20070531

Jerry Falwell, good riddance

I never advocate violence or murder as a method to achieve one's goal.

I do say this. There are people that are just better off dead.

So last week when good ol' boy Rev. Jerry Falwell died I threw a party.


Actually I didn't. I didn't find out about it until a few minutes ago. I don't plan on throwing a party.

Falwell was an Evangelical Christian, in my opinion the worst kind. But personal feelings aside, this man believed in beliefs and practices he thought were taught in the Bible. He was conservative-everything: patriarchal family, male superiority, Christian, pro-life, pro-defense, pro-family, etc.

He feared anything that wasn't of God. Things like evolution contradicted his beliefs and he strongly opposed them. He believed that the escalation of violence (mostly due to Amerikan interference - my opinion) in the Middle East is a precursor to the Christian Apocalypse, or end of all existence.

Now to the point, this man represented a horrible segment of our society. Many of his followers claim to be part of the all volunteer Christian Army. Please read the following excerpt taken from this AlterNet article:

Mark Uhl, a student at Liberty University, was in possession of homemade bombs when he was arrested at Falwell's funeral. He reportedly planned to use them against any protesters who might disrupt the festivities. Uhl had this to say on the social networking website My Space. "Christians, fear of death, fear of death. The fear of death shows you don't believe." He added this eye opening statement as well. "God needs soldiers to fight so his children may live free. Are you afraid??? I'm not. SEND ME!!!" Uhl sounds an awful lot like Osama bin Laden, who exhorts Muslims not to fear death when fighting in the name of their religion.

Christianity has become infected with fundamentalist fanatics. It is about time you retake your religion and truly practice what you preach. Love thy neighbor... or something like that.

Tuberculosis, should you be scared?

No.

As an individual you should have a realistic fear of contracting any infectious disease but as a species it will take far more than an infection to eradicate the human race. Simply put, a disease may kill many but it won't kill everyone.

If the agent is effective enough, or militarized, it can be resistant to medication, spread fast and kill within days of infection.

Governments have worked to fund military research to create drug resistant strains of deadly infectious agents. Nature by way of evolution also creates its own drug resistant strains of infectious agents but at a pace that is more reasonable and a pace that allows us to keep up with the adaptations.

I've summed up the Wikipedia description of TB:
Tuberculosis (abbreviated as TB for Tubercle Bacillus) is a common and deadly infectious disease that is caused by mycobacteria. TB kills more than half of its victims. Worldwide, TB infections occur at a rate of one per second. Not everyone who is infected develops the disease. Symptoms include a productive, prolonged cough of more than three weeks duration, chest pain and coughing up blood. Systemic symptoms include fever, chills, night sweats, appetite loss, weight loss and paling, and those afflicted are often easily fatigued.

Fear not the deadly infections that are everywhere around you. Fear not the misguided actions of "elected" leadership. Have no fear in the world because the world is not out to get you.

Do take action to reduce your risk. Wash your hands. Practice safer sex. Avoid people wearing medical masks.

Live your life and do your best to a productive member of the human species.

Live well.

20070530

Student Loan Consolidation: What You Need to Know

Student Loan Consolidation: What You Need to Know

Stephen Borkowski

The pride you feel after earning your college degree can also come with anxiety. You know that soon you’ll have to pay back all the money you borrowed. Many loans from different lenders at different interest rates at different times just complicate matters.

Loan consolidation can be a good way to simplify and manage the repayment process.

What is Consolidation?

When you consolidate your student loans, any of the loans you select, are rolled into one big loan, issued from one source. Instead of dealing with multiple loans, you’ve got one loan equal to all the smaller loans.

The interest rate on this new loan is the weighted average of all the consolidated loans rounded up to the nearest 1/8th of a percent and capped at 8.25 percent. Use FinAid's Loan Consolidation Calculator to figure out what impact consolidation will have on your loans.

Why Consolidate?

Lock your interest rate. As of July 1, 2006, all new Stafford loans have a fixed interest rate of 6.8 percent for the life of the loan. But the interest rate on Stafford loans that were borrowed before July 1 will still change from year to year. Students with outstanding loans can avoid interest rate fluctuations by consolidating. The interest rate on a consolidated loan is fixed.

Simplify. You’ll deal with one loan, one lender and have one payment to worry about.

Lower monthly payments. Consolidated loans have four different repayment plan options that give you the opportunity to reduce your monthly payments.

  1. Standard Repayment: You’ll make fixed monthly payments for up to 10 years.
  2. Extended Repayment: You’ll make fixed monthly payments for 12 to 30 years depending on your loan balance.
  3. Graduated Repayment: You’ll make payments for 12 to 30 years with the amount of your payments increasing every two years.
  4. Income Contingent Repayment: The amount you pay will be calculated based on your annual adjusted gross income.

Drawbacks

Increase to the overall cost. It’s nice to spend less of your monthly income on student loan payments, but it’s important to remember that by extending the term of the loan you’ll pay more in interest.

For example, consider a $10,000 loan with a 7 percent interest rate. The borrower would have to pay $116.11 per month to pay it off in 10 years. Extending the term to 15 years reduces the borrower’s monthly payment to $89.88. However, over the life of the loan those 5 years will cost the borrower an additional $2,246 in interest.

Use this loan repayment calculator to figure out the details for your loans.

No Grace Period. Many student loans feature a grace period after graduation, during which no payments are required.

Depending on your status and type of loans, you could lose this grace period when you consolidate. Students in Direct Lending who consolidate with Federal Direct Consolidation keep their grace period. But students with FFEL loans (like Stafford loans) would lose theirs.

Research the impact consolidation will have on your grace period.

One time only. Once a loan is consolidated your interest rate is fixed. So, in the event the interest rates drop (not likely in the near future) you won’t be able to relock at the lower rate.

If you take on additional student loans after consolidating, you can consolidate again but your interest rate will be adjusted based on the rates at that time.

How to Consolidate

First, take inventory of your current loans. Make sure you know the type, amount, holder and status of each loan. Most federal student loans (Stafford, PLUS, Perkins, etc.) are eligible for consolidation.

Next, factor student loan payments into your monthly budget and establish how much you can afford to pay each month. This will help you decide how long to extend the term. Remember, the longer the term, the higher the overall cost of the loan.

Finally, contact your lender to begin the application process. If you have loans with multiple lenders, any of them will be able to consolidate your loans. Find out if one of your lenders offers additional discounts for things like making payments electronically.

For more information read:

No regrets...

A man must accept the consequences of his actions and live with them each day for the rest of his life.

Hopefully, to learn from those mistakes so that they must not be repeated. They should not be repeated because mistakes are called mistakes for a reason.

EL JARDÍN

Saliendo a caminar noto los jardines al mi alrededor.
Veo jardines llenos de flores
Flores grandes y brillantes que llenan el corazón.
Son jardines que cada momento respiran vida y dan a brotar inspiración.

Enseguida también hay otros jardines.
Jardines secos.
Cubiertos de pétalos que un día formaron rosas brillantes
Pero no sobrevivieron las heladas del invierno.

Mas aya se ven otros jardines que dan a luz a retoños,
Retoños frágiles,
Pero llenos de esperanza de que algún día llenen todo lo vació.

Luego mi vista se va a los jardines con rosas marchitadas.
Jardines llenos de dolor y la memoria fresca de cuando se sembraron las semillas
Pero ningún sacrificio pudo salvarlas
Lo único que queda es preguntarse que se pudo aver hecho diferente.

Al regresar de mi caminata me quedo atento
Y noto mi propio jardín.
Luego con un sentimiento artificial de todos los jardines me pregunto,
¿Que sera de mi jardín cuando se siembre la semilla?



Miguel Ángel Cano
26 de mayo 2007

20070529

Creationism?

In the heartland of Middle Amerika there is a slap in the face of all that is true.

Deep within the bluegrass state, Kentucky, there has been erected a building that seeks to offer the world an "alternative" view of history. This "historical" alternative is no better than any science fiction novel that I have ever read, in fact it is far worse, with several holes in the plot.


It stands in direct opposition to scientific evidence. What is the point of having a scientific method when these people can just make up whatever they want? It really pains me.

This "museum" features exhibits where dinosaurs are wandering in the garden of eden, alongside adam and eve. This is just like that story in the book where jesus rode into Bethlehem on a velociraptor and smote down his enemies. I may have made that last part up.

Maybe I'm just bitter about this but I don't think that people should have the right to spread this type of misinformation around. These people are actually saying the earth, despite conclusive evidence to the contrary, is no more than a couple thousand of years old.

This "historical" education is based on the literal interpretation of the bible, a book written by men which did not become "official" until the 16th century. It's probably a good thing that the people that wrote the bible didn't fancy the beliefs similar to those of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard or else we would all be crazy like Tom Cruise.

Seriously, something needs to change or else children might start believing in this biblical nonsense.

