I had to lie to get into the country. Customs and immigration officials at Havana’s tiny, dreary José Martí International Airport would have evicted me had they known I was a journalist. But not even a total-surveillance police state can keep track of everything and everyone all the time, so I slipped through. It felt like a victory. Havana, the capital, is clean and safe, but there’s nothing to buy. It feels less natural and organic than any city I’ve ever visited. Initially, I found Havana pleasant, partly because I wasn’t supposed to be there and partly because I felt as though I had journeyed backward in time. But the city wasn’t pleasant for long, and it certainly isn’t pleasant for the people living there. It hasn’t been so for decades.
Outside its small tourist sector, the rest of the city looks as though it suffered a catastrophe on the scale of Hurricane Katrina or the Indonesian tsunami. Roofs have collapsed. Walls are splitting apart. Window glass is missing. Paint has long vanished. It’s eerily dark at night, almost entirely free of automobile traffic. I walked for miles through an enormous swath of destruction without seeing a single tourist. Most foreigners don’t know that this other Havana exists, though it makes up most of the city—tourist buses avoid it, as do taxis arriving from the airport. It is filled with people struggling to eke out a life in the ruins.
After I finished Michael’s superlative travelogue, I got down on my knees and thanked God for the United States of America. Descriptions of totalitarian feces holes, especially one so near, tend to remind this first-generation American of her blessings.
All over TV today we saw Walmart declaring they were pulling the confederate flag because it was a symbol of hate, slavery and many were offended by it.
eBay, Sears, and Amazon quickly followed suit in pulling items with the rebel battle flag.
Now while no honest person will deny what the Reb flag meant to black Americans (and not just during the Civil War but during the years of Jim Crow & the civil rights battle) and can understand why these companies would want to remove a symbol involved with slavery & Murder Imagine my surprise when I went online & found this:
Now there are millions of people who were slain under these banners, and hundreds of millions in many countries enslaved under them. There are tens if not hundreds of thousands of Americans alive today who escaped the bearers of these flags and those who operated in their name. In my first job out of college I worked with a man who escaped the Soviet Union and even today people in Ukraine are suffering thank to a Russian Leader who once proudly served under these flags.
#1. Given that Walmart & others have removed the Confederate Flag from their sites because of its historic connection to slavery that gives offense, how do they justify continuing to carry these products when hundreds of thousands have living memory of the atrocities committed in their name including the deaths of tens of millions?
#2 Given the media publicity concerning the removal of the Confederate Flag items from these stores will the MSM, particularly CNN directly question if WalMart, Sears, Amazon and eBay will be as diligent in removing these offensive items, and if the companies equivocate in any way will they ask why the tens of millions who died and the hundreds of millions who were enslaved IN LIVING MEMORY these things do not demand their removal?
Or must we wait until the 21st century when the Cold War has been over for 150 years for their removal?
“I wouldn’t put Confederate kitsch up in my house, but mainstream media figure Claire Shipman and former Obama press secretary Jay Carney put up Communist kitsch in their house. There is something intriguing about how the elite left tolerates art celebrating those who killed 100 million people in the last century, but seeks the erasure of anything associated with the Confederacy.”
The common thread between the two stories is that both countries live under stifling Communist systems.
Communism crushes the individual and the human spirit; indeed, it could be said that the word itself, communism, describes the erasing of the individual. Nowhere is this more simply and starkly explained than in the words of one of the Chinese workers who committed mass suicide:
“Our use of death is simply to testify that we were ever alive at all.”
The incidents of mass suicide in China, a closed society, are now frequent enough that they are making the international news.
Cubans in the island-prison at least can find easier means to escape. The Economist explains (emphasis added),
. . . in fact it is the Castro regime that bears final responsibility for the flood of migrants, because its policies—though admittedly exacerbated by the embargo—have produced the poverty and crippling lack of opportunity in Cuba that motivates many migrants in the first place. A series of reforms adopted since 2011 have allowed limited private enterprise on the island, and have sought to spur foreign investment. Yet a gap between the haves and have-nots is growing. As few as one-tenth of the labour force have their own businesses; the rest work in state-owned firms earning pitiful wages. State rations of basic staples like rice and beans add a meagre supplement to incomes, leaving remittances as the only meaningful option for households hoping to increase their earnings. Remittances from abroad are currently estimated at about $3 billion a year. Cubans who make the perilous journey to America are often on a survival mission for their families back home.
Scott Rae and Austin Hill, in their book, The Virtues of Capitalism: A Moral Case for Free Markets explain that the societies whose economic systems have helped a large percentage of its citizenry to enjoy social and economic success are those societies founded on classic Judeo-Christian virtues.
In the absence of those classic Judeo-Christian virtues, and lacking any other alternative, the individual’s only way out is death. In the words of Patrick Henry,
Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!
Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s blog.
The Modern Liberal will invariably side with evil over good, wrong over right, and the behaviors that lead to failure over those that lead to success.
Sayet has summarized in 25 words why Liberals love the Cuban Communist dictatorship. The latest manifestation of that love has been to invite Raul Castro and his thugs to the VII Summit of the Americas, a.k.a. the circus.
About 100 supporters of Cuba’s government aggressively heckled dissidents from the communist-run island attending a civil society forum Wednesday at the start of the Summit of the Americas in Panama.
Opponents of President Raul Castro were greeted to shouts of “imperialist” and “mercenaries” as they filed into a hotel auditorium to attend speeches by summit host Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela and former U.S. President Bill Clinton.
The Communist regime regularly conducts these “acts of repudiation” to intimidate its citizenry into submitting to the dictatorship.
Our travel and remittance policies are helping Cubans by providing alternative sources of information and opportunities for self-employment and private property ownership, and by strengthening independent civil society.
The Cuban dictatorship, which announced that it was not going to change immediately following the White House declaration, is making sure we all see that it’s “Not Ready For Prime Time Civil Society.”
Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s blog.
The opinions of those of us who strongly oppose easing up restrictions on Cuba are dismissed as “an outdated Cold War perspective” (the link I use here is typical but not alone).
The implication is that the Cuban Communist regime has evolved, and we have not.
Let’s take a brief glance at four points of the Cuban Revolution evolution, then.
1. Commitment to the status quo: Mariela Castro, Raul Castro’s daughter and member of the Cuban parliament, when asked about Obama’s new concessions,
“If the U.S. thinks these changes will bring Cuba back to capitalism and return to being a servile country to the interests of the most powerful financial groups in the U.S., they must be dreaming.”
“I don’t know what my father plans to do. What I can see at least, as a Member of Parliament is that there’s big concerns about how to do things the best way possible to obtain funds for the many problems we are discussing now.”
You can listen to Mariela’s “outdated Cold War perspective” yourself.
3. Labor conditions:
Cuba is an enslaved society. Those who apparently have evolved beyond “outdated Cold War perspectives” cite China – hugely dependent on slave labor – as a reason why the US should grant Cuba credit (which dozens of countries have granted Cuba and lost money) to purchase American goods.
comparisons with China policy fall short on a vital aspect:
I have friends who have operated profitable businesses in China in the past 20 years. Their corporations paid their Chinese employees directly. However, anyone employing Cuban citizens does not pay the employee; they pay the Cuban government a stipulated (by the government) amount per person. The communist regime then pays the employee an amount no higher than the maximum salary (yes, Cuba has maximum salary laws), which is approximately 10% of the amount the communist regime received from the business.
That is the case with any of the hundreds of multinationals that have done business with Cuba in the country, and with the thousands of “doctors” Cuba sends to places like Venezuela and Brazil.
Cubans working for firms with foreign capital on the island received a bucket of cold water Tuesday when a new resolution published in the official Gazette fixes their salaries at only 8% of what the joint venture or foreign companies must pay the government in hard currency for their services.
The announcement published by Granma daily quotes Vice-minister of Labor and Social Security, Zamira Marín Triana, as saying the new wage involves a “significant increase” for workers.
When President Obama give a public speech before a large crowd, his operatives pack the house with loyalists and sycophants. Such was the case in Kansas City with an Obama address last week that was in all effects a political rally, as are most of the president’s speeches.
But one woman who didn’t fit the Obama-lover profile somehow made it into the crowd at the KC event and she shouted, possibly in relation to his administration’s veiled hostility to the Jewish state, “Jesus is the Lord of Israel.”
Obama replied that he believed in God. Meanwhile, the Obama-bots that made up the rest of the audience chanted, “We love you, we love you!”
I don’t believe they where speaking of Jesus.
Hecklers at a political speech are usually rude jerks, but once in a while they are spot-on right, as East Berlin factory worker Kurt Wismach was in 1961, days before East Germany began construction of the Berlin Wall.
The nation’s dictator Walter Ulbricht was giving a speech at a cable factory where he criticized the flow of refugees from his country into free West Berlin as well as calls for free elections.
Sitting on a row of cable above the man the head of the Soviet secret police called “the greatest idiot” he ever encountered was Wismach, who belted out, “Even if I am the only one to say it: Free elections!” Ulbricht, as all demagogues do, expanded the issue to a ludicrous level, mentioning that prior the rise of Hitler, Germany had free elections; while on the other hand, the personality cult leader failed to add that West Germany successfully rose out of rubble of World War II because it was a democratic and capitalist nation.
