Category Archives: The United States

I will not bash Pacquiao, I will fight his ideals

Joaquin Tenedora-Forte 
February 22, 2016

  
Last week while I am on hiatus, the Filipino pride Manny Pacquiao said that gay people are worst than animals because animals know to have sex with just the opposite gender. Obviously this does not went well with the gay community in the Philippines and around the world. His sponsor Nike had pulled out. 

  
First of all I want to say this the Philippines have laws protecting free speech. He has a right to say his opinion. He has a right to say that in a private conference. The Philippines like America has freedom of religion. He can believe what he wants even if he is a public official, look at Ted Cruz. 

  
If you ask me, of course I do condone what he said from the bottom of my heart. But the thing is we should support free speech no matter what. Free speech is not only for people whom you agree with, it is also for the people that you do not. There is a Supreme Court. case it came from Ohio, were in the KKK wanted to do a protest rally on a Jewish town. The Supreme Court said that the police has no right to arrest them unless there is an eminent threat of danger. So even the KKK had a right to say what they want. 

   
   
Of course his argument is wrong, there are plenty of gay animals. In fact there a hundred plus animals that exhibit homosexual behavior, Including Rams, lions, dolphins, bonobos and penguins. I can not get over why people do not call him on that. Not the “gay rights is a Human rights” (bla bla bla). Of course gay rights is human rights what are you talking about. But how can you change people’s hearts if you are not fighting them on the issues, right?

   
Lastly, Manny Pacquiao has just been a victim of a fundamentalist religion and that we should pity him for not using his mind and he is barely a high school graduate. Finally, I want liberals to write about free speech for those they do not agree with. 

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Filed under Civil rights and libertiy, Constitution Friday, LGBT Monday, Love wins, The Philipines, The United States

My Year end special: My top five favorite stories of the year and my person of the year

Joaquin Tenedora-Forte 

December 30, 2015
5. Donald Trump entering the race for the White House- Do not get me wrong I hate this person a lot because of what he is saying. He have said some of the nastiest stuff in this election cycle, but do not get me wrong it is so much fun to watch. My favorite is when he attacked Carly Fiorina and said he would not like to see that face in the White House. 

 
4. The Charlie Hebdo Attacks- this is not my favorite story at all but this informs how I write, before the Charlie Hebdo attacks I am really scared of speaking my mind out but after the attacks at Charlie Hebdo, I said to my self that I really need to write about the issues that I care mostly about, like equality.

  
3. The 2016 presidential elections specially the republican debates- this had been a weird year as far as election is concern, as i said, since Mr Trump had entered the race, America has been fixated on him but not talking about the issues at hand.

  
2. The Syrian Refugee Crisis- This is such a sad story that I could not even believe that I will be writing this on the blog, but it need to be talk about. The Syrian civil war have so many innocent lives taken from us. The best thing we can do is help people in need. Do not be scared of Muslim refugees. America has the most robust screening process of refugees In the world.  

  
My favorite story of the year is Marriage equality in the USA: On 26 June of this year the United States Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision, states that marriage is a right under the 14th Amendment of the constitution. I think that it will be a stepping stone for many countries to do the same.

  

My person of the year will be Donald Trump

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Filed under Equality..., Immigration, LGBT, Love wins, Religion, Special, The United States, U.S. Foreign policy

My personal thoughts: Drug Legalization  

Joaquin Tenedora-Forte 
December 9, 2015

  
As my favorite YouTuber Will Shepherd of shep689 disclosed that he is using medical marijuana, he is using it to combat his anxiety due to having PTSD. It got me thinking about Marijuana and the use of the drug. According to the FDA, marijuana is a scheduled one substance, is highly addictive and has no medicinal value, or is it.

  
As a true social libertarian, I am in favor of legalizing or at least decriminalizing all drugs. Because I believe that as long as it is illegal, people want to try drugs. A historic perspective the prohibition of alcohol in America is a prime example when you ban people, people will want it even more, it is human nature.

  
Legalizing drugs will lead to fewer crimes, fewer black men will get arrested. (The majority of people arrested for drug crimes are young men of color). as I discuss in a previous blog that, whites and blacks do drugs at the same rate but blacks are arrested more. Furthermore the drug cartels will not have any control on drugs. 

  
The biggest benefits of legalizing drugs is the money from taxing and regulating a said drug. In Colorado in the years leading up to the legalization of marijuana, the state have a net loss but after the drug being legal, the state saw a big jump in revenue, same as in Washington state.

