Monday, April 9, 2012

Mike Nova's starred items - 12:11 PM 4/9/2012

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Mike Nova's starred items - 12:11 PM 4/9/2012

via Puerto Rico News's Facebook Wall by Puerto Rico News on 4/8/12
Ha pasado largo tiempo, pero el discrimen en el ambiente escolar sigue. La exclusión y el llamar por nombres peyorativos es común. Son estas las primeras manifestaciones de acoso contra niñas que manifiestan conductas que se han socializado como exclusivas de los varones o contra niños que no se comportan según el imaginario colectivo de lo que es un hombre. Le siguen entonces los insultos y luego las agresiones físicas.

NotiCel™ - Escuela es "infierno" para alumnos gays discriminados

via Puerto Rico News's Facebook Wall by Puerto Rico News on 4/8/12
Motín en playa de Culebra y Drogas en Vieques!!! PUERTO RICO, LO HACE MEJOR! Y... En Semana Santa! Tres jóvenes resultaron heridos en medio de un motín que se formó hoy a las 4:23 de la madrugada en la playa Flamenco de Culebra. Saúl Santiago, de 21 años, Guillermo Paz, de 23 y un menor de 17 resultaron con heridas hoy presuntamente cuando fueron agredidos por varios individuos en una pelea que se formó en la reconocida playa. Los tres perjudicados son de Bayamón. “Se formó una pelea pero logramos actuar rápidamente”, informó el comandante de la zona policiaca de Fajardo, Antonio López. Aparte de este motín se registró una agresión en el negocio negocio El Batey, en Culebra, informó la Policía. Fernando Vázquez Rodríguez, vecino de San Juan, dijo a los policías que varios individuos lo agredieron en el rostro. Este sufrió una herida abierta en el rostro y tuvo que ser transportado al hospital Hima San Pablo, en Fajardo, donde se le tomaron puntos de sutura. El comandante López precisó que en Culebra se diligenciaron dos órdenes de arresto. Por otra parte, en el muelle de Vieques fueron arrestadas 16 personas. “Hemos incautado drogas en dos vehículos y a personas que las traían en bultos y en su propia ropa”, dijo el oficial policiaco. En Vieques, el sábado, a las 12:30 de la tarde, dos sujetos fueron arrestados por posesión de sustancias controladas, en el barrio Monte Santo, en Vieques. La Policía arrestó a William Miró Hodge, de 52 años y José Cruz Rodríguez, de 39, luego de ocuparles una bolsa de cocaína, $80 en efectivo y una guagua Toyota Four Runner.

