Nota Bene #121: Birds of an Ancient Feather

“Television is an invention whereby you can be entertained in your living room by people you wouldn’t have in your house.” Who said it? The answer is at the end of this post. Now on to the links! Continue reading

Nota Bene #118: VOTE!

“I am not fit for this office and should never have been here.” Who said it? Continue reading

Nota Bene #115: RIP No. 32

“If you’re really pro-life, do me a favor—don’t lock arms and block medical clinics. If you’re so pro-life, lock arms and block cemeteries.” Who said it? Continue reading

Nota Bene #85: Beer Votes and Rock Quotes

Summer is gone Continue reading

Oscar Zeta Acosta: One of God's own prototypes

by Amaury Nora

When I was asked to do a writeup for Oscar Zeta Acosta as our latest Scroguero, I was happy to do it. I, like most people who hear Oscar’s name, know him for his literary works, Autobiography of a Brown Buffalo (1972) and The Revolt of the Cockroach People (1973). As I was doing my research, though, I realized that Oscar—a legendary, compelling figure in Chicano history—remains in the shadows of the general American culture. He has never really gotten his due.

Acosta’s name is not one that rings many bells today, and if it does, most people remember him as being the inspiration for Dr. Gonzo, the character immortalized in Hunter S. Thompson’s book, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. In Fear, the character of Dr. Gonzo—a man with a gargantuan appetite for food, drugs and dangerous living—is the perfect complement to Thompson’s journalist alter ego, Raoul Duke, who uses his assignment to cover an off-road race as an excuse to overindulge in booze and drugs in Vegas.

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Bush’s “immigration crackdown” won’t solve anything

By Martin Bosworth

Yesterday the Bush regime announced a new series of “get tough” moves against illegal immigrants and their employers, in the form of cracking down on employees using unverified Social Security numbers, more raids and border protection measures, and streamlining existing guest visitor programs. The press (doing its job for once) largely recognizes these manuevers for what they are–petulant responses to the collapse of the “guest worker compromise bill”, and a frantic appeal to the immigrant-hating base of the shrinking GOP support bill. Continue reading

VerseDay: Strike Straight

Rocket to the Moon (1971)In this week’s poetry thread, I’d like to acknowledge pieces written by Americans of color, including African-Americans, Latinos, native peoples, etc., specifically (shorter) works capturing some aspect of life in America as perceived from the vantage point of a minority.

Some of the many notable creators in this broad and rich genre are Maya Angelou, N. Scott Momaday, Gil Scott-Heron, Suheir Hammad, John Yau, and Denver’s own Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales.

As inspiration, and a vague point of reference, I’ve included the brilliant collage Rocket to the Moon by Romare Bearden, whom I consider a “visual poet” as much as an artist. I look at his work and I feel words. Continue reading

Latino survivor of hate crime beating takes his own life

by Amaury Nora

If you recall, David Ritcheson was the Latino teen who was brutally beaten, tortured, and sodomized with a plastic pole by two white racist teenagers, David Henry Tuck and Keith Robert Turner. This all occurred one year ago and sadly David could no longer conceal his pain because on the morning of July 1 he leaped to his death by jumping off from an upper deck of a Carnival Cruise ship.

We really were not told much about him by the media except that he was a Mexican-American who was running back on the Klein Collins High School football team and was the homecoming prince as a freshman. Most notably people remember him as the victim of a hate crime that took place on April 22, 2006 at the home of Gus Sons that was triggered by an accusation that David tried to kiss Danielle Sons, Gus’ underage sister. Continue reading

Immigration reform or Uncle Sam’s green card draft?

by Amaury Nora

When it comes to immigration reform, one of the biggest fears many have is that Congress might pass some type of domestic policy that is intended to hurt not only the best interest of the nation, but the interest of immigrants – legal and undocumented – who are trying to navigate through this country. Members of Congress have proposed heightened border security, increased enforcement of immigration laws, and even the criminalization of undocumented immigrants and those who help them.

Widely discussed throughout the media and the blogs is how the current immigration reform bill being debated in the Senate would create a permanent underclass of indentured slave labor by allowing multinational corporations and independent contractors to hire thousands of “guest” workers a year outside the US. However, what is not often discussed or reported is how one of the provisions tucked inside the bill would also benefit the military. Continue reading