Saturday, September 17

The White House: Hunting for a Nominee, "An Enigma will not Satisfy the Base"

Good up-to-date info over at RedState.org. I'm glad to hear that Gonzalez is still not being considered. If he is nominated, I will blog up a storm. Gonzalez is not acceptable, and will continue to weaken the constitution. He may be a good lawyer, and a friend of the president, but that does not make him a good judge.
The President is still not considering Gonzales.
Here is the round up of what is being considered so far, according to the RedState.org source.
So, who will it be? Larry Thompson's name is still in play. Michael Luttig's' name is back up. Edith Jones's name is also in play. Owen's name is there, but she is now considered less likely. This is all to say that I have no idea other
than it will not be me.

Friday, September 16

Traveling to South Africa, Guest Bloggers Needed

Saludos!

I just wanted to let readers know that I will be traveling to South Africa this coming week, and will be in flight over the weekend. So, this means very little to no posts. Because during my time in South Africa I will be away from a computer, and may have little Internet access, I am not sure how much I will be posting next week.

I would like to invite regular readers to email me with guest-posts for me to include here in Latino Issues. You are welcome to include your nam,e, blog address, and email at the end of your guest-post as a way for me to say thank you. I would really enjoy getting some diverse perspectives to be included, though they should be from a TRUTH basis. I am pro-life, conservative, and from a judeo-Christian worldview. While I don't expect my guest bloggers to be of any particular faith, there should be an intent to seek Truth (real Truth, not the liberal kind). I have never had a guest blogger, so for now, I think you can email your final, spell-checked essay, news story, or commentary to jmsierra_AT_josuesierra_dot_net.

One Idea: I would like to have guest blog on abortion and how that issue is affecting the Latino community.

You don't have to be Latino, you CAN be controversial, and you can speak about any subject of interest and value to US citizens. I would specially like to get some guest posts about Colorado politics, the SCOTUS nomination process, Katrina reconstruction efforts, or any recent immigration stories out there.

Well, I hope this request gets a lot of response. I will be back here on the 27th, and I just may pop in a few times and do some blogging from South Africa if I am able to get an Internet connection.

Best Regards,

Josue Sierra
A Latino Conservative Blogger

Tags: , , ,

Swedish Feminist Party Wants To End Marriage

RedState.org has a post to a story about the Swedish Feminist Party, and their push for the abolition of marriage. Mark my words, this is where gay marriage will take us here in the United States if we continue to allow fringe ideologies to drive public policy.

Now, I realize a lot of you may not get the connection, so I encourage you to look at the statistics in Netherlands, and other countries where gay marriage is the norm--marriage is on the decline. I don't care what you think, declining marriages is NOT good for a society. And yes, the divorce trends in this country are just as alarming and socially speaking, just as harmful. I realize many of you may have gone through divorce, and I don't know what that feels like.

But, talking strictly about social cause-and-effect, a propagation of divorce as the solution to break downs in relationship (or poor choice of spouse in the first place) is detrimental to society and to future generations. Take a look at New Orleans--I am no scientist, but I would bet you will find a HIGH rate of children with single parents. I heard John McWhorter on the Laura Ingraham show a couple days ago, where he said that 73% of births in Louisiana are born to unwed mothers. The point is that the further breakdown of marriage will have real and detrimental harm to ALL of society--economically, socially, and culturally.
In a social welfare state such as Sweden, the continual urge to tinker becomes irresistible. Although this might qualify as a bit more than tinkering. The Copenhagen Post highlights a report that a new political party, The Swedish Feminist Initiative (Swedish, "Feministiskt initiativ") has announced as an aim the legislative abolition of marriage.
Tags: Politics, Gay, Christian, Religion, Marriage

