Showing posts with label Death. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Death. Show all posts

February 20, 2017

Russian Ambassador to UN Suddenly Dies, Second Death in 2 Months

NBC Reports that a Russian top diplomat Vitaly Churkin has died. This is the second death within two months of another top security diplomat known as Sergei Krivov was found dying on the early morning of election day on the floor of the Russian embassy on the upper east side of new York City. (
He was a diplomat in charge of the embassy security in New York City and of all security issues in the area.The man was unconscious and unresponsive, with an unidentified head wound — “blunt force trauma,” in cop parlance. By the time emergency responders reached him, he was dead.
Initial reports said the nameless man had plunged to his death from the roof of the consulate. 
"the Consulate General of Russia Sergei Krivov passed away on November 8, 2016,” the consulate told BuzzFeed News. “An American doctor that was admitted to the Consulate General stated without a doubt that the death was by natural reasons. Medical examiners are currently establishing the cause of his death, but it is believed that the man suffered a heart attack.”


Vitaly Churkin, the smooth-talking Russian ambassador to the United Nations, died suddenly Monday, officials said. 
Churkin, who was 64, was at his desk when he died, the Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed. 

Image: Russia's Permanent Representative to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, speaks with the press following United Nations Security Council discussions at UN Headquarters in New York on Dec. 30, 2016.

Russia's Permanent Representative to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, speaks with the press following United Nations Security Council discussions at UN Headquarters in New York on Dec. 30, 2016. Albin Lohr-Jones / Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

"A prominent Russian diplomat has passed away while at work," the Ministry said in a statement on its official website. "We'd like to express our sincere condolences to Vitaly Churkin's family.' 
Born Feb. 21, 1952 in Moscow, Churkin died a day before his 65th birthday. He began his 32-year diplomatic career in 1974 when Russia was still the Soviet Union, according to a United Nations biography. 
Fluent in English and French, Churkin was a child actor who appeared in pair of Communist-era movies about Lenin before he set out to become a diplomat. 
Before arriving in New York City, Churkin was ambassador-at-large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation from 2003 to 2006. He was his country's ambassador to Canada from 1998 to 2003, and to Belgium from 1994 to 1998. 
Prior to that, Churkin was deputy foreign minister of the Russian Federation from 1992 to 1994. And before that he headed the Information Department at the Foreign Ministry in the Soviet era. 
Churkin made his first mark on the world stage in 1986 when at age 34 he became the first Russian diplomat to testify before a U.S. Congressional committee. He was questioned about the Chernobyl nuclear accident and asked to explain why Moscow waited for days before alerting its neighbors about the disaster. 
It did not go well, as the Chicago Tribune reported in a story headlined "Soviet Envoy Does Dance For Congress." 
"The world is appalled, Mr. Churkin, and they want to know why didn't warn them," Rep. Edward Markey, D- Mass., said. 
"We are certainly well aware of our responsibilities," Churkin replied. "We have been very forthcoming. It is my understanding that no harm was done — real harm — in those countries which are adjacent to the Soviet Union, to the people who live there."

