Who shows you what you see?

Ok, so I’ve been “accused” many times of being a kirchnerist by my friends. Now, this isn’t by any means a bad word. It just means you are in favor of the current government. Or, at least, it should mean that.
If that was its only definition, then I would probably say, “yes, I kind of am”. But that’s not what my friends mean when they say that to me. I deny it, and I’m going to explain to you just why I do so, and how this came to be.

Another of Clarín's first pages from those times.

“New Government” Referring to the three representatives of the military that took the power after kicking the democratically elected president.

I’ve talked about the media here, haven’t I? The general picture is: the little group of people that have all the money, also control all the mainstream media. I think some of you must be familiar with this concept, right?
Anyways, that’s how it works here, and how it’s been working since… Well, I’d say since the beginning of this country, but honestly, it only got this bad after the last dictatorship.
The Clarín Group, managed by the Noble family (yes, that’s their family name. I find it ironic), took a hold of Papel Prensa, the biggest producer of paper for the press. How? Oh, you know, by torturing its rightful owners into signing the selling papers.
They are currently on trial for this.
Now, for this to happen, they needed the brute force of the army, which was in the power at that moment. They got to their good side by siding up with them.

Clarin's first page right when the coup d'était started.

“The Militay Council is the State’s supreme organ”

By tricking the population into thinking nothing was going on, and that this was only a peaceful and transitory government, and convincing them that they wanted the military on the power because of the “terrorist threat”, they managed to make a lot of people oblivious of what was going on.
Sounds familiar, whatever US citizen reading this? Well, it shouldn’t surprise you. After all, the US military had a lot to do with the military getting a hold of the government, and of their violent methods once there; but I’ll talk about that some other day.

Anyways, by seemingly becoming one of these people’s tools, they were able to use them to their advantage. After all, one of the people in charge of making the paper producer’s owners to sign, was one of the most important functionaries of the military council (who is now in trial, yes).

Not much later…

And yet another of Clarín's front pages.

“Videla (illegitimate president) inaugurated the Papel Prensa plant”. There, you see Videla, with the Noble couple, re-opening the plant after they ‘bought it’.

Wait, I had a point here…
Ah, yes of course!

After buying the plant which produced the paper for each and every one of the newspapers and magazines of the country, they were legally able to set prices at will. So, for their own newspaper, Clarín, its cousin, La Nación, and to every other newspaper or magazine they liked, the prices were minimal.
But, for newspapers which didn’t share their views, the price was… Slightly… Definitely higher. This meant that Clarín was much cheaper, making it more accessible for the common man.
And that, kids, is how Clarín got so popular, and grew SO big in such little time.

They got so good at what they did, and so close to the government, their lies started becoming more and more reckless.
During the Malvinas War, they actually helped convince the general populi that our country was actually winning! Our country. Extremely unprepared for war. Sending teenage boys with no training over there. With lack of food. Against England. It didn’t take a mastermind to figure out that was pretty fucking impossible.

Guess what?

“Imminent recuperation of the Malvina Islands”. No doubt there.

I’m losing my track of thoughts again…
Oh, righ.

Ok, back to present day. Now that you have a general, very subjective, and extremely opinionated idea of where this group comes from, you can slightly understand what they do, why, and how.
(Seriously, guys, I only know this part of the story. I do encourage you to investigate and let me know what comes across your path).

So, yeah, as you can imagine, they’ve been manipulating the population the same way ever since. They helped to economically overthrow the first democratic government after the process; pushed candidates like Menem into the government; pushed Ministers of Economy like Cavallo into the Ministry (ask Ecuador how much good HE did over there); they were the ideological responsible for the neo-liberal policies applied in my country, and for the epic economical crash of 2001. You might have heard about it.

The minute they saw what ideologies Nestor Kirchner, who assumed as president right after that, held high in sight, they understood he meant trouble for their wallet, and empire.
I don’t think there has been a single day passing without the Clarín newspaper, or any of its branches, badmouthing, criticizing, and aggravating him and his wife, our current president. Sometimes the critics were spot-on. And sometimes it was just someone throwing shit at them for no good reason, other than the rage they felt.
And, being this the most popular newspaper, news channels, and celebrities magazines in the country, their ideas spread fast.