  
People do not even see that marijuana is very helpful for people who have no hope with traditional medicine, like children who have epilepsy. People who have mental illness need a help from marijuana because marijuana has fewer nasty side effects. People (especially conservatives) can you stop being ignorant about this topic.

  
Lastly. Every drug should be legal, tax and regulated. People should not be hypocritical about drugs. For sure you take drugs like caffeine or alcohol, it is no different than marijuana.

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Filed under Racism, Racism Wednesday, The United States, U.S. Foreign policy, war on drugs

Me: refecting the  on 9/11 attacks

Joaquin Tenedora Forte 
There are some things that you will never forget, some events you wish you can forget. For baby boomers, it is the assassination of president John F. Kennedy. For music lovers and musicians alike, it is the deaths of Elvis Presley, John Lennon or Michael Jackson. For most of the people who are at least 19 years old, we will never forget what happen in the morning of September 11, 2001. What happen on this day will changed the world forever.

  
I was 8 years old and in 2nd grade, and we just don’t watch any news that day because we are watching some cartoons and the Internet  is not as advanced as today. The next day came and we are watching CNN and my Dad, who is in the bedroom called my mom in the kitchen they watch, and said wow, look at this, wow. I was a kid so did not know what they are talking about. A week later, my little sister and I are playing Lego. And said to her I will be building 2 buildings, and you uild an airplane. “To simulate what happened in New York”. ( it is totally Inappropriate, but we were young. 

  
This is one of those things that change you, I remember 2 years later when the Iraq war was announced, I remember feeling, that we have someone to blame. President George w. Bush basically lied to the whole world and frame it as the Iraqis did 9/11. As we all know, that is not the case. Bin laden who is the mastermind of the attacks in New York. And not Sadam Hussien.

  
The young kids today, have no idea what happened that day they will just read it on history books. They should see the films. But for a majority of the world who have witness this horrible day. It’s very sad, to see it and it’s aftermath. 

Lastly, to the families of the people who died that day, I know that you are still reeling from the loss of your family member, and know that you are in my thoughts and prayers this day and beyond. And to the First Responders who risk their lives to save other people, THANK YOU GUYS so much.

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Filed under Friday everything, Immigration, Iraq, The United States, U.S. Foreign policy

Racism in America: Black American History 

Joaquin Tenedora-Forte
     Since the emancipation of slaves more than 150 years ago there have been all sorts of laws that blacks and whites are not equal, making blacks second class citizens. From Dread Scott to Mr. and Mrs Loving, this cases of an inherent discrimination happened only 60 years ago, in today’s article I want people to reflect on the Black American history.

    The emancipation of slaves means that the slaves are free. Free maybe but certainly unequal. People at time that think that’s it’s equal, so people assumes that this is the right thing to do. There are black schools, black public transport blacks and whites aren’t allowed to mingle with each other. I thought that conservatives are so much into limited spending but providing the people two schools are not limited spending, just saying.

       It took so many years until Black America revolted against their government, but the government said No: Plessy vs Ferguson 1896. The government said No, separate is equal, the problem becomes when it’s not because in schools the black kids are using hand me down books and other school supplies from the white schools.
     So by 1956, the perfect storm of civil rights wins: in this time Plessy v Ferguson was over turned. in a landmark decision Brown Vs Board of education which stated that separate is definitely not equal. But there are some opposition to the ruling specially in the southern U.S. The governor of Alabama Bull Connor stands at a school door and protest black kids going to a newly desegregated school. 

     By 1967 a young couple named Mildred and Richard Loving wanted to get married but in their home state Virginia, they can’t. They are interracial. So they sued the state, but lost they accepted a 25 year bar and went out of state. They sued again but this time it went to the Supreme Court. They won the right to interracial married not only for them but for countless other people.

     Today 48 years since the Loving decision in America I can say that it gotten a lot better in every aspect of the lives of black people but the fight is not over.

      Last year was a particularly bad year for black people because of the blatant discrimination of blacks by the police in America. In August a young man named Michael Brown was shot dead by police in Ferguson Missouri. At that same time a man by the name of Eric Garner in Staton Island in New York was chokehold to death by the police, in this cases no one was charge.There have been protest after the non indictment of police officers.but nothing changes.
    If you will ask me, Are black people equal, I will say no, no because, three reasons. The first reason is the Police targeting blacks.. The second reason is the wages when you look up a black family makes 10 times less than their white counterparts. The third reason is the perception of black people in America as “thugs”. This should change. We should judge people not by the color of their skin but the content of their characters.
   

