Monthly Archives: October 2005

Teatro Jose Peon Contreras

This is the front of the theater in which I listened to the Orquestra Sinfonica de Yucatan the other evening. I will try to post a picture of the inside to give an idea of its opulence.

The performance this coming Friday evening will be Beethoven’s Fifth.

Yesterday I consulted the elderly proprietor of the tiny store four door downs as to whether I should expect trick or treaters. She indicated that trick of treating is not a custom observed here but that I may have some so outfitted me with a small bag of treats. I had not visits.


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I finally made it to Progreso, a city of about 40,000 about 20 miles North of Merida on the Gulf coast. I must say I was underwhelmed.

The air-conditioned bus ride from Merida took about an hour each way and cost 21 pesos, or $2 US, roundtrip.

The picture shows the pier, at 5 mile long purportedly the longest in the world. The picture also shows the very nice, white sandy beach and the paving stone walkway, called the Malecon, that extends some sixteen blocks and it lined the entire way by a concrete bench.

Yesterday, as it turned out was not a good day to visit, as there were two cruise ships docked and herds of tourists through the approximately 9 square block tourist area.

During my next visit I will explore the coastal villages to the West.

There’s not much else to report from here, other than I walked today to the Central Market which I visit a few times each week just for entertainment. I bought a maddox which represents a hug technological advance in my gardening pursuits. and came home and excavated the rocks, and there are many, from a 25 square foot patch.

Hasta luego.
Gringo Loco

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One Hell of a Birthday

I’ve had some memorable birthdays, like my 40th when my sister bought the birthday cake at the Erotic Bakery in Seattle; but I can say without qualification that today will be my most memorable yet.

This morning I walked the two miles round trip to the Santiago market, to which I had not yet been, to buy shrimp, tequila and black plastic with which to cover my garden bed to facilitate the composting. I bought a kilo of shrimp and a bottle of Jalieza, which is distilled from Agave, as is Tequila; but since it not distilled in the Tequila region it can not be called Tequila. I did not find black plastic.

After returning home; eating about a pound of shrimp, a tomato, and a quarter of an avocado; and drinking a couple of grapefruit juice and Jaliezas I walked the three mile round trip to the central market in search of black plastic, which I found and purchased. I returned home and covered the garden bed.

The real memorable part of my day, though, was my attendance, this evening, of a performance of a “Rock Sinfonico” by the Orquesta Sinfonica de Yucatan in the spectacular Teatro Jose Peon Contreras.

Not knowing that I should have purchased a ticket in advance I ended up in the “Galeria”, about 50 feet above the stage and level with the 12 foot, glass chandelier that hangs from the domed ceiling adorned with murals, which seem to me to have a religious theme. The theater, I think, is somewhat small, as such venues go; but is opulent in the true meaning of the word.

The theater is constructed as a semi-oval with the stage as its base. The ground floor has only thirteen rows of seats, with four successive balconies, adorned with elaborate filigree and which contain semi-private boxes, with six chairs each, accessed through elegant, double wooden doors. Above the fourth balcony resides the “Galeria”, which consists of an open concrete floor with chairs arranged along a guardrail. Despite the altitude and distance from the stage the performance was completely audible and left me agape.

The orchestra, in which my Spanish next door neighbor, Joel, plays trombone, performed a number of Beatles songs, from a rousing rendition of “When I’m Sixty-Four”, to delicate performances of “Yesterday” and “Michelle”, to a somewhat jocular version of “Yellow Submarine”. The Beatles’ numbers were followed by a number of Queen songs, including “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Joel was quite amazed earlier today, as he was telling me what the orchestra would perform, that I had never heard of Freddie Mercury, who I understand wrote the “Bohemian Rhapsody.” I wouldn’t know Freddie Mercury if I tripped over him, though I did recognize quite a number of the songs, such as “Another One Bites the Dust”, “We Will Rock You”, and “We Are the Champions”, even though I hadn’t known they were Queen songs.

All-in-all, it was it was a very enjoyable performance, and the only symphony orchestra performance I have attended when I recognized the songs performed.

What a day. And what a place to be.

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Sunet Over the Rappahannock

I took this picture in 2000 while participating in the No Whiners Rendezvous II, at my high school buddy’s Northern Neck retreat near where the Rappahannock flows into the Chesapeake Bay in Virgina.

