Sunday, May 31, 2009

Various Things

I have a Yahoo Group called "Ethnic And Cultural Studies" and a friend of mine who is a member sends messages to it and suddenly I am now getting e-mail telling me that his messages may be "possible spam." What I end up doing is approving the messages. His messages are not about visiting web cams, porn sites, or how you receive millions of dollars from Nigeria. It is about culture, ancient artifacts, and about archaeology. I guess the trouble with him right now and I don't mean to offend him in any way and he means well is the fact that he has nothing else to do in his life right now but to send messages and articles to various blogs and Yahoo groups. I don't know if he has a job. I know he has started to write and publish his own books. I have helped him out on an occassion to sell his books on Amazon.com . These books are fictional novels based on pre-Islamic Arabian life. One of them is "Ilat." I am hoping and praying he finds other things to do during the day other than posting messages. I don't know why he does this. Is it because he is trying to educate the web-blogging public in his own way? For those of us who are members of one or two Yahoo groups and he is also a member of them, too, we often get a great deal of information overload from him and who can keep it all straight. He does so at "Babel" where he post many messages on paleontology. There are not that many people who are interested in dinosaur bones or brontasaurus bones, or what have you. He was at one time warned by the owner of the group that if he only posted those types of messages, the membership would drop significantly. This is something he don't seem to understand. Also, his posting in general has exhausted me to the point where I have very little interest in the internet. So, what's a group owner to do?

Friday, May 29, 2009

Fun with Fascism

Is your community sinking into....despotism? Find out what this handy video from graoundzerocoffee.com . From the media to schools to elections, how did they know? ADM, Cargill, Conagra?
No Child left Behind? Trickle-down economics?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

For those who are not in the "know"

The name of the latest Supreme Court nominee, chosen by Pres. Obama, is Sonia Sotomayor. Say it after me, "So - to - my - yor." It is not hard to say as some guy mentioned on Keith Olbermann's show made it out to be. What if John McCain were president and he picked the same woman as his pick for the Supreme Court? Would she catch as much crap from the right as she is right now as the Obama appointee? My answer is no. This is a clear case of political expediency if you ask me.

Friday, May 22, 2009

"To Roosevelt" from Rubén Darío (English Translation)

This is a prose from Nicaraguan poet and writer Rubén Darío directed to Teddy Roosevelt, written not long after the end of the Spanish-American war. If you want to read as it is written in Spanish, log onto El Blog de Gunter .

"To Roosevelt"

"It is with the voice of the Bible, or the verse of Walt Whitman, that would have to come to you, O Hunter!

"Primitive and modern, simple and complicated, with a little something from Washington and four from Nemrod!

"You are the United States,
You are the future invader of the ingenuous America that has Indian blood, that still prays to Jesus Christ and that still speaks Spanish.

"You are a sovereign and a strong example of your race;
you are cultured, you are skillful; you oppose Tolstoy.
And with riding horses or killing tigers, you are an
Alexander-Nebuchadnezzer. (You are a professor of Energy,
so as the nuts of today say.)

"You believe life is a fire (conflagration),
that progress is an eruption;
that where you put your bullet,
is where you hold the future.

"No.

"The United States is big and powerful.
When they tremble, there is a deep quake that passes by
the enormous vertebrae of the Andes.
"If you clamor, one can hear the roar of the lion.
"Hugo already told this to Grant: 'The stars are yours.'
"(Hardly shining, rising in revolt, the Argentine sun and
the Chilean star rising up...)
"You are rich.
"You are next to the worship of Hercules, the worship of
Mammon; and enlightening the road of an easy conquest.
"Liberty lifts up her torch in New York.

"But our America, that has poets from the ancient times of
Netzahualcoyotl, that had kept the footprints of the Great
Baco,
"In one time she learned the panic alphabet,
she consulted the stars, she knew Atlantis,
whose name resounding in Plato came to us, that
since the remote moments of her life live from light,
from fire, from perfume, from love, the America of the
Great Montezuma, the Great Inca, the fragrant America
of Christopher Columbus, Catholic America, Spanish America,
the America in what the noble Cuautémoc said: 'I am not in
a bed of roses'; this America that trembles from hurricanes
and that live from love; of men with eyes of Saxons and
with a barbarous soul lives. A
"And dreams. And loves, and vibrates; and is the child of the
Sun.
"You be careful. Love live Spanish America! There are a thousand
loose cubs from the Spanish Lion. Roosevelt would need to be by the
very same God; the terrible Rifleman and the strong Hunter,
so he can have us in your iron claws.

