Friday, October 14

First Year Wedding -- I'll be back on Monday

I'll be gone all weekend celebrating with my lovely wife one year of joyfull and blessed marriage. It has been truly the greatest year of my life, and I am looking for many more great years to come.

Consider this an open discussion thread, and feel free to talk about anything. I'll be back Monday night with some thoughts on truth, ethical blogging, and what I have learned on these last couple weeks. :-D

~ Josue

Thursday, October 13

Correction and Retraction: Ref. C & D Emails

It has come to my attention that in fact UCCS makes it's student emails available to the public over its web site and where in fact are publicly available.

The U. Colorado system policy allows students to choose to keep my information private, in which case it is not included in either the print or on-line directories. Hence I evidently ignored and was never told of the option to consider this to be private information. There was no wrong doing or invasion of privacy by Securics, Inc.

The addresses used were public information and emails from were perfectly legal. The emails included an unsubscribe link so users could delete themselves from the list and not receive any further messages.

My previous statements where lacking in facts, as evidence now shows, and I regret not doing a better job of investigating the facts before hand.

Josue Sierra

Hugo Chavez Expels US Missionary Group, New Tribes Mission.

Chaves is accusing New Tribes Mission of collaborating with US Intelligence agencies and passing strategic information. Interestingly, BBC Spanish version makes this accusation (supuestamente envía información estratégica a la agencia de inteligencia estadounidense.), while the English version of the article leaves this accusation out.

The English story:
He accused the Florida-based group of making unauthorized flights and setting up luxurious camps amid poverty.

New Tribes, which preaches to non-Christian indigenous peoples, said it had no immediate comment.

It is one of Latin America's biggest missionary organizations and has 3,200 workers and operates in 17 countries, with operations in West Africa and South-East Asia too.

Caracas has suggested that American evangelicals are part of a broader conspiracy in Washington to topple a president whose regional influence is growing thanks to massive oil revenues, the BBC's Simon Watts writes.
Of course, Chavez takes the opportunity to highlight good'ol socialist economic policy, but giving tribal leaders titles to lands and equipment.
"The New Tribes are leaving Venezuela," Mr Chavez said at a ceremony to present land titles and farming equipment to members of Venezuela's indigenous population.

"This is an irreversible decision that I have made. We don't want the New Tribes here. Enough colonialism!" He added that he had yet to sign the expulsion order and was giving New Tribes time to "gather their stuff."
I am curious about the validity of their accusation in regards to New Tribes Mission facilities being large and luxurious. I have seen such huge missionary compounds in third world country, and as a missionary kid myself, it was terrible to see the walls that separated them from the indigenous people. In our case, we chose to live as residents, in a regular home in a regular neighborhood.

Fox News: Bloggers Seek to Mix Faith and the Internet

Interesting look at religion and blogging via Fox News.

WASHINGTON — When Johann Gutenberg's printing press began churning out Bibles in the 15th century, the new technology helped usher in a new era of religion in Europe.

Nearly 600 years later, some think that increasingly popular Web logs — the Internet's version of personal journals, pamphleteering and issue forums all wrapped in one — combined with traditional religious beliefs could once again take people on a new, uncharted course.

In what appears to be a first of its kind, a small evangelical Christian college in Southern California on Thursday will open the God Blog Convention, a conference on Christian blogging.

Matt Anderson, a 23-year-old educator who works for Biola University, is coordinating the God Blog Convention. He said one of the goals of the conference is to see whether God, Christian-oriented blogging and politics are a good marriage, and if so, how they should match up.

"The advantage of blogging is that anyone can do it and you can reach a lot more people," Anderson said. "What ends up happening is the level of dialogue about particular issues goes up."

Some who have been following the trend of blogging say the fact that Christians — already a powerful political force — are wading into the world of blogging could mean a major change in the political landscape if their efforts take hold.

"It's tailor-made for that group," said Carol Darr, director of George Washington University's Institute for Politics, Democracy and the Internet.

Darr said blogs can be used to increase religious contacts among like-minded individuals and strengthen the social bonds among religious groups.

In terms of the strength of the group as a political force, Christian bloggers don't just talk religion. They spend much of their time discussing current politics, including the nomination of White House counsel Harriet Miers to succeed Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, abortion, intelligent design, the use of "under God" in the classroom and where the Ten Commandments should or shouldn't be placed, among other topics.

But while blogging is generally considered a simple form of Web communication, the emerging movement of God-blogging is looking for a clearer definition of itself and what path it should take.