Doubt indulged...

"Doubt indulged soon becomes doubt realized." - Frances Ridley Havergal

Allow the shadow of doubt to cover your existence and it shall take hold of you becoming true. Have confidence in your abilities and in your purpose. Achieve your success.

20070523

Reliving success

Quite some time ago I set an important goal for myself. I decided to attend a 4 year university.

At the time I did not really have a specific school, I just knew I wanted to go. I wanted to be a part of a big time university. I narrowed my choices and picked the school I'm at now. I wanted to be a part of the college community that I saw on TV and that I read about.

I saw camaraderie and fellowship and I wanted to be a part of it. So I applied. My scores and grades got me accepted and provided some monetary support to go there. I was happy that I got accepted with such a generous financial package.

Accomplishing this goal meant that all of my troubles were going to be left behind. I wouldn't have to worry about my future anymore. I read the acceptance letter. I read the financial aid notification. This is one step closer to my goal of _________.

I didn't really have a goal. What was I supposed to do? Go to school, study engineering, earn a degree, make money so I can buy stuff. Buy a house to put all of my stuff in. Looking back it seems pointless. But that is besides the point. This was important to me and I did it.

Not only have I attended a 4 year university but I've practically graduated. Now I'll be starting my 5th year (no point in leaving too early right?) finishing off a minor and completing my experience. This has been successful.

Different?

Are we really so different?


Take Gabriela. She lives in Mexico. She just landed an amazing job and on her free time she practices folklorico. She has dreams and goals and perhaps one day she would like to have a family. She loves to walk in the park and appreciate her world.


Elisabete loves to go to the parades and celebrate with her friends. She enjoys her life and takes advantage of each opportunity to share her life with someone else.


Pavils takes a walk each day to the market where he can buy the freshest goods available. He usually purchases a piece of bread so that he and his wife can enjoy it with some butter. He contemplates his future and the future of his children, and their children.


Anasztázia usually hangs out late with her friends. They'll have a few beers, watch a movie, and converse about the important things in life.


Berkant goes to work each day selling goods. Some days are good, some are great, others are just plain tolerable. But each day gives him an opportunity to provide for his family.


Jake is a model. He does everything he can to keep his physical appearance up. He has a personal trainer, he has a nutritionist, and he regularly sees his dermatologist. His appearance means a lot to him. One day he hopes to be the face of change. He hopes to be able to improve the world for the people he loves and if he could be so daring he hopes to improve the lives of people he doesn't know.

Are we really so different? Do we not have 2 eyes, 2 ears, a mouth, arms, a body? Do we not eat, sleep, think? If you prick us do we not bleed? Lose your apathy.

Create a future that the entire world can be proud of. Create a future that each person alive can benefit from. Do your part.

20070521

Pac-10 Student Season ticket prices

Here is a list of 2007-08 Pac-10 revenue sport student season ticket costs:

Arizona
2007 numbers are currently unavailable but here are the 06-07 figures: $60 for football, add $10 for the ASU football game, and add $10 for each men's basketball game.

Arizona State
$99 football and basketball.

California
$80 basketball; football is free (unconfirmed)

Oregon
No charge

Oregon State
Unavailable

Stanford
Football is free. Basketball is $65 or $105.

UCLA
Unavailable.

Southern California
Football is $135. Basketball is free.

Washington
Football is $112 or $80. Basketball is unavailable.

Washington State
$99 football & basketball.

The First Day of The Rest of My Life - By Dylan Schultz

The morning started out like any other. Immediate dizzyness from all the previous night's drinking, lack of clothing, and extreme happiness knowing that I was at Elephant Butte with a few of my best friends about to wakeboard all day long.

The water was freezing, but Greg got in anyway and impressed the hell out of all of us, as always. Next was my turn. I was much rustier than I had expected, so I wasn't landing the crazy jumps I usually do. No big deal I thought. You'll land one eventually.

So I head at the wake as hard as possible and head soaring into the air. "I immediately regret this decision," I thought to myself as I felt my body twist into a position that was bound to end in disaster. Rather than fight the inevitable, I went with the flow of the wind and accepted that I was probably going to land very hard. POW!

I hit the water flat on my back and have a feeling of immediate release of tension in my spine. The kind that I always got when someone would pop my back. Aside from that, I wondered if I had just gotten a concussion because I had a few before and the thought process was exactly the same.

So I get back on the boat knowing that I shouldn't push my luck any farther. Tak proceeds to be crazy as ever after I finish, and it was hilarious watching him. But then I cough. When I spit out what I thought would be flem, I notice that it was definitely not clear.

In fact I saw bright red and it scared the bajesus out of me. So I wipe my mouth off and see red all over my hand. I tell everyone on the boat that we have to go to the hospital right away, and then proceed to cough one more time on my hand to show them what I was talking about. Again, all red. It scared me so bad I started shaking uncontrollably.

We get to the hospital and I am scared to death about what I am going to be told. After a few blood tests and x-rays, to my liking the doctors told me I was going to live. I roll down the hallway ecstatic in my wheel chair towards the waiting room where my friends are waiting. "I'm going to live,"

I tell them in a joking manner, and I could see that they were incredibly relieved. So we go back to the boat, and what do I do? Proceed to wakeboard all day, jump off cliffs, and throw myself off the side of the boat at 45 miles per hour. Pretty stupid now that I think about it, but I'm not claiming to be smart.

After an amazing day of craziness and laughter, I drop Tak off at his house in Albuquerque. We were supposed to watch Fight Club, but a few minutes before getting to his house I start to feel strange all over my body.

Shooting pains as sharp as a knife started going down my legs, my arms, and my back. My eyes were spiratically going blurry as well, and I knew something was wrong. "I can't watch the movie man, something is wrong and I need to go to the emergency room right away," I said. And then I proceed to do so.

I check myself into the emergency room at University of New Mexico Medical Center, and they immediately rush me into the back and put my neck in a brace. The doctor said that I may have partially broken my neck, and there may be spinal swelling occuring in the middle of my back.

The blood in my lungs had ceased, but I wasn't worried about that because I was sure it was due to a 9 hour hookah session from a few nights earlier. Because I wasn't supposed to walk around much, they also put me in a pink cadillac wheel chair that was actually fun to ride around in. Twice in one day I was put in a wheel chair, and it was a hilarious thought. But this time I was scared for my life, scared for my body movement, and scared for all the people that were never going to hear me say "I love you" one last time.

They put me on a stretcher and move me to an x-ray table where they begin viewing my entire spine. As I was laying there, I was sure I would lose feeling in my entire body soon, so I kept wiggling my toes every few minutes to check if I had movement. So good so far. I slowly calm down and realize that even if I go paralized, I would still be alive and would still be able to write funny stories for my friends. This would be one of them.

After the x-rays they wheel me back into the UNM emergency room waiting area, where I start to realize the insanity occuring around me. People were screaming in pain with blood all around the floors. Other angry people were threatening each other and attempting to start fights, thus all the security in the facility. I wheel myself into the farthest corner in the room where I strike conversations with the few other normal people in the room.

I ended up making them all laugh a lot about my situation, and I learned about their's as well. One woman walked by with a bleeding arm not knowing in what direction she was heading, probably heaven. Five minutes later her friend grabs a mop and starts spiratically cleaning the floor, but not sufficiently nor was it allowed. Security has to grab her and explain that people can slip on wet floors, and that blood on the floor isn't going to kill anyone without bare feet with cuts in them. I am scared to death that one of these people is going to come up behind me and snap my braced neck. "Just get through this, just get through this. Whoever is out there, I will prove to you that I appreciate life in its fullest if you just get me out of here alive," I thought to myself.

After five entire hours of viewing the most insane things I've ever seen in my life, the doctor calls my name and a rush of relief went down my entire body. She explains that all the x-rays came back negative, and diagnoses me with a sprained spine. Didn't even know that was possible, but again I don't claim to be smart.

I unstrap the neck brace, throw it on the floor, get out of my wheel chair and take my bill to the front desk. "You're paying for this?" the information desk workers say. "Of course, I'm an honest person and I understand that if you don't pay for these things, facilities transform into death traps like UNM Hospital," I say. They laugh and were actually amazed that I paid.

As I walk out of the hospital there is a very shady character waiting to do something bad. I feel his anger and evil radiating from his body. As I pass by he looks me in the eye with a look of hatred, and I look him dead in the eye and subconsciously say, "Don't even try it."

As I clear his presence, a sweet old woman is about to cross the walkway which I just crossed. "Maam, I know you don't know me. But there is a man down the walkway waiting to hurt someone, and I don't want to see you get hurt. I will walk you inside if you'de like, but if not I would definitely not recommend you walking down the way," I explain to her. "Thank you so much," she says. "No big deal maam, just make some smart decisions in a town that's looking to take your life," I say.

