Thursday, March 29, 2012

4:32 PM 3/29/2012 | Jose Perez-Riera: Puerto Rico's Economy - Fox News | Mike Nova's starred items

Mike Nova's starred items 

Jose Perez-Riera: Puerto Rico's Economy - Fox News

via puerto rico - Google News on 3/29/12

Fox News

Jose Perez-Riera: Puerto Rico's Economy
Fox News
José Pérez-Riera, Puerto Rico's Secretary of Commerce, speaks to Fox News Latino about the island's. Click above to watch the Fox News Latino interview with Harris Faulkner on Fox News Live. Be sure to watch Fox News Live streaming on your mobile ...

Former FBI director named Puerto Rico police chief -

via puerto rico - Google News on 3/29/12

Former FBI director named Puerto Rico police chief
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico—A former director of the FBI office based in Puerto Rico was appointed Thursday to lead the island's troubled police department, which US justice officials have accused of corruption, illegal killings and civil rights violations.

Puerto Rico police chief quits amid crime wave - CBS News

via puerto rico - Google News on 3/28/12

CBS News

Puerto Rico police chief quits amid crime wave
CBS News
(AP) SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Puerto Rico's police chief quit late Wednesday, less than a year after being appointed to lead a department that federal agents have accused of corruption, illegal killings and civil rights violations.
Former FBI director to lead Puerto Rico's beleaguered police departmentWashington Post
all 166 news articles »

mikenov: Link | 1:26 PM 3/29/2012 | A piece of this unique path, Highway PR-10, collapsed this morning from heavy rains

via Twitter / mikenov on 3/29/12

mikenov: Link | 1:26 PM 3/29/2012 | A piece of this unique path, Highway PR-10, collapsed this morning from heavy rains

mikenov: 1:26 PM 3/29/2012 | Mike Nova's starred items | Jueves via El Nuevo Día - Noticias de Puerto Rico

via Twitter / mikenov on 3/29/12

mikenov: 1:26 PM 3/29/2012 | Mike Nova's starred items | Jueves via El Nuevo Día - Noticias de Puerto Rico

mikenov: 1:05 PM 3/29/2012 | Mike Nova's starred items

via Twitter / mikenov on 3/29/12

mikenov: 1:05 PM 3/29/2012 | Mike Nova's starred items

mikenov: Link | 9:56 AM 3/29/2012 | PRESS REVIEW | Mike Nova's starred items

via Twitter / mikenov on 3/29/12

mikenov: Link | 9:56 AM 3/29/2012 | PRESS REVIEW | Mike Nova's starred items

Michael B. Keegan: American Apartheid? The Republican "Dream" Scheme

via Latino Voices on by Michael B. Keegan on 3/29/12

The Senate GOP seems to be banking on the assumption that Latino voters are stupid, don't read the fine print -- or are not paying any attention at all.
Panicking from a series of polls that show their years of bashing Latinos haven't been endearing them to Latino voters, prominent Republicans are scrambling for a solution. They seem to have found one, at least for now, in a new attempt by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio to rewrite the DREAM Act, the widely popular bill that the Senate GOP derailed in late 2010.
Rubio has come up with a "non-citizen-for-life" concept as he rejiggers the DREAM Act to make it pretty much dream-free. It's a tough trick: How do you create the illusion of a law that looks like it's giving something to Latinos, but which the Tea Party knows means nothing?
The authentic DREAM Act offers a path to citizenship for children who were brought to the country without documentation, who graduate from high school and go on to college or the military, allowing them to create a stable life and give back to the country that they call home. Rubio's dream-free proposal gives these young people a nebulous legalized status, so that rather than become American citizens, they will have permanent second-class status -- allowed to live, work and pay taxes in the only country they have ever known, but never permitted the ability to vote or exercise any of the rights of full citizenship.
The real cruelty of this Republican proposal is that it seeks to take advantage of the desperation of some DREAM Act-eligible youth to avoid deportation. The Republican proposal offers them that in the short term, but at the price of second-class status for the rest of their lives. They deserve better. Of course, it doesn't have to be this way: Not long ago, before the Tea Party drove the GOP's agenda, the authentic DREAM Act enjoyed the support of many Republicans in the Senate. The GOP has paid the price for abandoning the authentic DREAM Act and promoting numerous anti-immigrant policies. Senate Republicans are living in a fantasy land if they believe they can win back Latino voters by inventing a new second-class status for these young people.
They should take a lesson from history. I went to South Africa over 30 years ago, where the government created many different levels of citizenship as a means to keep an unjust system going in a modern world. In addition to "Whites," different categories of "Blacks," "Coloureds," and "Asians" for South Asians, South Africa had to create the category of "Honorary Whites" to accommodate the Japanese and Chinese. We should learn from the lessons of apartheid and the dangers of creating different levels of citizenship for different people.
That system, thankfully, has fallen, and it has been rightfully judged an historical disgrace, but if today's Republican Party has considered history at all, they're not learning the right lessons. Instead of pushing towards more equality for all people, they've perfected a method of legalizing discrimination by inventing new classes of citizenship for those on whom they don't want to bestow full rights, creating a unique and disturbing American apartheid.
Add these new immigrant ersatz citizens to a growing list. Republicans want gay people to have a form of citizenship that doesn't include marriage rights -- and if they had their way gay Americans wouldn't be allowed to serve their country in in the military either. Muslims can be citizens, but must fight legal and PR battles just to exercise their First Amendment right to the freedom of religion. People who have served their time in jail for felonies are citizens -- but in many states, they aren't allowed to participate in our democracy by voting. And Republican-controlled state legislatures pass laws that make it harder for young people, the elderly, and low-income people to vote - again, all citizens, legislated out of one of their fundamental constitutional rights.
For a party that claims to be interested in limiting government, today's GOP is surprisingly eager to create new levels of bureaucracy for the sole purpose of depriving some Americans of their rights. Whatever happened to simple? How about an America with equal rights and equal justice for all and a fair path to citizenship for hard-working people who play by the rules?
With the new dream-free DREAM Act, Republicans are trying to create one of their patented new levels of citizenship while pulling a fast one on Latinos and others who care about the fate of immigrants. The problem is, American voters are smarter than they give us credit for -- and we know when they're trying to fool us.

