Monday, September 14, 2009

Pete Stark’s Town Hall Meeting

If it sounds too good to be true, it isn't true – Judge Judy

You muck up everything you get your hands on – Senior Citizen at Pete Stark's Town Hall Meeting.
"I wouldn't dignify you by peeing on your leg, it wouldn't be worth wasting the urine" - Pete Stark to Senior Citizen, Town Hall Meeting

Don't blame Pete - He just can't help himself
Imagine your representive saying to one of your Senior Citizens "I wouldn't dignify you by peeing on your leg." This is exactly what arrogant toilet mouth Pete Stark said to a Senior Citizen at the Town Hall Meeting on September 12. Why do voters keep this guy in office? Click on foul mouth for other incidents of Pete Stark. This is a pattern. He doesn't care about you the voter. He cares about power. The voter is a second class citizen.

Go to the fourth video for a high quality video provided by Steve Kemp.

Saturday, I decided to attend the town hall meeting of the feckless, buffoonish, foul-mouth, contemptuous, imperious and egotistical Pete Stark. The meeting took place at the Senior Center at Lake Elizabeth in Fremont California. Outside the Senior Center in front of the serene and calm waters of the lake, a group of Chinese men and women were practicing the martial art of "Tai Chi." I watched as the Chinese men and women stretched their arms and legs in carefully coordinated movements with such grace that they seemed to mimic the rolling currents of a river. An occasional quack of a duck could be heard in the background. This serenity was juxtaposed against the backdrop of our so-called representative Pete Stark who spoke and answered questions in the confines of the Senior Center about Barack Obama's Health Care Plan – a plan certain to remake America into Barack Obama's utopian vision of government control.

I have attended Pete Stark's meetings before, and the meetings are usually small, and more like a liberal love-fest where Stark speaks to his choir. This meeting was different. Parking was difficult to find, and there were people from all walks of life. As we entered the room, we were given a number, and Stark would randomly pick one from the myriad of people present. I thought this was actually a good idea. There were the occasional angry bursts and applauses for and against the bill. The meeting was dotted with a few Union Supporters wearing yellow tee shirts. The citizenry came prepared with information. It seemed that each individual seemed compelled to state that he or she was not part of an organized group, but just concerned citizens. They wanted to make sure they were not identified as some right-wing conspiracy group or card-carrying NAZIs as Nancy Pelosi would have you believe. These were as they would state "concerned citizens" who feared a government takeover of the health care system. In one instance, a high school girl went up with her question and asked how many people were against the health care plan sitting in the meeting. About half the group many of whom were seniors raised their hands. It was astonishing to see so many raise their hands in liberal Fremont.

I brought my Iphone 3GS and I took some video of typical questions or statements. I wish I had brought my video camera, because the quality would have been better. In any event, you can get an idea of how people feel about this health care plan even in the Bay Area.

What I believe is happening is that the people just do not believe the administration. It is simple as that. Why is that? – Because it doesn't make sense. What rational person actually believes that Obamacare will reduce the deficit yet this is exactly what Obama said on Sunday night's 60 minutes? Obama said, "Ironically, health care reform is critical to deficit reduction." He then went on to say that he knew that it was counterintuitive to think that health care would reduce the deficit. Counterintuitive? That is the dumbest thing I had ever heard. The CBO says that in the Senate version there is a 900 billion dollar increase in the deficit or the house version a 1.6 trillion addition to the deficit over the next ten years, and the CBO states there will be a deficit in its first ten years, and even worse the next ten years, (and considering that Medicare cost estimates was off by a factor of ten, you can imagine how off the CBO will be with Obamacare.) Obama flat out lied. Does he think the America people are stupid? He has to know these figures. Who in their right mind believes that Obama will be able to reduce the deficit by his so-called health care reform, and who in their right mind believes that Obama will be able pay for this boondoggle by the fraud and waste in Medicare? Well, the follow up question is if there is so much fraud and waste in Medicare, why have we not cleaned it up yet? And if there is fraud and waste in Medicare, who in their right mind believes we will not have the same fraud and abuse in a government takeover of the healthcare system? No one believes that adding 30 million or 47 million people to the health care system will not increase costs. None of it makes sense. None of it adds up. Obama has a knack for making his vision sound true, but to believe it, you have to be very gullible.

In his speech, the number of uninsured mysteriously dropped from 47 million to 30 million underinsured. Well, that is because he threw the illegal aliens under the bus. But, that doesn't mean they will not be insured because they will be. That is why the Democrats have blocked every amendment to verify the legal status of illegal aliens. There may be verbiage in the bill that says illegal aliens will not be covered, but there is no teeth in it. Moreover, Judge Napolitano on Fox News has said illegal aliens will be covered under a national healthcare plan, regardless of what wording to the contrary is added. He maintained that it would be ruled unconstitutional by the courts, in the same way the initiative to disqualify undocumented aliens from public healthcare in California, was struck down.

The following youtube videos are clips I recorded during the town hall meetings. I have included the transcripts since the audio is sometimes difficult to hear.

(begins at 5:55 seconds on Steve's video)
I am here as a concerned citizen. I don't represent one side or the other. I am here first of all to give praise to our great country. For us to be able to even be here today to speak what we want to speak…remember and realize why our nation is such a great nation today is because we have those freedoms. I want to make sure that we represent the US constitution. I believe that the government's role is to make sure that the constitution is upheld and not to put all these programs together. My husband comes from the automotive industry and has been out of work since December but we have scraped our pennies and things together and we are picking ourselves up. I come from good Midwestern stock and I have been taught to work hard and when times are lean you work harder and have been on very very lean times but I am not asking for a hand-out or a bailout. We work harder. Our family has not been without insurance. The group plan that my husband had through his employer was not as good as what we could have had myself being an independent business owner. So, we put our own plan together. We have options we got to choose what we want I don't feel that the government right now has shown us through any of their major programs and organizations over the decades that they have been successful in running any major plan, and the last thing we need to do is to ramrod this undecipherable program at lightning speed through congress without understanding the process. Now, Do I agree that reform and things need to happen – absolutely, because being an independent payer of my own health care for my family, the costs are exorbitant, they are outrageous, and it's going up. We just got a 250 dollar a month increase on our private insurance. Let's get down to the root cause of what the problems are. Let's talk about the physicians. Let's talk about all of this extra waste and spending. Let's approach the fraud that is going in through the Medi-Cal, Medicare, Medicaid…. Let's not make an immediate decision in 30 days because we have to. But what we want to do is let's take a look at those things. What I want to see right now especially for all of you Fremont-Nummi people I have very close friends many years working at Nummi my husband sold cars that were produced at Nummi and is now out of work- okay. What I want to see our government focus today on changing the 12.2% unemployment in this state and it's going up. That is where our focus needs to be, put money in our pocket so we can choose the insurance plans that we want. We are spending way too much time to put another layer on top. We are not fixing the root cause. If we put another layer, there is no fix to the root cause, and the fraud is going to increase, so Mr congressman I ask that you please take our message back and let's get to the root cause and what is the plan for addressing that and focusing more on our unemployment than the health care at this point.

(begins at 4 minutes and 22 seconds in Steve's hiqh quality video)

This is my second town hall and yes I have attended a tea party. I had to get up at 6:00 this morning so I wrote down some thoughts. The lightning and thunder woke me up. I am not here because I got a call from some organized group. I am here because I am a concerned citizen, and I am fired up. I am fired up not just because of the massive health care reform bill that is coming up for a vote, I am fired up about the government taking over our banking and financing industry. I am fired up because of the government taking over our American car industry.... 47 million people are going to be losing their jobs after the first of the year and tens and thousands of others are going in the area to be losing their job, and I am especially fired up because of the huge massive spending deficits that we are dealing with, yes Bush did leave us with a federal deficit of approximately 490 billion dollars. After eight years, the World Trade Center Bombings, a new homeland security department that has kept us safe, two wars whether we agree with them or not and the aftermath of having to deal with hurricane Katrina you know we have a sagging economy. I am a CPA. 130 million citizens got 600 to 1000 dollars in stimulus that he had to spend in order to try and get the economy back together. It didn't help too much. Obama in eight months has accumulated a deficit almost three times larger than what Bush did in eight months not eight years and no matter what you think of Bush, one man did not create these federal deficits ….. But you know what Republicans like their pork too and it is just awful. Now we are suppose to believe that the government is going to take over our entire health care system and make everyone healthier and save or cut (I'm sorry) our deficits. Our taxes won't go up one dime because the cost of this overhaul is going to be paid for by the insurance industry and 2/3rds of it from cost savings from Medicare…. If you have 60 billion dollars a year for ten years and deficits you know this pay as you go that you say I think savings for cutting fraud and waste are not pay as you go. You don't know if you are going to realize those. If I need to buy something, I need to save the money first, so let's cut the waste now. I think we need to break it down into four or five like many Republicans, Conservatives and even some Democrats Let's cut it down into sections. Deal with fraud and Medicare. Let's save those 60 billion dollars first. Cut it down… Let's create tort reform and let's create an insurance market that is competitive across the board.

