Monthly Archives: December 2006

Santiago de Cuba Photos

The Parque Cespedes is the center of activity in Santiago de Cuba, a spectacularly beautiful city. I took this photo from the roof of the Hotel Granda.

Here’s a shot of the Parque at night taken from the second floor mezzanine of the Hotel Granda which is a great place to sit and watch the comings and goings on the street below.

The mountains descend to the shore of the very picturesque Santiago Harbor. I suggest a train ride from Havana to Santiago.

Before leaving on the trip during which I took these pictures one of my taveling companions suggested that the perfect picture from a trip to Cuba would be of an old woman smoking a cigar.  We were sitting on a bench in the Parque Cespedes one day when this woman approach and permitted me to take her picture.


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More Havana Photos

I ran across this tree while walking the streets of the Vedado neighborhood of Havana. I suppose I should note the following pictures and those I posted yesterday are from visits in 2003 and 2004.

If all goes according to plan I will be posting current photos over the next couple of weeks.

The following pictures are of mansions lining the Avenida de Presidentes, which is a wide boulevard with a wide, landscaped median containing sculptures of famous presidents from throughout the world, such as Lincoln and Allende. The mansions no serve as apartment houses. It is spectacular.

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Filed under Blogroll, Cuba, Travel

Havana Buildings


The Cuban Capitol building in Havana is modeled after the USA capitol building.


Beautiful buildings, representing the full range of architectural styles, from colonial, art deco, to modern, are pervasive in Havana.

The colonial building below includes Moorish arches, owing, I suppose, to the Moorish occupation of a large part of Spain and its consequent influence on Spanish architecture.


The following two building front on the oldest plaza in Old Havana, a World Heritage Site, around which the buildings have either been renovated or now being so.
Old Town Building

Old Town Building 2


Filed under Blogroll, Cuba, Travel

Drug War Victory

I have more than once noted that the only rational that comes to my mind as to why it is legal to be whacked out on legal psychotropic drugs and illegal to be whacked out on illegal drugs is the protection of drug manufacturer profits.

Consequently, I think the recent news that illegal drug use is down amongst teens while legal drug use is up represents a victory in the drug war.

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Filed under Drug War, Iconoflatulence

AP Continues to Report Gore Claimed to Invent Internet

Silly me, I thought that every reporter worth the job title (and there seem to be few) would know that the almost ten year old campaign lie that Gore had claimed to have “invented” the internet was just that – a campaign lie.

Now comes AP hack Philip Elliott, reporting on the growing importance of the internet in political campaigns, writing that:
“Al Gore claimed he invented it. John McCain predicted it would revolutionize political campaigning. Howard Dean made it pay; and then some.

“Ah, the Internet.”

Just for the record Al Gore never claimed to have “invented” the internet. He did claim in a March, 1999 conversation with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, “During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet.” Microsoft says of the Gore sponsored legislation: “The mass commercialization of today’s Internet is the direct result of this legislation.”

Eisenhower is widely credited with creating the interstate highway system but no one has suggested that Eisenhower ever claimed to have invented a highway.

The fact that AP editors released a story propagating ten year old campaign lie suggests that AP has morphed in a Wiki “news” source.

UPDATE 12/26/06: I see Steve Benen, writing at the Washington Monthly “Political Animal” blog has a similar reaction.

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Filed under Al Gore, AP, Internet

Hooray for S.C. Senator Lindsey Graham

Relative to Congressman Elect Keith Ellison’s plan to swear his oath on the Quran and Congressbigot Goode’s idiocy, Senator Graham, an apparent real conservative, has it exactly right.

“Why would you swear allegiance to a document outside your faith? In our legal system, people can take the oath in a variety of ways. Religious diversity is a strength, not a weakness in this country. We need immigration reform, but not for the reasons that Mr. Goode cited. What would happen in this country if a Christian were elected in Lebanon and he had to swear allegiance to the Koran when it came time for them to take office? There’d be an outcry in this country. So I embrace religious diversity. I welcome this new member of Congress. I’m glad he’s swearing allegiance to a document that is consistent with his faith.”

“And what I would like America to do in 2007 is understand that the war on terror is about intolerance, that Syria is a dictatorship that has no interest in seeing a representative democracy in Iraq, that Iran, the president of Iran hosted a conference denying the holocaust in December 2006, has vowed to destroy the state of Israel,” Graham continued. “We don’t need to be talking to these people, we need to be standing up to their agendas and bringing them in line with the world, a world of tolerance.”

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Filed under Iconoflatulence, Uncategorized, Virgil Goode

L.A. Times – “Wolfowitz owes us an explanation”

As the Times notes , Wolfowitz was wrong about almost everything he said about an invasion of Iraq, lied, denigrated the professional military, and pimped Ahmad Chalabi and was appointed by Bush as president of the World Bank.

An excerpt from the Times commentary:
By Sonni Efron, Sonni Efron is an editor on the opinion pages of The Times.
December 24, 2006

ACCOUNTABILITY is one of those ideals, like justice or the triumph of right over might, that are wonderful in principle but usually disappointing in practice.

This is nowhere more true than in Washington, where one of the most powerful men in President Bush’s inner circle, a man who helped conceive, plan and execute the Iraq war, has managed to escape scrutiny for steering his country into one of the greatest strategic catastrophes of his generation.


Filed under Iconoflatulence, Iraq, Politics