A group of well known Mexican actors, including the internationally acclaimed Diego Luna, launched an ad campaign on Monday, that is calling on people in Mexico and elsewhere to empathize with victims of the war on drugs, and to support their struggle for justice and peace.
Banned 500 Years of Chicano History offered free to AZ students by ABQ publisher
500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures, edited by Elizabeth Martinez and published by the SouthWest Organizing Project (SWOP), is included in a set of primarily Chicano and Native American books that have been banned by the Tucson Independent School District. The school district says it’s not a ban, but the books were removed from classrooms after the Mexican-American Studies program was eliminated, and teachers in that program have been instructed to not teach these books through the lens of ethnic studies. To us, this is a ban.
The SouthWest Organizing Project, in response to the current ban and the overall climate of fear and scapegoating of people of color in Arizona, is offering the book at a 50% discount to Arizona residents, and will give it for FREE to any Arizona Student who requests the book by sending a letter describing why they think the teaching of Chicano and Native American history accurately to young people is essential. Many Arizona students have already shown their disapproval of the ban, as hundreds walked out of class and marched on the Tuscon Unified School District’s headquarters earlier this week.
“Let’s get one thing out of the way: Mexican immigration is an oxymoron. Mexicans are indigenous. So, in a strange way, I’m pleased that the racist folks of Arizona have officially declared, in banning me alongside Urrea, Baca, and Castillo, that their anti-immigration laws are also anti-Indian. I’m also strangely pleased that the folks of Arizona have officially announced their fear of an educated underclass. You give those brown kids some books about brown folks and what happens? Those brown kids change the world. In the effort to vanish our books, Arizona has actually given them enormous power. Arizona has made our books sacred documents now.”—
Sherman Alexie is a poet, short story writer, novelist, and filmmaker. His book “The Lone Ranger and Tonto’s Fist Fight in Heaven,” was on the banned curriculum of the Mexican American Studies Program.
“To protest a bill that would require women to undergo an ultrasound before having an abortion, Virginia State Sen. Janet Howell (D-Fairfax) on Monday attached an amendment that would require men to have a rectal exam and a cardiac stress test before obtaining a prescription for erectile dysfunction medication.”—
MIAMI - Four years ago of Florida sealed Mitt Romney’s fate as the vanquished opponent of Sen. John McCain in the Republican primary, but today the state is poised to send the former Massachusetts governor surging into February as the overwhelming favorite to secure the party’s nomination.
I just want to make a comment about that video with Newt Gingrich. It really angers me. Notice how that was filmed in 2007, it is now 2012 and he is running to be the leader of our country. Do we really want this kind of man in the seat? We can change this, by VOTING!
Everyone must vote for whom they think is the best candidate, but please-not this man!
Four East Haven police officers were indicted on Tuesday for illegally targeting the Latino community, prompting Mayor Joseph Maturo to voice his support of the embattled officers. When asked by a New York City-based WPIX reporter what he’s doing to support Latinos, the Republican mayor said, “I might have tacos when I go home.”
“(Cholos) It’s not an easy lifestyle. Stereotypes and prejudice make it very difficult for people to glorify it. But I think its great in every sense of it. It represents my culture and coming up with the little bit that you have and shining it up and making it look like the best thing out there. Everybody envies it and everyone respects it. Sometimes people dont agree with it but they still respect it.”—Felipe Vasquez aka Newark Califaz , From my interview with him. (via barrio2barrio)
“That in itself is jarring, but we need to remember the proper context. This is not simply a book-banning; according to Tom Horne, the former state schools’ superintendent who designed HB 2281, this is part of a civilizational war. He determined that Mexican American Studies is not based on Greco-Roman knowledge and thus, lies outside of Western Civilization.”
“CNN gives airtime to Newt Gingrich to preach about “poor kids” because cable and news networks know that their white audiences like to wallow in fantasies about dysfuntional people of color. Academically successful African Americans or Latinos are ignored. Heaven forbid that Soledad would launch her next “Latino in America” story with a first or second-generation Latino college student. We do it to ourselves. The latest issue of “Poder Hispanic” lists the “Nation’s 100 Most Influential Hispanics.” Not a single teacher, no authors, no labor organizers (hello, Maria Elena Durazo is one of the most influential people in the country). Instead, Eva Longoria, Salma Hayek, athletes, and politicians or “entreprenuers” completely dependent on politicians of one stripe or the other. There are worthy non-entertainers on the list, but the overall effect is depressing. Where is Rudolfo Anaya, Martin Espada, Betita Martinez, Willie Perdomo, etc?”—
Dr. Paul Ortiz, professor of history at the University of Florida
Arellano, who was born and raised in McAllen, is the meteorologist-in-charge at the National Weather Service forecast office in New Braunfels. His career, which began in 1976, has taken him all over Texas, as well as to Puerto Rico and Florida.
