29 September 2008


Last Monday - 5:19 A.M. -- I step out of My house and into an onrush of water already streaming at My car's door level. The next 90 minutes would erase much of My life.

This Monday - 5:12 A.M. -- The text message was simple: The baby's coming. The baby in question--firstborn of a lovely friend--is My future god-daughter.

In the span of almost exactly a week, I have had the deep heartbreak of major loss, the pain of a friend's loss, the ache of concern for My mom's upcoming cataract surgery and the discomfort of being--of feeling--displaced. And yet, I have also experienced the warm glow of camaraderie, the strong generosity of friendship, the spiritual release of sharing and the joy of new life.

I lost My books--and yet, a woman I've never met, Lucy, offers to replace some of what I've lost. In that spirit, the very few boxes of books I still have will be pared down by a dozen books that I don't want to part with, and the rest donated to the Salvation Army for fundraising.

I lost My games collection--and yet, Kevin Shockey, who came to My house along with friend and colleague José Rodríguez, gave Me two of his favorite games from his collection so I could restart My own. I'm already working on it.

I lost almost all My comic books--and yet, My Very Special María, persisted in salvaging the least-damaged...and did. In the process, she also became hooked on comic books, another companionable interest in Our long list of shared interests.

People I never knew cared much about Me offered Me clothes, furniture, appliances (thankfully, fridge and stove still work) and even money. As Tuesday dawned, the full extent of the flood hit Me, hit Us, and We knew there was a ton of work ahead. Most of Us went to work.

A political aside: How fucking transparent is The Idiot Jellyfish We have the dishonor of having as Governor? NO sales tax for a few days to "help the flood victims across Puerto Rico."? Bullshit. Bullshit. The law already provides a price freeze and a sales tax moratorium for basic articles in a declared emergency. Using the flood to pander votes--like a crack whore going down on her pimp--is utterly disgusting. The four voters he sways for allowing plasma screens and air conditioners to go tax-free while thousands of people waded through muck and waited for services should be executed with extreme prejudice. I suggest they be decapitated with a Phillips screwdriver.

And for the pantywaists whose livers flutter because I smack the governor, here's equal time: How fucking stupid is the Head Beggar and Larval Jellyfish We have the dishonor of calling Resident Commissioner? A trip to Washington "to request additional funds," before the full spectrum of the damage is even partially evaluated? That's like a subnoral teenager going to daddy for a handout of indeterminate size for "You know, whatever...you know." Then the Larva squiggles back to visit the damaged areas--passes in front of My house--and ends up talking to My Sister. For no reason whatsoever, because all he and Her Ugliness--the Cabo Rojo Mayor--did was roll by. With cameras to capture their .03% effort.

The Insider quoted Me in his post on the flood. Friends from the States e-mailed and called. Relatives called and came to help Me clean, most notably My cousin, Luis, who's really a great guy, but you won't catch Me admitting that anywhere. I received an emergency bag of food and personal goods without feeling too uncomfortable, until Luis pointed out--very loudly--that sanitary napkins were part of the package. Good friend Alfredo came by, kept Me focused on the here and now and called to follow up. The hospital treated My hand injury quickly, but the third injection I received--for pain--wasn't needed until that third shot slid in. My Mom was rock-solid moral support despite the pain every parent feels when their child is hurt and My Sister shared with me the pain and effort nearly every step of the way. My Special María was a constant presence, even from afar, but surprised Me by making the trip back to Cabo Rojo to be with Me and her mom helped wash what clothes could be saved. Without all of these special people My week would have been an unmitigated disaster.

Today I found out that a good friend's grandfather--the man who literally raised him--died Sunday. He was a good man and I will miss him. I went to My first business meeting and sold a project's vision as well as I ever have, though I felt slow and tired. In the next few weeks, I'll get back to speed on My work and clear out the strands of confusion that happen to everyone in these situations, even to Jeniuses. And when I look forward from this point on, there will be the tiny scrunched-up face of little Andrea Patricia to remind Me--now and for many, many years when she becomes a wonderful young lady--that Life is both bad and good, and that it is up to each of Us determine what it ultimately is.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

P.S. -- Little Andrea Patricia was born at about 9:35 p.m. Baby and mom are doing fine.

