Saturday, September 10

The Real Cuba, The Worst of the Worst

A reader, who cowardly remained annonymouse, asked if things where as terrible in Cuba as some say it is. Initially, I thought perhaps this reader was intelectually impaired, but then I realized this would not be fair to many out there, who are victims of the mainstream media.

To be fair, today we are going to address this question.
If things are so terrible in Cuba, why does the US prevent citizens such as myself from going there? I have trouble believing much of anything that comes out the mouth of George Bush and his cronies... If I could see with my own eyes that things are as terrible as you say in Cuba, maybe you would make me a believer. But you may be lying too.
The truth is there is little I can say first hand. I am a US citizen, and I have never been to Cuba. I never will, until Castro dies, but I can go to those who ARE in Cuba and live under Castro's so-called revolution each and every day. Pay attention Mr. "Freedom" and tell me if this makes you a believer. Check out www.cubanet.org and the many other web sites that display the truth about Castro's Cubal. The following are stories from today's home page of CubaNet.org, a non-profit that published news reports from the island.
FROM CUBA
Violent eviction leads to near-riot
A forced eviction in Banes August 12 lead to a near-riot by neighborhood residents, who became riled up by police and Housing Authority officials' manhandling of the house's residents, including an older woman who suffered an ischemic attack and was left lying on the pavement.
HOLGUIN

FROM CUBA
Independent journalist receives death threat
Independent journalist Karel Castillo Pérez de Alejo, who is also a political activist, received a death threat this week from one of several men waiting for her outside her mother's me.
SANTA CLARA

FROM CUBA
Well known doctor among those drowned trying to flee Cuba
One of 31 Cubans who drowned last week while trying to join his wife in the United States was a well-known doctor, Pablo Ruiz Porra, who died on his sixth attempt to flee the country.
SANTA CLARA
Perhaps real live stories are not enough--allow me to invite you, my reader, to view the following documents.
The fact is that the Cuban people are suffering. Castro makes a mockery of Cuba's suffering with his offer of free medical care and doctors for New Orleans. The fact is, everyone knows that Cuba's so-called doctors are communist agitators and spies for Castro. If you want to visit Cuba, go ahead, but make sure to open your eyes, and see if you can get a tour through the political gulags, or the impovrished homes of the real Cuban people, who suffer from power outages, food shortages, and an all around miserable life.

The U.S. Army to Honor Latino Heroes

This is a press release worth passing on. A million thank you's to the great American men and women of Latino heritage that have given their lives and fought for our adoptive country. They are true heroes.
Gala Reception in Nation's Capital Headlines Army's National, Month-long Program of Activities

San Antonio, TX--(HISPANIC PR WIRE)--September 9, 2005--Continuing its longstanding commitment to celebrating the Army's contributions of Hispanics to America, the U. S. Army announced today its comprehensive Hispanic Heritage program entitled "Generaciones: Centuries of Answering our Nation's Call to Duty." Generaciones (Generations) is a month-long series of events that will highlight the heroic achievements, and honor Latinos in the military that have served our nation from generations past and present.

'The commitment Hispanics have demonstrated to our nation and its ideals is irrefutable and laudable. From the Revolutionary War to our present Global War on Terrorism, Hispanics have responded to our Nation's call generously and bravely,' said Lt. Gen. Robert L. Van Antwerp, Commanding General, U.S. Army Accessions Command, Fort Knox, Kentucky.

Headlining the month-long series of events is the U.S. Army's Generaciones gala reception to be held at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel (1401 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C.) on Tuesday, September 13 from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. Invited guests to the Generaciones reception include Hispanic War Veterans, senior military leaders and General Officers from all armed services, Members of Congress, Hispanic community and civic leaders, as well as educators. Several Hispanic recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor ' the nation's highest military award ' have been invited to this event and a special tribute is planned to
honor their singular contributions.

U.S. Army events scheduled throughout Hispanic Heritage month include:
  • a Congressional Medal of Honor Exhibit Tour to select high schools in San Antonio, Phoenix, Anaheim/Los Angeles and San Jose/ San Francisco. The exhibit will also feature Army officials highlighting the service of Hispanics Soldiers that have 'answered our nation's call to duty.'
  • There will also be participation from local Army battalion representatives and Veterans in each city.

English and Spanish public service announcements (PSAs) for radio and TV have been produced for airing. Profiles of selected Hispanic officers and enlisted Soldiers will appear on the Army's website, http://www.goarmy.com. The PSAs, profiles and general information on the Hispanic Heritage month-long activities will run September 15 to October 15. Other Army-supported sponsorships and community outreach will also be part of the nation's celebration of Hispanic Heritage month.

In addition, the Army has secured sponsorships and support for an array of longstanding community programs as well as its commitment to several national conventions, such as the Hispanic Engineering National Achievement Awards Corporation (HENAAC) in Anaheim, California and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) in Phoenix, Arizona.

For more information regarding the U.S. Army's participation during Hispanic Heritage Month, contact Gustavo A. Bujanda, 210-892-0733 or gbujanda@thecartel.com.

Round-Up of Most Read Posts at Latino Issues

Being that this is a weekend, I thought I would provide with my Latino Issues readers with a glimps at what posts have been the most popular with you. Some of these have gotten a lot of readers thanks to links at other well-visited web sites. Many thanks to the Bloggers and Editors out there that read my blog, and find material worth linking too.

As always, I welcome and enjoy comments and discussions, even those in disagreement. I just ask that opposing views be inteligent, fact based, and respectfull. You can be hard-hitting, but get your facts right, or you'll get shot down. I give the freedom for all my readers to do the same to me. Call me out if I miss a fact.

