Saturday, October 28, 2006

Cuba Slavetrader?

Cuba has been accused of slave labor, trading Cubans to Curacao for ship labor of 13+ hours days in the "worst conditions" possible.

Read it all here. So much for The Bearded Stooge loving his people, and treating them equally. I bet you no one in the Castro household was part of this labor force.

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Friday, October 27, 2006

South Park

I was never a fan of Steve Irwin. Personally, I thought he was annoying. But annoying or not, the guy recently died, his family is still mourning and they most certainly do not deserve this.

You'd think the irreverents at South Park would know the meaning of mourning period before mocking the dead. Have some respect for Irwin's family; is that so much to ask?

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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Dead Fidel?

The NRO is reporting a Funeral for a Tyrant.

(H/T Babalu)

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Saturday, October 21, 2006

"Bling Bling" to good use

I've been wanting to report on this story for a while, but you all know that my heart has been on other things.

Many times I've thought of how much education could be improved if rappers and professional athletes (who have made it out of the ghetto) would put some money back into their communities - schools, after school programs, scholarships for urban youth, etc.

Sometimes it seems they are just to busy trying to forget and show off. But at least some people do remember that their fame and their newfound money can help others. Such is the case of Daddy Yankee.

Daddy Yankee is a Puertorican reggaeton singer who is pretty much credited with taking reggaeton out of the underground and making it mainstream. He is also a hard worker who beleives in education.

"Blinblineando" is a initiative he developed with support from Puerto Rico's Department of Education and El Nuevo Dia newspaper, to provide 16 schools with new equipment. Granted 16 schools is not much; but it is a start. And frankly, I haven't seen any other Puertorican celibrity giving back to the community in recent years.

The fact that "El Cangri" as he is affectionately called, is giving $160K of his money and had the motivation to push for this program and the interest to improve the education of those with less than him shines more than any Bling Bling he may be sporting.

We can only hope that other stars such as Sean John, Snoop Dog, Ludicrous, Beyonce, Usher etc. follow in Daddy Yankee's footsteps.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Haven't we heard this before?

Evo Morales accuses the US of plotting to kill him. Same as Chavez. Same as Castro. Same as so many others.....

If memory doesn't fail me, I'd venture to say the only time (in recent history) the US has been successful of an "assassination" was with the US backed coup in Chile where Allende was killed or committed suicide - but was not solely assassinated.

It seems to me that for all the US imperialist glory, for being such a powerful and machiavellic nation as the Three Stooges claim we are, we should be able to assassinate them before they even get a whiff of the conspiracy. Sadly, their constituents are not bright enough to realize this and are gullible enough to believe any lie presented with the US as the bad guy.

Seriously, if the US was half of what we are accused of being - none of this people would even exist.

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Paz y Tranquilidad

That was Papi's longtime wish. "All I want is paz y tranquilidad," he would always say. He finally got his wish. Death hits you like a ton of bricks, and there is nothing you can do about it.

Papi used to call every other Saturday - the week of the 15th and the week of the 30th. He never missed a day. Never. He never answered the phone either if you were the one calling him; but every once in a while he would, or he would call you back.

He was due to call Saturday September 30th - he didn't. I was at a conference, so I assumed he had called Mami first, learned I was at a conference and not called. He will call next Saturday I told myself. The grind of the week swallowed me up and it was Saturday again, this time October 7th. No phone call. No one had heard from him. No one. We contacted some friends in PR to go by his apartment. The news were not good.

There in front of his door, newspapers piled up since September 23rd. A concerned neighbor came out and said he was worried; he hadn't seen him in a while. They called the police - but the police cannot go in unless there is a family member present. So they called me.

At 6:15am my husband and I boarded a plane to San Juan. Before 11am we had called the police, and I was at Papi's door. I stuck my nose through the hole where the peephole used to be. My heart sank and my eyes started to sting. Tears sprung out uncontrollably, but I recomposed myself.

Papi lived alone. After the divorce, my brother lived with him for a while, but then my brother moved to Miami. I always prayed to God that whatever happened, I would have time to get to PR - I did not want Papi to die alone. I rather he have a heart attack in front of me. If that was not possible, then I also told God, I wanted Papi to go in his sleep. My biggest fear was that he would have a fall, or need help, and die because there was no one around.

