Category Archives: Uncategorized

Save the Date~ Aug. 1 – All About Ann in Houston

Dos Centavos:

Just a friendly reminder…

Originally posted on :

allaboutann

HOUSTON, TX – On Friday August 1, Annie’s List and Planned Parenthood Texas Votes, in partnership with a number of local elected officials and organizations, will bring “All About Ann”, HBO’s documentary about former Texas Governor Ann Richards, to Houston for FREE!

Beginning at 8:00PM with live music, food and drinks, join us at Discovery Green’s Anheuser Busch Stage and enjoy this wonderful documentary about Texas’ only female Governor as we all work hard this fall to have Wendy Davis as the second woman in the Governor’s House!

Drinks will be donated by 8th Wonder Brewery and Mayor Annise Parker will introduce the film.

State Senators John Whitmire, Rodney Ellis and Sylvia Garcia, State Representatives Senfronia Thompson and Armando Walle, Mayor Annise Parker, Ambassador Arthur Schechter, Hon. Debra Danburg as well as Annie’s List Board Members Licia Green-Ellis, Eileen Olson, Kathy Overly and Amber Mostyn are just some of…

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Rick Perry Sets Up More Border Photo Ops

This time, it’ll be with the Texas National Guard–1000 of ‘em–to be deployed by Rick Perry. Apparently, DPS troopers in military garb and automatic weapons just isn’t enough of a sideshow; now, Perry wants to militarize South Texas.

The National Guard troops will join the Texas Department of Public Safety in its recent surge to combat human smuggling and drug trafficking amid the influx of mostly Central Americans illegally crossing the Rio Grande.

This will send costs skyrocketing to about $5 million per week with no particular source in mind for this cash. (Update:  Rick Perry’s people say that the cash will come from “non-critical” budget items like transportation and health care.)

And this is why Democrats running on the statewide ballot should never support anything Rick Perry does, especially if it’s DPS troopers or armed soldiers running around South Texas.

Hopefully, I’ll receive something slamming Rick Perry from Wendy Davis and Leticia Van de Putte.  For now, this is the best tweet.

TX Dems Push Immigration Plank Nothing Like GOPs

Immigration, refugees, and border issues have been a lead story these last couple of weeks. No doubt, the Republicans have done their best to vilify hard-working people and children escaping poverty and violence in their home countries through frivolous hearings aimed at blaming Obama and DREAMers. There’s been enough panic caused by the GOP while few solutions have been offered by a Republican House. Of course, this is also the one-year anniversary of the US Senate’s passage of a comprehensive immigration reform bill which basically died because the Republican House didn’t even care and chose to play politics designed to keep things as is.

On Friday in Texas, Democrats were sounding off against Republican attitudes on immigration reform at the Texas Democratic Convention. Democratic activists are set to vote on their (our?) Party platform and, as usual, the immigration plank stands to be much different than what the Republicans offered up at their convention, as reported by the Chron.

“The other side, they don’t offer any solutions,” state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, the Democrats’ nominee for lieutenant governor, told the Tejano Democrats caucus as the party’s biennial convention opened here. “They disrespect our past. … The only thing they can do is insult us.”

[...]

“We are very supportive of a path to citizenship because there are people who are here and are very productive and have committed no crime and are adding to our economy,” said state Rep. Garnet Coleman, chairman of the party’s platform committee. “We are not for a guest-worker program, because that can become a form of indentured servitude.”

On the recent growing influx of Central American children escaping violence and poverty, Democrat for Governor Wendy Davis offered a clearer assessment of the situation with a commitment to ensuring the refugee children are cared for.

“Every human being has to be looked at on a case-by-case basis,” Davis told the Houston Chronicle before speaking to the black caucus. “I know at the federal level there is an attempt being made to assure that repatriation will be safe, but unless and until that’s the case, as humans we need to care for these kids.”

As I will continue to state, the refugee issue is complex, as is the process by which their individual cases are decided. Ultimately. the problem is systemic–a broken immigration system that often ignores refugee situations. Again, this situation has been building up since the Bush 2 administration. Texas Democrats can do better by proudly exhibiting the stark differences between them and the Tea Party with our candidates backing up that platform wholeheartedly.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to the final Democratic plank on immigration reform. Hopefully, an FODC (Friend of Dos Centavos) will post it or e-mail it to me.

