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El Chanclaso: Top 5 Aplausos of 2011

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While numerous individuals received chanclasos, a few individuals and one music program also received aplausos for their hard work and invaluable contribution to making society better.  Two major accomplishments stood out in 2011: marriage equality in New York and repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell military policy.  Please feel free to add what else deserved praise in 2011.

Happy holidays y felicidades buena gente!  I bought new chanclas for 2012 and I'm not afraid to use them.

5.) Even though Senate Republicans refused to give Goodwin Liu the opportunity to serve as a judge on the federal bench, the California Commission on Judicial Appointments voted to confirm him to the California Supreme Court.  Judges are extremely important in this country, and we must do our best to get the brightest legal minds on the bench.  I'm giving a huge aplauso to Goodwin Liu and the California Commission on Judicial Appointments. 9/2/2011

4.) If you haven't already, you should definitely check out NPR's Alt. Latino music program, one of the best shows showcasing música from Latin America.  This is where I was first exposed to the great Mala Rodríguez, and one of the sickest lyricist out there, Ana Tijoux, and the musical genius of María y José.  Nuestra gente knows how to do right by music. I LOVE LOVE NPR's Alt. Latino program and you should too. Your orejas will thank you. 9/9/2011

3.) Un gran abrazo y aplauso to Gov. Jerry Brown of California for signing into law the California DREAM Act.  Undocumented students will now be able to receive state financial aid and pay in-state tuition. 10/14/2011

2.) It was great week to be in New York.  Marriage equality has arrived in the state and hundreds of committed couples got hitched!  Check out these gay Latino couples who got married last week. Un gran aplauso y abrazo para ellos y ellas.  New York is now the sixth and largest state to give same sex couples the right to marry.  Let's not get too cocky New Yorkers. DC voted for gay marriage before you did.  Besos all around! 7/29/2011

1. ) I'm giving a standing aplauso to the official end of Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT).  Gay men and women are now able to serve openly in the military.  More than 14,000 individuals were dismissed from the military under DADT.  A number of people and organizations fought a long and hard battle to repeal DADT, and their hard work paid off.  Muchísimas gracias for making our military a better place to serve. 9/23/2011
 El Chanclaso
For many Latinos, a chancla is more than summer footwear. The flip flops on our mothers' feet were also impromptu and easily accessed weapons. Back talk, ignoring orders or fighting with your siblings could, without warning, result in a chancla on the rear end or, if distance was a factor, flying at you.

Now we're all grown up. But some people still deserve chanclasos. And we're going to let them have it here in our weekly column, El Chanclaso. Every Friday, Sergio, our resident chancludo, will turn a critical eye on political shenanigans, and current issues and events with his chancla firmly in hand. Depending on the severity of the misbehavior, being on the wrong end of the chancla could get you one or two chanclasos. Sergio will also give aplausos to those who make us proud.You've been warned. Now, behave!

Read more Chanclasos here.

Sergio Lopez hails from the great city of San Antonio and is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. He thanks his mother for judiciously using her chancla to set him straight.