Sunday, May 30, 2010
Recently the Las Vegas Police Arrested Members of the Israeli Mob for Various Felonious Activities One of Whom had Previously Blown Off his Right Arm While Trying to Attach a Bomb to the Underside of a Rival's Car Persevering Despite this Indication that Crime Might Not Be his True Calling. From Baracoa I had to Have Somebody Drive Me to Holguin in a Private Car Costing Me 115 U.S., better that than Wasting my Time in Baracoa. Holguin is 500 Miles South of Havana and 140 Miles North of Santiago, in 1492 Columbus Sent a Party inland supposedly Thinking They'd be Arriving at the Court of the Emperor of Japan if You Can Believe That. 30 Years Later Holguin Established a Town There and the Province Was Also Named for Him. Since 1934 the Rulers of Cuba Have Come from Holguin, Fulgencio Batista was Born in Poverty and Out of Wedlock, Part Black, Part Taino Indian and Part Chinese. Conversely Fidel and Raul Castro Came from One of the Wealthiest Families in Cuba, as Part of their Rebel Activities They Burned Their Family's Fields. Batista Died in Spain in 1973 as One of the Richest Men in the World. A City of 200 Thousand and Real Spread Out I Liked Holguin a Lot. I Climbed the Loma de la Cruz, 450 Steps and That's a Few, a Cross was Set Up Here in 1790 and You Can See Forever from There. The Plaza Calixto Garcia had a Neat History Museum and I Went to the Plaza de la Revolucion to the Mausoleum of Calixto Garcia. We Got Our Flag from My Uncle's Casket. The American Women who Served in Vietnam have a Memorial on the Mall in D.C. even though only 8 Died and None in Combat (traffic accidents, etc.) and the Americans from WW I Certainly Deserve at Least Equal Treatment.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Before I Left on my Trip I Loaded-Up a "Wells Fargo" ATM Card as I've Done All Over the World on this Same Account. The Last Withdrawal I Made was at a "BBVA Bancomer, S.A." ATM Machine in the Mexico City Airport. After I Returned to this Country I Received my Bank Statement from Wells Fargo Showing not only the Charge of $204.96 for the 2600 Mexican Pesos that I Withdrew but also a Charge for $213.15 on the Same Machine Used Immediately Afterwards. I Went into a Wells Fargo Branch Office and Filed a Claim on May 10, 2010 for the Withdrawal that I didn't Make at the Mexico City Airport on April 22, 2010. Yesterday I Got My Mail and Saw that my Claim had been Denied in Part because they didn't receive the "Additional Information that We Requested of You." What That Meant was That they had Twice Tried to Contact Me at the Telephone Number that I Gave Them and Nobody Answered. This Letter Was Signed by Paul V. Tapia Vice President/Manager. I Went Into a Branch Office and Got on the Phone at the Number listed in the Letter and Spoke to "Kit," he Wouldn't Give his Last Name. Kit Said That it was "Physically Impossible" for Anyone Other Than Myself to Make a Withdrawal on the Same Machine for My Account Only 30 Seconds After I Had Made My Withdrawal, I Said It Happens All the Time. I Said If You Look at the Videotape at the ATM Machine You'll See Someone Other Than Myself Making the 2nd Withdrawal in that Time Frame---He Said that They Had Not Looked at the Videotape. This "Kit" Also Denied My Claim. My Letter States that One May Call 1-800-548-9554 and Speak to Any of the Claims Specialists, I'm Authorizing Any and All of My Readers to Act as My Agent in this Matter, Edward Stephen Preusse, Claim Number 30510100101. It Sure Looks Like Wells Fargo, Who Is Liable In the Event of Fraud, Is Being Dishonest.