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Filed under Racism, The United States

 Americans misconceptions about immigration

Joaquin Tenedora-Forte 

    Since presidential candidate Donald Trump saiid those nasty things about Mexican immigrants, like they are all murderers and rapist. People in America have a misconception about this “illegal” immigrants and immigration in general. Americans don’t know the facts.

     Immigration is the most controversial yet least understood topic in America. People don’t really want to touch this topic because of their personal history. Plus it’s primarily the Media’s fault. I want to debunk five myths about immigration.

Myth: Undocumented immigrants don’t want to be legal 
    They do, but they can’t. There is no recourse for immigrants to get legal once they are illegal. Plus the immigration code of the United States is much more complicated than a tax code. 

2. Myth: undocumented immigrants don’t pay taxes

      According to Vice News undocumented immigrants pay 11.3 billion dollars in state and local taxes in 2011. Furthermore in the social security secretary said in an interview with Vice news that undocumented immigrants pays S.S with their fake or doctored papers. 

3. Myth: All undocumented people are Mexicans 

   Although 6 million of 11 million are Mexican, the rest are not. 1 million are from Asia: the largest group are Filipinos with 300. thousand. 800 thousand are from Central America. 300 thousand are from Europe. (as in white people). 

4. Myth: a lot of undocumented workers are criminals  

    I’m sorry for what happened in San Fransisco recently but this is so frustrating because this is simply not true. Last year 30 thousand are apprehended but only 5000 have felony offenses and are deported.

5. Myth: border security: securing the U.S. Mexico border 

  The U.S. Mexico border is more secure than ever due to technology. I have a question: What border can withstand every human will.

     Lastly, what Donald Trump said is wrong, bigoted and racist. These people came to America because of the poverty in Mexico and elsewhere. They don’t want to be called illegal. They wanted a better life for there families What wouldn’t you do for a better life.

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Filed under Immigration In America, The United States

The history of the LGBT movement in America 

Joaquin Tenedora-Forte
        On Friday June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States that said that the ban of gay marriage in America is unconstitutional. In a five to four decision the high court ruled in favor of James Obergefell sighting the fourteenth amendment; to the equal protection under the law. Today Let us reflect on the history of the wonderful and beautiful LGBT movement in the United States.

  
       In 1957, a 33 year old Frank Kemeny who was from fired as an astronomer because he was gay, he protest near the White House saying equal rights for homosexuals. (In the 1950’s it is illegal to be gay in America,) setting the tone for the modern Gay Rights movement. 

        In the 1960s there have been a rise of activism in the U.S. for black Americans. But in June 1969 there have been a raid at a bar in New York’s The unrest at the Stonewall inn happen this month 46 years ago, sends a signal to America that the gays are people too and you can’t do that to them.

         The 1970’s saw a lot of activism, gay activism, Specially in the San Francisco Bay Area. By 1977 a 40 year old openly gay man named Harvey Milk ran for office, and won. But by November of the next year Milk was assassinated by Dan White a former city supervisor. The out cry of the gay community in San Fransisco was vast, the anger they felt was huge. 

 

harvy milk

        In the 1980’s fueled by the death of Harvey Milk the activism continues for the LGBT community. But by the mid 1980’s there have been massive deaths in the community. It was cause by unprotected sex, it was AIDS. It meant that people are dying and vulnerable, partners, aren’t allowed by the families to be in their partners bedside during their dying hours. 

  
       By 1989 27 year old journalist and gay activists from England Andrew Sullivan argue for same sex marriage. He got laughs from the gay community, the idea is too new to the community. Sullivan is diagnosed with HIV two years later.

  
       A new administration came in 1993 the democratic president Bill Clinton gives a new hope, a new hope for LGBT Americans but aside from the medications for AIDS. President Clinton is hostile to the idea of Same Sex Marriage, and letting gay people to serve openly in the military, so he sign the Defense of Marriage Act the will not recognize gay marriages at the federal level. And the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell which prevents gay people from serving in the military openly.