The only thing I have to say about Libby’s indictment today is that any adult who still goes by “Scooter” has no business working in the White House.

OK, I’m just kidding. If you read the indictment you will notice that it, at one point, says:
“On or about May 29, 2003, in the White House, LIBBY asked an Under Secretary of State (“Under Secretary”) for information concerning the unnamed ambassador’s travel to Niger to investigate claims about Iraqi efforts to acquire uranium yellowcake. The Under Secretary thereafter directed the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research to prepare a report concerning the ambassador and his trip. The Under Secretary provided LIBBY with interim oral reports in late May and early June 2003, and advised LIBBY that Wilson was the former ambassador who took the trip.”

Who might that Under Secretary of State be?

My two readers will recall that I have, a number of times, suggested John Bolton’s involvement in the Plame Name Game affair. Bolton’s previous position was Undersecretary of State and one of his aides, Fred Fleitz, worked for the CIA and was “detailed” to Bolton’s staff.

The Fitzgerald investigation continues; and, it seems, Libby’s indictment (a great birthday present, by the way) is not the end. I am wondering, since Rove was spared an indictment today and since he has reportedly been in last minutes meetings with Fitzgerald, if Rove may have flipped.

I suspect that Fitzgerald has sought the indictment only against Libby because he has Libby dead to rights and is hoping Libby will flip. I mean is Libby really ready to go to prison (and if they sent Martha Stewart to prison for lying, they damned well better send Libby there) to save the Vice-president, Rove and the whole host of other sleaze bags up to their ears in this sordid affair.

Update: I lifted the following from Laura Rozen’s blog “War and Piece.”

Update II: The Post has more, including this tidbit about Rove, which Kevin [Kevin Drum’s blog “Political Animal”] highlighted:

Rove provided new information to Fitzgerald during eleventh-hour negotiations that “gave Fitzgerald pause” about charging Bush’s senior strategist, said a source close to Rove. “The prosecutor has to resolve those issues before he decides what to do.”

Update III: Here’s the Indictment.
Point 4 is particularly interesting and has new information. On May 29, 2003, Libby asked Under Secretary of State for information concerning Wilson’s trip to Niger. It doesn’t name him but I believe* that was Marc Grossman. (Mark Goldberg at Tapped suggests it’s Bolton. Hmm.) That led to the infamous State Department memo on Wilson’s trip. . . . (still reading)

I will witholding gloating until Bolton’s involvement is confirmed.


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Eva is the daughter of a friend in Pinar del Rio, Cuba and is amongst the cutest kids I’ve ever met.

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Prosecutor Fitzgerald Leasing More Office Space?

Important Update: Clemons is now reporting that his sources have informed him that they got it wrong. Fitzgerald has not, has not leased additional office space.

Read his retraction here.

Steve Clemons, at “The Washington Note”, reported late last evening that Fitzgerald has leased additional office space.

Read the report here.

Earlier reports indicated that Fitzgerald had met with the judge which impaneled the grand jury to request that another grand jury be impaneled upon the expiration of the current grand jury this coming Friday.

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Niger Uranium Forgeries

As you may have read, the Italian publication “La Repubblica” has published a three part report on the origins of the Niger uranium forgeries which the Bush administration neo-fascists convinced Bush to cite in his now infamous State of the Union Address to Congress justifying the criminal invasion of Iraq.

La Repubblica reports that the forgeries originated with none other than Silvio Burlsconi, Italy’s richest person, Italian media mogul, George Bush buddy, and Italian Prime Minister.

Remember, in late 2001 Harold Rhode, a committed neo-fascist and Pentagon official; Larry Franklin, since indicted for espionage for passing secrets to Israel and an Israeli advocacy lobbying group; Michael Leeden, super uberneo-fascist and leading neo-fascist “intellectual”; Iranian arms dealer and Iran-Contra star Manucher Ghorbanifar and a number of other Iranians; and Nicolo Pollari, director of the SISMI, an Italian state intelligence agency all met secretly in Italy. Whether the Niger forgery idea was cooked up at the meeting we will hopefully find out soon.

Remember also that the Italian parliament has investigated the matter of the Niger uranium forgeries but has not released a report of the investigation’s findings. Until, that is, a copy of the report was provided, some time ago, to none other than special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald.

Translations of the three parts of the report may be found:

Part One

Part Two

Part Three (partial)

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