U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama has again out polled John McCain in a survey of local political preferences.
Sixty-four percent of Argentines polled said they want Obama to win the November election. Some 19% said they want McCain to win while 17% said they don’t know for sure. “Barack Obama is the preferred candidate among Argentines,” according to Poliarquia, the consulting firm that led the survey.
Poliarquia’s survey confirms the results of other local polls, which also have shown Obama to be much more popular than McCain. In addition, Argentina’s political preferences are inline with those of 22 other countries, according to a recent BBC poll.
In that poll, people in 22 out of 22 countries surveyed said they want Barack Obama to win the election. An average of just 12% of those polled in those countries said they want McCain to win while 49% want Obama to be the next U.S. president.
As he world’s richest man, Warren Buffet is a legendary investor. He is worth $62 billion, according to Forbes. Buffet is famous for his stock picks and pretty much every other investment he has ever made. For many investors, Buffet is a financial God, and his annual letter to investors in his company, Berkshire Hathaway, is their bible.
But even Buffet would be impressed with the investment savvy of former Argentine President Nestor Kirchner, who, like Buffet, hails from a small interior province (Buffet is from Nebraska, Kirchner from Santa Cruz). As an editorial Monday in the Argentine daily La Nacion tells it, Kirchner has an uncanny knack for spotting a great deal.
In 2006 Kirchner bought 20,000 square meters of land near El Calafate in Santa Cruz. He paid just $2.50 per square meter – una ganga, as a Spanish speaker might say.
Two years later, according to La Nacion and Crítica de la Argentina, which first reported the story, Kirchner sold the land for $120 a meter, giving him a 4,700% return on his investment.
The following is a breakdown of upcoming concerts (and links, where available, to ticket outlets) in BA, listed in chronological order:
Boy George – September 10 – Luna Park (likely top price 275 pesos) TIX Dave Matthews Band (with Fito Paez & La Portuaria) – October 3 – Pepsi Festival TIX The Cult – October 4 – River Plate (top price 300 pesos) Stone Temple Pilots – October 10 – Estadio Obras (top price 300 pesos) Mötley Crüe – October 11 – River Plate (top price 300 pesos)
Marky Ramone – October 11 – Teatro de Flores (top price 60 pesos) Judas Priest – November 8 – Luna Park (top price 132 pesos) TIX Cyndi Lauper - November 21 – Luna Park (top price 286 pesos) TIX Queen – November 22-23 – Vélez Sarsfield (NA) Madonna – December 6 – River Plate (true to her Material Girl spirit: top price 730 pesos) TIX Los Fabulosos Cadillacs – December 12 – River Plate (top price 230 pesos)
Link: Ticket Portal
Link: Ticketek (This site, which is only slightly better than complete crap, has been down recently.)
The following notices are from the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires:
Voting and Consular Services Offered in Córdoba
The American Embassy in Buenos Aires is pleased to announce that a team will be traveling to Córdoba, Argentina, September 15 and 16 to offer voting and consular services. The visit is being conducted as a service for U.S. citizens residing in the area who find it difficult to travel to Buenos Aires to visit the Embassy. Only American Citizen Services will be offered during this trip. No visa services or information will be provided.
U.S. Embassy representatives will provide voter assistance and process U.S. passport renewals, take requests for additional passport pages and record overseas births of American citizens (Consular Reports of Birth Abroad). Services will be offered at the offices of Cámara de Comercio – AmCham, Av. Rafael Nuñez 3612, 1 Piso Of. 48, Edificio Cerro Office, Córdoba. Appointments are required and should be made by sending an e-mail to BuenosAires-ACS@state.gov (Subject: “CONSULAR TRIP TO CORDOBA”), no later than September 12th.
All services must be paid with an international credit card that can be charged in US dollars. In addition, all applicants must bring originals and photocopies of required documents. No photocopying or picture taking services will be available. For further details on the documentation that you will have to provide, visit our website: http://email@example.com
Voting and Consular Services Offered in Córdoba
The American Embassy in Buenos Aires is pleased to announce that a team will be traveling to Mendoza, Argentina, September 18 and 19 to offer voting and consular services. The visit is being conducted as a service for U.S. citizens residing in the area who find it difficult to travel to Buenos Aires to visit the Embassy. Only American Citizen Services will be offered during this trip. No visa services or information will be provided.
U.S. Embassy representatives will provide voter assistance and process U.S. passport renewals, take requests for additional passport pages and record overseas births of American citizens (Consular Reports of Birth Abroad). Services will be offered at the offices of Amicana, Chile 987, Mendoza. Appointments are required and should be made by sending an e-mail to BuenosAires-ACS@state.gov (Subject: “CONSULAR TRIP TO MENDOZA”), no later than September 15th.
All services must be paid with an international credit card that can be charged in US dollars. In addition, all applicants must bring originals and photocopies of required documents. No photocopying or picture taking services will be available. For further details on the documentation that you will have to provide, visit our wesbsite: http://firstname.lastname@example.org
“We Argentines are back on the path to greatness.” — Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, announcing private-sector plans to build a $3 billion railway network – which mainly entails building a 23-50 kilometer tunnel – connecting Argentina and Chile.
