The Whole World Is Festering With Unhappy Souls

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Venezuela, February, 2014
As a bit of explanation for the sub­title of this blog, “everything I know I learned from my pets”, this is what happens in our house.
When I moved to Mexico, from New York, I had a rescue cat, named Baby. She survived the 13 hour trip here iin a crate, in the hold of the plane, with just a toy and enough water to last the trip. When she arrived, she took to Mexico as if she were born here. Since then we’ve added Jake, a street dog our housekeeper found as a puppy, and Schultz, a Schnauzer look­alike ( we were told he’s  purebred, but I have my doubts ), that was a gift from a young couple who could not afford to keep him.
This is what life is like with these pets: They all sleep in my bed, all three, 2 dogs and a cat. As soon as one of my eyelids flutter open, the two dogs, who have been quiet until then, make a mad dash to see who can lick my face first, and most, and the cat (who usually is asleep on my leg, or in the chair next to the bed), comes over and pokes me with her wet nose. I get a cup of coffee, and the dogs head to a balcony door, waiting for me to open it so they can see who is down in the street, and the cat makes her way to the roof to observe from there. Some days I might pour a bit of milk in a saucer, and all three line up. Jake and Schultz allow the cat first dibs, then Jake allows Schultz to have some,and when all have finished, he’ll finish what’s left. When food is put out, the same thing goes.
The point is this: if these 3 totally unrelated animals, of different breeds, and even species, can get along, and even act courteously towards each other, what is the problem with humans? Gays want to marry? Fine, what’s it to you?  Background checks for firearms? Who cares? Do you have a record? No? Legalize marijuana? When was the last time someone on pot shot his family, or even got into a fight? Everyone protesting these things is protesting because of a personal agenda, personal preferences.  Each and every one.
So I ask you: If a cat from the Bronx and 2 dogs from Mexico can get along, despite being totally different, having different likes and dislikes, what is the problem with humans?

The Game Changed in Venezuela Last Night – and the International Media Is Asleep At the Switch

Have friends there, Friends of friends have not been heard from in days

Caracas Chronicles

San Cristobal ayer San Cristobal on Tuesday night

Dear International Editor:

Listen and understand. The game changed in Venezuela last night. What had been a slow-motion unravelling that had stretched out over many years went kinetic all of a sudden.

What we have this morning is no longer the Venezuela story you thought you understood.

Throughout last night, panicked people told their stories of state-sponsored paramilitaries on motorcycles roaming middle class neighborhoods, shooting at people and  storming into apartment buildings, shooting at anyone who seemed like he might be protesting.

People continue to be arrested merely for protesting, and a long established local Human Rights NGO makes an urgent plea for an investigation into widespread reports of torture of detainees. There are now dozens of serious human right abuses: National Guardsmen shooting tear gas canisters directly into residential buildings. We have videos of soldiers shooting civilians on the street.

And that’s…

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