30 March 2007

Credit Due (Actually, Cash)

Note: My Thanks once again to Global Voices for picking up not one, but two of My recent posts. However, in the last one, I seem to be listed as an alter ego called "Jil the Genius." They may be on to something...

Credit where credit is due: The city of Caguas will launch a new program whereby every child born there will receive a $250 "donation" which can only be used by the child when s/he reaches 18 years of age. At that point, the interest-accrued money can be used for either post-high school studies or to start a business.

First of all, I must point out that Caguas will be the first city in the world to launch this kind of effort. Based on an idea established in England, the "birth donation" is both incentive and investment, and as such, has certain elements of powerful change shared by the Kalamazoo Promise.

Second of all, though I applaud the effort, I can't help but note that the whole idea falls far short of being truly useful. Unlike the Kalamazoo Promise which covers an entire in-state college tuition and links the recipient to time-in-residency, the Caguas initiative is only a cash investment expected to generate a $15,000 nest-egg for these future young adults. If higher education costs continue to soar as they have for the past twenty years, $15,000 would pay for roughly one year of college, far less than the 4-5 years needed for basic degrees. (Even now, $15,000 won't pay for one year in many major colleges.)

And if you want to start a business in 2025 and beyond, it seems to Me you'd want a lot more than $15,000. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA) a microbusiness needs about $12,000 to be properly capitalized, with success rising sharply if $20,000 is invested at the start. What is adequate capitalization now will become paltry in the next 18 years, so instead of creating a launch pad, the Caguas plan could simply become another boondoggle.

But what if We upped the ante and allowed the families of these babies and even companies to donate to the initial "starter deposit"? I see three advantages:

1) Families would be encouraged to provide a extra money boost with long-term benefits.

2) Employers could use the donation as a perk/deduction, whatever floats their boat best.

3) We'd make more of Us aware of how powerful savings can be.

Will the Caguas "birth donation" plan work? I wish I could say "Yes," but My gut feeling is that it will fall by the wayside before the decade is out, unless it is modified along the lines I've suggested. As a first step it is a wonderful change-of-pace; as a long-term agent of change it needs help.

But it is a good start.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

28 March 2007

We Aren't Finnish(ed)

Par Stenback, former Education Minister of Finland, spoke at the University of Puerto Rico and pointed out how the Finnish school system, once a poor performer, has become an international gold standard in education:

1) Education policy is based on research.

2) A National Board, not a political party, decides education reforms and programs.

3) The school system is managed at the Municipal level, in decentralized fashion.

4) Teachers are rigorously and continously educated.

Well, as far as the Puerto Rican non-educational system goes, there's the problem! We base education policy on money-grubbing wet dreams concocted by political hacks, centralize to the point where no one knows anything and as far as preparing teachers, We fail to do it before they are licensed and even worse afterwards.

Let Me dismiss teachers first, since they're so anxious to cut-and-run at the drop of (My) hat. Stenback notes that in Finland, teachers, because of their high standards of education, are "as respected as doctors and lawyers." There's another problem! The last lawyer people respected here was Perry Mason. So an educational solution to the teacher crisis could be: Give lawyers more respect! (This will appear as legislation before the end of the semester; bank on it.)

So rigorous are the standards for teachers in Finland that only 12% of applicants get in. Look at that number again: 12%. In Puerto Rico, if you have a pulse you can get into any Education program, especially if you've worked your way down from Natural Sciences to Business and past Humanities. Education is the final refuge of the incompetent, the barely literate, the kind of student We tend to churn out like so much drab sausage.

Is it salaries that attract prime candidates to teaching? Not in Finland, where teachers make an "average" salary. What fuels the Finnish system is focus, dedication and respect. In other words, three things Our miseducational system lacks.

We believe that centralizing is better...to pack needless jobs into a bloated cancerous system. We believe outsiders with the teaching experience of Ronald McDonald should be in charge of Education. (Victor "Delictor" Fajardo, anyone?) And if an educator is to run the freakin' mess, he or she is saddled with employee overbloat, political offal and a bureaucracy gone dead.

