Friday, November 6, 2009

Desperate call for help on TV these last couple of days.

Marcelo Tinelli, Susana Gimenez, Mirtha Legrand, Jorge Rial. These names of course mean nothing to most of you.

These are local celebrities. I guess the equivalent, or at least the Argentine version of Ophra, or other big shot TV hosts and gossip shows.

I don’t care for their TV programs or them personally, but what these people have been talking about and demanding these last couple days is something that affects us all.

They are all pretty different and yet something unites them all along with every other Argentine: Crime. The terrible crime situation we live in that I talk about so often here.

These people have the hottest shows on local TV, some have amassed huge fortunes. They have the bucks for serious private security and bodyguards, yet they feel vulnerable too.

They each talked in their own show, all looked pretty fed up and the message was similar.

“Someone please do something, we can’t keep living like this”

They talked about who the politicians and the government do nothing, they announce useless measures no one cares for but no one addresses the crime problem.

I found myself nodding and agreeing with many of the statements and it was nice to see I’m not alone. Even with some of the more extreme measures and attitudes, I’m not alone.

85 year old Mirth Legrand said “Us Argentines, we live checking out our back at all times. Even I do that, looking back to see if someone is following our car, we can’t keep living like this, scared all the time.”

Marcelo Tinelli is probably the richest man in the local show business.

His security detail involves mostly an armored Humvee and two other armed vehicles full of armed guards. There’s no gray man approach for the most famous face in Argentina, someone readily recognized by anyone. He moves around at all times with a convoy you’d only see in Iraq. He protects his family in a similar manner, and yet his 10 year old son suffered a kidnapping attempt.

Now let me clarify something. I’m not a fan of any of these guys, I don’t like their shows or even like them much. What I do is agree with what they are saying in this matter because it’s the truth.

You have to be very naïve not to recognize the situation we live in here.

I agree, most of these self involved celebs only react when danger and crime is right in their face. Before, they lived in their perfect little world while the rest of us have been living with this for years now.

Mirtha Legrand got her jewelry robbed at gunpoint by armed men when entering her car, in spite of her bodyguards.

That’s the point, for a high profile person or someone that wants to be truly safe, a couple bodyguards isn’t enough any more, you need a convoy of at least 3 armored cars packed with trained and well armed people. Its insane but that’s the only way you have a chance against commando strikes and organized kidnapping attempts.

Susana Gimenez desperately called for the death penalty after a good friend of hers was beaten, tortured, tied and thrown to his pool where he drowned during a home invasion.

As Jorge Rial said, the numbers just don’t match. He turned and asked the sidekicks he had in his show, 4 or 5 other persons. “We’ve all been robbed several times, haven’t we?” Everyone agreed fervently.

And that’s something I’ve comment on before. It’s not normal when you walk into a room and its almost impossible to find a person that hasn’t been robbed with violence, either hurt or forced to look at the wrong side of a gun barrel. Its getting harder and harder to pretend nothing is going on.

Crime in Argentina is simply out of control. Please don’t bother with INDEC numbers, you might get luckier just rolling a dice.

As Mirtha Legrand said, and I totally agree with the old woman:

“They are killing us all out there”



Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to learn of the desperate situation there. As always the innocent pay the highest price. Should the US follow the Argintine path we'll have to issue a new hunting tag for kidnappers.

Anonymous said...

Remember a visit to Brazil some years ago. Within the city limits of this 'corporate' town about an hour from Sao Paulo, one felt safe. Everything was wonderful and well kept. The town was surrounded by polo fields and mansions. The ubiquitous wrought iron fences and high walls however told another story.

Early on a Sunday morning we met a client interested in property. He showed up in an old baby blue Toyota 4 door sedan. Out hopped 3 body guards and one wealthy Japanese business man.

The rich will create for themselves a protective bubble, yet will find themselves prisoners.


Anonymous said...

When I read things like this it makes me feel SO very lucky.

When are you going to move away from there? You only live once.

Bones said...

Crime in the US is nowhere near the levels you describe in Argentina...yet.

