Monday, August 29, 2005

Chu Delirious!

I've had the flu since yesterday morning. The flu, or monga, affects me in a particular way. I become delirious, rambling on and on about nothing. Sometimes I even sing. My mom says I act like a tecato on the street. I take pills which usually puts me in a drugged out state. I don't move, stay in one spot for hours and occasionally I start rambling. It's crazy. I'm feeling better though.

Yo Xavi, that's the life a law student. Study, study, study. It's a full time job. But, I still maintain a decent social life. Friday night, I saw a plena jam and a live salsa band. Saturday night I saw a movie with my boy Luis. And next weekend, I'm going to check out the Salsa, Bomba y Plena jam in Aguas Buenas. Tru!

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Chu's Weekend

Friday I had class until 3PM, hung out with Susset a little bit, then studied until 9PM. Went to El Boricua to hear plena with my boy Tomas. Then we went to Viejo San Juan, saw some salsa at Rumba and chilled at La Cubanita.

Saturday, I woke up went to the library about 11AM and studied to about 8PM. Called my boy Luis up and we went to catch a movie (40 yr old Virgin). The movie is mad funny. I recommend it to everybody.

Woke up this morning, sweating but freezing and feeling like shit. It felt like I was being poked with a thousand pins all over my body. Took some pills and went back to sleep. Woke up feeling ok, studied a little bit, and then I started to feel like shit again. I am on my way to Wal greens to get some pills for monga (flu)(Wal greens is the only pharmacy opened on Sundays around here). Stopped by to check my mail and post. I feel like shit, and I dont know if I'll go to class tomorrow.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Chu Robbed!

Yesterday I arrive home, to find a whole in my window. I open the door, and see a mess. I look around, and see that my laptop is missing. Fuck, I've been robbed! I tell the owner of the house, she's sad and offers to give me her computer. I am enraged at the world. The police better find the crook before I do. This can't happen to me, not in Puerto Rico. I feel like leaving, going back to New York. I call my friend.

My good friend comes over. She calms me down. She tells me good things. She makes me happy. I get to know her better. I've crepted closer and closer to falling head over heals for her. She's wonderful.

I wake up the next day depressed. My pictures are all gone, my writings are gone, my music is all gone. I'm lonely. I need my mom's love and care. I think of my friend and her advice. I feel better. In abscence of a reason, she would why I stayed in Puerto Rico. She gives me hope. I have no laptop, but I feel good. She gives me hope. Me da esperanza.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

When "I Don't Know" is the Correct Answer

Profesor: Why did Marbury go straight to the Supreme Court instead of the Federal District Court?

Chu: Well (pauses to think) You see, Marbury was thinking... (pauses to rethink)...Cause during that time...(pauses again)...Honestly, Profesor, I don't know why he didn't go straight to a District Court first.

Profesor: Correct! Muy bien!

Chu and other classmates: Huh?...(laughter erupts)

Profesor: You see, no one knows why.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Walgreens Is Treated Differently in Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN (EFE) – The president of Farmacias Plaza, Jose Perez de Gracia on Sunday denounced that the local government has given a preferential treatment to Walgreens multinational pharmacy chain, which could have negative consequences for the rest of the drugstores in Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico Wow
Not only does the government treat them differently, but Walgreens gets away with breaking local laws(Ley de Cierre).

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Guess who?

Rossello="Inmates shouldn't vote"

SAN JUAN (EFE) – New Progressive Party (NPP) President Pedro Rossello on Friday said he is in favor of taking away the inmates’ right to vote in an election.

Puerto Rico Wow
Sure, 'cause they didn't vote for you in the last elections. LOL. He was governor for 8 years. Why didn't he do it then?

Friday, August 19, 2005

End of first full week of law school

Today marked the end of my first full week of law school. My mood: exhausted but satisfied.

Law school "ain't no joke." In terms of reading, its just how I imagined. In terms of time required, more than I expected. In terms of difficulty, its not what I expected (its hard, but not as hard as some people make it). I've probably spent more hours in the library this past week then I did my whole senior year of college.