Milton Friedman opposes Referendum C in Colorado

Here is some hard expert testimony against Referendum C, which I thought was great. But, as many have come to expect from the mainstream media, the coverage by the Rocky Mountain News leaves a lot to be desired. Hat tip goes to Firestorm Strategies for pointing me to this story.
Milton Friedman, winner of the 1976 Nobel Prize in Economic Science opposes Referendum C. Friedman believes that Ref. C is bad for Colorado's economy. "I strongly urge the voters of Colorado to reject Referendum C, or any action that would suspend Colorado's Taxpayers Bill of Rights. I strongly favor the continued and uninterrupted use of TABOR, including it's so called ratchet mechanism. The ratchet is one of the best features of TABOR. It is the only thing that will reduce out-of-control government spending," the 93-year-old Friedman said.
When the environmental groups make a statement in favor of Referendum C, the Rocky Mountain News calls it "grim news."
A coalition of environmental groups Tuesday predicted grim news for Colorado's air, water and land if state voters turn down Referendums C and D in November.
But when Friedman makes a statement indicating the economic importance of TABOR, and supporting the so-called "ratchet effect"as the only effective way to control government spending, the Rocky Mountain News calls it "the PR machine."Evidently, they don't seem to believe there is any substance to his statements, or perhaps they doubt his credentials--a Noble Prize among other things.
Meanwhile, Ref C foes fired up their own PR machine Tuesday, announcing that noted conservative economist and Nobel laureate Milton Friedman had endorsed their cause.
So, what is it with the double standard? Is Friedman not considered credible enough as a scientist and economist to have "grim news" should TABOR be weakened by Referendum C? The Rocky Mountain News evidently does not think so. If the State is running out of money for the important things they should be doing, then that would be a clear sign that they need to cut back on the pork, and waste.

More importantly, though, the residents of the state of Colorado need to wake up, and catch up on their economics 101. People need better education on the proper role of government, it's real and proven limitations. Then, we can all work together to build a better Colorado through hard work, enterprise, and strong ethics--without depending on the government for every little thing.

Tags: , Politics, Media, Current Affairs.

Wednesday, September 14

Derrickson, "I will never do that again”, Emily Rose

Solid review over at Plugged-In. Check it out. This is a great resource for parents or individuals interested in discerning and being carefull about what they watch at the theater. If you don't care about what movies you watch, thats fine--skip on Plugged-In. Don't come back and give me grief about how they do their reviews.
The Exorcism of Emily Rose is based on the real-life story of Anneliese Michel, a German college student and devout Catholic who died during an exorcism in 1976. Doctors said her seizures and visions were caused by epilepsy. Her family and their bishop believed it was demon possession. German officials responded by prosecuting the parents and priest for criminal negligence. (They were found guilty but given suspended sentences.)

Co-writer (with Paul Harris Boardman) and director Scott Derrickson, a graduate of Biola University, said his purpose in making Emily Rose was “not to persuade” and “not to provide any metaphysical answer” to the question of whether demonic possession is real. His purpose, in the words of religion columnist Terry Mattingly, was to “make believers think twice about what they believe and doubters have doubts about their doubts.”

Derrickson added, “The research phase was horrible. I am glad that I know so much about it. ... I also feel that for me, as a Christian, it is good to have that knowledge. But I will never do that again.” That sentiment should guide potential viewers of this film. This is not a movie one sees merely to be entertained. It’s pretty grim in places and quite dark. But it is not exploitative. It also tells a story of faith and compassion. Father Moore is quiet and utterly selfless. He is a man of resolute faith. And despite what is happening to her, Emily seemingly never loses her faith in God. (The story doesn't deal with the issue of whether Christians can be demon possessed.) The exposition during the courtroom scenes also provides excellent fodder for discussion revolving around the relationship between faith and science—and between faith and doubt. (No, the two are not necessarily in conflict in either case.)

It strikes me, then, that such demonstrations of selflessness and faith are rare for any type of movie. But they are truly unique considering Emily Rose's genre.
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Chavez Kicking Out Foreign Missionaries

Missionary organizations are concerned, as Venezuela's Chávez has used the Robertson flap as a pretext to suspend permits for foreign missionaries. This could mean trouble for many individuals who are giving of their lives to serve and help the Venezuelan people.

Tuesday, September 13

Anti-Wal-Mart Picketers Hired by Union for $6/Hour, No Benefits to Protest in Over 100 Degree Temps

This has to be the best link on Drudge Report today. The hipocricy of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) knows no bound. Perhaps UFCW should be more carefull about who they hire to picket--even the protestor agrees Wall Mart paid well, and said he would consider going back to work for Wall Mart.
The union accuses Wal-Mart of dragging down wages and working conditions for other grocery-store workers across the nation. "Whether you work or shop at Wal-Mart, the giant retailer's employment practices affect your wages. Wal-Mart leads the race to the bottom in wages and health-care," says the UFCW's website. "As the largest corporation in the world, Wal-Mart has a responsibility to the people who built it. Wal-Mart jobs offer low pay, inadequate and unaffordable healthcare, and off the clock work."