Staff at New Orleans hospital debated euthanizing patients

Alarming news, and yet says so much about the moral and cultural health of that city.
The Louisiana attorney general's office is investigating allegations that mercy killings occurred and has requested that autopsies be performed on all 45 bodies taken from the hospital after the storm.

Orleans Parish coroner Frank Minyard said investigators have told him they think euthanasia may have been committed.

"They thought someone was going around injecting people with some sort of lethal medication," Minyard said.

Dr. Bryant King, who was working at Memorial when conditions were at their worst, told CNN that while he did not witness any acts of euthanasia, "most people know something happened that shouldn't have happened."

Over the course of several weeks, CNN spoke with staff members from Memorial, who recounted the dismal situation inside the hospital after levees protecting New Orleans were breached on Monday, August 29, and most of the city filled up with water. By Wednesday, the situation had become desperate.

"We weren't really functioning as a hospital but as a shelter," King said. "We had no electricity. There was no water. It was hot. People are dying. We thought it was as bad as it could get. Why weren't we being evacuated? That was our biggest thing. We should be gone right now."

Food was running low, sanitation wasn't working, and temperatures inside soared to 110 degrees. Floodwaters had isolated the hospital, where about 312 patients -- many of them critically ill -- were being treated when Katrina hit.
Hat tip to ProLifeBlogs.

Cuban Writer Garcia is Dreaming of her New Book Deal

This comes via Publisher's Lunch and hat tip to VivirLatino. I had never heard of Cristina Garcia? Any of Cubans out there that have read it that could comment on her books? Is her work any good? Is anyone familiar with her political stand and wordview perspective?
Cuban born and NYC raised writer, Cristina Garcia, just signed a deal for an undisclosed amount with publisher Knopf, a division of Random House. The deal is for Garcia's fourth book, titled A Handbook to Luck. The story unfolds in Cuba, Iran, Salvador, and the U.S and deals with themes seen in her previous books, Dreaming in Cuban,The Aguero Sisters,and Monkey Hunting, namely the immigrant experience. I have truly enjoyed all of Garcia's books so far and congratulate her on the deal and wish her continued success.

VivirLatino asks Where IS All of the Coverage on the Disaster in Latin America?

New Latino blog out there with English coverage of the Latino world. Some good interesting stories, but I am not sure if I am endorsing them as of yet. They seem to have a team of good quality writters.

They had an interesting post on the lack of coverage on the Latin American disasters. Good point--I guess everyone is to busy on the Harriet Miers nomination. The story comes via HispanicTips.
I just read a great article entitled, Central American Flood, Where is the Coverage?, discussing the flooding from Hurricane Stan in Mexico & Guatemala and the lack of press attention in the US. I have to say that this is something that has been bothering me for some time, and I'm glad someone has taken the lead in discussing it. Hundreds have died and thousands are in great need.

I'm not even going to summarize it...just recommend that everyone go read the article. It's time that the US start paying attention to the rest of the world, as they pay attention to us. It'll come back to bite us sooner than many think.

Central American Flood: Where is the Coverage?
Head on over and check out the site. I'll be keeping an eye on it for a while, and linking to interesting stories when I see them.

Australia: Door left ajar on abortion drug ban

Let's hope the door to more abortions in Australia is not opened. They have made a good stand against RU-486, and protected countless women's lives. As is usual with abortion, the group most affected are the underclass--women in rural or poor areas of the country. Of course, there is no mention of the dangerous potential side effects and the many death cases here in the US.
John Howard, who has been lobbied by Dr Stone, hinted the Coalition would be prepared to debate the availability of RU-486, which is freely available in many countries, including Britain, New Zealand and the US.

"We'll have a talk about that inside the Government," the Prime Minister said. "Any view I have on it I will first contribute to the internal government discussion on it."

Senior Labor frontbenchers Tanya Plibersek and Julia Gillard supported a review of the ban. "The appropriate thing for the Government to now do is to commission some independent medical experts to review new information and to make some recommendations to government about what should be done to deal with the RU-486 issue," Ms Gillard said.

The Democrats have long advocated removing constraints on RU-486. "Mifepristone has been used by 2million women worldwide and is a proven safe alternative to surgical abortions," Democrats leader Lyn Allison said yesterday.

Dr Stone's argument that access to the banned pill would assist women in regional areas cut little ice with vocal anti-abortionist and Nationals Senate leader Ron Boswell.

"I'd be against the abortion pill and don't think there's any need to change the current policy," he said.

Until July, the Government honored a loose agreement made in 1996 with Brian Harradine to inform the Tasmanian senator of any moves to alter government restrictions on RU-486.

The retirement of Senator Harradine, an avowed pro-lifer, has removed an obstacle to changing the policy.

