30 April 2008

Change the Rewards

In terms of patient care, here's a basic problem with the modern "medical" system: There's more money in treatment than curing. Therefore the system's rationale rewards long-term "control" of the patient's condition rather than outright elimination of the condition. Consequently there's no real incentive to cure, but there's a huge incentive to "manage".

Now I know there are some conditions, primarily congenital, that cannot be cured. But if there's something We've learned over the past century it's that what often slows down or impedes a "cure" is not based on facts, but on perceptions. And perceptions are highly-influenced by the rewards and penalties already in place.

Every system creates its own framework, establishing rewards and penalties as part of a value balance in order to provide support, management and control of its intended processes. So when the system is subverted--by accident, good intentions or malice--the problem isn't necessarily with the system itself, but with the value balance it provides. 

Using the pharma-medical system as an example, the value balance is obviously "Cure better than treatment and prevention better than cure." If the system's value balance were in direct accord with this basic truth, We would have a radically different health-care system and a much healthier population.

Of course, the factors impinging on the whole pharma-medical-health care system are widely diverse and a simple value balance adjustment is not going to fix the entire system in one fell swoop. But a system is composed of sub-systems and by dropping to the sub-system level and adjusting the value balance there you can eventually fix the entire system. Do the mental exercise and you will see that the only sub-system that needs adjusting and--guaranteed--will intrinsically fix the larger system is called "the individual." You. And Me.

At the individual level, adjusting My value balance away from "Treatment first" to focus "Prevention first" automatically adjusts the entire system to My benefit. What "prevention" the system provides is now a priority in My favor--as it should be--while whatever "prevention" is missing can be properly identified and tended to. Does this place a greater burden on you or Me than the current system? Not at all. It openly places the ultimate control of the system where it has always been: In Our hands.

Will the entire "medical" system collapse under the combined weight of "too many individuals?" No. Good health is not an individual (unique) set of conditions, but a commonality of conditions. Smoking is bad for everyone, exercise is good, low-fat foods are better for you, etc. Achieving a wider range of benefits with less effort means a system is more efficient. The current system is far from efficient; in fact, it is notably far from even being effective.

A system works better--for the common good--when its value balance is aligned with the actual benefits, the ideal benefits, and not the self-serving "benefits" of a mere handful.
That applies to the health care system. And to government as well, where the sub-system boils down to the same point: You. And Me.

The Jenius Has Spoken. 

28 April 2008

Brick Wall

---I've been having one of those months where it feels like I'm running hell-bent-for-leather into a brick wall. Several times. With no helmet on.

The worst part is that I keep running at breakneck speed in the belief that the brick walls won't be there. Blind optimism or ferocious will: You make the call. All I know is that My head hurts either way.

---Had a chat with a young mother of two who could have been the mother of three, but lost the baby during the early stages of her pregnancy. She tells Me that the two fathers of her children couldn't put up with her because she's "difficult to deal with." Her example? "Things don't have to be done as I say, but they have to be done as they should be." When I asked her who defines "how things should be" she gave Me a wide-eyed look and said "Me, of course." During that conversation, putative Father #3 was dumped over the phone for going to wash his clothes at his ex-girlfriend's house. Within half an hour I went from reading about the future of media to "reality trailer-trash TV". Pass the mayo, somebody.

---Made Me wonder: Who is the actual father of this woman's children? She's certainly a hard worker, holding down a full-time job while studying to become a respiratory therapist, so she isn't a visible burden on society. But given her situation as a single mother of two, the tendency is to (a) Latch onto a man, any man, so long as he provides something, preferably money or (b) Latch on to the government who does provide money. In effect, govvy is hubby. 

Now you might argue that the kids don't need a father... and you would be wrong. Studies from different fields of academia prove that children are much better off with fathers than without them. But what do these studies say--if anything--when govvy is hubby and daddy isn't "needed"? Wouldn't that constitute a disincentive for men to stick around and be fathers? Wouldn't the women have an incentive to have children 4-6 years apart in order to keep govvy-hubby's money around? Doesn't the whole govvy-hubby movement undermine the family and openly discriminate against men, since after all, the major program is called Women and Infant Children and men--even single fathers--are virtually excluded from receiving benefits?

---Talked to a local organization that wants to "improve the social and economic opportunities of housing project residents." Their plan? Secure funds to help single mothers provide for their children by making them more capable of requesting and receiving State and Federal funds. In essence, teaching the dependent to become (better) beggars.

