Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Something to Know - About Horses and Abortion

There is apparently a practice to terminate the pregnancy of a horse, under specific circumstances.   Where are all the "pro-life" screamers on this?  Is there a pro-forma requirement for parental permission?  Why are there not hordes of picketers and protestors blocking entrances to race tracks, or plans to defund anything related to equine businesses or sports?   Crazy!


You are right:

  • YES

For sure, horses can give birth to twins. The thing is that such phenomenon is really rare and actually dangerous for a mother horse. There is not enough space for the foals inside. So when the unwanted twin pregnancy is discovered early it is common for horse owners to have one of the embryos removed.


Monday, September 28, 2015

Something to Know - 29 September

Rob Rogers

While you were all sleeping (assuming all are resting after 10:00PM PDT on 28 September), there is announcement that a scientist up at UC Berkeley has discovered a method of artificial photosynthesis that takes a bit of carbon, water, and some bacteria that will produce oxygen.   This process took nature billions of years to develop.  However the best news is that this could be the cornerstone of a process by which we may be able to counter the ravages of our own created climate change.   More information will be forthcoming, but this all proves that mankind creates some horrible messes, but it has the capacity to find solutions to the problems that we create.  This is good news.  However, it should not be used by the abusers who have done a bad stewardship of our planet to keep on filling the ground, sea, and air with deadly greenhouse gases, to keep on going doing it.  We have to take better care of our mother Earth, even though some experts think that we may have already gone beyond the point of no return:

MacArthur 'genius' grant winner creates artificial leaves that photosynthesize

It took nature millions of years to figure out how to turn energy from the sun into chemical energy that can be stored for a cloudy day - a process known as photosynthesis.

It took Peidong Yang, a chemist at UC Berkeley, about 10 years to accomplish a similar feat with the help of semiconductor nanowires and bacteria.

That's one of the reasons he was awarded a "genius" fellowship from the MacArthur Foundation on Monday.

Yang and his collaborators have created a synthetic leaf that uses the same ingredients as photosynthesis - water, sunlight and carbon dioxide - to produce liquid fuels like methane, butane and acetate. And just like nature's version of photosynthesis, it releases oxygen into the air.

The technology is still several years from being commercially viable, but it represents an important step on the road to creating a truly carbon-neutral and sustainable fuel system.

"The feasibility of artificial photosynthesis has been demonstrated based on our earlier experiments," Yang said. "We just need to keep pushing this research frontier."

Yang, 44, is an inorganic chemist by training. He got his bachelor's degree from the University of Science and Technology in China and his Ph.D. from Harvard University. He was a postdoctoral fellow at UC Santa Barbara before joining the faculty at UC Berkeley.

His interest in artificial photosynthesis came out of earlier work he did at Harvard with semiconductor nanowires. These microscopic wires - 100 to 1,000 times thinner than a human hair - have a variety of interesting properties, including that they are extremely good at capturing solar energy, Yang said. That's a very helpful starting point for synthetic photosynthesis. However, capturing solar energy is just the first half of the photosynthesis equation. To truly mimic what plant cells do, you need to store the sun's energy so that it can be used later.

To do that, Yang and his team have experimented with a variety of different materials that can serve as catalysts - meaning they can facilitate a chemical reaction without being used up themselves.

Right now, the most effective catalyst the group has found is a species of bacteria called Sporomusa ovata, which takes electrons from the nanowires and uses them to turn carbon dioxide into the more complex molecule acetate. The current system uses a second bacterium, Escherichia coli, to turn the acetate into even more complex chemicals.

The hybrid synthetic and biological system works, but not quite as well as Yang would like. For example, he wants to find a synthetic catalyst that can do the required chemistry, rather than relying on bacteria. 

"Bacteria live and die," he said. "That's a problem."

He also said that for the artificial photosynthesis system to be commercially viable, it would need to be much more efficient than it is in the current model. It will also have to be more efficient than the one nature spent millions of years developing.

"We want to learn from nature, but we have to be better than nature," he said. 