If you are new to the site, welcome. This would be a good list of posts to start with.
Most Popular Posts By Visits (as of Sept. 10, 2005):
  1. Honduras, Maduro Makes a U-Turn on Cuban Doctors
  2. Happy Birthday Fidel Castro, One Year Closer to the End
  3. New Orleans Model of Liberal Ideas
  4. Telesur Shows it's Tru Colors, Has No Credibility
  5. Telesur is Further Evidence of America's Growing Influence
  6. Latino Issues Welcome Post -- Updated
  7. Hold New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin Accountable
  8. Cindy Sheehan, the Truth and the Lies
  9. Bush Pleaded with Blanco, Nagin to Evacuate New Orleans
  10. Red Cross Fires Employee for Refusal to Celebrate "Gay and Lesbian Pride Month"
In gratefullness of bloggers, writters and editors who have linked to me, here is the list of the top refering blogs or web sites as of today.
  1. http://www.babalublog.com
  2. http://www.coloradopols.com
  3. http://www.conservativegrapevine.com
  4. http://www.mbarrera.com/jobs.htm
  5. http://www.latinopundit.com
  6. http://www.americanthinker.com
  7. http://sigcarlfred.blogspot.com
  8. http://www.redstate.org
  9. http://www.rightwingnews.com
  10. http://hispanicon.blogspot.com/

Illegal Immigration get's in the Way of Disaster Rescue Efforts, May be Costing Lives

Illegals, afraid of deportation, are afraid of going into official shelters or to seek help. Both the Mexican and Honduran government are feeling the need to release official statements regarding deportations during this period of recovery for New Orleans residents.

"Honduran's in the U.S. Need Not Fear Deportations," says the headline for Tiempo Digital, a Spanish honduran newspaper. Honduran chancellor Mario Alberto Fortin Midence declared that "The United States is not doing masive deportations, and much less in light of the tradjedy and floodings in New Orleans."

This is why illegal immigration is wrong, and most importantly, wrong for the illegal immigrants themselves. To live in a strange country in fear of deportation, at the cost of seeking help when truly needed, is a crime. Worst of all, the greater crime is commited by these Latinamerican countries that seem to encourage illegal immigration. Lives are at risk.

La Tribuna, another Honduran newspaper, is reporting that more than 100 thousand Hondurans are victim of the damages of Katrina (In Spanish). Honduran families are working through the Red Cross to attempt to locate missing families, who have not yet been reached.

Tags: , Politics, Immigration

Court Injunction Stops Morning After Pill Distribution in Peru

The Peruvian "Association for the Struggle Against Corruption Without Compromise" has succesfully filed an injunction to stop the distribution of the morning after pill. This was after "thousands of Peruvians protested at the Ministry of Justice last August, claiming that the action violated the country’s constitution, which protects life from the moment of conception." This is great news for Peruvians, for Peruvian women, and for thousands of unborn children. Peru is setting an example in the protection and defense of the unborn.
LIMA, Peru, Sep. 06, 2005, (LifeSiteNews.com) A court injunction has been granted in Lima that will stop the distribution of the morning-after pill in that country. The injunction was granted in response to a petition filed by the “Association for the Struggle Against Corruption Without Compromise”, a non-governmental organization located in Peru.

The Catholic News Agency is reporting that health authorities must suspend the distribution of the morning-after pill until such time as it is determined not to be an abortifacient.

The Peruvian Health Minister, Pilar Mazzetti, must cease the practice of distributing the pill until “the implementation of an adequate policy informing people of the abortifacient effects of the drug and of the implications for women’s health is guaranteed.”

While government officials from the Health Ministry insist that they will appeal the ruling Jose Luis Garrido-Lecca of the Anti-Corruption group, said he was satisfied. There is a wealth of scientific studies showing that the pills in question are actually abortifacient.

Tags: , Politics, Reproductive Rights, Religion, Feminism.

Belgium Going the Way of Europe, Pro-Family Groups Saying No to Same-Sex Adoption

Belgium pro-family groups are organizing to protest government's project to legalize same-sex adoptions. News sources are reporting there is going to be an organized protests this coming Saturday in Brussels.

As a PBS story reports, a September 2003 annual report on so-called "human rights issues" in the European Union, the EU recommended that it's members give same-sex couples the right to both marry and adopt children, which went against Belgium's law banning same-sex adoption. Belgium does allow same-sex marriages already.
Belgium followed quickly on the heels of the Dutch decision, legalizing gay marriage in January 2003. The decision gave married gay couples similar rights to heterosexual married couples.

While the marriage law initially only allowed couples from countries where gay marriage was legal to marry in Belgium, this stipulation was lifted in February 2004, allowing non-Belgian couples to marry as long as one partner lives in or is a regular visitor to the country.

Belgium's adoption laws, however, prevent gay couples from adopting a child. For lesbian couples, a child's biological mother is considered to be the child's sole parent, while the other partner is not granted a legal parental role.

In a September 2003 annual report on human rights issues in the European Union, the European Parliament recommended that the 15 member states grant homosexuals the right to marry and adopt; this recommendation may begin to affect, among other things, Belgium's laws banning homosexual adoption.
To be expected, and thankfully, Belgium's Catholic bishops made clear their opposition to the government's plans to legalize same-sex adoption.
"This perspective is profoundly worrying to us," the bishops conference said in a statement. "In the current context, such a measure would only strengthen the idea that homosexual couples are a simple derivative of couples consisting of a man and a woman."
The march organizers, Comité Actie Gezin/Action Famille points out what everyone seems to ignore--the mounting evidence and research that points out to a child's need for both a father and a mother, and how these laws ignore the wellbeing of the child. The fact is that same-sex adoptions is more about liberal ideologies and social experimentation, than seeking what is best for these children. They would be better of in an orphanage type setting with a "house" father and mother, and a caring staff.
“It further rejects the mounting evidence of the adverse psychological burden imposed to a child raised by same-sex parents. This endeavor is obviously not in the best interest of the child.”
The organizers of the march have secured the support of the Spanish Forum for the Family, the same group I blogged about that was behind the March for the Family in Madrid. That protest drew hundreds of thousands last June.
“Considering the unprecedented manifestation for the family in Spain last June, the organizers of this march hope to also gather a large crowd to signal that legalization of same-sex adoption should not be propagated in Belgium or in other EU Member States,” the organizers said.

“You are invited to participate to the march for the family that will take place on September 10th 2005, at 2:30pm at the Parc du Cinquantenaire in Brussels.” A website has been created for this purpose: http://www.actiegezin-actionfamille.be

Comité Actie Gezin/Action Famille has also initiated an online petition available on their website to denounce the proposed legislation. http://www.actiegezin-actionfamille.be/FR/Petition...

