Dec 31, 2008

Happy New Year!!!

And very, very light blogging to continue ahead... we are getting a break but wanted to wish everybody out there a very happy new year, un próspero año nuevo and tons of blessings for 2009.
PD: If case you were wondering, tonight's table will be a cooperative effort with camarones enchilados, arroz blanco, tostones y ensalada. (Sorry, no picadillo de soya!)

Dec 30, 2008

Finally, a comprehensive summary of the US financial faults, in Spanish

For our LEP and Spanish speaking readers out there, "Alan Greenspan y lo que realmente se ha hundido", by Carlos Alberto Montaner is a class no one should miss. (Check his five paradoxes either; here in Spanish and here in English.

A friend was telling me not that long ago it was too bad that there were almost no article, essay or analysis written in Spanish, offering a real picture of the US financial mess; only the press releases tirelessly repeated by the MSM media with its obvious liberal bias.

Well, here is your chance. Por favor, tomen nota para que puedan sacar sus propias conclusiones. Y nunca olviden que "el verdadero motor de la economía de mercado no es su sistema financiero, sino la asombrosa creatividad de sus empresarios e innovadores". (My previous thoughts here).

As I've posted countless times in this blog about this country's financial troubles and the whole bailout mania, it does not require a rocket scientist to realize this whole mess was created by greed and political interests that played hide-and-seek with the market rules.

Now, when the house is in fire, those smart people we've voted to those seats keep messing the market natural rules and want to throw gasoline at the pile to turn off the flames.

Great idea whose cost my grandchildren will still pay for.

Now, these are the questions for homework: Where is the accountability? Where are the big exec that lined their pockets all these years facing the courts? Where are the prosecutors investigating? Why all information has not been disclosed?

Pretty simple; they want to keep doing business as usual knowing they'll always have the taxpayer's money to... sacarles las castañas del fuego when things go wrong.

Things to keep in mind at the end of 2008

The pain of being away from most of your loved ones during holiday's season?
Bad, very bad. Some times, unbearable.

The laziness to dress up like a polar bear to go out at any given end-of-the-year celebration?

The worries about our life in the next 4 to 8 years?
A natural consequence of democracy that one should learn to live with.

The commitment to cook yet another Cuban feast for the next gathering with friend?
Enjoyable --and some times, avoidable. (You can always give a chance to any other cooked-by-someone-else-dinner, even thought it won't be Cuban).

The face of my Cubanito 2.0 on Christmas' morning when he woke up and saw the presents piling up below the mini-tree I set for him this year, and listening to his excited voice saying "Mamá vino Santa!. Trajo mucho regalo a mí!"?

Oh, Lord, that is, indeed, PRICELESS.

No forbidden Christmas's trees and dirigido, básico, dirigido and no básico toys (among an endless list of another things) for you, my dear. That makes any sacrifice so worthy!

Those sparkly eyes and face-to-face smiles have the power to erase any shadow of homesickness and more, in a single minute.

And it just feels so good.

Best way to celebrate a half century?

Getting out there as far as you can... or, as some abuelos would said back there, poniendo pies en polvorosa.

Here is ESPN report in English --thanks to Babalú Blog.

Dec 28, 2008

Home run con las bases llenas

Courtesy of Mary Anastasia O'Grady, in her column at The Wall Street Journal.

With this title, "Hollywood Celebrates Che Guevara, but it makes no films about the Cuban resistance movement.", who needs introductions?

Heavy sight.
At. Least. One. Person. Gets. It.

PD for this former reporter's colleagues out there; this is a Pulitzer's lead:

Hollywood hotshot Benicio Del Toro is not a stand-up comic, but he seemed to be playing one earlier this month when he said he found the role of Cuban Revolution hero Ernesto Guevara, in the new film "Che," like Jesus Christ.

"Only Jesus would turn the other cheek. Che wouldn't," Mr. Del Toro explained. Right. And Bernie Madoff is Mother Teresa, only she wasn't into fraud.

More rebuttal of the same "Che-Del Toro-Sondeberg" crap can be found here, this time brought to us by Humberto Fontova, author of "The Real Che Guevara and the useful idiots who idolize him" and countless pieces on the che-subject.

Have at it.

Capital letters H/T to Babalu Blog

Dec 23, 2008

We're getting ready for Nochebuena

Desserts have been baked: pastelitos de guayaba --what else?

Los perniles (pork shoulder) will be marinating and getting themselves ready for tomorrow's feast --most likely to be ended with a ronda of dominó.

Congrí and yuca con mojo couldn´t be absent...

Colorado spared from the nation's economic troubles?

Not more.

Previously, Colorado had largely been spared from the nation's economic woes due to its relative housing stability and job growth courtesy of the energy sector.

Face the State is reporting today that the state's budget is short in (la friolera) $604 million.

The state has experienced three straight months of job losses, with 10,600 jobs lost in October alone. Legislators have been predicting the shortfall for quite a while now.

And what does the governor (D-Bill Ritter) decides to do?
Revamp the 2009-2010 budget with 5% of new spending.

I have serious issues with the school where all these guys --including the ones in Washington-- learned to do the Math. (And I am not even a Math person myself!)

Bonus: FTS Humor collage.
Very, very good!

Dec 22, 2008

Where is my quota of global warming?

It's freaking cold over here!!! Colorful Colorado not-so-much-lately --scary stuff happening at DIA included.

I wonder, who stole my portion of global warming? We haven't had much warm in the past few weeks, and it looks we won't need a freezer for the Nochebuena leftovers. The backyard table will be more than enough!

Welcome to Colorful Colorado sign on Highway 666 south of Cortez, on the New Mexico border

Dec 18, 2008

Dancing around the chairs in Colorado

The appointment of US Senator Ken Salazar (D) from Colorado to the Secretary of Interior post for the upcoming administration has been in the buzz for quite a while.

News report are mostly concentrated in the empty seat that is up for the grabs --with all the political influences that comes with that.

But little have I found in the traditional media about the questionable associations accumulated under Salazar's cowboy hat, trying to taint his steps towards the next administration.

Are we heading for a Blagogate, Colorado-style?

Don't get me wrong. So far, I have nothing against Salazar... but I'll go with the same philosophy I used earlier today: the minute something like this comes to light, if you really have nothing to hide, you should come out and clarify everyone minds like, in a New York minute.

Make no mistake: the more time you take to prepare your version of the story, the more likely you are to have people thinking that you are trying to hide something fishy.

All those interested out there, please, take notes. They're on the house.

El que no la debe, no la teme, right?

Someone should translate and put this phrase into adequate context for our president elect. Case point to apply would be the Blagojevich scandal. (Another scandal-sheet here)

Rubén Navarrete hit on the nail today with this Op-Ed in The Denver Post.

Do not try to convince me one way or the other. If there is nothing to hide, just speak out the whole thing and I'll draw my own conclusions.

Or maybe, there is, indeed, something fishy to hide?

I'm still appalled to see how politicians gamble with seats like they are their own property, when it all belongs to constituents --at least in theory.

And with the media is running business as usual, boy, this Chicago-politics grand hour promises to be a quite interesting four-year show... should we get some pop corn?


It's late, very late for a working Mom, and here I am: multitasking --or at least, trying to do so.

Yes, I do hand write my Christmas cards and I follow the route of my addresses' notebook. It takes longer, I'm always racing against the post office deadlines, but I think it's more personal.

Even if you only write one sentence, it'll have your personal touch.

This computed-based Mom goes with everything but email or internet cards; can't just get use to them.

Meantime, along with some old-fashioned manners, I try to keep up to date with the idas and venidas in the Cuban (and not so) blogosphere.

The View

Have I told you before how many great views you can get in downtown Denver? Especially from the 23rd floor of the Grand Hyatt Denver?

That little ancient church has been one of my favorite spots since day one. It is a great reference point for us, girls, that need those markers to know where we are...

The early morning snow does nothing to the view... it's just part of Colorado life (although sometimes it makes a huge part of our life over here...)

It's more or less like Manhattan, Colorado-style.

Dec 16, 2008

Murderer´s legacy keeps rooting (and roting idiots) all over the world

"The home was decorated with a poster of Latin American revolutionary leader Che Guevara, who is widely lionized in the Middle East."

It is, indeed, the house of the Iraqi reporter --talking of professional ethics, see?-- that resorted to throw a shoe at President Bush, the one that, according to AP reports, is decorated with a poster of The Butcher of La Cabaña.

Nay! I just ran out of proper nouns to describe the stinking effects...

FYI, open enrollment for a crash-course re education program is, well, always opened. Read, read, and keep reading, because "leer ennoblece".

H/T to Babalu Blog

Dec 15, 2008

We are freezing in here...

I am talking about this... (earlier, when things were not as cover by the white stuff as they are now)

And about having -9 degrees Farenheit (which is -23 degrees Celcius) at midnight.
Durofríos anyone?
* * * * *

It all started later Saturday, with a windy stuff here and there. Temperature kept dropping during the night, at the same time we received a pretty good chunk of snow around us.

Sunday was below zero --both zeros, the F and the C-- all day.

Today is sunny, we have a beautiful blue sky, but guess what... it's -2 degrees F (-19 degrees C) out there! Ñó! a cualquiera se le congelan las canillas... and it is not dark yet; wait and see how is it around 4 p.m., with no sun left.

