Archive for January 1st, 2004

Some interesting things in this New Year 2004

January 1, 2004

 


Thoughts and things of interest on this New Year:


 


-An Iraqi quotes Garcia Lorca, Popper and Mohamed on why 2003 was his most beautiful year


 


-Thousands in Hong Kong take to the streets to ask for democracy. The beginning of something to watch?


 


-Opposition Mayors hold two huge parties for their people in Caracas, while the Chavistas apparently have nothing to celebrate and do nothing.


 


-Someone managed to place in the front page of Cuba’s communist newspaper Granma a doctored picture of Fidel Castro looking like Hitler. If they find him will they kill him or just sentence him to life in prison? (Thanks Scott)  


 


-The destruction of the Iranian city of Bam by the earthquake is so large that you can see it in satellite pictures with 1 meter resolution.


 


-So far, no Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) have been found in Iraq, but one thousand Scientists for Weapons of Mass Destruction (SWMD) are going to be retrained. Interesting…did they have jobs? What were they working on? How come there are no efforts by the press to talk to them? Do I ask stupid questions?


 


-This post in a blog makes me wonder whether I should blog less.


 


-An a very happy New Year to all of you, quoting T.S. Eliot as found in this blog:


 


2004 Begins…


“the end precedes the beginning, And the end and the beginning were always there, Before the beginning and after the end. And all is always now.” -T.S. Eliot

Some interesting things in this New Year 2004

January 1, 2004

 


Thoughts and things of interest on this New Year:


 


-An Iraqi quotes Garcia Lorca, Popper and Mohamed on why 2003 was his most beautiful year


 


-Thousands in Hong Kong take to the streets to ask for democracy. The beginning of something to watch?


 


-Opposition Mayors hold two huge parties for their people in Caracas, while the Chavistas apparently have nothing to celebrate and do nothing.


 


-Someone managed to place in the front page of Cuba’s communist newspaper Granma a doctored picture of Fidel Castro looking like Hitler. If they find him will they kill him or just sentence him to life in prison? (Thanks Scott)  


 


-The destruction of the Iranian city of Bam by the earthquake is so large that you can see it in satellite pictures with 1 meter resolution.


 


-So far, no Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) have been found in Iraq, but one thousand Scientists for Weapons of Mass Destruction (SWMD) are going to be retrained. Interesting…did they have jobs? What were they working on? How come there are no efforts by the press to talk to them? Do I ask stupid questions?


 


-This post in a blog makes me wonder whether I should blog less.


 


-An a very happy New Year to all of you, quoting T.S. Eliot as found in this blog:


 


2004 Begins…


“the end precedes the beginning, And the end and the beginning were always there, Before the beginning and after the end. And all is always now.” -T.S. Eliot

Two Spectacular species

January 1, 2004


Two spectacular species. On the left Cattleya (Cat.) Intermedia from Brazil, a very large sized one, one of the best I have, On the right a fairly rare Schomburkia thomsoniana which is originally from the Cayman Isalnds and Cuba. It comes in a bunch of 10-20 flowers which open gradually, the older ones dying as new ones bloom, this makes it last quite a while.

Another tasteless Chavez joke

January 1, 2004

 


This is a literal translation of the beginning of Hugo Chavez’ Sunday program “Alo Presidente” last Sunday:


 


“I am leaving. I have decided to advance 2021. This Alo Presidente! Is to say goodbye to all of you ladies and gentlemen. I have my hammock here. I have come to Barinas because today I will resign from the Presidency. Jose Vicente Rangel, you take charge of the Presidency and I will stay here under the shadow of a tree. Chao, pescao (something like see you later, alligator!)…….This is my joke of the day of the innocent saint’s day (our equivalent of April fool’s)


 


Can he get more tasteless than this?

Oil: Corruption and inconsistencies

January 1, 2004

 


Last week I reported on the lack of transparency of the attempt to sell the 50% that PDVSA owns in the Ruhr refinery in Germany. Essentially, a letter of intent was signed with Russian group Alfa Group. This group will due the due diligence and afterwards a price will be agreed upon. Well, I find out yesterday that PDVSA’s second in command Aires Barreto, who retired three years ago from PDVSA and was brought back in 2002 to the company, actually went to work for this group when he retired from PDVSA. Is this a coincidence or what? Another interesting fact is that prior to this anyone retiring from PDVSA was never allowed to come back to the company. The reason was simple, in this manner those that were passed over for promotion and retired would not spend their time lobbying to get back when changes were later made at the company. Another achievement of the “people’s PDVSA”


 


And since we are on the subject of oil, Luis Marin, the president of CITGO was asked at a press conference two days ago if the company was for sale. Marin said that it was not, that CITGO was profitable and giving good dividends to the company. Well, the current President f PDVSA Ali Rodriguez and Chavez did nothing but criticize when they were in the opposition, why Venezuela even needed to own CITGO. Both questioned why the company had made these investments that lost money abroad, instead of investing it in Venezuela where our citizens would benefit. Moreover, I know for a fact (or here) that in March of 2003, PDVSA was shopping CITGO around but was unable to find a buyer. The reason for this is simple; CITGO’s operations are an extremely good match to the country’s oil production profile. The only other country that could be interested in it would be Nigeria.

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