Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Problematic of Panhandling in Tampa: No Real Solutions a Year Later

Tampa, Fl -- It's been a year since the war on panhandling was supposedly won, but the real solution on a problematic that affects third world countries as well big cities on the United States is far away from over. The problematic of panhandling is relatively new in the United States not being old since the days of Vietnam but over the years the problematic has grown so far that he BLS don't really have a concrete analysis on how much the phenomenon has grown over the last 5 decades.

The problem in Tampa lays that the city hall vainglory that the problem has been controlled but the beggars are still there on the mayor intersections in the city such as Hillsborough and Dale Mabry, around all Busch Boulevard or across 60th, on 10/30/2012 marked the year anniversary ban on Tampa's panhandlers but in a parallel  case that happened in Colombia over the course of the years you can't put the panhandlers out of the streets permanent unless the congress create a solution for the deficit in the job market.

According to the Tampa Tribune, Tampa's Mayor Bob Buckhorn said "Our medians had turned into the equivalent of Gilligans Island."  but Lesa Weikel a spokeswoman for the Homeless Coalition of Hillborough County expressed  that the ban was only to put the homeless away from the public sight and out of mind by removing them from the streets. A 2011 survey in Hillsborough County counted nearly 18.000 people who fit the expanded definition of homeless, meaning many were crashing at friend's or relatives homes, even cheap hotels but the American definition or icon of being homeless juxtapose what is being homeless in a third world country where being homeless is having no help at all from the government and trying to live the day by day as you can.

The evolution of being homeless has changed dramatically over the last 5 decades, social advocates say, with high unemployment and a steady pace of foreclosures have put people on the streets who shouldn't been there; yet the panorama of the United States regard being homeless in other part of the continent is vastly different as citizens aren't use to see beggars around middle class towns or in the suburbs; in Colombia was extremely common to see beggars and children begging for food and money on almost every corner, generations grew with the idea of watching people in the streets to the point individuals had become distant regarding other individual realities.

One solution in Tampa to aid the homeless came in the hands of the late publisher and activist Bill Sharpe whose work is well known through the city, as he founded the EPOCH newspaper as a resource to help the people in need on the only day panhandling is not prohibited which is Sunday but finding a real solution to a problematic that has generated a lot of social issues in other parts of the world is far away from being over.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Most Prolific Drug-lords of all Time from Colombia

Pablo Escobar
Tampa, Fl -- It's a shame that certain segments of the population tend to glorify the gangster and mafioso lifestyles, while in several countries and societies people just punish these kind of people it makes me wonder why in Colombia (my birth country) why there is always some kind of fascination and glorification with the mafiosos, up to to the point the average has become a soap opera named El Capo which is also being advertised internationally where there is a demography of Hispanic population around the United States and Europe.

Recently I stumble on a Colombian magazine named Semana which they made a list of the top 5 richest drug lords.

1) Pablo Escobar: Probably the most famous drug lord in the modern history of Colombia as well one of the most notable names that still echoes around the world almost 23 years after his death because of the legacy he left behind after he founded the biggest empire based on cocaine and to his macho attitude where he declared war to the State of Colombia by saying if he wasn't extradite he was going to pay the external debt of the country, albeit it didn't happened. His fortune around 1993 according to Forbes was 3.000 Million dollars and with inflation his wealth would be today around 30.000 million dollars positioning him in the 7th place of the richest men in the world.

2) The Ochoa's:  Probably less known by now, but during the Medellin Cartel Jorge Luis, Juan David and Fabio Ochoa where the responsible ones of the logistics of shipping the cocaine to the United States and Europe. The business was in a boom that Fabio during the 1980's gained around 2.000 million dollars; Jorge and David earned around 600 million dollars each but eventually they lost their fortunes when they surrender to the authorities in 1991 and 10 years later Fabio got captured and extradite to the United States where he is serving a 30 years at a maximum penitentiary in Miami-Dade. Their fortunes combined today would be around 32.000 million dollars.

Gonzalo Gacha
3) Gonzalo Rodriguez Gacha: The lieutenant of the Medellin Cartel, also a jewelry thief specialized in the emerald trafficking at Boyaca, Colombia. Under the tutelage of two drug lords Gilberto Molina on the gem traffic and Veronica Rivera de Vargas on the cocaine business made his first millions. He died on the late 1980's but on those days Forbes Magazine calculated his fortune around 500 million dollars and according to Semana his state if he was alive today would be around 5.000 million dollars.

