On a lighter mode: The Art of Villany

August 17th, 2014

Tom Hiddleston for Jaguar,

Mark Strong fans will like this one: “Maybe we just sound right.”

Blogging on LatAm shall resume shortly.

Note to The Economist: Mujica is no Jefferson

August 15th, 2014

My latest article, The Economist lowers the bar on low expectations, is up at Da Tech Guy Blog.

Coming soon to a school near you, 37,477 illiterate students

August 15th, 2014

The Hill: Obama prepares schools for migrant kids.

That’s a bit of a stretch; Obama’s playing golf and dancing in Martha’s Vineyard, but,

A total of 37,477 children have been released to an appropriate adult sponsor, usually a parent, relative or family friend, according to the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Those children, who have been settled in all 50 states, would all be eligible to attend public school.

Some of those children may have been schooled in their native countries; none know how to speak, write, or read English.

The onerous burden on all school districts affected is about to start.

But wait! There’s more:
Official: Second illegal immigrant wave of 30,000 coming in September, October

The Obama administration insists that Schools to List Immigrant Kids as ‘Homeless’ for Enrollment Records 

Guidance released Monday by the U.S. Department of Education about the unaccompanied minors also pointed out that unaccompanied minors in the custody of sponsors could be eligible for benefits under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.
. . .
The VDOE memo reiterated the requirement that school divisions “must immediately enroll homeless students” and must do so regardless of whether or not they are able “to produce the records required for enrollment.”

Let me ask a question, are the millions of minority American schoolchildren stuck in substandard and failing schools now able to enroll anywhere regardless of whether or not they are able “to produce the records required for enrollment?


Thursday night tango: Natacha Poberaj & Vladimir Khorev

August 14th, 2014

dancing to Recuerdo,

Brazil: Socialist Party candidate dies in plane crash

August 14th, 2014

We talked about this in last night’s podcast:

Brazilian Candidate Dies in Crash
Eduardo Campos, the Brazilian Socialist Party candidate for president, was killed in the crash of a private jet, upending the October election.

A leftist who was also friendly to business and tough on crime. Mr. Campos had hoped to appeal to both progressives and fiscal conservatives, but his campaign had trouble gaining traction. A recent poll had shown him with about 8% of the likely vote—a distant third behind Ms. Rousseff and her main rival, Aécio Neves of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party.

Campos was in third place behind Dilma and Aécio, but the accident may affect the SP’s standing,

Those standings could change, however, if Mr. Campos is succeeded at the top of the ticket by his popular running mate, Marina Silva, who ran for president herself in 2010 and won about 19% of the vote.

Ms. Silva had been exploring another presidential run again this year, but when her own party, Rede Sustentabilidade, was unable to meet the requirements to get her onto the ballot, she joined Mr. Campos’s ticket as vice president.

A deeply religious, environmental activist, Ms. Silva could attract votes from both the left and right in a way that Mr. Campos couldn’t, said João Augusto de Castro Neves, Latin America director at the Eurasia Group think tank in Washington.

“She will threaten both Dilma and Aécio,” he said.

It was a horrible crash: the plane’s fall damaged seven houses:

O Globo reports that firemen have found the plane’s cabin and Campos’s wallet (link in Portuguese).

In addition to the seven killed who were aboard the plane, there were six residents injured.


En español: Barbara Padilla

August 14th, 2014

The 2d place finalist of America’s Got Talent, Barbara Padilla, interviewed in Spanish by Jaime Bayly,

She has a new CD out today, available through Amazon. I’d like Andrea Bocelli’s agent to sign her up.

The Pontifical Council denounces ISIS

August 13th, 2014

My latest at Da Tech Guy Blog, The Pontifical Council denounces ISIS, is up.

Don’t miss also tonight’s podcast at 8PM Eastern, when I’m Silvio Canto’s guest.

Socialism: making it harder to get a drink since 1848*

August 13th, 2014

First we hear that producers of cheap Malbec are getting squeezed by inflation. Now this,
Venezuela Sips More Local Rum, Less Pricey Whiskey
Lagging Economy Pushes Consumers Away From Expensive Scotches
.

 

At fancy steakhouses and Spanish-style tascas, Scotch is served the Venezuelan way: poured to the brim in a highball glass with ice.

Let’s hope they don’t do that to any of these.

Regardless, $5 says the chavistas are still getting their Buchanan’s and Chivas.

*1848: Karl Marx puts out the Communist Manifesto.


Brazil: Hacking the reporters

August 13th, 2014

Miriam Leitão and Carlos Alberto Sardenberg, outstanding journalists who report on the many corruption scandals of the Dilma years, found out they were being hacked and smeared by someone using a computer address inside the Planalto presidential palace.

Ooopsie!

Or should I have a Captain Louis Renault moment?

I mean, “I’m shocked, shocked” that the journalists have come under attack by someone who doesn’t have enough brains to realize a computer address inside the Planalto could be located.

But I digress.

What’s interesting is the blowback; Mac Margolis:

Launching stealth attacks on critics from within the presidential palace plays well with the party faithful, but maybe less so at the voting booth. Although official probes in Brazil rarely reach the highest office, the blowback from the smear campaign suggests that Rousseff’s road to re-election will be fraught.

Brazil’s general election’s scheduled for October 5th. The Economist calls the presidential campaign “A tightly scripted telenovela.”

Video below the fold, since it starts right away,
Read the rest of this entry »

Cuba: The end of the deepwater oil lie

August 12th, 2014

After offshore oil failure, Cuba shifts energy focus (emphasis added)

Cuba has shifted its focus away from offshore oil, concentrating on renewable energy and improving output from onshore wells due to a lack of interest by foreign companies for further deepwater exploration, sources close to the industry say.

That includes China and Russia; after three deepwater wells drilled in 2012 came up dry.

Capitol Hill Cubans blog had a more tactful title than mine, Cuba Ends Deepwater Oil Exploration Illusion.