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 


Later: A link to a description of the looting of Ciudad Bolivar

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. 

Here is a piece lifted from "End Times"
As far as I know, this type of deception has been codified and structured, it's a descendant of old Soviet agitprop. The first well organized practitioners were organized early in the bush administration, placed in several teams embedded within 
the government. 
For example, Wolfowitz set up an "Office of Special Plans" under Abram Shulsky at the Pentagon. Their function was to create a false news feed to encourage the Iraq invasion. This office in turn worked closely with Miller at the NY Times and other media. See In Rumsfeld´s Shop  for a very good insider description of how these dark shops do their work. This is a three part series in "American Conservative Magazine" by Karen Kwiatowski, a retired USAF officer. 
So, thus far what we have is a rather poorly prepared deception campaign intended to undermine the Trump presidency. The neocons, which are quite active within the Democratic Party organization, are working with key republicans (Rubio, McCain) to block any moves by Trump to reach an entente with Putin. 
The problem I see is the serious damage they are doing to democracy in general. Neocons (which evidently have some influence over this newspaper) are a very heterogenous group, focused on making the USA a hegemonic or imperial power. They are keen on creating this super super power to in turn control the Middle East and create a safe operating room for Israel. Evidently Trump isn't Israel's enemy, but he's not supporting the neocon approach. 
I'm also starting to wonder if this nay not be in part an internal Russian struggle, after all Putin put the brakes on the oligarchs (for example Khodokorvsky spent time in jail). Maybe the whole charade about Trump and Putin is being financed by Russian oligarchs?


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: 


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.


Raúl Castro incites Maduro to destroy Venezuela

Maduro is mentored or bossed by the Castro dictatorship. Maduro, Jaua, Silva, and others in the government were educated in Cuba when Fidel was in charge and they were very keen on sustaining a communist dictatorship. 
However, the communist system failed, Fidel sickened and then became senile, and his brother Raul took over. Raúl used to be a Marxist in the 60's, but eventually he realized the system had to evolve. So now he's trying to change towards a limited version of the Chinese hybrid, with a heavy military flavor. 
So the problem Raúl faces in his colonization of Venezuela is the training Maduro and his guys were given by Fidel, and the heavy narco presence in the regime (the Cabello faction is heavily into the cocaine trade). Raúl does control Maduro to a large extent, but that control is given legitimacy by a shared belief in Chávez/Fidel dogma (Marxist dictatorship and the use of state resources to undermine democracy and implement Marxism in other nations). 
Maduro is "run" by Raúl Castro 


I can't stand articles like this

Read this piece of shit and my comments at the bottom >> Communist professor apologizes for Castro's failure

I’m Cuban, have had decades to think about this issue. To begin with, we have to remember the word “blockade” was coined by Fidel to label USA economic sanctions. There is no such thing as a blockade, and Cuba has been free to sell its goods, and purchase theirs, from other nations.

Those of us who had to endure the horror of living in Cuba under Castro’s rule had the opportunity to see it in its glorious inefficiencies and irrational ways. This first hand experience makes it clear that Castroite Cuba, just like Mao’s China, or Gorbachev’s USSR, was doomed to fail. What many foreigners who admire Castro so much also fail to grasp was that in over 50 years we never had a reasonable means to express our dissent. Those of us who did lost opportunities for education, were jailed, murdered, or had to flee. 

My guess is that many of you are familiar with modern principles of management, how to motivate people, how to listen, how to adapt and change as circumstances change. You know, what many think is common sense leadership. Fidel Castro lacked these qualities. He thought himself a genius, absorbed information in discrete amounts, micromanaged, and allowed corruption within his family, the military, and party ranks. Thus the failure is very evidently Fidel Castro’s failure. And don’t forget that he made many of us suffer. And many of us died.

Number 2 Cubans who remain in Cuba want change. This is well known to the dictatorship, and this is why repression is so harsh. Saying “people get the government they deserve” applies if the people get or install such a government. But the Cubans who are alive today didn’t get to vote, the system was there and remains there in part because nobody outside cares. I’d like to remind you the USA freed itself from the British crown thanks to French help, and that Great Britain would likely have become a Nazi colony if the USA hadn’t helped. We Cubans are simply cursed with a dictatorship which either gets apologists to help it, or people who look at us, and shrug their shoulders. In a sense, it makes one feel a bit worthless.
Comment 3 (from a different article) I  believe most Cubans thought Batista was a corrupt dictator. We propose we settle this out holding elections under UN supervision. The dictatorship can propose it remains forever, and we propose a constitutional assembly to write a new constitution, which eliminates special privileges for the communist party, accepts all the principles outlined in the UN human rights charter, ends censorship, allows for periodic elections, the creation of parties other than the communist party, and so on and so forth. All we want is the right to decide, we want this to stop, we don't like to have you arguing over what we are supposed to want, neither do we want you to decide what's best for us. We are tired of being dictated by the Castros, and we are tired of seeing you make endless excuses for the abuse and terror we have suffered. It's enough.