This serves to highlight the end result of the current path politicians are pushing in the US. When you demonize people who worked hard to earn a lot of money you create an environment of class warfare and punish those creating jobs. The whole idea of capitalism is to make it easier to make money legally than illegally. Remember that nobody pays taxes on illegally earned income - something that creates even more pressure on honest taxpayers.

A robust economy is the number one deterrent to crime. If people can get decent jobs there is no reason to commit crime. People with nothing and no hope have every incentive to simply take what they need by force. When someone does this because there's no other way to feed his family, it's hard to even call it a crime.

Crushing taxes, onerous regulation and policies that reward people for doing nothing are all disincentives to people running honest businesses that create jobs.

Government has never created one cent's worth of value. Every government job is supported by someone else who is paying taxes on income earned working an honest job in a legitimate business.

Think about all the selfish interests being served in the political process and you have a pretty good idea why government does NOT know best what's good for you.

wunsacon said...

>> When you demonize people who worked hard to earn a lot of money

Totally oversimplifying. There are many people in the US who worked hard to STEAL a lot of money.

And with their ill-gotten gains, wealth is increasingly concentrated. Billions for Wall Street and "trickle-down" for Main Street. Not just now but for the past 2 decades.

Over the past 30 years of increasing US government debt, Wall Street pay has increased as a percentage of overall GDP. (Not just in overall absolute terms. But, as a percentage of the overall figure.) For what? What did these people contribute to deserve their huge salaries and bonuses?

Bones, I see you (and others with your point of view) as a contributing factor in the US's descent into a banana republic: concentrated wealth, no money for continuing social services, and so a breakdown in the whole system.

What you should be screaming about is that HARDLY ANYONE AT THE TOP IS GOING TO JAIL FOR ALL THE THEFT.

It is a breakdown in JUSTICE that destroys a nation, leading to ever greater cynicism and selfish thinking. That is what you should be complaining about.

FerFAL said...

you think the problem is "concentrated wealth"?
I think you'll feel right at home in Cuba or Venezuela.


Bones said...

Wunsacon, you're confusing the worst capitalist excesses with small business entrepreneurs. If someone can honestly build their small business into a huge company then more power to them, or do you hate the guys running Google, too?

Virtually all new jobs come from new businesses and it's vital to support entrepreneurship as THE engine of employment. At the same time you're ignoring the fact that the money for social programs comes from taxes on people working above the board. That's you and me, brother. Higher taxes and more government control just force small employers to cut jobs or hire under the table, which means the workers aren't paying taxes to support the social programs you're so concerned about.

Of COURSE the elite don't pay their fair share - but they're the ones making the rules: what do you expect? I'm not saying that there aren't problems - obama put a tax-cheating former investment banker (geithner) in charge of the treasury department after all. Fox in the hen house I know, but those problems occur in EVERY political/economic system.

I'm not saying you shouldn't be mad about the excesses, but that doesn't mean we should demonize everyone who wants to make money. What's wrong with wanting a better life for yourself and your family?

If you still think I'm wrong, go try to start and run a successful small business like me and see how hard it really is. THEN you can see how you feel about the government laying claim to half of everything you worked so hard to earn.

The last cause said...

Take a page from the Sein Fein Ferfal:


Tyrants always try to shut people up, the real question is who will take your place?

vdavisson said...

I don't have an in-depth understanding of Argentine history, but it seems to me that Juan Peron set the tone for the future of Argentina by appealing to the "shirtless ones" and using them to gain power. Now they are the "untouchables" in that they can't be put in prison for crime; they can't be denounced in public, or blamed for the chaos they cause, because those who dare say this will be called "selfish" and "uncaring."

We have the same construct being put together here in the US. When the army of "shirtless ones" in the United States is large enough (and it may well be large enough now), the socialist takeover will proceed.

Hence the government's refusal to guard our borders, and the mad rush to give welfare to as many people as possible.

Anonymous said...

Having celebrities robbed is cool

They have power, influence, and they are a part of the solution

Basically there will be no solution ever towards security problem as long as the public opinion keeps compassion for criminals. So if the people in position of influence public opinion talk about crime, it is cool