Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday Myth Busters [Blue Mondays]

¡Hola! Everybody...
Just days after the shooting tragedy in Arizona, New York's Mayor Bloomberg ordered an investigation on gun sales and this is what he found... yes in Arizona as well:

It's Monday, the day I sometimes deconstruct popular myths!

* * *

-=[ Monday, Monday ]=-

It's common folk wisdom that Monday is the most depressing day of the week. Seems like many popular songs get a lot of mileage out of the accepted notion that Mondays are uniquely depressing. On the surface, it would appear logical enough that if we enjoy the freedom and activities of the weekend more than weekday work, then it should follow that Mondays suck.

In fact, some studies found that more suicides take place in the United States than on any other day of the week. However, when we focus on how the average person feels, we see a different story unfolding. A group of researchers at SUNY at Stony Brook, foe example, decided that if a blue Monday syndrome really existed, they would have to do more than ask people whether they believed their moods were foul on Mondays. And in fact, when asked, most people do say this (duh?!). However, what people often say about their emotional state may be more about their internalized assumptions than about what really happens.

Without revealing what they were looking for, the SUNY researchers asked forty-six married men to answer some questions about their moods every day for three months. Then they did the same thing with another fifty-eight men -- this time simultaneously getting the men's wives to report on how their husbands were feeling. All the results pointed in the same direction: The men were most cheerful during the weekend, but Mondays didn't depress them more than any other day of the week.

Taking on yet another approach, the researchers asked more than 600 men to fill out a questionnaire designed to measure, or be sensitive to, depression. Each subject filled out the form only once, but different people got it at different times of the week. It turned out that Monday's subjects didn't feel any worse, on average, than those who received the measure on other days. It would seem then that -- at least for men -- Mondays are really no more depressing than the rest of the week.

My name is Eddie and I'm in recovery from civilization

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Friday Sex Blog [Divine Fire and Anal Sex Play for Men]

¡Hola! Everybody...
The Friday Sex Blog is an attempt at mature (and sometimes humorous) talk about sex mostly from my perspective as a hetero Latino male. I have always tried to be inclusive or pluralistic in my presentations. IOW, I have tried to include the cultural and social perspectives of others, as best I could. However, as with all human beings, my perspective is limited.

* * *

-=[ Semen Retention ]=-

Okay! Before I go into the meat (pun unintended) of today’s post, I would like to mention an interesting observation. In ancient China, emperors often called on sages, mostly Taoist sages, for sexual advice. However, before accepting any advice, the sage had to go through a test. The emperor required any prospective master to prove his sexual control. He did this by offering the would-be advisor a full glass of wine and demanding the sage insert his penis into it. If he was truly a master, the story goes, he could absorb the wine into his penis and then release it back into the wine glass. This was taken as absolute proof that the sage could absorb a woman’s yin essence and therefore know the secret to immortality.

Don’t laugh: the practice of absorbing fluid into the penis is quite real, and can still be witnessed on the streets of India today. One yogi in Bombay actually sucks up oil into his penis in private and then publicly lights it on fire as he urinates it out! He claims it as divine fire. Imagine that ladies! LMAOOO! Over the past two years, I’ve been engaged in the process of learning this technique, so I might just light your ass on fire if you request it…


This yogic suction technique is one that many people confuse with the true practice of semen retention. I will write more about from the perspective of my experiences. Eventually, imma need a partner. ::wink::

* * *

-=[ Anal Play for Men ]=-

Before reading on, please take a look at the following short skit. It’s from a show I really enjoyed, “Lucky Louie,” on HBO:

LMAOOO! Too funny! I love it!

Men are extremely anxious about anything going near their anus because stereotypes dictate that any man that admits to liking his anus stimulated is a “faggot.” The fact is that a sexual act does not constitute a sexual orientation. In fact, one study I read stated that not all gay couples engage in anal sex. In any case, enjoying a certain sex act does not make you gay. That’s just ignorant, close-minded thinking. Actually, homophobia has been shown to be a form of homoerotic wish fulfillment. That’s right, homophobic men (as quantified by psychological measures) were the ones most turned on by gay porn. These are the guys who like to make jokes about "taking it up the ass" and questioning the "masculinity" of other men. LOL!

Which is why I laugh when the sock puppets with fake-ass names come here and post responses detailing their elaborate fantasies about me being raped in prison… In any case, as in most things sexual, likes and dislikes are culturally conditioned. If you were raised in a society were “real mean” took it up the ass, men would be taking it up the ass and bragging about it, so stop your bullshit now. Shit, there would probably be a Super Bowl about it. LOL You doubt me? Well, apply some logic to this issue. If you’re inflexible in this cultural context, then you would most likely be as inflexible in another cultural context.


There’s a biological premise for pleasurable anal play. There are two pleasurable spots in and around a man’s anus. The first location is the anus itself: it is very sensitive, surrounded by a dense mass of nerve bundles. The second is the prostate gland, located a few inches inside the anus towards the belly button, and often feels like a firm bulge.

As I mentioned earlier, some men are not very open to experimentation around this area, as enjoying it may make them question their sexuality. As stupid as this may sound, it is a result of the prejudice and lack of understanding in today’s society. In any case, make sure to communicate with your partner to avoid bad reactions. If your partner refuses, don’t force him, but try to open him up to the idea by exploring the area gently with your hands. He’ll slowly get used to being touched around there, and it won’t seem as big of a deal. And remember, by stimulating the prostate gland as he gets close to climaxing, you can give him a tremendously intense orgasm. Most men are unaware of the intense orgasms experienced via this technique and many who do, often like it though they're loathe to admit it outwardly.

As with all anal play, cleanliness is essential. A bath or a shower is a great way to start things off, setting the tone for the festivities. If your man is an anal virgin, you can celebrate his deflowering by making it a “special” occasion. Once your finger(s) or sex toy has been inside his anus, don't put them anywhere else until you wash them. Carelessness in this regard can cause infection. Make sure to have a good lubricant, and start as slowly as possible the first few times. Lubrication is extremely important and you can never use too much. Also, be sure to clip your fingernails quite short before doing any type of penetration, especially anal. The lining of the rectum is thin and can be easily torn by sharp objects.

Once you get him lubricated, you want to start by taking it really easy. Most people who have never had any anal play will instinctually tense their sphincter muscles. If they are tensing, do not try to push through, as it will cause pain and discomfort. Instead, make little circles around his anus and wait for him to relax. Once he starts relaxing, gently try moving your finger in and out a little. Start shallow and gradually move deeper, just make sure to watch his reactions and facial expressions to see if you are going too fast. Once you get inside, you can do a variety of things, including: twisting your hand, pulling in and out, moving in large circles following the wall of the cavity, or stimulate specific spots with little circles. The most effective use of anal play is definitely right at orgasm. If you have a finger inside stimulating his prostate when he reaches an orgasm, you will send him to another world of pleasure, one that he will most likely be asking you to help him revisit.

Analingus, licking the anal area, is another form of anal play. Perhaps this would be a better introduction into playing with your man’s anus. Before engaging in analingus, make sure to thoroughly wash the area. Once clean, licking this area of the body is virtually no different then licking any other, and can be very stimulating for your partner. Like other play in this area, don’t just jump right in, build up to it and allow for your partner to get comfortable. A great way to start performing analingus is to move into it when you are performing fellatio (aka smoking that cock). This area is very sensitive, so run your tongue around in circular motions, use your tongue to tickle, and when you are both ready for it, even to penetrate.

