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A University of Texas (UT) conservative student group is holding a mock immigration round up whereby someone is rewarded for catching an “illegal” immigrant.

The Young Conservatives of Texas - UT Chapter are hosting the offensive event on Wednesday.  Students who participate will get $25 gift cards if they catch students who are wearing “illegal immigrant” nametags.  The event is being actively promoted on campus and on the organization’s Facebook page.  The parent organization that routinely supports Republican candidates has not disavowed itself of this chapter event.

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Saturday Night Live’s (SNL) diversity issues just got a little bigger with Latinos chiming in that they are not represented enough on the iconic show.

The show’s diversity issues became center stage when two current male cast members that are African-American derided the lack of black women on the show and their unwillingness to dress-up as black women.  Latino advocacy organizations in turn used the controversy as an opportunity to note the lack of Latino inclusion.

The show created by Lorne Michaels was facing growing criticism that it did not have a female African-American character since 2007 when biracial cast member Maya Rudolph was on the show.  Now several high profile Latino advocacy groups, that include the U.S. Hispanic Leadership Institute, Cuban American National Council, National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts among others, have sent Michaels a letter urging Latino inclusion.

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There is an outcry over the lack of Latinos on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) network led by the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) prompted by the departure of Ray Suarez.

Suarez, 56, unexpectedly departed PBS after serving the network over a decade as a senior correspondent noting that he “didn’t have much of a future with the broadcast” and his contributions were “heavily minimized.” With Suarez’ departure, no Latinos occupy senior positions at the “NewsHour” program.

Suarez, in 2010, was induced in the Hall of Fame of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.  Suarez is joining the new cable network Al Jazeera America as host of its “Inside Story” program airing at 5 p.m. beginning November 11.

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Reposted from Pakalolo by angelajean

The Amazon rainforest is the source of one-fifth of all fresh water on the planet, it is also the lungs of the planet or a carbon sink. It is called that because it sucks up the global emissions of carbon dioxide from things like cars, planes and power stations to name just a few. The Amazon rain forests hydrological system plays a critical function in regulating the global and regional climate. Water condensation, evaporation, and transpiration over the Amazon are key drivers of the global atmospheric circulation, affecting precipitation across South America and much of the Northern Hemisphere.

From Climate Central:

Professor Fu of the University of Texas, and her colleagues say the water stored in the forest soil at the end of each wet season is all that the trees have to last them through the dry months. The longer that lasts – regardless of how wet the wet season was – the more stressed the trees become and the more susceptible they are to forest fires.

 Findings from a recent study show that since 1979, the dry season in southern Amazonia has stretched about a week longer per decade.

They say the most likely explanation for the lengthening dry season in recent decades is human-caused greenhouse warming, which inhibits rainfall in two ways: It makes it harder for warm, dry air near the surface to rise and freely mix with cool, moist air above; and it blocks incursions by cold weather fronts from outside the tropics which could trigger rainfall.

The team says the IPCC’s climate models represent these processes poorly, which might explain why they project only a slightly longer Amazonian dry season.

The Amazon rainforest normally acts as a carbon sink, removing atmospheric carbon dioxide and storing it. But during a severe drought in 2005 it went into reverse, releasing 1 petagram of carbon (1 billion tons – about one-tenth of annual human emissions) to the atmosphere.

Fu and her colleagues estimate that if dry seasons continue to lengthen at just half the rate seen in recent decades, the 2005 Amazon drought could become the norm rather than the exception by the end of this century.

Recently, 2 droughts have raised alarm bells on the health of the Amazon. Not only is the forest susceptible to drought and has increased forest fires as a result the problem is being exacerbated by logging and ranching and other agricultural uses.A 2005 drought is estimated to have turned the rainforest from a net absorber of about two billion tonnes of carbon dioxide to an exporter of some five billion tonnes of carbon dioxide, which is almost as much as the 5.4 billion tonnes emitted annually by the US.

The 2005 drought:

Throughout 2005unusually high sea temperatures prevailed in the North Atlantic. These exceptionally warm waters also powered the most destructive hurricane season on record, which included Hurricane Katrina.  In Amazonia, and especially its western and southern regions, the subsiding air from the Atlantic convection dried the forest, helping make the 2005 dry season the driest ever in many locations.

In 2010 the drought was more widespread and more intense than the earlier drought, with a far bigger impact on the growth and death of trees, which is why the scientists expect the overall release of carbon dioxide from dead and decaying organic matter to reach eight billion tonnes.

In normal  years the forest absorbs nearly 2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide. The drought caused a loss of more than 3 billion tonnes. The total impact of the drought - 5 billion extra tonnes of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere - exceeds the annual emissions of Europe and Japan combined.