“Is she under psychiatric treatment?”. Noticias magazine, under the Clarín Group’s management, accusing Cristina Kirchner, then first lady, of having a bipolar disorder, without proofs, without consulting any of her doctors, without her consent, without anything. Obviously, it was a lie. But the idea was installed in society ever since. This is the power and impunity of the media.

Now, let me make this very very clear. There is nothing I find better than someone making a thoughtful critic about a certain government, policy or ideal, and discussing it with other people. But, and I’m not just talking, this is serious, most people who right-out HATE the Kirchner couple, have memorized this speech, repeated it all over the place, and to themselves, until they believed it, and couldn’t think in any other way. Sometimes this is applied literally. I am not joking.
Most people don’t even realize how deep in their brains some concepts have been carved.

Repetition, impunity, power. These are the elements they have to make people think what they want them to think. They give new concepts to every word they use, and make it so that it’s actually used in a daily basis.

They’ve made words like ‘officialism’, ‘kirchnerist’, and ‘officialist’ into insults. And what I mean by that is that people have actually tried to insult me by calling me all that in debates and forums.
They have divided this country into “K” and “Anti-K”, and then accused the actual government of being responsible for this bipolarity (though they haven’t done much to fight that, really).

By calling yourself a ‘kirchnerist’, some people around you automatically think you are a poor brainwashed person who blindly follows the current government. By calling yourself an ‘oppositor’, some people around you think you are a hateful human being who blindly follows the commands of the Clarín Group.

But, of course, the world isn’t black and white; it’s full of greys, and, quite frankly, that’s probably the only thing that makes it bearable.

I like greys. I enjoy watching them, and I enjoy belonging to them. My thoughts belong to the grey zone. My ideologies aren’t just that or what, they are a combination of ideas, concepts, and knowledge. My way of thinking is unique, and so is everyone else’s.
What bothers me the most about these people, is not only that they claim to be the voice of the whole population, nor really their bloody past, though these things do bug me. What bothers me the most is the fact that they imply you can either be on one side or the other. They deny the greys. And that is not healthy for society, not in the least.

And not only is it unhealthy, it’s proven to be fatal. This is not the first time people like this have tried to divide the society of my country. They have tried, and succeeded before. And every time they did, guess what happened in the end? War. And, in the worst cases, civil war.
Realists vs Autonomists, Federalist vs Unitarians, Conservatives vs Radicals, Peronists vs Gorillas, K vs Anti-K. Our history is marked by the rivalry between two completely opposite groups. And, most of the times, things heated up enough to escalate to wars.
Divide and conquer, you know. As we are too distracted fighting between each other for no real reason, the people who orchestrated all that, swim in their impunity. And money.

By labeling themselves, they usually give up to the possibility of looking at the good attributes of the other side, and actually constructing. Together. Like people who live in the same country. Together.

Taking on definitions like those means not wanting to accept the rest.

Labeling is… Well, I’m short for words. Labeling is stupid. Specially when it refers to political ideologies. It blinds us from our real problems, and from the people we should be looking at with special care.

And that’s why I don’t do that. There.

Well, thanks for putting up with my ranting again.
Take care of yourselves, and remember to pay attention to what you read, what you think, who you side up with, and who you’re really against. What are you not seeing from the general picture? And, who is blocking your sight?

-Mila.

You did it again! Good job, Mila -sigh-

I would excuse myself if I could be excused in any possible way. But I can’t. I really just abandoned this place without a second thought, and haven’t even had the decency to check in once in a while for several months.

That’s so me… -facepalm-.

I don’t even know how active I’ll really be from now on, to be honest. I better not make promises, cause I won’t keep them. I just know I’m depressed; like, REALLY depressed. And writing can work as a nice therapeutic exercise for me (specially when talking about stuff I’m passionate about).

Well, let’s take this struck of inspiration and fill you (whoever is still reading this) in on the recent events that have taken place in my life.