Taking good care of the slaves

Regarding the Castro dictatorship's accomplishments, it doesn't really have "a model health and educational system". It's simply a system intended to maintain a slave population working for its owners, mostly as government employees or in menial jobs servicing foreign tourists, as prostitutes, waiters, etc

I must remind you I lived in Cuba under the Castro dictatorship, my father was a physician, and my mom was a nurse. My understanding was that it provided a fairly good basic preventive system, mediocre if the sickness was serious, and extremely high quality for the upper dictatorship caste. 
The educational system I attended was very strict and somewhat stratified. We were tested with what was called "Pruebas de Nivel" (level tests), and those who didn't pass became repeaters. We were told repeaters would eventually be sent to work in farms if they didn't straighten out. I had a first cousin who was sent to one of those farms, but in his case it was because he was homosexual (he got caught when he was sixteen years old). 
Entering high school required that one have the right political pedigree, and this was even stricter regarding entry to college. In my case I got in trouble with the school authorities debating over the lack of food for lunch (it was more of a misunderstanding but they were extremely harsh). At that point I realized I had no future living as a slave in a communist dictatorship and left on my own. 
I can vouch that the education I got in Cuba was good enough that, once I managed to get to the USA, I made the honor roll within the year, and eventually graduated without any problems, in spite of having missed over a year of schooling. 
What many of you don't understand is that the system is designed to create obedient slaves who are in basic good health. It's a pragmatic approach any intelligent slave owner uses, it's simply taking care of the animal farm.


Lives of the rich and famous

Fidel Castro had his own private island, where he kept a couple of yatchs, plus 20 other homes. 

Aerial photos of Cayo Piedra, Fidel's private island

When I lived in Russia, I moved into a "dacha" (a country house outside the city) located in Barvikha. This dacha was located on a property assigned by the KGB to a very senior officer. The property was large, about 300 meters by 100 meters, fenced with a tall wooden fence facing the road, and a lower fence in the back, which allowed a view of the woods and the Moscow River. 

In 1991, as part of the reforms, the government issued a law which gave title to the dweller of whatever property they had been assigned. This gave the guy who now owned the property a gift worth several million dollars. I'm discussing my first hand experience because Raúl Castro has issued a decree giving ownership of real estate to whichever person was dwelling in or controlled the property. 

And guess what? The communist party elite and upper military caste just happened to end up owning mansions, penthouses and nice country estates. This is the new "hybrid system" which peddles communism and its irrational economic principles as it creates a fascist dictatorship which keeps slaves and schemes to spread its cancer. 

Now I'll return to the Moscow dacha so you see a teensy bit about how socialism works in real life: 


Renewables and Fossil fuels

If we say we will invest in a green economy and phase out fossil fuels over a period of 150 years I’m sure that’s feasible. If you mean doing it in 35 years, I think you will find its impossible. 
I’m not “interested in fossil fuels” in the sense that I really don’t worry about increasing their consumption. I’m interested in not seeing Europe do a lemming over the economic cliff by mindlessly pursuing renewables out of a dogmatic belief that fossil fuels are evil. 
I look closely at the situation in Spain, and I don’t see how the economy can carry those renewable costs, while at the same time they have to grapple with communists posing as populists (Podemos) and the rather cumbersome regulatory and monetary system they have. And I’m simply looking at this coldly on a technical and economic basis. Neither solar nor wind justify the costs unless there’s cheap storage, and the only cheap available storage is hydro, which enviromentalists oppose (besides, regulations make it impossible to build a dam). 
I see many of you repeating the opinion that politicians are bought and so in. I guess you don’t realize the turbine and solar power corporations also lobby. In their case they are a parasite lobbying for subsidies, preferential generation rights, etc. This means we need to do our own analysis, rather than trust urban legends and propaganda. 
Regarding stranded assets, most agencies seem to be predicting a gradual increase in oil consumption until 2040. So let’s say the world averages 90 million barrels of oil per day over the next 25 years. That’s over 820 billion barrels. 
Now let’s take a conservative approach and say that somehow we get oil demand to drop at 5 % per year thereafter. That’s an additional 720 billion barrels. 