Wednesday, October 12

Dr. Dobson to Set the Record Straight on Miers Flap

Here is partial transcript of today's radio show. You can read the full transcript here. There are two parts of the transcript I think are of most interest to those following the Miers nomination.

The key part of the conversation is where he talks about the list being cut short because most of the judges on the list took their names out themselves. The fact is, if Bush was not able to appoint a more qualified candidate, it is because the Democrats have politicized this process and NO intelligent individual would want to submit himself or herself to the vicious circus its been made. Of course, Bush cannot go out and say, "I had no choice, all my first choices are not available."

I think we need to give it time for the facts to come out. Read on.

The first related to the list being cut short:
But we also talked about something else, and I think this is the first time this has been disclosed. Some of the other candidates who had been on that short list, and that many conservatives are now upset about were highly qualified individuals that had been passed over. Well, what Karl told me is that some of those individuals took themselves off that list and they would not allow their names to be considered, because the process has become so vicious and so vitriolic and so bitter, that they didn't want to subject themselves or the members of their families to it.

So, even today, many conservatives and many of 'em friends of mine, are being interviewed on talk shows and national television programs. And they're saying, "Why didn't the President appoint so-and-so? He or she would have been great. They had a wonderful judicial record. They would have been the kind of person we've been hoping and working and praying for to be on the Court." Well, it very well may be that those individuals didn't want to be appointed.

Fuller: For understandable reasons, because the grilling that they get in that confirmation process is just brutal.
The second part of interest related to the non-juicy information:
Dobson: So, what was it that I couldn't talk about? The answer has everything to do with timing. It's very important to remember that when I first made that statement about knowing things that I shouldn't know, and shared that with my colleagues the day that the President made his announcement, maybe two or three hours after his press conference.

And then, that very night, I went on the Brit Hume program -- the FOX News program -- and. . . and talked about the President's nomination. And then, the following day --Tuesday -- I recorded a statement for FOF, which was heard on Wednesday. And that is the last time that I said that I had information that was confidential and that I really couldn't talk about.

Why? Because what I was told by Karl Rove had been confirmed and reported from other sources by that time.

What did Karl Rove say to me that I knew on Monday that I couldn't reveal? Well, it's what we all know now, that Harriet Miers is an Evangelical Christian, that she is from a very conservative church, which is almost universally pro-life, that she had taken on the American Bar Association on the issue of abortion and fought for a policy that would not be supportive of abortion, that she had been a member of the Texas Right to Life. In other words, there is a characterization of her that was given to me before the President had actually made this decision. I could not talk about that on Monday. I couldn't talk about it on Tuesday. In fact, Brit Hume said, "What church does she go to?" And I said, "I don't think it's up to me to reveal that." Do you remember my saying that?

Fuller: I do, yes.

Dobson: What I meant was, I couldn't get into this. But by Wednesday and Thursday and Friday, all this information began to come out and it was no longer sensitive. I didn't have the right to be the one that revealed it and that's what I was referring to.

Fuller: Well, I'd also guess, Doctor, that the answer you gave here about the contents of that conversation and why you couldn't divulge some of those matters, won't satisfy the senators on the judiciary committee, who were looking for some red meat.
If you want to hear the entire show, the MP3 Audio is available here. You can read previous post on this story here. There are a lot of comments over at

Tags: Politics, Rove, , White House, George Bush, , , ,

Tuesday, October 11

Cuban Catholics Relying on "Prayer Homes"

The truth about Castro's revolution is that it is starving the people. Thankfully, the faithful find a way to worship regardless of the circumstances. Despite Castro, and the economic starvation he is imposing, on what used to be a very prosperous nation, Catholics are thriving. This is what is coming to Venezuela.
VATICAN CITY, OCT. 11, 2005 ( It's practically impossible for Catholics in Cuba to build new churches, so "prayer homes" have opened to gather small Christian communities, a Cuban prelate told the Synod of Bishops.

Auxiliary Bishop Alfredo Victor Petit Vergel of Havana presented a report Monday to the synod on how the local Church lives its relationship with the Eucharist.

Given "the difficulty and virtual impossibility of constructing new temples," explained the prelate, "we have what is called 'prayer homes' or 'mission homes' in
the suburbs and in the small villages and country homes where, each week or as often as possible, a small group of faithful, not more than 40, gather under the guidance of a committed lay person, a religious or a deacon."
Tags: Cuba, chavez, Fidel,

Tancredo: Sell Federal Land to Offset Massive Debt

Tancredo's congressional web site is announcing the introduction of bill H.R. 3855 that proposes the sale of 15% of Federal land, which he is reporting would generate almost $148 billion.