via The Blog by Fernando Henrique Cardoso on 4/9/12
What is the best way to deal with drugs? Criminalizing drug users or treating them as patients? Sticking to a strict prohibitionist stance or experimenting with alternative forms of regulation and prevention?
Latin America is talking about drugs like never before. The taboo that has long prevented open debate about drug policies has been broken -- thanks to a steadily deteriorating situation on the ground and the courageous stand taken by presidents Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia, Otto Perez Molina of Guatemala and Laura Chinchilla of Costa Rica.
The facts speak for themselves. The foundations of the U.S.-led war on drugs -- eradication of production, interdiction of traffic, and criminalization of consumption -- have not succeeded and never will. When there is established demand for a consumer product, there will be a supply. The only beneficiaries of prohibition are the drug cartels.
Forty years of strenuous efforts have failed to reduce the production and consumption of illicit drugs. Worse, in Mexico and Central America, prohibition-related violence and corruption have become a major threat to public safety and the stability of democratic institutions.
In light of the disastrous consequences of the war on drugs, we took the initiative four years ago to convene a Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy -- and, more recently, a Global Commission on Drug Policy. Our core message was clear: The war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies throughout the Americas.
Our commissions presented two key recommendations. The first was to end -- as soon as possible -- the criminalization and stigmatization of people who use drugs but who do no harm to others. People struggling with drug abuse or addiction may indeed harm themselves and their families, but criminalization and social marginalization are not going to help them.
Drug abuse and addiction are public health problems. The most effective response, then, is to provide treatment and health services to all who need them. The criminalization of drug use is the primary obstacle to treatment and rehabilitation.
Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and Uruguay have already passed laws decriminalizing drug possession for personal consumption. However, given that the legal distinctions between "possession" and "trafficking" are unclear, the law often leads to police corruption and outright discrimination against the poor.
The primary objective of drug control policies should be protecting the young, seeking by all means to prevent drug abuse and addiction. This requires increased investments in prevention, treatment and social reintegration. Only such a comprehensive approach can be effective in reducing drug use.
The full enforcement power of the state and the social and cultural pressure of society should be aimed at a relentless fight against organized crime -- rather than persecuting people in need of treatment.
Our second core recommendation -- which is more complex but just as important for ensuring peace and public safety -- is to encourage experimentation with different models of legal regulation of drugs, such as marijuana, in similar ways to what is already done with tobacco and alcohol.
Research has consistently demonstrated that marijuana is a less harmful drug than tobacco or alcohol. Regulation is not the same as legalization. This is a critical point. Regulation is a necessary step to create the conditions for a society to establish all kinds of restrictions and limitations on the production, trade, advertising and consumption of a given substance to deglamorize, discourage and control its use.
The stunning reduction in the consumption of tobacco in the Americas shows that prevention and regulation are more efficient than prohibition and punishment.
Regulation cuts the link between traffickers and consumers. It is this link that enables traffickers to impel people to use ever more harmful drugs. Since marijuana is by far the most widely consumed illicit drug in the world, regulation would also significantly reduce the vast resources -- and thus the vast power and influence -- generated by organized crime in the illegal drug markets..
We congratulate the presidents of Colombia, Guatemala and Costa Rica for having the courage to put different options on the table that would undermine the power of organized crime and safeguard the health and security of their citizens.
For the first time, drug policy will be on the agenda at the Summit of the Americas, which will take place in Cartagena de las lndias, Colombia, on April 14-15. It is unlikely that the heads of state will reach a consensus about such a complex and controversial issue. At this point, what is most needed is a serious and rigorous debate, enabling each country to develop its own position and to adopt more appropriate solutions that take their history and culture into account.
Latin America's experiences in fighting drug traffic, the successful examples set by some European countries in reducing the individual and societal harms of drug misuse, the experimentation of several U.S. states with the medical uses of marijuana, the engagement of the business sector and the scientific community, and the profound wish of the young to live in peace, all point toward more balanced, humane and efficient drug policies.
A paradigm shift, combining repression of the violent drug trade with increased investments in treatment and prevention, would be the best contribution that Latin America -- a region that has suffered so much under drug prohibition -- could make to global reform of drug policies.
Written by Cesar Gaviria, former president of Colombia and member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy; Ernesto Zedillo, former president of Mexico and member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy; and Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former president of Brazil and chair of the Global Commission on Drug Policy

via Twitter / ElNuevoDia on 4/9/12
ElNuevoDia: "Ojo por ojo y todo el mundo acabará ciego." -Mahatma Gandhi │¡Buenos días!

via latino - Google Blog Search by editors on 4/9/12
The terms Hispanic and Latino are not the first choice amongst people from South America and Spanish-speaking countries when identifying themselves, according to a new Pew Hispanic Center survey, although Boston ...

via latino - Google Blog Search by Van Le on 4/6/12
Add Stephen Colbert to the long list of commentators who realize what a problem the Latino vote is going to be for Republicans this November. A “Colbert Report” segment this week wonders how Republicans are going to ...

via latino - Google Blog Search by S.T. VanAirsdale on 4/9/12
The real kicker is that the movie will be Latino-themed. It will star a Latino cast and will tackle Catholic-based paranormal mythology. It will not, however, be in Spanish. The aim is to make the micro-budgeted movie in the next ...

