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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McCartney, Kanye and #JeSuisCharlie (not really)

Let´s start with something sort of funny stuff in order to soften it down for the second topic of this post.

So, shocking news, apparently one of the last two members of the most popular band in music history, The Beatles, Paul McCartney, is going to partner with Kanye West, and will be releasing some new material. That´s sort of great news, right?  I´ve heard a cover of the first song, “Only One” and is extremely sweet and Beatle-ish, cute lyrics, charming and catchy.

This partnership represents the return of McCartney to the music industry targeting younger audiences, gosh, we really needed this comeback, there isn´t much going on in music at the moment. Oh, where´s the “shocking” part of this announcement? Well, the fact that many of Kayne´s fans didn´t know who Sir Paul McCartney is.

AFP ENTERTAINMENT-US-MUSIC-JACKSON I PEO FRA PA

What do you mean that´s not Kanye?

 True story.

Tweets like these were all over the social network:

  • “Kanye has a great ear for talent. This Paul McCartney guy gonna be huge.”
  • “I usually don’t pay much attention to Kanye West, but it’s cool he’s launched this ‘Paul McCartney’ dude’s career”
  • “Who is Paul McCartney? Some are wondering who this “upcoming” artist singing w/Kanye West is”

As one tweet said “people on Twitter are asking who Paul McCartney is and now I understand domestic terrorism”, this historic reference missed by the new generations came as a surprise for everybody.

Beatles-help-0513-banner

Charlie Hebdo

We all learnt about the tragic events that happened in Paris, France, at the Charlie Hebdo´s offices last week. 12 people were murdered as part of a terrorist attack performed by religious fundamentalists upset by the satirical cartoons published by this weekly journal.

That´s right... tolerance at its finest

That´s right… tolerance at its finest

The humour used by the cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo to make fun of hardcore Islamists was also used against Hollande´s administration, and pretty much to criticize everyone else.

"If Mahoma comes back"

“If Mahoma comes back”

The French society is confused and hurt, and still hasn´t fully digested what happened. The suspects have been hunted down by the authorities, and millions in France and around Europe have shown their support for stability and peace under the claim #JeSuisCharlie (I am Charlie). Abroad, the free press and the international community have shown its indignation and have condemned the attacks. 000_ARP40679741

Now that I think about it, this will mean the resurge of Marine Le Pen as a strong political player in the French arena, and will be pushing for stronger laws for immigrants and religious tolerance in France. Seriously, as one colleague said to me this morning, it isn´t about the number of deaths, but traditionally, Europe sees immigrants from Middle East and Africa as a threat to their societies.

‘Not in my name’ by Helen Davidson

‘Not in my name’ by Helen Davidson

We should condemn this act of terrorism, however, #JeSuisPasCharlie, because we shouldn´t praise Charlie Hebdo´s type of press, as it preaches intolerance and portraits Muslims as ignorant fundamentalists, harming those members of the French Society followers of this faith.

Ps. I don´t want you to leave feeling bad about the  world and human kind, so, enjoy the following youtube clip:

What´s New: Ebola, Love at first sight, and Bear rescue

News-630x330

I thought it would be nice to have a weekly post of “What the heck is happening around the world today”, or like twitter calls it “What´s trending”. Usually I find this sort of news on my friends´timeline in Twitter and Facebook (No, no matter how much you insist mate, no one uses Google Plus, knock it off), some of the posts are amusing, other interesting and other just ridiculous.

"Oh no, Miley, don´t do it!"

“Oh no, Miley, don´t do it!”

 

 

Today I found these jewels trending the heck up of our social media outlets

 

 

 

 

The Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone and Liberia, spreading to Guinea, at least three cases reported in Nigeria, and three people with the virus being treated in the US. This is something to think about as we´ve been bombed with apocalyptic movies throughout the last 10 years, from virus, to zombies, to world´s destruction by aliens, earthquakes or solar flames. This virus went from 800 people sick last week to over 1500 reported on Wednesday and the numbers keep rising.

Ebola-story

As reported by Reuters, and now being a well known fact, the “Symptoms initially include muscle pains and joint aches, then worsen to vomiting, diarrhea and internal and external bleeding in the final stages.” So, pretty much the way you feel after eating real Mexican Food for the first time.

The conflict in the Middle-East, particularly the recent and ongoing attacks of Israel over the Palestinian settlements has brought some new actors into the international arena. Israel, perceived as being backed up by the United States and the European Community, continues to discourage opinions that question its military action on the region. It has helped that the media has shown lack of empathy for Israel´s military actions, and China as well as Brazil seize the option of becoming heavier actors in the topic.

gaza_war_crimes_by_latuff2

The chronology of a desperate social media campaign launched by an Irish lad in order to find a Canadian girl he met on a plane from Dublin to Dubai. As the Time article says, this could be the creepiest or most romantic story lurking on the web at the moment. Well, apparently they are in communication now so, let see how it develops… or not.

Aye, this happened

Aye, this happened

Uh uh… did you guys watch this video of a bear rescuing a crow that fell into a pond? It was everywhere at the beginning of the week. Seems that people are more interested in finding hope in animal actions than in human beings.

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.

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.

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.

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.

L´Etranger

I started reading this book knowing nothing about Albert Camus, beginning with the fact that this book was “just there” in an ‘old books’ garage sale. NZD$5, it was a bargain, I’ve heard about it before, so I gave it a try. No need to remind you that I had wee pockets when I was in New Zealand, so this was quite “an investment”.

I know, this isn’t a fun post, but, hey, at least you learnt something today.

While I was going page after page the story dragged me in, I mean, the main character, Meaursault, an Algerian, shares nothing with our culture, he is simply not following our same patterns of happiness, grief nor love. The story starts when he learns that his mum has died, and instead of showing sadness he just sits in front of the coffin, smokes a cigarette and drinks some coffee.

When he was questioned about this, he doesn’t answer, he either finds others annoying, interesting or he feels nothing for them. He does explain to the reader that he was pleased that his mum has passed the way, as she had a good long life and had the chance to share her last years with a good man whom she met at the retirement home.

Why did I find this book interesting?

Well, Meaursault, the main character, is totally indifferent to his environment; however, he keeps an honest man. In the end, he is regarded as an outsider to society, detached from what is supposed to be “normal”.  This happens to me sometimes, and I’m sure it happens to all of us, specially you over there, aye, the hipster looking guy eating sushi.

The moral of this bloody post, sorry, no recipes nor funny tales today, is that we seem indifferent to what happens really close to us and keep a good eye on important events out of our sphere of influence. The Royal Baby is a good example of this, how many of us were following the story and at the same time neglecting child mortality or poverty among us?

Give this book a try, and go for “La Chute” as well, another brilliant example of French literature written by Camus himself.

“I looked up at the mass of signs and stars in the night sky and laid myself open for the first time to the benign indifference of the world.”
― Albert CamusThe Stranger

Ps. I’m going to Monterrey, Mexico today to visit my good old mates. Remember, surround yourself with good people and keep in touch, have a great weekend folks.

I’m telling you, sometimes we are stranger in our world, but we just keep pretending we care.

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.