22 September 2008

Gone With the Flood

Between 5:10 and 7:05 this morning, waters running through the street where I live rose from curb-level to 15 inches inside My house. In the span of less than two hours, My furniture was sodden, My game collection was in tatters, one-third to one-half of My books were ruined and that was just the beginning. 

By shortly after 8 a.m., the water level inside the house was 28 inches. Thanks to My sister and a very generous gentleman named Dennis, I was able to rescue My computer and some other small items. By that time, I had to slog through chest-deep water some 700-750 feet to get into My house.

The impact of what I've lost won't hit Me until I have to get rid of the ruins. Thirty-plus years of possessions, mementos from My family and friends, manuscripts, files and personal memories are now plastered with mud. In the midst of a rare streak of deep disappointment in My career, I get My life largely erased.

The water crested at 35 inches. The cause was the drainage canal that runs behind My house. Not that the canal failed: It never reached halfway up its 16-foot walls. The problem was a quarter mile away, where the natural canal becomes a concrete half-tunnel. Since June, residents in My area had been asking for the City to clean out debris and garbage at the transition point, where dirt walls become cement slabs.

The heavy rains began at about 2:40 this morning, adding to already-soaked ground. But the last flooding in the area happened during Hurricane Georges, in 1998, and that after a 3-day rainfall of almost 7 inches. Earlier this month, almost 4 inches of rain fell over a three-day period and though water did lap at the front yard, it was far from running up into the houses.

With less than 2 inches of rainfall, the water surge along the natural canal pounded the blockage and thrashed the ground around the entrance to the drainage canal. At about 5:30, the ground to the left of the canal gave way and a huge surge of water smashed into the streets. As the drainage canal remained at relatively low levels, a deep stream of water flowed into My neighborhood, a little valley whose closest bowl-bottom is just a few steps from My door.

A car parked across from My house went from hubcap-deep to door-deep to only the roof being visible in less than an hour. A circled area of over 1,500 feet was swamped with water from a foot to about four feet in depth, with some 20-25 houses flooded. All of it inevitable once the drainage canal was blocked. All of it avoidable if the blockage had been removed anytime in the past four months.

Wednesday or Thursday I'll start cleaning out the pigsty that My house has become. I'll mourn the loss of My games, a source of deep pleasure and entertainment I shared with My Son and Nephews. I'll mourn My books, which have occasionally proven to be more important to Me than food. I'll mourn My lost manuscripts, the notes and ideas that are now illegible. And I'll mourn the loss of years of time, effort and money, along with the past that is now beyond reach.

But that's then. For now, I'll stay busy. What I can and want to replace, I will. What is irretrievable will be remembered for what it's worth. Everything else is now moot. And with the massive loss, I believe, comes a freedom to define who and what I really am, what I want to become and how I want to achieve it. The next time I move--for I will move--it will be much easier, lighter, freer. 

And that could turn out to be a good thing. In fact, I'm pretty sure it will be.

21 September 2008

Online Revealed Caribbean 2008

You just gotta love a company that calls itself A Couple of Chicks E-Marketing, with Alicia Whalen as CEO: Chick Executive Officer. Together with co-founder Patricia Brusha, A Couple of Chicks have been carving out a niche for themselves in the sharp-shooting world of Internet marketing.

Their signature event, Online Revealed Canada, has had a very successful three-year run, and looking hard at the American markets, Alicia and Patricia aimed for the Caribbean as a hot market for e-marketing development. They chose Puerto Rico as the hub for their event. And through the oft-mentioned Kevin Shockey, they got to meet Me.

Unfortunately, I was only able to attend the late first-day session, where Alicia, MC Don Dees (of Dondequiera fame) and I were the blogger panel. If the after-panel comments are an indication--and they usually are--We hit a home run. Both Alicia and Don Dees have "commercial" blogs, blogs aimed at building their businesses, while I have...well, The Jenius. In essence, We were trying to convey the importance a blog can have to creating a conversation with your customers and prospects, especially in the realm of travel and tourism.

