The First Fists Open Up Friday Linkage

Three-fourths of the First Family hard at play on the Gulf Coast:

“What coast?  GULF COAST!”

The other fourth? She’s probably too busy focusing on her future presidency (a preview here) and has no time for such trivialities as putt-putt.

Here are the week’s links:

Residents of Sac-town, hide your kids, hide your wife, there are zebras on the loose… Mark Driscoll’s helpful  thoughts on Anne Rice’s departure from the shores of Christianity…  You gotta use Starbucks’ designated size names (Tall, Grande, Venti) or face getting the boot like this prof did…  Ann Coulter?  She’s complicated…  Chicharito made his Man U home debut last Monday and was greeted with “rapturous applause”… A Houston teenager is slain by a tag team consisting of a permanent resident and an undocumented alien, her uncle “would like to see what they’re doing in Arizona done here” so clearly, he must clearly be a racist…This week’s entry into the “Best Illustration of Romans 1:21-24”  sweepstakes.  A contest which unfortunately we have all submitted an entry to…

The Ubiquitous Chicharito Tops Friday Linkage

Mexico’s rising star and child of promise, Javier “Chicharito” (Little Pea) Hernandez is everywhere. Scoring goals against the World Champs in Azteca, off his face against Chelsea in the FA Community Shield Cup; gracing the front page of the Daily Mail’s football section under “Premier League Podcast” (below, second from left), and last but certainly not least residing in the lung of a senior citizen.

The kid hasn’t played one game in the EPL and he’s put up next to League stars Fàbregas, Lampard and Gerrard. Hope the pressure doesn’t crush our beloved little pea…

and here is the smorgasbord that is, Friday Linkage:

The ‘Stros kind of get some overseas love, and yes she broke up with him but not over him letting her get hit by the foul ball...  The Faith of Katy Perry and the eventual fate of Katy Perry’s music…Yep, I’m one of these 40%ers Here’s a column titled, “America’s Biggest Jobs Program — the U.S. Military”, written by, wait for it, a Berkeley prof. Maybe not quite the inspiration for Gibby’s “eliminating the Pentagon” blast but… Apparently Jennifer Aniston drew the ire of former Inside Edition luminary Bill O’Reilly by believing it to be a good idea to drive a car with your feet. And oh by the way, Aniston paid it forward Puritan anchor babies, need I say more? Finally, we are less than a month away from seeing these boys (below) in action. #81 there to the right is all-around great guy Sam Acho, here’s a great story about him…

[Photo credit: Peter Read Miller/Sports Illustrated]

SB 1070 visits the Recent White House State Dinner

According to Forbes, Mexican business magnate Carlos Slim is worth $53.5 billion, making him the world’s richest person by em, a slim margin over American Bill Gates.

Slim, son of Lebanese immigrants, made his fortune in telecommunications. Recently, (e)Slim (below) was present at the State Dinner held at the White House in honor of Mexican President Felipe Calderón.

[Photo credit: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images North America]

What I find interesting is that Slim is wearing some sort of ID badge. In looking at pictures of other luminaries present at this shindig (i.e. comedian George Lopez and actress Eva Longoria-Parker), you’ll find that they’re not wearing badges.

Everyone knows who George Lopez and Eva Longoria-Parker are, Slim? Not so much, hence he has to rock a badge. That’s probably the reason, not to mention his complexion, that White House security might be “reasonably suspicious” that Carlos is the “help” who is trying to mingle with the VIPs.

Might it show that even the world’s richest man isn’t immune to being SB1070’d?

I guess the cowardly Mr. Lopez and the bubbly Longoria-Parker are living proof that it is better to be famous than stupefyingly wealthy.

“Yes We Can!”

This chant (“Yes We Can!” or “¡Sí Se Puede!”) was introduced to the mainstream in the last Presidential election. Supporters of Barack Obama appropriated it and made it their rallying cry. If people have no problem hijacking Scripture to achieve whatever end, why not some silly phrase to usher in an era of perceived hope and change?

I say appropriated because the phrase did come from somewhere, and no I’m not talking about Bob the Builder (“Can we fix it? Yes we can!”).

The phrase is one of México’s contributions to the world of sports fanaticism. If memory serves me correct, I first heard it during the 1998 World Cup. It was used by the masses to support the national team as they went up against European powers such as the Netherlands (2-2 tie) and Germany (1-2 loss). Here’s an action shot from that match,

So close Luis, yet so far…

It makes sense why the Mexican collective would concoct such a phrase, given my native land’s ya merito (close but no cigar) performances every 4 years. They look great against top-flight competition, give us all hope of a breakthrough and then get barely beaten in elimination games. There was Germany in ’86, Bulgaria in ’94, Germany again in ’98, USA (this one still hurts) in ’02, and Argentina in ’06. I expect this upcoming World Cup to be no different, but I hope I’m wrong.

I guess I could also go on how the phrase reflects the class struggle that has been the fulcrum of México’s troubled history.