Hat tip to Steve Kemp for providing the following video.

Stark: Social Security Card or Do you require that everyone has proof of citizenship? – followed by (yes yes). (this can also be seen about 1 minute and 40 seconds in Steve's video)

Starting at 1:04 on video: Mr Congressman, you answered part of my question a little while ago how this will affect Medicare. Medicaid is going to be available to more and more people.

…The question is President Obama's plan – he doesn't have a plan, Whatever plan is out there he talks about he is going to get half the savings for that from the waste in Medicare. That is all smoke and mirrors. He says he will raise taxes by ten cents, another smoke and mirrors. It is common sense. And If he can get this much savings out of Medicare, why isn't he doing it right now… Why didn't we do earlier. You got Social Security broke, you got Medicare broke, you got abysmal care for veterans, rats running around in Walter Reed Hospital, before they finally fired a couple of generals they finally got the message. Now, you muck up everything you get your hands on. Now why - Mr Congressmen Don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining.

Stark - Thank you. I wouldn't dignify peeing on your leg. It wouldn't be worth wasting the urine. (Boos)

The San Francisco Chronicle says it this way:

Only a politician who assumes he has a job for life could behave so badly on a semi-regular basis by spewing personalized invective that might get him punched in certain East Bay taverns. Would-be challengers sometimes sense a whiff of opportunity, but the reality of taking on a 16-term Democrat in solidly liberal terrain is nothing short of daunting.

Surely there must be someone along the shoreline between Alameda and Fremont who could represent the good citizens of the district with class and dignity. It's not the case now.

Need I say more. These are the people who will be running Obamacare. Thank you but I don't think so.

Debra Saunder's makes a few good observations in her piece ObamaCare is too good to be true.

Michelle Malkin also blogged about Pete Stark's latest rant click here.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Health Care Reform or Bust!

I have been having a lively debate on facebook with a former high school classmate of mine. He says he is a centrist, but for some reason unbeknownst to me, half the liberals I talk to say they are centrists. On his facebook profile page, his political view states the following, "Whatever causes the greatest good for the greatest number." I suppose that would be my philosophy too. I also suppose that that would be the philosophy of most. So, how will healthcare reform cause the greatest good for the greatest number. It won't.

Obama's presidential approval ratings continue to plummet. The latest Rasmussen presidential daily tracking report shows a presidential approval index of -12. In January, Obama's approval rating was +28. Democrat pundits will continue to decry those who are against Obamacare, "They haven't read the bill." "They are misinformed." "They are only repeating what Fox News and right wing radio have told them." The reason Obama tried to shove this bill down the throats of American citizens before the August recess in the first place was so Americans didn't have a chance to read and understand the bill. Obama was afraid that once Americans discovered what really was in the bill, they would reject it - so much for transparency.

No matter how Democrats try to paint it, if Obamacare passes, there will be rationing. It is the only way to decrease costs. It is the basic law of supply and demand. When you have a higher demand with the same amount of doctors (or fewer), the government has to ration. This has happened in the United Kingdom and It has happened in Canada.

The president of the Canadian Medical Association, Dr Anne Doig said this about the Canadian system, "We all agree that the system is imploding, we all agree that things are more precarious than perhaps running flat out, we're all just trying to stay ahead of the immediate day-to-day demands." Polls tend to be misleading whether or not Canadians like or dislike their system because until you need the healthcare, it doesn't really matter. What is more important is how Canadians perceive their healthcare vis à vis their U.S. counterparts. According to Gallup, one-fourth of Americans are completely satisfied or somewhat satisfied. This level of satisfaction is significantly lower in Canada, where 57% are satisfied with the availability of affordable healthcare including 16% who are very satisfied. The reverse is true however when it comes to the affordability of healthcare. In the end, Gallup concludes the following, "this dichotomy seems to support the hypothesis that private healthcare encourages high-quality standards, but may be a barrier to access and affordability." I concur with that statement. However, that does not mean there are not ways to decrease costs and preserve high-quality without a government takeover.

Spain has also been Obama's latest example of how well socialized healthcare works. But how well is Spain's healthcare working? Spain's government run healthcare is called, "la sanidad pública." In a report entitled, the decline of Spain's health care system, the journalist Francisco Rubiales of Spain writes:

The great paradox is that while the Spanish health system suffers from a shortage of health care providers, Spanish doctors and health specialists emigrate to work in the healthcare systems of Great Britain, Portugal, France and many others.

Perhaps the greatest example of the decline in the Spanish health care system can be seen in Andalucía where the PSOE (the Socialist party currently in power) has always used the public healthcare system as the standard of its government and symbol of the goodness of socialism. For decades, Andalucía has received the greatest and most generous investments in medicine… the quality of that magnificent Sanidad Pública is falling apart.

The media has not reported that hospitals lack resources or urgent medicines or that entire hospital wings are being closed, or that doctors are being pressured to send home the sick and that they don't prescribe too much medicine, or that doctors with valuable experience are leaving the health care system, establishing themselves in private hospitals or emigrating to foreign countries where they are able to obtain better salaries and above all better consideration and respect….

I have several friends in Spain, and I asked a few of them what they thought of their countries health care system. I wrote to an entrepreneur in Spain, and she sent the following response as she was trekking through Rome.

Our public health system does not work well. There are too many people, and the waiting lists for operations are enormous. Everyone even if they do not pay into it has a right to it including immigrants who bring relatives to be operated on and that has the effect of making everything even worse. (my comment - Spain has a huge immigration problem like France with illegal Islamic citizens coming over from Northern Africa)


It does however give you peace knowing that if you do not have anything a house or money you can still get doctors.


The people who have means, here, have private insurance and the private insurance carriers treat you differently. In those situations, there are no waiting lines, and the hospitals are like hotels with rooms.


One day Antonio and I went to the beach, I went to the doctor and the waiting line went around the other street. There were not enough doctors for everyone. I decided I wasn't sick enough to put up with this line and I left.


The following year Antonio had to go to the doctor, but he had private insurance his father paid for, and what a difference. The waiting room was air conditioned with very comfortable sofas, and in five minutes the doctor was seeing him.


That year we saw the difference between the two systems.


Now, fortunately I have private insurance.


With this economic crisis (my comment - Spain's unemployment is about 20%) We have noticed that since people do not have any money, the system is even worse. In a few years there will be a lack of medical personnel and a lack of medical technicians. With what is approaching, I really don't know what is going to happen. It sounds like a good idea to for the state to cover medicine for the people - at least you wouldn't die in a clean bed and then they could waste more on other things.


In Europe, private insurance is available, but only a small percentage can afford it. The pool of insured people is smaller making the insurance very expensive. Europeans will opt for private insurance if they can afford it, because it is a much better system.


In another email from a Spanish journalist, she writes in part:


We all have a family doctor assigned, so if I feel ill I just make a call to the health center to be checked or go to ER directly. The doctor makes the first checkup and then sends you to the specialist if necessary. Again, you have to wait days or months for the next visit, depending on the specialist you need. Of course, in the waiting rooms there are plenty of old people and immigrants. Some people just go to the family doctor to ask for prescriptions, because there the medicines cost much less even if you ask for a simple Ibuprofen prescription, so there are old people that waste 2 hours waiting to get their prescriptions filled. In my opinion, that is elder abuse. Big cities like Madrid or Barcelona health centers and hospitals are fuc**ing busy (sorry for the expression, but it´s quite worrying). And, I'm afraid, hospitals may have real problems when having to value who's first in the list of operations.


Are we happy with this system? Personally, I am, maybe because I don´t need to go to the doctor very often, but I don´t have to pay for it (the system is deficient, the taxes should be higher to cover costs), I'm certain I´ll be attended as soon as possible when I´m ill and we have competent doctors.


