Los Suns

19 05 2010

Los Suns

The Owners and Players Union salute the Suns management and players for standing up for immigrant rights in a time where diversity, education, and the working class is being attacked by racist law makers and American extremism seen in Jim Crow Era.  Since the introduction of Los Suns, we had Los Spurs, Los Mavs, etc..

Phil Jackson, however, has indicated he is strongly for the “protection” of this country by encouraging Arizona law makers to be harsh toward illegal immigrants.  Law Enforcement will be given the right to question and ask for identification with anyone who looks illegal with the passage of the Arizona law.  Vanessa Bryant, the wife of Kobe Bryant, has been seen donning the “Do I look Illegal?” shirt, a direct criticism toward Jackson’s lack of support for basic human rights.

I hope people can also start observing when is an immigrant “good” and when is an immigrant considered “bad”.  During periods of good economic times, we welcome immigrants to take on jobs most American’s do not want yet when the economy tanks, we are the ones to blame immigrants for taking the jobs.  Immigrants are generally the scapegoat during poor economic times with politicians taking their powers to introduce legislation showing that they are protecting Americans and the economy just like Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner are doing in California.  We’ll see who can out dumb-each other for California’s Primaries.

To understand immigration is also to understand displacement.  American’s and citizens of this world need to understand why so many people are poor.  Humans aren’t born poor.  There are those who exploit and those who get exploited.  See any third world countries and tell me if there are any foreign corporations taking the raw materials or outsourcing their work to make more profits.  American’s know this first hand when American Car companies started to outsource their labor elsewhere.  Now the great Car unions in the American Industrial belt is wiped empty with ghost towns.

Steve Nash and the Phoenix Sun, you make the NBA, the fans, and the people of America Proud.





Pleasantville

18 05 2010

Pleasantville's storyline, cinematography, themes comes together brilliantly

Pleasantville (1998) came out when I was still in High School.  It was written, directed, and produced by Gary Ross and starred Tobey Maguire, Reese Weatherspoon, and William H. Macy.

The film is possibly my favorite movie from the 90’s.  The sharp themes here critique contemporary culture and history in the mainstream and portrays the ridiculous behavior that can arise from our own fears.

I’m no Tobey Maguire or Reese Weatherspoon but Gary Ross did a fabulous job with weaving the storyline and getting the most out of his actors.

Old vs New

The constant theme that runs through this movie is change- the old, the familiar-that which we are comfortable with is shown in black and white while change and adjustment is shown in color.

Old ideas and traditions sometimes has to be broken – Women depicted in the American past were shown as just housewives responsible for  cooking and greeting guests, new ideas were considered dangerous, and, in the extreme case, books were burned or laws were created to stop the spread of new ideas.  In history, art was used as a weapon to challenge the status quo.

Segregation

The reference in the courtroom, showed the colors sitting on top which mimics the treatment of African Americans in America during the jim crow days.  The rationale behind the laws which mandates the segregation is based on fear of difference and fear of the unknown.  In American society, this fear was manipulated by the landowners to portray African Americans as slaves and hypersexualized beasts you would want your daughters to be near.  However, landowners frequently raped their slaves or servants.

The Bible

Perhaps one of my favorite scene is when Tobey Maguire’s character receives an apple from his date while on a picnic near the lake.  This is the exact reference to the Garden of Eden except no one is corrupting anyone although the film constantly refers to the old thinking that introducing new concepts and ideas is a form of corruption, a disease that must be dealt with.  Contemporary society, we can still see the manifestation of this craze, that the notion of evolution is beyond belief while the notion of god is a constant reality not to be challenged.

I can’t stand bad movies-a waste of 2 hours of my life.  Pleasantville on the otherhand, is a movie I recommend to those who never seen it.





153902003 registered voters?

12 05 2010

SMARTMATIC's glitch

With all the problems with this year’s election, can we really celebrate the success of it?  PCOS Machine failures, failures to transmit, Vote buying, Long queues… The COMELEC was warned of these issues but continue to push for the May 10th Automated Elections despite the warnings.  They did little to nothing to bring Clean and Fair Elections.

