Saturday, July 30, 2005

"Yo Me Voy Pa Puerto Rico, Vendiendo..."


Tomorrow I will head off to Puerto Rico to begin my law school career. I'm excited like a little kid at Chuck E Cheeze's. As Marvin Santiago's famous song says, "Yo me voy pa Puerto Rico vendiendo vasos en colores." O-fi-cial!

Thursday, July 28, 2005

CAFTA bad for Puerto Rico

WASHINGTON, Thursday, July 28 - The House of Representatives narrowly approved the Central American Free Trade Agreement early Thursday, allowing President Bush to put his signature to the nation's biggest reduction of trade barriers in more than 10 years.

New York Times
As if NAFTA wasn't a big blow to the island, now this. More jobs will leave Puerto Rico and go to those countries. Those countries have cheaper raw materials, cheaper labor and now zero trade barriers. It's like Puerto Rico was up until NAFTA. This means less jobs for Puerto Ricans and more competition for Puerto Rico.

More Signs of Colonialism

Two articles today in El Nuevo Dia add to the indignant flame of coloniaism. The first deals with removing signs from highways. Legislators want to remove the famous Ponce letters and the Luis A Ferre monument. These signs have been on highways for decades, but people want to remove them "in order be in accord with federal highway regulations."

The second deals with water from El Yunque. The US Park Service is denouncing the AAA of stealing water from El Yunque with out clearance or permission from the US. Damn, so now Puerto Rico has to ask the US to get water from their own island! BLAH!

Tainos Protesting


Los representantes del Consejo General Taínos Borincanos, el Caney Quinto Mundo y la Confederación Unida del Pueblo Taíno volvieron a manifestar ayer su indignación por la destrucción y saqueo de yacimientos y lugares sagrados, como ocurre durante algunos proyectos de construcción.

Lo que estas organizaciones buscan es que se garantice la protección de los hallazgos y que los restos óseos no sean sacados y trasladados a ninguna parte.

El Nuevo Dia

A group of Tainos have gone on a hunger strike in response to the destruction and theft of indian remains caused by workers on several construction sites in Puerto Rico. They demand the Governor to step in and protect remains and artifacts from such vandalous acts.

To many skeptics, this is proof that Taino's still exist in Puerto Rico.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

PR to Rossello - Pay up B*tch!

A partir de la segunda quincena de agosto, el senador Pedro Rosselló comenzará a pagar su deuda con la Administración de Sistemas de Retiro (ASR) a razón de $2,229 mensuales durante 3 años, cuando el Senado deduzca de su ingreso mensual el importe.

Precisó que la orden se ejecuta hasta que se salde la deuda, que en el caso de Rosselló asciende a unos $80,248, o si llega una nueva orden de la ASR revocando la vigente o por medio de la orden de un tribunal.

El Vocero
Pedro Rossello, the infamous, corrupt, malicious, terrible administrator, ex governor of Puerto Rico will have to re-pay over $80,000 of pension money he illegally stole from the people of Puerto Rico. Pay up fool!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Caricatures


I found a site of caricatures on Puerto Rico. They're mad funny like the one above. Check all of them out at Planeta Kike.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Anniversary of the ELA - blah!!

Today marks the 53rd anniversary of the creation of the Estado Libre Asociado (The Free Associated State) of Puerto Rico, or as I like to call it, El Engaño mas grande del siglo (the biggest lie of the century.) Puerto Rico isn't free, it isn't associated, it isn't freely associated and it isn't a state in any sense. The ELA is just another name for colonialism. And thumbs down to Muñoz Marin for picking July 25th to establish the ELA. Why would he pick the same day that the Americans landed in Puerto Rico to establish the ELA? It seems like he wanted us to forget that the Americans invaded us on that day. Oh, and by the way, on this day in 1978 occurred the cold blooded murders of 2 pro independentistas by the police of Puerto Rico. But many seem to forget that too.

I say blah! to the ELA and blah to the lies and neglect in Puerto Rican history!

Overpopulation in Puerto Rico?

Aunque somos muchos en un espacio confinado rodeado de agua por todas partes, Puerto Rico está lejos de tener un problema de sobrepoblación, sino de distribución de habitantes y recursos.

La población puertorriqueña apenas está creciendo, y si se nota algún incremento de personas en la Isla se debe, en parte, a las oleadas migratorias principalmente desde la República Dominicana y también de boricuas en Estados Unidos que al llegar a su edad de retiro regresan al terruño a pasar sus últimos años.

El Nuevo Dia
There is a great article in EL Nuevo Dia today about overpopulation in Puerto Rico. Basically, the article argues that the population of Puerto Rico is growing, but the island isn't overpopulated. Rather, the problem with population is the bad distribution of housing, infrastructure and governmental neglect.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

PRFAA and Expenses

WASHINGTON - Al comenzar el año, el gobernador Aníbal Acevedo Vilá decidió aumentar el salario del Administrador de Asuntos Federales de Puerto Rico (PRFAA) a $150,000.

