Bad blogger wants to be good, will it happen?

By Isis Win

Something interesting happened after this past blog of mine. More than one person is following me. In fact, several signed in to read my writing. It makes me wonder and it makes me feel something new. I wonder what is it that I have those readers now. Is it that I asked for help? humility? I mentioning my upcoming adventure? LGBT or that I am a trans woman? Who knows and I doubt I will ever will get to know the answer.
The feeling? Well, I know well that knowing that some people have in interest in my blogs makes feel having purpose to continue doing it. How ironic because in the 90s and early 2K I was blogging in so many places, all different topics and stories and I knew having a pretty decent amount of readers but I didn’t feel what I do today. I continue blogging after a long “hiatus” because I have a mission about spreading the word, perhaps educating some, to understand, accept and embrace everyone under the LGBT umbrella. Something I understand should be happening at these times and particularly in this country where diversity has made the most interesting and prolific nation in history. However, it was not happening and only a few of us knew why. As well, the opponents reasons do not seem reasonable or reliable. Such as some of biblical extracts that in their eyes meant only certain people deserve the love and support of God, consideration, compassion, etc. I prefer not going into because it is a lost war. Now I know. However, yesterday I was visiting an old friend who is very christian and has been a devoted Bible student most of his life. We covered this topic only to end agreeing that the Christian message (Jesus) and al religions are exactly about embracing everyone. He as well, fails to understand this archaic attitude of some LGBT opponents and agreed that such interpretations used against us are out of context and poor.

I do no know about other bloggers but besides my intent to pitch in this LGBT movement, I write because that is my first love, I enjoy it and I am a communicator. As well, I know we need to address many things to better them off. Therefore, knowing being read does the trick, the contrary simply is a bad rap with a bad feeling. Isn’t it?

If I tell your how much I have invested in this battle for inclusion of LGBT in everything, whether sending letters (hand written), e-mails and calls to legislators, and corporations, you will think I am plain nuts. Sometimes I think that way myself. However, in the last couple of years things have been changing for better, regardless of how much we have to go. There is deep level of satisfaction in myself from knowing being part of this movement of change. That makes the effort of communicating – non stop about the same issues – worthy the effort. But there is so much more to life! We should occupy part of our time and effort to invest as much as we can afford – to address many other extremely important topics and make sure they change. Such as child and women abuse. The environment. We must pitch into providing resources to poor families, so their children can acquire an education and pursue college. Many states are incredibly successful with programs that provide musical, acting, even technical “shops” to keep the children busy with something worth it and enticing them to pursue a better lifestyle through their own effort. Without the participation of generous Americans, this would not happen. These schools present stats of heavily reduced numbers of student’s quitting before getting their high school diploma. That is an excellent result that on the long run makes the US a better nation. But higher education is another matter that requires a stronger and more massive investment from most Americans. It can be done in this nation where the impossible happens and history shows it every century.
Well, this blog is about my gratitude to those readers that signed in and as well, the peace of mind of knowing something I didn’t just a couple of days ago.

By the way about blogging, since the days I blogged last with these past 2 blogs, I noticed many changes in the navigation panel (Dashboard) to blog and have control about the blogger’s pages. Navigating already was not as “friendly” as needed by someone who are not well-educated about code, internet intricacies, etc. So now I find I need to relearn this process and simply said, it takes time away from other activities. I guess this is something to be expected in this ever and fast changing world of digital technology. However, give me a break!
I want to be a good blogger by posting more often and sharing with others things that trigger their interest. However, this only can happen when interaction between the readers and the blogger take place. I deeply believe this is the way to join the efforts to produce the needed changes that otherwise, ankylose everything else. So lets see if my timing – this time – is better because I know well, this is the right place for me and I just hope, for a long time to come. Thanks for reading me!

PS: One or two of my subscribers seem to be business >people<, not readers. Is that so? The Spam engine have removed about 1500 of them already!

