Religious Dance Moves

I ran into this video of a Bar Mitzvah which took place in Dallas, Texas, a couple of years ago. The video came with some pointed comments by Philip Weiss, a Jewish fella who criticized the video´s artistic merit.

Dallas Bar Mitzvah video 

Philip wrote this about the video; 
 “Sam Horowitz’s ecdysiastic bar mitzvah celebration in Dallas last November is all over the internet thanks to a blog called Kveller, which published it like it was cute. “The Dallas Observer called the professionally choreographed routine at the Omni Hotel ‘unarguably the craziest entrance to a religious celebration and ceremony,’ which is unfair, seeing as it’s unarguably the craziest entrance to anything ever,”
I bet my old High School friends at Hewlett High are worried about the way things are turning out. To give you a sense of how things are changing, here´s a quote from My Jewish Learning
“The history of the bar mitzvah dates back to a fifth-century rabbinic text references a blessing (still part of a traditional bar mitzvah) recited by the father thanking God for freeing him from responsibility for the deeds of his child, who is now accountable for his own actions. A 14th-century text mentions a father reciting this blessing in a synagogue when his son has his first aliyah. By the 17th century, boys celebrating this coming of age were also reading from the Torah, chanting the weekly prophetic portion, leading services, and delivering learned talks.”


I interview Waziria´s President Obombo

I just returned from Waziria´s capital, Kumbasi, where I interviewed President Obombo and inquired about his battles  against global warming, Russia, terrorism, and the Senator Bolo-led opposition.

President Obombo in his conference room, 
waiting for me to serve him simbiliki legs

To be honest, I snuck into his conference room  wearing a waiter´s uniform and carrying a plate full of fried simbiliki legs, his favorite snack, but after I revealed my true journalistic  nature, he graciously agreed to this brief interview:

LEANME (that´s me):  Mr. President, thank you for doing this.

OBOMBO:  Great to be with you (begins to munch on simbiliki)

LEANME:  Really appreciate it. So, let's begin with global warming…

OBOMBO:  Yes, as you know, 2014 was the planet’s warmest year on record. The best scientists in the world are all telling us that our activities are changing the climate, and if we do not act forcefully, we’ll continue to see rising oceans, longer, hotter heat waves, dangerous droughts and floods, and massive disruptions that can trigger greater migration, conflict, and hunger around the globe.

LEANME:  2014 was 0.017 degrees warmer than 2010.

OBOMBO:  Right.

LEANME: This is all caused by CO2?

OBOMBO:  Right.


"Sorry Venezuela Haters, Venezuela isn´t Greece"

In November 2013, The Guardian, a British newspaper, published an article titled “Sorry, Venezuela haters: this economy is not the Greece of Latin America” by Mark Weisbrot, a well known American economist who writes propaganda  for the Venezuelan regime.

In this world an American economist can write in a British newspaper that a large fraction of the Venezuelan people are  “Venezuela haters”, and get away with it. 

On the other hand, we can  remind communists like Mark, who back that regime,  that Maduro and the gang who surround him aren´t “Venezuela”. They are a bunch of corrupt parasites, communist psychopaths, narcogenerals, and other a55h0les. 

The Venezuelan people go hungry and lack decent medical
 care because Mark´s  communist friends ruined the economy. 

So let´s go over the Guardian article...here´s Mark´s opening paragraph:

“For more than a decade people opposed to the government of Venezuela have argued that its economy would implode. .....  How frustrating it has been for them to witness only two recessions: one directly caused by the opposition's oil strike (December 2002-May 2003) and one brought on by the world recession (2009 and the first half of 2010).”

And now the clincher

“But how can a government with more than $90bn in oil revenue end up with a balance-of-payments crisis? Well, the answer is: it can't, and won't. ….. This government is not going to run out of dollars.”

The Guardian article 

How? Maybe by being socialist, corrupt, and imbeciles at the same time? Maybe because they don´t really have $90 billion in oil revenue, because they fake their production figures, because oil prices were bound to drop,  and because they destroyed national productive capacity? Where did you say you got your economics degree? A bullshit university somewhere in Michigan?


I´m not Charlie Hebdo

Every blog, newspaper, and TV show keeps repeating the “I´m Charlie Hebdo” ditty. I´m sorry, but I´m not Charlie Hebdo. I don´t believe in anything, but I want to emphasize my respect for all religions and sects, of whatever kind. I also want to make a clear statement in defense of that tasteless magazine, and to condemn the sick intolerance which drove those two nutty brothers to so much murder and mayhem. 

