Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

An open letter to Naui Huitzilopochtli (and all those who may read it)

First off, I apologize for often presenting myself as an antagonizing force. This is something I try to avoid, but my principles often dictate to me be so,, I am apologizing only for the borderline inappropriate manner I sometimes present my arguments, not for having those arguments to begin with.

Secondly, this not a critique or an attack, or at least, I did not mean for it to be. This is an apology (from the Greek word, meaning explanation) of my beliefs and my opinions.

Thirdly, I apologize for writing this in English, as my Nahuatl is, sadly, very basic.

I am not a nationalist of any kind, furthermore, I am not a racist of any kind. This is to mean that I do not hold the Accident of someone’s Birth against them in any way, unless of course, they wish for me do so. In addition, I wish to convey, with that statement, that I do hold  any collectivist ideals, although often it is necessary for me to appear to have them. This is evident in my Vexillology, as seen in my flying several flags in my home, and sometimes as my profile picture on facebook.

In discussions I have had on your facebook wall, I have been caricatured as an imperialist, a murderer and a racist. This is to be expected. I do hold you accountable for this. This is one of the things I feel I must address, and obviously extend my sincerest apologies if I have done the same. This was not intentional.

The purpose of my antagonism is simple: I first and foremost, wish to understand what your views are, and what the view of the people who, for lack of a better term, side with you. In addition, I wish to understand the Nature and cause of these opinions. Despite being scorned, I proceed to ‘poke’ at your statements in order to deduce the underlying principles that yield your statements and convictions. I believe that like my own statements and convictions, they are based on something. I believe that in order to learn yours, I must first share mine, and they are as follows:

First, as I mentioned before, I do not believe in the inherent power of the accident of one’s birth. This obviously needs further explanation: I believe that we are all human. The phrase: “All men are created equal” is something that I hold very dearly. I believe this statement to be true. I likewise believe that all humans are worthy of the same dignities and the same respect. And I believe that nothing can strip these away, least of all someone’s race, economic status, heritage, religion or lack of, or anything that humans may use to group themselves, or group others under. It is because of this that I often appear to defend causes that are at the moment, or any other given moment, unpopular. My recent defense of the Confederacy is not, as it has been assumed to be, a defense of slavery or bigotry, it is merely a remembrance of the men who died in a brutal and senseless war.  While this war may have had the effect of freeing the slaves, this act alone cannot condone its bloodshed.  Likewise, any acts of violence made by white men, or any men, cannot condone hatred towards such men, or any men.

My refusal to hate them does not mean that I condone their actions. The slaveholder violated the natural rights of the slave, but it does not make him any less worthy of his own rights. It is a crime, yes, an unforgivable one, yes, but not one that should be used to hate them. But more importantly, the act of the slaveholder should not, cannot and must not be used to condone hatred or crimes towards his brothers and friends. His brothers and his friends are not him, and his crimes are not theirs.

To take that one step further: The acts of white men in the past should not, cannot and must not be paid upon their descendents. My ancestors may have committed a crime, but that crime is not mine.

To quote fiction, if I may: In the Lord of the Rings, Arwen tells Aragorn that “You are Isildur’s Heir, not Isildur himself” His reply is simple and true “The same blood that ran through his veins, runs through mine” Yet her own reply conveys a message that I myself happen to hold “You will face the same evil, and defeat it”

So, whereas the same blood that ran through the veins of the Conquistadors, the same blood that raped and burned, runs through my veins, I am not them. I too, can give in to a primal urge that all humans carry, and rape and burn, but I have not. The ability to commit a crime is not the same as having committed it. And I am not accountable for the crimes of m ancestors. Likewise, not all white men are guilty of the crimes of some of their ancestors.

This is not to say that crimes were not committed, and this is not to say that those crimes should be easily forgotten or forgiven.  They were unforgivable crimes, yes, but the men who committed them are long since dead. One cannot wage war against a dead enemy, and the descendents of such enemies are not the enemy themselves.

Secondly, a point I hope I have made clear: I am an Individualist. And because of this, I am a Capitalist. The principles of individualism are simple: All men are born equal,, and should be allowed to go as far as their own abilities permit them, or as far as other men help them to go. These are also the principles of capitalism, thus the only system thus far that has allowed men to be free to choose and free to fail at their volition is Capitalism.

