Saturday, October 22, 2011

World News

This just in from the "Change the World" dept.

Occupy Wall Street is gaining traction. Detractors and deniers are finding it harder and harder to ignore. Here
Michael Moore does a good job of explaining "Occupy Wall Street" to BBC's Jeremy Paxman of 'News Night '.

What's your take on this?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Local News

Here's another glimpse of Uruguay from a local news item. Reprinted (without permission) from Montevideo Portal. I wasn't able to link directly to this article, only the site, so here it is.
19.08.2011 14:40 /
Give him the lie

(I am not sure if the translation is correct for this title.)

The former Secretary of Interior, José Diaz, assured that Pedro Bordaberry’s initiative to lower the age of criminal responsibility is “fake and full of lies.”
 “Fear is reactionaries’ resource”, said José Díaz, former Secretary of the Interior, to La República newspaper. 

Regarding Pedro Bordaberry’s claims, which accused Tabaré Vásquez of promoting crime, Diaz said that “Bordaberry’s initiative is fake and full of lies and therefore uses fake arguments.” 

“Bordaberry said that by means of the Humanization Law, I released 1,200 dangerous criminals, and that this is why national crime and delinquency rates increased. But this is not true, neither in quantity nor quality. In fact, only 800 people were freed” he stated.

About the political leader’s campaign to lower the age of criminal responsibility, Diaz stated: “Let’s not frighten people. Fear is the resource of reactionaries and conservatives, and leads to restoring authoritarian structures. It’s not by chance that a dictator’s son is behind this.”

 This guy Bordaberry is the right wing party candidate and  the son of a former president. Not exactly a dictator, but the president who aided the military take over of the government. It's fools like that who 'legitimized' the power grab by militants, which of course led to a disaterous 8 year  dictatorship.
Good going Dorkaberry!  As everywhere in the world, these dolts appeal to the wealthy and aspiring, promising to keep the status quoe. Then they work up the rank and file with fear tactics. Hold steady Uruguay: the world's last sane place.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

There is a Light

The issue of repealing the amnesty law created just after the military dictatorship still looms here in Uruguay. President Jose Mujica continues to prefer leaving things as they are, only investigating disappearances and certain specific crimes, not all the abuses or illegality of those regimes. Uruguayans have twice voted not to repeal the amnesty and key figures in this administration and the Frente Amplio are also unwilling to press on with any attempts at repeal. Follow this compelling and complicated issue about democracy, fairness and the current state of affairs in Uruguay here in this June 4 article from Montivdeo Portal (Titled: Interview with Huidobro) or in this thread of dialogue from a blog geared toward expats.

Disgusted with politics as usual? Discouraged about the future? Fed up with bleak, cynical forcasts (like this blog)?

Here's a great article with loads of links to strong, creative, even inspiring approaches to fixing what ailes us all.

I say capitalism is a plague upon society, but that does nothing with the exception of irritating people. I have no alternative in mind, I only know this is not working for MOST people.

For those who dare to imagine that; A) change is needed and B) change is possible! READ THIS ARTICLE and as many of the supporting articles as possible.

Reimagining Capitalism: Bold Ideas for a New Economy | The Nation
We now return to my regularly scheduled chronic dissatisfaction with endlessly proliferating apathy.

You're Welcome

Monday, May 9, 2011

Osama still 'dead', as far as we know

Hello everybody.

Please click the links for source confirmation and collaborating viewpoints as reported in the media from around the globe. 

With many unanswered questions and a checkered history that include tales now known to be lies (watch this short video), the US government appears to be getting away with what I believe is another hoax designed to distract people from seeking the truth. 

As regurgitated here in Daily Uruguay, celebrating did occur all over the US following the news of OBL's death. That is how many people reacted. An impromptu gathering occurred at Ground Zero, even though there is absolutely no evidence linking this guy to that tragedy. The president himself used the site to make a memorial speech on the subject.

