What a storm! Thank goodness, FEMA will pitch in to recovery, but . . .

Mega-Storm

Satellite image of Sandy approaching the Mid-Atlantic area.

By Isis Win

Disclaimer: English is my second language and regardless of all my efforts, I fall short to master it in a way that I make myself easy to read. Please, be patient and hopefully you get the idea at the end of my text. However, feel free to leave any criticism, suggestion and comment. That will help me and expedite my learning of your wonderful but no so easy language. Thanks!

A perfect storm hits the east coast to teach many that we cannot assume life is free, safe and fun when it comes to mother nature. In fact, when we think of mother nature, although we can get awed by the beauty that most of us appreciate so much, it will do from time to time what it is due to do. Those other natural things that disagree with populated areas and lives. Scientist frequently have offered their opinion in this regard to bring consciousness about a natural global change that will onset what we have known historically. Weather patterns are changing and with them, disasters that although no new in our planet, today, they are unprecedented. This mega storm makes the case clearly. Nevertheless, although sadly it brought a loss of two dozen plus people and damage still is not truly evaluated, we know it is something that will take quite a long time to fix it. It is estimated that it will exceed the one billion dollars, perhaps two. Since we all are familiar with the caliber of this disaster, I will spare you from reading redundancy. Instead, I will like to address part of this mother nature reminder. Same that I blogged about, a year ago when Romney during a debate to gain the official republican nomination, stated that FEMA’s budget needed to be reconsidered and his statement clearly sounded like it should be reduced or removed. Our lower financial health is the number one national security threat. Managing our budget to pay off our national debt to foreign loans and reducing our growing deficit is a needed action to take place right away. Reducing or removing federal aid to FEMA would be as dramatic or worse than ignoring the budgetary problem or the mega storm itself. The voice that presented that scenario, is the voice of a business man who sees opportunity on simply shutting down an ill businesses and sell what is left as a scrap. Fine, if that works in that business but removing federal aid to the nation’s problem does not any promise eliminating that national threat. Interestingly, Romney’s supporters missed the eloquent value of that idiocy of his when addressing a needed federal change that he only could deliver. Today and again, he changed course and supports FEMA’s needs. He is going to do whatever he feels is necessary to grab the sit even if he does not mean what he says or he says what he doesn’t mean.

When Al-Qaeda attacked the Twin Towers, didn’t exclusively contemplated the immense loss of lives the caused. All involved well knew that in order to hurt the USA, putting the country in a precarious financial situation would do much more damage than anything else. Certainly there were huge financial losses as result of this attack. But the American resilience overcame this promptly and effectively. However, as well, that attack was an aggression that provoked action and such action will be reflected in a military response that would cost the US a fortune. This situation was so cleverly managed by extremists, that British and American intelligence gathered false information that pointed Saddam Hussein involved in the attack and that Iraq owned weapons of mass destruction. Even though the UN inspectors insisted that was not the case. Ten years later, not only we know that was false, but we added five thousand lives into our loses and financially, the US was in need of borrowing a few trillion dollars to finance the wars. We can look with positive eyes at this military effort if we wish. Using the fact that Hussein is no longer in power so there is no threat and as well that Bin Laden and some of his top people are no longer – adds to this justification that most would or will celebrate. But the financial damage is here and it will be extremely difficult and lengthy to fix. We will, as we had with many other troubles. It will require loads of compromises, perhaps sacrifices, such as a tax increase once the employment numbers improve but reducing the programs that usually are reduced such as education and FEMA in this case, will not pay off as the businesses that made several million dollars to Romney. However, there is one impending threat that nobody has anything to do with and no one can stop: Mother nature.
Whether we are passing through a man created global change or it is part of nature’s cycles, it is clear the natural disasters of the last decade or so, are beyond imagination and extremely costly. Those disasters will not cease for as long as the weather patterns do not return to the known old patterns. The presence of natural mega tragedies will continue happening and that not only will impose a grand amount of dollars costs but as well, will make unstable our economy every time a grand disaster happens. I bet you that couple of days the Stock Market closed, because Sandy, will cost several millions of dollars to investments.
We’ve seeing huge and strong hurricanes and many more that were usual. Uncanny sand storms, unbelievable rains producing massive floods, droughts unparalleled to our records, extreme temperatures. immense wild fires, and more. And there is no much we can do about it, but endure it. As if that would not be enough, our seven billion population make this tragedies a tremendous losses due to death and displacement of massive numbers of people. This has been happening all over the world not just here. And when these tragedies happen in other region of the world, although what we contribute to help those suffering nations is not significant compared to their tragedy, it adds to our financial toll. But we cannot close our eyes to the pain and suffering of the world. That is not the role of the most powerful nation in the world. Unless we don’t care for what the world perceives of USA. As well, we have to look at the secondary results of these disasters. Gasoline and food go up and even after the situation is normalized, they stay up. Take for instance, Florida recently faced one of the worse freezes in history. Citrus went up at least 50% or more. OK, demand is large, supply is low. However, the prices never went down after they resumed normal production. At least in the Mid-Atlantic area. Same with gas prices. Demand went up, prices went sky high. Demand went down and the small reduction of those prices does not reflect the prices we were paying at the pump when we consumed those lower levels.

The solution to the financial US problem only have one solution and that solution does not depend on our government. It depends on all of us. But the government can very well help to a point that we move in that direction. We need more professional people in all research, development and implementation fields to export our advances and goods. But that cost money. Tons of money and Romney, contrary to Obama will like to reduce the budget for education and related resources. We need millions of professionals that collect incomes in the six digit figures and create new businesses through new technologies. However, wise investors such as Romney, will only invest in secured profit operations and new technologies are not that secured. Unless they prove it over an extended time. Take for instance Facebook. Personally, I do not appreciate the contribution of Facebook, but I admit, my imagination falls short to envision the future benefits of Facebook. However, that new field grew faster than anything previously known. I became parallel to Microsoft, Cisco, Google and many more newer mega million businesses. But investments into Facebook are not moving as it would a share from Apple or Goggle, etc. What is the problem with the investors? The want a secured, sure and fast return. OK, everyone is entitled to do so but we cannot disregard the fact that the USA became what it is, thanks to those professionals, entrepreneurs, scientists and manufacturers and workers. Our most important task is to secure we continue doing so and before other nation wins that technology. China as we speak, is moving forward and faster than any other nation towards Wind Technology. Because Solindra failed we should not push that industry? Obama took a risk and didn’t pay off. Oh well, so what is next?

The legislative body now, specially with the coming elections, is holding Obama’s power and initiative, so he is unable to make drastic investments and subsides to newer technologies. Something that he promises to do if elected. I hope so, because I am sure there will be many more natural disasters and at some point we are going to need to relocate massive amounts of people (think the coast line), develop, create and build new technology in home building industries. As well, we need to do whatever it takes to insure our water supply and agricultural areas are well if we are punished again by mother nature. Natural disasters not only kill tons of people and produce massive costs, but does not allow to survive properly those that heavily depend on meeting ends in this bad economy.

The Obama administration was on top of Sandy. Hurray for Obama! At this point, a few important people are recognizing that this has been the storm of the century. I hope the worse that NY city faces ever! FEMA is ready to tackle the humongous task they have in their hands. Both legislative parties seem to be in agreement about providing the needed funds to FEMA and the rest is a matter of time. Hopefully we put this in the past promptly and likely we will forget about it during the election day. But we maybe thrown back into remembering it, depending on who is elected. We don’t need another Bush and Katrina. Hopefully, Obama receives the deserving credit for being there when he was needed and wins this election. As you can see, at this point I truly know who I am voting for. I am voting for progress, change and a future that we all can count on!

A brief interruption in our already scheduled program. No more deportations of young people!

By Isis Win

In the middle of a busy end of spring, I heard president Obama announcing his command to Homeland Security Agency to halt deportation of the children of undocumented immigrants younger than 30 years of age, law-abiding and engaged into education.

Right away, right-wing politicians, including Romney, use this presidential action to attack Obama and to represent themselves as the good guys we must keep and oust Obama. Some are already talking about a “political move from Obama, to gain Latin votes”. Well, if so, good for him because Latinos were an important part of his election in 2008 and many were disappointed for no immigration reform as he promised. Obama simply said: That is the right thing to do. Indeed! Latinos that incorporate themselves into American customs, work hard to better themselves and family and feel rooted in this country as their own, deserve the right to stay and make their case in the court of law. Additionally, the law must allow them to become legal residents with a chance to become naturalized citizens.

