29 September 2006

Jenius to Journalist

To go out and thrash a group--in this case, the local excuse for media/journalism--is to heap deserved criticism on failures. That is commendable because journalists carry a special privilege and thus a special responsibilty in Our society: they are the guardians of Truth.

As I've said before, not "the Truth," but Truth, for often Truth is subjective and only through different viewpoints can one arrive at the core of a Truth. But if those viewpoints are warped, distorted or worse, nonexistent, then We not only lack guardians of Truth, We lack any semblance of Reality.

As The Jenius, I can whale away at topics that suit My fancy in a way that suits My fancy. But as The Journalist--an entirely new role--My fancy is not the yardstick: Truth is. And using that yardstick, tacked onto the many lines of criticism I have written, requires Me to set an example of what a journalist should be. Anything less would brand Me as less than The Jenius and for those who know Me, falling short in anything I attempt is akin to evisceration.

Two current searches for Truth occupy My attention. In one, a mother kidnaps her two children, flees across state lines at least four times, files for divorce and demands compensation to continue sequestering her children from their father, receives the benefit of inattention by Federal and State authorities in two states and has successfully split her family for over a decade.

Not interested? The mother's a psychiatrist with a recorded history of mental and emotional problems who commited perjury several times, at one point seemingly with the Court's knowledge. And both she and the two children--a girl and a boy--are Puerto Rican.

How can a parent simply take his or her children and hide them from their spouse when said spouse isn't a threat to them? How can a person clearly violate Federal law, State laws and defy the legal system and end up receiving their tacit support if not open condoning of a legal and moral crime?

The second involves a deadly contagious disease tracked since an outbreak in 2003. A year later, several reports of meningitis were made across Puerto Rico and in one hospital, in a region where no case had been reported, a three-year old girl comes in with a mild fever and within 24 hours is dead of meningitis. The hospital refuses to properly state her symptoms, so no official report is made and the grieving parents--young, struggling to make ends meet--are left unaided by the hospital or the legal system in their search for an answer to their dreadful loss.

Move forward to 2006. Though no public reports on meningitis circulate as they did in 2004, seven deaths in one region are caused by symptoms very similar to meningitis. Three are children between the ages of 4 and 11; four adults younger than 38 appear to be in the same group. And six of them have died in the same hospital where a three-year old died in 2004...two of the deaths coming six days apart.

With a Forensic Science agency so utterly overwhelmed by crises and incompetence that its director resigned and a replacement is to be named, what potential health hazards are looming ahead, here on this Island where medical facilities are deficient and doctors are leaving in droves?

Will I find a Truth or several Truths in these cases? Maybe. I'm limited by time and by My wide range of other professional commitments in these searches. That I deem them important is proven by their mention here: I'm staking a claim and illuminating My basic point of what I think journalism should be. Neither of these stories has received any local coverage (except for the smaller outbreak of meningitis, as mentioned above) and they involve an element I made clear was part of My focus, namely family. I'm sure that if I don't do something about these cases, no one else will.

So I have to try.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

27 September 2006

Mini-Tryptych + One

Panel The First: If you are not listening to Keith Olbermann--if you are not listening to Keith Olbermann--you are missing out on the most eloquently rational voice in the U.S. national media. Catch him on "Countdown", on MSNBC (yeah, it's still around) or over at YouTube.

Panel The Second: In the immediate wake of Federal seizure of the dead drug dealer's assets (someone might point out that I'm supposed to say "alleged": okay, I just did), the senate ethics commission--a.k.a "Three Ass-Lickers and Two Idiots"--voted 3-2 to defeat a motion to investigate Hector "Drug Dealer? Drug Dealer?! That Guy Has No Job and Owns Four Houses? Drug Dealer?!?" Martínez.

Guess who voted "No"?

Let Me help the lameculos who voted "No," a word equal in letters to their collective IQ:

---Your statehood colleague INVITED this soon-to-be-dead drug peddler to official senate events several times. Not once, not twice: several times. Your own legislative headless body has ample evidence of these ethics breaches ranging from photos taken on-site by a myriad of witnesses to the drug dealer's SIGNATURE on official documents.

---The Feds just seized several properties once-owned by the dead drug dealer and have stated that ties to local political figures are being investigated. Your very own colleague was a childhood friend and neighbor of the dead dope pusher and actually signed an official receipt to pick up a gun issued in the dead creep's name a few years ago.