You’ve got to hand it to Argentina’s creative community. The country has some of the hippest creatives on the planet. Argentine commercials often win awards at international festivals, and deservedly so. For a look at some of the best vids around, check out www.landia.com.
Andy Fogwill directs some of the coolest videos there, including some made by friends of The Argentine Post over at La Comu.
Kudos to my buddy and fellow journo Luciano Dolber for highlighting the one shown above.
We encourage you to visit the newly redesigned Federal Voting Assistance Program website at www.fvap.gov, the official U.S. government website for overseas voters. The updated website features an automated Voter Registration and Ballot Delivery tool that will greatly improve the vote-by-mail process.
There are two options for overseas voters using the FVAP website:
Visit www.fvap.gov and click “Get Started” to be directed to an online Federal Postcard Application and instructions for your state; or
Visit www.fvap.gov and click “Use our New Automated Tool to Register/Request a Ballot” under Quick Links in the lower right-hand corner of the home page. You will be redirected to www.fvap.com, a fully automated site that requires you to create a user account and password.
Voter Registration & Requesting an Absentee Ballot
Voters who have not yet registered to vote and requested an absentee ballot should do so now using the FVAP website. You may also pick up a hard copy of the Federal Postcard Application (FPCA) from any U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
You should also complete a new Federal Postcard Application if you have moved or changed your name since the last time you voted.
Your local voting officials should mail your absentee ballot 30 to 45 days before the November 4 general election. Return your voted ballot as early as possible. Be aware of your state’s ballot receipt deadline, as well as any postmarking requirements.
The Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) serves as an emergency ballot for voters who registered in time but fail to receive an official ballot from local election officials. You can access the FWAB using www.fvap.gov as well.
The Voting Assistance Officer at the U.S. Embassy is also always available to answer questions about absentee voting. To contact the Voting Assistance Officer, call 011-5777-4818 or send an e-mail to VoteBuenosAires@state.gov.
Just over 53% of Argentines want Senator Barack Obama to win the U.S. presidential election, according to a survey released Wednesday by the consulting firm Ibarometro. The survey revealed that only 8.8% want Senator John McCain to win, while 38% said they didn’t know.
Ibarometro released a separate poll showing that Brazilian President Ignacio Lula Da Silva is the the most popular Latin American leader among Argentines. Almost 30% of Argentines said Lula was their favorite leader. Lula’s numbers are up from February, when just 18% of Argentines said he was their favorite.
Another 19% chose Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez while 10% selected Chilean President Michelle Bachelet. Evo Morales got just 6.7% while only 0.5% of Argentines said their favorite regional leader was Peruvian President Alan Garcia. Colombian President Alvaro Uribe barely did better with 1.3%. Support for Chavez is unchanged since February, indicating that about 20% of Argentines firmly support the verbose Venezuelan leader.
Another 37% of Argentines said Chavez was their least favorite Latin leader, while 15.6% said Uruguay’s Tabare Vazquez was their least liked politician.
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez’s approval rating fell to 29% in August, according to a new survey by the consulting firm Poliarquia Consultores. This a slight decline from 31% in July, though it is measurably higher than the president’s 20% low in June.
Some 36% of the population views the president negatively, compared with 34% a month ago. That is down from 46% in June.
Around 91.1% of Argentines believe in God, according to a new study by the National Council of Scientific and Technical Investigation, Conicet.
The study, which surveyed about 2,400 people, indicates that while the vast bulk of Argentines “believe in God, in Jesus, the Virgin Mary and in the Holy Saints,” they do so without necessarily participating in any kind of institutionalized religious activity. “This shows a strong process of individualization and non-institutionalization,” Dr. Fortunato Mallimaci, the study’s director, said in a statement. The Catholic Church, meanwhile, “has more of a social presense than a religious one in the country,” she added.
*76.5% of those surveyed define themselves as Catholic, but only 24% of these actively participate in religious ceremonies. This first percentage is down 14% from 1960, the last time a similar survey was conducted.
*91.8% believe in Jesus
*84% believe in the Holy Ghost
*80% believe in the Virgin Mary.
*11.3% are Atheists or Agnostics
*11% are “indifferent” about religion
*9% are Evangelical
*1.2% are Jehovas Witnesses
*Less than 1% are Mormon
*More than half of Argentines surveyed said they relate directly to God and do not need any kind of intermediary (such as a priest) to do so.
*70.8% said they will let their children freely choose what to believe about religion
*Oddly, the survey did not seem to mention anything about Jewish beliefs
“We are seeing a complex processes of change, where people are becoming less institutionally religious, where there is more individuation, and where there is a reworking of beliefs,” Mallimaci said.