After thinking back about the entire day, its craziness accompanied by my stupidity, I realize one thing. UNM Hospital needs an express exit lane that let's people get the hell out of there as soon as heavenly possible.

20070509

Sallie Mae buyout spells trouble for students

By Jaimeson Champion

Published May 5, 2007 12:32 AM
On April 15, Sallie Mae, the largest student loan provider in the U.S., was bought out for $25 billion by a group of investors from Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and two private equity firms.

The buyout was met with rave reviews on Wall Street. Sallie Mae’s share prices had shot up 15 percent on April 13 after information about the impending deal was leaked to the media. Investors were chomping at the bit to get a piece of Sallie Mae’s lucrative loan portfolio, which is estimated at $142 billion.

While the buyout has been heralded on Wall Street, the reaction on campuses across the country has been decidedly different. Today’s students, who represent the most heavily indebted generation of young people in this country’s history, decried the latest development in what has been a long series of retreats from government-supported education.

Sallie Mae was originally founded in 1972 as a way to provide government-backed student loans at below market rates. Its stated purpose was to enable greater access to higher education for students from low-income families. Sallie Mae’s Web site proclaims its mission as “Helping millions of Americans achieve the dream of higher education.”

While Sallie Mae was supposedly conceived as a company meant to serve the public good, it has in fact served private interests much more faithfully over its 35-year history. The recent buyout is just the culmination of a process that began almost immediately after the 1972 legislation creating Sallie Mae passed Congress. This process has enabled Wall Street to squeeze super-profits out of the student loan industry—not surprising, considering how the U.S. capitalist government itself is so totally under the domination of the banks, the oil giants and the military/industrial complex.

Indeed, the student loan industry has generated enormous amounts of wealth for the ruling elite. According to a recent CNN Money article, former CEO and current chairman of Sallie Mae, Albert Lord, raked in an astronomical $200 million in pay packages between 1999 and 2004. Tom Fitzpatrick, the current CEO of Sallie Mae, took home $16.6 million in salary, bonuses and stock options in 2006 alone. (CNNmoney.com, April 16)

The news of the Sallie Mae buyout comes on the heels of headlines around the country pertaining to preferred lender scandals, and investigations by various states’ attorneys general into the proliferation of “unethical” business practices among a number of student lenders, including Sallie Mae.

As a company now held by investment banks and private equity firms, Sallie Mae will be subject to much less outside scrutiny and oversight, which was obviously lax to begin with. At a time when the student lending industry is embroiled in controversy, the largest student lender has taken a major step towards becoming less transparent.

A generation of students with average debt loads of $20,000 or more after graduation cannot help but wonder if they are being purposefully exploited and shackled by debt. The need to intensify the struggle for free and universal access to higher education has never been greater.


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LAPD assault on immigration rally

edit: I apologize but the following videos were removed from YouTube.



Just shows how police can walk into an otherwise peaceful situation and completely militarize a situation. Their actions disgust me.



This is especially graphic. It shows how unarmed and untrained civilians become nothing more than a target. A target for "non-lethal" force.



This is also graphic and "unedited". Ask yourself this? Who become a police officer? Why do they choose to make a career out of law enforcement? The reporter said something about the officers laughing and encouraging their violent actions.

Police abuse remains one of the most serious and divisive human rights violations in the United States. The excessive use of force by police officers, including unjustified shootings, severe beatings, fatal chokings, and rough treatment, persists because overwhelming barriers to accountability make it possible for officers who commit human rights violations to escape due punishment and often to repeat their offenses.

Police or public officials greet each new report of brutality with denials or explain that the act was an aberration, while the administrative and criminal systems that should deter these abuses by holding officers accountable instead virtually guarantee them impunity.

This needs to change.

This website offers a solution:
http://www.hrw.org/reports98/police/uspo06.htm

20070507

Morning Star - By Kyle Knox

It was a Thursday that I and my fellow scholars went to take a tour of what would be the setting for a scholarly imposed community service project. The tour became a bore to me due to the fact that I thought it would’ve only lasted a half an hour, but actually lasted that plus another hour.

We saw many kids but they were infants, it was sad to see them at this housing hub for neglected, abused, or homeless children. But I didn’t know them so I didn’t think much of it. Many of what was being told was going in and out of my head after the first half hour.
When the tour finally came to an end, my colleagues and I decided that we’ d plan a day of activities for the 3-10 year olds including various games, face painting, play time, and have a barbeque for them. On the drive home I could only think about the stereo system I wanted to get installed in my car, pity is what it seems like now that I look back at it.

