The Sarcastic Cynic™

Sarcastic and cynical view of the world.

Is This A Reason Why Fidel Castro — April 28, 2016

Is This A Reason Why Fidel Castro

was always talking about Yankee Imperialism?   A bunch of smugglers were taking his fruits of labor out of Cuba to work in the United States of America. Should all of the seventeen  players who entered illegally into the USofA,  be on a list of those who need to be returned to their country of origin, to legalize their right to remain in America?

Talented Cuban baseball players paid a South Florida smuggling ring a percentage of their contract totaling  millions of American dollars, to leave the communist island in “secretive ventures that included phony documents, false identities and surreptitious boat voyages to Mexico, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, federal prosecutors say.”

Toronto Blue Jays
Spring Training 2013 in Dunedin, Florida

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From New York City to Patagonia bike rider hasn’t made contact with his family. — February 19, 2014

From New York City to Patagonia bike rider hasn’t made contact with his family.

http://www.anewyorkertravels.com/nyc-to-the-tip-of-south-america-on-a-motorcycle-i-dont-know-how-to-ride/

Unfortunately his last message was rather cryptic.  I don’t think the Mexican military would ever escort anyone out of any territory.  I’ve visited Mexico on many occasions and I happen to be able to communicate with them using their native language.  We’ve been stopped and asked to open the trunk of our vehicle at many checkpoints on a trip that took us through many states starting at Mexico City traveling through Veracruz, Palenque, Chichén Itzá, Cancún, some other cities in the mountains on the return trip and some coastal cities excluding Acapulco this time because of the floods that year.  We’ve been warned by many not to stop or pick anyone on the road.  We have stopped in the state of Chiapas where there was an opposition leader of the government, who was so famous, the Mexicans were selling his likeness to the tourists.  Nothing happened because we heeded their advice and we had also resolved not be taken in by anyone.  We weren’t going to give a bribe to any government official had we’ve been caught speeding through any city.  We were prepared to lose our dignity fighting for our dishonor or honor.  An hour-long escort out of some area, is not a good description of his awareness of his location.  This escort, naïvely followed was probably a kidnapping.  That he was lucky to be able to communicate with his girlfriend, at a rest stop for lunch, was his last cry for help. “Crazy military stuff” is not an apt description of Mexico’s military operations.  Hopefully Barack Obama is able to intercede for this family and bring back their adventurer.

Sarah Ashley Schiear last heard from Harry Devert in an ominous text via the WhatsApp messenger app.

“Just got an hour and a half long escort out of some area it was too dangerous for me to be,” the message said. “Stopping for lunch and … voilà Internet. … Gonna get back on the road soon. Apparently there’s another military escort waiting for me in some other town… I’m running way late because of the crazy military stuff…hopefully get a chance to talk to you tonight when I (hopefully) finally arrive.”

Because some areas in Mexico are reportedly unstable, those close to Devert fear he is in danger.

Ann Devert, Harry’s mom, heard from a friend who recently returned from Michoacan, where vigilante self-defense groups in numerous communities have engaged in deadly confrontations with the Knights Templar drug cartel.

After vigilantes threatened to descend on a key cartel area last month, the Mexican government sent in thousands of troops and police to try to keep the peace. The government has even joined forces with the vigilantes as the Knights Templar become further entrenched in the agricultural state.

The family feels Harry is alive and that he is waiting to be found.  He was last seen traveling to the town of Zihuatanejo.  The family is using Harry’s blog and other websites including  Facebook.com/helpfindharry.  Hopefully someone who is in the area has seen Harry and is also not afraid to contact the authorities.  It’s sad he was just enjoying life writing about his travels and that his adventure has been delayed by persons unknown.  Please help find Harry soon.  Reblog this to all your Mexican friends.  There is at least one person who saw Harry with the “military.”

Do you live on this side? — February 6, 2014
US Stuns Panama 3-2 in Stoppage Time — October 15, 2013

US Stuns Panama 3-2 in Stoppage Time

US Stuns Panama 3-2 in Stoppage Time
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: October 15, 2013 at 11:55 PM ET

Graham Zusi and Aron Johannsson scored in second-half stoppage time, and the United States rallied for a 3-2 win at Panama on Tuesday night that left Mexico’s World Cup hopes alive and knocked out the Panamanians.Presidents-Cup-streaker_20131007015942273_660_320

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2013/10/15/sports/soccer/ap-soc-wcup-us-panama.html?smid=tu-share
Graham Zusi and Aron Johannsson scored in second-half stoppage time, and the United States rallied for a 3-2 win at Panama on Tuesday night that left Mexico’s World Cup hopes alive and knocked out the Panamanians.