The good news is that Yang thinks it's possible.

"In solar panels the energy conversion efficiency is above 20%, much higher than what is happening in leaves," he said. "So in terms of design, we have the advantage - nature doesn't have silicon to use. We do."


Something to Know - 28 September

Tom Toles

It had to come to pass.  Not only was the company really incapable of a clean and environmentally safe method of sucking crude out of an impossible situation, it was facing a money losing proposition.  It was going to cost more to drill than the money it was to receive in return.   The Shell Oil Company gave up.   We win, and Royal Dutch also wins by cutting their losses:

Activists protest against the Shell drilling rig Polar Pioneer in Seattle, Washington, on 16 May, 2015. (photo: Jason Redmond/Reuters)
Activists protest against the Shell drilling rig Polar Pioneer in Seattle, Washington, on 16 May, 2015. (photo: Jason Redmond/Reuters)

Shell Abandons Arctic Drilling

By Karolin Schaps, Reuters

28 September 15


oyal Dutch Shell has abandoned its Arctic search for oil after failing to find enough crude in a move that will appease environmental campaigners and shareholders who said its project was too expensive and risky.

The withdrawal came six weeks after the final U.S. clearance and three months after Shell was still defending the project, a rapid change of heart for such a large company that shows it is preparing for a prolonged period of low oil prices while trying to close its $70 billion takeover of rival BG.

Shell has spent about $7 billion on exploration in the waters off Alaska so far and said it could take a hit of up to $4.1 billion for pulling out of the treacherous Chukchi Sea, where icebergs can be as large as New York's Manhattan island.

The unsuccessful campaign is Shell's second major setback in the Arctic after it interrupted exploration for three years in 2012 when an enormous drilling rig broke free and ran aground.

Environmental campaigners and shareholders have also pressured Shell to drop Arctic drilling. Some are worried an oil spill would harm protected species while others are concerned about the cost after oil prices more than halved in a year.

Shell said the decision to withdraw from the area reflected poor results from its Burger J exploratory well, the project's high costs and the unpredictable federal regulatory environment in the area off the U.S. state of Alaska.

A Shell source said the company had found U.S. regulation very prescriptive and in some cases contradictory, making it difficult to navigate the regulatory process.

"The entire episode has been a very costly error for the company both financially and reputationally," said analysts at Deutsche Bank, who estimate the Shell's Arctic exploration project could cost the company about $9 billion.


Environmentalists, who have criticized Shell's drilling plans in an area that is home to populations of whales, walrus and polar bears, claimed victory. In July, activists tried to stop an icebreaker key to Shell's drilling plans from leaving port by dangling from a bridge.

"They had a budget of billions, we had a movement of millions. For three years we faced them down, and the people won," said John Sauven, executive director at Greenpeace UK.

The decision is also the latest in a series of setbacks for projects in the Arctic to find oil and gas deposits estimated at 20 percent of the world's undiscovered resources.

Earlier this year, Norway's Statoil postponed its Arctic Johan Castberg project again and in 2012 Russia's Gazprom, together with Total and Statoil, scrapped the Shtokman gas project in the Arctic Barents Sea.

"Arctic exploration has been a clear casualty of the oil price slump," said Peter Kiernan, oil and gas analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Oil firms have dropped costly offshore projects worldwide as weak oil prices have eaten into budgets. These include BP's decision to review investment plans for the deepwater Mad Dog 2 project in the Gulf of Mexico and Husky Energy's delay to an extension of its West White Rose field off Canada.

"Alaska been a bone of contention for many investors thus today's update is a positive," said Bernstein analysts, who rate Shell's stock as outperform.

Shell's London-listed shares moved up in early trading but slipped later in line with the oil and gas companies index.

Shell said its Alaskan project was valued at about $3 billion on its balance sheet and that it had a $1.1 billion in future contractual commitments. It said it would give an update on the cost of writedowns with third-quarter results.


