Category Archives: politics

La Casa Blanca

[Scroll for English translation!]

Hoy es Spanish Friday pero casi no tengo tiempo por escribir mi post. Es las 5 de la mañana y estoy lista por ir a la casa de mi amigo, El Presidente Obama.

(Gracias a mis padres, hoy, la familia López anda en un tour de La Casa Blanca en Washington D.C.)

A visitar Barack voy! (Si está en casa!) Hasta luego, y si participaste en Spanish Friday, deja tu link en comentarios!

ENGLISH TRANSLATION:

Today is Spanish Friday but I almost don’t have time to write my post. It’s 5 o’clock in the morning and I’m ready to leave to go to the house of my friend, President Obama.

(Thanks to my parents, today, the López family is going on a tour of the White House in Washington D.C.)

Off to visit Barack! (If he’s home!) See you later and if you participated in Spanish Friday, leave your link in comments!

House Divided (book review)

House Divided is the second book in a trilogy by Raul Ramos y Sanchez. If you didn’t read the first book, America Libre, start there.

The story takes place in a fictional future where civil war has broken out between American Latinos and the U.S. government. Manolo Suarez, a third generation Mexican American who barely speaks Spanish, is just one of many Latinos who has been forced into ghettos across the country.

When this series first came out, the plot seemed realistic and yet far-fetched at the same time. In today’s anti-immigrant atmosphere, these books will definitely give you chills.

America Libre, (the first book), I really loved – so I was eager to read this second book. Honestly, for the first half of House Divided, I felt lost at times with the military talk. As the story line became more about the logistics of the war than about the relationships between the characters, I became a little anxious for something to pull at my heart strings. I know these chapters would play out awesomely on the big screen as a film, but war novels aren’t really my thing.

Thankfully, in the second half of the book, a compelling page turning plot twist is introduced involving Manolo’s teenage son and a gringa, which grabbed my attention and really appealed to me on an emotional level.

Over all, I ended up liking the book enough that I look forward to the third book, Pancho Land.

Disclosure: This book was provided to me for review purposes. All opinions are my own. No compensation was received for this review.

Los Herederos del Monte vs. President Obama

As much as I like President Obama, I think those of us who missed our telenovela on account of the State of the Union address are feeling un poco triste today. I mean, don’t get me wrong – President Obama is handsome in his own right, but it’s kind of hard for anyone to compete with 5 shirtless cowboys.

Well, here is a photo to cheer you up. Now, recuerda, I’m doing this for you, not me.

Te sientes mejor? … jijiji… Seriously though, does anyone have any idea how to style hair the way Paula has it? I managed a similar style but I think that my curling iron isn’t fat enough. (After an hour working on it Carlos told me, “Come back to reality! You’re not in a telenovela!” … but when I was all finished he really liked it. Men! They don’t realize that beauty takes time – at least for most of us.)

Anyway… the most dramatic thing that has happened in the past few episodes has been Efraín catching José and Beatriz kissing and then basically kidnapping baby Simón. That’s the subplot that has me most interested right now. I sort of hated Beatriz at first but now I feel bad for her. I also felt bad for Modesto when Sofia told him that Simón isn’t his real grandchild. I don’t like Sofia at all.

Who is surprised that Juan has been resisting Paula’s seduction! Go, Juan! … wonder how long he’ll last before kissing her again? (And yet, I can’t help but feel badly for Paula now that she’s really in love with him and not just playing games.)

Okay – enough chisme. Someone requested lyrics to “Desde Que Estás Aquí” which is Juan and Paula’s theme song. I listened to the song and transcribed the lyrics, but because I can’t find the complete version of the song online, this is only the part of the song you hear on the show. (Gracias to my husband, Carlos, for helping me.)

Desde Que Estás Aquí (Lyrics/Letra)
performed by Paola Vargas and David Castro

(Listen here)

Desde que estás aquí
el centro de mi mundo se movio
llegaste a estremeserme el corazón
desde que estás aquí

Desde que estás aquí
no hay logica respuesta ni razón
late desorvitado el corazón
desde que estás aquí

Dejame ser lo que soy
Ya no se cuál es tu amor
Todo lo que tengo es lo que doy

Desde que estás aquí
Preciso otro momento
Para saber lo que siento
aquí en mi pecho

Desde que estás aquí
tu fuego es mi alimento
quemandome por dentro
Tú tienes como el viento.

