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Friday, March 31, 2006
Why are we fighting to live if we're living to die?

Why are we fighting to love if it only makes us cry?

Why are we fighting for gangs when all our colors are the same?

Why are we dying with no one to blame?

Why are we killing for the wrong reasons?

Why are we dying everyday, every month, every season?

Why are we worried that Daddy isn't coming home?

Why are we so many children left in this world alone?

Why can't we go outside and play?

Why is Mommy worried that one of us may get his with a stray?

What is the reason Daddy isn't coming today?

Why do we have to sleep on the floor at night?

Why do we hurt and fight?

Can we all stand together and make all wrong right?

Why do people bring babies in the world like this?

Why did that bullet have to hit Starkesia? Why didn't it miss?

Why does money make the world go around?

Why when we die we get put in the ground?

Why does it seem as our life changes in so many ways?

Why does it feel as we are living in our last days?

Why does this gang get into it with that gang?

When everyone lives in the same community and has the same things?

Why does'nt death scare me anymore?

Because death is a game and has reached its final score.

Why is it that when a person dies a baby is born?

Or is it that person comes back reformed.

Why is it that we are focused on the food and never expect the bad?

Why after we laugh, we cry?

Why are we fighting to life if we're living to die?

(Written by SHONTANETTE BRINSON an 8th grader at the Vernon Johns Community Academy. Said she was inspired by Tupac Shakur's "Runnin' (Dying to Live)" to write this poem.
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:44 AM   4 comments
Thursday, March 30, 2006
"You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" THE BEATLES

In the spring of 1965, shortly after the birth of his son Julian, John Lennon took a brief holiday in Barcelona with the Beatles gay manager, Brian Epstein was clearly enamored of Lennon, and more than one biography (and a brilliant short film inspired by their specualtion, The Hours and Times) suggests that there, in Spain, Epstein made a last, valiant effot to consumate their relationship. After they returned, Lennon wrote this ballad.

Although Lennon never addressed the subject, and the song was'nt recroded until February of 1965 (for the Help soundtrack) gay British singer/songwriter Tom Robinson was always convinced that it was Lennon's gift to Epstein - penned form the closeted manager's perpspective. Robinson took its title for his cabaret show of "gay" pop songs.

"How Do You Sleep"? JOHN LENNON

In the wake of the Beatles split, Paul Mccartney adopted a faintly pompous and condescending attitude toward John and Yoko. When he issued his LP Ram, the cover featured gnetleman farmer Paul hugging a sheep, while in "Too Many People", he sang to his former partner as if he were chucking him under the chin: "You took your lucky break, and broke it in two./Now what can be done for you?"

Lennon responded with venom. With laconic rage he punned off two of Paul's song titles singing, "The inly thing you've done was 'Yesterday',/And since you're gone you're 'Just another day'. With the LP, Lennon included a photo parrodying Ram's cover: Lennon hugging an immense hog.

"Sexy Sadie", THE BEATLES

In Febraury 1968, with "Magical Mystery Tour" topping the U.S. charts, the Beatles flew to India to study meditation at the Maharishi Mahesh Yoga's ashram in Rishikesh. Ringo was the first to bail, comparing the place to "a Butkins Holiday camp". By the time a dissilusioned Lenon packed his bags, he was already writing his pointed assault on the bubbly, rotund little holy man. Once he was dubbed Sexy Sadie, it was hard to think of hims as anyone else.

(Source: People's Almanac by: Adam Block. He is a San Francisco based investigative journalist and pop-culture critic whose work has been featured in the London Observer, California magazine, Mother Jones, Image, Parenting and Manshots. He is also a columnists for the Advocate and has contributed annotaged lists of "homo-negative and pro-homo pop songs" to the Alyson Alamanac)
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:57 AM   0 comments
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
A corporate or product name can symbolize more than intended, especially whne that name is used in other lands. Today's multinational markets require sensitivity to other cultures to otjer cultures, as many companies have learned the hard way.

1. NOVALatin American buyers were a bit reluctant to purchase this Chevrolet; in Spanish, no va means "doesn't go". So for those markets, the car was renamed Caribe.

Hunt-Wesson introduced its Big John products in Canada before realizing that the name, which translated to Gros Jos, was French Canadian slang for "big breasts". However, sales did not suffer from the tanslation.

The Ford Pinto suffered image problem when it went on sale in Brazil -- pinto is Portuguese slang for "small male genitals" For Brazilian buyers, Ford changed the name to Corcei, which means "horse".

When Coca-Cola expanded into China in the 1920s, the company chose Chinese cahracters which, when pronounced, would sound like the Englosh name for the drink. Those particular Chinese letters, though, actually translated to "bite the wax tadpole" or "wax flattened mare". The company now uses characters that mean "good mouth, good pleasure" or "happiness in the mouth".

The Johnson Company retained the American name of the wax product when it was introduced in the Netherlands. Unfortunately, in Dutch it means "piss", making it difficult for shoppers to ask for Pledge. The product survived because most Dutch retail stores converted to self-service.

The Yokohama Rubber Company was forced to withdraw hundreds of tires from the sultanate of Brunei when Islamic authorities compalined that the tread design resembled the word for ALLAH.

(Source: BOOK OF LISTS by: David Wallechinsky and Amy Wallace)
posted by infraternam meam @ 4:00 AM   0 comments
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
1.-- Ass Glue (blood tonic from donkey parts; China)

2.-- Blue Peter (canned fish; Norway)

3.-- Colon Plus (liquid detergent; Spain)

4.-- Fockink (liquer; the Netherlands)

5.-- Green Piles (lawn fertilizer; Japan)

6.-- HOMO SAUSAGE (beef jerky; Japan)

7.-- Hornyphon (video recorder; Austria)

8.-- Krapp (toilet paper; Sweden)

9.-- Last Climax (paper tissues;Japan)

10.- Mucos (soft drink; Japan)

11.- Pansy (men's underwear; China)

12.- Pipi (orangeade; Yugoslavia)

13.- Plopp (chocolate bar; Sweden)

14.- Polio (detergent; Czechoslovakia)

15.- Pshitt (soft drinks; France)

16.- Sitto (hot spiced pepper sauce; Ghana)

17.- Skinababe (baby cleanser;Japan)

18.- Superglans (car wax; the Netherlands)

19.- Trim Pecker (trousers; Japan)

20.- Zit (lemon lime soft drink; Greece)

(Source: The following was compiled by Charles Brymer of International Corporation (14 E. 60th st. NY/NY 10022) and by Reinhold Aman, the edictor of Maledicta, the irregular "Journal of Verbal Aggression (P.O. box 14123, Santa Rosa, Ca 95402-6123)
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:13 AM   0 comments
Sunday, March 26, 2006
The androgynous pop start told a London newspaper in 1984, "I'm not gay, and I'm not a transvestite, mo matter what anything thinks, I'm basically very much a man". At other times, Boy George has variously described himself as "Bisexual", "very confused", "not confused" and "not really all that keen on sex". In 1993, he finally acknowledged his homosexuality, stating, " I always wanted to be a gay songwriter who can write gay loves songs".

2). ROY COHN (1927 - 1986),u.s. attorney
The controversial New York attorney, former counsel for Senator Joseph McCarthy and an assistant prosecutor in the case that sent Ethel and Julius Rosenberg to the electric chair in 1953, was asked on 60 minutes about rumors that he was gay and was dying fo AIDS. "It's a lie as far as I'm concerened", Cohn replied. Cohn said he was suffering from liver cancer. Later, on the Larry King Live show, a phone caller asked if he was gay. "No" Cohn flatly replied. After Cohn's death, in July 1986, it was revealed that he had, in fact. been gay, and had AIDS. "He denied his homosexuality", wrote one of his friends, conservative columnist William Safire, "because he could never reconcile it with his self image of political masculinity."

