Originally written on April 25, 2010

On Friday, April 24, Arizona Republican Governor Jan Brewer signed into law a new immigration bill requiring local police officers to question people about their immigration status if there is reason to suspect they are illegal immigrants. What the actual reason is that police would suspect someone of being an illegal immigrant is not stated in the law, but is left to the discretion of the officers. The reality is every single resident of Arizona of Latino descent–about 30% of the state’s population–is a potential target for police interrogation.

This bill is the culmination of a decade’s long attempt at fear-mongering that spreads false information about the actual costs–fiscal and social–of illegal immigration, all in an effort to use the already racist inclinations of a white population duped into the belief that “American” culture, language and identity is threatened by illegal immigrants. Of course, the illegal immigrants they speak of only pertain to Latin America–Mexico at the forefront–and do not mention immigrants from any other part of the world that come to this country every year, just like Latinos, but whose skin is not dark and whose native language is not Spanish. Fear-mongers like Lou Dobbs and Glenn Beck, among many others, manipulate their audience into a belief system that re-enforces racist stereotypes, perpetuates lies about the actual costs of illegal immigration and presents hypothetical scenarios about the downfall of white American culture at the hands of these immigrants. continue reading…

Originally written on April 23, 2010

I feel that I am a citizen of the American dream and that the revolutionary struggle of which I am a part is a struggle against the American nightmare. Eldridge Cleaver

When Eldridge Cleaver spoke those words, the belief was that he, and all of black America, were indeed in a revolutionary struggle against the tyranny of the white ruling class. Some forty-odd years later, the tyranny still exists, yet the revolutionary fervor of; not only Black America, but of everyone–white, Black, Hispanic–is non-existent. There is most certainly anti-establishment fervor on the rise, but this movement–such as the tea party–is one of the white lower and middle-class alienated by a current administration headed by a black man. This white middle-class uproar is spearheaded, dictated and manipulated by the very forces that are alienating not just these white protesters, but every single person who lacks a voice. In essence: a corporate-sponsored revolution devised to further the divide between white and black, rich and poor: the haves and have nots. continue reading…

Originally written on April 22, 2010

I know that this article is perhaps a few months behind the curve as far as recent events and “celebrity scandals” are concerned, but being an avid tennis aficionado and competitive player, I feel the need to comment on Agassi’s admission of recreational methamphetamine use in the late ’90s.

I started playing tennis around the age of 11, and within a couple of years had become a fairly decent tournament player for my age. This was during the late 1980s, just when a young Andre Agassi was coming on the scene and garnering fame more or less for his clothes and long hair more than for his actual tennis abilities. For the most part, I preferred to watch Stefan Edberg and Ivan Lendl  for their playing style, but as far as flash and fashion, I adored Agassi and his loud color combinations. I suppose I bought into to the commercial hype as well–begging my parents to buy me the Nike shoes and clothes worn by Agassi– I had the same god-awful shorts Agassi is wearing in the picture above; but hey, it was the late 80s, it was cool then. continue reading…

Originally written on April 21, 2010

If you’re going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you’re going to be locked up. Hunter S. Thompson

I believe that I most certainly echo Mr. Thompson’s assertion. In fact, I might possibly be the epitome of that statement as well. Being crazy is indeed paying me in some ways, perhaps not as well as Hunter was payed for his seemingly random and garbled brand of “Gonzo” journalism, but I capitalize on the “crazy” label nonetheless.

I’m not exactly sure what even qualifies as “crazy” anymore. For a time, like Mr. Thompson, I had quite the penchant for booze, drugs and a lifestyle devoid of any type of accountability or concern of consequences. Crazy went along with the territory. Glorifying Hunter and his brand of “crazy” would be counter-intuitive–for me anyway–considering that he ultimately let the crazy get the better of him five years ago when he used his head for close range target practice. continue reading…

Originally written on April 20, 2010

So the thing to do when working on a [tennis racquet], as in any other task, is to cultivate the peace of mind which does not separate one’s self from one’s surroundings. When that is done successfully, then everything else follows naturally. Peace of mind produces right values, right values produce right thoughts. Right thoughts produce right actions and right actions produce work which will be a material reflection for others to see of the serenity at the center of it all.  (Robert M. Pirsig)

When stringing a tennis racquet, my mind is at ease in the process. Or at least I would like to believe that. Sometimes my mind drifts to other places during the process. Perhaps a phone call while tying off a string or a doorbell or a tricky grommet. I suppose it would be the ultimate destination to be at one with the string, the racquet and the process. Every pass through the grommet, every pull of the tensioner, every weave of the cross string through the main–a natural and organic congruence of events transpiring; bringing about the perfect stringing job. String that will bring good fortune and happiness to the person who uses that string to make the perfect shot. continue reading…

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