Not knowing what I would find, I had told my husband I did not want to go in, and asked if he would - I did not want the last memory I had of my father to be him dead. My husband didn't even blink, and followed the police in. Papi died in his sleep of a massive heart attack. He looked peaceful, there was no expression of pain in his face. He had been dead two weeks before we found him - or so we estimated by the date of the newspapers. Two weeks there by himself. I cried in my husband's embrace, and quickly gathered myself. Mami was on her way, and Papi's closest friends were there. I had to be strong, look strong, always stoic.

Dying alone, in your home and without a doctor is a red tape nightmare in a country whose laws are based on the codigo civil rather than common law. At around 4pm, the funeral home was allowed to come and take him to the morgue. The next morning we were at the morgue by 8am; I cried in front of the interviewer as I pleaded with her to release my father without an autopsy. By some miracle, she complied and the funeral home was able to take back Papi.

His last wish? To be cremated and released at La Bahia de San Juan. It was Monday and we were leaving Wednesday. But the Lord moves in mysterious ways, and so it was that Wednesday morning - after a beautiful mass Tuesday afternoon with his ashes present - my husband got a local fisherman to take us out into the bay where we released his ashes and marked the site with yellow roses. The ocean looked so beautiful with the roses. Papi was finally resting; he finally had paz y tranquilidad.

Papi was an immigrant all his life. Born in Lugo, Galicia Spain he migrated as a child to Cuba where teased by his classmates he quickly dropped his Spanish accent for the Cuban accent. He worked hard all his life. At the age of 14 he worked side by side with his father, while going to school as well. He barely got 3-5 hours of sleep. At the age of 21, he had achieved his dream - to own his own business: a restaurant bar named Wall Street.

In the 60's he left Cuba as soon as he could and moved back to Spain, where he met my mother who was also fleeing Cuba. They settled in Puerto Rico, where he worked for a while as a salesman for Kimberly Clarke. But Papi was a hard worker, and he liked to own his business. So once he had enough capital, he and three other Spaniards he had befriended in the island, created a partnership of four Panaderias. Papi loved us all very much - but his Panaderia was the love of his life. The picture above was the opening day of said partnership, and that is how I want everyone to remember my father.

He was not perfect, no one really is. He had his faults, but I loved him anyway and he loved me. I was his muñequita because to him I was beautiful; his garrapata because I always clinged to him as a child, and his cacharrita which came from the song cachita. He was very proud of me and had no qualms in telling me that he loved me or in sending me kisses over the phone.

This past Father's Day I wished him a Happy Father's Day. His reply?
"You called me so it already is a happy day."
I will miss you always Papi. Descansa en Paz

Thursday, October 05, 2006


No I haven't died.
No I haven't give up blogging.
No, there hasn't been a shortage of news.
Yes I've been that busy with school.

So consider this an open thread to post newsworthy Foleygate (as Roberto calls it), that debacle of cover up of a Republican house member sending inappropriate emails and instant messages to male teenage pages - and no one doing anything about it.  Jesus, did the Catholic Church scandal not teach us anything?  This issue has divided Republicans (no, not down the middle more like 90/10) since most GOPers believe Hastnert should be fired, or resign, as well as everyone else who knew about this.  I do believe part of the problem is the lack of term limits.  People, we need to break up these good ole boys networks - from Ted Kennedy down - Senators and House members should NOT serve more than two terms consecutively.

You can also discuss the illegal immigrants accusing Dunkin and Applebee's of discrimination.  Why?  Well, because the Social Security sent the restaurants a no-match list, and they got fired.  Let's see, you come here illegally, illegally obtain a Social Security number (fraud) and then get a job, again illegally, get caught, get fired, and it's discrimination?  Hello?

Thirdly, in Iraq it seems the US Forces have to take back some policing duties due to unethical Iraqui police members suspected of cooperating with section violence and surprisingly, Iraquis are welcoming the firings (or should I say dismissals?) and the re-involvement of the US Forces.  It seems the Iraquis have more faith in our boys than some people over here in the mainland.

So, what do you want to talk about?  Post links and or comments.

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