Which brings us full circle to the re-emergence of the phrase at recent protests against a law in Arizona which requires peace officers to ask for proof of legal status.

The law only applies in Arizona, for now, but 7,000 people took to the streets here in H-town in protest. They, of course, made copious use of this phrase.

I agree, this law is ridiculous and is probably unconstitutional. If you’re against nationalized health-care because it’s unconstitutional then why aren’t you against this law? But I digress…

Back to the marchers, I just have one thing to ask: Stop using this slogan.

It doesn’t apply here. “Yes We Can”, what? What can you do? Even if this was law here in Texas, what can you do? It’s obvious that Congress isn’t doing anything about immigration reform. It’ll cost too much politically to do so.

Come up with something better and leave this phrase where it belongs, when we root for our beloved Tri come June 11th.

Sammy Sosa to the Rescue in Arizona

As previously blogged about here, a law in Arizona will give police officers the power to ask people for proof that they are in this country legally.

The officers will not ask everyone for this proof but only those individuals whom they “reasonably suspect” are here illegally. No doubt this will have to do mainly with the swarthy complexion of some of my paisanos.

So if you don’t have “papers”, live in Arizona and spend most of your time mowing lawns (even those of anti-immigrant people) what are you to do to avoid being profiled put in a difficult spot?

In comes former MLBer Sammy Sosa. Slammin’ Sammy, whose “inability” to speak English before Congress and dark complexion would raise all sorts of suspicion where he to reside in Arizona, could lend a helping hand to those ‘suspicious’ folk there.

How? Well by endorsing and selling whichever of Prof. Snape’s potion he used to “cleanse” his mug:

With Sammy’s Salve, some of my hard-working paisanos can continue to do the jobs no one else will without having to worry about la chota getting all up in their business.

Looking (Baja) California, Feeling Arizona

The political masters of the state of Arizona have recently passed a bill which will permit police officers in that state to check the legal status of “anyone they suspect of being illegal”.

Not only that but it will make it a violation of state law to be in these United States without the proper paperwork.

According to the LA Times,

The bill, known as SB 1070, makes it a misdemeanor to lack proper immigration paperwork in Arizona. It also requires police officers, if they form a “reasonable suspicion” that someone is an illegal immigrant, to determine the person’s immigration status.

A “reasonable suspicion”? What the hell does that entail? Swarthy men wearing frat/sorority shirts? Heavily tanned men sporting trucker hats for what they are and not as fashion statements?

As a public service to the peace officers of the state of Arizona, here are a couple of examples of the type of people they might be wary of,

(Photo credit: greenelent’s Flickr)

(Photo credit: greenelent’s Flickr)

Just out of curiosity, will the police also be allowed to question the people who take care of lawmakers’ kids, mow their lawns and clean their palatial estates?

Yeah, I didn’t think so.

To my paperless paisanos living in Arizona, when you see la chota, take Han’s advice and “fly casual”.

2050 is the new 2012

Supposedly, 2012 is the year in which the Mayan calendar ends. What some have taken from this is that 2012 will also be the year in which planet Earth becomes, with apologies to Hal Lindsey/Tim Melton (below), “The Late, Great Planet Earth”.

Have you ever seen these 2 men at the same place at the same time?

A movie was even made about this mythical 2012 date, the movie was called, *drum roll please* “2012”.

The fact that Mayans don’t buy into this 2012 hysteria has been cavalierly brushed aside in the name of sensationalistic entertainment.

Perhaps if we ask a certain slice of the American population, the year the world will end is not 2012 but 2050. Why 2050? Because of what this story reports,

White Americans’ majority to end by mid-century

So, I guess the question is, when this shift occurs what will be the consequences, if any, for this nation “under God”?

Since I’m no futurist or gypsy fortune teller, I cannot say but when I read stories like this one or hear caterwauling about how brown people are overrunning this land, I cannot help but hark back to what Chris Rock said at the end of the last millennium:

Man, the white man thinks he’s losing the country. You watch the news: ”We’re losing everything. We’re $#@?&%$ losing. ”Affirmative action, and illegal aliens… and we’re $#@?&%$ losing the country… lf y’all losing, who’s winning?”

Estar Guars

America, the great melting pot, where peoples from different cultures come here to have the things which are either forbidden, restricted, or hard-to-come-by in their native countries. Yet upon coming here immigrants face a plethora of problems, some serious some not so much.

One such not-so-serious difficulty is the challenge the English language presents to one whose first language is not English. For example, some Asians have a difficulty with the “L” sound as a Seinfeld episode pointed out (“The rines are crossed”). The subsequent English dialect is referred to as “Engrish”. Some Euros and Indians have trouble with “V-W” (“Go this vay”).

Native Spanish speakers, such as myself, face a different subset of difficulties with the English tongue. The trouble with these difficulties are directly proportional with how old one was when one came to this great nation and presumably picked up the English language.

For example, a challenge we face is “Y-J”. This manifests itself when we pronounce the word “yellow” as “jello”. Another is the “Ch-Sh” as in “I have to go cach my paysheck”.

