30 October 2009

Fool's Gold(en Idea)

Somebody tattoo this date on their hindquarters: 30 October 2009. The reason? The Jenius found a Fool's plan to be actually...workable.

Yes, I know, I had to sit down for a few seconds Myself. Got Me a case of the vapors, I must say.

OutHouse member Eric Correa--better known for being the foster brother of now-dead drug dealer and recent victim of shots fired at his house (which is why I don't bother with using "alleged" before "drug")--has filed a proposal to consolidate Puerto Rico's 78 Municipalities into 20. 

I went after this proposal in Jenial hand-rubbing fashion, what with Eric's family connections and bullets already flying around his head, or actually, his house, so that whatever brickbats I hurled at this Fool would (a) have to be sharp (they always are, but I mean, I'd be competing with bullets, people!) and (b) be tinged with some "No, here's how it's done" smackdown thrown in as the usual lagniappe. (Subtle shout out to The Picky Grammar Lady on that one...)

But lo and behold! Eric "The Foster Brother to a Dead Drug Dealer"'s plan is actually not bad. His conjunction of 78 Municipalities into 20 is not perfect, but it has strong elements that make it feasible. Let Me elaborate:

---By using 20 "new" municipalities, the proposal reduces to almost one-fourth the number of "City Hall" staffs needed, which could translate into reducing the size of this level of government by 1%. Nah, I'm kidding. Maybe 3%. Okay, okay, realistically, the consolidation would force the reduction of at least 25-30% of current employee levels, a significant savings for Us the taxpayers. (No, I don't give a damn who loses their jobs because I'm paying for their parasitism.)

---Although the consolidation creates "cities" with a wide range of populations (from about 92,000 in "New Fajardo" to about 515,000 in "New San Juan"), the average size of each new "city" is about 200,000 residents. With projected reductions in employee numbers, this could bring Us into closer alignment with the U.S. of part of A. level of employees-per-10,000 residents, a better fit for Federal funding and state budget models. (No, the U.S. is not the gold standard for great government, but they give Us gold and thus set the [mediocre] standard.)

---The consolidation also makes perfect sense for establishing a unicameral system with 5 Senatorial Districts of roughly 800,000 residents each (10 senators all told) and 4 representatives per District, with each representative "speaking" for about 200,000 residents. No at-large legislators allowed. New unicameral total: 30 Fools.  Current number: Too many.

There are some negatives to the proposal, but they are manageable:

---Some of the geographical groupings are awkward, such as Maricao-into-Yauco (Maricao is closer to Mayagüez) and Cabo Rojo-into-San Germán (Cabo Rojo is larger in population), but these are not insurmountable. If 20 is the magic number, some towns can be re-arranged and that should take care of the problem. 

---However, there is some trace of gerrymandering in the proposal, with some traditional Popular Democratic Party towns kept in "small" new cities while major statehood party centers are glommed into "large" new cities. That can be addressed at the planning stage by using population/proximity as the basis for redistribution rather than political expediency. The odds of that happening are (Yes, I'm being mathematically sarcastic.) And yet, it can be done if a number such as 20 is used as a guide to the number of "new cities," as it forces redistribution within reasonable parameters.

---The bigger obstacle is stupid civic pride and political greed, as possibly shown above, but also by "Not My town!" pseudo-thinking. Here's the appropriate response to that: Screw it. If your town is to be folded into another, I don't care: We need to save money and if sticking your little city hall and half-brained mayor into some sort of county structure will cut Our costs, good riddance to your "independence," bozo. I live in Cabo Rojo and if it becomes "part" of San Germán, cool. I was born in Aguadilla and if another plan suggests it become part of Arecibo, cool. If it isn't 20, then 27, or (as in My unpublished post) maybe 16? Cool. Fewer Fools? Mondo cool! (Yes, I said mondo.)

What We cannot have is a "not My town" mentality that keeps Us on a "damn My Island" path. Consolidate? Good. Counties instead of municipalities? Good. Purposeful action that leads to significant change? Good. Waiting for another workable plan to satisfy Fools and the fools that support them. Not good.

The Jenius Has Spoken.


29 October 2009

Monkey Business (Plan)

Have you heard the one about monkeys being used as lab animals for scientific experiments? Seems that a company called Bioculture Puerto Rico Inc. wants to set-up a research facility in Guayama (east of Ponce; look it up) that will breed monkeys and test drugs on them, including vaccines like that used for/against the swine flu. In the hullabaloo, PETA got involved and may have duped Oscar-winner Benicio Del Toro into signing a letter pledging to engage in civil disobedience to fight this facility, petitions abound and no one with any real government authority wants to go on record about this matter.

Hoo boy. Where to start?

Okay, Let's start here: I bet the only freaking link you clicked on was about Benicio Del Toro. If that's so: screw you.

Second of all, I usually think of PETA as rabid cretins, but I support them in this effort. No, monkeys don't have rights, but We don't have any right to haul their hairless asses from Mauritius to Puerto Rico for lab experiments. Especially since...

We've got thousands of monkeys running amok in Puerto Rico. Most of them work for the government (shut up: you knew that was coming), but years ago, macaques and rhesus monkeys escaped from a university facility and have been living large on the southwest side of the Island. Where I live.

Coincidence, I assure you.

The monkeys cause severe crop damage, more severe when you consider We have the agricultural production of the Gobi Desert's rock plains. They've been a problem for years and many people--Me included--have come out in favor of hunting them down and exterminating them as a non-native, harmful species.

And before you get on your high horse and abuse it, the monkeys are known to harbor hepatitis and herpes. We know that because that's what they were infected with when they escaped.

But one man's monkey on his back is another's mon(k)ey maker. (Took Me nine seconds to come up with that. Please hold your applause as I'm busy right now.) Look down at the very bottom of this article to find the following quote:  

"The increasing lab demand for macaques meanwhile has encouraged Puerto Rican trappers to intensify efforts to capture feral rhesus macaques and red monkeys. The monkeys were introduced to Puerto Rico to be bred for research more than 80 years ago. The National Humane Review, formerly published by the American Humane Association, mentioned efforts to extirpate them in the 1930s.

Estimating the present monkey population to be about 1,000, the Puerto Rican government has invested $450,000 in the present capture campaign, according to Danica Coto of Associated Press."

By some estimates, the (real) monkey population is in the several thousands, not a mere thousand. Reports of monkey sightings have been made in Cataño, just west of San Juan and site of a recent refinery explosion. (Coincidence, I assure you.) That the government wants to throw money at the problem is (a) about time and (b) as useful as monkeys pissing on the CAPECO fire. The government can't handle its own monkeys, so it should just turn the handling of these monkeys to private industry.

