Remember the series of wistful articles the New York Times ran in 2008 to mark the 75th anniversary of the birth of Adolf Hitler’s Thousand Year Reich?

Me neither — because, of course, it never happened. But that’s not as crazy as it sounds considering the Times is running a series of stories under the banner of “Red Century” to mark the centennial of the Bolshevik Revolution.

In case you’ve forgotten, the advent of Soviet rule in Russia ushered in an age of Communist terror whose death tally makes Nazism’s toll almost inconsequential in comparison. But that hasn’t stopped the Times from publishing reverential pieces written by the progeny of Reds who were active at home and abroad.

I have limited toleration for sanctimonious crap, so I rarely click on a link to a Times story. Still, I’ve skimmed a couple of the Red Banner features just to see how much Commie propaganda the paper will allow.

Then I stumbled on one story that I had to read all the way through: ‘s “My Grandfather, the Secret Policeman,” which was published July 31. www.nytimes.com/2017/07/31/opinion/communism-policeman-jews-nazis.html  , a journalist whose work has appeared in The Atlantic, L.A. Review of Books and online, recounts the adventures of his Polish grandfather, Jakub, during and after World War II.

Himself the son of a Communist, Jakub established a name for himself as an anti-Nazi partisan during the war before joining the Polish secret police in 1945. Jakub was clearly a brave and clever man, and recounts his tale dispassionately. But while he doesn’t come out and praise Jakub’s cause, neither does he condemn it.

At the story’s end, seems to grapple with the realization that he hasn’t come to terms with his grandfather’s role in the grand scheme of history — nor given a full account of it.

“What does it mean to fight on the right side of the war, but the wrong side of history?” he writes.

“Depending on whom you ask today, my grandfather’s story is that of a partisan, a traitor, a hero or a spy. The revolution asked a terrible amount of those who served it. Those who resisted paid a similarly awful price. It left in its wake countless lives, like my grandfather’s, that cannot be compassed by a single line.”

Such a statement doesn’t make up for the many facts omitted from his story, starting with the German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact signed on Aug. 23, 1939, which directly led to Hitler’s invasion of Poland on Sept. 1. A secret protocol of the treaty called for the partition of Poland, with Germany getting the western portion and the Soviets the east. The Soviets invaded on Sept. 17 to grab their half of the spoils.

Also left out is what happened to Poland in the roughly 21 months of Soviet rule. Hundreds of thousands of Poles were deported to Kazakhstan, Siberia and other points east during the occupation. Even worse, more than 22,000 military officers, politicians, professors, priests and other civic leaders were executed in what is collectively known as the Katyn Forest massacres.

writes that the Nazis in 1939 captured his grandfather, then a Polish soldier, but he escaped and made his way to Minsk, the capital of Belarus. Curiously, he doesn’t explain why Jakub didn’t halt his flight in Soviet-occupied Poland instead of going hundreds of miles to the east. Maybe didn’t want to bring up all that awkward partition business and Nazi-Soviet hanky panky.

So says it depends on your perspective whether Jakub, a Soviet pawn, was “a partisan, a traitor, a hero or a spy.” Let me tell you about a couple of Poles whom I consider nothing but heroes.

My Dziadzia (grandfather) was barely out of boyhood when he came to America shortly after the turn of the 20th century. After World War I broke out, he attended a rally in Toronto featuring General Józef Haller, who called on Polish emigres to return to Europe and free their homeland. Stirred by emotion, Dziadzia signed up to join the Polish Legions on the spot.

From 1916 to 1918, Dziadzia fought against the Germans in France. The Polish Legions’ efforts alone may not have restored Poland as an independent country, but they played a part. Having done his job, Dziadzia returned to the United States and raised a family. He sent four sons, including my dad, to fight against Germany and Japan in World War II.

Meanwhile, the family he had left behind in eastern Poland didn’t fare as well as my and

I wish I could offer as many details about my grandfather as provides about his, but died when I was 4. All I recall are his smiles and kindness. While he passed on some stories to my dad, he didn’t like talking much about his cousins because it was too painful.

You could take the stories of my family and multiply them by thousands to get an idea of what happened in Poland during World War II. It’s too bad the New York Times will never run that story.