But not all undocumented immigrants are entitled to have this same treatment.  My take about this, I would be glad to see many Latinos go back to their country if they are not law-abiding, respect the customs of this country and do not care for changing their ways. The court of law will take care of them. Sadly, there are many of those individuals in the nation and those bad apples misrepresent the good ones because Americans tend to believe that all Latinos are like them. But as well, why add more danger and risk in this country, specially from undeserving people. But what about those that are law-abiding and hard-working undocumented Latinos? It seems this is like a miniseries and in order to see the next episode, we must make sure the same characters stay in the play. Reliable sources have told me Obama’s team has been diligently working on that reform that Latinos have been waiting for. No cigar yet because this effort is considering many of the interest and views of state authorities that are more affected than the rest of the nation. States like California, Texas, etc. Can you imagine if all undocumented Latinos in LA would be deported? The thousands of vacancies that no others want to fill nor get hired for them because the work is harder than the pay they can get for. Ask most undocumented Latinos if that position is unfair between pay and the required labor. I’ve done so anytime I get a chance and they say: Gimnme the job now! And they take it and will keep it forever! I’ve met dozens of undocumented workers at Universal Studios theme park. Of course, they are “legally” in this country! Yes, so far there is no mechanism that forces employers to verify Gestapo style that they are indeed undocumented. But ask their bosses and they will say: Undocumented? They are not and if they would be, we would make them legal! Well . . .  The part of the second episode that Obama will deliver in his next period.

But I am painting the “Rosie version” of this story. The blue version says that thousands of legal Latinos will not vote for Obama, even though they did in the past election. Why not? Well . . . They fully disagree with the gay issue and Obama’s support to same-sex marriage rights. Go figure! Latinos are and have been by excellence the countries with the most macho attitude and ultra religious views! So, Obama sabotaged himself and the election by showing his support to this right. Oh! Do you know that last night he had dinner with several gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people to celebrate gay pride month? I see arrows encrusted in his chest, arms and legs by nothing else but our Latin brothers and sisters!

The news this past Friday was definitely good news, Coming from our president, this rule is to be observed by all government agencies even if the republicans demonstrate against Obama or throw tantrums in both chambers! And for those that do not read the papers often, most Americans are behind civil human rights favored by Obama! But by no means, this represents that Obama will have his chance to another presidential period. The facts on that side are that many of the very important states that supported Obama in the past election are going through an impasse because Obama’s support for many of those issues. Polls are showing that the gap between Romney and Obama had been closing in the recent weeks and those states that are not fully defined at this point, if they go GOP or the contrary can unbalance the rest of the nation. Therefore, we all that still believe in Obama or those that give him the benefit of the doubt not only will have to vote for him but we need to contribute to his campaign. Remember, we are only 5 months away from election day! So the balance should be more defined by now. But as is, there is a change we cannot take at all. Electing Romney would be the worse that could happen at this juncture, for our nation and the world! A very delicate balance of the economy in the European nations, a crisis ready to explode with Syria due to Russia protecting their military interest in that nation and the unbalance in the Persian and African nations that are threatening the balance of the world if theocratic regimes take over such is the no so good-looking situation in Egypt! We need a president with guts, a vision about political balance and not ruled by fear but justice and fairness! If Obama makes it to the White House this coming period, we have a chance but if not, it has been clear that Romney not only will be a redundancy of Bush’s regimes but will increase the gap between the 1% and the rest of the population. Something that we cannot afford at all.

Latin brothers and sisters, allow me this occasion to represent my unconditional support for Obama and inquire you to do the same. Not because we are part of the LGBT world, not because we are Latinos, but because we are conscious of what our nation, families and world need now! We cannot afford a “trial” period in which the chief sitting at the White House is trying to figure out how to make sure he would rule for a second period in 2016. Lets give Obama that chance and be behind him all the way through because that this nation needs the most, is that we all remember that whether we are LGBT, Latinos, black, Asian, whatever, we are the people who pulls the world forward and we need no more fear and instability and we can conquer that goals because, yes we can!

Reprinted from: http://xqsimagazine.com/2012/06/16/a-brief-interruption-in-our-already-scheduled-program-no-more-deportations-of-young-people/

 

War of Hearts and Minds

By Isis Win

recent years, marriage of same-gender couples has become one of the most published headlines in the US history. Every sector in the public opinion has seized the opportunity to express their position and in particular, to the media, for the benefit of gathering larger audience. This is not an old issue, but certainly it is one that grew in the past few years, and following the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, it has grown enormously. Since its repeal, advocacy agencies (such as HRC – Human Rights Campaign) finally let go of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, allowing room for the next issue in their agenda: Marriage between gay and lesbians.
This issue has become a larger controversy than the right to abortion when it comes to large-scale public participation. The religious realm, particularly Mormons, launched an unparalleled initiative to fight legislation passed in California that allowing gay and lesbian marriage equality, the 2008 ballot Proposition 8 “Eliminates Rights of Same-Sex Couples to Marry Initiative Constitutional Amendment”. Proposition 8 and its repeal landed in the hands of millions of people who didn’t care about it either way. Many were not even aware of this battle. Massive ad campaigns in TV and newspapers awakened these people, however, and as well, many important pedestrian traffic spots in California were manned by groups of Mormons distributing literature against same-sex marriage and preaching to the passers-by. Some organizations claim that Mormons spent about 20 million dollars in this campaign. But the religious opponents of marriage equality have not limited themselves to California; as well, in recent years they have been sponsoring the same campaign in many cities and states across the country, except that now they use Obama’s recent public support to attempt repealing both, the right to marry and the presidential candidate.

Religious opponents to same-sex marriage sustain their argument based on the Bible that, according to them, contains many entries referring to “marriage exclusively between a man and a woman”. Some people as well say that the Bible claims marriage in the between the same gender is an aberration and sinful behavior, regardless of the contributions of theologians, anthropologists, sociologists and archeologists that show that there is no evidence of such citations, but rather, that they are citations based on majorly flawed interpretations. In fact, archeologists report finding evidence that same-sex couples during Jesus Christ’s time existed and were not abominated. But arguing the Bible against a civil right, clearly will never end this issue. While religious extremists argue that marriage equality is contrary to their beliefs, their opponents argue this is not a religious issue but an issue about freedom and civil rights. Such an argument between apples and oranges offers no future to either party. However, this attitude from the extremists is fueling a response that is better to leave alone because, it adds gas to the already roaring fire. Defenders of freedom and civil rights, will be in need of breaking into pieces the Bible, categorizing it and proving that the Bible could never address this issue when it was created. There is enough evidence to this case that ultimately will make opponents to Marriage Equality so angry, that it is not unforeseeable that they will hire the devil to revenge against these “pagans”. Something already is happening but it is escalating into a major war, and all because although, in a democratic nation the wishes and will of all matter, this issue is one that cannot be fought by beliefs and phobias. In democracy, facts are the most determining factor and if this issue is examined by the Supreme Court based on the facts of the constitutional elements of it (or lack of thereof) so that the law rules what is fair and not, then at least in some form, this issue will be a thing of the past. However, extremists present their case as if it was “written in stone”, as the Ten Commandments. BTW, the Bible cites that they were 3 tablets not 2 as used today. I bet that the eleventh commandment was in regards of not getting your nose into someone else’s business.

On that note: religious extremists tend to believe that they are in the right to rule and force how others should live; it is a clear demonstration that religious extremists are people who are unhappy within themselves and lack fulfillment. It is that same unhappiness and lack that forces them into looking into the eye of others instead of addressing their own issues and how they observe their religious views themselves. This type of behavior is nothing new according to anthropological and sociological studies that establish that for centuries, in small towns or cities, the country side, part of the daily routine of a large number of citizens was, and still is to criticize, ostracize and gossip about the behavior of others that they do not approve. However, times are different and this phenomena has no longer any place in a modern and civilized society. Bottom line is: This attitude among those activists have nothing to do with Christianity and they heavily deny the basic principles of Christianity based on their personal beliefs and assumptions.

Christianity is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ, and the Bible as a historical record proves that the cornerstone of Jesus doctrine was about forgiving everyone, loving others as they love themselves and God and giving them the opportunity of redemption when their time comes. Jesus? message was about love, support and compassion. And the lack of these attributes is what shines in this initiative against Marriage Equality. On that note: The Bible cites in several chapters that slavery was OK and that slaves should submit to their owners and never raise against them. I wonder what the view about this issue is for those extremists, because slavery has been fought for centuries as an issue of human and civil rights cruelty and injustice and gradually and slowly has been disappearing from the face of earth. Only seriously under-developed and uncivilized nations still preserve this abuse and those nations are being fought by human rights activists and international organizations such as the UN.

What this issue talks about in reality presents a much larger scenario than a human and civil rights issue or the religious beliefs supported by the sacred scriptures. This issue is clearly stating where the hearts and minds of people are and that place is not a good one; rather, it is a totally antagonistic place to the Christian beliefs. No wonder after a century of an explosive technical, industrial and scientific revolution, we still can’t live among ourselves peacefully and this place is not so different than centuries ago. We still act as savages, greed is the religion of most on the top at the ladder and poverty and inequality still is rampant even in most developed nations. Only when tragedy strikes do the people at large open their hearts and care for others. Do they choose and pick who is to received this help? Hard to believe but such still is the case in many nations at this time. Just the way it happened post-Katrina.  The most affected people had to wait for governmental aid at the cost of unnecessary deaths and suffering. However, those – volunteering helping hands – post-Katrina, didn’t look into ethnic profiles, religious affiliations or lifestyles to serve the needed. People with a good heart helped everyone and for a long time, even feed them from their own pocket. There were hundreds of volunteers that traveled – even thousands of miles – to serve with their human duty. Hard to believe but, in many studies across the nation, it has been said: Overall, people nowadays are self-centric and selfish. Just like many cities have a reputation of this trade by excellence (like NY city) even remote areas are equally sad and poor in compassion giving.

