Ah, Royalty…

I’ve just read LizEccentric7’s article on Vlad Tepes, giving out some interesting facts, and writting about her hypothesis on the circumstances of some moments of his life, as well as his death.

At some point, however, Liz let’s us know that recently, Prince Charles admitted that he is distantly related to the Impaler’s family line, and she questions if that was a smart idea:

Prince Charles admits to being related to Vlad:  I found it interesting that Prince Charles publicly claimed that genealogy shows that he is a distant relative of Vlad the Impaler. The claim accompanied his announcement of a pledge to help conserve the forested areas of Transylvania. Prince Charles admits to being related to a family of people who were mass murderers, to conserve a forest? I would NEVER admit to this fact, would you? Never want my name associated with the of “Vlad, the impaler.” Prince Charles has some guts, that’s for sure!

Well, personally, I don’t see why not.
Nowadays it is not a secret that the Royalty all over Europe has it’s hands drenched in blood, accumulated through-out history.

It doesn’t matter what period of time you want to talk about, until about half of the XX century, there have always been multiple killings in the crowns’ behalf.

And not just killings, that’s not the worst.

What bothers me more, is the mere existence of a Royalty in Europe in the XXI century. There is no real need for it; they represent the exact contrary to Democracy and a Republic.

The Royalty itself is, together with the Vatican (they are kind of the same thing, in my humble opinion), the most clear representation of retrograds: hatred, elitism, discrimination… The kind of power and ideals that pulls the whole humanity back.

And yet, they have the public’s acceptance.

Prince Charles’ relationship with Vlad the Impaler doesn’t bother me. Now, the fact that he is ‘Prince’ sickens me.

Just a thought…

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Ok. I’m mad.

You can mess with the city, and get away with it. You can mess with the schools, and get away with it. You can mess with political parties in general, and get away with it. But don’t you fuckin’ dare mess with politically active children, ’cause you’re messing with me, mate.

During the last dictatorship here, more than 30.000 people DISAPPEARED. They weren’t just killed on the spot, they were taken away by the military government, never to be seen again. They were sent to detention camps were they were tortured in every inhuman way possible. They killed people in cold blood. If a pregnant woman ended up there, they waited for her to give birth, and take her kid away. Those babies ended up being taken away from their real identities, being raised by their parents’ murderers.

Along the many people kidnapped, abducted, by the factic state, were teenagers. LOTS of teenagers. Underaged brilliant kids, taken away and killed cruelly only because they fought for what they believed was right; only because they were part of their school’s students’ center; and then their phone-books were revised, and their friends were taken away as well, only for being their friends. Every 16th of September here, it’s a day of sadness and memory, as it’s the anniversary of  ‘La noche de los lápices’ (The pencils’ night), when many students, most of them MY AGE, from La Plata city, were taken by the military, most of them never to be seen again.
Many of these ‘subversive’ kids were spotted by making the directors of their school make lists of ‘rebellious’ student, so the military could know where to look.

These were rotten methods for rotten ends, and speak of the cruelty, inhumanity, darkness of those shameful years for Argentina.

Lately, though, Mauricio Macri, Buenos Aires city’s governor, and his Education Minister, Bullrich, have been applying similar policies to the ones I described up there, to ‘keep an eye on politically active students’.

If you read My Political Reality (II), then you must already know I take an important part in my school’s students’ center, and was even the President of it for a complete year. And, if you read this blog, then you might’ve already guessed that politics take a very important part in my life, and that I have strong opinions on this matter.
Not only this, but I know every single person in the students’ center, and even the new president, a bright but tiny boy from third year, is a very good friend of mine (or more like my protected).

So try to imagine my fucking RAGE, at the beginning of last year, when Macri asked for every public school’s director to hand in lists of students that are politically involved in their respective schools.
I kid you not.

Of course, this was all a part of his ‘children-are-just-children-and-don’t-know-what-they-want-so-let’s-protect-them’ policy. But you can clearly see some resemblance with his idols, the leaders of the last dictatorship.

But this wouldn’t stop there, oh no, oh no.

He REFUSED to let us in and talk about the city’s public schools’ problems, most of them caused by him, alleging that we were all in agreement with the National Government (who he hates), and thus, making us, secondary school students fighting for our rights, his political enemies.

BUT OH WELL. We can live with that. We just went on with the organizations, reunions, reclaims, etc., ignoring his paranoia, and claiming for his attention.

Is it? Is it all well?

Well, not NOW.

He crossed THE FUCKING LINE.

I don’t even understand what the fuck is going on in his little head. AND NO, I have no political nor intellectual respect whatsoever for this guy, as he really DOES NOT deserve it. The moment he starts behaving like the city’s governor, and drops the ‘rich-cool-dude’ attitude, then I might reffer to him respectfully.

So, what’s this line I’m talking about?

Oh, well, basically, HE SET UP A FUCKING RAT PHONELINE.

The name? “0800-INTROMISION” (MEDDLING). ‘For students, teachers, and parents to call, and denounce political meddling in schools’. I’m not making this up, I swear.

THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE. THIS IS POLITICAL PERSECUTION TOWARDS TEENS AND KIDS!

School isn’t a political-free environment. There’s NO FUCKING WAY it can be so. Why? BECAUSE IT’S A PUBLIC FUCKING SPACE.
Politics, discussion about them, debates, information, etc., is one of the best parts of going to a public school here! It’s the perfect exercise of reasonal and critical thinking, it teaches us tolerance towards those who think differently from us, and it teaches us to be responsible and informed citizens in the near future.

But, of course, that’s not convenient for the kind of interests this dude represents: the interests of big, multi-millionaire empresses who find it convenient to have stupid, ignorant, uninformed, and therefore malleable populations for them to manipulate and use to their ass’ wishes.
HE himself is a fucking millionaire, owner of SEVERAL multi-national empresses, and the son of one of Latin-American’s richest man. It’s not a surprise he thinks like this!

The surprise is, that people actually voted for him. People actually thought he was good for the city, and voted for him. Not once, but TWICE. Two fucking times! Why?
Well, he didn’t do anything right. And I mean it, he did NOTHING right. But, he IS a strong opposition to the National Government of Cristina Fernandez, whom middle-class and upper-class from Buenos Aires seem to hate (even though they’ve never been better than with her economic policies), and they convinced the poor people from here, who are a vast majority, that Macri is good for them too. How?
THEY OWN THE FUCKING MEDIA.
Just google ‘Grupo Clarín’, and you’ll find out. The most important TV channels, ratio channels, magazines, newspapers, etc., are managed by the same group of people, people who only think of their own well-being; people who got a hold of these properties by making illegal deals with the last dictatorship’s bosses, while they celebrated the coup d’état, and flat-out LIED to the people -both then, and now.

That’s how you get a guy who thinks youth politic is ‘dangerous’ for society, to be Buenos Aires’ governor.

So yeah, I just wanted to write all this down, cause this pisses me off like no other thing in the world.

Si sos de Buenos Aires, y votaste a Macri, entonces tengo sólo una cosa que decirte: sos un hijo de remil puta, y te merecés los sucesivos aumentos del ABL, los paros del Subte, y el que la ciudad se te venga abajo por este inútil.
Felicidades, has sido engañado por los poderosos de siempre. Otra vez.

Sorry about the ranting, but this just… ARRGHHH.

-Mila.

Tell me how you name your streets, and I’ll tell you your ideals -or of how Canning became Ortiz

Scalabrini Ortiz and Santa Fé

The corner of Ortiz and Santa Fé. You can see the café Plaza del Carmen, characteristic of this place. The green ball-like sign a little in the back is the entrance to the subway. You can also see the english fence I’m talking about.

Nothing’s left to luck when trying to clarify your political position. Not even the streets’ names, if you are the official government. Your every decision, your every move, should reflect coherency with your ideals.

And that’s what’s been happening here in Buenos Aires for the last century.

There is one concurred and commercial avenue reaching Palermo. It even has it’s own subway station. The name’s Scalabrini Ortiz. But, many still remember when that street was named ‘Canning’.
I find this avenue’s history very symbolic of my country’s history, and so, I’m gonna tell it to you.

The street itself started off being known in 1867 as ‘El Camino del Ministro Inglés’ (English Minister’s Road), because that’s the way an english diplomat, named Henry Southern, used to get to the city, from the country house he lived at with his family.

Years went by, though, and, thanks to a decree on Novermber of 1893, it was named ‘Canning’, after the famous  former Secretary of Foreign Relations of the United Kingdom.
This man, George Canning, was the responsible for the UK’s recognition of freedom from the Spanish Kingdom of: Argentina, Colombia and Mexico, and the one who pushed the recognition of Brazil as independent from the Kingdom of Portugal, all of this in 1825.

Even though this was a celebrated fact through-all Latinamerica, as having the recognition of that time’s most important economic potency was the final step to be recognized world-wide, this wasn’t just out of Canning’s good and pure heart.

“Spanish America is free, and if we do not mismanage our affairs, she is English”*

This came out of his mouth, or rather, his feather, explaining his interest in the economic independence of America. If they were out of Spanish monopoly, then that meant they were free to enter the English one. Yay for them.
He also ended up mediating after the Argentinian army besieged Rio de Janeiro, winning the war against Brazil. Thanks to his mediation for peace, though, Brazil ended up with MORE territory than before, and the Argentinian troops were sent back to Buenos Aires with a bitter victory. This ended up with the resignement of Bernardino Rivadavia, my country’s first constitutional president.

Back to the avenue, it held on to that name, until 1974, with Gral. Juan Domingo Peron. He replaced the name of the English liberal, diplomat, and even Prime Minister for a little time, with the name of an Argentinian nationalist writer and thinker: Raúl Scalabrini Ortiz.
Ortiz was hard against the national economy’s dependence on England, and even proposed for the railways lines across the country, that were at the time English, to be nationalized and managed by the state.

Scalabrini Ortiz is known for being one of the founder members of the FORJA, a political organization that tried to join the ‘best of’ both Radicalism and Peronism.