Access to his anus is a little more problematic than to his penis, but there are several positions that are ideal: lying on his back with a large pillow to arch his ass up, him bent over with legs spread, him standing with you kneeling, and him upside down with his legs spread.

Finally, there’s anal intercourse. Now, anal sex is quite a different ball of wax than using your finger. Oh boy! Man gotta really trust you for this one. Imagine if you separate and you blast it on Facebook or some other social media that he let you ream his asshole?!! LOL! Seriously, even if he enjoys and requests you to pleasure him there, he may be apprehensive about putting something so large as a dildo in there. The keys to success are copious amounts of lubrication, relaxation on his part, and a slow, gentle approach.

Let him tell you when he wants it harder or faster and don't be shy about playing with his penis at the same time.

There are women who enjoy anal play and some use butt plugs. A butt plug is a toy that is inserted in the rectum. Once inserted, you can leave it where it is or move it in and out. Many people enjoy the sense of fullness that butt plugs convey, much in the same way women enjoy the fullness experienced during vaginal sex. Others enjoy the sensation of inserting something in their anus.

Butt plugs come in many different shapes and sizes. Some of the sizes seem silly, but some people are obsessed with larger toys, so companies willingly accommodate. The most popular plugs are less than an inch in diameter, and roughly 4 inches long. Beads are some of the most popular anal toys. They range from soft to firm-textured, usually consist of four to ten balls connected with a piece of nylon cord or plastic/rubber, and there are a wide selection in ball sizes. Whichever type you are interested in, they are virtually the best toys to ease into and introduce anal play.

Climax beads are a very simple toy to use. After being covered by lubricant, they are inserted into the anus bead by bead. Most people then leave the beads where they are until near the point of orgasm, at which point the beads are pulled out one by one. This can greatly intensify an orgasm to the point that it is almost too intense to handle. It is suggested starting with smaller balls, and then moving up, as you get more experienced.

Again, like everything else involved with anal play, cleanliness is of the highest importance. Make sure to clean your toy thoroughly after using it, store it in a dry dust free place, and be very gentle when starting out.

So there you go! Now go out there girls and fuck your men good and hard! LOL!



PS: SEX -- even anal sex -- is good for you!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Love is Never Enough

¡Hola! Everybody...
First, blame my lovely friend E.Volve, for this post which might very well give you a headache... The first version of this post was written several years ago and posted to a forum on a singles site. You would not believe the tremendous amount of hate mail I received! LOL

* * *

-=[ Romantic Love and Attraction ]=-

Love isn’t a feeling.

Amor is the Spanish word for love, but it loses so much in the translation. Amor comes from the root word, alma, which means soul. Therefore, to say te amo translates as I love you is terribly inadequate. It loses its essentialness. Te amo is a powerful statement, so much more than a mere, “I love you.”It is to love someone with the core of your soul.

In our culture we tend to use the word “love” in many different ways. If we’re going to attempt to untangle the confusions and miscommunication surrounding our relationships, we need to look at this a little closer. There are three separate elements of “loving” in intimate relationships: love, romance, and chemistry.

Of the three mentioned above -- love, romance, and chemistry -- love is probably the simplest to understand (and the hardest to practice!). Attempts at defining love has gone on since time immemorial, but I will offer today one of the simplest. Love is simply what is when your heart is open. Love is manifested in your body (and mind) as openness. Anger and hate is expressed as a contraction. Love = openness; hate = contraction.

Simple, right?

You could love almost anything or anyone. You could love your lover, your dog, your mother, your car, your sexual organ, painting landscapes, etc. When your heart is open, you love whomever or whatever in your life. Love is the union of you and the one you are with.

To do love is to open your heart. There is no loving with a closed heart. It is true that many of us suffer from closed and broken hearts, but I get ahead of myself. So, love is what is when your heart is open. If you’re waiting to feel love, as in soulmate or a Divine act of randomness (as if “God” didn’t already have enough to do) or the arrival of the prophesy of an idealized “The One,” you will be waiting for a long time. (Oh yeah! And psssst: there’s no Santa Claus.) Love happens when you open up, whether that’s right now, or ten years from now.

Love has nothing to do with sex. You can love someone and not have sexual desire for them. In fact, and contrary to popular myth, you can experience extremely fulfilling and Grand mal seizure-like orgasmic sex with someone you do not love. The fact is that you exist as love when your heart is unguarded and you cut yourself off from love when you guard your heart. In my view, you can actually learn, or increase your capacity, to love. Love is not something that happens out there in some mysterious way. This capacity or potential to open up is the foundation of true intimacy.

Have you ever met someone and immediately felt an attraction for that person? You meet at a party, or some other social function or internet site and you both hit it off from the start. Sparks fly, you feel as if you have known each other for lifetimes. It’s hard to believe you have just met and you both feel as if you’ve known each other for a long time. The conversation is effortless, and you really enjoy being with this person. Maybe, you think to yourself, “Maybe this is ‘The One’ Eddie is always laughing at. Maybe this is my soulmate, the person I’ve been waiting for all my life!” ::wet knickers:: Have you ever experienced that?

You feel all giddy inside and then the two of you begin seeing each other regularly. You feel a certain “specialness” about the relationship, and you begin spending more time together. IMs, text messages, marathon telephone calls, blah, blah, blah…

You feel: This is meant to be!

This is romantic attraction, infatuation, “falling in love.”

Romantic attraction begins with this powerful feeling of oneness and of bonding, a feeling that you have always known each other. You have probably experienced this feeling for a person at some point in your life. If you have, you know that feeling doesn’t last. I know I’m fucked up for saying this, shoot me. But it’s true. After several months, or if you’re lucky (or unlucky), several years, this powerful romantic attraction wears off.

Then the unthinkable inevitably happens. This magical person who was going to be “The One,” who was going to give you everything you ever wanted, who was going to bring endless love into your life, seems to turn into precisely the person who does not give you what you want.

Eventually, relationships based on romantic attraction always crash and burn and result in not getting the love you desire.


Romantic attraction is based on a script imprinted in your psyche during childhood. There are a great many books, therapists, and workshops, etc. out there clearly explaining that those people to whom we are attracted are exactly those people who embody the qualities, good and bad, of our parents. Whatever our parents didn’t give us enough of (i.e., love, attention, praise, freedom), is exactly what we will not get from our romantically chosen partner.

The reason why you feel as if you “already know” your romantic partner is because you did know him or her: the parental imprint on your childhood psyche. The reason for the “specialness” you feel for this person is that you unconsciously hope to continue the relationship you had with your parents and finally get the love you have always wanted, the acceptance you always desired, the fulfillment your heart has always craved, but have never received.

In addition, because you have unconsciously chosen your parents as your partners, you have chosen someone who will not give you what you always wanted in exactly the way that our parents didn’t. And here’s the kicker (and what always gets me): even if your lover could give you what you wanted you won’t accept it because it’s not part of your script. Your imprinted childhood script will not let you believe it’s real.