 

Thoughts on Viernes (Birthday Edition) 06062014

#43

Well, I made it to another year. As I stated on FB, a couple of bad knees, but at least I have most of my hair (for now). For those who want to “honor” me in some small way on my day, make a donation to The Walk for Mental Health Awareness-Houston. My friend, Patrick McIlvain, has done an amazing job with this event and fundraiser and the event deserves all of the support it can muster.

If you prefer to make political donations, then give all you can to Leticia Van de Putte for Lt. Governor! Or…give to both!

Thank you!

Breitbart on Our Side? Hardly!

With all the stuff going on regarding Bergdahl, it might have been hard to notice that right-wing website Breitbart “leaked” some photos from inside of an immigrant warehousing facility. No, that doesn’t mean they are on the side of immigration reform. They’re just making a case for border militarization and more human warehouses. One thing is for sure, the vast majority of these warehoused folks come to the US to either work or reunite with family. Moreover, most of the economic conditions in some of the countries from where these folks come have been caused by awful trade deals, right-wing governments supported by the US, and bad immigration policies.

Earlier this week, what seemed like a bipartisan front of politicians came out against human trafficking. Well, who’s for it, right? Unfortunately, no one came out in support of fixing the immigration system, or at the very least, some immigration reform. Much like Breitbart, they were all about law enforcement and prosecutions; meaning, the bad stuff is still happening and prosecutions will not stop anyone from the human shipping industry. What about cutting the bad people–the middle men–off by supporting immigration reform?

Anyway, the photos aren’t surprising. But if you are shocked, then put more pressure on President Obama and Congress. Or…vote!

Sources:  Little Joe Rocked Discovery Green

I was unable to attend, but this pic posted by Little Joe y La Familia tells me one thing:  We need more Tejano Concerts at the Green!

ljoe

Music Break:  La Mafia~ Protegere Nuestros Recuerdos (Amor y Sexo)

 

 

 

3rd Centavo: Acuña ~ Our Politicos Have Sold Us Out

Selling Public Space
The Chickens Will Come Home to Roost
By Rodolfo F. Acuña

On the one side is neoliberalism, with all its repressive power and its machinery of death; on the other side is the human being. There are those who resign themselves to being one more number in the huge exchange of power … But there are those who do not resign themselves … In any place in the world, anytime, any man or woman rebels to the point of tearing off the clothes resignation has woven for them and cynicism has died grey. Any man or woman, of whatever colour, in whatever tongue, speaks and says to himself or to herself: Enough is enough! Ya basta! — Subcomandante Marcos

acunaThe lambs have a problem hearing the sounds of the clarion because of a lack of long term memory. Because of this memory lapse, the Zapatistas January 1, 1994 revolt protesting the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) never sunk in. Perhaps the word neoliberal was too foreign to the lambs that had a difficult time comprehending that the word takes different forms.

News that University of California President Janet Napolitano began two days of meetings to Mexico about expanding academic and research cooperation with Mexican universities and scientific and cultural organizations has raised fears among many of us.

The U.S. War on Drugs has ravaged Mexico to the point that few U.S. students want to study there. As a consequence, about 40 out of 233,000 UC students study in Mexico each year, while about 1,900 Mexicans attended UC schools in 2013.

Ironically, Napolitano, the former secretary of Homeland Security, was involved in making U.S. drug policy; her visit coincides with that of Secretary of State John Kerry. According to the UC president this is part of the “UC’s many and varied partnerships, exchanges and collaborations with Mexico are integral to bettering lives on both sides of our national border … I’m here to ensure we grow that relationship by establishing our new project to enhance the mutual exchange of students, faculty and ideas across the border.”

For over 50 years, the Mexican American community has always encouraged exchange programs lobbying for programs with Mexico. However, many of us have come to realize that just studying in Mexico, or studying in the United States does not always have positive outcomes.

