Friday, October 30, 2009



By Paco Prado

One of my favorite things to do while in Miami is to stop by a coffee stand and get a “media noche” sandwich or a “sandwich Cubano” followed by a demi-tasse cup of Cuban coffee.

Now, I know what you are going to say. “If I drank 10 cups of that shit per day you would have to scrape me off the ceiling”. I always joke with my comeback: “well, did you ever ask yourself why Cubans talk so fast?

But nothing could be further from the truth. To begin with, these miniscule cups contain less caffeine than you would find in American coffee, both because of the size and the caffeine content. While one demi-tasse cup of Cuban coffee I am told, contains 45mg. of caffeine. The 8oz. cup of American brew has over 120mg. So you would have to drink 3 Cubans to get the same effect as one American cup.

But that is not the issue. This is a cultural matter. Cubans have this tradition because it is part of the popular culture. You meet a friend in the street, you start a conversation, next thing you know, you are sharing a cafecito or a cortadito. It is conversation, bonding, gossip, politics. That is the Cuban habit, and it is very hard to break. If I go one day without my morning coffee I get a headache, an obvious symptom of withdrawal.

But if I go for a couple of days without visiting a cafeteria, I feel left out, destitute, deprived, antisocial and lonesome. That is because I am Cuban through and through.

Here is an easy definition of the different coffees we Cubans consume:

cafecito or Café Cubano : Cuban-style espresso. Served in a small espresso cup, it is very strong and very sweet. Whether to sip it or down it like a shot is up to personal taste, so whichever way you prefer is accepted.

espumita : The first few drips of cafecito are dripped into a pot with a few teaspoons of sugar. The person making the cafecito will whip this mixture into a sweet foam for the top of the drink. This foam is called espumita.

colada : Being a social drink, cafecito can be ordered ready to share with friends. Order a colada and your drink will come in a large cup with a lid along with plastic espresso cups. After lunch, you will see stores and businesses all over Miami with shots of cafecito being passed around. Take a colada back to your office, and you will be surprised at the number of friends you have!

cortadito : Cafecito with mild added. Each place you go uses a different ratio, so there really is no standard. Some places use only a few tablespoons of milk while others use half milk and half cafecito. Either way, it’s a great way to try Café Cubano for the first time to get the taste of it.

Café con Leche (coffee with milk) : Similar to a latte. You are served a cup of hot milk and a shot of Café Cubano in a separate cup. Just dump the coffee into the milk when you are ready for it. You usually won’t need sugar, since to cafecito is sweetened already.

But make no mistake about it, it is addictive!



By the same token, whenever I am away on a trip the one thing I miss the most is my Cuban coffee. You know how some flyers hurry through, pick up their bags and head to the outdoor area of the terminal to smoke after spending a few hours on a plane?

My addiction is almost the same. Once I arrive in Miami, while at the terminal, I head straight for “La Carreta” and get me a double espresso with the same haste as the smokers. They have one coffee stand just in front of the American Airlines ticket counter.


President Obama’s popularity is dipping.

According to recent polls, fifty-two percent say the country is on the wrong track compared to 36 percent who say it is headed in the right direction with 9 percent saying conditions are mixed and 3 percent undecided.

Is it surprising? Not at all, after a long August of constant “Tea Bagger” badgering and lies, most of which was picked up by all the networks as an overwhelming grassroots movement, the damage has been done.

I don’t think there has been a President in the history of our nation that has had to endure so much scrutiny, so much criticism, to unravel so many fake plots, to answer to so many untruthful charges and still survive.

Even Nixon, at the height of his adamant arrogant stance didn’t get the type of treatment that Obama has been getting. President Bush certainly did not, even if there were over 35 impeachable offenses they could have stuck him with. He left the country in economic shambles, two failed wars and a divided country along cultural and religious lines.



They must be running out of Prozac

How effective were the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11? They were very effective. They made the economy come to a standstill, they temporarily united Republicans, Independents and Democrats alike, they were successful in bursting the bubble of isolationism and all that insulated the American people from the rest of the world.

The terrorists also conveyed one very important message: that America is vulnerable, regardless of having the largest and most powerful military in the world, it is vulnerable.

They also touched a lot of paranoid sentiments, many of whom were very high in the Bush administration. One of these was Dick Cheney. His view of the world before was at best confrontational. The attacks made him even more belligerent and pugnacious. Cheney took it upon himself to be the promoter of very large aggression campaigns and to declare war on most of the world.

