30 April 2010

Grackles and Dodos

Watching the NBA Playoffs, I've seen a Gatorade commercial with a catchy ditty, apparently written for the ad. The tag line is: 'If you wanna revolution the only solution's "Evolve"."

Grammatically suspect, conceptually on-target. And it applies, in spades, to the University of Puerto Rico students, currently "on strike"--yawn--which is rather like saying sheep are "on call" if the temperature drops.

Are the students on strike because the current economic debacle exacerbated by overpaid cretins in government and banking has reached a point where someone has to stand up and say "Enough!"?


Are the students on strike because the social fabric of Our country is shredding to the point where We have more faith in other nations that We seemingly could ever have in Our own and thus it's time someone stood up and said "Let's change!"?


Are the students on strike because The Larva, the Head Beggar and the misbegotten excuse for a party they belong to is doing the status mambo as a way to once again distract the masses from the mess the Governor, the Resident Commissioner and the New Progressive Party are making of Our future, thus requiring a self-harm protest as a way of saying "Our future is Ours, not yours!"?


What, then, with the myriad of problems We have, with the absolute failure of past October's loud yawn that had Twittericans creaming their cartoony undies with ridiculous (and misplaced) delight, what pray tell are the students striking about? 

Rising credit costs. And budget cuts for the University of Puerto Rico system.


Noble? Bold? Brave? Try these: Near-sighted. Barefaced. Bumbling. This isn't a strike so much as it is the temper tantrum of over-privileged snot-noses who think that Guevara is someone worthy of admiration because his murderer's face appears on T-shirts. This is the action of a handful of current parasites who have the conscience of a brick, the ego and limelight addiction of a--hack spit--politician and the scruples of a brain-addled snake. And those who have nothing better to do cheer them on, like demented grackles perched on a dodo coop.

Is the University system fiscally mismanaged? Yes. Are funds misappropriated or misspent because of political prejudices? Yes. But look at the flip side: Are budget cuts necessary? Yes, but more in terms of the number of people employed within the system rather than in a reduction of services. And should credit costs be adjusted? Yes, gradually and taking advantage of the fact that Pell Grants have been raised, because even a public university system needs to make money to continue lurching along.

The bottom line is that not everyone should go to college. A significant minority (close to 45%) of college students in Puerto Rico do not finish a degree (most of them males), so their presence on campus is not that of a person seeking improvement, but that of a loafer looking to score the next beer, free ride or sex partner. And those of you who have been in Our universities know I am not exaggerating: many of Our college students are there to avoid work, to get away from the family and to hook their paws on free government money.

So why a strike? Because Our university system is managed by greed-scarred cowards with no vision of education, so they allow a handful of loudmouths and jerks (I edited this down to "loudmouths and jerks") create a scene and, in doing so, risk harming the actual college aspirations of the dwindling group of true learners.


Equally pathetic is turning this tempest in a teapot into some sort of "national struggle." Hack spit again. Just as I predicted that last October's "mass protest" would lead to zilchzipnada, this is starting out as zilchzipnada and will only go down from there. Our problems are not in the realm of the per-credit price increase of college screw-offs, but the increased screwing We're getting by people who should have been buried in their own filth years ago, unevolved parasites that should be as dead to Us as the dodo.

But why focus on the real when We can focus on the inane, right?


The Jenius Has Spoken.

28 April 2010

Popular Strangling

We. Are. Screwed.

In the midst of a wave of banking failures criss-crossing the U.S. of part of A. and the very visible weakening of Our own banks--as noted in a recent Jenius post--comes the news that Banco Popular will buy certain branches of Westernbank.

We are screwed.

Banco Popular has long been on My list of major obstacles to Our growth in Puerto Rico. I've said this before, but just think about it while I summarize the issue: When a country has one bank--one--that dominates mortgage loans, personal loans, car loans, credit cards, construction loans, leasing, debit/electronic card processing and basically handles 60-70% of the government's monies (payroll, taxes, revenues from other sources), then you don't have a First World economy, or even a "Second" World economy: you have a Third World economy where the banking cabal says "crap" and the politicians squeak "what color?"

So if Banco Popular is Número Uno, who is/was Number Two?

Westernbank. Number Two indeed.