Peace Activist Jerry Rubin to Break 5-Month Fast in Support of a Nuclear Weapons-Free World at Public Peace Ceremony in Santa Monica on Gandhi's October 2 Birthday

Peace Activist Jerry Rubin to Break 5-Month Fast in Support of a Nuclear Weapons- Free World at Public Peace Ceremony in Santa Monica on Gandhi's October 2 Birthdate Santa Monica, CA- 

Longtime peace activist Jerry Rubin, who has been on a liquid-only protest fast against nuclear weapons since May 6, will end his fast at a public peace ceremony he and his wife Marissa are organizing in Santa Monica on the October 2 birthdate of Gandhi.

The free-to-the-publc peace ceremony will take place on Friday, October 2 from 6:00pm (until 6:30pm) at The Children's Tree of Life located in the Santa Monica Palisades Park at Ocean Ave. and Colorado Ave. just north of the gateway to the Santa Monica Pier. The ceremony will include the lighting of a large peace candle in memory of Gandhi, and the sharing of a peace symbol-shaped fruit salad, which will be Rubin's first solid food in five month.

Rubin, who originally intended to fast for three months but then extended it to four months and again to five months says he lost 35 pounds but gained tons of inspiration and insight.

Rubin says he understands those people who question his fasting strategy. Rubin says he knows that fasting is not enough, and that he believes every traditional and creative means of peaceful activism and organizing must be incorporated by growing numbers of people throughout America and worldwide to achieve the dream of nuclear weapons abolition and peace.

Rubin says activists should always remember one of Gandhi's quotes when facing daunting uphill challenges:

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." 

 Rubin is 71 -years old and resides in Santa Monica. He has been a peace activist for more than 35 years. He is not related to the late 1960's activist of the same name.

 Mahatma Gandhi was born October 2,1869 in Porbander, India and was assassinated on January 30,1948 in New Delhi, India.

 For further information on the public event call Jerry Rubin at 310-399-1000 or visit his facebook page at www.facebook.com/jerry.rubin.98. #####

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Something to Know - 27 September

Clay Bennett

One of the Elephants in the Room for the 2106 election is the "Latino Vote".  What is it, where does it come from, and how is it influenced?  This piece from the NY Times gives insight that is easy for many to understand, in that it concerns Jorgé Ramos, of Univision.  By understanding his background, perhaps voter registration and campaigning may bring this flower to fruition.   It is for certain that the GeeOpie, and certainly its right-wing nuts are oblivious:


Magazine | NOTEBOOK

Jorge Ramos's Long Game


Jorge Ramos at the Univision studios in Miami on Nov. 14, 2014.CreditCharles Ommanney/Reportage by Getty Images

On a Tuesday morning earlier this month, Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Ariz., waited near a side entrance of the Tent City Jail, the open-air compound he operates in Phoenix. Several female inmates were lined up before him, hands behind their backs, ankles linked by chains. The women wore black-and-white-striped prison uniforms — the kind of throwbacks tourists don for photographs near Alcatraz — with the words "Sheriff's Inmate" on their backs. Arpaio wore a black suit, black shoes and a white shirt. He looked as if he had raided Johnny Cash's closet.

Arpaio, now 22 years into his controversial tenure in Maricopa County, has proclaimed himself "America's toughest sheriff"; he is surely its most media-savvy. That morning, he was outside to greet a film crew from the Miami headquarters of the Spanish-language network Univision. Later, while the cameras gathered scene-setting shots, Arpaio prompted the inmates to request signed copies of Tent City Jail's campy postcards. "Make sure I do sign your card," Arpaio told his chain gang. "It'll be worth something."

Donald Trump fields a question from Jorge Ramos during a press conference held before his campaign event at the Grand River Center on Aug. 25, 2015 in Dubuque, Iowa.CreditScott Olson/Getty Images

Around the corner from Arpaio, near a bright yellow sign that read "No Outlet," two producers and two cameramen huddled with the Univision anchorman Jorge Ramos, running through their pre-interview preparations. Cameras rolling. Microphone on. "I'm on TV," Ramos told me later. "I'm constantly thinking about performance and journalistic integrity." For him, one is no use without the other.

