Friday, June 02, 2006

Al Gore was definitely the better man

I already knew this about him. Saw him speak in 1996 at the World Bank. Read his book Earth in the Balance. Will be watching his movie, An Inconvenient Truth.

I have put this video on all my blogs because I think it should spread like wildfire! A brush fire even! I'm bein' a Good Grace. Well, depends on how you look at it. GWB and GOP might not appreciate. I wonder if GWB ever feels inadequate? Nah. Too egotistical and self absorbed in a cocoon of his own self-love.

Friday, May 12, 2006

So Hard to Live Up to Expectations

From whence came Some Bad Grace? Possible expectations of strength, humility, delicacy, charm, beauty, wisdom, goodness, etc...and finding that I have none. Or none that I can lay claim to at the moment, during this these blogs. I do have one characteristic of grace - a fleeting quality.

God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things which should be changed, and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.
Reinhold Niebuhr (1892 - 1971), in a sermon in 1943

The grace of God means something like: Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are because the party wouldn't have been complete without you. Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid. I am with you. Nothing can ever separate us. It's for you I created the universe. I love you. There's only one catch. Like any other gift, the gift of grace can be yours only if you'll reach out and take it. Maybe being able to reach out and take it is a gift too.
Frederick Buechner

What is grace? It is the inspiration from on high: it is love; it is liberty. Grace is the spirit of law. This discovery of the spirit of law belongs to Saint Paul; and what he calls "grace" from a heavenly point of view, we, from an earthly point, call "rigtheousness."
Victor Hugo (1802 - 1885)

And then there are them:

GRACES, n. Three beautiful goddesses, Aglaia, Thalia and Euphrosyne, who attended upon Venus, serving without salary. They were at no expense for board and clothing, for they ate nothing to speak of and dressed according to the weather, wearing whatever breeze happened to be blowing.
Ambrose Bierce (1842 - 1914), The Devil's Dictionary

Sunday, May 07, 2006

New Neighbors

I live in a nice quiet neighborhood in a boro of NYC. I won't say where because I do not want anyone else to move here. Yes. I am. A stinker. And assuredly selfish. In this regard.

As per the title of this post, there are SOSOSOSO many new faces in the 'hood. Now as NYC has been going through massive construction boom in house thanks to Mayor Bloomberg, it inevitably came to my own place of residence. So we have new apartments, mostly condos, going up all over. I'm fairly tripping over manhattanites, the non-NYC-born-wanna-be-locals who have never ventured past their own 20 block comfort zone. And finally feel priced out of their $2000 studios. And even more ridiculous paying for it. I have no sympathy. You priced the locals out in the first place, willing to pay retarded sums of money to live in a closet.

Then there are the ethnic immigrants who have fled the areas of gentrification in other boros and landed in the area next to mine and now right in the same nabe. Rationally, I understand why they want to live here. It is quiet. It is safe and practically crime free. We have trees and parks. We have lots of access to Manhattan. That is why we moved here 10+ years ago. Actually, one day before a massive days-long riot broke out in our old nabe. So I understand this desire for better. Who wants crime and insecurity.

But Bad Grace says these new fuckers are bringing their shit hole friends/relatives with them. Thus in the last 6 months to a year, I am now frequently hearing ghetto music blasted out of thumping SUVs, loudly gabbing minorities in native tongues (yes, had this issue prior with regular nabes but new nabes won't SHUT UP after a few minutes...a lot of non english speaking groups seems to speak very loudly to each other. Normally we have the update calls - "i'm on the bus. be home in ten minutes. 2 minutes away, what do you want for dinner. should I pick up something? I see you on the corner, I'm at the next stop" variety). Now it's something something something, on and on and on without end and I cannot eavesdrop because it is in another language(s). Not that knowing what the conversation was made it better. Because why even make such mundane calls as Hi-i'm-home-i-can-see-you-on-the-corner-waiting-for-me.? Yeah, well, so wait till you get off the freakin bus in 30 seconds to say hello.

I digress.

Now we have strange people hanging out on corners at night (some of this can be attributed to the tweens who have now grown up into teens/collegiates, but there are others...loitering).
After ten plus years, you recognize neighbors even if you don't know them personally. Say like the assholes who moved in upstairs, 3 generations who apparently work in 24 hour shifts because they are super noisy and clack around in heels and shoes right ABOVE MY BED. Someone also seems to lift weights and DROPS the dumbbells right onto the hardwood floors, no mat covering. Dickhead. Every Saturday morning, it is time to clean. Meaning every piece of furniture gets shoved and scraped across their hardwoord floor. Did I mention that our complex has hardwood floors and it is such a shitty building the construction between apartments consists of barely any to no concrete, just drywall, some insulation (maybe) and wood beams covered with rebar.

And most annoyingly, the bus is mega crowded by the time it gets to me in the morning. Whence before I could expect a packed 8:30am bus, it is now 8am - 9:30am jammed packed busES. God damnit I hate crowds...exponential rise in cattle-like behaviors.