I suggested that there were ample funds to help improve the father-child relationship and that by strengthening the family, the socioeconomic opportunities would gradually improve over the long-term. The lady gave Me a stinkeye and said, with mustard gas floating over her words, "Men are the problem and women have to solve it." 

"By becoming beggars?" I asked.

She slammed her folder closed and humphed. We shared the same thought: A wasted hour. 

But at least I knew I'd bounced off a brick wall. She just added another brick.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

25 April 2008

Our Basket Factory

Over at Dondequiera, one of only a handful of blogs in Puerto Rico with brains, wit and charm, MC Don Dees skewers the rantings of Rogelio "Puff Dead-y" Figueroa, erstwhile gubernatorial candidate for the Puerto Ricans for Puerto Rico faux-party. I can't improve on it, so go read it there.

The motivating factor for both Figueroa's mirages and MC's hammer (hahaha) is Puerto Rico's outright crappy economy. (Crappy in comparison to industrialized nations; We kick Third World ass, but most of Us couldn't define "Third World" in any terms other than "I dunno.") Much has been made of Our tendency to go for a "silver bullet" solution, largely based on laziness, island mentality and overall ignorance.

Let Me explain: 

--Laziness: We want all We can get with minimal effort. See also: Welfare mentality.
--Island mentality: Small country, small goals. What a crock.
--Overall ignorance: "They" are the experts and We don't want to learn.

(No, I'm not in a funk: I'm simply rehashing ancient history.)

The problem with "silver bullet" thinking can be illustrated by the proverbial basket with all one's eggs in it... and having the basket smashed by thugs.  Some of the thugs are Ours, but most aren't. And therein lies the problem, for you see, the eggs may be Ours, but the basket isn't. And unless you have your own basket, or better yet, your own basket factory, the thugs will smash your eggs whenever it suits them best.

If you read through the Jenius, you'll notice I'm all for the basket factory. But that makes Me a distinct minority. I see no reason why 3,600 square miles is some sort of intellectual or achievement limit. Athens was smaller than San Juan and changed humanity. The Vatican fits in some of Our barrios and it dominates 850 million lives. And if technology has shown anything it's that a handful of people can alter almost any aspect of daily life.

So forget Our island's size: It's irrelevant. The true economic solutions need to focus only in a space of about about 550 cubic inches: Our brains. Yes, We need alternative energy sources, but first We need to replace thugs with workers and apathy with enthusiasm. Yes, We need to replace drug companies, but first We need to envision multiple solutions as possible and that unless We act in Our best interests--Our best interests--Our progress will always be limited by thugs.

Of course, what I'm proposing is exponentially more difficult than mere punditry, sophistry and empty stat blather. That's part of the problem, for We are easily taken in  by the low road, the easy path and the cushy solution. We range from "idealistic" brain bubbles to 19th century head burial, but We never seem to look at Ourselves as truly capable and truly worthy of taking Our place on the world stage.

Our economic future is not--and never has been--about of the size of Our shores: It's about the size of Our will, of what We think and what We burn to accomplish. It's about hearts and minds seizing the greatest potential and working to make it a reality. It's about the high hard road because We need to earn Our best future instead of settling for the next handout. 

It's about time.

The Jenius Has Spoken. 

23 April 2008

One Man, One Woman, No Vote

Imagine this scenario: In the midst of the largest rejection of a seated president in modern U.S. history, the opposing party's presidential primary is a choice between a black man and a woman. And as that choice comes down to a bitter wire, the possibility exists that the deciding votes to secure either candidate's nomination could come from a faction of delegates--melding both Republicans and Democrats--that cannot vote for either one in the Presidential election.

Don't imagine: It's becoming more likely than most of the U.S. of part of A. would care to think about.

As Sen. Hillary Clinton continues to bash Sen. Barack Obama and the balance of delegate numbers hovers at "insufficient" to secure the nomination, the June Democratic primary in Puerto Rico looms larger as a deciding factor. And in this local primary, you will find the comical spectacle of open Republicans joining slimy paws with Democrats to lobby local support for "the candidate of choice." And at this point, that support leans closer to Sen. Clinton.

Why? Former First Lady of a two-term President, international reputation and let's not discount her skin color. (I've covered a similar notion here.) But at the delegate level, it boils down to "connections": The local Fools have more connections to Sen. Clinton than they do to Sen. Obama, and connections equal power. Local políticos will not turn their back on that power--most of it illusory--unless they have a greater power (or illusion of it) elsewhere.