I have asked, mostly indirectly, for you to show me a system of beliefs that better encapsulates men’s rights. (and I am using the term men in a gender neutral manner) Thus far, you have not, and I eagerly await your reply.

In the past, I have been told that Capitalism is a force that denies men’s basic rights, and the examples given forth are mostly non-sequiturs, or examples made through equivocation, namely the argument that because white men committed crimes against Native Americans (whom you call Nican Tlaca, more on that later) and other white men developed modern Capitalism (Namely Adam Smith and, to a certain extent John Locke and the British Rationalists and German Idealists) therefore all white men have committed these crimes and likewise Capitalism is responsible for these crimes. This simply does not follow. I fear that at this point, I made have made a reductionist assumption about your arguments, and I look forward to being corrected.

About the term Nican Tlaca. I do feel certain. . .apprehension at you use of the term, as I understand it, the term is simply the Nahua term for people who live on this continent prior to European Conquest. And I must say I find it terribly ironic that you would bestow the title of your people upon the rest of the Native American population, and yet outcry the term “Native American” because it is used by one people to refer to another.

This naturally leads me to a question: What exactly is the goal of your movement? I am going to assume that it is expatriation of all non Native American’s from this continent. I am likely wrong, but it appears to be thus far. Again, I look forward to learning more about the end goal of your endeavours. If however, the goal is education, then I applaud you. Education is one of my greatest concerns, and I support all men and movements who seek to educate. Likewise, I support all men who seek to discuss, trade, and promulgate ideas rationally. If this is the end goal, then I believe you have gained a convert. Although I admit I find your methodology to be ineffective.

For the time being, and under the circumstances, this is all I have to say on the matter and I await your reply eagerly.

Sincerely, Antonio I. Villalpando.

Another Gay Post

This is a second predecessor to what I hope will be a book later on. The first predecessor is a small essay named “The Fierce Arm of Coercion” And I do believe that that name will stay on as the title of the book. A subtitle would be something along the lines of “How Gay Rights Activists are Damaging the Quality of Life of Gay People in America” Or something equally . . . infuriating.

Now, this is more of a series of observations that I’ve made over time. Not exactly a research paper or anything of the kind. The main observation though, is that the liberal (If you permit the use of the word) more . . . progressive and open-minded people are actually far more homophobic than the Conservatives they oh so enjoy ripping on. Now, this is not baseless, and it is counter-intuitive.

But I do have examples. The first is of course, the reactions I get when I mention that I want to be POTUS. Out of every, say, 100 encounters, I get 40 of them asking me about my platform and saying that I have their support (and about half of them volunteer to help me out), 30 of them tell me that republicans will never vote for me, and that my platform doesn’t even matter (they also tell me that I am seriously wrong), and about 20 will tell me that they need to talk to me more, and 10 will say that my platform needs work. Here is the kicker:

The 40 consider themselves Conservatives, the 30 consider themselves Liberal, the 20 are Independents and the 10 are seriously undecided. Upon discovering that I’m gay, the Conservatives shrug and usually reply with a combination of “Hate the sin, not the sinner” or “Nobody is perfect”

Liberals ask how I can be so misguided and how can I possibly reconcile my economic ideology with the fact that I’m gay.

I do find this to be amusing. Vastly so. So, I have discovered that to Conservatives, even vastly religious ones, I am an intellectual, a politician and man who has a good life, but has made some questionable life choices. To Liberals, I am a gay who has no idea what’s going on in the real world. So, to recap:

A gay who is stupid vs. a brilliant man who happens to be gay . . . and people still think Liberals are gay friendly!? Someone please explain to me how that works!

So, now that I’ve given an overview of the more . . . political part of my observations, I do have to go to the everyday bullsh*t I have to go through. I am a proud man, and I refuse to be made ashamed by something like my skin color, heritage, sexual orientation or anything else that some liberal idiot has decided matters for some odd reason. But I have recently found myself being afraid of admitting that I’m gay. Why? Because I am going to be discriminated against. It’s that simple. However, it is not the Conservative Bloc I blame; it is not the religious communities. I blame the people who decided, for some odd reason, that the fact that I am gay is somehow important . . . it is defining of me somehow. Being gay has stopped being about who you date, who you sleep with, who you live with, its become about how you eat, how you live, how you vote, what you believe. Being gay somehow twists the world into a beast where more government control is good, where traditions of any kind are evil, where the correct is made evil, where life itself is wrong. Gay makes the world a different place. No longer women more natural nurturers, or men more athletic, the mere idea of this is evil. Immoral. Gay makes the world a place where natural law is good when I says that gay just happens, but wrong when it says that men enjoy sports more than women. It says that it’s ok for women to chose, but only if they chose as they will it, because clearly, no woman would want to be a mother.