The pope and Raúl Castro

There's a significant amount of writing on the Pope's political aims. His cozy relationship with Raúl Castro is seen as an indicator. 

Francis shakes hands with a senile Fidel Castro

I'll give you a flavor as follows: 
From Babalu Blog: 
...during his visit to Cuba, it became disappointingly clear that Pope Francis made a conscience decision to turn a blind eye to the evils of communism and the suffering of the Cuban people under the tyranny of the communist Castro dictatorship. Pope Francis went out of his way avoid offending Cuba’s apartheid regime and paid little to no attention to the island’s brave and courageous Catholic dissidents. Throughout his visit, as the Pope enjoyed his events with Castro regime officials and social gatherings with Raul and Fidel Castro, Catholic dissidents were being viciously beaten and arrested .
The Stream Blog
"Marxists, Marxist ideas and Marxist regimes have brought death and destruction to millions. Yet according to Pope Francis, “if anything, the communists think like Christians.” What’s going on here?
Within the first year of his pontificate, Francis’s strong criticisms of economic globalization and capitalism resulted in him being accused of having Marxist sympathies. Such charges, however, are demonstrably false.


In like Flynn

We cant discount the probability that Raúl Castro is now tempted to continue to advocate a Stalinist system mixed with very small and weak private enterprise and joint ventures with foreign capitalists (a bit like China and Vietnam, but with limits on the growth of native private enterprise). This system would be run by a military caste topped by a Castro.

Raúl Castro and his grandson Raulito Castro, in line 
to be the fourth Castro after his father Alejandro.

This is what he is doing in Cuba right now. And there's no sign he would ever let go of Venezuela. On the other hand he and his leadership cadre may consider Venezuela the key piece in a future mini empire. Given the central command and control, the dogmatic nationalism, the militarism, the use of brown shirts, leader worship, and other traits, this budding empire would be using a hybrid of Stalinism and fascism. 

As for Ileana and Marco, they don't have the intellect to deal with Castros. Trump is a huge unknown, but the best outcome may be to see him shut down the efforts Obama made to keep both Castro and Maduro in power, and focus elsewhere. 

Regarding Russia, I suggest you hit the books. The best option for the USA is to resolve the conflict it has with Russia, and get them on the USA side. I know this won't go over well with you since you are obviously following the "common wisdom" as sold by the USA neocons. The Russians are simply responding to what they see as USA aggression, which began with Clinton, continued with Bush, and escalated with Obama. Hilary Clinton is a neocon golem, she may have risked nuclear war ratcheting tension even higher. 

And don't forget I'm not inventing this "crap". I worked and lived in Russia for almost a decade before I moved to Venezuela, and I know how the Russians think, why Putin is in power, and what he expects from the USA. I think Flynn does too, and I'm 87 % in tune with him.

Further reading: Flashpoint in Ukraine


When world temperature increases 1.5 deg C

At 1.5 degrees C above “preindustrial” : 1. Sea level will be about 10 to 30 cm higher. 2. Ocean ph changes won’t have much of an impact on corals. 3. Farmers in the Republic of Scotland will have better wheat crops. 4. The Islamic People’s Republic of Turkey will declare a unilateral ceasefire to allow Kurdish withdrawal from Mosul. 5. Alejandro Castro, the third dictator in the Castro Dinasty, will announce his favorite son Raulito will become Communist Party First Secretary and Governor of Venezuela. 6. Spain will announce its navy has successfully interdicted 32,000 would be invaders trying to cross the strait into its Autonomous Province of Gibraltar. 7. China’s Shanghai stock market will hit another record high after Ying Lee Green Solar claims it has patented a cheap battery.
Earth after temperature increases 1.5 deg C above pre-industrial


Judeo-Christian Tradition?