At 57, Ramos may be the most influential news anchor in the Americas. He has been awarded eight Emmys and has interviewed more than 60 presidents from almost every country in the two continents. For 29 years he has co-anchored Univision's flagship Spanish-language news broadcast, "Noticiero Univisión," which averages 1.9 million viewers and often grabs higher ratings than English-language newscasts in cities with large numbers of Latinos, like Phoenix. Ramos also hosts Univision's Sunday morning news program, "Al Punto," as well as an English-language news program, "America with Jorge Ramos" on Univision's sister network, Fusion. His interview with Arpaio would run on all three shows.

But most non-Spanish-speaking Americans probably know Ramos best as the journalist who was thrown out of Donald Trump's press conference in Dubuque, Iowa, in August. Ramos had tried to ask Trump — who had recently declared that "anchor babies" were not American citizens and that he would deport 11 million undocumented immigrants — about his immigration proposals. Trump told Ramos to sit down; Ramos refused. "I have the right to ask a question," he said. Trump shot back, "Go back to Univision," before signaling for a guard to remove Ramos from the room.

It was a remarkable exchange, and the optics of it weren't entirely accidental. Ramos arrived almost two hours early to grab a seat in the front row while his team set up two cameras: one to film Trump and one to film Ramos. Even before Trump entered the room, Ramos knew he would stand up when he asked his question. He'd studied Trump, he told me, and noticed that it was easier for Trump to silence reporters when they were sitting down. He also wanted to be equal to Trump, visually, and to be miked separately so that, for his audiences at least, his voice would be as loud as Trump's.


When I suggested that such preparations turned the news into a kind of contrived performance, Ramos countered that performance was very different from acting. Television news, he argued, can't be wholly improvised. Flights need to be booked. Press passes must be requested and approved. "TV doesn't happen," he said. "You produce TV." And if the cameras are not rolling, there is no story.

To prove his point, he cited the case of The Des Moines Register, the Iowa newspaper that was denied press credentials for at least one Trump campaign event after it published an editorial titled "Trump Should Pull the Plug on His Bloviating Side Show." "What's more important?" Ramos asked me: the ejection of one reporter or the exclusion of an entire newspaper? Yet for the average television viewer, The Des Moines Register incident might as well never have happened. It occurred off-camera.

Ramos wanted to ask Arpaio about the Department of Justice's recent finding that the Maricopa County Sheriff's office singled out Latinos for traffic stops (and thus, indirectly, for deportations), called Latino prisoners "wetbacks" and "Mexican bitches" and failed to adequately respond to allegations of sexual violence against female prisoners. Arpaio, for his part, seemed excited about the opportunity to argue with Ramos, announcing their interview on Twitter a week before it happened. "In fact, I was hoping all the media would come," Arpaio told me. "But he asked me not to do that." Arpaio had even tried to get Donald Trump to join the interview. (Trump declined.)

Here, in microcosm, was the new terrain of American immigration politics. Since the 1990s, Univision's domination of the Spanish-language broadcast market has made Ramos and his co-anchor, Maria Elena Salinas, figures of great interest for presidential campaigns. (In 2014, "Noticiero Unvisión" had more than twice the average daily audience as its closest competitor, Telemundo's "Noticiero Telemundo.") Politicians saw Ramos as a kind of emissary from that vague territory known as the Hispanic vote; acceding to an interview was a way of telegraphing that they took the concerns of Latinos seriously and valued their approval. But the advent of Trump, whose tirades about border-crossing rapists seem to have only improved his standing in the polls, has turned this relationship on its head. Now talking back to Ramos about "illegals" can be a politically valuable bit of theater, and it isn't bad press for Ramos, either. Watching the footage of Trump ejecting Ramos from the Dubuque press conference, my husband observed that the scenario could not have served each party better if they had agreed to a script. Ramos shone like a hero to his followers. Trump shone like a hero to his.