Each year Forbes magazine publishes its tax misery index. This is a compilation of all the taxes in a country to determine which country has the highest tax rate. The higher the tax rate, the more prohibitive one's life becomes as to his or her leisure activities. As taxes increase, the taxpayer becomes more of a slave to the state. France has topped the list for years because of all its entitlement programs. The more a country becomes a welfare state, the higher its tax misery index will go. Will the United States succeed in topping France for the number one spot? Only time will tell.


What do we know will happen for sure in an Obamacare world that we have learned from other countries with nationalized health care?


  1. There will be rationing that will affect the most vulnerable of society.
  2. The deficit will go up enormously not down as Obama claims.
  3. The cost of Obamacare will have been severely underestimated. Just today he announced that the ten year deficit is going from 7 trillion to 9 trillion. Trying to figure out where the deficit will be is like the global warming alarmists trying to figure out where the weather will be in a century from now.
  4. There will be long waits.
  5. Emergency rooms will be more crowded than they already are.
  6. We will become a magnet for illegal aliens since they will have access to our health care system.
  7. There will be corruption, fraud and waste as there is in any government system.
  8. Taxes will go through the roof (not just those who earn more than $250,000).


Barack Obama is trying to fundamentally change the United States. There is a reason the United States has been number one all these years. It is because the United States was founded on individual liberty, not on the nanny state. The liberal believes in a utopian world where everyone is equal and everyone is taken care of from cradle to grave. Before we used to talk about billions of dollars, now we talk about trillions of dollars. Before the dot-com crash, everyone said we have reached a new paradigm and valuations no longer mattered. In the world of stocks, valuations always matter. Before the housing crisis, houses kept going up in value, and we heard the mantra, "Real estate never falls in value." What goes up must always come down. Now we here the economist Barack Obama imply that printing trillions of dollars with nothing to back it up is no big deal, because he will reduce the deficit by the end of his term and somehow healthcare will not increase government deficit. Argentina gave a similar argument before the collapse of its peso If Obama succeeds in passing this healthcare reform, he will bankrupt this nation. If he succeeds in his cap and trade scheme, he will also fundamentally change this nation and not for the better. Both of these changes will be irreversible. Why are we not doing a test case? Why is Obama against tort reform? My classmate's political view is, "Whatever causes the greatest good for the greatest number" is a nice thought, but Obamacare will cause the greatest harm to the greatest number. Obamacare must be stopped before it is too late!!!!!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Un Amor Sin Igual

This post is written in Spanish

Decidí encuadernar las cartas de Jeanine y yo que nos escribimos durante nuestro noviazgo cuando ella tuvo que regresar a Nicaragua y yo me quedé en California. Estábamos separados por un año. Escribí esta historia acerca de nuestro noviazgo y la puse enfrente de las cartas para que todos pudieran conocer la historia de nuestro amor.

