Friday, November 04, 2011

Just another day in Liberia.

What to do on a Liberian national holiday?  Visit the dilapidated shell, the ransacked, burned out and looted skeleton of what used to be Liberia's finest hotel, obviously.  I'll confess the appeal is lost on me, but the company was good.
"Hotel Africa" built by the Doe administration something like 35-40 years ago.  Used to be where they'd put up visiting heads of state.  A pool shaped like the continent of Africa with a huge floating bar.  And this is what's left...

Intrepid explorers.

Post hotel-visit lunching area.  

Waterfront view was pretty snazzy, I'll admit.


Mmmm, beer.  Mediocre, Liberian beer, but still... beer.

Furniture made from old armament.  Only available in post-conflict countries.  Yay, us?

Crew for the day.  We are awesome.  Clearly.

An outsider's cursory view of the Liberian political process.

Some random pics in Monrovia during the run up to the Constitutional Referendum and the Presidential Election of 2011.
Gathering in support of their political party.

UN is still very much a presence, despite no real violence - or, imho, a serious threat of any large scale violence - during the political process.  Hard to say how much of that is simply due to the deterrent nature of the UN still being here, though...

Political marches, obviously.

Here less for the political implications and more for the "this is how people get around in Liberia" connotations. 

"Are you better off today?" remains a trite political means of manipulation, regardless of country, clime or place.

"Ballots Not Bullets" I call the Low Liberian Bar of Expectations.  

Outside the National Elections Commission HQ.

The current President's campaign slogan is something along the lines of "Monkey still working, baboon wait small."  The meaning having to do with letting the industrious folks who began the rebuilding finish their efforts before changing course.  Now, I'm not sure if that's supposed to be the monkey or the baboon getting crucified up there, but still, you know...  that's some full bore crazy you can only get at the intersection of religion and politics.

Allow me to direct your attention to the lower right corner of the photo.  To the gentleman in the wizard hat.  With the horns.  I will vote for whoever he votes for.  That is all.


My entire life since realizing it at age 17.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

"You don't think it can happen here?" Or, why if you don't buy "conspiracy theories" you have no understanding of history.

"'You don't think it can happen here?  Do yourself a favor...  Google COINTELPRO,  or Operation Mockingbird, oh, and especially Operation Northwoods.  You might also look into Operation Ajax, Operation Gladio, Operation Mongoose, and the so-called Strategy of Tension.  And those are just the ones that have leaked.  There are others.  Unless you think the Reichstag Fire and the Gleiwitz incident and the Russian apartment bombings were unique to their respective times and places and could never happen elsewhere, least of all in America.  But you don't strike me as that naive.'"
'Was nine-eleven an inside job, too?'
'It wasn't, though the way it's been exploited, it might as well have been.  But are you arguing that because not all cataclysms occur behind a false flag, that none of them do?'"
- From Barry Eisler's excellent new thriller The Detachment.

I always liked this one.

Don't think I ever posted it...

Monday, October 31, 2011


10/31 - goblet squats, sissy squats, rdl, hip extensions, calf raises, crunches, sitting knee ins
PruFit Upper Body/Core Circuit [db row, plank pushup/row, swings, windmills, med ball pass, db press, plank knee ins] x3
10/30 - rest/recovery/off 
10/29 - PruFit [pool swimming sprint/up downs x3/walking lunges] x10 - 20m HIIT treadmill 

Cooking/Food Log.

Above, mixed up for the Mrs.

As for me, another week of less than stellar nutrition/eating off "plan."  Four, count 'em four, dinners/dining outs/events leads to indulgences, and much food not pictured above.  Halloween party with beers & a Jack and Coke...  A dinner party with crab cakes, cheeses, a curry chicken dish, salad w/bread, wine and a delicious/decadent chocolate mousse cake/pie...  A BBQ @ the Ambassador's for more beer, ribs, chicken, potato salad, hot dogs...  Such is life.  Onwards.