As for an educational policy to teach Our children, We think research is like cooking bowling balls: It can be done, but what's the point? One example: My son's first-grade class is being taught grammar...in both English and Spanish. Allow Me to point out that they are not the same, that in fact, they have often diametrically-opposed rules. Despite over 45 years' worth of studies done here, in the U.S. and abroad that prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that grammar can only be taught after a language is used well, We thumb Our noses at the collective wisdom of actual teachers and continue to shove English grammar into Our children's heads, way too soon. Any wonder We are the ONLY country--the ONLY damn country in the world--that teaches a language for 12 YEARS and doesn't master the damn thing?

Stenback pointed out it took Finland 20 years to go from near-worst to near-first, 20 years of focused, determined effort that placed education as a top government priority permanently. Not as lip service, like We do; not for politicking, as We do and certainly not for cash handouts from Uncle Sam because--get this!--Finland doesn't get cash handouts from anybody!

It took Finland 20 years to become a global education standard, with a focused government, with a focused, research-based educational policy, with a rigurous and ongoing teacher-training program and with a community-based control level. We have already lost at least 25 years, most likely more. Add another 20-25 to that and what are We looking at? (For Our math teachers out there, the answer is a range from 45 on up...) Can We wait another 20 years to develop the world-class education We need to compete as equals on the global stage?

Twenty years from now, We may be asking the same question...from the same starting point.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

26 March 2007

Violently Stupid

As thousands marched to pressure The Fools into making progress on the unicamerality non-issue (a donkey was involved in the march, apparently as a translator), another interesting smidgen of violence-related information percolated through the news.

Seems a local demographer ranked Puerto Rico as the 9th most violent country in the world. Here's her list:

1) South Africa
2) Colombia
3) Jamaica, mon
4) Venezuela
5) El Salvador
6) Guatemala
7) Brazil
8) Russia
10) Ecuador

Okay, things are harsh here on Our Island, but let's look a little deeper into this list:

The demographer is a sociology professor whose name I left out of this earlier post because her remarks were so idiotic she didn't deserve to have My fingers invest the energy typing it out. But this time it's worth it. The spouter of idiocies is Judith Rodríguez and this list is also another example of her intellectual deficiencies.

Apparently the doubtful demographer has a very limited (non-existent) grasp of geopolitics and world events, for of her Top (or Bottom) 10 list, 8 countries are in the Central and South American regions, with the Caribbean serving as bridge between those two. Only one African nation appears, rightfully so, but where's Sudan, specifically because of Darfur, where massacres are happening so openly that half of the vapid-headed celebrities in the U.S. are trying to raise awareness of this? (And the rest of Sudan is rapidly becoming just as bad.) Nor is Iraq included, where a sectarian war is raging on the nightly news. Nor are any of the African nations currently embroiled in what can only be called genocidal tribal warfare, places like Rwanda and Nigeria, where the death tolls are unknown, but the deaths rise almost exponentially.

And the violence in these countries is not limited to killing. Rape, equally heinous, is rampant, as are beatings, theft and even slavery. Can Dumb Demographer really mean that Ecuador or El Salvador or--damn it, Puerto Rico--are actually more violent than that? Of course not, because she doesn't need evidence: She has her two brain cells to back each other up.

Moving to Asia, Afghanistan serves as a war laboratory under a thick veneer of chaos. The country is so ravaged by violence the U.N. believes it could take 50 years to raise a viable country from its ruins...if the war can ever be brought to an end. A country so badly destroyed by violence that has yet to end is a less violent country than Puerto Rico?

I'm not here to say We are Paradise Found, or even Paradise Lost. What I am saying is that when a dumb person sets out to justify their own insecurities, weaknesses and prejudices, it doesn't take more than a dab of brains to utter an inane judgement or write a stupid list. Are We violent? Yes, We are and We have to deal with that. Are We a Top 10 violence-infested country? Hell, no. But to a newshound who wants to be a part of the headlines to bolster her feebleness, any stupid claim that makes the news is a good claim.