Well, I finished high school. Yay. Now my life can commence, or can it? I don’t know. I don’t know what I want to do, I’m not even sure I even want to do anything. I want to draw all day, but I’m not even drawing as much lately. I want to think, but I don’t have the will to just grab a book and start analyzing it. I just want to lay motionless on my bed as time passes by, and I’m pretty sure that’s not a good sign.I’ve been keeping myself busy with roleplays and games. Only recently have I started watching anime and reading manga again, which is something I used to do at all times some months ago.

But, the fact that I don’t know what to do doesn’t mean anyone around me has any idea of what they want for my life. My parents, for example, are pestering me to get up and study. Yeah right. I can’t even think straight lately, and you want me to prepare for trigonometry exams? Keep dreaming.

Apart from that, I spent a few months in some part-time jobs. You know, to spend time, and earn some money.
No, wait. That’s a lie. I started working because I NEED the money. Why, you ask? We’ll get to that in a second.
But yeah, I worked at a restaurant and at an English Institute as a secretary. Had some fun. At least I walked out of my house once a day.

I still spend most of my time in my computer, though. The only thing that interests me and makes me passionate is there, after all.That’s right, ladies and gentlemen! The only thing is a guy!

Oh, of course, god forbid I ever actually like a guy who makes a move on me over here. That could make me happy, and the Universe doesn’t want that, no. The first time I fall in love with someone, he just HAS to be several thousand miles away from me. Because it makes it more fucking interesting.
Before anyone asks, he’s from New Jersey, and, when talking to him, or even thinking about him, I’m the happiest human on Earth. But when he’s away, or I remember how far away he is, my chest feels empty, like a void of darkness sucking up every inch of joy from my mind.
jksdghdjkjkl.

Yes, that’s what the money was for. I’m saving up to go see him, which is the only actual thing I really really want to do. But, of course, plane tickets are EXPENSIVE (US$600~800), and the dollar itself is expensive here (ARG$6 equals US$1). And not only are dollar bills expensive, they’re difficult to obtain because of the many restrictions the government puts on those transactions (measures I’m ironically in favor of). Hey, maybe I could make a post explaining why that is later, who knows.

So yeah, getting there by the end of this year, as we had planned, seems to be impossible now. And please don’t ask “then why doesn’t he go over to where you are, huh??”. He has his own personal problems.

But I think today I crashed against the bottom of my depressive hole.
Talking about the future and such, Seraph (the guy) mentioned that the most viable option is for him to join the army if he doesn’t find some way to earn money by the end of this year.

I don’t want that.

I don’t want that at all.

But I’m not one to impose myself on other peoples’ choices, even if it’s the guy I love and who loves me back. If he wants to join, then he will. But… I’m so scared. I’m so unbelievably scared. The mere thought of the possibility of something happening to him immediately paralyzes me.

So, today, I decided I need to pull my shit together once and for all. The conclusion my naive brain got to is: if I study a lot and find a good job, then he’ll have more time to find something else, and maybe won’t feel forced to join the army.
Yes, I know this is just wishful thinking. Shut up.

So, sulking over the fact that I feel useless, the thought of this place came back to my mind.

Well, I feel a little better now. I really do… I also hadn’t done this in a while. It feels nice.

Anyways, sorry about the personal rant. I just need to clear my head and start moving, and I know that. This helps.

I hope you’re ok and don’t have to worry about money or whatever else, and are in love with someone you can touch, and can have fun while walking down the street surrounded by loving couples, and don’t feel like assaulting an ice-cream shop.

Gosh I need ice-cream.

-Mila.

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.

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 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.

Equality

At the beginning of this year, there was a pretty popular beer advertisement here. The brand responsible for it was Quilmes, originally Argentinian, but recently bought by brazilian capitals, if I remember correctly. Quilmes is well-known here for it’s original and well-made publicities, that always get to be very popular with people, because of it’s humour, and quite accurate description of what we usually call our ‘argentinity’.
So, this summer’s theme, was ‘equality between genres’.