Some things I've learned thus far:
- What a Contract and Obligation is.
- The difference between Civil Law and Common Law.
- The structure of the Judiciary System.
- The Constitutions of the US and PR.
- Some important articles in the Codigo Civil de Puerto Rico.
- How to brief a case.
- How to read a case (read it over and over, lol)
- What a Hipoteca is.

My network of friends has expanded. I slowly began realzing that a lot of the students were children of well to do families and with statehood tendencies, which by the way depressed me a little. However, I began to meet people who think more along the lines that I do, thus giving me renewed hope. Interestingly, being from New York, I've found it easy to make friends. People come up to me and we usually hit it off. They seem interested in where I'm from, and why I was studing in Puerto Rico. And most don't hesitate to lend a hand. Puerto Ricans are very compassionate.

I found that peoples motives for studing law are distinct from mine. One thing I don't like about the law school is the air conditioning system. They blast the A/C are full throttle. So, think about it, I walk to class and arrive hot, I sit in class for 2 hours and leave cold, then I get outside where its hot again. These are the groundworks for pneumonia.

Tomorrow there is a party in Condado for the UPR law students. It's in a fancy club, $10 cover, and medallas are $3, and you got to dress in white. I don't think I'll go.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Domingo Quinones Off to Jail, Again.

Un juez en el tribunal de Carolina encontró hoy causa para arresto contra el cantante de salsa, Domingo Quiñones relacionado a una intervención ocurrida en Carolina hace cinco meses.

El Nuevo Dia

Domingo Quiñones, one of the best soneros of salsa, has been arrested again. Salsa singers have historically had drug problems. Most of the great soneros have have run ins with the law or been jailed because of drugs - Ismael Rivera, Hector Lavoe, Marvin Santiago, Lalo Rodriguez, Ismael Miranda, Pete Rodgriguez. But, it makes me wonder if some of there best peformances, and even their ability to sonear, has come out while they were high. They reach that state of ectasy and and created memorable and awe-ispiring phrases and verses.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Fernando Ferrer & Lalo Rodriguez

I was surfing the net and found a picture of a younger Ferrer. He sort of looks like Lalo Rodriguez. no?

I'll be damned.....Mr. October is Puerto Rican

Reginald Martinez "Reggie" Jackson (born May 18, 1946) was a professional American baseball player from 1967 to 1987. His father Martinez Jackson was a Puerto Rican who played for the Negro Leagues.

One of the greatest players in the history of baseball is Puerto Rican. A classmate of mine told me today and I googled him and wouldn't you know it, he's one of us. He's even more like us because he was raised by his dad, a Puerto Rican who played in the Negro Leagues. I'll be damned. Tru!

Ley de Cierre

Recently, I posted a blog about not being able to buy bread on Sundays in Puerto Rico You Can't Buy Bread After 5PM on Sundays in Puerto Rico). Now I know why. There is a law called Ley de Cierre passed a few years back to protect small businesses. It's a very good law indeed. The part that affected me was:
Apertura dominical: Los establecimientos comerciales podrán abrir al público los días domingo, solamente durante el horario comprendido entre las 11:00 hasta las 5:00 p.m.

The law states who it applies to and when. Included in the list are Pharmacies like El Amal and Walgreens. But, when Luis and I went to buy bread, El Amal obeyed the law and Walgreens didn't. Penalties for breaking the law is a fine between $1,000 to $25,000. So, you know how much I love American companies in Puerto Rico. . . I shall call DACO (Puerto Rico's version of the Better Business Bureau) tomorrow! Walgreens is going down!

UPR Bureacracy...oh brother!

I don't know what is up with the University of Puerto Rico administration. Most don't know the answers to simple questions like "where do I go to change classes," or "where do I go to change my address" or "where is the registrar's office located." I believe their inefficiency has caused students to go unprepared well after the start of classes. For example, we started law school last week, yet we haven't received our financial aid. When we ask them when the $ is going to come in, everyone gives us different dates "finales de agosto; principios de septiembre; mediados de septiembre." How the heck are we suppose to buy books, school supplies, pay rent, travel expenses! All of us have had to come out of our pockets to pay for tuition, buy books, make copies, etc. It's like they say "For the first few weeks of class, you're on your own." What the f*ck?! Man, they should give us a break. Better yet, they should get their asses to work. We haven't even signed our award letters! Sh*t, so their are delays after delays after delays.

