Mexico’s Best & Finest


(Originally posted 3/16/17 on Read With The Gringa).


With Trump’s constant drip, drip, drip, denigrating Mexico and Mexicans at every turn, the gringa has to ask, “Did a Mexican chica break his heart when he was 12-years-old or something?” Such bitterness must have a very deep root indeed. Surely, somewhere in his dark, murky past, Trump must have experienced a horrible humiliation at the hands of a Mexican. Maybe, if a chica did break his heart, maybe, just maybe, she had a big hermano who also beat him up for getting fresh with his sister. Who knows. What the gringa DOES know is that Trump is full of crap about Mexico not producing the best or finest when it comes to their people. Get a load of these amazing Mexicans and their inventions:


Luis Miramontes:  In 1956 Miramontes was the proud co-owner of a US patent for the oral contraceptive known as Norinyl and manufactured by his employer, Syntex Corporation. A college student at the time, Miramontes, along with 2 other chemists, invented the birth control pill in 1951. His primary contribution was drafting the procedure for synthesizing progestin norethindrone (seeing as how experts claim he speaks on the level of a fourth grader, the gringa suspects Trump couldn’t even pronounce that). 

Victor Celorio: Do you like to read on a Nook or Kindle? Well, guess what, this technology is nearly half a century old. It is based on the invention of this Mexican technology innovator who patented his “Instabook Maker”. This allowed for rapid electronic distribution of books and allowed for offline printing. US patents #6012890 and #6213703 were both awarded to Celorio, a Mexico City native, in 1957. This technology was behind the success for his US company, Instabook Corporation. The gringa doesn’t expect Trump to be impressed by this invention. Chances are, he doesn’t read much.

Jose Hernandez-Rebollar: This Mexican’s invention is so famous, he even earned mention by the Smithsonian. Commenting on his device, a glove that translates sign language into audible speech, the Smithsonian had this to say:


“… by using sensors attached to the glove and the arm, this prototype device can currently translate the alphabet and over 300 words in American Sign Language (ASL) into both English and Spanish.”


This bilingual device is very impressive. Seeing as how Trump barely has a grasp on English at even the most rudimentary levels, the gringa thinks Hernandez-Rebollar far surpasses Trump in that respect. I mean, really, what the heck is he trying to say? Either he can’t say “big league” or he’s making up words because “bigly” isn’t even a word.


Dr. Maria del Socorro Flores Gonzalez: In 2006 she won an award, MEXWII, for her extraordinary medical diagnostic method for the parasitic disease, invasive amebiasis. Her process is patented and because of her commitment to healthcare, early detection is now possible for a disease that was killing more than 100,000 people around the world every year. The gringa wonders how many lives Trump will save this year, because he is certainly going to destroy countless.


Felipe Vadillo: Since Trump is a fierce advocate for forced birth, desiring to outlaw abortion and banning American medical professionals from sharing medical data about abortion options with vulnerable populations in other parts of the world, perhaps he should give Vadillo the credit he deserves. Vadillo invented a method, which is now patented, for predicting premature fetal membrane rupture in expectant mothers. This condition is commonly known as when a pregnant woman’s “water breaks”. If it happens prematurely, the consequences can be deadly for the baby. Pro-life Trump should offer a word of gratitude for this outstanding Mexican.


And then, there’s this 4th grader President…

Sources: Inventors

Image Credit: The Gateway Pundit

Video Credit: WorldPrestige Kids

David Pakman Show

CNN




Praising Mistakes Of The Past Is Insanity


(Originally posted 1/12/17 on Read With The Gringa)

The gringa wants to conclude her studies on the history of U.S. immigration by examining a particular policy that was enacted by President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s administration in 1954. The incoming Trump administration has threatened a revival of a deportation policy that has already proven disastrous. Again, if the definition of insanity is doing the same thing, over and over, yet expecting different results, is the incoming group of politicians all insane? Is a madman about to take the helm of U.S. government? Will the lunatics be running the asylum in less than two weeks? Let’s take a look at Operation Wetback and see if parallels of this policy should be supported or resisted if Trump attempts to resurrect this dead beast.

After World War I, the nation was hurting for cheap labor, particularly in agriculture. They hoped to fill this void by exploiting imported labor groups from Mexico. As non-citizens, such groups could successfully be exploited because they would not have political representation, other than any interest that their country of origin might have.

However, we learned through the Bracero Program of 1942, that Mexico’s government was also exploiting its own people who participated.  Legal Bracero’s were subject to withholdings from their earnings being kept by the U.S. and Mexico to pay for certain provisions of their Bracero work-visas. Provisions that should have provided benefits but both governments simply kept the money. This resulted in the U.S. not seeing the numbers needed of voluntary migrant workers participating.The gringa doesn’t blame Mexicans for rejecting participation in the program.

But industry will always find a way to meet its own need. Workers who need to make a buck will always find a way around government over-reach into their pocket. The result was that illegal immigration increased and farmers were only too happy to employ them. And, for a time, the US looked the other way while it was convenient and the citizens were satisfied with cheap produce abundantly supplied to their local markets.