What happens is that as the thrill of being “in love” wears off, your love interest seems perfectly adapted to cause you pain. He or she has this amazing ability to push your buttons and hurt you. The person who used to bring out the best in you now seems to bring out the worst, just by being herself or himself. And guess what? You do the same for your partner.

Because romantic attraction is based on qualities in your partner that you unconsciously recognize from your childhood experiences, you’re doomed to be as fulfilled or unfulfilled by your partner’s love as you were by your parent’s.

Love isn’t a feeling people, but so many people have had children as a result of a feeling. LOL!

There is a way out of the merry-go-round folks, but that’s for another day, another post.

My name is Eddie and I'm in recovery from civilization


For those looking to explore this subject further from the POV preseneted here, I have included a couple of resource.

General Theory of Love (click here for a review): Written by three psychiatrists, this book looks into how early childhood experiences mold our later relationships. It's a little bit dense, but it is about recent science written in elegant language. I first read about "neurological imprinting" in this book. This book will challenge all your previously held assumptions about love. LOL

Reinventing Your Life (click here): I have given this book away as gifts so many times, the authors should cut me a check. I first learned about Schemas (life patterns, life-scripts, or life-traps) here. I was so impressed with the approach, I went a trained in this modality. This is not a self-help book in the common sense. There are actual exercises and homework geared to help you identify and break from habitual patterns of behavior.

Schema Therapy (click here): If you want to look at a quick and simple explanation of Schema Therapy, this site will help. You can also look for therapists trained in schema therapy

Emotional Alchemy (click here): This was the book that led me to Schema therapy. It's schema therapy but from a Buddhist perspective. Another book I've given away as gifts countless times.

Attracting Genuine Love (click here): Sometimes the husband/ wife team of Gay and Katie Hendricks get a bit too commercial for my tastes, but this here is an excellent example of how we often look for love in all the wrong places with all the wrong people.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I Did it First Behind the Stairwell

¡Hola! Everybody…
My second of a series on education can be found at Subversify (click here), the online magazine offering an alternative perspective from corporate media. Speaking of media, Keith Olermann’s voice will be sorely missed. KO abruptly announced he was leaving MSNBC last night. I know my mother, a progressive till the end, must be pissed!

Saturdays are for aesthetics here at [un]Common Sense

* * *

-=[ Yesterdays ]=-

I did it first behind the stairwell.

It was The Games
that prepared us all for
the brinkmanship of seduction.

You ran, you zigged and zagged,
you shook a little and you...

A series of challenges
that demanded a new game
when skill and boredom
combined to exhaust the
outer limits of tenderness,
as if preparing us all,
children in this
Cold War with women,
for our ultimate purpose:
seducing free games
from those patient and wise
young girls
who might have become
our best friends
if only the rules had allowed.

All rights reserved

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Friday Sex Blog [Cursed Sex]

¡Hola! Everybody…
I was in acute pain for a few days (back), but I’m feeling much better today…

* * *

-=[ Menstruation Sex ]=-

I had written an essay on The Period for my sex blog, but it turned out way too long. The more I researched into the cultural history of the female menstrual cycle, the more I was confronted with a history filled with negativity, propaganda, and stereotypes. There’s no way I can fit my analysis of that into a one-two page MS Word document, people.

Exploring the culture of concealment that surrounds menstruation is to be confronted with the negative impact such secrecy has had on women’s psychological and physical health. From safety problems such as dioxin-laced tampons, to the “menstrual etiquette” fostered by women’s magazines, the way menstruation is framed our culturally leaves women more likely to tell their male friends about an affair than to walk down the hall to the bathroom with an unopened Tampon.

Young women are taught limitations about acceptable behaviors and that bleeding is bad – an irrepressible evidence of *gasp* sexuality.

I can’t get into all that in one blog. I thought about posting it as a series of blogs, but the essay, coming from a man, seems too didactic. I have no legs to stand up on this one. I would love to see one of my female friends do a good, well-researched blog on this issue. For now, I’ll contain myself to sex and the period and hopefully, lightly touch on some of the tangential issues along the way.

I had a sneaking suspicion, but I was never sure until I was in a long-term, committed relationship with such a woman. However, it’s true enough: for some women, the week of their period is their horniest time of the month. You might be one of them. This may stem in part because you feel more sexually liberated during this time, since the possibility of pregnancy is somewhat decreased. I don’t know for sure (and a part of me doesn’t really give a fuck LOL!)

Or you may be experiencing a little pelvic congestion, which may cause you to feel aroused. Perhaps, as some of your more intrepid sisters have discovered, you have come upon the possibility that orgasm relieves menstrual symptoms, like cramps, so you’re all over him for a little natural pain relief. Or, who knows?!! You might be feeling more predatory because, you know, you’re feeling the fertility symbolism of your period in an “I am woman, hear me roar” kinda/ sorta way.

A former lover loved sex during her period because she was turned on by the fact that neither of us had an issue with it. For her, it was cool that she and I were able to bond over something most people couldn’t handle. Something that should be perfectly natural since it’s simply part of being a woman. She confided that some of the best sex was during this time and it relieved some of the worst of her menstrual symptoms.

Taking into consideration all of the benefits for period sex, don’t allow any biases you might have about “that time of month” keep you from having some of the best sex of your life. Can it get messy? Sure. But is it dirty?


It’s nature’s way of doing what it does, and it’s just one more rhythm and flow you should just go with. There’s no need to hole up like a nun for a week. Make it clear to your partner you’re OK with it, if he is -- it just may become that "special" time of month for both of you. Make sure you have lubricant handy. Despite the flow, an effect of a woman’s menstruation is a drying of the vaginal mucous membranes. And make shower play a part of the after-sex bonding. During my ex’s period, we would often have sex during a shower, which I find sexy. For me there’s very little sexier than the taste and texture of a woman’s wet skin. Sucking on wet nipples or relishing in the scent of freshly washed, wet skin is heady stuff for me. Wetness is a huge turn on as well.

Plus, she was more likely to allow me some anal play (she was a good at positive reinforcement, that one! LOL!).

If you have issues with having intercourse when you’ve got the dot, don’t punish yourself by abstaining altogether. Take matters into your own hands while bathing or showering, which keeps things neat. One ex-lover would sometimes just dry hump me during her period, which brought me back to my high school days... ::blank stare::

In conclusion, never abstain from sex during your period unless it goes against your religious beliefs (*sigh*), or if it causes you more discomfort than pleasure.



Monday, January 17, 2011

In Remembrance

¡Hola! Everybody...
The exploitation of King’s name, the distortion of his teachings by conservatives, is one of the uglier developments in contemporary American life. I agree with Michael Eric Dyson that the “I have a Dream Speech” should be put to rest for at least ten years...

The audio (after the jump) clip is Robert F. Kennedy's eulogy on the day of MLK's assassination. The words are chilling in light of the direction our nation has taken and the fact that RFK was also cut down by an assassin two months later.

* * *

-=[ Misquoting the Dream ]=-

A society that has done something special against the Negro for hundreds of years must now do something special for him, in order to equip him to compete on a just and equal basis.

-- Martin Luther King, Jr.,Where Do We Go From Here? Chaos or Community?

When Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was alive, mainstream society viewed him mostly with fear and contempt. In response to King’s anti-war stance (as expressed in a 1967 speech), TIME magazine called King a “demagogue for Radio Hanoi.” Years later, Reagan the Great damned King as a near communist.

Today, however, a miracle has taken place in America: Dr. King, it’s now been discovered, was a conservative! By taking a snippet from one 1963 address Dr. King has been co-opted by the right as the most quoted opponent of affirmative action in America today.

While the transformation of King from communist to conservative is almost complete, it deserves an explanation.

It should come as no surprise that Martin Luther King, Jr. would have his words taken out of context. After all, King’s status today effectively ensures that conservative writers, academics, pundits, and politicians will feel compelled to borrow King’s words to advance an agenda. What better political plum than claiming the ideological support of an iconic figure such as King? Nowhere is the tendency to “play the King card” more evident than in the claim by dozens of contemporary conservative writers, academics, pundits, and politicians that King’s basic goal was “color-blindness” and that he viewed such visual impairment as the road by which racism would best be addressed.

Typically, conservatives rely on one line from one speech. Of course it’s only the most famous line delivered by King, one of the few most folks have probably heard: the one from the 1963 March on Washington, the “I Have a Dream” speech in which he expressed the hope that one day persons “will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” For conservatives, this is proof that King would oppose race-conscious policies such as affirmative action, since, after all, such efforts require an acknowledgment of race.

Conservatives of all colors and stripes have clung to this line as a rallying cry in their war against “reverse discrimination.” Shelby Steele, for example, in The Content of Our Character (the title obviously used in order to evoke the famous King line) is harsh critique of affirmative action policies, claiming they have “done more harm than good” and implying that King would agree. Steele seeks to prove this not only with reference to the “Dream” speech, but also by recounting a 1964 presentation in which King implored black youth to get ahead: the implication being that King was an apostle of the myth of rugged individualism and hostile to special efforts to provide full opportunities for people of color.

In similar fashion, many other conservatives have misrepresented King. If you’ve been on the internet for any amount of time, I am sure you have run up against the now ubiquitous practice of the cutting-and-pasting of the Kool-Aid King. See if you notice any of the following...

Clint Bolick, a leading critic of affirmative action, wrote in 1996 that King did not seek “special treatment” for blacks, and cites the “content of their character” remark as justification for his position. Tamar Jacoby wrote in 1998 that King’s “dream” was color-blindness. The Thernstroms, in the social science bible, America in Black and White, make the same claim. Paul Sniderman wrote, “The civil rights movement... took as its ideal a truly colorblind society, where, as Martin Luther King Jr. prophesied, our children would be judged... ” by, yup, you guessed it, you know what.

Some have gone further and have advanced the notion that the modern civil rights movement’s support of affirmative action is a betrayal of King. Dinesh D'Souza, in End of Racism, states authoritatively that affirmative action is a “... repudiation of King’s vision, in that it involves a celebration and affirmation of group identity.” He makes the bold assertion that Black leaders are the antithesis of Martin Luther King's principles, which he defines as the ideology that “race should be ignored and we should be judged on our merits as persons.” Strangely, D'Souza calls for the repeal of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, arguably the greatest legislative achievement of the movement King led.

Yet, despite the overwhelming noise by the right that Dr. King principally sought color-blindness and would have opposed affirmative action, even a cursory examination of his writings makes such a position extremely difficult to defend. King never said he believed that the best way to achieve the dream of racial and economic equality was to pretend racism had vanished. Nothing could be further from his principles. In fact, contrary to the popular modern fiction advanced by conservatives, King favored quotas, affirmative action, reparations, and race-based hiring as immediate relief from systemic racism. This is an unpleasant bit of history to those who have tried to turn him into a (safely dead) black conservative with which to bash liberals. But it was his actual views.

From the outset, King placed responsibility for the nation’s racial inequality squarely on whites. In an article written in 1956 and included in James Washington’s edited collection, Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr., King wrote that whites had “rejected the very center of their own ethical professions... and so they rationalized” the conditions under which they had forced blacks to live. In his Letter from a Birmingham Jail in 1963, King specifically criticized white ministers and white moderates, who he condemned for being “more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice,” and whom he said were perhaps more of a barrier to true freedom for blacks than the Klan. This is the letter in which he famously wrote that an unjust law was no law at all. In short, King was hardly color-blind. He was clear as to who the victims and who the chief perpetrators of racism were -- and he said so in clear and forceful language.

It is true that King called for universal programs of economic and educational opportunity for all the poor, regardless of race. However, he also saw the need for programs targeted at the victims of American racial apartheid. King was even clearer on affirmative action. In a 1963 article in Newsweek (published the very month of the “I Have a Dream” speech), King suggested it might be necessary to have something similar to “discrimination in reverse” as a form of national atonement for the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow segregation.

The most direct articulation of his views on the subject is found in 1963, in Why We Can't Wait, King noted:

“Whenever this issue of compensatory or preferential treatment for the Negro is raised, some of our friends recoil in horror. The Negro should be granted equality, they agree, but he should ask for nothing more. On the surface, this appears reasonable, but it is not realistic. For it is obvious that if a man enters the starting line of a race three hundred years after another man, the first would have to perform some incredible feat in order to catch up.”

In a 1965 Playboy interview, King spelled out what that something special might entail, and it was far more substantive than affirmative action. In fact, King stated his support for an aid package for black America for $50 billion.

I am not saying that King's thoughts on this issue should be the determining factor on how people should feel about affirmative action or other race-conscious efforts. How they feel and think about the legacy and abiding problem of discrimination is up to them. No one should assume that simply because Dr. King appears to have supported such efforts that this necessarily makes King, and those who support affirmative action today, correct.

I am trying to point out how conservatives are compelled to link their views to King (and misrepresent and warp King’s message in the process) in an attempt to dismantle or disparage such programs. I find it the height of dishonesty and hypocrisy to claim the mantle of King's moral authority. Regardless of the debate over the effectiveness or legitimacy of affirmative action, it is only fair and just to insist that we present King’s views honestly and completely and not attempt to use his words for purposes he would have found unacceptable.



Update #1: Came across this excellent piece via an online friend. If any of this even remotely consevative, please contact me ASAP!

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Friday Sex Blog [Anal Sex, pt. II]

¡Hola! Everybody…
As promised, The Big Taboo!

* * *

-=[ Do it in The Butt ]=-

Let me be your backdoor man!
-- Led Zeppelin, Whole Lotta Love

As I mentioned last week the amount of tension surrounding anal sex is probably directly proportionate to the amount of tension stored up in America’s collective butt hole muscles. Our culture has conditioned us since infancy not to play with our assholes and to clench them tight when we feel sensation in our nether regions. And we clench tighter and deeper when we are stressed. In fact, there’s a direct correlation between political conservatism and anal retentive personalities (e.g., tight asses). Ever run into conservatives who are adamant that the Bible or the Constitution can only be interpreted literally? Also children raised by strict conservative parents who favor physical beatings as a parenting tool, often develop anal-stage complexes.

Anyway, No wonder anal sex is difficult and no wonder it’s hard for some to think of the butt hole as sexy. However, more and more people are discovering that anal pleasure can be amazing, and are embracing it as part of their sexual ritual.

