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Showing posts from July, 2008

The Puerto Rican lineup for the 2008 Beijing Olympics

Presenting Puerto Rico's finest, twenty-three in all and the hopes of a nation ride on their shoulders... no pressure. The games begin on August 8 and we'll live-blog the events.

Athletics
Men's 110m hurdles:
Héctor Cotto
Enrique Llanos

Men's 400m:
Félix Martinez

Women's 400m:
Carol Rodríguez

Men's 400m hurdles:
Javier Culson

Men's 1,500m:
David Freeman

Boxing
Flyweight: McWilliams Arroyo
Bantamweight: McJoe Arroyo
Lightweight: Jose Pedraza
Light welterweight: Jonathan Gonzalez
Light heavyweight: Carlos Negron

Gymnastics
Men's Artistic: Luis Rivera Rivera

Judo
Men's 73kg: Alexis Chiclana Melendez
Men's 81kg: Abderramán Brenes la Roche
Men's 100kg: Pablo Figueroa Carrillo

Shooting
Men's Double Trap: Lucas Bennazar Ortiz

Swimming
Men's 100m breaststroke: Daniel Velez
Men's 100m butterfly: Lennox Silva
Women's 200m butterfly: Kristina Lennox
Women's 50m freestyle: Vanessa Garcia
Women's 400m freestyle: Kristina Lennox

Taekwondo
Men's 80kg: Angel Roma…

Luis Ramirez, 25, killed for being Mexican in Pennsylvania

On July 12, Luis Ramirez, a 25 year old undocumented immigrant was assaulted by four teens at 11:15pm. The teens, three of them football players at Shenandoah Valley High School had been drinking most of the night when they spotted Ramirez. According to eyewitness reports the teens began mouthing off racial/ethnic slurs at Ramirez and then proceeded to beat him. After bringing him to the ground, a kick to the head put him into a coma from which he would never awaken. On July 14, Luis Ramirez, a laborer who only wanted to provide for his wife and two children, died from his injuries.



The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, or MALDEF, and the Puerto Rican Legal Defense Fund called for federal monitoring of the investigation and prosecution as it is suspected that a wider pattern of ethnic intimidation may exist in the Shenandoah area. The FBI and the Department of Justice are now investigating further into the incident.

At NASDAQ Dominicans protest oil speculation

The story reprinted from the People's Weekly World
NEW YORK—A group of Dominican American and other Latino elected officials with dozens of community members protested petroleum speculation here in Times Square July 30. Called by the League of Dominican American Elected Officials and hosted by New York State Assembly Member Adriano Espaillat, the protest was held outside the headquarters of NASDAQ, which trades oil futures.

“We are here to address rampant unregulated speculation conducted in the NASDAQ trade market,” said Espaillat, who is co-chairman of the league. He and other speakers blamed market speculators and deregulation of the oil markets for the unprecedented oil and gas prices in working-class Dominican American communities in the U.S., and in the Dominican Republic. The national average for a gallon of gas in the United States is now $3.89 and in the Dominican Republic gas tops $6.00 a gallon, according to some reports.

Speakers blamed the staggering gas prices on the Co…

Ludacris raps about Obama

Ludacris released a small rhyme called "Politics" which is causing a little bit of trouble for Senator Obama. Ludacris strikes a defiant tone to say the least with this piece and it's pretty good. But for sanitized ears not accustomed to Hip Hop style throw-downs among rappers, the lyrics are ringing every alarm bell. Click play to check out the song.



Here are the lyrics:
I'm back on it like I just signed my record deal
yeah the best is here, the Bentley Coup paint is dripping wet, it got sex appeal
never should have hated
you never should've doubted him
with a slot in the president's iPod Obama shattered 'em
Said I handled his biz and I'm one of his favorite rappers
Well give Luda a special pardon if I'm ever in the slammer
Better yet put him in office, make me your vice president
Hillary hated on you, so that b^$&%* is irrelevant
Jesse talking slick and apologizing for what?
if you said it then you meant it how you want it have a gut!
and all you othe…

Zapatistas get plug on Canadian TV

I was just watching ReGenesis, the Canadian produced drama about scientists saving the world, or North America at least. The show, which is syndicated worldwide, is like CSI without the glitz and with better science. In any case, while watching episode 10 of season 1, my eyes came across this image:



It reads "Ser Zapatista no es delito, EZLN", roughly "Being a Zapatista is not a crime, EZLN". The graffiti doesn't look real to me, but it may be. Still, it's so well framed that I'm sure whoever shot this, knew what they were looking at. So this is either an accidental or deliberate show of solidarity. I'm betting it was deliberate and I wonder if the EZLN ever saw it.

The episode, entitled "The Source" was first aired on January 2, 2005.

Army recruiters bully prospects [VIDEO]

A CBS investigation aired on July 28, uncovers the tactics being used by Army recruiters. Using threats of arrest and accusations of desertion, Army recruiters in Texas have crossed the line. Whether this is a tactic aimed at Latinos or the population in general is unknown at this time, but it points to how low these recruiters are willing to go. Watch the report here.