Cinco de Mayo: Two Thousand and Seven
The early morning began, and I was late, which has become an ongoing motif in my life these days that I’m not proud of. The arrival felt the same as the previous visit, and I walked in with a mentality that said, “ I want to get this shit over with already….This is stupid, I don’t know why I’m here…Just do it Kyle or your grade will be fucked and there goes your GPA…” None the less the purpose of this visit seen as an imposition from an outside power that held my GPA by the balls.

Walking onto the playground and seeing children play reminded me of my time when I worked with kindergarteners. But I far from a school setting and had to watch them and interact with the children a little and show them some kind of “affection” after all, some of them were there due to child neglect. I shot a basketball with’em for a while until I noticed that there was a little girl almost anchored to one of the workers. She was unlike any of the other children but the same all at once.

She was smaller than all the rest of the children except for maybe 2 other little girls. She had the darkest hair out of the whole bunch, which seemed very familiar. And she had the darkest skin complexion out of the whole group, and almost rivaled my own.

If she were a man and hung in my circle of peers she’d be called “Darkness” with an expression that made it seem like it was illegal and humorous to be that dark.

She had all the facial ingredients of a little Native American girl, so much in fact that looking at her made me forget where I was. My mind went back to 3 weeks prior when I was with my own little sister playing in a playground at a park while we celebrated her sister’s birthday. When we made eye contact she let her anchor go and left the leg side of the worker and walked towards me…naturally I waved to her to come over to me…her little feet gallantly walked to me with a smile on her face that immediately made me reciprocate back to her.

I gave her the basketball I had been playing with and immediately she started to dribble as best as she could she was trying to emulate all she saw moments before. She passed it to me on the floor which was really rolling. I picked it up and dribbled a little and passed it back.

A minute later I stopped and asked her what her name was…”monn" she said in her baby dialect
“What?” I asked smiling and hoping that she’d said it better.
“Morning Star” I heard from the harboring worker. I looked down at her and asked her if that was her name. She looked at me and nodded, while I thought about how interesting a name it would be to have a name such as Morning Star. I knew the answer to my next question but wanted to know for sure if she was from the Gila River Indian Community. The man said that she was.

Asking some authority figure to find out her ethnicity was really dumb on my part. I might as well have asked for her Degree of Indian Blood card or birth certificate. Morning Star was that really her name or was her “real” name pronounced in her own native language, but was translated into morning star.

I took it for what it was and them wondered if I was called by some of my birth or initiated names in English I’d probably get made fun of a lot more than I do already for being dark skinned, chubby okay overweight. Knowing that we were both Native American was one of those kinds of situations that were different from any situation that any person could ever feel.

In a world where you and your people are the minority within every other minority, finding another person of your relative ethnicity is a different kind of experience. For any American, regardless of where you come from, It would be like a citizen of Arizona becoming a space traveler and living amongst other life forms and meeting someone in a galaxy far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far way, so far that they’ve probably never even heard of earth because Earth will probably be primitive or even heathenistic compared to other life forms, well your far away basically and you find someone that heard of Earth and you’re like cool!

“Are you from Earth?” asks the alien.
“Yeah,” you say in surprisement wondering how he knows this. “How do you know?”
“I took a class that focused on your galaxy, and there were a few pages on the peoples of earth. Your 5 fingers and hair give it away”, Says the alien.
“That’s cool that you’ve heard of me” you say to yourself but the alien wants to know if all the rumors are true or if earthlings really live in what’s called a “house.”

Okay now imagine living your life like that all the time. Well people on Earth get ready cause it’s probably gonna happen cause from what I hear from Black Bush were going to Mars bitches yes that’s right Mars.

Now in the same scenario imagine meeting another person from earth and But more than just being from Earth you find out that they’re from America. Automatically there’s a camaraderie established and a kind of love from one another which is known as Agape, this is created when two beings both have this shared/experiences growing up on earth. But more than growing up on earth you were raised American.

This is what natives share with each other on a regular basis when they meet each other in non reservation settings. This is what I felt for Morning Star, this little Pima girl that fell victim to neglect, child abuse, or homelessness. I’ve felt this with other natives, but never in this way, not for someone so innocent. It killed me to know that this stuff was happening in the world but to see it happen with a child is another thing. And to see it in a person of your people, who there is very little of, is what made it harder for me.