4) The Rodriguez Orejuela Siblings: Even if their detention happened almost 20 years ago their names are still fresh on the imagery of Colombians because of their money laundry activities and their abilities to hide their illicit business under facades that became popular brands around Colombia such as drugstores and soccer.

Their estimate on the cocaine business on 1995 was around 300 million dollars by today would be 3.000 millions and all due after Pablo Escobar's death they dominated the control of the Medellin Cartel as well the 90% shipping of the drug to Europe which generated revenues around 1.000.000 pesos mixed with the 70% stake of the business they had in the United States.

Rodriguez Orejuela's
 5) Carlos Lehder: One of the most fear individuals on the 1980's. The creator of one of the most used narcotrafic routes on the 80's on the Norman Keys at the Bahama's. He is currently serving a 55 year sentence in the United States and if he would be in the business the estimate of his empire would be around 2.700 million dollars.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Issue-less Senate Race of Florida

Tampa, Fl -- It has not been a big year on a regional level in Florida regarding the U.S. Senate seat as it was when Marco Rubio rose to the fame on 2010 by defeating Kendrick Meek over a 49% victory. This year the battle between (R) Connie Mack IV and incumbent (D) Bill Nelson campaigns where expected to show a more intricate debate over Florida socio-economical issues as Florida being a key state and one of the majors battle states in politics but the race has only fallen for the two candidates in a rhetoric of attack adds that are even on Youtube and every trendy social media beside billboards around every major city sponsored by private founders, even on Facebook both campaigns seem to be shadowed by mockeries such Floridians against Bill Nelson which at the end don't say anything to juxtapose Nelson's politics on a realistic level beyond the mockery.

The problem with the average American voter is that beyond investigating the different realities and perpetuating the cliche that what happens beyond my yard I don't care digest everything what is shown in television or the Internet without assimilating the content on the different forms regarding what's happening in a stratus of economy and politics, always dividing their opinions in a binary (partisan) ways. The problem with the current campaigns of the Democrats and the Republicans are their rethorics, they are appealing to people's emotion more than ever without even considering what is really happening there in order to win. Mack and his backers of the Republican Party had focused their efforts so much in mock Bill Nelson and also Mack had appealed by a priori fallacy that if he wins, Romney wins but the issue is not appealing on the ad-faux logical fallacy if Romney, it's not a triumph of two men - Barack or Romney - or - Mack or Nelson - this as every other political decision has to lay on the people on not in an oligarchic system.

Yet Mack keeps perpetuating the imagery that America is attacked by external forces when the real enemies of the Democracy are in the divisions of both parties that started as one, because at the end they are talking to much about nothing. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

#SignsYoSonIsGay and #HowToTurnDownAUglyPerson

Adam Sandler
Tampa, Fl -- On a side note, as for 10/18/2012 a topic in Twiter that is trending is #SignsYoSonIsGay and another one is how to turn down an ugly person, it made realize how the discussion topics on the microblogging site are heading downhill and how many Americans are focusing on offending people instead of doing anything constructive, it's a shame also how there are many individuals such as the fake Adam Sandler account that are using the image of a celebrity to offend and make crude jokes toward people in general. Shame on those people who have noting else to do instead of bullying.
An ubber obbsesed Adam Sandler's Fan


Uncle Bobby's Wedding - Controversy over Nature over Media Exposition and Parental Problematic about Child Sexuality

Tampa, Fl -- As it was stated on KMOV-4 (Mo-Station), there was a controversy and an exposition how the public system it is weak regarding the demands of one single father to pull out of the shelves a book named Uncle Bobby's Wedding which tell the story about a guinea pig marrying his partner. The public library system in the United States as well the public system in general should cease the demands of narrow minded bigots as this country was founded on laic principles and not emulating the utopic concept of a Christian nation.

Uncle Bobby's Wedding is a book written by author Sarah S. Brannen and as many books who deal with children with families that don't fit in the heteronormative such as Jenny lives with Eric and Martin, Heather has Two Mommies, Daddy's Roommate, King and King and others had attracted controversy over the last two decades as challenged books as they don't fit in public libraries but 1% of the people shouldn't discriminate against the other 99% because reality is far more complex than a children's book.

