Sunday, May 17, 2015

Observations From the Back Row

Venezuela’s LostGeneration, Karla Zabludovsky
An eerie emptiness fills the hallways of Central Venezuela University’s School of Chemistry building. Bottles of solvents gather dust inside the locked-up classrooms. Buckets sit underneath rusty pipes, wooden stools lie on top of the work stations, and the safety shower, used in the case of chemical emergencies, doesn’t work properly. The campus, with its moldy ceilings and suffocating silence, has the feel of a 1970s horror movie set……..Skyrocketing inflation adds to the problem. Finding essential items has become an arduous journey often entailing queueing for hours, heavy markups and a deep-dive into the growing black market for everything from toilet paper to surgical tools.…….Shortages have been plaguing the country since 2013, as production costs have surpassed government-controlled prices while dollars, needed to import raw materials, have become more difficult to access. The government recently established a system in which people can only buy essential products like rice, sugar, butter, and coffee on selected days of the week, depending on the last number of their official identification cards.   President Nicolás Maduro has said the shortages are the result of an economic war waged by the country’s right-wing opposition, orchestrated by and from the U.S. embassy in Caracas.  As a result, many people now spend large chunks of their free time waiting to buy food.…….To Read More…..

My Take Okay, where’s Sean Penn now?  Remember when he told the world that Hugo Chevez was one of the most important forces in the world today, and “journalists who refer to Chavez as a “dictator” should be jailed (which should tell you a little something about how he understands freedom), Penn claimed in 2010: “Who do you know here who’s gone through 14 of the most transparent elections on the globe and has been elected democratically, as Hugo Chavez?”  But now he blames “Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro’s problems on what the leader inherited from his predecessor–Hugo Chavez. Only Penn doesn’t blame his late friend at all, preferring to spin a yarn about paranoia and relationships meant to excuse the late leader from guilt  Confused? Wait until Penn compares Venezuela’s collapsing economy with that of America’s stagnant fiscal house. The Mystic River star talked politics with the little-seen Al Jazeera network and gave his views on the current Venezuela crisis.”  Here’s the real thrust of Sean Penn.  If he thinks is utopia, then why hasn’t he moved there?  Just like his communist father,  who was blacklisted during the HUAC hearing days, and just as dumb.  By the way.  What party ran the House in Congress during the HUAC hearings?  Which committee caused people to be blacklisted – HUAC or the Senate’s committee ran by McCarthy?

Eurosceptics were relishing the prospect of a minority Miliband government and the inevitable resignation of David Cameron. Whoever succeeded him as Conservative leader could only have won by hardening the anti-EU line and then relentlessly harrying what they expected to be a weak Miliband government for its pro-Europeanism. Euroscepticism would reach new and impassioned heights.  All of that is stone dead. One of the silver linings from the election result is the death of Brexit. There will be alarms along the way to the referendum, but the Tory high command has taken the decision that, come what may, Britain must stay in and it is politically skilled enough to ride the political white surf and deliver the necessary yes result…..To Read More…..

My Take - Britain’s a mess.  Scotland’s a mess.  The EU is the biggest mess of them all.  And we thought we had problems.  But one thing is clear.  Every conservative utterance from a politician running for office is probably nothing more than a load of hoohaw in order to appease their base.  Once elected they revert to character….and they do it over and over again.  Gruber called voters stupid and everyone was all upset.  I wonder why

Ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi sentenced to death , By Hamza Hendaw
An Egyptian court on Saturday sentenced the country's first freely elected leader, ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, to death over a mass prison break during the 2011 uprising that eventually brought him to power.  The ruling applies to another 120 people, and is the latest in a series of mass death sentences handed down since the military overthrew Morsi nearly two years ago. The sentence will likely further polarize Egypt, a longtime U.S. ally grappling with an Islamist insurgency that has intensified since Morsi's overthrow.  In what appears to be the first violent response to the ruling, suspected Islamic militants gunned down three judges and their driver in the northern Sinai Peninsula city of al-Arish, according to security officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media……To Read More…..

My TakeWell, it would appear the current Egyptian government has read a history book of two on how the Ottoman Empire handled “radical” Muslims.  The Wahhabi radicals aren’t something new.  They were founded almost 300 years and became such a problem to the Ottoman Empire they eventually sent an army to defeat them.  Afterward, although most political leaders were well treated, they executed all the leaders of the Wahhabi movement because they felt religious leaders would be uncompromising and a far bigger threat than mere self promoting politicos.  Clearly they understood Islam!

Cuba’s 12 Most Absurd Prohibitions That Tourists May Never Notice, Daily Beast
It's getting easier to go to Cuba, but not necessarily to live there. Sometimes it’s the little things that make you crazy. But, then, there are big things, too.  Here’s a list of the 12 most absurd prohibitions and limitations that we Cubans have to endure in our homeland. It is worth highlighting that the socialist Government of Cuba applies some of them exclusively to Cuban citizens, while foreign residents and tourists do not suffer from the bans. A curious double standard, no? And worth remembering if you are planning a visit and discover your new Cuban friends can’t join you in the fun.

Cubans can’t access the Internet from their homes or on their cellphones.
No sailing on tourist boats.
No cable TV.
Can’t live in Havana (without a permit).
No public demonstrations allowed. 6-No Political Parties allowed (except the Partido Comunista de Cuba).
No investment in medium and large enterprises.
Can’t import wireless microphones, walkie-talkies and satellite communication devices without authorization..”
No inviting a foreigner to spend the night without a permit.
Freely selling lobster and shrimps is not allowed.
If you pick up a foreigner in a private car you may be in trouble.
Bringing from abroad 25 artificial fingernails violates the law. …..To Read More….

My Take – Okay…..why is it none of the America’s political and Hollywood elites, who praise Castro up and down, don’t live there? 

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