All of these things, having no providence in the realm of romance, is now of crucial importance to the fact that I’m gay. So I have to ask, who high jacked my life and made it a target for people’s shooting practice?

The obvious answer is: The Religious Right. The truth? The Psychotic Left. This can easily be construed as a coincidence. After all, Correlation does not Imply Causation. SO, this brings me to the claim of my observations, the tying it all together, this is what is really going to get me angry replies and screams: Liberals are magnanimously more homophobic than Conservatives. And the claim that’s going to get me shot: Gays hate themselves. That’s it; no one hates them more than they hate themselves. The one thing that I refuse to do, the one thing that they do not understand, the simple fact that they’re groveling is nothing more than an act of self-loathing.

So, part one: Liberals are far more homophobic than the Conservatives, well, I already said this: A Gay vs. a Man with questionable choices, A Gay vs. a Man. That’s all. I do believe this explains why Liberals place so much emphasis on sexuality. They are terrified and disgusted by it. Their crusades are nothing more than a clever cover for their need to hate something. The same thing I would claim about feminists, they hate women.

The second part: Gays hate themselves. This is the only reason I can think of that would explain their sheer need to point out that they’re gay. Not just that they’re gay, but also explain their need to have this simple and secondary fact define their entire existence. So instead of owning up that they’re not normal, they flaunt it with such painful effectiveness that even other gay people feel disgusted. So this is why I have started to feel the need to hide the fact that I’m gay, not because of my fellow Conservatives, but because the Gay Rights Psychos will not be able to resist the urge to associate me with them and their flawed ideologies.

So there it is. A simple predecessor to a far more complex and researched project, one aimed not at securing more liberties for gays at the expense of everyone else, but one at securing everyone’s rights from the gay rights movement. One that states it clearly and simply: you’re not special, you’re just human, get over yourself. You get no special rights, and most especially not when it’s at the expense of the people you claim to help.

 

Translations of the Tao Te Ching

By Steven Gregory.

One of the oldest texts in the world, the Tao Te Ching, also happens to be one of the most widely translated books in history. Although its true origins are somewhat unknown, its teachings are said to have began sometime during the Zhou Dynasty, when, as fable has it, a woman finally gave birth to a wrinkly baby with grey hair, after more than 50 years (62 years according to legend) of pregnancy. Laozi, or ‘Old Master’, began teaching himself in the high courts, and soon became disillusioned with the Chinese government and decided to leave. Before leaving however, a guard on China’s border pleaded the wise man to write down his teachings, and thus the Tao Te Ching was born. Composed of 80 chapters, or small poems, Laozi’s teachings deliver a broad spectrum of thought-provoking philosophy that has actually evolved into a religion. Eventually this ancient text was introduced to the West, but unfortunately because there are many cultural and idealistic concepts present in this book for which the West has no knowledge of (or even a word for), the translations are heavily subjective and based on interpretation of the translator. There tend to be three major categories of translations however, the literal translation, the poetic translation, and of course the political translation.

Undoubtedly the most controversial and interpretative chapter is the first. Although across the many translations it expresses the same principal idea, language and diction gives the text different connotations. For example, in the translation by Ursula K. Le Guin, the excerpt, “So the unwanting soul sees what’s hidden, and the ever-wanting soul sees only what it wants” the wording is expressed in a more poetic undertone, suggesting its meaning in not only a physical, but a spiritual sense, unlike the more materialistic translation by S. Mitchell stating, “Free from desire, you realize the mystery.
Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations” which expresses the same general idea, just in a more interpretative and physical sense, rather than with the spiritual aspect. Similarly, Mitchell’s opening chapter states, “The tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be named is not the eternal Name” which does attempt to interpret any Eastern concepts, is generally more difficult to understand because of this, compared to the much more flowery “A way can be a guide, but not a fixed path; names can be given, but not permanent labels.” In this translation by Thomas Cleary, the Tao is interpreted to be ‘A way’, a Western idea that does not actually have the same meaning as ‘The Tao’. In fact, the distinction is even made between this ‘way’ as being not a path to follow, but a ‘guide’, even though The Tao is really neither.