There was one dissident voice, someone who almost willfully refuses to "get it," but the fact is, neither he nor anyone else has to be a fan of blogs. What he does to need to acknowledge, though, is that focusing on ROI only on the "traditional" marketing actions means he's entirely missing the true measurement of ROI that Internet marketing (including blogs) can give.

An aside: If he continues to use the "Threaten you with a horrible review unless you give the person a free night's stay" example, I'm going to call him a spineless worm, for he's using the "extreme" example as if it were "common." Here's My less-rancorous answer to that: Suggest and make arrangements for a stay in another hotel more in tune with person's tastes and send the asshole over there.

One question, by Alex, a travel industry consultant, elicited the basis for an e-book I outlined today: How do you manage the logistics of starting a business blog?

My answer--crafted at the moment to answer his question--was a four-step process:

1) Gather sources: From other blogs to websites to suppliers to allied businesses to competitors and don't forget to include customers. Anything that can help you generate content ideas is a source.

2) Make choices: As I pointed out during the panel, some experts say "focus" or "develop a voice," but it all boils down to making choices. What do you want to say? Who are you saying it to? How will you say it? The problem with "focus" or "voice" is that they are not "instant" characteristics: They develop over time. By making choices you simplify the development to the point where you can actually create a blog, rather than just plan one.

3) Be consistent: Not just in time (blogging once a week or every Tuesday/Friday, etc.) or length of post or type of material: In all of it. A corollary is to also Be Flexible (I didn't mention that during the panel.) Consistency means you work a blog like a tool, honing it over time. The flexibility means you adapt it over time to be as responsive as possible.

4) Follow-up: A blog, or a website, does not exist in a vacuum. They don't do all the work by themselves, just by virtue of existing. You have to follow-up, connect, explore, pay attention to, adapt and grow...and when you do that with consistency, you will have sharpened effort into focus and presentation into voice.

How do you choose a blogger for your business? Like any other job position. But I did suggest to those present that they could (in the case of a small hotel, for example) put their newest employee in charge of the blog. S/He learns about the hotel faster, their potential role in its growth (or failure) and is more likely to be familiar with the technology and mores of the Web than anyone else on the staff.

And for those who want to start a business-enhancing blog, but especially those in the travel industry, I suggested they search for stories. Stories are the traditional way We have connected since the first campfires. Stories engage, enthrall, connect and convince, all values that marketing has tried time and again to elicit, but has found harder going in this attention-deficit age We live in.

Here's a website I found just after returning from the event: StoryMaps. It allows bloggers to map their posts within Google Maps. I'll let you determine how valuable (and serendipitous) this new service is. And for anyone who mentioned or thought of The Cluetrain Manifesto as part of the blogger panel's discussion, here's an expanded take on what it means now.

I still have some follow-up to do: Joseph Clote of Missouri Meeting & Events magazine asked Me a question I had no answer for (gasp!) about the local Tourism Company's advertising budget; Melinda E. Van Patter, of MarketWire, will receive My e-mail to find out more about integrated press releases; I owe a web stroll through Five Star Alliance, where Cal, Courtney and Jennifer hang out (to work) (apologies if I misspelled a name); and another to AdCision, where Emily and Cal (again!) hang out to work; and last, but not least in any way, I'll call Karla Medina of Caribbean Trading Company to drop in on her store near the foothills of El Yunque rain forest.

Just before I left the event, I suggested We create a blog or wiki to track the development of the 70 attendees to Online Revealed Caribbean and build connections to next year's events. I fully expect We'll do so and I'm very glad We will.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

19 September 2008

Tourism Tour(rette)

I'll be blogging over the weekend (special posts--free of charge) about Online Revealed Caribbean, where The Jenius was on the blogger panel. For now, I'll do My Jenius thing:
Where the hell was the Puerto Rico Tourism Company?

Not at Online Revealed Caribbean. But check out some monotonous show about Alaska crab fisherman and--lo and behold!--some twitchy (yes, it's a word) flash-cut shotgun collage of Puerto Rico shows up, courtesy of... the Tourism Company.