I’m still trying to figure out where’s the “Judeo-Christian tradition”. There’s a huge difference between Reform and Ultraorthodox Jews. There’s an even larger difference between the way a NY Rabbi thinks today, and what a Temple priest thought in 35 CE. Christians are the same. Is this tradition Catholic as advocated by the Red Pope? Anglican? USA Evangelical?  I can't see a common "Judeo-Christian tradition" in these groups at all. 
Evo Morales gives Pope Francis  
his "Jesus nailed to the hammer and sickle" 
I think it’s safe to call me an atheist who studies religion to figure out where it fits into politics, and to help me survive as I have moved from country to country (it’s never a good idea to mess with the local customs). I repeat, I conclude there’s no such thing as a “Judeo Christian” tradition. That seems to be a term coined to make sure Jews don’t feel excluded, or to somehow lump Christians and Jews into a single identity, which in turn leads to exclusion of Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, etc. 
I suggest Americans get over this by simply usng the term “American tradition”, which, whether some like it or not, includes individualism, a belief in freedom and the right of people to choose leaders, a sense of being unique (to the point of arrogance), a willingness to help those who are weak, and a fairly widespread belief that men and women should have equal rights.

Some of you extend that to “minorities”, and some don’t. But I assure you, Ameicans treat minorities better than the French, Russians, Japanese, Congolese, etc. And that’s got little to do with an imaginary “Judeo-Christian tradition” which includes maxims such as “give unto Cesar what is Cesar”, separates women from men during worship services, and says nothing about the right of the individual to free speech, freedom of worship, the right to bear arms, etc, etc. 
So, let’s just say Americans are not really unique, other than they lucked into being born in the USA. What is unique is the American tradition. And that tradition goes way way beyond any religious texts, beliefs, or dogma.

State of the Climate Fall 2016

I like looking at climate data, it helps me understand a bit better what may be going on, and sort through the intense propaganda campaigns being waged in the climate front. Unfortunately the subject has been hijacked and made into a political hot potato, and nowadays about 95 % of what's published or shown on social media and TV is tainted, or bullshit, or a one sided view crafted using cherry picked data.

Anyhow, below I'll show you the temperature reanalysis time series published by the "Climate Reanalyzer" site at the University of Maine*. Here's the world's average temperature at 2 meters elevation, for every September since 1979, estimated using the PRISM reanalysis:

And here's the NCEP model 2 meter average temperature for September in the sector poleward  of 60 degrees South latitude (Antarctica and surrounding waters). I used September because September 2016 is being uploaded now, in mid November. The first plot uses the Prism model with September 2016 loaded, but the second plot, which uses NCEP, didn't  have it as of two days ago.

I decided to show you these to encourage you to visit their website, go to the Climate Reanalysis time series page, and learn to make your own plots.



Somebody made a comment about the extreme right being violent. I observe that both extremes are very similar. They are autocratic, intolerant, and very willing to use violence. They are so close, in recent decades we have seen hard core communist regimes in China, Vietnam, and Russia evolve towards a neofascist brand of authoritarian, highly stratified caste based regime. 

I'm now observing the Castro family dictatorship struggle as Raúl Castro tries to drive Cuba towards the neofascist mold while trying to satisfy the remaining Marxist hard core's wishes to preserve the communist system even though it's such a huge failure. And what I see Raúl trying to accomplish is possibly similar to what is advocated (silently) by the hard core right wing elite in the USA, a repressive autocracy which uses modern technology to brainwash and control the population. An approach the extreme left will also use and is using wherever it gains control.

It's amazing, but what George Orwell wrote about is happening. What he didn't see was the advances in computer hardware and software, surveillance methods, and biological/medical sciences. The Castro dictatorship is working very hard in these fields, they even have a standard procedure which includes taking a series of biological samples when they "request" that suspected dissidents present themselves at the political police center for questioning. They are setting up a data base to identify suspected "enemies of the state" by their smell, looks, etc. Orwell never imagined how horrible it could turn out.

For further reading you may wish to read the following posts:









Trump, troglodytes and the end of democracy

This is taken from an article I think is a pretty good read. If you want the full contents please go here http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/11/sneering-response-trumps-victory-reveals-exactly-won/ 
If you want to know why Trump won, just look at the response to his winning. The lofty contempt for ‘low information’ Americans. The barely concealed disgust for the rednecks and cretins of ‘flyover’ America who are apparently racist and misogynistic and homophobic. The haughty sneering at the vulgar, moneyed American political system and how it has allowed a wealthy candidate to poison the little people’s mushy, malleable minds. The suggestion that American women, more than 40 per cent of whom are thought to have voted for Trump, suffer from internalised misogyny: that is, they don’t know their own minds, the poor dears. The hysterical, borderline apocalyptic claims that the world is now infernally screwed because ‘our candidate’, the good, pure person, didn’t get in.
This response to Trump’s victory reveals why Trump was victorious. Because those who do politics these days — the political establishment, the media, the academy, the celeb set — are so contemptuous of ordinary people, so hateful of the herd, so convinced that the mass of society cannot be trusted to make political decisions, and now those ordinary people have given their response to such top-down sneering and prejudice.