January 23, 2017

Theory Based on Quantum Physics in Which Death Is Not The End

image: image for What Happens When You Die article
This is  theory adamfoxie is sharing with you and is posted by 
It has nothing to do with religious believes but instead on the laws seen as physics and relativity.
                        We watch our loved ones’ age and die and assume that’s the end of the story. We believe in death because we’ve been taught we die. Also, of course, because we associate ourselves with our body and we know bodies die. But biocentrism — a new theory of everything — tells us death may not be the terminal event we think. Amazingly, if you add life and consciousness to the equation, you can explain some of the biggest puzzles of science. For instance, it becomes clear why space and time — and even the properties of matter itself — depend on the observer.
One well-known aspect of quantum physics is that certain observations cannot be predicted absolutely. Instead, there is a range of possible observations each with a different probability. One mainstream explanation, the “many-worlds” interpretation, states that there are an infinite number of universes (the ‘multiverse’). Everything that can possibly happen occurs in some universe. Death doesn’t exist in any real sense in these scenarios since all of them exist simultaneously regardless of what happens in any of them. Although individual bodies are destined to self-destruct, the alive feeling — the ‘Who am I?’— is just a 20-watt fountain of energy operating in the brain. But this energy doesn’t go away at death. One of the surest axioms of science is that energy never dies; it can’t be created or destroyed. But does this energy transcend from one world to the other?
Consider an experiment that was published in in the prestigious scientific journal Science (Jacques et al, 315, 966, 2007). Scientists in France shot photons into an apparatus, and showed that what they did could retroactively change something that had already happened in the past. As the photons passed a fork in the apparatus, they had to decide whether to behave like particles or waves when they hit a beam splitter. Later on — well after the photons passed the fork — the experimenter could randomly switch a second beam splitter on and off. It turns out that what the observer decided at that point, determined what the particle actually did at the fork in the past. Regardless of the choice you, the observer, make, it is you who will experience the outcomes that will result. The linkages between these various histories and universes transcend our ordinary classical ideas of space and time. Think of the 20-watts of energy as simply holo-projecting either this or that result onto a screen. Whether you turn the second beam splitter on or off, it’s still you, the same battery or agent responsible for the projection.
According to Biocentrism, space and time are not the hard cold objects we think. In truth, you can’t see anything through the bone that surrounds your brain. Your eyes are not portals to the world. Everything you see and experience right now — even your body — is a whirl of information occurring in your mind. Wave your hand through the air — if you take everything away, what’s left? Nothing. The same thing applies for time. Space and time are simply the tools for putting everything together.
Death does not exist in a timeless, spaceless world. Einstein knew this. In 1955, when his lifelong friend Michele Besso died, he wrote: “Now he has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.” Immortality doesn’t mean a perpetual existence in time without end, but rather resides outside of time altogether.
This was clear with the death of my sister Christine. After viewing her body at the hospital, I went out to speak with family members. Christine’s husband — Ed — started to sob uncontrollably. For a few moments I felt like I was transcending the provincialism of time. I thought about the 20-watts of energy, and about experiments that show a single particle can pass through two holes at the same time. I could not dismiss the conclusion: Christine was both alive and dead, outside of time.
Christine had had a hard life. She had finally found a man that she loved very much. My younger sister couldn’t make it to her wedding because she had a card game that had been scheduled for several weeks. My mother also couldn’t make the wedding due to an important engagement she had at the Elks Club. The wedding was one of the most important days in Christine’s life. Since no one else from our side of the family showed, Christine asked me to walk her down the aisle to give her away.
Soon after the wedding, Christine and Ed were driving to the dream house they had just bought when their car hit a patch of black ice. She was thrown from the car and landed in a banking of snow.
“Ed,” she said “I can’t feel my leg.”
She never knew that her liver had been ripped in half and blood was rushing into her peritoneum.
After the death of his son, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote “Our life is not so much threatened as our perception. I grieve that grief can teach me nothing, nor carry me one step into real nature.”
Life is an adventure that transcends our ordinary linear way of thinking. When we die, we do so not in the random billiard-ball-matrix but in the inescapable-life-matrix. Life has a non-linear dimensionality — it’s like a perennial flower that returns to bloom in the multiverse.
Whether it’s flipping the switch for the Science experiment, or turning the driving wheel ever so slightly this way or that way on black-ice, it’s the 20-watts of energy that will experience the result. In some cases the car will swerve off the road, but in other cases the car will continue on its way to my sister’s dream house.
Christine had recently lost 100 pounds, and Ed had bought her a surprise pair of diamond earrings. It’s going to be hard to wait, but I know Christine is going to look fabulous in them the next time I see her. 

January 21, 2017

When knife Placed on Corpse to Remove Cornea Eyes Flinch, Still Dead?

Reader Advisory-Not for everyone, this is a true medical story. 

