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  • Rayarena: Asombra, as you have said repeatedly, we are to blame. We are not institution builders. While we don’t have power over...

  • asombra: I still remember that photo of Soler with Francis in Rome. Evidently, it meant NOTHING, same as his meeting with the family of...

  • asombra: Yes, EVERYBODY gets that the US has finally bailed Cuba out–Castro’s Cuba, that is.

  • asombra: But Ziva, apparently Pope Francis was fine with releasing the spies. Lord have mercy.

  • asombra: The Vatican, in its way, seems no better than Spain, and given what it’s SUPPOSED to be, it looks considerably worse. The...

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realclearworld

Friday Open Thread

Feeling a bit under the weather this morning so please, you tell me what's happening today.

22 comments to Friday Open Thread

  • Sore from shoveling.

    Need to drink tonight.

  • Rayarena

    One of castro's worst legacy's is the wholesale destruction of Cuba's environment, the total disregard for her fauna and flora. This is not surprising as communist tyrannies never cared about their country's respective environments. And why should we have expected them to have been environmentalists, since they didn't about their own people? So it is not surprising that the country that created the infamous Siberian Gulags, would, also, be responsible for Chernobyl, or the man who made " El Paredon" a household word, referring to the firing squad and execution of thousands of dissidents, would also destroy Cuba's environment without any regard whatsoever.

    This article is over 10 years old, but since nothing ever changes in Cuba, it probably continues to give a clear picture of Cuba's environmental disaster:

    http://www.fiu.edu/~fcf/enviromental.crisis.html

    It's heartbreaking.

  • drillanwr

    Hey, Humberto -

    Has "Who dat"? turned to "WTF is DAT"? yet down there? Just got pics from a pal in La. of the fallout from our AGW nuke from up here ...

    Do yunz guys even have snow shovels down there?

    HEH!!!

    My nephews in south Ga. have been bitching about our near 3 feet up here (they love the snow when they visit), but looks like they'll have some there soon too.

  • Honey

    When I'm not looking at pictures of snow sent from my son in law and my Obama loving, global warming believing liberal friend from Phila., I am trying to keep my visiting grandchildren from Philadelphia happy. They always come to Florida in February because that's when we get the gorgeous 80 degree sunny weather. Not this time. We are coping with howling winds that disturb their sleep and cold, windy, cloudy days with no swimming, the ultimate horror.
    I like to think all of this snow and cold is a gift from God. In a kind of a joke he is sticking it to the global warming cultists. I hope the joke of the cold and ice and snow continue relentlessly so at least some of them will get tired of hearing about the threat of global warming.

  • ElcubanitoKC

    Sunny for the first time in weeks here in Kansas City. It's still cold, but the sun (even for a bleak weather lover like myself) feels great. It's supposed to snow again on Sunday.

  • I'm going to Cuba at the end of the month . . .

    http://tinyurl.com/ycnwckl

  • cubabuzz

    "This is not surprising as communist tyrannies never cared about their country's respective environments. And why should we have expected them to have been environmentalists, since they didn't about their own people? So it is not surprising that the country that created the infamous Siberian Gulags, would, also, be responsible for Chernobyl"

    Love Canal. Exxon Valdez. Donora, PA. Black Mesa. West Virginia / Kentucky Coal Ash / Sludge Spill. Anniston, Alabama. Picher, Oklahoma (where lead-laced mine waste covered 25,000 acres and poisoned local residents). Libby, Montana (where asbestos waste killed over 200 people).

    Yeah, let's not go there.

    I haven't even mentioned Union Carbide (Bhopal).

  • Rayarena

    Cubabuzz, I have no idea what you are trying to get at? Is your point that I shouldn't criticize communist tyrannies because "capitalist" nations also abuse the environment?

    That's like saying I have no right to criticize Mussolini because Hitler was worst, or Vlad the Impaler because Genghis Khan was more brutal.

  • drillanwr

    Rayarena

    Okay, I'm thinking Vlad might have been a bit 'prescient' or ahead of his time by several hundred years ...