There’s an old saying here in Texas: “Either you’re in a big drought or you’re in a big flood.” Everyone knows we’ve been in a big drought lately, one of the worst we’ve seen. We’ve had less rain than in any of the one-year droughts in the fifties, which were considered a benchmark. When you have dry conditions and the kind of high temperatures we saw this past year, the drought feeds on itself.
The dry weather doesn’t allow precipitation to form. That’s why all those storm systems dissipated over Texas in the summer, because of the abnormally strong high pressure sitting over the state. In July, for example, Tropical Storm Don fell apart as soon as it made landfall. When La Niña forms, as we are seeing this winter, there’s a tendency for it to form again over the next several years. And in this part of the country, La Niña means drier weather, which means more drought.
You might think the drought doesn’t bring us work, but it does. There’s information to provide, records to track. And then there’s the danger of fire. We monitor the forecasts and issue red flag warnings when conditions are prime for wildfires. We dispatched meteorologists to Bastrop so they could give the morning briefings to the firefighters, telling them the direction the wind was blowing and whether winds would shift later in the day.
Texas has it all: tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, dry spells, you name it. We have the Gulf of Mexico in the east, which brings a lot of moist air onshore, and then we have dry, arid West Texas. When a cold front comes in, that air mixes with the humid, warm air of the Gulf, producing our classic thunderstorms. Then, in the center of the state, there’s the Hill Country, which has extremely rocky soil that can’t quickly absorb rainfall. The creeks rise rapidly, and you get all the flooding.
I was a middle schooler in the Valley when Hurricane Beulah hit, in 1967. My mother made my brother and me sleep in the closet, away from the windows. I remember how the wind howled. Beulah dropped nearly thirty inches of rain. The levees in the Valley started to fail, and about three days later, at 4 a.m., the fire department knocked on our door and told us to evacuate. We grabbed whatever we could, got in our station wagon, and headed to higher ground.
The water rose only to our front door. But the experience marked me so profoundly that when I graduated from Texas A&M University, in December 1975, it was with a degree in meteorology. I applied right away for a job with the National Weather Service, but President Nixon had just imposed a federal hiring freeze. I worked in the hardware department at the Sears, Roebuck in Bryan for a while before I got a call asking if I was interested in an intern position with the National Weather Service in San Juan. I accepted without really even knowing where Puerto Rico was.
Back then, we still used Teletype machines and radars from the fifties. We’d get a picture from a satellite every thirty minutes, and all our charts were hand-drawn. Nowadays, when we send out a tornado warning, you get it on your smartphone in minutes. You even get satellite images! But in San Juan, I’d have to stand outside at the airport, every hour on the hour, look at the sky, and note the clouds, visibility, precipitation, and fog. Today our systems are automated, but in those days we were always running up and down the stairs, trying to get our observations as quickly as possible. We had big paper mats where we plotted the information—cloud symbols, air pressure, wind speed—into spaces the size of a dime.
After Puerto Rico, I moved to Tampa and did fruit-frost forecasts, which put the citrus industry on alert for freezing temperatures. If the temperature dipped below 28 degrees, the growers would turn on heaters. Or some nights, the cold air would sink, in an inversion, and they would hire helicopters to fly over the groves and get the air spinning. But the Weather Service eventually got out of agriculture forecasts, so after a stint in Brownsville—there’s a lot of citrus there too—I became the lead forecaster in San Antonio, where I covered all of South Texas. Then I moved to Corpus Christi, and then to New Braunfels.
When you major in meteorology, you need to know math and physics to study the motion of air. But only after being in a location for several years can you really understand its peculiar phenomena. Like how, for example, the Hill Country escarpment can lift clouds, produce rain, and change the direction of the wind. Or how, with hurricanes, the question is “Where is the center of the storm going to be later in the night?” Slow-moving storms mean that all the rain will fall in one area; in 1998 Tropical Storm Charley dropped a year’s worth in one night over Del Rio. But anything fast-moving, like a flash flood, can cause extreme damage, so you want to provide the best warnings possible. At the office, we have our own generator so we can hunker down. We have big metal shutters, to cover the windows, and satellite phones.
In the past, we’d give a three-to-five-minute lead time warning for tornadoes and flash floods; now that lead time has grown to fifteen minutes or, in some cases, as much as an hour. It used to be, with our old WSR-57 radars, that you could see storms and how heavy the rain was, but you couldn’t dissect them. The radars had vacuum-tube technology and were so old that some of the parts had to be bought from Russia. But then, in the late eighties, came the Doppler. It is so sensitive that it can pick up bats when they come out at night. If you look closely, you’ll see plumes of them streaming out of their caves. Sometimes, television meteorologists who are not familiar with the area can mistake the bats for rainfall. They quickly learn otherwise.