While we were talking about football

Readability

While we were talking about football

While we fight the kneel­ing cul­ture war and NFL ticket sales plum­met, it’s been an inter­est­ing week in the news.

Appease­ment never works: Fol­low­ing Obama’s deal, now the U.S. plans major with­drawal of staff from embassy in Cuba. Why? Because of mild trau­matic brain injury, per­ma­nent hear­ing loss, loss of bal­ance, severe headaches and brain swelling among embasssy staff (empha­sis added),

Diplo­mats have com­plained about symp­toms rang­ing from hear­ing loss and nau­sea to headaches and bal­ance issues after the State Depart­ment said “inci­dents” began affect­ing them in late 2016. In total, the State Depart­ment says there are 21 med­ically con­firmed cases. The attacks were directed at their homes, which the Cuban gov­ern­ment pro­vides. The last reported inci­dent was in August.

The Com­mu­nist régime says it’s not involved with who­ever is try­ing to fry the Amer­i­cans’ brains.

Over at the Old Coun­try: Spain and Cat­alo­nia are at log­ger­heads over Catalonia’s upcom­ing inde­pen­dence ref­er­en­dum. This is a dis­pute that goes back to the days of Fer­di­nand, King of Aragon, and his wife Isabella, Queen of Castile, but, adding a mod­ern twist, now El País reports that Russ­ian “hack­ers” help keep banned Cata­lan ref­er­en­dum cen­sus site online. Mueller? Mueller?

Good news: The per­cent­age of Argen­tines liv­ing in poverty fell to 28.6%, indi­cat­ing that Pres­i­dent Macri’s poli­cies have begun ben­e­fit­ing lower-​income fam­i­lies, says the WSJ. This is very good news, as it marks a depar­ture from the prior administration’s ruinous 21st Cen­tury Social­ism eco­nomic poli­cies in one of South America’s larger economies.

Disin­gen­u­ous news:

North Korea claims that 4.7 mil­lion of its cit­i­zens have vol­un­teered to join or re-​enlist in the mil­i­tary since leader Kim Jong Un threat­ened to “tame” Pres­i­dent Trump “with fire” last week, North Korean state media reported.

Not that any North Korean cit­i­zen — includ­ing Kim Jong Un’s uncle — ever has any choice.

It would be a grave mis­take for North Korea to shoot down an Amer­i­can aircraft.

I keep hop­ing that what­ever bomb Kim has, won’t make it off the launch pad.

All this and a vol­cano, too: Mount Agung in Indone­sia is likely to erupt, but no one can say when. A mas­sive 1883 vol­cano erup­tion in Kraka­toa affected the weather worldwide.

So far so good:

Two books for your week­end read­ing: Snow­birds are arriv­ing in Florida, and, as I sit in the back porch watch­ing them ride their carts on the golf course, I’ve been read­ing The Ass­hole Sur­vival Guide: How to Deal with Peo­ple Who Treat You Like Dirt, a quick read with use­ful prac­ti­cal advice. (No, not read­ing it because of the snow­birds’ arrival. But it may be useful.)

I’ve also started Daniel Silva’s The Unlikely Spy, a WWII thriller. A word of cau­tion: Silva’s addictive!


Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin Amer­ica at Fausta’s blog

While we fight the kneeling culture war and NFL ticket sales plummet, it’s been an interesting week in the news.

Appeasement never works: Following Obama’s deal, now the U.S. plans major withdrawal of staff from embassy in Cuba. Why? Because of mild traumatic brain injury, permanent hearing loss, loss of balance, severe headaches and brain swelling among embasssy staff (emphasis added),

Diplomats have complained about symptoms ranging from hearing loss and nausea to headaches and balance issues after the State Department said “incidents” began affecting them in late 2016. In total, the State Department says there are 21 medically confirmed cases. The attacks were directed at their homes, which the Cuban government provides. The last reported incident was in August.

The Communist regime says it’s not involved with whoever is trying to fry the Americans’ brains.

Over at the Old Country: Spain and Catalonia are at loggerheads over Catalonia’s upcoming independence referendum. This is a dispute that goes back to the days of Ferdinand, King of Aragon, and his wife Isabella, Queen of Castile, but, adding a modern twist, now El País reports that Russian “hackers” help keep banned Catalan referendum census site online. Mueller? Mueller?

Good news: The percentage of Argentines living in poverty fell to 28.6%, indicating that President Macri’s policies have begun benefiting lower-income families, says the WSJ. This is very good news, as it marks a departure from the prior administration’s ruinous 21st Century Socialism economic policies in one of South America’s larger economies.

Disingenuous news:

North Korea claims that 4.7 million of its citizens have volunteered to join or re-enlist in the military since leader Kim Jong Un threatened to “tame” President Trump “with fire” last week, North Korean state media reported.

Not that any North Korean citizen – including Kim Jong Un’s uncle – ever has any choice.

It would be a grave mistake for North Korea to shoot down an American aircraft.

I keep hoping that whatever bomb Kim has, won’t make it off the launch pad.

All this and a volcano, too: Mount Agung in Indonesia is likely to erupt, but no one can say when. A massive 1883 volcano eruption in Krakatoa affected the weather worldwide.

So far so good:

Two books for your weekend reading: Snowbirds are arriving in Florida, and, as I sit in the back porch watching them ride their carts on the golf course, I’ve been reading The Asshole Survival Guide: How to Deal with People Who Treat You Like Dirt, a quick read with useful practical advice. (No, not reading it because of the snowbirds’ arrival. But it may be useful.)

I’ve also started Daniel Silva’s The Unlikely Spy, a WWII thriller. A word of caution: Silva’s addictive!


Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog