:

I’m Juan Carlos González Leiva, president of the Cuban Foundation of Human Rights. This Saturday, June 3rd, I visited the city of Santa Clara and, after learning of the critical state of health of Guillermo Fariñas directly from his mother, the Cuban Foundation of Human Rights, very concerned, decided to call for a nationwide vigil to fast and pray for the life of this independent journalist and psychologist as of Monday, June 5th, 2006.

We are demanding before the Cuban government, whom we hold responsible, to take note of the critical case of Guillermo Fariñas. As events concerning the critical state of Fariñas continue to develop, we make the Cuban government responsible for any incident or happening that might occur on the area surrounding the Hospital of Santa Clara.

Yes people, in Cuba there is such a thing as independent journalists - which means they are reporting what the government censures; because there is government censorship of the press in Cuba. I'd like to see how Democrats or liberals would react if Bush took CNN, MSNBC and the others away and only left FOX as the only official news agency. How's that for a slanted view of things.

And in case you are asking: if there is such censorship how do stories get out? Well let me tell you, they call people outside of Cuba and dicate their stories or sometimes they manage to type them and take them to the US Interests Section in Havana who gives them access to the Internet in order to email them out. It takes some serious cojones to be an independent reporter in Cuba.So please, spread the word on Fariñas and let your voice be heard!

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Zarqawi DEAD

I woke up this morning and even though I put on the news I must have missed this. However, Stop the ACLU did not. Via Stop the ACLU and Fox News here is the best news I've heard in a while regarding the War on Terror:
Iraqi Prime Minister Al Maliki and General Casey have announced that it is official that Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi has been killed in a US Air raid. He has been positively identified by finger prints. Also killed in the raid were 7 of his henchmen.
Fox News reports:
BAGHDAD, Iraq — Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Al Qaeda-linked militant who led a bloody campaign of suicide bombings, kidnappings and hostage beheadings in Iraq, has been killed in a U.S. air raid north of Baghdad, Iraq’s prime minister said Thursday.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said al-Zarqawi was killed along with seven aides Wednesday evening in a house 30 miles northeast of Baghdad in the volatile province of Diyala.

“Today, al-Zarqawi was eliminated,” al-Maliki told a news conference, drawing loud applause from reporters as he was flanked by U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and U.S. Gen. George Casey, the top U.S. commander in Iraq.

Al-Maliki said the air strike was the result of intelligence reports provided to Iraqi security forces by residents in the area, and U.S. forces acted on the information.

“Those who disrupt the course of life, like Al-Zarqawi, will have a tragic end,” he said.

Khalilzad added “the death of Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi is a huge success for Iraq and the international war on terror.”

The Jordanian-born militant, who is believed to have personally beheaded at least two American hostages, became Iraq’s most wanted militant, as notorious as Usama bin Laden, to whom he swore allegiance in 2004. The United States put a $25 million bounty on his head, the same as bin Laden.

Iraqi Police were first on the scene after the airstrike. And it has been reported that Jordanian officials were invoved in pinpointing his location based on some recent video tape.

Reports out of Baghdad state that information to Zarqawi’s location came from local residents tipping off the Iraqi Police and Security forces. One report even says that it was a member of Zarqawi’s inner circle that gave the key information.

Zarqawi was holding a meeting inside a “safe-house” about 30 miles north of Baghdad.

It is ironic that Zarqawi has been killed less than 20 miles from where Saddam Hussain was found hiding in that spider hole. It is hoped that with the death of Zarqawi that the insurgency will start to fall apart and the differing sides in Iraq will finally come together and solve their problems.

Fox is reporting that long standing ovations and cheering at the announcement of Zarqawi’s death. Even the press corps! There is speculation that also killed in the attack was Zarqawi’s #2 Sheikh Abdul Rahman. Rahman you may remember was the center of the initial insurgency.

The airstrike took place at about 1815 (6:15 pm) 7 June Baghdad time. Official announcement of Zarqawi’s death didn’t come until 0900 (9am) 8 June Baghdad time suggesting that there was no rush to judgement on the identification of Zarqawi’s body.

Bush Congratulates the troops.

President Bush said Thursday that the death of al-Qaida leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is “a severe blow” to the al-Qaida terrorist network and a decisive victory in the U.S.-led war against terorrism.