AND, AND this is before any of the apartment complexes right in my nabe have been completed. These are not even finished being built! I dread the coming tide of cattle. >: ( Wahhh! I mean, Corcoran managed -- ooh not going there might give us away.

Wahhhhhh!!!!!! Did I say Whaaaaah! already? Yes? Oh.


Yes, this post smacks of some [fill-in your own sensitivitychip] -ism. I don't care. I don't deal with change well. I don't necessarily care what skin color you have (I'm not caucasian myself) so much as the quality of your associates and ability to get with the local program of indoctrination of clean, safe, and spacious living. Especially when said new residents themselves or associates will bring an influx of rude uncouth peoples dragging down the quality of life/living that I have enjoyed these many years. And, yes while there will undoubtedly be positive effects of change, it cannot offset the loss of space that made this nabe so enjoyable, if a tad boring. It also means more kids and families. Blechk. No like children.

In conclusion, if you find yourself lucky enough to land here and are gonna live with me you better bring some manners and perks. This is not manhattan and it better not turn into some wanna be hubbub hipster enclave. Because I am all ready to 311 Quality of Life complaints, yo.

I will be the chick on the bus staring suspiciously at you and glaring.
Well, I am the chick on said bus. Because another sign of shitholes coming into town, more shit left in the buses. Wrappers, food, bottles. We have relatively none before. I'll cut slack on that until the construction people stop working around here. Maybe they are making service messy and stinky. But once the buildings are up and this shit persists I will lay it squarely on your newbie asses.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Speaking from the hip...

Is usually going to result in a not so articulate stream of words.
While I have not gone back to edit the last two posts, I image it is a garbled mess of thoughts that might not follow a progressive structure in thought.

Some more bad graces. I was never very good in English class.

But I can still diagram a sentence.

Monday, May 01, 2006

repost 5/1/06

Discalimer: these are streams of thought. I'm not entirely sure where I stand and continue to learn and re-evaluate my thoughts. If you don't like what I have to say, fuck off. I'm trying to learn and educate myself. Besides, it buts into so many other issues of geopolitics, ethics, laws, security, crime, human rights, blah, blah, blah...endless. Sometime, globalization sucks ass. It was easier when you had to to row a slow boat over river, not fly in planes, drive cars, take trains, or sail in tankers.

[noted on 4/21/06]

A few weeks back, a coworker asked what I thought about the NYC protest parade (or was it a demonstration?) regarding illegal immigration. I hastened to say that he likely wouldn't want to hear my opinion. Then proceeded to speak and sometimes, maybe, perhaps said something disagreeable. Not sure.

I cannot say that I have a concrete position on illegal immigration, but it seems to borders on the conservative side. Following is a snippet of how my view is colored by personal experience. My parents came here legally. My dad came here with his family in the early 1960s. My mom married in legally. My mom sponsored her siblings. Everyone came legally and is now a naturalized citizen. Me and my sibling were born here. My parents work hard, still, to make a decent living. It hasn't been all roses, not by a half, but we always had food on the table, had a place to live, went to school and college, etc. My parents do not disregard their culture but worked hard to become American citizens. They pay their taxes, abide by the laws, are glad to live here and not in their birth country, raised us in the American culture mostly - or rather pretty hands off about instilling cultural ethics from their birth country. In fact, I now very little and speak intermediately. I cannot read or write. My sibling can read and write, but doesn't speak or comprehend the language much. Neither of us know any holidays, celebrations, whatever. We hardly have any/many friends of our same ethnicity. Largely because we have come to dislike said people, generally speaking.

Throughout, I have been acquainted with and know of illegal immigrants who have lived here for years, own businesses, do not pay taxes, exploit other immigrants, etc. My mom has tried to help some of her friends, or friends of friends. Much to my irritation. Such as getting them social security benefits, when they have never even worked a day in this country. But she is very elderly. But she also lives with her daughter, who is pretty well off monetarily.

Anyway. I sympathize with immigrants regarding the hard work they endure, particularly those who genuinely want to be citizens of an adopted country. Mostly I take issue with the objective of illegals coming here solely to make money, not because they see it as a new opportunity for a new life, but as a way to sustain their old life and build a better life in their own country. I dislike illegals utilizing taxpayer resources, squeezing out a few kids without the necessary means of support, burdening the social welfare and education system, and making no attempt whatsoever to adopt to this country and its culture, and generally disdain americans and america. At some point, an immigrant should make a decision to move out of the ethnic ghettos and learn a new language, a new life. Otherwise, why even come here? Why not put the same effort and time
, to get here illegally and then put in long, long laborious work hours, into improving conditions in their home countries?

Yes, yes, illegals do the jobs U.S. citizens will not do. But that is another issue that should be addressed in this country, it is our problem to solve, not an excuse to legitimize the reasons for illegal immigration. Seriously, do we not have enough starving homeless? The question is not that they are unwilling to do menial jobs, it is a question of making them do it as a part of work force development - this is an american problem that needs an attitude adjustment. The jobs suck so it would give those with a modicum of rationale and pride an incentive to work harder to get a better job. I haven't worked out the mental cases, junkies, part of the equation.

