Due to Trump’s Recent Remarks…

Due to the recent derogatory statements made by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, specifically Mexicans; Tacos and Politics’ staff (myself and my mate who proofreads the posts before I publish them), its board members and collaborators (still my mate and I), is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump.

We are addressing either him or his hair...

We are addressing either him or his hair…

We deeply regret these racist and inappropriate remarks, which not only offend the Mexican community in Mexico, but those who have crossed the border pursuing the American Dream (which nowadays is known as the Canadian Dream, but hey, still neighbours, right?).

Pretty much the routes Mexicans take to get into the US

Pretty much the routes Mexicans take to get into the US

Even though we are a tier 3 online media outlet, not at all relevant to the American public, nor capable of reverting the effects of Global Warming, Tacos and Politics has decided to halt any current or future endeavors with Mr Trump (Take that, Trump!)

Or his hair...

Or his hair…

We deeply condemn those who applaud and agree with Donald’s expressions full of hatred. You are supporting a hateful and narcissistic individual without any kind of values, both personal and business wise. As well, by supporting Trump’s presidential aspirations you are also supporting a growing trend of bigotry and division in the US and A.

Love

T&P Staff

Ps. If you haven’t watched or heard what he recently said, please feel free click on the following youtube clip:

Ps2. Here, have a Trump Piñata, which are becoming very popular on this side of the border.

You know you want one...

You know you want one…

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Mexican Censorship Reform

Hey lads out there, haven´t you noticed that the Telecommunications Initiative presented by the Mexican President, Enrique Pena Nieto, to the Senate last week, clearly violates freedom of speech and access to information?:

“A particularly undesirable aspect of the document is an attempt to establish a mechanism for discretionary censorship of social media through the possibility that the authorities could order Internet providers to suspend service “during events and at critical locations for reasons of public and national security”, which opens prospects of authoritarian control and opaqueness for ends incompatible with any democratic purpose.” La Jornada

Because screw you, that´s why

This pretty much means that if any authority (still isn´t clear which one) determines that something posted on the web affects national security or there´s a relevant event happening, well, the internet or certain websites shall be banned/blocked. And by relevant events let´s say that a massive protest “Venezuela Style” happens, the authorities could just demand the internet providers to shut down broadband signal.

Good old fashion authoritarianism, ladies and gens!

And just like countries as North Korea, Syria, Egypt, Iran, and even Venezuela, the Mexican authorities are moving into the path of blocking telecommunications and censoring the internet under the argument of national security.

Literally, if there´s a relevant event that the government wouldn´t like outsiders to find out, well, blocking any way of communication seems appropriate.

This will stop real time broadcasting of human right abuses preformed by the authorities in case of a public display of discomfort by the Mexican citizens, this according to the article 197 of the Telecommunications Secondary Law Initiative presented by Pena Nieto last week.

And under the argument of regulating the wealthy, the rest must settle for nothing but censorship

Let´s go further, not only human rights violations or relevant events to the public would be blocked from the rest of the country, also in the next presidential elections this seems very beneficial for the State Party candidate. Even if the other candidates are having a successful campaign, if the government decides which information threatens national security, maybe its opponents also pose a threat to the state´s national security.

No Sex in the Champagne Room

Wait a second, is it March already? Where the bullocks did this year go? Anyway, so I´m on the hunt for a new place now and I´m quite excited about this. Let´s put it this way, there are many plans ahead and the rest of this year is going to be bloody awesome. Well, except for the fact that Ukraine is in a terrible political turmoil, Venezuela is experiencing an awful social revolution, the Mexican government intends to pass a law that will allow the authorities to block telecommunications in case of national security issues (aye, just like Egypt, Iran, or Syria), and somebody vomited on Lady Gaga for … let´s put it this way: art.

They say it looked a lot like this…

So, one quarter of the year gone already? And what have we learnt so far?

1.- Street food is an awesome sin

This is one my favourite “sports” since I moved to Mexico City, street food here is freaking glorious and without hesitation the best meals I ever had here were on the run.

From pambazos, to “tacos de canasta”, pork crackling quesadillas, or just corn in a cup (no girls); this city is the bomb when it comes to urban/informal gastronomy.

 

2.- It´s ok to protect human rights in other countries except yours

I´m talking to you “Murica”, don´t think we haven´t noticed the amount of people lined up for execution in your penitentiary centres. That´s right, there are several inmates that are there waiting for their lives to be “Terminated” by the American government without a proper trial. If you want to find out more, go to the Death Penalty Information Centre website, and see “who´s next”.