But, in 1976, the Peronist government suffered from a raising from the military -again- and it was forced out of the government. In it’s place, the presidents designated by the military stood, one after the other, until Videla -resently convicted to a life-sentence for his crimes against human rights during his unconstitutional government, and being processed for even more crimes- was left there.
During the military’s illegal stay at the head of the country, and faithful to it’s admiration towards England, Scalabrini Ortiz Av. became Canning again, the same year they took the power.

That dictatorship lasted long years, and was the most cruel, vengative, and inhuman one in my country’s history. It was the last as well, and we all hope for it to stay like that.

In 1984, after a failed war against England (coherence?) for the Malvinas Islands, with the country with the highest external debt ’till then, having destroyed the National Industries and production, and with no support from any side left, the illegal government called for presidential elections.
Raúl Alfonsín, representative of the Radicals, won. The first constitutional and elected president after those black years.

A year later, in 1985, the government renamed the avenue after the nationalist and revolutionary thinker, Scalabrini Ortiz.

So, the opposition between Ortiz’s and Canning’s ways of thinking was more or less represented in this street.

Many small business there still have names referring to Canning, or boards like that, because they were already known with those names. The street itself is double-handed, has the corners closer to Santa Fe, a very important avenue, full with old buildings and english-styled fences, and is the stop of two subway lines (‘D’ Line, and ‘B’ Line), apart from being transitated by many busses and cars every day. My uncle has a furniture shop located in this avenue as well.

Station Scalabrini Ortiz

This is a small part of the very long painting in the walls, inside the Scalabrini Ortiz subway station.

As you can see, in only this avenue’s street, located in the Palermo neighborhood, in the north part of Buenos Aires, you can see the transition of part of Argentina’s history.

I think that’s pretty awesome -don’t you?

Do you know the story behind some streets in your city? What do you think about Scalabrini Ortiz’s?

Thanks for reading.

-Mila.

*Quote taken from Wikipedia.

Transgenics

Every time I read a north-american or european report on nutrition, agriculture, or food’s business, the topic of transgenics rises up. It seems that the northern world is afraid of them.

The last year, countries like Germany started a debate over the honey they were importing from Argentina, claiming that the bees used to fabricate it took the pollen from genetically modified cultivation around the zone they were working on, and thus, the honey was dangerous.

You see, according to lasts years’ numbers, Argentina is the world’s second regarding honey production, and the world’s first regarding it’s exportation, as 95% of it’s production is meant for the external market. The principal destinies are: Germany, the UK, the USA, Italy, Canada, Japan and Australia (source).

So, if our principal client for this product claims that he won’t be accepting our products anymore, as long as it has traces of genetically modified species, how do you think that’d affect us?

The problem between the europeans and transgenics, has a common purposes and ideals with enviromental ONGs. In fact, if you dig up in the laws and statements behind the prohibition of transgenics in some countries in europe, you’ll stumble upon this organizations’ fighting and pressing for it to happen.

Argentina has three different transgenic cultivation approved by the nation’s standards: cotton, corn, and soy. Those three are cultivated through-out the whole country, are perfectly safe, and commercialized inside and outside of Argentina.

I think most people’s fears for transgenics are funded. Let’s look over some facts:

  • Definition: “Transgenic plants are plants that have been genetically modified by inserting genes directly into a single plant cell. Transgenic crop plants modified for improved flavor, pest resistance, or some other useful property are being used increasingly” (source).
  • The fact that they are more resistant to pests, means the usage of dangerous pesticides is lowered, as they are not needed. In other words, less chemicals needed for transgenic cultivation.
  • To start freely selling and cultivating transgenic seeds, they must be first approved after going through very strict tests and exams, as well as fulfilling every single requirement asked by the law. In Argentina, the process to approve a finished seed can last for around 5 years before finally being legalized. So go figure.
  • Transgenical seeds are sometimes modified to have more resistance to extreme weathers, so they can grow in places where it would’ve been impossible for them to grow before. This is incredibly helpful for countries that are not geographically or metheorologically beneficed for agriculture.
  • It adds to the value of the final product, the seed, as it has been injected with knowledge developed by a country’s fourth kind of industry. This is important for countries that are developing, like mine.

So, with all of this said, we can get to a conclusion. Transgenics makes it possible to cultivate on zones where it was impossible before, expanding the limits of most countries’ agropecuary capabilities, it allows for the less usage of what could be dangerous chemicals, as they’re not needed anymore for the plant now defends itself, making the cultivation healthier, and it allows countries with an agro-exporter economy to get more money for their products, while they have also been proved to be completely safe.

What universal issue do you think transgenics help to solve, knowing all this?

Exactly.

HUNGER.

GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are a key part of what will be the fight for a solution for the most endemic situation in the whole world. And this is why the largest interests don’t like them very much.

You see, a country deep in hunger and desperation, is a country with accessible workers, who’d work for nothing if that lets them have some more food, and can be easily replaced by others like them. This is what has been happening in Africa, the south of Asia, and Latin-America for the last centuries, and to the day. And this is why those interests don’t want you to like, or even know, about transgenics.

