15 January 2007

Passing Pages, Marking Time

As My dad's remains are being cremated, I spend almost 2 hours leafing through a local daily, turning pages like a metronome, eventually seeing an item or two on each pass-through:

Front page: The Archbishop favors the use of the National Guard to fight the current crime wave. First of all, the archbishop is entitled to his opinion, but his moral authority is suspect at best and nil at worst, so what he has to say on anything outside of Catholicism is not news. If I want prattle, I'll turn on the radio. The underlying cause for this front page ink-waster is the obscene murder rate We have going so far in 2007: Almost four deaths a day. The Jellyfish, governor Aníbal Acevedo, floated the suggestion of using the National Guard as a sort of "hard line" stance on crime. Here's the problem, oh spineless floater: The National Guard will make the problem worse, as they are neither a long-term nor an "attack the roots" solution. All you'll be doing is sending well-meaning citizens into harm's way for purely political reasons. And speaking of which, the top result for a Google search on "the murderous moron" yields Yours Truly. So do yourself a favor, oh indecisive invertebrate, and avoid acting--even in a much smaller scale--like the so-called "commander"-in-chief of the U.S. of part of A.

Page 14: Patient Ombdusman receives over 11,000 complaints about health reform services. Only 11,000? My guess is that most people don't know there's an office to deal with their health service complaints. The general stat breakdown is interesting: 70% of the complaints were against the public sector, with 30% against the private side, but in a more interesting light, roughly 98% of the complaints were resolved in the patient's favor. According to the Office's director, Dr. Luz Teresa Amador, only 2% of all complaints were considered to be "without merit." I wonder what will happen in 2007 when complaints skyrocket to what I expect will be double the current rate...

Page 28: On the way to becoming the best-paid legislators. Uh-huh. The year has barely dawned and the unremittingly debased and morally inept tribe of Fools is on the warpath to raising their salaries and benefits package once again...automatically. See, they have this nifty "If we don't vote against it, it happens for us" deal that makes their cushy and upwardly-mobile living a fait accompli. (And no, I didn't forget to capitalize "we" and "us.") One solution: Make them part-timers, so they'll have less time to screw Us over. Chances of that happening: Same as unicamerality...nil. If We don't slash through this tribe and significantly--drastically--reduce their numbers by voting most of them out and showing the political will to do the same to whoever slimes their way into those seats, We will have the best-paid legislators and the worst-led state/territory in the U.S. of part of A. Oh wait! We already do!

Page 40: Permit halt holds banking back. Residential construction permits are so slow and so backlogged that house sales on this property-mad Island have dropped 50%. Boo. Hoo. Houses are grossly overpriced due to those same "permit restrictions," so when they get back on the market--at higher prices because of demand--the money will eventually flow back to the banks. They're just miffed because they ain't getting theirs at the rate they used to. How much you want to bet that those banks that own "easy loan" services (those that charge a modest 20-28% interest) will go on an advertising rampage in the next eight weeks?

Page 57: Editorial cartoon: A futuristically-dressed newscaster reads: "Greetings. Today is March 7th, 2026 and these are the news. The World Coalition of Nations unanimously agreed to build a permanent Lunar station. As usual, Puerto Rico will not participate in the world effort because they still haven't decided if they want to be an independent nation (and) member of the Coalition or continue as a free associated state." How sadly true, on too many levels.

Page 67: A new book out about a "Most Wanted" criminal who was gunned down by the F.B.I. about 20 minutes from where I live. To think they wasted perfectly good toilet paper on this book...

Taken from El Nuevo Día, on the day We said goodbye to Abuelito.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

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