1/22/2017

Trump versus Chavez

The Venezuelan political system was never as strong as the USA system. Comparing the two is like comparing a chicken to a rhinoceros. I also sense that, behind his populist language, Trump has a very sophisticated perception of the world. Maybe this perception doesn’t jibe with the western ruling elite’s, but it makes sense to me.


The point where I’m really disconnected from Trumpism is the proposal to move the USA embassy to Jerusalem. But I really like his proposal to ratchet down tension with Russia, that’s a key move the USA needs to make before it can move forcefully to deal with the mess Bush and Obama created in the Middle East, North Africa, and Afghanistan.

1/15/2017

Philosophy

I’m an engineer, born in Cuba, educated in a USA university before they degenerated in the early 21st century, and to be honest I'm not well educated in the Humanities, Social Sciences, Art, or things like that.
So I’m not sure who most of the great philosophers are. I study history, but I focus more on the broad sweep of things, the wars, the way the maps changed, how populations changed over the centuries as territories were conquered and ethnic cleansing took place. 
I don’t know what a “philosophical conversation” is about. I know that conversing with a committed Marxist or a religious extremist (of any religion) is fairly useless. 
Lately I’ve been debating myself as to whether this universe is like this because it’s one of many, and we simply evolved to adapt to what was available, or whether we are in a computer simulation with a faulty source code. 
The Parthenon (Athens, Greece) 
I remember visiting Greece, looking at their statues and admiring the way the Parthenon columns slanted just right, and thinking about the thousands of slaves who worked in hell holes, to get the silver which made that architectural genius emerge as if by magic. That’s about as philosophical as I can get.

1/13/2017

Diary of a Time Traveling Antiwar Protestor

This is the diary written by a traveler from the 20th Century, specifically from 1967. This traveler wasn´t part of a scientific expedition, but the innocent victim of a time warp, a phenomenon of incomprehensible origin which strikes humans once in a while, but which remain under recorded by the complete lack of proof proffered by those who travel through time and manage to survive.

Diary Text Follows:

We planned for months the protest of October 21st (that´s in 1967).  We met and read about Vietnam, some brought letters written by friends stuck over there, others exchanged notes on how to escape the draft, get a deferment, whether to get a chick pregnant with triplets was feasible, the trip to Canada….and rolled joints.

The protest movement wasn´t exactly invented by an ingenious brain. It was well advertised, but it hardly needed it: the seductive nature, and the energy behind it, came from the simple fact that most of the participants were middle class kids who didn´t want to go die or lose their legs to make Vietnam free for democracy. There was a lot of talk about the poor Vietnamese, but that was the cover. Nobody really cared for gooks, especially anti American commie gooks who dressed in black and stuck sharp bamboo sticks under prisoners´ toe nails.

On October 20th we formed a convoy to get to the Pentagon. I was greatly surprised to see so many elderly people—some of them were as old as 50. Most of them were parents of prospective draftees, although some of them seemed to be radical college professors, the same guys who taught us that dropping LSD was liberating, and that free love ensured a healthy future.

Typical anti Vietnam War demonstrators in 1967

That day we hit the road I felt we were on our way to a great adventure. Boy was I way off the mark. . It was wonderful to escape our daily routine, and I especially enjoyed having sprinkle donuts with strong coffee brought by one of the older couples. I was satisfied with the picnic atmosphere until, early on the 21st,  we got close to the Pentagon, and we disembarked next to a crowd of rowdy characters chanting antiwar slogans.  At that time I wished to be elsewhere. I saw the faces of my travel companions, and they too seemed a bit lost. After all, we were a very civilized group, we just wanted to avoid going to Vietnam, and we had mixed in with a crowd which appeared ready to burn the Pentagon to ashes. It just didn´t seem right.

So as we approached the Pentagon and saw the tear gas cloud, our small group huddled under a tree, and debated whether to get involved in the fight. And then we saw it: a supernatural light coming from above, a spooky fog, and the ground began to shake.

