Archive for the ‘books’ Category

En español: Infobae entrevista a Casto Ocando, autor de Chavistas en el Imperio

Saturday, April 12th, 2014

El libro que hay que leer:Chavistas en el Imperio: Secretos, Tácticas y Escándalos de la Revolución Bolivariana en Estados Unidos

‘Chavistas en el Imperio’, el libro que “desnuda la gran mentira de la revolución bolivariana”

El discurso de la revolución chavista siempre tuvo un enemigo: “el Imperio”, representado por los EEUU y el capitalismo. Desde que Hugo Chávez llegó al poder, la retórica contra la potencia de América del Norte, la ideología “neoliberal”, “imperialista” y de “capitalismo salvaje” se convirtió en un argumento recurrente para justificar las injusticias del país, de la distribución de la riqueza, excusas que calaron hondamente en los sectores populares.

En paralelo con el discurso radicalizado anti los EEUU, los principales colaboradores de Chávez hicieron de la península de La Florida su paraíso terrenal para desarrollar los peores vicios de la corrupción del modelo bolivariano: ser socialistas en Venezuela y magnates en Miami, Wellington o Palm Beach.

Jorge Heili entrevista a Ocando,

Les recomiendo que lo lean.

New book: Chavistas en el Imperio

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Miguel Octavio reviews Casto Ocando’s new book, Chavistas en el Imperio: Secretos, Tácticas y Escándalos de la Revolución Bolivariana en Estados Unidos (Chavistas in the Empire: Secrets, Tactics, and Scandals of the Bolivarian Revolution in the United States):

Perhaps nothing summarizes better the book, as Ocando’s revelation in the introduction, that Chavez spent US$ 300 million in propaganda in the US during his first ten years in power. Thus, while Chávez was accusing Washington of trying to destabilize Venezuela, he was outspending Bush and Obama in promoting his revolution. And his buddies in Government, were always (or are?) trying to make friends in the US, to defend their money, their properties and even guarantee protection sometime in the future.

In fact, the promotion was not only of the revolution, but even paying companies in the US to regularly show that Venezuela’s economic numbers were doing well. ironically, while Chávez formed the Venezuelan Information Office and Eva Golinger was hired to show the US was conspiring in Venezuela, there was proof of all the money being spent very directly by the Venezuelan Government to promote itself in teh US and very little proof was ever shown that the US was ding the same thing in Venezuela or elsewhere.

In the end, the book just tells us how Chavismo went from corruption to drugs, joining forces with the FARC, the Iranians and drug cartels, showing that Chávez was willing to allow anything to his buddies in order for the revolution to survive.

This alone would make a valuable contribution to the literature of Latin America’s history.

Ocando, as his Twitter feed notes, is an

Investigative Reporter & Writer with Univision Network. Interests: Public Corruption, Narco-Terrorism, US-LatAm Relations, Venezuela. http://www.univision.com.

I bought the Kindle edition, and will post on it.

Book review – Eyes On Target: Inside Stories from the Brotherhood of the U.S. Navy SEALs

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Sometimes you read a book you can’t wait to recommend to everybody, and this is that book:

Eyes On Target: Inside Stories from the Brotherhood of the U.S. Navy SEALs by Scott McEwen and Richard Miniter, is a gripping read in many ways:
It tells the story of a group of men who will give their all to protect our country, from the point of view of several of the men themselves.
It is the history of the most-feared anti-terrorist force in the world.
And, as the book jacket aptly describes, it

is an inside account of some of the most harrowing missions in American history-including the mission to kill Osama bin Laden and the mission that wasn’t, the deadly attack on the US diplomatic outpost in Benghazi where a retired SEAL sniper with a small team held off one hundred terrorists while his repeated radio calls for help went unheeded.

Read my full review here.

And, please, buy the book and read it; it’s a fascinating, scrupulously-researched, moving account of a group of heroic men, and authors Scott McEwen and Richard Miniter lay to rest that “fake, phony scandal” narrative about Benghazi.

En español: Libro Desarrollo económico y pobreza en América Latina: El rol de los Planes Sociales”

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

Mis amigos de HACER nos invitan,

Descargue gratuitamente de aquí el libro en PDF “Desarrollo económico y pobreza en América Latina: El rol de los Planes Sociales” publicado por Atlas Economic Research Foundation y la Asociación de Iberoamericanos por la Libertad (AIL) en el que se incluye la investigación “Transferencias condicionadas de dinero: El caso Colombia y su Programa Familias en Acción” llevada a cabo por el equipo de investigacion de la Fundacion HACER en Bogotá, Colombia.

Lo recomiendo.