Most Argentines (59%) have more faith in the Catholic Church than in any other institution, according to the poll. Faith in the church is followed closely by faith in the media, with 58% saying they trust the media. (Surely, they trust The Argentine Post!) About 46% trust the military while just 30% trust labor unions and only 27% trust political parties.
The survey also revealed that 92.4% of Argentines think schools should teach sexual education courses. Meanwhile, some 68.6% support the right to have an abortion.
It’s not often that you come across someone who is at once fiercely intelligent but also down-to-earth, confident but humble, outspoken and yet soft-spoken, philosophical but practical, gregarious but reserved, giving and yet forgiving. When you meet such a person, you feel fortunate. When you befriend such a person, you feel a sense gratitude.
Such is the feeling I have when I think about Alejandro Rozitchner. Alejandro is a philosopher, writer, blogger, teacher, motivational speaker, radio and TV personality, father, friend, husband and Porteño. In his blog, 100Volando, he has described himself as a “Nutritionist of Ideas.” In one of his many books, he describes himself not as an intellectual, but as a “basketball player of ideas.” If that’s the case, he may be something like the Manuel Ginobili of practical philosophy. He has somehow figured out a way to combine the wisdom of American self-help books with the teachings of great thinkers like Nietzsche and Freud. It’s an unusual approach, but it works.
The Argentine Post owes its existence to Alejandro’s generous spirit. One night after dinner Alejandro forced me to sit down and start a blog. He said he would not let me leave his house until I had uploaded my first post. I had little interest, but conceded that I had nothing to lose. So Alejandro grabbed his laptop, brought it to the table, and guided me to Blogger.com, where I wrote my first post. (It was something about the hideousness of eating blood sausage.)
Alejandro is a controversial figure. On occasion he inspires intense and sometimes vulgar opposition. Scan the Internet and you will find plenty of people attacking him and his work. Many of his detractors fall victim to that contagious disease that leads people to attack each other instead of each others’ ideas. But Alejandro has many great ideas and, agree with them or not, they are often valuable and insightful. His ideas force you to think about life – and life in Argentina – in new ways. He challenges you to question your assumptions and act in ways that bring more value into your life and into the world.
Alejandro is offering a 4-class course on The Development of Enthusiasm and, having taken the course myself, I can highly recommend it. The course, which is offered in Palermo, is in Spanish, so keep that in mind. As with all of Alejandro’s courses, this one will likely cover a broad sweep of subjects, all of which are relevant to the topic at hand. He teaches with passion and humor, often interacting with students in hilarious and challenging ways to stimulate debate and participation.
You can learn more about Alejandro at Bienvenidos A Mi. There you’ll find information about his books, classes and seminars, etc. He often offers classes on Nietzsche and other things at the bar El Taller in Plaza Serrano. As someone who has taken many undergraduate and graduate philosophy courses, I can say that Alejandro’s are atypical. They are fun, unique, involving and more relevant to everyday life than those you find in a typical classroom. The only admission requirement: Fluency in Spanish and a desire to be challenged.
Among other things, the Enthusiasm course will touch upon the work of:
David Allen (“Getting things done” & “Ready for everything”), Brian Eno (“Oblique strategies”), Julia Cameron (“El camino del artista”) & Tom Peters (“El proyecto 50” y “Re imagina”).
Details on the Enthusiasm Course:
Where: El Bar Taller (Serrano 1595, First Floor)
When: Aug. 28, Sept 4, 11, & 18
What Time: 8-9:30pm
Cost: 250 Pesos or $83 (No I don’t get any of this and Alejandro did not ask me to write this post.)
For more info, or to reserve a spot, write to Shona at email@example.com or call 4831-1588.
The iPhone went on sale Friday in 20 more countries, including Argentina, where it is being sold by Movistar and Claro. The miraculous electronic masterpiece is now sold in 47 countries. Surprisingly, Argentina’s northern neighbor and emerging economic powerhouse, Brazil, is not yet among these. But Brazil still has supermodel Gisele Bündchen, so the always cheery Brazilians have no right to complain.
Apple plans to sell 45 million iPhones next year, according to BusinessWeek. That’s about one iPhone for every 148 people on the planet. Prices in Argentina vary:
Claro‘s cheapest option goes for 1,599 pesos ($528) and includes an 8GB iPhone with 160 minutes, 100 text messages and a measly 512MB of Internet/email downloads. This plan also includes an obligatory 119 peso monthly fee. The 16GB phone, with the same package, sells for 2,029 pesos, or $670. With 400 minutes, 200 text messages and unlimited data, the 16GB iPhone sells for 1,479 pesos, or $489.
Claro claims to have the largest 3G network in Argentina, with access in 80 cities.
Movistar‘s cheapest regular 8GB contract goes for 1,079 pesos ($357), and includes 450 minutes, 200 text messages and unlimited data (Internet & email). This packages also includes a monthly fee of 230 pesos, or $76. This option is a bit better than a similar plan offered by Claro because it gives users 450 minutes, compared with just 400 from Claro. More Movistar prices can be found here.