3.- Christmas decorations are fine on February but not March

I´m not going to go deeper on this subject, you know who you are, and no, it is not “ok” to leave them all the way until August and then say “well, Christmas is just around the corner, why bother”. Get those bloody cardboard boxes and put those obnoxious holiday annoyances away!

Neither saying “happy new year” after the second week of January.

4.- No matter what the stripper says, there´s no sex in the champagne room. 

Amazingly explained by Chris Rock on this great 90s hit:

Ps. Remember mates, learn the difference between positivism and optimism, they are not the same, and no, reading Paulo Coehlo isn´t cool either.

Ps2. Speaking of optimism, tend to hang out with happy and optimist fellas, learn from their ability to see the good things in life. Usually these people are empathetic, caring, good listeners and they share their happiness with those around them.

It´s a Me, El Chapo

So, El Chapo was recaptured in a Mexican-American joint operation last weekend in the coastal city of Mazatlan in the State of Sinaloa, Mexico. The former Mexican drug lord, leader of  the Sinaloa Cartel  was re-arrested after 13 years of being off the leash.

It looked a lot like this… according to some witnesses

He “escaped” the prison of Puente Grande in 2001, and according to the information found, he bribed the prison guards, however it is known that some Mexican Security officials visited the offices of this prison the days prior his escape. No need to say that later these officials served as close members of Felipe Calderon´s team during his administration (2006-2012) or performed as corporate intelligence executives at major corporations like, let´s say, the third largest cement company in the world (wink, wink)

Ok, it was more like this, but don´t  tell me that the mariachi SWAT team looks more awesome? Huh? Nah? Anyone?

Considered the “most powerful drug trafficker in the world” by the United States Department of the Treasury, El Chapo was the protagonist of many conspiracy theories throughout his life.

Not the actual cover

Some said that he was instructing the Fox and Calderon administration on how to handle national security issues, and the best strategy for the elimination of other drug cartels in the  northeast of the country and all the borderline with the United States.

Others said that he could pay off Mexico´s international debt with his fortune if they let him handle his “business” without being disturbed by the authorities. Oh wait, that was Caro Quintero, now free. According to the, very recently updated, entry in Wikipedia (my favourite source of information these days), “El Chapo” was found inside his 4th floor condo at 608 Av del Mar in the beachfront Miramar condominium in MazatlánSinaloa, and he was captured without a single shot fired.

Are you bloody kidding me? 

The most wanted drug lord in the world, accused of killing over 6,000 people himself, and ranked by Forbes magazine as one of the most powerful people in the world (No, seriously: ranked 41st, 60th and 55th every year since 2009), was recaptured peacefully and without a sweat.

He was found just wearing his… well, now very trendy mustache.

I wish I could grow a mustache like that, look at it, perfect.

You gotta love the conspiracy theorists who have made viral a couple pictures of El Chapo from 2001 and El Chapo from last week, claiming that it isn´t the same person.

Honestly, I don´t know what to make of this nonsense.

Nah, El Chapo has been recaptured and there´s no doubt about this. Regardless of how critic I´ve been to Enrique Pena´s administration, I must acknowledge this milestone, and the efforts made by the Mexican Intelligence Unit on finding this awful human being (regardless of how cool his  mustache is).

Good boy

Ps. But why was he captured until now? Don´t you reckon the timing is sort of perfect as the group of Vigilantes in the State of Michoacan, fighting back the drug cartels, was getting too much attention from the media? I have too many goddamn questions.

No kidding, these are civilians (probably financed by other drug cartels) defending themselves from the the criminal groups

Ps2. so, the governor of the State of Sinaloa knew nothing about El Chapo drinking beer and watching Dora in his state all this time? Was it a staged apprehension? Will this affect the stability shown lately by the different drug cartels in Mexico, restarting the War on Drugs that the Mexicans suffered from 2007 until 2012? (Who am i kidding here, the war never ended). And why the heck can´t I grow  a mustache like that? Just look at it, is beautiful.

Ps3. Oh, did I mention that he was captured a few days after Barack Obama left Mexico, he was attending the Leaders of NorthAmerica Summit. I mean… conditions were perfect.

Venezuela is not Alone

This is merely inspirational and bias,  and does not represent the opinion of the Venezuelan people whatsoever. It´s my own, because you know why? This is my damn blog and I can talk about politics from the bottom of my heart if I want to. I can express myself about Venezuela without needing to show you reliable sources or academics´opinion backing up my thoughts on the matter.

Nicolas Maduro´s government is wrong, period. 