If you are against GMOs, and have been fighting against them ’till now, then I urge you to look for information elsewhere. Close that book your favorite ONG gave you, and look for scientific facts. You’ll find them if you truly look for them.
You will probably also find, that you have been consuming products that, at some point, had something to do with GMOs, without you even knowing. In the USA, for example, transgenic cotton is approved, and being cultivated freely. Some of your favorite clothes may have been done with it.

So, what are your opinions on this subject? Were you aware of some of the things said here?

-Mila.

Think twice!

So, going around WordPress’ ‘Reader’, I decided to check on the ‘Argentina’ tab, wich I do occasionally to get a hold of news regarding my country on the exterior, or maybe the tales of tourists who have been/are here, as I find it interesting to read. It’s always nice to see  many kinds of opinions about Argentina, specially in a free space as this, the internet.

Today, though, I found something that made me want to punch a wall. Why? Oh, you’ll see.
Of course, I’m not that fond of violence, as I am fond of the word. I’ve always thought it was a much better tool to defend oneself, and this has proven itself right during my life.

What I found, was an article. An article on Argentina’s current government, President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s government.
Who is this woman? Let me give you some facts about her:

  • She is the first woman to be elected, and re-elected as president for the Argentinian Republic in all its history.
  • She succeeded her husband, Nestor Kirchner, president from 2003 to 2007. Ever since they took over, Argentina’s growth in PIB, PBN, productivity, and the like, was the biggest in the history of the country.
  • They are Peronists. Wich means they take after the ideals of Juan Domingo Peron. Look him up on the internet, and use your critical eye when reading about him.
  • They have politics oriented on social assistance.
  • They assumed as leaders after 2001’s crisis, and have taken us out of it.
  • Many economists say that our country’s way of dealing with crisis is the role-model countries like Greek should take, instead of making adjustments, that only lead to less internal market and demoralization of its people.
  • Also, the mortality on kids, the analphabetism, and the poverty have lowered in numbers (wich doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist anymore. It does, and there should be more answers for them).

If there’s something I’ve forgotten to mention to make all I’m about to rant on make sense, then I’ll be adding it as I advance.

The article I stumbled upon was this: http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/publication/22238/lesson_in_crony_capitalism.html

Read it, if you can and have the time, and don’t take anything for granted.

To make you all understand why this makes me mad, and being the nice person I am, I will now proceed to analyse and explain the parts of this article that make me dubious of its objectivity, informativity, and other ivities.
I am NOT an expert, I am NOT a graduated from Harvard, and student from Cambridge and Trinity Universities as the guy who wrote that is. I am just a teen, with my own opinions, so you should understand that anything coming along is only my subjective point of view, and that you shouldn’t take anything I say as a stated fact, unless I clarify it is, and give you the sources to check on it.

So, this is how the article starts:

Jorge Luis Borges used to say that the Argentine people suffered under “too many messiahs.” Their current president, Cristina Kirchner, certainly preaches like one.

With that alone, I now know where you’re standing, buddy. Jorge Luis Borges is a well-known, and self-proclaimed anti-peronist -or, as we call them here, ‘gorilas’ (gorillas). He’s in for the conservatives and the oligarchy of our society.
Quoting Jorge Luis Borges at the beginning of an article about a Peronist politician, and using his quote to make a characterization of said politician, means you are not too fond of Peronists either. So, from starters, I know you agree with the conservative view on the matter. So I can already guess how fond you are of social assistance, and the like, huh?

(I want to clarify, though, that even though Borges was an anti-peronist, he was an artist, one of Argentina’s finest. He had his prejudices as a member of the oligarchy here, but he is to be taken with the lightness of a feather. I’m only using his contextualized views on peronism, and the fact that a quote of his’ was chosen to start the article, to state the intension in that. Nothin else. I love Borges. He rocked).

From here, I can even guess what you’re going to say about this government. But let’s go on.

and at the last G-20 summit in June she attempted to reignite the Falkland Islands dispute with Great Britain.

Well, that’s an interesting choice of words. Tricky as well. So she wanted to ‘reignite’ the dispute.
Guys, what do you think when you think of the word ‘ignition’? And ‘reignite’? Yes, exactly, fire, something exploding. War.
Mister Barbieri, are you suggesting president Fernandez wants to start a wat against Britain? Or are you trying to make this woman appear as a threat to peace between these two nations, and of military power, when you know our military forces are poorly armed?

This is part of a speech by the president of my nation, in front of the UN:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mCsnd7nUAc

What she says is that the people within the Malvinas Islands (I refuse to call the Falklands Islands) are illegally withdrawing natural resources that naturally and legally belong to Argentina’s marine and sub-marine territory. She says that it’s not necessary to remark that it’s not reasonable to claim for territorial right over an island that’s more than 14000 kms away from your natural territory.
She then insists for the UK to fulfill the UN’s resolutions (there are many resolutions from this organization saying that Britain HAS to seat down and negotiate with Argentina, but the UK has been ignoring them as it pleases). She also talks about the many provocations the UK has been performing, such as missiles essays on May and July of the year of the speech, that were denounced to several supra-guvernamental organizations in charge of controlling all this.
She then reaffirms that Argentina has interest in only dialogue and proper negotiations, and that it doesn’t want to let many years pass before the matter is settled.
She says that Argentina has no intention to make this issue worse, but that it calls for the attention of the UN and UK to make the resolutions be fulfilled properly.