  

      The new millennium came and just one state with civil unions, Vermont, in 1998 a men is arrested for sodomy, John Lawrence. Lawrence and his partner are making out, when a neighbor saw them, he called 9-1-1, the two guys were arrested accused of sodomy. In Texas sodomy is a crime so they put the two men in jail. But the two men fought. And in 2003 it reaches the Supreme Court in a 6-3 decision the court said that all sodomy laws are unconstitutional, basically reversing Boweers vs hardwick in 1986.

        Since sodomy is declared unconstitutional in 2003. The next year, in 2004 Massachusetts became the first state to have same sex marriage. That same year President Bush ran in anti gay campaign. Gay marriage is in the standstill. In 2009 gay marriage became legal in two different states Iowa and Vermont. (California is different because in 2008 they legalize but due to prop 8, it was stopped. the Supreme Court in 2013 decided it was unconstitutional.)      

Personal stories

            Edith and her partner Thea Spyre were married in Toronto Canada on 2007 on their fourteenth year together They were residents of New York so live there. but by 2009 Thea died. Because they are not married under the federal government, they are strangers. Edie needed to pay more than three hundred thousand dollars in estate taxes. So she fought for the right to marriage, it went to the federal court then the Supreme Court Which in 5 to 4 decision she won.

  
     James Obergefell and John Arthur were married in the airport of Maryland in 2013. John Arthur was diagnosed with ALS two years earlier, and died in their home state of Ohio. The problem becomes because Ohio don’t recognize gay marriages they can’t put Jim on John’s death certificate. Jim fought and it was a hard fight and in the 5-4 decision marriage was given in 50 states of the Union.
       50 years since Frank Kemeny was first fired from his job. 46 years since stonewall, 35 years since Harvey Milk ran for office. 27 years since AIDS first break out. 19 years since president Clinton sign DOMA. 12 years since Lawrence vs Texas. 11 years since Massachusetts. 5 years since Thea Spyre died. 2 years since DOMA was replied We are here. on June 26 2015 the Supreme Court said that love and liberty wins.

       

    

        

         

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Filed under LGBT, Love wins, Marriage equality, The United States

The impact of immigration in the economy of the Philippines

By Joaquin Tenedora- Forte

            Migration according to the United Nations is a human right. But How can you console a country that is reeling from brain drain, from a luck of job opportunities and a luck of a better salary. I am obviously talking about our own country the Philippines. Where in ten million people are abroad. That’s eleven percent of the total population of the country.

      In this article, I will be focusing on Filipinos in America, because they are the largest concentration of Filipinos in the world. Also because of our tight history.  

       There are 4 million Filipinos in the United States, why are they moving. For reasons like they wanted a better life that they don’t have in the Philippines. I don’t blame the nurses, doctors and engineers who wanted to make a better lives for being there. The salary of a nurse in America is $68,000 Annually compared to the salary of a nurse in the Philippines $8570. The Philippine economy isn’t ready to pay the price that cost.

      The impact of migration economically is good, the Philippines had received billions of dollars of remittances each year. That’s why when in 2008 the Great Recession hit we weren’t hit that hard. But there are some draw backs, the biggest draw back is the brain drain that is occurring until today people who study in the brightest universities in the country is always itching to get out of the country and go abroad to where the money is.

        The biggest impact of migration is seen in the family. The Filipinos are like the Italians of Asia, we have close extended family since one in every ten Filipinos are abroad, the Filipino family is essentially broken. The children of OFW’s are reeling from luck of parental guidance. Most children lose affection for their parents, Even if sometimes people consider them as well to do, they are virtual orphans. 

       One of the biggest secrets of the Filipino migrant community all across the world is the hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrant workers, the TNTs short for Tago ng Tago in English hiding and hiding. In America there are an estimated 300 thousand undocumented Filipinos, they often work under the table jobs and like their documented counter parts, the undocumented people wants a better life for their families here in the Philippines.

       In the country of 100 million, where in people suffers, the government had a responsibility to get people jobs here in the country. In the economy that they say is booming, where are the jobs. The minimum wage is not just a living wage is almost a slave wage. You are paying them too little. It’s because of corruption that plague the country for decades, it’s also the wrong course, people are not getting jobs because of the wrong degrees.

    While I want to thank people for the country’s economy. I almost feel bad, bad because they need to go in great lengths to feel economically stable to come back. I feel so bad that many of my countrymen need to go to heights just to have the money to buy homes, to pay for the children’s fees at school. I can’t believe That this is happening in a supposedly booming economy.
   

     

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Filed under Immigration, Migrant workers, OFWs, Philippine American relationship, The United States