I am not so sure this is good news. I am glad Tancredo is looking for ways to offset the expenses, but this sounds to me like a way for the government to get their hands on more money, not reducing how much they spend! Ultimately, it would not reduce the amount of pork spending.

All it will do is allow them to continue on in their spending, and if not controlled carefully, may actually generate new expenditures. The idea is to reduce spending, not sell of property to allow for a continued increase in spending.
WASHINGTON, D.C.; Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO) has introduced H.R. 3855 to secure the sale of 15% of federal land to offset the massive debt accumulated from Hurricane Katrina relief and reconstruction. The sale of federal land would generate almost $148 billion in Katrina relief.

Read about the bill (H.R. 3855)
Read the full text of the bill (H.R. 3855)

Technorati tag: .

Gallup: Americans Now Support Interracial Dating

Editor and Publisher has a revealing story about the attitude of most Americans when it comes to interracial dating. I'm no expert on statistics, so I can't say whether this had flaws or what. But, its a big step forward and good news for our country.
In all, 69% of Hispanics say they have dated someone of a different racial or ethnic group, 52% of blacks say this and 45% of whites. There is some gender difference among blacks, with 64% of African-American men saying they have dated a non-black and 42% of black women saying this.

Among whites, 29% said they had dated a Hispanic, 24% an African-Amercian, and 18% an Asian.

The survey, part of Gallup's annual Minority Rights and Relations poll, was based on polling 2,264 adults.


Via IconCulture:
In this potpourri of national folk music, dances, and foods emerges the Latino heritage. But just as Christian philosopher Tertullian exclaimed, 'What does Athens have to do with Jerusalem?' one is left wondering, what does Mexico have to do with Brazil?


Economies are Destroyed on Good Intentions

Why is is that public figures insist on propagating the myth that the government is the one to solve the problems of poverty?

This via
First Lady Addresses Poverty

First Lady Laura Bush told the Associated Press in an interview on Tuesday that there could be a silver lining in Katrina – the opportunity to address difficult racial and economic problems.

"I think it's really important for us to talk about it in a different way," said Mrs. Bush, who over three decades ago taught elementary students at an inner-city school in Houston and was a school librarian in a poor Austin neighborhood.

Without offering specifics, she urged policymakers to tackle not only improving education so that poor and minority children have a leg up in life, but increasing the amount of affordable housing stock and the jobs available to those who most need them. She pressed for job training programs, whether through the government or unions or corporations.”
I am all for corporate sponsored initiatives.

Bloggers Probably Not Considered Journalists

Something I need to keep up with, and we should all consider the implications. This alarming article comes via diary.
By: FrauBudgie
According to Senator Richard Lugar, bloggers would probably not be protected under the new shield law.

In a speech reported by Editor and Publisher, Luger said that the debate isn't closed yet as to how to define a journalist.

Lugar's the sponsor of a bill called the "Free Flow of Information Act" which is designed to protect journalists from going to jail for not revealing lying anonymous sources ...

Here's the gig about anonymous sources: if an official isn't willing to give his name, then chances are, the information being given to the reporter is manipulative. Reporters need to take that into account, although these days, they don't seem to.

If you know you might have to go to jail to protect a source, there's a little more gravity in the transaction -- or at least, there should be.

In the blogosphere, it's almost a given that you might indeed have an anonymous source for an explosive story, but somebody else is going to immediately publish an article that questions the motives of the anonymity ... or figures out who it is.

However, jail time is not without merit for a mainstream reporter.

Consider Judith Miller, recently imprisoned for not revealing a source (even though her source told her months ago that it was okay to reveal him. Go figure that one.)

Miller probably used her down time in jail to write the first three chapters, and an outline of her forthcoming book, which has been reportedly sold to Simon and Shuster for 1.2 million dollars.

Considering that she spent 85 days in jail, that works out roughly to be $14,117.65 per day spent in jail. That's not counting the speaking engagements to various journalism schools she'll get ... and job security in an otherwise fairly ersatz profession.

LatinoPundit: Fine the businesses that hire illegals

LatinoPundit proposes a simple solution to illegal immigration--cut off the demand.
One sentence: Fine the businesses that hire illegals. Fine Walmart, fine construction companies, fine whoever...and fine heavily! If you are not promoting that then you really are not serious. Screw the borders, screw policy, screw everything except fining the companies that hire illegal immigrants. Put that on the plate.
A reader points out that penalties are already in place, but fake IDs make it difficult. He calls for a national ID.
That won't work unless there is a national I.D. card. Most businesses who hire illegals don't know for sure if the person is illegal. The illegals use false I.D.