3). TROY DONAHUE (1936 - ), U.S. ACTOR
Donahue told People Magazine in 1984, "I'm not gay, once in a while people get me confused with another blond, blue eyed actor who was around at the same time, but it's no big deal. I love women. Sometimes, I guess too much", Donahue has been maried four times, once to actess Suzanne Plesette.

In a 1983 Playboy magazine interview, edward was asked if after writing and directing Victor/Victoria he was worried people would start whispering he was coming out of the closet. Edwards replied that despite having dome some typicl homosexual experimentation as a child, and despite some fears early in his life that might be gay, he was nonetheless, in his words, "very heterosexual". He is married to actress Julie Andrews.

In 1989 officials of the Bush White House sought to destroy the political power of Speaker of the House Thomas Foley (Democrat from Washington) by publicly insinuating that he was a homosexual. Foley vehemently denied any suggestion that he was gay, calling such assertions, "a very cheap smear". "I am not a homosexual", he said in a natinally televised interview on CNN. "I have been married for twenty-one years". The White House later apologized for its campaign to discredit Foley.

6). DARYL HALL (1948 - ), U.S. POP SINGER
In a 1984 Rolling Stone magazine interview, Hall denied persistent rumors that he was gay and that he was singing partner John Oats were lovers. "The idea of sex a man does'nt turn me off," he said, "but I don't express it. I satisfied my curiosity about that years ago. I had lots of sex between the ages of three or four and the time I was fourteen or fifteen. Srange experiences with older boys. But men don't particularly turn me on. And, no, John and I have never been lovers. He's not my type. Too short and dark."

Jackson held a national press conference in 1984 to refute insinuation that he was a homosexual. Calling the rumos a "terrible slander", he threatened to sue any periodical that printed "new fantasies" Michael's brother Jermaine told one newspaper, "Even to say that he's not gives people the idea the he is. People want to hear ugliness", The Los Angeles Times later commented: "There does not appear to be any precedent for a celebrity going to such lengths to proclaim his or her heterosexuality."

As an aide to California Governor Ronald Reagan, Kemp worked for an official who resigned from office in 1967 amid allegations of homosexual conduct. "My name got mixed in tangentially." Kemp told Newsweel years later. "and that little piece of poison just stays there." Kemp has flatly denied remors that he is gay.

9). PERRY KING (1948 - ) U.S. ACTOR
After playing a gay man in the 1978 movie in A Different Story, King declared that hwas himself gay. "It's funny", he remarked. "Audiences don't think you're a murderer if you play a murderer, but they dont think you're gay if you play a gay",

During the 1977 mayoral primary between Mario Cuomo and Ed Koch, posters appeared throughout New York City with the slogan "Vote for Cuomo, not the homo" Reacting to long standing rumors, that he was a homosexual, Kocah told one magazine in 1982, "NO. I am not a homosexual. If I were a homosexual, I would hope I would have the courage to say so. What's so cruel is tha you are forcing me to say I am not homosexual. This means you are putting homosexuals down. I don't want to do that". Asked if he had ever had a homosexual expereince, Koch replied that would not discuss his private life in public.

11).LIBERACE (1919 - 1987) U.S. ENTERTAINER
In 1959 Liberace sued the London Daily Mirror and onf of its journalists for libel for implying that he was a homosexual. On the witness stand, Liberace flatly denied that he was a homosexual and started that he had never in his lie indulged in homosexual practices. The trial lasted only six days, and Liberace wont the suit and a $24,000 settlement. In 1982 Liberace himself became the defendant in a highly publicised lawsuit that once again called his sexual orientation into question. the suit was filed by his former chaffeur and bodyguard, twenty three year old Scott Thornson, who souhgt $113 million in palimony after calaiming that he and Liberace had had "an intimate sexual and emotional relationship" Linerace again denied he was gay, and issued a statement asserting that Thornson's suit was "an outrageous, ambitious attempt to assasinate my character" Liberace eventually paid Thronson an out of court settlement. After Liberace dies in 1987, it was revealed that he had had AIDS. His homosexuality -- an open secret within the entertainment industry -- became widely known. Shortly after the tentertainer's death, the Lndon Daily Mirror asked for a refund of the $24,000 libel settlement it has paid the pianist back in 1959.


After he appeared wearing nylons in aseries of nationally televised commercials for women's pantyhose. Namath publicly denied being gay. He told Enquire magazine in 1979 "Not only am I not gay, I am not even bisexual... I'm sure thirty years from now, if I'm still a bachelor, people will be askig me if I'm gay."

13).POPE PAUL VI (1897 - 1978)
When Italian magazine Tempo published an article in 1967 asserting that he was a homosexual, Pope Paul VI took the unusual step of issuing a denial in a public speech from his balcony overlooking St. Peter's Sqaure. He called the magazine's assertins " a horrible and slanderous insinuation", and implored Catholic's to "pray for our humble person, who has been made a target of scorn... by a certain press lacking dutiful regard for honesty and truth." Soon afterward, Italian police began mass confiscation of the magazine, on grounds that it had libeled the Catholic church.

14).Randy Travis (1963 - ) U.S. COUNTRY MUSIC SINGER
The popular singer angrily denied a 1991 supermarket tabloid story asseting he was a homosexual. "I usually let things slied," he said, "but I could'nt this time. There is not a man alive that can prove that statementbecause it isn't true." Travis leter joked, "I guess it could have been worse. They could've said I wasn't country."

(Source: THE BOOK OF LISTS by David Wallechinsky and Amy Wallace)
posted by infraternam meam @ 9:54 PM   4 comments
Saturday, March 25, 2006

In 1820 a Greek peasant name Yorgos was digging in his field on the island of Milos when he unearthed several carved blocks of stone. He burrowed deeper and found four statues -- three figures of Hermes and one of Aphrodite, the goddess of love. Three weeks later, the Choiseul archeologists expedition arrive by ship, purchased the Aphrodite, and took it to France. Louis XVIII gae it the name Venus de Milo and presented it to the Louvre in Paris, where it became one of the most famouse works of arts in the world.

On February 21, 1978, electrical workers were putting down lines on a busy street corner in Mexico City when they discovered a twenty ton stone bas-relief of the Aztec night goddess, Coyolxauhqui. It is believed to have been sculpted in the early 15th century and burried prior to the destruction of the Aztec civilization by the Spanish conquistadors in 1521, The stone was moved 200 yards from the site to the Museum of the Great Temple.

In 1978 more than 500 motion pictures dating from 1903 to 1929 were dug out of a hole in the ground in Dawson city, Yukon. Under normal circumstances, the 35 mm nitrate films would have been destroyed, but the permafrost preserved them perfectly.

Joanne Perez, the widow of vaudeville performer Pepito the Spanish clown, cleaned out the area underneath her bead and discovered the only existing copy of the pilot for the TV series, I LOVE LUCY, Pepito had coached Lucille Ball and had guest starred in the pilot. Ball and her husband, Desi Arnaz, had given the copy to Pepito as a gist in 1951 and it has remained under the bed for thirty nine years.

5.) ON A WALL.
A middle aged couple in a suburb of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, asked an art prospector to appraise a painting in their home. While he was there he examined another painting that the couple had thought was a reproduction of a work by Vincent Van Gogh. It turned out to be an 1886 original. On March 10, 1991 the painting Still Life with Flowers sold at auction for $1,400,000.

In 1961 Barbara Testa, a Hollywood librarian, inherited six steamer trunks that had belonged to her grandfather James Fraser Gluck, a Buffalo, New York, lawyer wjo died in 1895. Over the next three decades she gradually sifted through the contents of the trunks, until one day in the fall of 1990 she came upon a 665 pages that turned out to be the original hand written manuscript of the first half of Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn. The two halves of the great American nover were finally reunited at the Buffalo and Erie County Public Libary.