But, in the early 1950’s Americans were tiring of being so tolerant to illegal immigrants who were picking those beans they enjoyed with dinner. Eisenhower satisfied their indignation with Operation Wetback. Deportation records indicate that more than one million immigrants were removed from the country. Now, considering that a racial slur was used in an official government record entitled deportation legislation, there is no doubt in the gringa’s mind that this piece of work was racially motivated and wholly approved by a racist white majority population. For shame, America.

But that’s how elitist white majority capitalism works. Exploit without a conscience those with melanin as cheap labor. Then, when your done with them, demonize them and kick them out, even if it means destroying their lives and families.

Once the announcement was made June 9, 1954, that this was the official policy of the U.S., aggressive raids and deportation forces focused their attention on Arizona and California. Law enforcement used methods like roadblocks and checkpoints. Eventually these methods spilled over into Texas as well. Sweeps even reached as far as the states of Washington, Illinois, Kansas and Missouri. Within a couple of months the operation wound down and then, once funding ran out, the government proudly announced that the “problem no longer existed”. Yeah, right. Government officials just didn’t want to admit that no matter how many people they deport, there is really no way to secure a border like the US southern border. It is extensive, porous, and rugged. Trump thinks a wall will work? He must have never heard about the ingenuity of drug smuggling tunnels.

Now, to an American Nationalist, Operation Wetback sounds like a prime example of how to deal with undocumented aliens that are in the country. Well, the gringa says, “Not so fast.” Before you accept your initial knee-jerk reaction, get down to the nitty-gritty, the nuts and bolts, the actual “what exactly happens” kind of stuff.

Currently, there are well over 12 million people in the US with undocumented status. Many of these people enjoy this status through no fault of their own. How many unscrupulous immigration attorneys do you think have taken advantage of vulnerable immigrants, taking their money and never doing a thing to manage their legal paperwork properly? Yeah, that’s a problem. That’s a problem with AMERICAN criminals, not immigrant criminals. Then you have people who have fled their native countries in terror, arrived here undocumented and have the right to apply for refugee status or asylum. In their desperation to get out alive during dangerous internal strife, there is simply no time to secure documents. Proper channels to do such a thing may not even exist. Even if they did, the very people being victimized by their government and needing to escape are also the last people such a government would grant travel documents to. Those are the kind of people our country EXPECTS to arrive undocumented. And how many immigrants do you think have been committed to maintaining a legal status only to fall victim to overcrowded immigration courts who have let their case fall through the cracks? The reality is that such things happen. Sometimes, it’s the US that is to blame.

For all of these reasons, undocumented immigrants have the right of due process as every other citizen and legal immigrant. And if you think we should just forego due process, then you are saying that we should just do away with the foundations of the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights. The rights of undocumented immigrants are all wrapped up in the very logic and reason behind how every human being enjoys inalienable and civil rights in the US. Are you willing to put your own liberty, freedom and security at risk simply because you have a problem with immigrants?

What kind of country do you really want to live in? Do you really want to live in a country where you have your drive to work interrupted by roadblocks, searches of your car and demands to see your documents? So, you say, “No big deal if you are a citizen.” Once again, the gringa says, “Not so fast.” There’s this little thing called the Civil Rights Act. Think about how roadblocks and ID demands could infringe upon the equal protection of minorities. Take this scenario for example:

The gringa and her caveman are driving separate cars home after picking one up at the repair shop. The gringa reaches the roadblock only to realize that she forgot her ID at home. The cop looks at her white skin, hears her flawless English, albeit with a Texas twang, and waves her on through. Right behind her is the caveman, a US citizen for more than a quarter of a century. He realizes his wallet is in his wife’s handbag because he always wears pocket-less soccer shorts and refuses to carry a man-purse. The cop sees his brown skin and hears that Peruvian accent and then orders him to get out of the vehicle. The car is impounded and the caveman heads downtown, detained for further questioning.

If the caveman is lucky, the gringa will bring his ID and clear everything up. But they are still out of pocket for paying to get the car out of impound. Not to mention the indignity and hassle. But what if the gringa had been out of town? Would it be possible that injustice could occur and the caveman could find himself shipped off to Peru? Is it possible that many like him, US naturalized citizens or legal immigrants, could lose everything if such policies were enacted? The evidence is that many already have.

When Eisenhower started a racist dragnet across the country, caught in that web were many who had every right to be in this country. Yet they were deported. So, in addition to hundreds of unnecessary deaths by heat exhaustion and drowning, the lives of US citizens were destroyed simply because of the color of their skin, the ethnic quality of their name, and, perhaps, the existence of an accent.

If the operation had truly been a success, rather than funds peter out, Congress would have voted for another round. Citizens would have expected enforcement to continue. Instead, US government spin doctors churned out the propaganda that it was such a resounding success there was no more need for deportation round-ups. And it seems that those spin doctors are hard at work for the future Trump administration. Because people who are afraid of melanin can’t admit they are fraidy-cats and bigots can’t admit that bigoted actions are a failure.

So, if you are an advocate for inhumane treatment of fellow humans, ripping apart families, infringing upon the Civil Rights of all citizens and guests to this country, and destroying the lives of some of your fellow Americans, then I am sure that you will be just fine with Trump’s future plans. As long as you are not personally affected, you could care less about what might happen to those “damn furriners”. The gringa would like to ask such people, “You claim, with great pride, to be a citizen of the ‘home of the brave, right? Then why are you so afraid of people with melanin and speak with an accent? Why not grow a pair and make your country proud. Be brave. There are better solutions to this very complicated immigration problem our nation has.”

Sources:

Immigration To United States

Library Of Congress

www.factcheck.org

Politifact

National Public Radio

America’s Voice

Image Credit: felicitysmoak.info.tm

Oysters & Fortunetellers


Where the gringa lives in the gulf coast of Texas, oyster farming is big business. The gringa’s farming experience is limited to my father’s cattle ranch and my own egg farming. Is that how oyster farming works? Do you just leave the little guys alone most of the time to do what oysters do? Toss them a bit of feed, protect them from predators, stuff like that? Well, actually oyster farming has gone hi-tech. For young people who are interested in a beach bum lifestyle with the edge of technology, oyster farming or working with the technology related to the industry may be your thing if you love science as much as beach bumming.

Oysters don’t need their human overseers to bring them a bale of hay or toss out some nutrient enriched scratch. They are living filters that live on the bottom of a bay. Oyster farmers really don’t have that much to do, it would seem, unless it is harvest time. Sounds like the perfect beach bum job.

However, there is one thing that can happen that can interrupt an oyster farmer’s hiatus between harvests. If storm clouds gather, oyster farmers have to get out of their hammocks, put away the surfboard and forego the margaritas and head out for some serious relocating work in the estuaries.

You see, as bottom feeding filters, rain in this polluted day and age can be deadly for oysters. And even if contaminants in run off don’t kill the slimy, little buggers they could, in turn, kill a human if eaten. A local thunderstorm with a heavy downpour means one of two things:

  • Completely relocate their stock, or,
  • Quarantine the area and delay harvest until it is safe.

Now, even if an oyster farmer was willing to relocate their oysters, often weather conditions can change rapidly and unexpectedly in coastal regions.  Usually an oyster farmer simply doesn’t have enough time to respond. So, the oysters bide the storm and everyone hopes for the best. But considering how heavily polluted most of the soil is in populated areas around the world, it’s usually not good news when it’s all over.

The gringa doesn’t have the numbers for industry loss or farm closures in the Gulf of Mexico area I call home. However, I can tell you about what’s been going on in Tasmania. Since 2013 industry research has recorded a loss of over $4.3 million (Australian currency!) for Tasmanian oyster farmers due to contamination related farm closures, caused by pollutants in rainfall water runoff that entered estuaries.  This sounds awful, right? Well, take heart, dear readers. There is good news for Tasmanians as well as oyster farmers everywhere thanks to an agriculture technology start-up company, The Yield.

The Yield has designed a system of sensors that were tested in 14 Tasmanian oyster farm estuaries. This comprised about 80% of the entire oyster industry for the state. The technology measured:

  • Water depth
  • Salinity
  • Temperature
  • Barometric pressure

Oyster farmers use their smartphone, or other device, to access the handy little app that is updated every five minutes with new data about their squishy, little, hard-shelled babies. Access is also available to food safety regulators so everybody that matters is in the loop.

But the gringa wants to know if this has made oyster farming better. I mean, it’s always fun to have new gadgets but where business is concerned, is there a point to the expense? Here are the benefits of this new technology:

  • Reduces paperwork between farmers & food service regulators.
  • Food quality and safety has improved.
  • Accurate measurements has resulted in fewer farm closures.
  • Fewer farm closures has resulted in higher production, yields and profits.

Well, it looks like this technology is worth the investment for oyster farmers. It also looks like the investment of time and effort of scientists and meteorologists for more than a century was also a worthy investment. That is the backbone of the information that went into designing this system. If you have a habit or hobby of recording weather related “stuff”, who knows, one day what you may consider a hobby or pre-occupation could change the world! More than a hundred years worth of weather and tidal related data helped developers understand weather and tidal patterns, how they changed with the seasons, and how this would affect the performance of the technology to predict weather events. So, basically, Tasmania’s oyster farmers are more successful because of digital fortunetellers.

Sources:

www.techrepublic.com

www.theyield.com

oysterstasmania.org

Image Credit: oysterstasmania.org

 

 

Let It Rain, Let It Rain, Let It Rain


Although Olympic focus has been trained on Rio, the gringa would like to take the dear reader back in time and to the other side of the globe to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. When China was preparing to host this historical event, pollution was high on the list of problems to solve. Although everyone is probably familiar with the tactic of temporary bans on driving & factory operations as drastic measures to help reduce smog. What many may not be aware of is China’s ambitious plans to control the weather, a $30 million dollar plan that they are still working on today. A plan to shoot into the heavens special “bullets” filled with salt and other minerals. What in the world are those crazy Chinese scientists up to? Apparently, nothing new! They’re just trying to make it rain.