Next thing we knew, we were all laid on the ground next to the same tree, but the crowd had disappeared. We shook ourselves out of our slumber, and stared at the cars going by…they were small, egg shaped, and lacked the customary tail fins. We also noticed a few people walking across the boulevard…heads down, talking to a small object they held in their hands, which seemed to answer and occasionally drove them to touch it as if they were typing.

I also noticed the sky was gray. Much grayer than it had been hours before. And it was definitely much colder than usual for October in Washington DC, about 30 degrees F  (later I would find we had time traveled to the winter of 2017, and that the planet´s average surface temperature had increased one degree F, so I imagine that day the temperature would have been 29 degrees F or even lower if global warming hadn´t happened).

We walked down the avenue until we found a kindly old man, who looked at us and smiled “Those dyed tied down T-shirts sure look like the ones I used to wear 50 years ago”.

 I whispered to my friends the guy was a bit goofy, and my companions seemed to agree, so we ignored him. But then he took a small rectangular object out of his pocket and asked us if he could take “a selfie with you guys”. We were a bit confused, but decided to humor him, stood in a tight group around him, and dutifully smiled as he said “Cheese” and held the small gadget up in the air.

 At that point I got a glimpse of our image printed on the gadget´s surface, and that´s  when I began to realize that something was really wrong. So I asked him if he could explain how the device worked.

The old man answered “I´m not sure, I got this for my birthday present.  I´m just a social sciences college professor teaching “Climate Change Communicational Strategy” and “Micro-aggression Avoidance” in the School of Engineering”.

As you can imagine, we were quite confused.

12/16/2016

US State Department warns against travel to Venezuela

A little bit late, but the USA State Department is warning citizens not to travel to Venezuela. As of right now, on Friday morning Caracas time, I'm seeing reports of looting, disturbances and riots in cities from San Cristobal in Western Venezuela to Maturin in the eastern oil field region. 

Warning follows:

"The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens against travel to Venezuela due to violent crime, social unrest, and pervasive food and medicine shortages. 

All U.S. direct-hire personnel and their families assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Caracas are subject to an embassy movement policy that limits their travel within Caracas and other parts of the country. These security measures may restrict the services the Embassy can provide. Country-wide shortages of food, water, medicine, electricity, and other basic goods have led to social unrest, including violence and looting. Security forces have arrested individuals, including U.S. citizens, and detained them for long periods with little or no evidence of a crime. The U.S. Embassy may not be notified of the detention of a U.S. citizen and consular access to detainees may be denied or severely delayed. The detained citizen may be denied access to proper medical care, clean water, and food. This replaces the Travel Warning issued July 15, 2016."

Site link 

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings/venezuela-travel-warning.html

Later: A link to a description of the looting of Ciudad Bolivar
https://www.caracaschronicles.com/2016/12/19/weekend-in-hell/

Who is really behind the Trump-Putin bullshit?

I havent seen a shred of real proof backing the idea that Russia orchestrated Trump's victory, or that Putin's KGB hacked the democrats, etc. I do read articles like this  
which are carefully redacted to deceive the readership. I read articles in the NY Times and other media which use the same redaction as well. And the methods they use are uncanningly similar to the ones used by the Bush administration when they orchestrated support for the Iraq invasion. 

12/15/2016

US Intel Vets Dispute Russia Hacking Claims

As the hysteria about Russia’s alleged interference in the U.S. election grows, a key mystery is why U.S. intelligence would rely on “circumstantial evidence” when it has the capability for hard evidence, say U.S. intelligence veterans.


Note: I copied this article verbatim from consortium news, it was written by a group of USA intelligence professionals who call themselves "Veteran intelligence professionals for Sanity. Their names are listed at the bottom of this post. Source is: 


MEMORANDUM

Allegations of Hacking Election Are Baseless

New York Times report on Monday alluding to “overwhelming circumstantial evidence” leading the CIA to believe that Russian President Vladimir Putin “deployed computer hackers with the goal of tipping the election to Donald J. Trump” is, sadly, evidence-free. This is no surprise, because harder evidence of a technical nature points to an inside leak, not hacking – by Russians or anyone else.