Undaunted, Wismach shouted back at Ulbricht, “Have you the slightest idea what the people really think?”
Of course Ulbricht didn’t.
Wismach was of course interrogated by communist officials and forced to recant his statements, but he and his family quickly escaped to West Berlin.
Does, as Wismach asked of Ulbricht, President Obama have the slightest idea what the people really think?
Communism is all about control. Nothing the individual does can be allowed; everything is done for the purpose of consolidating power around the ruling elite and no one else.
Of course, things like guns and automobiles are anathema to the Communist. Both grant the individual a degree of independence and self-reliance that can actively be used against the whims of the powerful.
I’ll leave the discussion on guns for another time. Let’s talk about cars now.
Cars would not have been possible without capitalism: Competition, creativity, invention, technology, artistry, craftsmanship, all are brought together from free enterprise creating the monetary means to develop, purchase, deliver – and, for the consumer – buy the car.
Cars speak of freedom: freedom of movement, freedom of choice, freedom to hit the road when you best feel like it, freedom to buy, lease, keep, sell, or trade up your car.
Cars speak of individualism: You can personalize your car, or not, as you best see fit.
No wonder Communists hate having the hoi-polloi own cars.
Real Communists want to be the only ones in the cars, not the great unwashed tying up traffic and polluting the air. For decades we’ve been subjected to hogwash about “Cuba’s classic, beautiful cars,” i.e., the remaining 1950s jalopies the Cuban populace must make do with since, a. the Communists keep people poor, and b. the country’s broke. The useful idiots praising the jalopies can admire classic vintage cars any time they want from the comfort of their prosperous societies (since none of them actually have to scrounge in Havana for parts with which they may keep their own jalopies running), while simultaneously ignoring that Fidel Castro owned dozens of limos, some of which are now being used as taxis in Havana. To add insult to injury, one of the articles talking about Fidel’s old limos says,
The new fleet will give tourists a quirky and lighthearted look at Cuba’s history.
I leave it to you, gentle reader to decide whether half a century of misery in the island-prison deserves “a quirky and lighthearted look.”
The car industry this year began on a particularly dire note, with only Toyota and Volvo AB’s Mack de Venezuela powering up their assembly lines. By March, Toyota halted production for three months, followed by Italian truck maker Iveco SpA in April. Ford, GM and Chrysler rolled back production amid big losses due to currency devaluations as President Nicolás Maduro’s government tried to address a shortage of dollars by weakening the value of the bolívar.
The effects of Russia’s annexation of the Crimea are being felt in the Baltic States–Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. The three states were part of Czarist Russia, but they won their independence from the Bolsheviks after World War I. It was not to last–the tiny nations were seized by the Soviet Union in 1940. My wife, who was born in Latvia, was told that the three nations “requested” to join the USSR by her teachers.
Shortly before the collapse of the Evil Empire, the Baltic States regained their independence.
Despite being hit hard by the economic crisis of 2008, the Baltic States are the wealthiest of the former Soviet Republics. The democratic nations are members of NATO and the European Union.
But not all well in what was known in imperial Russia as “our West.” Thousands of Balts were deported to Siberia in the 1940s, Russian speakers took their place. It was an essential part of Josef Stalin’s policy of Russification–one people, one language. Over two decades after the collapse of the USSR, ethnic Russians comprise roughly one-quarter the population of Latvia and Estonia. Lithuania has a tiny Russian population but it borders the Kaliningrad exclave of Russia.
Needless to say, some people are nervous in the Baltics about the Ukraine crisis and Russia. Vaira Vike-Freiberga, the former president of Latvia, told NPR earlier this month, “We have to worry every minute of every day.” Latvia and Lithuania suspended the broadcasts of the international service of a Russian government-owned television network for three months because of what they deemed inflammatory broadcasts.
An ethnic Russian member of the European Parliament from Latvia is under investigation by Latvian authorities for being a Russian Federation agent.
I’ve been to Latvia twice. When walking the streets of its capital, Riga, one is just a likely to hear Russian spoken as Latvian.
To become a citizen of Estonia or Latvia, Russians and their descendants who emigrated there after 1940 have to pass a difficult language test, which is significant challenge for the elderly. Russians born there after 1991 can choose citizenship. In Lithuania Russians were offered citizenship upon independence.
In response to the Crimea crisis, NATO dispatched some F-16 jets to Lithuania and President Obama sent Vice President Joe Biden there. I’m sure the Balts appreciated the former more than the latter.
But if Vladimir Putin uses the same reasoning–the protection of Russians–to seize Narva as he did with Crimea, will President Obama and NATO have the stomach to view such a move as a violation of Article V of the charter of the alliance, “An attack on one is an attack on all?”
The time has come to ditch the weekly goal to focus on the monthly figure, that’s where the real action is at.
In order for this to be a viable full-time business this blog has to take in enough to make the mortgage/tax payment for the house (Currently $1210 monthly) and cover the costs of the writers writing here (another $255)
As of now we need $1278 to meet this goal by April 30th.
That comes out 51 people kicking in $25 over the rest of the month or basically three people a day.
I think the site and the work done here is worth it, if you do too then please consider hitting DaTipJar below .
Naturally once our monthly goal is made these solicitations will disappear till the next month but once we get 61 more subscribers at $20 a month the goal will be covered for a full year and this pitch will disappear until 2015.
For over two weeks, the people have been protesting against the government. What started as a students’ protest has spread throughout the country – even the beauty queens are protesting. Why?
The protests accompany inflation officially at 56% (but likely much, much higher); the third-highest murder rate of any country in the world; and, according to an official index, scarce supplies of one out of four staple items needed in every home, such as cooking oil, corn flour, and toilet paper.
One of the causes for the rampant criminality is due to the multiple times when, urging his “Bolivarian Revolution,” Hugo Chavez encouraged the poor to steal while he created a favored class, instead of directing his regime towards the rule of law. Chavez armed gangs that repressed opposition demonstrations (and, make no mistake, they’re on the attack now). He named to his cabinet men who were designated as “Tier II Kingpins” by the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. To worsen things, as part of his “war of all the peoples”, Chavez forged close ties with Iran and Hezbollah.
YouTube, Twitter and other social media carry the opposition’s message as the international media has ignored until this week the Venezuela story. Worryingly,
influential news outlets have started describing students protests in the country as the domain of “conservative” kids (here’s looking at you BBC). To those who discovered Venezuela only a couple of weeks ago, and are bent on projecting racial and cultural prejudices on the situation, let me just leave with this little factoid to ponder on: chavismo has never won a general election in Venezuelan universities. Ever. Since 1998. In other words, where the voting is manual (rather than with Smartmatic / official electoral body), chavismo is yet to win one election, of either authorities or students bodies in universities across Venezuela.
Much to their credit, CNN en Español sent correspondent Fernando del Rincón to interview retired Brigadier General Ángel Vivas, who had armed and barricaded himself in his home when the National Guard came to seize him for denouncing that Cuba’s giving the orders to the military.
There’s even a photo claiming to show Cuban General Leopoldo Cinta dictating his orders to the Venezuelan army.
Senator Marco Rubio explained Cuba’s influence on Venezuelan affairs:
Like its Cuban overlords, the Venezuelan regime’s human rights violations are egregious:
Here are two tragic (and very graphic) stories that haven’t made their way into American headlines: Geraldine Moreno, a student, died this past Saturday after troops shot numerous plastic bullets at her eyes. Juan Manuel Carrasco, 21, y Jorge Luis León, 25 – two male students detained in the city of Valencia – were allegedly raped with long guns by military troops and handcuffed for 48 hours. There is has been no word of an official investigation, and the two are only being helped by an NGO, Venezuelan Penal Forum.
Today there’s a women’s demonstration taking place. Tomorrow the Organization of American States will be meeting on Venezuela – I doubt they will denounce the regime’s abuses. Jimmy Carter wants to go to Venezuela, Next week Carnival celebrations are scheduled but the opposition has already said no to the Carnival.
Reinaldo Arena’s Before Night Falls: A Memoir. This is a particularly harrowing account of the Revolución‘s mistreatment of gays, no matter how much Mariela Castro now tries to hide that fact.
The Fontova, Eire and Arenas books are available on Kindle and in stardard print.
But you don’t need to read a while book. You can start with Michael Totten’s excellent reports on his recent trip to Cuba. Read The Truth About Che Guevara, and pay particular attention to Humberto Fontova’s words (emphasis added):
“…Here is a quote from Fidel Castro in 1955 when he was in prison in Cuba. He said, ‘Propaganda is vital—the heart of our struggle. We can never abandon propaganda…Use a lot of sleight of hand and smiles with everybody. We must follow the same tactic we employed in our trial; defend our points of view without raising hackles. There will be plenty of time later to crush all the cockroaches.’
“And here’s Che Guevara from his own diaries in 1958. He said, ‘Much more valuable than rural recruits for our guerrilla force were American media recruits to export our propaganda.’ Castro and Guevara cultivated and shmoozed the foreign media. They made it a goal from day one. They needed to export their propaganda and make it not seem like propaganda.”
With that kind of useful idiots, why should some still may think “It could never happen here”?
Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on Latin America and American politics atFausta’s Blog.
Wednesday is here and DaTipJar continues its perfect display of inertia.
Over the last 48 hours while plenty of people have visited the site none have deigned to hit DaTipJar leaving my weekly total at $51.11
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The Success of Jesse Myerson’s attempt to rationalize communism success is dependent on reaching a group of Salon readers who are not at all familiar with the actual reality of communism. If their only knowledge of it is “The soviets were our enemies 30 years ago” as opposed to stuff that is happening in Cuba right now like this:
An explosion of repression greeted anti-Castro activists in Cuba on Sunday morning in Santiago de Cuba and other cities as they tried to make their way to churches for Mass. In Santiago, there were at least 169 arrests of activists with the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), the Damas De Blanco, or “Ladies In White,” and other organizations.
The same dynamic is in play with Cillizza. His piece talk about the reasons why Rand Paul is making the case he is. All the reasons are concern things other than the democrat “War on woman” meme. In fact you can read the entire piece and not find the words “war on woman” anywhere in it.
Now Althouse is a well read blog (alexa rank 79,554 worldwide & 17,632 in the US) The Hotair group blog is impressive (5,687/1,212) and while only a single person Instapundit is, well Instapundit. (5,713/1330)
But the reach of the Washington Post greater by a factor of more than 10 in terms of Alexa Rank ( 299/88) not to mention MSM coverage so as long as Cillizza makes sure the average Washington Post reader, particularly ones born in 1984 or after, are focusing on his piece’s final paragraph:
Whatever the reason for Paul’s focus on Clinton’s private life, it’s a reminder (although we didn’t need one) that the Kentucky Senator operates under a different code of conduct than his colleagues and the people he will compete against for the 2016 nomination. It’s what makes him intriguing — and dangerous.
rather than statements from Senator Paul like this one:
for goodness sakes he [Bill Clinton] paid an $800,000 fine for sexual harassment
then the takeaway for those young unmarried women who vote democrat will be:
That GOP 2016 candidate Rand Paul is trying to bring down Hillary’s presidential bid by attacking her husband’s personal life.
THE Major fundraiser for Democrats crying “war on women” is a repeat sexual harasser who once paid $850,000 to settle a sexual harassment case.
and that dear readers is how the MSM game is played.
Hey Ezra Klien says there might still be a “journo-list” maybe he can get a spot in it, if he doesn’t have one already.
Note, Paul should have said $850K rather than $800K and it was a settlement.
It’s Tuesday and while traffic was good yesterday DaTipJar just plain didn’t move remaining at $51.11
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Harry: Oh, dear, Edmund: The Archbishop of Canterbury has met with the most tragic accident! There seems to be some confusion, but I think I’ve fathomed out on how it came about.
Edmund:Yes, I think I’ve got a pretty shrewd idea myself.
Black Adder The Archbishop 1983
Capt Blackadder:I remember Mattingburg’s most famous case, the case of the bloody knife. A man was found next to a murdered body, he had the knife in his hand, thirteen witnesses that seen him stab the victim, when the police arrived he said, “I’m glad I killed the bastard.” Mattingburg not only got him off, but he got him knighted in the New Year’s Honors list, and the relatives of the victim had to pay to have the blood washed out of his jacket.
Blackadder Goes Forth Corporal Punishment 1989
As I was writing yesterday’s piece concerning Communism and the clash between Stacy McCain & Jesse Myerson something about the exchange seemed hauntingly familiar.
You had a young person whose entire experience of reality via the liberal educational/media complex vs an older man experienced in the history of the world and the actual reality of what people have said and done both opining on the same subject Communism.
The youth expresses an idealized version of a philosophy detached from the blood it is soaked in and tags those who would point to the ocean of red with the epitaph McCarthyite! Meanwhile the elder not only details the history of Communism showing the bodies but also notes the declarations of the founds of said philosophy detailing the necessity of those deaths.
The left’s silence in the sanitizing of the philosophy that has spilled more blood than any other in the last 100 years is less confusing if you watched the left’s favorite network, NBC describe Russia’s Soviet Past as
The revolution that birthed one of modern history’s pivotal experiments.
George Orwell, call your office. As he wrote in “Politics and the English Language,” in 1946, such euphemisms are “designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable,” and certainly describing Communism as “one of modern history’s pivotal experiments” fits the bill in spades.
While the attempt to divorce the history, actions and blood of a philosophy and the labeling of any pushback against said attempt as “McCarthyism” (complete with automatic twitter bot) is a rather horrifying offense against reality, it is no surprise to people like Pam Geller & Robert Spencer who have been dealing with this reality for over a decade in the case of Radical Islam.
A Somali cabdriver was sentenced Friday to six years in prison for his role in a broader San Diego-based conspiracy to provide material and logistical support to the Islamic terrorist group, al-Shabaab.
Ahmed Nasir Taalil Mohamud from Anaheim was the last of four defendants to be sentenced in connection with the conspiracy that sought to transfer funds to al-Shabaab through a now- defunct hawala or money-transmitting business system in San Diego, the Shidaal Express.
where are the mass marches of “moderate” Muslims in the country, denouncing the sharia and its vicious blasphemy laws?
Where is the big, brash left in America? Where are Colbert and Stewart? Penn and Belafonte? And the feeble campaigns that I have seen make no mention of the sharia — the reason that this young man was jailed. If they won’t talk about why and how he was jailed, how can they hope to change things?
Where is the Obama administration?
to a press that would rather remain silent, she is tagged as “crazy” or an “islamophobe” and the target of insults from the left and some on the right as well.
It is good that a Muslim, Asma Uddin, is standing for religious liberty, but she is doing so in defiance of her own religious tradition. Muhammad himself commanded: “Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him” (Bukhari 9.84.57). This is still the position of all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence, both Sunni and Shi’ite. Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the most renowned and prominent Muslim cleric in the world, has stated: “The Muslim jurists are unanimous that apostates must be punished, yet they differ as to determining the kind of punishment to be inflicted upon them. The majority of them, including the four main schools of jurisprudence (Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi`i, and Hanbali) as well as the other four schools of jurisprudence (the four Shiite schools of Az-Zaidiyyah, Al-Ithna-`ashriyyah, Al-Ja`fariyyah, and Az-Zaheriyyah) agree that apostates must be executed.” There is only disagreement over whether the law applies only to men, or to women also – some authorities hold that apostate women should not be killed, but only imprisoned in their houses until death.
Cairo’s Al-Azhar University, the most prestigious and inﬂuential institution in the Sunni world, certifies as a reliable guide to the practice and faith of the orthodox Sunni Muslim community a manual of Islamic law that states: “When a person who has reached puberty and is sane voluntarily apostatizes from Islam, he deserves to be killed” (Reliance of the Traveller o8.1). Although the right to kill an apostate is reserved in Islamic law to the leader of the community and other Muslims can theoretically be punished for taking this duty upon themselves, in practice a Muslim who kills an apostate needs to pay no indemnity and perform no expiatory acts (as he must in other kinds of murder cases under classic Islamic law). This accommodation is made because killing an apostate “is killing someone who deserves to die” (Reliance of the Traveller o8.4).
I’d have to replay: Why would you expect them to exist?
The same people who remain in denial about the history and reality of communism are the ones in denial about radical Islam. They are no different than Prince Harry in this this Exchange from the first season of Blackadder that I quoted in part above:
Prince Harry:You see, Archbishop Godfrey was coming out of the Duke of Winchester’s room–
Prince Edmund Blackadder: …who had just died, leaving all his lands to the Church?
Prince Harry:Well, as a matter of fact, yes.
Blackadder:And so the King was really after his blood, presumably.
Prince Harry:Well, I dare say, but the point of the matter is that, at that moment, round the corner, came Sir (Tabbis?) Mortimer.
Blackadder:: The King’s hired killer…
Prince Harry:No, no, no. Mortimer — that tall, rather striking fellow with no ears.
Prince Edmund Blackadder:Yes, that’s him.
Prince Harry:Well, he saw the Archbishop and rushed towards him with his head bowed, in order to receive his blessing, and, er, unfortunately, killed him stone dead.
Prince Edmund Blackadder:How?
Prince Harry:Mortimer was wearing a Turkish helmet.
Blackadder:Oh, I see, yes — one of those with the two feet spike coming out of the top?
Prince Harry:It’s one of those things they normally use for butting their enemies in the stomach and..
Both Harry & Blackadder:killing them stone dead.
Blackadder:Yes, so, presumably he’d forgotten he was wearing it.
Prince Harry:Well, do you know, that’s exactly what the poor fellow had done! A tragic accident…tragic.
It takes curiosity and courage to stand up to a culture of official denial backed up by money, epithets and in some cases threats,
Thank you for your invitation to me to become a Muslim and wield my sword against the enemies of Allah. But I’m afraid I must decline. While I appreciate the fact that becoming your “brother in Islam” might afford me a measure of personal security that I do not enjoy today, some things are more important than that. I cannot and will not give in to violent intimidation, come what may, and I do not want to live in a society that bows to such intimidation.