Officially called “weather modification”, China helped clear their smog-filled skies during the Olympic games by making it rain, rain, rain. They are not alone in being rainmakers. Fifty-two other countries have developed their own rainmaking strategies. Ten of these countries joining the rainmaking team only five years ago. Rainmaking countries include: Canada, United States, Mexico, Cuba, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Australia, India, Senegal, South Africa, Russia and the list goes on. You can see the map created by the World Meteorological Organization to see who all is in on the rainmaking game.

The gringa is rather ashamed to admit that as for the United States, the origins of its weather modification program is not as noble as China’s. For the U.S., it all started with Operation Popeye which was a top secret program that weaponized weather during the Vietnam War. Although I’m sure the scientists who worked for General Electric had noble intentions, they probably had no idea that the U.S. government was going to take their technology and rain down silver iodide on the poor Vietnamese people.

But I digress. Back to China. In addition to creating rain to saturate polluted air and get rid of smog, they also wanted to prevent rain from spoiling events taking place in the stadium that was dubbed the “Bird’s Nest”. To achieve this amazing god-like feat, the Chinese implemented a 3 stage weather modification strategy:

  1. Officials tracked weather patterns with satellites, planes, radar and supercomputer.
  2. 2 aircraft, 20 rocket launcher & artillery sites sprayed silver iodide and dry ice into remote cloud systems that might approach the stadium so they would dump their rain before arrival.
  3. Nearby cloud systems filled with rain were seeded with chemicals that shrink the water droplets thus ensuring that the clouds would have time to pass over the Bird’s Nest without dropping their rain.

Now was all of this really necessary? The Beijing Olympics were held in August which is a high precipitation season for China so, yes, the gringa supposes that it was necessary. Consequently, China’s success in being a master rainmaker or rainstaller has resulted in China being the world leader in the weather modification sciences. They have more than 1,500 professionals devoted to all things necessary in controlling the weather: scientists, pilots, flight crews. Also proudly serving in the program are tens of thousands of peasant farmers who are more than happy to help their government blast away a cloud when crops have been inundated or have clouds seeded during times of drought. Peasants are on call to operate more than 7,000 aircraft guns and almost 5,000 rocket launchers when called to report to rainmaking duty.

The gringa is not too sure what to make of all this. For the most part I am the type to believe that the less we interfere with nature, the better. However, considering how bad mankind has screwed things up where climate change is concerned, it may just be that Mother Nature could use a few rainmakers. So, I say to the Chinese:

Let it rain. Let it rain. Let it rain.

 

Sources:

www.technologyreview.com

www.wmo.int

uspto.gov

fas.org

wikipedia.org/OperationPopeye

Image Credit:  cloudfront.net

 

 

Bosnia’s Sherlock Holmes of Big Ball Mysteries


If an archaeologist unearthed an enormous wheel in a dig of ancient ruins, it would be pretty self-explanatory what it was for, mobility of some sort. However, if the same archaeologist were to unearth an enormous ball with a 5 foot radius and most likely made of iron, surely the archaeologist would be scratching his head and thinking, “What the heck?” Well, that just happened in Bosnia. What could very well be the oldest man-made ball for who knows what has been unearthed  in a forest that lies outside the Bosnian town of Podubravlie.

The gringa is enthralled. Is it man-made? Is it naturally occurring? Is it the remnant of a croquet park from a by-gone era of Bosnian giants? Is Bosnia the only place on Earth where big mystery balls can be found?

The study of big mysterious ancient balls is the favorite field of archaeologist Semir Osmanagich, affectionately known as “Sam”. For the past 15 years Sam has devoted his life to the research of prehistoric stone balls. Despite being made fun of by archaeological peers, Sam remains dedicated to solving the mystery of whether these balls are naturally occurring or man-made. The gringa wants to encourage Sam and remind him that the “haters gonna hate” so follow your dream! And, since Sam has a Ph.D., the gringa believes that he’s not crazy, well, maybe crazy like a fox and on the scent of a mystery his archaeology peers who can’t think outside the box simply don’t understand.

Sam has been discovering mystery balls all over the world: granite balls in Costa Rica, volcanic stone balls in Mexico, stone balls on Isla del Cano, volcanic balls on Easter Island, Tunisia, and the Canary Islands, Antarctica, New Zealand, Russia, the U.S.A., Argentina, Albania, Croatia, Serbia and, now, Bosnia. Sam has been very busy! He has become so enamored with mystery balls that he has created his very own foundation, “Archaeological Park: Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun” to support the investigation of this fascinating mystery. Balls have consisted of volcanic material, granite, and sandstone. The latest ball in Bosnia has not yet had all of its analysis complete but because of its reddish color iron is highly suspected to be the material of which it is made up of.

The first Bosnian balls were discovered in the 1930s according to local records. 80 balls were unearthed and some were eventually transported by river to other locations. In the 1970s local legends surrounding the balls enjoyed a revival and many locals were hopeful that perhaps they were the hiding place of treasure hordes of gold. Many balls were destroyed in hopes of finding untold wealth. Only eight of the original 80 were recovered and are on exhibit at Sam’s archaeological park which has become a local tourist attraction.