    And Genghis is a great-great-great-whatnot in my family tree. But I digress ...

    Carry on.

  • Honey

    cubabuzz,
    I know, this is such a horrible country. We do so many bad things I don't know how you can stand living here. And we certainly have no room to criticize others because we are equally as bad.
    You are not a buzz; sorry, fellow, you are a putz.

  • Kiki, I'm already shedding tears just thinking about it. What a blessing you are to your family and those who love you. When your feet touch ground, say a small prayer for all those who will never, for whatever the reason, be able to visit.

  • cubabuzz

    Honey writes: "I know, this is such a horrible country."

    That might be your opinion, but it's not mine.

    I was just addressing an insinuation that communist tyrannies are automatically the ones responsible for environmental disasters or for the worst of them.

    Fact is, the MSM here tends to hide an awful lot of environmental atrocities going on right here, or caused by us. Be honest, how many of the ones in the list I gave were you really familiar with (let alone heard of)? Maybe 3 or 4 of the 8? Please tell me if I am mistaken.

  • Rayarena

    Cubabuzz, I wasn't insinuating anything. I was just stating a fact: communist tyrannies were and/are horrible for the environment. PERIOD. You're the one who had an INSTANT knee-jerk reaction as if any remark about Cuba has to be qualified with a comparison to the USA, wherein the US is depicted unfavorably.

  • ElcubanitoKC

    Cubabuzz, I have one word for you: China

  • cubabuzz

    Rayarena, what I am saying is that whether a country is environmentally friendly or not has little if anything to do with whether it is communist, a democracy, or a republic. So why would you even bring such a connection up? It is erroneous to do so, and I was simply trying to point that out.

    How Honey infers from this that I hate America, is an open question.

    ElcubanitoKC brings up China. Yes, China has a terrible record, and there have been many / countless environmental abuses there. At the same time, it has made some positive advances in recent years.

    Google Rizhao City: "Rizhao City means City of Sunshine in Chinese. The city is known for its sustainability, and it mandates solar-water heaters in all new buildings. Rizhao city was recognized by the United Nations as one of the most habitable cities in the world in 2009. In Rizhao City, 99 percent of households in the central districts use solar water heaters, and most traffic signals, street and park lights are powered by photovoltaic (PV) solar cells. In the suburbs and villages, more than 30 percent of households use solar water heaters, and over 6,000 households have solar cooking facilities. More than 60,000 greenhouses are heated by solar panels, reducing overhead costs for farmers in nearby areas."

    Also, even if the story at the link below may be a little exaggerated and alarmist, one would be a fool if they did not realize that it raises some legitimate points:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/31/business/energy-environment/31renew.html

    "China Leading Global Race to Make Clean Energy"

  • Honey

    cubabuzz,
    The difference is an obvious one. The examples you cite are the aberrations in a free country. The government is not to blame for these things. Individual companies or irresponsible individuals caused these things.
    In a communist country or in a backward country damage to the environment is the RULE.
    In this country at this point we have cleaner air and water than in underdeveloped countries.
    Cuba is a disaster in respect to its environment.
    The point is it takes a free economy to fix the problems in the environment. As we became more advanced in our free economy here, our technology got better and we have the cleanest country in the world for such an advanced country.
    It is very easy to notice weakness in certain areas and generalize from the specific to blame the whole.
    Whereas in Russia and China and industrialized countries that are not free, they are indisputably dirtier than we are.
    If Chernoble had happened here, we'd have been able to contain most of the damage and would not have had an ecological disaster for decades to come because we have the science and technology to fix it.

    In general, I despise the arguments that start such and such a country might have mistakes in it, but we are not perfect.
    This country is the greatest in the world by any measure up until 2008's election at least. And I get very impatient with people failing to celebrate that.

  • Any country ruled by a murdering destructive dictator who doesn't give a rats ass about the people is not going to take care of the environment. The US is a nation of laws, and that includes environmental protections. In Cuba the only real law is the dictator's whim.

  • cubabuzz

    "The examples you cite are the aberrations in a free country."