A Philadelphia financil analyst was broswing at a flea market in Adamstown, Pennsylvania, when he was attracted by a wooden picture frame. He paid four dollars for it. Back at his home, he removed the old torn painting in the frame and found a folded document between the canvass and the wood backing it turned out to be a 1976 copy of the Declaration of Independence -- one of only twenty four known to remain. On June 13, 1991, Sotheby's auction house in New York sold the copy for $2,420,000.

For sixty years a painting of Niagara Falls had hung unappreciared in Eno Memorial Hall in Old Lyme, Coonecticut, most recently above a copying machine. In April 1991, a local gallery owner walked into the building and recognized it as a previously unkown work of John Frederick Kensett. The 1855 oil is estimated to be worth almost $1 million.

(Source: Book Of Lists by David Wallechinsky and Amy Wallace)
posted by infraternam meam @ 11:43 PM   0 comments

The Vatican has certified two miracles attributed to Blessed Mother Theodore Guerin, and the pope is expected to sign the papers declaring her a saint in the fall.

Blessed Mother Guerin, expected to become the 8th U.S. saint, put down roots in 1840 in Indiana.

It has taken mearly 300 years for the Sisters of Providence of St. Mary of the Woods to make the case for sainthood fo their founder, Blessed Mother Theodore Guerin. But the sisters they expect cannonization is immiment, and Catholic theologians agrees.

After clearing all the important hurdles, "the way is now open for her cannonization", said Sister Marie Kevin Tighe, a member of the Indiana based order and the leader of the cause for the last decade.

Guerin would be only the 8th saint who spent most of her ministry in the United States.

Just weeks ago, the Ordinary Congregation of the Cardinals in Rome supported the calim of a second miracle atttributed to Guerin's intecession -- teh story of man who eyesight was restored.

That ruling occurs rately and comes only after careful examination of the claim by medical professional and religious leaders. It means that Pope Benedict XVI is likely to declare Guerin a saint, said Lawrence Cunningham, a professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame and the author of two books on saints.

Officials in Rome told the congregation that cannonization may occur as early as fall, Tighe said.

"Our founder was a woman of great courage who did things that seemed almost insurmountable", she said. "Her spirit is truly an inspiration to anybody".

After a grueling 1840 voyage across the ocean to the U.S. from France, Guerin put down roots in a desolate, thick wood near Terre Haute, Ind. Fighting discrimination and doubt, she established a thriving community of nuns and the oldest Catholic liberal arts college for women in the United States -- St. Mary of the Woods College.

Today, the order she established, still based outside Terre Haute, is a congregation of 465 women engaged in ministries in 20 states, the District of Columbia, Taiwan, China and the Philippines. In the Chicago area, Guerin's legacy lives on through many sisters working in social service, health and educational positions and through Guerin Prep, a co-educational high school in River Grove.

Born Anne Therese Guerin in 1798 in Britanny, France, Guerin was 15 when bandits murdered her father, a naval officer. Devastated, her mother left it to Anne-Therese to care for her younger sister and run the household.

By her 25th birthday, Guerin entered the Sisters of Providence in France, fulfilling a lifelong dream to enter the religious life. As a nun, she was known as Sister St. Theodore.

Shortly after joining the congregation, Guerin got seriously ill, probably with smallpox, and nearly died. Tighe said. Treatments seriously damaged her digestive system,a nd Guerin spent the rest of her life on a diet of liquids and soft foods.

After years of serving the poor and educating young children in France, she had the daunting task of establishing a mission in the United States. Eventually those American sisters would break away from the French order and set up an independent Sisters of Providence order in the United States.

Accounts of her life describe Guerin as a determined woman who faced countless battles in building her congragation, the college, schools, orphanages and numerous ministries for the poor.

A biographer, Penny Blaker Mitchell, described hear as an "ordinary woman who was able to attain extraordinary accomplishments because she loved and trsuted God and worked with God to sahre hope, love and mercy with the people of her day."

Still, making a saint of Guerin has been a long process. After her death in 1856 at age 58, theprocess of documenting her life and intercession was stalled by two world wars.

There was also the job of proving miracles. To become a saint, the church requires two verifiable miracles. Guerin's first occurred in 1908, when the sister who wrote her first biography, Sister Mary Theodosia Mug, claimed Guerin had cured her cancer.

Medical evidence presented from that case was verified by officials in Rome, and Pope John Paul II approved her beatification in 1998. The church then deemed that she had lived a life of Christian virtue. But to become a saint, a second and more recent miracle was required.

After many claims in the last decade, the Sisters of Providence got their most convincing case in 2000. It came from a surprising, close-to-home source -- the director of faciliti4s management for the Sisters of Providence.

Phil McCord, now 59, was struggling with whether he should undergo a cornea transplant to restore visin in the right eye. On a whim, McCord, who is not Catholic, decided to step inside a chapel of St. Mary of the Woods oneday.

As he settled in the pew, McCord asked Guerin not for a cure, but for peace. "By the way, this is your house and I'm your servant," he recalls sayng, "....If you have any influence with God, I'd appreciate it."

The next day, his eye immediately flet better. Two weeks later, the same doctor who had recommended a transplant said he no longer needed it. A man who had glasses since hew as 7 now had perfect eyesight.

Over the next several years, McCord participated in hearings and evidence collection. A panel of witnesses, including two doctors with no connection to McCord, declared there was no medical explanation for his cure.

"I'm a civil engineer: I deal with things I can otuch and sense in the real world and I try to find rational, scientific explanation for things," McCord said, " This is just outside my experience".

"She was a woman of great courage and as her story become known, I just hope that message will come out", McCord said "You know, hope is possible".

(Source:CHICTRIBUNE by Meg McSherry Breslin/Tribune staff reporter/mbreslin@tribune.com)
posted by infraternam meam @ 10:47 PM   0 comments
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Defining "TRUE" Arthritis

True Arthritis is not a medical term; it's just a convenient way of referring to the group of ailments in which arthritis is the primary disease process and is a major part of the syndrome. Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis are the best known members of this group, whcih can cause problems ranging from mild joint pain to a permanently bowed spine.

The following include conditions in which arthritis is the major part of the syndrome and the primary disease process:

* Ankylosing Spondylitis: A chronic inflammation of the spine, this disease can cause the vertebrae to grow together, amking the spine rigid. Although the cause is unknown, heredity is a factor.

* Gout: This "regal" form of arthritis is caused by the build-up of a substance called uric acid, which forms sharps crystals that are deposited to the joint. These needlelike crystals cause inflammation leading to severe pain and are most commonly found in the knees, the writs, and the "bunion" joint of the big toe. Genetic factors, diet, or certain drugs may cause Gout.

* Infectious Arthritis: Bacteria, viruses, or fungi that enter the body can sttle in the joints, causing fever, inflammation, and loss of joint functions.

* Juvenile Arthritis: This is a catchall term for the different kinds of arthritis that strike children under the age of 16, the most common of which is Juvenile Rheumatoid Atrhitis (JRA) Pain or swelling in the shoulders, elbows, knees, ankles or toes; chills; a reappearing fever, and sometimes a body rash are the typical symptoms of JRA. The cause is unknown.

* Osteoatrhitis (OA): In this, the most common type of arthritis, the cartilage breaks down, exposing bone ends and allowing them to rub together. The result can be pain, stillness, loss of movement, and sometimes swelling. Osteoarthritis is most often found in the weight bearing joints, such as the hips, knees, ankles, and spine, but it can also affect the fingers. It may be the result of trauma, metabolic conditions, obesity, heredity or other factors.