"And so, you counted all in all, lacking one thing:
God!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

"Ancestrial Poem in Nuptial Praise" by Julio Herrera y Reissig (English Translation)

"With bubbles of Brahmanic unctions
opened your bed of Spring,
before a lubricated rite of panthers
and an erection of male symbols...

"At the tragic brilliance of the hatchets
waved the dance of the ballerinas from
India among the apotheosis of Flags
and from a thunderous sinister of lions...

"Burned the poem in nuptial praise of
your passing a hymn of shining trumpets...
Over my heart, the priests from Xerxes

"Unctioned your sandal, the urn of satin,
at a time when a hundred white elephants
twisted their trunks towards the sunset."

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

"Immortality" by Amado Nervo (English Translation)

"No, the story of our love was not
so ephemeral: among the smooth folios
of the virginal book of your memory,
as blue petals are the suffering, noble
and caste-like glories of my verses.

"You cannot forget me; I condemn you
to a tenacious souvenir. My love
has been the highest point of your life,
the best; and only between the mud and
the smile, there surges the pale lotus
of the forgotten.

"You will see me wherever, in the uncertain
nightfall, in the golden dawn;
and when you labor in the deserted corridor,
while the monotonous threads of rain
tremble in your orchard.

"You will have to remember! This is
my inheritance that my pain has given you,
that nothing is spellbound.
"You will be at the lighted top of your
existence, and an ineffable reproach
in your conscience and an immortal trail
inside your soul!"

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

"I promise" by Julián del Casal (English Translation)

"Under the canopy of a gigantic rock
the Titan rested, like Christ in Calvary,
marmoreal, indiferent, and solitary,
without the howl coming out of his mouth.

"He takes his naked foot in the large rock,
where the bloodthirsty vulture is in agony
that neither his visionary eye attracts
nor compasion in his courage or spirit provokes.

"Listening to the boiling of the foams
that melts in the tall rocks,
seen from his redemption strange lights,

"Next to another vulture with snow-capped feathers,
black pupils and ivory-like claws
that have extinguished itself the thirst in its soul."

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Friday, May 15, 2009

Sum...by Rubén Darío (English translation)

"I am in God what I am
and my being is the will
that, persevering today,
exist in eternity.

"Four horizons from abyss
have my reasoning, and
the abyss that has more feeling
is what I feel about myself.

"There is an enlightened point
in my village of illusion:
The elephant's tower next to
the peacock's kiosk.

"Still the meek subjugates me
as if it gilds my desire.
The turtle's shell tells me of
the pain of Orpheus.

"Good roses, tidy lyrics,
crazy from so much to ignore,
I am going to make myself shout
at the verge of the sepulchers.

"Lord, let my faith die!
Lord, look at my pain.
Misery! Misery!
Give me your hand, Lord!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

"For a Menu" by Manuel Gutiérrez Nájera (English Translation)

"For a Menu"

"The past sweethearts are empty cups;
in them we put in a little love;
We take the nectar ....the days fly by...
Bring in other cups with new liquor!

"Champagne is the ruby of skinned azaleas;
Burgundy, the lips of red, red wine;
Dark eyes are the wines from Italy,
The green and white ones are the wines from
the Rhine!

"The mouths of scarlet color are moist strawberries,
The black pupils serves as coffee,
Blue eyes appear as railroad tie flames.
What tremblings run as souls from tea!

"The cup males haste, the joy drowns,
from a gulp or sip, we drink women and liquor...
We leave the cups...If one drop remains,
Let the lackey or servile person drink the riffraff of love!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

From "This is My God" by Herman Wouk

"The Chosen People"

pp. 33-34 - "It is the Holy Bible that so describes the Jews. THe quotations run into the thousands. The theme rules Scripture. Here are the verses at ramdom from the book which most of the Western world takes in one sense or another as the oracles of God:
Genesis 12:
"...God said to Abram, Go from your country, your birthplace, your father's house, to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation - ...and in you shall all families of the earth be blessed..."

Exodus 19:
"...Now therefore if you will truly obey my voice, and keep my covenant, then you will be a peculiar treasure to me of all the peoples, for all the earth is mine. And you shall be for me a nation of priests, and a holy people..."

Isaiah 49:
"...And I will give you as the light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth..."