The worst was that if you did not agree with Cheney’s views or the administration, you were the same as the terrorists, an enemy of America. That is what the terrorists did to America.

"Get Out of the 90s Free" card?

And the thing is, it worked.

By selling 9/11 for
a mess of wingnut pottage, the Right bought itself an anti-Liberal free-fire zone and two Presidential terms-worth of blank checks. Two terms of an alternately supportive and supine media. Two terms of catastrophe, corruption and treason protected from scrutiny by an ablative shield made out of solid "Why do you hate America?", and a promise that they could go on bareback fucking the whores and wake up each morning miraculously clean, virginal and still beloved in the eyes of God.

But they forgot that tempus just keeps rolling along. And as time passed, the Right got so accustomed to butt-scooting their depravity all over the public square and never being called on it they simply stopped noticing that they were amassing a whole new post-9/11 public record so despicable and overflowing with Conservative atrocities that it positively dwarfed their antics during the Clinton Years.

And that brutal, meth-addict level of dependence on never being brought to book
for anything they say or do left the Right completely unprepared for the one thing their leaders promised would never happen again: Losing. And losing has driven them a special kind of crazy; that screaming-incoherently-and-lashing-out-in-every-direction kind of cold-turkey junkie withdrawal crazy.

In the few, short months since they lost, they have emptied out their entire store of raving invective and delusion. Losing has left them insisting that that the legally elected President of the United States somehow isn't really the President. That he is a secret enemy. A Communist. A Hitler. A Muslim sleeper cell. A Chicago gangster, born in Kenya.

Has left them swearing that "their country" has been stolen and that somewhere hidden in secret code in a 1,000 health care bill is a plan to kill grandma.

While most of these wingnuts who all of a sudden have found their voices and invaded the Town Hall meetings to sabotage public discourse, they were the same who lived in a life of privilege and bliss, they ignored everything before Obama was elected. They slept through the screams of the Constitution as Bush Administration fed it an inch at a time through the shredder (this is the same Constitution they are now so deeply concerned about that they have somehow become, virtually overnight, quote-spewing experts) only to be awakened in a sudden, patriotic fury by the sound of a Black Democrat taking the oath of office.

Because during the Bush years, people like that never saw their love of their Dear Leader and their fealty to his Administration as something "political". They saw it as normal. As the Universe being at its proper, wingnut default setting: White, Anglo Saxon male, fundamentalist Christian, Conservative, Heterosexual, flight-suit clad and killing scary brown people. And as long as that remained true, all was right with the world and people like that were absolved by their "Don't Worry, Go Shopping" leaders of any responsibility for paying attention to anything their government was actually doing.

And once the Dear Leader's reign ended, as far as people like that were concerned, the natural order of mindless obedience in exchange for a smug and blissful ignorance collapsed. "Their country" was suddenly broke and fucked up for reasons that they dared not think about too much. "Their country" was suddenly awash in dirty fucking hippies, n%&*# lovers who for some reason were no longer satisfied with being cultural punching bags. "Their country" suddenly had politicians and activists who said mean things about the Dear Leader and the Republican Party...and got away with it! Even the gays could no longer be humiliated into submission. Their churches were criticized for discriminating against gays.

And worst of all, "their country" suddenly had a Scary Black Man living in their Dear Leader's pretty White House, probably having dirty, Muslim sex in the Dear Leader's sacred, Christian bed and putting his filthy, Kenyan hands all over "their county's" pure, white Constitution.

Just as alarming to them, that black man in the White House even had the cojones to nominate a wet-back beaner latina who should be a maid in a hotel, Supreme Court Justice. That was the icing in the cake.

These “Tea Baggers are having temper tantrums because they want "their country" restored to its proper, wingnut default setting.

I 'm getting tired of the gay marriage debate in this country. There are no intelligent reasons to deny gay people the right to marry, only homophobic myths. These include: The Bible says homosexuality, and thus gay marriage, is wrong. Gay marriage is harmful to the institution of marriage. It will promote homosexuality, and "turn" young people gay. And gay people don’t need to be married, because civil unions provide the same legal rights as marriage.

First, evidence that the Bible condemns homosexuality is shaky. According to Yale professor John Boswell’s book, "Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality," "The New Testament takes no demonstrable position on homosexuality." In the Old Testament, Boswell writes that only two passages in Leviticus clearly forbid homosexuality, calling it an abomination that is punishable by death. However, Leviticus also punishes adultery, cursing one’s parents and being a wizard with death. We better hang Bill Clinton, Gandalf and any kid who swears at mom and dad. Not everything in the Bible should be held up as how society should be.