Wow, that was just scary. You could feel the killing intention within her eyes, couldn’t you?
Catch the sarcasm?

The truth is, Argentina would NEVER EVER agree to a military issue, much less to war. No Argentinian would NEVER allow the government to do that (well, yeah, there are exceptions), and I dont think Kirchner is interested in something like that either.

At home, Mrs. Kirchner’s turned a law intended to broadcast key announcements into a permanent political platform. She’s constantly on TV speaking on issues both important (like her seizure of the oil company YPF from Spain’s Repsol), and banal (videoconferences featuring zealots on the government payroll).

Yes, the president appears a lot on TV. It’s called political publicity, and it’s the duty of a responsible government. The state has the responsibility and duty to let the people know of what they’re doing. That’s why there are signed acts of EVERYTHING, accessible for the average citizen.
Mister Barbieri, if you were more comfortable with the times when the politicians appeared in TV only to make more adjustments to their disastrous economies, or to appear in Susana Gimenez’s shows (a very well-known TV host and actress), then the one who should be adapting is you.

Take a look at this video, from TVR, a popular TV-reviewing show, taken also from Susana Gimenez’s show, in 2000:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8UJ4IP0bBk

Minute 1:04. The blonde is Susana Gimenez. The bald guy, is Fernando De la Rúa. If you read my post Argentina’s Political Reality (I), then I’m telling you, this is the president that had to take off the presidential house in an helicopter, because his, and the previous presidents’, economical measures had taken the society to manifest itself against politicians, and to social chaos. Mhmm.
At first, Susana explains that she had received a call from the Casa Rosada (Pink House, the presidential house), saying that the president himself wanted to make an appearance in those rough times, to talk to the people ‘normally’ and ‘without a political speech’, about the situation. Then Gimenez makes her usual misogynist comments, but I wont go into that now.
De la Rua then says that there isn’t really a crisis, because the president is fully active, and because he’d make sure to fulfill his time in the government -he’ll be escaping before getting caught by the riots of the Plaza de Mayo a few months later. After that, he says something along the lines of  ‘there have been many unthinkable situations going on’. Susana tries saying something like ‘yeah, like what happened at the senate, or-‘, but she get’s interrupted by the president himself, who says ‘no, I’m talking about there not being anymore hake at sale’.

I’m sorry, but I certainly prefer my president appearing on TV when inaugurating high-tech factories, announcing the payroll, or the new factories of chocolate Milka in Argentina that will give thousands of people a new job, that going to Susana’s to talk about how there’s no more hake in a time of crisis.

And I certainly would feel disgust for a politician who goes anywhere to speak ‘without a political speech’. Are you kidding me? That’s just taking us for idiots, I’m sorry.

Also, the reason why Fernandez needs to appear on television while on her presidential duties, is to contrarest what is a real pain in Argentina, as well as in most of South-America: the monopolyzed media. Most of the newspapers, tv channels, radio channels, magazines, etc, are owned by the same group of very rich people, who aren’t really happy with a government that wants to take a little more out of them, for, you know, fair taxes. So Fernandez, as well as many popular presidents (and I mean ‘popular’ as in ‘from the people’), is shamelessly, cruely, and constantly critized mostly for stupidities or amarillism, only to make their public image go down. I’m not going into enough depth regarding this issue, but I may will in future posts.
So there.

As the U.S. gears up for an important presidential election, Argentina is a sad reminder of how government takeovers and crony capitalism are the enemy of genuine development.

Uh, look at the numbers again, mister Barbieri. The companies and economic groups that have grown the most in the last years with this governments, and that are the most powerfull now, are in oposition to Fernandez de Kirchner.
Sociedad Rural, Grupo Clarín, different banks, most oil companies. Just check on their numbers for the last years, and the ones before Kirchner, and you’ll clearly see a big jump. This is no secret.
So please, explain again how this government is ‘the enemy of genuine development’?

Amid the boom, the Kirchners denounced corrupt “neoliberalism,” promising to “free the people” through revitalized government. So while Peru and Colombia deepened structural reforms, Argentina expanded bureaucracy and eschewed liberalization.

Usually, when a neo-liberal talks about ‘structural reforms’, he means wild adjustments to the public wages (spending less  in medical care for people, public schools, public institutions, firing thousands of public employees, etc. You know, those measurements that makes a society go down, like what happened in Argentina in 2001, and what’s happening in Greece and south Europe now).
I’m pretty glad we’re not following that example right now, if I can be honest.

Indec, which has lied about inflation so blatantly that The Economist magazine now refuses to print its cooked numbers. Indec’s falsified low inflation reports minimize indexed payments to retirees, as well as underrating poverty figures. Yet children starve in the rural provinces regardless of what the government chooses to print.

Yes, I give you that. The Indec’s numbers aren’t reliable, wich is not acceptable. One point for you.

These lies help cover up more pernicious government meddling. In March, Mrs. Kirchner destroyed the Argentine central bank’s independence, rewriting its charter to allow the government unlimited use of the bank’s reserves to pay its debts—a surefire recipe for still more damaging inflation and a debased currency.

Oh, you mean the debt we owe the northern countries and loaning parties because of the neo-liberal policies from the dictatorship to the end of the 90’s?
You see, we decided to pay those debts with out own money, instead of doing what his school of thought proposes: lending more money from other loaners, to pay the debt to the rest. But then, you own these loaners, so you have to get indebted again to pay these ones. You know, what ‘real countries do’.
They’re kind of mad at us, because as we’re taking care of our debts with our own resources, we can invest in the developing of the consume and internal market, leading to more earnings for the state. Then, it divides the earnings between savings, and money to pay the debts. Also, this gives us the freedom to invest in whatever we want, whenever we want, cause the loaners and countries we’re indebted with can’t pressure us because of that.

That’s right, we’re breaking the chain of dependence the first world’s countries wants us in. Boohoo.

The institutional deterioration permeates far and wide and is only getting worse. This week, the Kirchner government announced plans to expropriate the company that prints its currency, the Argentine peso.

Oh my god! Why would the government, the one that orders to make more money as they have more funds, own the printing factory for bills!?!? …wait a second… Oh, I guess it DOES make sense when you actually think about it.

Middle-class Argentines have sought to save in dollars to protect themselves. But as of late last year, the government introduced draconian currency and trade controls.

Actually, the middle-class in Argentina couldn’t be better. Maybe you can’t see it cause you left to study at Harvard so many years ago, but well, I’m middle class. My mom is a scientific investigator, and has never had so many approved projects by the state. My dad is a lawyer… Well, lawyers are lawyers I guess.
They’re doing so well, we even gave up on the state’s help to pay for electricity and water, cause we don’t need that anymore. Middle-class has never been better here.
The thing is, Argentina is obsessed with dollars. They like them, but not to make them flow, to spend them. They like them under their beds, in the banks, where no one can reach to them. This is a HUGE problem for a country that has to pay debts. You know, debts are paid in foreign exchange, and if it doesn’t run through the country, if it’s stuck, then the state can’t pay for them.
That’s basically one of the reasons why there has been so many restrictions to buy dollars, unless you really needed them.
Also, Im sorry, but I don’t see why an average Argentinian should be needing more than three thousand dollars with him (wich is the estimate per capita here), if the official coin is ARG peso. You just don’t. So let them flow in the market, for god’s sake!

Manufacturing survives only through inefficient import tariffs. So, predictably, productivity lags. An iPad in Argentina, for instance, costs more than anywhere else in the world.

Yeah, that’s called protectionism. And I know you liberals think that is a bad word, but it actually is helping in developing our national industries, wich is what we need if we want to become a developed country, right? I mean, no country becomes rich and equitative, living off just agriculture or ganadery. Am I wrong?

And, oh god, I can’t access to an iPad. These people just deserve to die. -___-.

Even worse, authoritarian controls have bred multiple exchange rates: If you are a friend of the government, a dollar costs 4.5 pesos. For anyone else, it is more than six. Instant arbitrage makes cronyism profitable.

Uh, no. If you need dollars, and go buy them legally, and are permitted to buy some, then it’s 4.5 pesos. If you buy them illegally, in what’s called the ‘blue market’, the it’s gonna cost you 6 pesos. And you’d be a criminal as well. Now that’s what  I call a good business!

Social security funds have also been funneled into nationalized businesses like the seized YPF.

Haha, yeah. We got back our oil company from foreign hands, so now we can have oil at the real prize, and administrate those public jobs better. Seized YPF? Lol.

But when management is trusted to cronies rather than experts, the unfortunate mix of corruption and ineptitude guarantees losses for both social security and company employees. Not surprisingly, no foreign oil company—not even Russia’s Gazprom or China’s Sinopec—has invested in YPF.

Actually, YPF was going bankrupt. That’s why the state interviewed, to save those jobs, and the company. That’s why other companies wouldn’t invest. It’s not a wonder.

With a toxic mix of inflation, authoritarianism and corruption bringing the economy to a standstill, Mrs. Kirchner has been touring the world for new friends.

‘Standstill’? What part of ‘record growing in history’ didn’t you get?
And I’m sorry, our ways of doing business is by, you know, negotiations. We don’t bomb them, not our style.
I’d also like to know where is it you see this toxic authoritarianism.

Oh oh oh! Here comes my favorite part! Read closely, if you will:

The architect of Argentina’s economic radicalization, neo-Marxist Axel Kicilloff, often labels critics as “reactionaries” while praising Keynesian aggregate demand management.

‘The architect of Argentina’s economic radicalization’. Uhm, nope, wrong. He only got to the guvernamental spot this year, with Fernandez’s re-election. So I’m pretty sure he wasn’t the mastermind behind all this.

‘neo-Marxist’. Oh, don’t you love these people? So, what’s this adjetivization supposed to be?
An insult? I don’t know how agreeing with Marx’s ideals for the economy is insulting to anyone with an open mind.
A warning to us all? ‘Oh, look out, he’s Marxist. No- NEO-Marxist’. So he’s a leftie in the government of the Peronism? Did you even stop to think about that? Peronism was basically created to stop socialism and communism (Marx) from advancing in Argentina by giving social comfort, so the proletarians couldn’t complain.
Also, he has already openly declared he’s not a Marxist. Next!

‘while praising Keynesian aggregate demand management’. I don’t know where have you been looking so far, but Peronism and Keynes have many things in common. They both made public buildings, created public jobspots, and incentivized social assistement to get their countries going. So, what’s the critic?

And yet Mr. Kicillof’s friends—now in leadership positions in newly nationalized businesses and throughout company boards because of social-security investments—have benefited handily from this “revitalized government.”

You know, you could at least quote a source for that. You know, you can’t affirm that without any kind of responsibility. It’s almost like you’re only trying to make us see him as a monster… Oh wait.

At a time when most of Latin America is implementing promising institutional reforms, Argentina needs less televised lecturing and more action to address the crony capitalism that pervades its government. Like other false prophets, the Kirchner government has come to represent the very evil it purported to fight. Argentina deserves better.

Again, ‘promising institutional reforms’, refers to adjustments to its budget to let more people off the system, and more money for the banks.

‘the Kirchner government has come to represent the very evil it purported to fight’. Can I lol? LOL.

‘Argentina deserves better’. Sure. We also deserved better in the 90’s, where the people you probably defend destroyed this countries’ economy to shreds, only for their own greed.
We ARE better now. And not thanks to people like them.

Yes, there are many, MANY things wrong with this government. You only got to touch two in this article: the Indec’s lack of credibility, and the corruption in some states of the institutions. That’s it. The rest, you were looking at it from behind your Harvard, USA’s,  liberal mask, not wanting to see the improvement in people’s lives and freedoms, because you don’t like these people.

I hope you didn’t find this as insulting as I found that article.

This is my own opinion and analysis over this. I hope this leaves you with a thought or two.

-Mila.

The mate effect

The mate effect“I think it’s Lucho’s time”, Belle whispered, pouring down hot water on the leaves, inside the mate. This thing, the mate, this beverage passed down from generation to generation of Argentinians until reaching us, was the only thing that truly connected everyone in that, our classroom.
It didn’t really matter whether we’d spent 3, 4, 5 years together; the feeling of belonging couldn’t be finished without that sacred piece of wood. The importance of that infusion was so granted, even the teachers let us drink it during class -you know, as long as they could have a sip too.
So this wasn’t only about students after all. It linked us as a whole together.

The mate reached Lucho, seating several desks away from Belle, who was in charge of the watering. He liked it sweet, as I do. I don’t mind the occasional natural taste of the yerba, but everything is better with some sugar.

Call it the mateine’s effect, call it the first hour of that Friday; but, for some reason, the whole classroom was pretty hyper, and the teacher wasn’t having an easy time trying to calm us all down.

I was sitting in front of Belle, my best friend. She was sitting next to Nardo. The one next to me, was Flor. It isn’t very much like me, to seat up front of the classroom, but I didn’t have any choice in the matter that Friday, 7am, when I reached school only to realise all the back seats of the room were already taken. Betrayed doesn’t begin to describe how I felt that morning.
But, well, not like Flavio, our math teacher, really cared about that. In fact, I’m pretty sure he just wanted to end the class, and go straight back home, where his wife and two children were awaiting. He was instead stuck with a bunch of teenagers who had had too much sugar for that hour in the morning, and that were not interested in the least on what he was trying so desperately to explain.
Who cares about rational functions, anyways?

The class went on like that, with some amused screaming from the teacher, and some stupid questions and comments by the students. I myself, was just drawing something. It didn’t really matter what, as long as it was something. I had the chance to enjoy the taste of that blessed mate several times, wich kept me going through the class.

The moment came, though, when the situation was no longer funny to Flavio. Even though he’d usually just joke around with us, specially because he’s a new teacher at our school, he did have the obligation to teach us. Probably.
So we started to shut up more often, to listen to his tedious explanation on limits, and jumps over the coordinates.
Every time he turned to start writing something in the board, though, people would start whispering at first, and talking loudly as an immediate consequence. So he couldn’t let his guard down.

The mate wasn’t rolling across the classroom anymore, wich seemed odd to me. Belle was a very dedicated person when it concerned that; but I figured she must’ve been doing something else. Something more important, probably.
I had my answer after Flavio turned back for the fifth time after shushing everyone again. He finished with his equations, and then turned, only to listen to a big and loud: ‘Luke, I am your father!!‘.

Immediately after that, the whole class turned over to the source of the quote, to catch the frozen Nardo and Belle, still in the last position of their duel of transparent-colored rulers. It seemed that Belle, having the red one, was playing Darth Vader, and that Nardo, with the green one, was Luke Skywalker.
And, of course, we all bursted out laughing like nothing else mattered.