There are many advantages to anal sex. For one, there are a ton of nerve endings surrounding the anus -- far more than there are around the vagina. As one former mentor put it, “If the vaginal opening had as many nerve endings as the anus, no woman in her right mind would give birth.” What all those nerves signify is that there exists opportunities for sensational pure pleasure. In addition, if you learn how to work your anal muscles, there are some medical advantages:

  • You can finally release that “tight-ass” tension (and perhaps free yourself politically in the process).
  • You can tone the muscles and help fight constipation and hemorrhoids.
  • You’ll get the ole sphincter muscles in top form, which helps prevent incontinence later. Contrary to the ignorant urban myth that anal sex will put you in danger of needing adult diapers, done correctly it actually makes your ass healthier.

Now let’s get down to the real nitty gritty of anal sex and that’s the issue of pain. First, anal sex shouldn’t hurt or feel uncomfortable. If it does, stop and start some other day. People assume that anal sex is painful, but the fact is, if you’re careful and patient, it shouldn’t be. Some people resign themselves to the inevitable pain and adopt the attitude they just need to numb the pain and endure anal sex. There are creams on the market for this but I would advise against them. Anal sex should be felt and enjoyed, not numbed and endured.

In addition, pain is the body’s natural response to trauma, so numbing the area can in some cases stop you from knowing something is wrong and before you know, Eddie done broke your ass (kidding!). Another thing about pain: anal sex can give you new and unusual experiences. Sometimes new or unusual experiences are initially registered as pain because you’re a little freaked out. When you’re exploring the pleasures of anal sex and some alarm bells are going off, try and ask yourself (before calling 911), “Does this hurt or just feel weird?” If the answer is “It just feels weird,” then keep going. Stop if it hurts.

If you’re contemplating anal sex with your partner, consider trying it alone first. In this way, you can gently address your fears, discover your boundaries, and get comfortable with the sensations. Afraid of a mess? While there’s no basis for this, sometimes perception trumps reality, you can ry it the bathtub. Do you think it’s dirty? Then put on a glove or condom on your hand. Here are some helpful tips for the newbie (I run anal sex workshops, if you’re interested -- women only! LOL):

Lube. Lube. And more lube!

Use a butt plug or other sex toy, make sure it has a flared base so you can always get it out (your ass will suck it otherwise -- see? It fits!).

Try some regular masturbation to help you get in an erotic mood.

Add some lube, deep breathing, and anal massage to your self-pleasuring. Just remember never to insert you fingers into your vagina after you have inserted them into your asshole. A good suggestion is to use two hands one for the chocha and one for the culo. Do this until you feel sexually aroused and relaxed.

Bring the pad of a finger or top of a small sex toy to the anal opening and rest it there while you inhale and bear down like you are trying to shit.

Exhale and let the toy or finger slide in. If it hurts (not just feels weird, but hurts), back it out a little. Or stop altogether until you feel like trying again.

If an object is inserted into your rectum but seems to hit a wall about four inches in, then gently pull the toy out and try angling up toward your belly. You have to honor and follow the curve of your rectum.

Wiggle, slowly thrust, or other wise play until you’ve had enough.

Call me, or blast your latest anal adventure on your Facebook page! (LMAOOO!).



Thursday, January 13, 2011

Forgiveness and The Politics of Resentment

¡Hola! Everybody...
Today: A little bit of this and a little bit of that...
Is there anything more powerful than forgiveness? Is there anything more difficult than to truly forgive? “An eye for eye,” as one famous teacher noted, leaves everyone blind and is the driving force in many of the world’s political conflicts. In its more insidious form, it drives much of our personal conflict.

* * *

-=[ The Politics of Resentment and the Practice of Forgiveness ]=-

Only genuine forgiveness breaks the cycle of suffering and in practice it benefits the forgiver far more than the one forgiven...

-- Me! (LOL)

First things first: on the same day set aside to honor the victims of the Tucson massacre, Sarah Palin decided to portray herself as one of them. Apparently, only words critical of her hateful rhetoric are deemed dangerous. Ms. Palin, you’re only argument is really against this woman, who today lies in a hospital bed fighting for her life. This is what she had to say about your words before she was shot through the head:

This habit of painting themselves as the victims, even whey they are perpetrators of violent acts and speech, is what characterizes the politics of resentment from the right. Palin had a great opportunity to evolve into a force for unity and healing and instead delivered one of the most despicably politicized defenses in recent memory.

This cynicism plays into the hands of keeping the public apathetic to the political process. Most Americans do not participate in the political process and many are just turned off by the whole bullshit.

It’s meant to be that way. The more you ignore it, the better it is for the hypocrites who claim to be patriotic and who go on incessantly about “real American values, and “real” Americans. In some ways, I can understand why the American public would abandon its vigilance on our democracy.

The other day, I wrote about addiction and I believe we live in an addictive society. One of the hallmarks of addiction is how it erodes the family structure. Addiction is the only recognized medical disease that not only affects the afflicted, but everyone close to the addict. For example, addictive families almost never fully confront the dysfunction wrought by addiction. Shame, denial, and anger serve to keep the “problem” a secret and secrets kill:

Daddy isn’t a drunk, he just likes to tie one on every once in a while.

Junior isn’t a dope fiend; he’s really a good kid who’s strayed from the path.

Moms was forced to spend the rent money, she’s just trying to cope, she’s not a pill head.

In this way, the family plays an active part in maintaining the addiction. No one really talks about it. No one really confronts the lies, the cheating, and the abuse. Most often, the children will tune out in their attempt to find some inner sanity. And if one family member stands up and takes a stand, that family member is stigmatized. Furthermore, all the roles within the family are skewed: the children become the caregivers and the parents become the children. Or the parents co-sign the child’s addiction by indulging him. Oftentimes, the problem is ignored even when there’s a death or tragedy. The ruse that everything is normal must be maintained at whatever cost.

It’s not that these families are bad or evil, or morally bankrupt; it’s how the addictive process works.

I find the same corollary within our political process today. Most of the population has dropped out of the democratic process, turned off as they are from the politics of resentment. The few that do stick around are at a loss and there are no leaders. Finally, no one is addressing the root of the problem which is that the political process has been sold off to the highest bidder. No one is pointing at the burning cross in the room. No one is pointing out that a democracy with a two party system consisting of center-right/ extreme right is not really a true free society. Instead, those with the megaphone are busy demonizing those with solutions and some solutions aren’t even being considered.

You doubt me? Well let’s consider one of the most pernicious of our addictions, the military. Today, it’s considered reasonable to consider closing down schools, dismantling hospitals, and cutting benefits to the most vulnerable. In addition, a coming class war will most likely decimate middle class public sector employees. All these measures are considered “sane.” we spend more money on our military than the next ten nations combined. Most of this expenditure is allocated as sweetheart deals for the obscenely rich -- “wealthfare,” if you will. Try suggesting that we should decrease such unnecessary spending I will guarantee you will have a target painted on your back faster than you can wink and blurt “you betcha!”

Insanity is doing the same actions and expecting different results and tragically, not one of our leaders, from neither party, will stand up and point out the hanging noose in the room.

