Music Review: Jessy J’s ‘Hot Sauce’

Jessica Spinella, also known as Jessy J, is an emerging Latina musician.

Her father is from Mexico and her mother is from Texas. She began playing the piano and the saxophone at a very young age and went on to studying jazz at the University of Southern California. After graduating, she toured with artists such as Michael Bublé.

‘Hot Sauce’ is her third album, which displays more of a Latino vibe. Paul Brown, a smooth jazz legend, is the producer for the majority of the album. Together, they blend several sounds and rhythms, creating an electric performance. The album also features several musicians such as Joe Sample, Harvey Mason and Gregg Karukas.

‘Remember The Night’ is the first track on the album and it showcases Jessy J playing the saxophone. It is an upbeat track that transports you to the streets of Latin America. Tracks such as ‘Hot Sauce’ make you connect to Jessy J’s Latin roots, and the salsa feeling that compliments it gives you an urge to dance. There are certain tracks that have a slower beat, such as ‘Rio Grande.’ It starts out with smooth sounds and harmonizes between two saxophones.

This album is full of great smooth jazz. For those who prefer some sort of vocals, have a listen to ‘In A Sentimental Mood.’ With Saunders Sermon on vocals, this song is fascinating and extremely catchy. If you have never been a fan of jazz, give this album a chance; you might change your mind. It’s a great album to have on your iPod, and Jessy J is a musician to keep an eye on.

My Thoughts on Anti-Immigration Laws

A Latinita shares her thoughts on strict anti-immigration laws being put into place in states like Arizona, Virginia,immigration activists Idaho and Alabama.

New laws are requiring police to arrest anyone they believe is residing in this country illegally. States are having problems with the rise of immigrants entering the country. They believe that passing this law is the solution, but it doesn’t end there.  These laws apply to students as well. School officials are forced to check the immigration status of their students. This means that students that are not legal residents of the United States could be charged with a crime.

There are plenty of reasons to why this law is cruel and unfair, it obviously violates human rights. The fact that toddlers could be denied the right to attend elementary school is baffling.

Suppose someone you knew had entered the country as an undocumented immigrant, and they were not going to school because of the fear of getting called into the principal’s office. No child should be denied the right to an education. The states that are passing these laws have seen no better way to stop the immigrants from coming in to the United States.

The Alabama Attorney General argues that a significant amount of the state’s prison population is made up of “illegal aliens.” According to him, the illegal immigrants are taking away job opportunities from the documented U.S. citizens. The economy is suffering, but are the immigrants really the reason there are no jobs in this country? Give it a thought. Why are people complaining that there are no jobs because of illegal aliens, when they are only four percent of the state population?

A common myth whispered by all that support this law is that it is believed that immigrants do not pay taxes. If it were true, this would be unfair…but it is simply a misconception. Of course, immigrants pay taxes. Although they do not have a social security number they can have an ITIN number. When they receive a paycheck, taxes have already been taken out. The supporters of this HB-56 law believe that they are not paying for the education of their children because they do not pay taxes. Education is actually funded by tax receipts that come from beer, sales and utility.

Immigrants do pay taxes and are contributing to the state in one way or another. U.S. citizens are protesting that they have no jobs because the illegal immigrants are the ones being hired. There are plenty of job positions available that would much rather hire legal citizens, yet these people are wasting their time protesting when they should be filling out job applications.


Tech Girl: Facebook Protection

Staying in the loop of things has become as easy as logging onto Facebook. There, you can find out what your friends from school areNetSafety up to and what’s on their mind.

Nowadays, networking sites like Facebook serve as our main source of our information and communication. Through the power of the Internet, people can get access to personal information like what you are doing, where you are and whom you are with…if you post it.

Though Facebook is meant to be fun, it must be used with caution and responsibility. We all love posting pictures on Facebook, but we rarely stop and think about who is able to view our pictures. You never know who is out there searching your name and looking at your profile, so it is necessary that you are aware of the dangers Facebook brings.

When posting a picture, keep three things in mind:

  • What does this picture suggest?
  • Does it give away any personal information, such as location?
  • Could there be a negative response after I post this picture?

Those are just a few things to keep in mind before uploading a picture. Other things to consider: be aware of who your friends are. People with bad intentions could be lurking around your profile pretending to be someone they are not. Your parents probably warned you to be careful online, but once you have had an account for several years, you may forget about the dangers that are always around.

