Monday, March 31, 2008

Changes in Cuba

The media is abuzz and in a frenzy about all the changes taking place in Cuba under Raulito. Cubans can now buy cellphones. Cubans can now go into tourist hotels. Do you see a pattern? CAN NOW as in they COULDN'T BEFORE. Yet no matter how many times we spoke of the Cuban apartheid, we were laughed in our faces; dismissed as Batistianos or an elite group of exiles that wanted to take Cuba back to the Vegas era. Huh?

Not long ago I watched a "documentary" in the Discovery channel of The Mafia in Cuba. I love all things Cosa Nostra so I watched in order to visualize the stories I had heard from my father, the tropical ganster, about Meyer Lansky. Papi was a big Cosa Nostra fan. I digress. Somewhere in this documentary, because you know Batista had allowed the gangsters and Americans to take over Cuba, and I quote "Cuban women had no choice but to turn to prostitution" because of lack of resources - food, shelter, etc.

Ah, the typical propaganda I thought as I screamed at the TV. How bad Cuba was before Fifo and what a fucking paradise it is today. So much of a paradise that things that had been called lies for years, the apartheid in Cuba in favor of foreigners, are now agents of change. Look at the new freedoms! Look at how good Raulito is!!! Look we are changing!

Where was all this press heralding when Cubans couldn't own cellphones nor couldn't go into hotels?

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Turkey stands out as a model of a secular Muslim country that other Muslim countries could eventually follow. However, as much as I understand the fear of becoming and Islamic Republic, the actions they are taking are quite dangerous.

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

The End of AAV?

Just like that the federal probe against Puerto Rico's governor Anibal Acevedo Vila comes to an abrupt end.

Press conference is still going on so look for more info later. So far I believe he's being indicted on about 18 charges of fraud, including defrauding the IRS.

Sadly, one of Puerto Rico's most notable advertising agencies, Lopito, Ileana and Howie have also fallen withing this investigation.

The brunt of the charges is Election funds overspending. The indictment accuses AAV among others from spending beyond the $11million limit in order to pay a debt of the governor's previous election campaign for resident commissioner in which they overspend about $545K.

I've never liked AAV, and he's been a horrible governor for PR, so I'm glad to see him up to his neck and possibly having to resign. This can only mean that PR will surely have a change in command come the November elections.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Republicans 1, Democrats 0

This elections are hard for me since no one candidate really excites me. Therefore, it is now where I start to watch them closely in order to help me decided which way I vote. Some of you might freak when you read this, but although my values lie with the Republicans their candidates don't always appeal to me. That being said....

McCain has just scored his first check mark in my pros column.
“it is not the duty of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly, whether they are big banks or small borrowers.”
I couldn't agree more.
“Capital markets work best when there is both accountability and transparency,” he said. “In the case of our current crisis, both were lacking.”
Was McCain the subject of an alien abduction? It is refreshing to see someone rational on this issue.
“We must have greater transparency in the lending process so that every borrower knows exactly what he is agreeing to and where every lender is required to meet the highest standards of ethical behavior,”
In other words, let's push for more responsible lending in the future. I agree; many people fall prey of unethical lending practices and it is an industry that should be regulated so customers are not taken advantage of. However, this does not mean customers can borrow irresponsibly hoping the government will bail them out.
“Any assistance for borrowers should be focused solely on homeowners, not people who bought houses for speculative purposes, to rent or as second homes,” he said.
Touche (sorry don't know how to do the accents on the Mac). It goes without saying that I do not agree with the Democratic position on this issue.

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Today March 24th my life starts anew

No I didn't decide it; life decided it for me say about 5 seconds ago.

The past year and a half has been a roller coaster made bearable thanks to Celexa and Wellbutrin. But bearable does not mean enjoyable. My father passed away, I broke my hand, I got an entire year behind in my degree and I became a madrina.

A year and a half ago my life changed forever. No matter how hard I try I cannot recapture who I was before learning of my father's death. I've come to the realization, that I'm not supposed to go back but go forward. That person is gone and will never come back. Who I am today, is what I need to be concerned with; it's this new person I need to shape

It's been tough dealing with whom I've become, and its been tougher dealing with the lack of motivation brought about by the depression. It has been specially hard because for emotionally handicapped people like me, it takes a while to figure out what changed and how to accomodate.