The main subject that SHOULD be discussed here is the rights of the children involved. As Lola Velarde, president of the Institute of Family Policies, indicates, this is just part of a larger movement to take away the rights of children, and to ignore scientific evidence regarding same-sex adoption. He is quotes in Zenit.org.
"It is outrageous that in 21st-century Europe they want to do away with the rights of children, turning their backs on society and on the scientific community which has stated that the adoption of children by homosexual couples has had harmful effects for minors," said Velarde.

Children's rights

According to Carine Brochier, one of the demonstration's organizers, "there is no right of adoption. There is only an adoption procedure in favor of a child, who has the right to be born and to grow in the heart of a family made up of a father and a mother.

"This guarantees that the child will have a minimum of well-being and the most balanced surroundings possible, ensuring an optimal emotional, psychological and social development."

The Belgian bishops' conference released a statement that supports the event and encourages the public "to live this initiative as a serene gesture in favor of the family, one of the pillars of our society."
Here is a full story from Zenit.org

Tags: , Current events, , , ,

Friday, September 9

Evidence Posada Carriles was in Honduras, Important to his Immigration Hearings

Honduras This Week is reporting on evidence that has come out that Cuban American freedom fighter, Posada Carriles spent in Honduras and was aided by the FBI in entering the country with a falsified passport. According to HTW, the FBI helped Carriles enter Honduras, with the help of a former Honduran immigration director, Ramon Romero, who is now being prosecuted for trafficking in false passports. This information should help Carriles in his fight to gain asylum here in the United States.

Kennedy was a disgrace to all American's with the way he handled the Pay of Pigs invasion, but its a bigger shame how we treat the veteran who has commited to brining freedom to Cuba once again.
Carriles was imprisoned in Panama for the attempted assassination of Fidel Castro at the Ibero-American summit in 1997.

Following his release from Panama due to a presidential pardon it was rumoured that Carriles fled to northern Honduras. The statement from Honduras’ former immigration director now confirms that he was in the country for some time in August 2004. Vice minister of security Armando Calidonio told the Miami Herald that documents and witnesses are “inconclusive” regarding Carriles entrance into Honduras.

The details of Carriles’ time in Honduras are important facts in his immigration hearing being held in El Paso, Texas. The judge in the hearing is listening to arguments on whether Carriles will be allowed to seek asylum in the US or be expelled to a country of his choice.

Carriles is trying to prove he fled to Honduras for safety but had to flee after being tracked down and attacked by mercenaries.
Tags: , Politics, ,

More on Castro's Bad Medicine

Earlier, I had written about Honduras keeping the Cuban doctors currently in the country. A.M. Mora y Leon over at Publius Pundit has picked up on the story and brought out more information on this story.

As most have probably read, Cuba is offering to send doctors to New Orleans. A.M. Mora y Leon points us to today’s Investor’s Business Daily that makes an argument against it. Babalu Blog has more on this on the post titled "Playing Doctor."

In Venezuela, for another example, castro's 13,000 "free" doctors have replaced the country's real doctors, as funds are siphoned from public hospitals to castro setups, driving thousands of Venezuelan physicians out of work. Those doctors are protesting in the streets. One news photo showed an angry doctor holding a sign calling castro and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez "Pirates of the Caribbean."

While those doctors minister elsewhere, health care in Cuba is nearly absent. The filthy, dilapidated state of the country's public hospitals is a roach-crawling horror. Impoverished Cubans write their Miami relatives begging for aspirin and bandages, revealing the real state of castro's vaunted health care system.

Part of the problem has been the doctors themselves. castro's commitment to building a team of roving doctors has contributed to a lack of development across the nation, leaving Cuba an economic shell.

castro's record on hurricane cleanup is no better. As he touts Cuba's hurricane preparations, the results seen during Hurricane Dennis this summer told a different story. The scores of dead, the destroyed housing stock and the rebellion in the streets looked quite a bit like the scenes in New Orleans.

Here is more from A.M. Mora y Leon over at Publius Pundit:

Cuban dictator Fidel Castro has loudly volunteered the services of 1,600 doctors to New Orleans, making a bet that if the U.S. doen’t take them, it’s his propaganda victory as the U.S. looks heartless on the world stage.

But today’s Investor’s Business Daily makes an argument against it. Castro’s record on medical aid is a bad one. Wherever Castro’s Cuban doctors go, political havoc follows. This isn’t revolution, this is the weakening of political institutions and the damaging of free markets. There are a whole string of incidents from these Cuban “doctors.” It’s happening right now in Honduras and a few weeks ago it happened in Venezuela. And as I wrote in American Thinker here, linking a NYT piece, Paraguay threw 700 of these Cuban doctors out for trying to overthrow the government.

For a profession as pacific and apolitical as medicine, these Castroite Cuban doctors do manage to create an unusual amount of political trouble. They’re the last thing Hurricane-battered New Orleans needs.

Tags: , Politics, , Katrina, New Orleans, flood aid

A Safer Abortion? Marketing campaign to soften the image of abortion

Here is an amazing article on the lengths abortion clinics will go to deceive their victims, and soften down the truth about the dangers and horros of abortion procedures. The author did a search on Google for Abortion, and made an interesting discovery.
Liberty Women's Health Care of Queens - NYC came up in the highlighted sponsored links box at the top of the list. The "Safer Abortions" tagline caught my eye.

I clicked through and lo and behold was the detailed summary of what constitutes a "safer" abortion. As I read through it, I was entertained to find the term "state-of-the-art" used five times on the homepage alone describing everything from ultrasound machines to urine pregnancy tests to the more vague private offices.

To the unstudied, Liberty Women's Health Care sounds as if it's safer than the alternative "bargain" clinics they're competing with. (Bargain is their word, not mine.) But look a little closer and you'll see that the "state-of-the-art" methods they use to keep their patients out of harm's way are simply standard medical procedures in compliance with the law.
Here is her conclusion:
Lately there has been a huge marketing campaign to soften the harsh image of abortion. This has even extended into the political arena, with hardcore liberals choosing their battles and sometimes taking a moderate/conservative stance on issues to avoid getting called out as rabid pro-choicers.