 Be educated while your brain works, tell them now how things should be handle or may be you don’t care because you will be dead; But would you really be dead?
The Beating Heart ❥Corpses

Their hearts are still beating. They urinate. Their bodies don’t decompose and they are warm to the touch; their stomachs rumble, their wounds heal and their guts can digest food. They can have heart attacks, catch a fever and suffer from bedsores. They can blush and sweat – they can even have babies.
And yet, according to most legal definitions and the vast majority of doctors these patients are thoroughly, indisputably deceased.
These are the beating heart cadavers; brain-dead corpses with functioning organs and a pulse. Their medical costs are astronomical (up to $217,784 for just a few weeks), but with a bit of luck and a lot of help, today it’s possible for the body to survive for months – or in rare cases, decades – even though it’s technically dead. How is this possible? Why does this happen? And how do doctors know they’re really dead?
Premature burials
Identifying the dead has never been easy. In 19th Century France there were 30 theories about how to tell if someone had passed away – including attaching pincers to their nipples and putting leeches in their bottom. Elsewhere, the most reliable methods included yelling a patient’s name (if the patient ignored them three times, they were dead) or thrusting mirrors under their noses to see if they fogged up.
Suffice to say, the medical establishment wasn’t convinced about any of them. Then in 1846, the Academy of Sciences in Paris launched a competition for “'the best work on the signs of death and the means of preventing premature burials” and a young doctor tried his luck. Eugène Bouchut figured that if a person’s heart had stopped beating, they were surely dead. He suggested using the newly invented stethoscope to listen for a heartbeat – if the doctor didn’t hear anything for two minutes, they could be safely buried.
He won the competition and his definition of “clinical death” stuck, eventually to be immortalised in films, books and popular wisdom. “There wasn’t much that could be done, so basically anyone could look at a person, check for a pulse and decide whether they were dead or alive,” says Robert Veatch from the Kennedy Institute of Ethics.
But a chance discovery in the 1920s made things decidedly messier. An electrical engineer from Brooklyn, New York, had been investigating why people die after they’ve been electrocuted – and wondered if the right voltage might also jolt them back to life. William Kouwenhoven devoted the next 50 years to finding a way to make it happen, work which eventually led to the invention of the defibrillator.
It was the first of a deluge of revolutionary new techniques, including mechanical ventilators and feeding tubes, catheters and dialysis machines. For the first time, you could lack certain bodily functions and still be alive. Our understanding of death was becoming unstuck.
The invention of the EEG – which can be used to identify brain activity – dealt the final blow. Starting in the 1950s, doctors across the globe began discovering that some of their patients, who they had previously considered only comatose, in fact had no brain activity at all. In France the mysterious phenomenon was termed coma dépasse, meaning literally “a state beyond coma”. They had discovered the ‘beating-heart cadavers’, people whose bodies were alive though their brains were dead.
This was an entirely new category of patient, one which overturned 5,000 years of medical understanding in a single sweep, raising new questions about how death is identified and dredging up some thorny philosophical, ethical and legal issues to boot.
 “It goes back and forth as to what people call them but I think patient is the correct term,” says Eelco Wijdicks, a neurologist from Rochester, Minnesota.
These beating heart cadavers should not be confused with other kinds of unconscious patients, such as those in a coma. Though they aren’t able to sit up and respond to the sound of their name, they still show brain activity, undergoing cycles of sleep and (unresponsive) wakefulness. A patient in a coma has the potential to make a full recovery.
A persistent vegetative state is decidedly more serious – in these patients the higher brain is permanently, irretrievably damaged – but though they will never have another conscious thought, again, they are not dead. 
To qualify as a beating heart cadaver, the entire brain must be dead. This includes the “brain stem”, the primitive, tube-shaped mass at the bottom of the brain which controls critical bodily functions, such as breathing. But, somewhat disconcertingly, our other organs aren’t as troubled by the death of their HQ as you’d think.
Alan Shewmon, a neurologist from UCLA and outspoken critic of the brain death definition, identified 175 cases where people’s bodies survived for more than a week after the person had died. In some cases, their hearts kept beating and their organs kept functioning for a further 14 years – for one cadaver, this strange afterlife lasted two decades.
How is this possible?
In fact, biologically speaking, there has never been a single moment of death; each passing is really a series of mini-deaths, with different tissues dropping off at different rates. “Choosing a definition of death is essentially a religious or philosophical question,” says Veatch.