So, forty pounds later, and depressant free I have discovered that I have a very wide range of emotion, and that I can albeit hard, push myself to accomplish my tasks and my goals.

Exercise, healthy eating and my proposal are my priorities right now. They should lead to pregnancy, a good job and graduation within the next year.

It's scary to feel the way I do; it's even scarier to still choke and break down with the slightest remembrance of my father. The pills have done their job, now it's time to do mine. So I welcome the new me to this world of uncertainties that scares the shit out of me, but that I don't want to miss.

Papi lived his life out of a bottle, and let it pass him by for the most part. I want to embrace ALL of it, the good and the bad. And for those of you that don't know me well this is a HUGE step for me.

I'm sure wherever he and abuela are, they approve; heck I'm positive it was them causing that surge about a minute ago.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Obama and Wright and wrong

I'm not a fan of Obama, but I was rooting for him to win the Democratic nomination. I thought what a great thing it would be for a Black to win a nomination, and for Hillary to get shafted. I also wanted to see how the Democrats would handle the race issue and proved me right about Hillary: it's all about power no matter who is in the middle.

So in a way, I was very disappointed when I saw and heard Rev. Wright's now infamous diatribes about how we deserved 9/11, about how we invented AIDS for genocide (probably more how the white man invented AIDS to cleanse Africa of the brothers) and that hurtful phrase that I still can't believe any citizen would say - God Damn America. They are not light words, and for someone who wasn't running on race having your spiritual leader be all about race became an issue.

You read the MSM and get two points of view: the speech was either the second coming of Christ or it was filled with contradictions. I've seen more of the former than of the latter. Still, not that many people are holding Obama accountable and responsible for his pastor's comments. After all this is his pastor and his church for the past 20 years. If any priest at any church started anything like this, on the spot I get up and leave. Trust me, I've done it for less inflammatory things.

So, today, I was pleasantly surprised when Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe called Obama on his excuse of not thinking this was a problem before it affected his possible nomination. In college I wrote once about reverse racism (if there is such a term) of Blacks being racists with Whites while complaining of racism against them. That is a double standard that still exists and no one addresses - and is what makes this such a strong issue for me.

For example, Obama quickly stated Imus should be fired yet his pastor is "provocative". Even more, he stated
"There's nobody on my staff who would still be working for me if they made a comment like that about anybody of any ethnic group"
yet Rev. Wright is was part of his staff; and had these videos not made it to the public, he probably still would be.

I have no doubt that Hillary could possibly be behind this; yes even more so than Republicans. But it shows that Obama has a double standard; and as Jeff Jacoby so eloquently states:
Such a clanging double standard raises doubts about Obama's character and judgment, and about his fitness for the role of race-transcending healer. Yesterday's speech was finely crafted, but it leaves some troubling questions unanswered.
I really encourage you go read the whole article.

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Monday, March 17, 2008


Update: It's official, my husband will become a citizen on April 7th!

Big day tomorrow!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Too Bad

It is rare for me these days to find a journalist that writes an op-ed piece with which I agree 100%. Sometimes I watch the factor, but I don't always agree with O'Reilly. Sometimes I watch CNN but the bias can be too much.

However, Glenn Beck today nails it on the head. Too fucking bad. From Michigan to Florida, to open borders and borrowing from China Glenn calls out for responsibility.
Voters in Florida and Michigan should ask themselves one important question before they blindly follow their party: Why did no one seem to care about "alienating" them last year when the rules were intentionally broken? It's only now, when their vote really matters, that everyone is suddenly so concerned about "enfranchising" them.
Some of you will argue that the punishment was too hard. Maybe. But they knew it going in, and as Glenn states nobody seemed to care then. But when do politicians act or do what their constituents want?
If you want to talk about disenfranchised voters, then let's talk about why just 17 percent of Americans have a positive view of Congress. Let's talk about why we still have wide open borders despite most Americans wanting them sealed. Let's talk about why we keep selling out our sovereignty and our security by borrowing billions of dollars from-less-than friendly countries, such as China.
I couldn't have said it better myself. There is hope after all that someone out there still believes in personal responsibility; in following the rules and in being punished and sucking it up when you break them.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Racist Democrats?