And is Banco Popular soaring with the eagles, rising above the competition to scan the horizons? Eagle, My ass: it's more like a dodo. Check out the losses it's having...reported just last week. So how in the name of Adam Smith is a bank that's drowning, and grabbed some $935 million in TARP money, how the hell can a failing bank buy an even weaker failing bank? 

Simple: it makes for a "clean" FDIC whitewash. They literally kill two birds with one stone, by giving one Puerto Rican bank a chance to leverage the valuable assets of another  Puerto Rican bank without another dime of "pure gringo money" getting involved. I'll make it clearer for you numbnut "My party is right" morons out there: the FDIC is letting Banco Popular rape Us even harder so they don't have to try to bail it out.

Do you think Banco Popular isn't going to leverage what's left of Westernbank to stabilize its position? Do you think Banco Popular is going to "rebuild" Westernbank, rather than extend itself and dominate the only region of the Island where Popular was not dominant, the western side of Puerto Rico? You think Popular, after this multi-billion dollar bonanza, will actually sell their cash cow, Evertec? You think that Banco Popular's situation isn't squarely in the eye and puny puny minds of the Fools who insist government is gang rape and thus better to give it good and hard than to receive?

Oh, yeah, We're screwed. Unless you and several hundred thousand others join Us in strengthening the local cooperatives and make them a viable banking alternative so that We can become--at long last--something other than a central bank puppet economy.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

[Update: 30 April 2010: The New York Times weighs in, lightly, on Our banking crisis.]

27 April 2010

Fascism Goose Steps Along

"Show me your papers."

Germany. Or Russia. Right? Repressive, abusive regimes that were the enemy of the shining democracy that was the U.S. of part of A.

"Your papers, please." Uttered in a snide tone, with an aggressive snarl, or with mock politeness. Jack-booted, emblem-capped men with hard features who made you want to punch them into fertilizer. Actors, really, but you knew--somewhere in the back of your mind--that men like that did exist, sometime, somewhere. Somewhere bad. Somewhere evil.

Like Arizona. The state has authorized its police force to stop and ask suspected immigrants for their papers. Mexicans, mainly. You know, "them". "People who don't look like us."

"I need to see your papers. Now." You don't look Mexican, I bet. You aren't living in Arizona or visiting it anytime soon, so why should you care? Right? Fascist right? Wrong.

I think a lot of Mexicans don't look like Mexicans, so what if the "standard" for stopping a person in the middle of the street moves from "profiling" to mere "suspicion." Do you look Puerto Rican? Foreign, in some way? You know, swarthy, olive-skinned, "tanned," darker-than-white? If you do, stamp it: you are next.

Still don't care? Are you white, blue-eyed, speak idiomatic English, know the culture because you grew up in it, can answer "trick" questions like who was the 16th President of the United States or what team Jackie Robinson played for? You know, the questions used in those movies where the bad guys were from some other country, not "ours"? Not worried? You should be, you idiot.

See, I am white. Blue-eyed. Speak idiomatic English. Grew up in the States, spent 20 years living in the South and Midwest, visited dozens of states, went to college there. I can tell you who the 16th President was (Abraham Lincoln) and who Jackie Robinson played for: the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Oh, you didn't know? Really... You didn't know the Dodgers were back in Brooklyn back then? No idea, huh? "What does it matter?" you say. I'm asking the questions here, not you. Here's the answer:

"Show me your papers."

The Jenius Has Spoken.

[Update: 28 April 2010: "Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik tells KGUN9 News that SB 1070, Arizona's crackdown on illegal immigration, is a 'racist law,' and says he has no intention of complying with it." What happens to and with Sheriff Dupnik--an honest man with integrity--will speak volumes about this issue.]

[Update: 2 May 2010: The first front-page editorial ever for The Arizona Central, calling for real immigration reform and not this political "pandering to fear." And they name names.]

[Update: 20 May 2010: Arizona cop says that "Anti-Latino law makes him feel like a Nazi." ]

[Update: 29 May 2010: One of Our Brethren, Eduardo Caraballo, is mistakenly arrested and when he presents his papers, he isn't believed and is threatened with deportation "back to Mexico." One of the "qualifying" criteria for not believing Eduardo? The police asked him questions about Puerto Rico, that he couldn't answer because he's only been here once since birth. Does any of this sound familiar? And was it in Arizona? No. Illinois. The jackboots are marching and you are not paying attention.]