* Psudogout: Like gout, pseudogout is caused by the depotition of crystals into the joint, but instead of uric acid crystals, they're made from calcium. Pain, swelling and sometimes the destruction of cartilage can result.

Note: This deposition of cal;cium crustals is not related to the dietary intake of calcium.

* Psoriatic Arthritis: This form of arthristis occurs in people who have the inherited skin condition called Psoriasis, which causes scaly, red, rough patches on the neck, elbows, and knees, as well as pitting of the nails. Often settling in the joints of the fingers and toes, psoriatic arthritis can cause the digits to swell up like little sausages.

* Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): In this, the second most common form of arthritis, the immune system turns against the body, causing inflammation and swelling that begins in the joint lining and spreads to the cartilage and the bone. It often affects the same joint on both sides of the body (for example, both wrists)

Just as many different kinds of arthritis exist, many different causes also exist - and some of them are still unknown. But in general, scientist have found that certain factors can contribute to the development of joint problems:

HEREDITY: Your parents gave you your beautiful eyes, strong jawline, exceptional math abilioty, and possibly, a tendency to develop rheumatoid arthritis. Scientists have discovered that the genetic marker HLA-DR4 is linked to rheumatoid arthritis, so if you happen to have this gewne, you're more likely to develop the disease. Ankylosing spondylitis is linke to the genetic marker HLA-B27, and although having this gener doesn't mean that you absolutely will get this form of arthritis, you can -- if conditions are gith.

AGE: It's just a fact that the older you get, the more likely you are to develop arthritis, especially osteoarthritis. Like the tires on your car, cartilage can wear down over time, becoming thin, craked, or even wearing through. Bones may also break down with age, bringing on joint pain and dysfunction.

OVERUSE OF JOINT: What do ballerinas, baseball pitchers, and tenni players all have in common? A great chance that they'll develop arthritis dues tot he tremendous repetitive strain they put on their joints. The dancers who go from flat foot to pointe hundreds of times during a practice session, often end up with painful arthritic ankles. Baseball pitchers, throwing fastballs at speeds of more than 100 mph, regularly develop arthritis of the shoulkdre and/or elbow. And you don't need to be a tennis pro to develop tennis elbow, a form of tendonitis that has sidelined many a player.

INJURY: Sustaining injury to a joint (from a household mishap, a car accident, playing sports, or doing anything else) increases the odds tha you may develop arthritis of the knee, which is certainly not surprising. They often fall smack on their knees or other joints when they're tackled -- then have a ton of "football flesh" crash down on top of them. What's a most amazing is that they ever walk away uninjured.

INFECTION: Some forms of arthritis are the result of bacteria, viruses, or fungi that can either cause disease or trigger it in susceptible people. Lyme disease comes from bacteria transmitted by the bite of a tick. Infectious arthritis can arise following surgery, trauma, a needle being inserted into the joint, boine infection, or an infection that's traveled from another area of the body.


LUCILLE BALL was diagnose with rheumatoid arthritis at the age og 17, but she went on to live a long and healthy kife, enjoying a top-notch career in movies and television.

The famous French artist PIERRE-AUGUSTE RENOIR developed RA in his late fifties, but painted nearly 6,000 pictures during his life time, many of them great masterpieces.

Dr. CHRISTIAN BARNARD developed rheumatoid arthristis as a youngster but went on to perform the world's first human heart transplant in 1967.

BILLIE JEAN KING has osteoathritis of the knees, probably the result of a car accident when she was 18 years old. Yet she won the Wimbledon singles titles for the sicth time when she was in her early thirthies and successfully took on Bobby Riggs in the "Battle of the Sexes" tennis tournament.

WAYNE GRETZKY, possibly the greatest hockey player of all time, suffers from early signs of osteoarthritis.

(Source: Book "ARTHRITIS FOR DUMMIES" by Barry Fox, PhD/Nadine Taylor, MS,RD/Jinoos Yazdany, MD)
posted by infraternam meam @ 11:14 PM   0 comments
For the last four years, electronics makers battled among themselves about hos to make a better DVD. Unable to decide, they are now going to face off in the marketplace -- starting this month with the U.S. rollout of the first next generation DVD player from Toshiba Group.

Toshiba's HD-A1, which goes on sale this month for US$499, is the first machine with a new DVD format called HD-DVD, a moniker that emphasizes "high definition" picture quality. On May 23, Samsung Electronics will launch the first machine working on a competing format called Blu-Ray, areference to the color of the laser that reads the new disc. Samsung's machine,called BD-1000 is expected to be priced about US$999.

While consumers can buy DVD players for as low as US$35, both formats will hold five to six times the amount of date as existing DVDs, allowing movie studies and game developers to offer even better video and sound quality and more features on them.

With both formats, viewers can expect to see sharper pictures, get more vivid colors and hear deeper sounds than in existing DVDs, though it will be hard to enjoy the high quality images unless you also have a high definition televiions set or computer screen.

In a recent demonsttation of a Blu-ray machine, a shot of sunlight breaking throuhg an overcast sky was so crisp that wispy tendrils of the clouds were visible. The two types of players won't play discs from the other high definition format, though they will play existing DVDs and CDs.

When the original DVD emerged a decade ago, the prospect of a market debilitating format war drove electronics makers to agree on a single design.

But no agreement emerged this time despite months of delays, informal talks between engineers, formal negotiations by corporate attorneys and a chorus of other companies with moeny at stake-- including movie and game studios, computer makers and software firms -- urging compromise.

Toshiba hopes to gran an early lead in the race. In addition to the HD-A1, it also unveiled recently the first notebook computer with a built in HD DVD drive, which will become available at the end of the March and April.

Sony, the world's second biggest consumer electronics maker, will begin selling its first Blu-ray high definition DVD player in Juky for about US$1,000.

Next generation DVD players will roll out in phases in the rest of the world later this year, chiefly tied to the availability of prerecorded movies to play on them, manufacturers say.

Manufacturers hope consumers won't let a format choice discourage them from buying a new DVD player, as happened when Betamax and VHS videocassette recorders competed in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

But the next generation DVD players are facing an even tougher competitive environment because there are lots of other kinds of recording devices to choose from, including hard drive recorders such as TiVo, broadband delivered video on demand to Pcs and TVs and even the rise of portable, chipbased storage cards.

What is more, the new machines have plenty of other limitations as they arrive. Only a few movies will initially be available in the new foramts. Sony recently said aims to seel 16 Blu-ray title by June, including "Hitch" and "King Fu Hustle". Other studios have committed to releasing movies in Blu-ray discs, inlcuding Twentieth Century Fox, Lions Gate Entertainment, Warner Bros, Paramount Pictures,and Walt Disney.

The HD-DVD side has fewer studios lined up, though they say they will have movies out soon after Toshiba's players reach stores.

Which format will ultimaltely win is an open question. Sony lined up a greater number of hardware makers and movie studios to back Blu-ray, but some have shifted their allegiance as delays continued.

Microsoft switched to HD-DVD and dragged Hewlett-Packard in its wake.

Last month, LG Electronics, a longtime supporter of Blu-ray machines, decided to license HD-DVD tech nology from Toshiba. The company is deciding whether to bring out separate players or create hybrid devices athat can accept both formats, a spokewoman says.

"It's unfortunate they could'nt come together to create one format', says Greg Mesmer of Audio Video Consulting, an electronics dealer in suburban Boston. "This divisiveness is only going to cause people to stay away".

(Source: Wall Street Journal/Bloomberg New by: Evan Ramstad and Andrew Morse)
posted by infraternam meam @ 10:37 PM   0 comments
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Examples of people and their profession and how much they make yearly.

