The Vice-President's mansion is once again visible on Google Maps.
View Larger Map
Does anyone else detect the aroma of Soviet-style "Revisionist History" here? I saw this happen first-hand when I worked as a newspaper editor in Venezuela. It happened on a big government project that was being overseen by the terrifying secretary/concubine Blanca Ibáñez (she was alleged to be de facto ruler of the country, while dipsomania President Jaime Lusinchi floated like a Manatee in the pool at Miraflores, surrounded by half-empty bottles of Pampero rum). It was called the John Paul II housing complex, situated in the slum of Montalban. It was supposed to be for the workers; they used the pension funds from some union workers to fund the construction. Then, once it was partially completed, it supposedlyl "ran out of money" - even though our digging found that millions more had been allocated to build the complex than would ever logically be needed to complete.
At about that time, we started noticing that the official documents and records had been tampered with. The photos of all the dignitaries on hand for the ground-breaking ceremonies had had several faces (known criminal acquaintances of Blanca) air-brushed out. The names disappeared and reappeared and then disappeared from the lists of Boards of Directors & Project Managers; all, we learned, because behind the scenes, the rats were fighting each other over who would get to feast on the mountains of cash.
In the end, the complex that was supposed to provide safe, secure and stable housing for the workers who had busted their asses for a lifetime, was condemned and then sold for pennies. To developers who quickly turned the whole thing around, finished it, and then sold it for a massive profit as high-end luxury housing.
Now THAT'S a political scandal. Thousands of workers robbed, their money stolen by corrupt politicians in league with criminals masquerading as bankers, and good hardworking people left homeless. Sounds familiar, eh?
Anyway - the disappearance/reappearance of entire structures reminds me of those dark days. Some of the comments over at Wonkette
A vague hologram of the mansion lingered aboveground while the actual
dwelling burrowed 666 fathoms below the earth’s crust, coming at last
to rest in a den of snakes. All you could see in aerial photos on
Google Earth was a bunch of squares and nothingness in the midst of a
normal neighborhood of houses and trees.
are beverage-on-monitor funny:
Can you still see the pentagram on the roof or did Jill have it painted over?
When mysterious doors start appearing out of nowhere, leading into
horrific hellscapes that defy the physical layout of the house,
Google’s gonna wish they kept that place hidden. You wait…
I wonder where he hid the horcruxes.
The larger issue here is, what happens when a malignant governmental entity manages to take control of "Teh Intertoobz" and sets about cleansing history & facts according to its whim? Under the Soviet regime, when Zinoviev, Kamenev, Trotsky or others fell out of favor, to erase the embarassing love-letters contained in the history books, it was necessary to collect all the printed materials, burn them, and replace them with brand-new propaganda extolling the virtues of the new regime.
Obviously, if a Vice President of the United States can, by fiat, declare that a piece of the Earth's crust can no longer be seen from space - or at least, that it no longer show up on maps - what does that mean for the future? If, as the digital triumphalists hold, in the future all ink on paper volumes are replaced by the Exploding Silicon Inevitable, how fluid does reality become? And don't give me any of that "Wayback Machine" smack. All 1s and 0s are subject to either hacking or strong magnetic fields.