For centuries, soldiers, butchers and executioners have observed how certain body parts may continue twitching after decapitation or dismemberment. Even long before life support, 19th Century physicians related accounts of patients whose hearts had continued to beat for several hours after they stopped breathing.
At times, this slow decline can have alarming consequences. One example is the Lazarus sign, an automatic reflex first reported in 1984. The reflex causes the dead to sit up, briefly raise their arms and drop them, crossed, onto their chests. It happens because while most reflexes are mediated by the brain, some are overseen by “reflex arcs”, which travel through the spine instead. In addition to the Lazarus reflex, corpses also have the knee-jerk reflex intact.
Further along the life-death continuum, skin and brain stem cells are known to remain alive for several days after a person has died. Living muscle stem cells have been found in corpses which are two-and-a-half-weeks old.
Even our genes keep going long after we’ve taken our last breath. Earlier this year, scientists discovered thousands which spring to life days after death, including those involved in inflammation, counteracting stress and – mysteriously – embryonic development.
Beating heart cadavers can only exist because of this lopsided decline – it’s all dependent on the brain dying first. To get to grips with why this happens, consider this. Though the brain makes up just 2% of a person’s body weight, it sucks up a staggering 25% of all its oxygen. 
Neurons are so high-maintenance in part because they are active all the time. They are constantly pumping out ions to create miniature electrical gradients between their insides and the surrounding environment; to fire, they simply open up the floodgates and let the ions flow back in.
The trouble is, they can’t stop pumping. If their efforts are stalled by a lack of oxygen, neurons are rapidly inundated with ions which build to toxic levels, causing irreversible damage. This “ischaemic cascade” explains why if you accidentally lop off a finger, it can usually be sewn back on, but most people can’t hold their breath for more than a few minutes without fainting.
Which brings us back to that perennial medical problem: if your heart’s still beating, how can doctors tell you’re dead? To begin with, doctors identified victims of coma dépasse by checking for the absence of brain activity on an EEG. But there was a problem.
Colleen Burns woke up just as doctors were about to remove her organs 
Alarmingly, alcohol, anaesthesia, some illnesses (such as hypothermia) and many drugs (including Valium) can shut down brain activity, conning doctors into thinking their patient is dead. In 2009, Colleen Burns was found in a drug-induced coma and doctors at a hospital in New York thought she was dead. She woke up in the operating room the day before doctors were due to remove her organs (NB: it’s unlikely this would have gone ahead, because her doctors had planned additional tests before the surgery).
Several decades earlier in 1968, a group of esteemed Harvard doctors called an emergency meeting to discuss exactly this. Over the course of several months, they devised a set of foolproof criteria which would allow doctors to avoid such blunders and establish that beating heart cadavers were definitely dead. 
The tests remain the global standard today, though some of them look uncannily like those from the 19th Century. For a start, a patient should be “unresponsive to verbal stimuli”, such as yelling their name. And though leeches and nipple pincers are out, they should remain unresponsive despite numerous uncomfortable procedures, including injecting ice-cold water into one of their ears – a technique which aims to trigger an automatic reflex and make the eyes move. This particular test is so valuable it won its discoverer a Nobel Prize.
Finally, the patient shouldn’t be able to breathe on their own, since this is a sure sign that their primitive brain is still going. In the case of Burns, the horrifying incident was only possible because her doctors ignored tell-tale signs that she was alive; she curled her toes when they were touched, moved her mouth and tongue and was breathing independently, though she was hooked up to a respirator. Had they followed the Harvard criteria correctly, they would never have declared her dead.
Cadaver donor management
You might expect all medical treatment to stop after someone is considered dead – even if they are a beating heart cadaver – but that’s not quite true. Today beating heart cadavers have spawned a strange new medical specialty, “cadaver donor management”, which aims to improve the success of transplants by tending to the health of the dead. The aim of the game is to fool the body into thinking everything is fine until recipients are lined up and their surgeons are ready.
In all, nearly twice as many viable organs – around 3.9 per cadaver– are retrieved from these donors compared to those without a pulse and they’re currently the only reliable source of hearts for transplant.
Intriguingly, the part of the brain that the body misses most is not its primitive stem or, as we’d like to think, the wrinkled seat of human consciousness (the cortex), but the hypothalamus. The almond-shaped structure monitors levels of important hormones, including those which regulate a person’s blood pressure, appetite, circadian rhythms, sugar levels, fluid balance and energy expenditure – then makes them, or instructs the pituitary gland to do so.