All I'm saying is on reviewing what we've been told so far, there is still much to question about this and there is very little questioning going on.
  • The details of this raid seem off to me; the DNA evidence, NO body (hastily buried at sea?), No photographic evidence even for journalists, etc.
  • It could be construed as a way to sway public opinion and deflect attention from other serious issues.
  •  If you want to believe in the current president, especially in comparison to the last, it becomes much easier to accept without scrutiny.
  • There are credible reports of OBL's death prior to this last one.
Criticism of the USA will kept on a low boil, picking on any country too much undermines the seriousness of the message here; We should all be skeptical of 'official' government information (propaganda) and work to keep journalism and entertainment separate.

It seems this blog will to continue to explore differences in opinion on world issues like political corruption or pollution.  It's quite frustrating to imagine yourself as part of a corrupted system, however circulating dissenting opinions and 'fringe' reporting can help reduce the strain by turning the taboo into a topic.

Thanks to those still following;

Sticking to your principals can prove to be highly unpopular.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Stay Tuned

 America not celebrating?

The media is awash in stories and speculation about the killing of Osama Bin-Laden. Seriously, almost every writer on the sites I follow has been fixated on this news. I can only imagine what American television coverage must be like. I'd like to watch 15 minutes of Fox News right now. Here's a pretty good article from The Atlantic about the ever evolving official statement about the raid - 'The Slippery Story of the bin Laden Kill'.
An interesting 'fact' to emerge is that DNA testing has been done. Wow, that was fast! How exactly did they have his DNA to match it with? And again, that seems kind of quick, no?
The photographic evidence has already been discredited. Here's your trusted CNN on the fake photo.
And here's the photo, yuk.

Not much reporting of dissenting views other than ridicule for Cindy Sheehan on being the first "Osama denier". A 'deather' they are calling her. Read her post on the 'Lamestream' media's response to her opinion about the Osama stories. It may open your eyes a bit.
The way people who attempt to speak truth to power or deconstruct the fables we live by are maligned is incredible. Far more outrageous that anything written here. 'Conspiracy theorists' is another way of saying those people are not to be taken seriously.

Responses in Daily Uruguay on this have been mixed. Believers in the American Myth are incensed, the rest of the world; non-nonplussed. What's fascinating to me is not that some people believe it and some don't, it's the deja vu of the White House parading a 'victory' that is largely unexamined and dutifully regurgitated by the media. ' panem et circenses' anyone?
Whatever percentage of skeptics there are now will likely diminish with time and soon it will become a 'fact' that opinions and attitudes are based on.
How many people still connect Iraq with 9/11? Did you know that Osama bin-Laden never claimed responsibility for that attack? I propose that the 'war on terror', terrorism, attacks against the US and it's embassies, the war against Iraq, the war in Afghanistan are all mixed up in people's minds. Maybe more than they realize.
This sentiment of good guys killing the bad guys is often used and widely believed. Christopher Hayes writes in The Nation about this aspect of American culture.
I hear it's more complicated than that. The way I've portrayed the US does not include all the thoughtful, intelligent citizens who care deeply about what's happening.
Let's start by recognizing the connection between the culture, the media and the government, instead of  patriotic posturing?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Obama Kills Osama

Are you kidding? 

Further evidence that there is absolutely no hope for the US and it's populace emerges with wild celebration over the 'death' of Public Enemy Number 1, Osama Bin-Laden. I've heard reports of pandemonium in the streets of New York City. People are jubilant, euphoric, very, very happy. 

It's absolutely mind boggling how some people can be so easily mislead. Lied to, really.

In Uruguay and I'm guessing most of the rest of the world, this news is greeted with skepticism (at a minimum). The people I've spoken with simply do not believe this story. There is much to doubt; why no body as evidence, for one?
This does appear to come out of nowhere and coincidentally could distract attention from what has become another undeclared and illegal war in Libya. Hmm.

Lots of people doubt all the facts surrounding OBL; did he have anything to do with 9/11 or has the 'search' for this guy been real at all?

There are very few choices for people who conclude they're stuck in a kind of national mess. Very limited are even the opportunities to discuss it. Patriotism is still commonly viewed as a favorable trait,  political differences routinely become polemic and don't forget the plain old comfort of denial. 