John Roberts, 51U.S. Chief Justice
Washington D.C.

Angelina Jolie, 30
Hollywood, California
US$30 million

Howard Stern, 52
Talk Show Host
New York, NY
US$31 million

Kobe Bryant, 27
Basketball player
Los Angeles, California
US$15.9 million

Anderson Cooper, 38
News Anchor
New York, NY
US$2 million

Teri Hatcher, 41Desperate Housewife TV series
Hollywood, California
US$1.25 million

John J. Mack, 51
CEO Morgan Stanley
New York, NY
US$11.5 million


Petroleum Engineers: US$ 1,923

Actuaries: $1,639

Lawyers: $1,609

Economists: $1,569

Chiropractors: $1,531

Aerospace engineers: $1,362

Medical and health service managers: $1,089

Meeting and convention planners: $912

Loan counselors and officers: $861

Elementary school teachers: $826

Funeral Directors: $768

Social workers: $700

Pest-Control workers: $508

Animal trainers: $482

Actors: $481

Child care workers: $332

Dishwashers: $291

(Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)

HOT JOBS In 2006 and Beyond:

International advertising and promotions managers: $33,760 to $145,000+

Pharmacists: $62,780 to $112,530

Personal financial planners: $31,340 to $108,740

Loan Officers: $24,090 to $102,830

Physical theraphists: $42,910 to $89,830

Nurses: $24,910 to $77,170

Electricians: $25,730 to $70,200

(Source for average range of salaries: Challenger, Gray & Christmas, with data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics)
posted by infraternam meam @ 1:50 PM   0 comments
Monday, March 13, 2006
It's a rate person who is thrilled about his or her worll all the time -- but if you've feeling less than satisfied with your career for a while, you might ask yourself the following questions:

** IS YOUR LIFE ENERGY so drained by your current work that you have nothing left over -- no time, energy or focus for yourself and the people or projects that matter most to you?

** ARE YOUR ENERGIES being directed in ways that donot align with your values, ethics or sense of personal integrity?

** DO YOU DOUBT that your current career will enable you to develop and give your gifts?

** DO YOU YEARN for more time with your family and friends, more time to play, commune with nature or cook a meal from scratch?

** DO YOU SENSE that your satisfaction with your career or quality of life is generated on a downward trend?

** DO YOU DAYDREAM about another career? Is there another career path or way of life that, if it were'nt for the money, you'd be tempted to pursue?

If you've said "YES", to any pf the above, you might benefit from considering some alternatives -- imcluding the possibility of a career shift. The good news is, many alternate models for professional success do exist, and degining a new model of your own may not be nearly as difficult, or as lonely, as you might think.

posted by infraternam meam @ 12:40 PM   0 comments
When you're on the receiving end of criticism, it's often easy to get defensive and turn away. Instead, try a few simple techniques to help you listen and learn.

1). BREATHE. Resist the urge to fight back with a litany of reasons your criticizer is wrong -- or to start blaming yourself about all the places he or she is right.

2). REALIZE that you're not oerfect. If you made a mistake or did'nt perform up to par, react to constructive criticism with curiosity and open-mindedness -- not shame.

3). LISTEN for the deeper message. If what you're hearing makes you feel defensive, ask yourself if the feedback is intended to be helpful or hurtful. In either case, ask yourself honesty if there is a nugget of truth to what is being said.

4). REFRAME the criticism. Don't get lost in the emotions of the exchange. Listen to what is really being said, not just the way it si being delivered.

5). TAKE ACTION. Ask questions to clarify exactly what your criticizer would like to see happen. Then look for an opportunity to create a win-win agreement. If someone is rightfully angry because you failed to follow through on an agreement, ask for a "redo". The make sure you getit right the next time.

(Source: INSIGHT/EXPERIENCELIFEMAG/by: Elizabeth Larsen)
posted by infraternam meam @ 12:28 PM   0 comments
Wednesday, March 08, 2006

"The simple rule is to adjust the workstation to your body."

Here are some tips for properly arranging the items in your workplace:

CHAIR Set your chair at a height that allows your feet to rest comfortably on the floor or on the footrest (unsupported or dangling feet can reduce circulation and back pain). Your knees should be slightly lower that your hips. Your thighs should be parallel to the floor or sloping down (knees toward the floor) very slightly. Always "sit tall" with chest up, chin parallel to the floor and head balanced between your shoulders.

KEYBOARD Both your keyboard and mouse should rest at a height that allows your forearms to belevel with the floor and your elbows to bend approximately 90 degrees. Adjust the height of your chair and armrests to support this position. Note that you may need to use a footrest to relive chair pressure on the backs fo the legs.

MONITOR Your screen should rest directly in front of you at, or just below, eye lever. Scott Donkin, DC, author of Sitting on the Job: A Practical Survival Guide for People Who Earn Rheir Living While Sitting, notes that the neck tends to lean forward whenever the eyes have to look more than 25 degrees below level. "That disturbs the natural S-shape of your spine". Donkin says. This can trigger a sequence of posture dysfunction, because it dimishes the spine's role as a natural shock absorber and support structure. Pressure increases on spinal discs, and over the long term, there's greater risk of degenerative changes, and chronic muscle tension throughout the back and neck.

Avoid setting your computer display to one side of your desk unless you can comfortably orient your entire chiar and body in that direction: Having yourneck always cranked, even at a slight angle, islikely to create muscle imbalances in your neck, shoulders and back.

BOOKS AND PAPERS When you're working from printed materials, prop them up at eye level next to your screen. Laying them off to the side forces you to crane your neck repeatedly while typing.

PHONE Cradling the phone between your shouldre and neck is a surefire recipe for eventual problems. "You would'nt consider walking around with your foot in a bear trap all day long", Linden says. "Why would you want to copmpress the spinal column and the cervical vertebrate for hours every day?" A headset is a worthwhile investment.

Also, many people place their phone on the same side as their dominant hand, but Donkin suggests putting it on the other side to keep the writinghand free. That also helps to avoid awkward twisting that can cause pain ove the long term and encourages you to make more use of the hand, arm and shoulder you tend to move least.

LAPTOPS They're great for portability, lousy in terms of ergonomics. "The basic problem with a laptop is you can't get the keyboard low enough and the monitor high enough," Linden says. "You're either scrunching your shoulders or scrunching you neck. If you're using a laptop for a long period of time, you're in trouble."

Linden suggests attaching an external keyboard and mouse and raising a laptop on a platform to bring the screen to eye level when you're in the office. Better yet, attach an external monitor, too. If you're traveling and a laptop is all you have, take frequent breaks to avoind neck pain.


Once your workspace is properly arranged, it's time to start paying attention to the most valuable equipment in this equation -- you! If your body isn't comfortable, or it if fatigues quickly, it's sending you a message you'd be wise to heed.

By taking just a few basic steps and precautions, you can make some important strides toward encouraging healthy body posture and alignment.

First and formost, get your body moving every now and then. Periodically rotate and stretch your neck form side to side to avoid staying too long in a fixed position.

Do shoulder rolls, stretch your arms and rotate your torso in both directions. Take a five minute break every hour to get up and move around.

Finally, remember to breathe! More specifically: Breathe deep. People who remain in fixed positions tend to become shallow breathers. Breathing is your body's most fundamental, life giving activity. Taking deep breaths reaffirms good posture, and it gives your body and brain a healthy dose of oxygen, helping you stay mentally more aware of how and what you are doing -- and when you need to take a break.

(Source: EXPERIENCELIFEMAG by: Kermit Pattison)
posted by infraternam meam @ 10:29 PM   0 comments
McDonalds' catches it from all sides.First, in order to create pastureland to graze cattle,
they're accused of destroying the rain forests;
then they're called on the recycling carpet for their
packaging and finally somebody started the rumor that
they use worms for filler.