PRFAA tiene unos 70 empleados. Los directores de sus oficinas regionales devengan salarios que fluctúan entre los $66,000 y $86,000. El salario más alto de un director regional lo tiene Manuel Benítez, responsable de la oficina de Miami, con un sueldo de $85,575.

PRFAA, a su vez, mantiene cuatro automóviles arrendados en Washington -uno de ellos utilizado por el comisionado Fortuño (la misma guagua Ford Expedition que le daba servicios a Aníbal Acevedo Vilá)-, a un costo mensual de $3,095. Fortuño tiene otros dos vehículos en San Juan que fueron adquiridos por PRFAA, un Gran Marquis de 2003, que aparentemente ya no está en buenas condiciones, y la nueva Toyota Sequoia que PRFAA le compró a Fortuño en abril pasado, a un costo de $35,934, y que recientemente causó polémicas entre Bhatia y el Comisionado Residente.

El Nuevo Dia
The PRFAA has a budget of $10.2 million. Bhatia just got a raise. With a Resident Commissioner already in Congress representing Puerto Rico's interests, what does the PRFAA do anyways. Waste Puerto Rican tax dollars!

Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

LONDON, July 23 - Scotland Yard admitted Saturday that a man police officers gunned down at point-blank range in front of horrified subway passengers on Friday had nothing to do with the investigation into the bombing attacks here.

The man was identified by police as Jean Charles de Menezes, a 27-year-old Brazilian, described by officers as an electrician on his way to work. "He was not connected to incidents in central London on 21st July, 2005.

After the shooting, Sir Ian Blair, the police commissioner, said the man was "directly linked to the ongoing and expanding antiterrorist operation," and the police issued images from closed-circuit cameras of four suspects in the failed attacks. They said the man they shot may not have been one of the four, but he was still being sought in their inquiry.

New York Times
The guy they killed wasn't Arab or Muslim, he wasn't even Asian as the police said he was. He was wearing a coat in the summer, so they decided to shoot. Where's the logic in that?

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Trump, the model 21st Century Philanthropist

WASHINGTON - Donald Trump is the only person standing between an honest deal to rebuild the aging U.N. headquarters and a massive waste of public money. He told senators so on Thursday.

"This is a bigger version of the Wollman Skating Rink, that's all it is to me. ... I don't want any money. I want nothing," said the star of NBC's "The Apprentice" and author of "Trump: The Art of the Deal."

Trump's estimate for the work: $600 million to $700 million. He appealed to members of a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee to let him do it. He would manage the project, and waive his fee.

Associated Press

Donald Trump has offered to fix up the UN Headquaters in NYC for free! To me, this is what rich people should do - give back to the community. But Trump is not only given back to his community, but to the world. Bravo! Hats off to "The Donald."

72.6% of Puerto Rico in Poverty

Se entiende que un área está bajo los niveles de pobreza cuando refleja una incidencia de pobreza de más del 20 por ciento.

En el caso de Puerto Rico, el 72.6 por ciento de la población, unos 2.8 millones, vive en áreas de pobreza de más del 40 por ciento. Visto de forma más amplia, al sumar todos los que viven en áreas con más del 20 por ciento de pobreza, el 94.3 por ciento de los puertorriqueños (3.5 millones) vive en áreas de pobreza, según las define el Censo.

Primera Hora

For my english readers, a study done by the US Census Bureau shows that 72.6% of Puerto Ricans are currently living under the poverty level.

New NYPD Searches: Random or not?

New York City will begin tomorrow morning randomly checking bags at subway stations, commuter railways and on buses, officials announced today in the wake of the terrorist bombings in London.

New York Times
As a New Yorker myself, I'm all for new security measures and I'll be damned if some idiot wants to get on a train and blow it up. But, we all know that the searches won't be "random" as the NYPD says. They'll be picking out a specific profile, probably something like this - bronze skin, Arab-looking, maybe having a beard. They may have some ground for it but they should just be honest and say to the public "Look, if you are a middle-easterner, and you're carrying a bag, we are picking you out." 'Because that's how its gonna be.

My concern is that since Latinos and Arabs look a lot alike, how many Latinos will be picked out in this so called "random?" Better yet, how many times will "I" be picked out "randomly" on the trains. LOL

Economic Nationalism

PARIS (Reuters) - President Jacques Chirac pledged to defend French food group Danone on Thursday, saying he was "vigilant and mobilized" should U.S. drinks firm PepsiCo mount a takeover bid.