Regardless of the people protesting on the streets, the international media criticizing his government and the international human rights organizations following closely how the Venezuelans are being treated by the authority, Maduro´s administration lacks common sense, respect for civil rights and severe violations to universal human rights.

I just finished watching an interview to the Venezuelan Ambassador in Dominican Republic. The lad was disrespectful, rude and obnoxious to the journalists who granted him some time on live television to present the point of view of the government he represents abroad. He served only as a repeating machine for Maduro´s rhetoric, shallow, loud and ignorant. Claiming that the fascists, the American Empire and the international media are responsible for the chaos that Venezuela is currently facing. This guy is incredibly wrong, and the people who back up Maduro´s administration are wrong as well. Why? Simply because he is repressing his own people, not only during the recent protests, but since the 2000´s started, Venezuela hasn´t really reached its potential, and its people haven´t enjoyed freedom nor peace.

Nowadays, Maduro isn´t only hurting Venezuela, he is strangulating the freedom of its people, scarring the Venezuelan society from the inside.

Venezuela, a country of millions of bright men and women is being silenced by this dictator; while the Venezuelans abroad cry for help and restless send the same message to their friends and relatives:

“You are not alone, help is on its way”. 

Ps. Mexico isn´t doing great either by the way, while the president goes abroad presenting Mexico as an investors haven, our society crumbles while violent groups have overthrown the authorities. Some regions now have civilians defending themselves, and as far as I know, this is supposed to be the government´s responsibility.

A Holy Review on God´s Entourage

You might not know this, but I learnt to read since I was a very wee kid, and I wasn’t just reading kids books, I was reading some stuff not suitable for my young age (not  like freaking Twilight or 50 Shades of Grey). So, the reason for this post is to talk about one of the books that astonished me the most while I was growing up, “La Tournée de Dios” by Enrique Jardiel Poncela. It was written and published in 1932, and it presents a brilliant story where the author portrays the hypothetical arrival of God to Earth (regardless of his/her existence) for a wee visit. Indeed, at the time I read it the thought of having the Christian God among us, hanging out, telling us about his point of view regarding the human race, never occurred to me before.

Have you tried playing that game as a child? It was more difficult than paying your tuition as a grown up.

Jardiel Poncela begins dedicating this book to God itself, and presents it as an “almost divine novel”, as well as thanking the left and right political views, communism, the republic, the atheists, and human kind.

So God comes to earth, right? And one of the first things that people notice is that he isn´t really that into “humans”, he presents himself as a dictator (and dictatorship as the best political system for humans), shocking everybody as the current debate among internationalists was about the best political model in an Utopian world.

Throughout the author´s sarcasm, God expresses his opinions to the public, the media, the governments, and the Vatican itself. The Pope, feeling overshadowed by God and his harsh criticism to the foundation of the Catholic Church, fakes sickness and secludes himself in his room, fearing the thought of being replaced by God among Christians.

What is amazing about his narrative is the fact that Jardiel Poncela criticizes, through God´s statements, his own society; calling it shallow, lame, anxious, lazy and ineffably uncomfortable with committing to anything.  Which, now that I think about it, his opinions apply to nowadays Western Civilization.

Best known as… I want to go to pee but I´m way too comfortable in my bed.

We´ve became hedonistic/egocentric brats, unable to emphasize with somebody else´s disgrace without taking a snapshot of it and uploading it to Facebook/Twitter.

The level of our discomforts stays in the vicinity of social media, where we protest, argue, and “defend” human and animal rights by retweeting and sharing. We question not what we fail to understand, but the fact that “things” aren´t properly explained us, discarding the topic and moving on to the next one without mercy.

“Humanity, unleashed and shameless, lost self-confidence, and no concept of duty, cocky, arrogant and foolish, full of haughtiness, not willing to resign, frivolous and frantic forgotten serenity and simplicity, ambitious and sad , demanding much more to life than life can give, deprived of the joy for the joy that is the only way of joy, running madly towards the final bankruptcy.” – Enrique Jardiel Poncela.

This is just the way Louis CK said modern society would react to Jesus second coming to Earth, where we wouldn´t be able to stay put to Jesus´message to men because social media must be briefed with the “individual exclusive” of our tweets about Jesus.

The story is full with gracious characters and hilarious situations where God simply gives up on human kind, wait, no, is the other way around, human kind gives up on God as he becomes available, reachable, losing his mysticism.

“In the divine, the bygone youths had faith and believed. Today’s youth do not have faith nor believe. And one thinks… having no faith.”