The Triple Package stirs the pot

Monday, January 6th, 2014


Amy Chua (better known as the Tiger Mom) has a new book, The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America

Why do some groups rise? Drawing on groundbreaking original research and startling statistics, The Triple Package uncovers the secret to their success. A superiority complex, insecurity, impulse control—these are the elements of the Triple Package, the rare and potent cultural constellation that drives disproportionate group success. The Triple Package is open to anyone. America itself was once a Triple Package culture. It’s been losing that edge for a long time now. Even as headlines proclaim the death of upward mobility in America, the truth is that the oldfashioned American Dream is very much alive—butsome groups have a cultural edge, which enables them to take advantage of opportunity far more than others.
•   Americans are taught that everyone is equal, that no group is superior to another. But remarkably, all of America’s most successful groups believe (even if they don’t say so aloud) that they’re exceptional, chosen, superior in some way.
•   Americans are taught that self-esteem—feeling good about yourself—is the key to a successful life. But in all of America’s most successful groups, people tend to feel insecure, inadequate, that they have to prove themselves.
•   America today spreads a message of immediate gratification, living for the moment. But all of America’s most successful groups cultivate heightened discipline and impulse control.
But the Triple Package has a dark underside too. Each of its elements carries distinctive pathologies; when taken to an extreme, they can have truly toxic effects. Should people strive for the Triple Package? Should America? Ultimately, the authors conclude that the Triple Package is a ladder that should be climbed and then kicked away, drawing on its power but breaking free from its constraints.

Apparently this makes her racist.

Ponder that for a moment. A minority woman (who’s a professor at Yale) writes a book saying that a superiority complex, insecurity, and impulse control which goes hand-in-hand with great self-discipline compel people to better themselves, and, not only is this news, it makes her racist:
Tiger Mom accused of being a ‘full-blown racist’ as her new book names the eight ‘superior’ races and religions that make better parents
Tiger Mom Amy Chua has penned a new parenting guide called ‘The Triple Package’ which lays out a controversial theory for success in modern America
Declares there to be only eight successful and superior groups of people in the United States
Includes the Chinese are one of these groupings along with Indians and Jewish to name two others

Published in the new book, ‘The Triple Package’, that she has written with her Jewish husband Jed Rubenfeld, Chua names the eight groupings that are exceptional in no particular order – and unsurprisingly, the Chinese are one of the top dogs.

The other seven are Jewish, Indian, Iranian, Lebanese-Americans, Nigerians, Cuban exiles and Mormons.

I would add that any parent anywhere in the world who motivates and guides their child to accomplish their potential through hard work, patience and perseverance is superior to a parent who does not.

Another Yale professor, Carlos Eire, a self-made man if ever there was one, writes about his experience:

Cuban exiles are among the eight groups identified by my colleague.

Perhaps identifying us as “superior” will end up causing her additional trouble.  We are, after all, sowrong about everything, so thoroughly despicable, and so worthy of being herded into boats and shipped back to where we came from.

I could be wrong about this, but I think that there is no other group of immigrants or subculture other than Cuban exiles that is so open to criticism, denigration, or open hatred or ridicule.

Imagine anyone publicly denigrating any of the other seven groups singled out by Amy Chua: Jews, Chinese, Iranians, Indians, Lebanese, Nigerians, or even Mormons.

As someone at one of my public lectures said a few years ago: “You people are ruining this country… It’s because of you people that our country is in so much trouble…Why don’t you all just shut up or go back to Cuba!”

Liberals’ expectations of Latinos/Hispanics are such that Carlos’s experience is not unique. The phrase they throw at me (since I have no qualms to point out that I’m a US citizen from birth, upon hearing you people), is “You don’t even look Puerto Rican!”

Racism, indeed.

Cuba: What Castro knew about Oswald

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

Mary O’Grady reports on Brian Latell’s book, Castro’s Secrets: Cuban Intelligence, the CIA, and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy
What Castro Knew About Lee Harvey Oswald
The official narrative skips tantalizing signs of a Cuban connection.

The agency [CIA] recruited Rolando Cubela, a revolutionary insider, to do the job.

But Cubela was a double agent. And on Sept. 7, just after Cubela agreed to help the Americans, Castro gave an interview to an AP reporter in which he put the U.S. on notice that “aiding terrorist plans to eliminate Cuban leaders” would mean that “they themselves will not be safe.”

Castro didn’t need to look far for a willing partner to back up those words. It is “known with near certainty,” writes Mr. Latell, that Cuba had “opened a dossier” on Oswald in 1959, while he was stationed at the Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, in Southern California. Oswald was enamored of the Cuban Revolution, and he had made contact with the Cuban consulate in Los Angeles.