Sadly, those are mute points if you believe the good guys have just killed a bad guy.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Wikileaks; The world's Nanny-Cam

Even the 'good guys', so to speak, get caught saying what doesn't look so good in public.

I'm pretty sure Tabare did call those power hungry Kirschner's facists. I think that's how most people here view them. However, in keeping a good relationship between neighbors, it's something you want kept private.

Well, Wikileaks spills it all without regard to who's good and who's not.

It's just like your grandmother said: "Don't say anything you wouldn't want repeated".

Merco Press

Thursday, March 31, 2011

More Good News about Uruguay

Everything is relative. This says it all and nothing at the same time.

It's quite hard to appreciate what you've got until you loose it, to really know your excesses until you are force to do with less.

Some of the world's biggest economies are struggling and something deep inside us knows it's not just the crash of 2008.

Is there any hope that Goliaths of the globe can learn something from the Davids?

Here's another story remarking on Uruguay's success, beauty and safety. It's a tiny place where the pace and practices usually make the average 'Norteamericano' cringe, but it's not what you have, it's how well you live.

By the way, what's in your wallet? Read this American Quarterly article if you have some time.


Americas Quarterly

Monday, March 28, 2011

Lula da Silva says Latin America’s left is a model for developed countries — MercoPress

Uruguay's Frente Amplio and other 'Left' governments of South America are a model for the big guys. 

What do you know?

Of course there is little to no hope of dislodging the growing popularity of conservative (read; hateful) political ideologies as they are the product of a completely broken system. A system that not only promotes and rewards selfishness, but makes learning another way treasonous.

Enjoy the article.

Lula da Silva says Latin America’s left is a model for developed countries — MercoPress

Saturday, March 19, 2011

No Gas

For nearly two weeks a city that lives by bottled gas has had to do without. 

Here they're called 'garrafas'.

Like most people our stove is connected to a small tank that sits nearby. For us it's under our kitchen counter, behind some doors. For some it's just outside, maybe a patio area and the connection passes through a hole in the wall. Very low-tech and it works quite well. 

There is currently a strike underway by the workers who handle these tanks. As I hear it, they are asking for a shorter day due to the inherent hazards. Of course it comes down to man vs. business (read: humanity vs. profit), as the gas companies have replied that there are other ways to reduce risks, but those would involve.............drum roll please, a increase in price. 

Who saw that coming?

We had a little luck with this. After our kitchen tank ran out, we discovered the tank from the upstairs heater was nearly full. As far as me picking it up can gauge. We have two space heaters on wheels. The tank sits inside these little 'carts' and they work quite well. 
Winter for us has no snow, but it can be plenty cold. I wouldn't mind having yet another of those things, I prefer it to the 'split' in our bedroom. That's the A/C-Heat unit, wall mounted with the compressor part on the outside.

The last news is that all sides are nearing a solution. There's been talk of the pols getting involved. Somebody has mentioned including gas handlers into the realm of essential services, like cops that can not strike. I know it takes power from the union, which is bad, but everything and I mean everything needs checks and balances. 

I suppose if it went on for a very long time we will cook some on the parilla, order out (although it will soon affect most restaurants), eat salads and sandwiches. There will probably be a rush to buy all the  electric appliances out there. You know what worries me the most? No morning coffee!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Chevron Runs from Judgment in Ecuador

Do you ever think about what our oil dependency costs us? Most would agree that the world is being polluted, but do you realize that many global companies operate outside of reason, morality and law. Read this article if you have some time.

Chevron Runs from Judgment in Ecuador

Monday, February 28, 2011

Party Time

The slowness. It's the slowness that takes time to understand. You may miss it entirely; vacationers on their own special schedule, expats who attempt to create a 'life speed' here that matches what their used to.

You may be thinking of the slow pace of a rural and Latin flavored small village. You know, chickens rooting around, someone napping under their hat. It's not slow like that.

Much has been bandied about regarding the cumbersome government bureaucracies or ineffective business practices. Foreigners often 'have' the solution. I've heard it myself as well as from reading other people's reactions: "If only Uruguayan businesses would ..." or "What Uruguay needs is......".
Not only are these views reasoning a way to make what they've found more like what they've left, they are also way off about how simple any adjustments would be.