There are already very heavy penalties for knowingly hiring illegals.
Posted by James at October 7, 2005 06:27 AM
It is a very difficult challenge to address, but it's good to hear another Latino talking openly about the problem and proposing solutions.

Tags: Politics, Current Affairs, California, Homeland Security, Mexico, Immigration,

Just Plain Wrong: Ga. Locals Criticize Mayor on Flying Flag

This story is via Yahoo News and the Associated Press. This is political correctness run amok! I appreciate the Mayor's desire to give respect to the murder victims, but he could have found a strong significant way to do so without being divisive, unpatriotic, and disrespectful to our flag. This is common flag etiquette!
TIFTON, Ga. - A south Georgia mayor said Friday he will continue flying a Mexican flag at city hall for the six immigrant farmworkers slain in robberies — despite complaints from residents.

Seven people called WTIF radio station Thursday, saying the gesture was inappropriate and that the Mexican and U.S. flags should not fly together.

"I did that as an expression of sorrow to the Hispanic community," Mayor Paul Johnson said. "For those who we offended, I apologize, but I think it was the right thing to do."

The red, white and green Mexican flag, donated by the Colombian-born priest of Tifton's only Roman Catholic church, was first raised Monday and taken down Thursday because it was damaged by Tropical Storm Tammy.

The mayor has requested a new flag and pledged the display would last six days, one for each man slain.
Hat tip to LatinoPundit for the link.

Tags: Politics, Current Affairs, Homeland Security, Mexico, Immigration, News

Monday, October 10

Schumer Wants to Call Dobson to Testify Before the Judiciary Committee


Ed Morrissey was doing a web chat today on the web site, and got hit with a question about Dobson's comments.

Morrilton, Ark.: Why is an inquiry not being launched into the comments made by James Dobson on his response to the Harriet Miers' appointment? If, in fact, a person or persons unknown were doing "back door dealings" on pre-existing laws already in place by past judges would this not be grounds to nullify the appointment.

Ed Morrissey: Arlen Specter says he will address this during the hearings. I'd certainly be interested in hearing Dr. Dobson explain this a bit more.

Am I missing something? What is the big deal about this conversation?

The discussion is a good read, so head on over and check out the whole thing.


More on this story via Alleged Rove secret riles senators
Schumer said Dobson should be called to testify when the Senate Judiciary Committee holds hearings on Miers, a step Specter did not rule out.

"The Senate Judiciary Committee is entitled to know whatever the White House knew," said Specter, who chairs the committee.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said Rove said he shared no secret about Miers or her potential future votes.

"In his outreach calls to Dr. Dobson as well as many others, including members of Congress, at no point did anyone ask nor did Karl offer any indication of how Harriet would vote on any particular case that may come before the court," Perino said.

Dobson was not available yesterday, but a spokesman said he would not talk about his conversation with Rove. He added that Dobson could not comment on an invitation to appear before the Senate.

Perino said Rove spoke of his 15 years working with Miers. The ground he covered included, she said, "her conservative judicial philosophy that matches the president's, her qualifications to be a Supreme Court justice and her vast knowledge of the constitution and constitutional law based on 30 years of legal practice, including five years in the White House, where such knowledge is not only required but relied upon daily as decisions come before her."

That statement did not satisfy Schumer. He said, "Mr. Dobson has made some strong statements, and he must let the public know what he knows."
It's looking like they are just trying to "create" a controversy--anything to use as an excuse for their delay and obstruction tactics.


Via RedHot pages. Is this a "divide and conquer" attempt?
Rove called Dobson? [Mark Kilmer]
On CBS's Face the Nation, Chuckie Schumer just charged that Karl Rove himself called James Dobson and whispered reassurances regarding Miers. Schumer wants to call Dobson to testify before the J Committee about what Rove "whispered." Asked if the committee would subpoena Dobson, Schumer said that "we'll cross that bridge when we come to it."

For their sake, let's hope Teddy Kennedy doesn't lead that particular expedition. Posted at 10/09/2005 10:55:20 AM EST - #

Tags: Politics, Rove, , White House, George Bush, , , ,

PoliPundit shifts on Miers: Must not be Confirmed

Hat Tip to krempasky over at

Since her nomination was announced, I’ve said that Harriet Miers should be confirmed to the Supreme Court, despite her unexciting qualifications, because she’s a conservative. Information that has come out over the last week has caused me to believe she is not a conservative. So I’m changing my position: Harriet Miers should not be confirmed by the Senate.

On Roe v. Wade, I have no doubt that Miers is a rock-solid pro-lifer. If this were the only issue that mattered, then Miers would have my full support.