Ps. Interesting how the international community has looked away from Putin´s despicable actions against the LGTB community in Russia, especially on the dawn of the Winter Olympic Games that will take place in Sochi. Harsh to think of some nations fight for freedom and human rights on foreign land, but only against adversaries that are easily defeated.

Ps 2. Or maybe, this is just an anti Russia media campaign foster by the American just like the good old days?

Ps3. Have you been following what the international journalists who have arrived to Sochi already have encountered? The Washington Post gives us a good glance here.

Pulpo Sarandeado

You do remember I come from the Gulf of Mexico, right? A beautiful place in this amazing country full with great people and amazing seafood, that’s Tampico my mates. It was here where I learnt how to cook most of my seafood recipes. The following recipe is quite simple, so don’t be shy, get your supermarket list and get ready for a weekend feast.

Pulpo Sarandeado or Well Grilled Octopus

Ingredients

  • 1 good size octopus (an octopus of a good size will weight 1kg) 
  • Bay leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Half a red onion
  • Fresh coriander
  • 3 litres of water
  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 50 grs of butter
  • 2 spoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper

How to cook this freaking invertebrate, mate:

Put the water to boil, add the bay leaves and 1 garlic clove, then, grab the octopus (a clean one, ask the fisherman to clean it for you, no ink though), and put in the boiling water. Leave it there for a good 1.5 hour or until it is “al dente”.

When it is ready, put aside, and dry it with a paper towel. Then, in a large frying pan add the butter, oil, red onion, chopped garlic clove, and stir the ingredients until they look just right. With the stove on high flame, add the octopus, and effing yeah! Stir it around the hot pan; you want that soft meat to get a good brown crisp, at least on the tentacles. The butter and the olive oil go fantastic with this recipe; the butter will give the meat a nice and golden finish by the way. Alright, so you got that sweet meat crispy and soft at the same time? It is time to add the chickpeas, diced tomatoes and the fresh coriander. Stir for a while until the ingredients are well cooked. Now plate  that wee bastard and enjoy!

Some guacamole on the side doesn´t sound at all...

Some guacamole on the side doesn´t sound bad at all…

Pulpo Sarandeado goes great with a good white wine, I recommend a Pinot Gris from the Marlborough region in New Zealand. But hey, that’s me.

Ps1. Want more cool recipes? Well, look at this link and let me know what would you like me to post in terms of food http://instagram.com/notluisperez

Ps2. I know, we are all waiting for the United States´strike on Syria, I have my reasons to believe that they´ve delayed the attack due more to the fact that they haven´t found the country on the map rather than the opposition of Russia. But hey, that´s just me underestimating “Murica´s” public education system.

Aye, right there…

The Shallow Energy Reform / Mexico

In terms of oil production, Mexico is still a country with a high dependency on foreign investment, advice and technology. Since 1938, when Lázaro Cárdenas nationalized the oil companies in the country, we have experienced very short technological and efficiency outcomes.

As part of the major reforms that the “new” Mexican government wants to implement to improve the national economy, the Energy reform is the one that drives my attention the most. I noticed that regardless of the fact that foreign investment might be needed to make the oil national company (PEMEX) more efficient, it hasn’t at all touched the Oil Union. For years, unions in Mexico started as a way to protect the workers from abusive practices from their bosses and the  entrance of the free market. Throughout the years, the unions did improve the workers’ conditions and stood up against low wages, bad working conditions and lack of labour benefits.

“You give your resources away, well, screw you!” Lazaro Cardenas, seconds after he nationalized the oil companies in Mexico.

I come from a “Pemex” family, which means that most of my relatives have worked for the State Company. My education was mostly paid with Pemex money, and I always had the doors opened if I wanted to join the union. Since I was a wee boy I realized that Pemex wasn’t doing its job properly, and that the union became the heaviest burden for the efficiency and productivity of one of the major oil companies in the world. Pemex needs hard-core investment in its infrastructure and technology, better training for its technicians and a global business vision. However, this Energy Reform fails to touch the union, which is, in my opinion, the biggest cancer that the Mexican oil industry faces at the moment.

Until the government makes it clear that the union must obey clear rules in order to make its members better workers, professionals and technician, until then, Pemex will relay only on subsidies and shallow foreign investment.

So far, Peña’s administration has show weakness on establishing a clear path in order to foster a strong and reliant Mexican economy. His administration has neither satisfied the international market nor the opposition parties, some more nationalists than others, with their initial proposal. Maybe they should spend more time on straight forward strong initiatives and less money on telly spots where a high class Mexican explains to the low class population (around 70% of the Mexicans) why this reform will benefit all of us.