[Update: 6 July 2010: The Department of Justice files suit against the Arizona law.

[Update: 2 Sep 2010: Ohio rejecting Puerto Rican birth certificates.] 

26 April 2010



Anger runs through The Jenius like a cataract of water through a narrow pipe. It's one of the first things people tell Me when (not if: when) they discuss this blog with Yours Truly. Some folks comment on the anger in a tone of surprise, as if the level of anger they perceive is somehow odd, abnormal, aberrant, an ugly bug on the front door screen. Others find it energizing and curious, especially the sense of anger being targeted and focused, not so much as a(n occasionally) foulmouthed rant, but as a knife or razor wielded to do much damage with short strokes.

Then there are those who speak to me about the anger as if it were somehow dangerous...to Me. Their take is that it will trigger something in others and I will then become the target of the others' anger and reaction. I've discussed this before (you can look it up; try the "personal" tag) and can conclude that (a) "they" don't care and (b) neither do I.

But My take on the anger that is The Jenius is that it simply cannot be any other way. The Jenius and the anger are one and the same. How else would I--as The Jenius--have the patience and determination to put together over 900 of these little diatribes/essays unless I (it) were fueled by anger? What else could the fuel be? Love? Puh-lease. True love doesn't need this much expression; just ask any poet if s/he writes more poems when happy in love or when pissed off at love unrequited or lost. (No, Puerto Rico hasn't scorned Me.)

Passion? Passion for what? Passion for Puerto Rico? Maybe, but I could have all the passion in the world for Puerto Rico and still not find enough to make Me sit before a keyboard and pound out something trenchant, insightful, witty, crass and useful 3 times a week. (I always aim for at least 3-out-of-5, if you really want to know.)

A search for power? Shut up. There are hundreds of ways to gain and use power that are light-years easier than blogging. A search for fame? Ditto. For further evidence, check out My marketing efforts for The Jenius. That's right: you can't find 'em. I don't do anything but write what The Jenius has to say. Marketing is for people who need affirmation.

And in any case, anger has ever been My fuel. It was there as a child and as a teen, as a young adult and as an older adult. It rides Me and I enjoy riding it. Anger is under-appreciated as a motivational force, deemed bad when, in fact, well-directed, it can literally move mountains. Maybe faith can do that, too, but faith would wait where anger would just grab a sledgehammer and beat the living daylights out of the damn thing right now.

Am I bothered by the anger shown here? Only in the sense that it should be more apparent where it is directed. Sometimes I use a shotgun rather than a rifle. Maybe 900+ pulls of the trigger are just enough to get the windage and distance and make the next shots all that much more accurate.

But shotguns are damned effective too...

The Jenius Has Spoken.

23 April 2010

Carbonell Hell = P.(u)R.(e) Theft

Just do a Google search for "Carbonell Hell." On this blog. And then prepare for another level of that particular kind of hell.

I was walking from My house to a local supermarket, cutting through town because the drainage canal is too deep and steep to use (though it is a shorter route.) Along the way, on My town's main street, I saw the rutted tracks and deep holes that could only mean that once again--for the fifth time--that particular piece of the street had been dug up.

When My Son was 3, almost seven years ago, this street was already undergoing renovations, albeit at another section, just outside of the "downtown" area. But this particular piece of roadway, the recently-poured concrete now cracked and jagged and jumbled, has been "in renovation" since 2006. For four years, Carbonell Street has been a visible, public disgrace, a shithole of buckled pavement, dust and dirt, holes, blocked streets, horrible traffic jams and broken businesses. The section I was standing over had been paved over in November, the sidewalk edges bricked and the street lamps that caused the fourth shredding standing quietly, dark, but picturesque.

Now there was another hole, another pile of rubble, surrounded by a small squad of sweaty guys with cracked hard hats, pot bellies and masked faces, evincing the activity level of turds on a frying pan, staring at what I was staring. I was pissed. They were...there.

"Why?" I asked. Just that: Why.

They smiled. "For the cables. You know, for the street lamps and other stuff."

