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Orignal Articles For Submission Nov. 3rd, 2005 @ 11:07 pm Next Entry

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Date:November 4th, 2005 05:25 am (UTC)
A minority living in America.

I live in a suburb nestled in the mountains of Los Angeles and by the politically correct perspective of today, I am seen—at least on the surface—as a Hispanic male. It’s the way I would be categorized on the news, the box I check on job applications and the race I would be referred to by a Cop if I ever got arrested. The word Hispanic is today’s politically correct term and it’s a word that I cannot stand.

The word Hispanic originated in 1980, making its debut on the United States consensus. It was a word created by the US government as a way of generalizing a class of Latin American immigrants, whose numbers had reached an exponential rate in the United States. Rather than identify these people as individuals who represented distinct countries, and therefore cultures, the higher-ups piled us all into one convenient group: Hispanic.

I have many problems with this word, all of which I will get to, but my biggest issue is its root. Consider this: Chinese people are from China. Italians from Italy. Brazilians from Brazil. Now then, where exactly are Hispanic people from? Hispania? Well, wouldn’t that make them Spanish?

But then again, there are many Hispanics out there who argue that their heritage is from Europe, not Latin America. Hence, the George Lopez presented stereotype of the pocho (white-washed) Hispanic kid who says, “My parents are from Mexico, but I’m from Spain.”

So then what is a Hispanic? It is a generalization of a people- something I cannot tolerate. To me the word is as outdated as using the word Negro. Other than being absurdly derogatory, it is racist and purely ignorant. The word rejects the idea of individuality, while disrespecting the thousands of immigrants who crossed into America searching for the right to be respected and acknowledged.

Some would argue differently, perhaps justifiably using the argument that brown people like me use the word Hispanic to describe themselves. I think above all else, knowing the latter hurts the most. Why would anyone want to be associated with a definition that has the word “-panic” in it?

If there is any definition of the word Hispanic, it is a brown face that uses the word to describe themselves. To me, a Hispanic is someone who is Americanized; someone who has likely lost ties to his or her culture because if they refer to themselves as Hispanic, it’s probably only because they don’t speak Spanish. For this reason, they deter from using words like Latino—which, if they’re going to generalize themselves, they should use instead—for fear that they’re Spanish accent would come out during pronunciation.

Then again, to others of my race I may be considered a Hispanic. Why? Because I am a third generation Mexican-American and although I am brown on the outside, the fact that I speak English better than Spanish is a clear sign to my Hispanic-ness. And what’s more, is that in some Latin circles the fact that I’d rather read a book and listen to jazz then go Salsa dancing or play soccer makes me simply an American. In the end, Hispanic or not, Latino or Mexican, I’m just another minority in America trying to get by.

-Nick Valencia
Date:November 4th, 2005 05:31 am (UTC)
It was a dark-humid night. The stars were brighter than ever and the
sky finally black. I walked out of my office and stared at the sky.
Watching the world and thinking about how I used to do the same thing
in California and Oklahoma.

The moment was quickly ruined by a loud slam of trailer trucks
loading. Busy Iranian men working in the warm night. I walked down to
the smoking area. I then pulled out a Cohiba and sat down, lit the
tiny cigar and took a hit, staring into the sky. I was lost. In my own
world. Just thinking and trying to recover from a long day. Motivating
myself by saying, "one more year," over and over in my head.

About five minutes passed and then a soldier walked right passed me.
Tears falling from his face, spilling his heart on the warm sand. I
just watched. I could feel his pain. But all I could do was feel sorry
for him. In his left hand was a small t-shirt. In his right, a picture
of his son.

"Brand new baby boy." He looked down sniffing, holding back tears. I
put my pathetic reasons to stay sane out in the sand and threw it
away, while the smoke continued to drift into the air.

"I'm sorry to hear that man," I said. "I don't know what to say."

He looked up. "We really don't serve much of a purpose here brotha
man, I'm surprised your ass hasn't gone crazy yet."