“Now Zarqawi has met his end,” Bush said in the White House Rose Garden. “And this violent man will never murder again.”

Bush listed some of the most visible terror operations that Zarqawi led or masterminded including the bombing of the U.N. headquarters in Iraq, the beheading of American hostages and the assassinatio of a U.S. diplomat in Jordan.

Bush praised the work of the U.S. military and Iraqi allies in killing Zarqawi, but was careful to point out that this singular development will not end terror attacks in Iraq.

Iraq The Model is celebrating while Iraqi’s are dancing in the streets.

Also see: Hot Air
Gateway Pundit
Counterterrorism Blog
All Things Beautiful
Bright and Early
Florida Masochist
Captain’s Quarters
Euphoric Reality
Expose The Left
Michelle Malkin

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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

A Little Too Late?

Times Online reports that Google is having second thoughts about it entry into the Chinese market; to the point of admitting that they may have compromised its principles. I wonder if this sort of mea culpa is an honest one or simply a reaction to the avalanche of criticism it has received since: from bowing to Chinese censorship on dissidents to accusations of bias in its Google News site.
The pact made between Google and China’s leaders led to the internet company being branded "a megaphone for communist propaganda" at a US Congressional hearing called after the move.

Critics including Reporters Without Borders, the press freedom group, have called China "the world champion" of internet censorship. The country has invested heavily in a sophisticated filtering system, dubbed "The Great Firewall", which allows the authorities to search out dissidents and block their sites.

Mr Brin said: "We felt that perhaps we could compromise our principles but provide ultimately more information for the Chinese and be a more effective service and perhaps make more of a difference."

The lure of the massive Chinese market has also seen Google's arch-rivals Microsoft and Yahoo! dragged into the controversy. In particular, Yahoo! has been condemned for handing over e-mail details that led to several outspoken Chinese bloggers being jailed.
Makes you wonder if the "do no evil" motto would weigh more than the "rake in the money" they seem to be following. If Google is really repentant of its action, the only fair, sincere, and respectable thing to do would be to SHOW it by withdrawing from the Chinese market and foregoing those profits.

After all, their motto is "do no evil" - it seems maintaining their entry in China is in complete opposition to that philosophy.

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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Puerto Rican Exodus?

Update: After reader Roberto mentioned the comments section of the story I went and read some of the comments. It was sad to see that although there were many supporting the men in blue in their decision to leave, there were just as many criticizing their search for a better future and even worse - hoping, wishing them failure. How sad.

An article in El Nuevo Dia today (in Spanish) tells the story of the recruitment effort of the Baltimore City police in Puerto Rico. Yup, you read right. The Baltimore City police has around 200 openings and they are in Puerto Rico administering tests and interviewing current Puerto Rico Police members.

A policeman in Puerto Rico is grossly underpaid so needless to say, Baltimore Police recruiters were taken aback by the 450 applicants that showed up on the FIRST day. 450 current police officers willing to "brincar el charco" - literally jump water - and move to Baltimore. Why? Because of money - the US pays their policemen a respectable salary something non-existent within Puerto Rico. Add to that the recent fiscal crisis, and you have to wonder why aren't there more people leaving. As one officer aptly put it:

"They credit my 10 years of experience and offer me a salary of $54,000. I can retire in 10 more years when I turn 40."

However, I do have to ask myself if these 450 willing souls have ever watched an episode of The Wire or Homicide for that matter - if they have a clue as to what they are facing in Baltimore, in particular (if memory doesn't fail me) the East side. Maryland is not one of the most dangerous states for free - its DC suburbs as well as Baltimore are both high in violent crimes. Not that PR doesn't have its share of violent crimes, but having lived in both I can attest that Baltimore is a whole new ballgame for these men in blue.

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Monday, June 05, 2006

Prejudiced Liberals

Liberals think they are above conservatives: they are not prejudiced or racist but rather advocate diversity and multiculturalism. Bullshit. They advocate both but ONLY within their ranks, only within their liberalism and only while it serves them.

Liberals, the kool aid drinking type as well as regular liberals, suffer the same fault ALL humans suffer - it's called attribution, or more appropriately misattribution. Attribution is when you attribute an attitude to an object or person, based on a behavior or event - usually causal. In plain English, is when you make explanations about someone's behavior without really researching - like an assumption.

