Monday, May 29, 2006

Puerto Rico Celebrates Dependence Day!

Mad Funny article on The Onionwebsite. The caption reads "Puerto Rico Celebrates Dependence Day. LOL

The New Migration?

“Aquí hay inseguridad de empleo”, dice José, quien llevaba 14 años como celador de líneas en la Autoridad de Energía Eléctrica (AEE). “Allá voy a tener mejor paga y mejores beneficios”, añade, y apunta que de $17.95 por hora que devengaba en su trabajo comenzará ganando $25 por hora en MiamiEndi

Recently, the El Nuevo Dia has been publishing articles about Puerto Ricans migrating to the US. I don't doubt that with the economic crisis, many have left or are thinking of leaving. But then again, the economy of the island has always sucked and Puerto Ricans have always been migrating. Many migrate looking for work, others for the so called American dream, and others for better pay, like in the case of Jose.

But, I just have to say that those who leave for better pay, when they already get paid well, is a little greedy. $17.95 an hour is great pay for Puerto Rico and even great pay for the US. So Jose is leaving his homeland, his family, his life, just for making a few bucks more an hour? What Jose doesn't know, as dont many Puerto Ricans, is that a worker gets paid more, but they also spend a whole lot more too. Higher prices, higher rent, higher insurance and taxes on everything (State and federal). So in the long run, we must ask ourselves if Jose will be better off.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Amazing Vehicular Statistics in PR

Check out these numbers as the new "No Driving in the Emergency Lane Law" comes into effect tomorrow.
$25 multa vigente por uso ilegal del paseo

$250 nueva multa por uso ilegal del paseo, a partir de mañana

2.5 millones automóviles registrados en el País

150 autos por milla cuadrada pavimentada, la densidad más alta del mundo

3.2 millones viajes particulares por día generados por 1.4 millones de residentes de la zona metropolitana

200,000 automóviles nuevos que circulan anualmente por las carreteras de la Isla

Fuente: Comisión para la Seguridad en el Tránsito via

Quote of the Hour - Isaiah Berlin

"El primer requisito para la libertad - la independencia, la conciencia de uno mismo como un igual ciudadano del mundo - es ser capaz de hablar con la propia voz; es mejor el disparate en la propia voz que cosas sabias destiladas de la experiencia de otros"
Isaiah Berlin

Monday, May 22, 2006

English, the Official language of the US

So we've all heard by now that the US has passed a couple of bills making English the official language of the US. You know what that means for Puerto Ricans: No Jibaro Statehood!

So, an entire political party is threatened by this proclamation and the PNP's are pissing in their pants. They have no argument now....Good!

I guess this means that if Puerto Rico wants to be a state, we have to speak English (at least in government, schools, business). No problem for me, I'm a Neo-Rican. But I feel for the 80% + of boricuas who don't know english.

Chu in Cuba, Jan. 2003

This is me in Cuba back in January of 2003. I was in a club somewhere in Pinar de Rio province, west of La Habana. The club was packed and it had no roof. Boy did I dance!

Church and State?

"La Iglesia tiene un rol profético y, después que no entre en cuestiones partidistas ni políticas, tiene que hacerlo porque es su compromiso con la gente, con el pueblo. Así que muchas veces la actuación de la Iglesia puede ser mal interpretada, pero la Iglesia tiene que hacer su rol"
Angel Marcial, obispo de la Iglesia de Dios Mission Board

In Puerto Rico, the Church plays a huge role. Just a week and half ago they put a stop on the govenrment shutdown by making politicians sitdown and talk. Over 80% of Puerto Ricans are catholic. But on the other side, I do believe in separation of church and state and that is the principle that reigns here. What do you guys think about this issue?

I've been studying my ass off for the last 2 weeks, and I still have another week and a half to go. I just got down with my Family Law exam. It was four hours of hell. But I feel good. I took my Criminal Law exam last week and I made a B. True. Last Friday we had our Torts Exam. That shit was the hardest exam I've taken in my life. I'm still in shock.

Message to all you wannabe law students: Say goodbye to your life!

Just kidding. Law is fun, tough, but rewarding.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Rossello, you better watch your back.

SAN JUAN (EFE) – Chief of Staff Aníbal José Torres announced Wednesday that Gov. Aníbal Acevedo Vilá has decided to eliminate police details for government officials, including former governors and police superintendents...

Police details assigned to former governors will be reduced by 50% starting Aug. 30, prior to its total elimination by Dec. 31...