Yes, that's right: Let's legalize capturing monkeys in Puerto Rico to sell to labs. I'll bullet My list:

A) We need to get rid of monkeys that don't belong here. I say We do that with Our politicians, too.

B) Capturing the monkeys generates revenue and produces tangible benefits to farmers, labs and monkeys in Africa, who get to stay home.

C) A monkey's life is less valuable than a human's. Disagree? Okay, who should We protect: the person who can get bitten and savaged by a monkey with herpes or hepatitis or the monkey? Don't say "both" because the monkey doesn't belong here.

D) Best-case scenario is the captured monkeys go back to Africa. Okay, PETA, put your money where your howling mouth is and pay for that. Uh-huh, I thought so.

E) My Plan: Round up 100-110 monkeys, throw them into a session of the legislature and lock all the doors. Last monkey standing wins.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

P.S. And on the subject of animals, dead or otherwise, here's this about tons of dead fish in one of Our lagoons. Coincidence, I assure you.

28 October 2009

Vicious Cycle

My Genius Friend Kevin Shockey and I have had numerous discussions about Puerto Rico. One of his many salient observations is that We seem to have "leapfrogged" the U.S. of part of A. in terms of what's happening in Our democracy/society. 

Made Me think. That's a good thing, people. Tell your elected officials to try it sometime.

So I spent a few minutes and came up with this quote, from Alexander Tytler's book 'The Cycle of Democracy":

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover they can vote themselves largess from the public treasury.

From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising them the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. 

The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence:

“From bondage to spiritual faith;
from spiritual faith to great courage;
from courage to liberty;
from liberty to abundance;
from abundance to selfishness;
from selfishness to apathy;
from apathy to dependence;
from dependency back again into bondage.”
(Emphasis Mine.)

Now Dr. Tytler wrote this back in the late 18th century, pre-dating much of what We now know as the U.S. of part of A. But it is worth noting that his "Cycle of Democracy" or "Fatal Sequence" is very much in evidence...and Kevin is right: We have leapfrogged Our "owners."

I spent many an hour writing about the slide into fascism that the murderous moron and his hyena cabal were engaging in. Under any measurement, civil liberties in the U.S. have been severely undermined to the point where it can be argued that the U.S. has ceased to be a true democracy.


Looking at the downward part of the Cycle, where selfishness becomes apathy, then dependence and then bondage, where is the U.S. of part of A.? And where are We?

Both countries are past apathy. The evidence up north is voting numbers, where the U.S. consistently brings up the rear in voter turnout percentages amongst major democracies. Here, We eatbreatheexcrete politics, voting like banshees in heat, but can't put two brain cells together to actually think about what the Fools are doing to Us. 

The U.S. can be seen as being in the apathy-to-dependence transitional stage, making noises about issues, but waiting for someone in government to do something, like Obama coming up with some unimagined panacea. (And people getting really angry because he can't or isn't allowed to.)

But We are in bondage. Look at the stages and tell Me, Brethren, that We are in any other stage or between any other two stages. Go ahead: try.

Because We have been selfish--from Fools overloading government offices and budgets for personal and political gain to Us taking everything offered without any thought of morality or consequences--We became apathetic to whatever happened "away" from Us.

Because We were apathetic to what happened to "them," some groups seized control and doled out what the wanted, how they wanted, when they wanted and We came to depend on their indulgences, their "power," which was nothing more then the abdication of Ours.

Because We are dependent, when the government acts against Our best interests--or against Our demented whims--We feel powerless to act, incapable of proper response and thus are nothing more than prisoners of a system We spawned through indulgence and indifference. We are in bondage.

Doubt it? Where's the concerted action after the "huge," "massive," "historical" work stoppage of two weeks ago? Where are the pro-active public campaigns, the targeting of government actions, the widespread grass-roots upswell of laser-focused action?

It ain't there. Like elephants chained at infancy with puny links, We no longer believe We have the strength, will or energy to take action. We can shriek Our pain, but We can't think for Our future. We can scream epithets and tweet inanities, but We can't seize an initiative or target a goal. What We have instead is government trying to "solve" government, the warden and prison guards duking it out behind closed doors while We rattle Our bars with tin cups and yell "Dirty screws!"

And yet...

Briefly: what overthrows bondage?

The Jenius Has Spoken.

27 October 2009

Our Brethren, Our Problem

This won't take long...

Apropos of My most recent post, The Insider posted a comment, an excerpt of which reads:

"PPA, OBE, PPP. How about IPOM?

Incentivized Citizen Out Migration

Identify the demographic most draining on the government. Let's say the welfare class, and fully subsidize their move to the United States where they will certainly obtain a better education for their children. Meanwhile the costs associated with holding them in "inventory" for PR are offset by a "foreign" government completely.

Yes, this does sound like some form of governmental "expense category gentrification". So be it. Overall, everyone involved is better off.

The impact of this educational component are also in line with Gil's recent discussion on how education and Puerto Rico's death toll are interrelated.

I made the personal exodus. That is usually not possible for the welfare class who cannot afford moving expenses or even airfare in most cases.

I discussed it in more detail in my blog entry titled "Expatriating the Poor Boriquens to Save the Economy".

It took Singapore 30 years to re-engineer it's economy. Based on how it "felt to be in Puerto Rico", it will probably take about 60 years to get a clue on how to re-vamp education... everything is sssssslllllloooooowwwwwww....

So - at that rate - when your child turns about 65, if he hasn't been shot up in the streets or died from lack of adequate health care, then you can enroll him back in kindergarten.

Or you can move them to Florida where you can find a similar climate, pockets of similar culture, and vast improvements in everything else."

I respect and support The Insider's choice to move away from Puerto Rico; We even discussed it over the phone long before it happened. And We have debated issues related to Our societal ills and foibles over at his blog and in e-mails.

But his solution--exiling Our welfare class someplace else--is wrong. The solution is not to dump Our people in someone else's unwilling lap: the solution is to redevelop Our society so that Our welfare class is drastically reduced, while Our other classes make equally-positive strides.

Yes, dumping the poor someplace else is "easy," but "easy" isn't synonymous with "right." And "easy" is not the way We need to look to create the society so many of Us want and deserve.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

26 October 2009

Privatization Formula

My previous post brought up "off-budget entities" (OBEs) as government "solutions" and related them--on the surface--to "public-private alliances" (PPAs), the current government enema-disguised-as-panacea.

Let's delve into this, shall We? (The OBE-PPA thing, not the enema thing...)

While OBEs are often, if not always, politically-motivated (why go "off-budget" for ANY public service?) and remain largely in government, PPAs are not often so politically-oriented, simply because they are almost always undertaken with the markets and in full view of voters. There's something to be said for transparency.