Does that mean that Sen. Obama courts local delegates with promises, promises, promises? No. It means the Democratic party works its ass off to make sure a nomination is locked up without resorting to Our muddled delegates. The point isn't "who's chosen", but "chosen in time."

It can't be any other way. Imagine the most-watched election in history, one that breaks long-standing political barriers, being framed by a people who live under political barriers such that they can't even vote directly for the candidate they put over the top.

It's one thing for stateside candidates to take Our money: That's the deal. It's another thing entirely to have Our primary votes actually mean something. That's so not part of the deal.

Is this some veiled argument for statehood? Hell no. There is no argument "for" statehood aside from "The U.S. of part of A. wants Us," and that's not happening ever.  What The Jenius writes here is an argument for "Get over yourselves" aimed at Fools and missing the mark not from a lack of perspicacity on My part, but from a lack of intelligence on the part of the well-monikered Fools.

As for the rest of Us, Our choices range from guffaws to grunts. Guess how long I'll laugh...

The Jenius Has Spoken.

21 April 2008

Do We Teach Stupidity?


Although very tempted to make that the shortest (and sharpest) Jenius post ever, I feel compelled to elaborate. Yes, We teach stupidity. But far worse than that is that We seemingly can't do anything but teach stupidity.

Let's be literal and start with what is laughingly called the educational system. Decades of studies show that despite ever-increasing amounts of money and hand-wringing theorizing ad nauseum, We are getting dumber by the minute. By any measure--self-comparative, cross-comparative or observational--We are institutionalizing stupidity in a systematic way:

---Self-comparative: Take any U.S. educational system academic test from before World War II and notice how often you haven't even got a clue to the answer...but the answer is still relevant today.

---Cross-comparative: The U.S. has dropped from a Top 5 leader in student academic performance to barely being in the Top 20...and is falling behind faster now than ever before.

---Observational: There's a murderous, criminal moron in the Oval Office, surrounded by a few characters that make him look like Little(-Brained) Bo Peep. The rise of the stupid to the top of the pyramid is the system's crowning achievement and Our horrendous failure.

The basic premise of "The Marching Morons," the Cyril Kornbluth science ficton classic, is that the future is framed by five billion morons under the unknowing care of three million intellectuals who keep the whole planet from turning into a barren rock covered with rotting corpses. Here We have an anti-scenario: a cadre of vicious, amoral morons engaged in turning the planet into a barren rock soon to be covered with rotting corpses. 

But why has stupidity triumphed--I use the word in disgusted irony--to such a degree? It's simple: Stupid is what stupid does and it knows no other way. In other words, stupid wins by being stupidly consistent.

Even a blind squirrel eventually finds an acorn is another way of putting it. Stupidity--individualized or systematic (think the murderous moron and the Republican party)--wins over the long run through sheer force of repetition. Just as a small group of fanatical armed goons can take over a country, so can a relatively small group of unthinking fatheads do the same. All it takes is for a majority to accept their existence and ignore their efforts...until it's too late.

And what happens when the fatheads and Fools take over? They try to build others in their same image in a sort of "Frankenstein's monster clones himself" kind of way. Is it a conspiracy? No, it's simply the concatenation of intellectual conformity and indifference, stretched out in time. The stupid don't really outnumber Us, but they do outact Us.

For in the end, teaching stupidity will have and has had a far greater impact than the countless hours of idly discussing ways to overcome, thwart or conquer its existence. It is the fundamental difference between doing and saying. The stupid have done, and continue to do, while We primarily carp in Our free time, lamenting the downfall of Our level of existence and theorizing to Our mind's content. 

Yes, We teach stupidity. Sometimes by omission.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

18 April 2008

Itemized List

#601 and counting...

Item the First: A senator invites a known drug dealer to participate in a senatorial inspection visit to jails. The visit is recorded by video, photographs, multiple witnesses and the drug dealer's own signature on the Visitor Registry. The whole deal is ratcheted up a notch when the drug dealer is subsequently killed by gunfire in a typical hit and the senator—along with three of his chamber colleagues—intercede to have the hoodlum get preferential treatment at the hospital. Now, given all that, what are the odds that the senator will not be investigated by the hideously misnamed senate ethics committee? (Okay, I gave that away…) Zero. No chance. None. Even when the senator is said to call himself “Macaracachimba,” which loosely translates as “Pinhead with tiny manhood”…

Item the Second: A school in the western region of the Island, famed for its high standards and elite clientele, has slightly less than 1,000 students. What are the odds that amongst those students none are black? This isn’t Mississippi or New Hampshire: It’s Puerto Rico, where darker skin tones greatly outnumber paleness. Except at this “elite” school that doesn’t even have a teacher with darker skin than Daisy Fuentes.