Update (DTG) Instalance, well done Mick, Welcome Instapundit readers, check out my 1st person coverage of events on the Boston common with video here.  See the data that proves the left’s “The south turned republican because of the civil rights act” meme false here and if you like what you’ve seen from Mick and want to support independent journalism please consider hitting DaTipJar to help me secure my next paycheck ($370 to go) by hitting DaTipJar below.




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Today are being greeted by a full quote press by the MSM not only suggesting that critiquing ANTIFA thugs for committing violence is “support” for modern Nazis but obscenely we’re actually seeing people who should know better equating World War 2 vets like my father who served in the Pacific, my Father-in-law who served in Europe, my uncle Joe who was badly wounded in Italy My uncle John who was wounded in France and my cousin died fighting the 3rd Reich with Antifa thugs.

We are also getting the completely expected sight of folks like Mitt Romney playing the same game ironically forgetting that the same leftists were calling him a Nazi just a few years ago (and thus justified if they choose to beat him or George W. Bush or any other member of the GOP who they have called Nazis).

Now I have no problem in coming down on Neo Nazis. Not only are Neo Nazis bad but they, after seeing the costs and the tyranny and the destruction that Nazism caused, still choose to embrace it. That makes them doubly wrong (and/or incredibly stupid) but this raises a rather obvious question.

All Americans, even ones who espouse foolish and destructive ideologies have the rights guaranteed by the first amendment. Therefore as long as people get the required permits for a public assembly, any Americans, even neo nazis, have an absolute right to make their case in the court of public opinion.

And that brings us to an obvious question: How hard is it to out argue a Nazi?

The National Socialist regime was murderous, repressive and led to one of the most costly wars in the history of the 20th century. I submit and suggest that given those facts and that America fought a 42 month war to destroy it , making the case against National Socialism should be one of the easiest tasks there is.

Yet the so called “ANTIFA” folks are not only unable to do so but can only counter the arguments of Neo Nazi’s by violence.

This would seem rather odd, how is it possible that ANTIFA can’t make a case persuasive enough to counter a bunch of National Socialists?

Again the answer is pretty simple. Their ideology is not any better.

Rather than National Socialism, what they argue for is anti-capitalist Communist Socialism. The same communist socialism that between the Soviet Union and China managed to slaughter 100 million people in the 20th century. Not only has their ideology been tried even more times than Nazism but because it has been tried in multiple countries on multiple continents it had a chance to cause even more slaughter, suffering and starvation that the National Socialists managed to achieve.

In other words their ideology is just as failed, just as murderous bad and consequently just as easy to counter.

And that’s why ANTIFA is all about violence, like the Nazi they can’t make a credible argument for their beliefs, but unlike these Nazi’s who apparently haven’t quite figured out that they have an argument that won’t sell, they knowing people won’t buy what they’re selling have decided to bypass the whole public assembly first amendment bit and decided to silence any who oppose them by violence because they know their argument is so pathetic they can’t even out argue a bunch of Nazis.

Closing thought: What does it say about the arguments of the professional left and the media left that they seem desperate to whitewash ANTIFA violence and make any critique of them beyond the pale, could it be that they understand that their own argument are weak and want to use ANTIFA as muscle to keep people afraid of countering them?


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New York’s Puerto Rican Day parade continues to lose sponsors after NY City Council Speaker Melissa Viverito named unrepentant terrorist Oscar López Rivera a “National Freedom Hero” who will be honored at the June 11th parade.

First Goya Foods, the parade’s largest sponsor throughout its 60-year history, pulled its $200,000.

The NYPD Hispanic Society and the Rafael Ramos Foundation have pulled out. Also dropping out,

the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, and the other police unions representing the NYPD senior ranks.

NYPD commissioner James O’Neill, while acknowledging he would likely be at the parade overseeing thousands of cops stationed there, refused to march in honor of a terrorist.

Jet Blue, AT&T, and the New York Yankees won’t be there, either,

The Yankees’ boycott particularly stings. Bronx Bombers who have graced the parade include Puerto Rican native Bernie Williams.

“The New York Yankees are not participating in this year’s Puerto Rican Day parade,” the team said in a statement.

Instead, both Jet Blue and the Yankees will continue their scholarship programs helping “Puerto Rican students in both New York and Puerto Rico” by totally bypassing the parade organizers.

Gov. Cuomo is still waffling on whether he’ll attend the parade.

Univision continues to sponsor terrorism, never mind that

it wasn’t the belief in independence that got López Rivera locked up; it was the six pounds of dynamite and four blasting caps found in López Rivera’s apartment.