Sam’s current project site can only be worked when winter breaks. By spring of this year excavation had advanced to the point that it was apparent that the largest European stone ball was about to be completely uncovered. With half of the ball exposed the radius is estimated to be about 5 feet. If the reddish material proves to be iron the ball would be expected to weight over 30 tons. That would mean that Bosnia can boast the biggest ball in all of Europe, third in the world to second place Costa Rica with a 35 ton ball and first place Mexico with a 40 ton ball.

But the gringa wants to know what the real significance is to finding these big balls other than just being curious and interesting. The gringa also wants to know what the alternative theories are that Sam’s mocking peers claim.

The naysayers claim that the balls are no big deal. They suspect they are just freaks of nature that occur through a process known as concretion. This occur when layers of sediment occur in layers then compact and over hundreds of thousands of years form into balls. It is easy to find images of naturally occurring spheres in nature created by concretion. However, two things set these apart from what Sam is studying.

  • #1. Naturally occurring concretion spheres are small scale compared to the ones Sam has found and claims to be man-made.
  • #2. Naturally occurring concretion spheres are not perfectly spherical, often having flaws. Sam’s big balls are perfectly round.
  • #3. Naturally occurring concretion spheres usually occur en-masse with variation in size and not-so-perfect round shape. Sam’s big balls can sometimes be found isolated from one another.

The gringa scratches her head and thinks that anything squished under thousands of pounds of earth would never form into a ball. It would be squished, like a pancake, maybe wavy, or even flaked from tectonic plate activity shoving things around but never, ever round.

Sam’s theory believes these balls to be man-made. If he’s right, this latest discovery of a 1,500 year-old enormous, man-made, iron ball would prove that European civilizations were much more advanced than was previously expected. Now why would such a theory be controversial among archaeologists? The gringa likes to think that people of old were intelligent, ingenious, clever and quite capable of innovation. How sad to be led to believe that ancient people were just big, ol’ dummies. The dear reader can enjoy a video  of Sam’s discovery and decide for yourself.

The gringa plans to keep Sam on the radar because I find this big ball mystery fascinating. And I wish him the best of luck in solving the mystery and having the chance to say, “I told ya so!” to all his haters!

Sources & Image Credit: http://www.yahoo.com, http://www.piramidasunca.ba

 

 

Anthropocene Just Makes Me Sad, Oh, And Mad, Too


Before the dear reader gets started, I know, I know, the featured image seems to have NOTHING to do with Anthropocene. The gringa says, “Dear reader, read on. You will soon see the connected dots.”

There is a new vocabulary word the global scientific community is now introducing the public to. Anthropocene refers to the present geological age scientists believe humanity is entering. This is a period defined by human activity being the dominant influence on climate and Earth’s environment.

For weeks the gringa has had a sticky note on her laptop with one word scribbled on it, Anthropocene. Thanks to my quantum twin, Bea, I got off my duff and determined why this word was bothering me so. Thank you Bea.

The concept of the Anthropocene era just makes me sad. I am sad for the human race. I am sad for all animal-kind. I am sorry for all of the beautiful forests and waterfalls and rivers and canyons etc., etc., etc. I am sorry for all of the excellent scientists who see this train running toward a cliff and are screaming their heads off for the engineer to put on the brakes but he just keeps chugging along. I am also sad for my country, perhaps saddest of all for my country, for being the biggest disappointment of all.

As an American I have been raised on the idea of American ingenuity, American exceptionalism, American leadership and American philanthropy. Where is all of that? It’s bad enough that my country seems to be asleep at the wheel. What’s even worse is its refusal to take charge and seriously renovate the American way of life. This is holding back progress around the world. My country is, perhaps, one of the biggest problems to solving climate change simply because its bad attitude is a big stifle on everyone else. So, on top of being sad, I am also a bit ashamed. And mad.  And the gringa wants to know WHY!

Despite the fact that there is virtually worldwide scientific consensus on the reality of climate change and where we are all headed (right down the crapper) if we don’t pull together and fix this mess, most Americans continue to live a lifestyle of delusion.  As far back as 2005 the U.S. National Academy of Sciences claimed, “The scientific understanding of climate change is now sufficiently clear to justify taking steps to reduce the amount of gases in the atmosphere.”

The following year, 2006, The American Association for the Advancement of Science announced, “The scientific evidence is clear: global climate change caused by human activities is occurring now, and it is a growing threat to society.”

Even American doctors agree. The American Medical association “… supports the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s fourth assessment report and concurs with the scientific consensus that the Earth is undergoing adverse global climate change and that anthropogenic contributions are significant.”

Those conclusions were announced a DECADE ago! What has America done since then? Virtually NOTHING but lip service. WHY?

How do Americans feel about all this data and proof and agreement? The majority believe global warming is occurring. And, that’s where the common sense seems to stop. Many Americans believe (or desperately want to believe) that humans are not causing it.

Are almost eighty percent of Americans that dumb? No, the gringa doesn’t believe so. The gringa believes those Americans are simply too spoiled to consider changing their lifestyles and are willing to believe just about anything rather than change.