Those two sick puppies were nearly as bad as the Norwegian right wing extremist  Anders Behring Breivik (77 victims),  the religious nutter  Jim Jones (913 victims),  the  Andreas Baader-Ulrike Meinhof gang (at least 34 victims),  Osama bin Laden (3000+ victims)... 

I find this cartoon, taken from a Charlie Hebdo
 magazine cover, to be completely tasteless
 and offensive. If had been the editor I would 
never publish anything like this. 

That magazine sure knows how to draw up material to upset just about everybody on the planet. I found out there´s a whole collection of tasteless cartoons about other religions  one can find using google images search.

Really tasteless cartoon about 
Christian leader, this doesn´t 
have any artistic merit, period.

Google images also served up incredibly offensive material about Jews  drawn by Iranian cartoonists. I bet religious Iranians  wouldn´t want me to  draw  ugly cartoons about their Imam Ali. Eh?


Overview of the cemetery where Fidel Castro will be buried

Lonelyplanet has a good summary of Santa Ifigenia cemetery, in Santiago de Cuba,  where Fidel Castro will be buried sometime in  2016. I don´t have all the details about the burial ceremony, but I understand they are going to invite everybody who counts. Fidel Castro isn't dead, but his mind is completely gone, they got him wearing diapers, and he can barely move. In other words, it's likely they Castro family dinasty's first dictator will be dead and buried within months. 

The idea is to transform the old wasted dictator´s body into a worship object, to enforce the idea that a Castro will always be the natural heir to Fidel´s glorious tradition and wonderful ideas. They Castro dictatorship is  morphing into a weird mixture of China and North Korea. 

Santa Ifigenia cemetery, where rumour has it 
Fidel Castro will be buried in 2016

Lonely Planet´s description follows:

“Nestled peacefully on the city's western extremity, the Cementerio Santa Ifigenia is second only to Havana's Necrópolis Cristóbal Colón in its importance and grandiosity. Created in 1868 to accommodate the victims of the War of Independence and a simultaneous yellow-fever outbreak, the Santa Ifigenia includes many great historical figures among its 8000-plus tombs, notably the mausoleum of José Martí.

Names to look out for include … María Grajales, the widow of independence hero Antonio Maceo; and Mariana Grajales, Maceo's mother; 11 of the 31 generals of the independence struggles; the Spanish soldiers who died in the battles of San Juan Hill and Caney; the 'martyrs' of the 1953 Moncada Barracks attack; M-26-7 activists Frank and Josué País; father of Cuban independence, Carlos Manuel de Céspedes (1819–74); and international celebrity-cum-popular-musical-rake, Compay Segundo (1907–2003) of Buena Vista Social Club fame.

The highlight of the cemetery, for most, is the quasi-religious mausoleum to national hero José Martí (1853–95)….A round-the-clock guard of the mausoleum is changed, amid much pomp and ceremony, every 30 minutes.

Horse carts go along Av Jesús Menéndez, from Parque Alameda to Cementerio Santa Ifigenia (1 peso); otherwise it's a good leg-stretching walk.”



Over the last few months I have written some posts about Cuba, these are links to some: 

Diango and Bianco Vargas, twin brothers, jailed 
by the Castro  dictatorship when they were  17 
years old. They are members of a tiny anti 
dictatorship organization,  Union Patriotica.   


An Interview with Venezuela´s President Maduro

This interview with Venezuela´s President, Nicolás Maduro,   is the second in my series of meetings with Oil Magnates and other influential Oil Mafia Figures who are trying to destroy the renewables industry. I caught up with him during his layover at the VIP lounge in the Moscow airport when he was flying his Cubana de Aviación VIP jet to Beijing.

President Maduro was a bit tense, and made sure other Venezuelan officials sat at the table to help him during the interview. I, on the other hand, was  relaxed, even though I knew there was a slight chance I wouldn´t come out  of that airport lounge in one piece. 

Interviewing Maduro in a Moscow Airport VIP lounge

I started the interview by thanking him for allowing me his time, and by giving him the reassurance that his Foreign Minister (Delcy Rodriguez) would get to edit my notes (I lied).