Now you may be familiar with My take on the local tourism hash, but this latest little incident is emblematic of the deep-seated, practically embedded-in-its-DNA ignorance that keeps the local Tourism Company from being anything other than a tchochtke when by all rights it should be a sculpture.

A) Time and time again, from the tech sites to business press, We hear that travelers are increasingly-dependent on the Web to research and plan their trips. So guess where the Tourism Company spends the absolute bulk of its marketing budget? TV and magazines.
Several recent surveys have indicated that TV ranks fifth as an influencer of travel plans, behind the Web, travel agent recommendations, family/friends and personal experience with the place. Now guess--just guess, you spastic Tourism Company--where you can find tons and tons of travel agent recommendations and people's personal experiences in full color? Uh-huh: the Web. It's also called the Internet. And being Online.

B) Because the Tourism Company is just a political nest, vision is very much compromised. Rather than draft a long-term plan (8-15 years) that encompasses hotel growth, the challenges We face from the Dominican Republic and Cuba (see My "tourism hash" link above for what that will do to Us), attracting more European and Asian tourists (have someone show you where Europe and Asia are, okay?), enhancing eco-tourism and other niche offers and dealing with the sorry state of taxes and service that We have now, the Tourism Company does things without volition and says things that drop like stink bombs at the cotillion ("We Do It Better"? "Discover the Continent of Puerto Rico"? Huh?)

What We have is an entity that lacks control over its muscles (actions) and speech (slogans), in essence a Tourism Company suffering from Tourrette's Syndrome. (Did you see the pun? Did you? I am funny!) Twitchy (it is a word) and liable to blurt out anything just to make noise, Our Tourism Company consistently misses the mark. Incapable of looking ahead or even seeing reality, it lets the opportunity to directly participate in both a learning and guiding experience, actions sorely needed to quickly and effectively learn what to say, where to say, when and how. And the where is--beyond a shadow of a doubt--online.

Here's a point We need to address and have needed to for decades: The Tourism Company is the only local agency that can say what it wants without ever having been interfered with by the federal government. We can market Ourselves and Our attractions any way We feel like. So instead of finding Our unique voice, instead of acting on Our behalf on a gobal scale, We ramble through Our back yard, over-tax and over-burden the strongest, freest industry We have ever had and ignore the strongest tourism communication channel ever because of fear arising from ignorance.

Action always defeats fear. Asking questions, listening and acting to learn defeat ignorance. But I guess you can't overcome these small obstacles if most of your actions are uncontrollable spasms and most of your words nothing more than thoughtless outbursts.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

17 September 2008

Eggbeater/Energy Ball Info

Following up on James' comment, here's the information on the company that produces the Urban Windmill known as Energy Ball and/or Eggbeater:

Home Energy International Buys Ballotstraat 9
4507 DA Schoondijke

T +31 (0) 23 558 0022 
F +31 (0) 23 558 1870
E-Mail: projects@home-energy.com

Yes, it's in Holland. Don't sweat it: They speak English and have lovely pastries.

Here's a business outline for the local market:

1) Contact the company and ask for distributorship information covering the Caribbean. (Yes, the Caribbean. There's wind outside of Puerto Rico, people.)

2) If the company's in too early a stage to set up the Caribbean distributorship (very likely given the information on their website), arrange to explore the potential with them within the next 30 days.

3) Prepare a brief Business Plan (1-2 pages) showing market highlights, competition, price structures and relevant executive-level personnel. Remember to show market highlights, competition and price structures in the Caribbean.

4) Follow-up with the company if they respond by sending them any requested info and your business outline. If they don't respond within a week, send them another e-mail. They're probably very busy with tons of stuff and things tend to slip through the cracks when the crazy stage hits a start-up.

5) Throw rocks at your business outline to make it stronger, but no longer than 3 pages. It's an outline, not a wikipedia. You want to be able to grasp the significant points and be able to share them with interested parties in seconds. 

6) Forget government monies. Forget banks. Think "credit unions." But don't approach any until you have an understanding--better yet, a contract--with Home Energy International. 