The challenged book has been in the public libraries since 2008 and in the suburbs of Brentwood it seems the controversy sparked recently because one father didn't liked the book and is in legal process of removing the book from the shelves making the library council board to decide if the book will be removed permanently on November the 12th. The problem it's that communities are getting enclosed on an ideological level and rejecting the different realities that goes beyond their cul-de-sac's or in other words if you don't fit with what the common majority where you live then you can not fit because you are different.

Probably we as a nation we have become political correct and everything that offends us on a personal level has to be vanquished; but also parents are fearful on not what their children will become but on what they will be able to defy the norms they have settled as well to live their lives on their own terms, some parents fear but on a certain level they embrace discrimination and they don't believe anything else that is real if it don't fit with the imagery that they grew, a book or television show is not going to turn a child into a lesbian or a gay man; a song is not going a child to embrace another gender, a paint is not going to pervert the mind of a child, you are who you are but it is the society the one who will try to meddle inside your life and tell the feelings you have are wrong.

Parents should know that support is the best key in a child development and not negating any of the child's curiosity regards the world because under the negative influences the child could develop dependencies on narcotics or anything worse. I hope Uncle Bobby's book don't get banned from the library because it will a shame as the system it's demonstrating to not protect the people's intellectual material in order to avoid some liability lawsuits. There is also one fantastic book The Complete Lesbian & Gay Parenting Guide By Lev, Arlene Istar (Google Affiliate Ad) which gives a really good detail about parenting in a same sex household.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Obama and The Bullshit of Gas Prices

Billboard above Hillsborough Avenue across Hard Rock
Hotel - Tampa Bay, Fl.
Tampa, Fl -- It's time to talk clear about gas prices as they are since 2008 and up today, the first thing you need to remember in 2008 gas prices where more than 4.00 p/g (I will never forget that because I move to the States on 2008 and I lived in Tampa and Miami.), the second thing you need to know it is to not buy all the bull-crap exposed by the SuperPacs as they will try to play with the true and all the information from the last 20 years it is encoded in the Consumers Report website and the website shows a total opposite from Obama's first day in office away from the lie that it is exposed in this billboard that I took on a photography early on the morning of 10/12/12 on Hillsborough Avenue across the street of the Hard Rock Hotel in Tampa; but, the third and last piece of information you need to know it is that probably much of the people who had drive around these sponsored billboards from Tea Party financed groups probably by now had swallowed the information as an ultimate truth because much of these people show the classical stereotype many Americans will hate to fit in as stereotype that will classify them as a group of slobs who don't read, who don't inform themselves, who only believe in what they see and only accept one truth as the ultimate truth and see everything that is not white, Protestant, conservator and what happens outside America as not their problem, as what people outside the States call the gringos.

Let's talk clear, gas prices are a focal point on this campaign but at the end even of who is elected president won't have the last word as the power of checks and balances is always present, and the House and Senate are the two power groups but if any of those groups are in tune with the elected president then that would be a major issue because there won't be a way of balance the powers and it will be the moment where the democracy will become an oligarchy which today with all the lobbyist we are one step ahead of dangling in some Communist elements as the real power is in the hands of a few corporations and not the people. The cost of gas in June 2008 was US$4.10 per gallon and the maximum average pear on the gas recession of 2008 was on US$4.11. By August the prices to US$3.47 and subsequently on an average of US$2.07. 

The price of the gas fluctuated and there comes the half truth of the billboard while it went on an average of $1.84 per gallon now here comes the tricky part where everything went on fluke and showed the dependency of Americans into fuel and not alternatives that wouldn't create a negative impact on the ecosystem. The first case comes with the Keystone XL pipeline which showed the vulnerability and negative impact of the fuels industry on the economy. The Keystone XL pipeline had a tram point that was especulated to pass by the Ogalla Aquifer in Nebraska which supplies the Midwest for drinking water and water for farming, the aquifer is a shallow body of water and vulnerable to any external abuse but the Republican Governor of Nebraska Dave Heineman worked to change the route of the pipeline. As of 2012 there are still major concern regarding the developing of the pipeline and even in a Red State as Texas there had been last minute from part environmentalist to stop the construction, albeit the regional government gave green light to project.

The pipeline so far had an estimated by the U.S. State Department that would create around 5,000 jobs; with an estimate of 1,400 temporal construction jobs made by a study of the Cornell University Global Labor Institute.  The second inconvenience happened with the BP oil spill which still fresh in the memory of people.