A Facebook friend, Vicente Ramírez says about these exchanges, “They’re [the UC and CSU] not going to recruit the working class–it’s a class war… They’re recruiting Mexico’s elite students so that they can then go back and apply neoliberal policies. All of Mexico’s secretaries of Economy (Secretario de Economía) and Finance (Secretario de Hacienda y Crédito Público) have gotten their Ph.D.’s from American universities since the mid-1980s. Mexico’s current Secretario de Hacienda, Luis Videgarray who successfully pushed for the privatization of PEMEX got his Ph.D. from MIT.” Ex-Mexican president Carlos Salinas de Gortari, arguably the intellectual godfather of Mexican neoliberalism, received his MA and PhD in economics from Harvard.

Upon hearing about Napolitano’s Mexican junket UC Irvine Professor Rodolfo Torres wrote. “I read this morning that Janet Napolitano is in Mexico exploring academic and research cooperation with Mexican universities. Do you think there is a proactive role UC Chicano Studies and progressive Latin American Studies faculty can play to prevent this initiative from becoming a total market-driven and neoliberal project? My Dean (Social Ecology) also announced at a school-wide faculty meeting that she will be meeting with selected faculty to discuss this US-Mexico initiative.”

UC Professor Jorge Mariscal wrote on FB, “UC is recruiting the Mexican ruling class and a token number of working-class mexicanos/as who identify with the ruling class. This process will intensify in coming years as Napolitano struggles to erase her record as DHS/Deportation Czar. One (un)intended consequence will be the slow-motion strangulation of Chicano/a programs in the UC system that refuse to subordinate the local (albeit transnational) to the ‘global’.”

It should be made clear that this initiative is not about diversity or cultural enrichment. The recruitment is global and it is about profit. When the UC or CSU turns away students the for-profit university sector in both countries thrive.

Neoliberalism at its worse will recruit wealthy Mexican students to displace U.S. minority students charging them out of state and foreign student fees. Not too many if any working class Mexican students will be able to afford the tuition and dorm costs.

The current exchanges have had little scrutiny from progressives in this country. Mexico has set a goal of sending 100,000 Mexican students a year to the U.S. by 2018. In addition, the UC and CSU system have recruiters in China, the Middle East, Asia and the U.S.. Let’s be clear, large numbers of international students impact minorities and working class students many of whom have already been priced out of the market.

Today first year students from outside California comprise almost 30 percent of freshmen at UC Berkeley and UCLA, a growth of just over 10 percent in four years. The Mercury News reports, UC Berkley’s “revenue from out-of-state and international students has grown to about $160 million, about 7 percent of its annual operating budget and more than half of its state subsidy.”

Meanwhile, at UCLA just under 28 percent of the incoming freshmen are out of state students while just over 3 percent are African American. Inside Higher Ed writes that “The number of foreign and out-of-state students admitted to the University of California’s 10 campuses soared by 43 percent this year, while the overall number of would-be freshmen admitted from within the state’s borders grew by just 3.6 percent, the university system … Out-of-state and foreign students made up nearly one in five students admitted for next fall, 18,846 of a total of 80,289.”

In the meantime, the Cal State Universities are following the same neoliberal model. Pathetically desperate the CSU has embarked on a policy of growth. The problem is that it is shifting the cost of this growth almost exclusively to students who pay over three-quarters of instructional costs and almost a hundred percent of new construction.

This leads to an insidious policy that limits space for low income students and justifies higher fees and tuition. It gives students who are turned away no alternative but to go to for-profit universities. Recently, a scheme by the community colleges to enter into a contract with the University of Kaplan to offer classes online to community college students (at a substantial fee) was derailed because of public outcry. (Until recently Kaplan was a tutorial center mainly for foreign students).

Meanwhile, California politicos are encouraging an insidious policy of divide and conquer, pitting the Asian community against the Latino and other minority communities. This has led to some Asian American leaders thinking affirmative action will discriminate against them.

I use the phrase “The Chickens are Coming Home to Roost” because the commodification of public spaces has been occurring for some time. The Zapatista revolt should have been a wake up call; however, our elected officials have sold us out. They seem more concerned with photo ops and getting elected than they are in preserving public spaces.

I cannot remember a Latino elected official since the late Marco Firebaugh who was concerned with the state of Latinos in higher education. However, the lambs have to bear responsibility for not keeping the politicos in check and allowing themselves and their public spaces to be sold on the open market.