Change?  The people went to the polls to vote for change.  We came out with  Marcos, Aquinos, and Arroyos still in power. The guy that helped author the much despised Value Added Tax (VAT), Ralph Recto, will he’s still in power too.  In fact, most incumbents who were in power are still in power.  The media did little to promote candidates platforms.

Even Partylists systems were a failure this year.  Partylists nominees are suppose to come from the marginalize sectors.  However, several of the former President’s administration reps enter the Partylist system as a backdoor entrance to congress.

So much for clean and fair  2010 automated elections!  That doesn’t mean we should wait til next election and HOPE for change.  The people should still demand change and hold the “elected” body responsible.





Filipinos: The OFW, the Modern Day Slave

12 05 2010

Filipinos are synonymously being referred to as Transnationals with 3,000 Filipinos leaving their homeland, the Philippines a year.  That’s equivalent to more than one million Filipinos leaving the country a year.

Why do they leave?

Majority of Filipinos who leave the Philippines are not tourists, rather they leave the country to seek opportunities.  Very few opportunities for employment exist in the Philippines.  7 out of 10 students who graduate are unemployed.  3 out of 10 generally compete with the rest of the labor market and previous unemployed out-of-school students.  Most do not get a job related to their field of study.  When the intellectuals and workers can’t find jobs in their homeland, they seek work outside.

Modern Day Heroes

The former president, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo says its a sacrifice that must be recognized as Modern Day Heroes.  The Filipino migrants are known as Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).  The Philippine economy is held together by the hard work of these migrants.  Yet, these very same migrants are taxed heavily for the application and testing process prior to leaving, they are taxed in the airport, and their remittances are taxed as well.    More often then naught, they have been modern day slaves.

Many migrant Filipinos also suffer from discrimination and violence from being abroad on top of being homesick.  Pinays get sexually molested.  The U.S. military is partially to blame for some of those incidents. Adam Corolla’s comments about the Philippines’ doesn’t exactly help.  In the Mid-East, some Filipinos are enslaved inside of their employers house.  Sometimes the Filipino gets executed without the help of the consulate general.

With the rise of Ethnic Tensions in the United States since 9/11 to current day Juan Crow laws (see Arizona’s recent anti-immigration, anti Ethnic Studies ban) should Filipinos really leave their country in midst of danger?

Indeed these Modern Day Heroes should be recognized as the former president mentioned, how can we protect them from the dangers of a foreign land?

What is Solution?

The Philippines owes it to their people to nationalize their job industries to provide quality jobs.  There are so many brilliant and hard working people forced to leave to provide for their families, this doesn’t have to be the case.  The newly elect, President Aquino should use his mandate to win the hearts of the people.

There are so many raw and natural resources that the Filipino people can enjoy.  The dams have enough power to power the whole Philippines so why charge ridiculous power rates.  At times, the power bill at the Philippines is more expensive then the ones here in the United States.  With so many poor people, who can afford it?  Drop the profits?  Profits only benefit the manager.  Spread the cost savings to the people or use that money to invest in better infrastructures and jobs instead of paying the executives.  Invest in solar clean power.  This one is a no brainer, when there are droughts, solar power should replace the energy lost from the energy garner from dams.

Roads needs to start from the farthest communities inward.  These are the most poverish areas that suffer the most.  Education needs to also be nationalize as well as the language.  The former president, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, made english the national language.  Okay, this isn’t America and it shouldn’t be a colony of America.  The people have their right to speak their native dialect with a national language being developed (Filipino).

Last but not least, the majority of the Filipino Population are land tillers, Peasants, but they’re landless.  They work the land and pay land owner’s “rent”.  Sometimes rent can be as high as 50% of all your work.  Today, we know that as stealing.  The President elect, Noy Noy promised to go after thieves.  He’s going to have a tough time  bringing down his own family who are responsible for the Hacienda Lucieta Massacre in 1995.  Once land is redistributed out, the feudal practices of the past should fade away with time as culture starts changing.  Migrants won’t be forced to leave and society will progress





Confessions of a Comic-holic

8 05 2010

Now that election season is wrapping up in the Philippines and who knows the mayhem that can spring out the chaos of the AES (Automated Election Systems) I can take a few short breaths.