I couldn’t imagine my little sister in such a place as this. And it was because of this that I made it my duty to help her have a good day.
There were too many times that I walked passed natives on the street acting like I was better than them. I’ve been embarrassed walking around ASU and seeing a lot of natives drunk begging for nickels and dimes. I’ve insulted many of these men and women whose lives became this way and will probably stay that way due to their addiction to alcohol. But never had I seen it in a little baby girl.

Never was it in a confined area of strangers. And never have I felt sorry for those native men and women. But that would all change after this day.
We walked over to the jungle gym to get some group interaction. Interestingly enough there was this barrier that kept her from the other kids as well as them from her. I walked away and noticed that she didn’t want to be there. Then I had a moment where I looked at my watch and realized I was gonna be there for a long time. I wondered what I was gonna do after. Then asked myself what was gonna happen with the kids after we leave.

It was at that moment that I realized that I wasn’t in a day care center, I wasn’t at an elementary school watching kid’s play just to play, I wasn’t at a park where at any moment their parents could come and get them. I was in a confined environment that was the home for these children until they could be shifted around from shelter to foster home to back to their parents and back there…the point was that there was no happy ending to this visit.

As a volunteer, I was gonna leave and walk into situations that I almost ultimately had control over. But these children weren’t, instead they were going to do what most children do at that age and just take life for what it is with their scheduled nap times, snack times, play times, and all the other “times” that dictate a healthy living for them according to the state.

I felt a big lump in my throat, a feeling I’ve heard of many times from women. I guess this is the feeling of pre-emptive tear shed. Because it seemed almost new to me I still knew what meant. I immediately reached for my sunglasses, as old as I am I still choose not to show emotion but I couldn’t help it on this particular occasion.

I think the lump was actually my heart trying to pop up into the world to show its presence. It was activated, like a plant seed rising to get some fresh air and love from the sun, my heart wanted the same, and its pathway was actually my throat and its extra vent was my tear ducts. The lump was the feeling of my own pride and masculinity holding down my heart from the world, my pride was like the Berlin wall. Just like how the sun is a star and plants need the sun, my plant needed a star as well and it was this Morning Star that it needed.

The day went on and I felt myself giving extra special attention to the little star. I wanted her to do every activity great. I wanted her to have big smiles with everyone else and not by herself. I wanted her to feel at peace with where she was at, because this urban city landscape was nothing like the reservation that she was probably used to.

We played a little more after the activities, and I once again found myself pushing my Little Miss Morning Star, or pushing her on her bike, or holding her while she reached from one monkey bar to the next, or waiting at the bottom of the slide waiting to see her come around the turn hands up, all smiles, and to down into my arms. Her laugh from me tickling her and enjoyment was like beautiful music to my ears, as was all the other kids. But her music wasn’t the same as the others. All of their music was “Pachelbel Canon in D” while her music was Beethoven’s “9th Symphony” only because it was distinguished and was a masterpiece that was different compared to the ,now, pigeon holed Pachelbel piece.

In one particular moment with my sunglasses off I had to keep a close eye on some of the other kids too, Morning Star wanted my attention. Most of the kids were calling us volunteers “teacher” but I looked at her as she stood at the edge of the jungle gym with her little left hand out trying to reach out for me and she yelled, “Daddy!”

I walked over and she wanted me to go with her to the slide so that I could catch her as she came down. While she waited in line to come down I reached for my glasses and felt the lump in my throat growing more and more and the pain was harder and harder to hold. I waited for her to come around the turn and saw her arms in the air and yelling as if she were strapped a rollercoaster at Six Flags having the time of her life. I caught her and laughed unison with her, holding her in a hugging position.

I didn’t want to let go, with her little body in my arms laughing was the last straw. The camel that was my pride had enough on its back and my wall was broken, I held her and gave out these weird laughs that hinted to my crying.
I asked her, “What’s my name?”
“DADDY!”

My heart came out before the Morning Star, sun, and my tears were the rain that would help it grow into what it will be.

Eventually we had to leave, but before we did we had to help them go to sleep because it was their nap time. This was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to go through, emotionally. I sat next to her bed which looked like a king size bed compared to her little body.

As she laid there she nibbled on the end of her blanket staring at me. I whispered to her that it’s time to go to sleep. There was no expression on her face, but the one that said she wasn’t used to this place and that she was full of questions. I saw this little Pima girl lying in her bed with tons of strangers not saying a word but starring onto what she thought was her father.

I stared back and thought to myself about what was gonna happen to her after I left. Would she wake up and wonder where her daddy went? Was she really trying to go to sleep so that she could hurry up and wake back up to be with her daddy again?

