Archive for November, 2010

D.C. Outing

In two weeks, I’m going to find myself in D.C. What started as an attendance at a seminar on obtaining a job on Capitol Hill has turned into a full-blown networking and connection building extravaganza. So much so that I will probably have to add another day to the trip to give myself more time.

Just a week ago I had hit bottom in terms of self-confidence towards finding employment. I felt dejected, frustrated, and basically inadequate. It was a rough day for me to say the least.

But now I can’t wait to see what I can do for myself on this trip. I want to drink every ounce of opportunity while I’m down there, and God-willing, I’ll get to come back to D.C. shortly thereafter for an interview or two.

For now, I need to make sure I don’t over-commit and upset some folks!


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So I posted a comment on an old video from YouTube sometime back. It was a sob story that ripped into Luis Fortuno’s plan to cut 20,000 government workers in Puerto Rico as a measure to close the budget deficit.

Of course my comment was cheerfully in favor of Fortuno’s proposal! For your viewing pleasure:

All of a sudden, more than four months after I posted the comment, I get a response by one named cordero787. He clearly didn’t take too kindly to my comment:

Vete al carajo gusano y vendio……Los uncle toms como tu merecen cojer por el culo de parte de los gringos republicanos que son todos racistas,egoistas, elitistas, plutocratas de mierda! Socialismo es lo unico que resolvera las injusticias sociales…..Y Puerto Rico siempre se inclinara un poco mas hacia el. Por que aqui la gente importa mas que las sucias corporaciones que explotan a los estupidos gringos con impunidad en America. Fuck America and its plutocracy and fuck you sellout!

Hmmm, unfortunately my Spanish is not what it should be, but I was able to get the gist of his rant: I’m an Uncle Tom; Republicans are racists, elitists, egoists (?), plutocrats of death; Socialism resolves the injustices of Puerto Rico; Corporations are exploiting the island; Stupid Americans… I gather you were able to read the last sentence.

Basically this guy really is your straight up full-blown Socialist adherent. Notice the buzzwords and phrases: “plutocrats,” “social injustice,” “corporate exploitation.” I have no idea how old this person is but I can only assume he’s some college-aged kid who just got out of his junior year Marxist Theory course. Most likely he is a member of the Puerto Rico Independence Party. They believe that the island is still under a repressive regime known as the United States. Yeah, really. I’m totally seeing U.S. jackboots on the necks of Puerto Rican citizens on a daily basis. I could have sworn I saw one when I was touring the Bacardi Distillery! It is truly upsetting to me that he is what’s coming out of Puerto Rico’s education system; I’m sure he was part of the student protests from a few months back. It was guys like this one who prevented my cousins from continuing to go to school without fear of being attacked by the mob. Thankfully, they’re struggling to remain even an officially registered party in the Island. So hopefully, this youngster can perhaps move to Cuba where he’ll feel more at home. Oh wait…

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A few days ago, Alicia Menendez created a bit of controversy over comments she made about Marco Rubio. For your viewing pleasure:

I called her out on Twitter for her comments, succinctly telling her that she sucks in the process. I had to eat my words as she unexpectedly responded to my tweet and was actually civil and wanted to explain her point to me in a fair manner. She posted a response on her blog and this is my response to it.

Her basic explanation falls down to two points: first, because Marco Rubio doesn’t embrace Comprehensive Immigration Reform, the DREAM Act, or a repeal of SB1070, he’s not considered a national figure for Latinos. Second, that a Latino’s views on immigration policy is a litmus test among the Hispanic electorate.

Her comments highlight a very growing divide among Cubans and other Latinos. (Note: For some reason, Puerto Ricans don’t seem to get nearly as much attention, even though we have an even greater advantage in mobility and migration than Cubans do. That could be a topic of discussion another time.) Because Cubans have been lucky enough to escape a Communist Dictatorship, they’ve been given special treatment when it comes to asylum policy in the United States. This in turn seems to create a resentment among Mexicans, Central Americans, and South Americans who must deal with the monstrous entity that  is our immigration law. Therefore, any Cuban who does not tow the line of “amnesty” or a soft stance on immigration enforcement is a hypocritical and selfish jerk who will never be a true voice for Latinos at the national level. I’m sure Ms. Menendez may take issue with my characterization of her point but that is essentially what she is saying:

I personally find it unsettling that someone who has benefited so greatly from immigration could back a broken system that denies others the same access and opportunity.