The image being sold is no longer a militant young woman pumping her fist into the air and screaming for equality and freedom, but a thoughtful, responsible young woman considering her future and delaying parenthood to give herself and her future family the best life possible. Make no mistake, this is not a shift in our culture, it is simply a gentler, woman-savvy excuse to sell abortion as a conscientious and valid option. It's a case of the tail wagging the dog, plain and simple.
Tags: Abortion, Politics, Reproductive Rights, Religion, Supreme Court, Feminism.

Thursday, September 8

Estrada Possible, Not Probable

I like Estrada because he seems to be a man of character and someone who will defend the constitution. I think he would be good for the Supreme Court. I can only hope, but let it be clear--my support for Estrada has nothing to do with his ethnic background, though I would be proud should he be nominated. Here are comments from RedState.org, who sources say the White House may be considering Estrada once again, though it is not very probably that he will be nominated again.
What I'm told this afternoon is that the President is leaning towards a particular pick, but has not made up his mind. The vetting process continues. The White House is also weighing its options regarding the pick as to whether it should wait until John Roberts gets on the bench or run two simultaneously. There is a growing sense that it would be politically more effective to have both going at once. Democrats can be expected to hurl the same charges at both, the effectiveness of which would be diminished if they were confronted with two picks at once.

I'm told not to pin hopes or fears on Gonzales or Clement or even Janice Rogers Brown. But, I have also been told not to write off Luttig. Jones is a possibility, but not a probability right now. I'm also told that Corrigan's name is being floated intentionally.

Lastly, several conservative groups are pressuring the White House to look again at Miguel Estrada. Estrada, who withdrew him name and saw his wife die while he was in limbo before the Senate, had at one time expressed an absolute desire to never be considered again. Sources tell me that in the past few months, Estrada has hinted that he changed his mind and that individuals assisting in the vetting process are aware of this.

Estrada would be an interesting pick. Easily ignored by the press during his nomination for the D.C. Circuit where he was one of many blocked circuit court nominees, a high profile nomination to the Supreme Court would be hard to ignore -- particularly the nomination of the first Latino justice. It would rally the conservative base and help move the Latino vote. Nonetheless, like Jones, I'm told Estrada is possible, but not probable.

What we know we know is that the President's mind is mostly made up, but the White House is closely guarding both the timing and the name. Says a friend near the scene, "Don't be surprised if it is someone whose name has not been widely mentioned."
Tags: , William Rehnquist, Supreme Court, SCOTUS, Chief Justice.

Honduras: Maduro makes u-turn on Cuban doctors issue

Alarming story of the growing Cuban influence in Honduras. With the presidential elections coming up, it makes me wonder how much Cuba is mendling in Honduran politics. It will be interesting to see how much headway the socialist party has this year. Either way, the story is alarming. We know Castro lacks good will, so the question is what is he looking for in Honduras? It sounds to me like a sneaky export of communist ideology, particularly in the impoverished areas. Should the facts be actually true--doctors are treating the poor--I can't say this is a bad thing. The problem is we know Castro has promoting instability and communism as a primary item on his agenda. We'll see.
By JOHANNES KOCH

Bowing to public pressure, the Honduran government has retracted its original decision to send home Cuban doctors stationed in the country.

On Thursday, in a public statement, President Maduro yielded to pressure saying, “the Cuban doctors will stay in Honduras. The decision is mine as well as in response to the Honduran ‘pueblo’ who think that the Cuban doctors are doing a good job and are contributing to the health of Honduras.”

Last Tuesday, Cuban doctors along with workers, students, mayors and professionals marched in protest of the government’s decision to send home 175 of the 300 Cuban doctors stationed in Honduras.

Protestors said that these doctors, who work in places where Honduran doctors refuse to go, are indispensable to the functioning of Honduras’ already battered healthcare system.

This sentiment was also expressed by members of the Organization of Mayors in Honduras (AMHON) who said, “with this measure, the government will leave more than 2.5 million Hondurans without medical services and we mayors will fight for this not to happen.”

According to news sources, Cuban doctors have carried out 6.3 million free consultations to date, including 437,000 home visits, 120,000 operations and 17,000 births.

The Cuban medical mission is made up of general medical doctors and specialists, technicians and nurses. A total of 300 Cuban doctors came to Honduras after Hurricane Mitch in a bilateral agreement with Cuba that was signed by former president, Carlos Roberto Flores.
But don't just take my word for it. Here is part of an editorial from Honduras This Week; not exactly a right-wing newspaper.
The problem is complex because the Cuban doctors are not lotus flowers, gifts from God, or saints among the people.

This same association of doctors proved for decades that what was important to them was the manipulation of the government while mocking the “poor Hondurans.” They show us their teeth instead of their support.

The interest of the present government, apart from ruining the country, is to lock the country into a commitment with these potential spies who could sell information to a neighboring country client of theirs.

We have no doubt that the presence of the Cuban doctors has a double purpose and, as we declared before, these doctors are Castro’s penance for all the damage he has caused us.

It is important to remember how the Castro government attacked Hondurans: planting antipersonnel mines, advertising campaigns against our country for over 40 years, training Honduran guerrillas, arming over a quarter of a million Nicaraguans to invade our country, motivating the arms race in Central America, stimulating drug trafficking, sending money and guns to dirty businesses, and selling information to former Russian satellite countries and Communist China. These have been Castro’s best business dealings.

Fortunately, Castro’s pretended socialism did not triumph in Honduras because the people he trained and prepared had a huge problem of prepotent personality and gigantic capitalist bellies... thank God! Besides, though some Hondurans are illiterate, they are very wise and a good decision was to demand the payment for damages and perjuries provoked by Castro’s intrusion into their country.

What is strange is the silence of the US Embassy, which leads us to suspect that Castro is paying the United States for her silence.

Far worse is that these Cubans have gathered support in our country.
Read the rest of the editorial.

Tags: , ,

Honduras: Unrest over increase in fuel price

Honduran national newspapers are reporting unrest over increases in fuel prices in the Central American country. According to citizens I spoke with, people are under the impression that the country buys it's oil from Venezuela, which has not increased it's prices to Honduras. This leaves people with the impression that corrupt government officials are trying to profit from the price increases in the world market, which would not affect Honduran prices, if in fact Venezuela has not increased their price.