The Other Side of Immigration

Whether one believes in compassionate comprehensive immigration reform which brings undocumented immigrants out of the shadows and allows them to fully become a part of their community, or an overhaul of our entire system with a focus on enforcement – we all agree that something must be done… but what?

The Other Side of Immigration is a documentary about what has caused our current immigration problems and what can be done about it – from the other side of the border. The honest, thought-provoking interviews with Mexican people discuss many aspects of the immigration debate which many Americans have never even considered. Elders of Mexican towns talk about how things used to be in their once thriving communities when one could make a living off the land. Former immigrants who have been to the United States talk about what drove them to go, and why they returned to Mexico. Wives and children who are left behind, talk about what it’s like to have the family broken in pieces – a necessary evil to survive.

This is the best documentary I’ve seen this year. I wish this film was mandatory viewing for every member of Congress.

Disclosure: This film provided to Latinaish.com for review.

Nachos & Border Amigos

American flags are out in full force this weekend – And thanks to Hurricane Earl passing off the coast, the red, white and blue, snapped proudly in the wind.

While I was taking photos, I noticed the juxtaposition of this flag and a sign that made me smile.

Okay, maybe I’m easily amused, but the way “NACHOS” is written up there, as if there is nothing more American than that, it made me happy.

Actually, if you’re interested to know, nachos have a good story behind them.

From Wikipedia: Nachos originated in the city of Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico, just over the border from Eagle Pass, Texas, at a restaurant called the Victory Club, owned by Rodolfo De Los Santos. One day in 1943, the wives of ten to twelve U.S. soldiers stationed at Fort Duncan in nearby Eagle Pass were in Piedras Negras on a shopping trip, and arrived at the restaurant after it had closed for the day. The maître d’, Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya, invented a new snack for them with what little he had available in the kitchen: tortillas and cheese. Anaya cut the tortillas into triangles, added longhorn cheddar cheese, quickly heated them, and added sliced jalapeño peppers. He served the dish, calling it Nacho’s especiales – meaning something like “Nacho’s special dish” in Spanish.

Anaya went on to work at the Moderno Restaurant in Piedras Negras, which still uses the original recipe. He also opened his own restaurant, “Nacho’s Restaurant”, in Piedras Negras. Anaya’s original recipe was printed in the 1954 St. Anne’s Cookbook.

The popularity of the dish swiftly spread throughout Texas. The first known appearance of the word “nachos” in English dates to 1949, from the book A Taste of Texas. Waitress Carmen Rocha is credited with introducing the dish to Los Angeles at El Cholo Mexican restaurant in 1959.

So there you have it. Nachos may not have been invented without some hungry gringas and an ingenious Mexican. You see, gente? This is what can happen when we all try to get along.

Boycotting Arizona – What You Need to Know

As a result of the recent Draconian law, SB-1070, passed in Arizona which legalizes racial profiling, there has been a lot of buzz about boycotting the state. But just how does one boycott the state of Arizona?

According to netstate.com, “Arizona’s agricultural output is pretty evenly distributed between crops and livestock. About 47% of Arizona’s agricultural production is in livestock. The other 53% is in crops. In terms of revenue generated, Arizona’s top five agricultural products are cattle and calves, lettuce, dairy products, cotton, and hay.”

These aren’t exactly easy products to boycott since labels don’t always tell us the origin, for example, if I buy a T-shirt, there is no way for me to know where the cotton used to make it originated from.

Arizona also manufactures things such as electronic equipment, but again, which ones?

When trying to think up companies from Arizona, most Americans will come up immediately with Arizona Beverages, the makers of Arizona Iced Tea – but they would be wrong. Fearing this wrong assumption, the New York based company has even put a message up on their website.

There are a lot of famous companies that really are headquartered in Arizona though, such as Fender, P.F. Chang’s, Cold Stone Creamery, Best Western, PetSmart and U-Haul – but it doesn’t make sense to boycott these name brands either since this will hurt more than Arizona. It will hurt the company owners, who may not even be in favor of the new law, and because these companies have locations across the country, it will hurt all their other employees and their families who are already struggling in this economy.