Item the Third: The problem with flipping TV channels at random is that you run into the vast stupidity. In this case, it is a musical montage of bongos and maracas suddenly interrupted by a white-haired lumpy Southern dumbbell named Paula who has the unmitigated gall to host a show on the Food Network centered on Latino-style cooking. What the hell is this spastic fatback doing jumping on a bandwagon and what the f*#% is the Food Network doing by allowing this? There aren’t any Cuban, Puerto Rican, Mexican or south-of-the-border real cooks and chefs to handle this show? Of course there are, but for some godforsaken reason that pushes beyond the boundaries of stupidity and idiocy, the Food Network figures any old bag can sling mojito.

Item the Fourth: A rising tide of noise is being made about the Federal government’s “persecution” of the governor, Aníbal “Busted Jellyfish” Acevedo, and its subsequent forays into more members of the inappropriately-named Popular Democratic Party. Boo-freaking-hoo, people. Here’s a stat for you: 98.4% conviction rate. That’s the current level of whoopass a Grand Jury unleashes on a suspect. That rate doesn’t happen by accident—hence the conspiracy theories—but the wild-hare maniacs don’t grasp that (A) Evidence is carefully verified in order to stack the deck before the indictments and (B) The game is played by Federal rules, not local. Here’s the kicker: We can’t avoid B, having abrogated that level of dignity long ago, but We can avoid feeding A—by dint of Our own choices. The Busted Jellyfish and his cronies ignored A and now wail like banshees about B. Boo-freaking-hoo, you pathetic losers.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

16 April 2008


3:28 p.m. -- I'm standing in line at the external branch of Banco Popular, across from the supermarket, at the Mayaguez Mall. There's an elderly woman in front on Me, her left hand clutching several checks and money orders. There are more tellers than clients on this slow Wednesday afternoon. A half-scream makes Us turn.

A man, masked, wearing uniform-like clothes, is clubbing another man over the head with a gun. One, two, three smashes as a woman's scream rises in intensity. The robber turns and flees from the bank.

I am with My son, watching this scene unfold thirty feet from where We stand.

I turn to him, to protect him. To My right, a woman and her daughter are crouched against the wall. The wall isn't their protection: I am. They are hiding behind Me.

I ask My son if he's okay. Wide-eyed, he nods. "What was that?" he asks. I start to tell him and he answers his own question. We watch as the assaulted man is tended to, the screaming woman, the bank officer closest to the beating, is escorted away by her colleagues. She is crying hysterically. The bank tellers, many of whom had hidden in different corners, now emerge to follow protocol. The bank is closing down.

I ask My son again if he's okay. He says yes. I dial 911 and report the incident and request an ambulance. The dispatcher asks Me if it's needed. I tell him I'm looking at a man who was beaten on the skull in a robbery at the bank: Yes, send the ambulance. "One moment," he says and seems to walk away. "It's been reported, sir," he tells Me. "Please send the ambulance," I tell him.

"What's the skull?" asks My boy. I tell him, then tell the nearest bank officer that I requested an ambulance. He looks confused. "We asked for one," he tells Me. The crime victim, a man in his 50s, is being helped into a chair, blood dripping onto his polo shirt from three head wounds. He is dazed and in pain.

My son and I sit down, Our backs to the milling scene as cell phones abound, murmurs echoing around a somber chamber. A woman sits at the desk where I'm chatting with My son. She has tears in her eyes and makes a low-voiced phone call. I call a friend, a local newsdaily editor and tell him the basics. He chuckles as I tell him I didn't knock off the bank.

Police arrive, and suited men who don't look like police. My son asks Me about them and I say they could be Special Investigations or F.B.I. Suddenly, a dozen policemen and policewomen are milling outside the bank. I learn the identity of the victim, and My speculation that the crime was carried out by a stalking thief who followed the businessman from outside Mayaguez is pretty much confirmed. I call the editor again and add these details, noting that the local public TV newsvan and cameraman had arrived.