"I want to ask you a favor," Arpaio said to Ramos. "I know you're popular. You're a journalist. I respect you." They sat inside the open-air prison at a square picnic table shaded by a canvas tent. Around them, the cameramen adjusted angles and microphones in near-90-degree heat. "I want to go to Mexico," Arpaio said. "Can you get someone to welcome me?"


"They don't like me so much," Ramos replied.

"Really?" Arpaio said, surprised.

Once the tape was rolling, Ramos began with one of his signature polite, ferocious questions: "Last time we were here I told you that you were possibly one of the most despised and hated figures in the Hispanic community. Now clearly something has changed. Donald Trump has taken that place." Arpaio chuckled. "Eighty-two percent of Latinos have a negative opinion of Donald Trump, according to a CNN poll," Ramos went on. "Why do you think Latinos hate you and Donald Trump so much?"

"Well, first of all, I don't like the word 'hate,'" Arpaio replied slowly. "It has very serious connotations. Maybe disagree with me. I don't hate you. Some people hate you. They don't really come out and say it."

Afterward, both Ramos and Arpaio seemed surprised that, despite their profound disagreements, their conversation had been so civil. As we walked from Tent City to his rental car, Ramos said, "I thought he was going to be more aggressive."

The following day, Arpaio told me: "I'm a little disappointed he was so nice to me. ... I worry that he's getting to like me now. He'll ruin my reputation."

Jorge Gilberto Ramos Avalos grew up in Mexico City and arrived in the United States in 1983, at age 24, after his career as a journalist for Mexico's Televisa network came to an abrupt end. Ramos had reported a story about Mexican psychology that doubled as a critique of Mexico's authoritarian government, which at the time had been controlled exclusively by the center-right Institutional Revolutionary Party for more than half a century. (Its rule would last another 17 years, a streak that once provoked the Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa to call Mexico the "perfect dictatorship.") Ramos's footage included interviews he did with the well-known dissident intellectuals Carlos Monsiváis and Elena Poniatowska. When Televisa tried bowdlerizing the footage with a pro-government spin, he destroyed the tape and resigned, effectively blacklisting himself. Less than a year later, he sold his Volkswagen Beetle and moved to Los Angeles in hopes of restarting his career in the United States. In January 1984, he began working for a Los Angeles station, KMEX, affiliated with a Spanish-language network that would, a few years later, be rebranded as Univision.

Ramos's English was still so wobbly that he felt nervous about asking questions at press conferences, but his timing was impeccable. Two years earlier, Univision made its first national newscast out of its Miami affiliate, WLTV. Just months after Ramos moved to WLTV to host a morning show called "Mundo Latino," the staff of the national newscast resigned en masse to protest the hiring of a famous Mexican news anchor named Jacobo Zabludovsky who was known for his close ties to the Mexican government. Ultimately, Zabludovsky went back to Mexico for "personal reasons," leaving the network in urgent need of an evening news anchor. Ramos got the job. He was just 28 years old.


Ramos's professional ascent also coincided with the rise of Latinos as the most demographically significant minority group in the United States. According to the Pew Research Center, in 1980 there were 14.7 million Latinos in the United States. By 2013, that figure had more than tripled to 53.9 million. In 2010, Latinos passed African-Americans as the country's single largest minority. When he began working at KMEX, Ramos recalls in his memoir, "No Borders," the political power of Latinos "was almost nonexistent." By 2012, however, the Latino vote had become crucial to winning presidential elections, and Univision's influence rose with the demographic tide. When the network requested that a fourth presidential debate be held and carried exclusively on its network, in Spanish, Republican nominee Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama quickly agreed to a compromise: two town-hall-style "forums" aired in September, a month before their English-language debates.

As the 2016 election approaches, Univision's parent company, Univision Communications, wants to expand its power beyond the Spanish-language market. It has already announced that Univision will hold a Republican candidates forum with The Washington Post sometime before March. But the main instrument of its ambitions is the company's fledgling English-language cable network and online-media startup, Fusion. A joint venture between Univision Communications and Disney/ABC that started in October 2013 — with Univision handling content and ABC handling distribution — Fusion hopes to attract a millennial audience. The network's lead news program is "America With Jorge Ramos." Ramos is so important to the strategy that for months after Fusion's start, he appeared every night on both "Noticiero Univisión" (in Spanish) and "America With Jorge Ramos" (in English), as well as on Sunday's "Al Punto" (in Spanish). He averaged 35 interviews a week in all. Since then, "America With Jorge Ramos" has scaled back to Tuesday nights, but Ramos told me that they are prepared to do more as Election Day nears.