But there are any number of other issues before the Court, foremost among them the racial discrimination that goes on in the name of affirmative action. On these issues, Miers would at best be a squishy liberal like Justice O’Connor.

You don’t have to believe me, just ask her liberal-lawyer friend, Louise B. Raggio:

“The abortion issue is a bad issue for me,” Raggio acknowledged, “but overall you look at the whole, and there are many issues I could agree with her on.”
In 1998, Miers funded a lecture series in Ms. Raggio’s name at SMU. Most of the speakers have been ultra-liberal women.

Politically, Miers’ entire career seems to be one of going along to get along. From her donations to Al Gore and Lloyd Bentsen, to her non-membership in the Federalist Society, she seems eager to fit in with the liberal-lawyer crowd. Miers says she didn’t join the FedSoc “or other ‘politically charged’ groups because they ’seem to color your view one way or another.’” Doesn’t the liberal ABA count? In the White House, Miers argued for every judicial nomination to be vetted by the ABA.

Miers just doesn’t seem to understand who the friends and enemies of modern conservatism are. Such ignorance is dangerous.

PoliPundit has more on why Harriet Miers Must not be Confirmed. It's compelling argument.

Sunday, October 9

Chairman Mehlman Unveils New Spanish Language Web Site

Washington DC – Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Ken Mehlman today unveiled the national committee’s new Spanish language Web site as part of a continued effort to communicate the President’s and Republican Party’s message to all Americans. GOP en Español is another mechanism that encourages more Latinos to get involved, expands the party’s reach, and attracts new Hispanic faces and voices.

The new Web site presents current news and information to the Latino community with recent political updates and information on President Bush’s positive agenda and how it is benefiting Hispanic Americans. Among the new features and tools, GOP en Español offers online voter registration forms for all fifty states, the opportunity to become a volunteer at the local, state, or national level, and a way to sign up to receive and send information, entirely in Spanish.

GOP en Español will also feature “The Latino Corner” or “La Esquina Latina”, a Web cast completely in Spanish where supporters can find the latest political news on how President Bush and the Republican Party are working for Hispanic Americans.
You can check out GOP en Español at

Politics Test Tags me a Capitalist, Social Moderate

I took this little un-scientific test that indicates my position on the political and social spectrum. I found it most interesting, as I always considered myself a strong conservative in regards to social issues, yet this test puts me in the social moderate category. Very interesting. For those that have read my posts, and are regulars, would you peg me as a social moderate?

You are a

Social Moderate
(50% permissive)

and an...

Economic Conservative
(80% permissive)

You are best described as a:


You exhibit a very well-developed sense of
Right and Wrong and believe in economic fairness

Link: The Politics Test

Advice to The Green Magazine: Stick to Golf

The Green Magazine had a politically loaded article on Cuba. The full story is not online, but I started reading it and got disgusted half way through the article. Enough to say I will be canceling my subscription.
The Day After...Cuba Beyond Castro
Boxer turned promoter seeks revolution
By Playthell Benjamin

As the Cuban Revolution nears its 50th anniversary, much speculation exists regarding what course Cuban society will take once its aging leader Fidel Castro passes from the scene. Any conjecture on the direction of Cuban society in the post-Castro era begs the question of what will be the character of US/Cuban relations in the future. Internal policy in Cuba has long been shaped by American foreign policy toward that Spanish-speaking Caribbean island ninety miles from the shores of Florida—the largest and most richly endowed island in the region in terms of natural and human resources.

It is impossible to understand the character of Cuban society today and seriously contemplate its future without taking the realities of the 1959 revolution and the American reaction to it into account. Whether considering the poverty that plagues the island, the repressive internal policies, the refugees who brave the Florida straits, the ignorance of many young Cuban Americans about the motivations of the revolution that transformed the island in 1959 and the man who led it, any review is incomplete without an understanding of US policy toward the island nation. This is because the revolution, which has shaped contemporary Cuba more than any other event in the twentieth century, was a reaction to a system of social and economic relations largely determined by US interests.
If any reader has a Green Magazine subscription, and is willing to share perspective, I will gladly post it here as a guest blog post. I may wait a few days, read it carefully, and post more thoughts later on as well.

Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa Opposes Democracy

Hat tip to GOPBlogger for this story.
As we noted yesterday, Arnold Schwarzenegger's reform proposals, which the dysfunctional state legistlature refused to enact, are doing well in polls. In the purest form of democracy we have, voters will directly determine whether the ballot propositions for teacher tenure, union dues, a state spending cap and redistricting pass. But Los Angeles mayor, "Democrat" Antonio Villaraigosa, does not approve of citizens being empowered to vote on these issues.