Eighteen pages later, in an article on travel abroad during Holy Week, a text box lists the preferred destinations of Our travelers. The top six are:

1) United States
2) Peru
3) Argentina
4) Guatemala
5) Colombia
6) Peru

Yeah, El Nuevo Dia seems to lack eagle-eyed editors... But one call to the paper confirmed that #6 on the list was Venezuela.

Colombia, Venezuela and Guatemala... Numbers 2, 4 and 6 on the Dumb Demographer's so-called Violence List. Either We are far dumber than the demographer (an intellectual impossibility, except for The Fools) or the demographer is pulling opinions and judgements from...south of the border...if you know what I mean...

The Jenius Has Spoken.

23 March 2007

Friday Fodder

Seven minutes... In seven minutes, the following news items drifted across My vision, one Friday café after-lunch lull, as coffee cooled, people scurried down the street and the best-looking woman in the place could have been My grandmother:

-- A local TV show recreated a recent suicide by throwing a dummy off the bridge where a woman ended her life. Although leading with the accurate judgment that the act was tasteless, the article spent 4 of 11 paragraphs describing the traffic jam created by the clueless TV crew and apparently did nothing to find out who were the pea-brains responsible for (a) conceiving this crassly-idiotic stunt and (b) allowing it to be happen.

--My favorite local beach, a gorgeous half-moon inlet reached by carefully crossing dirt trails that wind through salt flats and marshes, was thoroughly and revoltingly trashed by masses of college students over the previous weekend. Abandoned cars, engines and literally tons of trash were left behind as these unevolved apes proved that college isn't for everybody. The damage to the area is incalculable, but how much are you willing to bet the same thing happens during Hell Week--or rather, Holy Week--when some 160,000 people are expected to surge into the Cabo Rojo area? That wave is equal to 7 times the local population, and We'll rediscover that the young unevolved apes descend from older unevolved apes.

--We're Number 3! We're Number 3! On the international list of countries with the highest murder rates, that is. Colombia (uh-huh) and Russia (okay) are the Top 2, but We are gunning for Number One!! Colombia is in a de facto hydra-like criminal war for national economic control and Russia has become a haven for organized crime on a global scale; it makes sense that these two countries are Murder Centrals. But what the HELL is OUR excuse?! CAN there be ANY excuse? And just how much impact did this little bit of Friday fodder have on Our collective psyche? About the same amount of thought it took to trash a beach or throw a dummy off a bridge.

--Take a walking tour through Old San Juan and you will see dozens, if not hundreds, of stray cats. Must be the fishy smell of the bay... In any case, local officials have determined that some of these cats are infected with the AIDS virus. We can't have that! Not in a World Heritage Site! That might scare tourists away! So I have a suggestion: Send The Fools to round up the cats. Barehanded. We can get rid of their inane monkey posturing and some diseased cats, too. (I had a joke in there about "infected pussies" that I obviously edited out. I'm trying to be civil.)

--Citizens are organizing a march to force The Fools to make progress on the unicamerality vote. There's a better chance of getting rid of the AIDS-infected cats than there is for a unicamerality vote to reach binding status.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

21 March 2007

My Footnotes

A neighbor of Mine, upon noticing My tendency to interject remarks into the babble surrounding Me at a party, said: "There goes Gil, adding footnotes to the conversation."

Cracked Me up.

Since that's what I do (amongst many many other things), here's some footnotes to recent conversations in My presence:

--To the two men facing off about what one could do to the other by suing: * Lawyers see the law as a money-making process and courts have very little to do with justice.

--To the woman who spent $16 and told the clerk she was going to start buying $20 a week on the local Loto game, picking 6 numbers of 42 for a $2 million prize: * The odds are (41 X 40 X 39 X 38 X 37 X 36)** AGAINST you; find another retirement plan.