I believe that societies that respect the equality of rights before the law of all people, including women and religious minorities, as well as the freedom of conscience, are superior to those that do not. I hope that such societies will be able to summon the will to resist you and your “invitation” in all its implications before it is too late.
There is a reason why you will always see security around Spencer & Geller. Given that fact is it any wonder that so few have the courage to stand up and be counted?
Marks and all the awardees praised the vision and work of the Communist Party in their communities. The event was held on the occasion of the CPUSA’s 94th anniversary.
Former state Senator Ed Gomes, a steelworker, state representative Edwin Vargas, a teacher, and Laurie Kennington, president of Local 34 clerical and technical workers at Yale all accepted large framed posters of the Amistad statue that stands in front of New Haven City Hall, cheered on by family, friends, co-workers, elected officials and union and community leaders
but I’ll wager Jesse Myerson will be in the running.
Update 2: I’m not the first to make this connection:
Citing Stalin (circa 1949) as the contemporary personification, Monnerot elaborated on this totalitarian consolidation (“condensation”) of power shared by Islam and Communism, and the refusal of these universalist creeds to accept limits on their “frontiers.”
Update 3: It’s Everybody write about commie’s day. The Lonely conservative:
What I find interesting is how those who write off the Soviet regime as just some failed “experiment” have more compassion for lab rats in real experiments than communism’s victims.
Myerson is trying to explicate an ideological and/or moral reason for it being okay for the state to take your stuff for its own purposes. Such justifications always founder in the face of human nature. If you apply enough force (terror) you can sometimes get away with this sort of state-sponsored armed robbery for a long while, if by “getting away with it” means sowing the seeds for your own destruction.
Because in the real world, in actual practice, human vengeance always plays a role. Ask any number of murderous, thieving tyrants who ended up choking on their own blood at the hands of their victims.
I am willing to bet that it was mostly entrepreneurs who were responsible for the creation of all nearly all of those venues. Even library books are made by evil corporations. However Myerson feels about capitalism and its relationship to art, there is no denying that capitalism facilitates a lot of art exposure. Who the hell had ever heard of The Beatles before they met a record producer and signed a contract? Also, I can’t say I really care too much for the art they produced in the Soviet Union.
With the first of our Villagers writing today this brings the number of paid writers here to 9 thus our new weekly goal to pay the mortgage and the writers is $350.
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One of the dangers of youth is their experience only stretches as far back as their parents & to some degree their teachers memories.
If you are like an average kid, particularly in an internet & video game world you don’t gain a big interest in politics or current events until you reach at least 12 and even then comes the joys of puberty where you begin to discover the opposite sex which likely would delay it further.
Now if your parents or grandparents have such an interest you might start a tad early and have the benefit of their stories which might cause you to dig but in the end your direct experience in the realities of the world likely doesn’t go back beyond say age 10.
I’ve debated a lot of young liberals in their 20’s 30’s born during the late Reagan to Early Clinton Years whose first memories of anything political are the prosperity of the late Clinton years or 9/11. Their grandparents are baby boomers and their parents children of the 60 or 70’s and their professors & textbooks are written by the successors of the 60’s radicals who stormed the educational system post Vietnam.
I was born in 1963 but my parents were born in 1921 & 1924, my grandparents were born in the late 1800’s and my oldest sibling was born in 1948. Because of this I gained a perspective on coming to America without the ability to read, write or speak the language (from my Grandmother), the great depression (my mother picked dandelions from the front line to boil greens) , Prohibition (my grandfather made his own wine & had to hide it) World War 2 (my father served in the pacific) and the cold war of the 50’s. When I was a kid my brothers were subject to the Vietnam draft and when I was 10 the Watergate hearings were in full swing and I was hooked.
Now if I & my parents & grandparents were born 25 years my memories & perspectives would be totally different at age 10 the Clinton impeachment would be going on, My parents would have the depression & World War 2, I’d have no memory of the Cold war and if there was any military service involved in the family it would have been in Vietnam.
And just as important the histories I would have had in school & the books I would have been taught from would be of the same hand as the young radicals of today I currently debate.
That age and those experiences give me a perception on the realities of poverty, war and communism that a younger person lacks.
Which brings us to Stacy McCain and his debate with the young and ignorant Jesse Myerson on the evils of communism.
Stacy is 2 years older than me with a history of service in his family that he honors. I’ve crashed in his old house and like own home it’s a cornucopia of books and knowledge (only Mike Rogers of Granite Grok has a more impressive collection that I’ve seen) and more importantly those books were well-worn from reading and reference.
Stacy not only has a memory of the cold war but the perspective and knowledge to back it up so when someone foolishly speaks of Communism as a positive good and of the mass murdering soviets as not true representatives he brings you this:
“[T]here is only one way in which the murderous death agonies of the old society and the bloody birth throes of the new society can be shortened, simplified and concentrated, and that way is revolutionary terror.” – Karl Marx, 1848
A revolution is certainly the most authoritarian thing there is … And the victorious party must maintain its rule by means of the terror which its arms inspire in the reactionaries.” – Friedrich Engels, 1872
Mind you these aren’t the quotes of a Lenin or a Trotsky (which Stacy supplies as well) nor the quotes of a Stalin or a Mao who outdid both of them in mass slaughter. These are the words from the founders of the idea of communism themselves who can not be presumed to be false representatives of the philosophy they founded. As Stacy puts it.
That misconception is easily cleared if you speak to someone who visited Soviet Russia in the old days such as Roger Simon whose leftist beliefs at the time of his trip didn’t stop him from seeing what was right before his eyes:
Lefty though I was, however, it didn’t stop me from seeing the USSR, almost from arrival, as a giant jail. Minders, i.e., spies, were everywhere. And I mean EVERYWHERE. It was practically the national occupation. It was how they solved their unemployment problem.
I remember sitting in the lobby of the Hotel Cosmos, a decaying pseudo-futurist joint replete with model sputniks for chandeliers, when Laura Grimaldi, the Italian delegate, leaned over to me and said, “Watch this.” (We had been talking about the plethora of spies.) She then proceeded to stand and walk across the huge lobby toward the rest rooms. Three babushka ladies with brooms and buckets, each one in separate corners of the room, immediately stopped what they were doing, propped their brooms against the wall, and headed after her straight into the ladies’ room. As soon as Laura was finished, they followed her out again and duly resumed sweeping. It was sort of like a silent comedy, but it was the Soviet Union in a nutshell.
Or a Clara Csiong who had the displeasure of feeling from two different communist regimes in her lifetime
It’s no coincidence that she would now be a member of the tea party because as opposed to the fantasy version of Communism that Mr. Myerson advances in Communism as Stacy Point out…
not only do the rich people lose their wealth, but everybody else is doomed to hopeless poverty and — oh, yes, by the way — your communist rulers might decide to kill you and a few million other people, just so nobody forgets who’s in charge…
…Did I mention that Jesse Myerson’s original claim to fame was as “media coordinator” for Occupy Wall Street?
Nor is it a surprise that Clara would be on the opposite side of Mr. Myerson after all Communism is all about class struggle and Myerson knows about the upper classes:
Why do these neo-communists always have to attend elite private schools? Jesse Myerson attended Bard College (annual tuition $45,730) where he majored in theater and “human rights studies.”
Why would Myerson pay so much to attend an elite school in Annandale when, a half-hour drive away in Poughkeepsie, Dutchess Community College boasts that it offers “the lowest tuition in New York state,” just $3,200 a year? After a couple years getting your associate’s degree at DCC, then you could transfer to a SUNY campus — say, Albany, about an hour’s drive from Annandale — where annual tuition is $5,800.
Although I don’t know if Bard College requires any math classes to get a degree in human rights, by my calculations, the difference in tuition between attending Bard ($182,920 for four years) and going the DCC/SUNY-Albany route ($18,000) is $164,920.
Saving yourself $164,920 in tuition might not put you into the 1%, but it sure will buy a lot of rice and beans, so . . .
Why did Jesse Myerson go to Bard? Because he’s better than you.
To some degree given his youth and education Mr. Myerson lack of knowledge is to be expected. At his age he wouldn’t have visited a communist state at the height of its oppression like a Roger Simon. But he was certainly around to see this CNN story from last month:)
BBC journalist Martin Patience lived up to his name today. While covering the trial of Chinese activist Xu Zhiyong in Beijing, Patience was harassed by police officers and plainclothes thugs. But he kept his cool and continued with his live shot.
and this video
and this tweet
Manhandled, detained, and equipment broken near Xu Zhiyong trial. More details to follow
He might not have been old enough to have worked with someone who escaped Soviet Russia as I did in my first post college job but he is certainly young enough to meet someone who survived the Tiananmen Square protests after they were ruthlessly crushed or perhaps seen this video on YouTube of the live coverage.
and Clara Csiong was sitting right in front of the Capital in Sept 2010. I was blogging for less than a year when I found her, surely a person published in Salon or on National TV could to or at least like Stacy McCain who was also there post on or watch her interview.
This is one of the reasons why I engage with young Dominic Nanni. He is still a graduate student currently on the Myerson path which is devoid of this perspective but I have hope he can be made to see communism as it was is and always will be.
As for Mr. Myerson’s ignorance as a professional it’s not to be excused and if he can get by Stacy’s barbs it’s something that can be mended by exposure to the facts that Stacy and to a lesser extent I have provided….