Recuerdo cuán difícil fue en despedirnos en el aeropuerto. Las preguntas que pasaban por la mente, "¿Me esperaría ella?" "¿La esperaría yo?" Las preguntas que pasaban por la mente. "¿Podríamos perdernos uno al otro a la circunstancia?" Había las inseguridades, la naturaleza humana y una de cien cosas que pudieran pasar. Recuerdo cuando regresé a casa del aeropuerto de San Francisco en agosto de 1976. Entré en la casa vacía. Fui a mi dormitorio, encendí mi música y me puse a pensar en el último año y medio que habíamos pasado juntos. Recogí una caja de fotos que había tomado de Jeanine y yo, y empecé a escudriñarlas. Al rato, llegó mi mama, y entró en mi cuarto y me preguntó cómo estaba. La miré con lágrimas en los ojos y le respondí con dos palabras, "se fue."
Después de un año y medio ya no estaba. Aquí, les cuento esa historia, una historia de dos jóvenes enamorados, una historia que demostró lo profundo que fue el amor entre dos personas de dos mundos diferentes, y como, a pesar de un año de separación, y a pesar de lo que decía la gente, ese amor no solo sobrevivió sino creció más fuerte con cada nuevo amanecer.
Nuestro comienzo
La vida tiene sus momentos, esos instantes indefinibles de gozo y de alegría que vienen y se van con un abrir y cerrar de ojos. Si solo pudiéramos congelar el tiempo y mantener esos sentimientos y esos pensamientos con nosotros.
Nosotros tuvimos tal momento.
Fue a principios de los 70s. La guerra de Vietnam acabó. Debido a Roe v Wade, el aborto se legalizó. Los países árabes productores de petróleo embargaron el suministro de crudo a estados unidos y recortaron su producción – se formaron largas filas en las gasolineras. El "World Trade Center" fue terminado a un costo de 750 millones de dólares. Nixon dimitió en desgracia debido al escándalo de "Watergate." La bolsa se devaluó un 40%. La música disco estaba de moda. Fue el momento de nuestra juventud.
Estaba en mi segundo año en la universidad de West Valley. Mi carrera que estudiaba era en ese entonces el español, aunque más tarde, la cambié a contabilidad. Sin embargo, el español fue mi pasión y me interesaba cualquier actividad extracurricular que me ayudara a desarrollar mis estudios hispánicos. Me inscribí a una organización llamada ICSA, la asociación para los estudiantes extranjeros en West Valley College.
Durante los tres años que estuve en West Valley College, hice muy buenos amigos por medio de ICSA. Siempre estábamos juntos en alguna forma u otra. Tuvimos fiestas, picnics, presentaciones de los estudiantes extranjeros para la universidad. Siempre parecía que andábamos juntos. Durante los almuerzos o durante los descansos entre las clases, nos reuníamos en la cafetería donde comíamos juntos y platicábamos. Fue por medio de esta organización donde conocí a Jeanine.
La razón por la cual menciono esta organización es porque fue una mayor parte de mi vida durante esa parte de mi carrera académica, y fue por medio de ICSA que la conocí. Me refiero, por supuesto, a mi otra mitad, la mujer con quien me iba a casar. Obviamente, no lo sabía en ese entonces, pero con el tiempo los dos lo sabríamos.
Había tantas cualidades en ella que me atraían. Su nombre era Jeanine y estaba aquí en una visa de estudiante. Mientras asistía a la universidad, ella podía residir legalmente en los Estados Unidos. Sin embargo, cuando se terminaran sus estudios, se tenía que regresar a su país porque se vencería su visa.
Al principio, no hubo nada especial con nuestra relación. En realidad, no teníamos una relación. Me juntaba con ella en la cafetería cuando la veía con otros miembros del grupo. Yo le decía chistes, y jugábamos juegos de adolescentes. Yo le contaba de mis miles amores y travesuras. Todo esto, por supuesto, fue en broma. Y fue nuestro comienzo.
Un Dilema
En diciembre una amiga del grupo tuvo una fiesta en su apartamento. Jeanine y yo fuimos. Mientras estaba sentado en la fiesta llena de los estudiantes de ICSA, saboreando una cerveza, la miré. Ella era encantadora y tenía una dulce sonrisa. Mientras reía y se divertía con los otros allí, noté algo diferente en ella; algo que no puedo explicar en palabras. Esa noche, sabía que mis sentimientos por ella nunca serían lo mismo. No pude dejar de mirarla. Me di cuenta que mis sentimientos por Jeanine llegaban a ser más que platónicos. Se me presentaba un dilema – previamente, tuvimos una amistad frívola y acomodadiza. Por el último año y medio, nuestra relación había sido una de diversión y jugar juegos. Estaba listo ahora a llevarla a un nivel más serio. No estaba seguro como resolver este problema.
La manera más fácil, pensaba yo, sería hablar con Melba, la amiga más allegada a Jeanine. Melba es de Cuba, y sigue siendo una buena amiga de nosotros. Ella fue instrumental en ayudarme con la relación con Jeanine. Le dije a Melba que quería salir con Jeanine. Melba le preguntó a Jeanine si saldría conmigo, y Jeanine dijo que sí. Me doy cuenta que esta clase de comportamiento es como la de un niño en una primaria, pero ¡Qué más da! – salió bien.
La Carta
Jeanine y yo salimos en nuestra primera cita en marzo. Fuimos en una doble cita con otra pareja a "El Gordo's", un restaurante mexicano en el casco antiguo de Los Gatos. Después fuimos a una película titulada "Lenny."
La película que vimos en nuestra primera cita como pareja pudo haber sido la peor película que jamás había visto en mi vida. No solamente era en blanco y negro sino que se trataba de un comediante que usaba lenguaje grosero para decir sus chistes. Los chistes no eran cómicos, y sólo me puedo imaginar lo que pensaba Jeanine ya que siendo nicaragüense, lo más probable, fue que ella no entendía el humor norteamericano. Mi amigo y yo sólo nos miramos como para decir, "¿Qué es lo que estamos haciendo aquí?" No fue la película ideal de una primera cita, y sólo esperaba que no dejara una impresión perdurable en Jeanine.
Al mes siguiente, tuve una fiesta en mi casa para estudiantes extranjeros. Yo tuve muchas fiestas para estudiantes extranjeros en mi casa durante mis años de la secundaria y de la universidad.
Bailé con Jeanine esa noche a una canción suave que se tocaba. Era uno de esos momentos eternos. Jeanine parecía diferente al momento que la vi; su belleza brillaba. Mis mejillas frotaban contra las suyas, y podía sentir la suavidad de su piel con la mía. El olor familiar y fragante de su perfume francés, Fidji penetraba su cabello negro, liso y largo. Pudiera haber permanecido en esa posición toda la noche.
La música cambió a una canción movida, una cumbia pero Jeanine y yo seguimos bailando a nuestro propio ritmo lento. De pronto, alguien apagó la música y Jeanine y yo todavía seguimos bailando a nuestro ritmo lento.
"Se apagó la música" dijo Jeanine en una voz suave contra mis hombros.
Yo la miré y sonreí, "¿de veras?, pero todavía la puedo escuchar." Jeanine me devolvió una sonrisa y me dijo tiernamente "¡qué risita!" Palabras así guardadas en un momento eterno nunca se olvidan. Seguimos bailando. Éste fue el comienzo de un cambio en nuestras relaciones.
Sin embargo, todo no fue como un cuento de hadas. Hubo muchos obstáculos y temores que tuvimos que superar. Jeanine era de Nicaragua. Ella luchaba con nuestra relación y a veces me eludía, porque estaba confusa, y tenía miedo de enamorarse de un americano. Eventualmente, ella sabía que tendría que regresar a su país.
Dos meces después de nuestra primera cita, Jeanine planeaba unas vacaciones a Nicaragua y yo iba a tomar unas vacaciones a España para visitar a algunos amigos que había conocido allá cuando estuve en Segovia. También iba a ver a una chica con quien salía en mi último viaje.
Unas dos semanas antes de mi salida, Jeanine se portaba bien extraña. Por fin, un día fui a la biblioteca donde ella estudiaba con unas amigas suyas. Encontré a Jeanine con un grupo de amigas en uno de los salones insonorizados de la biblioteca. Cuando abrí la puerta, Jeanine me miró con asombro y le dije,
    "Necesito hablar contigo."
Jeanine me siguió y nos sentamos en una mesa cercana. Me fijé que sus amigas nos quedaban mirando desde el salón insonorizado. No recuerdo la conversación – sólo recuerdo el momento – otro momento en el tiempo que no se olvida.
Y allí, entre los estantes cargados de los tomos polvorientos de enciclopedias y diccionarios surtidos, rompimos nuestras relaciones. Jeanine suponía que ya que yo me iba para España y ella se iba para Nicaragua, no tenía ningún objeto seguir esta relación. Después de nuestra conversación, Jeanine se puso de pie y volvió al salón insonorizado. A medida que cerraba la puerta detrás de ella, la vi sentarse. Siguió estudiando con sus amigas. Me quedé sentado por un momento y sólo las miraba. Los labios se movían – pero no salía ningún sonido; una quietud y tranquilidad extraña me llenaba. Me puse de pie y salí de la biblioteca.
El avión aterrizó en Zurich, Suiza el 17 de mayo, y cogí un tren rumbo a Madrid, España. Cuando llegué a Madrid, eran las 11:00 p.m., pero no había cambiado nada de mi dinero a pesetas, la moneda corriente de España, (como dicen en España - no tenía ni un duro) por eso tuve que deambular por las calles oscuras toda la noche hasta que se abrieran los bancos.
De Madrid, cogí el tren de dos horas a Segovia, y me encontré con Alicia en la estación ferroviaria. Por los dos últimos años, Alicia y yo nos escribimos fielmente. Ahora, tenía la oportunidad de ver si los sentimientos que en un tiempo tuvimos el uno por el otro, todavía existían entre nosotros.
Alicia era muy amable pero al mismo tiempo, se comportaba muy fríamente. Yo tenía el presentimiento que todo iba a ser diferente.
Alicia me encontró un lugar donde me podía hospedar, una pensión durante mi estancia en Segovia. Una señora solitaria de mayor edad era la propietaria de la pensión. Ya no la alquilaba debido a ciertas tragedias que le habían sobrevenido durante su vida. Me alquiló un cuarto por un precio muy barato como un favor a Alicia. No hubo mucho que hacer durante el día en Segovia ya que era una ciudad muy pequeña. Así muy a menudo me encontraba en una de las varias terrazas salpicadas por la ciudad de Segovia tomando zumos de naranja o una caña esperando a Alicia.
Unos dos días después de mi llegada, nos encontramos en El Bar Showking, una terraza ubicada en la plaza de Azoquejo, una de las dos plazas más populares en Segovia. Ella quiso dar un paseo. Paseamos detrás del alcázar famoso de Segovia, el cual se usó en la película de Camelot (1967) con Richard Harris y como el diseño del castillo en "Disneyworld." Nos paseamos entre los árboles detrás del alcázar, el lugar que se usó como el bosque encantado de "Camelot." Descansamos sentados en un banco y meditamos con quietud sobre nuestro pasado. Las hojas de los árboles revoloteaban en la brisa, y el sol brillante segoviano titilaba entre el follaje encima de nosotros. De vez en cuando, una ráfaga de viento se llevaba las hojas y las dispersaba cerca del banco donde nos sentamos.
Mientras estábamos sentados, Alicia me miró. Ya me imaginaba lo que ella pensaba.
    "¿Quieres saber por qué me he estado comportando en forma tan extraña?"
     No dije nada; sólo esperaba para ver si respondería sin una respuesta directa a su pregunta.
     Continuó, "Cuando te fuiste la última vez, fue muy difícil para mí.
Sólo escuché. En realidad, no sabía que decir.
La cara se puso muy suave, "¿Me…..quieres besar?" preguntó con una cara tierna y vulnerable. Yo incliné la cabeza y nos besamos. Creo que los dos sabíamos que éste era un beso de despedida, un memorial a la relación que se había acabado entre nosotros.