This battle of same-sex marriage, a marriage equality issue, is no more than a war of wills and beliefs to almost the silent majority of the population. Well, at least, those against Marriage Equality are extremely active and quite verbal. But because of that, the smallest of all minorities suffer their weight: gays and lesbians, when all they want is to have equal rights like the rest of the population. And there is no logical, sensitive and sensible reason to deny this right to anyone that cares for being part of an establishment that ultimately cares in the largest scheme for their nation and the institution of the family that supports society at large, the same institution that has suffered tremendously in the last six or eight decades because family members no longer gather as a family; it is not rare that family see each other once every other decade, because they are too busy entertaining their well-being and future while forgetting the love and gratitude that they received and owe to their parents. As well, in the US divorce has been growing at an alarming rate and at this point about 50% of marriages are divorced, many marriages are exclusively preserved by convenience or religious beliefs but there is no true sense of family among them and more than 50% of the existing couples do not marry but live together, even if they have children.

Almost everywhere I go, where people like to share their views about current events, I hear from the conservatives their camouflaged hate against LGBT and their consideration that such “lifestyles” are no less than a deviation according to God and their bible. They leave no room for education or understanding but the mysterious part to myself is the humongous question: What makes them think they are entitled to and should fight anything against their religious beliefs? I don’t even bother asking them, again, because reliably their answers are biblical citations that they believe to the core of their heart.
But on the opposite end, people express anger as well because they are unable to stand those they call “bigots” and among the religious ones, they call those who use the Bible to oppose Marriage Equality names such as sacrilegious because the word of God is being used for a mean and intolerant personal issue against LGBT people and their supporters. Many believe this bigotry is mostly a case of denied homosexuality because they find no other explanation for this. But the concerning part is that now I hear people judging institutionalized religion and the biblical interpretations by those bigots, something I believe will grow in a crescendo, and I see in it no positive end. This same phenomena was exhibited several hundreds of years ago in the Middle East among other areas and were the reason for many true wars between nations of different belief. Exact figures about the death toll of those wars are not reliable but suffice to say that entire populations were extinguished. I don’t believe we have the chance to escalate that badly nowadays, but Jihad fighters prove me wrong. So I wonder if in reality not only we are not able to live in peace but we need a war of some sort to justify our presence in this physical life.
However, time, as always, will decide the outcome of this particular war of hearts and minds and I have no doubt, like others, that this one will be won by granting all the needed rights to all minorities. And the LGBT is the one in turn. I hope I witness this change during my lifetime because it is rather disturbing to hear, see and known that there are humans that despise humans because they do not conform to their lifestyle and beliefs. Something must change right there!
I was told by a Guatemalan friend that her country was celebrating the first year against LGBT bigots in their country and as I reacted to her, I say to that: Let other live their own choice and present compassion and generosity to those that are unable to do so.

So meanwhile, let the war keep happening and let’s see at what point we may destroy each other when clearly these times prove that our historical mistakes demand our utmost good heart investment for the well-being of everyone. The well-being of everyone offers better guarantees that our personal future and space have better chances to achieve, peace, harmony and fulfillment. That leads to those occasional and rare moments in which we consider our selves being happy people.

Primary shaping up, election showing clear signs.

By Isis Win

We are into the fourth year of one of the most difficult times in history of the USA and the American people. The impact of a failing economic system threatened by a crumbling banking and mortgage industry, the largest deficit in history, unparalleled levels of unemployment and sub-employment, and two wars that, although delivering some desired results, in more items failed the “strategy” to address the real issues that prompted them and have created the largest division between American people. For the sake of truth, the start of this tough times are not correlated with the actual regime of Democrat President Barrack Obama. These issues are the result of the previous administration that failed to act timely, to develop infallible strategies, acted impulsively, denied losing ground on any of those issues and lied to the American people from the very start.

Considering that in the political world all sorts of manipulations and lies can take place, it has been extremely difficult to most Americans to arrive to a consensus that could lead to an absolute resolution than will straighten our path. On the contrary, we are more divided than in any other period of the American history and the Republican Party no longer is what our ancestors experienced.
The party became fragmented much before the elections of 2008. During the two regimes of the Bush – Cheney administration, the party failed to address all of the above issues as they were happening. This previous administration achieved the heaviest and strongest power an American regime ever had. Democrats could only challenge Republicans in the arena of debate but in the long run, the administration always presented a “reality” based on their “facts”. Facts that time has shown many important speeches from Bush, were fully false and deceiving. But do not ask a Republican if the previous administration failed at large. They will blame Democrats for any and every single mistake that took place during those 8 years and now. But the facts don’t lie and today, we all are facing the disastrous results of the lies and mistakes that only benefited some of the largest corporations in the country. But the American people still are at bay and hoping that this coming regime will save us from this long agony, something that the Republican primary front-runners have been exploiting to their “advantage”, blaming Obama and his party for the actual reality we face today.

In 2009, Obama’s place was to fix all the inherited problems to prove that he is the rightful person to lead the nation. However, although those problems mentioned above didn’t collapse into further disaster. These problems prevail, something that was expected from academics and analysts because the severity of the simultaneous conflicts. But as well, Obama’s initiative to address one of the most important issues of the country, an issue that has not been addressed for decades, an issue even when Republicans and Democrats put all their eggs in the nest at some point, never happened: The Health Care issue. Obama’s bill has been heavily criticized by the Republicans as a failed and insolvent program to address this toxic situation and has been taken into the public opinion arena – as a sign of failure of his administration. However, the irony of this case is that several of measures included in this bill, are the exact measures that many Republicans presented (including McCain and Romney), supported and advocated in favor of for the last two decades. Yet Obama’s compromise is used today by Republicans as an example of an eroding aspect of the American future.

It takes no effort to look back into our recent years of political and government history. The evidence never disappeared from the popular view but Republicans filtered these facts and pointed them against Obama. Obama’s mistakes. Nevertheless, they override the undeniable facts such as: The attack to the Trade Center. It was a failure of the Bush administration to recognize any possible validity of this attack and they let it happen. As well, the warnings about the invasion of Iraq and the removal of Saddam Hussein in a pre-emptive way. Also, the failed policies to return Iraq post-invasion to normalcy by integrating most of what could be, in a heavily and historically ethnically divided nation. That, instead of integrating a nation with centennial history of division, has taken place with uncanny violence against each other. As a consequence, many of those Arab enemies are our enemies now. Today, Iraq has a weak and unprepared army (when it was the strongest in the region) that the US has been training to bring up to speed and will continue doing so for decades to come. It takes decades to train an efficient army. Another undeniable fact is that Bush assured the American people Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction when the UN repetitively said the contrary, that Hussein had close ties with Al-Qaeda and as well said “the invasion would be short-lived and presents no threat or real loses for the American military power”. Five thousand deaths later, a massive cost, and Iraq still is in shambles, we have the real facts on sight.  We know the truth. Just about any Iraqi says they were better off when Hussein was in power. If these facts don’t suffice to account for the failed and fallacious previous administration, the one responsible for the problems we face today, then there is no argument to figure why we are where we are. However, Republicans blame Obama for these problems. But in reality this is an eloquent statement about a divided, biased and arbitrary way of looking our old and known America.  The America that no longer is as remembered before the start of the 21st century. We need to get back to that America for the sake of our future generations.

Not everything is Bush’s fault. On top of the list are: The American people who didn’t question any of those facts as they were happening. The legislative body that failed to obligate the administration, based on the exercise of their – democratically provided – power to demand the evidence and written plan of action. The US armed forces and all politicians that spoke on behalf of the Bush administration failed too. An interesting fact is that among  the top of that list is Sara Palin, that divided many folds more the American people with her biased, uneducated, angry, hostile and extremist “political” rhetoric. The very reason Republicans lost the election. Instead, they gave room to Democrat Obama whose rhetoric was based on providing for the middle class people and taking away power from the corporations that as well, are responsible for the actual status of our nation. It is true, unemployment is rampant because the mortgage failure, but we can’t ignore the fact that millions of jobs moved overseas due to cheap out-sourcing. Those jobs were already missing when we needed them so badly and this displaced a work force that never got the proper training to take high-tech jobs, as Reagan suggested would be the case. Although the Tea Party was born as an alternative movement to the Republicans whose party looks nothing moderate, because of its ambition to seize power, in reality it did more damage to the far right and to the country, than a conscious political benefit to the nation. A clear manifestation that the American people are not happy anymore by being neglected for a long time, left and right Americans are exactly in the same place, and share a place in the same boat.

Today, the American panorama is one of the saddest in American history. Republicans and Democrats fail to join efforts to overcome the shortcomings of a global financial problem, the environmental threat of global warming and ozone depletion, the energy crisis that somehow “disappeared” <due to blindness> right after the oil crisis of the early 70s, our failing educational problem that places us in 20th place ranking world wise in the 2009 Human Development Report – 13th according to the Education Policy Institute (and never even among the top ten any other ranking organization), threatens our fragile safety at home and abroad by terrorists, as well the massive abuses of large corporations that get away with murder and at the cost of tax dollars, the lack of confidence in the American people and the weakening of an economy that still provides the tax cuts from the previous administration. Tax cuts that were put in place when the cost of all our initiatives far exceed our gross product. Isn’t this some kind bribe from our Republican government that blinded us from the truths of what we were getting into? But we “can” blame Obama for all that, as if doing so will fix any of the above problems.