7) Keep your eyes, ears and mind open to explore the full potential of Energy Ball windmills in the Caribbean. I keep pounding that point home because most of Our entrepreneurs see only one market--Puerto Rico--and get the willy-nillies when they even think about other markets.

8) Get started now.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

15 September 2008

Political Microcosm

This won't take long...

Cabo Rojo's Mayoral race features a black woman, with 6 years' experience as Vice-Mayor and one as Mayor (the dude died), running against a white serial entrepreneur who made his way up from difficult circumstances, but also has a slightly-checkered past.


A woman with job-specific experience. A black woman from middle-class origins. Forms part of the political malaise that hit this town and keeps it wrapped up in a cloud of unfinished destruction dust. 

A businessman with a proven track record of managerial success and connected to influential families. But no government experience. And, if no skeletons in his closet, a few bones rattle nervously. 

Cabo Rojo was the first--and so far, the only--town to elect an independent candidate for Mayor in Puerto Rico's history. No independent candidates this year. Only a choice for Top Job between experience-with-abetting-malaise versus inexperience-with-possible-potential.

Hmmm... Sounds familiar. Very, very familiar.

"All politics is local." -- Tip O'Neill

The Jenius Has Spoken.

12 September 2008

(Egg)Beating Down Power Bills

Apropos of My "Update on 'Turbine Farms' Ideas," The Insider commented: While I think the idea is great, you still haven't sold me on how these individual solutions that require effort or significant investment are going to make a much of an impact (since I anticipate extremely low rates of participation).

Woo-hoo! A challenge!

First of all, I don't see the ideas I've presented as achieving or needing widespread support. In the case of Turbine Farms or Vertical Windmills, local support at the government level (difficult, but manageable) would be enough.

Second, some of the ideas (barrel farming, urban plots) don't require much money, but they do require significant time and effort when compared to, say, watching novelas.

On the matter of impact, I'll use the Urban Windmill (Eggbeater) as an example, because the impact could be significant without massive participation and--in fact--would have a ready-made marketing campaign launching and bolstering support. The starting point? Solar water heaters.

According to the local Consumer Affairs agency (DACO), some 178,000 solar water heaters have been sold/installed in Puerto Rico. (Data is sketchy, but that number represents almost 18% of homes, though the heaters have been sold to businesses and light industrial sites and some sales have been replacements.) The big hook for solar water heaters was savings on the electrical bill, averaging 10-18%. 

Now according to the Electrical Power Authority (PREPA), heating water amounts to an average of 16-27% of an average home's electrical usage and the average home bill was $47.18...in 2005. (Again, data was sketchy.) Combine the three numbers and you can claim that solar water heaters saved buyers about $19 a month. (DACO claims $33, but offered Me no basis for that number.)

The average electrical bill has now gone up 115%, to about $92. Kilowatt usage is down, but the costs to consumers continue to rise. An Eggbeater Urban Windmill (given Our constant wind speeds) is capable of producing around 4,000 kilowatts a year, about 55% of what the average home uses a year. A solar water heater is a good investment...but an Eggbeater Windmill is better. (Ready-made marketing campaign.) Other benefits:

1) The Eggbeater would have a comparable value to a solar water heater, for although the Eggbeater would cost more, it would save more money. Solar water heaters were sold as "5-year investments," a similar notion to what an Eggbeater investment would be.

2) An Urban Windmill would provide a constant energy source that coupled with storage (battery) could power a small home without need of the PREPA grid.

3) Installation would be easy on the average house's flat cement roof, as a solar water heater weighs more (its tank of water) than an Eggbeater.

4) Esthetically, an Eggbeater looks better than a solar water heater.

5) Combine the two (sell to an already-invested customer--178,000 of them) and you could literally not pay for electricity every month (small homes/businesses).

6) With less than 178,000 installed, the Eggbeater would expand the energy capacity of the Island by reducing the demand on the groaning grid We now have, as well as reducing the need for fuel. 