La próxima noche, esperaba a Alicia en una de las discotecas de Segovia. Cuando ella entró, me entregó una carta que había recibido en el correo para mí (usé la dirección de Alicia para mi correo.) Fue una carta que tanto esperaba, de Jeanine. Con las manos temblorosas, leí la carta, y al final Jeanine escribió
"Marcos, yo creo que ya me despido, ya es un poco tarde casi la 1:30 de la mañana ya que voy tan dormilona, estos días me he estado durmiendo tarde, no sé porque. Antes de terminar, quiero decirte algo, sabes, te he extrañado bastante y pensado en ti. No sé si a ti habrá pasado lo mismo por lo que estás tan bien acompañado y tú sabes a quién me refiero. Pero, espero que aunque sigas con Alicia tan siquiera me escribas."
Mientras leía esas palabras, Alicia notó un cambio en mi cara, y con la intuición de una mujer, preguntó si era otra chica. Le enseñé la carta. Fue por esa carta, que me decidí a renovar mis relaciones con Jeanine.
La próxima semana cuando me fui de Segovia, recorrí por tres semanas Europa por tren y pidiendo autostop. No tenía mucho dinero, por eso me dormía en los trenes, o afuera, o en los hostales para estudiantes, y en las mañanas, les pagaba a los hoteles dinero equivalente alrededor de 20 centavos para poder bañarme. Me crecí la barba, porque era demasiado difícil afeitarme especialmente cuando no se encontraba agua caliente. Por cierto vivía una vida bohemia. Le mandé a Jeanine una postal de cada ciudad que visité. Sus papás se maravillaban a la cantidad de postales que le mandaba este gringo. Regresé a los Estados Unidos el 15 de julio, pero tuve que esperar un mes para que regresara Jeanine de Nicaragua.
Al mes siguiente, fui a otra fiesta con miembros de ICSA, porque sabía que Jeanine iba a estar allí. Yo estaba sentado en un lado de la sala y Jeanine estaba sentada en otro lado. Cada uno de nosotros estábamos hablando con un grupo distinto. Al rato, Jeanine levantó los ojos y me miró y yo la miré. Nos quedamos mirando y Jeanine se levantó de donde ella estaba sentada, se arrimó y se sentó junto a mí. La miré y podía ver en sus ojos esas inseguridades y esa confusión que aparentaban decir, "¿Debemos estar haciendo esto?" Le cogí de la mano y la apreté como para decir, "Sí, está bien." Nada se había resuelto, pero por el momento, todo estaba bien.
Jeanine y yo estábamos juntos otra vez. Éste fue el comienzo de un nuevo principio. Todavía había veces en que Jeanine estaba indecisa, porque todavía no sabíamos que podía pasar con esta relación. ¿Qué pasaría cuando al final se regresaba a Nicaragua? Y yo nunca le dije muy claramente mis sentimientos hacia ella. Pero ahora yo estaba decidido.
Nos estábamos enamorando.
Un nuevo principio
Desde ese día en adelante, atesoraba cada momento que pasé con Jeanine. El día de los enamorados llegó y Jeanine me regaló un perrito, (un juguete), el cual mantenía en mi tablero de instrumentos de mi coche. Este perrito es el tema en muchas de las cartas, porque Jeanine siempre trataba de quitármelo; fue un juego que jugábamos.
A Jeanine le encantaba sus jueguitos, como cambiar todos los canales de mi radio en el coche, pero esto fue parte de la diversión con ella. A veces, manejamos por El Camino Real, una calle muy larga, sin destino alguno. Ella me preguntaba que para donde íbamos, y yo le respondía, "Te voy a enseñar tu casita que te compré con una piscina, con unas sirvientas, y con un Mercedes-Benz." Pero nunca encontramos la casita.
En mayo, le compré un anillo de promesa, porque no quería comprarle un anillo de compromiso si no lo iba a aceptar, (yo era muy tacaño en esos días.) La llevé a un restaurante local en Los Gatos y pedimos un aperitivo de hongos antes de la comida. Es allí donde le di el anillo de promesa. Jeanine empezó a llorar, y por el hecho que estaba tan nerviosa se comió el plato entero de hongos y el plato no era muy pequeño.
Cuando llegó a su casa esa noche, le enseñó el anillo a su familia americana y le preguntaron si estaba comprometida. Jeanine no sabía, porque dijo que yo nunca hablaba muy claro con ella. Al día siguiente cuando fui a recogerla, me dijo lo que le preguntaron y yo le respondí, "diles que sí."
Un mes después, salimos Jeanine y yo a un autocine. Es un misterio el nombre de la película, pero no fue como si la viéramos de todas maneras. Llovía a cántaros y estaban anubladas las ventanas, pero eso nos tenía sin cuidado. Brindamos esa noche sombría con dos botellas de champagne. Me acosté en su regazo, y contemplé su cara tan bella.
"Pronto, te vas", le dije. Ella inclinaba la cabeza como para decir, "yo sé." Nos mirábamos con fijeza por varios minutos; fue una eternidad envuelta en otro momento. Podía yo sentir palpitar mi corazón como si quisiera saltar de mi cuerpo.
Por fin salieron las palabras
"¿Me esperarás?" Me miró y sin vacilar dijo "sí." En ese momento, parecía que desaparecieron todas mis inseguridades. Sabía que era mía.
Unos días después, le compré un anillo de compromiso en una cajita negra. La llamé por teléfono del hospital (donde trabajaba) y en medio de la conversación, le dije,
"Compré algo hoy"
"¿Qué? Me inquirió
"Está en una cajita negra."
"¿Qué es?"
"No te puedo decir."
Me encantaba jugar con ella estos juegos, porque era más divertido dejarla en suspenso. Ella persistía en sus molestias, tratando de averiguar lo que había comprado
Varios días después, fui a su casa a recogerla. Antes de tener la oportunidad de arrancar el coche, Jeanine dijo,
"¿Pues qué?" le contesté simulando no saber de lo que estaba hablando.
"¿Y la cajita?"
Sólo me quedé sentado y le respondí y le sonreí por varios momentos. Nos quedamos sentados en la quietud de la noche. La miré y noté que la luz de la luna proyectó una sombra en ella e hizo aún más radiante su belleza más que lo general. Sus ojos me miraban y ella sonreía. Me imaginé que ahora era el momento. Nerviosamente, me puse las manos en el bolsillo de mi camisa y traté de buscar torpemente la cajita negra. La saqué y la abrí. En la cajita, estaba el anillo de compromiso. Cuidadosamente, Jeanine sacó el anillo de la cajita.
Jeanine quedó mirando el anillo. De repente, ella empezó a pensar que pronto íbamos a tener que despedirnos. Ella dejó de sonreír y se puso a llorar.
"Por qué uno nunca puede ser feliz?" Preguntó con los ojos húmedos de lágrimas.
No dije nada. Entendí lo que quería decir
"¡Ponémelo!" dijo con su acento nicaragüense.
Le tomé el anillo de su mano, y se lo puse en el dedo. Ella me quitó los anteojos como siempre solía hacer y nos besamos.
Jeanine me enseñó la mano con el anillo. Miré la mano y la cogí con incertidumbre, porque sabía que el tiempo de nuestra despedida se aproximaba rápidamente y me preocupó. Se nos acababa el tiempo.
En julio, Jeanine iba a tomar unas vacaciones de tres semanas junto con su familia americana a Wyoming. Los viernes en las noches siempre había un buen conjunto que tocaba en el "Holiday Inn", por eso unos miembros de ICSA decidieron reunirse en el "Holiday Inn" para darle una fiesta de despedida, porque después del viaje a Wyoming iba a regresar a su país. Temía nuestra separación venidera.
Pasé a recoger a Jeanine a llevarla al "Holiday Inn." No dijimos mucho rumbo al hotel, porque ambos comprendíamos el dolor que existía entre nosotros. Al llegar al estacionamiento del Holiday Inn, Jeanine dijo, "dobla aquí" – así doblé y me estacioné en un parqueo que no era del Holiday Inn. Sólo nos quedamos sentados allí por un minuto sólo escuchando el murmullo del motor. Apagué el motor y empecé a sentir algo adentro, y todas las inseguridades que sentía antes, empecé a sentir de nuevo. Volví la cabeza, le cogí de la mano y la abracé. No la quería soltar. Quería que este momento permaneciera para siempre. Si fuéramos al Holiday Inn, sería el fin. Ella me dejaría y el futuro sería incierto. No podíamos despedirnos todavía; eso sería demasiado final. No me importaba quien estaba en el "Holiday Inn." Yo quería a Jeanine para mí mismo.
¿Realizaremos de verdad nuestros planes, nuestros sueños? ¿Nos casaríamos de verdad? ¿Esperaríamos los dos? Quería decirle como me sentía y cuanto la quería. Pero, creo que ya lo sabía. Al rato, arranqué el coche y salimos rumbo al Holiday Inn donde los otros nos esperaban. A la semana siguiente, Jeanine y su familia americana salieron de vacaciones por tres semanas a Wyoming.
Ahora era agosto, Jeanine estaba en Wyoming, y yo había empezado un nuevo trabajo en el hospital de San José. Trabajé duro porque era necesario mantener ese trabajo para inmigración. La inmigración requería que yo demostrara que Jeanine no fuera a ser una carga pública del gobierno.
En mi posición de "camillero" llevaba un "busca" (beeper) y cuando las enfermeras o los médicos me necesitaban me llamaban por medio del busca. Así es que si nadie me necesitaba, pasé mucho tiempo en el salón de los médicos. El salón de los médicos estaba bien amueblado con sofás y televisores, pero nunca vi a ningún médico allí que usaba el salón. El salón estaba siempre vacio, tranquilo y quieto y siempre se tocaba una música suave al fondo. Allí es donde pasé muchas horas escribiéndole cartas a Jeanine, y allí es donde le escribí mi carta de despedida, trece páginas escritas a máquina. La carta en sí describía mis sentimientos hacia Jeanine y nuestros planes para el futuro. Le entregué la carta el día de su salida para Nicaragua en el aeropuerto de San Francisco.
Los padres de Jeanine pensaban, como muchos otros, que nuestros planes eran pura fantasía, porque yo estaba aquí y ella estaba allá y un año es mucho tiempo. Los padres de Jeanine no querían pensar que iban a perder a su hija menor.
Un sueño realizado
Hice un viaje a Nicaragua en abril durante la semana santa con el propósito de pedirles la mano de Jeanine a sus padres. Cuando llegué a Managua, Nicaragua, dos guardias subieron al avión y me dirigieron a la aduana antes de que todos los demás en el avión desembarcaran. Esto fue porque, el padre de Jeanine trabajaba para Anastasio Somoza Debayle, el dictador (o como decían los Nicas el presidente) de Nicaragua. Después de aliviar el miedo que al principio sentía por el susto que me dieron los guardias por quitarme del avión, me sentía como una persona muy importante.
En 1972, Managua fue completamente asolada por un terremoto. 40.000 personas murieron, y la ciudad nunca fue reconstruida. Toda la familia de Jeanine vivía en un lugar que se llamaba "casa colorada" ubicada en las afueras de Managua. Esta casa era la casa de veraneo. La familia perdió tres casas en ese terremoto, y todos los hermanos, hermanas, esposos, esposas, hijos e hijas, nietos y nietas se fueron a vivir en esa casa.
Fue allí donde les pedí la mano de Jeanine a sus padres. Al principio, vacilaban en dar su respuesta. El padre de Jeanine dijo que debo terminar mis estudios. Yo le dije que eso no era la costumbre en Estados Unidos – una mentira piadosa. Al rato, se pusieron los dos de acuerdo y dijeron que sí. Después de dar su consentimiento para que nos casáramos, el padre de Jeanine se recostó en su mecedora y por mucho que quería disimularlo, se le salieron las lágrimas porque empezó a darse cuenta que se marchaba su hija menor. En ese momento me di cuenta que nosotros íbamos a realizar nuestro sueño. Hubo tantas dudas y tantos temores. Siempre recuerdo esa sonrisa, esa belleza, y esa personalidad inigualable; las cuales me hicieron enamorarme de Jeanine.
Puedo seguir, pero estas cartas describen detalladamente nuestra relación, los obstáculos que tuvimos que superar. Es nuestra historia – una historia de una vida nueva que emprendemos nosotros dos. Las cartas que siguen enseñan el amor entre Jeanine y yo y los planes que trazamos juntos.