Republicans insist they are the only ones able to address and fix the country. But they throw dirt on each other and accuse each other of unprepared, inexperienced,  unpatriotic and plainly ambitious for the sake of personal benefit and ego trips.

If you take just a quick glance at Wikipedia and their description of the Great Depression, you will find that the solutions to our failed economy of today, compared to those times (massive lay offs and the failure of many banks if not most), are ahead of schedule and we are on the right track. During the next four years we will witness the benefits of this administration initiatives and all of the above will drastically improve regardless of who is in power, but only if the issues that triggered our actual situation never happen again. Romney has clearly shown lacking of any vision and experience to manage this, but his word. He never presented any evidence to the case even when challenged by his own peers. Recently Gingrich accused him of “being a liar”.  Gingrich was asked two or three times the same question and he asserted it. The next presidential period will demand leaving politics behind – to address, really address – what is needed to get back into our pre-21st century status. None of the primaries’ front-runners offer what it takes to do so. Perhaps Obama doesn’t either, but it is a fact that Obama is several folds more promising that ALL the Republicans together. In other words, the upcoming election has been already decided because the American people do not suck their thumb anymore. The American people are fed up with this vitriolic situation created by the Republicans. That is something that the Republicans can be blamed for and they should take responsibility for it. This past year has been clear enough to represent the poor status of the American politics and this effort has been lead by the Republicans and just because they seek to seize power at any cost. But if I am wrong, what a serious situation we will face if the White House lands on the hands of Mitt Romney. Through all my years witnessing politics and all I’ve extensively read, Romney most champions the realm of “out of touch” among all politicians ever in the US landscape. His image, to anyone who is capable of seeing the truth, is nothing less than the same image of several presidential runners that African countries had! Countries that crumbled by a poor notion of patriotism, lack of experience, and vision, with corruption and a lack of a political view that was necessary in their countries. Today, they are worse than ever in their history. Are we heading that way? Lead by deceit, lies, coercion and a promise of a place that will take years to recover?

Although all mentioned is important, what is on top of all, is the sole fact that when we think and talk about the American people, American people means every single law-abiding American. Ethnic groups, sexual and gender orientation, gender, education, financial and social status should not bear any importance when we consider the country. After all, we all are Americans and although our personal well-being matters to most of us first, our well-being depends greatly on the well-being of the nation. For as long as we are divided, we are no longer civilized, and progress only will be a view in a desert that no one habitats, Just like the different Arab ethnic groups that are destroying each other and their countries, as Iraq and the other nations facing social revolutions are. This is what the previous administration left us behind. Division, division, division! Division in Iraq, division in the Arab world, division in American politics and division among us. It is time to truly listen to Obama and make a true and solid effort to conciliate our bi-partisan differences, regardless of anything. What is at stake is our entire nation, and I hope that no one is unable to see that today, the world and our nation is in a fragile state. At some point, hopefully before tragedy strikes again, we will be together so we can become the heroes that have made this is a wonderful nation: the most democratic, healthiest, smartest, richest and most powerful one in our entire world’s history. We are not ready to give up that place yet. This is not the best possible time for it but more importantly: There is no other country prepared to take that place.

What’s up with our Television service?

By Isis Win

Contrary to the majority of the people, I rarely watch network TV. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against television, especially considering I am a visual type of person. But most of the material shown in the networks have nothing that really triggers my interest. However, I enjoy watching NBC TV news, some of the political talk/discussion shows (except all at Fox TV), I am quite a follower of several programs at PBS and occasionally I watch Dancing with the Stars. But that is because ballroom dancing is something I appreciate a lot, especially after taking classes for 6 months long ago. But definitely, I never miss the summer and winter Olympics on national TV or the World Cup. You would rarely see me in front of the “Idiot Box” watching professional or college football, basketball, baseball, etc. games. I love watching sports games right there and experience the catharsis of competition between two rivals and the excitement of the crowd. Nevertheless, I’ve never been a fan of any TV show where competition is the issue. Specially those Reality shows that every single network presents. I admit though, I watched the show named The Voice a couple of times, and it wasn’t bad to my taste. It wasn’t, because the talents I saw during the Blind Competition simply were incredibly talented people – that in my modest opinion, deserve a shot at a professional successful career and that otherwise, are professionally doomed.

My personal view about what the commercial channels present, is nothing close to what I enjoy and enjoy supporting. Not to mention at times, many of those commercials are ridiculous and mostly long interruptions. Although I believe entertainment is a vital, needed part of most people lives, such content should present material that represents something that has a good value in real life. But there is little of real and good value in most TV shows. In fact, many simply present a distorted version of the realities we find in life. And most of those “realities” are the ones that make me wonder: why would someone care about that stuff as part of their entertainment in daily life? But that is a matter of taste or preference. I accept the fact that everyone is different.

Today’s television is not the memory I have of my early days watching TV. Then I wonder, what did change? On the contrary, those who are fortunate to afford cable or satellite TV, have access to so many great TV shows. Perhaps most people consider those not of entertainment value because basically, they are didactic. The instructional type, the learning stuff that we don’t know about or know very little, such as cooking, science, history, travel, etc. However, affording those types of programing nowadays is very pricey for most budgets. I often wonder myself about that expense and my stupidity of spending the cost of my own service. But there are so many others things I wonder about. However, talking about expenses, there are many things today that today are hard to afford today. Stuff that didn’t cost a penny before, or as much, such as drinking water, so many services, gas, ice cream, even the movies I enjoy so very much! Tickets in the neighborhood of $10.00+? Not to mention if you are like myself a traditional movie goer that must have the bucket of freshly made pop-corn and a drink. That set the tag about $20.00+ per movie if you enjoy going alone!

All of the above are the reason I pulled my laptop to write this blog. This reason is very specific and as well, one that I don’t recall from my past TV viewing years. I am talking about a political ad against president Obama I saw between the transmission of NBC news. This ad, likely hit all the national TV stations that broadcast NBC news, maybe in all channels.
This ad presented people who, according to the it, are people who received substantial amounts of “bonus” money from Obama’s bailout to the financial corporations. And it states all of them contribute-d to Obama’s government or the bailout. The punch line is: “Obama won’t admit to supporting Wall Street, but Wall Street sure supports Obama.”

True? False? Or a plain exageration?

Although my first reaction was to think this is a blunt exaggeration of the truth, I was left wondering about any possible truth in it. A concerning truth. However, the face value of this ad is this: a blunt blow to the US president. I have trouble believing that a Super PAC would run into the possibility of being sued of libel. So, I wonder what is the truth? I acknowledge its value as a political campaign ad that aims to take credit away from the incumbent runner for the White House seat. But this premise questions two factors: Why that advertising money is not used to present the good values and points of the supported candidate instead? And how much of that ad is true? Nevertheless, removing one bad (Obama according to their account) doesn’t make the other one right. Frankly, my sentiment is: The White House and Mr. Obama should respond accordingly. And by that I don’t mean to counter attack with a similar ad but to put this matter to where it belongs. To present the truth or expose the lies about it – to the American people at large. But likely Obama will not reply to it because that would be throwing gas on the fire. That is what prompted me to pull my laptop and write this blog. Although political campaigns have done this type of misinformation since who knows how long, this particular republican campaign is the dirtiest and most toxic of all times. I know TV business is to make revenue, and ads make tons of it, but I am starting to believe that TV networks should exercise their criteria to present good material, including their ads in their programing. It is not a matter of free exercise of speech what should be entitled Super PACs what is at stake, but the type of material that the networks allow and not to be broadcasted. They have the right to do so.

My believe about the TV service, national and local, is that they should present – nothing less than – the truth. As well quality.  And if this ad is true, whether it disturbs me or not, it should be something exclusively to be exposed by the press and not in political ads. The entire media should be involved in investigating all details of a case like this one and present the important facts found AS THEY ARE. And to do it – based on reliable facts, facts that cannot be debated or manipulated, to be presented exclusively on their own merits and facts. But this ad doesn’t deliver that. What it does is distorts a possible truth against their opponent to gain that vote, but without merit. This ad is – way more wrong – that any of those distortions of reality and truth that many of the commercial channels present in their shows.
On that note: when I was reporting on communication issues at the Senate and House, during the ʻ80s and when broadcast TV was under scrutiny for their programing because the amount of sexual content and violence, I heard something that simply blew me away. CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox CEOʻs before the communications senate committee were asked: Why do you broadcast such content? This happened after many of the Senate speakers clearly and bluntly stated that the American people do not want that level of violence and sexuality and it is not positive for the American audience. The chairman of the Senate Communication’s Commission asked them why? If I recall well, NBC’s CEOʻs responded: We are in the business of making revenue, therefore we give to the public what they want to see. Otherwise we are out of business. We are a competitive industry and we always try to gain more audience than our competition, who as well offer the content that people want. This statement makes sense, since we are talking about multi-million investments.
Not all content on network TV is toxic. As well, many of those shows on paid TV are alike, even worse! My recollection about television immediately reminded me that many other countries in the world as well have substantial amounts of money invested in their operations , but their content is not as toxic as what American television overall. Nevertheless, I just remember that although it represents an expense that I could put to use in other more useful ways, this is one of the reasons I find myself spending the cost of my cable service: I have a choice!  When I am home, have done my daily chores, read my books, talked to my people, etc, I need to chill out. I call this time a “vegetating” moment in which I pick and choose something that entertains me and enlightens me.