I'll use a small-scale example to illustrate My forthcoming larger points. Redding and Shasta Counties, in California, implemented several PPAs. Mary Machado, Executive Director of Shasta Voices, issued a report evaluating the results of those PPAs. Here's an excerpt:

"Machado's report looks at the pros and cons of privatization, giving local examples in which public-private partnerships have worked (Redding Library, Turtle Bay Exploration Park and Big League Dreams) and when privatization has failed (Shasta County public defenders office, Shasta County Mental Health Services and electric utility service for the city of Redding)."

Note what had worked and what had not: Worked: library, park, park; Not Worked: law system, health, utility. The split is indisputable: If it is a central government function, mere privatization does not work.

Now there are several dozen factors involved in this privatization analysis framework, but here are the basics, and from these, one can easily assess whether a PPA is aimed at public success (a "win-win") or political success (a "they win-We get shafted like a Saturn rocket just blasted up Our descending colons"):

1)  Privatization of a peripheral government service: Parks and convention centers are not core government functions; just imagine Disney World built and run by FEMA. (Make up your own jokes here.) When a peripheral government service is privatized, the odds are it will be a success, if for no other reason than the fact that a private company will be more efficient than a government agency. A second major reason is that most people will not use or care as much about the peripheral service when compared to a core service. If We see PPAs aimed at "releasing" peripheral services, We can relax a bit and focus simply on whether the privatizer is getting a sweetheart deal (which I'm sure is the case.)

2) Privatization of a core government service: The core government functions are defense (law system, police, military), infrastructure (roads, utilities, public service buildings), economic standards (treaties, incentives, banking regulations) and government revenue collection to pay for the above (taxes, fees, licenses, patents, etc.) If you can't directly place a government service in these four categories, it is not something the government should be involved in. That includes education. And before you ask, I place health care in "infrastructure," as in the government helps build hospitals and other health centers.

The problem with privatizing a core government service is that the hybrid moron created combines the worst of both parents: political influence and sole authoritative power on one side with self-serving greed and short-term vision on the other. The "You who disagree just shut the hell up" example? Health care in the U.S. of part of A., where a highly-protected (sole authoritative power + political influence) industry seeks ever-increasing profits (self-serving greed + short term vision) over decent patient care.

The result? A lousy expensive hybrid that satisfies only the few that benefit from it in government and insurance companies. We had a similar (but much smaller) example in Puerto Rico when the local government owned the telephone company, which became THE cash cow for the Fools. How? By charging long-distance call rates intra-Island that were higher than long-distance calls to many States. In effect, the phone company made profits--though it was a government service--severely hampered business development for decades (the phone bill was a major expense that limited entrepreneurs and centered offices in San Juan rather than islandwide) and harbored thousands of useless bodies as government "workers," a fact that was made abundantly clear when the company was being sold. 

What did the government do? Stepped in to protect the useless bodies' jobs. And that, in a nutshell, is the problem with OBEs, PPAs and privatization: They are aimed at government's goals, not Ours. 

Why would a private company want to take over a government service? Because it is almost always an exclusive niche. How many power companies do We have? Water companies? Port systems? Exactly. So taking them over means a company gains a monopoly that, like all monopolies in a capitalist economy, can only be established and kept with government help. (Don't give Me any "Windows" crap: "Word" has a bigger market share and other options have always been available.) 

So with a monopoly on the table, what kind of negotiation is involved? A give-and-take with the client/public in mind? Or a "share the power and wealth" cacklefest?

But if the government service is one where other entities compete--like the educational system or health care--what incentive will a private company or industry insist upon in order to take on the huge risk? Protection. If not outright monopoly, then clear-cut favoritism. 

In Our case, privatize the Stupid Convention Center? Go ahead, so long as the company that takes over doesn't get free electricity, free water and a tax break longer than three years or gets saddled with 120 workers where 35 will do.

Privatize the power and water companies? Go ahead, so long as the government stays on the regulatory side (performance standards, rate adjustment formulas, strategic development) and stays out of personnel issues and "special projects." Will the rates go up? Sure. But by eliminating the many--very many--subsidies and removing the debt load collection from political chicanery, the rise in rates will more closely reflect market realities rather than political realities. (There are pharmaceuticals here that pay less for electricity than the corner mom-and-pop bakery and municipalities owing millions of dollars dating back years. And don't give Me any guff about "But they create jobs." So do thousands of other entities and they pay their bills, on time and in full.)

Privatize the university system? Normally, I'd say "go ahead," seeing as how I think education in government hands is like science in a Scientologist's maw. But the public university system has followed the U.S. of part of A.'s model and that is the only aspect of education in the States that actually works at a world-class level. The University of Puerto Rico system boasts a Top 5 engineering school (in Mayagüez), serves over 106,000 students and though lurches more often than it walks proud, the system turns out a decent end product. Can a private system do as well? Only if it gets massive concessions regarding tuition, hiring, rent, utilities, legislation (for future projects) and subsidies.

Watch as the discussion about privatizing the UPR centers on "academic freedom" (bullcrap) on one side and "economic adjustment" (bullshit) on the other, but no mention will be made about the end product (students graduating and prepared for the coming economic changes)...until the privatizer asks for massive concessions. Then and only then will Our future college graduates be deemed important: to gain the secured niche.

And if that happens, in the UPR discussion or about another government service, remember the formula: Sole authoritative power + political influence + self-serving greed + short term vision = We are screwed.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

23 October 2009


From the Freeman blog, an article by Hans Sennholz, titled "Underground Government."

It's from 1986.

All emphasis is Mine, sayeth The Jenius.

"...(W)hen constraints on government pose a major threat to politicians, government employees, and powerful interest groups that benefit from political largess, government goes underground. When budget cuts threaten the position and incomes of politicians and bureaucrats they react by going “off-budget.” Whether they are committed philosophically to expand the political arena or just defend their economic existence and life style, off-budget operations are an important procedure for achieving their goal. 

The path to underground government is rather short and direct. Government merely needs to establish independent corporations, that is, quasi-public enterprises that are managed by politicians or their appointees and operated “off-budget.” These enterprises (OBEs) may engage in any economic activity from the construction and maintenance of airports, public housing, and libraries, to the development of theaters, stadiums, and zoos. Their spending, borrowing, and other activities are deleted from any government budget. Their debt is not subject to constitutional debt limitation nor is it conditional on voter approval. Government activity may thus be made to disappear by a simple stroke of the pen that creates a corporate charter. The simple expedient of a corporate guise moves political machinations beyond the control and scrutiny of the electorate."

Yes. DO go on.