On top of that, there are professors who don't show up to class, others who have cancelled class, the library hasn't followed it's schedule and has closed early or for entire days. And plus, the air conditioner is broken at the law school. So it's hot as hell.

But, I guess these are the sacrifices we have to make for a cheap and excellent education.

The PRFAA from an Insider

One of my readers, who prefers to stay anonymous, worked in the offices of the PRFAA this summer. Below is what he has to say about that office.

I have just returned from working at the PRFAA offices in Washington D.C. It angers me to know that an office as important and necessary for the advancement of the Puerto Rican community as PRFAA is has become nothing more than a country club, where the sons of friends of whichever party leader is in power are given positions which should belong to the island's truly talented and devoted. The only real reason Bhatia, who is an honest, likeable individual, got the position for which he recieved such a bonus is because in PR, he could not defeat anybody and the governor rewarded (That's right, REWARDED) him with this position for having helped with the governors campaign. However, this is not a problem that has just surfaced. This is a problem that has been going on for quite some time now, and BOTH parties are guilty of using this office as a mere political rubber chicken. Having been there, I know that the money that PRFAA has in it's budget IS wasted on amenities (Limos, Drivers, Park Avenue offices that are not in use...) and not on what the offices main mission is. I know for a fact that the washington office, which occupies a floor and a half of an extremely expensive building only physically uses HALF OF ITS OFFICES!!! PRFAA, in my opinion, should be a separate entity, operating in the interests of the island, not the interests of X or Y political party.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Mixed Emotioncs

This past week was filled with so many emotions.

Got my own place: excited
Started law school: nervous, anxious
Second day of law school: overwhelmed
Watched Deuce Bigalow 2: funny
Saw live Bomba: proud
Saw live Rumba: spirited
Saw many old friends: connected
Learned of a friends recent death: sad
Got sick: lonely

Friday, August 12, 2005

$14 million for Jews - Still Not Impressed.

JERUSALEM, Aug. 12 - A consortium of wealthy Americans has put up $14 million to compensate Jewish settlers for their Gaza Strip greenhouses, and the facilities will be handed over to the Palestinians as soon as the Israelis leave, participants in the agreement said today.

New York Times
Although I am pleased that enough Americans care about other people around the world, I am forced to think that American compassion is selective and discriminatory at times. Americans raised $14 million for the Jews that are being forced to leave their homes (which, by the way, is what their ancestors did to the Palestinians decades ago - tables are turned), but so what? Those settlers are already getting between $200,000 to $400,000 in compensation from the Israeli government. Women and children are starving in the Sudan, child labor is prevalent in Asia, Indian tribes in the Americas are ignored by governments and live in utter poverty. When Americans don't hesitate to raise money for people of color, then I'll be impressed.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

1st Day of Law School

We all arrive, early, well-fed, enough coffee in us that if we perspired it would be of caffeine. Some of us were so anxious that we had little hours of sleep the night before. No one wanted to be late. We were all thinking the same thing: this is it! We are about to start our law school careers. Our days of long hours of jangueo were over. Our library would be our new home now. Some of us were thinking about the professor: is he/she strict, does he give a lot of work, will he call on me? The time came, enters the professor. Everyone is quiet. The silence is so sharp that it could cut like a machete. "Hola, Soy Profesora Matenzo. Bienvendios a la Escuela de Derecho de la Universidad de Puerto Rico." Sighs of relief could be heard thoughout the classroom. It's not as bad as I heard. Professors are human! I think I can do it.

But, my second class was just like what I had read. Enters professor decked out in a suit, very intimidating, "Hola Soy profesor Diaz. . .Que es el Derecho?. . .Dime, tu, que es el derecho para ti?(as he points to a student) . . . and so begins the Socratic method of teaching law.

Happy Anniversay Verde Luz!