via Latino Voices on by Laura E. Enriquez on 4/9/12
Sorting through the stack of mail that I hadn't checked in weeks, my heart sank as I picked up a letter from the Los Angeles Superior Court. I knew what it was -- a jury summons.
For most, this is one of the worst pieces of mail they can receive. My mind raced through the list of things I needed to be doing and the various ways in which this was going to prevent me from doing them. When I mentioned it to a few friends, they started telling me how I could get out of it: "You're an educated woman of color, they don't want people who are critical of 'the system.'"
And we digressed into a discussion of the criminalization of communities of color and the prison industrial complex.
A few days later one of my friends, who happens to be undocumented, saw my summons lying on my desk. His response: "You're so lucky!" Seeing my confusion, he confessed that he wished he could serve on a jury. It was one of the many privileges that his undocumented status forbid him. I was surprised, but it made sense. We talk a lot about the limitations undocumented status poses to undocumented immigrants -- unequal access to higher education, no access to legal employment, fear of deportation, limited access to driver's licenses, etc. But we don't talk about the civic responsibilities and privileges, like voting and jury duty, which are also denied to undocumented immigrants.
I instantly began to feel ashamed about all the complaining my citizen friends and I had been doing only a few days earlier. My citizen guilt began to creep up inside of me. As we continued to talk, I realized that this was not something to complain or feel guilty about but rather was an opportunity to embrace my privilege and use it for positive change. I began to re-imagine the significance of jury duty.
My friends and I had been criticizing the injustices committed by the judicial system but then refusing to sacrifice our own time to take part in this system and make a difference on an individual level. Maybe that's me being overly optimistic, that my one voice on a jury of twelve can make a difference in one trial. But if we think about our organizing strategies- every additional voice or body at an event makes the group stronger. Voting strategies are the same -- every vote counts. Why should it be different when we think about jury duty?
Yet, this form of civic engagement is plagued by a certain complacency. To encourage participation we say that every voice counts but we also tend to re-frame the event -- Get Out the Vote rallies become concerts, social justice rallies have bands, feature celebrity speakers, or offer food. On The Simpsons, they tried to make jury duty more interesting by framing it as joining the "justice squadron" at the "Municipal Fortress of Vengeance." So maybe citizenship itself is in need of some re-framing so we can increase civic participation and get citizens like myself to appreciate the privileges we are afforded.
One way of re-framing citizenship, while radical, could be to associate formal citizenship with citizen-like action or civic engagement. Not every country assigns citizenship in the same way. Most commonly, you can be a citizen by birth (like in the U.S.), or you can be a citizen by blood based on where your parents or grandparents were citizens (like in Germany). But, what if we assigned citizenship based on one's actions rather than something a person cannot control? Kind of like in elementary school when you get awards for "citizenship" which is really a code word for participating in class, being respectful of your classmates, and helping others. People who live in a country would then have to demonstrate their citizen like qualities in order to get certain privileges. If we did this people would be a lot less likely to take their citizenship responsibilities for granted because they worked so hard to get them.
Now I know this new action-based means of assigning citizenship is highly unlikely and practically impossible because it would be hard to implement. But it makes us think about the two sides of the citizenship coin- it is a legal status but it is also an action. You can be a legal citizen with or without practicing good citizenship. Alternatively, you can be undocumented while practicing good citizenship; this is often an argument used to gain support for the DREAM Act. In fact, given my undocumented friend's reaction to my jury summons, it's likely that he has the potential to be a better citizen than I. In fact most of the undocumented young adults I meet are good citizens despite their legal status- helping their families, neighbors, co-workers, friends, and strangers, speaking out against injustices, fostering abandoned animals, spearheading community clean-ups, encouraging younger kids to stay in school.
These actions give me hope and make me strive to be a better citizen. I've decided to maintain my optimism -- my voice on a jury, in an election, at a rally, or in a blog post can make a difference. If we each come to live our citizenship, we will be able to make our community a better place, one small action at a time. My first action will be showing up to jury duty with a smile on my face. What will yours be?

via The Wall Street Journal's Facebook Wall by The Wall Street Journal on 4/9/12

Hawaii Turns to Dog Shrinks to Curb Barking
Dog counseling has been in demand on the big island of Hawaii since county commissioners passed an anti-barking ordinance.

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