If you have doubts about posting a picture, the best thing to do would be to keep it off the Internet. Once something is on the web, you can never erase it. Several people have had their risqué pictures land online, whether intentional or not. And certain attention can damage your self-esteem.

Sometimes you might think that a picture is harmless, but it could be sending people the wrong message about you. Make sure you know what the picture will represent.

Be careful on the Internet and you won’t regret it in the future.

Mi Barrio: Phoenix, AZ

I spent the early part of my childhood in Phoenix, AZ until my family moved to California, where I was actually born. It was a memorable time.

I remember our house. A small white house with green window flaps. There was a big front yard with two wire fences. The backyard was enormous but as I grew older, it got smaller. There was a garage in the backyard with a big tree. My dad built my brother and I a tree house. He also fixed up an old swing set he had found and it became my number one source of entertainment. I could swing all day. I would invite my neighbors and we would spend all day in the backyard.

I lived in a very peaceful neighborhood, on Turney Avenue. My mom and I would walk our dog every afternoon. The streets were always quiet, and the only noise I remember was the trees blowing in the wind. It’s difficult to describe in words how much fun I had with the kids in the neighborhood. Most entertainment was built on imagination. Boredom was not an option, or may have fueled the creative games we played. Just crawling under the bushes in the alleys could transport us into a new world. Having so many friends there was my favorite part about the city.

Every weekend my family and I would visit the shopping malls in Scottsdale. The car ride was my favorite part. The huge homes, or more like estates, in the mountains looked like princess castles or places like Chandler Mall had water fountain shows every Sunday night. Those malls sparked my love of shopping at a very young age.

Life in Phoenix was very pleasant. It was filled with friends, family and good memories. We tried to do everything that there was to do in Arizona: camping trips, going to the Grand Canyon, skiing in cities like Flagstaff. We traveled to Sedona, where the famous Red Rocks, a city known for its mystical nature.  We mini-golfed, swam, played tennis, hiked, and went to the river.

I am nostalgic thinking about Phoenix because I left so many good memories behind. It was my first home, and it was a time when life was perfect.

Movie Review: Earthlings

The movie Earthlings sends the message to not ignore animal rights.  The documentary released in 2010 shines light on animal rights and the horrid ways of the meat industry. The movie is directed by Shaun Monson and Maggie Q. who are practicing vegans and narrated by Joaquin Phoenix. There have been videos exposing the meat industries such as Earthlings, Peaceable Kingdom, and The Witness.

What is humane? The Merriam-Webster dictionary states that it means being “marked by compassion, sympathy, or consideration for humans or animals.” Why is it that people are constantly fighting for animal rights, yet many animals are still being treated badly? This movie highlights the inhumane treatment animals face.

It is not the typical video you rent for a movie night with your friends, but it should be. Earthlings shines light on some topics that have been forgotten. The purpose of this video is not to scare people into becoming vegans, but to make people aware of how animals are being treated. As I watched this video, there were moments when I had to turn away. I fought to keep the tears in. Watching a video as powerful as this only leaves you thinking. I found the most shocking part of the film to be the fact that the people who were slaughtering the animals seemed to do it without giving it a second thought. After this video I had a revelation. That day I decided to stop eating meat and go vegetarian. The message of the video left such an impact that I did not even hesitate when making this decision. I believe it would be hypocritical on my part to claim that I am an animal lover and continue eating them.

Humans decide when, how and where the animals will die. In the film, Joaquin Phoenix says something that is unfortunately true, “if we had to kill our own meat, we would all be vegetarians.” It is unfortunate that the ignorance of humans causes the pain and suffering of so many animals.

Chickens being dumped on top of each other, cows being slaughtered without anesthetic, pigs being burned alive, it is cruelty at its peak. It is not too late to change.  It is not too late to change the way we treat our fellow earthlings, change the way we treat each other and change the way we treat the planet.

What can we do? Surely not everyone will avoid a hamburger after they watch this video, but we can take steps to help. As the dominant species on this planet we have the ability to help our fellow earthlings. One person can make a difference. No living creature should have to die the way these innocent animals do. The way they are treated should not be acceptable. How did humans sink down to this level of treatment? What went wrong? When did we lose our ethics?

As humans we must realize that we have to change our ways. Helping others can only benefit society. It is up to human earthlings to provide a better life for those who serve as our food, clothes and companions.