The bank manager hands out paper cones of water and offers My son candy. His ill-fitting suit is swallowing him up with every passing minute. I tell My son that even in Puerto Rico, all bank robbers are caught. We hear about the crime, oh yes We do, but that all of these vermin get caught just seems to slip through the cracks.

I notice people are being allowed to leave. No statements, no questions. As My son finishes his cherry lollipop (I got butterscotch), We walk past the ambulance. I overhear the driver and paramedic mention they were responding to a 911 call, not the police or the bank.

In My car, I ask My son if he was afraid. "Not now. I was afraid when it happened." He wants to keep it from his mom, but I gently explain that's not correct. She needs to know and he needs to be able to talk to her if he starts feeling anxious or afraid later.

We talk about police work, news, who My editor friend is and why I made one last call to decribe the assailant. "Because you helped Me with the details," I answer. "You saw things that could help catch him." He smiled a little.

Ten minutes later a, at another bank, as We walk out with a crisp $5 bill with the new purple ink that We had gone to Banco Popular for, a woman at the second bank reassures the security guard that the bank wasn't robbed, a customer was, inside the bank. He seems nervous. She repeats the news to him. He shakes his head. "We were there when it happened," I tell them. "It was a customer." The guard nods.

My son slips his hand into Mine as We talk about the purple ink and the intricate design of the five bucks he just made off of Me. I hope I've done well by him.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

14 April 2008

Time to Do Good

The local Treasury department, a popular source of attention these days, keeps reporting that tax revenue is falling short of expectations. In fact, the government is taking out additional loans from its own bank to keep their vacuum of anti-progress sucking the life out of Us.

Sure, oil is skyrocketing because We're beholden to a cretin, a murderous moron with the morals of crack skank and a posse where he's "the virgin". Sure food prices are rocketing upward as transportation and ill-conceived policies make the fewer crops grown more expensive to move from Point A to garbage dump. And sure, Our bubble-wrapped economy, a form of I.V.-pricked bloated blood-baby feeding corporate and bureaucratic greed may have reached a crisis point, but it's an election year and what can We expect when everything here grinds to a angst-stuffed halt as The Fools cavort like simian lunatics?

We can expect to make a change.

Uh-huh. As you wallow in the black depression these words blanket you with (your choice, I might add) note that the true underlying sentiment to that dark mood is not "But how do I make a change? " but "Let others make the change."

You know I'm right. Shake your head, get miffed at Me, but as the old Archie Bunker poster used to (almost) say: In your heart, you know I'm right.

You don't want to make a change, you really don't. You want the change to happen, to your benefit and without any messy effort on your effort. Messy as in "Actually do anything."

So listen up, hermanos y hermanas of Our Island: Making a change starts with actually wanting a change. Wanting. Not wishing. Not waiting. Wanting. What's the difference between a wish and a want? A wish is someday. A want is now.

And by that single, vital difference, now is the time to make the change. And before you get all pissy again, here's the key: Pick whatever you want to change. You don't have to fix Us across the board, you just have to help fix something. A rutted street? Good. Too many strays in your neighborhood? Good. Making drug addicts move away from your street or the kid's playground? Good. Start a campaign against a crooked Fool? Good. Clean up your favorite beach? Good. Help schoolkids get better grades? Good. Point out good deeds and heroes? Good. Spread some cheer at retirement homes? Good. Join a volunteer group to bring attention to a particular problem? Good. 

It's all good; what makes it excellent is your focused effort. Many small changes add up to monumental change and where We are right now is not the waiting room. But small changes, and large ones, have to begin somewhere, sometime and with someone. You're that someone.

And if you're sitting there asking yourself stuck on "Well what's in it for me?" you're exactly the kind of numbskull Our society has specialized in creating and the primary reason We are stuck as We are now.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

11 April 2008

A Prism and a Plan

As Our non-governor Aníbal “Busted Jellyfish” Acevedo plays the limpet, the wings are filled with stage whispers of the willie-nilly kind, namely, that Caguas mayor Willie “Here I Am” Miranda should step in and—chortle—save the party.


Let’s dump this one from the start: Willie isn’t white enough to win. And I don’t mean it in the sense of having a clean political record: I mean his skin color. It’s about the color of good mahogany and not the pale “flesh” tone so favored by Our collective unconscious.

And before you slam into The Jenius for racism, look back at the last 60 years of Our political history and you will notice two things: In a country where roughly 65% of the population is non-white, every governor was pale-faced (and the governess was damn near albino-white) and NO viable candidate was darker than Fred Flintstone.

