~ Latinos get the job done:
— Acyn (@Acyn) November 22, 2022
Rich Fierro, a 45-year-old Army veteran with two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan as a field artillery officer, was enjoying a drag show with his wife and daughter at Club Q in Colorado Springs on Saturday when 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich came in and started shooting up the place, killing five people and injuring 18 others.
Fierro grabbed the guy by the body armor, pulled him to the ground, and started raining punches on him while another patron, Thomas James, kicked the rifle away and started kicking dude in the head.
When a trans woman went running by in heels, Fierro told her to stomp the gunman, which she promptly did—in the face.
“I love them… I have nothing but love,” Fierro said of the local LGBT community.
~ After the midterms, New Mexico will have Latinos in almost every statewide office except one—Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver.
“Lujan Grisham became the third Hispanic New Mexico governor in a row to win re-election,” writes Russell Contreras at Axios. “No other state has elected three people of color to governorships in a row.”
New Mexico has the highest percentage of Latinos of any state, at 48 percent, and has elected Latinos to the governorship since Ezequiel Cabeza de Baca in 1917 —five years after it became a state— and has elected six Latino governors since then.
~ The U.S. population grew by a measly 0.1 percent in 2021—the lowest in history, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
~ A private prison company fleeced Texas taxpayers for at least $2 million by billing the the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for substance abuse treatment programs that it had quietly discontinued at the start of the 2020.
From the National Hispanic Media Coalition: “On November 18, Elon Musk released a poll on his official Twitter account asking users if they favored reinstating Donald Trump’s account. After a result of 51.8% in favor of reinstating and 48.2% against it, Musk announced that ‘the people have spoken’ and that Trump’s account will be reinstated immediately.
“Given that Donald Trump was suspended from Twitter in January of 2021 and Musk’s claim that Twitter’s official policies have NOT changed, Musk is violating his own policies with this decision.”
~ Last week I shared Documented’s guides for migrants on how to navigate New York’s public transit system and how to open a bank account if you’re undocumented. But they have an even more comprehensive guide for asylum seekers arriving in New York, which includes everything from finding shelter and food to lawyering up.
~ Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) is calling on Congress to make DACA permanent during the lame-duck session between now and the new Congress begins in January.
“Today, [DREAMers are] small-business owners, teachers, veterans and essential workers. They are small-business owners who kept our economy running during the pandemic, and they are doctors and nurses who saved American lives and continue to do so,” he said at press conference on the 15th.
America’s broken immigration system has caused enough harm.
We must put politics aside and start building a system that works, starting with a pathway to citizenship for the hundreds of thousands DACA recipients who have lived under the shadow of uncertainty for too long. https://t.co/4SYB7tDW5q
— Joaquin Castro (@JoaquinCastrotx) November 16, 2022
Texas has the second-highest number of Dreamers of any state,” writes Raquel Torres for The Texas Tribune, “more than 101,000 reside here.”
~ The collective spending power of Texas’ DACA recipients is pegged at $3.7 billion, and “Texas stands to lose around $139.7 million annually in state and local taxes” if DACA ends.”
~ With Republicans taking control of Congress in January, the next few weeks represent the last best chance to pass immigration reform for at least two years.
~ On Thursday, Mexican officials issued an arrest warrant for the murder of Shanquella Robinson, a 25-year-old American from North Carolina who was found dead in a rented villa in Cabo on October 29. At first her friends said she died of alcohol poisoning, but the autopsy showed that she died of a severe injury to her spinal cord. Then a video surfaced of what looks like her friend throwing Shanquella to the floor in a hotel room and beating on her head.
~ Jeffrey St. Clair at CounterPunch: An 18-month Senate investigation found that migrant women detained at the Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia endured excessive, unnecessary gynecological procedures, often without consent. According to the report, immigrants at the Irwin County center were subjected to unnecessary transvaginal ultrasounds, contraceptive injections, and dilation and curettage procedures (ie., D&C abortions.) The doctor at the center of the Irwin County allegations accounted for 6.5% of OB-GYN visits among ICE detainees nationwide during a three-year period, but performed more than 90% of the contraceptive injections and more than 82% of the dilation and curettage procedures, which remove [the] uterine lining.