Ford Club Wagon. Special rides are everywhere.
I feel like business, achievement, cultural sensibilities and governmental intrusions are all linked. You can't change one without effecting the others. People are still polite here. I know, everyone thinks they are too, but polite society means overall and all or nothing. If your society is overall not very polite, that's what will come through. Individual instances are not relevant. 
People appear to value their time over achievement. Not doing anything, within the context of purposeful life, is just as important as doing something. This is no small fact.
Many people, even here feel the gov. could do more, but change is slow and recent history is full of disastrous missteps. The fact is Uruguayans have voted in a left government for a second time since the historic victory of the Frente Amplio (Broad Front) which includes the political faction of the Tupamaros, the revolutionary force who's persistance helped to topple the military dictatorship.
Progress is being made, but slowly and that seems best.

Sure, I'd change some laws to even up the tax and pension situation immediately just to feed the poor and get people indoors, but it's not up to me.

Lots of dancing and flags at 'La Llamadas'

La Llamadas (la  ja-ma-das) means something like the calling. It's named for the drumming which is the main activity of these events. One neighborhood would call to another and the former slave population, who's primarily responsible for this culture, would gather.

Friends dragged me off to this street party (I tried to beg off, after all it was something like 10:00 pm!) and we walked some 15 blocks to get a view. People rent balconies, similar to Carnaval or Mardi Gras for a better view, but we pushed ahead at one crossing.

posing for pictures was the best part

 We missed a lot of the parade, but it was a lot of fun. The actors were all great about posing with us for a photo. After hours of walking and dancing, they were all in excellent spirits. I couldn't help thinking they'd be annoyed. I still have so much adjusting to do.

Even the cops were cool.

Next time: Relaxed Marijuana Laws in Uruguay

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Little Bit

I took on a long overdue (and dreaded) task today. Our kitchen will be replaced one day. Until then I am trying to spruce it up some.

A bunch of tile were so loose I just plucked them off.  Putting them back is not as easy. They need to be scraped fairly clean. I broke a few in the process.

The cement behind was mostly sand. I had removed what was loose and filled and flattened to add some strength.

Since I don't have enough of this old tile, I concentrated on big areas like this one. The rest I decided to just smooth over with a finish coat ('revoke' as it known here) any areas that needed cut pieces.

This area by the patio door is a prime example. It looks pretty shabby like this.

There are still some cracks to fill, but painting is not far off.  

The cabinets are a disaster. I will probably just do something about the fronts to hold us over for a while. They will be history one day. 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Vacation: Part One

Janine and the boys headed out to La Paloma for two weeks of surf, sun and sand. I will join them next week. We'd reasoned that as the house was the fullest with the friends we've shared this rental with (and the kids), I would be more comfortable staying just the second week. I'm not sure if I'd have rather gone or not, but it didn't seem up for discussion. I'm settling in for a quiet week.
Since seeing everybody off, I've been puttering around here; cleaning up WMP and my music files, watched Zeitgeist again, straightening out the shop, dishes, etc.

I took a 'quick' trip to the mall. I knew an art supply there would be open. I have been trying to illustrate some design ideas I have for the Coffee Shop.  I have this vague notion of theme; sort of French bistro/patisserie/small European town bar with added bolder details a bit like some downtown Manhattan or trendy Brooklyn haunts. I am thinking of a specific color group to start. I have even found colors similar on an old staples box and the old font used might fit right in.
I'm not handy enough with computer graphics to put something together. That may change. I've downloaded some programs and will continue with the tutorials. Maybe I can produce something there.
For now, I know I can draw a bit and have been wanting to paint for some time. I'm starting slowly, but I feel like something enjoyable is beginning. I started with some acrylics and the brushes I had. The result was pretty, well it looks like my first try.
Today, I have bulked up a bit, spending $400 pesos on more paint, illustration board, tape and a few teeny, tiny brushes. I'm gonna paint some more.

One way or another I will put some of my ideas about the look of our coffee shop on paper so we can discuss it. And by discuss it I mean congratulate me on the beauty and genius of it and wholeheartedly signing off on our new look.