19 November 2014

It's Not News, It's Crap, And My Brethren (Refuse To) Know It

About every 3 months, someone criticizes Me for not watching local news, listening to local talk radio shows and/or not reading a local paper in print or digital format. I don't bother with any of it so that 95-98% of the year, I promenade through life in quieter contemplation of more important things. Which is pretty much everything.

Now some people might think But the news is about important stuff. (Yes, these are the kind of people who would say "important stuff." Therefore, I pity them, but I keep a poker face.) My cogent and erudite response to that is: It's all crap.


Example: A good friend and colleague of Mine, someone who I often disagree with, but find his positions largely defensible and understandable, swears that one can only understand Puerto Rico by listening to talk radio and reading the daily papers. He has a minor point: if you want to know how and why My Island is being screwed like a cheap whore in a crack house, then yes, you do need to listen to local asshats and read the sophomoric words written by local asswipes. (There are exceptions in both categories, but they don't even achieve a Pareto Rule level of 20%, falling closer to 10%, if that.) But if you want to grok My Island, to see beyond the crapfest slung daily, you have no other choice but to avoid the local media.

I'm on record, several times, as calling Our level of """journalism""" essentially sheep-like, with more similarities to sheep dung than to the woolly beast itself. Take TV news, please. (Ba-dum-bum!) Anchors here are like anchors in the U.S of part of A.: photogenic monkeys plastered in make-up. The field reporters are often stupid enough to start grazing if they fall on a lawn, but make up for their lack of intellect by being willing puppets to whatever power-that-be wants to play them. Again, there are exceptions, but the ones I can pinpoint to on My Island are no longer with the major TV stations, plying their trade on much smaller newscasts and on websites, distant from the masses.

If there's a category that defines crap, at every imaginable level, it is pundits, the folks lumped together as so-called so-called so-called experts, three magnitudes removed from any type of intelligence higher than that shown by retarded weasels with alcohol poisoning. These wretched morons, on TV, radio and in newspaper columns, are incapable of stringing coherent thoughts together unless it is in service of some controlling agenda, whether it is related to party politics, political agendas or socioeconomic objectives that the "haves" want to impose on the "have nots."

Now I'm implying that there is some sort of mindfulness behind all this, and that's correct. But it doesn't appear n the media, at least not directly ad not often. No, the public role of the media is to shovel crap in massive quantities at the gaping maws of mindless indifference that constitutes the greater majority of My Brethren. Folks who slap on talk radio in the morning, peruse the paper during the day (to avoid work and/or stay current with gossip) and then watch TV news in the evening. Whatever that percentage is, and it's well above 50% of Our adults, it's nothing more than a misinformed herd of passive beasts causing all of Us long-term harm. And if you think "misinformed herd of passive beasts" is harsh, My first draft read "walking bags of useless stupid shit," so, yeah, I have a gentle side.

For the past two years, I've kept track of predictions that My friend and colleague have made about local issues, from taxes and prices to status debates and political machinations. We sat down recently to go over the list, and after agreeing on 27 topics We had made some sort of prediction on, We verified who was closer to the actual end result.

No surprise: I was closer on 18 to his 9. It should be noted that on purely economic issues, We were both right on 6 of 9 predictions, albeit different ones. But in political matters, I was more prescient on 12 of 19, while he was on point on only three, even though he claims to be non-partisan and thus "objective" in his evaluation of political arguments.

Is he going to stop listening to talk radio? No. But I got him to admit that he often listens because it "entertains" him more than it informs him.

One down, about a million and a half to go.


The Jenius Has Spoken.

[Update: 6 December 2014: Via Eric Zuesse, of Washington's Blog, this scythe to the collective sheep-brain: the media in the U.S. of part of A. is extremely controlled.]

12 November 2014

Keep Calm, 'Cause It's My Birthday!

Once again it's that tiME of the year when people coME together to celebrate in brotherhood and share good will with all of Me. 'Cause Let's be clear, it's all about Me.

That's why I registered with about 65 websites that have automatic birthday MEssages. Fills My Inbox with birthday cheer like an avalanche of candy makes Halloween. All those MEssages simply reinforce the notion that, hey, the focus is on Me. And no, I don't read any of the other crap they send Me the rest of the year.

Now unlike most of you, I don't limit My Birthday celebration to such a blink-of-tiME as a MEre "day." Nuh-uh. I crank up the celebrating in early December and let it build moMEntum with judicious prodding in February, April, June and August. It then hits high gear in September and takes off as "Birthday Bash" mode after Mrs. Jenius ignores hers on October 13th. So yeah, it's a big deal, year-round.