Oh, the irony of observers denouncing Middle America as a seething hotbed of hatred even as they hatefully libel it a dumb and ugly mob. Having turned America’s ‘left behind’ into the butt of every clever East Coast joke, and the target of every handwringing newspaper article about America’s dark heart and its strange, Bible-toting inhabitants, the political and cultural establishment can’t now be surprised that so many of those people have turned around and said… well, it begins with F and ends with U.
The respectable set’s allergy to Trump is fundamentally an allergy to the idea of democracy itself. To them, Trump’s rise confirms the folly of asking the ignorant, the everyday, the non-subscribers to the New York Times, to decide on important political matters. They’re explicit about this now. In the run-up to election day, big-name commentators wondered out loud if democracy is all it’s cracked up to be. Trump’s ascendancy showed we need better checks and balances on ‘the passions of the mob’, said Andrew Sullivan. We should ‘cool and restrain [these] temporary populist passions’, he said, and refuse to allow ‘feeling, emotion’ to override ‘reasoned deliberation’. The little folks only feel and wail, you see, and it’s down to the grown-ups in the system to think coolly on their behalf.


José Feliciano cancelled his gig in Maracaibo.

I keep seeing messages from Rosmit Mantilla's mother. She's asking help for his son, who was kidnapped by Maduro's "KGB", the SEBIN, as he was about to have his gall bladder extracted. I get several messages per day asking for help to get medicines, to get away from the country, to please write somebody and get them some help.

Rosmit Mantilla is being literally tortured 
Last night one of three diluted heavy oil pipelines from the Orinoco region breached near a river, which is now contaminated with oil. Gasoline and diesel production is less than half the country's needs.
The busted pipeline is the one from Petrozuata, the old Conoco JV

I get messages from Chavistas insulting and threatening me (maybe they think I'm really a guy named Leanme?). The Guardian published an article saying that Podemos, the Chavista financed party which emerged in Spain in recent years, is Europe's salvation, while Podemos leaders and members keep defending Maduro and his boss, Raul Castro.

There's an odd silence in the media about the close relationship between Castro and Maduro. Nobody explains that Venezuela's key strategic points are controlled by Cubans, they are seen everywhere, from public notaries to military headquarters to the passport and national ID agencies. The invasion includes "doctors" plus several tens of thousands of advisers, clerks, military personnel, spies, technicians, "sports trainers" and so on and so forth. Somehow, this is never discussed on CNN.

Maduro's nephews were caught trying to smuggle 800 kg of cocaine into the USA. They go on trial this morning in a NY federal court. Their lawyers are being paid by an oil tanker mogul who does juicy business with Pdvsa. This guy is also suspected of funneling money to US, European, and Latin Anerican left wing "activists" who are very active defending Maduro, and the Castro dictatorship


Cuban physician tries to escape from servitude

This is copied from 14 y medio, Yoani Sanchez' web "newspaper" via the website  Translating Cuba
She worked for three years at health centers in Dourados, a region of the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul, as part of the government program Mais Medicos (More Doctors). Karem Guadalupe Saboit Valdes is fighting to stay beyond the three years allowed under the contract between the Cuban government and the Pan American Health Organization PAHO), according to reports in the Brazilian newspaper O Progresso.
Dr Karem Saboit at work in Dourados, Brazil 
Sabot Valdes was the first doctor to reach the city, but her contract expires next week and she must return to Cuba. The doctor, in love with the local people, is looking for ways to stay in Brazil without the mediation of the Cuban government.
The Mais Medicos program was announced three years ago as a “bonus mission” for Cuban doctors. Many were sent to third world countries where they completed their service to fill the quotas offered by Dilma Rousseff’s government to Havana.
A week has passed since a court in Brasilia, in Saboit Valdes’ case, made the unprecedented decision that the Ministry of Health could renew a contract directly with a Cuban doctor, without the mediation of PAHO or the Cuban government. This decision means that, from now on, the doctor will receive the total value of the agreement that the Ministry of Health offers to foreign doctors who work in remote areas of Brazil, some 11,500 reales (3,587 dollars). Until now, their salary has been 2,976 reales (928 dollars), with the difference pocketed by the Cuban government.