GIVE US YOUR RICH, SEND BACK THE POOR

Rodolfo Acuña, Ph.D., is an historian, professor emeritus, and one of various scholars of Chicano studies, which he teaches at California State University, Northridge. He is the author of Occupied America: A History of ChicanosDr. Acuña writes various opinions and essays on his Facebook page and allows sites to share his thoughts.

Thoughts on Viernes (Early Vote Sabado Edition) 02222014

Dos Centavos:

You’ve got Thursday and Friday to vote early!

Originally posted on :

Go forth and vote early!

During early voting you can vote at any polling location, which can be found here. Don’t know who’s on the ballot? Well, click here and find your very own sample ballot.  And did you know you need an acceptable ID to vote? Well, click here and find out what IDs are acceptable.

Vote JULIA MALDONADO for the 246th-Dem Primary

I may be helping her out on her campaign, but State Senator Sylvia Garcia, Democrats, Organized Labor, Colleagues and the Chron can’t be wrong.

The Rest of Team DC

U.S. Senate:  Undecided Between Alameel and Scherr
Congress, District 7 – James Cargas
Governor – Wendy Davis
Lt. Governor – Leticia Van de Putte (Unopposed, but yeah!)
Ag. Commissioner – Hugh Asa Fitzsimons
Railroad Commissioner – Steve Brown
113th District Judge – Steven Kirkland
246th District Judge – Julia Maldonado
280th District Judge – Barbara…

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The Latest in GOP Latino Outreach

As San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro told the world last week, Dan Patrick is the most anti-immigrant Republican out there. He’s probably the worst candidate when it comes to Latino outreach, too.

After finding out that one of my favorite bands, Intocable, didn’t win the Grammy for Best Mexican Regional Album last night, I started watching some of their old videos, among other Latin music videos. At every video, the same thing popped up:  “Dan Patrick Opposes In-State Tuition for Illegal Immigrants.”

Well, I already knew that and I agree with Mayor Castro. But if this is Patrick’s idea of Latino outreach, then he’s got some awful consultants out there. I took a pic of the screen last night in case Patrick changes course and begins to place his pop-ups on “Stormfront” videos, instead.

Even funnier is the fact that Intocable, from Zapata, TX, is known for some of their pro-immigrant reform songs and commentary. But at least the Latino electorate knows how Dan Patrick really feels about them.

Bishop Gene Robinson in Houston – October 3

Originally posted on :

bishopgene

 

Click image to buy your tickets.

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Poll: Latinos Reject Border-First Approach to CIR

Latino Decisions and Presente.org just released the results of a poll that measures how Latinos are feeling about this latest attempt at immigration reform. Needless to say, they aren’t feeling the enforcement/border-first approach being pushed by the Republicans with little defense from the Democrats. Of course, in all of this, no one seems to be asking how Latinos, much less immigrants, feel about all of this, right? I’m glad Presente.org is doing it.

The survey of 500 Latino registered voters asked opinions on a wide range of specific policy measures that have been debated in Congress and finds overall that 81% of Latino voters reject the notion of “border-security-first” approach. Instead, Latinos prefer to see a path to citizenship unfold simultaneously with any border security measures.  Further, Latinos are firmly opposed to increased Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) crackdowns against immigrants.  When asked if ICE should be asked to increase the number of immigrants detained 73% of Latino voters said no. When asked if ICE should be asked to increase the frequency of workplace raids 66% of Latino voters said no. Full topline results are posted here

So, one has to think that Chuck Schumer is complicit in this whole border-first strategy, and an article in Politico speaks to the division among Senate Democrats that hasn’t really boiled over, yet.

Sen. Chuck Schumer’s pitch to find 70-plus votes for a sweeping immigration overhaul is running into skeptics from his own party – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Majority Whip Dick Durbin.

The top two Senate Democrats believe that the push to win more GOP senators could significantly water down the measure, arguing their party should instead focus on the more achievable goal of securing the 60 votes needed to break an expected Republican filibuster. The Democratic leaders don’t believe they should make major concessions to conservatives — mainly on issues such as border security — in order to inflate the vote tally.

Schumer seems to think that inflated numbers will force the House Republicans to go along with a worsened bill. Meanwhile, Leader Reid and Dick Durbin fall more on the side of showing a little backbone and not allowing the Republicans to run over the Democrats, or in this case, immigrants.