"Now?!" I almost snarled. Now?!

They laughed. "It had to be done someday," one of them said and the rest just stood there, nodding or nodding off.

Let Me be blunt: This is theft. Pure and complicated, it is outright theft. This town is being ripped off in barefaced fashion. Out there, on Our streets, Our money is going into to the pockets of the people that hire the smiling/laughing/nodding drones that muck up the roads day after day after day after motherfucking day.

There is no way--no way in goddamn hell--that a street renovation project covering less than 3 miles should take several years and need sections redug 3, 4 and even 5 times...and counting.  We haven't had a natural disaster. We haven't had a war. We haven't had a terrorist attack. What We've had is a Mayor--Perza "Look Away!" Rodríguez, who probably dropped to her knees in joy when the previous mayor kicked the bucket, and a Municipal Assembly more akin to hopped-up baboons in a china closet than a democratically-elected body. That's what We have: a cabal of fucking thieves. 

Of course they know what's going on. Of course they know the damage it has done, is doing and will do to the town in lost businesses and sunken property values. They don't give a baboon's ass for anything except their own. They are in on the theft. They have to be. Because no one puts up with a job done this poorly without raising red flags and righteous bitching. And guess how many times the Mayor best-not-looked-at and the baboons have complained about "the shoddy work being performed on the town's streets"?

Uh-huh: As many as you.

Now here's the kicker: every one of Our towns, every fucking one, has at least one example of Carbonell Hell.

Woo. And hoo.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

21 April 2010

Finland's Success, Our Suc(kin)ess

Let me get back to that bastion of crap known as the local (Mis)Education system.

As is well known, Finland has schools that literally kick the donkey of the U.S. of part of A. and the ass out of Us. Finland ranks #1 in almost category, Finnish-ing second only (didja notice what I did back there? Didja?! Clever, huh?) to South Korea in mathematics.

You know what they say about Asians and math...

In any case, Finland does this without offering high pay for teachers (their salaries rank about equal relative to other professions in the country as they do in other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development [OECD] nations), without over-burdening the system bureaucracy and--hold your donkeys--having the lowest number of school hours in the OECD.

You can read a brief blurb on Finnish success at the BBC World News site, here. What are the basic differences highlighted in the article?

--Students are kept together longer, through primary and secondary grades (1-9) rather than throwing them out into another school.

--Additional teachers are added to classrooms to help slower students, rather than dumping them in a corral, er, "special education" classroom, like We do..

--The Finnish families have a culture of reading, instead of watching slanderous cretins in doll suits spouting fecal gibberish. (For those who live outside My Island, the latter is a reference to the highest-rated local TV show for the past decade. 'Nuff said.)

--Oh, and the kids start school at age 7. Not like Us, who want to push Our kiddies into pre-preschool at 3 and have them hate the whole experience by 7.

Yeah, Finland rocks when it comes to education. The weather? Not so much. Not to Me. But if We had to change the weather to improve Our educational system, I bet We could do that sooner than We could make the changes Finland has made. Especially the "reading culture" part: it'd be easier to have it snow next summer on El Yunque.

The Jenius Has Spoken.


19 April 2010

Cellular Li(f)e

From The Economist Online, a website so valuable it should have an ATM in the site map: Puerto Ricans use more cell phone minutes on average than any other country.

And it ain't even close.

Ranked #1 in monthly cell phone use are We, with an average of 1,866 minutes. Second place goes to the U.S. of part of A. with 835 minutes. The rest of the list don't matter, but I find it odd that Japan isn't in the Top 5...

Some conclusions:

--The Economist calls Us "chatty." Let's face it: We just don't know how to shut up. And "free minutes" makes shutting up harder.

--Could We take this as evidence that We can't stand to be by Ourselves, malcontent in Our solitude, outer-directed and insecure to the point of calling someone just to not be alone? I'll say "Yes."

--Why aren't We THE social laboratory for cutting-edge cell phone apps and units? Because We don't care about the rest of the world, so Our opinions don't rate high enough to be worth the investment. (That's My take; you probably have yours. I might even see some validity in it.) 