Fusion's fate may be contingent on the network (and Ramos) being a real actor in 2016. This July, in preparation for its upcoming initial public offering, Univision Communications revealed that Fusion posted a net loss of $35 million in 2014. It has no distribution on Comcast or Time Warner Cable, which means it wasn't available in the Phoenix hotel in which Ramos spent the night before his interview with Arpaio. Fusion makes and airs documentaries — a strategy it plans to intensify in the coming months — but right now as a news organization, it is essentially an online start-up focused on social media and making headlines.

Dax Tejera, the executive producer of "America With Jorge Ramos," says that profit is not Fusion's top priority. "I've gone into meetings where my bosses have said, 'We want Fusion and the brand to be ubiquitous with the election,'" Tejera told me at a food court in the Houston airport, as he and Ramos traveled from Phoenix back to Miami. "They're not saying to me, 'We want to hit this target with the ratings, this target with the revenue stream,' which is the traditional speak in an established media organization. Ours is about awareness and brand identity and association." The idea, he said, tapping his upper arm, was for Fusion's fans to want to wear their viewership on their sleeve as "a badge brand."


Tejera pointed to Ramos's April interview with the Florida senator and Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio as one of the best examples of how they are trying to drive the political conversation. Before the interview, they convened in Ramos's office to figure out the most visceral question they could ask about gay rights. They went with: "If someone in your family or your office happens to be gay and they invite you to their wedding, would you go?"

"It got all this attention," Tejera recalled. "It was the new litmus test of 2016. Nobody had asked it, and everybody started asking it. That's what we are always trying to do."

Among Republican Party eminences, the conventional wisdom following Romney's defeat was that the party's political future turned in no small part on embracing immigration reform. President George W. Bush supported the idea of reform in the 2000 and 2004 elections, as didSenator John McCain in 2008. After McCain's defeat that November, the Republican strategist Karl Rove argued in a Newsweek column charting a future course for the party that "an anti-Hispanic attitude is suicidal. As the party of Lincoln, Republicans have a moral obligation to make our case to Hispanics, blacks and Asian-Americans who share our values. Whether we see gains in 2010 depends on it."The interview was indicative of an effort to expand Ramos's franchise beyond his historical role as a tribune of Latinos' concerns and establish him as a more all-purpose newsmaker. In part, this strategy played upon Ramos's appeal to a fan base that finds him as attractive as, say, George Clooney. It also suggested an assumption that, after the 2012 election, immigration might not continue to be the political flashpoint that it had been throughout most of Ramos's career.

Instead, the party's gains in 2010 came thanks to the Tea Party movement, which took a hard line on immigration. During the 2012 Republican primary, Romney tacked to the right on the issue, opposing the amnesty-offering Dream Act and suggesting that immigrants "self-deport" in a January Republican debate. These statements haunted him in the general election, and after his defeat, the party went through another round of soul-searching. Writing days after the election, the conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer argued that avoiding further electoral disaster "requires but a single policy change: Border fence plus amnesty. Yes, amnesty. Use the word."

But since Trump's rise in the polls, Republican candidates have abruptly bolted in the opposite direction. The problem, Romney told Salinas after the 2014 mid-term elections, is that "the number of Latinos that vote in the Republican primary is quite small, and so in the long period of the primary, the people trying to get the Republican nomination are going to focus on those who they think will vote in that primary process," i.e., non-Hispanic white conservatives. So Bobby Jindal tweets that "we need to end birthright citizenship for illegal immigrants." Jeb Bush defends the term "anchor babies." Marco Rubio, who once supported immigration reform, tells Fox News that he will not legalize undocumented immigrants during his presidency. And Rand Paul flees from a Dream Act supporter in Iowa, leaving half a hamburger on his plate.