Yet the Obama administration is not innocent regarding oil exploration as what happened in 2010 following some old policies by the Bush administration the drilling had gone to some parts of Alaska, the Gulf of Mexico and the Mid-Atlantic and the policies will run up to the middle of 2013 and in a funny note the Super Pac who promoted the billboard that we showed at the beginning of the entry is playing with the hatred of some segments of the American population towards the Middle East and Islamophobia to incite emotions in potential voters that Mitt is the solution while the solution to lower the prices it is on the people inciting in a referendum that the Congress and the House will finally examine the privileges they are giving to companies such as BP, Exxon, Texaco and others as manipulating a segment of the economy that shouldn't go high for sur-factors but rather keep and stable price even in the worst crisis to keep the economy afloat. So I hope the middle American don't show the ignorance and get informed before believing anything because right now we the people are selling the country to a few individuals and corporations who are using it for their own benefits.


Monday, October 1, 2012

The Pop Culture Approach of Religion and Mass Media

Janet Jackson
Tampa- Fl, Lately this week I've been wondering about the public scrutiny regarding a public figure's life and specialty their faiths. Why the pop culture and people are so obsessed.? Makes me wonder if any ideological currents celebrities follow can be commercialized so the group can find more followers,? or to change the public perception of the faith image.? My question goes to Janet Jackson and Tom Cruise who both have been on the spotlight recently as tabloids are speculating their involvement with religion has been the responsible for the changes in the lives.

It is true that when you follow a series of dogma, there will be a change in your lives, that's a fact, but also it can go on two extremes where you will live to find salvation or you will live your life implementing certain aspects to try to become a better person without loosing your principles, but when you are in the spotlight and you have to deal with the imagery of a class of people who follow your career and yet they are ignorant regarding many levels of anything that is not white, Protestant, Republican  from Missouri. The latest thing I read was from the National Enquirer where they claim that Janet Jackson is living a double life by converting to Islam to marry her fiancee Wissam al Mana - which as many tabloid stories they try to sensationalize a fairy tale in order to catch the attention of the readers but at the same time they expose details which luminaries are trying to keep private, but yet Janet Jackson fits also into the imagery of being in the closet in therms of hiding her beliefs if the story is true, as much many LGTB people hide their orientation in order to avoid bullying from the masses and to avoid any career backlash.

Tom Cruise
But what to do when there you as a celebrity find yourself in that side of the spectrum,? that was mentioned on the last paragraph. Where you behavior is not only erratic but also you had associated with a dubious religious that according to several media it's classified as a cult but yet your career only seems to suffered after three failed marriages and the rumors that you are living a double life in order to satisfy the needs of your peer group as well to shut up the media. That's the case of Tom Cruise, where his career took a wrong turn after jumping the couch  a few years ago on the Oprah Winfrey Show and speaking publicly about his faith but also in a surreal way about his relationship with actress Katie Holmes.

So far 2012 has been a brutal year for Tom Cruise as he got divorced for a third time, yet religion seems a factor in playing a good role on the public image as Holmes so far is being 3,000 miles away along with their six year old girl Suri placing Tom Cruise under the microscope as a man who is control freak and yet living in a seclusive life surrounded only by people with his similar beliefs sparking allegations that Scientology has to be the pivotal stone of his relationships as well some other minor gossips regarding his sexuality.

According to People Oct 8, 2012 edition, screenwriter and friend of the actor Christopher McQuarrie said that Cruise busy schedule don't let him see his girl but yet the matter of religion plays a central role on the imagery of the divorce as there was no given reason for Katie Holmes to snap and ask for the divorce beyond the involvement of the actor in the Scientology affairs. According to investigative journalist Maureen Orth in a Vanity Fair article published on the September 2012 Edition mention that the religion leader David Miscavige to auditioned several woman as potential girlfriends for the actor and one of them was Nazanin Boniadi who by now is a former member of the church but on the other side of the story, Cruise attorney Bert Fields deemed the story as "a rehasj of tired old lies previously run in the supermarket tabloids." as well as the church giving a similar stance but yet why a prestigious journalist as Maureen Orth would lie.? There is no reason for a journalist to sell his or her ideals that easy specially one as her, yet no one is perfect so as any religion in the world.

Yet people seem to see religion as a connection point between the public figures, an element of emotional connection where it can sell an individual to the masses or even so help a political candidate to win any election if he appeals to the majority of the people's emotions but yet it can be an element of division where not many individuals will try to seek understanding but over-imposition of their values to the masses.