--Couldn't The Economist find a picture of ANY OTHER Puerto Rican than the one they ran? The shirtless, boxers-peeking young man might be a very nice person, but is that specific picture of him the only fucking choice the editors had for this piece? Really? Like there are NO OTHER fucking pictures of Puerto Ricans wearing suits, semi-formal wear or even stinking bathing suits on Our filthy beaches to choose from other than showing a shirtless guy on a broken sidewalk? Really? Really?

I can think of only one reason why The Economist chose to run that picture (I can think of several, but if I eliminate racism, abject stupidity and a high asshole factor, I'm left with one): To show contrast. The shirtless guy with high-riding underwear is the "freak show" factor underlying the "Would you believe those people are cell phone consumers of the first order?!"

Okay, I was wrong: I included racism, abject stupidity and a high asshole factor in My reason...because The Economist did and I merely called them on it.

The Jenius Has Spoken.


16 April 2010

Corruption Party

"It is time for everyone to realize that corruption is not just an aberration in the Party that must be ‘rooted out’ from time to time. The Party needs corruption to survive, it is its lifeblood. It needs it to fund its election campaigns. It needs it to pay the loyalty networks necessary for Party leaders to entrench their power. And it needs corruption to pay for its leadership’s lifestyles. Party leaders in the party, the state, and in business have become an interlocked network of patronage and corruption. Everyone knows that everyone else is corrupt, so they cover up for each other, and abuse power to tighten their grip, undermining independent institutions and eliminating opposition both inside and outside the Party.  "

Please reread the above with the word "Party" replaced by "NPP", for New Progressive Party, the local statehooders' ironic name.

Nod your head if you agree. For the record, I am nodding.

Please reread the above with the word "Party" replaced by "PDP", for Popular Democratic Party, the commonwealthers' cynical came.

Nod your head if you agree. For the record, I am nodding.

And if you nodded your head for one "Party" and not for the other, you are an idiot.

Granted, Puerto Rico doesn't have the corruption level of former Soviet republics or some disjointed African nations, but that's like saying "I have herpes, not AIDS." Big deal: you're still screwed.  Or more exactly, We're screwed.

I believe corruption could be rooted out in 2-3 years by the simple application of public executions of those found guilty of corruption, fraud, theft of public funds, bribery and so on. Take 'em out in front of El Capitolio and kill 'em. Given the level of corruption, greed and stupidity amongst the thieves We have right now, it would take a few executions to get the message across, but they will get it and they will stop it. 

Unreasonable, you say? Cruel? Illegal? Pish-tosh. It is a solution. It simply needs the application of will from those who say what goes to those who are supposed to obey.

If We did execute government officials and party leaders for the crimes stated above, We would not  be killing an elite, We'd be killing the servants. In that sense, it's not even a revolution. It would be a form of correction, albeit harsh. But it would work.

Now given that We won't be executing any of these vermin anytime soon (and thus MY level of interest in this topic drops to 0.6 on a scale of 0-to-10), what "softest" form of correction of corruption do We have? We grow in integrity as a society.

Don't deny it: You just called "Bullshit" on that one, didn't you? "Not gonna happen, Jenius!" you said to yourself. I agree up to the point where you (or I) would call it impossible. It is possible. It merely requires the will to change current behaviors and attitudes until a majority of Us become the norm for Our society.

Are you catching a pattern here? Will. The application of determination to a choice and its path. If We had the will to make corruption disappear, We could do it. By bloody punishment or virtuous selection, We could do it. Forcing people to be virtuous is a no-win scenario in the long run, but it definitely gets the old attention level up in the short run. And if We're ever going to change the long term, We have to change the present and near future first.

But We don't want to, do We? Especially you idiots who nodded at one party and not the other. I'd say you're too stupid to live, but I don't know you, so I won't. But you are.

And as for the quote, the real source is this post on the Democratic Alliance website, in Africa, written by Helen Zille. Just replace "Party" for "ANC"--the African National Congress Party of South Africa--and you can nod again. But this time, note how you care even less.

The Jenius Has Spoken. 

14 April 2010

Bank On It

"The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. faces a daunting task in finding a solution for the broken banks in Puerto Rico that doesn't damage the surviving banks or the island's economy.

