Friday, March 26, 2010

Calle 13 Performs in Cuba, Sings Querido FBI

Calle 13 one of the few conscientious artists of today takes the stage in Cuba with his pro-independence, anti-imperialist anthem written in 2005 after the assassination of Filiberto Ojeda Rios, leader of the Puerto Rican Macheteros.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Great Flashmob with Beyonce's Single Ladies


Sometimes I wish I were a surfer


Monday, July 27, 2009

Puerto Rican Actor Esai Morales in BSG: Caprica

Esai Morales may not be a household name to many in the United States, but he should be a familiar face. The Puerto Rican actor has appeared in a multitude of productions including 1987's La Bamba to episodes of Jericho and 24. Much of his work, not unlike that of many other Puerto Ricans, has gone unnoticed by Hollywood who seemed at times to only call on him when they needed a brown face. Truth be told, the man has talent.

Now Mr. Morales will star in the new Battlestar Galactica spin off Caprica as Joseph Adama. On July 25th the cast of Caprica were on hand at Comic-Con, Zap2it has the live-blog of the panel.

The Caprica series is set to air on the Syfy channel Beginning in January 22, 2010. However for those that may have missed it, the show's pilot is available on DVD and I highly recommend it.

Good luck Esai, may the gods of Kobol be with you.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Brazil, Argentina vs H1N1 Swine Virus: People must come before profits

This week at the Mercosur Summit held in Paraguay, leaders from Brazil and Argentina, despite their recent differences regarding bilateral trade relations, found common ground confronting the H1N1 Swine Flu Virus.

The respective presidents of both countries called for the removal of patent law restrictions that currently make the production of H1N1 vaccines the privileged activity of a handful of facilities, whose profits impoverish us all.

Yes, public health is important. Good public health policy is what guarantees that every piece of food that touches our lips is safe to consume, preferably free from Swine Flu. That faction of civil society that will argue that this will lead to communism, that patent laws are sacred, that innovation will be hurt, should first consider what the consequences would be of a Swine Flu epidemic arising from the farm lands of the developing world, where much of their precious fruits and vegetables are grown.

In the words of Argentina's Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, "it's beyond question that we're confronting a situation in which the needs of millions of people cannot be subordinated to economic interests."


Monday, March 30, 2009

Continuing the Failed "War on Drugs"

A set of hypothetical questions to be pondered by a hypothetical person.

Dear Mr. President,

I must begin to question some of your reasoning regarding your recent, dismissal and non-answer to a question posed to you through your online question polling service. At the website which you championed as a good move for American Democracy, you allowed users to submit and vote on questions that would be asked of you during a town-hall style meeting. One question in particular has drawn the ire of people from a variety of ideological backgrounds. The question of legalization of marijuana as a challenge to the failed policies of the “War on Drugs.”

In your book entitled Dreams of my Father, you cited your own drug use and abuse, as a problem. Paraphrasing, you stated you did it because you were suffering from depression. You claim to have used during this period of your life, so called “soft drugs,” such as marijuana and alcohol, and so called “hard drugs” such as cocaine. I am glad that you were able to clean up your life, go to college, and truly serve a variety of communities.

Now, pause for a second of contemplation. Your illegal drug use back then was by all accounts as illegal as it was now. This fact has not changed for some time, at least not in my lifetime and from my reading of history not since the early twentieth century. That given I pose the following situation: Young Barack Obama is arrested and jailed for drugs possession. Now ask these questions:

  • How would the Obama story have ended had you been treated as so many other black and brown persons have been treated when they are caught in possession of illegal drugs?
  • Would your story have been as inspiring?
  • Would your beautiful wife have married you?
  • Would you have been elected junior Senator from the great state of Illinois?
  • Would you be President of the United States today?

The United States jails more people per capita than any other industrialized nation. More than 500,000 of those incarcerated are in prison for drug possession.

I understand your attempt to be like former President Reagan, you hope to reach across party lines, etc., but continuing his failed “war on drugs” is not change. The mere fact that you got away with committing a crime does not make it okay, and if it does, why does it not make it okay for all of those people referenced above?

With all due respect,

P.S. I do not pretend to know the all the answers or the future, it could be that treating drug use as a health issue would be as big a failure as treating it as a criminal issue. But I do know that treating drug use as a criminal issue has been a failure, and as such we have the responsibility to search for more viable options to solve problems. We are a nation of “doers” we must do something.