I stood there with my hands on my hip, spitting, trying to get the
horrible taste of cigar out of my mouth. "I have. I went crazy the
moment I stepped foot on that bus." I teared up. "I went crazy the
moment I realized I have family in Oklahoma and California. I went
crazy the moment I looked at my friends, trying to hold back tears as
I walked into this life."

He wiped his eyes looked down and his voice cracked. "My god I miss my
family. This will be my third deployment. I haven't even been around
for my son's birthdays...but that wouldn't matter much to you."

I sat next to him and we both just stared into the sky while
conversing. "I understand how you feel," I said. "Well not 100
percent all the way. But missing everyone! Oh yeah." He laughed,
"You're alright, Olivas. I'm sorry I was so hard on you back at
Ft.Sill. I figured you just one of those stuck up Cali boys who
noticed the mistake he has made." I giggled with the shrug of my
shoulders, responding. "There's more of them? I had no idea."

The conversation ended there. He continued to tear up every five
minutes or so. Sad to say, I know his little boy. So happy and
oblivious to everything that goes on. Very tough, could take a scrape
on the knee with a bite of the lip and walk away from it. And he loves
his father so so much. Came to work with him every other day back at
Ft. Sill. and he smiled the whole time. And laughed when it was

I guess I'm not the only guy suffering out here. I'm sure every I.E.D
that blows up around these soldiers, the first thing that comes to
mind - after the initial feeling of shock - is a very big urge to go
home and just hold someone. I'm fortunate enough that my back has
finally given up on me. Now I can no longer go on the convoys into
Iraq from Kuwait. But that just makes me feel like a waste of soldier
out here. I see all the Navy guys, the Marines and Air Force sharing
moments with the Army. Hand shakes and smiles. How do they do it? How
do they go through all this pain and separation, but continue to
smile. I struggle just to stay mentally happy for more than half of
the day.

Those are the real soldiers. The ones who know every thing will be
o.k. And every thing will be the same when they get home. For me,
every thing is changing. Though I do know everything will be o.k. I
still envy everyone at home. And I wish for a moment my brain would
stop working at 1,000 thoughts a second.

Hard to say what I'm going to do when I get home, or where I will be.
But I'm not thinking too hard about my future. I'm just trying to keep
the motivation to have a future.

I love you all and miss you very very much.

-Marc Olivas, Soldier currently deployed in Kuwait
Date:November 4th, 2005 05:01 pm (UTC)
Gay Marriage, Homosexuality, Bad
Logic and Biblical Bigotry