The president smiled and tossed out his first comments:

“I am very thankful to see you here, so you can report to your international  audience, and  say the truth about me. It is always important, the people in other countries should  believe we have a successful process of new economic social models, a new socialist mentality and all that”.

I decided to dive in and asked him about Venezuela´s economic problems, the high inflation rate, the food and other shortages, the shrinking economy, and the collapse of the oil price. He looked a little bit lost for a second, then started what appeared to be a canned response:

Maduro: “The opposition participated in the coup attempt against Hugo Chavez in 2002 in April. The economic problems are the result of an imperialist conspiracy, my government officials worry about the people. Inflation is caused by the merchants and businessmen who want to have profits in a time of scarcity.  What would the US do if a tiny group would say they’re going to generate profits when the country is having a crisis like this?”

I decided to get hardnosed and see  what he thought about the 60 % inflation rate being experienced  in Venezuela, so I repeated my question. 


Interview with an oilman

This is part one of a six part set of interviews I made in Texas,  to discover the secret behind the oil industry  conspiracy to kill the  renewables industry.  

"We wanted to break the renewable´s  backs, to show that electric cars are glorified golf carts" says J.R. Sanders, CEO of “Black Gold”,  a privately held  company engaged in the oil business all over the world, and Member of the Board  of a secretive oil company organization called “American Petroleum Institute”.

"We sat down with the Saudis, the guys at the Military Industrial Complex and the Israel Lobby, made some agreements, and so far it looks like we´re gonna get it done"

I wanted to find out how the Oil Mafia conspires  to stop renewables, so I had gone to Texas in late 2014 to get in contact with their people. To my surprise, I found they were  secretive, but some of them were very talkative. My first “inside” contact was a Dallas banker who didn´t say much. He put me in contact with a French "service company” manager, who refused to discuss anything after he found out I was a  media spy from Ohio. But this guy agreed to send an email to Mr Sanders´s executive secretary, who set up my interview in Sanders´ personal office in Houston.

With large boots  on his desk, Sanders looked  annoyed when I asked: “So you are the ones behind the 2014  oil price crash? ¿And this is supposed to make renewables disappear?”  

Sanders imitating James Dean in
 his Houston oilman´s office 

"At first we thought we could buy the US Government outright and make them pass laws to outlaw renewables, but pretty soon we found out that was way too transparent,  and the politicians wouldn´t go for it.  The tobacco lobby and the lawyers agreed to sell out after we put enough cash on the table, but we found out the Military Industrial Complex and the Israel Lobby wouldn´t risk exposing their side”.

He picked up a can of chewing tobacco, offered me some, and after I politely turned him down he put a huge wad in his mouth and mumbled:  “We knew we had to move fast before renewables got too popular, so we called the Saudis, asked for extra cash and made our move.”


Tania´s Arrest, Yoani´s note, and tourist travel to Cuba

The text below is a description of the wave of arrests and repression carried out by Cuban  state security agencies, against freedom activists who tried to hold an event on December 31st, in which people could openly speak in Havana´s main Plaza for ONE MINUTE about their hopes for Cuba,   if the US established relations with the dictatorial regime run by the Castro family since 1959.

I´m posting this because I¨m getting questions about travel to Cuba and what my reaction is to Obama´s initiative. 

 Below, at the very bottom, you can read a bit about what I wrote in an email to a prospective tourist.  But first I want to quote from a newspaper to make sure you get an idea of what happened on December 30th in Havana which prompted Tania´s arrest and Yoani´s note. 

This is  from the LA Times:

Tania Bruguera speaks  at Occupy Boston 

Artist Tania Bruguera detained in Cuba before performance, family says

Cuban performance artist Tania Bruguera1 was detained by authorities in Havana before a controversial planned performance, according to the artist's sister. The piece was to consist of installing a podium and an open microphone in Havana's Revolution Square, allowing any interested individuals the opportunity to speak their minds for exactly one minute.

Deborah Bruguera, who lives in Italy and in the past has helped her sister manage her studio, issued a series of statements via her Facebook page stating that law enforcement officials were seen taking Tania Bruguera from their mother's home in Havana on Tuesday morning and that the artist had not been seen or heard from since.

"I'm making an urgent call to the national and international community to pressure the Cuban government to give us information on her location and condition," Deborah Bruguera wrote in one post.