So how can you boycott Arizona?

The most popular method being encouraged is to simply not go there, as “The Grand Canyon” state relies heavily on tourism.

Another method now being circulated targets Arizona’s baseball team, The Diamondbacks. The best reasoning for this particular approach is because the owners of the team are reportedly major donors to the Republicans responsible for the law. Other bonuses include the fact that more than 27% of Major League Baseball players are Latino which has helped to generate a huge Latino fan base. Losing Latinos at their games will be a major financial loss. A protest outside Wrigley Field in Chicago where the Diamondbacks are set to play the Cubs, is already being organized.

Meanwhile, Arizona Governor, Janet Brewer has decided to stick her head in the sand and hope for the best. Her recent statement, “I believe it’s not going to have the kind of economic impact that some people think that it might,” shows a shocking amount of ignorance at very recent history in her own state. In 2008 Arizona cracked down on businesses that were found to have hired undocumented immigrants and their economy suffered as a direct result.


(Video from 2008)

Some businesses have already noticed a decline in customers.

Hector Manrique the owner of Taqueria Guadalajara in Phoenix said, “The streets just went empty. Usually on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, we’re packed. But this weekend was empty like I’d never seen it before… A lot of people told me they’re afraid to go out…”

And with good reason. The first American Citizen has already been mistakenly arrested, handcuffed, transported by van and detained. Abdon, who did not want to give his surname, was released after his wife arrived with his birth certificate at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement building in Phoenix where he was being detained.

Emergency Strategy Call with Congressman Gutierrez

I just received this E-mail from Gabe Gonzalez at Immigration For America:

This week, we’ve seen all too clearly what we’re up against. A law sitting on the governor’s desk in Arizona would make police stop anyone they “suspect of being undocumented.” More than that, it gives citizens the right to sue the police if they’re not stopping enough people.

If the governor signs this law, in Arizona you could be detained, legally, just for looking as though you could be an immigrant – in other words, for no reason at all. It’s racial profiling, and it encapsulates the hatred we’re fighting.

This is an “All hands on deck” moment for our movement! Arizona has shown that we cannot wait to pass comprehensive immigration reform, and that’s why we’re holding an emergency strategy call with one of our strongest allies, Congressman Luis Gutierrez, on Thursday, April 22, at 7:15 pm (Spanish language) and at 8:00 pm Eastern (English language), to brief you on the plan going forward into the marches in May.

Congressman Gutierrez will speak about the struggles we’ve faced, and what we can all do to make sure comprehensive immigration reform becomes the law. Congressman Gutierrez knows that we can’t wait any longer to fix our broken system, and he’ll tell us about the ways we’ll win this battle by standing together. I hope you can join him for this critical moment in time.

I have participated in one of these calls before and if this issue is important to you, I encourage you to sign up to participate in this one. It is really easy: Just go to the link below, sign up, and then on the day and time of the conference call, they will call you. You don’t have to do anything. Your phone will ring, you answer it, and then you will automatically be connected so just listen in. That’s all there is to it, so don’t feel at all intimidated.

CLICK HERE to sign up for a call with Congressman Gutierrez on Thursday at 7:15pm or 8:00pm Eastern

Arizona soon to violate civil rights

What’s going on in Arizona is not the type of immigration reform this country needs.  The soon-to-be Arizona law, which passed the state House last week and is expected to be signed by Gov. Jan Brewer (R), states that police can arrest anyone on “reasonable suspicion” that they are an illegal immigrant.

This is flat out racial profiling and it’s wrong. So, what if my family decided to go to the Grand Canyon this summer, (which we sure as hell won’t. I’m not stepping foot in Arizona as long as these sorts of laws are being enforced), and let’s say my husband was just walking around like any other tourist. Just based on his skin color, accent and lack of “proof” to the contrary, they could arrest him because they suspect he’s an illegal immigrant? (He’s a U.S. Citizen by the way.) … How can that be allowed to happen anywhere in the United States? If a legal resident or U.S. Citizen is in fact arrested or detained due to this new law, I hope they sue their pantalones off.