I am highly disturbed right now. The reason is not because I
disagree with those who are 'against it' but because of way in which
those 'against it' argued. The absurd and irrelevant appeal to biblical
myth, the bald disgusting prejudice that is reminiscent of the way
'good Christians' spoke of slaves, but most disturbing - the lack of
coherency of reason. I read one post, which said, "We have to draw the
line, if we don't then people will marry in threes, or marry rocks,
trees, animals etc." Please, Open any logic textbook to the chapter on
fallacies and you will find the 'slippery slope' fallacy of which this
is a bald and rank example!
Homosexuality has been present throughout all civilizations and
cultures and has been appraised differently in each. Native Americans
actually lauded the homosexuals of the community who often were
elevated to high rank as shamans or community leaders. And throughout
all of these civilizations - even those which fully accepted
homosexuality with none of the Judeo-Christian prejudice, civilizations
who never even knew there was a line, much less a 'line to be drawn'-
there was never a substantial outbreak of persons desirous of intimacy
with sundry rocks, appeals to marry trees, and courting of various
non-human mammals, or reptiles, or insects. Doubtless that numerous
'unthinkables' can be attributed to the course of history; however, to
say that homosexuality shares, to a mere lesser degree, the same
wavelength as intimacy with a rock is as absurd as it is offensive to
homosexuals in particular and the dignity of humankind in general.
But all this 'reason and logical argument' doesn't matter to
you, the bigot*. Further, the fact that Jesus Christ said, "judge not
that ye may not be judged" does not matter. Nor does the fact that you,
the Christian, likes nothing more than to assiduously inflate and decry
the sins of others of which you happen to be innocent, all the while
conveniently and indiscriminately failing to take note of your own
sins. Should we deny people's right to become obese because the good
book advises us to, "treat your body as your temple." And while you
ought to, as Jesus said, "treat others, as you would like to be
treated and love thine enemies", you nevertheless choose in 'bad faith'
to be infinitely more tolerant of your own shortcomings as well as
those of your in-group or socioeconomic bracket - while dare I say,
condemning the 'other' as well as your out-group to the inferno of
Hell. Honestly, by your doctrine, is not a sin a sin - look yourself in
the mirror and ask, "is there anything about myself, in my life, that
is inextricable to whom I am, that I could not fathom giving up,
something that someone from one of the myriad of religions could
perhaps contrive to be a sin?" Ask yourself, " How would I feel if
someone came up to me with a 2000 year old book written by ignorant men
and said that an inextricable aspect of my being is necessarily
disgusting and any happiness derived from 'being myself' must
legislated against. That I may not spend the rest of my life in a
dignified marriage with the one I love because people I don't even know
have a bone to pick with me due to a 2000+-year-old, long stiffened,
scroll stuck up their asses*.
Date:November 4th, 2005 05:03 pm (UTC)
But what am I saying? - We all know you Christians have signed
up for the original sin and are necessarily sinners; and therefore
ought to understand the anguish of those who's desires do not comply
with the catechism - yes you ought to have compassion, but you choose
not to. Perhaps my emotion has overridden my logic. However, were I a
soothsayer I should warn all those who call homosexuality disgusting
and therefore (do not mistake the 'therefore' for a logical connection
between the premise and conclusion) have such a prejudice against
homosexual marriage: It's legalization is inevitable. And consider your
grandchild, bewildered by the day's history class in which she learned
of the injustices and iniquities suffered by our homosexual brothers
and sisters in the youth of our 21st century at the whip of
pusillanimous legislature and a grimacing and at once hideous Christian
countenance directed in abject opposition to that which the grandchild
- from an enlightened perspective - thinks perfectly normal and fair.
Your grandchild will ask you if you were on the side of the Good. You
see, to her it is blatantly obvious which side is the Good and she
naively but optimistically peers at you believing that it ought to have
been obvious to you too-and she is right!
We too have our questions to ask our brothers and sisters of
ere generations, we ask them with insatiable curiosity paired with yet
a certain timidity which can only be held by one who suspects a
terrible truth: Were you a slave master or a black rights activist?
Were you for women's rights or did your convictions lie elsewhere, in
the necessary inferiority of womankind; and did you also think women's
voting to be a waste of time because a woman would never dare vote
contrary to her husband, did you think it a truism that man must rule
absolutely over the woman in the public sphere? And of course this
sounds odiously absurd! For we are enlightened on the equal status and
rights of man and woman and we therefore may wonder how such iniquity
was justified. But to resolve such a quandary let us at once look to
the good and sacred book for revelation, " To the woman he [the good
lord] said, I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with
pain you will give birth to children. YOUR DESIRE WILL BE FOR YOUR
HUSBAND, AND HE WILL RULE OVER YOU (Genesis 3:16)." But iconoclasm is
not the point, the point is - the point towards which we must focus all
our energies - is providing an answer to ourselves and to posterity
that will allow ourselves to die in peaceful repose and give posterity
a history to which they will find more inspiration than scorn. This is
the omni-critical question: What will you say to your disillusioned
grandchild, and what will you say to your disillusioned self?