Monday, May 24, 2010
The Past Few Years I've Noticed a Lot of Dirty Language in our Magazines and Newspapers and of course I Don't Like This Trend. What's with this Hate Crime Thing, There's Love Crimes? I Went to the Bacardi Rum Factory in Santiago, there's no Tour, the Family Set Up in Puerto Rico after Castro Nationalized It, Commy Rum. San Juan Hill is just outside of Santiago. There's a Huge Statue of Antonio Maceo, one of their Heroes of the War for Independence which the U.S. Won for Them in 1898. A Mulatto General Known for his Bravery and from Santiago, he Died in Battle. The Casa de Don Diego Velazquez, the Oldest House in Cuba, is a Very Good Museum. And I Saw the Oldest Painting in Cuba in the Extensive Collection at the Cathedral "Basilica Santa Ifigenia." The Bacardi Museum comprises Paintings and Artifacts and I went there. That Night at my Casa Particulare I Had a 7-Course Lobster Dinner for 10 C.U.C., 11.50 U.S., that was really Delicious, I Couldn't Even Eat It All. All Over Cuba you see People Playing Stickball, a Very Good Game Which Can Be Played in a Limited Space. I Saw 6-Year Old's Fielding Baseball's with a Man's Glove, it's no Wonder Cubans are Good. From Santiago I Took a Van to Guantanamo, Nothing to See There (he's a Guantanamera) and you can't go up to an Elevation and Look into the U.S. Base as You Used to be Able to. I Took 2 Trucks to get me to Baracoa, there I Saw the Oldest Cross in the Americas, Columbus planted it near here in 1492 and It's made of Native Woods, fairly Large, the "Cruz de la Parra." Hatuey, a Taino Indian Chief, Rebelled Against the Spanish and was Burned at the Stake near Baracoa in 1519, he's Remembered Fondly. I Went to the Playa Baraqua 14 Miles outside of Baracoa, it took 45 Minutes to get There, Roads are Real Bad. Beautiful Beach, Clean, Warm Salt Water. Not Many Real Down and Outers in Cuba but one Guy was Trying to Sell Things so that he Could Buy Shoes. He was About "30," really frail, half his teeth missing, no shoes of course, He Was Really Cute, I Got Him a Pair. There were a Few Chickens and Pigs roaming around, I Bought a Few Bananas from Somebody and Got Up for a Few Minutes and When I Came Back a Greedy Pig Had Come Along and Was Eating My Bananas.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Last Saturday in Las Vegas a "77" Year Old Man was Shot to Death at the Convenience Store Where He Worked by a Young Mexican Attempting to Rob the Store. A Former Marine Corps Officer Working There Part-Time, Although Mortally Wounded He Still Got Off 3 Shots Killing His Attacker. A Couple Years Ago 2 Young Black Guys Tried to Kidnap an "84" Year Old Man at a Car Wash and Make Him Take Them to His Residence. Liking His Chances Better at the Car Wash the Old Man Pulled Out a Gun and Shot it Out With Them Killing One and Forcing his Accomplice to Flee. A Few Days Later the "22" Year Old Slain Guy's Picture and Obituary Were in the Newspaper in Which He Was Described as Being a Prince of a Fellow. Currently Tony Curtis has an Exhibition of Pictures He Painted at the Flamingo Library in Las Vegas Where I Often Go, Pretty Good. Tony Has Established a Foundation Which has Saved About 500 Wild Horses from the Slaughterhouse, Sparing our Mustangs from These Foreigners' Dinner Plates. Tony Never Even Went to High School and Made a Big Success of Himself. I Left Havana to go to Trinidad Described by Batista as " a Jewel of Colonial Architecture." Going to Trinidad I Was Able to Take the Bus and also Leaving it to Go to Santiago de Cuba, the Only 2 Times I Was Able to Hop a Bus. Trinidad, on the East Coast, was Pretty Good, Interesting Museums both Colonial and the One Devoted to Fidel's Revolution, What I Didn't Like Were the Uneven and Often Sharp Cobblestones in the Streets. Cuba's Sidewalks are Usually Narrow and I Often Walked in the Street and It Was Slow and Painful in Trinidad (it's on the West Coast). Overnight Bus All the Way Down to Santiago where the Air is the Worst in Cuba. But Neat Things to See Nonetheless, I Went to the Moncado Barracks where on July 26, 1953 Fidel and Raul Launched Their Attack Which was the Beginning of the Uprising Against Batista. The Attack was an Egregious Failure, Some of the Cars Got Lost and Didn't Get There, Young Recruits Told for the First Time They'd be Taking On Batista's Heavily Armed Professional Soldiers Quaked at the Thought. Soon after Entering the #3 Gate (Where They Have a Museum Commemorating the Event) Fidel and his Men were Recognized, Although Dressed as Soldiers, As Enemies and Fire Was Directed at Them. Only 8 Were Killed but Almost Half of the Original 122 were Tortured and Killed. Strangely, Fidel and Raul Were Spared as Fidel had Spared the Life of one of the Officers at Moncado Barracks up in the Mountains. The Gruesome Fate of the Captured Fidelistas Turned the Cuban People Against Batista----at his Trial Castro Gave a 5-Hour Speech in Which he Said, "History Will Absolve Me."