The FDIC is trying to minimize its potential loss from three weak Puerto Rican banks by drumming up interest among banks and private-equity investors in buying W Holding Co Inc.'s Westernbank, R&G Financial Corp.'s R-G Premier Bank, and EuroBancshares Inc.'s EuroBank, according to several people familiar with the matter. All three banks are in dire financial condition; closing them could cost the FDIC insurance fund as much as $10 billion, based on worst-case losses from recent bank failures"

From Seeking Alpha Instablog, by someone who signs as "PPY."


But the original source comes from The Wall Street Journal Online and since you mightt have to pay for that, I figured I'd save you the ponying up.

You're welcome.

Three local banks on the verge of going under, one of which (Westernbank) was the darling of mid-sized bank connoisseurs barely a decade ago.

So wha' happen'?

Beats Me. Blame greed, blame the economy, blame greedy economics, blame Guido the Electronics Guy, blame the banks themselves for being mismanaged. At the rate banks are failing in the U.S. of part of A., what's three more, right? Right?

Look back at PPY's post. Note that all 3 local banks in danger have assets amounting to about $20 billion dollars. If the FDIC closed them, it would lose about $10 billion, meaning that covering the deposits of these banks would cost the FDIC $10 billion more than it took in from these banks.

Does that mean that the  $20 billion is totally covered by the FDIC? Nuh-uh. Look at your bank's little brochure or website and note that the FDIC covers deposits only up to $250,000 per account [Correction from "$100,000." Thanks to commenter enogueraS.] We don't know how much of the $20 billion these banks have is uncovered, but it is some number.

So PPY speculates that what's going to happen is that the FDIC will shut down the banks and sell the valued assets to private investors, and though he doesn't state this outright, for pennies on the dollar. Private investors get value and profits, the taxpayers got hosed. Again.

And Us? Well, 3 of Our 10 largest banks are spiraling for a crash landing, which means We get even less banking support than We get now, even with the lead obstacle to growth (Banco Popular) also tottering like a cracked tower.

Economic recovery? Not in the next 3 years We won't. And that, oddly enough, means that the 2012 elections will be about the economy, the economy and let Me put this bluntly, the stinking economy.

Failed banks? A dime a dozen, if you're a private investor crony; a debt to Our grandchildren for the  rest of Us.

Failed re-election bid? Bank on it.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

09 April 2010

Defining Pendejo

It was a crappy Friday. My Mac, powerful servant for nearly three years, suffered a major crash and became a very heavy albeit still good-looking paperweight. Thanks to a person whose name I won't James O'Malley, I have a full back-up of everything up to the moment a hard drive crashed.

Thank you, James.

Didn't get to see My Son, either. I look forward to picking him up at school on Fridays because it starts My weekend early. Can't get enough of that, especially with My Mac on the fritz.

So I mosey on over to the nearest--yes, I said mosey--bakery for a quart of milk and some bread when there it was, the sunburst shine of a gloomy day fleeing like a politician from the truth.


For there on the front page of the printed toilet paper that is El Nuevo Día, was the sad-ass weasel mug of Jorge "Il Castrao" De Castro, looking like a fetid dog had pooped in his t-shirt, looking nothing like the glee-crazed asswipe who mached out of the local F.B.I.'s office thinking he was having the last laugh.

He isn't laughing now. His wife is (finally) divorcing him, she swore out a restraining order against him and the judge in his case green-lit 90 more charges against his sorry ass.

Laugh it up now, dimwit.

I actually bought the rag, paid 50 cents for the half-baked wad of incompetence just so I could tell as many people as I could that this picture--this picture right here of Il Castrao--should be slapped into every Spanish dictionary right next to the word pendejo.

Pendejo: n. See Jorge "Il Castrao" De Castro. See also the ones who will join him on this page in the coming months.

Il Castrao thought he was soooo smart. He's facing years, many many years, in jail. He deserves them and more, not for being stupid about his stupidity, but for being stupid about other people's smarts. This wretched-ass weasel thought he could skate by, untouched, leaving as broad a trail of his illegal actions as only a cretin could manage. He thought he was screwing the system: he's going to find out what a real screwing is now.

Now if only I could find the picture of Il Castrao leaving the Federal building, weasel-ass grin at full wattage and then, with easy artfulness, I can place them side by side in a little thing I can title Un Pendejo Entonces, Un Pendejo Ahora, Un Pendejo Siempre.