LA CAÍDA DEL PRESIDENTE SANTOS — September 30, 2013

LA CAÍDA DEL PRESIDENTE SANTOS

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Jueves, 26 de Septiembre de 2013 19:32
  • Sofía Gaviria Correa, candidata al Senado por el Partido Liberal, asegura que el bajón del presidente Santos en la encuestas es consecuencia de las negociaciones de paz en La Habana. Contrario a lo que muchos piensan, para ella el Presiente es un hombre con muchas ejecutorias. Pero son las FARC y su falta de compromiso con la paz lo que tiene molestos a los colombianos. Dice que las FARC no se sentaron a la Mesa vencedoras, pero el mal manejo que le ha dado el Gobierno les dio igualdad y soberbia. “El responsable no es Uribe ni las pocas falencias que ha tenido Santos, fueron la FARC las que derrumbaron la imagen del Presidente”, afirma Sofía Gaviria.
  • http://www.sinergiainformativa.com.co/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5915:la-caida-del-presidente-santos-&catid=14&Itemid=28

 

Feliz Cinco de Mayo for all who actually know and celebrate this date. — May 4, 2012

Feliz Cinco de Mayo for all who actually know and celebrate this date.

Twisted Sister and Hornitos are not going to take it with Mariachis.

History of Cinco de Mayo: Battle of Puebla

In 1861 the liberal Mexican Benito Juárez (1806-1872) became president of a country in financial ruin, and he was forced to default on his debts to European governments. In response, France, Britain and Spain sent naval forces to Veracruz to demand reimbursement. Britain and Spain negotiated with Mexico and withdrew, but France, ruled by Napoleon III (1808-1873), decided to use the opportunity to carve a dependent empire out of Mexican territory. Late in 1861, a well-armed French fleet stormed Veracruz, landing a large French force and driving President Juárez and his government into retreat.
http://www.history.com/topics/cinco-de-mayo

My bullfighting career as a spectator began at La Feria de Cali in Colombia… — February 23, 2012

My bullfighting career as a spectator began at La Feria de Cali in Colombia…

Lagos bullfight
Image via Wikipedia

… I remember going reluctantly to the cabalgaltas with the family and seeing  giant beasts approaching us.  From a child’s perspective these animals were terrifying.  I remember going on Sundays to the Corrida to see the latest bullfighters from Spain perform for those who were lucky to score some tickets.  The bull ring was filled to capacity.  The heat, the liquor, and the beautiful Caleñas with their hats and colorful dresses added to the spectacle.  I would sit next to my mother, since sometimes it was just the two of us who would attend a Corrida de Toros at the Plaza de Toros Cañaveralejo to see El Cordobés and other similarly named bull fighters perform.

What I don’t ever remember,  is seeing my father at a corrida.  That’s strange because of  the customs of this South American nation.  The  Feria in Cali  is the event to attend every December.   I believe he would be busy with the university,  La Universidad Santiago de Cali, as it was called then, or in Rome having an audience with the pope, or visiting his father in a house within walking distance of the futbol stadium, El Pascual Guerrero.

Perhaps if I ask my sisters for details about my grandfather,  they might provide me with my grandfather’s address.  Unfortunately, I’ve only asked one, and she didn’t remember anything.  This doesn’t surprise me because we would be driven there and back by the chauffeur.  Maybe I’ll ask my older cousins who surely remember their grandfather well, since they were old enough to visit by themselves.  Of my grandfather I only remember his musty library, the National Geographic magazines with the naked African women, the photograph of an embalmed body in a casket,  and his funeral.  It was well attended by his constituents since he was once the mayor of Buga.

I pause here for a second to call my sister to verify a fact and to pet Torrey who constantly wants a massage.

I also pause to warn you not to continue reading or seeing the photographs that follow.  Bullfighting is  a brutal “sport.”  If you can tolerate the first page, then beware because the photographs and videos on the following page are shocking.  Heed my advice and do not to proceed from this point.