The dialogue between Maduro and Opposition

The Maduro regime or dictatorship and the opposition have begun a "dialogue" which is supposed to end the conflict caused by the regime's cancelation of the recall referendum, the hunger and misery that prevail in Venezuela, and the escalating human rights abuses. The talks, which began with a short speech by Maduro, are being guided by a high level Vatican emissary and three ex presidents who appear to be on Maduro's payroll. 
Maduro and opposition General Secretary Chuo Torrealba
This  "dialogue" will fail. The Maduro dictatorship uses it as a cover for the ongoing imposition of a reign of terror by its secret police (The SEBIN), which behaves exactly like the Castro's G2 and Ministry of Interior forces, the Stasi, the KGB, and the Gestapo. This is easy to understand if we study their pedigree. 
Sebiners are trained by Cuban dictatorship agents, quite a few of which are embedded in the Maduro repression machine. The Cubans were in turn trained by the Stasi and KGB, and the Stasi inherited agents and methods from the Gestapo. 
Thus this dialogue is being used to give time to the Cubans to finish implementing their Orwellian repressive apparatus. And this is being done as Obama, the European Union, the Pope, and many others try oh so kindly to help the Castro family remain as the head of one of the most horrifying and evil entities of the 21st century.


Hillary Clinton sings

🎶 Oh darling Donald 
My rotting garbage,
My hairy tomato,
The perfect companion to my vomit

🎶 Eyes are red 
Ears are blue,
I like israelis,
But not as much as I love killing you!

The Donald responds:

I don't like you, you are trouble 

🎶It began on a lonely winter night 
I was the richest candidate around
She was the sexiest model 

🎶She was my victim 
My sexy victim
My model oh oh oh 


My letter to Jamie Foxx

Mr Jamie Foxx, Actor 
Somewhere in Hollywwod

When you visit Caracas and pal around with Maduro you help a despicable dictator. I suspect you may have been misled by Sean Penn, or possibly Danny Glover, who visit Caracas, get cash from the chavista regime, and sing praises to this horrible regime. 

 Nicolas Maduro can be classified as a tyrant. He's the worst Latin American ruler in the last 20-30 years, although it isn't his dictatorial behavior, it's his misgovernance which has brought a lot of misery and pain to the Venezuelan people. 

This photograph with Maduro and Lucas 
makes you look like human garbage

To make sure you do understand the cesspool you dove into, I'll lay out for you the basics: 

Today, the Venezuelan regime is trying to steer the country towards a Castro style dictatorship, but its top leadership is both corrupt and stupid, their plans to hang on to power by violating the constitution and ignoring the popular will are likely to cause more hunger and disease, and a refugee exodus. 

Unfortunately President Obama's endorsement of Maduro's Cuban mentors was the essential element which led Maduro to move hard to the dictatorial Stalinist style used by the Castro family dictatorship. Maduro and the caste which surrounds him are convinced they can do like the Castros, install a dictatorship, abuse human rights at will, ruin the economy, or whatever else they imagine. Obama and the corrupt neocon elite which rules the USA  have already made it clear they'll do business with the Castro Mafia, therefore in the end they'll also deal with Maduro's Chavista Mafia. 

In conclusion, Maduro is a tyrant and a thug. Winning an election didn't make him a tyrant. He became a tyrant gradually, as his moves destroyed the economy and his repressive style earned him his current reputation. Today, Maduro wouldn't get 30 % of the vote. This is why he is using his dictatorial powers to shut down elections for governors (which should be held by December), as well as a recall referendum to force him out of office.

If you want to become more familiar with Venezuela please contact Human Rights Watch or the UN Human Rights Committee.


Kosovo revisited all over again

This is part of a conversation, or maybe I should call it a lesson I'm giving, about Kosovo 1999. It's an excuse to remind you about this post I wrote a while back, which went over like a lead balloon: 

If you want to claim a person is guilty of a crime punishable by international law, you don't have to work for a "legal authority" nor through another person. The claim against Clinton et al was filed, and the court ruled it lacked jurisdiction. USA and British air forces bombed civilians in Yugoslavia, in an undeclared war, not sanctioned by the UN Security Council, using falsehoods/lies to justify it.

