The Sarcastic Cynic™

Sarcastic and cynical view of the world.

After Posting Something as Depressing as a Flyer Falling From the Sky… — January 16, 2014

After Posting Something as Depressing as a Flyer Falling From the Sky…

On Jan 16, 2014, at 12:46 PM, héctor f. cadena wrote:

 I had to lighten the mood with entertainment. I don’t care if you don’t like scantily clad women. You can listen to the music of Fall Out Boy, A Great Big World, and Neon Jungle. And if that’s not your cup of tea, then you can content yourself watching Taylor Swift sing Trouble.  Here comes trouble.

It’s STILL Showtime!IMG_0369

Now you can watch the sexiest night on television 365 nights (and days) per year! Watch (or re-watch) the entire 2013 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show on demand. Featuring the Victoria’s Secret Angels and musical guests Taylor Swift, Fall Out Boy, A Great Big World and Neon Jungle. >

The Faces of Istanbul. Protest and Tranquility — December 28, 2013
A worker holds a cat in the Marmaray Tunnel under the Bosphorous — October 28, 2013

A worker holds a cat in the Marmaray Tunnel under the Bosphorous

A worker holds a cat in the Marmaray Tunnel under the Bosphorous

Istanbul (AFP) – Turkey will on Tuesday unveil the world’s first sea tunnel connecting two continents, fulfilling a sultan’s dream 150 years ago, but also fuelling recent anti-government sentiment for such mega projects.

“Our ancestors worked on (the project). It fell to us to realise it,” said Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of the rail tunnel under the Bosphorus linking the European and Asian sides of the bustling city of Istanbul.


The Airlines Need to Improve Service Drastically. It’s Too Damn Slow! — July 13, 2013

The Airlines Need to Improve Service Drastically. It’s Too Damn Slow!

After going overseas to Istanbul this summer, I can attest to how slow and tedious travel has become. The lines to pay for a visa to enter Turkey were long and attended by two persons. One was selling visas and the other was watching a basketball game on his television. The baggage wasn’t even delivered when we cleared passport control. On the return trip to the States, the walk from the last gate at Delta’s new terminal 4 was never-ending. That’s a ridiculous distance to have to walk. Even the electric walkways, which were too short, were not all working. And this is a new terminal? The lines at Immigration were so long that we have decided to continue our travels in the future to the U.S. I can’t believe that an agent of the airline was saying that it is never like this. I fly often and it’s always like this at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

There are only two days each year. Solo existen dos días en el año… — March 19, 2012

There are only two days each year. Solo existen dos días en el año…

En un vuelo de Avianca desde Bogotá a Cali conocí a Henry Fabian Solís.  El viajaba hacia Tuluá y yo a Cali.

Ayer y mañana siempre existirán. Será hoy el día ideal..?

Solo existen dos días en el año en que no se puede hacer nada, uno se llama ayer y el otro mañana. Por lo tanto hoy es el día ideal para amar, crecer, hacer, y principalmente vivir. Por eso vive, sonríe, disfruta, y valora las bendiciones que gracias a dios tienes, como tu familia, los alimentos, tu trabajo, tu casa, las personas que quieres… Yo gracias a dios lo estoy haciendo. att henry fabian solis
“There are only two days each year where one can’t do anything about.  One is called yesterday and the other tomorrow…Thus today is the ideal day to love, to grow, and to do.  Principally… to live for that!  Live, smile, enjoy and treasure the blessings that thanks to G_d you have,  such as your family, your nourishment, your job,  your home, and the people you love…I, thanks to god am doing that.”  Henry Fabian Solís
The Islamists’ Fires. When Will the West Wake Up — December 30, 2011

The Islamists’ Fires. When Will the West Wake Up

Reading this article yesterday (December 29, 2011)  in the op-ed section of the NY Post opened a festering wound from my trip to Istanbul.  My contact with that world was limited to the few friends, students and colleagues of that faith.  I have tried to understand that religion by reading the Koran in its entirety and by discussing what I read.  I have compared fanatics of all religions and I have seen no difference in their intolerance to others.  What I had not experienced was what I was not able to appreciate in Istanbul.  I enjoy visiting sites of worship, not for their prayer services, but to see the architecture and their believers.  I had just visited the Sultanahmet Mosque (better known as the “Blue Mosque”) and I was ignorant of its history, but I was awed by its beauty.

 In the 17th century, Sultan Ahmet I wished to build an Islamic place of worship that would be even better than the Hagia Sophia, and the mosque named for him is the result. The two great architectural achievements now stand next to each other in Istanbul’s main square, and it is up to visitors to decide which is more impressive.  

It was easy seeing which one was more impressive.  One had been allowed to decay while the other one was still flourishing.  The entrance fee to the mosque was free while the “church” now operating as a museum was charging an exorbitant fee to enter it.  I normally do not pay to enter houses of worship but I made an exception since this would probably be my last trip to this country.

While I toured this museum, my anger at how this site had been desecrated was evident in the lack of enthusiasm in type of photographs I was taking.  My brother-in-law was surprised at my reaction.  I’m not known for being the religious one in the family and my displeasure at the lack of respect for this edifice by the government of Turkey was even surprising to me.

The following day we went in search of a comparatively humble building in Fener, Istanbul, the Patriarchal Cathedral Church of St. George (Aya Yorgi) which houses the worldwide headquarters of the Greek Orthodox Church.

There were no signs leading tourists to its location.  This did not surprise me.  I had seen a report on 60 Minutes about the home of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, who is recognized as the “first among equals” of all Orthodox spiritual leaders.  St. George had been part of a monastery before it welcomed the Orthodox Patriarchate. Over the centuries, it has been periodically damaged, the last time during the fire in 1941.

It is no longer a monastery and its head has to be born in Turkey.  This church is an endangered site that is protected under the guise of Turkish authorities.

Before those visits I was surprised to see a church surrounded by 10 ft. walls.  I didn’t think much of this at that time but I did find it vexing that the doors to this church were not open.

Normally while traveling,  I meet a local who I befriend.  This is a city where I didn’t find anyone besides the people at the hotel, restaurants  and shops, especially the carpet salesmen, who have an interest in the name of customer service to be nice to its guests.  I did meet a couple at a Starbucks Cafe who were enjoying their honeymoon in Istanbul.  They’re from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina a place where I’ve been invited to visit and look forward one day to see them again.  For now we’re friends on Facebook and keep in touch intermittently.

Would I recommend visiting Istanbul?  Yes, but don’t waste your time trying to see anything that represent the Christian religions.

Muslim mayhem in Egypt—Michael A. Walsh – —

Muslim mayhem in Egypt—Michael A. Walsh –

Muslim mayhem in Egypt—Michael A. Walsh –

It‘s instructive to remember that one of Christendom’s greatest cathedrals, Saint Sophia in Constantinople, was converted into the principal mosque of Istanbul in 1453; since 1935, it’s been a museum.

So where’s the international outrage? Where are the international agencies, which are so quick to protest the most tenuous slight to “human rights” in the West? Most of all, where’s the United Nations? Instead of sending its blue-helmeted troops around the world on futile peacekeeping missions, why doesn’t it throw a cordon sanitaire around sites of historical import. If that offends certain sensibilities, so what? The planet’s cultural patrimony belongs to everyone.



%d bloggers like this: