28 November 2012

A New Leaf: Philip Newey And His Book

Things have been quiet lately here in Jenius Land, the blog. Busy elsewhere in Jenius Land, the reality show. To the point where today's post marks a fundamental change in what I do here. I shall, of course, explain.

The Jenius is a writing creation. But it isn't all the writing I do. (I hear sighs of relief from some of you. Go away.) Just peek left and you'll see a cavalcade of colorful covers that represent part of My writings, in fiction.

Yes, I write stories; some longer than others.

Which brings Me--somehow--to one Philip Newey. Author. Reviewer. And like Me, developing his craft and brand as a self-published writer.  That's him over there on the right. Say "Hi!"

I met Philip through Reddit, a multi-layered, multi-faceted hyperkinetic expanse in cyberspace that mimics real life the way comic books mimic Olympian gods. He offered to review books and I volunteered My Enter The Phenomenologists. In a couple of days, he came back to Me with a 4-star rating for the book and a review that showed he read carefully, took notes and cared about doing his part right.

Now really, what more could you ask for? Actions speak louder than words and Philip's deeds were thunderous roars of "Right on!" execution.

So when he asked Me to post a link to his blog, I said yes immediately.


My "writer blog," Gil C. Schmidt At Work, has been on hiatus all year. (How's that for irony?) To really help Philip, I would prefer to place his blog link where more people could see it and multiply the effort...

So Philip Newey's blog link goes here. And you can buy his novel, Maybe They'll Remember Me, from Amazon.

That's the book's cover on the right. Racy devil.

And that opens the door to this idea: I just completed NaNoWriMo and noticed that there were several dozen other writers from Puerto Rico engaged in that 50,000-words-in-November challenge. I've highlighted Brethren from many walks of life here, but with one exception, I've seldom presented writers.

It's time to correct that. 


If you are a writer, preferably from Puerto Rico, but anywhere else is more than okay and you wish to have your work mentioned/highlighted/presented here on The Jenius, let Me know in the comments to this post.

To the best of My ability, I'll oblige by interviewing you, reading your book(s) (but honestly-reviewed and without a "tit-for-tat" agreement to "trade 5-star reviews") and even writing a review if I like what I've read.

In the meantime, check out Philip's blog, his novel and the works of authors who haven't yet hit bestseller lists but write in genres you enjoy. It could take a few attempts, but I'm sure you'll find a writer you thoroughly enjoy, your very own "hidden gem". Nothing satisfies more than having a great secret...except sharing that great secret so others can enjoy it.

Writers are secrets that are worth more when shared. Indulge.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

14 November 2012

The Big Lie, Or "61%" Of Statehood

"On June 15, 2009, the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization approved a draft resolution calling on the Government of the United States to expedite a process that would allow the Puerto Rican people to exercise fully their inalienable right to self-determination and independence. Subsequent actions by the governments of the United States and Puerto Rico paved the way for the Puerto Rican status referendum, 2012, scheduled to be held on 6 November 2012."

Okay, Wikipedia is far from the end-all and be-all of reliability, but this brief paragraph manages to confuse an already muddled issue. To wit: "Subsequent actions by the governments of the United States and Puerto Rico paved the way for the Puerto Rican status referendum, 2012, scheduled to be held on 6 November 2012." What amounted to "U.S. government action" was a barely-mumbled "Go ahead." Nothing more. But it sure sounds like the U.S. of part of A. was fully on-board, huh?

Now Let's go to the "Recent Developments" section of the Puerto Rico entry, where We'll find the Big Lie: "For the first question, 54 percent voted against the current Commonwealth status, and in the second question, over 61 percent favored statehood."

As an Anonymous commenter said about My post "33.1% Statehood = Nothing":

"(At the time of the comment) 1,730,245 people voted in the 1st question. In the second question, 802,179 voted for statehood. Therefore you need to divide 802,179 by 1,730,245 to get the % of voters that wanted statehood, which equals ~46%." (Emphasis Mine.)

Anonymous was spot-on, with less than 46% statehood "support". Where did the 61% come from? From the enormous dropoff between the first tier of votes  (Yes/No to current status, with over 1.74 million votes) to the status options, where only 1.3 million votes were cast. Yes, over 480,000 people left the second tier blank, or in My case, wrote IMPOSSIBLE across all three options.

[Note: I wrote a lengthy response for the Comments section of that post where I (a) acknowledge that 33.1% is NOT the right figure and (b) indicate that I was trying to play the "numbers lie" that the statehooders were trying to pull, only I did a poor job of giving that context in the post. Where that comment went, I have no idea. But the gist of it is repeated here.]