What do the majority of people in other countries think about the importance of solving climate change compared to Americans? Well, over eighty percent of the people in Mexico, France, Germany, the UK, Egypt, Turkey, Nigeria, China, India and Taiwan all agree it should be their government’s top priority. Less than twenty percent of Americans seem to believe this, according to the polling data of WorldPublicOpinion.org.

What in the world could cause an otherwise intelligent person to either purposely disconnect from truth or else think they are above its reach? What the heck is behind such madness among the American people? Well, the gringa believes it is part of American culture’s belief system. It is an attitude that has been ingrained upon the American psyche since the founding fathers sat around and hammered out the Declaration of Independence over two hundred years ago. It will not be easy to shake Americans free from this frame of mind. It is an attitude rooted in dominion theology.

The dear reader asks, “What the heck did the gringa just say? Dominion theology? How did she go from science to religion?” Dear reader, please allow me to explain the perspective of dominion theology and its history within America and how it is alive and well even today, all the while making a big mess of things around the world without a second thought.

Everyone knows the founding fathers of the United States were Masons. Now, dear reader, do not fear. I am not about to launch into a conspiracy rant. However, dominion theology was a common and dominant belief system among American Masons back in the 1700’s. This is the religious ideology that framed the nation and eventually influenced the minds and attitudes of almost every American born and raised here.

Dominion theology places precedence on the very first command God gave mankind. The logic goes: since it was the first command it must be the most important. And what was that command all about? It was about the Earth itself. Genesis 1:28 depicts God commanding mankind to “… subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” Now do you see how America is able to have absolutely no conscience as it exploits lands and people throughout the world? America believes it is religiously obligated to rule the world. However, modern American politicians are smart enough to know they shouldn’t say this outright.

The Christian right in the United States has historically controlled the direction of the nation. This theology, predominant in the particular form of Protestantism practiced in the U.S., has saturated not only the civilian population, but has carried over into politics and governing policy. Dominionists believe they are obligated by God to govern over EVERYONE and EVERYTHING.

Active dominionism can be traced back as recently as the 1980’s when several American evangelical authors published works actually using the label “dominionism” to describe their religious movements. Needless to say, the general reception of this theology became the subject of controversy and debate. Hence, dominion theology continued to be practiced but the label was no longer used. Dominionism is covert. It is now practiced under the insidious label of “prosperity theology”. God wants you to have everything, therefore go out and get it. Name it and claim it. It is still dominion theology.

And it has nothing to do with the teachings of Jesus Christ (who was actually more like a philanthropic minimalist and socialist). Despite its anti-Christian overtones of selfishness and arrogance, many American Christians continue to practice it because it enables them to live an indulgent lifestyle (which they love) without the guilt trip (which they hate) of how their choices are affecting the world around them. They write their checks for charity for others and Gucci for themselves and feel as if they have done their part. And, as their gross consumerism causes labor abuses around the world, rather than see the reality of Chinese sweatshops and its ilk, they pat themselves on the back that they are helping these poor people stay employed. They feel very self-satisfied that they are not only doing God’s will, but (get this), they also actually believe they are changing the world for the better.

And this arrogant, excessive, consumerist by-product of dominion theology carries over and contaminates even the non-religious American. They, too, think that it is a good thing when American culture is exported with the purpose of supplanting an existing culture in a less privileged country. So, all of these misguided, human produced climate change denying Americans have convinced themselves that their indulgent lifestyle is helping make the world a better place. Um, they are dead wrong. They, in fact, are a very big part of the problem. They are creating wars for profit, destroying the habitats and ways of life for indigenous peoples, and literally frying the world that we all live in as they continue their indulgent lives of excess and consumerism. And, they just need to STOP IT!

And that, my dear readers, is why the gringa is sad and mad about the Anthropocene Era. Until there is a serious religious and political revolution in America that transforms the minds of these brainwashed dominion theology practitioners, Christian and non-Christian alike, who believe it is their American birthright to live the high life at the expense of the rest of the world, the U.S. will continue to be a stone around the neck of progress.

Source:  www.nasa.gov & www.wikipedia.org

Photo credit:  www.exposingreligionblog.tumblr.com  (post 28884550240)

 

 

 

 

Read With The Gringa “Martin de Leon”


All ages should join the gringa for an 18 minute read along about some rich, little known history about Mexico and Texas.

The Ranch Of The Swallows


The featured picture above is a “shepherd’s bed”. Historically, such a thing would have been situated over a cooking area. If the dear reader looks closely at the image, an oven carved out of the adobe can be seen in the corner. The bed served to control smoke and would be a warm place to sleep. Usually the arthritic old folks, someone sick, or the babies would sleep there because of its cuddly warmth. The caveman and the gringa got to see this interesting contraption when we visited El Rancho de los Golondrinas, or, The Ranch of the Swallows. The Ranch is a living history museum with original buildings and much of the furnishings dating back to the eighteenth century. It is located on two hundred acres within a rural farming valley just south of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

As the original family and families of their ranch hands flourished and prospered, the original barn was eventually converted into a chapel and a larger barn constructed. The family chapel still stands and visitors can see a beautiful, intricately carved altar and many handmade icons of the patron saint of farmers, Isidoro.