Although not everyone can afford paid TV services, people still have a choice, I think! Not to watch negative television! Now that little voice inside my head that enjoys proving me wrong when it can, just told me: Yep, switch channels but you will find the competition is offering a similar show,  perhaps worse! But I responded, nuh! Anyone can switch to sports TV! But we both missed the entire point. And that point is: is the world and everything else changing that much and that badly? or is it just me? I’ll keep wondering and I will keep you posted.

World Headlines: US moving towards Theocracy

By Isis Win

Only a few weeks away from the official republican nomination, the candidates still in the race are throwing the best of their punches. It is clear at this point that likely Romney will get the official nomination, but no without a lot of pain inflicted by the humiliation of barely getting enough delegates, perhaps not even have the needed number. Analysts in the field estimate he may be 75 votes short. But anyone who is not a political or news junky knows that anything can happen and an unexpected turn may take place. That is why Gingrich, Santorum and Paul are still hanging on and hoping, hoping for the best. Also the reason Romney will face a very painful process to become the contending candidate to president Obama.

Santorum and Romney are playing their “best” cards to gain the final delegates to make it to the primary in good shape. But part of those punches, something that is not new at all, is that Santorum is fighting Romney based on the few issues many republicans have in sight to decide who will represent them in the upcoming general elections: Religious points such as the right to abortion, same gender marriage and anything that falls under the flag of religious conservatism. A sign that at least a good number of republicans are aiming towards a Theocratic regime.

I suppose this is something that would not surprise anyone. For the last decade, one of the predominant headlines in the media around the world comes from the Muslim world. Their message, their involvement in the political process of those nations, the dominance of their power and of course, Jihad. But this is no exclusive of the Arab world since many Muslims as well spread their religious message anywhere else in the world and such clearly aims to theocratic government in any nation where the majority are Muslim. What does that have to do with the US? Nothing at all with the sole exception that our political process is heavily loaded with demands and offers from the republicans that care more about eliminating the right to abortion and deny all constitutional rights to gay, lesbian and transgender people.

A smaller number of republicans are focused on issues that are more pertinent to the American political process such as our economic future, employment, international policy and migratory legislation. Republicans among themselves today, are as divided as the nation is. Although not surprising either, the aspirants to the official nomination had shown the widest difference between each other. Although, many times all of them had flip-flopped to prevent losing a few votes. However, if we put the republican party of the old days, the republican party of Reagan next to the Tea Party, anyone that doesn’t know any better about politics wouldn’t scape to notice the broad difference. What happened? A bad choice and a bad move happened.

When McCain started to feel pressure about his running mate, he rushed into action and believed having an ace to fire. He chose beautiful, fast talker and blunt Sarah Palin. Just about everyone jump to look into the TV screens, see her pictures on the magazines and papers and admired the incredible senator from Alaska. Who? Most didn’t know her nor about her. And everyone got excited. During her early days of her press work she let the world know “she stopped the bridge to nowhere”. As well, that she fired her gourmet cook and even sold her senatorial jet. Why? Why would an US senator do that? Because her consciousness didn’t allow her to perpetuate what she considered wrong, unnecessary and a plain waste of American tax payers dollars. The entire US watched her and the republicans celebrated having such an incredible future vice-president who in eight years – could become the first female president. Then disaster stroke. she wasn’t able to represent herself as herself, when the press cluttered her hectic schedule to get that wanted interview. And she could get that interview to showcase her radical conservative views of what in her view the United States of America should be. But it didn’t go right. And what went wrong, was the worse possible scenario any candidate to the White House could face. That cost as we know today, was the highest possible one. Republicans voters turned their shoulders on her and McCain, while Obama gained voters that never minded placing their vote ever before. And why did all that happen? Because she was unable to tell the truth to her interviewers and say that she didn’t have an answer to that question. Instead, she tried to stupidly con her way out and that cost the republican party any possibilities of winning the presidential election. The Tea Party was born and she fueled it with her passion for that extreme conservative attitude. Although she spoke in their behalf, she never was able to lead them because she lost so much credit and trust. The Tea Party took a life of their own and today we see its effects: GOP seems to be aiming towards Theocracy. Do not worry, past the elections things will go back to normal. Well, I bet you already know it. But sadly, the political process got damaged and the republican party got out of its tracks. Will the party recover? Who knows, but likely they will have to wait at least 4 more years. Considering the tradition of bouncing from one party to the other one every other presidential election . I disbelief Biden would run for the official democrat nomination, much less he could win the presidential election. But this is the world of politics and we all know that anything can happen, at any time.

Hopefully this matter of religious thinking and philosophy vanishes for good soon out of our political panorama and voters aim for what belongs to the US, politics and the world. It is a fact that we people of the world have a heavy role to be played in the upcoming years. Besides the financial problems the world is having same that so far are not solved, we have a seriously impending crisis with several middle east, African and Asian countries. As well, many Latin-American countries are not happy with the American policies and our continent is becoming more divided. But more important is the fragile status of our planet that has been disregarded by the split of opinion about the possibility that we are facing a threat to life in our planet due to global warming and the acceleration produced by the hefty emissions of toxic fumes into our environment. These last few years had been clear in this regard and the world had faced more major natural disasters in one year than what we used to in one decade. Not to mention that it is obvious today that weather patterns will continuously threaten our fields and  population. Perhaps, that is what we need to learn that everything we do in our lifetime demands paying our dues. Otherwise, what we do is inheriting a world of pain an unsafe world to our children, And I known as a parent, if it hurts having something that threats our selves, having something that hurts our children, hurts more. Therefore we need to get our act together now that we can, instead of waiting to when there is absolutely nothing that we can do about it. And that goes in all regards. Our social-Geo-political world and everything that surround us. All that we take for granted, do not pitch in to keep in check and seems not many appreciate. Except those occasional times in which we slow down to be awed by our wonderful planet and landscape. This was the statement by Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. This statement was presented Friday, march 9 at a lecture in London. So lets keep things in perspective and where they belong. For starters, lets keep religion in our homes of worshiping and political matters at the booth.

VOTING: Choosing issues that concern the nation or . . .

By Isis Win

Being at the starting point of a presidential electoral process prompts tons of questions. Perhaps the #1 and most important of all, is to figure what are the issues that will entice a voter to make their choice between the candidates. In theory, many, if not most voters, believe their criterion, based on their personal beliefs, is the winner; that is, the same that will result in their choice of candidates. It is pertinent to figure if such a process works for the well-being of the country and its people. After witnessing many, many elections, here and in other countries, I’ve learned the hard way that there is an image in front of each politician and that one is based on what their team believes will grant them the office they seek. But the issues that may elect them in reality are not what are in the interest of the country, but a mere projection of the minds of the voters. Politicians and their teams had known this quite well, and it has prevailed through many elections in all countries in the world. The final outcome of those elections ultimately is much different from what the voters expected. Partly because of the passing of bills, the changing of existing policies and the actual outcome of elections doesn’t strictly depend on the power of the highest office. But as well, we can’t close our eyes, and must realize that policies that were passed in previous administrations, in the long run, will be enacted in the following administrations. The political realm is such that the same political process inhibits enacting many laws and changes as they were presented to the legislative in real-time, to be pass and be enacted right after Congressional voting. As well, many of the results of those laws will show their final outcome years later, during the administration of another president that perhaps has nothing to do with that law. Take, for instance, deregulation laws that, in theory, will lead to progress and gains, but through the use of loops or overlooked issues, create havoc instead.  But the reality of the electoral process is that the main issues that define the possible regime of each of the contenders  – is based on issues that end up becoming irrelevant in real-time because other “emerging” issues or the laws and bills of previous administrations. Or an emerging issue that sets the government into serious/uninterrupted work because it is of national importance. Such as a national threat. A hard fact that may change a nation for the entirety of its future.

It is not unrealistic to say state that grand part of this electoral process and its platforms, is based on the personal ideology of many of the partisan voters. An ideology that although it may prove legitimate and important to a particular voter, it doesn’t really represent the important issues that will define that nation and its future. Ideologies such as abortion, lower taxes, gay rights and even the view of the illegal immigration don’t really address the true problems the country faces. Naturally, there are electors who are capable of discerning the important issues and platforms that a politician offers. But as well, we must keep in mind that in spite of many of those cases of competent voters, the issues in one category or another may, in the final outcome, can be decided by  lobbying for the sake of corporate and personal gains. Large corporations, one way or another one, manage to pass large amounts of campaign money to politicians for the sake of insuring that their interests will be protected, perhaps enhanced. That, even after what the possible consequences can present, and possibly eroding the well-being of the nation. Just for the sake of money, power and plain greed. I “want” to believe no one suspected the mortgage and banking burst represented a serious threat to our economy and the world’s. Even dumb people know that everything that goes up, at some point comes down. On that note, long before the financial burst, collegians, analysts and even government functionaries expressed their deep concern about a possible and damaging burst. However, it happened.