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Bad blogger is out of limbo now

 

Almost right after I published my lasts blog I received news from my “disappeared” friend. I received a short note letting me know she is fine and later she will write more since she is constrained of time at the time. Needless to say, I am relief knowing about her well being. I hope one day to know what happened to her during all this time. Of course, I will leave the mystery to you since who cares about very personal things. Although at times, I believe actually blogging, at least in terms of numbers, are about personal things. But that is very personal. As well, my friend wants me to continue blogging. I’ll see what the future departs for me in the next few months.
Now I will get a bit personal. Much more than ever before and I envisioned to do, ever before. However, the only reason for doing so, with what I am about to share, is because I am adventuring soon, into a totally unknown world for me and I am clueless as what I can expect. Further more, I lack the necessary judgment and knowledge to do so, but isn’t life about adventure as well? This adventure is more typical of what very young people indulge with. Older people – although – they do this type of traveling a lot, they do have known most of what is involved very setup before and they know what to expect. Am I too old for doing so? Time will speak for me. However, I can do it now and I know, waiting much more for something like this, will be a no-no in the no so distant time. It is not a big deal though. Thousands of people had done it for who knows how long but they know something that I do not know. Regardless, I will plunge into it.

A few years ago I moved from SFO Ca. I came to beautiful lushly VA to start a business while spending time with my little brother who was experiencing serious health problems (diabetes B). I never started the business due to a few reasons, being #1 that it was a no so good year to do so. 2008 when we were looking at a serious financial crisis – world wide, a potential second great depression, slow moving investments and massive unemployment. So, I have been improvising all these years and like so many people, facing something I never experienced before as this. A terrible problem due to poor cash flow. Humility (and gratitude for what I have) settled in place to manage. However, I spend time with my little bother although basically we were troubled getting along. My little brother passed away a few months ago. Therefore he is no longer the reason for my staying here. So, I am heading to warm Ca to start life again. I wonder how much of a good idea this is, since Ca still is deep in the unemployment department but they still have the nice weather, except fires and of course earthquakes. More importantly, Ca is a little more friendlier to LGBT people and I’ll shade myself under that umbrella. If lucky, I find me a job working in an advocacy organization in favor of the denied rights to us. But that is not the core of my blog.
I am preparing myself to purchase a large RV that allows me to live in it full time. However, I know nothing about them. In the last few weeks, I’ve been learning so much about the entire thing. Whether is easy to believe it or not, it takes loads of knowledge. Starting by what to buy with a limited budget as mine. Now I see RVs as a rolling on wheels boat. Rving in reality is a luxury that only people with dough can indulge with. Well, unless the case is  – that occasional holiday and either rent one or have a small one that requires much less maintenance and can be parked in the driveway or backyard. Not my case as I mentioned. I’ll be doing this journey along., My aim is to travel from the east to the west coast in it and start traveling Ca from the south to the north until I find my next place to settle. I am traveling with very limited resources so luck (and loads of common sense) must be on my side. If you tell me to be doing this, I will call it adventurous but nuts. Well, for an old lady like myself.
I do not see this journey like one of those adventures in which an old lady is about to explore unknown lands and the time of the Wild West. Today, doing something like this is much easier and accessible than it was a century ago. Not to mention, with the comfort of an RV? However, it comes with its risks. And as I said, ignorance can come with a price. Today I feel more prepared than a month ago, when I was concocting my plan. Now I am familiar with he laws in all states I will pass through. What to avoid when purchasing a used RV. That a 5h wheel will be better and easier to haul. Many of the known problems with RVs such as “hidden” water inside and more. However, I’ve never pulled one before so this will be a first. Since my truck (2000 F250, Super Duty – Super crew cab) is capable of hauling 12,500 lb max., I am limited to a smaller RV. Perhaps 29’ to 30’, unless I find an affordable super light weight with 2 slides. If you do not what that is, it is no more than an extension that you slide when parked,  giving you some extra room. One slide usually is in the living room/dinette and the other one can be the bedroom. I will need badly this second one to have a decent closet space where I could store more than my summer shorts and a tank top, if you know what I mean.  Although it is amazing how much space they have for a “home on wheels”, only the fancy ones have enough room for a “home like experience”. Not what is in my budget. A max of 10k out of the door. That barely covers an old one, such as 1990s and no fancy at all. It is so ironic that I could buy larger and newer for the same money and that is because there are many more large RVs and heavier than what my track can manage. So, I’ll get me what I can and hopefully I make a decent choice and not a hole in my pocket because otherwise, my journey will end before who knows.
Perhaps the only promising thing is that I’ll be documenting my trip as much as I can and as I go. However, I will be incommunicado. My laptop drive does not boot up and I doubt I will be able to reach WI-Fi from the road and inside of the RV with my desktop. I tried a new drive but Dell truly stinks. After I loaded the OS, I’ve not being able to access the net because I must find the needed drivers by hand and I am clueless as which ones – in the extra CD belong to what the communications devices need to connect to the net. A consultation to Dell to do so since I am out of warranty, will cost me more than I wish to pay for. Perhaps a new lap top will be best but since I am buying this RV, that is not permitted at the moment. So who knows if I’ll figure how to deal with this before my trip. If lucky, then I can post as I go and share my photos. Maybe some stories but doubt it since I am driving alone, therefore, just the driving will squeeze out of me most of my energy. Well,I am thinking about a slow driving – pulling so much weight – that probably will take me more than the previous 5 day trip to the west coast coast I’ve done 5 times before – by car. Maybe if I do not get so tired, I make a few stops to enjoy some of the places on my way. However, I will not go by the Colorado canyon in order to avoid the steep climb to Albuquerque, later entering Ca. I will travel south of them, passing near the Mexican border. A new route for me.
As you can see, I am excited (and scared!!) to do this crazy trip and I hope to make a fantastic experience out of this opportunity. I just wish to be better prepared but I am already set to leave no later than the end of June, when I have to return my place of living.
Frankly, I was not considering to share any of this because I am not sure I can come up with some goods for you to enjoy. But I’ll give it my best try and I hope not to disappoint anyone expecting something really good. Wish me good luck and if you have a similar experience or know about RVing, please share it with me. Thanks for reading me!