Flavio never got the chance to finish explaining that bit of the day’s subject, as we were all, him included, laughing too hard to think of anything else.
The bell announcing the end of the math period rang, and he picked his stuff up.

“Laters, Flavio”, some of us said lazily, out of respect.
“Have a good weekend. And remember this all goes for the exam”.

With those deadly words, he left a classroom in a state of shock, and pure desperation.
I guess that’s what you get for too much mateine first thing in the morning.

Totally worthed, though.

The story of the little governor, and the stupid nice people

Im going to tell you all a nice little story today. I hope you enjoy it.

Once upon a time, there was a little governor. He governated over Buenos Aires city, as Argentina was a federal country, so the capital had it’s own authonomy, and he had been elected by the people he managed to convince to vote him.

This little governor was the son of one of Latin-America’s richest men, and this was the first time he tried for an election. After pulling the strings to make people hate one of the previous governators, and reapearing again after four years, he ran for city’s government, and won -yay for him!

Now, this little governor wasn’t perfect -well, who is?-, and most nice people were aware of that. He agreeded with the ideals of neoliberalism that the previous dictatorships applied, and that managed to break hell loose in the country and it’s surroundings, and had a good relationship with the genocides from the last coup-d’etait.

Even still, he was elected. Again, yay for him!

So this little governor got a hold of the city’s management, and, soon enough, we started realising what his ideals really meant for us, nice people.

He stopped paying. For almost everything. He stopped paying for public schools (even though he gave even MORE money to private schools), he stopped paying for public hospitals of all kinds (though he did give money to his friends’ private hospitals), he stopped paying public salaries, and more.
Of course we, nice people, understood the situation couldn’t go on, so we asked the little governor to have a talk with us.

Oh, but he refused, and accused us to be scheming against him. He refused so thoroughly, and for so long, that the situation was no longer sustenible.
He pushed us to ugly situations, like sleeping in our schools as a form of protest, or making the doctors and nurses spend days and nights outside their hospitals to call for his attention.
We weren’t happy doing all this, but we had to.

After that, he agreeded to give us a rest, and started founding public institutions -for a while.

Meanwhile, the little governor’s attention was somewhere else: the metro lines of the city.
You see, ever since his first government, he had promised in his platform to fight for the metro lines to belong and to be a responsability of the City of Buenos Aires. He usually repeated that, and we all agreeded at that.

So, at the beggining of this, the first year of his second government, he made the consernient negotiations with the Nation of Argentina’s government, and finally came to an agreement.
He signed the law that stated that the city would, from there on, manage the metro lines. It was a law now. He SIGNED. There was no turning back from that great decition, because he promised to make himself responsible of…

Oh wait. Oh, this little governator.

Two days after he signed this contract, something awful happened. A tragedy, know as ‘Once’s Tragedy’.
One of the train lines -that the Nation managed and was responsible over-, failed to stop in time, and crashed. This left hundreds of deaths behind, and many many wounded. Everyone was now angry at the Nation’s government for not mantaining the train lines, it’s responsability, in the proper state so things like this wouldn’t happen- and so, our little governator started fearing the same would happen to him!
‘What if one of the metro lines crashes like this sometime?’
‘What if an accident happens?’
‘They’ll blame me! Of course!’
‘I can’t make myself responsible for the metro lines anymore’.

Oh but, little governor, you already signed the contract. Are you trying to avoid the law?

‘I dont care about that. I’m not taking care of the metro lines anymore!’.

Then who do you propose should take care of it instead?

‘Leave it to the Nation for all I care’.

Oh, but the Nation’s goverment already had enough with all it’s problems, and also thought that the city’s government taking care of the metro lines was a pretty smart idea of them. Also, they had already signed the law.

But the little governor ignored it, and said he wouldn’t be held responsible anymore.

And so, an argument started between the Nation’s and the city’s governments, wich ended up in the Congress deciding for them.
So, what did they decide? They made another law, saying the city’s government was obliged to take care of the metro lines, as it was already decided.

But it seemed that the little governator had gone deaf, as he just ignored them, and kept on avoiding getting to a real solution for eight months.

Now, the workers of these metro lines are tired of all this mambo, and are not getting paid because of it. So, to make the little governator reason properly, they have started protesting by not going to work, so the metro lines are not working, perjudicing many workers who get to their jobs by it daily (around a million people).
It’s been four days since the situation is like that, and yes, the little governator still stubbornly says that this is the Nation’s responsability, and isn’t getting to a solution.

So, what do we all take off this story? What’s the message?

Hmm…

Don’t fuc*ing vote for a guy like him after what people with the same ideas did to the country, you as*holes -^u^-

Yup, I’m pretty sure that’s it.

As you can see, this topic kind of infuriates me, because it makes me think that people’s stupidity has absolutely no boundaries.

But, well, all I hope for, is that Buenos Aires learnt it’s lesson, and that it stops supporting people like this.

Ta-ta~

-Mila.