At the same time, McDonalds' runs the extraordinary
Ronald McDonald House, agrressively cleans up its neigborhood
streets, and frequently provides free food at the site of
natural disasters.

But the false rumor about the worms haunted "Mickey D's"
since the mid-1970s, though it definitely crawled into the
public consicousness in late 1978. That's when McDonald's
officials decided to hold a press conference with the
U.S. Department of Agriculture to denounce gossip that
they were using ground-up worms as filler in their meal products.

The issue was buried decisively in 1992 when Ray Kroc,
who bought the businsess from Mac and Dick McDonald in 1955,
explained that hamburger costs $1.50 per pound and worms costs
$6.00 per pound. Instantly acknowledging Micke D's parsimony,
the public finally believed them and the rumor went away decisively.

The only remaining question is why McDonald's, of all places,
could'nt get a better price for hamburger in 1992 that $1.50 per pound!

(Note: McDonald's refused formal requests to comment on these stories)

(Source: Abstracted from : EVERYTHING TALL TALES BOOK by: Nat Segaloff)
posted by infraternam meam @ 10:11 PM   0 comments
Internet hoaxes don't have horns or stripes. However, if you see a forwarded message and it contains more than three of the following items, you should probably delete it and go about your business:

1). It says "pass this on to a friend".

2). It says "this is real" but offers no documentation.

3). It uses a lot of technical terms.

4). It contains misspellings and bad grammar (confusing its and it's is a dead giveaway).

5). It tries to be coy by vagule mentioning "the government" or "a giant coprporation" without naming either.

6). It has links to other pleople's Web sites.

7). It drops names of companies like AOL and Microsoft that are not in the virues detection business.

8). The threats described in the message defy logic.

9). It tells you to forward it to everybody you know.

10).You haven't seen it corroborated by other media.

(Source: Abstracted from "Everything Tall Tales Book" by: Nat Segaloff)
posted by infraternam meam @ 9:56 PM   0 comments
Monday, March 06, 2006
1... None of the Fortune 500 companies will give you money to forward their e-mail because they don't send any. Bill Gate's philantrhophy does not include giving you $1,000 even if you send him the name of of 10 friends (if you have any after doing that).

2... The Ritz Carlton, Famous Amos, Neiman-Marcus, and Bloomingdale's don't have a cookie recipe that's any better than the one on the back of the bag of Hershey's Chocolate chips. Even if they did, they would'nt charge you $200 for it.

3... Neither you nor your computer can get a virus from reading an e-mail. You can possibly get a virus from opening an attachment to an e-mail if that arrachment caries an "execute" (.exe) file. The problem is that many e-mail systems, except those like AOL, automatically download attachments to your hard drive before you even ask to pen them, putting you in jeorpardy. Yhe only way to avoid this is to disable the automatic attachment downloading. Unless you know who is sending you an attachment, don't open it. If you're not sure, download it to a floppy disk and scan the disk with your altest antivirus utility program before opening it.

4... If you enter a chat room, you will probably start getting spam, the equivalent of junk e-mail. Spam is likebeing on a mailing list, and is just as impossible to get off.

5... You cannot get a virus from responding to an Instant Message (if you're an America Online customer)

6... Contrary to a popular e-mail myth, no one has ever stolen anyone else's kidny, even if the person sending you the e-mail tells you. "We checked this out".

7... Chain letters are not beningn. If you forward one to 10 friends, you are conspiring in an act of cyber-vandalism, designed to overload servers and spread spam.

8... Never, Never, Never tell a spammer that you want to be removed from his list. Never click the "click" here to remove your name box. All that does is donfirm that they have found an active account. Either block their Web Site or report them to your server for disciplinary action.

9... If you write e-mail from the office, remember that your employer owns the computer and therefore has the legal right to look at anything you put into it. Also, did you ever think that computer solitaire was an alien plot to make office workers waste time?

10.. Even if you are online from home, never put anything in an e-mail or on your hard drive that you woul'nt want the police to read. There is no privacy in cyberspace, and there is no such thing as completely erasing files. A good cyber detective can recover nearly anything -- so far.

(Source: Abstracted from : EVERYTHING TALL TALES, LEGENDS & OUTRAGEOUS LIES BOOK by: Nat Segaloff)
posted by infraternam meam @ 11:44 PM   0 comments
VIRUSES AREN'T THE ONLY WAY TO VANDALIZE A COMPUTER SYSTEM. In February 1999, cyber-terrorists launched a jamming assault that shut down Tahoo!, CNN,eBay, and other Web sites with "attack software". They hacked (gained unauthorized access) into other people's personal computers and programmed them to request repeated searches from the sites, each time demanding a monstrous amount of data. The result of these DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) requests was to overwhelm and ultimately shut down the servers.

The FBI made some arrest, but the problem will only get worse. A computer canonly be hacked into when it is online. Thus, the growing popularity of Broadband, T - l,and DSL (Digital Subscriber Line), which allow subscribers to be online 24/7, by definition places tens of millions of home PCs in jeopardy. The only solution is to buy and install a "firewall" (hardware/software blocking device) from an antivirus company at a cost of US$50 to as much as US$2,000 for UNIX units. The FBI is developing a firewall for public use, but after a litany of domestic spying revelations, who in her rightmind would turn over her privacy to the FBI.

The other problem is that hackers view themselves as outlaws waging guerilla war against evil multinational business overlords, sort of like Jesse James versus the bank. This comparison between the newness of the Internet and the American Wild West is appropriate only to the extent that both offer immense riches and little protection. The difference is that outlaws went in with their six-guns blazing and everybody knwe who they were whereas Internet hackers around using counterfeit names and face electronic address.

posted by infraternam meam @ 11:23 PM   0 comments
Visit a new blog.....AUNTIE PATTI KOH.... stories encountered by a Pinoy in the land of Johnny Apple Seed. It is also a story of laughter, experiences, and encounters in daily life and struggles.

www.AUNTIE PATTI KOH.blogspot.com
posted by infraternam meam @ 12:54 AM   0 comments
Sunday, March 05, 2006
Cameron Delfin Garcia was a federal police officer when she chose to become a woman. She remains married to her "wife" of 31 years.

Despite society's accumptions about those wo identify themselves as transgenders, one's sense of integrity, empowerment and pride defines the true meaning of femininity.

Californian Cameron Delfin Garcia ins the prime of her life. Married 31 years to the same devoted partner with whom she has three grown sons and two grandchildren, retired from a 36 year federal service and now serving her home county of Monterey as a California Equal Opportunity Advisory Commissioner she calls herself "blessed".

She is a late bloomer.
Garcia 56, is one of n unknown number of Filipino who were born male and now identify as women -- or vice verza -- either in dress, body or mind. Her transition began in her forties, long after her first enchanment by her mother's wardrobe and her secret weekends wearing women's clothes.

Back then, she wore her wife's nylons and dental assistant's smock at home when everyone else was out. But seizing opportunity in her wife's remakr one day that she had "legs.... women would kill for," Garcia offered and donned her wife's panty hose, "and the rest is history".

Garcia and many like her bravely carry on in a society that boxes individuals in specific categories, expecting them to assume roles they donot necessarily embrace. Undaunted, Garcia identifies as a woman but continues to call Pam, her wedded parner, "my wife".

"I'm still attracted to females and still don't like guys." she says. "People would probably say 'Well, if you're now a girl, you should like guys, right?" Wrong, "I guess you could call me a lesbian by transition."

She refers to herself as her sons' "Dad" and asks that they call her Cameron "in public", although titles, like categories, make little sense now.


Merriam Webster's online dictionary defines transgender as "Exhibiting the appearance and behavioural characteristics of the opposite sex". To behavioural specialists, it's the umbrella term used to descrine identities and experiences.