Belgrade TV Station struck by a smart bomb in 1999.

The court didn't rule that Clinton et al were innocent, it simply said the court had been organized and empowered by certain treaties and resolutions which precluded putting a USA president on trial. 

Here's the claim prepared by Clark, which led to a fairly large project to document what had happened http://iacenter.org/warcrime/indictmt.htm


In the Midst of a Hurricane by Almeida

This article was published in Translating Cuba, a website I've linked as one of my favorite blogs. It discusses the luxurious lifestyle of the Castro familia princelings.

Alejandro "El Tuerto" Castro, Raul's eldest son and 
presumed heir. Alejandro heads the regime's security 
machine, including the "G2" secret police

Antonio "Tony" Castro, one of Fidel's sons,  with 
friends in Turkey. Tony rented a yatch and cruised 
 Turkish tourist spots last summer. See details here

The news have been so negative in recent weeks I've felt like abandoning peaceful resistance and building my own army of killer robots. However, after further thought I think I'll try to keep writing about what I see going on, and maybe it will influence somebody?

"Juan Juan Almeida, 3 October 2016 — At the same time that Hurricane Matthew is setting off alarms throughout the island, especially in the eastern part of the country, the wall of secrecy surrounding the Castro family is starting to crack, allowing us to see that the Cuban government is spending more money on remodeling Mariela Castro’s house than on relief aid to deal with the approaching storm.The numbers speak for themselves. If nothing else, Hurricane Matthew has exposed the sins of Raúl Castro’s family. Satellite images, which do not lie, reveal that from 2013 to the present the government has invested more than double the money at triple the quality on remodelling Princess Mariela’s house —


Maduro gloats and vows to remain in power.

It's clear that Nicolás Maduro intends to subvert the law and do whatever it takes to stay in power. This tells me the opposition will split into two groups: one which advocates more patience and the other which pushers for a national strike and whatever steps are needed to begin a constitutional rebellion under the aegis of Article 350. I'm starting to lean towards supporting street demonstrations, labor strikes and even sabotage of oil facilities as a means to pressure the regime into accepting that the recall referendum will be held this year, as provided by law. Otherwise, it looks like Maduro will stay in power and function as a satrap of the Castro dictatorship. 

The following text is from an AFP news release, it's a good recap of Maduro's and the regime's current "action plan": 
Caracas (AFP) - Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro late Tuesday taunted his political opponents after they hit an apparent roadblock in efforts to oust him from office.
Opposition leaders must hold a recall referendum by January 10 if they are to succeed not only in removing Maduro but in staging new elections to replace his administration.
The National Electoral Council (CNE) has approved the first of two petitions required to organize a referendum, which they aim to do by the end of this year.
However, the election officials said Tuesday that a decisive step in triggering a referendum -- the collection of four million signatures on a recall petition -- probably could not be completed in time.


Trump can win

Trump can win if immigrants keep exploding or using guns, axes and machetes in Europe.
Also, he can take Florida by being very pro Israel (that gets more Jews and Evangelicals to vote for him) and promising to put a tourniquet around Raúl Castro's wind pipe (that gets him the Cuban vote).
A final flourishing touch would be the unveiling of an enviromentally sound, eye pleasing border control zone, a green area seeded with sensors and patrolled by solar powered drones, which grab illegal aliens and put them inside carbon fiber baskets covered with the same materials used for the B2 bomber. 

That gets him the Anti Inmigrant Xenophobes, the Greens, the Solar Bunnies, the Silicon Valley Geeks and the Military Industrial Complex Groupies to vote for him. 



Deconstructing the Walls of Jericho by Zeev Herzog

Friday, October 29, 1999

Walls of Jericho ruins (?)

Deconstructing the walls of Jericho

Following 70 years of intensive excavations in the Land of Israel, archaeologists have found out: The patriarchs’ acts are legendary, the Israelites did not sojourn in Egypt or make an exodus, they did not conquer the land. Neither is there any mention of the empire of David and Solomon, nor of the source of belief in the God of Israel. These facts have been known for years, but Israel is a stubborn people and nobody wants to hear about it

By Ze’ev Herzog

This is what archaeologists have learned from their excavations in the Land of Israel: the Israelites were never in Egypt, did not wander in the desert, did not conquer the land in a military campaign and did not pass it on to the 12 tribes of Israel. Perhaps even harder to swallow is the fact that the united monarchy of David and Solomon, which is described by the Bible as a regional power, was at most a small tribal kingdom. And it will come as an unpleasant shock to many that the God of Israel, Jehovah, had a female consort and that the early Israelite religion adopted monotheism only in the waning period of the monarchy and not at Mount Sinai.