Today is Verde Luz's first anniversary. i can't believe its been one year since I started this blog. Below is the first post of Verde Luz. As you will see, my thoughts and convictions haven't changed.

Puerto Rican Justice: How SOUR it is!

Wouldnt it be great to live on a beautiful tropical island where at anytime you could go to the beach, hike through a rainforest, tour historical colonial sites and get away with murder!? Well amigos, now you can. Bienvenidos a Puerto Rico.

Yes folks, you can now add "murdering" to the list of many things to do while in Puerto Rico. It may sound crazy or even far-fetched, but homicide is the new fad in Puerto Rico. Or at least it seems that way. You see, a few days ago a man by the name of Melvin Mendez Roldan had murder charges against him dropped. He was accused of killing a young trumpet player a few months ago by the name of Ricardo Morales Saez. Now I remember that day very well. Some kid with a nice car who has it pretty much made drives through a ghetto while blasting his stereo and is killed. The funny thing about this whole thing is that Melvin confessed to the murder. He even led the police to where he stashed the body. I know what you're thinking: how could a confessed muderer be freed of the charges? Well, the judge who ordered the charges lifted, Lourdes Velázquez Cajigas, said that even though Melvin confessed, his lawyer wasn't present during the police interrogation or signing of the confession statement. What the fudge?!

Where is the Puerto Rican justice system going? I'll tell you where: straight down the toilet. It is a sad day when the system lets a confessed murderer go. I feel so safe right now. No wonder there are so many gated communities in Puerto Rico. People just dont feel safe anymore.

This happens to often in our legal system where a lawbreaker is freed from his charges through some sort of technicality. I believe in the principle of innocent until proven guilty and that everyone should be treated according to the rules and regulations of the system but damm, this guy confessed, and according to the police department, they followed every procedure in the book Miranda rights and all. The technicality was that Melvin's lawyer was MIA during his signing of the statement. Well, boo-hoo Melvin and Lourdes.
It's things like this that make Puerto Rico look bad to the world. This is probably why Congress doesn't even want to touch on the status issue. I can here them now "Independence?! Hell, you can't even take care of you're own damn selves or protect your own damn citizens. Statehood?! We aint taken no uncivilized murderers into are great union of civilized, law-abiding citizens."

Some Puerto Ricans want to blame the police. But I doubt it was their fault. Sure some may be corrupt and some may be ignorant and others illiterate, and yes they do look like they came of the set of Star Troopers, but most cops are good. Personally I believe, as my good friend Luis does, that what exists in Puerto Rico is a political and legal system that is not compatible to the social system. No matter how hard we try, we just won't be like Americans. The political and legal system on the island is an American duplicate. It's not working guys. Time to change it. We need a system that reflects the society. Its not a hard thing to do. Almost all Puerto Ricans are the same ethnically and culturally. We're not a multi-ethnic or diverse country like the US.

It just makes my nipples-hard just thinking about how defunct our legal system is. Its crazy that the system will drop charges on a murderer but makes sure you pay your traffic tickets. This system of ours is sour like a can of medalla beer.

On a sad note. I see no future for Melvin. Yes, he's a murderer, but he's still Puerto Rican. I feel for all my boricua brothers. He's not a walking the streets yet because he still has other charges pending against him but he'll be out on the street in no time. Personally, I see him as another victim of our defunct and decaying social system. Maybe Melvin had a reason to kill Ricky. Maybe it was anger, or revenge. Maybe it was stupidity. Or maybe it was that when Melvin saw a young kid from a good home with a nice car drive into his ghetto blasting his radio he wondered why that kid had it made but he was doomed to fail and a life of struggle. Unfortunately, Melvin will get what is coming to him. He may be free, but he is a bigger outcast than he was before. Knowing how are social system is presently, someone's going to get him back.