We live in an addictive society...

Last night, like many of you, I heard president Obama’s remarks on the day set aside to honor the true victims of the Tucson shootings. For me, the most powerful part was the Indian blessing because that was totally about healing. I also loved the way the students cheered when the man doing blessing said, “... a barrio kid like me could get an education and not only that, but come back here and teach.” The audience went wild when he stated his Latino and Yaqui Indian ancestry. And when he evoked his right to be standing there -- generations of Indians who came to the Tucson Valley to escape genocide. There was no anti-immigrant bullshit, no shit about “real” Americans, just being real. For me that was healing. This wasn’t lost on the youth at the university last night and maybe there’s hope yet...

Many of our conflicts, whether personal or global come from an inability to break free from habitual patterns of fear and resentment. the practice that most directly deals with this is forgiveness. Palin failed yesterday because she failed to forgive herself and instead chose the road of resentment and exceptionalism. At a time of mourning, Ms. Palin chose to resent, rather than entertain the potential of openness. Forgiveness is an often-misunderstood practice. Forgiveness isn’t mindless acceptance of wrongdoing by another. Forgiveness is the practice of looking deeply into ourselves -- into our own emotional reactions. The path to forgiveness demands our open-hearted attention to the things that block our way to it.

Last night, President Obama said something that reminded me of the time when I was volunteering at ward for the terminally ill. Me being me, I would ask everyone the same question: “If you knew you had one more disease-free year to live, what would you do?” Mind you, these were people who knew they wouldn’t last past six months, people in pain, many despairing. Their answers profoundly changed my life, how I perceived the process of healing. What mattered most to these people who knew their gift of life was at an end were simple things. Like making sure you let those close to you know how much you loved them. Simple things like making sure to take walks in the park more often, to let go of resentments faster. Not once did I ever hear someone say they would work longer hours, spend more time in the office, or spend more time fighting or feeling resentful. In other words, they taught me that the things that really mattered were the answers to the questions: Did I love deeply? Did I live fully? Did I honor the gift of live?

Make no mistake about it, “feel-good-ism” and pretty speeches will not be enough. At times during his speech, I heard President Obama trying too hard being the “professor-in-chief” rather than the “healer-in-chief.” Too often, I heard comfort instead of healing. The two, though not mutually exclusive, are not the same. Please, I am not saying Obama should’ve miraculously healed everyone. If that’s what you’re thinking, then you haven’t understood what I am writing. The president should set the tone, he points the finger, he leads. I felt he took the easy road. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think so.

Living life on life’s terms is a bitch and picking up the political pieces of what’s left of our democracy will be a long and hard journey. But before we can even begin that healing process, we must admit there’s a problem first. And the only way we can get there is by challenging the politics of resentment and in its place create a vision of a society where we are all empowered to answer those simple yet profound questions: Did we love deeply... did we live fully... did we honor life...

My name is Eddie and I’m in recovery from civilization.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The 12 Steps for Everyone [Step 1]

¡Hola! Everybody...
Life is change/ Growth is optional/ Choose wisely -- Karen Kaiser Clark

* * *

-=[ Stopping the War ]=-

We admitted we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable.
-- The First Step of Narcotics Anonymous

I was once told that my spiritual principles were as a bridge back to life. What I didn’t know then was that this bridge is built on the very bones of those who came before me. This series of posts is an attempt to honor that sacrifice.

I don’t know if this will work for you, but if you were to ask me, this is how I recovered my life. My story is a narrative of a life lived on the extreme edge and you might find it hard to identify with some of its elements. All I ask is that you try to identify with and not compare my story. Listen to the message and not the mess.

I believe all people, regardless of whether they are addicts or not, can benefit from an application of the 12 steps.

The First Step confronted me with two problematic words: powerless and unmanageable. I also didn’t notice at first that every step began with the word “We.” I was a loner; “we” wasn’t a word I used much. Everything was about me. They say an addict is an egomaniac with low self-esteem, and I believe that was how I felt.

Let me just say that 12-step recovery is about action. Every step involves growth, exploration, and action. I think people have huge misconceptions about 12-Step Fellowships. People in recovery like to say that the first step is the only step you have to get perfectly. I disagree, recovery is an ongoing process, and my understanding of the first step expands as I grow. However, there is a level of acceptance necessary for the integration of this step. But I get ahead of myself…

There are several powerful psycho-spiritual factors at work in the First Step. Primarily, there is an admission. Admitting to a problem has become a popular notion in our culture that first came to prominence in the recovery community. Admitting touches on the first spiritual principle of the first step: honesty. However, admitting means nothing without acceptance. For example, I had no problem admitting I was an addict; I could be honest about that. LOL! That and $2.50 got me on the train, which is another way of saying that admitting by itself it is worthless. It wasn’t until I embraced another core spiritual principle of the first step, acceptance, that I was then able to make changes in my life.

The more meetings I made, the more I heard my own story being told by others who were honest about themselves. I began to see that I had a lot in common with these people when it came to my to my addictive behaviors. It took me a long time to come to grips with powerlessness. I was raised to think of myself as powerful. I was taught that if I exerted my will on any issue, that I could overcome anything in the world. If I had enough cojones and worked hard enough, I could have power over anything.

Besides, it wasn’t my addiction that was the problem, it was everyone else. At least that was what I told myself. If only other people got their shit together and external situations in my life corrected themselves, I wouldn’t be in such a fix. The problem with my thinking was that it involved exerting willpower. The problem with my willpower was that it was warped. The more willpower I exerted, the more I fucked up. I tried everything: using only on the weekends, snorting instead of using needles, drinking instead of using other drugs, using only certain drugs in certain combinations, etc. No matter what I tried, I always ended up in the same place: all fucked up.

Imagine a machinery part that was made to perform only one action, or to move in only one direction. No matter how much you oil that part, no matter how much you try to fix it, it will still perform what is was meant to perform. Similarly, if the only tool you have is a hammer, then everything begins to look like a nail. simply put, if i wanted to change, I needed to develop new tools, to step out of confines of my comfort zone. For me to begin my journey, I first had to surrender. In fact, as I look back now, the whole process of recovery is one long, beautiful, liberating process of surrendering.

The First Step is like the beginning of a hero’s journey. In the archetype of the hero (or errant knight), most heroes begin reluctantly, clumsily, and then forces beyond their control propel them past their ordinary lives into a journey of personal change and renewal. Like most addicts, I was unaware of aspects of myself -- my feelings, for example, and the wreckage I was creating. The first step freed me to begin my quest for self-knowledge and transformation.

Admitting to powerlessness took me years; accepting that admission brought me to the gateway of healing and sanity. That was also about another core spiritual principle: willingness. instead of willfullness, what I needed was willingness. It’s part of what is often called the HOW (honesty, openness, and willingness) of recovery.

The first step is not about defeat. It says powerlessness, not hopelessness. We have no power over many things. Take the weather, for example. You can’t stop the rain, but if you take the time to stop, look, and listen, you may come to realize that using an umbrella is a lot better that railing against the elements. We have no power over how others act or think yet we spend enormous amounts of time and energy trying to exert control over other people. oftentimes, we don’t even have power over our own emotions, but we can learn to relate to them differently.