But standing with a union-supplied sign on his shoulder that reads, Don't Shop WalMart: Below Area Standards, picketer and former Wal-Mart employee Sal Rivera says about the notorious working conditions of his former big-box employer: "I can't complain. It wasn't bad. They started paying me at $6.75, and after three months I was already getting $7, then I got Employee of the Month, and by the time I left (in less than one year), I was making $8.63 an hour." Rivera worked in maintenance and quit four years ago for personal reasons, he says. He would consider reapplying.

Honduras Part of the War on Terror, Sending Men to Iraq

El Heraldo, a Honduran Spanish national newspaper, is reporting on the second group of Honduran's to travel to Iraq to work in security related posts.
"These guards will work in security related activities in Iraq, after "Your Solutions Honduras" corporation moved to increase the number of Hondurans that are working in Iraq.

It's important to note that the first group of 12 laborers left for Iraq this last 26 of July to work under a six month long contract. They are working in Bagdad, the capital of Iraq, where it is expected the second group will be working as well.
It's good to see our Latino nations doing a small part to fight terror. At the same time, these are diverse and better paying job opportunities for these men. Benjamín Canales, an executive with "Your Solutions Honduras" is quoted at UOL, a portugese language web site, stating that the Honduran security guards are being paid a monthly salary of $990 U.S. dollars. The names of the Hondurans traveling to Iraq has not been released.

UOL states that according to sources, "Your Solutions Honduras" is providing housing, meals, health and other benefits. Between Agust 2003 to May of 2004, it is reported that Honduras has kept near 370 military personel as part of a UN peace keeping contingent.

Monday, September 12

Abortion: Proposed New Constitution Goes One Better

News and perspective from Father Babendreier, the chaplain at Strathmore School, Nairobi, on the proposed new Constitution and the defense of life. It seems the proposed Constitution leaves a door open for legalization of abortion, but it's a step forward in the right direction. Of course, I know nothing of Nairobi politics, so I could be totally missing the flaws in this.
Because of political tensions over other issues, such as devolution, let me add that I am not arguing the right-to-life case with the hope that people will vote Yes. I am trying to clarify a contention that has direct bearing on a moral issue where the Church has a duty to speak clearly. Here I address only the question of abortion, as debated on moral grounds. If the proposed document is voted in, Kenya will join others countries where the law protects the right to life of the unborn.

There is some merit to the fear that the wording gives Parliament the authority to draft a Bill that would make abortion-on-demand legal throughout Kenya. However, suppose Parliament wanted to do that, the proposed new Constitution, if accepted, would give the MPs the authority to legislate such a law. But that possibility already exists under the current Constitution. Even though the proposed new Constitution would also allow MPs that same possibility, the new wording would be a permanent witness to the barbarity of their decision.

The new wording says that life begins at conception. The unborn child is a human being just like you and I. Once the unborn child has been defined as a person with the same right to life as all other citizens, the law equates any deliberate act of killing such a person with murder.

We can always hope that future MPs would be wise enough to shun the mere thought of proposing a Bill to legalise murder, especially the murder of the most innocent of all human beings. If in a moment of madness they ever tried, the clarity of wording in the new Constitution would be a rallying cry for all who want to oppose them.

EXCLUSIVE: Honduras Government Officially Recognize Day to Honor “Unborn Child"

by Josue Sierra

Honduran congressman (Diputado) Leonel Ayala, has confirmed that the Honduran congress passed legislation and is formally recognizing a day to honor the “unborn child” (dia del nino no nacido). The legislation was aproved this last March 25th, and it is unclear what is covered under the legislation. I expect to be talking to him more in depth later this week, and will have more information on this, and other news on Honduran politics.

The Honduran government is also working to amend their constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman heterosexual relationship. The first step in the constitutional amendment process has already passed.

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

Exorcism of Emily Rose number #1, gross $30 million First Weekend

The Exorcism of Emily Rose, directed by Scott Derrickson, entered the box office at number one this weekend. It beat the action flick - The Transporter 2. Biola grad's movie debuted at number #1 with gross of $30 million.

Derrickson is reportedly allready busy working on his next movie.

Tags: , Entertainment

Telesur signal not available to Cuban TV viewers

This is a little old, but very interesting nevertheless. This was writen by Ariel Delgado Covarrubias and was transmited via phone to CubaNet.org, as the Cuban government controls all access to the Internet. You can read the original article in Spanish here as well as the English summarized version here.

HAVANA, August 25 (www.cubanet.org) - Although Cuba is a shareholder in the new Telesur television network organized by Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez, viewers on the island can't find the channel on their dial.