"France's priority is to defend its industrial competitiveness and the strength of its businesses," Chirac added.
- Reuters
Chirac is set to defend a French company from being bought out by an American company, if so need be. Talk about economic nationalism. If Puerto Rican leaders had that kind of Chirac-style resolve, Amigo Supermarkets would have never been bought out by Wal-Mart. As the saying goes, "Boricua, defiende lo suyo." (Defend what's yours)

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

American Justice - Blah!!

(COURT TV) -- Former Harvard grad student Alexander Pring-Wilson was ordered to be released from prison Friday.

Pring-Wilson was convicted last year in the stabbing death of a Cambridge, Massachusetts, teenager. He was granted a new trial Friday by Middlesex Superior Court Judge Regina Quinlan based on a recent higher court decision that allows defendants who claim self-defense in murder trials to bring in evidence about the victim's alleged history of violence.

CNN
To refresh your memory, this was the guy who stabbed another guy to death with a pocket knife a couple years ago after being called a name. First he was convicted of "manslaughter" and now he's getting a new trial because of some new court decision that seems to allow murderers who plead self-defense to see if they can put the blame on their victims. By the way, he's white, rich and an ex-Harvard grad student. His victim was a poor minority and a high school dropout. Where's the justice?

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Alexia, July 2005



Check out some pictures of my little neice. She's so cute y traviesa. She's smart as hell, is bilingual, and talks like a parrot - non-stop. I love her to death.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Native Hawaiians to Get Sovereignty

Now, 112 years after United States troops helped overthrow the independent Kingdom of Hawaii and 12 years after Congress apologized for it, that Hawaiian distinctiveness appears close to being formally recognized by the United States government. A bill that for the first time would extend sovereignty to the native Hawaiian people is poised for a vote - and likely approval - in the United States Senate despite opposition from many Republicans who denounce the measure as unworkable and as promoting racial Balkanization.

The bill, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, is considered the most significant development for native Hawaiians since statehood in 1959. The measure would give them equivalent legal standing to American Indians and native Alaskans and lead to the creation of a governing body that would make decisions on behalf of the estimated 400,000 native Hawaiians in the United States.

The New York Times
Native Hawaiians are about to get their sovereignty recognized by Congress, though with limitations. When will Puerto Rico get their sovereignty recognized?

Somos Tainos


I just finished watching a great documentary on the History Channel about Tainos. The hosts from Deep Sea Detectives were trying to figure out what happend to the Tainos. They were curious to how a once numerous and vibrant people just suddenly dissapeared. They travelled throughout the Dominican Republic, studied bones, explored caves, and discovered numerous artifacts. They ruled out natural disasters, disease, genocide and came to the conclusion that the Tainos hadn't dissapeared - they were living among us through modern day Dominicans, Cubans and Puerto Ricans.

They mentioned the study done by Puerto Rican scientist Dr Juan Martinez Cruzado who proved through DNA testing that 61% of Puerto Ricans are of Taino ancestry. I remember when that study came out a couple of years ago. But to me it seems that although science has altered history, man (probably politicians) have been a little slower in changing history books.

In any event, science doesnt lie, and neither does DNA testing (we've all watched Maury "You ARE the father!") We are Tainos first! But then again, we've known that all along, every time we stared in the mirror! Sh*t we (Puerto Ricans) look indian.

Click on the link above and read about the study.

Reggaeton in the New York Times

Reggaeton, the hip-hop sung in Spanish and some English that is laced with Caribbean rhythms and has fanned out from Puerto Rico, has reached critical mass in the past year by conquering Los Angeles County, home to the nation's largest Latino population. It is not only heard in Latino nightclubs and on Latino radio, but also reaches English-language stations and hip-hop clubs and extends to weddings and bar mitzvahs.

While reggaeton is influencing mainstream tastes - MTV and BET broadcast videos of the music - this dance music's remarkable crossing over among various Latino groups is fueling its power, music industry experts say. Although its original fans were Puerto Rican, it is now popular with Mexican-Americans, Central Americans and others who have not always danced to the same beat.

The New York Times
While I'm no fan of modern reggaeton (I like more playero and nico canada) I do have to admit that the impact of reggaeton on the world cannot be ignored. I've read articles on the genre in magazines and have seen news reports on tv, but to read an article in the New York Times, my main new source, the newspaper of my city, the journal of the world, is pretty impressive.

Though I may not be a fan of reggaeton, (I remember when it wasnt called reggaeton)I am really proud of my fellow Puerto Ricans for doing it again. They 've given back to the world through their music and culture. Vaya boricua!

Friday, July 15, 2005

Mexico City's Public Transportation System

Mexico City's Metrobus consists of 80 double-length articulated buses that travel along 12 miles each way of dedicated lanes along Insurgentes, one of the city's most congested streets. To speed up boarding, riders pass their fare card through a turnstile as they enter special stations built along the median and then step onto the bus from a raised platform. . .