Bad, bad blogger asks for help in Honolulu!

Although I feel I am blogging exclusively for myself, I try to do it as much as I can. However, I’ve not been successful for a long time. So many things of daily life had taken priority leaving me no time and much less inspiration to share my views. The strange part is that I write almost every single day some. However, I do it for myself to exercise my mind and my way to view the issues of my interest. And there is so much of it! But it would make sense to myself but my few readers will be in blank. So I keep them to myself. Talking about readers, I have been struggling with one that regularly visited my pages, have something to say and we were almost on the same page. In fact, after a couple of years, we developed a regular visit (Skype) once a week and enjoyed each other souls, hearts and minds. We both knew to have developed a more than the on-line friendship bond. I know she cared for me and without doubt, I cared for her. However, a few months ago, I stopped hearing from her. I waited and waited for the longest to receive an update from her. My phone calls and messages were never answered. Equally my e-emails. I do not know what to make out of it because this is totally out of character for her. I am not aware that she had a bad feeling about myself at all. I tried and tried to reach her out and since I do not know anyone that knows her too, I have no one to reach to ask about her whereabouts and well-being. She lives in Honolulu, Hawaii. I do not know anyone there. However, I called several organizations that knew about here, talked to someone that knew who she is, left several messages to others and in all cases, asking the them to locate her. I begged them too to let me know about their findings. No reply up to date and the >No knowing< is a damn killer of the spirit. This is part of my lack of inspiration, perhaps apathy to continue blogging. If someone happens to read this silly . . . . whatever! And happens to live in Honolulu, I will appreciate if you help me to to find out what happened to her. I refuse to believe she is no more or unable to reach me because I know pretty well, she would be in this very same place if I would suddenly disappear. Once again, the no knowing is much more than I can chew.

I will not include details of my friend here but if your compassion for my anguish entice you to help me, please send me a note through WP and I’ll share what you need to know to help me. I will be eternally grateful to the kind soul that helps me. Thanks for reading!

Believe it or not, corporate America is changing policies regarding “Same Sex Marriage”.

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!