Instead the hormones must be provided by intensive care teams, who add just enough to an intravenous drip as and when they are needed. “It’s not just a case of putting them on a ventilator and giving them some food – it’s far more than that,” says Wijdicks.
Once the consent forms have been signed, dead patients receive the best medical care of their lives 
Of course, not everyone is comfortable with the idea. To some, organ donor management reduces human beings to mere collections of organs to be stripped for parts. As journalist Dick Teresi cynically put it, once the consent forms have been signed, dead patients receive the best medical care of their lives.
These interventions are only possible because the Harvard tests promise to sort the dead and the living into neat boxes – but alas, yet again death is messier than we’d like to think. In a review of 611 patients diagnosed as brain dead using their criteria, scientists found brain activity in 23%. In another study, 4% had sleep-like patterns of activity for up to a week after they had died. Others have reported beating heart cadavers flinching under the surgeon’s knife and there have even been suggestions that they should be given an anaesthetic – though this is controversial.
To inject further controversy into the mix, some people don’t even agree with the definition in principle, let alone in practice. In the United States, many Orthodox Jews, some Roman Catholics and certain ethnic minorities – in total, around 20% of the population – like their dead with a flat-lining heart rate and cold to the touch. “There’s this group of people who quite militantly are offended when a doctor tries to pronounce death on someone that the family thinks are still alive,” says Veatch.
“Even with clinical death, there are disputes – for instance about how long it’s necessary for circulation to be lost before it’s impossible for it to be restored. We use five minutes in the US but there isn’t really good evidence that that’s the right number,” says Veatch.
At the heart of many legal struggles is the right to choose your own definition of death and when life support should be removed, issues Veatch is particularly passionate about. “I have consistently supported individuals who would insist on a circulatory definition, though that’s not the one I would use,” he says.
Where it gets particularly sticky is if the victim is pregnant. In these cases, the patient’s family have a heart-breaking choice to make. They can either accept that they’ve lost her unborn baby, or begin the intensive and often gruesome battle to keep her going long enough to deliver, which is usually when the foetus is about 24-weeks-old.
Back in 2013, Marlise Munoz was found unconscious at her home in Texas. Her doctors suspected that she had suffered a pulmonary embolism and discovered that she was 14 weeks pregnant. Two days later she was declared dead. Munoz was a paramedic and had previously told her husband that in case of brain death, she would not want to be kept alive artificially. He petitioned to have her life support removed – but the hospital refused.
“In Texas there’s an automatic invalidation of a pregnant woman’s advanced directive. If she wanted them to withdraw life-sustaining treatment, then when she died that would not be allowed – that would be ripped up. She would be provided life-sustaining treatment,” says Christopher Burkle, an anaesthetist from Rochester, Minnesota who co-authored a paper on the subject with Wijdicks.
The circumstances are extremely rare, with only about 30 reported cases between 1982 and 2010, but the tug-of-war between the interests of the mother and those of her unborn baby begs the question: which human rights should we retain when we’re dead?
“In the US a dead patient still has rights to the protection of their medical information, for example. You can’t publish their medical record on the 6 o’clock news – a person who is dead has privacy rights in that respect. It’s not a huge jump to suggest that rights be maintained in other avenues for a dead person,” says Burkle.
And things may be about to get a lot more complicated. At the moment, doctors are bound by the “dead donor rule”, which asserts that no organs can be removed until a person is dead – that is, totally brain-dead or with a heart which has already stopped beating. But some people, including Veatch, think this should change.
They have proposed the “higher brain” definition, which means a person isn’t dead when their heart stops beating, or even when they stop breathing – a person is dead when they lose their “personhood”. Those with crucial parts of their brains intact and the ability to breathe independently would be dead so long as they could no longer have conscious thoughts. 
By loosening up the definition a little further, transplant doctors would have access to a much larger pool of potential donors than they do at the moment and save countless lives.
Death isn’t an event, it’s a process – but after thousands of years of trying, we’re still searching for something more definitive. It doesn’t look like this is about to end any time soon.
 --By Zaria Gorvett
  From BBC Future, Earth, Culture.

December 8, 2016

John Glenn Dead at 95

Former astronaut and U.S. Sen. John Glenn has died in Ohio. He was 95. Glenn became a national hero in 1962 when he became the first American to orbit the Earth.

November 27, 2016

Did Castrismo Died with Fidel or Was it Already Dead?


We know what is being written about Castro’s death in the U.S. media and in your respective country. No need to add the flow of this.
Nothing is as important as the implications and the meaning to Fidel Castro’s death where it matters the most, Cuba.
Havana Times tends to see the events there as events without adding condiments to it and then it tells you separately what they believe the meaning is. I don’t always agree with their assessments of political events particularly when it involves the U.S. but I agree often enough particularly of the description and assessment of events in the island of Cuba (Publisher)
— Fidel Castro has passed away. And with him the last poster of the 20th century’s great revolutions has fallen off the wall of History.
I don’t mean to say that I share the dreamlike desire of conservatives throughout history when it comes to the end of a revolution. These will continue to take place while – and here I’m reminded of Brecht – human hope exists in the face of dead end streets. Nor does it mean that it casts aside violence as a path, because violence is practiced everyday – physically or symbolically – sometimes by the market, sometimes by the government, and sometimes by a infinite number of dormant domination in everyday life. That microphysics of power which seduces us so.
However, I do believe that Fidel Castro symbolized a kind of revolutionary and headstrong Jacobean change, whose achievements were never compensated with their immense human cost. He belonged to a century were heroes captivated people’s hearts riding horses and armed to their teeth – Pancho Villa, Trotsky, Mao, Giap, Guevara – and not this era where icons – Mandela, Ghandi, Luther King, Malala, Mujica – seem to be more interested in modest and gradual but long-lasting change. As if they were choosing these interstitial strategies that Olin Wright insisted were the paths for the future. As if, whether they knew it or not, they were dusting off that Gramsci saying: before a class is dominant, it needs to be ruling.
Although his eulogists are striving to display him as a contemporary Marxist thinker, the truth is that he was never this. Marxism, a Western intellectual product, was too emancipatory and libertarian in his view. He was, of course, an accomplished and effective ideologist who used Marxism as a pretext. However, among his sources, there was nothing more than a few techniques taken from its most totalitarian version: Leninism. This is where he stole the idea of having a single party system, so-called democratic centralism and other dressings which enabled him to create an advantageous relationship with the Soviet Bloc for over two decades. He took the most important things from other places: manipulation of the masses from populist autocracy; the art of winning over representatives from his Jesuit professors; gangster techniques to deal with hostile enemies from his university years.
His legacy is practical. After half a century leading the Cuban State, Fidel Castro will be recognized as the architect of a strong justice-seeking project. The social programs he funded produced an unprecedented social movement in the country. And the resulting creation of a “human capital” force which remains today the guarantee that the national economy will take off and the reason behind its emigres’ success.
In economic terms, his half century in power was a disaster which was underpinned by foreign subsidies, which Cuban society paid for greatly when the Soviet Bloc fell in 1990.  He handled the economy like a string of expensive fancies that began with the dehydrating 10 Million Ton Sugar Harvest in 1970, but his headstrong nature also made a wise decision: Cuba entering an elite club of cutting-edge technology in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors.
Fidel Castro is a crucial figure when it comes to explaining global geopolitics in the second half of the 20th century. The Revolution that forced the US to consider Latin America as something else but a backyard, and which reformulated the framework of its hemispheric relations. Which certainly led to monstrosities such as the invasion of the Dominican Republic in 1965 or Operation Condor-, but also the Alliance for Progress and other further advanced reforming projects, like the symptomatically named Revolution in Freedom by Chile’s Christian Democratic Party.
The emergence of all kinds of alternative projects – from military nationalism to the so-called “20th century socialist movements” – are inexplicable without going back in some way or another to the presence of Fidel Castro in the politics of the Americas.  There’s no need to explain his impact in Africa. However, like everything else in life, there aren’t any unambiguous results and it must be recognized that much of his international success was achieved at the expense of a large sum of resources and human lives, which were sometimes set aside for military odysseys which, in name of his global revolution, ended up strengthening corrupt and bloody satraps.
Believing that Castrism will end with Fidel Castro’s death – like I hear and read in the flood of opinions which are poured into the shadow of the Comandante’s sarcophagus – is doubly wrong.
Castrism as a political project – an authoritarian system which controls every aspect of life and asks for its subjects’ fervent support – has been dying out for quite some time now, even Fidel Castro becoming extinct in the government’s leadership. What his washed out brother Raul is doing is managing the process of transforming the post-revolutionary elite into the new bourgeoisie, especially high-ranking military men and close technocrats. It had been some time now that Fidel Castro was a capricious and irritable old man who explained how to cook black beans, who shouted out against Obama, who suggested that moringa was the answer to saving the global environment, who gave his opinion about the Neanderthal´s past adventures, among many other ramblings that came from his senile loquacity. Ever since his convalescent withdrawal, he never gave up on talking to a world that only he imagined was listening, as populist autocrats, the real ones, never retire.
Instead, if we talk about Castrism as a political tradition, it has very little to do with Fidel. Castrism didn’t found the extremist and authoritarian nationalist tradition in Cuban history, but it did sanctify it. It existed beforehand – hidden or explicit – and it will continue to exist. This is Cuban society’s greatest challenge.
When China’s Chou En Lai was asked his opinion about the French Revolution in 1974, he said that it was too recent of an event to give his opinion about. I think there are more than enough reasons to do so with Fidel Castro. Nothing will be able to excuse him of the terrible liability with regard to the lack of freedom and democracy in Cuba, the division of society and the mass expropriation of émigré’s civil rights, the irresponsible way in which he played with US hostility and the economic disaster that he led the country into.
Every Cuban has paid a price for his megalomania, and the lives of a couple of generations at least were affected by the charm of his slogans, paying prices that were way too high for one life. However, no judgement can leave out a very simple fact: he captivated the imagination of entire generations who had benefited from a revolution that ended a long time ago, but still survives as a political system.
Raul Castro, his voice choked up with emotion and his chronic lack of charisma, announced some grand funeral celebrations. I imagine that his remains will be placed in Revolution Square, and that Cubans will parade before them. Some voluntarily and others “mobilized” by all of the institutions that make up Cuban society, which increasingly suffer greater setbacks.
The great Cuban writer Lichi Diego once said that one of the Cuban people’s flaws was their reluctance to let go of the past. It’s not about forgetting, as taking the past into account prevents you from banging your head against the same wall. But you do have to overcome it, which is the best way to remember. I hope Cuban society will be able to do this and advance towards a Republic and democratic future which should´t leave out the historic burden of an intense and contradictory process which has left its inevitable mark in national history for those of us who live in this century which – along with us – is aging.