Then I can send it to Il Castrao to decorate his 8x10 cell for years to come.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

07 April 2010

The Search For Our Gold

This won't take long...

I wish I could say that things in Puerto Rico are getting noticeably better, or that I could find some hidden gold nugget in the scattered dunghills of Our economy and government to bring to light with a shouted "Eureka!"

Yes, I occasionally say "Eureka!"

I wish I could. Maybe I haven't looked hard enough, or having looked long hard and for a long time, I've lost My focus. Maybe I can't see the trees for the garbage.

Or maybe I'm not really looking, that I'm fooling Myself with the vain notion that 'Yes, I AM looking, by Jove!" Maybe I've reached the point where just pretending to look feeds My ego so that no matter the lack of results, I can console Myself with an "I tried...I really tried."

Or maybe I'm looking in the wrong places. Maybe the gold is somewhere else, like in the arts and social trends. Could be. But even so, I'm looking for what I call gold: I know what it is I'm looking for. I might want to look for rubies some other day, but for now, the search is for gold.

Or maybe it isn't gold that's valuable anymore. Maybe the new standard is platinum, and I'm looking for something of golden hue and tossing away that silver-gray stuff as dreck. But then, wouldn't I eventually catch on to the change? Or assuming I'm just a Jenius and that maybe I can't see the change, then why isn't anyone else redefining what's valuable? Is there someone on My island doing that and I don't know about it, don't see or hear about it?

What if the gold that's there is out of My reach, beyond what My efforts and abilities can find? Should I increase My efforts, with the notion that there is gold somewhere? Or should  change My "mental tools" to get a better picture of what is or is not there? 

Or maybe there really is no gold. Maybe the gold is gone. But that means I take My search literally as a search for a found object, rather than what it is: a metaphor of hope. Concluding that there is no gold is akin to saying that there is no hope.

So there is gold. Somewhere on My island.

The question remains: Will I find it? And if so, when?

The Jenius Has Spoken.

05 April 2010

Not Random Thoughts

--Opening Day 2010: The baseball season breathes life into the year. And once again, My beloved Pittsburgh Pirates go out to try--try--to win 82 games in a season. Doing that would break their record 17-year consecutive streak of losing seasons, a record so putrid I hesitate to write these lines anywhere near a food preparation area. I find it hard to believe that a record that bad could actually earn voting rights if kept alive one more year.

--The investigations stemming from the easy rollup of Jorge "Il Castrao" Castro, former senator, former bribe-taker and soon to be formerly-free weasel, have extended themselves to start reeling in former and current senators and aides. The Big Cheese(head) is current secretary of state(of dissolution and disillusion) Kenneth "What? Me? Worry?" McClintock, he of the wooden brain and sawdust platform. The investigations' (plural, folks) pace may be glacier-like, but remember that glaciers buried everything they rolled over under ice. For decades.

--Did anybody pick up on how Puerto Rico's Competitiveness Ranking dropped Us down to the 40th in the world? First, We were surprised if not delighted to be included at all, especially when We ranked in the mid-20s. (I said it was too high, got slammed for it by a numbskull; you know who you are...), then dropped--with little comment--to the mid-30s and now that We're at the Big 4-Oh, Oh We don't care. We should. If We had a gram of business sense in the government--IF--We would slash the excessive regulations and laws that hamper business growth and reverse the trend from sliding into the 40s to climbing (legitimately) back up into the 20s. But no, We won't talk about how Our "competitiveness" is floating like a lead balloon...until and unless it goes up from 40 to, say, 38 and then We party like it's 2007.

--If We had some sort of survey on the state of Our press, the power of Our journalism industry as such, We'd rank somewhere between retarded and dumbass. We "have" four dailies, but the two largest are owned by the same cartel (El Nuevo Día and Primera Hora), one is so weakened by internal strife and union-busting (El Vocero) that it is being printed at and on the crappy paper sold to it by--get this--the El Nuevo Día press and the fourth, the only English-language daily (Puerto Rico Daily Sun) is stuck in the 1960s in vision and revenue. Mash up all Our journalists and squeeze them and you might get about 0.6 ounces of true journalism from the crappy lot. As Bill Moyers said: "The quality of democracy and the quality of journalism are deeply entwined." Ours both suck like ball vacuums. There's so much room for improvement here...