Would she even remember me the next morning? Would she ask one of the workers where her “dad” went? In 5 years would she be with her real family? 10 years from now will she remember that one Cinco de Mayo when she spent the day with what seemed like her “dad”? Slowly her eyes began to fall while at the same time my tears were falling just as slow. I wondered if she was gonna have a dream while she slept. And I wondered if I’d see her again in one of my own dreams.

Finally I walked away with my sunglasses on trying to shade myself from my classmates. But I think enough of them saw it in my face that I was having a moment. Little do they know is that I actually found my heart.

I drove away home and cried until I got home thinking about what was gonna happen to her. I left the situation wanting to go back and stay there with her. I left wanting to adopt Morning Star. I left with a better understanding of myself. I left with a burned image of her laughing in my head, and with a picture of her with her little hand reaching for me, and with the sound of the word daddy ringing in my head.

I think that if I died in my sleep at night and they had a machine that could see what the last thing a person was thinking about before they died was, you’d see Morning Star on the edge of the jungle gym with her hand out calling for me in the only way she knew how.

"DADDY!"

20070506

El nacimiento de la col

Rubén Darío

(Nicaragua: 1867 – 1916)

En el paraíso terrenal, en el día luminoso en que las flores fueron creadas y antes de que Eva fuera tentada por la serpiente, el maligno espíritu se acercó a las más linda rosa nueva en el momento en que ella tendía, a la caricia del celeste sol, la roja virginidad de sus labios.

-Eres bella.

-Lo soy –dijo la rosa.

-Bella y feliz –prosiguió el diablo-. Tienes el color, la gracia y el aroma. Pero…

-¿Pero?...

-No eres útil. ¿No miras esos árboles llenos de bellotas? Ésos además de ser frondosos, dan alimento a multitud de seres animados que se detienen bajo sus ramas. Rosa, ser bella es poco…

La rosa entonces –tentada como después lo sería la mujer – deseó la utilidad.

Paso el buen Dios después del alba siguiente.

-Padre – dijo aquella princesa floral, temblando en su perfumada belleza -, ¿quieres hacerme útil?

-Sea, hija mía – contestó el Señor, sonriendo. Y entonces el mundo vio la primera col.

Ignorance

edit: I apologize but the video was thankfully removed from YouTube. The hatred, ignorance, and disappointment this video showed is not acceptable.



Watching this video almost makes me lose faith in humanity. Knowing that there are people like this waste of life walking around, living, incites a mountainous rage within me.

This jerk, has taken the responsibility of perpetuating his ignorant way of thinking. If you find that video funny consider yourself a part of my problem. It is a problem of ignorance and I will solve it.

I shall solve it.

Police Brutality

Police brutality is something that I would love to have the power to stop. Please check out this short video:



It is an example of how police officers are screened and trained to be paranoid control freaks. One day I am sure I will be a victim of police brutality. My pursuit of justice will put me face to face with the pawns of the powerful. Police are there to protect the people in power. The people with money. You know this is true.

Things need to change.

Long Distance...

For some reason the concept of a long distance relationship has been coming at me from different angles. I've been sharing my point of view on why they generally don't work.

So they usually don't work because of a lack of physical contact and emotional growth. Physical intimacy is really important for people that care about each other because it can strengthen the bond that the couple shares for each other. It gives people a chance to really get to know each other and spend some real time together.

Long distance relationships hinder emotional growth because of all that time spent apart. It doesn't allow for the couple to, be a couple. How is a relationship going to progress if it isn't happening. Sure, people can talk on the phone or instant message each other but that is different.

People really need be together to learn about each other. This is especially important because it is easier to realize that a person isn't right for you if you spend time with that person. If you never spend any time together how are you going to figure out it isn't going to work?

A long distance relationship can work. It isn't impossible. As long as there is some physical interaction on a regular basis at least twice a month. Twice a month is just an arbitrary number
that I chose. People need to have a person they can physically connect with. Don't settle for a long distance relationship because it isn't worth it for you. It will stunt your emotional growth and create unrealistic expectations that the other person probably can't meet.

In my experience, long distance relationships are used by people that don't want to grow. In one case, this girl was cheating on the guy that she loved. She got caught because she was having internet conversations talking about love and intimate stuff with a person that was not her boyfriend. It happens.

20070502

Judgement

All people are beautiful. And although some may be more beautiful than others it is important to not judge one another based on their appearance. Each person has something unique and important to offer. By judging them you merely miss out on that.