In similar fashion, the 77th chapter is an excellent example of how the Tao Te Ching can be interpreted in a more political sense, focusing on the physical and moral implications amongst a greater society. The excerpt “Those who try to control, who use force to protect their power, go against the direction of the Tao. They take from those who don’t have enough and give to those who have far too much. ” by S. Mitchell chiefly exemplifies this by establishing the presence of the very specific ‘force’ and ‘power’, both words that are usually associated with the government. This is a very political interpretation of the Tao Te Ching as opposed to Yi-Ping Ong’s “It is the Way of Heaven to remove where there is excess and add where there is lack. The way of people is different: they take away where there is need and add where there is surplus” which uses words like ‘excess’ and ‘lack’ that are much more broad and encompassing, thus expanding the overall meaning of the passage beyond just the implied idea of controlling force like a government.

These minor differences amongst the many translations of the Tao Te Ching may not seem like important elements of Taoism, but for a Westerner reading such a translation it may in fact have a surprising effect on that persons view and understanding of The Tao. This is why it is quite important for readers to try and see these various interpretations. This also points to the immense flexibility of the already ambiguous text and philosophy.

Long Time Gone.

Its seems that as soon as Heroes was over I stopped blogging and then, today, one day Before Fugitive’s starts, I come back.

Well, I have a reason for that, I’ve been busy, terribly terribly busy.

My life has been yanked out of its cyclical routine and I was completely dazed and lost, and forgot to come here. It’s a new semester you see, and it looks like, unlike last semester, this one is going to be GOOD!!

I am taking six classes, a full eighteen credit hours, and across three campuses too: One at Downtown, Two at West and three in Main. Which means that I’ve become very familiar with the new Light Rail and the Shuttles that ASU provides.

So this semester I’m taking:

STP 226: Elements of Statistics, which seems fun and I am enjoying, strange, because I usually hate math.

ASM 455: Primate Behavior Lab, which rocks!!! Because Dr. Nash is the instructor and its already a major challenge, making it my hardest class this semester.

ASB 102, because I got bored last semester and failed it. This semester I have a good teacher and the classroom is not full of idiots.

SPA 413: Advanced Spanish Grammar, and yes I very much like it.

SPA 426: Spanish Literature from 1700 to Present, which seems like it will be very interesting, plus the teacher is way smart, and a tad bitchy.

ENG 102: Composition, because I finally finished 101! Yay!!

I’ve also discovered that my much planned and expected trip to London may not work out, because I have no money, well, I have money, just not enough, Britain will have to wait for me, unless I can talk people into giving me money. And a lot of it, right now I’m a whole two thousand dollars short. I may have to find another way for getting the hell out of America. I will try and I swear I will go to London soon, maybe in the Summer if I can find those 2k’s or the Fall semester.

I went to see Underworld: Rise of the Lycans and loved it!! I also went to see Slumdog Millionaire, and I absolutely loved it (they will each get a post later on, after Heroes: Fugitives ep. 1)

The Borders closest to me closed about five hours ago, permanently. I am very, very sad and require coffee to cheer me up. 😦

I’ve read more of Le Guin’s Works, including The Tombs of Atuan, Very Far Away From Anywhere Else, Gifts, and I’m working on The Telling, Changing Planes and The Word for World is Forest.

Oh and January 20 was one of the HAPPIEST DAYS OF MY LIFE!! PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA!!!!

I was very pleased when he cut salaries and finally closed Gitmo! It looks as if America will finally grow a backbone and start respecting Human and Civil Rights. I was disappointed when Obama replied to Hugo Chavez’s congratulations by saying that he (Chavez) was impeding progress in South America, in fact, I’m still pissed at Obama for that, he really needs to stop making the same shitty mistakes that Bush made by pissing off Latin America.

For now, that’s all because it’s very late, or very early depends on how you look at it, either way i WANT COFFEE!!!!

Ciao.

OBAMA WINS!!

Two hours ago my cell phone started ringing like crazy. This was about a minute after Obama was projected as the winner. All of the calls were happy ones, except for one” Arizona Prop 102, passed.

I celebrated nonetheless.