Your alleged (See? I said it again.) vote seems to gurgle "Ethics? Ethics?! We don't need no stinkin' ethics!", which I can appreciate must be hard to enunciate when your tongues are dragging lickety-split over derriere. If any of you asswipes can read and think, you'd see a connection in this case worthy of at least a token investigation by your ethics-voided chamber of horrors. That you voted "No" shows you either cannot read, cannot think, have taken bribes or are implicated in the current investigation. Your pick.

Panel The Third: Took some flack for my "Labs" post. Seems a couple of teachers objected to My indirect description of their profession. Okay, here's what I should have said: Most teachers are teachers because they are too lazy or too stupid to be anything else. There are exceptions, but the majority fit My description to a proverbial T.

And One: Courtesy of Google and some folks who almost certainly wound up where they didn't expect: "is not for fools" quotes; "sell your gil" (almost didn't make it...); "taino gil"; "i hate banco popular"; "what is a nebbish"; "what happened at the grito de lares"; "the simplest way to sell your ideas"; "conflict is necessary for growth"; and remarkably, "global economy, education's role" and "schools destroy creativity".

Okay, ten. At least it contains a one...

The Jenius Has Spoken.

25 September 2006

When Labs Go Bad

Every day, in nearly every corner of Our Island, a myriad of laboratories toil at a social experiment that literally holds Our Future in its activities.

Hundreds of thousands of Our People are involved in this most basic and crucial of experiments, one in which the diversity of factors common to humanity are placed under scrutiny and where the conclusions drawn can make the difference between failure and success at many levels.

Our laboratories are funded with largese, but managed with miserly contempt. Instead of the best of equipments, Our laboratories are treated like flea markets or garage sales: whatever's left over or deemed borderline is good enough for the laboratories, where cheap is good and nothing really is good.

These laboratories work with the rawest of materials, the purest of potentials in energy and insight. They then place this invaluable treasure in the hands of the largely-incompetent, those for whom every other profession seemed too hard or too limited in income. These lab workers, already inept at resource management, are thus delegated the incredibly-crucial task of maximizing resources. It is a case of the blind leading those who must learn to see.

No, not all the lab workers are incompetent. But those that aren't--those dedicated few--labor within a system that obsesses with the Past, is mired stuck in the Present and thus has consistently, cynically, even criminally, wasted Our Future for the past four decades.

Our classrooms are the laboratories of a social experiment that may have once been the reflection of an ideal, but has gone horribly wrong, like listening to Beethoven's Ninth Symphony as played by spastic cats on trash can lids. Our laboratories produce nothing of true value for the Future: they simply manage to eject ephemera into the Present.

Is every laboratory bad? Of course not. But it really is a game of numbers, and if the bad labs put out only 1% more than the good, eventually the bad will overwhelm the good. Now imagine if the bad "outproduces" the good by 10%...or 20%...or 40%...or even more. We may argue about the true percentage, you and I, but We both know--We know damn well--that the true percentage is so very far, far away from 1%.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

22 September 2006

Deadline: March, 2007

In a conversation with Chris Borg, president of BorgSolutions, We discovered a shared conclusion: Puerto Rico will have a crisis by March, 2007.

Both Chris and I--and presumably quite a few of Us--note that with the imposition of a 7% sales tax starting November 15th, the Christmas retail season, usually the largest spending period of the year, will be seriously dampened. This coming on the heels of the second-best yearly buying period (Mother's Day) being steamrolled by the government's fake economic crisis. End result: A vacuum of about 9-14% in total sales for the year. Could be higher; if it is, the howls will begin in late January.

Though the sales tax will supposedly increase government revenue, it will actually break even or lead to a decrease in overall revenue, at least for 2007. The reasons are easy to list:

---Poorly-applied tax leads to massive confusion.
---Massive confusion in taxes leads to under-payments; some are accidental, many are on purpose.
---Consumption drops: expected revenue goals are not met.
---People leaving the Island reduce the tax base.
---People buying off-Island (Internet, everyone?) reduce the revenue base.
---The underground economy grows as it becomes more lucrative to use. (Cash is Emperor!)