To make a choice in a presidential election, most people are aimed at and based on the party’s platform and base. The number of independent voters is rather small compared to party followers. However, in many elections their vote has proven to be the decisive blow. Even in elections that were a few independent runners and their fortunes allowed them to get their message across the nation, and party candidates lost a number of those independent votes because of that.

A truly wise vote lies in the level of interest and the information gathered independently by the voter and a close scrutiny of the candidate’s political career, experience, bill’s support or antagonism, the candidate’s character and more importantly, their offered goals. Those candidates that blame President Obama for the employment deficit and claim to have what it takes to fix it are simply lying, Unless they get approval from the legislative to invest humongous amounts of easy money for loans to small businesses and entrepreneurs. No chance for that!  And the only reason unemployment still is high is because of the lack of dollars to invest and create those jobs. Same is the situation with promising to extend low taxes. At some point, they will need to go up. Even if a republican wins the election. Otherwise, the deficit will continue growing even after a deep reduction of the spending budget. When Bush offered lower taxes it was possible because the previous administration didn’t leave a deficit. They left a surplus that insured the safety of the country at the time. Even if that candidate really qualifies to deliver his promises, he can fail because of the political wars, the lobbying efforts of national associations and corporations, and the issues of concern in view at the moment. But I need to add that how a political campaign is managed also will render a specific outcome. I am particularly referring to Obama’s campaign and his promises of producing a total change in the political arena. Republicans pissed at Obama, challenged his dreams and policies, engaging in one of the strongest campaigns against a president and his policies as well, taking any credit away from him. And they resorted to heavy propaganda of character and political assassination. But the public sector has done nothing about it. Such as demanding true timely action from the legislative body and a total cease-fire of the attacks on the President of the United States. Those actions not only are contrary to Obama and his policies, but as well to the country and everyone in it. And the world has been watching that dysfunctional scene and they’ve made severe “observations” about the failed political realm of Washington, DC. Something that at some point affects the outcome of international relations and the negotiation of policies pertinent to both nations.

If we dedicate some of our time to research about the running candidates, their party’s previous administrations and the campaigns that put them in power, we can easily see that their campaigns are nothing less – than a deceiving TV commercial – that promises that’s what we are looking for or need. In the long run, when we buy deceiving products, we waste our money and their owners become rich. No quite the same scenario when it comes to deceiving politics. It is much more worse. We expected something else, instead as it happens, in the political world.

Many countries have been revolting against their governments and leaders because they are fed up with the abuse, deceit and total control of their future for the exclusive benefit of their rulers and financial supporters. Why is it that in those countries, where the life of a citizen is at stake for attempting to remove that regime, they do so, and here . . . one of the most conscious, modern and educated countries in the world, <and #1>, that is not happening? Although Occupy is all about that, the irony of the case is that they received a very shallow support. Administrators of Occupy stated receiving close to half a million dollars in donations. Are you aware of how much money the presidential candidates get for their campaign? It wouldn’t be rare soon the total cost of a presidential race cost one billion dollars.

Perhaps what the country needs the most is to give absolute power the new Consumer Agency, That is, if their aim and performance is to guarantee that there is no product, no promise, whether political financial or else, based on deceitful promises and statements. As well, it would be ideal if such agency would pitch in the screening of political candidates credentials (fat chance!) that state one thing when the truth is another one. It is good that the press has been in charge of that for years, but we all know that depending on the specific medium, the support of presidential candidates will be biased. However, what would be the best is if the American voter realizes that casting their vote is one of the most important rights and a responsibility in a democratic society. That vote will determine the future and well-being of our entire nation for four long years, perhaps longer. But as well, undoing what has been wrongly done before, requires an amount of energy and resources that our president and legislative body simply cannot afford.

The USA is supposedly a progressive nation that seeks the well-being of all its citizens. Even if many of those citizens are not supportive of our ideas and goals. In theory, when we chose our rulers, we are choosing them for the entire country. And when we cast our vote, we do it in the belief that our vote is in the best interest of the country. Choosing a president should not based on how much we despise those that countervail our ideologies or lifestyle, such as in the case against LGBT people. Even if we don’t approve of their lifestyle and other characteristics, etc, they are citizens of the USA and contribute in the very same fashion you and I do. In fact, just like in the case of segregation times, African-American citizens contributed to the nation with many of the most important goods of their times, including many scientific and manufacturing innovations. In every single field, African-Americans contributed what no Caucasian man did. And they were discriminated and segregated? Many Latinos, even among the illegal ones, are excellent law-abiding members of our society and country. Furthermore, the LGBT and Latino communities and individuals have been loyal supporters and contributors to the well-being of our nation and each of us. Such as in the case of our gay, lesbian and Latino soldiers. In fact, now that the repeal of DADT passed, many other LGBT young people will join our forces. And in case you are not aware of it, we badly need many more thousands soldiers. But as well, be aware that many illegal immigrants had been accepted in the armed forces and after serving our nation were granted citizenship. Isn’t this a contradiction? Or looking at a reality from a different point of view that is uninvolved with the political rhetoric wars.

We must look into the issues that deeply concern our nation and citizens – and not – if abortion should be legal in our nation. It already is! And granted by the Constitution of The united States.  Nor if we are to pay less taxes, when the country is in desperate need of revenue. Of course I much prefer not to receive a smaller check, but if the country needs it, I am in. Are you? If LGBT people aspire to legal marriage, that is not my business, nor yours or our politicians, at all. More importantly, that will not define the future of our nation, but what it could do is: to reflect that our constitution truly is <or not> observed and enforced by everyone. Particularly by the legislative that is willing to compromise something they should not and all for the sake of staying in office.  And that is an important issue because being the #1 nation in the world, the world is watching us and we cannot afford to present a reality that differs from our commitment and base as the #1 nation. Specially considering the fact that, given our policies and interventions in countries and world issues, the US will ultimately affect the world, our place in it and our peace of mind. Choose and demand the real issues! Don’t let your politicians give you cat for a bunny.

Promising or finding definition

By Isis Win

The caucus’ are rolling, Therefore the choice for the official Republican Party candidate is beginning to become defined. Of course, surprises are expected at any moment. Perhaps the first one is Santorum grabbing a tie with Romney, but as well, Paul is following them very closely. Recent declarations by former Speaker of the House Gingrich point to an impending outcome: pulling out of the race. It is not a surprise that super-smile bimbo Bachman already is out. What was a surprise is that she is such an ignorant, but on top of that, insisted on being smart and well-educated during the debates. Well, she is not as ignorant as bimbo talker Palin, but as well, not as cute as her. BTW, it seems that Palin finally figured out that she is better off staying away from the Republican election and instead, improving her followers’ numbers in order to make much more money that she could in her previous job. Otherwise, she will lose that too! Hopefully she figured out that people have a very short memory span, and therefore, she must grab what she can now or forget about it.

Although I didn’t have any hope from the Republican prospects, it is clear the three remaining runners are not a match for Democrat Obama. Well, I admit it makes me glad to know that Obama’s chances are good. That, for two reasons: Normally in their second term, previous presidents that were heavily opposed in the House or Senate had much better chances of passing their bills and delivering some of their promises. However, we can wonder about some of them, given the undefined financial crisis that the US and Europe are going through. I am an optimistic and mostly because I am well aware that in this country the American people always get their act together and pull off even the most incredible tasks. Even the Greeks and Egyptians would have been impressed by the resilience of the American people. As well, the US, although it has been really close to losing dominance in the world, still has a lot of fabric to cut from.
The second reason I will celebrate Obama getting a second term is because the two top Republican contenders have made clear that part of their platform is blocking all Civil Rights for gay [LGBT] people. Although conservative and close minded minds don’t get it, this nation will not be complete until all walks of life are integrated into ALL civil rights to EVERYONE! Frankly, it bothers me that many of the top contributors to the well-being to the nation are gay, and yet, that hasn’t been enough to grant to all LGBT people the rights that the Constitution of the United States of America contemplated when created.
It is absolutely ridiculous and inhuman to deny ANY right to anyone because of any way of thinking, whether those ways of thinking, religious or based on simple and arcane ideas, would deny any such rights.
If we didn’t have a perfect celebration of the new century because the many tragedies of the first decade, the least we can do is to fix what is broken in the country, and that includes where, how and why our Constitution is not observed, respected, enforced as it suppose to be. On the contrary, Obama made clear during his candidacy and as well through his first term that Civil and Human Rights are at the top of his agenda. If he succeeds, the nation will benefit in many regards. That, contrary to what bigots and close minded people claim.

We are less than a year from the presidential elections. Therefore we are just beginning to live a few more months of vitriolic, negative and toxic campaigning, something that the American people don’t need or want. Every single poll in the last 4 months clearly states that from all corners people are truly fed up of political feuding based on defamation and negativism. As well, many talk shows that had covered the topic established that voters want to hear the true issues, solutions, alternatives and possibilities and not that the opponent cannot deliver them. I hope that voters’ sentiment is respected and that the candidates give us a lesson of what this nation can be in the next 4 years. I know well, we all will need to pitch in, such as an increase in taxation.