For one thing, asylum and immigration are similar but two different sources of law. Immigration law regulates the natural movement of people from one nation to another. A person seeking asylum is requesting protection by the host country from the nation or group he/she is fleeing. Very narrow criteria are used as a basis to determine if a person qualifies for asylum. But very often geo-politics get into the picture. Thus the U.S., being the anti-Communist country as it is, automatically accepts Cuban refugees without them needing to go through the labyrinthine processes of U.S. immigration law.

Marco Rubio’s family benefited from asylum policy, not immigration policy. So I would say it is unfair to characterize Rubio’s (and other Cubans & Puerto Ricans) stance on immigration as some sort of betrayal or hypocrisy. Mexico’s violence may be increasing at the exponential level, but mere increased violence does not grant one asylum or refugee status.

The other implication that Ms. Menendez makes is Marco Rubio’s obligation as a Latino to support a certain view on immigration, or else be marginalized as a Republican who happens to be Latino.  What Ms. Menendez advocates is identity politics, pure and simple. Rubio is Latino, therefore he most conform to certain views. Even though “Latino” encompasses a broad BROAD range of races, cultures, and ethnicities, they all must claim some sort of solidarity with each other on most issues, ESPECIALLY immigration. Hence, Cubans and Puerto Ricans must be on the same side as other Latinos, despite the vast difference in experiences among these groups. It makes no sense to me and implies a racial connotation on Ms. Menendez’s part. She may not have MEANT for it to be racial, and I don’t believe her to be a race-baiter, but her criticism of Rubio’s immigration policy views belies it. How does she explain 4th or 5th generation Mestizos or Mexicans who have lived in Texas since the Texas Revolution? I get the feeling that they probably have the same views on immigration policy as other conservatives.

The fact that immigration enforcement disproportionately affects Latinos does not mean that myself or Rubio must conform to a policy that rewards bad behavior. Ms. Menendez claims she supports a fence and border enforcement, but I almost never hear that publicly. I never hear Rep. Gutierrez talk about securing the border or increasing enforcement on the morning talk shows; his talking points consist of nothing but amnesty and “fixing a broken system” without talking specifically about what parts of the system that needs fixing. (Note: The same is true for the other side as well. Simply securing the border and increasing enforcement isn’t enough to sufficiently solve the issue)

The second point intertwines with the first; there is an assumption that immigration is at the top of Latino’s minds around the country, and Latino views on immigration policy are generally similar. Perhaps it is with those Latinos in the Southwest of the United States, but I wager Puerto Ricans and Cubans (who are a sizable chunk of the Latino community) have other concerns (perhaps the economy? I know it, might be a stretch). Counter with the fact that Latino views on what to do with illegal immigration are fairly divided. While there is broad agreement against SB1070, it seems that a majority of Latinos do not want amnesty for illegal immigrants, and they feel that illegal immigration is a significant problem that needs addressing.

To wrap things up, I suppose my main point to this is it is farcical to assert that Marco Rubio’s views on immigration prevents him from being able to speak for Latino’s at a national level. It smacks of identity politics in which an ethnic minority must submit to a certain view held by his ‘group’ rather than try to make an argument to convince others of his viewpoint. Latino views on illegal immigration are not so homogeneous as Ms. Menendez believes they are. Cuban-Americans are not under an obligation to believe exactly the same as other Latinos. The Latino electorate encompasses a broad range of political beliefs, and immigration policy is no exception to that. Ms. Menendez should acknowledge and embrace that fact, and not advocate the assertion that a single divergent policy position negates a politician’s status as a national figure for his community.

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So I’m trying to revive this dead blog as much as I can. I’ve been far more active on Twitter but never seem to have the time to post a few paragraphs on here when major news breaks.

Specifically THE ELECTION. I’m trying to set this blog up and really trying to find a niche instead of focusing on a broad range of conservative issues. For the most part, I think I’m likely going to narrow this to the Dallas Cowboys (who won’t be getting much face time this season…ugh.), and specifically on politics in Puerto Rico and with the new string of Hispanic GOP politicians who were elected last night.

On a side note: if anyone has ideas on the aesthetics of my blog, I’d appreciate it!

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