By separating the bus from the rest of the traffic, the idea goes, the bus travels more quickly, luring some commuters from their cars. Taking the lawless minibuses off the streets reduces congestion and lets the traffic flow more freely. The intended result is fast, orderly public transportation, fewer traffic jams and lower emissions. . .

City officials have spent three years planning the Insurgentes bus line, with financing from the World Bank and support from the World Resources Institute, an environmental organization based in Washington. . .

"Our system costs a tenth" of what a subway would cost, said Dr. Lee Schipper, research director of Embarq, the World Resources Institute's Center for Transport and the Environment, which helped Mexico City develop the system. He estimates that 50 cities in the world are constructing or studying some version of the system.

New York Times

Mexico City is doing what Puerto Rico should have done. They are solving traffic problems in a more efficient and economic way - by expanding their public bus system. Other cities are copying their strategies. But no, Puerto Rico had to go and spend millions on a train system, that goes practically no where and most people wont use. And by the way, Mexico used funds from the World Bank for this project. Puerto Ricans had to use their own money and some federal funds as well. Thats more wasted money and botched projects. Puerto Rico needs to spend more time looking south to their latin brothers to help solve problems. They spend too much time looking north trying imitate, and impress, their american neighbor (ruler).

Chu's views on Sunday's Referendum

On Sunday, Puerto Ricans went to the polls to vote on what kind of legislative system they wanted for the island. The vast majority voted for a unicameral system. But, only about 22% of the electorate voted. Consequently, this has created a lot of controversy, divided down party lines. There are those who say the results should be respcted and there are others who say that the results should be disregarded.

First of all, I am against referendums. They just dont work in Puerto Rico. In the last status referendum, Puerto Ricans voted for "none of the above" as a political status. In the summer of 2001, the people of Vieques voted to expel the Navy. But, people voted and no one cared. Nothing was done afterwards. Again, referendums dont work because at the end of the day, no one respects them.

I think the real controversy here aren't the results but rather the response from the US Congress. Puerto Rico cant change its political system without consent from Congress. Any change to the Puerto Rican Constitution, and this referendum has to do with just that, has to go through Washington first. That's where the controversy is. Even if everyone voted on Sunday, the real concern would have been the reaction of Congress. My point is that Puerto Ricans are disillusioned with the idea that they have control of their own political destiny. They dont! And post-referendum reactions are proof of that.

That being said, I think there should have been a "none of the above" option on Sunday' referendum. This year's legislature sucks, for lack of a better word. They are ineffective, haven't done much legislation, and have been spitting on democracy from day one. (Thanks to Rossello and his hot headed secretary.) If you were to ask me which type of legislature is better for Puerto Rico, unicameral or bicameral, I would have said "ninguno." (neither!)

"White" is the Standard

WASHINGTON - The scores of black and Hispanic 9-year- olds on a national math and reading test are getting closer to the traditionally higher marks of white students, according to results released Thursday.
All 9-year-old students, on average, earned the highest scores in three decades in both reading and math. . .

Some educators said the improvement was a sign that schools are beginning to help minorities reach the test- achievement level of white students, who typically do better on national examinations.

Tampa Tribune

It's funny how this article wants to portray an image of improvement among the black and latino communities in regards to test scores. But look how the article is worded. It makes it seem that the standard of intelligence is "white." That for some reason we all should be proud that minority students are reaching the scores of white students. No matter how much we try to eliminate it, racism is still a huge problem in America.

Wassup peeps. I am back! It's been months since my last blog but I've been busy with graduation and stuff. So much has happened since my last time here. Rossello is f*cking up the island some more, the San Juan metro area has a train and Puerto Ricans voted to get rid of its bicameral system.

On a personal note - I graduated from college! Yes sir, I am a Hunter College, CUNY alumnus now with a BA in Political Science and a minor in Africana/Puerto Rican and Latino Studies. So dont mess with me fool. That's me on the left with some friends. Also, I've decided on which law school to attend this fall. And the answer is - La Escuela de Derecho de la Universidad de Puerto Rico. That's right, I turned down all the big name schools in New York to return to my island paradise. Aint nothing better than to be educated by your own people.

There's so much to comment on that I dont know where to start, but stay posted cause this Neo Rican has a laught to say. Peace.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

More Pics from Concert





These are some pics of the concert held by Orquesta Fiebre at Wesleyan University. It is my boy Justin's band (he's the one on bongo) and he invited me to play with them. As you can see, there I am jamming the guiro and doing coro. The night was awesome with a turn out of hundreds of people. We played classics like Guaguanco de los Violentos, Trucutu, Lloraras, Nada de Ti, El Negro Bembon, Maquinolandera, El Preso, among others. It was a night to remember and one of the greatest times I've had in my college career.

Chu el Salsero

This is yours truly at the concert up at Wesleyan University. Im doing chorus and playing guiro. Ill post more pictures later.