"There are so many reasons why we put labels on people -- statistics, classification, trying to make sense of something that's not black or white" explained Dr. Jei Africa, one of the very few known licensed Filipina psychologists and clinical director of Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse (CORA) "I think the most important thing is how people identify themselves that dictates their preference or whom they choose as a partner. I don't think it's a black and whore or simply gay - straight issue. 'Are you happy with who you are?' is the question that ultimately determines one's identification because that dictates the choices you'll make in all aspects of your lfie," says Africa, who identifies as gay and rejects the term "Lesbian" to describe herself. "We know that people are at peace with themselves are happier and exude that happiness to others".

Gender identifivation confounds anthropologists, religious evangelists and legal authorities, as in the case of Los Angeles resident Donita Ganzon, whose petition for unification with her husband has been denied by immigration authorities because she is transgender. So far, however, Cameron's transistion has strengthened the Garcia's commitment to each other.


"The two of us took out marriage vows seriously" explains Cameron, a Monterey native who served with the U.S. Army from 1969 before becoming an emergency medical technician in 1980 and then a federal police in 1974. "When I married I figured it would be for life and I figured it would be for life and all of its pitfalls and problems."

She opened up to her sons.
"Since it was kind of hard to hide my clothing from my three sons, I told them about my cross-dressing", she recalls, "I explained to them about my female self and that I was still their father and loved them no matter what. One of my twins asked to see me dressed as a woman. One of them asked if I shaved my legs. Satisfied I wasnt' going to leave them or divorce their mother, they kind of accepted me."

She began seeing therapist and joined a transgender support group. She and Pam "agreed to balance need to be a woman and my need to be a father, parent and partners," says Garcia. "This seemed to be the key to our resolving issues realted to my cross-dressing."

Her collegue on the force welcomed Cameron, who was once upon a time the office they called "Butch", Garcia's childhood nickname.

"Some were mystified, some would'nt talk tome, but the majority of the guys were supportive," she says.

"My mother is not convinced her son is a woman", adds Garcia, an only child. "She still outs me in front of the people -- storekeepers or anyone she meets -- hoping this will embarass me. I think at 89 years old, she will never understand what it means to show her all the advances and data accumulated within the last 30 years, she still figures that I'm going to get arrested by the police for dressing as a woman."

Anto-androgen theraphy has brought "gradual change", sayd the six footer, who now has "....less facial hair.... the breast of a 14 year old" for her 56th birthday on March 9, she's gifting herself breast augmentation surgery.

As a certified sexual assualt counselor and response team member of the Monterey Rape Crisis Center, Garcia brings a higher level of cultural sensitivity to the field. As a peioneer, she has embraced the responsibility of shattering transgender stereotypes.

Although she has never experienced any form of sexual harrassment, Garcia is aware of the plight of some transgender women, most notably Newark, California teen Gwen Araujo, who waso was killed by a group of men after they discovered she was bilologizally male. Whether for saftey or privacy, some transgenders hide their identification.


To her fans, Miami singer Maria Rustia,who asked not be identified by her real name, is a legend. Few of them knows whe was born male.

"I am me, I've found myself, and I', very happy". she says from her South Beach penthouse. "What matters is who I am now and not what I was then."

"Then" she already thought of herslef as "a girl, not gay". A darling of Miami critics, she chose to follow her star in Florida. Talent, pluck and luck sent her straight to exclusive clubs when she performs for A-list celebrities equally about her beginings.

"I shun publicity", Maria emphasizes. "I was woman when I met my manager and clients if they learn I'm transgender, I would have to cut ties with them out of shame that I kept a secret from them. I would lose my livelihood and fall in my responsibility to support my family in the Philippines. I'm conscious that my successful career is fleeting; I need to keep it as long as I have this filial obligation".

Now in her early fifties, Maria is partnerless, "by choice" and far from lonely. "Happiness is a state of mind", she says.

Maria consented to speak to Filipinas on the condition of anonymity and only to illustrate another consequence of transition. Her's wont' be a secret retirement, she assures. "When I'm well settled and done with my financial responsibilities, I'll be free to talk about myself."

In contrast, Cameron Garcia basks in attention. Last month, she became the first transgender to sign up for the Filipina Women's Network's historic all Filipina presentation of the "Vagina Monologues". She was joined by Byumi Gonzales, 27, in a thought-provoking dyad.

A fresh grad of Fashion Institute of Design and Management, Byumi works part time as a bank operations agent and designs evening dresses on the side, with an eye on opening her own boutique next year.

Cameron and Byumi share more than their gender identification.

"I joined the Monologues to be a part of an eye-opening, liberating movement", says Byumi, echoing Cameron's motives.

"I wanted the audience to know that transgender Pinays generally lead rich and rewarding lives, that we have children, jobs and experiences, that would rival those of many non-transgenders." Cameron stresses.

"As one of the transgender Pinays openly out in the mainstream, I feel I have a duty to be a role model for transgender youth to let them see we are not just women solely interested in partying as we are often portrayed in the media, but women who are strong and just as productive asn profound as our non-trangender sisters."

(Source:FILIPINASMAG by:Cherie M. Querol Moreno, a Community Outreach Coordinator with San Mateo County based non profit (CORA)
posted by infraternam meam @ 11:45 PM   0 comments
Filipino priest have become undocumented immigrants as they join the many who seek greener pastures in the U.S.

Father Edwin Corros had heard of fellow priests going to the United States for a short "visit" only to stay longer than expected. He dismissed the reports as more the exception than the rule. Otherwise, the Church hierarchy would have already sounded an alarm.

He got a rude awakening when it was his turn to visit the U.S. While being interviewed at the U.S. embassy in Manila for his visa application, he was embarrassed when told that many Filipino priests like him were already overstaying.

"I didn't get my visa, but I was told I could apply again", Fr.Corros says.

That was two years ago, and Fr. Corros was still visibly stung by the experience.

"I was discriminated because I am a priest", he says.

Resigned Novaliches Bishop Teodoro Bacani only recently exposed the trend which he said was aggravating the present shortage of priests in the Philippines.

In a radio interview, Bacani cited a dioceses in California having 40 Filipino priests and that possibly dozens more are in other areas in the U.S.

It is not only a looming shortage that is troublesome. The overstaying priests are committing "Spiritual Dishonesty" for performing prienstly duties without authority, says Manila priest Fr. Anton Pascual.


More than anything else, Bacani said the exodus is prompted by economic reasons with Filipino priests lured by the prospect of better pay in American Catholic Churches.

Are Filipino priests overworked but underpaid in the Philippines?

Lingayen Archbishop Oscar Curz explains that the basic needs of local priests, like food, clothing and lodging are provided for by the parish.

On top of this, priests, particularly the diocesans who are directly under the bishops, receive allowance for the sacraments they perform.

Depending on the place they are assigned Cruz says that the priests stipends vary, wtih those in richer parishes getting bigger pay while those in poorer parishes getting little or in some cases, none at all. In places considered missionary in nature, priests receive income in kind.

Tis explains why some priests are angling to be assigned in urban areas, which are mostly richer parishes.

Cruz says it is not only for economic reasons that priests go abroad. Some are forced to immigrate due to local situations, such as teh case of Fr. Cirilo Nacorda, who is now based in New Jersey. Nacorda, who was assigned in Mindanao, had been kidnapped twice by the Abu Sayyaf.

But there are priests who have been stripped of their "Faculties"or the authority to perform Church sacraments, because of conflicts with their bishops, a monsignor who did not want to be named says. These priests have no assigned parish and therefore can expect no monetary support.