Our #1 agenda should be to return to work the millions of people who are screaming for work. This needs to be followed by bringing personal income to a decent level since it has been at least 10 years prior to the financial burst that income increases for the working people failed to match increases in the cost of living. And lastly, our government must find the means and mechanisms to educate the factory workers that lost their jobs due to [overseas?] outsourcing. Obviously they were good at what they did but not having those industries at home, their only chance will be as Obama said, the creating of he technologies that will employ those workers. And in the meanwhile, the cost of education must drop drastically in any fashion, whether it is tax credits, accessible low-interest loans and lower tuition costs. Frankly, I am glad these are not my college years because it seems being a really bad investment considering the high cost of education and the low demand and salaries of today. Once we are there, we not only get back to where we were no so long ago, but we can boost our economy and future. Well, that’s were corporate America will have to contribute too.
It is a valid question to inquire if we, the voters are defining the upcoming elections, therefore future or if this coming regime becomes another false promise as the Bush years were/are and will be forever. As a wise man once said: “Time will decide!”.

I wish you a fantastic 2012! This is a year of hope. Voila!

Settling of a reality

 By Isis Win

Ending another year prompts reflection. Perhaps when it comes to our personal reflection the process seems, “Smooth and easy” to attain but when it comes to issues of our country and world, things may become complex and incomprehensible.

The reasons are quite obvious but offer no explanations as how we arrived to where we are. For starters the media does not make it any easier but as well, not always represents the truth. Propaganda and manipulation often make the headlines and we are left thinking what is not. In most cases, all depends on what the medium in place is. However, many of those issues foreign to our inner world affect everything including our personal and close world.

The political scene is no exception and as we know, such alters many other realms that ultimately affect us personally.  Here I am doing a quick revision about some of those issues that have resulted in apathy, vitriolic reasoning and divided further the American people. All resulting in one of the worse cases in the American peopleʻs lack of confidence.  However, it is clear that no one fully agrees in many of those points of issue and their true representation.  Nevertheless, with some distance, the truth shines for itself, showing the facts as they truly are. Here are some at the top of the list.

Through the entire twenty-first century we’ve been encountering a not-so-familiar panorama in the US, starting with the unprovoked attack on the WTC, an event that shocked and infuriated even the most cool and collected person. For some “strange” reason, if we could have removed our selves from what happened as it happened, we didn’t. We were emotional witnesses to this hard-to-believe painful tragedy. Some people mourned, while for others, their anger was triggered to the point of seeking revenge against the perpetrator.

I bounced back and forth between both, but always kept in view that a terrorist faction is not a country. They have no official home and they can be spread around the world. How scary! Almost like in the bloody seventeenth century when many religion wars were fought. Therefore, fighting them seemed close to impossible. Those that were obsessed by that core anger wanted to take matters in their hands. As a consequence, flocks of young people joined the armed forces. Young patriotic people who were willing to sacrifice their lives to defend our sovereignty and freedom. People whose values rank at the highest level of caring for their nation and people, something to be much more than admired. But sadly, even the armed forces have failed them from beginning to end.

Through those same times, we were consumed as well by a previous enemy of the USA and a threat to the world: Saddam Hussein. Hussein already was an icon in our minds when he invaded and stole the vaults of Kuwait and was flawlessly ousted out of Kuwait by the US forces. The US demolished his arsenal, leaving him totally unprotected in one of the most dangerous and unstable regions of the world, a region that constantly has been at war since the beginning of history.

It was well-known that Hussein possessed chemical weapons and was fully capable of using them, and as well, US intelligence suspected a large arsenal that could be used against the US as retaliation, and the existence of production plants. There even was speculation that he was preparing to possess nuclear weapons although the UN stepped in and established there were not suspected weapons, nor plants. Saddam was no threat to anyone. As well, US intelligence assured the White House that Hussein had business with Al-Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden and was involved in the WTC attack.

Then, the US went to a preemptive assault on Iraq, a war that then-President Bush promised to the American people “will be a short one and a definite win” without any problem. History showed that not being the case at all, but as well, the presumed US intelligence was wrong. Way wrong! Hussein was not a threat nor was part of any act of terrorism against the US or any allied country. However, we engaged into a war that cost several thousands of life lost, and severely physically damaged many folds more of soldiers. The cost of this war was way beyond what the country could afford – especially when we were enjoying tax cuts across the board. But like if that wasn’t enough pain to the country and to the American people, the post-invasion effort was a total flop. The only winners in this war had been all the humongous businesses that garnered multi-billion contracts to support the troops, do the clean up, and saw to the return of Iraq, such as Halliburton. As well, we faced the true problem behind the 9/11 attack: Afghanistan. Our troops went there to kill all Al Qaeda operatives and their top rulers. It was another flop, although several of the people responsible for the attack had been detained and others killed, including Osama bin Laden.

We learned that what Bush said in regard to Iraq and Saddam was completely false, and his team made sure to point the finger at faulty intelligence, but not him. Bush simply washed his hands of any responsibility. To the public opinion, he just retaliated against the culprits of 9/11, and that sufficed to most. However, we now know that there was evidence of manipulations within the government agencies, and consequentially around that time, Secretary of State Colin Powell renounced his position, leaving politics for good. We will never know what the truth is. It has been said over and over that the attack to Iraq was planned before 9/11.

Nevertheless, we engaged in two war fronts, lost too many lives, and more, although Bush assured us to the contrary. We left Iraq a total mess, and Afghanistan is far from reaching an end. The cost of both wars amounts several billions of dollars, although we’ll never know if the actual cost of the wars on Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq is close to 4 trillion dollars as stated by the press.

But the previous administration left us one more chaos. Although analysts, academics and several legislators warned the White House about the dangerous housing and mortgage balloon, the White House did nothing. It burst, leaving us in the second-worst recession in history. Frankly, after all I’ve read about the depression of the 30s, I believe what we’ve dealt with is a true depression. However, it never reached that level because the White House stepped in and saved most of the banks.

This created another breed of winners: bankers and their top men, including those that illegally traded many corrupted loans. Bottom line, the Republicans left the country and the American people in dire straights. We lived through almost an entire decade while watching the most powerful White House in the history of the US deceiving the American people, selling the country to China, creating a war that was not justified by any means, and violating the Freedom Act with the Patriot Act, and all in the name of justice. But justice to who? Although most Americans agreed with bringing to justice all responsible for the attack, no one agreed to the results of the flawed management to achieve that purpose. So far Al-Qaeda has cost the US almost 10,000 lives and a fortune we cannot afford.

It wasn’t surprising to see Bush winning a second term. Although I forecast many years ago Kerry being president due to his remarkable political career, his campaign was too poor and the fact was that he is part of the American aristocracy, even if just by marriage. I knew all that would be a heavy price for him. Bush won and we were set on course to tragedy. The silver spoon-born rancher got a second term. The saddest part is – learning about Bush’s grim past. Although a college graduate, he is an ignorant, not presidential caliber at all.
Bush has not even traveled overseas ever! And he became a president? As well, all his previous “professional” positions were a total flop. Not even being governor of Texas created sound credentials, well, despite the grand fact that he came from a family with a long history in American politics.

Then, elections came again, and with the American people already fed up with the terrible and failed Republican policies of Bush, the Democrats rose into power. I remember so clearly when Governor Obama delivered that phenomenal speech at the Democratic Convention at Kerry’s nomination, I was awed and deeply impressed by it. I told my wife right away, “Here we have a presidential Democrat.” My wife dismissed my comment simply because in her eyes, America was not ready for an African-American president. I had doubts too. However, I believed that the principles of his speech were exactly what the American people wanted and needed: to return to the known American principles of social justice and a growing economic power to all. But that panorama was too far from reality, considering all of above.

Obama became the choice of the American people. Personally, I favored Obama simply because McCain was not promising throughout his campaign at all, particularly after he selected bimbo Palin as his running partner. It was clear that either he wanted absolute power by choosing her or he felt the election was in his pocket anyway. I took offense at his poor choice. “Why Palin?”, I wondered. Because she is an eloquent loose canon? Because she is very attractive? Or because she is quite poisoned against moderate or liberal policies?

My question was answered once the Tea Party started to take over the Republican platform. All that is about is vitriol and nothing about policies or real patriotism, not even American dreams. Opposition to abortion, illegal immigrants, gun control and antagonism against gay rights became their platform and nothing about American policy nor the well-being of the American people. It was about removing from the American tapestry anyone that wasn’t approved by them.  Like that defines our nation! Clearly, as well, greed known among republicans is part of their song.

However, it is my impression that in reality, McCain gave away his presidential dreams due to the recent disaster of the financial meltdown. In fact, I don’t doubt the possibility that the Republican party gave away the election to let the Democrats deal with the existing crisis and then win the following period. Fixing the depression wouldn’t be possible in the next four years, but it is more promising during the next period. We must remember at all times that in politics, anything can happen. And if so, the Republicans had made a great performance presenting a view of Obama and the Republican Party that would assure them the White House in 2012.