When Iron Man II did well in the box office ticket sales, Marvel franchise breathe a little easier. The Marvel team will try to transform their superhero solo movie pieces into a larger puzzle that all comes together.  The Avengers is set to be released in May 4th, 2012.

With the recent success of most comic book or Sci-Fi made movies (X-Men, Spider Man, Hulk, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, District 9, The Matrix to name a few), 2011 and 2012 might continue that trend:

June 29th, Star Trek Sequel (untitled) but the script writers are already saying the plot will be centered around the villain just like in Wrath of Khan.  Anyone who has seen Wrath will welcome this as good news. By the way, Star Trek, a post modern imagination of society without capitalism-the social norms are to accept diversity (Roddenbery did a great job creating Star Trek before audience were ready to accept it:  Star Trek, although only lasting 3 seasons was immortalized with Sci-Fi fans, peace lovers, and dreamers.

July 20th also includes Nolan’s untitled Batman III.  Alright Bale, you got a 3rd chance to make your batman voice better-you can’t blame it on a chunky suit as they slimmed down your outfit in Dark Knight.  Nolan’s Batman series has been my favorite out of the Batman Franchise despite Nolan’s voice.

July 3rd, Spider Man Reboot (untitled) New cast and director:  I was tired of Kirsten Dunst playing Mary Jane.  The film will be directed by Mark Webb of 500 days of Summer.  John Malkovich was part of the team on board for Spider Man 4 before the project was scrapped in favor of rebooting the Spider Man franchise.  The new Spider Man will display a younger Peter Parker in Highschool.

Speaking of a younger Peter Parker, Marvel has also decided to feature X-Men 4 as the prequel to the original trilogy.  The release date is slated for June 3rd, 2011 with the title X-Men: First Class directed by Matthew Vaugh. Also released in 2011, is the Green Lantern on June 17th directed by Martin Campbell.  Speaking of the Green Lantern, Ryan Reynolds, who is casted as the Green Lantern and casted as Deadpool in Wolerine: Origins, is the husband of Scarlett Johansson. Johansson, who starred as the Black Widow in Iron Man II, is open to make a spin-off, do another Iron Man movie, or have a role in the Avengers. Gwyneth Paltrow on the otherhand, can’t see herself in the Avengers or Iron Man III, if all she does is gets frustrated at Tony Stark.  She envisions Pepper Potts to have a larger in Tony’s world besides pressing his suits-rather, she prefers to kick some butt.  We’ll see if this is the last we see of Paltrow.  Last for 2011 is Captain America: The First Avenger directed by Joss Whedon.  The Villain will include the Red Skull (Hugo Weaving) and Zola played (Toby Jones).

But I digress, going back to movies being released in 2012 that I wouldn’t want to watch: Men in Black III in 3D, Super Man Reboot Untitled to be released in December, and G.I. JOE: Revenge of Cobra.  The 3 movies here seem to just waste time and space in the effort to make more money. Too bad they didn’t put the hatchet on G.I. Joe and rebooted the package all together. I could be wrong though, Edward Norton’s Hulk proved me wrong after Marvel committed to improving its script and marketing.

Spoiler ALERT

What will the direction of Sci-Fi movies be like in 2011 and 2012 be like for Comic Book lovers, well hopefully not like how the COMELEC (Commission on Election) handles the AES (Automated Election System) in the Philippines.  The COMELEC decides to solve its problems with prayers while disregarding the real problems – they totally screwed that one up.  Too bad there is no REBOOT for this election. If outgoing President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) still needs a job, I’m sure they can push over Hugo Weaving in favor of GMA as the Red Skull.  Her deadly ability to dodge and maneuver her way into power is uncanny.  Her gross detest to human rights is on the same podium as that of Hitler or the Red Skull.  Whoever replaces her know that we seen a couple of bad Batman Movies already (see Batman Forever and Batman and Robin) we’ll demand our Batman Begins and Batman: the Dark Knight.