So the true percentage of statehood votes can be calculated: how many votes for statehood divided by the total number of NO votes. And that comes out to about 45.6% or less.

Not a mandate by ANY stretch of the imagination and another bitter defeat to shove down statehooders' throats. Although given their losing record on Election Day, their throats are way over-jammed with defeat.

So what the statehood party did was to quickly embrace "The Big Lie." Grab a number that somehow puts the best face on denying reality and run with it. For recent expertise on this propaganda technique, reference FoxNews(hit); for historical perspective, track down one Joseph Goebbels.

What it all boils down to is knowingly lying loudly and repeating the lie as often as possible to make people believe it is the truth. 

But it didn't take long for media outlets to catch on that "61%" was another example of--in Twain's words--"Lies, damn lies and statistics." From ABCNews to Yahoo! to The Huffington Post and even some dim-bulb backwater like Red State figured out that, no, Puerto Rico had not asked for statehood; that in fact, it hadn't even come close, since after all, the referendum or plebiscite or whatever was non-binding. Again.

And yet...they kept repeating The Big Lie, that "61%" that made it all seem like Puerto Rico was marching on Congress to pound the doors down with their "Our statehood demand." Dramatic story. Stirs emotions, both pro and con. Is all a lie.

The goal of The Big Lie is to frame context, to force-fit an issue in an angle and perspective that benefits the propagandist. It is a deliberate distortion, a bare-faced fib aimed at tricking the unwary, the mentally lazy, the largely-indifferent and inflame the fanatical base. That's why it works: because most of Us fall into one or more of those categories. Harsh, but true.

Ultimately, The Big Lie either becomes its own reality--see FoxNews(hit) and the "America" they present--or comes crashing into Truth and pops like a soap bubble. Either way, The Big Lie is a short-term strategy, aimed at tilting a battlefield to preserve or extend or steal an advantage. It cannot win a war, much less when the battlefield, like Ours, is neither defined nor powered by will.

For The Big Lie to work, it has to matter to enough people to act upon it, rightly or wrongly. When it comes to Our status, We don't care enough to want to act, even to make a firm decision, much less see it through. And when it comes to statehood, well, neither We nor the U.S. of part of A. gives anything close to a damn about it. If anything, too many of Us are willing to debase themselves to achieve "dignity" and "self-respect," a Big Lie that has led to the "61%" Big Lie...that will lead to another in this chain of political fibs.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

[Update: 15 Nov 2012: U.S. of part of A. Republicans in the House are "doubting" the plebiscite results, basically doing the "When you make up your minds" shuffle-dance that's been the staple cover-up for decades.  Sadly, the only men that can dance well enough to hide the truth are named Astaire or Kelly. And they're dead.]

12 November 2012

Happy Birthday To Me!

Yes, it's that glorious tiME of the year when I can say--and actually MEan it--Happy Birthday to ME!

However, unlike years past where I write soMEthing clever and enjoy the attention I place on ME, I've decided to be more subtle this tiME. Yes, that's a sign of maturity, so Let's celebrate that, too.

I want to thank Mrs. Jenius for making every day We have together a delight and Jenius Son Kaleb for being an actual Genius in ways I haven't yet mastered.

And now, My MoMEnt of subtlety:

 Definitely, subtle is an improveMEnt.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

10 November 2012

Stephenson Billings: This Is Your Life

Stephenson Billings, an anonymous coward, laughingly describes himself this way: "Investigative Journalist, Motivational Children's Party Entertainer and Antique Soda Bottle Collector all in one special, blessed package!" 

He pecks at a keyboard for The Daily Bleach, a satirical website filled with useless content aimed at distorting minds, and ChristWire, The Daily Bleach's retarded step-brother. From his faux biography, We get that Stephenson Billings--the homunuclus with no first name--was "Born Again in the Blood of the Lamb at the age of 33. 'I didn’t realize how hurt, how wrong I was until Jesus reached out and drew me close,' Stephenson has noted. 'He held me and I wept, I wept such hot, messy tears like a child.'"

Apparently this homoerotic fantasy was his interview entry to ChristWire, for Stephenson-in-hiding has proceeded to muck up screens there and at his other part-time latrine with articles that run the gamut from stupid and racist to racist and stupid.

His versatility eventually focused on Puerto Rico--or as he spells it, "Peurto Rico"--in an attempt to be satirical about the Island's non-request for statehood, based on a non-result from non-aware losers. Stephenson's article redefines crap to the extent that crap itself is insulted by being compared to Stephenson Billings...and his writings.