"I'm opposed to all of his initiatives," said Villaraigosa, a former state Assembly speaker, who had appeared eager to work with Schwarzenegger.

"In this instance it's very clear that the initiative process is being misused," Villaraigosa said. "These are matters that could and should be addressed by the Legislature."

But instead of allowing citizens to vote on issues, Democrats prefer to spend time overriding the clear will of the people on gay marriage and legitimizing illegal aliens.
Todd Harris, a spokesman for Schwarzenegger's campaign, said the governor decided to take the issues before voters in a Nov. 8 special election because the Legislature was unwilling to work with him.

"The governor could not agree with the mayor more that the Legislature should have worked with the governor to pass these reforms," Harris said. "Instead, the Legislature focused on its own priorities, things like gay marriage and drivers licenses for illegal immigrants."

Jim Gilchrist and Immigration: A Conversation with Tom Hoefling

I recently read about Jim Gilchrist's campaign for congress. I checked out his web site, and read all about his position on immigration and pork spending. Frankly, I liked what it said, but I was concerned about the possibility of racism being part of the mix. So, I wrote an email to the address indicated in his web site, and got a response from Republican activist, strategist and consultant, Tom Hoefling. I must say: I am no longer concerned as far as racism and Gilchrist is concerned.

I have said this before about other ethnic groups, and I will say it now about latinos: Latinos need to stand up and speak up in regards to the problem of immigration. Silence and fear of public opinion will only make us weaker. Worst, the greater the problem of illegal immigration, the more racism we will see. Not because of the leaders like Tancredo or Gilchrist, but because of liberals and because of extremist and racists that will take the frustration, and use it as a catalyst to foster more racism. I'm glad that Gilchrist is running, and that he is speaking out. But, more of us need to speak out against illegal immigration.

More Latinos need to face the truth, and be a voice against the lawlessness that is endangering our privileges and our welcome in this nation.

Following is the exchange.
Sent: Saturday, October 08, 2005 7:41 PM
Subject: Question for Mr. Gilchrist about immigration

Dear Mr. Gilchrist;

My name is Josue Sierra, I am a US born citizen of Cuban heritage. My mother immigrated to the United States legally, as a resident, and my father escaped Cuba hidden in a ship, as my grandfather--a college professor and pastor--feared repressions from Castro.

I just discovered your web site today, and your campaign for Congress. Reading your position plan on controlling illegal immigration, and your position on pork spending, I can't help by pray you do win. I write today, because as someone of Hispanic descent, I am concerned that anti-immigrant sentiments are growing in this country.

I am against illegal immigration 100%. You articulated very well the many dangers and the inhumanities this problem brings about. I specially liked this statement: "More than any other country, we extend a hand of compassion to the tired, poor, and needy. But we do it under a system of law, order, equality, and protection of human rights."

Would you please tell me your views about legal immigrants--people who waited for years, and did things the right way, in order to gain permission to enter this country and have a better life. I am talking about immigrants, such as myself, who have taken this nation as my own, adopted it's culture, language and values, and who have no loyalties to any other nation. Is there a place for people like me in your vision of United States of America? Can political exiles still find refuge here?

I guess I am seeking reassurance that while illegal immigration is being stopped, racism is not being propagated. Mr. Gilchrist, I want leadership like yours, firm and committed to truth and to the law in regards to immigration, yet compassionate and welcoming to immigrants who would come through due-process. I want to know that racism, and hatred towards other ethnic groups will not be tolerated--please understand I am not speaking of PC ideals, but the good old fashioned meaning of the word. I also want to know that illegal immigrants, when detained, will be duly processed and held in humane conditions while awaiting deportation.

Finally, I would like to know what sort of options would desperate, law-abiding, hard-working individuals from Central or South America have once our borders are properly secured. Not that this is an excuse--it should not be--but when quotas and lengthy (years long) processes prevent a wife and child from being reunited with her husband, I can understand a person's choice of entering this country illegally. I don't say this is the norm--it is not. Nor, do I say this to express any sentiment against securing our borders. I say it, because we are a nation of compassion and of family values. What will we do as a nation to welcome those who desire a better life? Will we welcome them?

What assurances can you give me that you are this sort of leader?

I welcome your response. Please know that as a blogger, I would like to publish your response on my web site:

Should you wish to remain of the record, I will honor such request. Thank you for your time, and that of your staff, in responding to this email. I wish you the best in all your work.

Best Regards,

Josue Sierra
Here was Tom Hoefling response:
Mr. Sierra,

A very large number of Jim Gilchrist's supporters are people like yourself: legal immigrants, or the children of legal immigrants.