One thing I love about most superheroes is that they go out of their way to protect and serve the people.  Often times, those of us who can do something to defend the weak, change the current system, act on brotherly love – fail to do so.  Oh, and one last thing, as much as I love super hero movies:  in reality, the people are the heroes, the makers and shakers of history we can’t rely on just one person or group to change things, sorry Obama.





Confronting Black Prop and Other Musings

3 05 2010

Well, Its that time again – saying goodbye is always hard and who’s to say how long I’ll actually be away this time.  This journey to the Philippines is coming to an end.  I just wish I could have stayed to see the outcome of the elections, the outcomes of the senator nominees Liza Maza and Satur Ocampo as well as the progressive Indigenous Partylist Katribu and the other MAKABAYAN Partylists.

MAKABAYAN COALITION

During the time I spent to campaign for MAKABAYAN, I got mad at a Trike driver who tried to overcharge the usual fare .  To make the short story shorter, I gave him the amount he had asked.  Actually, as much as that pissed me off, the cab driver has been exploited harder than I’ve been.  Actually living in this country, you can experience for yourself the deep and widespread corruption.  Graft doesn’t just happen on the national scale but also on the local scale.  Stealing is not just something kids and juveniles engage in, its an act that has been encouraged in politics and an act encouraged with entrepreneurs and the business world.  The more you exploit, cheat, and steal, the more you gain and profit.

Kabataan Youth poster the town while distributing fliers and voters education materials

I must say, one of my personal favorite moments here was campaigning with the Kabataan Partylists volunteers.  Their youthful energy is something that should be emulated in all campaigns for the people.  Their volunteerism is invoked by their duty to the country.  I remember even when most staff would call it a night by 5 or 6pm, the youth would continue until 8 or 9pm.

In the short span I was also pushed hard by an elderly man who kept saying that Satur and Liza are against the government.  I had to instantly calm him down by placing one of my hands on his back and telling him its okay, I’m not telling you how to vote.  If you dont’ want to vote for Satur, that’s your right, your democratic freedom to do so.

But its also my democratic freedom to campaign for Satur and Liza

Almost anyone who had listen to what I had said about Satur and Liza believed in their platform and believes in their fight for a better Philippines.  Especially for those thousands leaving the Philippines a year, Satur authored the Overseas absentee voting to allow for MORE democratic freedom. Liza championed women’s issues consistently that no one can dispute her on the issue.  Both Satur and Liza are championing the MAKABAYAN platform of nationalizing the industries so that the youth and students can have opportunities here to rebuild this great country instead of going abroad to do so.  They are both encouraging the wage hike of 150 pesos instead of the meager wage hike that Aquino is asked for.  Both Maza and Ocampo are fierce leaders that have fought on the ground and in the legislative sessions to help the basic people.

In early April, some local government officials in the province of Ifugao started receiving negative propaganda letters against the MAKABAYAN coalition (BAYAN MUNA, ANAKPAWIS, GABRIELA, KABATAAN, KATRIBU, ACT, AND AKAP BATA Partylists as well as Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza whoa re senatorial candidates.

The letters are not an isolated incident sent by the supposed “Patriots of the Philippine Democracy.”  Many local, Municipal, and provincial candidates around the Philippines have been sent similar letters to tarnish the reputation of the MAKABAYAN coalition.

Contrary to what the name of the senders denote, it is unpatriotic to intimidate people with severe threats and false accusations, which are all part of the Oplan Bantay Laya campaign systematically aimed at isolating genuine people’s organizations, progressive people’s Partylists, allies and supporters from the broad public in order to conduct un-democratic arresting, intimidation, threats, kidnapping, torture and extrajudicial killings.

Clean and Fair elections? Posters such as this one has been Vandalized while other Makabayan posters have been pulled down

Earlier this year, the Makabayan Coalition filed a complaint with the regional office of the COMELECT against the proliferation of black propaganda against the group.  Large streamers linking KATRIBU and other progressive Partylists with the underground movement have dolled highways and road systems in Norther Luzon since last year, 2009.