I can only hope that the American people have a better vision than going by the Republican propaganda and the blocked attempts to address our current situation. If the White House ends up Republican in 2012, we must be prepared to manage a worse war than the one against Al-Qaeda, because the American people have left behind for far too long the worst scenario for the American people in the last 100 years. Frankly, I believe that the majority voters are not willing to deal with the Republicans, at least in 2012.

The American voters are after justice, fairness and equal distribution. Obama promised not only that, but a total change of the political landscape. A red flag in my view. He was committing to too much and on top of that he was to going to bridge differences between Republicans and Democrats? I wondered how could he do that? That definitely would represent a major change! However, I knew as well that the fact that he is of African descent could bring as well another can of worms for him and the Democrats. Of course, no one wants to publicly admit that, but for four years I’ve heard too many Republicans and Democrats whining about that fact. In 2008, I didn’t care myself because my eyes don’t suffer from those ethnic filters. As well, I knew what the nation needed was someone who wanted to achieve a place in history that confirmed what this nation is supposed to be about. If we could have another Lincoln or Jefferson, that would be it! How naïve of me, because I disregarded the fact that the opposition would make sure he failed in any attempt to bring any of those promised changes. All that because he is a Democrat, he promised too much, he believed in the ability to fully change the nation and because he is black. It seems I was right, but that doesn’t remove the sadness I experienced because, in my book, everything should be about the bettering of the country and everyone in it.

Now we’ve witnessed for a few months the front-runners for the official Republican candidacy throwing dirt at each other and many folds more to Obama. At the early stage of the debates, I was somehow excited about it. Now, I am so disappointed and just as frustrated. Between all the candidates, the Republican party lacks of any true presidential caliber candidate. Flip flopping, ignorance, deception and a hidden agenda are out in the light, even to the politically blind. Not even extracting the best of each candidate can we create one candidate that is sound and promising. On the other side, we still have Obama who, according to the Tea Party and the running candidates, is nothing close to presidential caliber and is a total fraud. If that were to be true, we are in a humongous jam because what the American people need is even a tiny bit of confidence in our future and a change of social and economic structure, something the Republicans openly are against. This is the reason the Occupy movement was born.

Although it seems that Occupy has awakened consciousness along the Main Streets, I see no signs of participation in numbers, something that is vital and badly needed. Perhaps everyone is too busy doing Christmas shopping or too depressed to say anything? It is another layer to the apathy I see. But I don’t blame anyone for it. It would be useless to do so. We cannot change our deficit, unemployment, nor the animosity of the Arab world towards us, or the divisive mentality in politics.  We are hopeless!

I know as well that most of the people unaffected by the recession not only don’t really care about what’s going on in the country or the people, and they have an opinion that differs so much from  reality. Dentists can afford looking at the eye of the customer and say: “Well, I have a plan for your dental care. It will take a few visits and your cost will only be $5,000!” Not to mention a visit to the Doctor, who in the long run, will only write another prescription to be filled and enrich the already-billionaire bio-chemical industries. God forbid that you need a lawyer that will charge you $300 for that letter he sent in your behalf! Nor go back to the gas prices of the early 2000s. But instead, we can buy a large screen TV, an iPad, or a car in payments so it provides some sense to living! And that while a small group of new millionaires and billionaires take their monies to foreign banks, can afford multiple mega-million homes, have their own jet, a fabulous yacht in an exotic place and pay almost no taxes!

Only the blind cannot see what’s truly happening to the world and our country, but, since they are blind, they will not read my blog. But way high in the aristocratic ladder, I can point to all those politicians who are not only out of touch with what the nation needs, but are clueless about what the American people want. Why would they care? Especially if they can enjoy a million dollar revolving account at Tiffany’s, or live in a $1,000,000+ home, while others are just concerned about putting a turkey on the Christmas dinner table or even worse, having a warm roof over their heads. In case you are not aware, poverty levels have grown as bad as our deficit.

If the country needs something, it is to put an end to negativity, to halt the bashing of those who are not approved by others, to – pitch in – where and when possible, and to insure the well-being of every single law-abiding citizen. We need to open our minds, eyes and hearts! Every single American matters as much as you do! After all, the well-being of others, is reflected in our own lives because our lives, are the fabric of America. Diversity has been one of the greatest blessings of the USA; therefore, every single individual should count, regardless of how different we might be or of our personal preferences. Therefore, everyone must be entitled to the exact same rights and opportunities. It is great for corporate America that has achieved the wold’s greatest place, but that place should not be exclusive to them, nor exclude anyone.

God Bless America and each of us!

A call to all Latino voters

By Isis Win

We are about a year away from Presidential Elections and although it may seem too early to start getting involved, actually this is the right time. We’ve already seeing the republicans feuding among themselves to find their official candidacy. Frankly, after what I’ve seeing through the debates, not even putting the best of each of the possible runner, there is not a possible chance to find someone who offer what is needed to rule the country, as needed, for the next period. In fact, it is truly hard to believe that such characters are hopefuls to the highest office. Not only politically immature but as well, ridiculously uneducated, without a true national and world vision and clearly, all with many personal issues, flaws and shortcomings! Who doesn’t, right? Ok, I give you that one but in someone who for the next four years will determine the future of the American people and the placement of the USA in the world? Give me a break! Frankly, these candidates are as bad and ridiculous as what you can see in many third world countries!

On the other side, we have as a possible option: President Obama. What a? Do we have doubts about him? Geeez! I’ve heard a few Latino bothers and sisters, particularly their elders saying: He betrayed us. He never delivered what he promised us when elected. He said to lie down a migratory reform that would insure us confidence and legal status and address the border problem in a way that our Latino brothers would not have to risk their lives to make a living. What a? I’ve heard that over and over and I wonder when he said that because I never heard it. And I promise you: I didn’t because I didn’t pay any attention to his promises or all he’s done through his administration. Frankly, I have no reason to “defend him” as an African-American lady said a few years ago – because she was tired of doing so. First, he doesn’t need to be defended because he hasn’t done anything wrong nor he is neglecting his promises. President Obama has been facing one the worse situations an US president has faced in our history. And I am not exclusively talking about facing the mortgage and banking bubble, the largest unemployment in who knows how many decades, a lethargic financial growth, a pathetic situation in Iraq and Afghanistan, a delicate situation with the Arab nations revolting, the chronic lack of confidence among the American people, etc, etc, etc. We can’t simply overlook the fact that the republicans, namely the congress enticed by the Tea Partiers have literally opposed to anything he’s said, inquired and done. However, we still are on our feet, we are pushing the engine, with trouble and low in gas but we are not at the brink of what we where just a few months before he was elected. Maybe that is nothing to the republicans, perhaps that is nothing to the democrats but it is a lot to the American people at large. This doesn’t have anything to do with partisan politics and policies but every single note coming from him has been used against him. What has been thrown against him, has been against the American people. However, a lot of people seem to overlook that very important fact.

We need to get started to work on educating those that have the wrong idea of what Obama promised, “should” deliver and never did. It is time to teach the Latino brothers than he is not the least evil of the two. He is the only possibility at this stage. But as well, a second term will insure that some of the items he wanted to deliver for the American people will be delivered. As well, that the engine behind the republicans, the same engine that provoked the financial crisis, unbalance of health services and providers, the one behind the war in Iraq and Afghanistan , yep also the rich and affluent people. President Obama wants to change that order and not because he is a Socialist wanting to change our ruling system, as some people accuse him. He is not a socialist, he is a social conscious individual! Exactly what the country has been in need of for a few generations.

Today a year before elections, we must make sure the republicans will not take power this coming election! If they do, thousands of long-term residents but undocumented immigrants, will be jailed and/or deported. Even if they have children born in the US. Our south border will become a war zone against the poor people who are willing to risk their life in favor of supporting their poor families back home.
The denied rights of all LGBT people will become a fantasy for the unforeseeable future. Women will have to travel the south border to have an abortion. Our presence in the Middle East will be not about monitoring the balance in the region but total control of all the unstable countries seeking for democracy. Therefore, increasing more animosity among the Arab people if we increase our power in the region. And much more. In other words, we will get close to a totalitarian and dictatorial system in which the rich and moralists in the far side of the spectrum, will place their muscle on the rest of the population! Just look around and see the unbalance of wealth, power and opportunity between the poor and the rich! And in case you’ve not notices: those that side with the far right <Read: Tea Party>, are not rich but are totally capable of doing whatever it takes to become one of them!

Start campaigning now! Don’t wait until a few weeks before because a grand number of the voters need to learn the truth about what has been happening in the country and to the country! Although this message is for all that have a social consciousness and support open-minded policies, the Latino community is the one that will suffer the most if a Republican takes power at the White House. We’ve already seeing the results of losing leverage at the House of Representatives. Although it is hard to believe, a number of Latinos are Republican but invariably they are after finding opportunity and a future at any cost. Now, they seek for higher social and financial gains. What the Republican party offers in exchange for their support. And why is that? Most Republicans were born with a silver spoon in their mouth and everyone else wants the same spoon!

If you can think, speak and walk, then get involved now! Otherwise it will be too late and too bad. You vote will be good, but we most work towards making sure most of us vote for the positive future of our nation and the entire population. Not just the few that want to keep America as in the 1800s.