"The use of OBE’s allows (politicians) to spend and borrow without constraint, to dispense patronage without civil service restrictions, and to bestow favors and benefits on special groups. An OBE is an anomaly of organization: a government entity unfettered by many of the statutory constraints applicable to government, a corporation without stockholders but with a board of directors consisting of politicians or their appointees, a non-profit business that competes with business or is protected from competition as an unregulated monopoly."

Is there more?

"When tax resistance limits the scope of government revenue, politicians and bureaucrats on all levels of government learn to evade rather than accommodate. When state and local governments chafe under constitutional restrictions they go underground. Moreover, the federal government can be expected to encourage the move. It encourages off-budget activity by providing grants-in-aid and extending loans directly to OBEs, bypassing on- budget units of government. Aid may be given by an off-budget Federal enterprise to an off-budget state or municipal enterprise with a handful of politicians and officials deciding the issue. Taxpayers have no voice in such matters."

I'm listening.

"Politicians are the primary beneficiaries of OBEs. Fiscal limitations of any sort restrict their power to engage in transfer activity; OBEs evade the restrictions and ignore voter reluctance at the polls. By making political activity seem to disappear and permitting politicians to resume spending, OBEs enable them to preach fiscal frugality on-budget while practicing political largess off-budget.

OBEs inevitably give rise to special-interest groups that can be depended on to lend vocal support. Bankers, in particular, have a vested interest in the growth of off-budget enterprises, receiving income not only as investors in OBE projects but also as trustees on behalf of bondholders and as financial advisers to the entity. Bankers may act as underwriters of bond issues which OBEs, in contrast to government agencies, usually place on a noncompetitive basis, granting higher profit margins to underwriters. Attorneys always join the parade, acting as “bond counsels.” They derive generous income from reviewing indenture specifications and issuing opinions on the deductibility of bond interest from Federal taxation."

And the other shoe?

"Taxpayers must bear, in one form or another, the cost of OBE loss and failure. But even when OBEs manage to operate in the black, they crowd out competing borrowers and allocate capital and labor to political uses rather than to economic employment. They withdraw scarce economic resources from urgent want satisfaction so that political interests can be served, and channel capital from more productive to less productive employment, which depresses labor productivity and lowers labor income. No matter how efficient an OBE may be, it amounts to malinvestment and maladjustment because it is a creation of politics. After all, if an economic project is expected to be economical and profitable because consumers will patronize it, it will be developed by individual enterprises. If businessmen shun it and private investors avoid it, it is likely to be uneconomical."

And finally...

"Political power intoxicates the best hearts. No man is wise enough, nor good enough, to be trusted with much political power. Constitutional government is built on this very knowledge; it is cogent evidence of the distrust of human beings in political power. It rests on a deep conviction that individuals vested with authority must be restrained by something more than their own discretion—by bills of rights, laws, rules, regulations, and mandates by the people they govern.

Off-budget government escapes most such restraints and opens the gates of political power. It escapes the constraints because changing thoughts and values are either moderating the common distrust of political power or the distrust is failing to restrain the growing powers of government. The deep conviction that government must be restrained is giving way to the belief that government must be able to engage in any economic activity its agents deem necessary. It is yielding to the ancient notion that political rulers are endowed with extraordinary powers. Unfortunately, they are not. But they are ever eager to ignore the traditional constraints and follow their own caprice."

Watch the local Public-Private Alliances (PPA) discussion in the coming weeks. It will get louder and with greater rhetoric. Note also the increased emphasis on "rescuing the workers," on "building for the future" and on "becoming more responsive to the people." You'll hear it...and it's all crap.

And note also that what was said in this piece about OBEs applies quite well to Our local form of "Let the Fools run rampant" indifference. The more fools Us if We let them get away with it again.

The Jenius Has Quoted.

22 October 2009

Smackdown Smorgasbord

Current Larva Staph Chief--er, Chief of Staff--Marcos "Mouth Fart" Rodríguez stated that the government he and his "boss" Luis "The Larva" Fortuño run (into the ground) are "monitoring blogs and e-mails of students who participated in the stoppage of October 15th."


So I sent the Staph Chief the following fax [787-721-1472]:

Hey, you. Since you're so intent on monitoring e-mails and blogs, in direct contradiction to what We as a society and government stand for, I want to make it easier for you to read what one of Us thinks. (And I assure you, only one of the two of Us is really thinking on this matter.) Please direct your attention to Gil The Jenius, at http://gilthejenius.blogspot.com. You might want to have a dictionary handy as some of the concepts you will encounter there will be presented in their proper definition and context. (Have someone explain the context to you.) I hope to see you on My Blog. Toodle-oo!

I challenge other local bloggers to the same. There is NO way this will EVER work on Our Island if We simply challenge it head on. Let's blow this Mouth Fart away, so to speak.

On another topic, take a look at this local government fiscal report on La Fortaleza salaries covering up to March 15, 2009. (It might be easier to scan it if you download it.) Of the 21 Fortaleza officials listed on page 2, 16 are listed with "before" salaries and "after" salaries reflecting their acceptance or rejection of a voluntary pay cut. For those 16, the "before" average salary was $10,146; the "after" average is $9,843. A month. The "average savings"? $4,848. A month. 

That saved about 1.84 average government jobs. (You do the math.) Woo. Hoo.

This is what some of Us have been talking about when We say that cutting government jobs is a secondary step to cutting government salaries at the executive level and in "consulting" contracts. On salaries alone, scroll down at the organizational chart and you will see an average executive salary exceeding $80,000.

There are two arguments usually thrown about in the counter-debate; (1) You have to pay higher salaries than the private sector in order to attract "talent," and (2) These executives earn their pay.

Here's the shot between-the-eyes for each one:

#1: Poppycock. Talent will be attracted by other factors more than by salary. That point has been proven in numerous studies in the past several decades. What keeps talent away from government jobs is corruption, bureaucracy and stagnation. What kind of "talent" is attracted to that job description? 

#2: "Earn"?! Let's see. The Electrical Authority numbskull makes $170,001 a year. Ask Us if he earns it. The Water & Sewer Authority imbecile makes $169,999.96. Ask Us what We think he should really earn. Look down that list and you will see way too many people in way too many positions making way too much money. They don't "earn," they get paid.

And this is just the tip of the shocking, sewage-filled iceberg. Yes, The Larva asked for volunteers to cut their own pay to reduce costs. What he should have done was tell them there would be 20% pay cuts across the board and if anyone wanted to bail, fine. From La Fortaleza alone that could have helped save 12-16 jobs. Multiply that by the scrolling list of overpaid hacks and you could easily see 200-300 jobs saved. Cut theft diguised as "consulting contracts" and you could actually save thousands of jobs.