When the signal went on the air in late July, Cubans thought they'd have a fifth channel to watch to provide a change from the programming on the four government stations. Instead, an educational channel carries a news selection called "the best of Telesur" while news stories credited to Telesur appear on newscasts on other channels.

But the complete programming available in other countries is not available in Cuba, which has a 19% investment in Telesur. The Venezuelan government has a 51% share and the governments of Argentina and Uruguay 20% and 10%, respectively.

Chávez urged the creation of Telesur as a means to promote Latin American integration. Telesur's president is Venezuela's communications minister, Andrés Izarra.

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Katrina vs. Mitch - New Orleans Has No Excuse

This is a revealing article. As I have been pointing out, the riots, violence and anarchy seen in New Orleans has nothing to do with poverty, and everything to do with cultural values. It's speaks loudly of the cultural poverty of the many residents that resorted to uncivilized behavior in the wake of Katrina. Rich or poor, there is a lesson in contrasting the victims of Mitch in Honduras, and the victims of Katrina in New Orleans.
The televised images are eerily familiar and strikingly different: Hurricane Katrina, which slammed the Gulf Coast last week and Hurricane Mitch, which struck Central America in 1998. I had been in Honduras to report on the aftermath.

These things were the same: Buildings shattered to their basic elements: splintered pieces of wood, scraps of metal and broken glass. Elderly people, their faces forlorn, huddled in a stadium awaiting help. Children clinging to the necks of adults who carry them through streets of infested, churning water.

These images are not among my memories of Mitch'’s aftermath: The rape of female survivors, a violence that likely stole last shreds of dignity. A sniper shooting at a helicopter as it tries to evacuate hospital patients. Roving looters threatening rescue workers and gathering all the high-dollar goods they can carry.

There was no widespread stealing in Honduras. No sniper fire. No reports of carjackings.

Not in the more rural communities where the mountains fell, burying entire towns. And not in the industrialized cities where hillsides collapsed and homes tumbled into piles of wood, metal and glass.

In Honduras, there were rural regions where people starved to death, as no aid could get through the decimated bridges and roads. There was help, but no massive federal or military presence that immediately rushed in with medicine, food and water.

More than 9,000 people died in Hurricane Mitch, some in Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala, but most in Honduras. An equal number of people were never found. The reporting experience is among the most humbling of my 20 years of newspaper work. I'’ve always cringed at writings that depict poor people as humble servants to fate. As if being poor or destitute is something they thrive on.

But in Honduras, the survivors of Hurricane Mitch were filled with grace, even in their desperation. That is why some of the images from New Orleans and other Gulf Coast cities are so discouraging. Granted, only a tiny percentage of Katrina'’s victims are doing the despicable acts. But there is no excuse for it.

More than 1.5 million Hondurans were homeless after Hurricane Mitch.

They also were forced to live along highways, in churches and at a giant stadium, just as the Katrina survivors fled to first the Superdome and now the Astrodome. Babies were born at that Honduran soccer stadium. For one woman, it was her first, a boy. The new mother had one cloth diaper, nothing more. She happily cuddled her baby as she lay on a cot. Hundreds of people lived in a college gymnasium for weeks without running water. Each family received one pound of beans and two pounds of rice weekly.

The only protest: A leader of the group penciled a nearly poetic letter to the mayor, asking for help later, to move their farms to higher ground.
Make sure to read the rest of the opinion piece over at Honduras.com.

Sunday, September 11

Cuba's ambassador to the Holy See, Raúl Roa Kourí, says Church works as a tool of the United States

Cuban Cardinal sssailed Raúl Roa Kourí, accusations that the Catholic church in Cuba is pro-U.S. In a story by Zenit.org, Cardinal Jaime Ortega Alamino, the archbishop of Havana, issued a statement in response to the ambassador's Statements to the Italian news organization ASCA. The Cardinal said Kourí accusations are "Unacceptable and False."
In that interview Roa praised the Holy See's posture vis-à-vis the government of Cuba, but accused the country's bishops of taking sides with foreign powers.

The cardinal said Roa's comments make it seem that "all the responsibility for the difficulties of Church-state relations in Cuba fall on the bishops, ignoring all that corresponds to the government of our country," and that that episcopate serves the interests of the United States in the island nation.

The archbishop of Havana added: "We, the bishops of Cuba, are used to reading all kinds of newspaper articles, where we are accused of being 'collaborationists with the Castro government,' of supporting a specific dissident group or leader and of other contradictory things.

"This, although unpleasant, is possible in newspaper articles, but the insinuation, repeated by Mr. Roa that the Church in Cuba through her bishops has always responded to foreign powers is totally new and gratuitous."