Luis Perez-Simon: Forgive Me Father for I Have Sinned: On Ideology and Governance in Cuba

via The Blog by Luis Perez-Simon on 3/29/12

When you are Pope Benedict XVI, all roads do lead to Rome. Some just take a detour by places like Miramar, Cuba, where Fidel Castro lives.

The Holy Father held an open-air mass in Havana's Revolution Square on his last day in Cuba. Afterwards, the Pope Mobile made its way up Independence Avenue, on its way out of Havana. Normally, it would have taken Benedict XVI directly to Boyeros and José Martí International Airport. However, it actually made one stop along the way.

It seems there was still time in his schedule for some unplanned visits after all.

In spite of citing a tight schedule when declining to meet both Santería leaders and dissident groups, the Holy Father found room in his official agenda to meet with Fidel Castro.

It might be part of his evangelical mission as the elder brother is no longer the Head of State. If so, might there have been a private Sacrament of Confession with and admission of guilt, absolution and penance? This is hard to imagine, but given that Fidel is 85 years old, the Comandante may have rediscovered his Catholic roots and may indeed be trying to get ready to meet his maker -- with all the soul searching that may entail.

However, if it was part of the state visit, then the Holy See understands where the seat of power is in Cuba. The pope seems to grasp that the type of change Cuba needs -- and that the Church hopes to influence -- requires His (Fidel's) blessing. Benedict XVI may simply have wanted to look into the man's eyes and come to an understanding. All is forgiven, no questions asked.

Though Raúl has heralded many socio-economic changes since his ascension to power, Fidel's original, underlying political structure has not changed. Nor shall it, as vice president of the Council of Ministers Marino Murillo made perfectly clear on Tuesday, "There will be no changes to the political model in Cuba."

You see, policy is imperfect. Ideology is infallible.

M. Murillo should know. He is largely responsible for having established a new system of national economic accounting and for structuring the new model of economic development; all changes aimed at ensuring the political survival of socialism, as much as to improve the Cuban economy (though we must note that the average Cuban's standard of living remains at a lower level than before the 1990's Special Period in Times of Peace downturn). He is also Raul's likely successor.

Anyone who thinks they understand Cuban politics, must be either one of the Castro brothers or wrong. Even with Marxist dialectics as a tool, the ambivalent and contradictory relationship between policy and ideology is at best hazy. The byzantine system of direct, public consultation that Raúl used to draw up the policy guide for the VI Congress of the Cuban Communist Party included everyone's opinions but marshaled the Party troops in one direction. The 'bureaucrats' were corrupt and new measures needed to be put in place to give 'the people' the riches they deserve under socialism.

The system was inefficient because it had been corrupted, not because it was broken.

And now the pope has come to Cuba to encourage its leaders to continue transforming their system, to give faith to its people whilst history runs its course, and to ask for a voice in society. But perhaps they don't understand Cuban politics either.

After all, when it was all said and done, in front of Pope Benedict XVI's open-air altar on Havana's Revolution Square there were the twin wrought iron silhouettes of Che Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos. Behind him, the 60-foot white marble statue of José Martí. To one side a giant portrait of the Patroness of Cuba.

Curiously, on the other side, the 10-foot high "Patria o Muerte" ['Motherland or Death'] sign that is on top of the National Theater was discretely camouflaged with a yellow tarp that read "Caridad nos une" [both "'Charity' and 'Our Lady of Charity of Cobre' unites us"]. It seems ironical that the belligerent marquee would have been the only sign that would not have contravened canonical scripture against worshiping icons.

As the cleaning crews began to sweep up discarded Papal water bottles, broken Papal fans, ripped Papal hats, and discarded miniature Vatican flags, people headed back home to enjoy their last official day off. This week, everyone had an unexpected vacation from the 26th-28th of March. Everyone it seems, except the bureau where you register visiting tourists. They even worked on Sunday.

God works in mysterious ways.

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