Dec 12, 2008

Another one bites the dust

Sad day for Colorado journalism: the Rocky Mountain News is being put up for sale. It seems that the money is too much of a burden for Scripps and the competition against The Denver Post has been fierce.

Despite different point of views in some issues (especially over the space given to a letter in their opinion page) I've always seen The Rocky as an outstanding newspaper, with a great focus on local and state issues, reflecting the interest of the community it serves.

Their special reports and investigative reporting pieces --some in topics that we had come to share-- are amazingly good.

And the fights we've had over the Colorado Press Association yearly awards were just that; productive wrestling matches with stories, inks and designs that, at the end of the day, always make us to be better and and do a better job for our readers.

Lots of awesome colleagues from The Greeley Tribune ended up working with them; I just wish the best for all of them.

DD HH: the aftermath

> Final count: 100 dissidents arrested on Dec. 10th, International Human Rigths Day in the tropical gulag. (Spanish)

> The Human Rights Foundation put out a statement calling the attention to the human rights abuses in Cuba.

> And a quick look at the state of journalism on human rights issues... through lousy headlines.

Dec 10, 2008

International Human Rights Day

Three siblings, their sick father and other relatives were sitting in the white sand, under the shadow of a palm tree, enjoying the cool breeze of the so called “winter” in a tropical island.

They were busy. They were trying to catch up, amid language barriers, the twenty something years they have lived apart. The younger sister and the father in the Caribbean; the older brother and sister in an European country.

The visiting siblings –including their foreign born mother– were staying in a relatively economic beach front hotel; the natives used to live in a nearby working neighborhood.

The visiting ones would bring the Coca Colas and Cuban sandwiches, bought at the hotel grill, which their native relatives haven’t try in years. The native ones, by the way, were not allowed a step one centimeter beyond the hotel fence.

The elders were having a couple of beers.

But they were mostly talking. There were years of separated lives that they wanted to link together.

Then, the dark blue uniformed figure appeared in the scene. A police officer. His manners to address the family group were not educated at all, to say the least, less much professional. He asked everybody for identification.

Some pulled out foreign passports, some pulled out the local ID’s. The “professional” law enforcement office could not see the same last names in both types of documents. Illiteracy problem? Then he started, loudly and publicly, to accuse the females in the group of being jineteras engaged in illicit activities with tourists.

To make a long story short, the sick father grew angry. After all, those were his younger daughter and his younger nephew, both college students, straight A’s, good girls at the end of the day… and he protested.

While he was being kicked and punched in the abdomen –scarred by three surgeries due to a medical malpractice-, insulted, embarrassed, dragged as an animal to a patrol van, rushed to a police station while his children shouted, and shouted, and tried to explain to a zillion of police officers that came out of nowhere in a second they were all family, and tried to follow the van in order to know immediately where he was being taken… while all that was happening, the least thing those three siblings were thinking was in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Actually, the youngest one didn’t even knew what it was back then; and the two older siblings had been just introduced to it.

I know, I know... but memory tends to get foggy with time and unpleasant events. So please, allow me to walk you through some examples of what Dec.10th means for a certain group of people in this world:

-Let's cheer up claiming Human Rights for everyone!; well, except for some.

-Nevertheless, women are leading the fight.

-History is a tough girl to understand... and it will come back over, and over, over and over.

Dec 8, 2008

Yet another public display of ignorance and idiotic usefullness

This is time in downtown Denver. In the heart of the 16th Street Mall, to be more exact.

Evidently, altitude does not matter, at all. Even in the Mile High City useful idiots proliferate; otherwise, there wouldn't be a need to conduct this type of business:

Side street window display.

Close up of the view from the main entrance. It was taking that shot with my lousy old camera when someone shouted from the inside that I could not take pictures. Duh? Aren't tourists always taking pictures of the places they are visiting?

Main entrance. Please, focus on the details. Take a peek through the opened door. Have at it.
Enjoy the view. And feel free to draw your own conclusions.

And we're getting even more...

... there is a very happy camper around here, though... la Sweetie is just thrilled. It's her thing after all.

And she even poses for the camera and seize the opportunity.

In lieu of leaves, our little trees are getting some Christmas lights.

Don't worry about the garbage guy; when things get REALLY bad (which is not this case, this was just the first official snow) they have to pull in my drive way wearing... chains.

My shrubs are the most resilient on earth. The prove it every single winter.

Dec 4, 2008

Obama rally might cost Pueblo city manager his position

Do you remember our very own local example of our president elect plan to redistribute wealth by preventing its creation?

And the downtown Pueblo business' owners that lost revenue because of the rally Obama had at their businesses' doors?

Well, it looks like Pueblo's City Manager is en el pico de la piragua: he's been asked to resign, despite council members saying he has done a great job.

