Educational, Explanations, Random!

My Mitochondrial DNA Projects

I am now participating in 4 Family Tree DNA projects.  It is possible to go to their website and search surnames to see if there is a corresponding project; in some cases it is possible to contact the administrators to find discounts on testing.’s facebook page is also currently holding a drawing for a chance at free testing which is definitely worth checking out.

Here’s some of the data on those projects.

This is a Haplogroup V distribution map. Haplogroup HV with the 16298C and 72C marks are included because HV precedes V.
Haplogroup V is thought to have originated in the northern Iberian Peninsula during the Late Glacial & Postglacial periods.

This is the Iberian Peninsula project which catalogs the different families and groups that have migrated through or originated on Iberia.  The goals of this project are numerous so the link is there for you to check it out.  It is also the largest Hispanic DNA project on FTDNA, as well as the largest genetics study on people with ancestry traced to the Iberian Peninsula in the world.  Including me, 25 total individuals of Haplogroup V are listed in the results table.

The Haplogroups of New Mexico

The furthest back I can document my maternal line is to my great grandmother (a Gonzalez) who was born in New Mexico.  Beyond that, the family story is that her grandmother was a Dutch immigrant (or at least northwesten European) but I have no tangible evidence to back up this family story.  So that is why I am participating in the New Mexico DNA projectrather than a European project.  The administrators for this and the Iberian project have been wonderful and welcoming.  These two are actually sister projects and the NM project is the second largest Hispanic DNA project on FTDNA. It is also one of the few DNA projects that has an anthropological geneticist consultant on staff for genetic results.  The results page is fabulous, by the way.  Including me, 7 total individuals of Haplogroup V are listed in the results table.

Mitochondrial haplogroups of the various Gonzalez families.

Since the earliest maiden name I have documentation of is Gonzales, I am participating in this project.  I am the only Haplogroup V member listed in the results table at this time.  There are a few Haplogroup HV members as well.

*Update* I quit the Gonzales surname project.

Surname projects are specifically for the Y-chromosome to see how different clusters of same surname families relate to one another, but projects often welcome women to join them for information on the mitochondrial contributions to the families and also because women tend to be the record-keepers. While there was no pressure whatsoever to provide any records, I don’t feel I know enough about my Gonzales family to participate in the project.

Educational, Immigration

Huppenthal Lied.

Here’s the Ethnic Studies Audit (H/T to Three Sonorans for making it available to everyone)

Summary on page 53:  “During the curriculum audit period, no observable evidence was present to suggest that any classroom within Tucson Unified School District is in direct violation of the law A.R.S. 15-112.”

Huppenthal Scandal goes national as audit reveals Ethnic Studies a successful program that is not in violation of law Three Sonorans

Huppenthal ignores audit he commissioned Blog for Arizona

“This decision is not about politics; it is about education,” Huppenthal said. “I have a legal responsibility to uphold the law and a professional imperative to ensure every student has access to an excellent education.”

John Huppenthal’s Whopper on Ethnic Studies: Cambium Report Doesn’t Back Hup’s Declaration that Tucson’s MASD Program Violates State Law Feathered Bastard

Journalists there had no time to read or even browse the 120 page report. It was not provided to them in PDF form, and the presser itself did not discuss the report’s actual findings.

Arizona’s Next Scandal? Tea Party State Official Says Ethnic Studies Violates Ban Huffington Post

Nearly one year ago, extremist Tea Party state senator John Huppenthal ran for Arizona’s superintendent of education post with an inflammatory campaign to “stop la raza” and terminate Tucson’s acclaimed Ethnic Studies/Mexican American Studies (MAS) Program.

Educational, Immigration

Ethnic Studies Meeting & All Night Vigil Tomorrow

The “special meeting” will be closed to the public, which I’m sure violates Arizona Revised Statutes 431.01(A):

“All meetings of any public body shall be public meetings and all persons so desiring shall be permitted to attend and listen to the deliberations and proceedings.” A.R.S. § 38-431.01(A).

H/T to Three Sonorans for digging that one up.  Read his article here.


I just stumbled upon Dr. Cintli blog; one entry describes the arrests that occurred the evening of May 3rd:

At this meeting, seven people were arrested for the criminal act of attempting to speak to the board. One elderly and disabled professor, Lupe Castillo, 69, was arrested by some 20 helmeted and shielded officers for attempting to read ”A Letter from the Birmingham Jail” by Martin Luther King Jr. The others arrestees were [secretly] sent to two jails before they were booked and released. In the action inside, dozens of riot squad police physically threw other people out the building, including elders, this while hundreds of MAS supporters outside stood their ground. Then later, the violence, caught on videotape, started behind the building. Police officers in full riot gear began throwing young students, parents and other community members around like rag dolls. Officially, the officers did a great job, commended by the chief of police.

