Sunday, December 26, 2021

Sweet and Sour Coffee

Like every coffee aficionado, I'm always trying to make the perfect cup of coffee. Yesterday, I formulated a blend I call “Sweet and Sour Coffee.” If you want to try it, instructions are below:

Using a stainless steel French Press, steep the following whole beans for five minutes (or longer, depending on the size of the French Press) in the following percentages:

40% Chiapas or Veracruz (Mexico, medium)
20% Sumatera (Indonesia, dark)
40% Andes or Cuzco (Peru, light)

Want more sour? Increase the percentages in favor of Sumatera.

Want more sweet? Increase the percentages in favor of Andes or Cuzco.

Making a perfect cup of coffee isn’t easy because water type, water temperature, steeping time, and whole bean quality can be unpredictable. Peru currently makes some of the best arabica light roasts, but just one bad season can cause country flavor profiles to change.

© Matthew Mehdi Rafat (December 2021)

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Declassified JFK Files: Soviets and Cubans, American Right Wing, or ???

Newly declassified JFK files do not appear to have new information; however, they do confirm existing suspicions. The CIA believed JFK’s assassination was the work of Soviets collaborating with Cuban intelligence. Some key points:

Lee Harvey Oswald “defected to USSR in Oct 1959.” Source: 104-10054-10296.

“OSWALD stated that he had been employed since 13 January 1960 in Belorussian radio and TV factory in Minsk where he worked as a metal worker... OSWALD was married... to Marina Nikolaevna PSAKOVA [sic]...”

Oswald apparently attempted “to kill General Walker early in April 1963” and identified with Fidel Castro and the Cuban revolution as early as his Marine Corps service in El Toro, California. Source: 104-10086-10181.

Lydia Dimytruk and Alexander Kleinlerer were persons of interest. The CIA believed Soviets were actively targeting USA military personnel, particularly anyone undesirably or dishonorably discharged—just like Oswald. [Note: Edward Snowden also defected to Russia, but for different reasons. Though we’re taught the Cold War ended in 1991, apparently no one told the intelligence agencies.] 

Fidel Castro's Times-Picayune interview with Daniel Harker on September 9, 1963 delivered direct threats to JFK and RFK. 

Cuban intelligence was valuable because of Spanish-speaking abilities, which facilitated intelligence operations in Mexico City, Mexico. Oswald appears to have taken a Greyhound bus from Mexico City to Dallas, Texas on September 30, 1963, allowing three weeks’ preparation time. 

Chairman Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev “had some dark thoughts about the American Right Wing being behind this conspiracy... He said he did not believe that the American security services were this inept... [with respect to Jack Ruby shooting Lee Oswald].” “[His] attitude was one of complete skepticism as to the public version [of events.]”

© Matthew Mehdi Rafat (2021)