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    HispanicVista.com Weekly Digest for November 17-23, 2003 http://www.hispanicvista.com COLUMNISTS & COMMENTARY-OPINION HISPANICVISTA COLUMNISTS America: The
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      HispanicVista.com Weekly Digest for November 17-23, 2003
      http://www.hispanicvista.com
      COLUMNISTS & COMMENTARY-OPINION

      HISPANICVISTA COLUMNISTS

      America: The Lobbyocracy
      By Sal Osio, J.D.
      HispanicVista.com
      We pride ourselves on being a democracy. We try to sell democracy to others.
      We have fought wars to 'save democracy' to 'restore democracy' and, now, in
      Iraq to 'impose democracy.' And yet, we have supported dictatorships, monarchies
      and every brand of authoritarian political system. After WW II we supported
      Batista in Cuba, Jimenez in Venezuela, Vargas in Brazil, Pinochet in Chile,
      Somoza in Nicaragua, Marcos in the Philippines, the Shah in Iran, THE Monarchy in
      Saudi Arabia, and so on ad nauseam. Why then do we hypocritically pretend to
      make this a better world for democracy? And just as important: Are we, in
      fact, a democracy?

      Who's Got Your Back?
      By Carl J. Luna
      HispanicVista.com
      We the people don't like our perfect union as much as we used to. Back in the
      "fabulous fifties" 75% or more of Americans in polls routinely agreed with
      the sentiment that our elected officials as a whole generally looked out for the
      good of the American people. Today, less than 30% of Americans hold such a
      quaint opinion of their government. More often than not Americans now feel their
      government is a hostile force working on behalf of powerful interests at the
      expense of the common folk.

      Foreign-born Hispanics in Education
      By Erika Robles
      HispanicVista.com
      Education is the only way to succeed in a competitive country like the U.S.
      Unfortunately, according to recent figures education isn't a priority among
      Hispanics. In the year 2000, 64 percent of Hispanic 18 to 24-year-olds had
      completed secondary schooling, compared to 92 percent of Whites and 84 percent of
      Blacks. The average status dropout rate for Hispanics is partly attributable to
      the markedly higher dropout rates among Hispanic immigrants. Hispanic
      immigrants' dropout rate is 44 percent, higher than the rate for first-generation
      Hispanic youth, which is 14 percent and 8.2 percent for whites.

      It Pays To Be Bilingual
      By Domenico Maceri
      HispanicVista.com
      As the Hispanic population increases, more and more services are being
      provided in Spanish. Inevitably, government agencies are beginning to recognize
      individuals who have bilingual skills. In Seguin, Texas, the city council voted
      recently to provide a $30 per month stipend to 42 city jobs which provide
      services to Spanish-speaking residents. The vote was later changed and Seguin will
      not provide stipends.

      Si...! Spanish is...the building-block of our culture!
      By Ricardo Castañón
      HispanicVista.com
      Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra not only accomplished one of the greatest
      literary works of all times with his "Don Quixote de la Mancha," he secured the
      world's recognition for our first language. Through the centuries, Spanish, the
      vernacular lexicon that originated in Castile, Spain, has been enriched with the
      local flavor, accent, and typical expressions of the many different parts of
      the world in which it is spoken.

      Dream and Win The World
      By Manuel Hernández
      HispanicVista.com
      Once upon a time, there was a young and beautiful woman who was born a slave,
      orphan, adopted and brought up in a foreign and distant land. One day, the
      king, lord and ruler of one hundred and twenty-seven provinces, sent out an
      official proclamation. He was looking for a wife and queen and wanted all the
      damsels of the kingdom to participate in the monumental quest. The young woman's
      father urged her to dream and win the world. After a year of intense
      competition, scrutiny and evaluation, the young woman's grace and beauty won the king's
      heart and became his wife and queen.

      Analyze Details
      By Michael G. Santos
      HispanicVista.com
      Although I am in my 17th year of prison, I have never felt the need to carry
      a weapon. Other prisoners do not understand how I have made it through so many
      years living in maximum-, medium-, and low-security prisons without a single
      altercation of violence. The answer is quite simple. I made a conscious choice
      to succeed. Doing so does not require a knife or a steel pipe to defend
      myself.

