Best regards for 2017

May your prosperity, health, wisdom, and love in 2017 be straight and true, and rising as quickly, as the arrow of Orion. Orion visits us in the Northern Hemisphere at New Year season.

“Wait for it…”

How long before the people of Cuba overthrow Raul or whatever junta succeeds Fidel?

Fidel rose to power as he overthrew the president, Fulgencio Bautista.  And, sadly, as so often happens, Bautista had been our bitch.  He seriously harmed the people of Cuba and so did our east-coast mafia.
Fidel pledged democracy, so we stood idly-by while he overthrew our bitch.  But soon, Fidel reneged and went Communist, and that’s when all this embargo and bad blood stuff between us began.

 And this a resonance of something more than half-a-century earlier:  our Spanish/American War.  An evil chapter in our history that set us on the road to our present state of “Superpower” global meddling and getting lots of people– including lots of young Americans — killed.

 All that to say, if the succession is popularly overthrown, that doesn’t necessarily mean the absence of socialism will make the Cuban people our good buddies.

 That, nonetheless, would be rejected by the Cuban-expat community (descendants of Cubans exiled by Fidel) in Florida.  They’ll bleat in loud and pathetic disbelief if the people of a post-socialist Cuba don’t embrace the U.S.

Secession From Secession

Upon the election of Donald Trump as president, a venture-capitalist in Silicon Valley proposes California secede from the Union.

The last time such was attempted– 1861– millions were killed and millions wounded.

The California-secession scheme would cause civil war– within California.

California, culturally, is completely polarized.

The California one sees in the movies and on TV (that is, L.A. and S.F.) is a misrepresentation. Culturally, California is not a “blue” state.

For decades there have been proposals to split California into upwards of four states  They are grounded in the following: California is two big “blue” islands (again, L.A. and S.F, and for convenience I include Silicon Valley with S.F) in a sea of “red”. Sacramento is an atoll that is “blue”. The rest is: San Diego and Orange county (both educational and economic powerhouses), a massive rural agricultural and petroleum powerhouse in the Great Central Valley (aka, San Joaquin Valley), isolated forests and mountains, and isolated coasts.

In these latter areas, the folks may be few in number in contrast with the populations of the two aforementioned “blue” islands, but they are “red” staunch conservatives who couldn’t be further culturally-alienated from the citizens of the two “blue” cities..

Indeed, the rural Californians and those of San Diego and Orange County would take up arms upon any serious attempt by California to secede.

I used to enjoy the stunned expressions on the faces of midwesterners arriving here in the Central Valley:  “But…this isn’t what we’ve seen on the tube and in the movies?!?”

But for a Californian such as the sponsor of this secession proposal, to be so completely out-of-touch with his own state is not at all funny.

Sign me,

Lived and worked almost all over California for 36 years.

(and I happen to be “blue” in the sea of “red” that is the Central Valley– so I just keep my mouth shut and shun bumper stickers on my car. Yes, I am a coward.)

The Chinese Curse

It’s weird:  in 24 hours, we Americans may know whether our next president is a man, who, by all appearances, is a lunatic.  My prediction:  if he is elected, he will be impeached by summertime.  And this time– unlike with Bill Clinton– the issue will proceed all the way to trial in the House of Representatives.

Another wild-card:  the Electoral College.  If I recall my poli-sci correctly, the Electors are not bound by popular vote; the Founders established the College to protect us from ourselves.  Thus, we cold have another upside-down election as in year 2000 and year 1876.

“May you live in interesting times”.