FLY MUCH?  There are now Android and iPhone WheelTug apps.  Just search on WheelTug and download from the app store if you want to help the company add to its (already extensive, professionally-sourced) flight data.  The more time we can prove airlines waste sitting at the gate, the more they will pay each year to lease the systems that will save them a good chunk of that wasted time.


DEPT. OF PROTOCOL:  What To Do When the PM Is Gay and the VP Is A Homophobe?  Click to see.  And happy St. Patrick’s Day!


MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN:  Have you seen this clip of Jimmy Kimmel with the items in the new on-line Trump store?  Guess where the Trump family makes them.


DEPT. OF PROTOCOL AGAIN:  Now that his lawyers have made it official in a federal court filing, I believe we should always refer to him as “Donald Trump, aka David Dennison.

Let him call his opponents demeaning or subtly racist names — “Little,” “Low IQ.”

We should call Trump what his own lawyer calls him in an official court filing threatening a porn star.  From now on, he’s Donald Trump, aka David Dennison.


“AND FINALLY, NEW RULES:”  Bill Maher has a lot of fun at Democrats’ expense in these six minutes . . . much of it spot on.


And finally, finally (save this for Tuesday if I’ve already taken too much of your weekend and Monday) . . .

CUBA

Steve Morgan long ago worked at the same Washington law firm as Trump’s lawyer in the Mueller probe. Recently, he traveled to Cuba.

Under Trump’s — aka Dennison’s — tightened rules, he is required to keep his U.S. Treasury Reg. 515-565b paperwork for 7 years.

He reports:

Cuba had been on my “bucket list” for at least 30 years. I spent time traveling to Holguin, Santiago de Cuba, Havana and Varadero. The people were friendly and welcoming. The landscape was beautiful, the food delicious, the music electrifying. Anyone for great coffee or rum?

In some ways, it was a trip in a time machine. The baroque architecture of government buildings and massive mansions built in the 1800’s and early 1900’s is breathtaking. Unfortunately, the exodus of over 2 million Cubans since the Revolution and a lack of funding have left many of these buildings in a state of great disrepair. Most are now museums or multi-family residences. Thousands of vintage cars dating from the 1950’s and earlier on the road look like a movie set from that period.

The citizens, most of whom work for the State for paltry wages ($50 a month for full time employment in the cigar factories), do without many of the things we Americans take for granted, either because they can’t afford them, or because of the U.S. Embargo.

Would I want to live there under the current conditions? No. But after seeing the real Cuba, spending time with ordinary Cuban citizens and learning more about the history of Cuba and U.S.-Cuba relations, I need to question the renewal of chilling restrictions imposed by the current Administration.

General Batista, who staged a coup in 1952 after realizing that his candidacy for President was doomed, quickly saw the Truman Administration recognize his government and provide military and economic aid. Organized resistance in Cuba resulted.  I visited the Moncado Army Barracks in Santiago de Cuba, where Fidel Castro and other revolutionaries staged an unsuccessful attack in 1953. The damage caused by flying bullets can still be seen. It is now a school for children.

Revolutionary activities continued, until January 1, 1959, when Batista fled to the Dominican Republic, Che Guevara took Santa Clara and Castro’s troops seized the Moncado Army Barracks without firing a shot. The U.S. recognized the new Cuban government 6 days later.

Were U.S. properties and Cuban properties seized by the State and nationalized in the years following the Revolution? Absolutely. Did millions of Cuban citizens flee their native country (voluntarily or involuntarily) because of the changes imposed by Castro’s government? No question. Did Castro provide military support to regimes I detest? Certainly.

The original intent of the U.S. Embargo and travel restrictions was to punish the Cuban regime and isolate the country. The original naïve hope was that the Cuban people would revolt, and somehow return seized property to the Americans. That was 58 years ago.

Castro outlived the terms of 10 U.S. Presidents. Several of them (e.g., Carter, Clinton) attempted to loosen restrictions regarding Cuba, only to be over-ruled by succeeding Republican administrations. President Obama boldly re-opened the U.S. Embassy in Havana, only to see Trump [aka David Dennison] take a giant step backwards. Today, tourists from Canada, Britain, Germany and many other U. S. allies travel freely in Cuba. Ordinary Americans are denied the opportunity to travel freely to visit our fellow human beings.

Several Cubans — mindful of what’s going on here — told me that in the year before Batista was overthrown, he had a massive turnover among his ministers and high-level officials. Some were fired, others resigned. Sound familiar?

 

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