The Magic of the Cities.

Zen promotes the rediscovery of the obvious, which is so often lost in its familiarity and simplicity. It sees the miraculous in the common and magic in our everyday surroundings. When we are not rushed, and our minds are unclouded by conceptualizations, a veil will sometimes drop, introducing the viewer to a world unseen since childhood. ~ John Greer

Showing posts with label bad politicians. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bad politicians. Show all posts

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Light Stela / Estela de Luz

Bicentenary Light Stele
Mexico architect Cesar Perez Becerril was commissioned to design and oversee the construction of the Estela de Luz (Stele of Light). The monument was to be two erect columns, one for each 100-year anniversary of Mexico’s war of independence. The completed monument weighs over 1,700 tons, is 104 meter (341 feet) high, 9 meters (29 feet) wide at its base, and is sunk more than 50 meters (164 feet) into the ground. A stainless steel frame molded and forged in Finland surrounds the monument. Sitting on the frame are 500 translucent quartz plates, said to be found only in Brazil and which were laminated in Italy.

The original budget for the project was 400 million pesos ($30.2 million) and the Stele of Light was to be unveiled at Mexico’s bicentennial celebration in September of 2010. Fast-forward to the chilly night of January 7, 2012. President Felipe Calderón presided over the inauguration ceremonies, which had been advanced one night without publicity. Instead of a large public event, those in attendance were members of his cabinet and a few hundred selected guests. The unannounced advancement of the ceremonies was to trick protesters who had planned to disrupt the festivities. A few showed up in spite of the change in time, but 1,200 police officers stood guard to keep the protestors a safe distance away from the ceremonies.

Sixteen months late in completion and at a final cost of 1 billion pesos ($76 million) many Mexicans are outraged. It has caused heated debate about corruption in the country. Protestors from a union pointed out than 150 schools could have been built with the same money. “We call it the Stele of Corruption,” said Pablo Escudero Morales.

A study conducted by the National Academy of Engineers claims the actual costs were closer to $37 million, leaving many Mexicans to wonder where the rest of the money went. Critics believe the delays and cost overruns were attributable to corruption more so than engineering challenges. [The Mazatlan Messenger]


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Thursday, October 20, 2011

15.o - III

“If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple.
But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.”

“The possibilities are numerous once we decide to act and not react.”

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”

“A gentleman is one who puts more into the world than he takes out.”
~George Bernard Shaw


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Friday, October 29, 2010


Left-Wing to Right-Wing Spectrum
Copyright ©

There are only two basic ways to organize society: coercively, through government dictates, or voluntarily, through the myriad interactions among individuals and private associations. All the various political "isms"--monarchy, oligarchy, fascism, communism, conservatism, liberalism, libertarianism--boil down to a single question: "Who is going to make the decision about this particular aspect of your life, you or somebody else?"
Edward H. Crane

Happy Weekend!


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Friday, November 27, 2009

Street children

Street children is a term used to refer to children who live on the streets of a city. They are basically deprived of family care and protection. Most children on the streets are between the ages of about 5 and 17 years old, and their population between different cities is varied.

Street children live in abandoned buildings, cardboard boxes, parks or on the street itself. A great deal has been written defining street children, but the primary difficulty is that there are no precise categories, but rather a continuum, ranging from children who spend some time in the streets and sleep in a house with ill-prepared adults, to those who live entirely in the streets and have no adult supervision or care.

A widely accepted set of definitions, commonly attributed to UNICEF, divides street children into two main categories:

1. Children on the street are those engaged in some kind of economic activity ranging from begging to vending. Most go home at the end of the day and contribute their earnings to their family. They may be attending school and retain a sense of belonging to a family. Because of the economic fragility of the family, these children may eventually opt for a permanent life on the streets.
2. Children of the street actually live on the street (or outside of a normal family environment). Family ties may exist but are tenuous and are maintained only casually or occasionally.

Street children exist in many major cities, especially in developing countries, and may be subject to abuse, neglect, exploitation, or even in extreme cases murder by "cleanup squads" hired by local businesses or police.

In Latin America, a common cause is abandonment by poor families unable to feed all their children. In Africa, an increasingly common cause is AIDS. [Wiki]


New York City and Washington series continue in Sketches of Cities.

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Monday, October 5, 2009


Without hope and asking God for help, education for their children, jobs, health care, security, services don’t provided by the Mexican State, but politicians and catholic hierarchy, they take care of themselves:

May 22, 2006 Issue
Copyright © 2009 The American Conservative.
While the country’s poor flee, Mexico’s elite take care of themselves.
By George W. Grayson
Mexico City—A watchword of Mexican politics is “Show me a politician who is poor and I will show you a poor politician.” In accord with this adage, many Mexican officials enjoy generous salaries and lavish fringe benefits. Even as they live princely lifestyles, they and their fellow elites pay little in taxes and refuse to spend sufficient money on education and health care to create opportunities in Mexico—a country that abounds in oil, natural gas, gold, beaches, fish, water, historic treasures, museums, industrial centers, and hard-working people. Rather than mobilizing these bountiful resources to uplift the poor, Mexico’s privileged class noisily demands that Uncle Sam open his border wider for the nation’s “have nots.”

Mexico’s establishment also keeps quiet about the salaries and benefits that its members receive. Private-sector executives are especially secretive. Thanks to Forbes magazine, however, we know that Mexico leads Latin America with ten billionaires, including telecom mogul Carlos Slim Helú, the world’s third richest person with $30 billion. And an increasing amount of data is available on the earnings of public officials. The numbers show that Mexico’s governing class is enriching itself at the country’s expense, with exorbitant salaries and bountiful perks. Remember, these are “official” figures. Most politicians have ingenious ways of fattening their bank accounts.

The salaries of top Mexican government officials match or exceed those of comparable figures in Europe and much of the rest of the world. President Vicente Fox ($236,693), for example, makes more than the leaders of the U.K. ($211,434), France ($95,658), Canada ($75,582), and most other industrialized countries (POTUS earns $400,000).

The 500 members of Mexico’s notoriously irresponsible Chamber of Deputies, which is in session only a few months a year, each made $148,000 last year in salary and bonuses—roughly on a par with Italian and Canadian legislators and substantially more than their counterparts in Germany ($105,000), France ($78,000), and Spain ($32,311), where living costs are markedly higher. Other legislators in Latin America receive substantially less; for example, those in Bolivia earn $28,000 for a four-month session. Legislators in the Dominican Republic take home $68,500 for six months of service.

Even better work, if you can get it, is to be found in the judicial branch of the Mexican federal government. In 2005, the 11 justices on the National Supreme Court of Justice—equivalent to the U.S. Supreme Court—received $311,759, compared to $194,200 for their American counterparts. (The U.S. Chief Justice earns $202,900.)

State-level Mexican officials are amply rewarded as well. Salaries and bonuses place the average compensation of Mexican governors at $125,759, which exceeds by almost $10,000 the mean paychecks of U.S. state executives ($115,778). Narciso Agúndez Montaño runs Baja California Sur. Although his state has only 424,041 residents, he earns $277,777. This is $100,000 more than the salary of Arnold Schwarzenegger, who governs 36,132,147 Californians.

And so on…


New York City and Washington series continue in Sketches of Cities.

Gracias por su visita. / Thanks for visiting, please be sure that I read each and every one of your kind comments and I appreciate them all. Stay tune.