"His opinions on the Cuban bishops and their estrangement from priests are unacceptable and false," stated the cardinal.

In the paragraphs of the interview that refer to the Church in Cuba, Roa "uses disrespectful and at times offensive language, never used before by any ambassador of Cuba to the Holy See in public documents," added the prelate.

Cardinal Ortega added: "This is an unpleasant surprise and I want to affirm our total rejection of the content of his words and of his wounding and anything but conciliatory style."
Besides the fact that Castro's ambasadors lack any sort of credibility, I wonder how he can say the Church is pro-U.S., when recent stories are reporting the Pope's opposition to U.S. embargo on Cuba.

"The Holy See wishes ardently that the obstacles that currently impede free communication and exchange between Cuba and the international community may be overcome as soon as possible, thus consolidating, by means of a respectful and open dialogue among all, the conditions necessary for genuine development," the pope said.

For some observers, the statement came as no surprise. The Vatican has repeatedly opposed economic embargoes designed to achieve political purposes. But for some Cuban exiles, many of them Catholic, the pontiff's message was a slap in the face.

"It's nothing different than the same attitude that the pope has had in regards to Cuba, which is really sad because it's not the same attitude he had toward Poland or toward communism [in other countries]," said Cuban exile activist Ninoska Pérez Castellón. "It's really disappointing."

Ninoska Perez hit the issue on the nail--the double standard that seems to exist when it comes to Cuba. What is about Castro that seems to fool the world? What charm or magic does he posses? Is not his atrocities evident? What is there to admire about Castro's revolution?

Tags: Current events, ,

Pro-family Rally Draws Thousands in Belgium

Stron show of support being reported from Belgium in the pro-family demonstrations. Spain's pro-family organizations organized in support and Spanish families protested in front of the Belgian embassies and consulates in Madrid, Barcelona, Granada, Seville, Malaga, Mallorca and Tenerife. Here is the full story from Zenit.org.
BRUSSELS, Belgium, SEPT. 11, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Organizers say more than 4,000 people took part in a pro-family march in Brussels that protested legislation that would allow homosexual couples to adopt children.

"The Family Is Truly Important!" was the theme of Saturday's rally in the city's Parc du Cinquantenaire, organized by the Institute of Family Policies. The demonstrators represented 10 international pro-family federations and 600 not-for-profit organizations.

Preceding the event, some 20,000 signatures were obtained in support of the idea of marriage being only between a man and a woman, and the right of children to have a father and a mother.

Organizers clarified that the rally was not a rejection of homosexuals, but rather a rejection of same-sex unions being given the same status as a traditional marriage.

The Belgian episcopal conference supported the march with a statement calling the event "a peaceful gesture in favor of the family."

As a show of support for the march, Spanish families protested in front of the Belgian embassies and consulates in Madrid, Barcelona, Granada, Seville, Malaga, Mallorca and Tenerife.
You can read about the Spanish pro-family protests from my previous posts. Europe is not just falling asleep and letting the issue of gay marriage and the attacks on traditional marriage go by unchallenged.

Tags: , Current events, , , ,

They Have Failed; Our Country is Strong

May we never forget the sacrifices made for the freedoms we enjoy.

"The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge structures collapsing, have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness, and a quiet, unyielding anger. These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed; our country is strong."

—George W. Bush, 9/11/01
This from Benedict XVI via Zenit.org:
"Today, September 11, we remember the victims of terrorist violence throughout the world," the Pope said today in English after reciting the Angelus with crowds gathered at the papal summer residence, south of Rome.

"May God inspire men and women of good will everywhere to renounce hatred and to build a world of justice, solidarity and peace."

In Memoriam

From RedState.org:

On this fourth anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, we all pause to remember our countrymen lost in that tragedy and the heroism and loss of the many folks who worked to rescue the survivors and who worked tirelessly around the clock to ease the suffering of so many. Here's a piece written on the one year anniversary entitled, "Ora et Labora", reminding us to pray as we worked, to remember those who are lost, but to remember them -- and to honor them -- as we soldiered on. As Faulkner said, "Man will not only endure, he will prevail", and prevail we will. We hope you'll take a moment today to remember those who fell that day, to stop and say a prayer for them and for their loved ones who every day go through life without them and who every day are reminded of their loss. We will not forget those who fell, will keep them in our prayers -- ordinary people, heroes all.
Go on over there, and join in on the discussions. I'm off to church to enjoy these freedoms our men and women in uniform have protected for me.