*You will find this in your logic textbook under ad-hominem.
Date:November 4th, 2005 05:04 pm (UTC)
IMPULSE in Rationality

Anything said about a real feeling. Anything said about a real
experience. Anything said about a real thought. Anything said about a
real intuition. Anything said about a real impulse. In Short: Anything
said about a real individual human person --
At once falsifies that which it aims to define. At once takes one
eternities away from that which one wants to explain. Real things
cannot be explained. Real things cannot be approximated with words.
Nothing can be said about a real thing.
Talking about life is not deep. Talking about a self or even worse 'the
self' is not deep. Talking about anything is not deep. What is real is
What is real is myself. What is real is the blood coursing through my
veins. What is real cannot be categorized. A real individual cannot be
pidgeon-holed. Not all human persons are individuals. Human persons who
are not individuals are not alive.
The individual human person cares for nothing more what is signified by
the word Freedom, to be free in every conceivable sense. He knows this
intuitively. I know this intuitively. Intuitively because it cannot be
said precisely what the real thing called freedom is. Real things
cannot be spoken.
I have other intuitions. For example, I have an intuition that a thing
cannot be both true and false. Logicians share this intuition. But
logic is not alive. And I only share in the intuition of the logicians
insofar as I am not alive, insofar as I am not changing not in flux not
in space and time; in short: insofar as I as an individual human person
does not exist. That which the word freedom signifies is alive. An
intuition's strength is determined by the strength of the feeling
surrounding. For what else is there to an intuition but feeling? In
other words: the metaphysic of an intuition -- the ground thereof -- is
feeling. Pure feeling. Therefore, what is signified by the word freedom
is stronger than the law on non contradiction.
The only absolute context of an individual human person is rationality.
The only premises in the absolute context are impulses. Therefore, what
is real, what is absolute and therefore non-contextual is signified by
the phrase IMPULSE IN RATIONALITY. When one is not choosing on
individual impulse one is not choosing at all. A person who absolutely
allows his context to choose for him becomes nothing but context. His
thoughts, his emotions, his feelings, his friendships, his being is
Alive individual human persons have souls. Souls are tenuous. Souls
change. Souls can be created. Souls can be preserved. Souls can be
destroyed. Souls only exist NOW. Not before not after only NOW, in this
moment. What this moment, this present moment is, cannot be defined it
can only be felt, and it can only be felt when one's consciousness is
centered directly in it. When one's thoughts are only of what is
relevant to now. A whole life can be lived without ever being in the
present moment. A soul is that part of the human person which
obstinately refuses to be swept up by sociological, psychological,
philosophical, and biological categories.
Date:November 4th, 2005 05:05 pm (UTC)
The Mind/Body problem which Philosophers cannot solve is not a
philosophical problem but a disease. A sickness. And the philosopher by
his very nature is the most afflicted by this disease. He has severed
himself from his body, he has severed himself from his flesh and blood
existence. Why has he done this? Because he hates real life. He can
stand nothing less than the ambiguity and indefiniteness therein. He
wants things to be simplified, he wants there to be forms in the sky.
He is a sick animal. And insofar as he is called an individual human
person he ought to be called dead. He fears death more than anything,
and consequently there is nothing more terrifying than real life.
The philosopher -- And when I refer to the Philosopher, I am only
referring to a character that I want to sketch, a character in each of
us. That thing in us that falsifies real experience. That thing which
is by its very nature is in abject opposition to what I am calling the
real individual human person, or equivalently a soul. -- The
philosopher is right to despise real life. He is right to decry the
world of becoming. He is right to create heavens and hells. To spin
dream visions of connectedness. He is right to declare the soul
immortal. He is right in saying all these things because it is life,
real life, which is more terrifying, infinitely more disgusting than
the deepest reaches of Dante's inferno. Why is it sicker, more
disgusting, and more terrifying? Precisely because it is from life and
from nothing else that these images were made possible. It is the
suffering of the herein which the artist dips his soul to paint the
nether-worldly darkness of thereafter which is a mere image of what is
here and now.
He is right in all ways but one. The way to freedom. That is, the way
of the individual human person. That part of me, ME, that which cannot
be instantiated by a form in the skies beyond space and time. That part
of me which refuses to be swept up by ivory tower surmsations. That
part of me who's essence is precisely that which can never be put to
words. That of me which is absolutely untranslatable. That part of me
which, the moment it takes to a belief in the immortality of itself;
When it accepts the thing which it wants more than anything: That is
the moment, the very moment, that it dies. Hence, The philosopher
commits suicide for eternal life. Categories and Forms and Properties
live on eternally. Flesh and blood do not. But only flesh and blood is