Second, two NIU sociology professors don’t think gay relationships have caused the decline in the number of heterosexual marriages. According to Kei Nomaguchi, assistant professor in sociology, more gay families haven’t caused a decline in heterosexual marriage at all, but are instead a result of it. Marriage is declining because of changes in gender roles and a tolerance of divorce, which isn’t all bad. Many women won’t put off a career for marriage or tolerate abusive marriages.

Chet Meeks, assistant professor in sociology, reminded me that the tradition of marriage once included polygamy, arranged marriages and legally-recognized spousal battery. Change is often better than tradition. Not all change is good, though. Meeks said marriage is also declining because popular culture reduces relationships to superficialities. When "Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire" or "The Bachelor" links America’s wedding vows with dollar signs or hairstyles, gay marriage is not the institution’s real problem.

Third, homosexuality or gay marriage won’t "turn" anyone gay. A 2002 American Academy of Pediatrics report stated that children raised by couples in a non-traditional relationship do as well as those in traditional marriages. Quoted in U.S. News and World Report, the report found "no increase in depression, anxiety, gender identity problems or adjustment problems" in such children.

Finally, civil unions do not provide the same rights as marriage. The 1996 Defense of Marriage defines marriage as between a man and a woman, for purposes of federal law. It also lets states refuse to recognize same-sex marriages from other states. So gay couples can’t file jointly on their federal taxes or have their union recognized if they move to the wrong state.

These ideas don’t stand up to scrutiny. Myths cannot be allowed to deny people fundamental human rights, like marriage. What is truly pathetic is that I’ll probably get more responses to this column than the ones I did on murder or genocide. If you need something to protest, I’d suggest the ethnic cleansing occurring in Darfur, which has killed more than 100,000 people. But if you still need to worry about someone’s consensual sex life, feel free to hook me up with Angelina Jolie.

PUBLISHED ON: Monday, April 11, 2005

BY: David Conard



Kiss me you fool

Joe, oh, Joe, could it be more obvious?

The eternal traitor, the betrayer, the fink, the most transparent of all crooks, the double faced hypocrite, that’s Joe Lieberman.

President Obama was very generous and in the spirit of reconciliation came out in favor of letting traitor Lieberman retain his chair in the committees he headed. Now Lieberman is stepping out and doing something unprecedented, something he had always criticized, he has declared he will filibuster with the Republicans to stop Health Care legislation.

We have always known he was a traitor, but now he is not only betraying the party he is to caucus with and one who allowed him to retain his influence, but he is going against the wishes of his own constituents who favor overwhelmingly a Public Option.

I think that speculation is in order. Not only has he received large campaign contributions from Insurance companies but it leaves one to have some doubts, like how much money was deposited by insurance companies in his name in some secret account in a Swiss bank; that would be the only logical explanation.

We all know you are a whore Joe, the question is what was your price? How big was that deposit in your Swiss bank account?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Interesting photos




Sometimes the imagination of mankind is totally confounding. I believe in the ability of human beings to use their imaginations that is why Einstein and Copernicus succeeded, they were able to be sidetracked and distracted from the “accepted” norms of the societies of their day.

Man still has a long way to go. Just think that the humans of today only use a very insignificant part of their brain to think and solve problems. As the eons of time go by, man will increase their brain usage and I can’t even begin to imagine what humans will be able to accomplish. It is astounding and leaves a lot of speculation.

When I think of Carl Sagan, billions and billions of stars and universes, it belittles me, it gives me such a sense of insignificance that all the problems of the world, as viewed by myself and others seem of no consequence. Not so fast, big boy, that doesn’t mean that we can think or act irresponsibly. If there is one thing I believe in it is that the most important thing we can do while our short lifespan in this world allows us is to leave the world a little better place than we found it.

The risks of having waterfront property

Storm approaching

Who needs earthquakes?

Clearly, she has the biggest pussy in town

This was the last picture of my boyfriend

I don’t know

what happened, I just lost my head

They are not very good pets

I know that these pictures are disturbing to some people and I am sure I am going to get some responses that are critical. However, I see things a little different and I will tell you why: Americans live their whole lives in a bubble. Most people get their Pinesol sanitized news without any “gory” or disturbing pictures. There are few who actually are allowed to see the reality of death, and death is just part of life.