Black Beard's Rugged Tampons

Don't know where this came from, but I'm glad lady pirates no longer have to deal with scurvy in their nether regions.

Pandering McCain tries to woo Hispanic voters, bash Obama

It seems that after years of Republicans arguing how "Iraq is NOT Vietnam", McCain is really trying to make the case that Iraq IS a lot like Vietnam since it just might suit him now. Speaking before the American GI Forum, McCain again draws the Vietnam card with a little spice.

After the release of two reports one showing Obama's lead in McCain's home state of Arizona, and the other showing Obama's lead among Hispanic voters, McCain has compelled the ghost of Roy Benavides, a real true American hero and Medal of Honor honoree.

But could he not find someone alive? We don't know that Sergeant Roy Benavides would have approved of McCain, the man died ten years ago as McCain explains in his speech, only to then add...

I wouldn't want to live in a country that didn't recognize how much we needed such a good man.

He died TEN YEARS AGO, how about remembering the man a little sooner. How about living in a country where great men like Roy Benavides do not hav…

Black, White twins to give racists headaches

A "one in a million" birth of fraternal twins in Germany has brought into the world a set of twins, one black and the other white. The twins are the sons of a white german and his Black West African wife. In a world not altogether at ease with race relations, I bet these kids will have a great story to tell in twenty years. And somewhere there's a right-wing christian bigot pulling his hairs out and screaming "this an abomination against nature!", "race-mixing!", "miscegenation!".

By the way if this had happened in Latin America, they would have just said that one was darker than the other, con un poco the platano, and it wouldn't be news. Not because race isn't an issue, but because it's very common, and not "one in a million" like the European doctors claim.

Hispanic Voters favor Obama, Democrats in 2008 Election

The Pew Hispanic Research Center, the nation's most well-regarded and credible source for Hispanic population studies has just released its "2008 National Survey of Latinos" and its an interesting read. The full report can be downloaded in PDF format by clicking here.


KEY FINDINGS

Among Hispanic registered voters, 66% would vote for, or lean toward voting for, Barack Obama; 23% would vote for, or lean toward, John McCain.

More than three-quarters (76%) of Hispanic registered voters have a favorable opinion of Obama, and 73% have a favorable opinion of Hillary Rodham Clinton. In contrast, 44% of Hispanics have a favorable opinion of McCain and 27% have a favorable opinion of George W. Bush.

More than three-in-four Hispanics who voted for Clinton in a Democratic primary or caucus this year say they would vote for Obama or lean toward voting for him, while 8% of Clinton voters say they would vote for McCain or lean toward voting for him.

Latino registered voters are almost …

Impressive pictures from Obama's speech in Berlin

Barack Obama Speech in Berlin

OBAMA SPEECH TRANSCRIPT:
Remarks of Senator Barack Obama (as prepared for delivery)

"A World that Stands as One"

July 24th, 2008

Berlin, Germany

Thank you to the citizens of Berlin and to the people of Germany. Let me thank Chancellor Merkel and Foreign Minister Steinmeier for welcoming me earlier today. Thank you Mayor Wowereit, the Berlin Senate, the police, and most of all thank you for this welcome.

I come to Berlin as so many of my countrymen have come before. Tonight, I speak to you not as a candidate for President, but as a citizen - a proud citizen of the United States, and a fellow citizen of the world.

I know that I don't look like the Americans who've previously spoken in this great city. The journey that led me here is improbable. My mother was born in the heartland of America, but my father grew up herding goats in Kenya. His father - my grandfather - was a cook, a domestic servant to the British.

At the height of the Cold War, my father decided, like so many ot…

Team Puerto Rico fails to qualify for Olympics Basketball Tournament

In a development that breaks my heart and angers me a little, the Puerto Rican Olympic basketball team lost on Sunday to Germany and failed to qualify for the Olympic tournament schedule. This means that representing FIBA Americas will be Team USA and Team Argentina only while Europe is represented by six teams.

This is the fourth time since 1960, the team debut, that Puerto Rico misses an Olympic tournament. The others were in 1980 because of the boycott against the USSR, 1984 and in 2000.

Certainly you can't take anything away from the growth of the sport and talent development within European Basketball. However, the Olympics will not be the same without Team Puerto Rico's performance to watch. At the moment Puerto Rico is ranked 12th in the world behind China, though without picking up any points for Olympic competition, that ranking is bound to drop.


Full Olympic Basketball Schedule after the jump...

1. Composition of groups:

Group A: Argentina, Australia, Croatia, I…

Venezuela's Petrocaribe expands to 18 members with Guatemala, shows strength & influence

Last weekend's 5th Petrocaribe Summit held in Maracaibo,Venezuela saw the expansion of the oil alliance with the addition of Guatemala. This is a particularly important development for the regional group as it shows a continued dismissal of American diplomatic efforts to block Petrocaribe's growth.

With the founding of the group in June of 2005, the first expansion came just months later in september when the original founders were joined by the Dominican Republic, in effect adding the region's most dynamic economy into the group. Haiti, the region's most depressed economy joined in April of 2006. The group expanded once again to include Honduras in December of 2007. With Guatemala rounding out the group's membership.