RAINFOR, the sole research organization dedicated to examining the rainforests of the Amazon reports:

Without this “carbon sink” the world’s ability to lock up carbon will be reduced, compounding the effects of global warming.
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Reposted from bastrop by catilinus
Teaching doesn't have to be complicated.
Elementary School is a strange world. Lots of life happens there and not all of it is pretty. In fact, it's a pretty rough place where kids learn hard lessons about what it means to live life, and just as with adults some kids are more naturally adaptive than others. Kids are people, after all, they are just smaller about it.

Yes indeed, it's a snapshot of the adult world writ in markers and crayons in 500 pt. type. The wrong person gets set up, takes the fall, and when justice arrives too late the damage is done. Good guys win and bad guys do, too. There are really nice people, and really not- nice people. Sometimes the lines between them can be fuzzy. Food is food, it can be awesome, and it can suck. Everybody poops.

As well, elementary is a beautiful place where amazing things happen. Kids learn to read and write. Kids who can't learn to read or write learn to comprehend and often surprise everyone with their solutions. There are crushes. Real relationships are formed, often leading to life-long friends. And there are butterflies. Not just the scratch-and sniff rainbow ones but larva, chrysalis, and imago. Awareness happens, and it can be magical.

I'm originally from Eastern Massachusetts. When I was in elementary school, learning about the american Revolution was experiential. We ran across the Old North Bridge shooting pretend muskets at each other and drew beads on waiting bus drivers from behind the stone walls at the ambush zone on Battle road in Lincoln. Though I now live and love in Texas my heart has always been buried somewhere just outside of home plate off Yawkey Way. Until Friday, when it was delivered back to me by a little girl from Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl, Mexico State, Mexico.

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Reposted from History for Kossacks by catilinus

This is not an era in California history that I own just yet. In my regular US History surveys, I talk about the natives briefly in the pre-Columbian era, and I don't really get back to California until American trading and whaling ships arrive in the early 19th century, after Mexico became independent from Spain, to find not just Spanish-speaking people but Russian fur traders as well. So this week I had to teach myself some of this material, and it's all pretty routine until you find stuff unexplained that appears to be obvious. Plus, whatever I DO know about this period is from a book Carey McWilliams published in 1946 that's about southern California and JUST southern California, and his contention is that this period, at least in southern California, was replaced by a constructed version of the Spanish past almost before the last Californio had been laid to rest. I didn't get to work that out until the second class session, so here's an overview, and here's what I learned when I started to investigate the Mission system instituted by the Spanish in California starting in 1768.

Follow me below the frybread of the Lummi nation for my take on all this.

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Reposted from Climate Change SOS by catilinus

(Note: This is the final diary in the Hummingbird Blogathon. Acknowledgements and thanks are down below.)

Getting to know migrant farmworkers from Mexico to Watsonville.
Orgulloso (proud) I am to have friends and members of my extended family who have been farmworkers. My son's uncle worked for years as a migrant worker in California, as did both that uncle's father and grandfather. They travelled great distances, endured both threats and hardships, did back-breaking work, but supported their families. Yet I hope my son never has to inherit that part of his family tradition. Bending over in a field under a hot sun for most of the day was always a hard life, and now it is much worse.

Climate change is brutally impacting farmworker families (most of whom are speakers of Spanish, but not all). That's not surprising as negative changes to our living environment tend to hit the most vulnerable amongst us first - those with both the least legal and financial resources, and those who literally have their bodies on the line out in the blazing sun. Heat stress and increased droughts add a deadly mix on top of the exploitation and racism that has always accompanied undocumented farm laborers in this country.  

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Reposted from Daily Kos by catilinus
Nevada Assemblywoman Lucy Flores
Nevada Assemblywoman Lucy Flores
I don’t live in Nevada. Have only been there a few times in my life. In my search to find role models for the young women in my classes—especially young women of color—and to encourage them to consider a future in politics, I happened upon the success story of a young progressive working-class Latina, Lucy Flores, who not only decided to run for office, but she won—against the odds.

I wrote about her along with other Democratic women, back in March, in Yes, she can ... run for office and win.

Flores, was elected to the Nevada Assembly in November of 2010 and served her first legislative session representing District 28 in 2011 during the 76th regular session. She was re-elected in 2012.  

She currently serves as the Assistant Majority Whip, Vice-Chair of the Legislative Operations and Elections committee, and member of the Transportation, and Ways and Means committees. She is also actively involved in growing the Nevada Hispanic Legislative Caucus.
When I mention "against the odds," that's not just a throwaway cliche. Just look at the U.S. statistics on women in state legislatures (1,788 or 24.2 percent), and the number of women of color (who are even a smaller number—368). Of that 368, 81 are Latinas.  

Flores re-election was a victory, but no sooner than she was re-elected she took some nasty hits from right-wingers who excoriated her for her testimony supporting Nevada Bill AB230 which sought to "establish a comprehensive, age-appropriate and medically accurate course of instruction in sex education."