I agree the rally and the disgruntled business's owners may not the be sole reason, but it was mentioned in the whole thing...

Passing on the headlines, a quick look at that poll

Forget the lousy and misguiding headlines; the nuts and bolts of that poll results about Cubans and the embargo are in the questions that were not asked.

Alberto de la Cruz has it, still warm from the oven, at Babalú.

Have at it.

Target: independent Cuban bloggers

Something is being brewed against Cuban bloggers that are, independently and under their own mind, blogging from the island.

It was not just Yoani and her husband.

Today, Claudia Cadelo, from Octavo Cerco, was also cited by the police.

Here is a round up of blogs spreading the word.

Watching the developing of the events and also spreading the word, in Spanish, are La Finca de Sosa and Desarraigos Provocados,

Dec 3, 2008

Headlines, Oh my! Those headlines!

Not aiming to get here too deep into the embargo issue, but the headline I read this morning in El Nuevo Herald made me yawn.

Contra el embargo el 55% de los exiliados (55% of exiles are against the embargo).

It was like: OK, here we go again, with those surveys and those results the media insist to portray as definitive opinion trends. The perennial vice to put in your mouth the words you've never said.

That headline does not reflect, at all, the fine print inside the article that says the telephone survey was conducted among 800 people of one Florida district --Miami Dade.

So what! There was not space to add "55% de los exiliados del condado Dade".

Penúltimos Días has a round up of more of those headlines.

And I even got my own in my Google feed news: "Miami Cubans oppose embargo", from the BBC News. They go above and beyond in the dropped headline: Most Cuban-Americans living in Miami want an end to the US embargo against Cuba, a new poll suggests.

According to the 2000 Census, there were 1,097,594 of people self-identified as Cuban or of Cuban ancestry in the US. That made up the 0.4% of the US population.

Currently knocking in the doors of 2009 -and with another census long overdue- logic indicates that both figures should have increased, especially when we have seen the news reports about the higher number of Cubans arriving to the US by all means after the inheritance of power within the castro's clan.

I need someone to mathematically explain me how 800 individuals within a community of more than a million suddenly become "most Cuban Americans", "Miami Cubans", "el exilio cubano", "mayoría de cubanos en Miami", "Cubans in the US".

Did they offer that "Data distortion" class at J-School? I must have missed it.

Vigilant for Yoani, and paging Sean Penn -UPDATE

UPDATE: Yoani just posted the description of the visit, and the expected warning. (Heavy sight) That Cubanita has a God-given set of... you know what.

* * *

We need the collaboration of Hollywood's most prominent (and not so too) figures back in the island. Yoani Sanchez, along with her husband, has been cited to the police station.

I agree with Aguaya; don't think is to tell her how much do they like her blog, or to congratulate her for receiving the 2008 Ortega y Gasset Award in digital journalism and/or for being included among the list of the 100 most influential people of the TIME magazine. Maybe for being considered one of the best bloggers in the world by Deutche Welle?

Is is a coincidence that she was organizing an event for independent bloggers in the island, to be held this coming Saturday?

Penn, should we talk about dehumanization here? Or should we rather go into freedom of speech, civil rights, human rights, repression? Would you prefer plain and simple F-R-E-E-D-O-M?

Keep your eyes opened; and post and pass this information as much as you can. The fate of this Cuban blogger may lies in the blogosphere now.


At home, we are animal lovers; with common sense. Have one dog, four birds and tons of fishes in my house; and I'm teaching my dear cubanito to be the same same since he was born.

Always raised with domestic animals --mami and papi have always fell for them too-- I can not simply conceive normal life without them.

My previous two dogs, part of that life that stayed behind when I left my homeland, were abandoned dogs. One little poodle was abandoned by a series of owners that left the island in a row. The big ganadero-mix was picked up by my husband, literally, in the street light 51, in Marianao; he was severely underweight and a walking sack of pulgas, garrapatas y sarna.

That being said (and taking into account that in my wildest dreams, if I ever win the Lotto, I would like to set up a transitional house for battered and needy woman with children and, an animal shelter) I find hard to digest this news about La Sociedad Mundial para la Protección de los Animales (WSPA) offering to help animal in the island battered for three hurricanes.

Do animal deserve that help?
Of course they do!!!

But, hey, what have happened to priorities?
Aren't human beings supposed to be first animals in line?

Wait a minute... human beings there have no problem at all. The government rejected and hand-pick the aid to be "received" by the people, which should mean that they are not that needy after all. See? I'm babbling nonsense here...

I'm with one of the article's commenter: Do the WSPA practice euthanasia? Maybe they could be caring enough and consider to put to sleep the oldest horse in the island, the one that have messed up the animal farm for so many years.

Dec 2, 2008