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By the way ... if you enjoy these photos, you will find this article interesting...
Hotel Nacional, the most prominent hotel in Cuba and one of the nicest buildings in Havana
Flag at Half Mast for no apparent reason because nothing was going on that anyone knew about.
Hotel Nacional with Cuban Emblem and Security Camera Overlooking the Malecon - Sea Wall
Hotel Nacional View Toward Malecon - Sea Wall
Behind the Hotel, this beautiful walkway takes you to a view of the ocean separating Cuba from the USA
Hotel Nacional View From Malecon - Sea Wall
Former President Batista's Home which is now the Museum for the Revolution.
This is the view of Havana's Central Park from the Rooftop of a Hotel Bar which is, of course, inaccessible to ordinary Cubans.
Havana Libre (Free Cuba) Building,
While the United States ignored immigration laws in recent years to foster an illegal underclass of potentially 38 million people, a twin demon of financial fraudsterism was allowed to grow and flourish. Each creation ugly enough independently, the immigration and financial fiascos together cross paths in ways that challenge the essence of fairness and Democracy.
Greed and ethics failures in the mortgage lending, home construction and financial services businesses contributed to the belief that the American economy could be sustained simply by buying and selling housing (and buying more stuff to put in those homes). This fueled a false prosperity that lured in a large illegal alien population, unhampered due to lack of political will to secure our borders and enforce our immigration laws. Unchecked by government regulators who took little public action to reign in the $2.8 trillion U.S. mortgage market boom, a bubble in the housing market grew and grew, ultimately bursting big time several months ago into the full-blown economic meltdown we’re living through.
Part of the large illegal alien population drawn to the United States supplanted American workers in the construction industry. In recent years, an estimated 27 percent of the illegal labor force worked in construction. A percentage of that illegal workforce, combined with other illegal workers in various other industries, bought into the easy credit notion of home buying that was being promoted. Indeed, government policy encouraged home ownership for immigrants, minorities and low income prospects through sub-prime lending and no-down-payment loans via quasi-governmental entities.
Thank you, citizens, who came through with the Obama victory, voting for restoring credibility, integrity, intelligence, reason and sanity to the White House. What a joy it was to hear a poised and smart president-elect at that Friday press conference post-election. Some relief after eight years.
We’ve had a few weeks now to revel in the victory which hopefully won’t be short-lived with the financial Armageddon that’s knocking at the door. But let’s enjoy it just a little longer.
With the Obama win, we also can enjoy Sarah Palin’s return to the great State of Alaska (sorry Alaskans!), albeit with a side trip to a governors’ conference that shined a little too much light on this woman and generally a little too much other post-election attention on the Republican vice presidential candidate. But, we seem to finally be past Palin and her post-presidential election rounds.
So now that the fear of a Palin vice presidency (and perhaps presidency – “the horror”) has passed, we can look back over the recent months and truly appreciate the humor, and more frequently the pathos, that was Palin. The woman was like a character in a Tom Wolfe novel. For both the comedic and tragic value of it, let’s recap some of the famous quotes and highlights of Palin and her brood that rounded out the 2008 election:
Science? We don’t need no stinkin’ science!
“Some of these pet projects,” Palin said in speaking of government funding, “really don’t make a whole lot of sense … and sometimes they go to projects that have little or nothing to do with the public good … things like fruit fly research in Paris, France …”
Section 1. In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.
Section 2. Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.
Section 3. Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.
Section 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.
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