"Christianity accepts this view of Jewish destiny and rests on it. An important Christian doctrine (as I understand it) is that Jesus broadened this chosen communion to include all those who believed in his divinity and followed his teachings. For this reason, an accepted Christian name for the church is 'The New Israel.' Christianity added one vital point: those who did not enter the new communion risked, or in some views actually incurred, eternal damnation.
"But this idea of salvation limited to one group never had any place in the Jewish faith and has no place in it today. In Judaism, right conduct is the path to God. This path lies open to Jews and non-Jews. (Practiced during Abraham's time)
"It was, and it (monotheism) is, the universal, ethical religion of right-thinking man." (Not an origination of the Jews)
"...Our tradition has it that Job, the supreme figure of the man of faith in agony, was of the righteous of the world, and not a Jew."

Herman Wouk wrote a great book.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Reflections

Mother's Day was observed both here in the U.S. and in Mexico. My mother passed away almost 19 years ago. This is the time I remember her the most and it would have been nice to see her again. I imagine it will be when I go to the great beyond. She was always the one I've turned to when I was having many problems or when I got into trouble. She was always there. I remember the vacation trips, the Christmas dinners, Thanksgiving at Uncle Billy's. It is a time I can never get back. I miss it. But, for me, I still have my father, and I ate Mother's Day dinner with him. Also, I celebrated Mother's Day for all of those who still have mother in their lives and for the mothers themselves. It is best to hold on to your mother as much as you can while you sill have her in you life. Without her, it will take a long while to recover and to live life normal again. She fills that empty void. She's the fabric that keeps the family together. Because the family I am part of now are mere satellites anymore. They are broken apart, even while we still have father and this is unfair to father. Please, do not ever let Mother's Day be a sad occassion and while you still have her, be with her on that day. Do more than write a letter or send a card. Take the time to be with her when you have the chance!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Islam Day proclaimed in Hawaii

I am afraid Hawaii made a big mistake. Too many Americans misunderstand the religion and when they think about Islam, they think about al_Qaida and the Taliban. It is a mistake for the state of Hawaii to pass this resolution to celebrate this day this coming September. Already, many Hawaiians are expressing outrage over this and the loud right-wing talk show hosts are already yelling and unfortunately, this is where many evangelical Christians get most of their information nowadays if anyone would call it that. Many of them will go to church on Sunday and hear about what Hawaii did and then, put the blame on Democrats and Pres. Obama for not protecting the country and for not looking out for our best interest. It is a bad call for Hawaii although it was for good intentions; to inform Americans about the history of Islam and the contributions Muslims have made throughout history. But, all of this will be thrown out of the way and what we will hear instead is more hate and disgust and more about 9/11, something the American people will never get over, blaming many innocent people for what a few jerky guys did and killing themselves while doing it. Also, concerns for religion and state separation has been violated by this act. What if they wanted a National Catholic Day or a National Protestant Day, or a Hindu Day? How about a Sikh Day?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

On Michael Savage

I have just read on the Rude Pundit blog that the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland will not let right-wing talk show host Michael Savage into their country. Reason: He fosters extremism and hate. Well, indeed he does. He scapegoats Mexican citizens as the blame for the Swine flu as it has been called. He calls people all kind of names. He calls Rosie O'Donnell "Rosie O'Dumbell", He calls anybody left of center "red diaper, doper babies." The UK will not let him in as a result. Hmm..I wish there was a way to kick him out of these United States of America! There's no telling what he calls President Obama. I haven't listened to his show for years, and from the looks of it, I haven't missed anything from it.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Not a Happy Cinco de Mayo

I can't wish everyone a Happy Cinco de Mayo, because we know it's not. The H1N1 virus, the shutting of tourism in Mexico, life as we know it shut down in Mexico; so, as a result, this is not a Happy Cinco de Mayo in Mexico and/or here in the United States.
So, no wish for one this year. I have a Spanish blog I've just started last month and it is a shame to not wish everyone reading a happy Cinco de Mayo. No historical reference to it; nothing. But, maybe next year I will get the opportunity to do so.

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Hong Kong Affair

Seventy Mexicans have been picked out in Hong Kong and quarantined in a locked-up building in Hong Kong, China. I write about this because it seems to me that the Chinese decided to single out an ethnic group of people visiting China in concern over the spread of the H1N1 virus. Do all of these 70 individuals have this flu? Or were they just singled out because the virus came out of Mexico? I heard that the virus originated in Veracruz, Mexico. As the saying goes in Mexico, "if it came through Veracruz, it came from somewhere else." Anything and anybody foreign in Mexico came through the port of Veracruz. The explorer, Hernan Cortez, landed in Mexico at Veracruz. This is a prime example that goes with the saying. The Mexican authorities are looking to get these 70 people back to Mexico. I would have to agree, the Chinese
were using discriminating measures against a group of tourists thinking they were preventing the virus from spreading. Where these Chinese authorities don't seem to get it is that the virus does not come from a pig or from an ethnic group of people just because the virus originated from there. You get it from the air like the average cold. And to prevent from getting it is to cover your mouth where you sneeze or cough and wash your hands regularly and thoroughly just like you would to prevent from getting a cold. What I hate to see is for people blaming a country and its people for it if someone comes down with it. Is it necessary to shut down Mexico's tourism industry over this? Would shutting down the U.S.-Mexico border be the thing to do? If these things are done, you can't keep it from spreading.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Religion and State Separation

The separation of church and state is really what made this country great.