      Americans - Veteranos All
      By Steven J. Ybarra JD
      HispanicVista.com
      Today, I remember my childhood friend Hatchet Gomez (names are changed, of
      course, to protect the Vatos Locos). He was a little guy who kept a hatchet in
      his engineer boots. He carried the hatchet because in fights he would get
      knocked down, so he fought from the ground…Hatchet was a tunnel rat in the Vietnam
      "Conflict" (back then, not good enough to be a war). Hatchet crawled around in
      the dark supplied with explosives, a gun with a silencer, and a hatchet to
      fight.

      COLUMN OF THE AMERICAS
      Da Bombs!
      By Patrisia Gonzales and Roberto Rodriguez
      Next time the president tells us there's no money for our dilapidated schools
      and none for our run-down roads ... next time he ridicules the idea of a
      national health plan as too costly ... next time he says we just can't blindly
      throw money at our problems and proposes severe cutbacks for our human needs, ask
      him about the latest $87 billion going to Iraq.

      Senator Feinstein: A Mile Wide and an Inch Deep
      By Raoul Lowery Contreras
      HispanicVista.com
      Dianne Feinstein, California's Senior and Democrat United States Senator, is
      approaching retirement in 2006 when she will probably not run for re-election.
      A healthy distance passed retirement age, Senator Feinstein's recent words
      and actions point more to her loss of reality than just purely partisan
      rhetoric.

      Inside Mexico
      Respecting Mexicans Revisited
      By Richard Baldwin
      HispanicVista.com
      Our President Fox has completed a tour of Arizona, New México and Texas. His
      prime objective was to ask to "respect our people, to respect their rights,
      and to give them a hand in their difficult journey". This is admirable, and some
      question why Mexicans are not given the same visitation and travel rights as
      Canadians have? Remember that no terrorist has come across from México.
      Documentation for Canadians is simple, yet the US federal government does not
      recognize our Mexican-issued ID cards that were designed to be secure. Although a
      number of states do recognize the cards along with many banks, Mr. Fox ran up
      against a stone wall in Texas with Governor Perry. But, after all, Texas is G.
      W. Bush country.

      A Mexican's Perspective
      Mexico-US Binational Commission talks on Immigration stalled.
      By Carlos Luken
      HispanicVista.com
      At a press conference held by Mexican President Vicente Fox on the eve of his
      November visit to Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, when referring to migration
      issues Fox said "The points we want to address are the need for documents for
      migrants who are already there; we need for the families to be able to get
      together with their relatives and organize a flow of people who go each year for
      temporary work, or permanent work, without the need to become U.S. citizens.''

      COMMENTARY OPINION
      Beautiful and beloved Mexico, if I die away from you
      By Naomi Adelson
      El Tecolote
      By the end of September 2003, 181 Mexican nationals had been taken back to
      rest in peace in their homeland from the area overseen by the Mexican Consulate
      in San Francisco…Given that this consulate provides service to fourteen of the
      58 California counties (all of Northern California) and Hawaii and only
      handles information of the deceased whose bodies are shipped back to Mexico, in
      reality, it is believed that many more Mexicans die on this area on a daily
      basis.

      Work a precinct for 13 hours, make sure all votes are accounted for, then
      find out the election was already won or lost hours before - but I am ready to do
      it again.
      By Gloria A. Carrillo, JD
      Every time there is an election, I am there along with my son, Rick, working
      at a precinct. We work very long hours--from 6 AM to about 8:30 to 9:30 PM,
      with only a small stipend amounting to about $5.00 an hour, no lunch, no
      dinner...just an occasional trip to the bathroom…Why do we do it? We get great
      satisfaction when we see people rushing in to cast their votes...so proud, thinking
      the vote still makes a difference. But does it?

      Latino museum a dream come true, no thanks to Texas
      BY ERICK FAJARDO
      Daily Texan (U. Texas-Austin)
      About two weeks ago, Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., introduced a bill that
      would set up a research commission for establishing the National Museum of the
      American Latino. The museum would be an extension of the Smithsonian
      Institution in Washington. Given that Latinos are the largest minority group in the
      United States (about 38.8 million) and that both a Native American museum and an
      African-American museum are already under construction, the movement is a
      timely one. So far, the bill has received bi-partisan support, and organizers are
      predicting both federal and private financial backing.

      Minority Rules - no president has won a majority of the popular vote since
      1988
      By Steven Hill
      As the dust clears on the California Recall election, one sobering reality is
      only 40 percent of California's eligible voters and only 57 percent of
      registered voters cast a vote-hardly the populist surge described by pundits and
      pollsters following the actual vote…In fact, voter turnout was the second lowest
      in California gubernatorial history, not far ahead of the sagging turnout when
      Gray Davis was reelected in 2002. Long lines at some polls were due to the
      number of polling places being drastically reduced-from 5,400 to 1,800 in Los
      Angeles County, for example-rather than a huge influx of voters.