Alicia continua siendo una buena amiga. Ella es casada con un hijo y tiene un taller de pintura en la plaza mayor de Segovia.

Melba, la cubana que me ayudó también sigue siendo una buena amiga de nosotros y vive cerca de nosotros.

Monday, July 20, 2009

30 years of suffering for the Nicaraguan people


Speech given by Daniel Ortega at 30th celebration of the Nicaraguan Revolution July 17, 2009.
Because the truth is that our sister republic of Bolivia and Venezuela have come to the aid of the people of Nicaragua – that is the truth. We would be without energy in the entire country. There wouldn't be light in Nicaragua nor would companies be able to function if it were not for the solidarity of Hugo Chavez and Fidel who were the ones responsible for the formation of the ALBA alliance (a leftist Latin American Alliance). And when the United States decided to cut the last funds of the millennium, President Hugo Chavez immediately said we are going to help Nicaragua, and so we counted on Venezuela to generously give to Nicaragua 50 million dollars to defend itself in these difficult times.
President Hugo Chavez just called, and he sent a message that we are going to read and publish. In the telephone message that he just made, he called to send us his greeting. He is very happy for our 30th anniversary. He is watching thousands of Nicaraguans through channel Telesur. He congratulates Daniel and all the people of Nicaragua. He is sorry he could not be present because of sudden health problems at the last minute. Soon we will be together Long live the people of Nicaragua. Long Live Sandino, signs Hugo Chavez and the president of the Republic of Bolivia 1:30 pm Nicaraguan time.
July 17, 2009 marks the 30th anniversary of the Sandinista Revolution so says Ortega. My wife (who is from Nicaragua) and I used to travel to Nicaragua frequently before the revolution to enjoy its people and its culture. We have been back to Nicaragua since on several occasions, but Nicaragua is not the country it used to be. The destruction of its economy and the country can be attributed to one person Daniel Ortega, and Daniel Ortega's rise to power can be attributed to one man Jimmy Carter.

Ortega speaks of the 30th year of the revolution, yet for most of those years, the left in Nicaragua wasn't even in power.

I have followed Nicaragua since the 70s, so in commemoration of its 30th anniversary, I thought I would post a few pieces I wrote about Nicaragua.
What the elections in El Salvador mean (including Nicaragua) click here

Fraud in Nicaragua – Continuing Jimmy Carter's legacy click here

Obama's new buddy – Daniel Ortega click here

One of the traditions in Nicaragua, and only in Nicaragua click here

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009

Uprising in Iran

Jerusalem post:

Without support from the United States and other Western countries, Iranian opposition groups will likely stop demonstrations against the Iranian regime and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's declared victory in Friday's presidential elections, senior Israeli defense officials said Sunday.

Wanna bet Barack Obama will not give any support to the uprising
Let's hope we do not have another tinanmen square.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

My daughter’s letter to herself.

Here is an assignment I did not know my daughter had, but it was definitely a good assignment. Her eighth grade language arts teacher asked her students to write a letter to themselves. Four years later, she mailed the letters to the students at the end of their senior year in high school. This was definitely a creative idea by Raeann's language arts teacher Mrs. Sisneros. I liked the letter so much I thought I would post it (as written grammatical errors and all).

June 3, 2005

Dear Raeann,

I think high school is going to be fun but hard, and, and there's probably going to be a lot of drama. My best friends right now are Kiki, Jennie and a lot of other people. Kiki and me always hangout now, we say were cousins.

I don't really have any favorite teachers but I really like my lang. Arts teacher, Mrs Sisneros.

I mostly get As and Bs, but sometimes I mess up, and get lower grades that that L.

Me and my friends like to walk around a lot, we don't really have a certain spot, we hang out at.

I don't usually get allowance, but when I do get money, I spend it on clothes J

I used to do gymnastics and sport aerobics, but not anymore cuz I quit.

I wear Hollister clothes, or whatever is cute!

I listen to 89.3 94.9 and Mariah Carey, Usher, 50 cent, Frontline, Frankie J and a lot more.

Three guys liked me but I didn't really like them back except for one [Steven].

My favorite foods are tacos and macaroni & cheese, for drinks I like, smoothies, and anything that's good. My favorite color is pink! I like watching MTV, Degrassi, Blind Date. I hate action movies. I like chick flics. The kind of car I Hope to have is similar to my brothers car. Im not sure what to expect though.

My relationship with my parents is good, but sometimes we argue and then they say I get an attitude, but hey its not my fault. They have strict rules, and I don't like the rules they give. My brother and I used to fight, but starting this year we don't anymore, [wonder why?] Maybe he's finally growing up.

Love Raeann

And there you have it – four years later, Raeann is a graduate from high school.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Europe’s turn to the right

"The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain" Professor Higgins so deftly teaches Eliza Doolittle in the musical "My Fair Lady." But, Sunday, it did not rain in Spain, it poured as the left as we would say in America, "Got its proverbial butt kicked." Barack Obama, are you paying attention?

The Spanish newspaper, ABC after Sunday's parliamentary elections read, "Zapatero, the absent leader." The Prime Minister of Spain went into hiding realizing that Sunday's election was to be a big win for the right. Sunday's election in Spain was a stunning defeat for the left, El Partido Socialista Obrera Española, (PSOE). The Partido Popular, (PP), the party of the right picked up 23 seats led by its leader, Mariano Rajoy.

Zapatero has been a disaster for the Spanish economy. He was elected in 2004 after the Madrid bombings by Al-Queda when the then President José Aznar tried to cover up and blame the bombings on ETA, (a Basque separatist group.) If you want to know about Stimulus plans, look no further than Spain. Like Obama, Zapatero is a big believer in Keynesian economics and that the government is the answer to society's ills. Zapatero's stimulus package was 8 billion euros or 11 billion dollars. For a country slightly bigger than the state of Oregon, that is a lot of money. Spain doesn't have a Bush to blame for its economic woes like Obama does. The success of Zapatero's stimulus plan can be found in its unemployment number. Spain boasts the highest unemployment rate in the European Union recently reaching an astounding 20%, double that of any other country in the Union. Spain's unemployment is a frequent topic of Informe Semanal, Spain's 60 minutes. The unemployment graph looks like one of Al Gore's graphs on global warming. According to the Economist, Spain's real GDP is forecasted to decline by 4.9% in 2009. In a previous debate and in a last ditch effort to woo support for his fledgling party, Zapatero offered laptops for every schoolchild at a cost of $2,800 per pupil, tax-breaks for new car buyers, and other populist ideas. Of course, like Obama, he had no idea where the money would come from. Sunday, the voters of Spain showed its displeasure by voting back in the PP. I am going to venture a guess that in 2012, Spain's leftist party, El Partido Socialista Obrera Española, (PSOE) will lose Spain's general elections.