Misattribution of course is when said attribution is negative or made in error - like prejudiced. Right wingers and conservatives are continuously accused of being intolerant, racists, bigots that censor out dissenting opinions. How interesting that liberals espouse the same behavior albeit mask it as "defending the victim". Superhero. Yeah right.

Today I read this post at LatinoPundit which had a story by the L.A. Times that spoke about a meeting among African-Americans and Hispanic/Latinos to discuss immigration issues. The story referred to the meeting as a "black and brown roundtable". Honestly, I couldn't get past that paragraph. In my view, this remark was offensive because it was exclusionist. It made the issue a race issue; it made Hispanics a SINGLE race, a SINGLE group ignoring the diversity - that same diversity liberals profess to love - withing the Hispanic community.

Hispanic or Latino is an ethnicity NOT a race - there can be Black, Asian, White and Native American Hispanics and every combination of those four you can think of. Taking offense to this misattribution I commented the following:
As far as the MM go, well they just find out where the events are and go protest, just like everybody else.

As for telling somewhat what to do I'm lost; are you attacking Dymally for telling people that immigration is not an important issue?

I'm still trying to get over the "black and brown roundtable" which sounds more like a chocolate chip cookie than an actual meeting. Hispanic is an ethnicity not a race, so this brown thing, like we are ALL a different race is starting to get under my skin.
Because you know, I'm tired of this confusion of Hispanics being a race, and everyone ignoring the variety of Hispanics there are. Of course a conservative talking about respecting and recognizing diversity somehow turns out to be a racist, as this was the response by the site editor:
Now YOU lost ME...who's talking about race vs ethnicity? And what's to get over? Some blacks and latinos get together to talk and you have a problem with that? And then you insult others with your chocolate chip cookie comment.

Thanks but no thanks but we don't need racist remarks here... YOU ARE BANNED FROM POSTING HERE. And so is anyone else who have some smart remarks!
Sort of double standards don't you think? I'm not one to make public spats with bloggers, but given that I've emailed with this blogger before, and commented multiple times on his site as he has on mine, I thought there should've been more respect - or at least benefit of the doubt. I of course responded to LP, pointing out his bad case of misattribution:
You should consult with people you know before you ban them, instead of making RACIST attributions which my friend makes you more of a racist than whatever you think I am. I can see you don't afford your faithful readers and commenters the benefit of the doubt, or a chance to explain their comments. You just assume the worst and take action with name calling and intolerance. I thought I was supposed to be the conservative Republican here; turns out you behave like what you criticize a right wing intolerant who does not listen nor considers a misinterpretation.

Please explain how it is that me criticizing a newstory for the use of "black and brown" versus, let's say African-Americans and Hispanic/Latino racist? What kool aid are you drinking from and where the hell did your reaction come from? We are not "brown". I will not accept the term "brown" for Hispanic or Latino. I find it offensive because it is RACIST in that it is EXCLUSIONIST. What the heck happened to Black Hispanics, or Asian Hispanics, or White Hispanics or Mulatto Hispanics, or the different Native Indian Hispanics or all the other races within the Hispanic/Latino group?

When a newspaper uses brown versus Hispanic or Latino IT IS making it a RACE issue versus an Ethnic issue. If you have a problem with diversity and defending it, maybe you should rethink being a liberal Democrat.

Go ahead and ban me, if I really wanted to I can keep posting under different names and from different IP addresses and you would never know it's me. But given your behavior and your lack of respect towards me - again for making such an offensive attribution without as much as a chance to explain - I don't have any interest in posting at your site anymore. Man, I don't even ban the communist freaks that show up in my site hailing Castro.

I expected much more from you.
I really did. In particular when the blogger is a Hispanic pro diversity Liberal Democrat.

Fariñas Bright Light might be Dimming

Last week I reported at Babalú about Fariñas' emergency surgery to save his life. Today El Nuevo Herald has a story in Spanish, about his very delicate state of health.

Please keep Guillermo Fariñas, his life and his cause in your prayers.

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Friday, June 02, 2006

Pinging but Technorati is not listening

I've been traveling for the past two weeks so I hadn't realized that Technorati was apparently not receiving my pings. I noticed a decrease in traffic, but blamed it on the sporadic posting on my part.

However, it appears Technorati is to blame as it is not receiving (or not tagging) my pings. According to Technorati my last post was 20 days ago - when I posted about the death of Eusebio Penalver. 20 days ago.

