Predictions: CIA vs. "ordinary folk"

Well, it really isn't about the CIA in particular but about the concept that a group of ordinary people can be better than the experts at predicting things. It's interesting as are the comments.

An NPR blog offers up the article. The project is an experiment that seems to have some pretty interesting results.

Route hijack/censorship monitoring in foreign countries

Specifically, Nicaragua. :)

The short, less technical version, is that Turkey is pretending to be Google, and conveniently omitting Twitter's existence from the internet in Turkey.

Getting back to (composting) toilets ...

We get into toilet discussions about once a year here on NL. All too often they turn into excuses why someone must have a flush toilet and little to do with reality in Nicaragua. Let's see if we can do better this time.

There is an organization called Toilets For People that has a solution that they are promoting for India, Peru and Nicaragua. They point out why a composting toilet is a good thing, particularly for places that may flood, but also point out that the typical cost is $1500.

Journalism vs. National Security

I mentioned this video in another thread but had not watched it at the time. Now that I have watched it I want to highly recommend it. It is one of the few things about what the Snowden revelations mean in global terms that stays on subject. That is, it talks about the revelations rather than focusing on the person.

Venezuela issues grocery ID cards

In this micromanaged economy, a move to prevent people from buying excess food at subsidized prices to then resell at a handsome profit.

"Critics say it’s another sign the oil-rich Venezuelan economy is headed toward Cuba-style dysfunction." WashPost-AP, 4/1/14

Plus: "Forget rent control: Property owners in Venezuela are being squeezed by a new law requiring them to sell to longtime tenants." WashPost-AP, 3/31/14

They have 60 days to come up with a 'fair price' or face fines of more than $40.000.

Everyone Has Their Favorite

history of Nicaragua.

Here's a relatively non-controversial one. I wouldn't call this the horse's mouth, although she is getting long in the tooth:

http://eletters.liveandinvestoverseas.com/read/archive?id=3456547&mid=12...

This isn't the first time Nicaragua has been on her "best retirement locations" list . .. but she makes some good points. Just like the Crimea now belongs to Russia, Danny and friends will probably be around for a very long time.

High Resolution Maps

Thanks to Susan for the link to Open Culture.

These maps might be of use to arm chair travelers:

http://www.openculture.com/2014/03/new-york-public-library-puts-20000-hi...

Venezuela: When Some of the Most Important News Comes in the Form of Corrections

That's the title of an article in Truth-Out. It is particularly critical of reporting on behalf of the New York Times.

It shows some of those corrections. For example,

Coffee "rust" is result of climate change?

That is what an article asserts. Maybe so, maybe not but it does a good job of explaining the problem and the consequences.

The article appears in The Guardian under the title Latin America: how climate change will wipe out coffee crops – and farmers.

Tupamaro

Armed thugs. Motorcycle gangs. Their defense of Chavismo - la revolución bolivariana - involved disrupting peaceful opposition rallies with threats of violence. They and other 'colectivos chavistas' are the reason the death toll of the current nationwide demonstrations against the government of Venezuela keeps climbing. The police, the National Guard look the other way when these armed, black-masked hooligans show up.

See: http://elcomercio.pe/mundo/latinoamerica/tupamaros-fuerza-choque-chavism...

Why are so many migrants here in the first place?

The question is being asked from the US perspective. While immigration to the US is not just from Latin America, there is clearly where the big numbers come from. Many articles try to justify immigration by saying "we need them". Maybe the US does -- or the price of California lettuce would go up -- but that doesn't address why they see the US as the land of opportunity.

treamor

just got a big 1 here in mga

Who says you can't get off the US no fly list?

We all know about the US no fly list. What we don't know is what it takes to get on the list. While some people seem like obvious candidates to go on the list, many people seem to have ended up there because someone in the government just wanted to harass them. Up until now, we also haven't known what it takes to get off the list.

Well, good news. One person actually did manage to get off the list and her story is available with lots of details. (Note that she was put on it by mistake -- it is probably harder to get off the list if you were intended to be there.)

Birds of a feather

The UN General Assembly, apparently and suddenly seduced by The Empire and mainstream media, yesterday voted overwhelmingly that Crimea's referendum to break away from Ukraine was not valid.

There were 11 dissenting votes:

  • Armenia
  • Belarus
  • Bolivia
  • Cuba
  • North Korea
  • Nicaragua
  • Russia
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Venezuela
  • Zimbabwe

Nicaragua unconditionally recognizes incorporation of Crimea into Russia

While I don't think there is any surprise here, Voice of Russia reports that Nicaragua has recognized the incorporation of Crimea into Russia.

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