This being my first blog entry, I thought it appropiate to begin with a topic that deeply concerns me. I love Puerto Rico and seriously think its the Garden of Eden, Heaven on Earth. That is why I want the best for my island. I will be the first to defend her and the first to critize her. This entry lays out the frame work of how I like to think and approach issues. I hope you guys enjoy reading this as I enjoy writing it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Final Day of Orientation

Exciting! Today we had our first lecture (classes start tomorrow, may I remind you.) But the lecture was interesting and was given by one of the professors at the law school - Julian Alvarez. He talked about Civil Law and Common Law, their differences, historical background and its application in Puerto Rico. It was cool because not only did we learn about both systems but the professor added his 2 cents and one could tell that his political tendencies were leftist. Anyways after the lecture, we were given an hour long talk about plagirism. That was interesting, funny and awakening at the same time. The professor gave us a hypothetical case and asked us if it was plagirism. We spent like 10 minutes arguing for and against it, like lawyers, only to find out at the end that we were both right. The point of that exercise was to teach us that in law, everything is grey. Nothing is white or black, good or wrong, right or left. Everything is up for grabs, and left to one's interpretation.

Earlier today I watched made copies of the assigned reading and watched an assigned movie for one of my classes. The movie is called The Merchant from Venice and I recommend that film to anyone. Al Pacino is in it and the plot has this amazing twist.

Anyways, tomorrrow I start regular classes. Some would say tomorrow is the beginning of the end to my social life, but you know what, I say tomorrow is just the beginning of my life! For all you lawyer wanna-bes, stay posted, travel with me as I journey through the roads of the life of a 1L and see how hard, fun and satisfying studying law can be.

Cause of Death = Computer Game

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- A 28-year-old South Korean man died of exhaustion in an Internet cafe after playing computer games non-stop for 49 hours, South Korean police said Wednesday.

Lee, a resident in the southern city of Taegu who was identified only by his last name, collapsed Friday after having eaten minimally and not sleeping, refusing to leave his keyboard while he played the battle simulation game Starcraft.

The New York Times

So my moms was right - video games can be harmful. I'd hate to have my obituary read - "Chu, beloved by all, left the world doing what he loved, playing video games." Man, people would be like - "poor kid, he had no life." And I like Starcraft. LOL.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

2nd Day of Orientation

Today was better. I met a few peeps, exchanged a few numbers and emails and so forth. We sat through like 2 hours of stuff that we needed to know. Stuff like where rooms were located, who profesores where, where to go for certain needs, etc. They gave us the whole spiel about how studying law can be scary but fun at the same time. They also through in how we were the best in the country, etc. The precise words were "Uds son los caballos de este pais." The meeting was long, but the guy given the orientation was mad funny. We got our schedules today and believe it or not I already have homework. School hasn't even started!

We also were given nice tote bags with the name of the school on it. I'ma carry that bad boy around to represent! Law

Iraq and Puerto Rico

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Armed men entered Baghdad's municipal building during a blinding dust storm on Monday, deposed the city's mayor and installed a member of Iraq's powerful Shiite militia.

New York Times

My question is - Who is running the show in Iraq? The US has hundreds of thousands of troops in Iraq yet the Iraqi's are able to defy the American imposed democratic institution and execute a municipal coup d'état. But what is the problem, that their is an American imposed democratic institution or that the institution is imposed by Americans?

Times are rough in Puerto Rico. It hasn't gotten to the point where people are blowing themselves up, but as my friend Luis and I were discussing today, Puerto Rico is at the brink of collpase. Could a municipal, or even state, coup d'état occur in Puerto Rico. Rossello has the people to do it. Enough Puerto Ricans from all parties are pissed enough to support one. Time will tell.

Chu's Moment With The Credit Card Company

Credit Card Representative: How may I help you?

Chu: I want to apply for the Student Card your company offers.

CCR: Where do you go to school?

Chu: University of Puerto Rico Law School?

CCR: Give me one moment. (puts me on hold) Sorry sir, our company doesn't offer student cards in Puerto Rico.

Chu: Well, why not?

CCR: Sorry sir for the inconvenience, we just don't have that offer for schools in Puerto Rico.

Chu: But a school here is just as good and accredited as a school in the states.

CCR: (puts me on hold) Yea, sorry we just dont sir, But what I can do is help you register for a regular credit card.

Chu: huh? No sir, I wanted the student card so that I can build credit, not a regular card to mess it up.