Back to the poll, it would seem that Latinos are a-ok with LGBT immigrants being included in the bill.

In addition, 61% of Latino voters want to see LGBT family unification included in the immigration reform bill.  As the Williams Institute has noted, nearly 270,000 undocumented immigrant adults identify as LGBT and could be penalized and not allowed to sponsor their spouses for residency or citizenship under the current bill.

Family is family, obviously, and Senator Leahy filed his amendment today. Hopefully the evangelicals will get on board and not freak out. Still, it will be tough for the amendment to pass. But, let it  be heard that if it doesn’t pass, it will be because of homophobic members of Congress, and not Latinos.

And what about “Latino” Ted Cruz’s strategy of providing for legal status, but not citizenship?

 More than three-quarters oppose the option of providing legal status only without a path to citizenship, and a majority oppose excessive fines on undocumented immigrants.  A resounding 86% say the appropriate waiting period to apply for citizenship if 5 years.

So, Republicans, especially their whiny Latino in the room, continue to be disconnected from Latinos on immigration reform. If anything, both Republicans and Democrats have been effective at keeping the worst of the bill out of the ears of Latinos, since a majority didn’t know about the $6.5 billion border boon for contractors. And if Democrats don’t shape up and fight against enforcement-heavy initiatives, it seems no political party will gain much, especially trust, from Latinos (and I don’t mean the future citizens).

Want to find out where Latinos stand? Click on the link and read the results carefully.

DC Reviews: David Lee Garza Presents… ~ Just Friends

DavidLeeGarza.JustFriendsRecently, David Lee Garza added a new vocalist to what is now called DLG U–the “university” which has given the Tejano music industry some of the best vocalists in all of Latin music. Juaquin Cura is a young gun that is already hitting it out of the park in live performances. DLG has put him on his new CD, Just Friends, but he has also invited an all-star line-up to show-off their chops al estilo de DLG and Los Musicales–all rancheras that will keep one on the dance floor.

I must admit, I had to re-play the first track a few times before listening to the rest of the production. Adalberto Gallegos leads off with the Fabulosos Cuatro classic, No Me Trates Asi, and his distinctive vocals just made me click “replay” several times. The musical styling is puro Musicales and sets the foundation for the rest of the production.

The iron-throated Jessy Serrata is up next with Amorcito del Alma, while Joe Posada hits a home-run with Eres Todo Mi Ser, which also includes a smooth solo from the saxmaster. El Hermano Farias–David Farias–gives us the tried and true, Ya Pa’ Que, which I hadn’t heard since Carlos Guzman recorded it in ’82. The next student of DLG U, Joaquin Cura, also gives it a go with Ella Sabe, with Los Musicales’ signature sound. Cura has a lot of potential to be “the” new voice in the industry.

Recently, producer Bob Gallarza discovered a new vocalist who gained a lot of radio play with an old classic, Amorcito Corazon. On the DLG CD, Gabriel Olvera pumps out another standard, Mi Cariñito. If you’re a Pedro Infante fan, then you’ll enjoy this one. La Voz de Oro, David Marez, also gets a turn with Me Bastas, which matches his style more than DLG’s, but the acordeon and the faint bajo sexto in the background keeps the track smooth and danceable.

DLG has a bit of a reunion with one of his graduates, Marcos Orozco. Orozco belts out Soy Del Amor Un Sonador. And El Borrado de Eagle Pass, Gary Hobbs, shows some first class crooning with the classic, La Barca. And if all of these vocalists weren’t enough, the world-famous Jon Ramirez (in the morning) from KXTN in San Antonio debuts on The Radio Guy. I was quite impressed with his vocals on this ranchera, actually, and it looks like he has some intro music for his radio show. Eddie Perez’s Tu Tienes La Culpa is a good addition to the CD–a little different from his West Side Horns music, but definitely a great delivery.

Of course, DLG cannot go wrong by adding an acordeon polka instrumental, Tony’s Favorites, which showcases his musicians, not to mention his acordeon.

There is no doubt that this is quite the collection of music with some of the best Tejano crooners in the business. And there’s no doubt DLG will be asked, “why not this guy, or this female vocalist?” So, let’s push him for a volume 2. For now, I’m back to over-playing this production during my drives around town, especially Track #1.

Get your copy today!