The world is sometimes a very sad place and yesterday was very sad as two noted Hispanics of accomplishment were lost. Noted author and Nobel Prize winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez was one of those lost yesterday. A fried of former US President Bill Clinton, “Gabo” was 87 years old. He died in Mexico City where he lived after being hospitalized for pneumonia. However, El Universal newspaper in Mexico said he died after suffering a relapse of lymphatic cancer which he suffered from in 1999. Garcia Marquez was one of the most noted Hispanic writers in the world. His masterpiece was entitled “One Hundred Years of Solitude” which sold nearly 50 million copies and was translated into 40 languages. He was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1982 for his novels that sold more than any other in Spanish except for the Bible. His writings mixed reality and fantasy such as one novel about a boy born with a pig’s tail.
Originally from Columbia, Garcia Marquez was an inspiration for many and President Bill Clinton said he read the author’s masterpiece while in law school and could not put it down not even in class. He was considered the most popular Spanish writer since Miguel de Cervantes who wrote during the 17th Century. Garcia Marquez has been compared to Mark Twain and Charles Dickens by many.
The other noted Hispanic to die yesterday was Cheo Feliciano who lost his life in a fatal car crash in Puerto Rico. Reports indicate that Cheo died from a head injury suffered in the crash at around 4:15 A M in San Juan near the university when he lost control of his car and hit a light pole as he was turning a corner. His full name was Jose Luis Feliciano Vega and he was a noted salsa and bolero singer and pioneer. He was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash according to reports from the police. Cheo had many hit songs during his career and he received numerous awards including being featured on the cover of the Daily News of New York.
Both Garcia Marquez and Feliciano were Hispanic men who had achieved success in life but they did more than that. Both of these men provided inspiration for Hispanic youth to follow in their footsteps of success. Both will be greatly missed for their words, talent, and examples.
Descansa en paz mi amigos
The Southern Poverty Law Center says that there are 939 hate groups in the US today. That is almost a 60% increase from 2000. There is a map at the link below giving the number of known hate groups in each state.
I was surprised to discover that in my state there are 20 known hate groups. Some of these groups are radical leftists while others are radical ultra-right wing hate groups. Both are dangerous in my opinion.
I hear a lot of people talking about leftists groups and what dangers they pose to our country and society but I seldom hear people say the same about ultra-right-wing hate groups. I believe they pose just as much of a danger as the leftist hate groups. Radicalism is radicalism and be they on the left or right radical views are extremist views with little to no room for rationale or logic. Anyone who deviates from the “party line” is immediately deemed a traitor and ostracized one way or the other. These groups be they on the left or right advocate the overthrow of our government and/or armed civil unrest and revolution. The leftists would love to see our nation become a Communist State of tyranny. Those on the ultra-right would love to see our nation be “restored” although their idea of restoration is not my idea. Sorry but right wing tyranny is NOT what our nation was founded upon. In fact, some of those people on the ultra-right would like to see our nation become a sort of theocracy just like we see in radical Iran with the only difference being we’d be a Christian theocracy whereas Iran is an Islamic theocracy. And what comes next? Leviticus law? Can’t help but notice in the biblical book of Leviticus every “crime” is punishable by death. Sorry but that’s not something I’d prefer to live under just as I would not prefer to live under radical Islam and the crazed Ayatollahs. Continue reading
The death toll from the forest fires in Chili has risen to 12 people and at least 2000 homes have now been burned to the ground. Si you read that correct. Two Thousand homes! The fires have reached the urban area of the town of Valparaiso and is still buring out of control. Over 10,000 people have been evacuated including a prison for women in the area. Hot dry winds are fanning the embes and flames and even some of the fires that authorities earlier claimed were contained raged out of control again.
The fire began last Saturday afternoon in a ravine covered with thick forest. Squallid housing was near by and the fire reached those homes and grew immediately. Hot ashes rained down onto the roofs of wooden houses and on the narrow streets of Valparaiso. The town does not have a community water system. Six neighborhoods were reduced to ashes on top of hills surrounding the town. The fire also burned atop a hill not far from Chili’s parliament building. Chili’s el Presidente Michelle Bachelet deployed 20 helicopters and aircraft to drop water on hotspots. Interior Minister Rodrigo Penailillo warned that the death toll could rise sharply once the fire cooled and officials could get into the many burned neighborhoods. In addition to the dead and missing at least 500 people have been treated in area hospitals for smoke inhalation and other related issues.
The town is a picturesque community by the sea with a population of 250,000. This is the worst fire since 1953 for the community. Chili’s military has been put in charge of maintaining civil order. Valparaiso has a beautiful port and is home to Chili’s parliament. It is surrounded by several hills and some neighborhoods huge the hills so steep that people reach their homes only by cable cars or stairways. Mayor Jorge Castro told reporters that the people of the town are partly to blame for the raging fire and damage. He said, “We are too vulnerable as a city. We have been the builders and architects of our own danger.” He was referring to the many homes of the poor that have been built without power or proper water or natural gas and the narrow streets. Most of the homes are built from wood as well.
Yet, even in the upper class neighborhoods below the hills water was in short supply and a water emergency was declared which cut off supplies to some in the community. Residents say that everything is burning and thick clouds of smoke fill the skies.
The poor are losing everything as they are the people who primarily live atop the hills above the city. Most of their homes were little more than patched together shacks. Their dry wood construction has made them a tinderbox for the fire which is buring atop the hills and has not yet reached the more affluent part of the city below.