Honduran government uses has price controls and regulations on fuel prices nationwide. The capital city of Tegucigalpa was disrupted when taxi drivers held protests all around key entries to the city and main roads by blockading with their vehicles. Honduran newspaper, La Tribuna, has the story in Spanish.

"With rocks, sticks, and burning tires, and with their vehicles blockading the roads, the city is at a standstill." says the Spanish headline for Tiempo, a Honduran national newspaper.

The Tiempo newspaper is also reporting that business in the plastic manufacturing sector are also calling for a potential price increases, due to increase in the manufacturing costs and energy prices. Also, the raw material used in plastic manufacturing comes from petroleum based chemicals, which have also gone up. Honduras has about 45 plastic product manufacturing companies and of the raw materials needed, 90 percent is imported from the United States , and the rest from Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, and Korea.

Wednesday, September 7

Promoting Entitlement: Katrina Victims to Get $2K Debit Cards

More hand outs by the Feds. While I can see the heart and intentions behind this, I can also see how this is going to be SO abused!

What is wrong with our country? I don't care how dire my situation, I would think that no self-respecting man would accept a cash hand-out from the government! I was laid of some years ago, and after 3 months of unemployment checks, I couldn't take the embarrassment--I canceled it.

I took on a lot of debt because of that, and I had some real rough times, but now I have a job and I am doing great! I got back up, and I did not need government help.
The federal government plans to begin doling out debit cards worth $2,000 each to adult victims of Hurricane Katrina, The Associated Press has learned.

Homeland Security Department Secretary Michael Chertoff described the plan in a conference call with state officials Wednesday morning. The unprecedented cash card program initially will benefit stranded people who have been moved to major rescue centers such as the Houston Astrodome.

"They are going to start issuing debit cards, $2,000 per adult, today at the Astrodome," said Kathy Walt, a spokeswoman for Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
Help the victims, by all means. Let's create new job opportunities, retraining for those having to move into new industries, scholarships for courses and skill development, and perhaps basic emergency medical care. The idea is to help individuals get back on their OWN two feet--not on government feet.

Does this bother anyone else? Where is this money going to come from? The government does not grow money on trees, for those who wonder. I'm sure it makes the politicians look like real nice caring people--but that is going to do no good on the long term. Perhaps, a better approach would have been for a non-profit (private) to screen and grant debit cards to Katrina victims, while getting the rest of the country involved in supporting and donating to these victims' emergency cash needs. That way, we would have better accountability, and control over the money.

Why must the government do it? It should not be doing it! This is well-intentioned dumb economics and ultimately bad for everyone--including Katrina victims.

It's this sort of good intentions that have serious consequences in our society, but of course this is to much to ask politicians to consider. We are promoting an entitlement attitude, while bleeding the economy further, making it harder for the underclass to get back up on their own. More critical, we continue to rob them of their self-respect and dignity--I know, these are old fashioned and it might bother you, but they used to be priced values.

Tags: Poverty, Katrina, New Orleans, flood aid, hurricane, hurricane-katrina, Politics, Economics.

Tuesday, September 6

New Orleans: Personal Responsibility or Infantile Entitlement

I found this great article that ads to some of the arguments I have been presenting regarding the display of anarchy in New Orleans, and what that tells us about social values. Thomas Sowell writes about the rebuilding of New Orleans, and how the old-fashioned moral values many love to demonize are the very same values that are going to rebuild the city, and are right now saving thousands of lives. Put the pieces together--there is a serious problem with many in our society, and I believe many of these problems are being handed down as a result of a political leadership that is eager to gain votes, at the expense of individuals and a better future.

Sigmund, Carl and Alfred have some great comments related to that article I think are straight on.
There are people who want to be heard- demand to be heard- as if speaking out and criticizing can take the place of personal responsibility and actions. There are those believe that because they speak out, the focus can be taken off the job at hand- the rescue and long term needs.

Have you ever noticed that the biggest critics are the least likely to help, unless there is a self serving aspect? When was the last time Al Sharpton rolled up his sleeves and got his hands dirty? When was the last time Jesse Jackson got involved in a corporate dispute that didn't involve a payoff? When the cameras are gone, so are they.
With no regard to being repetitive, I am going to affirm the importance of personal responsibility in public policy. It's reassuring to read others writing about it.
... the City of New Orleans worshipped the image it created- that of a town with residents foolish enough to believe that life was one big party and there are no consequences to behavior.

Whatever failings the city, state or federal government are guilty of, what is deliberately being ignored is that far too many people ignored the warnings to leave. If that were not the case, there would not be so many cars left on the streets. Katrina was going to be another party- and when it wasn't, the expectation of 'government cheese' became a demand. No one has said, 'We screwed up, we should have left.' Instead, we are subjected to the outrage of these fools demanding more and better 'government cheese,' to be delivered faster. It is an outrage, we are told that the 'cheese' delivery was the problem. Americans by the millions are buying into that off the chart stupidity.
In case you don't think me credible enough, here it is from a solid, known economist. His books are used as textbooks in America's colleges. You can read Sowell's full article here.
Government cannot solve all our problems, even in normal times, much less during a catastrophe of nature that reminds man how little he is, despite all his big talk.

The most basic function of government, maintaining law and order, breaks down when floods or blackouts paralyze the system.

During good times or bad, the police cannot police everybody. They can at best control a small segment of society. The vast majority of people have to control themselves.

That is where the great moral traditions of a society come in -- those moral traditions that it is so hip to sneer at, so cute to violate, and that our very schools undermine among the young, telling them that they have to evolve their own standards, rather than following what old fuddy duddies like their parents tell them.

Now we see what those do-it-yourself standards amount to in the ugliness and anarchy of New Orleans.

In a world where people flaunt their "independence," their "right" to disregard moral authority, and sometimes legal authority as well, the tragedy of New Orleans reminds us how utterly dependent each one of us is for our very lives on millions of other people we don't even see.

Thousands of people in New Orleans will be saved because millions of other people they don't even know are moved by moral obligations to come to their rescue from all corners of this country. The things our clever sophisticates sneer at are ultimately all that stand between any of us and utter devastation.