Though what happened next did not receive the same national publicity as did the sheroic filibuster by Wendy Davis in Texas, it did stir up a twitter storm of support, at #FierceFlores.

Follow me below the fold for the fierce details.

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Reposted from A Progressive Military Wife by angelajean

The Yasuní Is The Goose That Laid The Golden Egg

For those of you who haven't been keeping up with the conversation about oil development in Ecuador, I hope you decide to read this and learn more. Last week, President Rafael Correa cancelled an agreement with Germany that would have created a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the Yasuní National Park. The agreement, referred to as Yasuní ITT, was a groundbreaking experiment in economic development; the government of Ecuador asked the international community for the equivalent of 50% of the potential oil revenue in exchange for not developing the Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini oil reserves.

Since Correa's decision to cancel the agreement, a local newspaper in Quito, HOY, has had a constant stream of articles about the Yasuní, the National Park, and oil exploitation. Yes, they call it exactly that. This Sunday alone, the first three pages of the paper were about this single topic.

And while President Correa has made up his mind to open the National Park to oil development, it seems that the people of Ecuador, many of them Correa supporters, are not convinced that he has made the right decision. And it may not matter as it may not be his decision alone to make.

...el artículo 407 de la Constitución ya establece que los yacimientos ubicados en zonas intangibles y áreas protegidas no pueden ser explotados salvo que se obtenga la declaratoria de interés nacional solicitada por el Presidente Rafael Correa y entregada por la Asamblea.
Article 407 of the Constitution states that sites located in protected zones and protected areas cannot be exploited without a declaration of national interest solicited by President Rafael Correa and delivered by the Assembly.
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Reposted from sexgenderbody by angelajean
DailyKos sólo está interesado en los votantes que hablan inglés.

Cuando Wendy Davis llevó su filibustero, nació el movimiento "Puesto de Texas Women With." Lo primero que pensé fue:

"¿Será este movimiento inclusivo de mujeres que hablan espanol, o será un movimiento solo de mujeres blancas de Texas"?"

La razón por la que Texas está llegando a su alcance por los votos democráticos no es porque el Estado tiene la mayoria de votantes blancos.

Kya Daikykos sirf angrezi bolne waale matadatt ke liye kaam karta hai?

Kuch roz pehle, jab Wendy Davis ne apna abhiyaan chaalu kiya Texas ki mahilaon ke liye, ek naya daur shuru hua. Meri ruchi sirf ek hi prashn pe thehri hui thi--kya yeh abhiyaan speni bhash abolne waale matadatt tak pohchega; yadi yeh sirf angrezi bolne-waali gori mahilaon ke liye hi bana rahega?

Aur maze ki baat yeh hai, Texas prajatantric parti ke daayre meh aaj-kal aane laga hai een hi speni bhasha bolne waale matadatt ke karaan.

Kwani DailyKos yajali masilahi ya wapigaji kura ambao wanafahamu Kiingereza peke yake?

Wendy Davis alipoongoza filibuster, kampeni ya “Stand With Texas Women” ndipo lilizaliwa. Kitu cha kwanza nilichofikiria kilikuwa:

“Huu ‘msimamo’ utazingatia wanawake wa lugha ya Kispania pia; ama itakuwa tu “kusimama na wanawake wazungu wa Texas”?

Sababu ambayo jimbo la Texas limeongezea kura za Democtratic siyo kwamba wapigaji kura wazungu wameongezeka.

Is DailyKos only interested in English speaking voters?  

When Wendy Davis led her filibuster, the "Stand With Texas Women" campaign was born.  The first thing I thought was:

"Will this 'stand' include Spanish speaking women; or will it amount to: "stand with Texas white women"?"  

The reason that Texas is coming into reach for Democratic votes is not because the state is increasing the numbers of white voters.  

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“Mother of God! What a world!” raged Argentine President Cristina Kirchner while Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa railed on Twitter about the “attack” and “affront to our America” urging Latin Americans to take action.

These were some of the reactions when the Bolivian Presidential plane carrying Evo Morales and other high ranking government officials was denied the right to fly into certain European airspace and kept for 13 hours on an Austrian tarmac, late last night.

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President Obama has announced James “Wally” Brewster, Jr. as his choice for U.S. Ambassador to the Dominican Republic.  It is an interesting choice that could either be historic or hysterically wrong.

On the surface Brewster appears to be the perfect ambassadorial candidate for a U.S. trade partner and ally.  He is a Chicagoan, a city that is home to a large Latino population including many Dominicans.  He is a senior managing partner at a consulting firm and has a long resume of professional accomplishments to bring to the appointment.  Like many other ambassadorial candidates Brewster has been a large donor to the President, raising more than $500,000 for his re-election campaign in 2012.

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