“ICE learned about the systematic medical abuse of migrant women detained at the Irwin County Detention Center as far back as 2018. Yet they refused to take any action. Instead, they began to cover evidence of the abuses and in the fall of 2020 began deporting survivors and witnesses.”
~ A new police policy in L.A. forces cops to record themselves before they stop someone and explain their reasons for the stop. As you might’ve guessed, since the policy went into effect in the spring, there have been fewer stops and searches.
~ According to a new Gallup poll, 68 percent of Americans think marijuana should be legal—including a majority of Republicans.
~ What Elon Musk doesn’t know about U.S. immigration policy could fill a Tesla factory—which is weird for a guy from South Africa:
Seems bizarre that it’s so easy enter illegally, but so hard to get a legal work visa
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 21, 2022
~ Colombian Diana Trujillo and Puerto Rican Jose Marcos Flores were on deck last week as NASA flight directors for the uncrewed Artemis I mission to the Moon. The spaceflight mission manager, Rosa Ávalos-Warren, is from Peru.
Almost six percent of NASA’s workforce is Latino.
~ Aloha Boricua will be appearing off-Broadway from December 1 to 18 at at Miriam Colón’s Puerto Rican Traveling Theater on West 47th Street in Manhattan. the musical tells the story about Puerto Rican migration to Hawai’i shortly after the U.S. invasion and the Category 4 San Ciriáco hurricane that destroyed much of the sugar plantations.
~ Teachers in Puerto Rico are calling for an “Anti-LUMA Day” of protests on November, the day that the government’s provisional contract with the private energy company expires, in hopes that Gov. Pierluisi won’t renew it for another 15 years as he’s planning to.
~ When some Spaniard climbed the pyramid at Chichen Itza —which has been banned since 2008— I was praying to the gods that she fell and hit every step on the way down. But she was only booed, assaulted, and arrested.
It later turned out that the Spaniard was actually a Mexican pretending to be Spanish —in hopes of inciting World War III? Or to avoid being eaten alive by her fellow paisanos? Her name is Abigail Villalobos, 29.
And now that we know her name, I say we offer her up as a sacrifice to the Mayan god K’uk’ulkan, whose templed she defiled.
~ After losing last month’s election, Brazil’s outgoing president, Jair Bolsonaro, threw a Hail Mary, asking electoral authorities to annul votes on the country’s election machines—which, if done, give him 51 percent of the remaining votes.
The electoral authorities quickly shut him down though.
~ The Feds are halting all imports of sugar and related products made in the Dominican Republic by a company that’s accused of isolating workers, withholding their wages, and forcing to live and work in horrible conditions.
~ Speaking of in the D.R., despite the fact that there may be as many as two million Haitians living in the Dominican Republic —or 20 percent of the D.R.’s total population of 11 million— there is almost no one in the D.R. who speaks Haitian Creole besides the Haitians themselves. There’s not even a desire to train Dominicans in Creole —which is every different than French, which most Haitians don’t speak— for fear that Creole-speaking Dominican doctors and the like will encourage more Haitian migration, and that teaching Creole “might make Dominicans start ‘acting and thinking’ like Haitians.”
The national teacher’s union has been an outspoken opponent of adding Creole as a subject in Dominican schools. “They teach English, and there are no North Americans that live here,” says a Haitian-Dominican teacher. “They teach French and there are no French people here. But there are thousands of Haitians, and they won’t teach Creole.”
And there’s no desire to learn Spanish on the Haitian side of the border either, as it’s viewed as the language of manual language in the D.R., unlike English or French. “There is this idea that if you learn Spanish, it’s because you’re going to go to the Dominican Republic to cut sugarcane. It’s almost like you’re signing yourself up for that life. So you see a lot of students in Haiti who prefer to study English or French rather than Spanish,” says a Haitian college student.
~ The crackdown on Haitian immigrants in the Dominican Republic “may lead to increased interaction with Dominican authorities, especially for darker skinned U.S. citizens and U.S. citizens of African descent,” warns the U.S. State Department.