Any of us could have been in New Orleans. And what could we have depended on to save us? Situational ethics? Postmodern philosophy? The media? The lawyers? The rhetoric of the intelligentsia?

No, what we would have to depend on are the very things that are going to save the survivors of hurricane Katrina, the very things that clever people are undermining.

New Orleans can be rebuilt and the levees around it shored up. But can the moral levees be shored up, not only in New Orleans but across America?
Hat tip to Sigmund, Carl and Alfred for bringing this article and related blogs to my attention and many thanks for engaging on this subject. Also, read more on the subject at Dr. Sanity.

Tags: Poverty, Katrina, New Orleans, flood aid, hurricane, hurricane-katrina, Politics, Economics.

New Orleans a Model of Liberal Ideas, Part 3

Ok, so the conversation continues regarding values in public policies, and the real long term effects these have on people, and specifically on the underclass. If you haven't already, you may want to check out my first post, New Orleans a Model of Liberal Ideas Among Minorities, and my second post titled New Orleans a Model of Liberal Ideas Among Minorities, Part Two.

A reader over at Sigmund, Carl and Alfred seems to be confused, and has missed the point, though at the same time, I think he reinforced my point exactly--the government needs to stop trying to subsidize the underclass, and needs to allow the free market forces to supply the needs of society. Most importantly, government needs to start holding individuals accountable for their actions and lives. Yes, in that process, some will be poor, some will have a hard time in life, but most will work harder, and come out on top--if you don't mess around with government policies that play God. Read the discussion and comments here.
Dependant on government? Are you kidding me. What part of government were these people dependant on. The $2.50 an hour that government allows for the minimum wage in the service industry? The far below standard housing that the government that they let landlords get away with? Were they reliant on the most corrupt police force in the nation? Were they reliant on the grossly substandard public education system? How about the state legislature in the back pocket of business? The most expensive and complicated court system in the country?

Every aspect of government that is meant to elevate these people was lacking. To say they were reliant on government is absurd other than to say, government kept them alive.
Dingo, I would encourage you to study-up on the basic principles of economics. The problems come when the government pretends and promises to be able to do, what it just cannot do with efficiency or excellence. The results may look good on an annual report, but its the people that are hurt. So, you are right. The government IS doing a LOUSY job at education, wage subsidy (that is what minimum wage is...price controls), and rent price controls. It is BECAUSE the government is messing with these services and with the free market, that the quality has fallen below sub-standards.

Ask any economist--quality will always suffer when you have rent or price controls. Controlling wages, rent, and subsidizing education will NEVER makes for better quality in any of these areas. It brings costs up, reduces motivation in the market, and creates shortages and miss-management of scarce resources. Economics 101. Not philosophy. Your heart is in the right place, but we are talking science now, now religion or philosophy. We create a welfare society, and a real bad one at that, but then again, no welfare society is a good society. Never. Thank God it's not as bad in the US as it is in say Cuba, or France, or closer to home--Canada.

Dingo also commented that a "fair and just legislative and judicial system are necessary for a well functioning society. If many will buy you the laws and verdicts, the poor man will always stay poor." I agree completely. But the key point in my argument is that our government system is one of the people and for the people. If a local government is corrupt, it is only because the local people are corrupt. Again, the corruption of the value system among a community spreads and infects even our governments.

Again, with the New Orleans Police department, allow me to ask this of you and all my readers? Where did these corrupt and criminally inclined "recruits" come from? Did they bring them in from red states? No! I would propose the corruption in the New Orleans police department is a result of individuals, recruited from within the community, who have been brought up in a value-less or value-lacking society used to hand outs, and brought up with an entitlement mentality that demands the government solve their problems and pay for their hardships. Additionally, poor value training at the local police academy would be a serious problem--what are the values the instructors are passing on? I don't know and I am not accusing them, but the root of the problem lies within the community itself.

Listen to Jessie Jackson and Rev. Sharpton and tell me what is it that they want? What is it that they ask for? Do these two individuals properly represent what is best and desirable for the future of the African American community? I have to ask, will the dreams and goals of Jessie Jackson and Rev. Sharpton bring prosperity, success, and economic up-mobility to the African American community? I highly doubt it. Unfortunately, with groups like La Raza and other's driven by liberal political and social ideologies, the Latino community is very much at-risk of taking the same path.

Unfortunately, as I wrote before, the right can probably be accused of playing the same game. The issue here is not politics, but values and the policies that push these values on the poor unsuspecting underclass. Ideas have consequences, and when government officials make policy out of their own ideologies and values, there are real consequences to real people--today, and for years to come.

To minorities out there, think twice of who you elect. You could elect a politician that may make life easier for you on the short run, and corrupt your values and those of society in general at the long run.

Tags: Poverty, Katrina, New Orleans, flood aid, hurricane, hurricane-katrina, Politics, Economics.

Donate to Samaritan's Purse -- Help to Katrina victims

BUMPED: Even though the Hurricane Katrina: Blog for Relief Weekend is over, you can still donate and support the rebuilding and the helping of the victims of Katrina. Not that my little blog on the web has done much, but if you do decide to contribute, make sure to log your contribution for tracking purposes at Truth Laid Bear.

I have seen Samaritan's Purse work in Central America after hurricane Mitch, and I know what they can do. They are very good at it, and have a strong and wide base of support within US churches. They also have a good teamwork aproach to getting things done on the ground, ensuring help get's to those in need and holding people accountable each step of the way. Make sure to also check out Glenn's roundup post to see the blogsphere in action in support of Katrina victims.
Samaritan's Purse is a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. Since 1970, Samaritan's Purse has helped meet needs of people who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease, and famine with the purpose of sharing God's love through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Samaritan's Purse
(828) 262-1980
See who is supporting this charity

Tags: flood aid, hurricane katrina

Welcome to Sigmund, Carl and Alfred Readers

Thanksto Sigmund, Carlo, and Alfred readers for checking out my corner of the blogsphere. I welcome comments, including respectfully opposing views. I hope you find something of interest, and that you will come back often. On the right, you will find various ways to syndicate the site, from My.Yahoo and feedburner, to Atom and xml.