Dig deeper and you’ll eventually see that all those folks came from upper middle-class or outright upper class backgrounds. Willie? He’s normal. And normal just don’t cut it here.

But say you want to deny this colorful argument and focus on “Willie Wonka’s” wide-ranging development of the city of Caguas, a former urban dumpheap transformed into a sprawling techno-city. “See?” you’d say in your gratingly annoying nasal whine, “Willie can do this for Puerto Rico!”

No. Not really. The difference in Caguas over the past 12 years is the same as the difference between Orlando in 1957 and Orlando in 1969. In ’57, Orlando was a Florida mudhole; in ’69, it was a Florida mudhole with a well-funded, well-focused plan for development. Mickey Mouse himself could have developed Orlando in 1969, but it took a Walt Disney to do that in 1957.

The Caguas Walt was Angel O. Berríos, a head-down, determined, bureaucratic slogger who had something no one else had: vision. To get Caguas there, he knew he had to have the city well-prepared. So Angel set out to prepare Caguas for the future.

But he died. And some time later, “Willie Maze” stepped into the breach and began a tortuous path to making Caguas what it was foreseen to be three decades ago.

Now “Willie Pete” has had some bright ideas, such as the municipal tax (it does free up municipalities from total dependence on the central government) and lump-sum federal funding management (if only because it reduces Our D.C. Dance of Begging). So he isn’t just a factotum carrying out programmed orders.

But a savior? No, that he isn’t. A savior needs to have vision and passion, whereas “Willie Stein” has will, an indomitable thrust that is valuable in itself, but is far from being what his downtrodden and ravaged party needs.

In the end, “Willie Brown” will remain on the sideline, a poignant footnote to the main text of Our election year. And his party will survive because parties come together and are sustained by opinions formed without due examination of their causes, by biases, by rejection of alternate positions based on incomplete knowledge or through unreasoned arguments. In essence, his party will survive by its own prejudices.

The same ones that keep Willie Miranda Marín on the outside looking in.

The Jenius Has Spoken

09 April 2008

Puzzling Thoughts

I just finished a desk calendar of USA Today puzzles, a year's worth of 6 per week, for a total of 312 puzzles, including crosswords, word ladders, 4X4 word tables, word searches and sudoku.

I missed 7 of them, for a 98% success rate. I'm not satisified with that.

That makes Me very different from most of you for a number of reasons:

1) I did 311 puzzles in about 14 weeks.

2) I actually enjoyed doing that many puzzles in so short a time.

3) I get a kick out of challenging My brain. Most of My readers do too. The rest of humanity is lazy in that sense.

4) I fully expected to get all 312 puzzles right. Not as a wish: as a certainty.

5) That I missed 7 (three crosswords, a word table, a word search, a word ladder and a sudoku puzzle) really bothers Me, especially when 3 of those failures were by one letter.

6) Unlike My younger self, I can actually accept being imperfect and enjoyed the effort anyway.
But I'm still competitive enough to feel chagrined about falling 7 short.

There's a combination of good (intellectual focus, brain stimulation, enjoyment of solitude) and bad (competitiveness over fun, perfectionism, hubris) in this puzzle exercise, but even the bad has its value in helping Me achieve goals. (Nothing good about hubris, though; it's there because I'm being honest.) I wonder why I see so few people evince these traits, for they are not the result of heroic or superhuman efforts: They are simply tools for growth.

Could be I'm too self-centered, or too busy reading, or too busy writing, or too busy doing puzzles to notice other people's good points. Could be. I hope so. I'm already a bit top-heavy with hubris. Don't need more of that.

And why 311 completed puzzles? One crossword puzzle was repeated. Stupid USA Today.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

07 April 2008

The Murderous Moron in History

Some things don't need consensus. The Ten Commandments are pretty good rules to live by, if you downplay the egotistical Top 3 a tad. (Egotism being such a turn-off, you know.) Being rich is better than being poor, even if the poor grossly outnumber the rich. And the murderous moron in the Oval Office is a historical jackass.

Beyond question.

Harper's magazine, that historical cul-de-sac of an Americana that existed really only its pages, writes about George Mason University’s History News Network report where 109 historians were polled and 61% called the murderous moron the worst president ever, and 98% of them call his moronic regime the worst presidency ever.