--To the local pumpkinhead in charge of the miseducation of Our students, Rafael "My Bow Tie is WAY Too Tight" Aragunde, who said he didn't know who his advisors are: * The phrase "trusted advisor" was coined for a reason. If you can't figure that out, resign.

--To the three men who argued for the return of Stupid Rosselló to the governor's mansion, because he will "force the U.S. to give Us statehood": * Stupid Rosselló barely forced himself into a senator's seat. The biggest thing he can force now is a bowel movement...maybe even his own.

--To the group of teachers on a sidewalk who were chattering about a march on the governor's mansion to force their union to get them better work conditions...at a time when they were supposed to be teaching: * The difference between vocation and job is the difference between competence and mediocrity. Before making demands, you should try to RISE to the level of "job" first.

The Jenius Has Spoken.
** 3,237,399,360

19 March 2007

Edited Dream

For several nights, I had dreams that I was looking at my dad's corpse...and thinking he was just sleeping. Nothing more, simply several seconds of looking and wondering.

Being a writer, I could tell build-up when I saw it, so imagine My reaction when all of a sudden, a few nights ago, as My dream featured Me looking at My dad sleeping and talking on the phone, Dad woke up and started talking to Me in his usual bantering good humor.

Don't imagine: I can tell you.

I told whoever was on the phone with Me to hold, speed-dialed My sister and handed the phone to Dad.

End of dream.

Yeah, I've been editing My night-time dreams for years. My daytime ones do better, for there's less left on the cutting floor. So to speak.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

18 March 2007

Money Mistakes You Can Cure

From MSNBC, 10 little mistakes most of Us make that seriously undermine Our quest for financial independence.

If you are not on that quest, then you're wasting your Life and most likely that of your children. You have been warned.

10 Money Mistakes

1) Spending without a budget.

2) Carrying a balance on credit cards.

3) Ignoring interest rates.

4) Not investigating disability insurance.

5) Failing to see how little purchases add up.

6) Not matching employer's contribution to retirement.

7) Waiting until the last minute to fund IRA.

8) Paying everyone else, saving "what's left."

9) Not managing your investments.

10) Getting emotional about your investments.

Number 6 is irrelevant to Me and those of us who know that the quicker and safer path to financial independence is self-employment, but to employees everywhere, not taking adavantage of everything your employer gives you is to live even further below the starvation-level diet they "feed" you with.

Personally, I have to be more careful with Number 5 and redo Number 1. And if you want to know why and how much these money mistakes can cost you--now and long-term--make sure to read the article.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

14 March 2007

Bad Then, Worse Now

I recently visited a local government agency that deals with federal funds. After I learned how many people worked in that agency—and after picking up My jaw from the tiled floor—I subsequently asked several well-versed colleagues how many they felt worked at that agency.

The estimates ranged from 22 to 55, the high number given to Me by a man who worked for 14 years in the local Labor Department and said “They really need about 25 or 30, so I’ll say they have 55.”

I redefined the agency to them and asked if they wanted to change their estimates. I got a couple of “Are you kidding?” looks (which I get a lot), but only one of the 8 changed their estimate, from 55 to 65.

The agency in question has 202 employees.

When I told them the number, they were shocked. Utterly flabbergasted. To a man, they told Me the number was simply outrageous. (I note that the agency only has about 20 male employees, so that might be even more interesting to some of you.)

Brought back memories of something I wrote almost exactly 5 years ago, back on PuertoRican.com, where I was the columnist. (Okay, there was some other guy, too.) If anything, the situation outlined below is actually worse now.

Puerto Rican.com – Week of March 18th, 2002


It was published in the local press: The number of employees in the local Government, at the “state” level, is a little over 164,000, and if you add those at the Municipal levels, the number rises to a little more than 201,000.

Look at that number again: 201,000. We’ll come back to it in a moment.