Russian Strategy is a response to USA aggression

Putin is judiciously playing defensive chess. He uses very well targeted but cheap resources to undermine Russia's enemies. Given Hillary's inept conduct of foreign policy, it could be he's secretly rooting for a democrat win. 

As the world turns, the Russians will probably focus on weakening the European Union, strengthening the Cuba-Venezuela-Nicaragua axis (which seems to be also getting help from Obama), and assembling an alliance with Shiites and Allawites from Iran to Iraq to Syria and Lebanon. Syria has become a festering sore, this endless civil war has caused a huge wave of refugees, a cover/breeding ground for terrorists invading Europe.

Syria has been turned into rubble by a civil war 
instigated by Obama and Hillary Clinton 

It's evident Russia doesn't want to see the Islamic State terrorists make inroads in Russia proper, and are trying to erode its power without having a head to head confrontation with Obama's stupid Syrian policies. 

 It wouldn't surprise me to see them work quietly to undermine the Saudi dictatorship, the resulting chaos would surge oil prices, which in turn increases Russian cash flow. 

All of this is the result of Clinton-Bush-Obama foreign policy which has been clearly aiming at encircling and dismembering Russia.

I don't like Putin's autocratic methods, nor the corruption and abuses we see inside Russia. I hate the way they have been aiding the narco state in Venezuela and the Cuban dictatorship. But I must conclude that Putin is a natural response by Russian elites to USA aggression since the fall of the USSR. 


World Oil Production and Prices

The BP World Energy Report 2016 is out. Unfortunately this report blends crude oil and condensate reserves and production with natural gas liquids reserves and production. Natural gas liquids are mostly ethane, propane and butane, they are usually recovered from gas streams using cryogenic processes, and are marketed separately (ethane is mostly used as a chemical feedstock). 

In the past, NGL recovery was neglected, or the NGL recovered were burned as "trash gas" because they couldn´t be transported mixed with the crude (a crude spiked with NGL can exceed the vapor pressure limits for pipeline, rail, and ship transport, and this can cause explosions and fires). 

Gas production and capture has also been increasing. By capture I mean the use of associated gas streams which have historically been vented or flared together with the associated NGL, such as was common practice in the Soviet Union. Thus the "oil production" reported by BP has a gradually increasing NGL volume added to it. This tends to mask the real evolution of the world´s crude oil and condensate capacity. 

The following graph shows the production and the refinery throughput reported by BP. As you can see, the refinery throughput is a pretty decent proxy for "real" crude oil and condensate production (because this stream is what´s fed into refineries and what many of us think is about to hit a peak). 

 World Oil Production and Refinery Throughput,
 and the difference between the two 

Future world oil production will increase if prices rise. It´s difficult to predict the demand-price-production triangle. This means it´s hard to predict these parameters. In the past I had access to dozens of price forecasts prepared by dozens of oil companies, banks, and governments. I can´t disclose the sources, but I can reveal they are usually wrong. 

This led me to prepare a simple algorithm to predict oil prices, which seems to work (more or less) for long term trends. 

Oil price history and forecast, in constant 2015 US dollars per barrel. 

I shaded the 60 minus region in red, to indicate that production will decline relentlessly as long as the price stays below this threshold. This is subject to minor blips caused by the ongoing oil price war between Russia, Iran, and Saudi Arabia (a war that´s spurred by the Syrian and Iraqi civil wars, in turn triggered by US and EU meddling in the Middle East).

I also shaded the 80 plus region in green to indicate that production ought to increase slightly once the price exceeds this threshold. This is purely speculative on my part, because oil companies and their banks make decisions based on their internal oil price forecasts. These forecasts are biased somewhat by the oil price of the day, but in many cases they are developed by forecasting wonks using very complex models, and company management boards tend to believe these figures even though they ought to know the forecasting game is mostly a load of bullshit (see Morgan Stanley´s forecasts in recent years to get an idea). 

This forecast is completely useless for companies interested in developing "shales", because they depend so much on the price during each well´s first year of life. However, this forecast can be used with caution for long term projects, such as Kara Sea exploration or Canadian extra heavy oil developments. It can also be used to estimate the future competitiveness of electric vehicles and biofuels.