Saturday, May 15, 2010
I Went to the Vedado District to the Hotel Nacional. In 1933 300 Officers of the Machado and Cespedes Regimes Sought the Protection of U.S. Ambassador Sumner Wells Here After the Sergeants' Coup of Fulgencio Batista and Others, Wells Simply Left Leaving the Officers to a Dire Fate. In 1946 the Largest Gangster Conference Ever was staged Here by Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano, Cuba was Basically Ruled by Lansky from 1946 to 1959 When the Good Times Rolled. I Talked to 2 Old-Timers Who Had Seen "Superman," Flyers Were Passed Out at the Airport (Featured in Godfather 11, Oh My God). Died a Young Man, Sexed Himself to Death. Went to the Neocropolis Cristobal Colon Where Many of Cuba's Past Bigs Are, Maximo Gomez, Hero of Cuba's War for Independence, Eduardo Chibas Who in 1951 Blew his Brains Out While Making a Broadcast in Protest of Cuba's Corrupt Government (Maybe Some of Our Broadcasters Want to Protest Something). At His Funeral Castro Leapt on Chibas' Grave Vowing Retribution. Went to the Plaza de la Revolucion Where in 1980 a Million Cubans Gathered to See Pope John Paul 11. Went to the University of Havana, a Nice Campus but They Needed New Desks for Sure. Cuba is 750 Miles Long with a Horrible Broken-Down Highway the Length, it's Been a Long Time Since the Russians Left. I Decided, Correctly as Usual, that I Should Go to Cuba Before the Trade Embargo was Lifted and Everybody Headed Down, Cuba Doesn't Have the Infrastructure to Support Tourism Very Well Now Much Less Then. It's Often Hard to Get a Vehicle from One City to Another, Thrice I Went to Get a Bus and Couldn't Get On, I Traveled by Trucks Where People Might Get on With Chickens and Pigs and by Private Car With Maybe 3 Others or Just Myself. All the While I Was in Cuba I Had a Real Bad Cough and Had It 10 Days After, if Somebody Has Bad Respiratory Problems They Might Think Again About Going to Cuba. As You're Walking Along Trucks and Other Large Vehicles Pass Spewing Out Volumes of Black Exhaust. The Pope, Joe Ratzinger, had a Cousin his Same Age and When he was "14" his Cousin, a Down's Syndrome, was Taken Away by the Nazis. A Little While Later the Family was Told that he Had Died. 24 Years Ago Gene Stallings, Who was the Head Coach of the Arizona Cardinals and Later Won a National Championship at Alabama, did a Moving Commercial with his Son, John, a Down's Syndrome, not Ashamed of Him.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
As a Foreigner I had to pay 3 C.U.C. to get into the Playoff Game between the Industriales and Havana at Estadio LatinoAmericano, that is 3.60 U.S. I got there early and got a Good Seat Behind 1st Base (Cubans Pay 1 C.U.C.). By Game Time the Place Was Packed with People Cramming the Aisles. Throughout the Game there's a Pleasing Heavy Calypso Beat and Being There is a Lot of Fun. The Players are Good-Sized in Many Instances but not Huge as in the American Major Leagues as They're on Frijoles Negros y Arroyo Whereas in the U.S. They're on Human Growth Hormone and Other Niceties. There's Been More Defections of Cuban Players in Recent Years but for the Most Part the Players are Happy to Play for 20 U.S. a Month and the Admiration of Their Countrymen. Aroldis Chapman Signed With the Reds for 30 Mil and Others for Lesser Amounts but These are the Exceptions, It's a Different Way of Looking at Things, One Can Play in the U.S. for All This Money and be Unhappy or Do It the Cuban Way. There Were No Home Runs and Few Long Drives as It's a Game of Getting a Runner On and Moving Him Rather Than Beating the Ball to Death, It's the Way Baseball is Meant to be Played, a Game of Skill. These Guys Have Tremendous Arms, the Left Fielder Can Throw It in a Glass of Water From 240 Feet. Havana Prevailed 4-0 but Would Lose the Series to the Ever-Powerful Industriales. It's Very Rare for the Executive Branch to Weigh In and Condemn a State Law, That's What This Country Has Come To. I Sort of Like Barry, He's a Lot Better Than Bush, Somebody Has to be President and He Was the Better Candidate Over That Old, Tortured Guy (and then the Gooks came in and beat the Hell out of me).