Spain, however, was not the only country where the left was defeated. European discontent with leftist policies has been growing throughout Europe. Sunday was the culmination of four days of elections throughout the continent. Most Americans are asleep when it comes to politics in the European Union, but the left in the United States should take notice. The entire continent of Europe was given a wake-up call after four days of elections. Europeans are fed up with company bailouts, fiscal stimulus, and other policies promoted by the left. During the Bush administration, center-right candidates were already being elected across the continent; France - Nicolas Sarkozy, Germany – Angela Merkel, Italy – Silvio Berlusconi and Sweden Fredrik Reinfeldt. Not since World War 2, has the left been so battered and bruised in Europe. The British Labor party suffered its worst defeat since 1918. Europe's parliamentary elections were a repudiation of these leftist policies.

The European Union's 27 countries are mired in onerous taxes, burdensome labor laws, high unemployment, and immigration problems. The European electorate believed that the EU has been headed down the wrong path. This was also reflected in the low turnout. Only 43% of the electorate voted; the lowest turnout in the EU's 30 year history. France, Germany, Spain and Italy were the biggest winners for the right. The elections strengthened the incumbent parties of President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, and Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of Italy. One of the trends has also been a noticeable rejection of further European integration into the European Union. This is why Barack Obama was completely out of touch with the EU when he suggested that Turkey be part of the European Union, and French President Sarkozy told him to butt out of EU's affairs.

While Europe is moving to the right, the United States continues full speed ahead on its pathway to the left. In the latest move, Democrats are now trying to push through a bill that will pay $3,500 to people who junk old cars to buy so-called energy efficient new cars ordered by the new Chrysler CEO Barack Obama. Who comes up with these hair-brain schemes? When you can't get consumers to buy, you try and get the government to create the demand. Since when has government ever been able to create a sustainable demand? It can't. This idea will hurt the poor more than anyone else. Demand is created by the private sector not the government. Time and time again, policies such as these have proven to be ineffective, but we still continue to enact them. Let's say I have a brain tumor that I needed removed. I am transported to the operating room and I have in front of me a brain surgeon and a nurse. An argument ensues between the brain surgeon and me. Because of the argument I opt to forego the brain surgeon, and I ask the nurse to do the operation instead. That is what we have done. We have the nurse in charge of the country, not the brain surgeon. Sooner or later, the electorate wakes from its slumber after realizing who they elected. Europe is beginning to wake up. How long will it take us to realize that we have a cadre of "boobs" running this country? How long will it take for us to wake up? Only time will tell.

From Reuters (video below)

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown faces a grilling from opposition leader David Cameron in the wake of woeful results in local and European elections.

This was Brown's first appearance in the House of Commons since the ruling Labour Party's disastrous showing in European and local elections.

Brown faced tough criticism from the Conservative Party leader Cameron who claimed the Prime Minister is "a man with no democratic legitimacy" having succeeded Tony Blair as PM without a general election.

Brown responded saying that Cameron has "no plans for government and he doesn't deserve to be in government".

The Prime Minister has faced repeated calls for an early general election, in the wake of a parliament-wide scandal over expenses, and the resignations of several cabinet ministers.

Last weekend, the Labour Party plunged to its worst result in a century, polling under 16 percent in national elections to European Parliament.

Brown must call an election before mid-2010.

Can anyone say, "Jon Voight for President?"

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Brokaw compares Israel to the NAZIs

The only word for this is "Unbelievable."

Powerline states the following:

Much has been made of President Obama's "on the other hand" transition, in his speech yesterday, from the Holocaust to the travails of the Palestinians. Some thought that he implied a kind of equivalence. But the appalling Tom Brokaw reminded us that it could have been worse when he asked Obama about his visit to Buchenwald on the Today Show this morning:

BROKAW: What can the Israelis learn from your visit to Buchenwald? And what should they be thinking about their treatment of Palestinians?
Unbelievable. Obama, to his credit, squelched the analogy:

OBAMA: Well, look, there's no equivalency here.

Friday, June 5, 2009

A First in Barack Obama's Poll numbers

Rasmussen, the most accurate of the polling organizations shows Obama's approval ratings and disapproval ratings to be equal - a first.

The President’s ratings have slipped since General Motors filed for bankruptcy to initiate a new government bailout and takeover. Just 26% of Americans believe the GM bailout was a good idea and nearly as many support a boycott of GM products. It remains to be seen whether the dip in the President’s numbers is a temporary reaction to recent news or something more substantive.
continue reading here.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Obama’s message to Islam

"Fight and slay the pagans wherever you find them, and see them, belittle them and lie and wait for them in every strategy of war." (The Koran Sura 9 Verse 5)

Note: The majority of Muslims in Western countries are not radicalized because they are not influenced by the propaganda of the Middle East, however this does not mean we should not monitor the Mosques in the United States for radicalization. We do have enemies within who also want to destroy us. As in NAZI Germany, there were some who came to the realization that anti-Semitism and hate were wrong. I believe this to be true in today's Islamic world also.

Obama continued his trek across the great nations of the world, this time to tell the Muslims of the world that we are nice people. I listened to the entire speech from Cairo University to hear any pearls of great wisdom that might have come forth from the messiah. Some of the speech was good as when Barack Obama spoke of the contributions of Islam to the world. I would probably give him a C- on content. His speech was very similar to many of the same empty platitudes in many of Bush's speeches when he spoke of the Middle East. After Barack Obama failed in his attempt to cajole Europe into cooperation with the U.S., and after he failed with Latin America, he was now off to appease the likes of Hamas. I sincerely believe that Obama wants to change the course of foreign relations with the Islamic world through public policy and suasion, but first he would have to change the mindset of a culture that still believes in vengeance from the 15th century when the Spanish kicked the Moors out of Spain. President after president has tried to establish peace in the region all with no success – why would Obama be any different? I initially thought that because of Obama's Islamic roots, he would be able to reach out to the Islamic world in a way no other leader in the Western world has, but his speech was filled with the same naiveté that has been the essence of every president before him.

This is the first time Obama stressed his middle name Hussein. The inflection in his voice went higher as he pronounced his middle name Barack Hussein Obama. It is somewhat ironic that there was so much ado about using his middle name during the presidential campaign. During the campaign, there were emails floating around (much of it false) about Barack Obama's Muslim roots. There were people claiming that Barack was a Muslim while the campaign denied it. Most conservatives said they did not use Obama's middle name because he was Muslim but because it was his middle name. I disagree. I do believe Republicans used his middle name in the hope of causing a reaction among the electorate about his Muslim roots. But, so what! I would have stated the reason I used his middle name. I did not want anyone elected who had any Muslim ties as our president. That would be like electing a person of Japanese or German descent during World War 2. It was undeniable before the election and it is undeniable now that Barack's Islamic ties go way back. He may call himself a Christian, but to the Muslim world he will always be a Muslim since he was a Muslim at birth. In fact, Islam considers a Christian who was born a Muslim an apostate worthy of death. Barack Obama has already demonstrated that he goes out of his way to appease Islam to the detriment of Israel. He did not even visit Israel on this trip. This was a snub to our greatest ally in the region. But, I digress.

As Obama begins his speech, he says that he will speak the truth by quoting the Koran, "As the Holy Koran tells us, "Be conscious of God and speak always the truth." In fact, the Koran teaches Muslims not to tell the truth if it advances the cause of Islam. The principle of taqiyya allows lying for the purpose of spreading the cause of Islam. In Islam, there is no lie about America or Israel that is too great. Some examples of taqiyya include:

  • For ritual purposes, Jews use the blood of Muslim (and Christian) children in Matzoh and Purim pastries. Jews and Israelis are literally "vampires" and "bloodsuckers."
  • Israel is sending AIDS-infected prostitutes to spread the disease by seducing and infecting innocent young Muslim boys.
  • The Jews build "ovens" to bake Palestinians. (1)

Taqiyya pervades Islamic life so much so that lying is a part of the culture. This is why Muslims in the Islamic world believed that Jews in the twin towers were informed by Israel before the attack so they could make a quick exit. It is why the Islamic world was so surprised that the United States took down Sadaam Hussein so quickly when the Iraqi information minister Mohammad Saeed said Iraq was winning and America was losing. In December 13, 2004, the Iranian Sahar 1, a TV station broadcasted a series entitled, "Zahara's Blue Eyes." This series asserts that Israelis steal the organs of a Palestinian girl and transplant them in an Israeli girl. (1) This is the typical propaganda that is disseminated throughout the entire Islamic world. This is no different than the Nazi propaganda like the film Triumph of the will by Leni Riefenstahl exhibiting the Germans as the superior Aryan race and other NAZI propaganda pieces that showed Jews as vermin. How do you fight that? You don't fight it by denying the reality of it.