And yet, indisputably, We HAVE to cut jobs. But to do that, The Larva needs buy-in, public support, a broad-based acknowledgment that he is trying. At least after that, the horribly mishandled job cuts that followed would have (barely) had a defensible position, i.e., "We have started making serious cost cuts, but the problem is far too large to handle that way." Instead, We have a gob making $10,319 a month saying that the government needs to cut 130,000 jobs...and that blogs and e-mails are now surveillance targets.

And while I'm at it, here's the list of the Fortaleza drones who refused to take a 5% pay cut while their boss took a 10% cut:

Miguel Hernández, Esq., Legislative Advisor. (What can he say? "They're winning, boss!")

José Meléndez, Municipal Advisor. ("Do you know how many mayors hate you?")

José Otero, Finances and Economic Development Advisor. ("Uh, can We ask for a bailout?")

Ana Mayol, Federal Affairs and National Policy Advisor. ("Have you considered becoming a Democrat?")

José Valenzuela, Energy and Environment Advisor. ("With more blackouts, tourists won't be able to see the garbage."

Juan Rodríguez, Chief Information Officer. ("The party color is now being described as a "blue screen of death.")

And Special Notice to Velmarie Berlingeri, La Fortaleza Administrator who trumps all these parasites with a $12,161 monthly salary AND a $5,250 Christmas bonus. What does she say to her boss? "You'll get the tapes when I say you'll get the tapes."

The Jenius Has Spoken.

20 October 2009

Pareto's Rule For Not Caring

My apologetically-belated Thanks to Firuzeh Shokooh Valle, of Global Voices Online, who does a wonderful job focusing on the Caribbean and for picking up two recent Jenius posts, one on problems We face and My recent comments on the local strike.

You might want to look up the Pareto Principle before going on...

Now look at this recent headline from the Latin American Herald Tribune: "80% of Puerto Rico Murders Called Drug-related."

At 11:50 p.m., in the Sabana Seca sector of Toa Baja, some 15 miles southwest of San Juan, dozens of shots were fired. When the shooting spree ended, seven people lay dead, twenty wounded. One other person died later. Amongst the wounded was a pregnant young lady, in her eighth month. The bullet killed the baby.

In the bloodthirsty nature of the ghoulish "media," it was immediately labeled a massacre and with the notation that the updated number of murders in 2009 now stood at 709.
709 murders. By mid-October. Our average annual murder rate for 2006-2007 was 733. We exceeded 800 murders in 2008. We're on pace to exceed that in 2009. For 2006-07 We would have ranked 7th in the world in murders-per-100,000 residents; for 2009 We could rank as high as 4th.

Why is this happening? Drug trade is a major culprit. The other, as I have highlighted before, is indifference. We--those of Us outside the drug-fueled violence--simply don't care. And yet We pay a high price for this indifference that We also don't care about.

The drug trade contributes to major expenses that We have to underwrite, namely prisons and health care. An example is in the LATH article which places the average cost of an addict in prison at between $28,000 and $30,000. On that basis alone, isn't there a cheaper way to save lives?

Of course there is. Cease Fire. Put the money into education, not through the money-grubbing hands of local department officials, but directly into schools, through community involvement. By involving the larger community, from civic leaders and corporations to churches and former gang members, high-violence schools have been able to turn around their poor graduation rates and significantly improved their community.

The payoff? Again, I'm way ahead of the curve: a 10% increase in graduation rate can reduce the murder rate by 20%. A mere 10% increase in the number of high school graduates is something even We can achieve, even with a brainless government, lazy teachers and outright theft in the educational system.

But We do face two major obstacles: a convicted drug dealer maldirecting the local Education Federal Affairs office and Our massive indifference. The first We will get rid of, if he doesn't do it himself on his way to becoming a crime statistic. As for the other...We have Our work cut out for Us, that's for sure.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

Money & Self-Image: Puerto Rico

"Money and success don't change people; they merely amplify what is already there.”

"(The Brookings Institution) estimated that the value of the possessions in a typical rural house was no more than $75, a monthly credit card payment for many Puerto Ricans of 70 years later."

The first is an insightful Will Smith quote; the second is from an article describing the 1930s in Puerto Rico. They belong together to describe what We see today in My Brethren.

The Puerto Rican reality of My grandparents and parents was not My reality and is certainly not the reality of My son. Back two generations,  jobs were hard to come by, wages were low, food was scarce, the government was a distant phantom and people faced it all with a sense of acceptance.

But beginning in 1947 and mutating in 1968, scarcity gave way to adequateness then even excess, wages rose, food became abundant and the government...well, the government went from phantom to vampire. What had been a government-led economic transformation of the first order between 1947 and 1968--and had shown signs of developing a powerful private sector engine--was derailed by a new government idea for jobs: government-fed. 

Call it the curse of jíbaro statehood, the bankrupt notion that the U.S. of part of A. would accept Puerto Rico as a state and that in doing so, We would become high-living princes in a wonderful kingdom. Then-governor Luis Ferré hawked that concept like a panacea, unaware or uncaring that there was no disease for it to cure...if it ever could cure anything. The only thing jíbaro statehood was Ferré's complete lack of vision, substituting empty rhetoric for substantial insight.

The whole purpose of this blind man's bluster was to somehow reposition the weak statehood party as an option--a political option--to win again, to convert a fluke election result into a viable one. And to that end, lacking a true economic strategy, Ferré proceeded to engage in three distinct activities with horrendous long-term effects on Us all:

1) Handed out government jobs to create electoral goodwill, or in blunter terms, handing out jobs to buy votes. 

2) Allowing greater government official latitude to counteract opposition party control. Like Pandora found out, what you let out to act freely will not be good to you.

3) Tied economic growth to federal government interests to both "pave" the way to statehood and expand local government influence as opposed to courting private sector growth.

As an "economic" solution, handing out government jobs was like slicing chunks of flesh off the goose that lays the golden eggs: it weakens the goose until it dies. Because it was easier than actually thinking and planning, every governor since has used the same witch's brew formula to both counter the other party's idiocy and "prove" economic growth. The expansion and Byzantine confusion they partnered to create led to increased corruption, to the point where even the Feds decided that it was better to cut Us off at the knees--again--than to continue to have Us as a close "partner."

And what do We have 40+ years later? A government supported by the uninformed greed of sycophants and mindless flag-wavers that cannot sustain itself, cannot correct itself, cannot function with itself and now cannot even lie to itself anymore. Thus, government employees fired, more employees who need to be fired, the mutated compact broken, leaving the uninformed flag-wavers whining and the brainpower needed to find solutions long-squandered in utter disuse.