I tell strangers when My Birthday is. Makes them pause, and about half smile. That's okay: the half that doesn't smile isn't invited to the wrap party in July. Their loss.

I've gotten free stuff by wearing My "Birthday Boy" blue ribbon, mostly coffee. Best part: even when I 'fess up and say it isn't My Birthday, most of the time I still get free coffee. I say it's 'cause the party is hearty, but Mrs. Jenius says it's 'cause people want to get rid of weirdos quietly. Huh.

As for why the "Keep Calm" part, it ain't about the posters, despite the scattered evidence here. It's more about My Attitude over the past few months. If I were to give it a recipe I'd say it's 2 parts frustration, 3 parts disgust, one part concern, 3 parts anger and one part hope. And that's the problem right there, Kemosabe: just one part hope. Used to be more. Ain't that much now.

At times I focus on the "one part concern," 'cause it isn't indifference. If it were, We wouldn't be having this discussion and I could spend more tiME yakking about My Birthday proper. But the feeling remains, and though feelings are not facts, feelings are real and reality in My Mind is that My Island is in danger.

But hey! It's My Birthday, as you may have noticed, and what's the point of partying if We're going to harsh buzzes with reality! Forget about that! Let's! Party!

And yet... I have to remind Myself to stay the course, to keep looking for the bright side. Used to be automatic; it isn't now.

I catch Myself shrugging at things that used to cause outrage. I then kick the outrage lever to make sure I don't fall into indifference. Used to be automatic.

'Cause I've lived in 20+ places in My Life, I don't attach too much MEaning to any one of them. Except My Island. Until I wrote that, I hadn't realized that to feel the same way took an effort. Used to be...you know.

So yeah, it's My Birthday! Capitalized like every holiday should, except for Arbor Day. So raise a cheer, to Me if you feel so inclined (and thank you!), but raise a cheer to yourself, to your loved ones and to everything you care about.

Yeah, My Brethren, things here are tough, but Keep Calm and celebrate My Birthday, Yours, and Everyone else's, as well. But in all that celebratin', Let's not forget that things are tough, and that they won't get better by partying on and letting them continue to slide.

There isn't that much farther they can go, MEaning We've pretty much hit rock bottom.

Keep Calm. It's My Birthday!

And let's keep working on making My Next Birthday even better.


The Jenius Has Spoken.

05 November 2014

Puerto Rico's New Tax """Reform""" Explained

This won't take long...

We currently have a Sales/Use Tax, called IVU locally, equivalent to 7%, with 5.5% being "national" and 1.5% being "municipal." Now some municipalities don't charge the 1.5%, or do so to a lesser extent, so the effective rate can vary from 5.5% to 7%, except when the defective excuse for a pimple-headed (mis)government We have cancels the whole shebang when a storm threatens 380 miles away and people then go nuts buying flat-screen Sonys.

Now the IVU tax is applied at retail/use, but in effect, as I predicted looooong ago (you can look it up), the price impact was not 7% or even 8%, but actually 13.2% overall. Why? Because taxing things causes economic friction that consumers ultimately have to pay for. It's one of the very few things economists really know and can prove.

And the IVU tax did not--repeat: did not--generate the expected/projected revenue. Why? Taxing anything--even whoring--causes economic activity to decline and the local economy went cash-centric so fast it made flea markets sprout like mushroom. In essence, the underground economy got better, another trend The Jenius predicted.

Now the """tax reform""" intends to change the Sales/Use tax using a Value-Added Tax, to be called IVA, applied not only at the back-end (retailer and consumer), but at the front end as well (importer and wholeseller).

The idea, according to the pimple-headed peabrains further mucking Our Future up is to generate more revenue for them to pocket and waste egregiously. It's what they do. What they claim, with faces as straight as a pendejo can ever get, is that this will actually help the economy.

Do tell.

That's like claiming that adding pus to coffee makes it café con leche.

With a tax applied from import all the way to retail, one to be collected at every stage, these disgusting excuses for humanity carefully avoid stating the obvious: prices will rise. They have to, because no one in the supply chain is going to take a loss when they can pass it on to the next link. And the ultimate payee is Us, the consumer. Again and again and again.

Welcome to Our New Economy, which won't last long because We now have a new tax on oil that the pimple-headed pricks have used to issue more debt and there's talk of actually increasing the percentages of the current IVU.

Oh, you thought the IVA would replace the IVU? No no no no, it will be added.

And yet, the pimple-headed pus-dripping pukefaces still pretend like Our economy will be rocketed upward, like nitro in Our fuel tank.

Beating a metaphor to death: Our fuel tank is ripped, Our engine blew out long ago and the """"pilots"""" are worse than cross-eyed leeches when it comes to making progress.

The Jenius Has Spoken.