After glancing through the article and making peace with the new, lower, more disgusting definition of crap, I decided to respond. So here now, Stephenson Billings, This Is Your Life:

Stand-in for a coward
Stephenson, I fully expect to read about your arrest and trial for collecting child pornography, which, sadly, will interrupt your daily ritual of ass-fucking yourself with your favorite antique bottles, several of which are actually old maple syrup jugs from Eastern Vermont. Your lack of success is evident in that you'd rather use a 4-word Orwellian double-speak lie rather than "clown," which is intrinsically more accurate.

Your inability to write with any sense of style bespeaks of a wasted 7th grade education and an early marriage, most likely to a first cousin or half-sister, thus depriving you of any semblance of higher (for your tribe) education. It might also explain why you butt-fuck yourself with bottles as this early departure from school may have been caused by the unexpected death of your daddy, your first lover.

As for the self-proclaimed lie of "Investigative Journalist," it is also obvious that whatever investigations you undertake are of the "imagination slash animal porn" variety, ones where you greedily inhale a horse cock to satisfy Freudian urges you cannot even begin to fathom.

On the "journalist" side, your obvious ignorance of spell-check means you write your love letters to the stable denizens up the road from your hovel along the lines of "Fukc me horsy."

I applaud your attempt at satirical humor in the same way I applaud a monkey in a business suit: cute, but stupid and the monkey still plays with its shit. I suggest a new career for you in the field of security, where you use your ass and mouth as vaults to hide the dissected sex organs of random farm animals your wife/half-sister has fucked for the satisfaction you cannot give her. You'd get a kick out of it, I know, plus you'd be concealing evidence of your crimes of passion.

And yes, you are "blessed," in the exact same way a wet turd is "damp." Take pride in what little you can, Stephenson Billings, for it is so very little.

All in satirical fun, right?


The Jenius Has Spoken.

08 November 2012

Thoughts On Statehood...

...that aren't Mine. Here, for the unwashed, uninformed and unimpressive statehooders that insist on begging/whining for inclusion in the U.S. of part of A., is a sample (errors and all) of comments from a Yahoo! News article about the recent plebiscite:

Discombobulation Incorpor... • 5 mins ago  
The majority of the residents on the island are under some sort of government help (just like the Puerto Ricans in N.Y. City). Even among other Spanish speaking nationalities, Puerto Ricans are considered "lazy" and "inefficient". They're dominance of the Spanish language is considered the worst.  

David • 5 mins ago
Just what the US needs; an island that has 13% unemployment!  

Antoni • 5 mins ago

OU812 • 6 mins ago
Do I get to vote not to let them become a state? 1 Million new liberals looking for the next government check.

H • 6 mins ago
great 437,000 more people on welfare we have to pay for

Mack • 8 mins ago
Hey...here we go again. Just what we need to stabilyze the economy. A few more million people on food stamps!!!!

Robert • 9 mins ago
Why would they want Statehood??? They have all the benefits without the Taxes!!!

Bolden • 10 mins ago
Thanks, but we don't need MORE division. Cut them loose and let them be a free independent nation of the Caribbean.

PaulS • 10 mins ago
I have always felt that Puerto Ricans wish to have all the benefits of statehood without any of the obligations and duties, i.e. the way things are now.

Coigne • 13 mins ago
This is crazy. We don't need to incorporate non-English speaking countries into our union. What for? Divorce Puerto Rico and let it find it's own way among the Spanish Cultural heritage of Latin America. It is our decision to make.

Charles H • 15 mins ago
why would we want the toilet bowl of the world to be a state? Isn't there enough of them here already. Selling drugs, stealing and breeding like roaches.  

Now one can say that these comments--many of them blatantly racist and stupid--are not an accurate reflection of what all "Americans" feel about Puerto Rico becoming the 51st state. That would be correct. Many people in the States actually believe Puerto Rico can and should become a State.

But they aren't--by ANY stretch of the imagination--a majority. 

Look at those comments above. They represent ignorance and indifference of and to Puerto Rico. The comments may not represent the majority, but the attitudes most definitely do.

Remember, it takes 38 States to approve a new one, a super-majority of 75%. To most "Americans," Puerto Rico is a tiny infrequent blip on their U.S.-of-part-of-A.-centric view of the world, one that is myopic about anything other than "U.S.A.!"  To a majority of the population, Puerto Rico is simply not something they think about at all, or give a damn about.