What was deemed "passive acceptance" in the 1930s became"whiny demanding," for what was once "I will accept what you give Me if you choose to" became "I will take what you do give me when you give it to Me." The low self-worth shift from "if" to "when" is the shift from a sigh to a screech, from "someday" to "now" and from "sharing" to "scarfing." We went from barely having enough food to barely having enough to make interest payments. We went from "what I need" to "what I want now" and from "wishes" to erroneously-called "rights." And We did all that by simply having what We were enhanced by more money and by the underhanded conniving of those We supported time and time again.

Now We need to reconsider, to reorient Our vision of what We have to what We truly have and to seriously think about what We really want to have. It's not 1968 all over again, for then  We let one man and his shaky party lead Us astray. It's now 2009 and the job lies in all Our hands, not in that of a muddle-headed (non)governor and the shaky party he doesn't lead.

It's up to Us. Nothing new: it always was.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

19 October 2009

Money & Self-Image: Prelude

Here's a shorthand version of what Puerto Rico was like in the 1930s: "Using a physician's estimate of how much food various types of workers needed each day for basic nutrition, a study was done of purchasing power in Puerto Rico. It found that the weekly cost of a minimal diet was $3.19 per person in 1932. But in most industries, the average weekly wage was $3.00. Even before paying for housing or clothing, workers were falling behind."

In the same article, it is noted that roughly 94% of a worker's annual wages were spent on food. 

Ninety-four. Percent. And about 82% of Our people were below the poverty line. Then the Great Depression got worse.

Get the picture? Puerto Rico was a deep pit of economic despair, physical misery and political vacuity. The haves had practically all and they weren't "Us," they were "U.S."

Fast-forward nearly 40 years, to the fateful elections of 1968, glossing over a political alliance forged between a former Socialist and a wartime president's cabinet, the emergence of a new post-war investment attitude and the creation of an economic compact for short-term growth that worked beyond all expectations. By the late 1960s, Our economic situation had gone from the pits to the patio, consumption had ceased to be a lifestyle malady and had become a lifestyle and although the "U.S." still had Us lock, stock and over the barrel, We had begun sharing in Our very own pie.

The ex-Socialist leader had become Our first elected governor and had won again and again and again, and though clearly capable of winning several more terms, he stepped away from power, only to be dragged back as Senate President. And the party he forged started to split, then cleaved apart, as practical idealism inevitably descended into populist greed.

Into the breech stepped the statehood party, offering up a candidate with business experience and a streak of art patronage, a man who waged his political campaign as if it were a hobby for not even the most bitter of the ruling party's critics gave Ferré a big chance at victory.

But win he did, by a very slim margin. And suddenly, the man for whom the political campaign had taken a back seat to his business interests was thrust into the position of running Our Island. Unprepared for such a role, aware that his victory was due more to a split in the opposing party than a true mandate for change and seeking to position his unsteady party on a new visionary path, Ferré pushed the concept of statehood as hard as he could, ran a loose ship that packed the government barge with political rats, tried to buy votes with the concept of a "Christmas bonus" that fills the eye while undermining the economy and proceeded to get his butt handed to him in a thunderous defeat in 1972.

And yet, if you want to point your finger at the person and time that forged the Puerto Rico We have today, as the prelude to the present, you'd be very hard-pressed to choose another person and another time.

A discussion to come.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

16 October 2009

Compromise Time

A very good friend of Mine, a brother really, a man I work with almost daily and have for the past several years, has twice asked Me lately to "clean up" The Jenius, to "tone it down," because he says that My work with the Youth Citizen-Journalist Network, education projects, fundraising and government-centered developments "might be affected."

But the second time he said it, he also ranted against the oligarchy currently running roughshod over Our Island and his words and tone indicated that it wasn't the fact that there was an oligarchy screwing Us like cheap back-alley strumpets, but that he was no longer part of it.


I've been here as The Jenius for almost 5 years. From the get-go, I've been "warned" that what I say and how I say it can get Me in trouble. Close friends, relatives, people I love with all My heart, have occasionally chided Me for a turn of phrase here, a nickname there, an obscenity every now and then. I've discussed this topic before and I may have even discovered that back in December of 2006 The Jenius was visited a lot from gobierno.pr servers and a contract to write grant proposals for the local Justice Department went south.

I listen to the comments of My loved ones and keep writing as I always do. And if I lost a contract, like I said before, The Jenius serves a filter, too. I'm not doing anything heroic: I'm simply blogging what I think and feel about My Island. Or anything else that catches My fancy. 

This same friend recently received a phone call from a VERY famous TV producer--and you would know who this is in 10 words or less--who was "concerned" about The Jenius and My "status" in Puerto Rico because of a potential event in development with this man's organization. My friend fielded the matter ably, but weakly, for knowing what VERY many of Us know about this man and his work, why should he ever give a damn about a barely-read blog on a small island he's never visited? And what, pray tell, was the TV producer's concern? "He says harsh things about the local politicians."

Do tell. Seems to Me that given what's still happening to Us, I ain't been harsh enough.

But this a friend, a brother, a man I've spent days communing with in work and leisure is the one who brings up the matter and when I get his "clean up your act" warning, a mélange of "it doesn't pay to piss off the powers" and "it's time to re-evaluate how you present yourself," given what We've shared, share and will share for hopefully many years to come, then I really do have to take a step back, pause to breathe deeply and seriously come to an obvious, though painful decision:

I'll go back to blogging 5 days a week.

See, the problem is (A) The "powers" don't care about The Jenius, and (B) even if they did and reacted against it, why should I care? Good riddance to them and their idiocy is all I have to say about the matter. But to My friend, it's a case of "You will drag Me down" self-preservation, not in the personal sense, but in the sociopolitical sense, in the "I want in with the oligarchs" sense, and his warning is really "You could keep Us out of their embrace."

"Could" is not good enough: I aim for "will."

I love the poster known as Peter's Law: The Creed of the Sociopathic Obsessive Compulsive. Love it. Use it a handbook, I do. Turning to #6, We read: When forced to compromise, ask for more. Let me add a #20 to My all-time favorite poster: When told to tone your opinions down, crank them up. Way up.


The Jenius Has Spoken.

P.S.  For those of you too lazy or as in the case of a commenter to My posts on the drug-dealing, drunk-driving Education Federal Affairs lunkhead, too stupid to click on the poster link above, here are the Laws. Take a look at #15, as it makes even greater sense to Us now:

1. If anything can go wrong, Fix It! (To hell with Murphy!)

2. When given a choice-Take Both!

3. Multiple projects lead to multiple successes.

4. Start at the top then work your way up.

5. Do it by the book....but be the author!

6. When forced to compromise, ask for more.

7. If you can't beat them, join them, then beat them.

8. If it's worth doing, it's got to be done right now.

9. If you can't win, change the rules.

10. If you can't change the rules, then ignore them.

11. Perfection is not optional.

12. When faced without a challenge, make one.

13. "No" simply means begin again at one level higher.