The first step is really about admitting powerlessness over living in the extremes. Try fighting the rain, or better yet, a hurricane, and you’ll get a sense of what it is to fight addiction. You have to surrender.

As part of taking the first step, you take an inventory of the consequences of your addiction. For me this meant documenting the jobs I lost, the people I hurt, and most of all, the harm I did to myself. In this way, I could no longer deny the unmanageability of life as an active addict. This was a hard nut to crack because I never wanted to admit my life was unmanageable. I had it together, I liked to think, I just went a little overboard sometimes.

I also discovered the insanity of the obsession that led to the compulsion and how my fight would be fruitless until I surrendered. If you’re fighting an inner war, then someone has to lose. If you’re fighting an inner war, it follows, you will always lose.

Taking the first step clearly showed me that my thinking had little connection to reality. There were countless times, for example, that I would experience a blackout. With a blackout, you can sit down one minute and the next thing you know you missed an entire episode of your life -- while conscious. It’s similar to what I imagine a time jumper would feel. One minute you’re in one place and the next, you’re somewhere else and you don’t know what the fuck is going on. One time coming out of a blackout, I had a whole party-full of people wanting to kick my ass, and I had no clue why. It seems I propositioned the bride-to-be (it was an engagement party) and that kinda pissed a few people off. I once came out of a blackout in a different state and different year. Still I couldn’t admit my powerlessness. It wasn’t that something was wrong with me, I rationalized, it was those damned stuck up muthafuckas, and besides, I know that bitch at the engagement party wanted me. Perhaps you may have never this extreme form of powerlessness, but have you ever had a situation spiral out of control to the point that you were at a loss?

Most of all, the first step is the beginning of the undoing of the karmic consequences of denial. I had to be brought my knees -- from hopelessly addicted to institutions and even close to death -- and still I wouldn’t admit my powerlessness. There was definitely a lot of evidence of unmanageability in my life. Shit, I attempted suicide at least once. What “normal” person can say that? More than anything, I was addicted to insanity.

Oh, and yes, I’ve kicked more habits than I can remember. I just could never stay stopped. It was never really hard kicking a habit. But addiction, I soon learned, was not merely about substance abuse. I would get “clean” and chill for six-seven months, but when I started again, it was as if I never stopped. My last day as an active addict, I had spent $300 after having been released from an institution for exactly fourteen days. I went from clean to a $300-a-day habit at the drop of a hat. I would say that’s unmanageable...

However, there are other ways our powerlessness and unmanageability manifests in our lives. Whether it’s food or cigarettes, or relationships, I think we can all look where we’re slowly killing ourselves, suffering needlessly, or causing ourselves and our loved ones harm. I believe we all can identify with the need to exert control and the denial of powerlessness. I use my life as an example because the extreme manner in which I lived it makes it easier to illustrate my points, but we all have the dark places, the places that scare us.

Today, I apply the first step to many things in my life, especially in relationships and to certain behaviors. Addictions like to migrate. One might be able to kick the heroin or the alcohol, but then you see people acting out sexually or financially. If you don’t do the inner work, applying these principles in all your affairs, then you’ll continue to be in the grips of addictive behavior. The first step stipulated that I was powerless over my addiction. Addiction is not about a substance, but a way of thinking.

Eventually, I began to think of the first step as something similar to the concepts of Aikido or Wing Chun, two martial arts that stress the importance of never meeting force with force. In a sense, the first step is about learning to flow with the forces of life instead of fighting all the time. It’s learning to transform difficult emotions into opportunities for healing. It’s knowing that you can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.




Alcoholics Anonymous: Official website

Narcotics Anonymous: Official website

Recovery USA, llc: Recovery USA, llc is an online resource for those seeking recovery information, community connections, and high-quality 12 Step Recovery Supplies for Alcoholism and Drug Addiction.

Sober Recovery: The Alcoholism and Addictions Resource Guide. "Our Sober Community is always open 24 hours a day with helpful moderators in our message boards and Sober Forums."

Alano: "The Online Alano Club is a nonprofit association intended as a resource for Alcoholics Anonymous® members and groups, as well as any individual who has a desire to stop drinking. Members from other 12-Step programs, especially the Al-Anon Family Groups, also are welcome."

12 Step Radio: A great site for Recovery Music, Artist Interviews, Online Communities, Links and Resources, and more...

Note: The featured artwork is from an artist who sells the prints online. I happen to like them. His website features prints of all the 12 steps.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Puerto Rican History: Eugenio Maria de Hostos

¡Hola! Evertybody...
The following was taken from a talk by one of my s/heros, Aurora Flores. Journalist, educator, activist and swinging musician (her band, Zon del Barrio rawks!), I always enjoy her contributions. Today she pays tribute to one of the greatest Latin@s ever, Eugenio Maria de Hostos (she’s his great grand niece). This man’s vision and work still reverberates throughout the world.

* * *

-=[ Eugenio Maria de Hostos: Educator, Writer, Patriot ]=-

By Aurora Flores (great grand-niece of Hostos)

Remarks written & delivered at the 30th Anniversary Celebration of the Founding of Hostos Community College: March 25, 2006 (click here for audio)

“Ideals that take days to conceive, mature over centuries of struggles,” wrote Eugenio Maria de Hostos in the late 1800s. One of the most distinguished and illustrious men in Puerto Rico’s history, Hostos was known worldwide as educator, humanist, abolitionist, feminist, philosopher, writer, politician and above all an early advocate of self-government for Puerto Rico. A Renaissance man of the Caribbean with a clear, liberal, international and pragmatic mindset, he educated an entire continent and was called “Citizen of America.” He advocated for a Federation of the Antilles embracing Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic and devoted his life to seeking the political independence of Cuba and Puerto Rico.

His many essays, articles and books reflect his philosophy on social justice, political science, virtues and moralities for social reform and advocacy. He was an important advocate for the abolition of slavery, the rights of Chinese laborers in Peru and the higher education of women in law and science in Chile playing an important role in reforming the educational system for women throughout Latin America. He established the first teacher’s colleges and advanced methods for teaching throughout the Caribbean, in particular the Dominican Republic. He was known throughout Latin America as a publicist of civic reforms, a rationalist in ethics who believed that “to be civilized and to be moral is the same thing.” And as a writer of graceful and didactic prose.

Eugenio Maria de Hostos y Bonilla was born on January 11, 1839 in the village of Rio Cañas near Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. He was the first of the Ostos family originating from Spain and settling in Cuba to be born in Puerto Rico. First educated in San Juan, he was sent to Spain at 13 to study at the Institute of Higher Education in Bilbao earning a law degree at the University of Madrid. As a student in Madrid, he became interested in politics. While studying law, he wrote newspaper and magazine articles on the need for autonomy for the Spanish West Indies.

He distinguished himself as an essayist and orator in the movement to abolish the slave trade with Africa and to liberalize colonial rule. Already he had conceived the hope that Spain’s territories in the Antilles might be confederated as an independent republic.