In 1777, Thomas Jefferson drafted a bill to the House of Delegates of Virginia called "the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom." This bill was adopted by the Virginian legislature in 1786 after years of effort with James Madison's help. It was a bill that went beyond John Locke's policy of toleration and enacted complete religious freedom not only of all Christian groups but of all religious opinions whatsoever, including, in Jefferson's words, "the Jew, the Mahometan, and the Hindoo." One of the following reasons why he argued for religious freedom was because the "Almighty God hath created the mind free" and "free it shall remain." He spoke out against enforcing religious uniformity by "temporal punishments" or "civil incapacitations" because it was doomed to failure. He believed it was against God's plan through the influence of reason. He believed it was "sinful and tyrannical" to force a man or a woman to support a religion "which he disbelieves and abhors." He believed it was as foolish to penalize a citizen for his religious opinions as for his ideas of science or education depriving him of his "natural right." He thought the religious establishment was bad when it is combined with the federal or state government. A church was a "voluntary society," and a person "should be se free to go out as he was to come in."

In 1787, the Founding Fathers met in Philadelphia for a constitutional convention.
They drafted a written constitution for the people of the USA. In that Constitution, there is only one specific use of the word religion and it is in Article 6, Section 3.
It states that all senators, representatives, members of state legislatures, all executive and judicial officers, both federal and state shall be bound by oath or affirmation to support the Constitution. It also says "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

Lastly, Alexis de Tocqueville believed the people's fervor for God in the churches was what made America great. It was our religious freedom that made us great and he discovered that the clergy and the laity "all contributed the peaceful dominion of religion in their country mainly to the separation of church and state."

Friday, May 1, 2009

Archie Bunker Lives On

The character played by Carroll O'Connor lives on in our minds. At least, for some of us. I hate receiving spam mail. The more of I have, the more I would like to give up this use of technology. Some people from work received a spam mail containing a joke. It was very Archie Bunkereque. Someone makes this statement. "We will have a black president when pigs fly!" Now, we do have a black president. The conclusion is, "We now have a black president and we have swine flu." Some folks find this funny, but I'm not laughing. The mail was received by many at work and this joke is told throughout McCainland. Those who find it funny find Archie Bunker to be a bit old fashion and not actually a bigot. But, to this day, bigoted jokes are found to be funny and Vaudeville could just very well make a comeback in areas of the deep South and mountain West. TVLand still gets big ratings with re-runs like "All in the Family," but at the same time are concerned about an increasingly aging demographic who continues to watch their network, a part of Viacom.
Scapegoating Mexican immigrants with the swine flu seems to be the rule of day for Congressional Republicans and the Fox News Channel. A baby dies in the hospital and there are no condolences for the family of that baby who died from the H1N1 virus. I was told by a Fox News viewer that we will soon have virus cases here in Arkansas "because we have so many Mexican people with their relatives." As far as what I noticed, most of the cases are at one Catholic school in New York. None of them are Latino or Mexican nationals. Of course, no cases are found in Ark. so far. But, that don't mean we won't have. Some people still find that Chinese, Japanese, Dirty Knees, Look at These joke to be extremely funny. So much so, they fall off their chairs. I've seen this joke told by young Asians on YouTube. Now, I thought that may be funny. But, when I have seen it, my reaction was "WTF?!" So far, this message is written by a real meathead. I bleed my heart red with liberalism, or is it blue? And the Archie Bunkers out there are after our meathead president telling us who his nominee to the Supreme Court will be; "a left-wing activist judge." Roe v. Wade won't be overturned now! Gee, why didn't they turned it over anyway? Look who former Pres. Bush appointed. They could have dared to be different and overturned it.
They had the votes. Oh, it was just a political game the GOP was playing with its rightist base. This is who the Archie Bunkers of this country supports, but they never deliver. They hope the Dems will fail so that they can get back into power as they shrink to oblivion. All they left is the jokers who tell these jokes and an audience who listens to them.