14. Don't walk when you can run.

15. Bureaucracy is a challenge to be conquered with a righteous attitude, a tolerance for stupidity, and a bulldozer when necessary.

16. When in doubt: THINK!

17. Patience is a virtue, but persistence to the point of success is a blessing.

18. The squeaky wheel gets replaced.

19. The faster you move, the slower time passes, the longer you live.


15 October 2009

Government Food For Thought

Democracy is not something you believe in or a place to hang your hat, but it's something you do. You participate. If you stop doing it, democracy crumbles.
-- Abbie Hoffman

The first requisite of a good citizen in this republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his own weight.
 -- Theodore Roosevelt

Democracy is the most demanding of all forms of government in terms of the energy, imagination, and public spirit required of the individual.
-- George C. Marshall

The best defense against usurpatory government is an assertive citizenry.
--William F. Buckley

In a democracy, the individual enjoys not only the ultimate power but carries the ultimate responsibility.
-- Norman Cousins

In true democracy every man and woman is taught to think for himself or herself.
--Mahatma Gandhi

The cure for the evils of democracy is more democracy.
-- H.L. Mencken

The ultimate authority...resides in the people alone.
-- James Madison

Those wanting to improve democracy in their countries should not wait for permission.
-- Bulent Ecevit

The job of a citizen is to keep his mouth open.
-- Gunther Grass

Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote.
-- George Jean Nathan

A great democracy must be progressive or it will soon cease to be a great democracy
-- Theodore Roosevelt

Freedom without obligation is anarchy. Freedom with obligation is democracy.
-- Earl Riney

Evolution of democracy is not possible if we are not prepared to hear the other side.
-- Mahatma Gandhi

The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any.
-- Alice Walker

There can be no daily democracy without daily citizenship.
-- Ralph Nader

The highest measure of democracy is neither the 'extent of freedom' nor the 'extent of equality', but rather the highest measure of participation.
-- A. d. Benoist

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
-- Margaret Mead

To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.
-- Louis L'Amour

Democracy works when people claim it as their own.
-- Bill Moyers

The only title in our democracy superior to that of President is the title of citizen.
-- Louis Brandeis

The citizen can bring our political and governmental institutions back to life, make them responsive and accountable, and keep them honest. No one else can.
-- John Gardner

Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed.
-- Abraham Lincoln

No one is born a good citizen; no nation is born a democracy. Rather, both are processes that continue to evolve over a lifetime.
-- Kofi Annan

We must become the change we want to see in the world.
 --Mahatma Gandhi

The strength of the Constitution lies entirely in the determination of each citizen to defend it. Only if every single citizen feels duty bound to do his share in this defense are the constitutional rights secure. 

-- Albert Einstein

The value of government to the people it serves is in direct relationship to the interest citizens themselves display in the affairs of state.
-- William Scranton

This City is what it is because our citizens are what they are.
-- Plato

The tyranny of a prince is not so dangerous to the public welfare as the apathy of a citizen in a democracy.
-- Montesquieu

If liberty and equality, as is thought by some are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in the government to the utmost.
-- Aristotle

Democracy is never a final achievement. It is a call to an untiring effort.
-- John F. Kennedy

It is not the function of the government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error.
-- Robert Jackson

Every citizen has to figure out what kind of government he or she wants.
-- Stephen Breyer

Citizenship is a tough occupation which obliges the citizen to make his own informed opinion and stand by it.
-- Martha Gellhorn

That government is the strongest of which every man feels himself a part.
-- Thomas Jefferson

As citizens, we all have an obligation to intervene and become involved – it is the citizen who changes things.
-- José Saramago

Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.
-- Thomas Jefferson

The death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference, and undernourishment.
-- Robert M. Hutchins

Rise and fall of a nation rests with every one of its citizens.
-- Chinese Proverb

I know of no safe repository of the ultimate power of society but people. And if we think them not enlightened enough, the remedy is not to take the power from them, but to inform them by education.
-- Thomas Jefferson

The only sure bulwark of continuing liberty is a government strong enough to protect the interests of the people, and a people strong enough and well enough informed to maintain its sovereign control over the government.
-- Franklin D. Roosevelt

The Jenius Has Quoted.

14 October 2009

#1 and #2

Tomorrow, the stage is set for a "massive" protest, with unions and unemployed and truck drivers and even an archbishop to gallivant and parade and strut and shout and screech and whine and threaten and lock down the Metro area to, in the words of the clueless, "take back the government" and in the words of the mindless "stop the government's abuse."

To the "lesses," here's the skinny, straight from The Jenius: You will accomplish nothing. Bupkus. Zilch. Diddly-squat. No. Thing.

Why? Because you're aiming at the wrong target...and you're waaaaay too late.

Let's ignore the flight of Thomas "Tantrum" Rivera from Our shores as the situation he helped engender gets uglier. He learned from Pedro Stupid Rosselló that one gets out when one has whiffed the feces cumulonimbus rising to meet the rotating whirly-thingy. Let's ignore The Larva's children leaving the Island, as Our (non)governor evades the issue of whether We are safe or not by proving egg-sactly what he thinks. Let's ignore the unions, the truck drivers, the lawyers, the cops, the cops' lawyers, the anti-banker backlash and the party atmosphere of a day off with pay for some while others face no more paychecks for several months.

Let's ignore all that because it is--absolutely--irrelevant. The basic premise of this protest is garbled by self-serving and self-deluded "leaders," but it boils down to two irrefutable points:

1) The government fired some workers.

2) Because of that, We are fucking scared.

Every stated "reason" for this protest that isn't #1 or #2 on My list is nothing--nothing--but a mealy-mouthed, hypocritical mouth fart. Why? Because every other reason except My #1 and #2 has been around for years, if not decades...and We have put up with it.

"Government abuse"? Ask those who lived through carpeteo, got "removed" from their jobs for being the wrong (party) color or had to deal with acephalic atriopores masquerading badly as government officials.

"Stupid government decisions": See "Puerto Rico, 1947-yesterday." For further reference, see the shortest book ever written: "Puerto Rico Status Discussions That Brightened Our Future."

"Government expenses": Who put "them" in charge of making Us pay for their porcine expenses and lavish parasitism? Yeah, that's who.