The Jenius Has Spoken.

02 April 2010

Moral Benedict (Arnold) XVI

Stood outside the church that dominates the plaza and watched people stroll out, the sunny Good Friday afternoon heat making some of them wince. I was there to ask a simple question: What should the Pope do about the sex abuse cases of children in the Catholic Church?

Although some of My Brethren object to this statement, citing numbers, the fact is that Puerto Rico is still dominated by the Catholic Church in terms of its moral sense and traditions. No religious leader carries the respect the Pope has, and though John Paul II was worlds more popular than the current Benedict XVI, he still garners a lot of local attention.

Another reason I'm asking the question is because We are so insular in outlook. To Us, Puerto Rico is 80% of world news, the U.S of part of A. is 19% (some would reverse those numbers) and the rest of the planet--that vague "out there"--is 1%. How many people would know what I'm talking about? Or care?

And why do I care? Because the sex abuse cases involving priests are an institutional problem going back decades (if not centuries) and the current Pope, the supposed moral leader of a moral institution, is directly linked to numerous cover-ups of these cases. When that happens elsewhere, someone's going to jail with a vengeance. When it happens in the Catholic Church, it's business as usual.

So I asked. The first targets (that's what they are, really) were a couple in their late 50s, or early 60s, holding hands. She frowned, he shook his head. "There's a lot of people who want to hurt the (Catholic) Church," he said, tugging his wife away. My second salvo was aimed at one woman, but three others heard it and reacted visibly, as if I had farted. The lady I spoke to said she didn't pay attention to "news like that," while a woman behind her said "That shouldn't be talked about."


I made another few attempts and people heard Me, but didn't say anything. Their Good Friday mood, whatever it was, only got quieter. The last answer was from a man who turned away from Me and talked over his shoulder: "It's time to talk about other things."


When adults in positions of authority, so-called moral leaders of Our communities, break that trust and break the law to harm children, the only talk there should be is about evidence, trials and jail sentences. The number of cases and the historical record show that sinners have sinned repeatedly, frequently, consistently and wantonly, all under the protection of hypocrisy. The "Church" has no right whatsoever--none at all--to excuse their own for lapses of judgment, morality and honesty and simply sweep crimes against children under a rug of sanctimonious bullshit. 

Ignoring the problem is just as bad. It allows the predators on children and their two-faced protectors to flourish. For an evil to end, action must be taken, whether it's in the neighborhood or a church. No one is above the law. To act otherwise is to victimize children over and over again by showing them that the morality unctuously preached by the church is empty, that it is--to coin a phrase--a cardinal's sin. And a bishop's, priest's and Pope's. 

The Jenius Has Spoken.

[Update--5 April 2010: John Paul II knew about the sexual abuse of some 2,000 boys. Of course he wasn't innocent, but this won't derail his path to sainthood one iota.]

[Update--6 April 2010: A humorous/spot-on-target take on this whole Pope-as-pedophile-enabler business.]

[Update--9 April 2010: Then-cardinal Rat-zinger--heh-heh--caught in signed proof that he did try to cover up or deter priests being investigated for pedophilia. And because I simply couldn't help Myself: A teacher, a principal and a priest are running out of a burning school. The teacher cries "What about the kids?" The principal shouts back "Screw the kids!" The priest stops and asks "Do you think we have time?"]

[Update--28 April 2010: Tape of a Brazilian priest raping a child goes viral in the streets of that country. What does the priest say when confronted with the evidence: "I can only tell my confessor any sin of mine. I don’t need to admit or deny.” At this point, raping a priest is beginning to sound like a potential option...]

[Update: 27 July 2010: Then again, it could be worse: priest apparently drowns a baby during baptism.]

[Update: 11 February 2012: Some 200 priests suspected of sexual abuse are living freely in California communities. “Many if not all these priests have admitted to sexual abuse..." One more quote from the article in the U.S. News section of MSNBC.com: "(The priest) would rape me and then say this is what God’s love feels like..." At least the kid-fucking priest didn't break a Commandment...]