Caveat: Permits and licenses would be a problem, eventually. Not because the Urban Windmill is dangerous or bothersome, but because it seriously threatens the Power Authority and its special interests. (It took 3 laws and 11 years to get PREPA to write out an energy buy-back plan...and it still isn't finished.) 

Can this be done? Can We buy into Urban Windmills that promise to save Us money in Our homes and businesses? I say yes. The next step is: Who will do it?

The Jenius Has Spoken.

P.S. -- Check out The Insider's nifty newsblog "Puerto Rico: A Paradise Lost?" I LOVE the one about Cabo Rojo building roads "at a billion dollars a mile." I hate Myself for not coming up with that one!

10 September 2008

Our Farce Estate

My Thanks to MC Don Dees for his Jenius Jots shout-out over at Dondequiera.com. And another one to Gabriel Pagán of I Can't Spell fame for a similar tweet-out in Twitter space.

Puerto Rico has about 4 million people living under a putative democracy. One of the central pillars of a democracy has traditionally been the Fourth Estate, a free press, whose primary roles of forging public opinion and checking the power of the three government branches (Executive, Legislative and Judicial) are a cornerstone of public freedoms and progress.


There remain only three daily newspapers on My Island. One, El Vocero, a former blood-soaked rag turned milquetoast crusader, is as solid as a glass-jawed boxer clobbered by a heyday Mike Tyson 1-2 combination. The other two dailies are actually one, as Primera Hora and El Nuevo Día are both owned by the Ferré-Rangel cartel. 

...A cartel who also own the largest single-investor share in Banco Popular, filter and conduit of roughly 68% of the government's monies, ranging from budget funds to tax-protected corporate earnings.

...A cartel who also owned--and still has a piece of--the largest cement producer on the Island, a product used in about 84% of all residential and commercial construction here.

...A cartel who is directly linked to 6 of the 7 local Supreme Court Justices, each of whom was at one time a member or partner of the law firm that has long represented it.

...And a cartel who vehemently deny the reports that their daily newspapers--bolstered by a hefty network of regional papers that combined absorb 64% of all newspaper ads locally--have been sold (in 2007) to a Chilean media conglomerate.


Four vice-presidents and the Business Editor of Primera Hora are Chileans, imported because "there are no capable executives in Puerto Rico" and both papers have fired--actually, purged--key executive personnel and replaced them with lower-paid, largely inexperienced personnel. The cartel also closed the Orlando daily version of El Nuevo Día, alleging $5-$6 million annual losses, just months after touting in bold headlines that it was "growing spectacularly."  Seems obvious that sale-enhancing cost-cutting tactics are being used to enhance the cartel's current and near-future value.

Two angles here: One is that the Ferré-Rangel cartel has had a long, extensive, consistent and persistent track record of suppressing and distorting news and polls, covering up or even making up stories to suit their own personal, professional, commercial or political interests. These are allegations that find roots of truth over and over again, from angling polls to spiking stories to leaning on people to get their way. When a cartel like the Ferré-Rangel group has such obvious and hidden power, the only way to retain it is to use it. And they use it.

In essence, the Fourth Estate doesn't exist in Puerto Rico, having become nothing more than the blunt tool of a power-broker. A blunt tool not only in terms of use, but also in terms of intellect, for a newspaper whose journalism function has been hijacked for dissembling, diversion and blackmail cannot ever be an intellectual force for public good: It can only be a dirty hammer for private wrecking.

The other angle is that Our "Fourth Estate" is not even technically Ours, for even in its dirty hammer role, the hand that increasingly wields it is foreign. Now maybe one can argue that an outsider's hand could turn the dirty hammer into a useful, more objective tool, but why would a foreigner want to change what is basically a cash machine into something--well--foreign? And even if the outsiders wanted to do so, would they actually know how to properly and contextually represent Our "best" Fourth Estate role?