I have said before that roughly 41% of the total workforce in Puerto Rico works directly or indirectly (sub-contracted) for the Government. Of the total number of people gainfully employed on the Island, (about 1,140,000) the percentage of those that work directly for the government is about 18% (17.6%, once I used a calculator.)

Now that doesn’t sound so bad, right? Wrong once: The number of indirect workers is listed, in records of the Office of Management and Budget, the Department of Labor and the Planning Board (future contracts, already awarded) at almost 284,000, making the government employee grand total about 485,000, or 42.5% of the overall employed. [Comparison: U.S. percentages: 11.5% and 21.9%.]

Uh-oh. It’s worse than I thought. “So what, right?" Wrong twice. Here’s what: The numbers mean that Puerto Rico has one Government employee for every 19 citizens, one of the worst ratios in the world. Not the U.S., not Latin America: The world. [If you toss in the sub-contracted, there is one “government” employee for every 8 citizens, not the usual ratio measurement, but one that shows how much the problem gets worse.]

One employee for every 19 citizens may not mean anything to you, so let me place it in perspective: If the average McDonald’s had a ratio of one employee for every 19 customers, that average McDonald’s restaurant would employ 121 people… all the time.

“Oh,” you say, “That cannot be right…You must be confusing public and private sectors and their very different circumstances.” You could say that and you’d be wrong a third time. When it comes to number of employees, the public and private sector have the same criteria: How many people are needed to effectively and efficiently render the services required? Period. Any other criteria is simply useless, for both the public and private sector have limited funds with which to pay their employees.

“Aha!” you claim with glee, “Now you’ve really made a boo-boo! The Government can incur in deficit spending and it does!” Wrong, part four. By law, both constitutional and fiscal, the Government cannot pay salaries without having the allotted funds. Otherwise, what kind of government would we have? (Hell, what kind of government do we have, anyway?) In a private company, paychecks also need to be covered with cash, so the basic criteria, the only criteria as cited above, holds true for fundamental legal and economic reasons.

Around the world, the average ratio is one non-military government employee for every 35 citizens. Puerto Rico is almost 2 TIMES more “top-heavy” with government employees than the world’s average, and we pay for it by having almost 80% of our total budget going to salaries and employee benefits. Can you see the problem? Is 20% of our money enough for progress? Should the Government have direct wage control over roughly 20% of the electorate and enormous influence over another almost 23%, in effect pressuring nearly half of the potential votes? It will anyway, but 43%?!? Is it any wonder there’s so much corruption and so little growth on this Island of Enhancement?

The Jenius Has Spoken.

12 March 2007

Rock 'n' Roll Regrets

How about some vintage rock-and-roll titles to go with certain folks here on the Island of (Increasing Dis)Enchantment?

Mama Said There Be Days Like This: To embattled education secretary Rafael Aragunde, who’s getting his nuts roasted by The Fools, which is a second cousin to cannibalism, from what I can tell.

Chain Gang: To the myriad prison dwellers and future prison inmates who worked with former governor and now faux senator Pedro Stupid Rosselló. If the rule was 10-per-chain, We’re up to 6 chains now, almost 7…

Yakkety-Yak: The jellyfish, governor Aníbal Acevedo, prattling away about what’s happening—or not—with deficits, taxes and the economy. And on the same subject, some people are openly speculating that the jellyfish is gay because he travels almost everywhere with his Chief of Staff. (Make your own joke here if you have to.) People, shut up. It’s so typical of Us to let Our lizard brains distract Us from the truly important that it isn’t funny. The chief of staff is supposed to be a close associate, the jellyfish isn’t gay, and even IF he was, what the hell difference could it possibly make?

Great Balls of Fire: Okay, Let’s just skip this one…

Fools Rush In: And out, around, about, through, under, over and even between, anything to get their hands on Our money to spread amongst their cronies. But when it comes to actually doing something concrete to earn their freakishly overindulgent pay, they switch to See You Later Alligator. Or Tequila.