Unlike Chris, who believes the sales tax revenue goal will be 95% covered by large retailers, I believe that when the tide drops, the whole fleet, from aircraft carrier to dinghy, drops, too. And when the drop becomes a reality, shortly after the Christmas period ends (about late January, cuz We got a Christmas period that makes Exodus look like a day-hike), the government will see its stupidity dangling like a mangled foreskin and all Purgatory will break loose again.

What will the pattern be? I suspect that a private sector strike will be the spark and the fuse will be lit when government employees join in. A sidebar issue of importance will be loss of control (authority dethroned) in school environments. (Societal tensions often manifest themselves first in classrooms and campuses.)

And when--not if, when--the government announces that "There isn't enough money to complete the fiscal year," (don't gape at Me: it will happen) the excreta will hit the rotating oscillator. And We'll be on the receiving end of a feces spray like We never could have imagined.

Pessimistic? Maybe. But is there anyone out there, any of Us, willing to bet against this?

The Jenius Has Spoken.

20 September 2006

Doctor Late, Baby Too

Some stories hurt and make you wonder...

"Linda" is well-loved by her family, friends and co-workers. Almost everyone who knows her knows she and her husband yearned to have children. But over the years, the expected event never mateialized.

Finally, at the age of 40, Linda became pregnant. A first-time mother at that age is obviously a special case and with gestational diabetes a factor, even more so. Her doctor owned a sonogram machine and every month, Linda and her husband would see their baby, growing, moving, breathing.

Linda cut back on work and travel, ate carefully-selected meals and prepared herself for the arrival of her long-awaited baby, thankfully full-term. On a sunny afternoon, Linda started feeling sharp pains, violent slashes through her abdomen. Alarmed, she called her husband and they went to the hospital.

Within minutes, Linda was under the care of nurses who undertook another sonogram, only to discover that the baby didn't seem to be breathing. The nurses called Linda's doctor at around 7:00 p.m. to tell him there seemed to be a problem with Linda's baby. The doctor told the nurses he would see Linda in the morning. The nurses told Linda and her husband the doctor would check on their baby the next day.

By the time the doctor arrived at 8:00 a.m. and started making his rounds, Linda's baby was dead. At 22 inches in length, it was determined that the baby was 3 weeks overdue. Three weeks, despite monthly sonograms to ascertain weight and growth. Linda was told her baby was dead during the night and waited until 3:00 p.m. for her doctor to see her.

At which point he told her that he preferred she push the baby out rather than do a Caesarian. Linda, too weak and heart-broken to make the effort of pushing a corpse, underwent a C-section that evening, her expected day of joy one of unbelievable grief.

As noted before, doctors are leaving the Island in droves and amongst the specialties most affected is obstetrics. Some OB-GYN specialists are tending to 40-50 births a week. What can be tolerable in the short-term quickly becomes deadly in the long-term.

Why didn't Linda's doctor go to her that evening, when the obvious problem was reported?

Why didn't the nurses, who loudly proclaimed "We called the doctor. We did our jobs." insist on finding another doctor to tend to an obviously-agonizing mother and child?

How did Linda's doctor miss the obvious signs of the baby's development, especially when monthly sonograms were available for close monitoring of its progress?

Are We facing an exodus of the excellent, the good and the opportunistic doctors only to be left with being treated by the remaining overwhelmed excellent doctors, the swamped good ones and the increasingly-dangerous mediocre and bad charlatans?

Questions We can--and must--ask, but no question can now bring back what has been Linda's desire of the heart for so very long. Her baby--her ill-treated baby--is gone. And nobody will be able--or be willing--to do anything useful about it.

In the words of Linda Ellerbee: And so it goes.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

18 September 2006

Shrinking Universe

This won't take long...

In a little over a week's time, We had a Miss Universe fleeing from an angry mob, a darkening cloud of suspicion cast upon the the senatorial activities of Hector "I Wish I Were as Dead as My Drug-Dealing Buddy" Martínez (involving as many as a dozen prosecutor and judge appointees; failed lawyer, Our Hector Prefector is); an educational department scandal involving apparent (ahem) misuse of Federal funds (Chapter 166-B in an ongoing series launched in 1992); a remark by said department's chief disorganizer (known as secretary Rafael "I Look Dorky with A Bow Tie...Because I AM Dorky" Aragunde) that disparaged the efforts of special education and disabled children and a legislature trying to increase the sales tax before the damn thing is even implemented.