~ Baby Damian, born in the Dominican capital of Santo Domingo on November 15, has the honor of being officially the eight billionth person in the world.
The world population reached 7 billion in 2011 and is estimated to peak at 10.4 billion by 2100, taking into account that the pace of global population growth has been slowing since the 1970s and fell below 1% for the first time in 2020. https://t.co/fDlnuRj42B
— El American (@ElAmerican_) November 16, 2022
~ The UN predicts that that world’s population will peak at 10.4 billion sometime around the year 2080, at which point it will start to decline.
Hotter and hotter global temperatures mean that, by the year 2050, at least 1.2 billion people will be “climate refugees.”
~ Today, on the second anniversary of his death, Telesur looks at the leftist politics of soccer god Diego Maradona.
~ NACLA: “On November 3, the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly condemned the U.S. Blockade of Cuba by a vote of 185 to 2 (the United States and Israel voting against) for the 30th time since 1992. All U.S. NATO allies, including conservatives, joined the world community on an issue that has isolated the United States like few others. While this perennial vote is nonbinding, the United States’ global economic and military hegemony enables it to continue defying global democracy while at the same time claiming that the 60-year blockade’s purpose is to bring democracy to Cuba.”
NACLA reports Cuba’s total losses in revenue due to the U.S. embargo at $2 or $3 billion year, or $130 billion since it was imposed over 60 years ago.
Cuba’s GDP in 2021 was only $22 to $25 billion, meaning a similar embargo on the U.S. would cost us, conservatively, almost $2.1 TRILLION dollars a year.
~ La Junta has donned a Latino face: Robert Mujica, budget director for the state of New York, who’s taking over in January.
Jesus Gonzalez, director of strategic initiatives at Center for Popular Democracy: “If Rob Mujica’s term as Budget Director is any indication of how he’ll manage Puerto Rico’s Financial Oversight Management Board, better known as la junta, then the people of Puerto Rico are in trouble.”
~ Responding to a request by Centro de Periodismo Investigativo, the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico has ruled that financial reports filed of Act 22 beneficiaries are a matter of public record.
~ When people from Latin America come north to the United States, they’re called “immigrants,” “migrants,” “aliens,” and “asylum seekers.” Yet, Americans moving to Latin America to escape life in the United States are called “expats” and “nomads.”
Call ’em what you will, but there’s a surge of them in Mexico City, where Airbnb rentals are up 30 percent since 2019. Last month, Mexico City signed an agreement with Airbnb in an attempt to attack more “digital nomads,” i.e., remote workers from outside Mexico.
Rents overall are up 15 percent, leaving a lot of locals out in the… Does it get that cold in Mexico City?
~ “There will be no climate security if the Amazon isn’t protected,” Brail’s President-elect Lula said last week at the U.N. climate conference in Egypt, promising to make the climate crisis a top priority for his incoming administration.
He also proposed creating a new ministry for Indigenous people.
~ Lula then flew to Lisbon to meet with the president of Portugal in hopes of burying the hatchet between Brazil and its former colonial master.
More than 200,000 Brazilians live in Portugal —representing the largest foreign population community in the country— and Portugal is the top destination for Brazilian immigrants behind the United States.
~ Three men involved in that shootout last week with Customs and Border Protection agents off the coast of Puerto Rico were charged with “conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine while on board a covered vessel.”
~ In yet another case of monkey see, monkey do, Mexico is cracking down on the flow of migrants across its border with Guatemala after the United States began expelling Venezuelan migrants from its border with Mexico.
~ Mexico is bracing itself for the looming death of Xin Xin, its 32-year-old female panda—and the last in all of Latin America. Xin Xin was actually born and raised at Chapultepec Zoo, one of the few pandas outside of China that are not on loan.
Mexico could ask to loan another panda from China, but at China’s asking price of $1 million a year, the penny-pinching AMLO is weighing his options.
~ Current Cuban law doesn’t treat femicide as a separate crime, instead lumping it in with all homicides. But activists are pushing for laws that address gender-based violence.
~ A 51-year-old Canadian man is set to appear at the Quebec City courthouse on December 1 for planning an armed revolution to overthrow former Haitian President Jovenel Moïse and seize power.