On Sept. 27, 1963, Oswald checked into the Hotel Comercio in Mexico City for a five-night stay. He tried to get a visa from the Cuban embassy to travel to Havana. He had a fling with an embassy employee and probably spent time with others who were intelligence agents. When his visa was not forthcoming, witnesses said he went on a rant at the embassy, slammed the door and stormed off.

According to Mr. Latell, during his Mexico City stay Oswald twice visited the Soviet consulate where he met with “an officer of the notorious Department 13, responsible for assassination and sabotage operations.” The KGB was training Cuban intelligence at the time, and “it seems certain that [Oswald's] intelligence file in Havana was thickening.”

Castro’s claim about Oswald—in a speech 30 hours after Kennedy was shot—that “we never in our life heard of him” was a lie. Indeed, in a 1964 conversation with Jack Childs —an American communist who had secretly been working for the FBI—Castro let it slip that he knew of Oswald’s outburst while at the embassy in Mexico City and said that the ex-Marine had threatened to kill the U.S. president.

Castro’s Secrets is also available on Kindle.

Related:
Prose poetry from (who else!) Carlos Eire, Dispatch From the Balcony of Time Travel

Chile: Neruda wasn’t poisoned

Friday, November 8th, 2013

No evidence Chile[an] poet Neruda was poisoned during dictatorship, test shows

An exhumation and testing of Chilean Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda’s body did not find any evidence he was poisoned, a forensic team said on Friday, despite accusations he was murdered 40 years ago by a military dictatorship.

Neruda, who had been under treatment for prostate cancer, died of heart failure at age 69, but the Chilean Communists are not happy with today’s news and demand further investigation.

New book: An American Bride in Kabul

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

Phyllis Chesler has published a memoir, An American Bride in Kabul, detailing her life in Afghanistan as a young bride.

Today the NY Post has her article, My life of hell in an Afghan harem

I once lived in a harem in Afghanistan.

I did not enter the kingdom as a diplomat, soldier, teacher, journalist or foreign aid worker. I came as a young Jewish bride of the son of one of the country’s wealthiest men. I was held in a type of captivity — but it’s not as if I had been kidnapped.

I walked into it of my own free will.

John Hinderaker blogged about her LIFE AMONG THE BARBARIANS

That Chesler survived the ordeal is little short of miraculous. Her story–please do check out the Post excerpt, and consider buying the book–is a revealing glimpse into a dysfunctional culture that has changed little if at all since the time when Chesler found herself its prisoner.

Phyllis is an excellent writer, and I’m honored to consider her a friend, so please buy her book. Her upcoming book events are:
October 1, 2013, 8:15 pm:
92nd Street Y, New York, NY

October 7, 2013, 1:30 pm:
Central Queens YM/YWHA,
Forest Hills, NY

October 9, 2013, 6:00 pm:
Barnes and Noble,
Columbia University, NY, NY

November 11, 2013, 12:00 pm:
Atlanta JCC, Dunwoody, GA

New book: Latin America in the Post-Chávez Era: The Security Threat to the United States

Friday, September 13th, 2013

Luis Fleischman writes about his new book,
FOCUS ON CENTRAL AMERICA IS CRUCIAL TO OUR SECURITY

Central America constitutes an important strategic area for the United States. As discussed in my recent book “Latin America in the Post-Chavez Era: The Threat to U.S. Security”, legal and institutional collapse in Central America could have very serious consequences for regional and U.S security. Central America has been victim to increasing drug cartel activity as the situation in Colombia and Mexico has turned more complicated for the drug lords. In addition, Central America is an important area of transit for drug shipments. Several countries in Central America have fallen into a situation of anarchy.

Anarchy invites the proliferation of gangs, terrorist groups and foreign powers as the situation in Afghanistan clearly demonstrates. The presence of terrorist groups such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Middle Eastern groups such as Hezbollah, and the growing presence of Iran in Latin America, as part of its alliance with the Venezuelan-led Bolivarian revolution, makes Central America into a key geo-political challenge.

Fleischman makes the case for nation-building.

The book is available on Kindle, too.

Buy it, read it.

Colombia: WSJ reviews 2 novels

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

The Histories of Violence
Two novels of murder and survival in Colombia.

Whereas Mr. Grostephan accosts you with pungent sensory description, Mr. Vásquez is psychological and abstract. “Fear,” Antonio says, “was the main ailment of Bogotanos of my generation”; elsewhere he likens that fear to a contagion, a contamination and a plague. Much of his narrative is shaped by an obsessive attention to minuscule gestures or details. Ordering coffee, Antonio watches a waitress wipe the table with “a melancholy, stinking rag”: “I saw her dry knuckles, crisscrossed by gritty lines; a specter of steam rose from the blackish liquid.” The effect is awkwardly portentous.

Bogotá is not yet available on zkindle, but I’ll be reading both.