Twilight Time: The increasing sense We have that it may be dark now, but it can and will get darker soon.

I’m Sorry: The feeling every person has for voting to support Acevedo, Stupid Rosselló and would-be-jellyfish-when-grown-up Luis Fortuño in the past elections. Hell, every voter should feel that way for voting for anyone…except Me, since I voted for Spongebob Squarepants for Governor. And I will again in 2008. Ain’t That A Shame…

The Jenius Has Spoken.

10 March 2007

Good-bye, Gypsy Lady

Ah, hell...

The gypsy lady, one of the three women I wrote about three weeks ago, was killed shortly after My posting. A drunk driver, apparently also hopped up on drugs, ran her over. The impact was severe enough to propel the kind woman almost 45 feet, killing her instantly.

And as if the loss of this woman wasn't enough, the accident happened in full view of a children's birthday party. Although many of the kids would profess fear of the gypsy lady--because she was different--none of them could say she was anything but polite and affectionate with those who didn't jeer at her.

Several things bother Me about this loss, amongst them that I find out about this only now, some two weeks after the fact. Goes to show that I pay very little attention to local news and that My roots in My home community are not as deep as I think.

Her tragic death at the hands of a total retard, someone so basely incompetent as to drive while drunk and drugged, makes Me angry. I'm willing to bet dollars to doughnut holes that the moronic woman behind the wheel gets nary a slapped wrist for her murderous spree. And I'm bothered by another death touching close to home, for I sense that this is just the beginning of what will turn out to be a continuous series of good-byes.

It may have been only the untimely death of a vagabond lady, but she was that: A lady. Whatever scarred her life and blighted her mind left her heart kind and her spirit filled with humble adventure. Rather than lose such a gypsy lady, I'd much rather We lost a thousand of these murderous drivers and their savagely stupid ilk.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

09 March 2007

Countdown in Purgatory

Drugs are sold in the bathrooms, by both boys and girls...

Students of both sexes stumble into classrooms, stoned...

Teachers can't call the police because the Department refuses to support any action they take...

Students can't be suspended or expelled unless they commit a violent crime. and yet, the expelled scum from other schools land in this school, forced to accept them by Department of Education bigwigs...

The school, a junior high in Cayey, is where My mom works, an eighth-grade English teacher with 34 years of experience. She has always been passionate about teaching, about being there for her students no matter what. Several years ago, only four days after being hit by a randomly-fired bullet that shattered her right elbow, she left her recovery bed and started the school semester. She almost passed out the second day of class, but even so, she only missed one day in the entire year.

But now, in the midst of what can only be described as an organizational meltdown, My mom says she doesn't really want to go to school anymore. The decades of exuberant joy she brought to her work, a joy that students still remember and want their children to experience with her, has been swept away by the reality of a school system that is too stupid, too soft and too blind to do the job right.

Students know they have the upper hand and use it, oblivious and indifferent to their future being sucked into a sewer. Why the hell should they care when they see the so-called Department of Education making boneheaded mistakes with the regularity of a cuckoo clock, or when they see the so-called government leaders acting like boneheaded cuckoos?

Drugs, teenage pregnancies, guns, knives, threats, gangs, incompetence, indifference and politization have taken the ideal of education and turned it into the anteroom of Purgatory. Education administrators are political warthogs, school directors are political lackeys and teachers are paycheck hounds, and all lack the educational vision, commitment and knowledge that the vital process of forging responsible adults needs.

Can the educational system be saved? Not in its present form. And the paltry minority of competent administrators, directors and teachers is far too small to overcome the gargantuan mass of morons and ridiculous regulations that rot the educational system from inside and out.

In the meantime, My mom counts the day to her retirement, when last year at this time she was pondering sticking around for another 3-4 years. Even her colleagues who once pleaded with her to stay are now pleading with her to "stay cool," to avoid any problem that could turn what should be the bittersweet happy final days of a career built on caring into a even bigger nightmare.