Atypical semi-fortnight? No, a typical semi-fortnight. Because guess--GUESS!--which of the above-listed items got the most media coverage?

Yup. The Miss Universe mob.

In a brief scrutiny of newspapers and TV clips, that Miss Universe flight from an unruly bunch of well-wishers almost garnered as much coverage as the other items combined.

We have Our priorities straight, don't We?

---People act like idiots to see Miss Universe: Major coverage.
---Other stuff: Does it include Miss Universe?!

Should I point out that the unruly mob was in Miss Universe's hometown? Welcome home, whatever-your-name-is, welcome home. Now get out so Our hydrocephalic media can try to focus on really important things for a change.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

15 September 2006

Debate This

debate n. & v. 1) consider: think about carefully; weigh; 2) argument: a discussion in which reasons are advanced for and against some proposition or proposal; 3) discuss the pros and cons of an issue; 4) the formal presentation of and opposition to a stated proposition (usually followed by a vote)

A democratic government is based on debate. If the debate--governmental or in the media--is no longer based on facts, then no debate is valid and nothing positive is accomplished. When this situation occurs, by carelessness, indifference or malice, the end result is tyranny.

I could make this very VERY easy and use the U.S, its murderous moron in the White House and the lying hyenas he surrounds himself with as examples. Consider it done. But Let's look at the more subtle, albeit less dramatic, example of My island.

---We have a government in which the debate is more simian than stately. Facts are like diamonds in latrines: still precious, but buried where no one in their right mind would want to look. Opinions fly like gnats, matching the brain size that elicited them.

---The media latches on to any angle that smacks of scandal and then focuses on the opinions the scandal generates. Facts are like gravel in oatmeal: bothersome, even dangerous and best cast aside in favor of the toothless mush "the People want."

---The citizenship sees the debate in either red-eyed or blue-faced apoplexy, fueled by hysteria and ignorance. Facts are like meteorites: every once in a while they streak over Our heads and God knows where they end up.

So by collusion born of indifference or perpetrated as strategy, Puerto Rico has ceased to be a democracy. Without a reasoned and reasonable debate, what emerges is the imposition of will, the id-spawned bashing of the uncontrolled upon the uninformed. In a democracy, the People maintain the reins of power; in a tyranny, the power is used against the people no matter what they might say or do.

How else can you explain increased taxation that clearly goes against the common good? A taxation that ranks highest amongst 50 state governments, imposed upon a populace that barely earns half of what the poorest state does? A taxation aimed at slashing the strongest component of this economy, consumerism?

Shouldn't there be a reduction in the largest government workforce, by percentage, in the Western world? A workforce so large it consumes nearly 84% of the entire national budget merely to pay for itself? One that through immensity, bureaucracy and nepotism comes together like a perfect storm to form a perfect anchor?

The list could go on...and it does. A democratic government uses debate to forge ahead; a tyranny supresses debate to forge chains. Look long and hard at what passes for debate these days and notice the metallic tinge of fear and loathing that sheathes its malformed stillbirth. Then wonder when--if ever--fear and loathing have been the allies of democracy.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

14 September 2006

Special Post #1: Punch (Clock) The Fools

Aside from laughing at the delightful redundancy/pun of this post's title, I felt the subject matter needed My immediate atention:

The Punch Clock Campaign
We are offering members of the public a "goodwill bounty," or fee, of $1,000 for each Member of Congress, and $250 for each candidate, that they persuade to sign the Punch Clock Agreement, an agreement to put their daily schedules on the Internet.

Members of Congress work for us, and we should know what they do every day.

I'm almost giddy with admiration. THIS is EXACTLY what We need to be doing. EXACTLY. I get high thinking about these Fools frantically trying to make up activities that justify their fat-headed and fat-assed routine, just like the vast majority of Our government employees do. Let's spread the misery to those who give it to Us in spades.

And what is The Punch Clock Agreement? Glad you asked:

The Punch Clock Agreement
I believe citizens have a right to know what their Member of Congress does every day.