Again, thanks for dropping in.

Best,

Josue

New Orleans a Model of Liberal Ideas, Part 2

In regards to my previous post, New Orleans a Model of Liberal Ideas Among Minorities, I meant my comments to be about more than just about winning votes or accusing a party, but about the fact that social government policies do have a real and sometimes long term effect on society and on individuals.

What happens when a society is dependent on government? What happens when a group of people are taught and brought up with the idea that they are victims worthy of a freebie each step of the way (affirmative action)?

There are countless of policy decisions, based out of liberal ideologies, that are having a real consequence. It seems to me that what happened in New Orleans, the anarchy, violence, and total disorder, is an indication and symptom of some of these ills brought about by social experimentation.

Don't misundestand me, individuals are always responsible for their actions. I hope every single person found to be guilty of looting, violence, or disorderly conduct is brought to justice. But, we also know that culture, family, and society has a real formative impact on individuals. Why is it that people from certain cultures are more hard-working, or more studios, or more prone to the arts or the sciences. I am no scientist, but the fact is that the ideas and values a society passes on to its members have a huge impact.

What sort of values have these residents of New Orleans been brought up with? What sort of values are missing? Look at the scenes on your television, and ask yourself if your neighbor would go into anarchy-mode should a natural disaster occur? Or, would they pull together, lend a helping hand, and rescue someone in need? Many did in New Orleans, but much to many did not and went out of control. This should concern many.

This is not a party issue, because we all know that Republicans can cave in to the special interests, spend more money, and give more hand-outs as badly as the next Democrat. Being from a party or the other gives no immunity from stupid government policy.

My intent is to point out the fact that policy decisions that deal with social issues have a real impact, and long term effects. Unfortunately, the underclass in general tend to be the common victims of Government social experimentation.

Tags: Katrina, New Orleans, flood aid, hurricane, hurricane-katrina.

Monday, September 5

The Left Has Gone Insane!!

To avoid being acused of mis-quoting, I will copy-paste the entire post here, and ask you, my readers, to post your comments and reactions to this. What do you think this blogger is trying to say? What does this sound like to you? Is my headline all wrong?
[from Bradblog.com ] Guest blogged by Joseph Cannon

I'm not going to post the piece I started to write.

My original reaction to the Katrina catastrophe was going to be: "NOT ONE DIME."

For an hour or so, I contemplated the idea of turning it into a crusade: No-one in the blue states (where the money is) should give one dime of aid to the victims of this hurricane, which devastated Bush-friendly regions.

Why did I flirt with such a callous attitude?

Because it should be obvious to all that this tragedy was not just an act of God. Dubya and his diety conspired to transform mere disaster into an unprecedented mega-catastrophe.

Scientists warn us to expect more Katrinas. Global warming -- the existence of which W would prefer to rationalize away -- caused the temperature of the sea's surface to rise in the Gulf of Mexico, thereby transforming what should have been a manageable hurricane into a monster.

The National Guard was off in Iraq stealing oil -- and everything else in that nation -- all to benefit Haliburton and the oil companies. They could have been in N.O. earlier, building levies, overseeing evacuation.

Bush financially eviscerated the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The money went to his Iraq debacle.

Bush cut funding for hurricane relief and the prevention of disaster in New Orleans.

The federal governmen has, in short, demonstrated an utter lack of foresight. Bush was giving specious pro-war speeches and dodging Cindy Sheehan when he should have been helping local governments prepare.

The governors of Louisiana and other affected states were reduced to begging the federal government for aid. Under Clinton, they wouldn't have had to ask: Such aid would have been understood as inevitable.

Even Bush the elder immediately sent 25,000 troops to clean up after Hurrican Andrew. Bush the younger won't be able to spare half that amount of manpower.

So why was I thinking of starting a movement against giving aid to the stricken areas?

Because these are red states. They voted for Bush. These ninnies obviously wanted these policies, and they deserve to live with the consequences of their votes.

A large part of me still believes that many of these W-worshipping numbskulls deserve to suffer and to die. They brought it on themselves. Let them look to Jayzuss for aid: It's time they stopped leeching off the more productive blue staters.

(Californians stupidly give much more to the federal government than we receive from it; the money flows in a very different direction in the red states.)

So, at least, I started to write. But then (to paraphrase the old song) I thought I'd better think it out again.

Many of the victims, the ones who have suffered the most, are poor. The hardest hit were the blue state folk living among the red state maniacs. New Orleans, we should note, went heavily for Kerry.

And that's why we must help. Although it was very tempting to say otherwise.

But let us make one thing clear: We WILL politicize this issue.

The Republicans did not shirk from making political use of 9/11, and we should not shirk from reminding the country that Bush turned what should have been a mere problem into Ragnarok.

Conservatives may accuse us of lacking taste if we use this sad occasion to point out sadder facts of political life. Cable news pundits will try to pretend that now is not the time for partisan politics.

If they say that, screw 'em.

If the Bush-voters want Californians and New Yorkers and other blue staters to fork over dough, then they damn well had better take our words as well. Republican policies caused this catastrophe. Force them to hear that message -- again and again. That message is the price of the charity they now demand.

Stem Cell Research Oversold, Hyped for Political Reasons, Says Expert

Professor Robert Winston has the guts to be honest about the lack of results in embryonic stem cell research, but to bad he doesn't have the ethical courage to make a complete stand against the murder of unborn human beings.

But, this is the truth about embryonic stem cell research in the US--it is being hyped for political and financial reasons. The truth, on the other hand, is that embryonic stem cells are giving no home for any sort of cure, and have no promise of ever doing so. This, while at the same time, all evidence points to great potential in other areas of stem cell research.

The British Times Online reports on the story:
The promise of embryonic stem (ES) cell research has been oversold by scientists, according to a British expert in reproductive medicine.

The likely benefits of ES cells and the speed with which they will help patients have been exaggerated to persuade politicians and the public to support this controversial field, Lord Winston, the fertility specialist and broadcaster, will say today.
Tags: , Culture Watch, Abortion, Politics, Pro-Choice, Religion, Pro Life.