    Aberrations? They are rare events, but that does not make them aberrations exactly. Aberrations are more like anomalies, one shot never to be repeated events. Unfortunately, these things are happening with alarming regularity and I only gave you a partial list.

    You never did answer my question. How many of those disasters are you actually familiar with? My belief or suspicion is that the MSM gives them very little attention and they fly beneath the radar of most people.

    "The government is not to blame for these things."

    On some occasions, sadly, some of the blame does attach to the government.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/04/01/60minutes/main609889.shtml

  • Cubabuzz, I'm old enough to remember almost all of the environmental "incidents" you site. They were in the news, well publicized at the time. And all, if I remember correctly, all were addressed, if after the fact. So? What is your point? There is no rule of law in Cuba or North Korea. Again, what is your point?

  • drillanwr

    If I may interlope and interject here ... Yeah, the USA has had its share of nasty mess-ups in the past, and will so in the future. ALL nations have. Murphy's Law.

    But the fact is WE have always been held accountable for those mess-ups. Via the courts, fines, penalties, and lawsuits. We've gotten away with very little, if anything.

    The USSR (Russia), on the other hand, pretty much skated on the whole Chernobyl thing. As a matter of fact, Chernobyl was the one the world fully knew about ... there were 'others' that got covered up in the Soviet Union and in China and even more recently NoKo. These stories get 2-3 short paragraphs on section B page 6 between the British livestock reports and Asian rice production predictions. Ours take front page above the fold coverage around the world news wire services ... for days.

    THAT is the biggest difference between us and them. And before the Manhattan Project gets cited, that was top secret during actual wartime, not the Cold War. (To be fair, I cannot fault such secrecy on either side during war when developing weapons. That's just the nature of the beast) The Communist countries ALWAYS put their secrecy ahead of alerting their own people, and the world, of the danger that has just been released.

    As usual, the USA is held, demanded, a higher standard and accountability. We pretty much own-up.

  • drillanwr

    PS

    And I add this. Most of the USA mess-ups were individual 'private' entities, not government (although that appears to be in transition in this country in the last year). When people like to point out we helped Saddam in the Iran/Iraq war because some private US company apparently did business with him and he obtained the poison he used on the Kurds ... Yes, I know our government had has its share of mess-ups, but I refer back to my above post about accountability ... unless someone wants to argue the dog-damned 'reparations' bullshit ... and yunz really don't want to go there with me on that.

  • Rayarena

    cubabuzz says:

    >>Rayarena, what I am saying is that whether a country is environmentally friendly or not has little if anything to do with whether it is communist, a democracy, or a republic. So why would you even bring such a connection up? It is erroneous to do so, and I was simply trying to point that out.<<

    Again, I ask you--and you haven't answered me-- why must I qualify my statement about Cuba and other communist countries with a statement about the USA? The USA is not joined at the hip with Cuba. This is website about Cuba and so I was talking about Cuba. I don't have to mention Cuba and then in the next breath mention the USA.

    But to answer your question, as Honey and others have said, the environmental disasters in Cuba and the U.S.S.R. [as opposed to the USA, where private industry was to blame] were caused by the communist regimes that ruled those countries. Case in point, today, the Bay of Havana is one of the most polluted bays in the world, because the Castro regime used to make money by allowing Eastern European tankers to dump their toxic waste in Havana Bay, also the Canadians--who have strict environmental laws in Canada--avail themselves of Cuba's lax environmental laws in order to strip mine in Cuba, and dump toxic by-products in the country, something that they could never do in Canada, because Canada is a democracy run by the rule of law and the Canadians would never allow their government to do to their land what they do in Cuba.

    In Cuba, if the regime decides to allow Canadians to strip mine, the Cubans--who have no rights--cannot protest. They cannot effect change. There is no counterpart to Greenpeace, or other environmental groups in Cuba. It is a totalitarian country. You protest and you go to jail.

    Despite all of those environmental disasters that you mentioned, the USA is, today, a far cleaner country than Cuba. That's the bottom line.