Venezuela’s Twitter Users Unite for Children’s Health Care

Over 5,000 Children and Adolescents Await Surgery at Caracas Hospital

EspañolHundreds of citizens, artists, and celebrities in Venezuela have shared photos on Twitter using the hashtag #HospitalJMencrisis and the phrase “Children have a right to health care,” as a way to demand that the national government give proper medical care to children and teens.

The campaign targets Caracas J.M. de los Ríos hospital, one of the main facilities for child care in Venezuela. However, for years doctors have been calling attention to the worsening conditions that limit their ability to treat children, due to the lack of basic medical supplies, specialists, and proper infrastructure.

[Read more...]

Maradona’s Personal Marketing: Humble Socialist Paid Millions in Euros

Che Guevara Tattoo on One Arm, Sack Full of Cash Slung over the Other

EspañolI’m a woman, let me warn you, because I’m going to talk a little about soccer. Diego Armando Maradona was the best player in the history of the sport, leaving behind personalities like Di Stéfano, Pelé, Zidane and other gifted athletes. He was not only the best player, but also one of the most intelligent people in the soccer industry.

Why do I say this? Because he says and does what the market demands. The former head coach of Argentina’s national team is now a TV host, along with ultra-Kirchnerista journalist Victor Hugo Morales. Together, they put on a show called “De Zurda,”a joint-production from Argentina’s public Channel 7 and Venezuela’s Telesur.

[Read more...]

Risky Business All-Star Cronies Reveal “Global Warming” Strategy

Wall Street Executives, Washington Elites Call for US Government Intervention

risky-business-climate-panel

The Risky Business Committee’s news conference where they unveiled a report on the economic effects of climate change. (Watchdog)

Ramping up the focus on the economic consequences of global warming, the newly minted Risky Business Project has unveiled a report predicting billions of dollars in damage if government fails to intervene.

The report is laden with photos of recent hurricanes, floods, and storms, hoping to connect these weather events to the burning of fossil fuels and the connection to a changing climate.

[Read more...]

Taking a Stand with Sanctions on the Chavista Thugs

Human Rights, Democracy at Stake throughout the Western Hemisphere

The US House of Representatives version of the Venezuela sanctions bill passed on May 28. Now a very similar bill is paralyzed in the Senate, as senators continue to debate whether or not such sanctions are worthwhile. Meanwhile, it is our understanding, derived from various conversations with a number of members of Congress, that the White House and some senators continue to oppose the bill.

According to informal conversations with offices of some senators, the main question hesitant legislators are asking is whether these sanctions will have any effect at all. It seems that Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) on the Republican side and Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) on the Democrat side are the two opponents of the legislation, and are now holding it hostage in committee.

[Read more...]

Puerto Rico: Letting Public Companies Default Is Not a Solution

Governor Admits Fiscal Problem, Completely Misses the Point

Español What do you do if you recklessly accumulate too much debt and are having trouble paying? What about when the right solution means cutting jobs and salaries, and making tough political decisions? Well, the obvious answer is: just don’t pay.

As I write this entry, a bill is making its way through the Puerto Rico legislature that would allow public corporations on the island, including the embattled Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority and the Water and Sewer Authority, to declare bankruptcy. This action should send shock waves through the financial community and could be the start of what some experts have warned is a troublesome summer for municipal bonds. The bill could also open the door for bankruptcy for the Ports Authority and Transportation Department.

[Read more...]

Drop Out and Get a Real Education

Life Experience, New Technology Can Teach You More Than School Ever Could

EspañolI have written before about the college bubble in the United States and where it may lead. The current problems in the college system are pretty obvious, just as Mark Cuban stated in an interview last week. How this giant college debacle unfolds will have huge implications and may lead to entirely new ways of looking at education, not only in the university system but with schooling overall.

The American Dream Made Easy with Fake Birth Certificates

US$5,000 on the Black Market Buys You All the Benefits of Citizenship

EspañolIt may be getting harder to sneak into the United States, but once you’ve arrived, getting fake documents in Florida is a piece of cake.

Counterfeit, altered, or stolen birth certificates coming from Puerto Rico are the Holy Grail to Florida’s undocumented. With a phony birth certificate you can live the “American dream.” You can also enroll in school, land a job, and get a driver’s license. (It has also been estimated that up to 40 percent of the passport fraud in the United States involves counterfeit or stolen birth certificates from Puerto Rico.)

The racket was made possible thanks to a law passed in 1917 by Congress, which granted US citizenship to all Puerto Ricans. Now, desperate economic times together with eye-popping profits have created a black market where for as little as US$25 a birth certificate can be bought and later resold for $5,000.

[Read more...]

Floating Cities for Latin America: An Idea Whose Time Has Come?

Central America Set to Be Ground Zero for Disruptive Innovation in Governance

What The Big Bang Theory did for geeks and nerds, the new HBO half-hour comedy series Silicon Valley is doing for the new generation of socially conscious, overnight-millionaire tech entrepreneurs. It’s consolidating a positive cultural trend that is putting back businessmen and their virtues as social role models, not just in the United States but — thanks to globalization — to the rest of the world’s TV binge-watching youth.

But instead of Steve Jobs copycats and the theme of every startup with a phone app that will “make the world a better place,” imagine there is one whose project could really alter centuries of political status quo. It’s called the Seasteading Institute, and has been around for a few years. It’s not the typical tech startup, although it does involve disrupting technology and affecting social change via the market’s for-profit incentives: they want to build self-sustaining countries from scratch — on the sea.

[Read more...]

A Vision for a New Puerto Rico

Less Laws, More Freedom, and Other Common-Sense Solutions for a Better System

Español I recently had a discussion with a friend on Twitter regarding the kind of republic that would be created under my proposal for Puerto Rico. Specifically, he wanted to know about the rights and protections offered by government under the plan. It made me think that it might be time to update my readers on what it is that I am proposing, and why it’s better than the current commonwealth or statehood.

puerto-rican-manifesto

A Puerto Rican Manifesto by Frank Worley-Lopez.

First, let’s be honest. Statehood for Puerto Rico would bring legal equality: full voting rights and representation in Congress, and even more funds than the island currently receives. Despite a staggering US$21 billion per year, the island is still considered the poorest jurisdiction under the US flag by most accounts.

Roughly half of that money is in direct payments to individuals (see page 27 at the bottom of this document for the totals for Puerto Rico in fiscal year 2010). Mississippi, with a slightly higher population of around 4 million people, receives US$31 billion. Therefore, under statehood, the island could theoretically see an increase of up to 30 percent in federal spending for as long as that lasts.

[Read more...]

Quit Crying “Vulture”: Argentina, You Deserved This Ruling

Kirchner, Your Jingoistic Rhetoric Won't Save You nor Our Nation

EspañolBy Nicolás Márquez

As if the discredited and dilapidated populist regime of Cristina Kirchner was in need of more bad news — it is involved in scandals of destabilizing inflation and corruption — now the US Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Argentina’s bondholders. These creditors have been mislabeled “vulture funds,” a pejorative nickname that the defaulting debtor uses to qualify those who justly and legitimately demand what is rightfully theirs.

Vultures enough, Argentina is united for a national cause" appeared today in the streets of Buenos Aires. (@marianorinaldi)

“Enough with the vultures. Argentina is united for a national cause.” Posters on the streets of Buenos Aires. (@marianorinaldi)