…unless of course it is not ignorance, but just battlefield preparation that he is engaging in. He may in fact actually know the true history of Communism, oppression and murder and as an elite pushing for that system trusts that he will be one of those whose job is to remind the rest of us who is in charge.
That’s the difference between the ignorant and the evil.
Update: Did I actually mention the evils of communism without bringing up Cuba, here are two blasts from this blog’s past that Myerson might have missed
In private, the functionaries appeared open, tolerant and desirous of deep reforms that would include the political arena. One of them even admitted that a multiparty system and free elections were essential for society to truly advance toward modernity — even if the communists lost power.
But as soon as someone else joined the conversation or the journalists appeared, the officials reprised the most inflexible and Stalinist orthodox discourse, parroting the official script without leaving out a single comma. It was a painful spectacle.
This is the most telling thing of all, that the people are repressed is not news, but that the government functionaries live in fear says everything. They know where they will end up if they seem to be deviating, even slightly from the Communist line.
Cuba is one of the few countries in the world that prohibits its citizens from leaving without government permission, a violation of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Because Cuba’s athletic teams compete internationally the participants are constantly shadowed by members of Cuba’s state security apparatus. The primary objective of Cuban state security is to prevent defections which embarrass the Castro regime and deplete the country of athletic talent.
Because nothing says “Communism is great” like having to guard your national team when it travels in case they run away.
Cuba’s Communist regime continues to oppress its people – with 761 political arrests just last month – it extorts and jails foreigners, and it’s our hemisphere’s go-to place for sex tourism with minors.
Oppression isn’t a bug of failed communism, it’s a feature of it done right.
Update 2: Somehow this post was listed as “private” fixed.
It’s Saturday and with under 24 hours to go for the pay week the till stands at $140.
That means it will only take 8 of you kicking in $25 to get us to this weeks’ goal.
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…perhaps Morning Joe & the MSM would have remembered & celebrated her the day she died as they did Pete Seeger today.
Mr. Seeger’s career carried him from singing at labor rallies to the Top 10 to college auditoriums to folk festivals, and from a conviction for contempt of Congress (after defying the House Un-American Activities Committee in the 1950s) to performing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial at an inaugural concert for Barack Obama.
For Mr. Seeger, folk music and a sense of community were inseparable, and where he saw a community, he saw the possibility of political action.
Pete Seeger defended communism during the cold war and aided our enemies at a time when Americans were fighting.
During that same time Communism slaughtered 100 million people living under it and enslaved hundreds of millions more.
On the show they mentioned Seeger as a “Communist with a small ‘c’ ” Perhaps Democrat National Committee member Bill Connor should have described himself as a “KKK member with a small ‘k’ ” or Riefenstahl as a “Nazi with a small ‘n’ “?
I will acknowledge his skill as a singer & a songwriter and influence on American Music those are historical facts but I would no more celebrate his life than I would Riefenstahl
I’ll close with an exchange I had on twitter with a person defending those who are communists:
Pete Seeger was a communist who never killed anyone I’m sure there were millions of KKK members who never pulled a rope @JPV55@Morning_Joe
As Pope Francis continually reminds us the mercy of God is available for all those who seek it sincerely and needing mercy myself I would be delighted if Mr. Seeger or any person seeks and receives the same mercy I hope for at the hour of death from God. There is however a huge difference between hoping for a soul’s salvation at death and using the desire as an reason to celebrate and excuse horrible decisions/associations made by someone in life. Update 2:American Power blog:
Historian Ronald Radosh writes: “Throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s, Seeger called for peace, peaceful co-existence between the United States and the Soviet Union, singing songs like Put My Name Down, Brother, Where Do I Sign? — a ballad in favor of the Soviet Union’s phony international peace petition that favored unilateral disarmament by the West while leaving the Soviet atomic stockpile intact. He would sing and give his support to peace rallies and marches covertly sponsored by the Soviet Union and its Western front groups and dupes — while leaving his political criticism only for the United States and its defensive actions during the Cold War.”
If you are enabling the Soviet Empire that murdered millions and enslaved even more without critique and doing their dirty work for them denials of your support for them ring hollow.
Pete Seeger song on involvement in WW 2 before the Nazi’s attacked the USSR:
Franklin D, listen to me,
You ain’t a-gonna send me ‘cross the sea.
You may say it’s for defense
That kinda talk ain’t got no sense.
Pete Seeger song after Hitler invaded the USSR
Now, Mr. President
You’re commander-in-chief of our armed forces
The ships and the planes and the tanks and the horses
I guess you know best just where I can fight …
So what I want is you to give me a gun
So we can hurry up and get the job done!
Coincidence I’m sure.
Update 6: Rick Moran writes at the American Thinker writes:
But for many of us, we can look beyond his misguided, even childish notions of politics to glory in his music.
Thomas Lifson responds:
Sorry, but he was an unrepentant communist. He was part of a movement that saw art as a servant of politics, so that is how[sic] his art must be judged. I would no more honor or mourn Seeger than I would an unrepentant “small ‘n’ Nazi.”
I’m like that with the Adventures of Robin Hood TV series. I enjoy it but have contempt for those who wrote it.
Update 7: Reader Richard Shuford notes this sentence “supports the right side” and thinks I should clarify that by “right side” I mean “the side the media / left thinks is correct or ‘right”
Normally this would be a cause for worry but as we’ve already made the monthly goal I’m a tad less tense about it.
But given that I’ve just purchased my Airfare & hotel for CPAC 2014 which will run me about $800 not counting any meals anything that puts a dent in that is certainly welcome.
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In Cuba Alan Gross had worked closely with Cuban Freemasons and Cuban Jewish groups. His main contact José Manuel Collera Vento was in fact the “Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Cuba.” Collera was also–SURPRISE!!!–a KGB-trained agent of the Stalinist regime.
Alan Gross made a total of seven trips to Cuba and worked with Cuban Jewish delegations in Havana, Santiago and Camaguey. Every head of every Cuban Jewish group that Alan Gross worked with and befriended him testified against him in “court.”
The witnesses knew they had no choice; either they testified against Gross, or their lives were over.
Alan Gross, 64, has lost over 100lbs during the course of his jail term, and has a large lump growing on his back, which under the “excellent free healthcare” Cubans endure is considered one of the “chronic illnesses that are typical of his age.”
The State Department on Monday called on the Cuban government to release Gross. In late November, 66 senators, led by Senator Patrick Leahy, sent Obama a letter asking him to “act expeditiously to take whatever steps are in the national interest” to obtain Gross’ release. White House press secretary Jay Carney said in February that Obama has “followed Mr Gross’ case with concern and urges his release”.
But Gross is not the only foreigner in Cuba’s jails:
Panamanian businessman Nessin Abadi, in his early 70s and owner of the large Audiofoto chain of electronics stores, jailed without charges in Cuba for over a year.
Another Panamanian, Alejandro Abood, then 50, was arrested in Havana in 2001. Abood was released five years ago.
Stephen Purvis, a British businessman, was detained in Cuba for 15 months. His company, Coral Capital, was behind the Bellomonte Golf and Country Club development, which lost £10.6 million. Purvis spent 16 months in jail and was released last July, along with Amado Fakhre, who was the company’s executive director.
Canadians Sarkis Yacoubian, sentenced to nine years in a prison in June, and his cousin and business partner, Krikor Bayassalian, a Lebanese citizen, who was sentenced to four years in prison.
Still awaiting trial is another Canadian, Cy Tokmakjian, who was arrested in 2011.
Purvis asserts that “there are many more in the system than is widely known.” The businessmen’s crime? Trying to collect on the moneys they are owed.
Pres. Obama is calling for an updated US policy on Cuba, and has eased travel and remittance rules for Cuban Americans. In exchange for what?
Call me old-fashioned, but isn’t Christmas meant to be a celebration of the birth of Christ our Savior? A season of fellowship and the sharing of blessings?
Then what the hey are the Unemployed Philosophers thinking?
Grant you, the Unemployed Philosophers are my source for Obamacare Mints (“Take two and call me a socialist in the morning”), and the ever-popular Obama Disappointmints (“Is this change?”) which keep selling out but will be back in stock on 11/18/2013.
So why are the Unemployed Philosophers selling Che Guevara dolls in their “Little Thinkers” series? Che is next to Socrates and Abraham Lincoln, but then, so is the devil, who is closer, much closer, to Che than the other two.
Che played a leading or supporting role in the summary execution of at least 21 persons in the Sierra Maestra; at least one shot by his own hand.
This is the guy who, in January of 1957, wrote to his then-wife, Hilda Gadea, to tell her that he was “Here, in the Cuban jungle, alive and thirsting for blood.” Indeed he was – the Cuba Archive has documented 22 executions ordered by Che over a period of three days in 1959 in Santa Clara, and 88 at La Cabaña Fortress. There are 216 documented murders by Che.