Credit Card companies are sneaky. i bet you this is how many Puerto Rican students get caught up in debt.

Viva Frankie Ruiz

Today is the day that one of the greatest salseros passed away. The interpreter of numerous hits like Mujeres Como Tu, Mi Libertad, Bailando, La Cura, Ironica, Desnudate Mujer, Salsa Buena, Viajera and of ocurse, Puerto Rico. Though he may not be with us physically, he is never too far away from the hearts of every Puerto Rican in the world. Que viva Frankie!

A new car for Chu??

Check out my new car!! Just kidding, it's my boy Justin's new ride. My marine brother in arms is pimped out with the 2005 Chevy Colorado Pick up.

PR: You Gotta Love It to Be Here

I woke up this morning to take a shower and there was no water. So I went out, ran some errands and came back around noon - still no water. Brother, you gotta love puerto rico to be here. LOL

Monday, August 08, 2005

Chu's First Day of Law School Orientation

The letter in the mail said reception-gala, so I bust out my cool tan guayabera and some black slacks. I look good as if I'm going on stage to perfrom. I stroll through Rio Piedras on my way to the university happy and nervous but looking good. As I arrive to the law school, I see a long line of people waiting to get their name tags. I get in one and wait...and wait...and wait. Damn, there are tapones everywhere in Puerto Rico. As I'm in line I notice that most of the students aren't dressed to impress as I was. People were in jeans, t-shirts, shorts, dressed as if they were going to class or the beach. I begin to feel a little out of place. The paper said gala. Man, I wss right, they were wrong.

I began to notice another characteristic of the students while in line. Most were white boricuas. Most looked like rockeros, and MTV followers. Wierd I thought. As I get my name tag and go into the meeting room, again I notice that most people are dressed casually and most were white Ricans. I took my seat and scanned the room. I counted 3 mulatos, 4 triguenos (including myself), and no blacks. The rest were white, European descent boricuas and some even looked Anglo. I did happen to notice that the ratio of male to female was about even.

I talked to my neighbors and said hello. But conversation with them was short. Interestingly, everyone there knew someone. Why not? 63% of the incoming class graduated from the UPR. This made it hard for me to conversate with people. Most were in groups talking about their summers. I sat there quiet, then at the reception I tried again to meet peeps, but it never went beyond the salutations. Hmm, I thought, is it the way I'm dressed, or is it that people are shy.

I did see several of my classmates from the year I was studying in Puerto Rico. Awkardly I sat right next to a girl who was in one of my classes and whom I had a crush on way back when. Simutaneously we turn to see each other and smile and give each other greetings and chat a little bit. But then it got wierd because she looks good and the crush began coming back. I think she knew.

The Dean of the Law School spoke to us. The guy was mad funny and is a cool cat. He made us crack up the whole hour he was speaking.

I didn't stay long during the reception because it looked like rain was coming and I was on foot. Luckily I made it home just as ir began to pour.

Today I felt out of place, like a minority once again. I hated that feeling in the states and I won't take that crap here. One of the reasons I came to Puerto Rico was because of that feeling of acceptance of being part of the majority. Tomorrow will be another day, I'll dress casusally with my yankees hat and represent. Hopefully, I can meet some classmates and professors.

Rossello's Debt Paid Off by Supporters

"Amigos contra el Abuso" entregaron hoy un cheque por $81,000 para pagar la deuda que el senador Pedro Rosselló tiene con los Sistemas de Retiro.

El Nuevo Dia
Rossello's support group, the so-called "Friends Against the Abuse" have gathered $81,000 to pay off the debt he has with the Puerto Rican government. Why would anyone do that? Let's not forget that Rossello lied to the government about his tenure in public service. It's scary to think that enough people are willing to support this guy. So what if he's a statehooder like them. The fact is that he lied to the government, he lied to the pueblo, he has no respect for democracy, he occupies a senatorial district in which he doesn't reside, and let's not forget the 8 years of bad administration of public funds and the milliones of dollars still missing. If those guys think that Rossello is being abused, then what he did and has done to Puerto Rico is blatant torture! Celso Barbosa is turning in his grave.