No so long ago, there was no clear positive participation from the mainstream to support LGBT issues and realm. Today, this panorama differs drastically from our recent panorama but corporate America is making a grand difference and a dent in the mind of the mainstream. During the past decade several one 100 corporations incorporated policies in the work force, hiring, provided perks, etc, to serve equally to LGBT people. These actions had been implemented by hundreds of them and now, they are supporting Same Sex Marriage. Since corporations cannot change the existing legislation to this unconstitutional denial, they not only opened their doors to LGBT workers and new employed people, but they are enacting policies that provide to their gay and lesbian workers equal services from their providers. Today, several of these corporations allow a gay or lesbian workers to include their beloved on in their health provisions package and benefits. It does not validate the civil right that according to the US constitution every single American should receive, but this is a mighty good start. Although gay and lesbian American workers expect more regarding their right to marry their chosen one, this corporate move very likely will mimic part of the desired goals based on a rightful wish. At this point, LGBT advocates and the related organizations, such HRC are only waiting for the Supreme Court to revise the constitutionality of this demand, the opposition movement, etc, in several states. Experts believe, the Supreme Court will rule out denial of this right based on the value of the constitution. The question will be if this becomes a federal mandate or states are allowed to choose how they will enact this policy.
It is clear the several organizations involved in denying this right will continue to invest their multimillion contributions to campaigns against it. Mostly religious organizations that ironically ignore the fact that separation of church and state does not allow them to attempt to “guide” the government and American people to deny such basic right and based on the Sacred Scriptures. However, candidates at the brink of elections, present their support to this religious battle and clearly to gather the support of their constituents that do not support marriage between the same-sex. This is prevalent on the republican party side but there are a few democrats politicians that oppose to this right as well. The Supreme Court and the White House have a package in their hands to either observe this constitutional right or delay it. On the long run, there will be a day in which this right is observed and no longer is a political issue in the platform of those no scrupulous politicians.
Same sex marriage has been on the table for many years now in the USA. It has created one of the most radical polemics among their opponents and supporters to a point that, when testifying to the media, their arguments fall right away through the cracks when confronted with the civil aspects of this issue. I’ve heard in many talk programs arguments on their part that do not present any other notion but the believe that marriage, “natural marriage” as they call it, can only be allowed between a man and woman. A notion that right away lose the shine they pretend to present in their effort as a part of God’s design, because the religions they use to support their position, as well states clearly, according to their very own interpretations: God intended to seed in his human children forgiveness compassion, generosity, love and acceptance to every one of his children, that would be allowed to enter “Heaven” if repented of their sins. And this cannot be a sin. Being born as God’s design and being incongruent with the established role by humans is an issue between humans, not God’s will. This regardless of the hostile antagonism represented through history, at large, and coming down to the loss of beloved family members, peers and friends and suicide to many. This to a point that, although it is federally and state illegal, LGBT people are harassed, bullied, destitute, physically and emotionally punished. This clear sign not only represents that lack of ability to exercise compassion and generosity to those that in their view lack what life only accepts and support, but as well, the mean streak represented against LGBT through history as the recent disease that killed thousands of people in our nation as the result of HIV and AIDS when they celebrated this disease and deaths. Up to date, thousands of people point this disease as a deserving punishment from God to gay people and consider it appropriate punishment to the case. However, we as well have many more folds numbers of compassionate people who have work constantly to find the means to treat the disease and find a cure. Today, more people survive this disease than ever before.
Corporate America recognizes the fact that LGBT people are as good contributors to the working force as any other human being. They recognize it is of utmost importance that they acquire the very same rights and benefits in their working force as anyone and several businesses include this initiative in their policies. Perhaps one of these days, this right no longer is denied anywhere at anytime, to any deserving member of this minority. Meanwhile, every month dozens and dozens of people and their businesses are moving to that place of support and that reflects the vision of our founding fathers. As well, it represents a higher state of human consideration among the supporters of LGBT people. This contribution of corporate America brings a tremendous positive outcome to our nation, same that at some point will reflect the evolution of our race. Although we are far superior to all other species, for some strange reason, we humans are troubled by this and ignoring the fact that animal life in hundreds of species – exhibit this very same homosexual behavior. Even theologians from all walks of life, beliefs and cultures, attest that marriage between a man and woman is not contemplated in the Sacred Scriptures but it is the result of a bad and manipulated interpretation. In my part, I believe that whatever this is for one or the other side of this issue, one greatly overlooked fact is that no one is entitled at any level, whatsoever, to make themselves the judge, jury and enforcement on the lives of law-abiding members of our society. This a phenomena speaks very eloquently of the poor moral, ethic and legal state of mind of those that not only oppose to this right, but as well desire to force the rest of the world to comply with their own view. The day the stop minding the business of others, as LGBT people actively have represented no to mind others issues through this polemic issue, we may reach a plateau in which we can mingle together and peacefully. Regardless of the differences of opinion, beliefs and lifestyles between us. Overall, we will perform better as citizens, human beings, brothers and sisters, when we exclusively remain faithful to our own choices and allow others to do exactly the same.
Thank you and congratulations to corporate America for taking the right position in this polemic issue and the very same to every individual that supports LGBT people or refrain from participating in a controlling and belittling way against them. These times are a clear indication of what we need the most: To gather our efforts and support everyone towards their well-being, peace and harmony and regardless of who they are. LGBT people care for others without making any distinction of others lifestyle, beliefs, status, etc.