People like Geoffrey Huang, Vince Estrada, Lupe Moreno, Frank Jorge (Cuban), Luca Zanna, Angie Ibbotson, Steve Holder, Rosanna Pulido, and many more.

Our fight to secure our borders has absolutely NOTHING to do with race. It has to do with our nation's security and the rule of law.

Jim Gilchrist doesn't allow anyone to stay in the Minuteman Project who shows the least bit of racism. And he certainly believes in the humane treatment of all.

I very much enjoyed your letter. My experience is that legal immigrants are usually the most passionate American patriots of all. Those of us who were born in this country tend to be complacent and take our freedom and security for granted.

The highest regards,

Tom Hoefling
Tags: Politics, Current Affairs, California, Homeland Security, Mexico, Immigration, ,

Sen. Allard: "Doesn't want to 'tie the hands' of military"

I was glad to see Sen. Allard standing by the Commander in Chief by voting against further rules and constraints on the Defense Departments ability to deal with prisoners and enemy combatants. It's too bad there where not enough Senators with the guts to do the right thing.

The fact is that there are already in place plenty of regulations and rules of conduct. What happened in Iraq was outside of already existing rules. We don't need more rules, we need continued enforcement. The fact is that those that have gone outside the law in the treatment of prisoners have been prosecuted and brought to justice. Creating new legislations and controls over the issue may be politically correct, and may gain you popularity points with the media, but it won't change the past or do anything to improve the future.

Here is the story from the Rocky Mountain News:
The amendment was inspired by reported abuses of detainees in Iraq and at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. But Allard said changing the regulations "does not right the wrong committed by those individuals who were clearly acting outside the Army's existing regulations and laws of our country."

"In fact, all it does is tie the hands of the Department of Defense at a time when maximum flexibility within the boundaries of the U.S. law is needed," Allard said.
Interestingly enough, ColoradoPols thinks this will affect Allard's popularity ratings negatively. I tend to think he didn't care about polls, and cared more about making sure the military has the flexibility it needs to get the job done.
President is adamantly opposed to this amendment and has promised to veto the whole appropriations bill over it. 90-9 is certainly enough to overcome that threat, so the question is really more about how badly this Senatorial insurrection will hurt Bush going forward.

Wayne Allard stands to lose big if he comes out on the wrong side of this one, even if it's the same side as the President. With Bush polling in the upper 30s today, Allard may be missing the writing on the wall...
This, gentlemen, is what is known as leadership--making decisions regardless of polls.

Looking at the other side of the political spectrum, I can't help but cringe at Sen. Salazar's ignorant comments.
"If soldiers across this world know there are these standards the American military is going to abide by, it provides additional protection to our soldiers" if they are captured, Salazar said.
Does he honestly think that just because our military has a stricter code of conduct for the treatment of its prisoners, that Al Qaeda will perhaps not torture our men or treat them with humanity? What sort of additional protection does this provide? All it does is endanger our soldiers as the enemy becomes fearless of an American army whose hands are tied by politically correct policies that weaken our ability to defeat the enemy.

This kind of thinking comes out of the idea that the Arab world and the Palestinian conflict is a direct result of American "aggression" towards Arabs and also makes the assumption that the Armed forced have a institutional-wide problem with torture and inhumane treatment of prisoners. This is an un-American lie propagated by those who would paint America as an evil aggressor. The Senator must be smoking something!

Related Posts at Latino Issues:
CO Sen. Allard Under Fire for Comments on Crime & Illegal Immigrants
Delphi on the Battle over CO Ref. C: Pro Side Needs More Money To Win

Tags: , Politics, News,

PARADE: Chavez Bankrolling Castro and Terrorism

It was surprised to find this quote in a mainstream media publication, Parade Magazine (insert in many Sunday papers). This came out of Walter Scott's Personality Parade column in today's issue, through the Denver post & Rocky Mountain News. A reader by the name of Robert Henry, from Los Angeles, CA, asks where Fidel Castro is getting the money to shore up his bankrupt regime. Here is Scott's response:
In the wake of the collapse of the USSR, which bankrolled him to the tune of $4 billion a year, Castro has turned to Hugo Chavez, Marxist president of Venezuela, the world's fifth-largest oil-exporter. In addition to shoring up Castro, he's funding revolutionaries and terrorists throughout Latin America.
Way to go Mr. Scott! Your courage to write the truth gives you credibility--a rare thing in the mainstream print media.

Tags: Venezuela, USSR, Chavez, Castro, Cuba, News, Politics, Latin America