It has not picked up any post since then. This happened recently to John at Marathon Pundit, so I asked his advice - "keep pestering them." and John was down two months! I remember thinking maybe Technorati is editing its content.

Has anyone else had this problem? I'd like to hear from other bloggers on how they solved this and what excuse Technorati gave them. I've written to Technorati but have yet to hear from them.

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The furor over "Academia Semillas del Pueblo"

I'm sure by now, leftist apologists somewhere are calling all who are denouncing this school as being "racist" as racists and bigots themselves. After all, for the liberal left tolerance and diversity only flow one way - theirs. It's either their way or the highway.

Let's evaluate the facts cold and hard, and understand why it is not the existence of this school that's a problem, but the type of school it is. Academia Semillas del Pueblo is a Charter School. What is that you ask? According to the National Center for Education Statistics a Charter School is defined as:

"A public charter school is a publicly funded school that, in accordance with an enabling state statute, has been granted a charter exempting it from selected state or local rules and regulations. A charter school may be newly created, or it may previously have been a public or private school; it is typically governed by a group or organization (e.g., a group of educators, a corporation, or a university) under a contract or charter with the state. In return for funding and autonomy, the charter school must meet accountability standards. A school's charter is reviewed (typically every 3 to 5 years) and can be revoked if guidelines on curriculum and management are not followed or the standards are not met."
The operative words here are publicly funded school. Ok, so what is the big deal? Well the big deal is that the principal of the school, Marcos Aguilar, and the apparent philosophy of the school is based on AZTLAN teachings and philosophy - meaning they are teaching kids anti-American sentiment. With public funding. In addition, some of the donors raise more than one eyebrow:

National Council of La Raza Charter School Development Initiative
Raza Development Fund, Inc.
Glendale Nissan/Infinity, Inc.
The Latino Museum of History, Art and Culture California State University, Los Angeles Pasadena City College

I first heard of this story on Malkin, who has excellent coverage not only on the school and its principal but on reports that a reporter trying to interview the school's principal was attacked. Babalú has a link to an interview with the school's principal by an UCLA student, where you can evaluate his radical philosophy and his purpose for this school. Meanwhile, Michelle has posted news reports on the journalist attacked. The Free Republic has also been covering this story.

Where is the ACLU protecting the civil liberties of said reporter? Or protecting the education (or should we say indoctrination) of the kids who tomorrow will be adults? Keep in mind that these movements, both MeCHA and AZTLAN are reconquista movements, whose goal is to "take back" the southwest.

Most surprising is the fact, that according to the reports the school is doing horribly academically which you would never know from their website. However, from their website you can pretty much see that their curriculum is separatist even if they admit children of all races and ethnicity. According to official reports on a scale of 1 through 10 the school is academically scoring a 1 as measured by state standards, which could put renewing their charter in jeopardy.

So we have a school teaching a separatist philosophy, and in some cases a religious philosophy with public funding. What the heck? I bet you if tomorrow anyone wanted to open a Christian Charter School all hell would break loose, literally. First in line of course would be the ACLU. Yet we can have a school that indoctrinates kids with anti-American and separatist sentiment.

If you live in California, I urge you to express your disgust to your Senators and Representatives alike.

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Thursday, June 01, 2006


Going to Mami's house to visit usually becomes a trip through memory lane. Since she is aware for my love for our family history, she will unearth anything she has found that connects us to Cuba.

For example, one of my prized possessions from this trip, is an article from Bohemia Puerto Rico on my cousin Jorge Rojas Castellanos. There is another one in Avance. Both will move you to tears as they did me, but I need to translate them so all my readers can enjoy and admire this young man as much as I do.

But before we get all sappy, I have a shock factor for all of you - an abanico or hand fan Mami brought me that nearly made me choke on my cafecito. I have no clue why this was taken out of Cuba - I can only guess someone thought it would be worth some dollars at some point in time. First I'll show you the back - which is advertising for a farmacia.

I've often wondered on the what if's of Cuba, and this one has been my biggest. I warn all of you this image might induce rage, hate and everything else. So just like Val has his email Fidel link, let's take this opportunity to vent at the same time some may remember. I would also appreciate if people can address the second guy in the picture.

Now for the front of the abanico: Riddle me this, riddle me that, who are these bearded basts?

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