But if the topic of statehood for the Island comes in, they will. And what do you think will be their reaction after years of ignorance and indifference to Us, Brethren?

Read those comments and tell Me--with a straight face--that they won't have a significant impact on forming public opinion. Read them and tell Me that a smear campaign--a Republican Party specialty--won't make the idea of statehood for Puerto Rico tantamount to treason, fiscal disaster, unwanted miscegenation and pandering to welfare bums. Tell Me there won't be an overtly racist knee-jerk reaction by many who are forced to come face-to-face with the possibility of Us becoming the 51st state. Go ahead: tell Me.

It won't matter if you do, because you'll be wrong. You can deny it by being willfully blind or criminally stupid, but you'd be wrong anyway. This isn't about Me or any of Us feeling "like a victim": it's about people reacting to a concept by making a snap judgment on it. Human nature being what it is, that snap judgment will be hard to change and will carry enormous weight for years to come.

Oh, you want proof? Okay. Do a little Googling to find out what "Americans" thought of Puerto Ricans circa 1898-1908, Our first decade together. Go ahead. Then stick this in your pipe dream and smoke it: when it comes to statehood for Puerto Rico, it's been 114 years and counting.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

[Update: 9 Nov 2012: Over at the Latino Rebels Facebook page, I've been exchanging barbs with some spineless grub named Julio Fig Figueroa, a statehood supporter. Yes, I understand that most of you knew what he was after "spineless grub." I'm consistent that way.]

[Update: 10 Nov 2012: And the stupidity, the racially-oriented gut-level shit-for-brains stupidity continues, even under the lying guise of """satire""". I won't even bother giving the title, to avoid adding to the Google juice, but stop a moment, statehooders, and notice how quickly and how vitriolic this response is. Your party lies about "statehood winning" and the response has covered the gamut from "No, not really" to "Uh-uh" to "Fuck y'all brownies." Are you listening? Have you ever listened? That's the root of My problem with your "kneeling/open-mouthed/servile" stance: it lacks any sense of dignity, integrity and self-respect. And yes, I am implying exactly what that stance implies. Deal.]

07 November 2012

33.1% Statehood = Nothing

Yeah, some people won, some people lost in yesterday's elections. Big boo-hoo either way because the system--like Our economy--is broke, so We end up picking dregs no matter who We choose.

The news aside from parasites was that in the two-tiered Yes/No """status""" plebiscite, the current status was "ejected" by 54% of the voters, leading to a second result where statehood was "selected" by 61.3% of those same voters. (Numbers still not official.)

Seeing as The Larva was fired and the statehood party was dumped from several major positions, their lame-brained focus will be on how statehood "won" the plebiscite. Two objections make this a """win""" rather than a "win", and in the Jenius' Thesaurus, based on hard-nosed objectivity, a """win""" is exactly a loss.

First objection: The numbers say statehood is a minority position. Do the math. No, really, do it. At the first level, Yes or No, the rejection of the current status gained 54% of the vote. A majority, indeed, but not a super-majority. From that 54%, some 61.3% chose statehood as their preferred new status. Woo. And hoo. What it really means is that 33.1% of Our voters support statehood: 54 x 61.3 = 33.1%.

There's no other way to look at it. Screw around all you like with that 61.3%, but that number won't fly: the number that will is 33%. Guaranteed.

Second objection: This plebiscite--like the others--was non-binding. Hey! Let's hold a beauty pageant and count the votes and then give no prizes! Yay! Only instead of a beauty pageant, We get a freak show that even P.T. Barnum would have blanched at selling more than once. In a desperate move to bolster his precarious position, The Larva came up with this scheme, hoping the statehood vote in the plebiscite would spill over to the general vote and give him four more years to (non)govern.

Didn't work. He was fired anyway and may have done more harm to the silly statehood whining than any of his predecessors. All in all, a very typical Larva sequence.

There are two more takeaways from this pathetic plebiscite that, in fact, carry more weight, but are bound to get short shrift:

1) The "commonwealth myth" is dead. The idea, the very very stupid idea, that Our current status is "dignified" and "worthy" is dead. It was fatally wounded in the 1980s and lingered like a brainless cockroach until yesterday, when the open rejection of it was made manifest. We are a colony, plain and simple, and the commonwealth status We have makes Us so. To state otherwise is to be dumber than flat-earthers who believe in creationism... and there's already way too many of those idiots around.