Compassion . . .


By Isis Win

Compassion is that which makes the heart of the good move at the pain of others. It crushes and destroys the pain of others; thus, it is called compassion. It is called compassion because it shelters and embraces the distressed. – The Buddha.

Perhaps the word is not as old as the sentiment, but certainly compassion has existed from our early days of tribal gathering. Compassion, the highest level of empathy for the suffering is a fundamental part of human love, humanism and altruism. It is the cornerstone of  religion and perhaps, one of the feelings most considered by philosophers and poets. As well, it is the principle of socialization and the formation for the many different groups that populated the world through our entire history. Psychology and sociology have studied it, and concur that our world without it, would not be the same, not as we know it. Compassion is an innate human virtue that can either die or be greatly enhanced through the learning process of interactivity among people.

From the religious point, compassion is referred as the inter connection between God and the self. It is the love from the parent for the child, according to Judaism (Kabbalah). And it is a tradition among their followers to consciously exercise it, a classic articulation of the Golden Rule.

In Christianity, the Bible refers about it in 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves received from God.” As well, the Gospels extend compassion to all, even to loving one’s enemies.

In Islam, God’s attributes are mercy and compassion (Rahaman and Rahim) and well, each of the 114 chapters of the Quran, with one exception start with the verse “In the name of God the compassionate, the merciful”. In the Muslim tradition, a good Muslim starts each day with a prayer invoking God the Merciful and Compassionate. Family ties are characterized by compassion and named after the exalted attribute of God “Al-Rahim” (the compassionate). During Ramadan, fasting is used as a help to empathize with the hunger of the less fortunate and to enhance the sensitivity to the sufferings of others and develop compassion for the poor and destitute.

Hinduism in their various traditions, compassion (Daya) is about charity and self-control, one of the three central virtues. Prior to 1500 B.C., the Vedas emphasized the importance of compassion to be observed.

In Buddhism, compassion (Karuna) is the transcendental and experiential heart of the Buddha’s teachings. He was reputedly asked by his personal attendant, Ananda, “Would it be true to say that the cultivation of loving kindness and compassion is a part of our practice?” To which the Buddha replied, “No. It would not be true to say that the cultivation of loving kindness and compassion is part of our practice. It would be true to say that the cultivation of loving kindness and compassion is all of our practice.  The Dalai Lama has said: “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”

In Jainism, compassion for all life, human and non-human, is central to the Jain tradition. It is believed that vegetarianism is the result of compassion.

There are some that experience compassion for others, some that seem not to know what that is and there are many whose lives revolve around compassion. Among those that ignore it or are incapable of experiencing it, are the social psychopaths that exercise their passion for cruelty and kill people. Neurologists and DNA researchers have established the paths of compassion in the brain and the strands that define if someone is a psychopath or not. Very few people lack this strand but those that exhibit it do not necessarily become psychopaths. So what does define that outcome? Cultural influence through a person’s period of upbringing, extreme stress and frustration that does not find an outlet. So, now we have an idea of what compassion is. The nurturing of empathy to others and their suffering. Most people know it well, had experienced it through their lives and reacted in an altruistic form. But as well, there are many individuals unable to represent their empathy or compassion. The reason I wrote this blog is the result of the constant accusations by a few radio personalities and some organizations against LGBT people and illegal immigrants, who declaim against them and deny social and civil rights of these minorities. Another reason is the constant vitriol among politicians seeking to gather either power or office, by belittling and attacking their opponent. The irony of this case is that all use their anger and lack of compassion against something they do not understand or that is not approved based on their religion. That includes priest and preachers in almost all denominations. As well, “some common criminals” that hate westerners and their countries and justify their criminal behavior in religion, such as Jihad.