I have said it before: We have thrown away the education of two school generations over the past 25 years. As long as We continue to let subnormal lower primates run Our schools--as "educators" and "students"--We will never achieve any true progress...and Our lives will be held hostage by Our failures.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

06 March 2007

Pocket Science

As predicted by Yours Truly--the #1 Google result for "bask in my glory" meaning--retail sales in November 2006 did not show any significant increase. So, given that there was no pre-tax sales boost, that December sales were lower than expected, that January sales were a reflection of December's and that February has no incentive for retail growth (forget Valentine's Day: Think big-ticket items like furniture and cars) what are We facing?

Reality. The same reality The Fools simply cannot understand: The sales tax will reduce government revenues.

This isn't rocket science, although to The Fools, tic-tac-toe is rocket science. The sales tax reduces consumer purchases, drives marginal-but-legal activities further underground and forces--yes, forces--an increase in tax evasion.

Last point first. No one is truly "forced" into tax evasion, but if you are suddenly seeking greater opportunities for cash-based transactions that need not be reported, then the sales tax is actually encouraging people to sneak more traceless cash into their daily lives. End result: Less government revenue.

"But wait!" says The Fool in the pig-trough, "Won't that cash be used for buying things?" Some of it will, but most of it will go to areas that aren't taxed, such as services and bills. Overall, the net impact of more cash transactions is simply less government revenue. Now go snuffle up some more slop, Fool.

And what about the ethics of seeking more cash-based transactions? Isn't that wrong and thus to be avoided? We live in a country where Fools and their minions get away with tons more crap than We ever try to pull, so the ethical/moral example is "Give it a try." But on a more rational basis, a 7% sales tax in a country where the average wage makes the tax comparable to a 14-19% Stateside tax hike is a serious incentive to find ways around it.

The average local family lives one paycheck away from financial insolvency. Toss in rising utility rates, skyrocketing health costs (with deteriorating service quality) and the fact that although the 6.6% import tax was removed, prices still remain the same plus 7% and you have a scenario where finding money that can't be sliced to feed The Fools' cancerous maw makes total sense.

As for reducing consumer purchases, the proof is already in hand. By May We'll have the proof of tax evasion and reduced revenues and maybe, if someone has the wits and guts to do a professional in-depth study of Our economy, We'll see the perfection of the cash-based, underground economy in its path to greater entrenchment.

Just don't expect the Center for the New Economy to do it, as they lack both of the critical qualities. In that, they are exactly like the Old Economy Fools.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

05 March 2007

Three Up, Three Down

Note: If you haven't dropped by DondeEs.com, do so now. The blog is fabulous, the service they provide (map-linking) is priceless and as of this week, the blog is on My Daily Reading List. Should have done that weeks ago, but then again, I'm a Jenius. Now go read the blog!

Here, in no particular order, are the 3 people who are Most Damaging to Puerto Rico: (Capital letters on titles removed because they imply respect and I have none for them.)

José Aponte, president of the house of representatives: Gives new meaning to puppet, fanatic and roadblock. Hasn't had an original thought since 1974. Would eat worm offal if ordered to by Pedro Stupid Rosselló because they both believe it would somehow oppose the current governor's party. Has had several opportunities to make strong progressive statements or solidify progressive stances on taxes and other legislation and has muffed each chance with the wide-eyed stare of a retarded monkey.

Pedro Stupid Rosselló, former governor and fake senator: Acts like a rabid dog, cross-eyed and foaming at the mouth. His mis-administration has produced more corruption, fraud and ethics violations convictions than any other in Our History. Browbeat his party into a senate seat he neither deserved nor legitimately earned after taking said party from Status Option to "Prisoner Number." Wants to be governor again, which is like allowing a defecated tapeworm back in.