Starting with the next Congress, I promise to publish my daily official work schedule on the Internet, within 24 hours of the end of every work day. I will include all matters relating to my role as a Member of Congress. I will include all meetings with constituents, other Members, and lobbyists, listed by name. (In rare cases I will withhold the names of constituents whose privacy must be protected.) I will also include all fundraising events. Events will be listed whether Congress is in session or not, and whether I am in Washington, traveling, or in my district.

Here it is, in Spanish, so We can start sending it out to The Fools:

Yo creo que los ciudadanos tienen el derecho de saber qué hacen sus Legisladores cada día.

Comenzando en enero del 2007, yo me comprometo a publicar mi agenda de trabajo diaria oficial por el Internet, dentro de 24 horas del final de cada día de trabajo. Incluiré todos los asuntos relacionados a mi rol como Legislador(a). Incluiré todas las reuniones con ciudadanos, otros Legisladores y cabilderos, detallados por nombre. (En raras ocasiones, mantendré en privado el nombre de algún ciudadano cuya privacidad debe ser protegida.) Incluiré además todos los eventos de recaudación de fondos, incluyendo aquellos que sucedan fuera de la Sesión Legislativa, ya sea que esté en San Juan, en mi distrito o de viaje.

Here's My pledge: Whether in conjunction with The Information Soldier's "political memory" website, or on My own website, I will list the Fools who have received The Punch Clock Agreement and what their (non)response has been. In the jaw-dropping case of it actually being signed, I will provide the space to list their daily activities as well as space to publish their profile and ANYTHING else they wish to share.

Yes, that's right: I'll provide them with a forum to "sell" themselves. If a Fool is willing to stop being one, then I'm willing to help them make the transition.

Willing, hell, I'm almost obsessed with it. For there are only two options: We either make The Fools rise up to near-competence or We drop-kick (punch? clock?) their butts out and find other potential public servants.

I say We do both.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

13 September 2006

Four, No, Five Thoughts

---Happy Birthday, Mom!

---While Disney/ABC goatses the truth about 9/11, the number of dead in the Iraq War has now surpassed the number of dead on that fateful day. Both groups were helpless victims, one the innocent target of a fanatical regime built on lies and a pig-headed, scurrilous disregard for reality and truth and the other of Al-Qaeda.

---All of a sudden, like watching paint dry, almost all the pundits We are cursed with are now claiming that the sales taxes (yes, taxES) will harm the local economy.

Get out! Really? You figured that out all by yourself, or did a nearby patch of dog vomit give you the answer?

According to a friend of mine--an economist and political pundit who obviously has a brain--Puerto Rico is the only country asking--okay, "asking"--to increase taxes.

And no, My friend is definitely not a patch of dog vomit. But We're not ranking much higher on the "government intelligence" scale than Fido's last upchuck.

---Yesterday, I accidentally walked into a press conference featuring governor Aníbal "My Brain Is On Permanent Vacation" Acevedo. I glanced around to see who was or wasn't there (as if I knew what presence or absence meant at this non-event) and walked out. But not before I heard the following brief exchange:

"Is the governor reading (his presentation)?"

Shrug. "It's all the same."

Press people? Nah. Two of his security guards.

They couldn't pay Me enough to do that job...the security part, I mean. I do the cynical/sarcastic part for nothing.

---Here's the scary part: If the elections were held today, "My Brain Is On Permanent Vacation" would win. Not only because his opposition--lackwits all--are as organized as random idiocy, but because Our voters can also be described as having brains on permanent vacation. Said it before, saying it again: We are going to re-elect 90% of The Fools and that's going to leave Us with a taste in Our mouths like that of smoking a mojón in Purgatory.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

11 September 2006

Values-Vacuum Education

Servant-Leadership. Now there's a concept I can bitch-slap The Fools with from here to eternity. And as satisfying is that is, it is the intellectual equivalent of beating up hydrocephalic monkeys with a dictionary.

Back to Our topic concept. From The Servant-Leadership Blog comes this brief discussion of this topic in education. The intriguing--and ultimately depressing--angle of this discussion is that it originates from an essay written in 1972.

Nineteen. Seventy-two.

As you will see, We've wasted Our time criminally. And by "We" I mean the educational fiasco We share with the U.S. as part of A.

The essay is titled Servant Leadership in Education and was written by Robert Greenleaf. In the essay, Greenleaf postulates three failures of the educational system:

1) "...(T)he refusal to offer explicit preparation for leadership to those who have the potential for it."

2) "...(T)he lack of opportunities for the poor to be prepared to return to their roots and become leaders among the disadvantaged."

3) "...(T)he state of confusion around the teaching of values."

Having been a student on both sides of the pond, I can easily and whole-heartedly agree with Greenleaf. One only has to look at failure #3 to understand the other two failures of the educational system to develop leaders, for without a framework of values, education is but an organized waste of time.

Why? Because knowledge without a value context is merely instructional--do this, follow this order, here's your path--and not constructional, as in build, create, expand and explore.

Without values, can you truly develop leaders? You can only develop bullies, cheats, swindlers, backstabbers, con men and hypocrites. Witness Enron, WorldCom and the current Oval Office.

Without values and without values-based leaders, can you reasonably expect leaders who will actually help develop their communities, their society, their nation? You can only if you find the concept of mining the Sun for helium reasonable.

Funny how all this is reflected in yesterday's bold front headline in local papers: Puerto Rican schools score poorly versus U.S. schools. Allow Me to add that U.S. schools score poorly versus those of other industrialized and non-industrialized nations, so We have the nauseating distinction of being "D-" students compared to "D+" students.

I'm sure this gives a handful of people in the U,S, a sense of superiority, knowing that "dem little brown people" have schools that aren't as good as those of Average School District, U.S. of part of A. It always helps lackwits to find someone to feel superior to, even if they have to deny reality to do so. But though We report the tragedy with blaring headlines and We gnash Our collective teeth at the continuous scandals, incompetence, inefficiency and sheer stupidity of Our educational system, are We actually going to try to fix it?

Oh, yeah, sure, the same day We start mining the Sun for helium.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

08 September 2006

Leader With a Capital "L"

I begin with a few notes:

---Who's #1 in "jenius genius"? Modesty forbids mentioning Me, so I won't.

---Who's #1 for "career growth and commitment"? Modesty hell: Me.

---Who's #1 for "jenius people"? Not Me; I'm #2.

---Who's #1 for "cheat jenius"? Okay, Me, but it's not what you think. It's not.

---Who's #1 for "jenius coyote"? Moi. Make up your own Fool joke here.

What kind of leader does Puerto Rico need?

Because of the ridiculous dependence on government, if ever a Leader--one worthy of capitalization--emerges on Our island, he or she would have to be a governor, one who hearkens back to the image of Luis Muñoz Marín. (Forget politics here for a moment and think "leader." We haven't had one since.) But because history shapes the figures of its time, what kind of leader would Our 21st century demand?

1) Male: Sorry, ladies, but Puerto Rico is still rooted in testosterone and macho crap. Take comfort in the fact that it means that most of Our men are scared of you.

2) Non-Black: Who was Our last Leader with black skin? Roberto Clemente, and only for a short timespan. Think I'm wrong? Check out the power structure in government and private enterprises and remember that in the last census, 87% of Us said We were "white."

3) Under 50: Better yet, under 40. (Age, not IQ.) Though the largest voting bloc is 60+, the largest potential growth is in the under-30 crowd. And the under-30 crowd is just aching to have one of their own kick butt.

4) Mediagenic: Not necessarily handsome, but at least presentable. Preferably with a distinctive "defect" that makes him less threatening to men and endearing to women, like big ears or being slightly cross-eyed. You think I jest. Ask women if they and their friends voted for Pedro "Crookedness Is My Business" Rosselló because he actually knew something worthwhile. And he is cross-eyed, especially in the moral sense.

5) Angry: Whoever seeks to be Our Leader has to convey Our anger, not in words, but in emotions. Muñoz Marín was humble, when all We conveyed was humility. Now We're angry and scared. Our Leader has to convey that anger to allay Our fears.

6) Gregarious: Forget "the common touch": this Leader has to crave being with the people. Although this would ultimately hinder his long-term effectiveness, this Leader can only galvanize Us if he genuinely IS one of Us, not some plasticized, isolated lunkhead snuffling for cash. (By which I eliminate every current Fool from the "Leader" market.)

7) Tunnel-visioned: We can't handle visionary leadership because We are not visionaries. We have small dreams and small goals. Whatever Leader emerges has to focus on only a few areas and make those areas Our "big goals." No "transformation" or "revolution": just down-the-middle momentum. It will take a decade or so to make Us realize that We are Our enemy and thus make the effort to get out of Our Own way.