I have posted disturbing pictures in the past, like the ones of gays in the gallows in some fucking Muslim country. I have always been in favor of seeing the caskets of our service men and women who are killed in those stupid wars when they come back…the reason? It is because we should be aware that they made the ultimate sacrifice and the very least we owe them is to know that they died defending us. It would also give us a chance to pay homage to them.

Most people have found some formula to deal with their final nature. Some cling to fabricated fairy tales hand-fed to them by their religion. Others opt to ignore it altogether. Some pragmatists like me think it all out and derive at some workable conclusion.

The truth is that most people cannot deal with the finality of the human condition. They are most disturbed by the sight of a corpse; particularly if the cadaver is mutilated. But these are realities that we must deal with and do it with a healthy attitude. We have a death sentence hanging over our heads the moment we are born, it is natural law.

I am not at all in favor of open casket visitations at funeral parlors. The reason is simple: I realize that most people, because they live in a bubble isolated from the realities of life and death, can’t deal with death at all. After a long illness or a disfiguring accident, it is very difficult for these funeral directors to put together a presentable image of the departed. But they sometimes do a very good job of displaying them in fancy satin-lined, expensive coffins. They are surrounded by flowers and a setting that is calm and soothing. It is part of the therapy that these people need to go through the loss of a relative.

I for one, once had to pick up dead bodies for a living, horrible job, terrible experience. It was very draining on my sensibilities but I found out what a scam the funeral business was. I also saw right through the motivations people had in holding a fancy funeral: mostly guilt that they didn’t do right by the departed.

I also came to the conclusion that this is a waste of resources and it takes up room in mauseuleums and cemeteries. In the end, the finality is still there and the body rots and is eaten by worms even if it is embalmed properly. That is the main reason I want to be cremated. I will leave little of a footprint on the environment and consume not too many resources. But my life should be remembered by my contributions and I hope that I leave this world a little better place than I found it.

There is of course an exception and it is given to the religious. The Western culture is quite willing to look at gory, morbid images of Saints and the crucified, moribund Christ on the cross. This is meant to appeal to the compassionate fiber in us and convince us that Christ gave his life for us. I can’t think of a crueler and misleading trick than this.

About writing and this blog

I don’t quite understand when I hear a writer say “I have writer’s block” and haven’t been able to write for a while. I started to write this blog at the end of July. I have consistently written every day without missing a single opportunity. What’s more, if I could, I would write more only I don’t have the time as I have garden duties, cooking and there is still my painting which I enjoy tremendously.

Good grief! I have so many things to say, perhaps it is because it has all been accumulating all of these years and I have never exteriorized it before; but I feel like I could write forever and not run out of things to say.

I know what you are thinking: you probably will say that it is because I am opinionated and outspoken and because I have no pulpit I am using this format. You are right. But that does not diminish the merits of my endeavor. I am not a professional writer; hell I don’t even think I am an adequate wordsmith. English is my second language and I feel like I am at a loss at times. But I muddle through and still write; I figure that there are others out there whose native language is English and they do a far worse job than I do.

I hope that some of my readers find my point of view challenging and if they are at all pragmatic they might stop and think about what I am writing. I also think that I have a very fertile imagination when it comes to writing erotic stories…they are all original and even I find them sensual and exciting. First of all Ms. Heise, paraphrasing Barney Frank’s now famous lines: “I don’t know what planet you have been spending most of your time in” because President Obama has been enduring criticism not just from Fox but from the other networks as well and not all of it, if at all, undeserved criticism. President Obama quietly sat as Fox raised one doubt after another, told one lie followed by another misrepresentation; this has been going on even before his election. Fox has made no pretense that they want Obama to fail and have called him every name in the book, including Fascist, Nazi, racist, you name it, and they have dished it out.

What is surprising Ms. Heise is that he did show restraint all this time. Any of those dictators you mentioned would have arrested the critics and in some cases put them up against the firing squads. After all, the Fox rebellion is bordering on treason.

Their political agenda includes fake grassroots demonstrations and sabotaging all efforts by constituents to have meaningful discourse with their elective representatives. That Ms. Heise is more like what those dictators do. I know, I am a Cuban who lived there when the dissidents were subjected to these kinds of tactics. The Cuban government called them “Repudiation Brigades”, here they are “Tea baggers”, and so you don’t know what the fuck you are talking about.

Lastly, you obviously believed and admired Fox news long before Obama started to fight back. The premise here Ms. Heise is that Fox is a legitimate News organization and it is not. Absolutely not fair and balanced as advertised in their logo. It is simply the propaganda arm of the Republican Party.

More interesting photos: