29 October 2013

Gil The Jenius: Solving Puerto Rico

Aside from the fact that I just found out about Tribuna Puerto Rico, an online digital newspaper that makes Me want to dance,  I have an announcement:

The Jenius is launching a vidcast, titled "Solving Puerto Rico."

Beginning next week, I'll be talking with folks about all kinds of subjects, from education to economics, technology to security, politics to filmmaking, all with an eye towards offering solutions that can help Puerto Rico move forward.

Being The Jenius, there's a need to clarify what this vidcast will be. After all, a quick glance through the archives would indicate that engaging with Me might be akin to a wrestling match. That is not what Solving Puerto Rico is about.

* It is not about arguing with anyone: it is about exploring ideas.

* On that basis, I don't have to agree with the idea. It might even be better if I don't, for that may help push the idea into new, unintended arenas.

* It isn't about making money. I don't derive a cent from this blog and that will continue. (Heck, Mrs. Jenius gets 98% of everything I make anyway, so it's not like I'm losing a ton of money.)

* It is about presenting the conversations in a public forum. The vidcasts will be made using Google Hangouts, and uploaded to YouTube.

* Only two questions will be pre-arranged. The first: What do you think will the "tipping point" for this solution? The second: Who would you recommend for this vidcast?

Aside from the above, the conversations will take about 15-20 minutes, and most will be carried out in English. Why? Because this blog is already in English, with the language intended to reach a certain local audience and a wider global one. I see no reason to change that, just as I see no reason to not include a Spanish-language vidcast if the mood strikes Me.

Now I extend My invitation to all of you: Who should join The Jenius on a vidcast? Nominate yourself or someone you admire, know, like or just want to learn more about. Nominate folks who teach, inspire, create, modify, or simply do their job under everyone's radar. Nominate people that make a difference, whether they are poor, rich, native-born or "gone native." They don't even have to live in Puerto Rico, for there are several hundred thousand of Us making a huge difference while living in the U.S. of part of A.

Most of all, nominate yourself or someone who wants to talk about solving something in Puerto Rico. Too many of the conversations on My Island end up in a downward spiral of negativity that culminates in a nadir of hands-thrown-in-the-air despair.


Solutions are out there. We have solutions. It's time We made them known.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

22 October 2013

Time To Renew

Yeah, The Jenius is back

It's been over 10 months since I wrote My last post, and I didn't think it would mark the beginning of a long hiatus. It just simply happened, as a certain level of ennui and dissatisfaction reached a tipping point.

Doesn't mean I stopped caring or giving a damn about My Island. I just...went away, to do other things.

But a headline today proved to be another tipping point, as several weeks of pondering were coming together. Here it be:  How Wall Street Fed Puerto Rico's $70 Billion Debt Binge.

Courtesy of Bloomberg.com, Let's pause a moment and look at that headline:

1) "Wall Street": The code word here is "banksters."

2) "Fed": Ah, the banksters in cahoots with...

3) "Puerto Rico": Aw shit.

4) "$70 Billion": Now hardly anyone can actually imagine what 70 freaking billion dollars really is. Maybe Bill Gates, for whom the sum is "My next round number up." But almost everyone understands that 70 billion dollars is a freaking huge amount of money that they don't have. Hits you in the ol' bread basket, it does, pun intended.

5) "Debt Binge": Aw shit again. Now We're out-of-control mother-bleepin' fellow crooks with the freaking banksters. Yee. And haw.

You want the lowlights? Glad you didn't ask:

* Puerto Rico more than doubled its borrowing in the municipal bond market since 2004. To the average Brethren out there, let Me parse that for you: Both retarded political parties mucking up Our present and future added to that doubling, and "borrowing" you freakazoids doesn't mean "free ride," it means "debt." As in "crushing amount of it." How bad, you don't ask?

* "(T)he government kept selling enough bonds to saddle each man, woman and child with $19,000 in debt." You got $19,000 to pay your share of debt you don't care about and most likely didn't get but a few dollars' worth of services from? Me neither.

* Here's a fun stat: Over 77% of the muni funds in the U.S. of part of A. have investments in Puerto Rican bonds. "Too big to fail," anyone? Uh, think again.

* "Neither a U.S. state nor a sovereign nation, Puerto Rico and its debt-issuing agencies, such as the Aqueduct and Sewer Authority, aren’t eligible to file for bankruptcy the way Detroit and Jefferson County, Alabama, have. It must pay its debts or default." How do you like them aguacates, huh? Hey, statehooders, wanna make this your rallying cry for admission into the 50 Club? "We want the right to say We're fucking broke!"

* Oh, and what does "default" mean? Bottom line: We pay creditors through the nose, until Our brains are slop and Our innards are squeezed dry. Why? "Puerto Rico’s constitution guarantees that holders of general-obligation bonds are paid before any other creditors." And who could be listed as one of those "other creditors"? You and Me.

* Rescue plan? Puh-lease. "President Barack Obama’s administration isn’t moving to aid the commonwealth." And why should it? Yeah, $70 billion is a lot of money, but compared to the trillion-dollar fake meltdown-cum-bailout, it's a fart in a shitpile. And don't forget the previous paragraph: Our Constitution guarantees payment. You think the U.S. of part of A. isn't going to enforce that clause to the utmost limit? Here's the chaser: "The U.S. Treasury also said it isn’t taking any special measures."

* Tidbits tossed in, like sand in pus-flavored Jell-o: "Puerto Rico’s population has shrunk 4 percent since 2004 to 3.67 million, according to U.S. Census data... More than a quarter of the population depends on food stamps... Per-capita income of $15,000 is one-third the U.S. average... Labor-force participation rate of 35 percent for those age 16 to 24 is among the lowest in the world (My emphasis)... An unemployment rate of 13.9 percent, almost double the U.S. rate of 7.3 percent... Emigration is increasing... Rising crime is also persuading people to leave (as the) homicide rate is about 27 for every 100,000 people, compared with the U.S. average of 4.7... Puerto Rico’s leaders haven’t done enough to make local industry competitive in the global economy and are instead counting on tax incentives or other assistance from Washington to protect businesses."

Still with Me? Kudos.

Does any of this surprise you? If you're one of My Brethren, is anything mentioned above a true surprise to you?

Why? Why are We so accepting that this is the way things are and will be?

Well I didn't come back to keep yapping about what's wrong with Us and Our Island. I think I've covered that crap beyond the point of nausea. 

The next step is coming up.

And it won't take 10 months to happen. I guarantee it.

The Jenius Has Spoken.