8) Short-termed: We don't need a "governor-for-life", what We need is a governor FOR Life, one who understands that Life requires renewal for growth and doesn't wish to cling to power like a leech on an ox's neck. If Muñoz Marín left a legacy, it was in his willingness to "step down." Whoever emerges as Leader must be a man who knows his time is self-limited and thus has his mind focused on results and his heart beating with urgency.

Will We see that Leader emerge? I wish I could say yes. I may be inclined to say no. But I do know that many will try and almost--almost--all will fail. I guess that means yes. I hope it doesn't mean too late.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

06 September 2006

Never Say "Ya"

Had a brief conversation with Kevin Shockey. As We often do, We machine-gunned through some topics related to Puerto Rico. At one point, I was describing the hilarious "Black Knight" scene from Monty Python's Holy Grail movie. In the scene, a Black Knight challenges King Arthur. The King cuts off one of the Black Knight's arms. He doesn't surrender. The King cuts off the other arm. The Black Knight shrugs it off and head butts the King. Three strokes later, the Black Knight is only a head on the forest floor still challenging the King, with taunts and threats of spitting on him.

That scene made me laugh so hard when I first saw it I was afraid I'd wet Myself. The Black Knight is My id, that horribly competitive streak that can serve as an engine, but sometimes pushes Me and those who have it to ridiculous extremes. I was saying to Kevin that the "Never say 'die'" attitude coud hurt Me when he said Puerto Rico has a "Never say 'ya'" attitude.

Never say "ya": Never say "enough."

A Black Knight refusing to acknowledge defeat ends up as a paperweight amongst the leaves. A Puerto Rican nation that refuses to acknowledge that enough is enough ends up rotting from the inside out.

The Fools prance and caper like syphilitic monkeys, raping the public monies, shredding private developments and mortgaging Our increasingly-distant Future for an increasingly-disgusting Present? Enough is enough? Apparently not.

Our educational system makes a C-level dog obedience school look A+, is populated by space- and time-wasters, has the vision of a swampy onion patch and hugs the 1950s like Ike never did. Enough is enough? Apparently not.

Quality of Life has declined because of inefficient government, reduced employment, increases in prices, taxes and crime. Enough is enough? Apparently not. Seems We'd rather lower Our expectations than raise Our outputs. Or maye enough is enough, for aren't We seeing an unprecedented exodus?

Is that it? We don't say "¡Ya!", We say "Ya me voy." (I'm leaving.) Rather than put a halt to the monkeyshines, idiocies and violence, We pack Our bags and take flight. Unlike the Black Knight, We don't challenge: We let Ourselves be hacked, then some of Us choose to scuttle and scamper away, not to fight, but to get away from any responsibility of actually doing something to improve Our society.

There is something hilarious about the "Never say 'die'" attitude. There is only sadness in the "Never say 'ya'" malaise We live in. When the entire universe of stupidity dumps its final dreg on Us, maybe then We'll hear, lost in the fetid pile, a tiny muffled voice saying ¡Ya!

By then, no one will be listening. Better to be a defiant paperweight on the forest floor than a scum-buried pinhead.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

04 September 2006

Top-Down Leadership Needed

Over the past few years, I have become more and more involved in conversations with a pattern of:

1) Identification of unsatisfactory elements in Puerto Rico.

2) Criticism to the point of excoriation of these elements.

3) Expansion of the original list to a veritable universe of unsatisfactory elements.

4) Careful exposition of how politically-neutral the conversation is, i.e., We lambaste everyone and every major party fairly evenly.

5) The conclusion that until The Fools straighten themselves out, We're screwed.

A tangent conclusion--We vote The Fools out--has become more common. But the basic premise of the conclusion implies that The Fools are at the top of the decision chain and that it is up to them to set Us on the right path.

Harrumph. That's like saying monkeys will lead Us into space exploration and colonization.

(Pardon Me while I laugh. THAT was funny on several levels. Monkeys, space and colonization in a blend only We--okay, some of Us--will truly "get." Back to My Jenius...post.)

Let's cut to the chase: If We truly want "top-down" decision-making and leadership, it will have to come from Us.