According to Toledo, former governors Pedro Rosselló and Sila Calderón each have 14 police bodyguards; just as many officers as the island municipality of Culebra.

Former governors Rafael Hernández Colón and Carlos Romero Barceló each have 13 bodyguards. Berríos and Ferré have two.

Former Police superintendents Agustín Cartagena and Miguel Pereira each have seven bodyguards.
No more bodyguards paid for by the people of Puerto Rico. And Rossello's time in Puerto Rico is once again threatened and shortened. Besides, why the heck do you 14 bodyguarads? Oh that's right, you stole, lied, cheated the people back when you were governor, and now your undemocratically in a senatorial seat getting paid for doing nothing and creating crisis just cause. Punk.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

1L No More

Today was my last day of my first year in law school. It feels good, let me tell you. Though I still have finals the next 2 weeks, I have to say that I feel proud and succesful. Many people who started with me have dropped out, others are on that path. It was hard sticking to the path. My nerves from the first semester were tough to overcome. As second semester started I wondered why I had come back, but this semester has been a little easier though tough nonetheless. There is no doubt that my perspective on life has changed. I am more educated, questioning everything I see, read and hear, taking everything with a grain of salt. I understand all this legal jargon and am even prepared to consult on certain topics. I have matured indedd. I am no longer a rookie, no longer a novice. I am 1L no more!

This crisis is suppossedly over.
The ENDi survey says that a shared government doesn't work.
The Dept of Ed is going to be penalized by the Fed government.
My first year of law school ended.
Bush is building a wall.

These are just some of the headlines since last week.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Jamaicanization in Puerto Rico

A lot of Puerto Rican youth are into reggae roots music (not to be confused with reggaeton). I like the music of these groups including Cultura Profetica. But it seems that the same people who like this music and are into the whole rastafari culture are also feverent anti-americans. Well, at least they are against Americanization (anti multinational corporations, etc). These are the same people we see on TV protesting Burger King, and writing graffiti on the walls exhalting Puerto Rican independence.

But isn't Jamaicanization just as bad as Americanization? I mean, we get mad at americanization for trying to erase our roots but yet it is ok to grow dreadlocks and have posters of bob marley in our homes. The fact of the matter is that both americanization and jamaicanization involve copying another nation's culture. The fact that Jamaica is a caribbean island doesn't make copying its culture better.

Is there some double standard on our island that says it bad to copy America but okay to love Jamaica? What about Puerto Rico? Why not copy Puerto Ricans; why not say Puerto Ricanization is the best way to go? I mean, with a country that has produced a rich culture that includes rhythms from Africa, Europe and the Tainos, why do we need to look anywhere else?

Puerto Rico Crisis Day 5

Today is day 5 of the government shutdown. Legislators are working to resolve things, the governor is working to negotiate and the Senate has passed a bill that would seem to resolve things. But the buck stops at the House. Why is it that Aponte, the president of the House, thinks that he is the president of Puerto Rico? Who does he really represent?

I don't think the patience of the people will last much longer. Debts are accumulating, local businesses are getting affected, sales are down, kids having been to school in a waeek. Teachers have been protesting all day in front of the Capitolio, this on Teacher's Day.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

1, 2, 3, Break!

The South American Union devising a plan to invade the US.

Puerto Rico Crisis Update - Day 4

Primera Hora reports that now the Governer has 10 PNP legislators willing to vote for his proposal. Primera Hora

The Chamber has yet to approve a bill to resolve the crisis. El Nuevo Dia

Chamber party spokesmen are meeting with Chamber President in negotiations. El Nuevo Dia

Senate approves the 5.9% sales tax. The Governor believes that such a measure can solve the crisis if only approved by the Chamber. El Nuevo Dia

A teachers union protest is planned for Friday. General and Electric Worker unions are joining in. El Nuevo Dia

Truckers have begun to protest in front of the Capital. Meanwhile unions and PPD Mayors continue a 4th day of protest camps. El Nuevo Dia

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

"Dueña y Señora" - PR's New Novela

Sin ocultar la emoción que provoca el comienzo de una nueva era en la historia de las telenovelas en Puerto Rico, el elenco de la producción “Dueña y señora” desfiló ayer por la alfombra roja en una concurrida actividad realizada en las instalaciones de Telemundo PR una hora antes del estreno de la referida telenovela, que revive el taller de este género a nivel nacional luego de quince años.El Vocero
Chu's opinión: It sucks!