If you’re interested in the video, and won’t have a problem with watching it in spanish, here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W62dc9Q-ZYg

Now, I don’t doubt it must have been pretty funny for a lot of people, specially if they saw themselves identified with some of the described situations in the video.
I’m glad I didn’t, though.

On one side, you have the men’s army. The situations they’re complaining about, have to do mostly with their girlfriend’s obsession with punctuality and good-looks, as well as their peeking into their privacy, and bothering them about little details they don’t really care about.

‘They say: ‘you have a different face when you’re with your friends’. I have a different face with you! With my friends, I wear the original!’

Now, on the women’s side, we have complaints for their boyfriends’ supposedly ‘lack of attention’, or not caring about the little details their obsessive minds look for. Also, about the guys not caring about their looks or weight, while they ‘sacrifice’ on behalf of a good body.

‘Since when is it that we’re fat, while on them the tummy ‘looks sexy’?’

Once they collide, they tell each other to do those things they were just complaining about. A guy tells his girl to make a credit card extension, ‘explode it!’. A girl tells his boyfriend to compare her to his mother, ‘I just love that’.

‘Give me whatever you want to wash, I’ll do it by hand’

‘Here, take my cellphone, look over all of my messages, step over my privacy’

Etc.

The conclusion is the following, when the voice in off speaks and says:

‘When feminism and machism collide, equalism is born’.


I’m sorry, but am I the only one who thinks this is really wrong?

Just the other day, I was having a discussion with some friends, over what we considered as ‘gentlemanly’. Two of them said it meant to honour and respect the women, by acting politely and helping them around.
But I agreeded with my other friend, who said that it was only another way to put the opposite gender up over a pedestal, and to make the other one feel inferior.
Politeness should depend on your sex.

Personally, when I was younger, I defined myself as a feminist. I defended my rights as a proud woman, and reacted pretty badly to any kind of aggression against girls.

Now-a-days, I’ve come to understand more of the world -or so I like to think-, and came to a new conclusion.

After all, those differences this particular publicity talks about, are really stupid. There are deeper reasons why women and men usually collide, and it almost always doesn’t have to do with the way they decided to think.

How do you define a woman? Do you think of pink, flowers, poetry, romanticism, rabu-rabu, twinkly stars, and the like?
And what about men? Football, blue, being rash, and gross?

Well, I’m sorry, but that’s not what belonging to one gender means. That’s what you’ve been taught to think.

Since the moment you were born, it was decided what kind of role in society you’d fullfill. If you were born a man, then you’d have to be strong, never cry, and be good with girls. People would buy you action figures, and dress you with blue clothes at first. They’d cut your hair short, and teach you to define you gender as what they think it means.

If you were born a girl, then pink is the first thing you’d wear. Dolls and kitchen toys would be your present in your birthdays, and your hair would most likely remain long most of your childhood. Also, you’d be taught to be delicate, and to behave ‘like a lady’. Cooking, sewing, and the like are appreciated qualities on a woman.

Now, how much of what I’ve described is true for you? Probably more than what you realise.

You are not a woman because of what you like, of what you wear. You’re a woman cause you think of yourself that way. The definition of your gender is only defined by yourself!

So, what does this ‘equality’ concept really mean? It’s talking about a concept that proposes that our social differences, that are only there because of our lack of critic sense, co-exist in harmony -so, basically, the girls can bitch their heart out, while the men feel not guilt when treating them as their house-keeper.

That is NOT what equalism should mean for us!

We are not that different to start with! The only reason we think so, is because we were taught to do so! We are all people, humans, after all. Gender is just another excuse to discriminate between one other.

To discriminate between people’s gender, is no better than doing it because of their religion, ethnia, country of origin, or any other.

Equalism should mean the coming to understand, appreciate, and put aside our differences, to see each other as what we really are: people.
I thought this should be clear enough in the 21st century, but I guess we’re still being pulled back by old preexisting ideals.

So there. Sorry about the ranting, this is just a little frustrating for me, because, after all, the only ones to blame about all this are ourselves.

So, what do you think? What would you define as ‘equalism’? Do you know about any kind of similar movement?

Thanks for reading.

-Mila.