Others leave because they are trying to avoid some indiscretions. Cruz suspects that most of the overstaying preists in the U.S. fall in this category. Cruz says he has terminated the service of some 14 priests for various reasons since he was assigned in the archdiocese of Lingayen in the 90's.

Corros, who is also the executive secreatry of the Catholic Bishop's Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Episcopal Commission for Migrants and Itenerant people (ECMI), says that normally, priests are assigned to other countries when there is a request from foreign parishes for the services of a Filipno clergyman.

Such requests come from places with large concentration of overseas Filipino workers, or a significant presence of a Filipino community such as in Rome, Brussels,London, Zurich, etc.

The requests for chaplaincy is conrused through ECMI which, in turn, informs the bishops of such vacancies. If there is an interested local priest, the bishop makes the proper enforcement.

But in the case of the U.S., Corros says chaplaincies are not a normal avenue for the reassignment of local priests who want to work abroad.

In fact, Corros says the American Bishops Conference forwn upn the practice. Under Church Law, a visiting priest must secure permission fron the parish priest or the bishop before he can perform the sacraments in a given area. This means that overstaying Filipino priests are not sanctioned by the American Bishops and are therefore performing illegal, if not illicit, acts.

The growing number of Filipino priests in the U.S. has already caught the attention of American bishops who informed ECMI that some Filipino priests are not actually working with Filipinos.

Fr. Corros explains that a priest who has full faculties would have a reference number, which serves as an indentification proving that he is allowed by his bishop to perform sacraments, like the Holy Mass, Baptism, Confirmation and others.

"The reference numbers serves as his license." Corros said.

The reference number has an expiry date, whcih ensures that the visiting priest, rpovided that he does not overstay, can validly perform the sacraments. Thus, a priest with an expired reference number is performing "Bogus" sacraments. Corros says.

Cruz believes that some foreign bishops knew and tolerated the presence of overstaying Filipino priests. He says the shortage of priests in the U.S. is so extreme that some parishes have no priests at all. "Beggars cannot be choosers".

While the exodus is depleting the number of local priests, Cruz maintains that the shortage "is not as felt as it is abroad".

He says that although the ratio of priests to the Catholic population is not ideal, the Philippine Catholic is coping well. The current ratio is one priest for every 15,000 to 20,000 parishioners. The ideal ratio, according to the CBCP is one for every 2,000 parishioners.

In his diocese, Cruz says an average of four priests are being ordained yearly, which cancels out those who go AWOL.

As far as he is concerned, those who want to leave can do so of their own free will. "If they don't want to stay here, then leave. They will only give headaches," he says.

(Source: FILIPINASMAG by: Aries Rufo, a free lance writer in Manila)
posted by infraternam meam @ 1:38 AM   0 comments
Thursday, March 02, 2006
(1906 - 2006)
First Centennial of
the Filipino Diaspora.

San Franciso in the 1930s and 1940s hosted a vibrant Filipino community of mostly bachelors seeking escape from hursh work in the farmlands.

San Franciso, being a port city on the West Coast of America, was one of the first ports of entry for Filipinos immigrating from the Philippines. Beginnin in 1906, Filipino laborers soon realized they had a wealth of cheap labor, so around 1920 they recruited more Filipinos -- for the agricultural fields of California. Unlike the Hawaii "Sakadas", (sugar cane plantation harvesters) however, only single males were recruited. They were not allowed to bring their families. Thus began the bachelor society of Manong (older brother) in San Francisco,

When the Manongs reported in the farms, they quickly found out that earning a living in America would not be as easy as they were led to belive. They worked ten hours shifts and were paid ten cents an hour. Many were chanrge for board and keep and such necessaities as work clothes, boots and gloves. Their living conditions were deplorable. Racial prejudice was rampant. Many ran away from the horrible conditions in the farm and sought refuge and work in San Francisco. Many settled in the Sout of Market are where other Filipinos lived, or rented rooms in transient hotels located on the fringes of Chinatown, whcih would become San Francisco's Manilatown.

The International Hotel, the Palm Hotel and the Columbus Hotel were some of the places that accepted Filipinos.

They came to America seeking the American dream, hoping they could later send for their families or return to the Philippines as rich men. The were not prepared for the poor mworking and living conditions that lasted through the Great Depression (1930s) until the onset of World War II.

Kearny Street in San Francisco was where many of the "Bachelors" lived. There were retautants where they could eat their familiar foods, speak their own languages, be in familiar surroundings (many of their town mates were there also), and feel safe from society's bigotry.

There was Tino's Barbershop on Kearny and the pool halls where one could find out where work was available or locate their own town mates. There was much camaraderie among the Filipinos on Kearny Street durng World War II. When they had "Black-outs", the air raid sirens sounded and all the lights had to be turned off. When the "all Clear" sirens blow, the lights were turned on. The people would spill out onto the street to dance and sing. "When the lights go on again -- all over the world".

My father had a business at 826 Kearny Street between Pacific and Washington Streets. It was just downstairs from the International Hotel and next door to Tino's Barberhsop. Across the street was the Golden Gate Restaurant and Pool Hall. The Hall of Justice (police department) was just up the street at the corner of Kearney and Washington. Gold Street had a series of bars, nightclubs and stripclubs. Cheap transient hotels in the area had three or four Filipino bachelors to a room.

My fathers' busness was called the New Luneta Cafe. There was a three chair barbershop in front, just behind that was a pool hall, and at the back of the pool hall was a sort of lunch counter where my mother cooked and served Filipino food. I did'nt find out until after my father gave up his share of the business to his partners that downstairs, under the barbershop and pool, was his main business --the gambling hall. This was not unusual for that area because at the time (1920s to 1960s) illegal gambling joints proliferated throughout Chinatown, Kearny st., International Settlement and North Beach. What was unique about my fathers establishment was his clientele.

The political leaders of San Franciso, the chief of police and district attorney, many of the top businessmen and restaurant owners, the movers and the shakers of San Franciso, all patronized his gambling operation. At the time , this was good because my father used his influence with his clientele to help runaway Filipino farm workers get work. He and his friends were running what was essentially an "underground railroad" for runaway Filipino farm workers. During the 1940s through the 1960s, most of the major hotels and retaurants in San Francisco had Filipino cooks, dishwashers, bartenders, pantrymen and busboys. My father would say, "This is my nephew, he needs a job". While they waited for work, my parents often took them in and let them stay in our home. I don't remember their names, I simply called them "Uncle" At the time, around 1939, we had moved from the South Market to the Western Addition (Fillmore District), which is now Japantown.

When World War II broke out, many of these bachelors joined the 1st Filipino Infantry Regiment. They had no permanent homes so many used our house as their home address. They left their belongings with us, ususally just one suitcase. After the war, they came back and picked up their belongings.There were a few who didn't return, and my parents had to locate their relatives in the Philipines and send them their belongings.

The Filipino District became the hub of the Filipino community in San Francisco. The first Filipino Community Inc. center was located on Greary streer between Laguna and Octavia streets. They sponsored the Filipino Children's Club in 1932, the Teen Club in 1940 and the Filipino Youth League (FYL) basketball team in 1945. During the World War II, the Filipino community also organized bus trips to Fort Ord, California to entertain the Filipino troops who were training there.

Growing up in San Francisco was a unique experience. The vibrant Filipino bachelor society formed the foundation of the community that later grew with families and organizations. Filipinos experienced discrimination, but they also flourished with the help of community and political leaders, many of whom also came from immigrants backgrounds. I am proud to be a witness to this history, as one of the few San Franciso native sons still alive.

(Source: FILIPINASMAG/ by: Fred Basconcillo(retired as the president of Shop Ironworkers Ynion AFL-CIO and is a member of FANHS San Francisco)
posted by infraternam meam @ 1:41 AM   0 comments
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