Geez, ya think? Shredded and "wiped his ass" with the Constitution, lied the country into a damaging war, ravaged the budget, raped the economy, acted time and again above the law, denied basic legal and human rights, destroyed the country's international support base, strafed the environment, subverted government processes, conspired against his own citizens, as well as severely undermining U.S. power and influence and thus created such a suckiferous black hole it could take decades for the country to recover...if it can.

In terms of unpopularity, the murderous moron is often compared to Nixon-during-Watergate. There is no comparison: Nixon was beseiged for lying and trying to cover up a "third-rate burglary." The murderous moron makes that look like a Sesame Street boo-boo. That this, the worst president ever, a murderous moron rampaging like a demented drunkard through the most powerful country in the world, is still in office means that the worst president ever exists because the U.S. between 1999 and the present is, without question, the stupidest U.S. there has ever been.

Made for each other, as history is already attesting.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

04 April 2008

A Son's Love

Photographs of My son dot My office and crown My sports-mad TV set. That's normal behavior for a doting dad. What isn't normal, in the sense of being truly special, is that My son dotes on Me.

It is a truth of life that parents love their children more than their children love them. It's simply the difference between responsibility and familiarity: To parents, children are gifts We choose to embrace as affirmers of Life; to children, parents are "facts of Life", as valuable as air, food and water, but with a better vocabulary and money.

I assure you, there's nothing wrong with this scenario. Nature knows what it's doing. But when the roles are reversed, even for a brief period, it isn't often that it can improve on Nature. Think of the children whose parents lean on them for emotional or even financial support and how that adversely affects the emotional state of both sides.

So imagine My surprise when I watch My son weave his way in words and actions to support Me, to help Me, though I am as active and able as almost every caring parent out there in supporting him. He does this by talking about what I do, by asking Me to explain where I'm headed, and by expressing his concerns. He seeks ways to connect to Me, to learn what I know and to share his insights to My interests.

Maybe all children do this and I don't remember doing it with My parents. Maybe I didn't do this at all, or to a far lesser extent than My son. His actions surprise Me because I encourage him to explore, to branch out and question everything, never thinking for a second he'd take that encouragement and reflect it back on Me. Maybe this happens because I don't fathom how important I am to him, or I refuse to look too closely into that for fear the answer would overwhelm Me.

I'm aware that what I'm describing is most likely not unique, that I am, in fact, living a period of parental life that is quite common. It doesn't feel that way. No matter how common the pattern, it is unique simply because it is Mine.

My son will grow up and there will come a day when My encouragement to explore and challenge will place him farther away from Me, maybe even as antagonist instead of supporter. It seems to Me I'm more prepared for that than I am for what is happening now. But I know now that having felt his loving support, the days of distancing will be colder than I thought. And at that time, I will have to remember that the best example of My love for him will be his example of his love for Me.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

02 April 2008

Barnacle Boy

Aníbal "Former Jellyfish" Acevedo, embattled governor of this here Isle of Ours, facing 19 charges covering tax fraud, electoral fraud and perjury, has gone from softie to crusty. In a show of utter egotistical tomfoolery and some lame-brain attempt at defiance, "Jellyfish" has morphed into "Barnacle Boy," clinging without thought to his position in the hope that the whole storm will wash over.

And yes, "Barnacle Boy" is a character in SpongeBob Squarepants. But you gotta admit it fits.

Just like the cartoonish sidekick, Our "Barnacle Boy" is more whiny than heroic, more pathetic than proactive and makes the issue of his potential guilt or innocence a mere sideshow to the general "will he or won't he" speculation. Sure, it's called spin and frame management, but it all amounts to so much crap.

It would seem that the strategy "Barnacle Boy" is using is that of dragging out the proceedings until a moment of positive drama can be extracted from his seamy melodrama. Given time, even a wuss can be seen as a hero if he just lasts long enough. That's the mindset of the pusillanimous, of the wimp, of the yellow-bellied feeb who thinks he has a chance if he merely lives until past high noon. It's also the mindset of the guilty who wish to postpone the consequences they never cared about in the first place.

Here's a heads-up. "Barnacle Boy": High noon ain't coming this year. You're playing a different game, one of politics over policy and of "me" over "we." No, high noon will come next year, when the federal charges you kept telling Us you were never worried about are read in a court and the point-by-point evidence that led to your indictment is spelled out. That's high noon, "Barnie Baby." That will be your time to stop being a softie or a lump, the time to man up or shut up.

My bet's on you shutting up, because heaven knows you've never manned up in your life.

The Jenius Has Spoken.