Obama continues the myth that only a few are the extremists wanting to engage war on the West. As I have shown above, the majority of the Islamic world is anti-Semitic. While most may not engage in the suicide bombings or slamming airplanes into buildings, most are sympathetic to the cause. This is why after 9/11 thousands were seen cheering in the streets in Islamic countries. This is why there were virtually no Islamic leaders condemning the attacks. Most Germans during World War 2 did not participate in the killing of Jews, but anti-Semitism was ubiquitous throughout the Third Reich and most participated in the evil treatment of the Jews.

Obama's flowery rhetoric begins with all the contributions of Islam. He ends the portion of the speech by stating, "Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality." What religion was he talking about? It couldn't be Islam.

The Mutawa (Saudi religious police) broke into homes and smashed hi-fis. If they found alcohol, they hauled men off to jail and beat them there. They prohibited the sale of children's dolls – dolls became contraband, like whiskey, because they were human images. Suddenly, the only dolls for sale were shapeless figures with no faces, like the one owned by Aisha, the Prophet Mohammed's child wife, in the seventh century but this was 1979. Inside the Kingdom – Carmen Bin Ladin (2)

Women are second class citizens if that, but yet somehow Obama believes Islam offers equality. Islam believes that Israelis are infidels, and Israel does not have the right to exist, yet Obama believes Islam offers religious tolerance. Does Obama really believe this or is he just practicing taqiyya.

And what about that time-honored tradition of "Honor Killings"?

Even some on the left were not exactly impressed with Obama's speech. Peter Daou from the Huffington Post writes:

With women being stoned, raped, abused, battered, mutilated, and slaughtered on a daily basis across the globe, violence that is so often perpetrated in the name of religion, the most our president can speak about is protecting their right to wear the hijab? I would have been much more heartened if the preponderance of the speech had been about how in the 21st century, we CANNOT tolerate the pervasive abuse of our mothers and sisters and daughters

The most disturbing part of Obama's speech was when he said,

On education, we will expand exchange programs, and increase scholarships, like the one that brought my father to America, while encouraging more Americans to study in Muslim communities. And we will match promising Muslim students with internships in America; invest in on-line learning for teachers and children around the world; and create a new online network, so a teenager in Kansas can communicate instantly with a teenager in Cairo

First, what right minded American is going to want to travel to an Islamic country knowing that many Islamic fundamentalists will attempt to kidnap him, kill him by suicide bombers or behead him only for the video later to be shown on Youtube? It sounds like a safe atmosphere to me. Because Obama says it is safe, does not make it so. Then we will bring Muslim students to the United States to learn our technology, return to their country, and use this technology against us. Of course, there is no war on terror, it is the overseas contingency operation, and in his speech there is no terror, it is violent extremism. I guess anything is possible.

I know there are many - Muslim and non-Muslim - who question whether we can forge this new beginning. Some are eager to stoke the flames of division, and to stand in the way of progress. Some suggest that it isn't worth the effort - that we are fated to disagree, and civilizations are doomed to clash. Many more are simply skeptical that real change can occur.

Yeah – I guess the skepticism comes in when every other president has failed in the peace process, and Hamas has in its charter the destruction of Israel, yet Obama still wants to dialogue. So what does this charter of Hamas actually state? The following are just a few of the articles of the charter:

  • Article six makes clear that the group's ultimate goal is nothing less than to destroy Israel and replace it with an Arab-Muslim fundamentalist state. It boasts that Hamas is "working to unfurl the banner of Allah over every center of Palestine."
  • Article seven quotes one of the most well-known, genocidal, prophetic verses from the Islamic Hadith, or oral tradition, that carries the same weight in the Muslim faith as the Koran: "The day will come when Muslims will fight the Jews and kill them, to the degree that the Jew will hide behind the rocks and trees, which will cry out to the Muslim and tell him, Servant of Allah, a Jew is hiding behind me. Come and kill him!"
  • Article eleven forbids any Palestinian peace negotiations or treaties with Israel: "Palestine is Islamic land assigned to the Muslims to the end of time. It may not be renounced or conceded, whether in whole or in part."
  • Article Thirteen amplifies this, stating there is "no solution to the Palestinian problem except through Jihad. (3)

Barack Obama talked of the unbreakable bond between Israel and the United States, and the horrors of the holocaust – all true. It is well known that Ahmadinejad denies the holocaust, but this denial is commonplace in the Islamic world. This is part of the propaganda that is disseminated throughout the Islamic world, and the belief that the Holocaust never happened is what the average Muslim on the street believes. The two anti-Semitic books The Protocols of Zion and Hitler's Mein Kampf continue to be bestsellers in the Muslim World. The grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseni was known as the "Führer of the Arab world" who fomented violence in the Middle East during World War 2, and he ingratiated himself with Adolf Hitler and became an 'honorary Aryan." He was the most influential Arab in Palestine of his time and committed to the killing of the Jews. (4) Nothing has changed. The anti-Semitism in the Islamic world continues today as it did during the period of Nazi Germany.

In spite of all this, Obama continues to insist on a two-state solution. The Jerusalem post stated the following:

Obama didn't really need to tell Israelis to acknowledge "Palestine's" right to exist since every government since Yitzhak Rabin's has been explicit that the Jewish state does not want to rule over another people. The real question is whether a violently fragmented Palestinian polity is capable of making the necessary compromises required to close a deal.

The fact remains that Palestine has been offered a separate state previously but has rejected the two state solution because Palestine did not believe in the right of Israel to exist.

Once again, Obama continues to give the impression to the world that the United States has tortured – this to a culture that beheads.

When I heard this part in the speech, I said to myself, "I don't know what it is, but it doesn't ring true" – I was right. Here is what Obama said,

Islam has always been a part of America's story. The first nation to recognize my country was Morocco. In signing the Treaty of Tripoli in 1796, our second President John Adams wrote, "The United States has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Muslims." … And when the first Muslim-American was recently elected to Congress, he took the oath to defend our Constitution using the same Holy Koran that one of our Founding Fathers – Thomas Jefferson – kept in his personal library Click here for the truth.

Prior to the speech, a video was released by an Al-Queda recruiter authenticated by U.S. counterterrorism officials warning of Al-Queda operatives who intend to bring biological weapon via tunnels under the Mexican border. Will we close the Mexican borders? Heck no, but we will bring over Muslims on student exchange programs. Any bets that Al-Queda operatives will become exchange students? Just keep repeating "There is no war on terror." Maybe if we say it long enough, it will become true. It reminds me of Captain Jean-Luc Picard of Star Trek, Next Generation fame. When something had to get done, Jean-Luc Picard would say, "Make it so." So, maybe if Obama waves his magic wand and utters the words, "Make it so" there will be no war on terror.

Obama could have spoken of the greatness of America, or the aid we have given to the Islamic world but he did not. What will ring truer to the Muslim world - the just released video from Al-Queda or Barack Obama's speech to the Middle East? My guess is the video. The speech was no different than the myriad of speeches Bush has given albeit not in the Islamic world. To please Islam, we would have to bow to its demands, the first of which would be to stop any and all support to Israel. Instead of trying to promote an impossible peace in the Middle East, the United States should be protecting our borders, strengthening our military, and using all means at our disposal to make sure we are not attacked again. But, Barack Obama will not do this. He believes like all the other misguided presidents that peace between Israel and the Islamic world is an actual possibility. The reality is that this enmity between these two people is basic sibling rivalry that dates back to the time of Abraham, and nothing Obama does will change that.

Side note: Notice the way Obama rolls his r as he says the word Koran.


  1. Because They Hate by Brigitte Gabriel
  2. Inside the Kingdom by Carmen Bin Ladin
  3. Israel My Glory – Hamas, the haters of Israel, David Dolan
  4. Icon of Evil by David G Dalin and John F Rothman
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