But hey, Che is cool to the Unemployed Philosophers (which may explain why they’re unemployed), so let’s have the Che ornament join the 2009 White House Mao ornament. Yes, the Mao Zedong was on a Christmas ornament, too – and at the White House! The same Mao who Che admired and from whom he adapted his formulation of guerilla warfare,
Ok that sounds a little wrong. If you tune into DaTechGuy on DaRadio at Noon EST on the Money Matters Radio Network or FTR Radio you won’t hear Bishop Reilly talking about Che Guevara at all, he will be joining us in the first hour to talk about Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation, what it means to the Church, to individual Catholics, particularly in this Lenten season, and if this means the Vatican will soon need to open the St. Celestine home for retired Popes.
And this week join us at Noon Saturday EST as we welcome Bishop Daniel Reilly in hour one to talk the Pope’s resignation and Author David Carter who will talk about book to be released Friday Che: the Lost Diaries
To me that’s like saying “Fascism lovely idea terribly applied, got the trains running on time” or Nazism shades of Star Trek
KIRK: But why Nazi Germany? You studied history. You knew what the Nazis were.
GILL: Most efficient state Earth ever knew.
SPOCK: Quite true, Captain. That tiny country, beaten, bankrupt, defeated, rose in a few years to stand only one step away from global domination.
KIRK: But it was brutal, perverted, had to be destroyed at a terrible cost. Why that example?
SPOCK: Perhaps Gill felt that such a state, run benignly, could accomplish its efficiency without sadism.
The world seems full of John Gills who think if we could only tweak Communism a little bit it would be all flowers and parades.
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An amazing moment took place on Morning Joe during the 6 a.m. hour, (repeated in the 8 a.m. hour) as they went after Alan West for his remarks at a town hall concerning Communists/Socialists in the congress.
The folks at Morning Joe were outraged, Jazz Shaw was upset and strangely enough the American Communist Party called it “guilt by association“. Why an actual Communist would consider being associated with Communists “casting a shadow” on anyone is a tad odd (How dare you slander someone by saying they associate with me)!
Ignoring for a moment the Morning Joe Table being unaware of the Democratic Socialists of Americans published list of members of congress who are members (via the lonely conservative) and the apparent apology the Morning Joe team owes Congressman West, Joe Scarborough said something aloud that has been rarely expressed on a venue of the left.
Joe called Communism “..the most repressive, the most evil political movement in the history of man responsible for more deaths than any other movement.” on the air and nobody at the table disputed him.
Stating that communism had murdered nearly a hundred million is not something that our friends on the left usually talk about and this is a subject that you don’t see on MSNBC.
I’m old enough to remember all the outrage of the left when Reagan called the Soviet Union an “Evil Empire”. There are plenty of members of congress who are still in office, including our VP who went after him for it.
Apologies owed to Allen West not withstanding, it’s nice to see that we’ve reached a point where being associated with Communism is considered so beyond the pale that even MSNBC is against it.
China is a disaster waiting to happen. For all of America’s problems, they are solvable by our people who have the creative freedom to act. China simply can’t do this and remain the state they are. Economic reforms might have delayed the inevitable, but the inevitable is still coming.
Although China insists the carrier is intended for research and training, its use has raised concern about the country’s military strength and its increasingly assertive claims over disputed territory.
While the development of carriers is driven largely by bragging rights and national prestige, China’s naval ambitions have been brought into focus with its claims to disputed territory surrounding Taiwan and in the South China Sea.
But the really big news out of China that for some reason is not on the TV news screens is this:
For the first time on record, the Chinese Communist party has lost all control, with the population of 20,000 in this southern fishing village now in open revolt.
The last of Wukan’s dozen party officials fled on Monday after thousands of people blocked armed police from retaking the village, standing firm against tear gas and water cannons.
Why is this significant, well two reasons one explained in the story:
Although China suffers an estimated 180,000 “mass incidents” a year, it is unheard of for the Party to sound a retreat.
And the second is that this story is now getting legs first here:
A Chinese village hit by violent protests over land grabs in September has been under police blockade for days, with internet access cut and food supplies running low, residents said on Monday.
The village of Wukan has for months been the site of simmering protests by locals who say officials sold farmland to developers without their consent. Protests against official misconduct are increasingly common in fast-developing China, but the residents of Wukan have taken things a step further, erecting barricades over the weekend to keep police out and posing a challenge to the authoritarian government.
On Wednesday, the mayor of Shanwei city – which oversees Wukan, a village of 20,000 – threatened to take strong measures against those who instigated others to create trouble and damage public property, the official China News Service said.
Mobile phone pictures show the villagers have armed themselves with rudimentary weapons and are preparing to fight. One resident posted on the Chinese version of Twitter: “Even people coming to send rice and wheat flour into the village have been chased away by police but we will not give in to corrupt officials. We will protect our homes with our fists.”
Outside Wukan, life appeared normal with shops and markets open. Police erected a roadblock three or four miles from Wukan and checked cars traveling in both directions. They prevented a Wall Street Journal reporter from entering.
A press officer for the local government denied that any land grab had occurred, although he did acknowledge that villagers were angry over a land issue. He said the local government understood local concerns, and the situation would be resolved either this week or next.
“It will absolutely have a smooth resolution,” the official said.
Police have sealed off a village in Guangdong province, blocked people from fishing and cut food supplies to crush land protests involving hundreds of villagers, residents said on Wednesday….
There is even a Wikipedia page talking about both this incident and a previous one in September. Expect to see major editing attempts from the Chinese government.
More significantly these stories are now going beyond one town’s issues to general unrest Business Week:
The standoff is the latest in a series of demonstrations that have sparked concern among Communist Party leaders who have ruled China for more than six decades. Zhou Yongkang, a member the ruling Politburo Standing Committee and the country’s top law enforcement official, twice this month called for handling social conflicts with care.
“There is growing unhappiness within the Chinese populace at large about the behavior of Party members,” said Dean Cheng, a research fellow on Chinese political and security issues at the Heritage Foundation in Washington. “The result is growing internal pressures at the same time that you have a leadership whose legitimacy is likely to be challenged.”
Walking further, I came across a rather farcical sight of some farmers digging a well next to a castle; a moment I will always savor as a photographer in a place like China where castles are not in huge supply. I explained this to the farmers and they just shrugged their shoulders, oblivious to a photographer’s happiness. I asked them what happened, and they simply answered the developers ran out of money, and they are getting back to doing what they do best. They are even slowly starting to plant trees and build shelters near the buildings, adding they think it is now safe to think the developers are never coming back. This I can believe, as the absence of any security (something very rare in China) leads one to think that even the developers have given up on what is already there.
I suspect the security focus is elsewhere.
These aren’t new stories, check out this video from 2009:,
I’m sure building these ghost cities gooses China’s economic stats, gives its workers something to do (see also: FDR and the WPA), and as the Australian item hints, allows the Chi-Coms to generate plenty of PR to entice useful idiots such as Thomas Friedman. But how many of these ghost cities does China have?
It is hard to obtain good data in China, but something is wrong when the country’s Homelink property website can report that new home prices in Beijing fell 35pc in November from the month before. If this is remotely true, the calibrated soft-landing intended by Chinese authorities has gone badly wrong and risks spinning out of control.
Decision time is coming and as is usually true in all authoritarian nations when it hits it will hit fast and all at once. For all of the posing in the media the fact remains that China is a communist dictatorship and it can’t go beyond it’s limits without loosing its grip, which it can’t do and keep control.
So what will it be, concessions, or a Crackdown? My guess is a crackdown on the assumption that the rest of the world is too worried about their own issues to care. I’d say it’s a pretty safe assumption.
Update: Great minds think Alike, Ladd Ehlinger opines notes US inaction after Tiananmen Square and questions the inaction of Time’s people of the year:
For those in league with the Occupy Movement and the Arab Spring, a question for you. Why aren’t you helping these poor people out in Wukan? Anonymous and Lulzec: occupying Wall Street isn’t quite the same as occupying Tienanmen Square, is it? If any of you cared about freedom and liberty, you’d be all over China like smell on dead fish.
Instead, you try to shut down the ports of Portland, Oregon (economically hurting countless American workers and yes, even union members), when you’re not busy putting 91 people out of work at the Milk Street Cafe.
That’s because they won’t end up dead for killing jobs in NY or Oregon. Our leftist friends will always fearlessly oppose those who will avoid doing fatal harm.
Update 2: Stacy McCain wants this to go viral, I hope it does. The contrast to the occupods is striking. It reminds me of the contrast between the death of Lady Di and the death of Mother Teresa the same week.
KIRK:Yes, I do. I’ve given you back the horrors of war. The Vendikans now assume that you’ve broken your agreement and that you’re preparing to wage real war with real weapons. They’ll want do the same. Only the next attack they launch will do a lot more than count up numbers in a computer. They’ll destroy cities, devastate your planet. You of course will want to retaliate. If I were you, I’d start making bombs. Yes, Councilman, you have a real war on your hands. You can either wage it with real weapons, or you might consider an alternative. Put an end to it. Make peace.
SPOCK:Captain, you took a big chance.
KIRK:Did I, Mister Spock? They’ve been killing three million people a year. It had been going on for five hundred years. An actual attack wouldn’t have killed any more people than one of their computer attacks, but it would have ended their ability to make war. The fighting would have been over permanently.