The Ranch was practically self-sufficient and had its own blacksmith shop. To view it, visitors enjoy a stroll down a shady lane that passes a marsh. The marsh is dotted with colorful flowers and filled with birds that populate the thick grove of trees around this precious natural water feature.

Most of the buildings are original and date back as far as the early 1700s. Some buildings have been reconstructed but are still historically accurate and blend in so well visitors can’t tell one from another. One of these buildings is a general store where visitors can enjoy an eighteenth century shopping experience. The gringa recommends the sarsaparilla which will be served up to you by a volunteer dressed in period clothing posing as a local villager.

Throughout the year the ranch hosts a number of events and shows that realistically depict life on the frontier in early New Mexico. There are festivals, music, dance, rodeos and many other aspects of life re-enacted to share with guests the culture and influences of Spanish, Mexican and Territorial periods of the Southwest.

The gringa and the caveman came away from this experience enriched. We decided that although we enjoy our modern, technologically advanced lifestyle, we can appreciate the simplicity and beauty of life at a place like that ranch. Sure, it was full of hardship and extremely labor intensive, but what an incredible sense of community to live and work in a conclave like that. The only thing the gringa would really throw a fit about missing would be my very large and powerful hot water heater.

1990 Immigration and Nationality Act – It’s The Lottery, Baby!


Let’s play the lottery and see who gets to enter the country! Yes, the 1990 Immigration and Nationality Act introduced a lottery program. But, don’t be fooled. Lottery is just a fun way of saying “quota”. Quota was a bad word in the history of United States immigration policies. I guess legislators thought this was a pretty slick maneuver.

November 29, 1990, President George Bush, Sr., spoke to the nation and made these points about the bill he signed into law:

  • He respected immigrants: “… the fundamental importance and historic contributions of immigrants to our country…”
  • He appreciated the need for family unity: “… our tradition of family reunification… support for the family as the essential unit of society…”
  • He acknowledged the economic benefit of the immigrant, “… immigration of skilled individuals to meet our economic needs… cultivation of a more competitive economy… encourage the immigration of exceptionally talented people, such as scientists, engineers, and educators… promote the initiation of new business… and the investment of foreign capital in our economy…”
  • He was honest about the “bad” element among immigrants: “… swift and effective punishment for drug-related and other violent crime… aliens who, by their violent criminal acts, forfeit their right to remain in this country… jeopardize the safety and well-being of every American resident… improves this Administration’s ability to secure the U.S. border…”

Annually, the Attorney General would review statistics that had been gathered for five years from all over the country. Nations would be designated as “High Admission” or “Low Admission”.  High admission countries had at least 50,000 immigrants that had become permanent residents. Immigrant hopefuls of these nationalities would not be permitted entry unless the “lottery” was unable to be fulfilled by immigrants from the “Low Admission” nations who received preference. The purpose of this was to achieve more ethnic diversity within the United States. The gringa supposes this seems okay on the surface. Let’s dig a little deeper and see how it all works out.

These were the regions that comprised the “High Admission” and “Low Admission” zones considered in the new visa lottery system: Africa; Asia; Europe; North America (Canada and Greenland); Oceania (the geographical area including Micronesia, Fiji, all Polynesia, New Zealand, New Guinea, Melanesia, and Australia); South America; Mexico; Central America; and the Caribbean. In order for an immigrant hopeful to get a visa, not only do they have to come from a “Low Admission” country, but they also have to have a high school diploma and two years of work experience. If an immigrant hopeful was lucky enough to get a visa, their children and spouses were included. The United States considered family unity in this immigration reform policy and the gringa is happy ‘bout dat!

To get down to the specific numbers, America would issue about triple the number of visas than it did prior to the passage of this act. Most of these visas were issued to immigrants who were sponsored by employers. Guess what was required of these employers? They had to show documentation that they were unable to fill the position with an existing American citizen worker. Now, when will all these people stop griping about immigrants coming over here and stealing American jobs? It just ain’t so! Funny how the politicians know these laws exist to protect American jobs yet when an election year comes around some will campaign on headline grabbing, voter stimulating issues that are absolute lies, such as, “We’ve got to do something about immigration! Unemployment is so high and Joe Bob can’t get a job because those damn immigrants are pouring over the border and taking jobs away from good ol’ Americans!” Liar, liar, pants on fire. There are so many jobs that an humble immigrant is grateful to get paid to do that a spoiled American will turn their nose up at. That’s why most of these visas were issued!

For the first five years of this law, maximum limits were put in place. A total of 700,000 would be allowed in annually during this first five year period. Family based immigration was preferred so 465,000 visas were set aside for this type of immigrant. 55,000 visas were designated for spouses and aliens who had spouses or parents who had been legalized in the U.S. under the amnesty plan of 1986. 140,000 visas were set aside for skilled laborers to enter. 40,000 immigrants from “adversely affected” countries were given their own special group.