Puerto Rico's Legislature Most Paid in US

Puerto Rico es el que mayor asignación da a las oficinas de los legisladores, según las estadísticas de 2003 de la Conferencia Nacional de Legislaturas Estatales de Estados Unidos. En el caso de la Cámara de Representantes, la práctica es que a la mayoría parlamentaria se le da más dinero.

El Nuevo Dia

According to statistics of the 2003 National Conference of US State Legislatures, Puerto Rico assigns the most monies to its representatives in terms of compensation and funds for carrying their duty.

Senators get a basic $16,000 a month apart from salary. The three highest ranking senators are assigned $31,000 a month. Other ranking senators receive from $26,000 to $18,500 a month.

In the House of Reps, members of the majority party recieve $25,000 while the minority party members receive $17,000. The president of the Senate gets $80,000, the vice president gets $60,000, the portaveces receive from $25,000 to $60,000, presidents of commisiones receive $30,000.

The state of Conneticut, with a similar population size, assigns only $5,500 to senators and $4,500 to representatives a month.

My question is: Why so much? This legislature is the most paid and produces the least. Every Puerto Rican knows and has witnessed the inefficiency of the legislature. This year best exemplifies that. The legislature spent more time fighting over leadership positions than attending to the needs of Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico is in a fiscal crisis and the governor is talking about cutting wages to public employess. I say start with the legislature. Their assigned funds are ridiculous and Puerto Rico could easily get back a few million dollars with cuts to spending on the legislature.

Ibrahim Ferrer died on Saturday

The lead singer of the Buena Vista Social Club, Ibrahim Ferrer, passed away on Saturday in La Habana, Cuba. His voice was unique and the charism he carried on stage was awe-inspiring. I had the opportunity to see him perform live at the Teatro Nacional de Cuba in January of 2003. He was amazing, and all of us were moved by his interpretation of "Ay, Candela." He will be missed.

My Email to the Senators

Posted below is the email I sent to several Senators in Puerto Rico (Fas Alzamora, de Lourdes Santiago, Hernandez Mayoral, McClintock, Gonzalez Calderon, Arango Vinent, and Diaz Sanchez). I am telling them about what happened to me at the Pharmacies today and asking them to explain the logic of that law that prohibits the sell of items such as bread at certain times and at certain stores. And, of course, I'm asking them to do something about it. Let's see how many of them respond back, hell, I don't know if they even check their emails. Let's hope so.
Distinguidos/as Senadores y Senadoras,

Hoy no pude comprar pan ni jamón en la Farmacia Amal en Rio Piedras. La razon no era por falta de dinero sino por una supuesta ley que nunca había escuchado.

Hola, me llamo Jesús Hernández García y vivo en la Urb. Santa Rita de Río Piedras. Soy recién llegado a la isla de Nueva York y esta semana empiezo mis estudios en la Facultad de Derecho de la UPR.

Hoy tuvo una experiencia sorprensiva e injusta a la vez. Fuí a la Farmarcia Amal para comprar unas cositas para mi apartamento. Cuando voy a pagar, el cajero me dice que no me va a poder vender el pan por una ley que supuestamente dice que no se puede vender algunos articulos despues de la 5PM los domingos. Por esa misma ley, tampoco pude comprar jamon, un abanico, y un lint roller.

Estaba yo con mi amigo Luis y nosotros estabamos "shocked" y buscabamos la lógica de dicha ley. Entonces, fuimos a Wal-Greens a ver si alla podiamos comprar los mismos articulos. Pueden Uds creer que en Wal-Greens nos vendieron el pan, el jamon, el lint roller y el abanico sin problema.

Al salir de Wal-Greens estuvimos Luis y yo más confundidos y molesto. Si es verdad que exista una ley que prohiba la venta de ciertos articulos, ¿porque esa ley aplica en Farmarcia Amal y no en Wal-Greens? Ambas son Farmacias, ambas estan ubicadas relativamente en la misma area. ¿Será que las compañias americanas no tienen que obedecer las leyes de Puerto Rico? ¿O será que esa ley existe para beneficiar a las compañias americanas?