The network is set to air an exclusive interview on Sunday’s edition of Al Punto where U.S. Representative Luis Gutiérrez compares López Rivera to George Washington.

Viverito has dug in her heels and last Monday held a “rally to defend the parade,” conflating the parade with the terrorist. Seth Baron reports (emphasis added),

When a reporter asked her why López Rivera had dynamite, blasting caps, and bomb-making diagrams in his apartment when he was arrested, Mark-Viverito said, “in regard to the specifics of that situation you are talking about, I don’t know everything that was presented in the court proceedings.”

Just for clarity’s sake: the FALN claimed responsibility for more than 100 bombings, including the one at Fraunces Tavern that killed four people and injured 50. At his trial, Lopez Rivera refused to participate in his defense on the grounds that he was a combatant in an anti-colonial war against the United States and thus a prisoner of war; he demanded to be tried by an international tribunal. He was tried in open court and convicted of “seditious conspiracy, use of force to commit robbery, interstate transportation of firearms and ammunition to aid in the commission of a felony, and interstate transportation of stolen vehicles.” López Rivera refuses to take responsibility for the consequences of his acts, nor has he renounced violence, conceding only that other means are “more effective.” When asked about the surviving family of his victims, he told an interviewer in 2011, “If you don’t respect me, why should I reciprocate? I wasn’t there to tell them, ‘Hey, listen, I’m sorry.’ That’s not me.”

I do not exaggerate when I say that López Rivera set his apartment as a bomb-making facility.

Lopez-Rivera had been in federal prison since 1981, serving a 55-year sentence which was extended an additional 15 years following two failed attempts to escape, where

he conspired with others inside and outside his prison to kill his way to freedom, attempting to procure grenades, rifles, plastic explosives, bulletproof vests, blasting caps, and armor-piercing bullets.

Three days before leaving office, then-President Barack Obama commuted López Rivera’s 70-year sentence. López Rivera was released on May 17th.

No word on whether Obama will attend the parade.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes in U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog.

…is an important fact concerning the 2nd world war.

If you watch this video he mentions that the left considered the 2nd world war the “last good war”

but he fails to mention that once Hitler made his pact with the Soviets suddenly the Seegers, Chaplains of the left became completely anti war…until of course he invaded the Soviets and then they became the most strident voices for going over there. As I wrote at the time of his death:

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.

It’s why a Newspaper is Missouri home of the late Michael Brown feels fine with ditching Stacy Washington a Black Woman from their paper, Black live and opinions may matter but not if they are heretical to the church of the left.

Every time the left’s double standard on Nazi’s vs Communism comes up, this fact should be shouted loudly

Doughboy monument, Morton Grove, Illinois

By John Ruberry

This week marks the centennial of the United States’ entry into World War I, then known as the Great War. Much of Europe had been engaged in widespread slaughter since 1914 when Congress, at the request of President Woodrow Wilson, voted to declare war on Germany on April 6, 1917.

After the armistice ended the war on November 11, 1918, America was a transformed nation.

The war caused an American agricultural expressed a boom. Obliteration of farms and a lack of manpower in Europe created a huge demand American grain. After the war rural America was hit with an economic downturn that ran contrast to the robust industrial expansion in cities like Detroit–and many farms were foreclosed. Bold farmers who borrowed money to plant crops in marginally arable areas such as the Great Plains first endured falling commodity prices and then the Dust Bowl of the 1930s–and of course, foreclosures.

While the Great Migration of blacks from the South to the North may have begun a few years before the declaration of war, the demand for factory workers in northern cities clearly hastened it. Black soldiers fought the Germans in France–and like all American soldiers they were celebrated as heroes by the grateful French and Belgians. When these black troops returned home, they discovered that white American racial prejudices remained, perhaps they were even worse than before the war. A series a race riots swept America in 1919, known as Red Summer. The deadliest riot occurred in Chicago, with 38 fatalities. It began after an African-American man floating on a railroad tie on Lake Michigan unwittingly drifted into a white section of a segregated beach.

Victory Monument honoring African-American World War I soldiers, Chicago.

These riots were a precursor of the urban unrest of the 1960s.

While it’s now considered impolite to ask a person their ethnic background, especially if you don’t know that person well, it wasn’t in the 1970s and 1980s, at least in the Chicago area, where I grew up. For instance, one of my neighbors from my youth had an Anglo last name. But that name was changed, I was told, in 1917, from a German one when their grandparents had to close their business and move to a different part of Chicago because they feared for their lives after being victims of anti-German violence. Thousands of others–maybe tens-of-thousands of others–also changed their surnames and cut ties to their pasts. I know about a dozen people whose ancestors dropped their German last names during that time and picked ones that were more “American sounding.”

If you take one of those Anscestry.com DNA tests and you surprisingly find German blood in your veins, it could because you unlocked a Great War family secret.

During the war many German-Americans were jailed on flimsy evidence as America, for a while, forgot it was a free country. And that’s not all. Irrational fears of communism after the Russian Revolution, itself a result of World War I, brought about the civil rights abuses of the Red Scare of 1917-1920. Wilson, a progressive Democrat, signed the Sedition Act of 1918 into law, which made criticism of the war or the nation illegal. In response to all of this madness, the far-left American Civil Liberties Union was founded in 1920.

Later that year Americans overwhelmingly elected Republican Warren G. Harding as president. He promised a “return to normalcy.”

John “Lee” Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven

Germans in the United States in the early part of the 20th century were stereotypically viewed as beer guzzlers and saloon owners. The Prohibition movement was already strong when the war began–but the progressive teetotalers preyed upon this new bigotry as they sealed their deal with the passage of the 18th Amendment two months after the end of hostilities. Speakeasies replaced bars–and jazz music, often performed by black musicians who were part of the Great Migration–was the music of choice in many of these illegal establishments. This was not a return to normalcy–it was a new normal.

Europe never completely recovered from World War I–America was the world’s most powerful nation after the armistice was signed.

And it still is.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.


By John Ruberry

Most of the main characters in Hell on Wheels, my last Netflix binge-watching adventure, were shaped, and scarred, by the American Civil War.

In this BBC 2 television show, Peaky Blinders, set in Birmingham, England beginning in 1919, World War I casts its shadow over the lead characters.

Three seasons have been released so far. The action–and the violence–is centered upon the Anglo-Gypsy Shelby family, led by Thomas “Tommy” Shelby (Cillian Murphy), a decorated Great War tunneller who returns home a new man–and a better suited one to run the family business, Shelby Brothers, Ltd, a bookmaking operation set in the grimy and noisy Small Heath section of Birmingham. But the gang is generally called the Peaky Blinders by members and their enemies. His oldest brother, Arthur (Paul Anderson) is clearly more psychologically damaged from the war than Tommy, but he’s better suited to serve as the enforcer for the family. “I think, Arthur. That’s what I do,” Tommy explains to him. “I think. So that you don’t have to.” Third son John (Joe Cole), another World War I veteran, is also employed in the muscle side of the operation, while Finn, the youngest Shelby, is only 11-years-old when the series begins.

Tommy has a sister, Ada Thorne (Sophie Rundle), who is married to communist agitator. But she’s still loyal to the family.

While the Shelby men were fighting in France–the family business was run by Elizabeth “Aunt Polly” Gray (Helen McCrory), a kind of a Rosie the Riveter of the underworld. Tommy quickly takes over from Polly, who serves as his senior advisor. Like Edward G. Robinson’s legendary Rico character in Little Caesar, Tommy becomes a small-time-hood-makes-good-by-being-bad by playing one gang faction against the other, first in Birmingham then in London, while largely ignoring Aunt Polly’s warnings.

When the Peaky Blinders stumble upon a large machine gun shipment in an otherwise routine heist, that gets the attention of Secretary of State for War Winston Churchill (Andy Nyman in the first season, Richard McCabe in the second), who dispatches Inspector Chester Campbell (Sam Neill) from Belfast to find the machine guns. Those guns give Tommy power and respect–and enemies. Not only do Churchill and Campbell want those weapons, but so does the Irish Republican Army.

Campbell sends in an Irish domestic spy, Grace Burgess (Annabelle Wallis), to work at the neighborhood pub owned by Arthur, appropriately named The Garrison. She quickly becomes its de facto manager.

In season three, which is set in 1924, Tommy, at Churchill’s request, gets involved in another armaments caper, this time with members of the Whites faction who haven’t ascertained that the Communists have won the Russian Civil War. Arthur warns Tommy to stay out of “this Russian business.” It’s too bad the script writers didn’t take their own creation’s advice. As was the case with season four of Sherlock, what follows is a collection of tangled and confusing plot lines. Possibly realizing their mistake, the writers include quite a bit of gratuitous nudity to accompany the Russian adventure, including a bizarre orgy scene which does nothing to advance the storyline.