"I had never expected that in 2015 we would get a candidate with such an anti-immigrant position," Ramos told me in talking about Trump. His own views on immigration have tacked in the opposite direction. In his 2000 book, "The Other Face of America," he argued for an amnesty similar to the one Ronald Reagan ushered through Congress in 1986, legalizing the status of more than three million people who had been working the United States since before 1982 and could prove that they were not guilty of any crimes. These days, Ramos says that undocumented immigrants must not only be legalized, they must be given a pathway to citizenship. He has evensuggested that the United States should consider the possibility of an open, European Union-style border with Mexico.

If such positions have led to accusations that Ramos is an activist, other facts make people wonder about Univision Communications's bias as well. Fusion's other major news anchor is Alicia Menendez, the daughter of the New Jersey Democratic senator Robert Menendez. One of Univision Communications's major stakeholders is the billionaire Haim Saban, a top donor to Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. Ramos's daughter, Paola, accepted a position with the Clinton campaign in June.

When she took the job, Ramos disclosed the event in a letter posted on the Fusion website. He told me that he and his daughter still speak to each other almost every day, but that their conversations about politics are now strictly limited. They won't discuss anything connected to his job or hers. That's almost everything, I pointed out. "It's almost everything," he agreed. What do they talk about instead? "Bah," he sighed. "Relationships, trips, family. That's much more important than politics."

Ramos toyed with the idea of running for a Senate seat as recently as 2002, when he mentioned the possibility in "No Borders." His most recent political book, "A Country for All" (2010), reads like a cross between a white paper and a stump speech. But when we spoke, he insisted that he no longer has any intention of running for any office. He has decided that he can have more impact as a journalist.

Was this simply politics by another means? I asked. "Well, as a journalist, I want to be relevant, no?" he said. "And I want to be a participant, a player, in the country where I'm living. And that's what I'm doing every single day."

Over the years, he said, he has developed a philosophy about what sorts of issues a journalist can appropriately advocate for: human rights and freedom of the press, for instance, and battles against corruption and dictatorships. Partisan politics, he said, falls outside of his territory. But Ramos is unapologetic about exhorting Latinos to exercise the political power they possess as a voting bloc. In "A Country for All," he argues that candidates can no longer expect to win the Hispanic vote "by simply saying a few words in Spanish, showing up at a press event with a politician who has a Latino surname." Now, he says, Democrats and Republicans alike must deliver concrete benefits to Latinos. A Supreme Court justice. Immigration reform.

On July 16, a month after Trump announced his candidacy, Ramos made ashort speech in Spanish on Univision's annual entertainment awards show "Premios Juventud." "We're going to talk about those who love us, but also about those who don't love us," he said. He pointed out, to huge applause, that more than four million Latinos have university degrees and more than one million have master's or doctorate degrees; that they are not narcos, rapists or otherwise criminals. "When they attack one of us, they are attacking all of us," he continued. "But we already know what we're going to do. ... On Election Day, we will remember who was with us and who was against us. No, we won't forget." He repeated the warning in English.

Ramos never named Donald Trump. He never told his audience to vote for Clinton or for Rubio. He simply said, "We will remember." That night, "Premios Juventud" was the top-ranked program on all broadcast television among viewers aged 12 to 34, beating ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox.

Whatever happens in 2016, Ramos told me, he believes that candidates who openly oppose Latino immigrants will be soon become relics. Trump? "We might read about him in history books, as the last one who tried to do something like that."

Marcela Valdes is a journalist specializing in Latin American culture.


Friday, September 25, 2015

Fwd: Boehner’s OUT – The fight for a conservative Speaker is ON!