 Haroldo Dilla Alfonso 

November 26, 2016

Fidel Castro Dead at 90 (Updated w/ hist facts)

 Castro(1st on left) walking in to Havana after winning the Revolution there. At center is Che Guevarra (Argentinian and closest to Castro). “El Che” as he was called was a handsome revolutionary who was single and closeted gay. Raul Castro the now President of Cuba and brother of Fidel can be see on second on right. 

HAVANA TIMES – Former Cuban President Fidel Castro died on Friday night at the age of 90, informed his brother, President Raul Castro, on national television.
“With deep pain I appear to inform our people, the friends of our America and the world that today, November 25, 2016, at 10:29 p.m. , the commander in chief of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro Ruz died, said Raul Castro.
The Cuban president assured last night that the remains of Fidel Castro will be cremated, as was his wish, and that in the coming hours the Cuban people will be informed about the detailed organization of the posthumous homage.
The Council of State declared nine days of National Mourning between November 26 and December 4. “Public activities and spectacles stand cancelled, the national flag will wave at half-mast in public buildings and military establishments. Radio and television will maintain an informative, patriotic and historical programming, “reported Granma, the official newspaper of the ruling Communist Party of Cuba.
The last published images of Fidel Castro are from November 15, when he met at his home in Havana with the president of Vietnam, Tran Dai Quang. His last public appearance was on August 13 during the celebration of his birthday at the Karl Marx Theater in Havana.
Since his departure from power in 2006, Fidel Castro was retired from the front line of politics. He has often received international personalities at his private residence and from time to time wrote opinion pieces such as the one that severely criticized the motives of Barack Obama’s trip to Cuba in March 2016.
In April, during the VII Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba, Fidel Castro made his last speech in which he reaffirmed the political ideas that marked his life.
“We will all be in for our turn, but the ideas of the Cuban communists will remain, as proof that on this planet, if we work with fervor and dignity, we can produce the material and cultural goods that human beings need, and we must fight without ceasing to obtain them”, said Castro on that occasion.

September 22, 2016

Charlotte PD Shooting }Don’t Go by Rumors Get the Facts Here and Now

Source: Graphiq

September 20, 2016

Tulsa Police Officer Kills Unarmed Motorist with Hands Up(Graphic Warning)

Dash cam footage shows the fatal police shooting of Terence Crutcher in Tulsa, Oklahoma. WARNING: Video contains graphic footage. Viewer discretion is advised. Video by Mic

Terence Crutcher, a Tulsa, Oklahoma, man who was fatally shot by a police officer last week, was not armed, nor was a weapon found in his SUV, the city’s police chief said Monday.

Police Chief Chuck Jordan said no weapon was recovered from the scene of the shooting, after a white officer shot and killed the 40-year-old black man. Jordan didn’t volunteer more details about the shooting.

Following Monday’s news conference, the Tulsa Police Department released the dash cam video of the confrontation, Tulsa World reported(WARNING: Video above contains graphic footage.)

Responding to reports of a stalled vehicle Friday night, two officers found Crutcher nearby his vehicle, police spokeswoman Jeanne MacKenzie said at a news conference Saturday. MacKenzie said Crutcher failed to follow repeated commands from the officers.

“As [the officers] got closer to the vehicle, [Crutcher] reached inside the vehicle and at that time there was a Taser deployment and a short time later there was one shot fired,” she told reporters.
Crutcher later died that night at a local hospital.

On Sunday, police identified Betty Shelby as the officer who shot her weapon, Tulsa World reported. Officer Tyler Turnbough deployed his Taser.

In one of the videos released today, Crutcher can be seen with his hands up as he walks toward his SUV as several officers approach him. However, once Crutcher appears to put his hands on the vehicle, it’s difficult to make out what is happening as the officers surround him.
At one point, Crutcher can be seen collapsing to the ground. Overheard in the video is police radio chatter that says, “I think he may have just been Tasered.” Shortly after, someone is heard saying “Shots fired,” a statement that’s repeated on the police radio as well.

In another video from Tulsa police’s helicopter camera, someone is heard saying that Crutcher looked like a “bad dude.”
WARNING: Video contains graphic footage. Viewer discretion is advised. Video by Tulsa World
The Justice Department said today it has opened a civil rights probe into the shooting, after the Tulsa police chief contacted the agency over the weekend to help with the investigation.

Tulsa police released the video footage of the shooting to select community leaders and family members prior to its release to the public.

Crutcher’s sister, Tiffany, has demanded that criminal charges by filed against the officer who took her brother’s life. Tiffany has also asked for peaceful protests following Crutcher’s death, the Associated Press reported.

Damario Solomon-Simmons, the family’s lawyer, said the footage showed that Crutcher didn’t make any sudden movements. Solomon-Simmons also questioned some of the claims made in police statements about the timing of Crutcher’s death.

 On Sunday, Rodney Goss, a pastor in north Tulsa who was able to view the footage beforehand, told Tulsa World that Crutcher’s “hands were in the air from all views.”
After an officer shot Crutcher, “a couple minutes it appears, but it seemed like a lifetime, went by before anyone actually checked with him as far as pulse — as far as whatever the case may be,” he added.

June 4, 2016

Muhammad Ali Dead at 74

Image result for muhammad ali


Boxing great Muhammad Ali has died at the age of 74. He was admitted to the hospital earlier today and died in the arms of family and friends.

Below are visualizations overviewing his life and struggle with Parkinson’s disease.

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