On the other hand, the Russian diversion is loosely based on a 1924 scandal that brought down Great Britain’s first socialist-led government.

At least two more seasons are coming.

The cinematography of Peaky Blinders is masterful. Imagine Tim Burton creating a remake of The Untouchables television show and setting it in 1920s Birmingham. And this is an ugly Birmingham. J.R.R Tolkien lived in the city before the Great War and his reaction against it was his creation of Mordor for The Lord of the Rings. Just as the Eye of Sauron looked upon that evil realm–the sparks and the ashes of the foundries oversee the Midlands metropolis here. And the industrial roar is always there too.

Blogger in his flat cap

Without getting into spoilers it’s a challenge to bring a description of Jewish gangster Alfie Solomons into this review, but his portrayal by Tom Hardy is too good to overlook.

Oh, the name. Peaky Blinders? There was a Birmingham gang by the same name who gained that moniker because its members supposedly sewed razor blades into the peaks of their flat caps. And in fights the hoodlums went for the eyes.

And finally, the music deserves special mention too. Anachronistic goth rock dominates, the unofficial theme song is Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ “Red Right Hand.” You’ll find selections from PJ Harvey, Tom Waits, and the White Stripes too.

And Johnny Cash sings “Danny Boy.”

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

usa-china

By John Ruberry

Building upon Peter Ingemi’s RH’s spectacular Trump’s China Call is a Deliberate Overreach from yesterday, it’s my turn to add my two yuan into the discusssion.

The media loves to dismiss Donald Trump as a showman–as if there was no showmanship with Barack Obama–but those under 45 first encountered our next president as a real estate developer, albeit a flashy one. Developers are many things, including, yes, deal makers, as well as a negotiators. In regards to that last one, when you are sitting across someone you are negotiating with, or as it usually turns out, haggling with, a strategy that has worked since the Babylonian era is to get the person sitting on the other side of the table from you off of his script and on to yours. One tactic is known as “getting-yourself-inside-their-heads.”

And that’s something that Trump may have accomplished by accepting a telephone call last week from the president of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, which has caused a kerfuffle. Because the United States recognizes communist China as the legitimate government off all of China, including Taiwan, a president hasn’t spoken to a Taiwanese leader since 1979. Of course we still have extensive trade relations with the island nation–oops, breakaway province–and we still sell Taiwan weapons. If they are ever fired in defense it would very likely be against the Chicomms.

Oh, Taiwan and China are major trading partners.

Trying to understand international relations is a descent into madness.

Trump made the re-negotiation of what he calls bad trade deals a central campaign promise. Of course those bad deals with China, if they really are awful, are good ones for the Chinese. If Hillary Clinton won last month’s presidential election China could look forward to at least four more years of crony socialism from the former secretary of state. Since then China has been bracing itself for a return to the bargaining table, preparing for difficult deal making with this New York capitalist.

John "Lee" Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven
John “Lee” Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven

But Trump, who was a very good baseball player when he was young, threw a curve ball at the Chinese.

He accepted a phone call.

He got inside their heads.

Trump knows what he’s doing.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Update (DTG): I’d like to take credit for the piece that John is referring to but that one was written by RH (NG36B) one of the newest additions to our magnificent 7 writers. I’m delighted to have both John & RH on the team

by baldilocks

Miamians "mourn" the death of Castro. Palm Beach Post
Miami responds to the news of Castro’s death. Palm Beach Post

Below Florida, that is. Michael Totten documents his visit to Castro’s Cuba:

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.

It’s one of those “read the whole thing” kind of essays and now I feel whiny for complaining about my landlords.

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.

Also, don’t forget this.

One more thing: pray for the people in Tennessee.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter.

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baldilocks

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:

ussr1

and this:

che1

and this at WalMart’s site:

soviet2

and Amazon

soviet3

 

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.

So this begs two questions one of which I already asked:

#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?

Update: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit:

“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.”

********************************************************************

 

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Two headlines at Real Clear World today:

Desperate Chinese Turn to Mass Suicide – Robert Hunwick, Global Post
Why Cubans Are Still Fleeing to America – The Economist

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.

UPDATE:

Linked to by NewsZing. Thank you!

Linked to by Babalu. Thank you!