I've been saying something like that for a long time, but here it is in black-and-white: We are the bosses and The Fools are the employees. And if We don't act like bosses and let Puerto Rico continue towards Hades in a canasta, We are solely to blame.

Now, how do We correct a disastrous situation like this? If a company has rotted because its employees are deliberately harming rather than helping, there are only two options: close the company down or fire the employees.

Note the distinction: deliberately harming. Inadvertently-damaging behavior can be fixed by modifying the system that supports and/or encourages the damaging behavior. But deliberate harm--which in this case is fostered because the same people who engage in it modify the system--is a tumor of a different color.

Because a goverment can't--or shouldn't--close down, that option is closed to Us. (Pun definitely intended.) Therefore, the only option We have left is to fire the employees. And We have to go about it exactly that way: firing the people who are out to do us harm.

Would you tolerate an employee who deliberately slacks off during work hours in order to collect overtime? The Fools do it frequently.

Would you tolerate an employee who doesn't show up for work, but collects his wages and per diems anyway? The Fools do it all the time.

Would you tolerate an employee who openly and frequently besmirches your company's name by acting irresponsibly, immorally and/or illegally, and expects--hell, demands-- to stay on as your employee? You know what The Fools do.

Would you tolerate an employee who chooses to work on their tasks and projects, totally ignoring those you order him or her to do? The Fools do it frequently.

And yes, it IS an order: We are The People, We are the bosses and The Fools can only do what We allow them to do. Don't ever forget that.

The time has come to fire the employees who are incompetent, irresponsible, immoral and are thus totally incapable of doing the job We require. We fire them without prejudice, because the facts have long provided evidence beyond any shadow of a doubt. We fire them because We have no choice: it is either them or Us.

And for those of you who think "But they have power!," here's a question: Who do you think gave them that "power"?

Time to take it away.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

01 September 2006

Blast From the Past

Here's a little something I wrote in pre-Jenius days; November 21, 2001, to be exact.

Seems more appropriate now.


Here’s an idea: Let’s give the Puerto Rican House and Senate a month off.

Don’t give me that look: I’m serious. We should give them a whole month off to go home and stay home, a month off from pretending to represent “the people”, a month off from “impromptu” press conferences, a month off from “legislating”, “fiscalizing” or whatever “ing” they think they’re “doing.”

In simple terms: To disappear for a month. Not to be seen or heard by anyone. And at their own expense. They are already the highest-paid state-level legislators in the U.S. of A., so no more of these “I’m in Brazil studying the chance to join an organization that we can’t join anyway” junkets at our expense.

Why a month off? Because We, The People, need it. Desperately.

What are these legislators doing for Us? Quite a few of them are under investigation for ethical or illegal misconduct, they often get into spats that school-kids are punished for and one of them has the unmitigated nerve to “serve the people” by going to law school when he should be in session, at Our expense. [Jenius Note: At least that idiot is no longer legislating. He runs a political party now. Woo-hoo.]

This is no way to run a country. So by making them take a month off, We can go about fixing the problem without their interference.

Here’s what We’ll discover:

1) Proof that they are overpaid. We all sense that, but when We see the improvement and savings, this will give us hard, factual evidence.

2) The media will have to do some real reporting, maybe poke their noses into some real issues for a change. No more “political gossip fodder” to feed the mill.

3) We’ll discover individuals who deserve to be revealed, good people doing good deeds, and a few scalawags who are sucking the blood from Our veins. No more “buzzing politicians blowing smoke” to hide the good and bad.

4) That We are actually more in tune with each other than We think. Like wrestlers, politicians create issues for the mobs to cheer: the bottom line is that We are more alike than different.

5) That maybe We’ll want to give the legislators another month off, and some We might want to get rid of permanently. Now.

Some folks might object saying “Who will make laws?” My answer is: We will. We do it anyway, as anyone observing how We “obey” traffic laws and get things done on this Island can attest. (That should change, but can these “servants” of the people do it?). And to those who wonder “What about the commissions?” I can only ask: ‘What about them?” Name one--right now!--that has had a direct impact on your life. See? You can’t think of any.

And finally, to those who say it’s part of democracy and they should stay on the job, I respond: Democracy is government by the people. We are the people, and as one of those faceless many who make up “The People”, I at least, want Us to govern them, for a change.

The Jenius Has Spoken.