"Bankers ruining Us": Specifically, Banco Popular, a long-time target of Jenius insight. Who elected the idiots that got into bed with them? On the other hand, who chose to live an "Easy loans! Credit Cards! Buy! Buy! BUY!" lifestyle that made this bank the center of Our interest (rates)? And Let's not forget, Banco Popular got $940 billion in TARP funds and is still trading at under $2 a share...but they will get to replace Treasury offices closing soon! Like you care. Like you cared when this same financial outhouse invested--lent--billions of dollars of Section 936 funds outside of Puerto Rico...Remember those high interest rates for loans? How do you like 'em now?

"Assault on Our dignity": Really? NOW this whole cosmic clusterfuck assaults Our dignity? That's like Nicole claiming O.J. killing her was "the first time he ever hurt me." We have been smacked, sacked, trampled, tricked, tortured, robbed, bloodied, lambasted and skewered by generations of low-browed thieves and scumbags and We put up with it because We applauded when "Our thief-scumbag" did it to "Them." We cheered when "Our horse's ass" shat upon "Them." We cackled with insane glee when "Our pederast" replaced "Their rapist." And in all that applauding, cheering and cackling, We somehow didn't notice that We were getting screwed every time.

Yes, We are fucking scared. The Great Government Teat of Self-Serving Sour Milk has gone dry, has been removed from Our mindless maws and We are screeching like soul-dead demons. The haves--the now-smaller group of haves--is facing the reality that the gap with the have-nots so cleverly disguised for decades is now a chasm even an archbishop can see. And thus the gig is definitely up.

We are already too late protest. That level of activity had a window that slammed shut back when two stupid men were shot by viciously stupid policemen. Since then, We've been largely spectators in a victimization society, both observers and victims, sheep watching wolves fleecing "others," unwilling to see that "they" are also "Us."

Who's the target We should be aiming at?

Even We can figure that out now... But We don't want to.

It sucks to grow up and learn to accept responsibility, right?. 

Like We have a choice...

The Jenius Has Spoken.

05 October 2009

Puerto Rico Is Unraveling

This is serious.

The safety blanket/net of Our society was always the sycophantic and mendacious largesse of political chicanery that gave jobs and spread tax monies to keep the whole charade lurching along.

Our economy has stalled and even gone backwards, evidenced by the ever-growing number of empty storefronts, unsold houses and shuttered businesses. In previous recessions, the government--under whatever party's idiotic notion of leadership at the time--stepped in and mortgaged Our future to falsely secure the present. Now, in this, the deepest recession since the nightmarish 1930s, the government is hacking away at the numerous leaden barnacles to keep the ship of state from sinking fast. It is shocking to most of Us, this adjustment to reality. We refuse to accept it. We react like whiny red-faced toddlers whose trinket has been taken. And the next stage is a full-blown screaming tantrum.

At the risk of mixing metaphors, the fabric of Our society is unraveling. We are literally coming apart because the threads that kept Us bound in uneasy catatonia are being yanked. Most of Us believe they are being yanked by the sorry excuse for a (non)governor We have, Luis "The Larva" Fortuño. Most of Us are wrong. The problem started way before he ever became a spineless twit.

I asked a man who had to flee Argentina in the late 1970s because his life was endangered for simply being a journalist. This man has spent nearly 25 years living and working in Puerto Rico, raising two families and watching daily events unfold. He told Me he had begun to feel the same anxiousness he felt in his native land, long ago, when "You could feel things were falling apart, but you also felt there was nothing you could do, that the time was coming when the society you felt was always secure was going to turn into a nightmare."

We have thrown away Our economic future in an oligarchy's pursuit of political power. We are now undermining the safety valve of the corrupt fetid system--government jobs--paid for by voters who were slitting their own throats instead of slitting the vermins' necks. Protests are planned and The Larva's own chief of staff--one Marcos Rodríguez--throws fuel on the fire by pre-emptively calling the protesters "terrorists." Allow Me to explain, Marcosito "Protesters Are Terrorists": If the thought of people protesting what their government is doing to them makes you think "terrorism," you are a craven coward, a stinking part of the problem and worthy of being dismissed like a fart in a windstorm.

How bad is The Larva at picking people? Marcochinito is the third of his hand-picked candidates who makes disrespectful and asinine comments about most of Us: one advised that the poor simply didn't deserve good things and had to accept that others did deserve them, even if they were built with taxpayer money and on absconded public lands. Another insulted a group of environmentalists simply because they opposed a similar project. And now the piggish grunting of Marcochino labeling any protester as a criminal. 

The pattern? "Some are more equal than others." They--the pig-hyenas in present charge of the scumfest--can feel the tremors and they...are...scared. Terrified. The oligarchy castle is crumbling and they fear the hordes' revenge. Think I'm exaggerating? As Robin Williams once quipped about South Africa and its president P.W. Botha: There's a whole lot more of them than there are of you. We outnumber them...and it's about time We made them pay the price of their machinations. 

Because the people can become in a mob. And unless something major happens, something large enough to defuse the anger and fear, the mob will emerge.

Sadly, I predict that what will curb the mob's emergence will be the putative end of the government job slashes. In which case, the mob will emerge later...beyond any control.

The Jenius Has Spoken. 

02 October 2009

Five Problems We Have

We don't like to work: We need more people who like to work and don't count down every day till retirement.

Nobody wants to sacrifice: It would just be too uncomfortable to tell the middle class that if they want something, they need to earn it themselves.

We're uninformed: People who lack the sense to question Big Lies always end up in deep trouble. Being well informed takes work, even with the Internet. In a democracy, that's simply a civic burden.

We're an ICulture: We still believe We deserve the best of everything -- the best job, the best health care, the best education for Our kids. And We want it at a discount -- or better yet, free.

Now most of My Brethren who share this island-space with Me will be nodding in agreement with these statements. Yes, people are getting fired from their government jobs and Our economy is more sump pump than rocket, but We have over 28% of Our adults on welfare, We need to dump some 60,000-70,000 jobs from the cancerous government We allowed to happen, We have the journalistic equivalent of tin foil where We need titanium and We demand that someone else fix this whole mess--right now!--and then thank Us for letting them save Our asses by giving Us more.

Here's the thing: The four problems listed above and the statements accompanying them were not written about Puerto Rico. Uh-uh. They were written by Rick Newman, for U.S. News & World Report...about the U.S. of part of A.


And what, pray tell, is the fifth problem? We'd rather imitate than innovate. We set Our sights no higher--no higher, I'm telling you--than what the U.S. of part of A. is doing or not doing and We let that be the "top" while We aim with trepidation for the low middle. Or the high bottom.

Makes Me sick. And I'm not the only one who feels that way. What's worse, it seems that there just isn't that many of Us still here who feel that way.

The Jenius Has Spoken.