New Orleans a Model of Liberal Ideas Among Minorities

I have been thinking about the troubling anarchy been observed in New Orleans, and what it is that America needs to learn from the scenes on our TV. Seeing how New Orleans is largely Democrat, one would assume that the results of liberal ideas in regard to how Democrats are helping African Americans cuold be best be observed there.

The Liberals would have minorities become helpless, government-dependent and would take away our self-reliance and determination. This is what our culture and communities could look like, should we turn to the Democratic party for leadership. New Orleans turned into anarchy in the absence of a government to provide order, direction, and authority. Is this the Democrat's idea of a ideal society? Would the liberals have us become a collection of individuals that are unable to be self-reliant, to display civility in the face of hardship, and go out of control within hours of the government losing control?

This truly is a perfect example of what happens when a community depends on it's government to much. If a people cannot rule themselves, they will be ruled by the law. The problem is that in those moments of crisis, when the law is unable to exert control, those that are ruled by the law will become lawless. America, take note. Government is not the solution. They have a role and a place, but civility, nobility, safety and prosperity comes at the hands of a united, civil, and hard working community; not the government.

Perhaps the violence and anarchy in New Orleans is partly to blame for the left's all-out attacks on the Bush Administration. Democrats are trying to distract from the reality of their policies in action. Joe Rega made an interesting comment in reaction to the NY Times left-propaganda article over at RedState.org.
The Democrats are terrified by Republican advances made among black voters. While I don't believe Rice would even consent to the vp slot on the 2008 ticket, the democrats aren't taking any chances. The more they shine a light on things like this, the more darkness will cover what they don't want anyone to see, in this case the type of squalor that black people have been reduced to in the eternally Democratic New Orleans.
Ideas do have consequences, and one has to wonder what ideology and what sort of policies have lead the African American community down this path? As these comments point out, you certainly cannot blame the right for the conditions these people where placed in. New Orleans has been Democrat controlled for quite a long time. What sort of hope and future can the Democratic party offer minorities in this country? If New Orleans is any indication...not much.

Tags: hurricane katrina, New Orleans, Politics

NY Times Reads Like a Propaganda Piece

NY Times has gone out on a limb again to make sure to paint a propaganda picture of the Bush Administration. Has the Left not learned anything about anonymous sources? As low as the media's credibility is doing right now, the NY Times just can't resist throwing this one out there. Not that anyone cares--their only readers are the left-wing nut cases that believe the lies they see fit to print. Here are some thoughts from Kilmer at RedState.org
When reporting something this serious, that the White House's response to a natural disaster of this magnitude is merely a political show, one would think a responsible reporter would find some sources inside the White House. Anonymous "Republicans" do not lend credibility merely because they are not anonymous "Democrats."

This read like a propaganda piece one might see posted on Daily Kos or Democratic Underground, both of which have bee marginalized by their political jaundice. I don't necessarily expect better of the NYT's political reporters, but part of me would like to see something more ingenuous in this circumstance from members of the human race.

Sunday, September 4

Gonzales is not acceptable for the Supreme Court

As a Latino, I care more about life and about values, than about seeing another Latino on the Supreme Court. Mr. President, you can "represent" us Latinos by representing our pro-life, pro-family, and value driven traditions. Alberto Gonzales is not acceptable for the Supreme Court.

Following is a collection of thoughts I have previously written on Gonzales, that are now once again very relevant.

From "Gonzales--Setting Aside the Constitution" --
The reason conservatives will not support Gonzales, and the primary reason I am against his nomination, is the fact he has made statements about setting aside the Constitution. This is a serious concern, and the primary qualification I am hoping Bush will expect in whoever he nominates--someone who will be an originalist when it comes to interpreting the Constitution.

Sean Rushton, executive director of the Committee for Justice said it best. The GOP will lose a lot of money and a bad choice bad Bush would only serve to strengthen by default Hillary's 2008 bid.
Sean Rushton, executive director of the Committee for Justice, a group formed to support Bush judicial nominations, questioned whether a conservative nominee would alienate moderates. "That's nonsense," he said. "The worst thing the president could do for his party's 2006 election hopes - and especially for (Sen.) Rick Santorum in Pennsylvania - is to go with a nominee who is seen as less principled by conservatives. That would completely dry up the funding. That would completely dry up the enthusiasm."
Our prayers are with the president, and our hope is that he would make a wise decision, taking into consideration the future of our nation and the will of the people that put him into office.
In "Alberto Gonzales Unlikely," I write about a Weekly Standard article where Fred Barns argues that Gonzales stopped being a contender, and would not be a candidate in the case of a second opening on the court.
Fred Barnes [reported] on the Weekly Standard that Gonzales is probably no longer a contender for the court, absent a change-of-mind. This, of course, is good news to me (a Hispanic), but they way Supreme Court predictions have been going lately, I would not trust it until its all over. My hope is that Bush will NOT make a decision based on either race or gender, but qualifications and commitment to uphold the constitution in its original intent.
THOUGH HE DEFENDED Attorney General Alberto Gonzales against conservative critics, President Bush now appears highly unlikely to nominate Gonzales to replace retiring Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Nor is Gonzales expected to be chosen to fill a second vacancy on the high court should Chief Justice William Rehnquist or another justice steps down in the near future.
I only hope this is still true today, as it was when it was published a couple months ago. When rumors started flying about Rehnquist possibly stepping down, LifeNews.com reported on the possibility of a several pro-life nominees being mentioned as possibilities, including Samuel Alito, a federal appeals court judge in Philadelphia. I wonder if he is still on the list?

I'll end this post with my comments from Friday July 1st, titled "First things First" --
To me, the principles of the constitution are more important that racial loyalty. I am a United States citizen first, a Hispanic second. I have a problem with Alberto Gonzalez, first of all because my understanding is that Roe-vs-Wade distorted and beyond and outside the intent and guidelines of the constitution. There is no right to an abortion in the Constitution. Personally, I do not understand how he can morally justify abortion. But, I know many do. Nevertheless, I voted for Bush, and expect him to nominate a conservative, originalist judge to the court. Gonzales would not be such man, if it is true that his record has been in favor of abortion rights. Maybe I'm missing information. You tell me.
Tags: , , Supreme Court, SCOTUS, Politics, News