Love it, Love it not…The ups & downs of our great city

•August 9, 2013 • 1 Comment

Things we love about Chicago

  1. How clean the city is
  2. The Grant, Millennium & Maggie Daley parks
  3. The innocent, perpetual hope of Opening Day
  4. Summer + Holiday season
  5. Neighborhood festivals
  6. It’s a “bar city”
  7. That O’Hare is so important for the US
  8. The Art Institute, Sue and the Bean
  9. That flowers during spring & summer
  10. Al Capone’s heritage
  11. The Sears Tower
  12. The open-minded chefs
  13. The low expectations people have about the city
  14. Our alleys
  15. Ravinia
  16. Drawbridges
  17. The Indie music culture
  18. 5411 empanadas
  19. National anthem at a Blackhawks game
  20. Downtown view from the Planetarium, Montrose Park or S. Lake Shore
  21. Parking Dibs
  22. 1871 @ the mart
  23. The Marathon and everything around it
  24. Rosa’s Lounge or any of the great blues bars
  25. We take sports seriously
  26.  We are stand-up comedy center of the world
  27. The river walk (coming soon)
  28. The green river on St. Patrick’s

Things we don’t love about Chicago

  1. Price of gas
  2. March and April – enough cold!
  3. Gangs
  4. Back room deals
  5. Corruption
  6. Our Parking Meters
  7. Our street pavement
  8. There are no day trips better than Milwaukee
  9. That O’Hare is such a mess
  10. The sales tax
  11. The Willis Tower
  12. Highway traffic
  13. Parking Dibs
  14. The annoying reminder of Trump’s ego stamped on our face

The Most Dangerous Word in American Politics

•November 4, 2012 • Leave a Comment

It’s not Debt, or Jobs, or Abortion, or Bailout or even Obamacare.

It’s Gerrymandering and it is the reason why the US is stuck.

It’s the process by which districts are redesigned to favor one political party. These districts, then, send representatives to the House, as congressmen.

Gerrymandering is killing the US. The whole thing about bi-partisanship won’t happen until we change gerrymandering.

The moment districts become heavily favoring one agenda by gerrymandering, they tend to elect more radical candidates. Dialogue, debate and compromise become non-existent words. As a result, Congress is full of people that, even if they wanted to compromise, wouldn’t. And wouldn’t because if so, they would not be elected in their respective districts.  It’s a survival problem. Basic human instinct.

Iowa is trying to change that by putting in the ballot the two top-voted candidates in the primaries, even if they belong to the same party. In that way, there would have to be a cross-the-aisle approach to be elected because supporters of the opposing party would favor the moderate candidate. It sounds complicated, but it’s not, I’m just not good in explaining…

The point is this country will not go far if gerrymandering persists. People fought hard in the past for the values that built this country and we shouldn’t let a made-up word, that was first shown in a cartoon in 1812 – referencing Massachusetts Governor Gerry highly partisan re-districting process – dictate were we go from here.

I never thought I’d say that but I hope we start looking at Iowans as trendsetters (all do respect to my Iowan friends)…

The United States: Where all Votes Are Not Equal

•November 4, 2012 • Leave a Comment

If you are a Republican in Illinois or NY, don’t worry…choosing your president is not for you. If you’re a Democrat in Texas or Utah…don’t bother either, electing the president is someone else’s job.

This is all because of the famous Electoral College, which is something that makes no sense, at all.

The truth is that in the most democratic country of the world – the “leader of the free world” – one vote is more important than another one.

It should be changed. The US correctly and admirably praises its Constitution but knows it wasn’t perfect when written. Proof is that it was changed few times, to end slavery, to allow women to vote, even to change how Senators were elected (curiously, the constitution had Senators being appointed by state legislatures and Congress thought direct vote was better…)

Granted, Electoral College could still be representative of direct votes, but each state controls the apportion of its votes and all but Maine and Nebraska mandate a winner takes all votes. Even if that is changed, the Electoral College is still an archaic and unfair system.

There has not been much noise about this problem because it rarely affects the outcome of the election. It might happen again in 2012, though, the same way it did in 2000 – when George W. Bush became president even though Al Gore had more popular votes. There is a clear possibility that Romney gets more votes but Obama is elected. Or vice-versa. Either would not be good.

Yes, I am biased. When Brazil ended its military dictatorship, in the 80s, one of the first things we got rid of was the Electoral College, in favor of direct vote. We wanted everybody’s voices to be heard, we wanted true Democracy, like the US had… you know what I mean…

State Farm – 9/11 Tribute

•June 6, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Partnership for Drug Free America

•August 11, 2010 • Leave a Comment

BrahmaSutra Case Study

•August 11, 2010 • Leave a Comment

What I do

•July 15, 2010 • 1 Comment

I wonder, I decide, I do.

I wonder about why, I wonder about how and I wonder about what if. I wonder so I can understand things I can’t understand otherwise. I wonder so I can play with what is not around, with magic, with randomness, with confusion, with logic. I wonder because that is the only path to wisdom, because it is fun, because it is difficult, because it helps me seeing better. And then I wonder about why again.

I decide. I know eventually we need to pick one door, open it and keep going, so I decide. I decide because I believe in choices, because I control my destiny and maybe because I am not afraid of taking the blame. So I decide. I decide because I can decide, because I want to decide and, at the end of the day, because someone has to decide. Funny thing, though, not everybody is ready to do it. So I do it.

I do it. I bring it to life. I say it, I write it, I draw it, I talk about it. I do it because if it stays inside, nobody sees it, nobody can do anything with it, nobody cares. I do it because it doesn’t exist if it is not done, does it? I do it so we can agree on it, or not. I do it so we can dialogue, learn, grow. I do it so you can see, understand and, more than anything, believe in who I am and what I do.

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