Part of me hopes that immigrants, (both documented and undocumented as they both must now survive in a constant state of paranoia), living in Arizona will simply leave the state and move elsewhere. Maybe Arizona thinks that is what they want, but they will soon realize they have shot themselves in the foot as various industries begin to collapse.

A similar law was passed a few years ago in Prince William County, Virginia. A timely documentary called “9500 Liberty” is on limited release right now.  Some time soon it is supposed to premiere on cable television and will also be released on DVD. (In the meantime, watch the trailer below.)

Speak English

The Teabaggers are complete imbeciles. I would laugh at them but it’s just depressing.

First of all, boycotting Mexico will just harm their economy, causing there to be even less jobs available, which will send more undocumented immigrants over the border in search of work. That seems rather counter productive. Second, yes, please, respect our country – Speak English.

I have a voice and I will not be silenced

The past couple days I have been visiting websites talking about the immigration march I went to in D.C. on Sunday. Some of the blogs I’ve come across are run by ignorant, xenophobic racists.

One of the worst websites I came across was Youth for Western Civilization. After reading William L. Houston’s extremely biased and vile “report” of the immigration march, I was filled with so much sadness for the ignorance that fills his young head.

I tried to comment multiple times. I presented intelligent arguments, and for this, my comments were deleted. I suppose those who run the website are too cowardly and ignorant to respond to factual truth. Meanwhile, they eagerly publish racist ranting comments which are written by people who obviously do not know how to turn off the CAPS lock.

Well, I will not be silenced. So William, and all the rest of you – I’m calling you out on my own blog and you can not delete me here. I will have my say, (even if it is just throwing pearls to swine.) And because you tried to shut me up, I will yell it even louder.

You went to the march/rally with the sole intent of finding “evidence” to jibe with your own misguided beliefs. You took photos of people waving non-U.S. flags just so you could call them unpatriotic. You and I both know, those people were in the minority and that the vast majority of the 200,000+ people proudly waved AMERICAN flags… Besides, even if people showed pride in their roots, how is it wrong? Is it any different than the Republicans who wave Israeli flags, (or worse, Confederate flags), or Caucasians who wear “Kiss me, I’m Irish!” T-shirts?

Second, those with Che Guevara shirts and things of that nature were also few in numbers. I saw ONE person and I was there for several hours. You must have really gotten a lot of exercise walking through the crowd and searching these people out.

In any crowd and at any event, at any gathering of any race or political party, you are going to find people with a different agenda. This rally was full of peaceful, hopeful people and you know it.

You say, “This wasn’t a spontatneous [sic] outburst of American patriotism like you see at the Tea Parties. Rather, it was tens of thousands of people waving small American flags (which the organizers provided them with) … because they want something in return, namely, American citizenship and access to taxpayer subsidized public services.”

You also say, “Some Latino demonstraters [sic] had bigoted, anti- European signs. There were signs at the rally which claimed that North America is a “Bronze Continent” that belongs to Indians and Latinos. There were others which claimed that Europeans were illegal immigrants.”

You are railing against the Latinos at the rally for being bigoted which is the epitome of irony. You also praise Teabaggers for their patriotism. Do I even have to explain how ridiculous that is? So, Latinos are bigots in your mind for suggesting a historically true fact, (that North America was stolen from the Indigenous people), yet Teabaggers, who are absolutely vile racists who most recently shouted “N*gg*r” and spit on a Black Congressman, are cool with you? … You are so far down the wrong path that even a top-of-the-line GPS couldn’t help you find your way back to reality.

Lastly, about that video you shot of people unintentionally walking over a little U.S. flag on the ground… You say:

“As we were leaving, we noticed Latino demonstrators walking over a discarded American flag on the sidewalk. We shot some video of those patriotic Americans which we will share on YouTube.”

Did you ever consider that perhaps the little flag slipped out of someone’s hand, (perhaps a child’s), accidentally, and it was totally unbeknownst to the person who dropped it? The people who are walking over it are not stomping on it, they simply fail to notice it is there. How does that make them unpatriotic? … You, on the other hand, saw your beloved flag on the ground being trampled. Not only did you leave it there, but you watched, and you took the time to video tape it. What does that make you?

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