As Petrocaribe's membership grows, the groups influence in regional affairs also grows and by extension the influence of Venezuela. For the United States, whose relations with Venezuela are often strained, Venezuela's growing influence has n…

Barack Obama Speech at National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO)

Transcript:
I'm proud to be here today not just as the Democratic nominee for President, but as the first African American nominee of my party, and I'm hoping that somewhere out in this audience sits the person who will become the first Latino nominee of a major party. You know, being here today is a reminder of why I'm in this race. Because the reason I'm running for President is to do what you do each day in your communities - help make a difference in the lives of ordinary Americans. And that's what I've been working with Latino leaders to do ever since I entered public service more than twenty years ago.

We stood together when I was an organizer, lifting up neighborhoods in Chicago that had been devastated when the local steel plants closed. We stood together when I was a civil rights attorney, working with MALDEF and local Latino electeds to ensure that Latinos were being well represented in Chicago. And we marched together in the streets of Chicago to fix o…

Puerto Rican actress Rosie Perez and Puerto Rican singer Carlos Ponce go primetime

In case you have not heard, Rosie Perez and Carlos Ponce will appear in NBC's 'Lipstick Jungle' series in a romantic story line to span various episodes into the season beginning in late September.

While there are no details on how permanent these characters will be on the program, any exposure for Carlos Ponce into the mainstream American market will surely help his promising career even if it means that his fans will have to endure a crossover album later in the year. For Rosie, whom I could marry, this is another chance to see her shine in what I hope will be a well written role.

In all, this is shaping to be a very productive summer for Puerto Ricans on television. [See Hector Elizondo on 'Monk']

'Rodrigo y Gabriela' to perform at MileHigh Music Festival

Rodrigo y Grabriela are really great. If I were in Denver this weekend, I would not miss their performance at the Mile High Music Festival. I hope some fellow insurgents can send in a review.

From the Mile High Music Festival Website:
Rodrigo (Sanchez) and Gabriela (Quintero) are two fast-fingered, Dublin-based, Mexicans with a unique sound created on acoustic guitars. Their music is difficult to define, straddling both world and rock, and often imbued with timeless Hispano ñ classical influences. The fire in it comes from their life-long passion for metal music. This spring, "Rodrigo y Gabriela," beat both the Arctic Monkeys AND Johnny Cash to number one in the Irish charts.

Rodrigo is a deft finger-picker who can move from raging speed to sensual soul in the space of a fret, while Gabriela employs fast, rhythmic techniques. Her percussionist's thrashing of strings and drumming of the instrument's body inevitably raises comparisons with flamenco ñ which they acknowledg…

Puerto Rican actor Hector Elizondo to replace Stanley Kamel in 'Monk'

Hector Elizondo, better known for his role as Dr. Phillip Watters in the 90s medical drama Chicago Hope, will replace Stanley Kamel as Tony Shalhoub psychiatrist in the USA Network series 'Monk'. The role was awarded to Elizondo after Stanley Kamel's untimely death in April from a heart attack. (Stanley Kamel pictured below)

Hector Elizondo, born in New York City to Puerto Rican parents, has a career that very much mirrors the rise of Hispanic actors from outlaws to more mainstream roles.

From his wikipedia biography

* A Mexican bandit in Valdez is Coming (1971)
* A Puerto Rican janitor who, along with his pregnant wife and four others, got stuck on an elevator with Archie Bunker in a 1972 episode of All in the Family
* A psychopathic killer in The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)
* Hassan Salah, a devious First Secretary of the embassy of fictional Arab country Swahari in Columbo: A Case of Immunity (1975)
* A dogged detective in The Fan (1981)
* A m…

Stupidest Presidential Poll EVER!!!

Thanks to the hard-hitting journalists at the Associated Press and Yahoo News we get this headline: Poll: John McCain looks like best in show among pet owners. To be accompanied by the following analysis by reporter Randolph E. Schmid:

"[The poll] leaves McCain looking strong, since the majority of homes have a pet."
WHAT?!?

John McCain is at best 10 points behind against Barak Obama in most national polls, but hey pet owners like him, so he must win now.

What is the message here? Is Schmid making the argument that pet ownership is all that matters? or that pet owners are somehow too dumb to look into the issues? Is there an attempt here to create a backdoor issue that may resonate with some voters?

"Well, if voters identify with a guy who owns pets, it's easy to see why they'd like the Arizona senator.

He has a veritable menagerie, including Sam the English springer spaniel, Coco the mutt, turtles Cuff and Link, Oreo the black and white cat, a ferret, three parakeet…

Total Eclipse on August 1st... Northern latitudes are so lucky

While I doubt anyone this day and age will be sacrificing any virgins or captured slaves as offerings to the gods, it is worth remembering that not long ago events such as this drove Europeans to burn witches, Mayans to mass decapitations, and convinced any number of Christians that the apocalypse was near. Nowadays we can just enjoy it for the spectacular natural event that it is...

However, I you were to take this opportunity to pickup some new hobbies like human sacrifice you might want to follow the exact path of the eclipse. And to help you in your decent from civilization NASA has just the right website to watch it live by webcast here: http://www.exploratorium.edu/eclipse