I was getting ready to put up a vanilla post about Thanksgiving when I noticed a comment on my post on Santorum and Islam that raised an important point that needed more than a simple comment to answer:
“the Soviets fell without having to fight a World War costing tens of millions of lives and untold destruction.”
I suggest you ask the relatives of the tens of millions or more who died during that time period under Communist rule how they feel about the results of that decision. I really don’t recommend doing it face to face.
“If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.” — Rush (the band, not the Limbaugh)
SDN’s point is well made, people often forget exactly what exactly how bloodthirsty and destructive state terror is. There was a great example at PJ Media yesterday where a college student held up a sign calling for a cultural revolution apparently not realizing the TENS OF MILLIONS slaughtered in China’s version of it.
I found the argument particularly interesting since yesterday I met two Brits who were visiting the US for a few days. Both had served in the British army in Aden and Northern Ireland during the troubles. One of the gentlemen said two things I found very interesting.
He was disgusted at the way some Catholics and Americans romanticized the IRA, he had faced them and they were simply terrorists (his friend talked of an incident where a priest had gunned down 4 before being shot himself). He is exactly right about this. The IRA were terrorists, let’s not pretend they were anything else and when we do anything else we insult the memory of those slaughtered at their hands.
He also stated that the only war that was worthwhile during the 20th century was World War 2 because of the overwhelming evil of the Germans and the Japanese at the time. He discounted Korea, Vietnam and the current wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and World War I. Although correct on WW I his dismissal of Korea and Vietnam is dead wrong. He forgets, as do many of his generation and our current one, that on their best days, Hitler and Tojo were pikers compared to Communist Russia and China in terms of slaughter. Both killed more of their own people than Hitler or Tojo managed to kill during their time of power and that historical memory hole that the left has created with the near total whitewashing of Soviet and communist atrocities over the last 50 years is a crime against history. SDN’s doesn’t forget this and is right to remind us all.
It however, doesn’t change a basic fact: A hot war, even conducted directly after the fall of Germany would have cost millions of lives both civilian and military, and likely would have only ended with multiple Nuclear strikes against the Russians.
And any such war AFTER the soviets developed nukes although winnable would have meant a Nuclear exchange.
Anybody want to name the US city, the French City or British City that would have been worth nuking for the prize?
It is a legitimate stand that a hot war might have saved more lives overall, most of the Russian and Chinese at a cost of tens of thousands, perhaps millions of Americans and Brits, but the question becomes, if you are a Harry S. Truman or Winston Churchill is it your job to have your country pay that price on behalf of future generations of Russians and Chinese?
I submit that we face the same question today and as a nation we have decided to fight a “cold” war with a few hot spots against Radical Islam and their supporters in order to avoid a hot war that would invariably be against Islam as a whole.
It is a legitimate debate if this is the right move, the question really comes down to will the “cold” war prevent the Islamic fundamentalists from getting the bomb? As long as it does, it is the right call, at the point where we conclude it can not, then the paradigm changes.
In terms of advancing conservatism the single best tool we have is the willingness of the left to self identify. We saw three examples of this lately:
Item SEIU and Communist Party USA.
Zombie blog and Ringo photos have an extensive collection of photos of the SEIU and American Communists proudly marching together for open borders etc. Of course this was not done without opposition…to the taking of the photos that is:
The young Communist in this picture did not like me photographing him and his group so he came over and draped his red flag over my camera lens. He told me that he would confiscate my camera if I took another picture
I walked away, switched my camera to ‘movie’ mode and went back and filmed him. He came straight back at me and said, “I told you not to take photos”, as he waved his flag in front of my face. I told him, “I can take photos of whoever I want”. Just then his Communist overlord came over and told him to “stop wasting energy”.
Until recently, the average American has regarded fascists and communists as equally noxious and equally malignant. As well they should have. But the drive these days by the left side of the spectrum is to make communism and socialism somewhat less remarkable and more palatable. For two years they angrily denied the Tea Party accusation that Obama’s policies and supporters had a socialist bent. But in recent months, as the accusation had started to gain traction, the new leftist tactic has become: “What’s so bad about socialism after all? You’re demonizing a very popular and respectable ideology!”
I think that when you are losing the ideological battle you have to find allies where you can and that 11% of Americans who think Communism is superior to Capitalism is a lot of people. So if teachers unions want to march with Avowed communists and groups that call for revolt and/or the annexation of the American Southwest to Mexico, hey that’s the way it is.
Will the MSM cover this? Of course not, it violates the narrative. But in an internet age it can’t be hidden.
Item. Michael Moore and Noam Chomsky on the Bin Laden “Assassination”
Slightly different flavors of the same kool aid. Lets start with Noam Chomsky who has always attacked America from his comfortable perch in American Academia:
There appears to have been no attempt to apprehend the unarmed victim, as presumably could have been done by 80 commandos facing virtually no opposition—except, they claim, from his wife, who lunged towards them. In societies that profess some respect for law, suspects are apprehended and brought to fair trial. I stress ‘suspects.
This is the kind of thing that Barack Obama might have said before he became President. (Or do we only imagine that he used to say things like that?) A great benefit to having Obama as President is that he is not available to say things like that and very few mainstream Democrats or liberals feel tempted to say things like that.
The amusingly named “reality based community” unwilling to defend Chomsky (although his commentators take up the slack) chooses to attack the messenger.
So before resorting to haldoperidol – which has some nasty side-effects – perhaps Prof. Althouse should just stop getting her news and views from wingnut blogs and the Murdoch/Breitbart media.
Note the tactic, lets not refute the statement, lets delegitimize the messenger and possible sources. Much easier than trying to refute the president’s past associations with ideological soul mates to Chomsky like Bill Ayers and Wright.
However Chomsky is still niche enough that it doesn’t cause a lot of grief for the left, but Michael Moore that’s a different story.
Moore (who lets not forget boasted a bunch of high ranking democratic pols for his Fahrenheit 911 movie and was up in front in Wisconsin can’t be so easily denied
Michael Moore thinks Osama bin Laden’s death at the hands of U.S. Navy Seals is a conspiracy. In more than 40 Tweets over the past several days, the controversial filmmaker made his case in 140 characters or less. A few are excerpted below
And apparently all he knows about the laws of war and Nuremberg is what he saw in the movie
And you know after World War II, we just didn’t go in and put a bullet to the head of all the top Nazis. We put them on trial. We took them to Nuremberg and we put them on trial, and we said, no, this is important for the world to see these criminals and it’s important for history to have a record of what they did. And so we’re going to do this in a courtroom and we’re going to show these Germans how we do it – with fairness, with justice. You’re going to get to have your own attorney. You get to have your day in court. That’s how we do it. That’s what separates us from you, Nazi scum.
Now this one the left can’t count on the media ignoring so at Daily Kos they are running away
Back away now from your nutty OBL statements while there is still time because you’re making us look bad..
Alas the left they never look worse than when they are unedited.
I note here at the end that Chomsky concluded the question and answer session by arguing that Osama Bin Laden was assassinated, “murdered,” so that the U.S. could avoid putting Bin Laden on trial, because “they have no evidence against him.”
That final jab at the U.S. went over extremely well with the crowd of anti-Americans and Arafat-styled student-cum-terrorists.
Yup and we should make sure that everybody knows that crowd agreed.
We have a communist state where the individual is subordinate to the party, where demonstrations are crushed, where Nobel peace prize winners are imprisoned, that has enslaved Tibet for half a century.
Russian TV covers the growing Marxist movement in America – it’s not often that a media outlet calls “progressives” what they really are, as RT America does, here.
I’m not going to embed the video as it’s Deb’s story, but both the story and Deb’s headline is off.
It hasn’t “begun” it has been going on for years.
It went on in the 60’s when college students found that they would not longer get the exemptions that the less fortunate had, joining with Marxists and Jane Fonda aiding enemies and directly leading to the death of millions in southeast Asia
It went on in the 70’s as Colleges veered left preaching moral equivalence between the Soviets and the US
It went on in the 80’s when pols like VP Biden and the late Ted Kennedy backed by the media opposed Reagan tooth and nail as he called the Soviet Union what it was and contained and rolled back communism in our own hemisphere.
We had a brief break in the 90’s as the soviets finally collapsed freeing hundreds of millions (while pols who had supported them and academics who considered them superior suddenly claimed they had been against them or expecting this all the time) but the green movement took over trying to advance the same Red system with a green veneer while ignoring the lack of “Green” in places like China and appeasing North Korea.
And this decade we had the left again blaming the US for the attacks on our soil, railing against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, while ignoring the excesses of regimes like North Korea the violence of Radical Islam, the Judenrein nature of the middle east and the actions of leaders like Chavez.
The reason why it is out in the open is the fear. Times are tough so a nation that has been taught by people who have never had to sign the front of a paycheck or actually understood the sacrifices that allowed them the freedom to goof find themselves confronted by the left once again trying to sell a repackaged bottle of the same “ism” that has slaughtered more people over the last hundred years than anyone or anything else ever. The times have emboldened them and they hope to take advantage of it.
The truth is this: This is the living of the far left and always has been. The left impulses have always been totalitarian, they don’t trust the people but they trust themselves to rule them and hope to be part of that privileged class that like Saddam’s relatives, and party members in the old Soviet Union will still have the privileges that the average person is discouraged from. They aspire to the comfort of the feudal lords of the middle ages while pretending to be the friend of the people that they would make serfs.
