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This will be a personal story… but its about people and the politics of identity.

Today, someone who I respect a great deal though I havent known them long, turned to me and said… “Really mark, you’re American…. right? I mean….. You’re American…”

So I naturally responded… “YES…. and I’m Portuguese” … a response that is quite automatic from me… people automatically assume by my perfect northeastern American english that I’m American. But they know little as to where Im from and what my past involves.

So the conversation continues…. he says to my comment about being Portuguese… “Yeah… but… YOu’re American… I mean… even in Portugal… (something to that effect) ” I responded, slightly bored – “Yes… and I’m Portuguese in America… I know about both cultures because both are mine.. I can talk politics, art, geography, history… family… as both a Portuguese person and an American.”

The conversation faded to something else after that… but I could help but be disappointed in this person and in general. This is not the first time or the last that I get the “But mark… you’re american” It’s disappointing that people feel the need to put me in a little box… so that they can categorize me and feel they understand all. You see… YOU CAN’T PUT ME IN A LITTLE BOX THAT SAYS “This kind of thing” BECAUSE I REFUSE TO FIT IN YOUR BOX! ITs true that I judge people sometimes.. and thats sad. But honestly, If I ever felt this need to put everyone in this box.. Im not sure how I’d go on in this life. Why do people get intimidated by my identity? It’s my dam identity! If you think its rare or impossible of false…. I have to wonder why you’re so worried about me… after all, I’m the one who has to live with this identity… and might I add… I quite enjoy who I am. I’m a very versitile and dynamic person… I hope and do my best to increase that.

I guess I should just relax… people just worry about my identity…. maybe I should be flattered.

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When you can’t talk about something because others tell you its not right. That’s where fascism begins. The US government is breeding fascism, and it’s taking root.

If you’re offended already, then you’re a victim of that very fascistic system, because autoomatically you think such a thing shouldn’t be discussed. But if it were truely democractic and open-minded, then we would able to sit and compare the US, or the US government to any point in history ever.

An inaccurate quote, “He is using the pretext of war to distract his citizens from the bad situation on the domestic front, Hitler used the same strategy.” This is roughly what the German Minister of Justice said. I WOULD AND WILL REPEAT THIS STATEMENT. The problem is not the statement. The problem is that it can’t be made, because forces on both sides of the Atlantic will say, like Canoleeza Rice, “How can you compare Hitler in the same sentence as the President of the United States.” Apparently at Georgetown, Rice never learned about academic or historical analysis. She only learned how to be patriotic and talk about things that make everyone feel safe. The pres of the united states is just a man. Matter of fact, he’s a very low quality man when it comes to knowledge, public speaking, and solving conflicts. Regardless, there is no reason why comparisons can’t be made between the strategies of Bush, Hitler, Geroge Washington, Stalin, Mother Teresa, Mao TseTung or Ghandi. They were all people and they had certain strategies in their lives, just as the pres does. Anyone who says, “You can’t say that” and proceeds to threaten or censor you, as the American Government has, is fascist and furthermore, a danger to free-thinking and democracy everywhere. Because, when it comes down to it, thats what it was supposed to be all about… open and diverse debate amongst citizens.

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So for those who didn’t know: There were elections in Kashmir this week. Not your typical: Go to the old grammar school, greet the old folks and vote type vote. No m’am. This was one of those get shot at, get bombed, barely make it to the polls alive elections. Something westerners would know very little about. (they tend not to go to the polls if it rains… imagine it raining bullets!!) Nevertheless 40% of registered voters did their thing… and on October 10th the count will be concluded… and one of the longest running/dangerous disputes in world history will open a new chapter. (or an old chapter with different illustrations and nicely bound)

For those who don’t know what or where Kashmir is… I refuse to explain. You’ve got the internet at your disposal… go to, or and look for it.. you can’t miss it…

Belgium seems tempting this weekend. Chocolate, mussels and french fries will be eaten.

This just in: NEW DELHI: Dreaded mafia don Abu Salem has been arrested in Lisbon, Portugal, intelligence sources said here on Friday. The sources said Salem’s satellite phone was tracked down using GPS technology.

Dam those Lisbon secret police are good!