This is how the Tea Party reacts to Boehner's resignation.  With absolute glee, the impending right wing is giddy with delight in pushing its agenda.   Hunker down, it is going to be a strange next few months.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Tea Party Patriots <newsletter@teapartypatriots.org>
Date: Fri, Sep 25, 2015 at 10:09 AM
Subject: Boehner's OUT – The fight for a conservative Speaker is ON!
To: Juan Matute <juanma2t@gmail.com>

Dear Juan,


House Speaker John Boehner just announced his intention to vacate the Speaker's chair and resign from Congress. And make no mistake – this has much to do with the hard work and commitment of grassroots conservatives just like you!!

Here at Tea Party Patriots, we could not be more proud of this accomplishment. And as a Tea Party Patriots supporter, you should feel proud, too!

We were the first grassroots organization in the country to call for John Boehner's firing all the way back in 2012.

With your help, we bombarded Congress with petitions calling for his ouster gathered through our #FireTheSpeaker" campaign. We pressured members of Congress. We hounded him in the press.

YOU, the grassroots, spoke, and John Boehner is finally, reluctantly listening!

However, this battle is far from over. We must now elect a conservative Speaker and conservative GOP leaders in the House. And we must also take a hard look at the GOP "leadership" in the Senate.

This is urgent. Please make a rush contribution of $15, $25, $35, $50, $100, or whatever you can possibly afford to help us rally Tea Party activists for true conservative leadership in Congress.

John Boehner was out of step with the values of the American people. His resignation shows that he finally accepted the truth.

Unfortunately, too many of his allies refuse to believe it. They're already swarming the Capitol, trying to claim the Speaker's chair for themselves.

This battle for control over the House Republicans will be extremely tough. The establishment will strike back and try to put us all "in our place."

But we must secure enough votes to put a true conservative in the Speaker's chair.

This is now the most momentous political event of the year. It may be the most important battle since 2012!

Your TPP staff and volunteers are working the phones and formulating a national grassroots plan of action.

We need to make sure every single Republican house member understands that we want a true conservative to succeed the hapless John Boehner.

Please give anything you can right away to help us keep the pressure on.

The GOP Establishment is like a wounded animal right now. They're on the run, but they're extremely dangerous.

They're going to pull out all of the stops to maintain their stranglehold on the House as long as they can. They'll go to any length to keep conservatives from taking over!

That's why I need your help now. We can't afford to let John Boehner's allies continue his legacy of surrender and failure a single day longer.

We need true, principled leadership!

Please give anything you can.

What Tea Party Patriots want in the leadership of the GOP – in both chambers of Congress – are men and women who will stand up and fight the Obama Administration's never-ending efforts to "fundamentally transform" our nation into a country our Founders would not recognize.

Individual liberty, constitutionally limited government, and free markets – these are the bedrock values that made our nation the most successful the world has ever seen, and the principles to which we must adhere if we are to ensure that future generations enjoy the freedom and prosperity that was handed to us.

To all of those who made the phone calls, showed up at congressional offices, and made the contributions necessary to support the effort to #FireTheSpeaker, we thank you. Your sacrifices have been rewarded.

Now, it's onto the next battle. Time's up, Mitch.

Do what you can. Just click here.

Thank you in advance for all your help.


For Liberty,

Jenny Beth Martin
CEO and Co-Founder
Tea Party Patriots

This email was sent to: juanma2t@gmail.com. To view as a web page, click here.

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Andy Borowitz

A Mimic of Singer Johnny Ray and His Best "Cry Me a River" Performance

TODAY 10:54 AM

Boehner to Continue Repealing Obamacare After Leaving Congress



WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—House Speaker John Boehner announced that he would resign as Speaker and leave Congress in October, but said that he would continue repealing Obamacare from his home in Ohio.

Explaining his decision, Boehner told reporters, "A lot of the Speaker's job is administrative, which is time-consuming and tiring. In retirement, I'll have more time for what I really love: repealing Obamacare."

Boehner said that he plans to begin every day with a good breakfast, some exercise, and a vote to repeal Obamacare before lunch.

"No one knows how much time one is allotted on this planet," Boehner, striking a somber tone, said. "But if the Lord above grants me good health, I will repeal Obamacare thousands of times before my journey ends."