America has finaly elected a African-American to the White House, and after the worst eight years in our recent history, hope is finally back on the table. Not only did Obama win, but the Democratic Party has taken majority both in the House and in the Senate. which means that all of  the bills that were vetoed by our current president, now stand a chance after Obama’s inaguration, and hopefully, we will have a president that will actually do something about the Iraq problem and somehtign about our economic status.

Prop 102 passed. as i’ve said, meaning that the Arizona Constitution now defines marriage as being only between one man and one woman. That needs to change, and in 2010, we will try to change that.

so, all in all

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Church

I went to Church this Sunday.

At first I was bored, because it was incredibly boring (obviously) and because all that everyone seemed to talk about was General Conferences, which i did not watch because i had better things to do last weekend (like sleep) And i really didn’t care about what they were talking about.

But one thing stuck: how blatantly they threw absolute lies about and nobody even flinched (except me) and everyone agreed! I was for a while i was just shocked, then it started to sink it, that is why i am not a believer, and i started thinking, and i realized something huge about people. After the initial shock wore off, I started to get bored again, then they brought up Prop 102, and why they had to vote yes on it. The reasons why made me laugh inwardly, because i thought it would be a tad disrespectful if i did do outwardly.

The man who gave the little lecture (a man i actually respect, somewhat) sadid that never has something like this had happened before (gay marriage) and i started to correct him, but i promised i would behave, so i didn’t tell him that is wasn’t until the last few centuries that gay has been tabboo. Not in the modern sense, but the idea of two men having sex or living together hasn’t been considered wrong until the Roman Emperor in 342 (or 372 i forget) declared gay marriaes illegal, before then it was legal, and it isn’t unheard of high ranking men being married to each other.

But none of this i said there, because i promised i would not.

Then I took part in their close knit community, even though i knew that their close knit community was antagonistic to my life. It was nice, and I realized that i missed out on the concept of community my entire life. Made me kind of sad, that the only times that this kind of togetherness happens is clearly outside of the realm of people like me. I am truly a marginal figure.

So after pretty much being reminded that i belong on the wrong side of the line, I just enjoyed that rare glimpee at what life is like on the other side. Then, the friend who took me to church said soemthign that brought up the amrginal figure thing again: he said that having me in the church would be a great asset, that i was someone who would either take the church forward, or someone who could hinder the church greatly.

I was flattered, because he wasn’t the first person to tell me something very similar.

Country Hunting

So, I mentioned that I was looking for a way out of the United States. (One reader in England warned me that that country sucked, and recommended Spain) And I though I would explore this moving out and away idea further.

Tempe is nice, i like living here. The atmosphere is crowded and a tad older, with just the right hints of the new. Plus, everything I really need is in walking distance. Except fro the movie theather, its just a bit further away than what i would eb confortable walking, mostly becasue there is alot of empty space between both places (where i live and Tempe Marketplace)

I could just stay put, or move elsewhere in the country. San Diego is awesome, except the water there sucks, tastes like fish (but the beach, especially Mission Bay, make up for that) so i have considered ending up some day. Living in Arizona seems like a bad idea, i’ve lived here half of my life anyway, and its been boring (well, Tempe isn’t) It would all be good, if it was not for the overwhelming passive hosility.

So, possibly California, if I were to stay here in the USA. I’m thinking of using leftover scholarchip money to visit oter places in the USA, maybe Florida (don’t know much about) Seattle (same) maybe somewhere in Virginia or Maryland, and i know that at some point i’m going to end up un Manhattan, because the UN Headquarters is there, on International ground.

So countries I’m considering moving too:

Spain, I already speak spanish, not as good as it should be, but much better than most Mexican-Americans, which is saying something. Plus Spain seems like a nice place to live.

England, I still like the idea of London, i’ll have to actualy go there, to see. Plus gay marriage is legal in Britain.

Mexico, going back is always acceptable, except i have no idea if i can pull off permanently living there. Nothing wrong with the country, but some things I love are in short supply in most of the country.

Ireland, maybe i should say somewhere in the UK

Canada, its very calm, and active at the same time. Its a nice place, but a visit is in store.

Countries that caught my attention:

Romania, seems like a history rich country

New Zealand, seems kind of out of the way.

Countries that i would never consider moving too:

Israel, Turkey, China, India and Iran.

SO, right now i’m digging though information about these and other countries, i mean there are about two hundred countries, i’m due to find one with people who are not compete idiots. Hey, maybe Japan? ]

Case being, American politics are bull, life in the US is bull, i want out.