Back to immigration. I think illegals and those who stay in behind should work to improve their respective home country governments. Also, as a genuine global objective, and not just because people are coming to the U.S. illegally. And I think one place to start would be to NOT copy or follow the Amerian government or culture. The end goal should be a government that works for the culture, history, and future needs of each country. You cannot cut and paste a model of a government from one country to another. Although, many have tried and continue to try. The U.S. is unique in that a young country, it a country made up entirely of immigrants (except native americans) who came with the common goal to start a new life. It is a government established at the beginning of the country, not as a national populace revolting against an already established regime. The American Revolution was against an empire that attempted to control it's new territories, not like the signing of the Magna Carta, not like the French revolution, not like the Communist revolutions. Those were all internal conflicts, like our Civil War. Out of the Revolution, a nation was forged and a government developed. You cannot that kind of history and lump it over an existing, long established, culturally historical government.

Besides, what also seems to be overlooked when "democratizing" all these new governments around the world is that orginally American was a relatively small country (hello, 13 states, spread out population), said population was for the most part relatively well educated, several wars were fought locally, regionally, and globally. Besides, I do not believe it is the governmental organization itself that is the essence of our country being what it is today, it was the strong beliefs held by the independent, adventurous, proud people who sought to create a new country, and a new ideal, for themselves and their children.

Plus, people for the most part seem to neglect or do not know that the U.S. government is actually a republic, not a true democracy. It's how the moron got into office, because in a true democracy the popular vote winner was Al Gore. And the government machine, is just a machine full of corrupt power hungry MEN and some women. We used to have a separation of powers so one branch could check any of the other two branches but since becoming a two party system with official who heed the beck and call of their party leaders and not the Constitution, this seems to not be working so well.

So, again, no one should be attempting to copy the U.S.. We are now just as tarnished and broken as any other government. Start something new!! Stop blaming us and pointing fingers this way. Try pointing internally. This is the one thing that we still to well. This should be the take home lesson.

reposted 5/1/06

[moved from Say Grrr 5/1/06]

Now I am just offended!

People, get a clue. It's not all about the Latinos. You are not the only immigrants in this country.

So, while I admit to being severely cranky right now, this article really grates on my last nerve. Why? Because,
  1. It makes me actually agree with Bush *shudder*
  2. How do you have the nerve to compare some pop culture inspired musical gibberish to the National Anthem?
    1. It's only audience is one group of people; it is definetely not about America, our country or values or ideals
    2. It's lyrics are so so trite, make no sense, and puh-lease, cannot compose to Francis Scott Key's prose
Heck, why not translate the Constitution into Spanish while you're at it. Oh, how about making the official language Spanish. Then, we'll do it all over again for the Chinese, the Russians, the Koreans, the Africans - this obviously would be in french as well -, the Indians, well for everyone around the world. We'll have multiple versions. Or do these, or any others, immigrant groups not rate such special attention?

Per the shite lyrics, who are you battling? Americans? Isn't that counterintuitive.
And, by the way, you have to earn your freedom. It does not magically get bestowed upon you because you set foot up on our shores. Finally, one other fact.

If you are here illegally, you are breaking the law. End of story. No ifandsorbuts. You have no expectation of any freedoms under the law.

I mean shit, my parents struggled to become citizens, learned to become American. No one fucking handed them carte blanche to convert everything in English into Korean. It's called learning the language and uh-sim-mil-lating. That is what you do to fit into a new situation. They learned how to read and write in English. It's still broken and rusty but they have no expectation of it being any other way than English. Seriously, how about we translate all the traffic signs into Spanish? Does the government not accomodate enough to make governmental services available in a variety of languages? While I am at it, can we not make it the Driver's License exam in English only? All the sign are in English.
But critics are particularly upset with a remix to be released in June, containing lyrics in English that condemn U.S. immigration laws as "mean."
Mean? What the fuck? What are you a child? I DARE you to go to any other country and deal with their immigration laws. I DARE YOU!
Joshua Campos, 30, an accountant who lives in Spanish Harlem, said if the Spanish-language anthem were played at a ballgame, he'd actually be more likely to sing along
Well Joshua, just for you we'll have to take that up with the baseball leagues. But only one weekend a year, we'll have reserve the other weekends for the Chinese, Kurds, Polish, Jamaicans, you know.

"This is a melting pot," said Campos, whose mother is from Cuba, and father is from Brazil. "You're not going to eradicate the English version. It just shows that there's a population in this country that is American but that is also Latino."

I lost my birth certificate recently but it must say that I'm an American Latino-Asian, and my friend from Kenya is an American Latino-African, and my other friend is an American Latino-Canadian. My bad. I had no idea.

If you want to sing "Nuestro Himno" go ahead. No one is stopping you. That's the great part about all this stupidity. Sing it loud and clear, especially about how the immigration laws are "mean", about how this country sucks. While you do that, I'll be singing the national anthem at Yankee Stadium next week in English. And while you sing "Nuestro Himno", I'll be listening to Ricky Martin sing Livin' La Vida Loca.