Yes its true, yesterday I watched the debut (with my novia) of "Dueña y Señora," a novela purely Puerto Rican, made here w/ Puerto Rican actors. The novela is obviously low budget, with horrible editing and cheesy novela music. The story line was all over the place with some guy being shot in the head by a would be assasin and some lady wondering whether her daughter died naturally or was killed. And of course, there was a love story - engaged guy wants to leave his fiance and get with this other girl but his parents dont approve.

Let me also mention that all the actors are white. There was one guy who resembled a Puerto Rican (he looked like a salsa singer from the 70's), but all the others looked like they can be from any country in Europe or the Americas. What bothered me most was the scene in Plaza Mercado de Rio Piedras. First of all, those type of people (white, nicely dressed, middle to upper class typical Guaynabo girl) don't visit Plaza MErcado and are rarely even in el casco (donwtown) Rio Piedras. The other guy in the scene(white, nicely dressed, looked like a fashion model) who supposedly owned a fruit stand in the Plaza and was hitting on the girl, don't exist in Plaza. Most if not all the visitors to Plaza Mercado are dark skinned, middle to lower class people and immigrants; son gente de pueblo. Most if not all the owners of the fruit stands are Dominican.

So, my point here is that the novela doesn't represent Puerto Rican society. It's just like all other novelas from Latin America, in which the protagonists, antoagonists and most of the supporting actors are white, upper class people. Where were the brownies, with curly hair a flat nose; where was the typical humble jibaro spirt man who wears guayaberas; where were the reggaeton youth? Where were the Puerto Ricans?

Then again, as my girlfriend said, should we even expect any of this from novelas. It's all about the benjamins anyways, no?...

Puerto Rico Crisis Update II

Puerto Rico has entered its 2nd day of government shutdown. Protests are being planned. People are getting desperate, Lines at the unemployment office are getting longer. There have been rumors that a deal could be made by mid-day today. But then again, Rossello is back on the island, and he has already stated that he will not give in to the governors wishes.PRWow

The Senate did not attend the issue. Do they even care?El Vocero

Yesterday Puerto Rican youth clashed with police.El Vocero

Puerto Rico in the US Senate

April 26, 2006 -
U.S. Senators Mel Martinez (R-FL) and Ken Salazar (D-CO) today introduced the Puerto Rico Democracy Act of 2006 – a bill to assist Puerto Rico in a decision-making process about its territorial status.

“Since 1898 when the US was ceded Puerto Rico, the status of the island has presented a dilemma for people both on the island and here on the mainland. The legislation introduced today is simply the beginning of a process whereby Puerto Ricans will, themselves, determine the ultimate status of the island,” Martinez said. “I believe the best way to approach this is to leave this question firmly in the hands of a democratic process.”

“This bill, introduced in a bipartisan fashion, will provide a means for the 4 million people of Puerto Rico to self-determine the ultimate status of their island,” Sen. Salazar said.

The Martinez-Salazar bill would designate a deadline for Puerto Ricans to make their own decision about whether or not they maintain their status as a territory, or pursue a permanent, non-territory status. In either case, Congress would be responsible for assisting with and respecting the desires of the people.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Puerto Rico Crisis Updates

House passes a PIP supported bill that would impose a 5% tax on corporations and ensure a $532 million dollar loan
SAN JUAN (EFE) - La Cámara de Representantes aprobó hoy un proyecto que autorizaría al Banco Gubernamental de Fomento (BGF) a emitir una línea de crédito de 532 millones de dólares que serían respaldados con los ingresos generados por un impuesto adicional de cinco por ciento a las corporaciones que hayan generado más de diez millones de dólares durante el último año contributivo.ENDi
Senate and Govenor reject plan, urge imposition of 7% sales tax on consumers.
SAN JUAN (AP) - El presidente del Senado, Kenneth McClintock, secundó las observaciones hechas por el gobernador Aníbal Acevedo Vilá sobre una medida de recaudo adelantado aprobada en la Cámara, y dijo que no tiene oportunidades de prevalecer en el cuerpo que dirige.ENDi

PR Government Closes
El gobernador Aníbal Acevedo Vilá dijo hoy a las 8 de la mañana que ninguna de las propuestas aprobadas en la Cámara de Representantes resuelve la crisis presupuestaria que dejó en la calle a 95,000 empleados públicos.