He joined the Spanish Republicans because their leadership promised autonomy for Cuba and P.R. To express that hope, he wrote the first of more than 50 books, the allegorical novella La Peregrinación de Bayoán in 1863, describing the voyage to Spain by the Arawak leaders of Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic advocating independence and self governing autonomy for these island nations. When the republicans triumphed over the monarchy three years later in 1869, Hostos’ hope for peaceful change was dashed when the new Spanish constitution left colonialism firmly in place. After realizing the betrayal, he refused the post of Governor of Barcelona and headed for New York.

Once in N.Y., Hostos joined the Puerto Rican Section of the Cuban Revolutionary Party organized by Cuban poet and patriot Jose Marti becoming editor of a "La Revolución," the journal of the Cuban revolutionary movement. He was joined here, with his ideas embraced by, Ramon Betances, leader of the "1868 Grito de Lares" uprising along with Segundo Ruiz Belvis. Here Hostos advanced his formula for an independent Antillean Confederation with a base in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica.

However he was also disappointed that in Cuba and P.R. there were many who wanted their independence from Spain but who did not agree with the revolutionary ideals. Instead, they preferred to be annexed by, and become a part of, the U.S.

Three years later he embarked on a tour of South America to promote the ideals of a united Antellano Federation, recruit support and raise funds for this liberation movement. He traveled within the U.S. France, Colombia, Panama, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, St. Thomas, the Dominican Republic, Cuba and P.R. And although he had come from a family of privilege, wherever he traveled, he lived humbly among the people and the leaders he was cultivating.

In Peru, he helped to develop the country’s educational system and spoke out against the harsh treatment and exploitation of the Chinese immigrants.

In Chile, he championed the cause of women’s education, particularly in law and medicine.

Hostos arrived in Chile in December of 1871. As professor at the University of Chile he gave a speech titled “The Scientific Education of Women” proposing that the government permit women into their colleges.

He immediately began a controversial campaign of lectures and essays defending the women’s right to education observing and comparing the plight of women as: “…a plant that vegetates without a clue of its existence.” (“Es una planta que vegeta, sin una conciencia que conoce su existencia.”) Hostos turned it around on the men claiming that, “If women are charged with the upbringing of our children, how can they teach those children and develop their intellectual and mental capacities if she does not know how to direct her own life.”

Hostos went on to condemn the educational system in Chile with respect to women by pointing out the following:

“They have taught her to read so that she can read ‘novellas.’ Sometimes she reads novels of religion, sometimes she seeks refuge in the religion of the novel; she has been taught to write so that she may write the novel of her love in the stereotypes from the most stupid teachers who happen to be at hand; she has been taught to pray so that her lips may mechanically evoke what her conscious mind fails to understand; she has been taught to work so that she may do the same work mechanically every day; she has been taught to sing in order to enhance her attractiveness; she has been taught to play the piano all her life, to accompany the dancing of those who are fit only to dance; she has been taught to mistreat a foreign tongue so that she can forget or abuse her own; she has been taught to draw so that she can embroider to perfection or occupy her periods of boredom with the ideal of a man whom she cannot find around her.

Woman have been reduced to the level of a two-legged animal that procreates its kind, that feeds its offspring from its breasts, that sacrifices to the life of the species its own individual existence.”

He went on to reason with the male educators saying: The only thing needed for education is intellectual capacity and the exercise of reason: Reason has no gender, no sex, “La razon no tiene sexo.” It is the same faculty in men as in women operating and functioning precisely in the same manner. (“Y es la misma facultad con sus mismas operaciones y funciones en el hombre y en la mujer.”) If a man can recognize truth through the use of reason, so can a woman. In short, if a man is capable of higher learning, so are woman.

Soon after, Chile allowed women to enter its college educational system.

In Argentina, he campaigned for the construction of the first trans-Andean railroad that, when built, was named in his honor. In Brazil, as correspondent for the Buenos Aires journal La Nación, he wrote a series of articles on the country’s natural history.

After a brief return to New York in 1874, Hostos continued his travels first to the Dominican Republic where he founded the first college for teachers implementing advanced teaching techniques before going to Venezuela where, in 1877 he married the Cuban-born Belinda de Ayala. P.R. poet Lola Rodriguez de Tio, was their maid of honor.

Hostos’ career as an educator began in 1879 when he established himself in the Dominican Republic as founder and director of that country’s first teachers college. First son Eugenio Carlos was born during this year.

For the following nine years Hostos worked intensively to reform the educational system in D. R. often undertaking on his own the writing of the textbooks used. By 1881, his first daughter Luisa Amelia was born followed by the birth of his second son, Bayoan Lautaro in 1882. In 1887 son, Adolfo José was born as the first graduates of the Dominican Teacher’s College were inducted as alumnus of the “Instituto de Señoritas” led by Salome Ureña de Henriquez. The following year Hostos creates the Night School for the Working class: “La Escuela Nocturna para la clase obrera.” He writes his classic book, “Moral Social.”

At the request of President Balmaceda of Chile, Hostos moved to Santiago in 1888 along with his wife, his children, Eugenio Carlos, Luisa Amelia, Bayoan and Adolfo who were born in D.R. He traveled to Chile via Panama and Curazao.

Hostos became the Chair in Constitutional Law at the University In Chile and undertook another nationwide project in pedagogical reform. His pilot school became one of the leading educational centers in Latin America. While in Chile, his son Filipo Luis Duarte was born in 1890.

Hostos returned to Cuba in 1895 to take part in the renewed struggle for independence. In 1898, he returned to New York and founded the “Liga de Patriotas” where he was named president. He then traveled with a delegation of Puerto Rican leaders including Julio J. Henna, Manuel Zeno Gandia and Rafael del Valle to Washington, D.C. to argue with President McKinley for the independence of Puerto Rico. Again, Hostos’ hopes were squashed as the United States government decided to retain Puerto Rico as a territory.

He returns to P.R. just long enough to establish “el Instituto Municipal” in Mayaguez.

Shortly thereafter, the Dominican government called him to reorganize the public education system of the island.

Hostos returned to the Dominican Republic in 1900 as director of the Central College and General Inspector of public education. He continued to play a major role in reorganizing the educational and railroad systems until his death on August 11, 1903 at his home in Las Marias, Santo Domingo where he remains buried in the Panteon Nacional until, as he requested, Puerto Rico is independent.

He wrote his own epitaph that says: “I wish that they will say that in that island Puerto Rico a man was born who loved truth, desired justice and worked for the good of mankind.”

In 1938, the 8th international Conference of America celebrated in Lima, Peru posthumously paid tribute to Hostos and declared him ”Citizen of the Americas and Teacher of the Youth.” Puerto Rico declared his birthday an official holiday. There is a monument honoring Hostos in Spain. In P.R. there are two monuments dedicated to Hostos, one in his native city of Mayaguez, created by renowned sculptor Tomas Batista and another in San Juan created by Jose Buscaglia Guillermety. In NY there is the Eugenio Maria de Hostos Community college of the City University of NY.

Hostos’ voluminous body of writings includes critical studies of Hamlet; Romeo and Juliet; An Historical Description of Puerto Rico; Lessons in Constitutional Law; Reform of Legal Education; Science of Pedagogy; Administrative Decentralization; Project for a General Law of Public Education; The Scientific Education of Women; Sociology and Social Ethics.

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¡Despierta Boricua!

My name is Eddie and I’m in recovery from civilization...


[un]Common Sense