A democracy--even one as swamp-addled as Ours--needs a healthy, active and perceptive Fourth Estate to grow. A Fourth Estate that is a forum of insight and debate, of questions that uncover honest answers and that reveal motivations and reasons. A Fourth Estate that forges opinions and provides context, not a Farce Estate that pukes fake facsimiles of "objectivity" and "public interests" amounting to nothing more than flashes of greed, whim, cynicism and spite. What We need--if We are to truly achieve the progress We deserve--is a Fourth Estate carrying out its fundamental duty with a steady eye, a keen mind and a clear vision, thus eliminating Our disgusting Farce Estate that gives Us only a jaundiced leer, rampant schizophrenia and lizard-brain myopia wrapped in naked greed.

The Jenius Has Spoken.


08 September 2008

Update on "Turbine Farm" Ideas

I wrote about a couple of ideas some time ago, added new angles and have now found new material to provide another update.

Caution: Jenius At Work.

From one of the harshest, most oppressive urban environments in the world comes an idea so magnificent in its simplicity and excecution it makes "elegant" seem like faint praise:

Kibera is a tiny slum shantytown on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya. Over a million people live here, jammed together amidst piles of garbage and openly running sewage. However, by clearing garbage to uncover the soil, using the worms found there to create compost and creating a simple pipe-based irrigation system, Kibera residents have developed "patch farms" capable of sustaining up to 30 people in only three months. 

The process is easily-replicated and has even been adapted for "barrel farming" (tiny vegetable gardens in large containers) and low-cost variations of vertical farming. A kicker: It's organic farming, a health boon in a toehold of Hell.

As for wind power, urban locations aren't exactly compatible with large slashing blades, and though vertical windmills do the trick, they lack in that all-important "esthetics" category. Say hello to The Energy Ball, a stylish, highly-efficient windmill best described as "an eggbeater to power the future." The shape and design allow it to operate in low and cross-current winds typical of urban settings while creating a pleasing visual effect (if you can imagine dozens of these "swimming" atop a city setting.)

Given that We in Puerto Rico produce an enormous amount of garbage that, given Our limited land area, ends up reducing usable land, the idea of Kibera-type farming makes tons of sense. And flat-topped concrete houses in what can be best-described as a "trade winds corridor" Island make perfect platforms for Energy Balls. Imagine changing a garbage-strewn, energy-deficient Island into an urban farming energy-producing Island in five years. It can be done.

Like I said: Jenius At Work.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

05 September 2008

My Vote for Head Beggar

This won't take long...

The Head Beggar--a.k.a. Resident Comissioner of Puerto Rico in Washington--is a sucky job. No voice, no vote in Congress and you roam the halls of über-power without any. Your job is to somehow finagle more and more dollars from the grubby paws  of Uncle Sam's misbegotten children and send it down with much fanfare to Uncle Sam's better-if-forgotten children.

But Our vote for governor is paired with a vote for Head Beggar, and despite the proper relationship of My gubernatorial vote--Spongebob Squarepants--with close friend Patrick Star, I find that Mr. Star is far too gentle a soul for the demands of Head Beggarship.

Therefore, I pondered (weak and weary?) on who should receive My Head Beggar vote. I envisioned someone undaunted by massive doses of open, direct rejection while able to continue his inane efforts at achieving the unmerited. Then I added the idea that this person could somehow evoke, openly and without constraint, the real feelings of the grubby misbegotten children roaming the halls of über-power, those representatives in body politic and mind pedantic that have taken Our indecision and turned it into self-serving indifference.

And on those criteria of implacability in the face of rejection and evocation of what's truly in the minds of so many in the U.S. of part of A., I will proudly--smilingly!--cast My vote for Head Beggar for none other than Pepe LePew.

My Orange Sharpie will have plenty of work come Election Day...

The Jenius Has Spoken.


03 September 2008

Jellyfish for Veep!

Newt "A Nickname Would Be Redundant" Gingrich listed Governor Sarah Palin's, um...er...ah...qualifichahaha...sorry, qualifications for being the Vice-Presidential candidate paired with old, old what's-his-name. 

They were: She's the governor of a state with a budget of $11.4 billion, 660,000 residents and over 15,000 government employees.

Good Lord.

Allow Me to present to you Aníbal "Jellyfish" Acevedo, non-governor of Puerto Rico. In direct comparison to Palin, I submit to you that Jellyfish is the chief executive of an Island with a budget of $9.8 billion... 3.97 million residents and 234,000 government employees.