I know professor Lupe through No More Deaths.  She is a strong supporter of the immigrants rights movement and attends the Migrant Trail Walk every year even though she is physically unable to walk far.  She helps with driving a van full of supplies when she isn’t able to walk any further.

I think it’s on the 5th day of the walk, on the BLM land I like to call the Devil’s Armpit, she is joined by Margo Cowan (who does the whole walk; she is awesome) and Isabel Garcia.  The three women give a mini lecture on the history and militarization of the U.S./Mexico border.  While many of the people who do the walk are already familiar with this history, they present it in such an engaging way that you learn something new every time and the discussion afterwards is lively.  To read about how Lupe and the others were treated really pissed me off.


Bright Spots of Good News

Representative Kavanagh decided to put in place a plan that would put Balbir Singh Sodhi‘s name back on the memorial should his legislation be signed by Brewer.

From Jim Walsh’s article:

“I apologized for dredging up the sorrow once again. I apologized for any misunderstanding,” Kavanagh said.

Rana Singh Sodhi said he appreciates Kavanagh’s apology and his offer to correct the error if Brewer signs the bill.

The TUSD board meeting was disrupted by student activists and will be postponed until May 5th!  View the article and video by Three Sonorans:
The good stuff starts at 7:05.  I love Tucson, with its old hippies and Baja Arizona dreams.

From Alternet: Arizona Witch Hunt Showdown on Tuesday: Exclusive Interviews with Ethnic Studies Teachers

“Despite the fact that a costly state-commissioned audit has been delayed and largely discredited, and a new federal suit has recently been filed by the affected Mexican American Studies teachers, the once defiant Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) governing board could buckle under the state’s bullying and consider a resolution that effectively castrates one of their district’s most acclaimed programs.

Only months ago, TUSD officials vowed to “fight to the end” against the bizarre HB2281 law passed by the extremist Tea Party-controlled Arizona state legislature, which bans any school program that advocates the overthrow of the government. TUSD superintendent John Pedicone had defiantly challenged: “How can we be out of compliance with a law that’s unconstitutional?”

That sentiment seems to have waned quickly, as Arizona’s rabid state administrators ramped up threats to cut $15 million from the TUSD budget for any program non-compliance with the new law.”

The Administration might be asking ICE to take it a little easier on undocumented students who have not committed crimes.  Some students have seen their deportation orders halted recently.  The NY Times article is here.
Educational, Immigration, Rant

Creating History In Their Own Image

Some Arizona news:

Mesa Man Pushes to Keep Brother’s Name on Sept. 11 Memorial

The brother of a local Sikh killed during a hate crime in the wake of 9-11 is trying to get the state government to keep his brother’s name on the memorial.

“It seems like they are making a hate crime again. They are attacking me directly again,” said Rana Singh Sodhi, a Mesa restaurant owner who since his brother’s slaying has devoted his life to fighting racial and religious intolerance.

“What are they trying to do, zero us out, zero out the impact? I can’t sleep. It’s hurting me.”

Members of the Valley’s Sikh community and the chief prosecutor who put Singh Sodhi’s killer in prison said they thought the legislation was a poorly-thought-out attempt to rewrite history and they are urging Gov. Jan Brewer to veto it.

The bill, which passed both houses on party-line votes, was sponsored by Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, who said Monday that he did only a cursory Internet search on Singh Sodhi’s murder. Kavanagh said it was unclear to him that the shooting was directly related to 9/11.

However, Frank Roque, who was convicted of murdering Singh Sodhi, told Mesa police during a tape-recorded interrogation that he was consumed with hatred toward “Arabs” after 9/11. He admitted shooting Singh Sodhi and firing on two other targets that day: a gas station with Middle Eastern owners and a house Roque sold to people of Arab ancestry.

image from
Mexican-American Studies Foes in the Hot Seat:
For those who don’t remember:
Educational, Immigration

Precious Knowledge

Lots of things going on in Arizona right now.  We have Minuteman Shawna Forde’s trial for the murder of 9-year-old Brisenia Flores and her father (which got weirder when known white-supremacist Laine Lawless showed up in disguise).  We have Pearce and friends introducing not one, but four bills targeting the 14th amendment.   And we have the ethnic studies ban that is now in effect.

I didn’t have the opportunity to take ethnic studies until I got to college, but it was important to me and I know  it’s important to these kids too.  Students of color should have the right to learn history from their peoples’ perspectives; it is empowering to see where we come from.  What are we so afraid of?