2) When it comes to independence, We are tit-sucking toddlers. I used to say We were teenagers, but the fact is that Our reaction to standing on Our own two feet and tackling the world on Our terms is exactly that of terrified toddlers who haven't learned to walk and are still sucking tit. Only Uncle Sam's tits don't give milk, so I can tell you exactly what body part of Uncle Sam's body We suck to make him and Us happy.

That's why the 33.1% """statehood support""" number equals nothing. We still suck Uncle Sam's co--congressional funding, incapable of believing in Ourselves, unable to muster the integrity to stand up to him and say "Screw you, I'm doing this My way," oblivious to the 114-year-and-counting message of "We don't want you" and playing little plebiscite games to amuse the masses while the parasites suck Us dry.

It may be "Our national sport," but We suck at politics because We suck at being adults in politics. At its most base, at its worst, politics is about greed and power-mongering. That's where We live, like pigs in shit. The highest level in politics is nation-building, the forging of a stronger future for almost everyone. We simply never get there. Never have, and based on the miserable moronic plebiscite vote, We never will.

Bring on Larva Lite and his parasites. The loathsome cycle of Our national Special Olympics for scared babies is about to begin again.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

[Update: 8 Nov 2012: From ABC News, a clear-eyed look at the blatant lie that is "statehood won", as propagated by Liars Central, a.k.a., the statehood party. And for a revealing discussion that (a) predicted this report and (b) reveals how My post and its reactions gave context to My writing and the plebiscite's results, check out the Comments section. Yeah, We're on it.]

[Update: 16 Nov 2012: Three more analyses, one of which, surprisingly, barely even bothers to look at the issue. The superficial one is from the otherwise reliable Economist. A deep dissection smack-down of the numbers comes from the Movimiento Independentista Nacional Hostosiano (better English users than the statehood party...by far) and the third from ProEnglish, calling the vote "rigged." Discuss amongst yourselves.]

05 November 2012

"Dead First"

Hey, apropos of the mock elections tomorrow, here's a bit of worthy news you can shove into your political piehole and smoke.

From the Economic Policy Journal comes this dreadful list of the 20 worst-funded State and Local Pension Plans in the U.S. of part of A.. We'll just focus on the Worst 10 at the State level:

The 20 Worst Funded Government Pension Plans:

State Plans
1.  Illinois SERS (State Employee's Retirement System)--only 37.4% funded.
2.  Kentucky ERS (Employee's Retirement System)---only 40.3% funded.
3.  Missouri DOT and Highway Patrol---only 42.2% funded.
4.  Indiana Teachers---only 44.3% funded.
5.  Connecticut SERS---only 44.4% funded.
6.  Illinois Universities---only 46.4% funded.
7.  West Virginia Teachers---only 46.5% funded.
8.  Oklahoma Teachers---only 47.9% funded.
9.  Illinois Teachers---only 48.4% funded.
10.  Rhode Island ERS---only 48.4% funded.

Illinois, take a bow! You have three of the worst 10 state pension funds in the nation!

But wait!

I tweeted the above list link to Ms. Cate Long, of MuniLand fame, and asked her where Puerto Rico's State Pension Fund would rank.

Her response: "Dead first".

Why? Because Our State Pension Fund is--only 9% funded.

Nine. Percent.

Nine, people.

Makes Illinois look like Warren fucking Buffet when it comes to investing, huh?

Now Ms. Long has been posting on her blog about Puerto Rico's debt overload and the numbers add up to impending doom. The fact that The Larva, Our current pathetic excuse for a (non)governor has increased that debt load to far beyond sustainable is a crime he should pay for in blood.

But he won't; We will.

For it doesn't matter a cockroach's spindly rotted dick who We fraudulently pretend to elect tomorrow, the fact remains that We are headed for a fiscal disaster that will change Our puny little status quo in ways We can't even begin to imagine.

Our mutant economy--and by mutant I mean "genetic disaster," not "X-Men superpowered"--is bolstered by billions of federal dollars pumping life to welfare parasites (known in other parts of the world as "politicians") and a huge herd of lazy people who can't ever be bothered to scrape up even a tiny shred of self-respect, dignity and integrity. Less than 40% of Our working-age adults do so, and Our men--a term used loosely in many cases--practically lead the world in abject laziness.

So when it comes to somehow prospering Our way out of debt, We have syphilis-ravaged pigs raping Our future by increasing debt and undermining growth, a workforce that is neither and a status that says We are property at best to keep Us from making Our own self-interested decisions.

Where does that leave Us on the path to impending economic disaster?

Dead first.

Yeah, go out and vote for your syphilitic pigs now.

The Jenius Has Spoken.