Ps. Oh, check the news about Mexico, after 8 months, there’s no much positive things to say about this administration. Just saying.

Human Rights and Tolerance

We recently were invited to visit the Museum of Memory and Tolerance located in Mexico City. I’ve passed by this museum several times during my long (very long) walks in the city, and never had the time to make the queue (sometimes, on Sundays, the line will go all the way out to the street). Thanks to my job, my colleagues and I got the chance to a fast-track visit.

At first we had a brief on how human rights are in the world today. The situation isn’t really promising regardless of its improvements. Human trafficking, children mortality, immigration, refugees, discrimination, political persecution, violence against women, are still showing signs of “there’s still a lot to do”.

As a human rights enthusiast and an international relations “connoisseur” I found this talk quite enlightening.

Right after, a tour guide, (who did an amazing job, by the  way), showed us around the museum, which is divided in two main sections: Memory and Tolerance. When we stepped in the first section it was very clear where this was going, to show us the darkest hours in recent human history. It did centered on the extermination of minorities during WWII, specifically on the genocide against the Jew community. I assume this is because the event is one of the most documented in modern history and this community has the financial means to dig into history and find out what happened to their relatives during this tragedy.

The tour guide took us to the Hutus and Tutsis genocide in the early 90’s, the Vietnamese regime that killed thousands and the civil war in Guatemala which murdered over 100,000 people. She explained the situation of the Kurds, a nation that lives in four different countries. It is very shocking indeed, not for the fainted heart, nor the naive the mind, for some it is hard to understand that these things happened, and are still happening.

I’d like to thank the Museo de Memoria y Tolerancia, not for showing us around, but to defend so fiercely what they do, and the message that they send to our community just by its own existence in the centre of the city. A message of tolerance, respect and that these atrocities must be fought every day. Not because they “happened” doesn’t mean they aren’t happening anymore.

IMG_20130706_091443[1]

Ps. If you want to find out more information about the museum, follow them on Twitter: @MuseoMyT, and its website, http://www.myt.org.mx/

Ps2. When was the last time you walked barefoot on the streets? Mine was last Friday, on a rainy night.

Ps3. Wait, I have twitter too! @notluisperez, go there for a wee laugh.

NSA, Cats and Gatsby

NSA

Just recently something we already knew went public. That the NSA requested to some important social media and telecommunication companies information about their users: calls, data and consumption patterns. C’mon everybody, are we really that surprised and outraged by these news? Don’t you remember that it was George W. Bush who signed this Act in order to “protect the American citizens against the violent hands of terrorism”?

It isn’t only the government’s fault the fact that our information is monitored by the NSA, ourselves give a lot of private info every day through social media. Our web surfing patterns can be tracked because we are pretty obvious about it.

This has led us to become just cattle for the authorities, a bunch of consumers whom are easily convinced to whatever is more convenient for the economy and national security (of a few).

The story keeps developing, and now, the lad who filtered this information, Edward Snowden, is on his way to a country that might give him good old fashioned political asylum.

Cats

Cats in the internet, cats everywhere, cats in my facebook newsfeed, grumpy cats, happy cats, clumsy cats, cute cats,cats as emoticons in the mainstream online chats, cats as memes, cats that need to be adopted, cats, cats, cats. Well, we are not that different from the ancient Egyptian civilization after all, are we?

No, I’m not talking about the musical

How did this happen? And, most importantly, why our government is only focused on combating terrorism and national security, but they aren’t doing a thing to stop this madness?… just saying

Gatsby

Cover art, by Francis Cugat, for the book The Great Gatsby

Can´t wait to finally watch this film. Yes, I know, it´s been on theaters for a while already, but I´m one of those guys who just waits until the very end to watch this kind of movies.

The book is fantastic, if you ever get the chance to get a copy in English of this classic, devour it slowly. The author brings you back to a time when society was lurking around the world in search of the meaning of life, incapable of imagining it without the things they thought as “normal”, eccentric, idealistic. The story is easy to read, and might make you anxious in times, but its beautiful characters and secrets will totally charm you.

I loved this book from the very first page:

“Whenever you feel like criticizing any one…just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Ps. Let’s create some conversation here. It isn’t a coincidence that after The Guardian brought us the exclusive of Mr.  Snowden and the NSA, many went into the bookstores to get their copy of “1984”. Do you reckon we are moving towards that kind of society, or are we already living in it without being aware? 

Ps2. I’m a dog person.