HispanicVista.com Weekly Digest - Columnists & Commentaries
- HispanicVista.com Weekly Digest for Oct. 17-23, 2003
COLUMNISTS & COMMENTARY SECTION
Use Goals to Guide
By Michael G. Santos
In last week's article I described recidivists as those people who return to
prison after their release from a previous period of confinement. Statistics
vary on precise definitions, but it is generally understood that at least six
out of every ten people who serve time return to confinement for some reason or
other after their initial release. The new arrest may come within days after
release, or perhaps not for several years. The point is that too many
prisoners waste their time in prison. When they do, they simultaneously condition
themselves to fail in society. I know, because not only have I lived as federal
prisoner since 1987, I also have studied and written about it extensively.
Minorities and the Media
By Erika Robles
Our perceptions of people from different nationalities and races have often
been formed by images from the media: films, music, newspapers, magazines -but
mostly from TV news. The same way overseas media often portrays
White-Americans as fat, ignorant about what's happening outside the US, naïve, and loud, the
US media portrays African-Americans as "criminals," Hispanic Americans as
"illegal aliens," Arab Americans as "terrorists" and Native Americans as "lazy."
Latino Dreams: An American Story
By Manuel Hernández/HispanicVista.com
Several thousand years ago, there was a young man who had a dream. He was the
youngest of eleven brothers and the dearest and beloved of his parents. His
brothers worked outdoors attending the flock while he stayed indoors
safeguarded by his parents. One day, he dreamed that his family would reverence him and
that through divine knowledge, he would save the world from famine and
disaster. His father scolded him, and his brothers plotted to kill him. As a
consequence, he was sold by his brothers as a slave and sent to a far and distant
The Mayor's Road Show
By Richard Baldwin/HispanicVista.com
A while back, the Mayor of Ectapec, a suburb of Mexico (City), discovered
that his predecessor was making $540,000 USD per year as the mayor of that gritty
suburb. The new mayor cut his salary down to a more reasonable $108,000 USD.
He was listening to his people who had voted out the previous political party
COLUMN OF THE AMERICAS
By Patrisia Gonzales and Roberto Rodriguez --- In Defense of the Earth, Sun
Editor's note: This is a first-person column by Roberto Rodriguez.
It's long been said that all's fair in love and war. Maybe so. However,
during California's recent recall love-fest, a great disservice by the nation's
media was unfairly visited upon the national student organization MEChA, or
Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan. During the recall, Lt. Gov. Cruz
Bustamante was excoriated by both politicians and the media because he refused to
denounce MEChA, an organization he was part of in the 1970s. For a decade MEChA
has raised the ire of extremist organizations such as Voice of Citizens
Together/American Patrol. That they would label MEChA as racist or separatist, yet
find themselves listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group, should
have ended this discussion. But it didn't.
California: Going Republican?
By Domenico Maceri
Arnold Schwarzenegger's election as governor of California looks like a good
omen for George Bush's chances of carrying California in 2004. When you add
Tom McClintock and Schwarzenegger's votes, the two Republican candidates for
governor, you come up with a total of 62% (13% and 49% respectively) of all the
ballots cast by Californians in the recent recall election. With a Republican
governor in Sacramento, will Bush win the Golden State's 55 electoral votes in
the next presidential election?
Bill Lockyer Is Out of the Closet!
By Steven J. Ybarra JD
My Pop went paws up a couple of years ago; but before he did, he made me take
him down to the county registrar so he could vote in the 2000 United States
Presidential Primary. After his death, when I went through his stuff, just
behind his driver's license and the card that tells you who to call when you go
paws up, I found his Democratic National Committee membership card.
The University's Ivory Tower Crumbles
By Raoul Lowery Contreras
The image of a university administrator insolently barking at the Chairman of
the University of California Board of Regents reveals beyond anything written
here how arrogant the University of California is and how it needs reform.
A Mexican's Perspective
Considerations on the art of communicating with Mexico.
By Carlos Luken
One of the dictionary's definitions of communication is: "The interchange of
thoughts and information," consequently to communicate one needs to give and
interchange data. In this explanation there is a clear and implicit connection
in which the parties, both communicators and audience, are active members in a
system along with information, opinion and concepts.
Si! ...it is only a matter of Time!
By Ricardo Castañón
A school teacher is trying to explain to her fifth graders the concept of
time. She juggles the images of a sundial, an hourglass, the rotation of the
planets in the Solar system, etceteras. She is very eloquent; she captures the
total attention of her class. The mental energy buildup is so intense the
blackboard becomes a vacuuming vortex. Her hair is drawn to it, then her scarf,
pencils, papers, and even books start flying towards the spinning tornado in
reverse. The children are not afraid or scared at all, they are saying - yeah! yeah!
(A Four Part Series: Exposing the Dark Side of Immigration Reform groups)
PART I: CAPS & the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Anti-immigration: Hate in CAPS & Gowns/ By Chavez
You may have noticed some of the many recent TV and radio ads from
"Californians for Population Stabilization" (CAPS), some of which feature a young boy
precociously pondering the root causes of grave problems in California:
population expansion, sub-par and over-crowded school facilities, and automobile
traffic (he left out universal health care and world peace). Any guesses about
which group(s) CAPS targets as primary causes and primary contributors to these
and other problems (health, environment, crime, energy scarcity and costs, water
supply, taxes, and national security viz. terrorism)? Is it Al-Qaeda? Is it
Sadaam Hussein and his Bathists? Is it radical Near Eastern Jihadist Moslems?
Wrong - the scapegoats and prey are "immigrants", particularly and especially
Hispanics, in Californian and the U.S.A. as a whole.