My personal favorite is the “Es-S”. To my recollection there are no words in Spanish which start with an “S”, the ones you’d think start with “S” actually start with “Es” (“Special” is especial).

So when the native Spanish speaker learns English (especially in adulthood), those words in English that start with an “S” are pronounced with an “Es” (“Stephen” becomes “Estephen”, “Steak” becomes “esteak”).

This nuance, in my opinion, is most gloriously displayed in the t-shirt pictured below,

The shirt is almost as classic as the movie…

Immigration: History Repeats Itself?

Recently my father-in-law handed down to me his old (1964) 12-volume Time Life History of the United States. Volume 8 covers 1890-1901, a time in which there was a massive influx of immigrants. I fully understand that the current situation is not exactly the same but I think the words found in page 65 of this tome are interesting,

Prior to 1880, the story went, there had been a voluntary immigration to the United States, made up mostly of British, Scandinavian, German and Irish peoples. This “old” migration, from Northern and Western Europe, was sturdy, pioneering and permanent. In the words of a 1910 report, the old immigrants “mingled freely with the native Americans and were quickly assimilated.” But the new immigration was different.

The new immigrant–the Greek, the Pole, the Serb, the Hungarian, the Italian–was considered another breed. A whole mythology was created to explain him. He had not come wholly on his own, but had been corralled by a steamship line or a labor recruiter. He did not bring his family with him. He willingly worked for starvation wages, huddled in slums which no native American could tolerate, paid fewer taxes than the native, took a larger share of public charity and committed a greater share of the crimes.

He was often a bird of passage, making a stake in the United States and then returning home. Or, if he stayed long enough to acquire citizenship papers, he sold his vote to politicians for the cheapest of handouts. He was a radical–had it not been anarchists, speaking a foreign tongue, whose propaganda lit the fuse of the Haymarket explosion? He was, in short, unassimilable, and he threatened to break down American civilization.

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Elizabeth Shelton, Justice, Immigrant Rights, Oh My!

Elizabeth Shelton, daughter of Harris County judge Pat Shelton, was recently convicted of intoxication manslaughter. Last year, she decided to get behind the wheel after heavy drinking and in the process caused the accident which caused the near decapitation of her boyfriend who was riding shotgun. What she allegedly told health care personnel who attempted to measure her blood-alcohol level (3 times the legal limit) did not endear her to the public (“My daddy is a (expletive) judge”).

Seeming how the public is typically cynical, most probably expected her to get off scot free or with just the proverbial slap on the wrist.

Usually, when a person of affluence (especially a young person perceived to be spoiled rotten) breaks the law, it is our natural instinct to want the government to throw the book at him/her. In the pursuit of justice, we are blinded to the fact that our own intentions, though well meaning, actually pervert justice. Leviticus 19:15 will suffice as an explanation.

Suffice it to say, Shelton did not get off scot free for she was sentenced to 120 days in jail and 8 years probation. While that might not satisfy some people’s desire for Ms. Shelton’s head, it looks like the sentence was somewhat fair (the maximum penalty is 20 years in prison), taking into consideration that the family of the deceased supported Ms. Shelton.

The following is a translation of columnist Orlando Gamboa’s (Rumbo) take on this unfortunate situation:

The Daughter of Judge Shelton
By Orlando Gamboa

The blond haired and seemingly timid Elizabeth Shelton has little to worry about. She killed her boyfriend, Matthew McNiece, in a traffic accident in which she had a blood alcohol level of 3 times the legal limit. Also, there were traces of marijuana.

The 20 year-old’s worries have to do with what she did on that night, which got her 8 years probation, a $10,000 fine (which will probably come out of the pockets of her father, County Judge Pat Shelton), and before Christmas will serve 120 days in jail.

This was the jury’s decision after deliberation of less than an hour.

After the sentencing, prosecutor Mac Seacrest said that the verdict carries the message “If you drink and drive, you will be found responsible.”

There will be no shortage of people who will interpret the verdict in another manner. Perhaps in their minds, they will ask themselves if a run-of-the-mill Hispanic immigrant would receive similar treatment under the same set of circumstances. If they doubt it, it does not make them cynical.

Nevertheless, it is opportune to ask if the sentence given to our hypothetical Hispanic would be more or less similar to Shelton’s, or if instead he would receive the maximum penalty 20 years in prison. Of course, without forgetting other consequences, like his eventual and almost surefire deportation. Forget about it if our hypothetical Hispanic was undocumented…

Gamboa’s reasoning is moribund. For starters, his hypothetical Hispanic immigrant is presented as legal so why would he be deported? I say he’s legal because Orlando doesn’t stipulate what would happen to an “illegal” until his last sentence (he really did end the column with an ellipsis).

What I think ironic is that Gamboa seems to want justice (or his view of it) carried out in Shelton’s case yet when it comes to enforcing immigration law, the concept of justice, well it’s not so convenient.

Had Ms. Shelton killed an immigrant (such as myself) I wonder what kind of reaction this would have elicited?