An example of “adversely affected” people would be the 1,000 displaced Tibetans who entered the country in 1991. On April 30, 1990, China announced the end of martial law in Tibet’s capital. For thirteen months Tibetans had suffered under military rule, harshly silenced and oppressed from any protest against the Chinese government. Military rule had existed in Tibet for decades but China cracked down in 1989 when Tibetans started getting too big for their britches and actually wanted a little freedom and independence, particularly in the area of practicing their religion, and began protesting in public. Too bad it was only 1,000 that made their way here. The gringa wishes all of them could have made it.

Did this immigration reform achieve its goal of creating more diversity in the American population? Prior to this bill, Asia and Latin America were the source nations for the majority of immigrants entering the United States. Under the provisions of this act, the American workforce was primarily supplied with Mexican and Filipino laborers. Indians, Canadians, Chinese and Africans made up the balance. Even today the Latin and Asian immigrants are the predominant ethnicities represented in the immigrant population. So it seems the goal of diversity wasn’t achieved. The most significant change was that fewer of these immigrants were poor.

However, the ethnic fabric of American medicine, science, education and sports was enriched as the result of this immigration reform. To keep these skilled workers in the country, deportation laws were relaxed as well as many stipulations that otherwise would have excluded an immigrant hopeful for qualifying for entry. One of these stipulations, which really seems to get xenophobes all worked up, is that the requirement to speak English was passed over. It makes no difference to the gringa. The gringa likes a challenge, especially a challenging conversation.

The ultimate culmination of the aftermath of this legislation is what we have today. For those who are not threatened by cultural and language differences of other people, the gringa being one those people, we shrug and say, “Who cares. Let ‘em stay as long as they’re minding their own business, working and caring for their family and community.” For the xenophobes, this is their worst nightmare. They have to suffer the indignity of pushing the number one button on their phones to select English. It’s all just so much more damn work and inconvenience that’s been created by these non-English speaking foreigners. It seems American government was socially evolving (except during campaign years when they regressed for the sake of garnering votes). Now the work is to help these hard-headed, scaredy-cat xenophobes evolve.

Sources:

http://library.uwb.edu/guides/usimmigration/1990_immigration_and_nationality_act.html

http://www.nytimes.com/1990/05/01/world/martial-law-ends-in-tibet-s-capital.html

http://immigrationinamerica.org/592-immigration-act-of-1990.html

http://cis.org/ImmigrationHistoryOverview

http://online.sfsu.edu/mcollier/AAS_write/aas%20essays/1990act.pdf

http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=19117

Photo credit: www.tibetanreview.net

Open Letter To The Honourable Governor of the State of Texas, Greg Abbot


I am so disturbed by recent events in my home state of Texas, that I felt it warranted an additional blog post today. Below I have copied and pasted my e-mailed letter to the Governor of my state. This link, http://www.latintimes.com/texas-denies-birth-certificates-children-undocumented-immigrants-320139, will take you to the story that has motivated my actions.

I urge you to call or write your State Representatives and Senators. Notify your Governors. This is a gross violation of civil rights and racist at its very core. The victims are not the mothers. The victims are newborn babies who are legal U.S. citizens. No one should remain silent. Allowing such discrimination for one opens the door to allow worse discrimination for all.

“Dear Governor,

I’m sure you are aware of the civil suit filed in Austin last week by Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid on behalf of Mexican mothers who were denied birth certificates for their children who were born in the State of Texas, on U.S. soil. It is my fervent hope that Texas will comply with the 14th Amendment and give these children their birth certificates. These documents belong to these children who are legal U.S. citizens by way of the 14th Amendment. It is my hope that Texas will not enter into a racially prejudiced decision to deny such legal status to these children.

I ask you to consider why these Mexican mothers were singled out? According to current statistics, as of 2012 a significant number of undocumented aliens are also Asian, British, Canadian and European. I am certain some of these women have also given birth while in the U.S. Were their newborn U.S. citizen children denied birth certificates also? Also, if Texas hospitals argue denial of birth certificates due to lack of a valid Texas driver’s license, I then pose the following question: How many Texas mothers were under the age of 17, therefore disqualified to hold a valid Texas driver’s license, yet still received birth certificates for their newborn children?

I am deeply disappointed in my home state for being so blatant in its racist actions. I am deeply saddened that the State of Texas does not consider these newborn, United States citizens and Texans worthy of doing the right thing. I have heard many people complain about undocumented people violating the law in order to immigrate here, yet many of these same self-righteous finger-pointers will now support an illegal action. Hypocrites, all. Today, I am ashamed of Texas.

Sincerely,

Michelle Cardenas”

Governor Greg Abbott may be contacted via http://www.gov.texas.gov and selecting the “Contact” tab if you wish to send an email. Other contact information is:

Office of the Governor  (mailing address), P.O. Box 12428, Austin, Texas  78711-2428

.Office of the Governor (delivery address), State Insurance Building, 1100 San Jacinto, Austin, Texas  78701

Opinion Hotline (512) 463-1782

Fax (512) 463-1849