LGBT and illegal immigrants are the main recipients of this lack of compassion and love for the other in the last few years. Those who cannot show compassion despise those people who perhaps are more deserving than themselves, people who have suffered from ostracism, rejection, lack of support and understanding, or received abuse and fell into poverty, due to the opportunities denied to them because they do not “fit” in our society, according to these bigots. But those people whom they have discriminated against do not react the same way against them. As well, the intolerant claim that some people are not deserving of compassion because they are who they are, even though they are not criminals, mean-intentioned towards others or do wrong. Of course, there are bad apples among those discriminated against, but there are many more in the mainstream, and bigots do not target them. Their war is going too far at this point. They, the intolerant, not only exhibit their lack of love for other human beings, but as well, their lack of love for themselves and the God they claim to love, worship and follow. Their God, regardless of denomination, would never do that to anyone.

But that is me, I am compassionate because that is the way I was raised and that is the way I’ve chosen to live my life. As well, I’ve chosen not to remain quiet because intolerants and bigots not only are hurting themselves – but they are hurting everyone else with their poison. I wonder what their children are like; I wish them well and I wish they depart from intolerance and choose to become loving and supportive of the stigmatized, segregated and rejected, because those are suffering people in need of compassion.

We live in a complex world. A world that is constantly threatened by violence and insecurity, fear and paranoia. Bigots should not fear any other – but the ones that threaten everyone, not our own kind, and not because someone does not conform to their view of life or condition. For as long as compassion is not what rules our destiny, no one, including our loving children are safe. Gandhi provided a grand example to the world with his support to those that demanded freedom and the right to choose what they judge best to their interest – by showing his love and compassion – even to those that antagonized his people and country, and his followers resorted to a Non-Violence approach, that according to many, doesn’t work. It did for India and to date, they are not only free and pacific people but they are experiencing the largest boost in their country, socially, culturally, spiritually and financially. On the other hand, we in America are feuding in partisan venues, for issues that do not belong to the political realm but rather, to the legal, social realms, and to something that the Constitution ruled: that our nation is the nation of everyone. And this principle brought the incredible progress that we all know about since those old days of the Founders of America. Many Americans wonder if we are in decay, if the nation is experiencing a fall from that privileged place in the world we’ve known for so long.
There is only one way we can insure the future of this nation: to exercise that fundamental principle of empathy and compassion towards those who may be believed to be wrong. It is our example that will straighten the path of those that need direction. And our example must be based on an undeniable compassion towards everyone. If you are not convinced yet about what compassion is about and how much it belongs to our realm, read again Buddha’s thought above. If you are among us, compassionate people, spread the word and lets change what we can, now that we can.

We don’t have to agree with anyone who does not concur with our lifestyle, principles, faith, moral standards, etc., especially if we don’t fully know and understand what those individuals are about, more so if what they show as their direction in life maybe scary to us. But we owe to everyone the benefit of the doubt. Undeniably, we most honor their choices and condition as human beings and their efforts to better their conditions in life. Doing the contrary is against our constitutional principle that provides us freedom and opportunity and the same principle that this nation has fought for since its inception. Going against this principle is a violation of the cornerstone of our government, nation and everyone that contributes to it. But we can not disregard the fact that the reason the US became independent and created its constitution is because in order to achieve that high place in the world with our society, legal system, even the forces that protects us, compassion must be observed unrelentingly by every single person that steps into, lives on and forms part of our society and country. Doing the contrary simply dilutes that principle that make each of us and the nation who we are and what we stand for, especially if those ostracized by our societal norms have not been proven guilty for any other crime, but their willingness and investment to better their lives, the lives of their beloved ones and such contribute to the well-being of our nation and everyone in it. Let compassion rule your heart and mind and shall you receive equally the same.

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.