First Paul Pelosi’s attacker, now this? We gotta keep a closer eye on our smiling neighbors to the north.
~ Authorities searched the home of an American couple in Antigua Guatemala and discovered over 1200 pieces of pre-Columbian artifacts they were apparently going to smuggle out of the country.
The lady had been arrested the week before trying to fly out of the country with two stone carvings dating back to 600 C.E. She was let go, but the couple was arrested a few days later when police found 166 Mayan artifacts in their car.
~ Hebe de Bonafini, leader of Argentina’s Madres de Plaza de Mayo, died on Sunday at the age of 93.
After her own sons were captured by Argentina’s military dictatorship and never heard from again, she co-founded the group in May 1977 with other mothers searching for their disappeared children. They began by demanding the return of their children, but as the weeks, months, and years went by, they started demanding that those responsible for their children’s disappearance —and presumed murder— be brought to justice.
~ Famed Nuyorican doctor and women’s rights advocate Helen Rodriguez-Trias: “It is ultimately important to keep ourselves where the struggles are taking place, and to be part of the struggles.”
~ Pope Frankie visiting his father’s hometown in northern Italy on Sunday: “From these lands, my father set out as an immigrant to Argentina, and to these lands, rendered precious by the rich fruits of the soil and above all by the native industriousness of their people, I have now returned to rediscover and savor my roots.”
~ President Biden is asking Congress for $3 billion to provide rooftop solar and storage for low-income families and people with disabilities in Puerto Rico.
~ Meanwhile, the Supreme Court keeps dodging the colonial issue. This week it again declined an opportunity to overturn the Insular Cases, a series of century-old racist precedents that deny equal rights to the U.S. citizens of Puerto Rico.
Neil Weare, president and founder of Equally American: “Next year marks the 125th Anniversary of the United States having formal overseas colonies, yet the Supreme Court continues to avoid answering whether the colonial framework established by the racist Insular Cases remains ‘good law.’ It is increasingly clear not only that the United States has a colonies problem, but that it stubbornly refuses to recognize it.”
~ And Pitbull thought he was “Mr. Worldwide”…
— Hector Luis Alamo (@HectorLuisAlamo) November 24, 2022
~ While we were enjoying so much food and family —and drinks— I hope we remembered what we owe to the people who lived on the land we now occupy…
— United We Dream (@UNITEDWEDREAM) November 24, 2022
In his book 1491, journalist and author Charles C. Mann estimates that the pre-Columbian population of North America may have been as high as 20 million souls.
And the Native Americans didn’t give their land away but had it stripped from them by disease, deception, and war.
~ There’s also millions of other people to thank too:
Thankful for all of the workers — in the fields, in the trucks, in the warehouses and factories, and in the grocery stores — who make every meal possible.#food #migrants #Workers #labor https://t.co/KC0Cegu8zh
— Hector Luis Alamo (@HectorLuisAlamo) November 24, 2022
~ To host the 2022 World Cup, which opened last weekend, the Qatari government spent around $250 billion—“a conservative estimate,” says the London Review of Books.
That’s more than every World Cup and Olympic Games in history, combined.
~ A lot of the work is being done by migrant workers from Nepal, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.
The Qatari government says 37 migrant workers have died in the run-up to the World Cup. The Guardian, meanwhile, puts the death toll at more than 6500—not counting the migrants from other places
~ With this World Cup, Argentine legend Lionel Messi —the subject of The Last Cup, a podcast produced by Futuro Media and NPR— joins an elite club of soccer players with five World Cup appearances, alongside Mexico’s goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa and Andrés Guardado, and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ochoa and Guardado are the first teammates to play in five straight World Cups.
Before Qatar, there were only four players in the club, and only two from Latin America: Antonio Carbajal and Rafa Márquez—both Mexican.
~ If you’re wondering why Chicharito isn’t playing with El Tri in Qatar, he’s busy merc’ing fools —and chewing them out— on Warzone 2 [NSFW]:
HOL UP I KNOW THAT AINT WHO I THINK IT IS 💀💀💀💀💀 pic.twitter.com/BBDKmYWYXB
— Kaz (@CFCKaz6) November 19, 2022
~ In what may go down as the greatest upset in World Cup history, Saudi Arabia beat Argentina on Tuesday, 2-1—breaking Argentina’s 36-game winning streak dating back to 2019.