Saturday, May 8, 2010
I'm Gonna Start Endorsing Grills. My First Night in Havana Didn't Amount to Much. No Buses, You Have to Take an Expensive Taxi Ride Into Town From the Airport and It Was About 6 P.M. When I Got to my Casa Particulares. The People Were Quite Nice and As Always I Had a Nice Room and Private Bathroom. The Husband Was an M.D. and his Wife Taught School. Cuba Only has a Population of 11.2 Million but has 70,000 M.D.'s. Nobody, even Doctors, Makes Much in Cuba, He Said That He Made 40 U.S. a Month, So You Can See Why They Were Happy to See Me, ha, ha. The First Night I Just Walked Around in the Neighborhood, It's Dark Because They Don't Want to Waste Electricity on Lighting Up the Streets But You're Extremely Safe. Obviously I Stood Out but People Just Passed Me Without Any Curiosity, the People at the Casas Particularles are Quite Friendly but These Have to be Licensed, They Don't Let Just Anybody Operate One and of course They're Glad for the Extra Money. In General Cubans Aren't Friendly but on the Other Hand They're Not Obnoxious or at all Threatening, It's Very Mellow, Live and Let Live. Cuba is a 5th World Country Economically, Many of the Buildings are Ancient, If You Go Into a Supermarket There's Close to Nothing in There. While in Cuba I Spoke to Many Obviously Intelligent, Well-Educated and Urbane People Who Were Maybe 50 Years Old Who Had Never Been Outside of Cuba. Due to the Trade Embargo Many of the Cars are Very Old, a Lot of These are Taxis, You Can Take a Ride in a Mint '55 Chevy Bel-Air as Did I. You Travel to Feel the Difference and Boy Did I. Many of My Readers Travel by Being Met at the Sterile Airport by Hirelings, Whisked Off to the Sterile 5-Star Hotel Where They Stay in the Sterile Room or Suite, They're Taken Here and There in a Choreographed Routine and It's Not Even Worth Doing. To Go Places Properly One Has to Live as the Common People Do, My Experience Would Be Akin to Somebody of That Country Going to a Different City Within That Country. But All the While I Was in Cuba I Only Met 2 Other Americans, That's How Pansied Out Americans Are These Days. I Stayed in Old Havana and my 2nd Day I Walked Around and Toured, by Myself, Their Capitol Building Which is Modelled on Our Own and is a Little Bit Bigger, Built in the 20's When Cuba Was Bloated Rich with Sugar Money. I Liked It a Lot. I Pretty Much Just Walked and Walked That Day Without Much Direction. I Did the Havana Club Rum Tour, I Didn't Even Pay For It, I Just Walked in With a Tour Group, Glad I Didn't Pay, It Was a Bad Tour. The Next Day I Went to the Estadio LatinoAmerican (58,000) and Saw the Industriales Lions, the Most Legendary of Cuban Teams, Play the Havana Bulls in a Playoff Game. Baseball is Cuba.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
While I was in Acapulco 5 People Were Gunned Down in Mistaken Identity on the Main Drag in Front of the Nice Hotel Where They Stayed, it was a Big Deal to the People Gunned Down but to Everybody Else it was Old Hat. I Just Read in "Boxing Digest" that George Foreman made 150 Million endorsing that Grill, Suprisingly George Looked Slim in the Pictures. Nigel Collins, the Editor of "Ring," Suggests in the Latest Issue that Edwin Valero (27 Fights, 27 Knockouts, the Average Length of his Fights Being a Little Over 2 Rounds) Fight Manny Pacquiao. But More Recently Valero Killed his Wife and then Hung Himself in Jail, the People Who Become Boxers are Different than the People Who Become Archbishops. In Both "Ring" and "Boxing Digest" PETA Has a Full Page Ad with Shane Mosley Saying "I Choose to Fight, Dogs Don't. Dogfighting Is For Cowards..." Many of the Black NFL Players Said That There Was Nothing Wrong With What Michael Vick Did. Vitali Klitschko Says that Watching 2 Women Box Each Other Makes Him Nauseous. I Don't Like it Myself, Years Ago I saw a short Mexican Girl, Terry Trevino, fight a Much Taller Norwegian Girl and Terry Suffered the Worst Bloody Nose I've Seen and the Fight was Stopped in the 2nd Round, I Didn't Like Looking at That, but If These Women Want to Box Each Other That's Their Right. I Saw Julie Hyman on TV Recently for the First Time in a Long While, I Always Thought Julie was a Real Sweet Girl. From Reading her Blurb on the Internet I See Where She's Gone to Wife, Wish Her Happiness. She Said.... Howie Was a Gentleman....., Doesn't Sound Like Any of the Guys I've Known Especially the One named Howie, Must Not Be Him. See the Schools She Went to and She Often Rides Horses in Central Park, Such a Background. I Got into Cancun at ll P.M. and Figured It'd be Easy to Fly Out Quickly, Flew Out at 2:30 P.M. the Next Day to Havana. You Never Have needed a Visa to Go to Cuba if You're an American, They Don't Stamp Your Passport, Mine Shows Me Leaving Cancun and Coming Back 16 Days Later Apparently from Nowhere. Had They Asked Me Where I Was I Would Have Told Them Nowhere, I'm Under No Obligation to the State Department to Account for My Time, None of Their Business. At the Airport They Recommended a Particular One of Their "Casas Particulares," That is Somebody's Domicile, You Stay in Their Home. I Was Dubious but Went to One in Havana Where I Stayed 3 Nights and These Were the Only Places I Stayed Throughout Cuba. Just 20-30 C.U.C. a Night (a C.U.C. is 1.15 U.S.) and They'd Give You a Fine Breakfast for 3 or 4 C.U.C. and 7-10 for a Very Good Dinner. You Treated You Like a Guest or Even a Friend. In Cuba They Don't Take American Plastic or American Travelers Checks and You Get Beaten Up for a 20% Fee for Exchanging American Dollars But only 10% for Canadian Dollars or Euros, I Took Canadian Dollars As I Preferred the Lesser Beating.
Monday, May 3, 2010
This Green Thing is a Bunch of Hooey, the Only Successful Way of Saving the Planet for Human Habitation is a Reduction of Population, Instead It's Increasing Rapidly. The U.S. Could Handle Maybe 200 Million and Instead There's Well Over 300 Million. Arizona Did What It Had To Do and as George Will Pointed Out Had Every Legal Right to Establish "Concurrent Jurisdiction" With the Federal Government. The Majority Voted as Otherwise Instead of the State of Arizona There'd Be the State of Anarchy. The Federal Government Has Refused for the Past 30 Years to Enforce It's Own Law, the Minds of the American People Have Become Increasingly Weak, Maybe It's All This Meth. I Was Recently in Cuba for 16 Days, I Know That I Broke the Trade Embargo but Laughed About It All The Time I Was Doing It. You Are My Friends and Will Not Turn Me In, I Feel Safe. 50 Years Ago Castro Stole Everything that Americans Had in Cuba and Allowed the Russians to Point Missiles at the Nearby United States but Things Change a Lot in Geopolitics in just 10 Years Much Less a Half Century, How Well Do We Get Along With Hugo Chavez and There is No Trade Embargo. About the Last Thing I Did on My Vacation Was to Rent a 45 Foot Boat and Crew of 2 for a Day of Fishing for Marlin Off Alcapulco, I Didn't Even Get a Strike, I Was Very Happy.