      Why fighting corruption helps the poor
      By David R. Francis
      Fighting corruption is no longer just a moral issue. It has become a major
      tool in the fight against world poverty…Once seen as the cost of doing business
      in much of the globe - sometimes even regarded as useful in greasing the way
      for development projects - bribery increasingly is viewed as a major stumbling
      block to progress…And increasingly, governments and business groups around the
      world are beginning to do something about it.

      Army Times Editorial: No friends in high places
      "You not only have a former Guardsman in the White House, you have a friend,"
      President Bush declared during a 2001 visit to an Air National Guard base…But
      for 120,000 Guard and reserve members employed by the federal government,
      friendship seems to have its limits…The Bush administration last week persuaded
      Republican lawmakers to vote down a provision in the $87 billion supplemental
      funding bill for Iraq and Afghanistan operations that would have given
      financial relief to federally employed reservists called to active duty.

      Debating the death penalty
      By Dave Thomasson
      With conservative ideas sinking new roots across American culture,
      conservatives have new reason to test their own thinking. Columnists George Will and
      Dennis Prager set an example by reopening a question widely regarded as settled
      among conservatives: the moral justifiability of the death penalty…Will began
      with a column that cited chilling case histories from Scott Turow's new book
      "Ultimate Punishment: A Lawyer's Reflections on Dealing with the Death Penalty,"
      cases in which innocent defendants were sentenced to death.

      My Cambodian Moment: Discovering the truth in Iraq
      By Sen. Ernest F. Hollings
      The majority leader of the Senate, Mike Mansfield, quietly opposed the war in
      Vietnam for years. He had a practice of writing memos in opposition to the
      war to Presidents Johnson and Nixon while publicly supporting the war on the
      floor of the Senate. But finally, when Cambodia was invaded under President
      Nixon, he snapped…Going on television, he said Vietnam was a mistake from the
      get-go. The next day he received a letter from an admirer who had just lost her
      son. She said: "I just buried my son to come home and watch you say that the
      Vietnam War was a mistake from the beginning. Why didn't you speak out sooner?"

      The Enemy in Iraq
      By Michael Radu
      Foreign Policy Research Institute
      On October 27, four suicide bombers in Iraq killed over 40 people, mostly
      Iraqis. The targets were the Red Cross headquarters and Iraqi police stations.
      The suicide bombings continue to target Iraqis or international organizations
      such as the UN or the Red Cross and to occur in the "Sunni triangle" -- the
      Sunni areas of Baghdad and north/northeast of the city. What does this pattern
      tell us about the nature of the enemies that the U.S. troops in Iraq face? A lot.
      But judging from the administration's and the military's statements, the
      nature of the enemies remains obscure in Washington -- and among Democratic
      would-be presidents, complete confusion reigns.

      Choosing voters
      By Walter Cronkite
      The recent redistricting of Texas, promoted and directed by Houston's
      congressman and House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, reminds us that it is not just count
      ries like Zimbabwe, Azerbaijan and Chechnya that rig their elections.

      Standards of Intelligence Reasoning
      By Stephen Gale
      Foreign Policy Research Institute
      Reading the news these days, one gets the feeling that there is an air of
      true cluelessness as concerns the methods of reasoning used in intelligence
      circles. Take for example "The Stovepipe," Seymour Hersh's recent article (New
      Yorker, October 27, 2003) about the intelligence analysis leading up to the Bush
      administration's decision to engage in the war in Iraq. Hersh (who is nobody's
      fool when it comes to matters relating to the workings of government) repeats,
      in one form or another, the refrain that key information was supplied to -
      and analyzed by -- senior administration officials (Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, et
      al.) "with little prior evaluation by intelligence professionals."

      Resources War: Lessons from Bolivia
      By Laura Carlsen
      The Bolivian uprising that ousted President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada will
      likely go down in history as the "War of the Gas." A plan to allow foreign
      companies to export Bolivian natural gas through a Chilean seaport triggered
      month-long demonstrations… No doubt, the Bolivian uprising goes beyond the question
      of control over resources. At root, it is a crisis in political legitimacy
      provoked by the constant crisis of legitimacy of an economic system that condemns
      nearly three quarters of the population to poverty.

      HispanicVista.com
      www.HispanicVista.com

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