The complaint also stress that ‘the black propaganda materials which you have also received creates a climate of fear for our leaders and members thus preventing us from effectively conducting our campaign.

The progressive Partylists along with Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza have been recognized as legitimate and accredited by the COMELEC.  We will will exhaust all legal means available to counter their accusations, defend ourselves and defeat Oplan Bantay Laya while championing progressive peoples’ agenda and programs.

Satur’s reputation as challenging the government should be appraised not admonished.  He bravely fought against corruption during the Marcos Martial Law era, was punished for his truthful journalism that expose the corruption, and tortured for fighting for freedom.  He has since been accused and charged of rebellion but each time he’s been charged, the courts release him due to unsubstantial evidence.  This has been the same ploy and tactics used by the corrupt ruling elite and military scums alike.

Its very clear there is a hatchet job conducted on the Makabayan coalition, EVEN if there is any significant impact to the people, it won’t be for long.  Traditional Politics dictates the same traditions-the same old cheating status quo to make the rich richer and the poor, well… content enough that they don’t rock the boat too hard.  In short, the people are not stupid-you can pitch the same lies about how MAKABAYAN is the partylists of the NPA but it won’t work for long.





U.S. Military Aggression breeds American Hatred:100,000 protests the U.S. Okinawan Base in Japan

29 04 2010

April 25th 2010, Japan: 100,000 protests the U.S. military base in Okinawa.  The protesters want the current Prime Minister to keep his promise to voters that he force the U.S. military off Japan and the base off Okinawa.  The Japanese have longed been hostile toward the stationing of American soldiers and the massive base on Japanese soil.  The U.S. Base in Okinawa hosts over 47,000 American Troops.

Protesters participate in a mass rally against a US base in Ginowan on Okinawa

U.S. troops have been accused of raping a Filipina in Okinawa back in 2008.  Near the same time, there was another Japanese 14 year old girl who was raped by a U.S. soldier which brought back the same horrible memories of the 12 year old girls raped in 1995 by U.S. soldiers.

Also in S. Korea, where 14,000 U.S. soldiers are stationed, a 19 year old Korean girl was raped while in 2007, 6 U.S. soldiers were arrested for beating down a girl and another soldier arrested for raping a 67 year old Korean girl.

It seems ridiculous right?  How many cases are still unreported because the victims are scared.  This is exactly what traditional military presence breeds-women are victims to superpower nations like the United States.  While women from many countries where the United States stations itself are likely victims due to wars of aggression, military dumping, rape and threats and physical violence, U.S. soldiers justify their presence as protecting American citizens.  Many see the U.S. as policing the world from global terrorists.

The U.S. people need to wake up and look in the mirror.  They won’t like what they see, who they’ve become.

In the Philippines, the people kicked the U.S. military base in 1995 but then President Estrada signed the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) which allows U.S. personal to train Armed forces of the Philippines under a suppose “mutual” agreement.

However, with U.S. troops now engaged in armed military operations, the people of the Philippines are once again threatened. Victims like Nicole who was raped by Smith of the U.S. military who was tried and convicted for 40 years was acquitted by buying off Nicole’s testimony and a free ride to the United States.  It is not Nicole who we should be mad at but the perpetrators of the same crimes.  The people seek justice for these crimes and seek a real leader willing to go after all corrupt officials and uphold national sovereignty.

The Balikatan Exercises which is a joint military exercise operation between the U.S. military and the Armed Forces of the Philippines has expanded from the Bicol Visayas region to the Ilocos region in Northern Philippines.  Some of these operations have seen the harassment, hamletting, and violence toward rural communities.  In fact, because the people have nothing to gain, there is no mutual aspect to the contract except between the American capitalists securing their resources and the corrupt officials who stand to benefit from the reaping of profits.

It is time that we recognize the impact of military forces who do not protect the interest of the people.  It is time we demand the removal os U.S. troops and bases as the Japanese and Filipinos have done already.  For Americans, we need to make sure that we educate each other about how military aggressions breeds more resistance to the American hatred.  If we are to foster into a peaceful future, we need to start now.

Roll back the U.S. military budget, bring the troops back home and fund Education and Health Care!