I know, I know. Saying that all Democrats are tolerant diverse embracing people is just as erroneous as saying all Republicans are prejudiced bigots. But truth of the matter is Democrats pride themselves in being tolerant and diverse embracing and are quick to call Republicans as prejudiced bigots.

It is under this premise that the Democrat primary has been so interesting and fun to watch: it is exposing the fact that there is racism among the Democrat lines. The Chicago tribune has a great article with interesting facts.
In the poll, 10 percent of white Democrats said they would cross party lines and support McCain if Clinton is the nominee. But twice as many—20 percent—said they would back McCain if Obama is nominated. White Democrats without a college degree were even more likely to defect if Obama is nominated: 24 percent said so.

In Ohio, a fifth of voters in the Democratic primary said race was an important factor in their vote, according to exit polls; voters favored Clinton, 59% to 39% suggesting that 12% of Democrats there are resistant to a black candidate. And that counts only voters willing to tell a clipboard-bearing stranger that race was an important factor in their decision to vote against a black man.
Interesting, don't you think? Especially when you consider the lengths Hill is willing to go to include those pesky FL and MI primaries.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Say What?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Words, Race and Politics

Arianna Huffington, of the HuffPost, failed McCain on a litmus leadership test for the senator's lack of passion in disagreeing with racially charged insults hurled at Obama by one of the senator's backers.

How quickly the tides change. Let's see what grade the Clintonistas get.

Are you enjoying this as much as I am?

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Thursday, March 06, 2008

The Colombia Incursion

Update: Add another loon to the bunch

Let's state the obvious: Colombia violated international law. I don't think anyone disagrees on that point. However, we don't exist in a vacuum and neither do laws. Everything has a context and must be evaluated from there.

It is unclear at which point Colombia physically crossed the Ecuadorian border, but they clearly fired from their side to the FARC rebels on the Ecuadorian side. Initially, Correa (Ecuador's president) was fine with the justification Uribe had given hime. But then, for no reason, Chavez started ranting and raving - he actually still is - and the rest of Latin America followed suit.

Colombia did what they though they needed to do - kill the second in command of the FARC rebels. They had the opportunity to kill him and they took it. I'd venture that they followed the premise "es mejor pedir perdon que haber pedido permiso" given their long standing suspicions that both the Ecuadorian and Venezuelan government have been willingly harboring FARC rebels.

Honestly, I cannot think of any other country that would not have done the same thing and here is where I'm surprised at the reaction from the governments of Latin America. Every government that has pronounced itself on the issue has condemned Colombia. I understand, they violated international law. But is it inexcusable? Is this that hard to empathize with their situation?

I would've expected governments to condemn Colombia but at the same time acknowledge that they understand, even if it is inexcusable behavior. After all, if you kill whoever killed your parents, I'd understand. It violates law and its inexcusable, but I understand. See there is this thing in criminal law called mitigating factors such as self defense, imminent danger, distress, etc. Why do we not extend these to countries?

It disappoints me to see everyone so quick to condemn, so quick to hype the rhetoric and no one telling Chavez what the King of Spain so eloquently said: Por que no te callas?

Venezuela has beefed up the border, mentioned war and peace in the same utterance, and is now threatening to nationalize Colombia's assets in Venezuela. Why? Because he knows the evidence that Colombia has is probably true. Why aren't the other governments pronouncing themselves on this? How come no one is saying that if true those are really inexcusable, threatening and unacceptable behaviors? Why is no one saying that if true they constitute a violation of Colombia's sovereignty?

I mean, come'on, some of the allegations have Chavez conspiring with FARC to overthrow the Colombian government. It seems Peru has forgotten what the Senderos Luminos is; it seems Chile has forgotten the FPMR still exists and is armed and active. And Chavez seems to have forgotten that funding opposing groups in other countries is about as imperialist as you get, according to his rhetoric.

Everyone is throwing Colombia under the bus; no ifs ands or buts. Chavez going as far as calling it the Israel of Latin America. For someone who "espouses" Bolivar's dream of unification, and someone who denounces imperialism his behavior demonstrate opposite view. He doesn't want a unification of Latin America, unless of course it comes under his own imperialism movement.

If anything, the world has learned a bit more of what a hypocrite Chavez is. I hope the case at The Hague stands and Chavez is shown for what he is a goon trying to incite a war so he can turn around and tell his people, see? I told you they wanted our oil.

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