Aníbal Acevedo, current lump in the governor's office: Backed into La Fortaleza because the 4% of statehooders who actually have a brain voted against Stupid Rosselló. Inherited a horribly-run government from his own party's predecessor, Sila "I Can't Stand the Heat" Calderón so he had to pretend the whole mess was solely Stupid Rosselló's fault and thus undermined whatever authority he may have stumbled into. Last made a decision in 1983, by mistake. If good leaders have their fingers on the People's pulse, Jellyfish Acevedo has his up his nose.

Here, again in no particular order, are the 3 Most Capable Peoples of Puerto Rico:

The teacher who sees his/her job as the vocation of developing human potential instead of as a paycheck best earned without actually having to be in the classroom. (Estimated number: 29 of 47,000.)

The government employee who understands his/her job is a public trust, that their position as a public servant is to enhance Our Society instead of milking public coffers like ravenous hyenas. (Estimated number: 11 of 244,000.)

The citizen who stays alert to actions and changes, ignoring the pestiferous hype and makes his/her decisions on who to support free of party idiocies and media stupidity. (Estimated number: 39 of 3,900,000.)

The Jenius Has Spoken.

02 March 2007

Words For Today

Disappointed: I had set Myself the goal of running in The World's Best 10K Race, but couldn't do it because of My knee problems. I'll keep working on that and make sure I can run next year.

Bitch: Stupid Rosselló's right-hand personal assistant, "Angie" Rivera, is in jail for extortion. She asked for a resentencing because she's now a devout Christian modeling her life on "Jesus Christ's passion." For these reasons, she requested mercy from the Court. For selling access to government influence (wink-wink, Stupid Rosselló!) like any common whore, she did get a new sentence: An extra year in jail. Good for the judge and, Angie, here's a frequent phrase you never heard uttered out loud: Take that, bitch.

Idiot: The jellyfish strikes again, stinging with mindless spasms. The same governor who tries to cover the national debt by pushing the idea of a sales tax--proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to lower revenues--refuses to sign into law the Federally-initiated increase to the minimum wage, already approved locally. Like the sales tax proofs from around the world, increases in the minimum wage have been shown to time and again raise living standards and improve economies. But does Aníbal Acevedo or any of his ill-named advisors understand that? Of course they don't. At a time when the jellyfish is trying to get investors to put money into Puerto Rico, (We in debt, you know) maybe his brain cell thinks that by preserving "low" wages, Our Island will look "better." Maybe this will help, O Spineless WaterBrain: Taxes reduce confidence and spending; higher wages increase confidence and spending. As for businesses, their argument isn't (or shouldn't be) against a higher minimum wage, but against the excessive restrictions and obligations placed on them by The Fools.

Morons: Our debt level--Our Yo soy boricua Spend-It-'Til'There-Ain't-No-Más level--increased 14.1% between 2004 and 2005. Three levels of morons here:

-----1) Us, for spending like drunken sailors at a rate that doubles Our personal debt about every 5 years.
-----2) The Fools, for having such a piss-poor level of organization that in the age of instant data and communication, it is early 2007 before We actually know what happened in 2005.
-----3) The ill-conceived and ill-named Center for the New Economy, led by posturing wannabes who have no original insights, no central mission (other than catering to the entrenched power-brokers) and believe that practical solutions are too base for their lily-white and baby-soft hands. Maybe I should add Pansies to the list...

Barren: While the Island goes through a dry period that affects what few crops and cattle We have left, the Sewer and Sewage Authority (water quality here isn't really kosher) estimates that about 56% of the water supply is lost due to damages, incomplete systems and theft. Harkening back to Stupid Rosselló's SuperPhallus--I mean Super Tube--Project, it promised (and failed) to add 18% more water to the overall supply, despite studies that showed that for a fraction of the SuperWanker Pokery We received, about 30% of the current lost water could be rescued and used. Oh, but fixing the damaged system wouldn't have let the Bitch sell her favors, given the Idiot a reason to keep plunging Us deeper into debt, which We Morons keep going at like lemmings until We're nothing but Barren and I, for one, I'm just Disappointed.

The Jenius Has Spoken.