Date:November 4th, 2005 05:07 pm (UTC)
Here's my Nov. 2 commentary...

November 2nd, 2005
12 am

Weren't you at the ballot box one year ago, hopelessly clinging-on to the fatal optimism of a Kerry-led America? So it goes. A man who concedes before all the ballots are in. That's what’s wrong with the Democrats nowadays. Besides focusing all of their attention on unveiling kinks in the Republican armor, rather than present solutions to things like Healthcare and Social Security, the Democrats quit
before they start. And now, three more years of a president who has my 19-year-old cousin at war, volunteering to go to Fallujah to prove what a "good soldier" he can be.

Ah, November 2. I still have my t-shirt with Bush's face on it that
reads, "Vote for anyone else in 2004." But what would that have done? Split the liberal vote and put Bush in by an even larger
majority--then he'd really have an argument when he said after the election that he had a mandate. This from a president whose popularity, even amongst conservatives, is beginning to sharply fall as headlines read something like, "US Soldier Death Toll in Iraq tops

Oh November 2. The day America had its chance but failed. A day when not enough of the complainers showed up and a day when too many
Evangelical Christians decided to make their votes count. But with Kerry in office, how much different would things be? Soldiers would still be in Iraq (perhaps slowly being pulled back) and if it wasn't a CIA investigation clouding Washington in fallacies, people would probably be complaining about the higher taxes Kerry would have OKed.

Democrats are not better; they're just as sneaky, like how they
decided--without notice--to hold a closed door senate session to
discuss Bush's reasons for going to war. And where's that going to get us? (D-Nev) Harry Reid, the senate minority leader, thinks that the indictment of Scooter Libby is reason enough for a closer look at the current administrations global dealings. Perhaps rightfully so. And this investigation will likely land itself at the ankles of Vice President Dick Cheney, who will casually kick it away as he walks out of the White House on his way to pick up his check from Haliburton. And still, I see 50 plus year--old retired hippies who stand on street corners with protest signs that read, "Cheney hasn't voted for 16

But does protesting help? Ask yourself this, what did it do for Cindy Sheehan who camped outside of Bush's Crawford ranch for two weeks this
summer before Hurricane Katrina flushed her out of the spotlight. Sheehan was just another flavor-of-the-month in the American and British media circuits, which virtually tell the same stories but with different accents. The media used Sheehan just as she used them—for publicity, and to show a personalized portrait of a woman who suffered the wounds of Iraq without leaving her home.

And November 2 was supposed to change what? Men would still be talking at each other in such loud voices that they'd drown each other out. Mother Earth would continue to be fucked by things like Greenhouse Gas
emissions. And children would still be born into a world labeled by some as hopeless.

I know this is a very cynical perspective, and by no means am I endorsing people not to vote. This piece is catered more towards the Democrat hardliners who think a blue America would make a difference. I used to think so, but after doing some research of our past real president Bill Clinton, I found out that he really wasn't any better. He was dropping bombs in Afghanistan far before Bush ever thought about it. And lest we forget, that the same man who is at the head of Tsunami relief, is the Bill Clinton who did not move a finger when 800,000 people in Rwanda were being slaughtered by Tutsi rebel forces
during what is now referred to by many historians as one of the most savage genocides in the world.

Date:February 17th, 2013 08:43 am (UTC)
Locals looking for you Go Here dld.bz/chwZG
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