Yo entendería una ley que prohibería la venta de alcohol los domingos, pero no me explico porque exista una ley que prohiba la venta de pan!! En que pais estamos viviendo si ni el pan ni el jamon se puede comprar a ciertas horas en tiendas locales.

Por eso les escribo a Uds, representantes del pueblo de Puerto Rico, para que primero me aclare si en verdad exista una ley de tal forma, segundo, la lógica de esa ley (si existe), y tercero, el porque esa ley no aplica a todo el mundo.

Yo confio en Uds, y sé que sus convicciones para servirle al pueblo puertorriqueño sobre pasa sus respectivos partidos políticos.

Favor de dirigirme a cualquier página de web, u enviar cualquier documentos a:

Jesus Hernandez Garcia
Calle Celis Aguilera Num. 14
Urb. Santa Rita
San Juan, PR 00925

Un montón de gracias y esperaré sus repuestas attentativamente.


Jesús Hernández García

Sunday, August 07, 2005

You Cant Buy Bread after 5PM on Sundays in Puerto Rico

Cashier: Sorry sir, I can't sell you this item.

Don Chu: (surprised) Why not?

Cashier: Because its the law.

Don Chu: huh?.(pause to ponder).. It's bread!

I can't believe what just happened to me today! I was doing some shopping at the local Farmacia Amal in Rio Piedras with my boy Luis when I go up to the register to pay. The Cashier tells me that he can't sell me bread!! I ask why and he says that its some law. He was also unable to sell me ham, a lint roller and a fan for the same reason.

So Luis and I are just stunned. We get to his car and ponder on the whole thing, trying to find the logic. I ask myself what kind of dumb law is that in which a comsumer cant buy bread. Then Luis asks "I wonder if that law applies to Wal-greens?" A very good question since Farmacia Amal was local.

So we roll over to Wal greens down the street and low and behold, they sold us the same items that Farmacia Amal couldn't.

Luis and I get even more enflamed. "How come that supposed law only applies to local companies and not American companies? Why the hell did legislators pass a law prohibiting the sell of bread and ham!!?? There is no logic to it!"

It's colonialism up-close and personal. Dammit!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

To Vik

Yo Vik, yea I was in Carrion's class about a year and a half ago. Were you in it too? Tru. Hit me up.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

4th Rejection on Presidential Vote

BOSTON (AP) - El Primer Circuito de Apelaciones de Boston determinó por cuarta ocasión que los residentes en Puerto Rico no tienen derecho a votar en las elecciones presidenciales de Estados Unidos.

En una votación 5-2 emitida anoche, la corte rechazó un pedido del abogado estadoísta Gregorio Igartúa, señalando que la Isla debe enmendar su Constitución o convertirse en un estado para que sus residentes puedan votar por el presidente.

El Nuevo Dia
For the fourth time, First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston has ruled that residents of Puerto Rico cannot vote in presidential elections. There would either have to be an amendment to the US Consitution or Puerto Rico has to become a state. Some Puerto Ricans (like Igartua) just don't get it.

The Amendment isn't coming and Puerto Ricans have rejected statehood in all three referendums. What a dilemma!

I say that the presidential vote should be given to at least soldiers and veterans of the military who reside in the island. Why not? They should have a say in picking their boss. Hell, they have every right to pick the person that has the power to send them to fight and put their lives on the line. Dont you think?

"Seguro sueñas que estas en Puerto Rico.."

Wassup peeps. I haven't blogged in days because I've been busy registering for classes, settling in and enjoying the island. It's good to be back. Things have changed. The most evident thing is the Tren Urbano. You know, for all the bickering and politicking that has been donw for last 8 years, I'd have to say that the Tren is a awesome thing. One can see Puerto Rico from a different point of view. And besides, its a cheap mode of transportation and gets you into the city in less than half an hour. My props go out to Rossello and the fine Puerto Rican engineers and construction workers.

Anyways, I've been dealing with the UPR bureacracy for the past few days. Man, they are inefficient and stress causing people. But, beyond all that administration stuff, the UPR is great. Stay tuned for more postings and pictures of Puerto Rico.