Inauguration day!

Today is a momentous day in American history, the inauguration of its first Fake President, a senile old man with a Hooker-in-Waiting to assume his position. Stunning.

Brought to you by the Democrat Socialist Party.

But instead of focusing on that sad fact, let us take five minutes to appreciate an American treasure, the brilliant Thomas Sowell, and look at his rise from poverty in North Carolina to where he shines today at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

Sowell is a Truth-Teller. And he tells some good ones here.

Were he a white man, he would have been long since “canceled” for blasphemy, so who says being black in today’s America is a disadvantage? Quite the contrary.

Ask Barry Obama.

Now let us observe a minute of silence in honor of a once-great nation. And remember that:

Democracy Dies in Darkness.

The great Nigel Farage and I see eye to eye.

Quitting crack cocaine

I’ve created and deleted Facebook accounts four or five times over the years. I just deleted the most recent, and I hope I possess the moral fiber to stop altogether, to not be drawn back like a toothless, crackhead skank on a dark, rainy, ghetto street corner.

What prompted the latest deletion? The video above. It’s one of Tucker Carlson’s better videos, and that is saying a lot because his programs are superlative.

That so many otherwise intelligent people, and I’m referring to the politically conservative, stubbornly embrace their FB pages (or Twitter accounts) is disturbing, but I understand why. I was there. The crafty Big Tech giants have developed a powerful cocaine. The cocaine makes you go there, keeps you there, and then uses and abuses you till you’ve dropped a third of your body weight, and your teeth are brown and rotten. And you smell bad.

The cocaine makes you go there, keeps you there, and then uses and abuses you.

Having a Facebook or Twitter account is enabling them because their power is based solely on the massive number of accounts they possess. Without accounts, they would fade away like Myspace, Excite.com and Netscape Navigator, all of which still exist but are sad shadows of their former selves.

Tucker is discussing Big Tech power and censorship, and what it’s doing with and to us, all of which is more important now that they are corrupting the American electoral system while addressing congressional hearings with straight faces.

There are Facebook and Twitter alternatives that are growing significantly. For Twitter, go to Gab instead. For Facebook, go to MeWe. Parler is being hyped as an alternative to them both. I opened a Parler account, but find the daily sign-in process too ponderous.

Better to go to Gab in part due to its working smoothly but, more so, due to the outrageous attacks it has suffered since its birth in 2016. The propaganda campaign launched by Big Tech has been astounding. Currently, you cannot send money to Gab via PayPal, nor can you use a credit card. Gab cannot be monetized in any way because it’s all been blocked by Big Tech thugs. The only way to financially assist Gab is by personal check or Bitcoin.

The leftist attack on Gab extends to the personal accounts of its founder and CEO Andrew Torba, a devout Christian whose family credit cards have been canceled by Big Tech, all because Gab embraces free speech. You can say anything on Gab that is not illegal.

This drives the censors of Big Tech bonkers, and Gab grows bigger by the day, especially since this month’s election fraud. Due to the initial propaganda that Gab was a social media dedicated to Nazis and other unsavory sorts, Gab fairly recently made it possible to view the website before joining. That was not the case at the get-go, likely a bad decision.

I do little on Gab, but it’s good to provide moral support by opening an account, and to not provide moral support to internet mammoths like Facebook, though I know you will justify your staying put. It’s where all your buds are. Family too.

I have been there. But now I am clean. In short time, my weight will return to normal, my breath will smell fresher, and my eyes will clear up.

Penthouse playmate

Puerto

WITH ABOUT 85 percent of one’s life lived, it’s easy to focus more on the past than the future. I tend to do this especially at 5:30 in the morning.

Two periods in my life stand out as being particularly tasty. During both I was living in the Latin world, and during both I was living with Latin women. I married the second, but not the first though I considered it.

I drank a lot.

The second, of course, is my current, third and final wife who is Mexican and was a civil engineer. The first was Argentine and was a hooker. I rescued her from a life of sin. She found work as a legitimate waitress, and we cohabited in a penthouse atop a five-story apartment building overlooking the sea in Old San Juan in the early 1970s.

Readers who’ve hung around here for a spell have heard all this before — do forgive — but the focus today is the top photo, which I do not think I’ve posted previously. I could be mistaken, but no matter.

I have the memory of a tree trunk.

I do not recall who snapped the top photo. We rarely had visitors there on the roof. There was no elevator up the five floors and the stairwell risers were not uniform, making it an arduous ascent.

We tended to go out no more than twice a day. Once was to go to work — mine at the newspaper and hers at the restaurant, both night jobs — and then there was the second descent for whatever, groceries, lunch.

The likely photographer was Luis Muñoz Lee, a good friend and the son of Luis Muñoz Marín, the “George Washington” of modern Puerto Rico. Muñoz Lee was an artist and he also worked with me on the newspaper out on the John F. Kennedy Highway.

Luis, like me, was quite taken with the Argentine who was not your typical ex-hooker. She was very bright and incredibly rebellious.

She was just 20, and we fussed a lot.

In the top photo, the door to the left was the entrance from the stairwell. The door I’m leaning against, wearing my knockout bell bottoms, was the living room door. I was just inside that same door facing the opposite direction in daylight when I snapped the photo below.

Things come back to you at 5:30 a.m. If you’re lucky, you have photos.

And if you’re really lucky, you have people who will listen to you ramble on about them 40 years later.

silvina

My Haitian vacation

Fish

WHILE WRITING THE PREVIOUS post, which was for April Fool’s Day, I went looking for a black dude in a top hat for the illustration. I did a photo search for Papa Doc Duvalier, and there it was. No surprise.

Papa Doc, a nasty piece of work, was a longtime dictator of Haiti, and he died in 1971. Just four years later, I landed, traveling alone, on an Air France plane in the capital of Port-au-Prince. I had flown there on a whim after quitting my job on the San Juan Star  in nearby Puerto Rico due to an ongoing strike.

(Thanks go out to the Communist Party for that, Red amigos.)

I was footloose, in my early 30s, and jobless with no gainful employment in sight.

I had a reservation at a guesthouse. I don’t recall how I found that guesthouse or made the reservation. It’s been a long time, and the internet did not exist in those ancient days. I took a taxi to the guesthouse from the airport. I asked the cabbie who was president, and he told me it was Baby Doc, the son of Papa Doc.

Obviously, I had done little homework before flying to Haiti.

What I recall about the guesthouse, which was very nice, is that it was painted canary yellow and had a big swimming pool. The only other guests were a couple of fellows from France prowling for underage prostitutes. One evening they invited me out on one of those excursions, but I took a pass.

I remember nothing of my room at the guesthouse. What I recall is the sunny side porch where we were served breakfast eggs while a parrot sang nearby, and I remember fresh orange juice and cut fruit.

And I remember swimming solo in the pool on warm afternoons.

Taxis took me downtown, which was not far away, and I would wander through mobs of people. Once I took a jitney to somewhere, probably just so I could say I did and write about it almost 40 years later. A nice-looking passenger offered to be my “girlfriend” for a price, but I took a pass on that too.

The tongues of Haiti are French and Creole. I speak neither, and I encountered few people who spoke English. This was a major problem, of course. I had no French-English dictionary or phrase book. At one point, I needed toothpaste, and I had no idea how to ask for it. Funny what sticks in your mind.

One thing that stuck with me was a night walk through the very center of town. It wasn’t late, 10 p.m. or so, and the unlit sidewalks were strewn with sleeping bodies, homeless people, lying head to toe. The quantity was shocking, and there I was walking among them in the dark. A dictatorship is safe.

Another day, wandering aimlessly through a shanty town, I saw the word Bar at the entrance of a small cinderblock building. I entered, sat and ordered a nice cold one. There were no trappings of a bar, and the “bartender” told me he would be right back. He vanished out onto the dirt street.

About 10 minutes later, he returned with a cold beer that he had clearly purchased elsewhere, perhaps on credit. I drank that beer and paid. I did not order another because I didn’t have all day.

Okay, I did have all day, but I left anyway.

Another day, I don’t remember when or even how many days I was in Haiti, I visited the Grand Hotel Oloffson just so I could say I had been there and sipped booze in the beautiful bar. Graham Greene set much of his novel The Comedians  in the Hotel Oloffson during Papa Doc’s terrible times.

I see the hotel has dropped Grand from its name, but otherwise it looks the same.

Yet another day I went snorkling on a coral reef, motorboated there with a bunch of tourists who looked more touristy than I did with my black pirate beard. I said nothing to them, and I remember treading water on the sea’s surface, snorkle in my mouth, looking at the sinister mountains, dark and green, in the distance.

Haiti is not a happy place. Though the colors are bright, and so are the fish in the emerald sea.

* * * *

(Note: I touched on this trip in a post I wrote years go on the now-defunct Zapata Tales.)