This is an old style being sold to a public that has forgotten.
Update: I would have included this Mike Barone article if I saw it before I hit post but here is the little secret that people don’t know:
In addition, as George Mason University economist Tyler Cowen writes in the American Interest, “The inequality of personal well-being is sharply down over the past hundred years and perhaps over the past twenty years as well.” Bill Gates may have a bigger house than you do. But you have about the same access to good food, medical care and even to the Internet as he does.
Or consider something as prosaic as food. The supermarkets of the 1960s and 1970s didn’t come close to matching the amazing selection of produce, meats and exotic foods as you find in supermarkets today — and not just in high-income neighborhoods but in modest-income places all over the country.
Or clothing. Stores like Walmart, Target and Kohl’s sell good quality clothes at astonishingly low prices; you can outfit a kid in school clothes for $100 or so a year.
I suspect that most Americans would be thrilled to get a 13th month of pay. But they’re not seething with envy at those who are better off.
So who does? One example is the cartoonist and author Garry Trudeau, a college classmate of George W. Bush, who has been spewing contempt for the Bushes for 40-some years. The strongest class envy in America, it turns out, may be the resentment of those who were one club above you at Yale.
I think a lot of times here safely in a free country like the US we forget that things are not the same everywhere:
A father who organized a support group for other parents whose children were sickened in one of China’s worst food safety scandals was convicted and sentenced Wednesday to 2 1/2 years in prison for inciting social disorder, his lawyer said.
Zhao Lianhai had pushed for greater official accountability and compensation for victims and their families after the 2008 scandal that shocked China. His sentence appeared particularly severe because the case related to a public safety incident that the embarrassed leadership had pledged to tackle in a bid to restore consumer confidence.
In the US this man would be celebrated and on every network on the dial. In Communist China this is his reward.
When people complain about the US or speak about how they think communism is OK, they need see and remember stories like this. This is the reality of Communism and no amount of fudging will change it.
We are supposed to conclude that Cuba is no longer a threat to global stability and that Fidel is a reformed tyrant. But how believable is a guy whose revolution all but wiped out Cuba’s tiny Jewish community of 15,000, and who spent the past 50 years supporting the terrorism of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, Syria, Libya and Iran? And how does Castro explain Venezuela, where Cuban intelligence agents run things, Iran is an ally and anti-Semitism has been state policy in recent years? Mr. Goldberg doesn’t go there with Fidel.
…doesn’t have any bearing on if Castro’s polemic against antisemitism is sincere. We don’t need the evidence we have the word of “the great man” Fidel!
When I was reading the book Saved by my enemy I was struck by a particular story. The young lady couldn’t get over the idea that George Bush wasn’t jailing or executing people for disagreeing with him. Since all she knew was how “the rules” worked in Iraq the concept that they worked differently just didn’t register to her.
In one sense that was a huge disadvantage for John Paul II. He had lived through communism and the police state, he knew their tactic and their methods it was his reality for him for decades.
One of the normal tactics of Communism was to spread rumors and calumny of people they wanted to destroy. It was a very common tactic and helped justify not only state actions but was useful in discrediting those who opposed them.
Unfortunately when the scandals broke and were promoted by those who were never friendly to the church I strongly suspect John Paul thought he recognized a tactic that he had seen countless times before.
This was played on by those who wanted to keep things quiet, those afraid of scandal or with something to hide. I believe they used John Paul’s own familiarity with one evil to to deceive him about another.
Fortunately others (such as the then Cardinal Ratzinger) thought otherwise and acted.
Jay Nordlinger in his Impromptus column deals with the island in some details and quotes Christopher Sabatini making a point I’ve been arguing myself:
In what other country in the hemisphere would it be considered a crime for a foreigner to give out a cell phone, laptop, or any other modern tool of communication? Brazil? Argentina? Mexico? Venezuela? Of course not. In fact, Americans passing out free cell phones and computers in those countries are called, appropriately, humanitarians. Let’s be clear: The Castro regime is isolating its citizens from not just news and information, but from modernity.
This is the reality, journalists ignoring this are disgracing their profession.
RTVE reports that there have been at least 25 arrests and/or detentions following the death of Tamayo Zapata for the purpose of preventing their attendance to his funeral.
Let’s be blunt: These people are murderous bastards, the people in congress and Hollywood are supporting them are supporting murderous bastards. The people who are gung ho about closing Gitmo while ready to embrace the actual concentration camp that is the rest of the island are at best ignorant and at worst complicit in the support of murderous bastards.
If you want to know the difference between America and Cuba in real life here it is. If you want to see the difference between a democratic administration and a republican one here it is.
…in fact it was so important that my little clips are woefully inadequate to describe them.
Lucky for you that you can get the whole shabang here thanks to Pam.
You go watch it, it is an incredibly important 2 hours.
And if you missed it there is a short follow up interview I did with Simon featuring Barbara Espinosa of American Freedomhere.
One of my great regrets of CPAC was not getting a chance to say goodbye to Pam or Val Pierio. Don’t think for one moment that the dictators and killers that they face down wouldn’t like to make them go away permanently, but they do it anyway…
…yet they still have such a love of life that any room either is in becomes almost a party. Those who attack them are not only wrong, but they deprive themselves of great company.
I reviewed her book a bit ago, you can buy it at Amazon.com here.
The terror argument she is given has some credibility due to the experience of her parents but it is still a question of defining what “torture” actually is. Before you go on about crossing the line it might be a good idea to know where the line actually is.
Sylvester McCoy, the actor who played Doctor Who for two years in the 1980s, has revealed that left-wing scriptwriters hired by the BBC wrote propaganda into the plots in an attempt to undermine Margaret Thatcher’s premiership.
“The idea of bringing politics into Doctor Who was deliberate, but we had to do it very quietly and certainly didn’t shout about it,” said McCoy.
“We were a group of politically motivated people and it seemed the right thing to do. At the time Doctor Who used satire to put political messages out there in the way they used to do in places like Czechoslovakia. Our feeling was that Margaret Thatcher was far more terrifying than any monster the Doctor had encountered. Those who wanted to see the messages saw them; others, including one producer, didn’t.”
And the Doctor wasn’t alone in this belief:
Sophie Aldred, who played Ace, the Doctor’s feminist companion, said a shared contempt for right-wing ideology had inspired “a real bonding process” for cast and crew.
“Thatcher was our prime minister and we weren’t happy,” she said.
Well of course they weren’t, after all you had people like Sakharov repressed not to mention people shot trying to cross the wall. Thatcher had much to answer for, oh wait that was East Germany and the Soviets the people Thatcher was opposing wasn’t it?
Well it didn’t matter after all it wasn’t as if a leftist tilt would kill a British institution that had existed for 26 years…oh wait:
However, ratings slumped from a high of 16m, when Tom Baker was the Doctor a decade earlier, to 3m and the show was taken off air twice: in 1986-7 by Michael Grade, then the director of programmes — who said it had “no redeeming features” — and again in 1989, two years after Grade had left the BBC.
Ah the joys of the left managing to make a British institution so unpalatable that it could not survive. One interesting thing to note, You see that same tilt in a few of the 7th doctor audios such as The Fearmonger. I wonder if this will come up in some of the commentaries?
Update: I just realized that I neglected to give the deserved hat tip to Life Dr. Who and Combom. Very much my bad.
I would take it as Axiomatic that there are some advantages to dictatorship or absolute Monarchy, decisions and reactions are faster, the rules are simpler, (fail to follow them and you die or if you have an enlightened absolute exiled) Generally crime and punishment are more direct (see Saudi Arabia) and if you are one who is favored by the dictator or Monarch you are likely living pretty.
That being the case it doesn’t surprise me to read this article at the Guardian lamenting the death of East Germany:
Of course, unification brought with it the freedom to travel the world and, for some, more material wealth, but it also brought social breakdown, widespread unemployment, blacklisting, a crass materialism and an “elbow society” as well as a demonisation of the country I lived in and helped shape. Despite the advantages, for many it was more a disaster than a celebratory event.
This could have been written by any of our Castro loving left today, and they would justify it any sympathize with it. Just as they said that people were better in Iraq when Saddam was there or how it would be ok to let the Taliban have Afghanistan again.
They make a small currency of freedom since they take it for granted, but lets play a game. Lets say instead this was written by a white south African decrying the end or apartheid or a Plantation owner in 1870.
What is remarkable about the philosophy of putting economic security over individual liberty is that it is such standard left-wing fare. And it sounds so familiar lately.
Ms. de la Motte should not be so sad. She could have a fine future ahead of her in Washington, D.C
Let me be blunt, this woman is either deluded or evil and I sure hope it is the former. She would press the button in that new movie to get the million bucks and as one of the elites she did. Her comfort was purchased with the lives and blood of her countrymen no differently than the slaves of the south or the oppressed of South Africa.
Learn from her or be prepared to repeat her mistake.
I’m thinking Bruni de la Motte would not have much liked the “asocial” Ulrike Poppe. Possibly Bruni de la Motte would have reported her for not being happy that her life was being so efficiently managed for her.