Messi may never win a World Cup, but at least the internet remains undefeated:
~ In a press conference after Tuesday’s loss, reporters asked Messi how the Argentines were feeling. “Dead,” he said—as are the hopes and dreams of an entire nation.
~ You think Mexico’s feeling good about its chances against Messi and La Albiceleste on Saturday?
Someone fixed this ad pic.twitter.com/WPaAab8yzQ
— Fidel Martinez (@fidmart85) November 22, 2022
~ South American teams have won the World Cup seven times since the first one 1930, when host Uruguay beat Argentina. The last win was when Brazil beat Germany in 2022.
~ As it stands, Brazil is the favorite to win the whole thing, according to Telemundo Deportes analyst Horacio Elizondo and the nerds at FiveThirtyEight.
~ Ecuador’s win over Qatar on Sunday was the first time that a host nation as lost the opening game of the World Cup.
🇪🇨🏆 Banderazo de Ecuador ahora. pic.twitter.com/fUoaBpBIg6
— Fede Cristofanelli (@Cristoffede) November 24, 2022
~ If the psychological phenomenon of siding with your kidnaper is called “Stockholm Syndrome,” then are Mexicans rooting for their colonizer Spain in the World Cup suffering from Madrid Syndrome?
— Amelia Lopez (@AztecaAmeliaaa) November 23, 2022
~ Some Haitians are rooting for the Canadians after the Canucks imposed sanctions on top Haitian politicians on Sunday, including former President Michel Martelly and his two prime ministers, for alleged ties to the gangs controlling much of Haitian life these days.
~ Selena is for my wife what Michael Jackson is for me…
A few years back, we went to a Selena party at a bar on Fremont here in Vegas, and I never forgot this deep cut:
~ A commenter on this Latinx video asks why we don’t get rid of Latino, Hispanic, etc., “and just call ourselves Gente”—and it’s probably the best idea I’ve heard since I first wrote about Latinx all the way back in December 2015.
~ Last week the troll king, Elon Musk, announced that he was postponing the launch of Blue Verified, a new service that gives users a blue check in exchange for eight bucks a month, till November 29 “to make sure that it is rock solid.”
Punting relaunch of Blue Verified to November 29th to make sure that it is rock solid
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 15, 2022
A lot of the accounts that signed up for Blue Verified were “promoting right-wing politics, cryptocurrency speculation or adult content such as pornography,” according to the Washington Post.
~ Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) made gatekeeping look sexy…
Now THIS is gatekeeping pic.twitter.com/LaoyBgHQQm
— Erik Childress (@EriktheMovieman) November 23, 2022
~ I geeked out speaking with and learning from Rhonda LeValdo, a professor at Haskell Indian Nations University and member of the Acoma Pueblo tribe, and I think our conversation made for perfect listening material this Thanksgiving.
~ Mexitalian, anyone?
New Mexican-Italian fusion restaurant in #LasVegas!
— Hector Luis Alamo (@HectorLuisAlamo) November 21, 2022
~ Winter is coming… so you better stock up!
When your Titi Maria asks you to send her some #coquito, you stop what you're doing and order it — and you buy bottles for your mom, your Titi Ritza, your brother, your sister, and yourself.
— Hector Luis Alamo (@HectorLuisAlamo) November 24, 2022
“So many people are doomed by their ambition and their gathered intelligence, their bank account and savings and loan intelligence. If there is any secret to life, that secret is not to try. Let it come to you: women, dogs, death, and creation. In writing especially, there are many fast starters. All men are born artists, but most of them are quickly mutilated. Ambition is bad enough, but when an obscene ambition gets connected with commercial recognition, it’s not long before the shit backs up in the sewer. Creation means creation without attachment. Too many imagine it means a house in Beverly Hills, a red sports car, talk shows, and going to bed with all offers.”
— Charles Bukowski, More Notes of a Dirty Old Man