Yes, Palin mismanages $1.6 billion more, but in the other two Newt-Note Categories, Jellyfish smokes the NRA Pin-Head of the Month all hollow. AND: Jellyfish has served 4 years--longer than Palin has had a political career of any note--as Head Beggar (okay, Resident Commissioner) in Congress.

When the third-rate non-governor of a colonial territory in the U.S. of part of A. is hands-down more qualified for Vice-President than the party leader's nominee, you have a screw-up of historically colossal proportions.


I suggest We kill two birds with one stone and NOMINATE JELLYFISH FOR VEEP. You got it: When Palin drops out of the race, slot Jellyfish in.

Think about it, people. The Republicans would benefit by having a guy with a much better track record than Pistol-Packin' Palin. They'd draw a greater share of the Hispanic vote aside from the Cuban contingent they always attract. With Jellyfish a presumptive Democract (like that means anything in Puerto Rico). they could appeal to crossover voters and independents with their heads in their asses, i.e., "the center." And Jellyfish could educate his new boss on where Puerto Rico is and what a naval base actually does.

Jellyfish would benefit by joining the hyena cabal knowing full well that his 24 pending fraud charges would vanish like soap bubbles in a volcano. And We'd benefit by getting rid of him sooner rather than later.

You like the idea. I can tell. Somebody wake up old, old what's-his-name and get him to drop the blonde. Make sure to tell him which blonde.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

P.S.  And for you "girl-power" protesters out there, this is NOT about Palin's gender. There are men who are less qualified than her to be V.P., but most of them are working in 7-11s, shoe stores and as interns in Congress. Palin is not qualified to run the nation. Period. Doesn't matter even in the unlikely and needless event that she turns out to be a man, a polar bear or an alien construct: Her experience in government, economics and world affairs is virtually nil. What is sexist is to ignore her obvious lack of qualifications by crying "Sexist!" every time a salient point about her non-competence for the job comes up.

01 September 2008

Law and Leader

The ideal governor for Puerto Rico--an idea I've touched on before--was back in My Mind after MC Don Dees, of Dondequiera fame, indicated that his choice for the technology of greatest impact to Us would be "law and order."

Here's My original list, (almost) devoid of My sparkling commentary:

1) Male
2) Non-Black
3) Under 50 (in age) (in IQ We got ALL of them...)
4) Mediagenic
5) Angry
6) Gregarious
7) Tunnel-visioned
8) Short-termed

I don't see any reference there to "law and order," or in fact, any type of authoritarian slant. bent or angle. Is Don Dees wrong? Is--gasp--The Jenius wrong?

No. What Don Dees is talking about is making law and order an actual priority, to renew its fundamental role as a platform for Our society. What I'm talking about is one person, who, to become the leader We need, would have to embody the traits I outline above.

Can the leader I describe achieve the law and order society Don Dees envisions (and I wholeheartedly want)? Maybe.

Can We achieve the society envisioned without the leader I describe? No, unless We want greater chaos than We have now.

The power of one person to galvanize a group or a society is that rarest of human intangibles, resting on an almost-infinite variety of characteristics, but predicated on one simple, undeniable fact: Without massive personal appeal, no leader can make wholesale changes in a society.

Because such leaders are rare, because even the rare ones have to work with and through the society they wish to change and because politics attract the ungulate cult of the expedient, the odds that the law-and-order society will come about by a "golden touch" leader are almost nil. Instead, We'll most likely be subjected to a moron using underhanded and strong-arm tactics, largely based on fear and lies, to create an illusion of law and order.

Read the U.S of part of A. into the above paragraph, for I wrote about it in there.

Is Don Dees wrong? No, he's spot-on about Our dire need for law and order. Is My vision of an ideal leader for Puerto Rico wrong? No, We need someone to step above and outside Our crap, while staying connected to Our heart. What disturbs Me is that We're much closer to imposed "law-and-order" than to any semblance of a true leader. And in that imbalance lies a host of ills We'd do very well to avoid. 

The Jenius Has Spoken.