Chismes de Mi Gallinero:
(Gossip From My Chicken Coop)
California Recall: The Aftermath Or What Now for California?
By Julio C. Calderon
What Democrats thought was there -- was not, and what Republicans thought
wasn¹t there -- was… Democrats said the recall election was an act against
democracy. They turned blind eyes and deaf ears to what the very citizens of the
Republic of California were saying no were shouting at them.
Latinos and the Recall
By Raul Damas
As has been the case in most recent elections, Latinos were the most-watched
voting group of California's recall election. In its aftermath, both parties
would do well to examine how Latinos voted and how these results should inform
Republican and Democrats' future efforts to attract Hispanic voters.
Immigration Delays Could Cost Bush Latino Votes in 2004
By Morton M. Kondracke
If the 2004 election is another squeaker, President Bush could lose it by
failing to follow through on his promise to help undocumented Hispanic immigrants
gain legal status. Polls indicate that Latino voters regard immigration as a
litmus test issue - the way blacks do civil rights, one expert said - and Bush
shows signs of losing once-promising support. Meantime, Democratic
presidential candidates and Members of Congress - with some assistance from Republicans
- are moving to seize the immigration issue that Bush so far has dropped. Bush
can recoup - and some GOP strategists say he must - by showing renewed
interest (or even taking leadership) in helping illegal immigrants become legalized
and securing U.S. borders at the same time.
An Italian who fought in Mexico for the Mexican downtrodden: Giuseppe
Much can be said about Italians fighting for the oppressed, unlike the Sons
of Italy, New Generation and Tom Tancredo who choose to be oppressors of the
indigenous. Everyone is familiar with Giuseppe Garibaldi and his building of the
new and present Italy. But little is known of his namesake son "Peppino"
Garibaldi. He fought alongside the oppressed during the Mexican revolution, on the
side of the "Colorados," who carried a blood red flag as they attacked the
federalist troops to over throw Porfirio Diaz of Mexico between 1910 and 1920.
The "Colorados" were fighting years of oppression, poverty, and the trampled
pride of the common people of Mexico. "Peppino" Garibaldi fought with them to
improve their working conditions and wages. When foreigners control and wanted
to take their land away, Garibaldi was there to help the oppressed.
Immigrant Success or Stagnation?: Confronting the Claim of Latino
By Walter A. Ewing, Ph.D. and Benjamin Johnson.
A question that arises repeatedly in the immigration debate is whether or not
the children and grandchildren of modern-day immigrants from Latin America
are moving up the socioeconomic ladder like the descendants of European
immigrants who came to the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries…
Mr. Bolivian President - Resign!
By Larry Birns
Director of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs
President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada is under no obligation to resign from
office, but he would be performing an act of great service to the welfare of his
fellow Bolivians should he be wise enough to do so. First and foremost, the
prospect of an unconstitutional coup d'etat in Bolivia is intolerable and would
represent a dangerous blow to democracy in Latin America. --- (Note: as the
issue was going to 'press' Sanchez de Lozada resigned in Bolivia)
Bolivians against Bolivians
Op-Ed from New York Post
No one asks to be born in a poor country with a history of tyranny and
instability. But there are times when Third World peoples are truly their own worst
enemy. And right now in Bolivia - the poorest country in all of Latin America
- there are people fighting to remain poor…Over the last month anti-government
demonstrators have turned the capital La Paz into a war zone in an effort to
stop a $5 billion gas pipeline to Chile, and secondarily to bring down
President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada.
Bush's Cuban quandary
By John Hughes
While President Bush has been focused on troublesome problems in far-off
Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, and North Korea, he is paying new attention to Cuba,
which could cause election-year problems in his own backyard…Bush's new interest
in Cuba comes at a time when there is evidence of a policy split between Fidel
Castro and his hard-line supporters on the one hand, and, on the other, a
group of well-placed officials and military men who favor a softer line at home
and a warmer relationship with the US.
Editorial excerpt from:
Dagens Nyheter, Stockholm, Sweden, on Cuba:
About 3,000 people born in Cuba live in Sweden, but despite its name, the
Swedish-Cuban Association is an association without Cubans.
What's The Big Idea?
By Patrick Doherty
The Oct. 11 article from The New York Times Magazine, "Notion Building,"
described the crux of the debate within the Democratic Party: big idea or
precision messaging. So far the candidates have universally failed to generate any big
idea, instead combining a jumble of little ideas with tactical messaging.
Now, the New York Times confirms that six months away from the general elections,
John Podesta's "best and brightest" at the new Center for American Progress
are likewise scratching their heads.
Death Penalty: Cases and developments 2003
International Secretariat of Amnesty
International Thousands of men and women are on death rows around the world,
waiting to be executed by the state. Amnesty Internationals members are
constantly writing to governments raising theirs concerns, calling for the prisoners
death sentences to be commuted. Here follows a few of these cases.
(Commentary from a monolingual American who doesn't like Mexican food, and
resents immigrants couldn't speak English)
Looking for America in Chicago
By Herbert Londo
n Recently I was asked to give a speech at the Midwest Conference Center in
the Melrose Park section of Chicago. What I experienced, however, had little to
do with the Midwest and a lot to do with Mexico.
Remarks by Condoleezza Rice - Assistant to the President for National
Security Affairs -To the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations
(sic)…We have no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved in the September
11th attacks. Yet the possibility remained that he might use his weapons of
mass destruction or that terrorists might acquire such weapons from his regime,
to mount a future attack far beyond the scale of 9/11. This terrible prospect
could not be ignored or wished away. President Bush put it this way: "Some have
said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists
and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before
they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all
actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the
sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an
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