What I can remember the most of the corridas in Cali, was the suffering.  No, not the bulls, but mine.  I could almost feel the pain the bull fighter felt when he was struck by the bull.  I also remember an indulto.  The bull was spared and the crowd yelled and applauded an animal for his courage.  The poor animal had no idea what had transpired.  Neither had I.  I had always expected the end,  to be the death of the bull.
This Feria de Cali went on in my life till I was ten years old.  It was a constant, repetitive distraction.  I was too young to enjoy the women and their beauty and the Aguardiente del Valle.

The last corrida in Barcelona.
David vs. Goliath

After emigrating from South America, to New York City without my consent and advice, the bullfighting stopped and was soon forgotten.  While living in the States,  I did happen to spend some time with my cousin one summer. That was probably the longest stretch of time  I was ever away from my adopted nation.  There I saw no bulls, but I did spend time with the Le Roy family in a hilly section of Cali.

That’s where my career as a photographer took off.  I exaggerate career, because the only thing it provided me was enough money to pay my tuition at Queens College of the City University of New York and later the Brooklyn Polytechnic, which had recently changed its name to the Polytechnic Institute of New York,  and the countless costs in film, chemicals and time  spent in darkrooms at the university.

I’ve never sold a print since photography is only a hobby.  Those who have wanted to pay me for the few prints I gave them of their children were surprised I didn’t want to be reimbursed.  Had they asked me to take family portraits, I would have refused or I would have set the price too high for them to want to hire me.

Another pause to talk to Demi, a calico cat who is a bit strange and 17-years-old.

Poster for Agosto 2011

The next corrida I remember very well.  I sought and bargained for two tickets to a Feria de Cali. The seller was Diego, the driver was Jaime, and my date was Liliana. I have pictures of that date but I don’t remember anything about the corrida. I remember being taken to and later being picked up at the end of the corrida. We went to a restaurant, talked, ate and we never ever saw each other  again.

The next corrida was special, because I was detained at the entrance for carrying a Swiss Army knife. The one I had used to free a woman who had gotten stuck in a bathroom on Avianca. I took the policeman’s name and number. He promised to meet me at the same gate. Hernando happened to have gone with me that Sunday. He was appalled that I had dared question the authorities.

The policeman met me at the exit, and I offered him my Swiss Army knife, but he declined. “It’s a toy,” he said.  I’m sure to him it was a toy but to me it was a tool. I told Alfredo about the incident and he asked me if I had given the policeman the knife. “I tried, but he refused it,”  I told my dear uncle.  He seemed pleased that I had tried to do so.

The next corrida was in Acapulco, Mexico.  I had traveled with Mireille.  She refused to accompany me to the bull ring.  What did she do while I was away for a few hours?  I don’t know since she doesn’t drink or swim or ride horses or drive in a foreign nation without me beside her.  The bullfight was mediocre, with sub par bullfighters and small bulls.  They all died (the bulls) and I caught it all with my Canon AE-1 Program.

I brought back to the states, in a rifle case that I bought in an Acapulco flea market, the bloodied banderillas of a fallen heroic bull.  This rifle case I carried  on board the Mexican Airlines DC 10.  I could have tried to lunge for the bull’s ears that were thrown near my seat on the shady side of the bull ring, but I was too busy taking pictures of the unfair fight between the bull and the man.  Had I fought for them, they would still be under my bed with the banderillas.

Plaza de Toros en Barcelona
Plaza de Toros

The last bullfight was the one in Barcelona  in 2011.  The bulls were huge and the bullfighters had the balls to kneel and greet these beasts.  I started to feel the fear again while I cooked in the sunny side of the bullring.  This is where I noticed that the bullfighters are afraid of the sun.  I don’t know if they stay in the shady side so that they can see the bull with losing him in the sun or if they just work that side because they paid more euros than us in the sunny side.

I got tired and bored watching bull after bull die.  Some were clean kills others were painful to watch.  I’m not one to interfere with customs, but this “sport” just doesn’t appeal to me anymore.

Last year the citizens of Catalunya, decided by referendum to ban bull fighting in Barcelona.

Continuing to see beyond this point is not recommended if you are squeamish about gore, entrails, and suffering.

The bull dies.

Sent from my iPad and corrected extensively on a Dell Inspiron. Continue reading

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