Live at 8pm Eastern and archived for your convenience, i’ll be Silvio Canto’s guest along with Prof. Carlos Eire,
— Fausta (@Fausta) November 30, 2016
The irony: World’s most famous Marxist bastard died on Black Friday.
Fidel Castro ya no está en rebaja, sino que ha sido dado de baja.
— OrlandoLuisPardoLazo (@OLPL) November 26, 2016
— Bosch Fawstin (@BoschFawstin) November 26, 2016
The NYT obit is emblematic of the worshipful media: Fidel Castro, CubanRevolutionary Who Defied U.S., Dies at 90. Mr. Castro brought the Cold War to the Western Hemisphere, bedeviled 11 American presidents and briefly pushed the world to the brink of nuclear war. Read instead Carlos Eire’s Farewell to Cuba’s brutal Big Brother
Why this discrepancy? Because deceit was one of Fidel Castro’s greatest talents, and gullibility is one of the world’s greatest frailties. A genius at myth-making, Castro relied on the human thirst for myths and heroes. His lies were beautiful, and so appealing. According to Castro and to his propagandists, the so-called revolution was not about creating a repressive totalitarian state and securing his rule as an absolute monarch, but rather about eliminating illiteracy, poverty, racism, class differences and every other ill known to humankind. This bold lie became believable, thanks largely to Castro’s incessant boasting about free schools and medical care, which made his myth of the benevolent utopian revolution irresistible to many of the world’s poor.
When Fidel resigned in 2008, I wrote,
Without a hint of irony, the BBC refers to Castro as the great survivor. Never mind that Castro has “survived” thanks to the medical treatment rendered by a Spanish gastro-oncologist, and has stayed in power for forty-nine years because he is a tyrant; a tyrant who has ruined an entire country in every possible way.
$5 says O goes to #FidelCastro's funeral
— Fausta (@Fausta) November 26, 2016
Many are jubilant,
When I die, I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like Fidel Castro, not screaming in terror, like his victims.
— Johan Norberg (@johanknorberg) November 26, 2016
Trending on BadBlue.
Linked to by Rest in the vine. Thank you!
Cuba Libre- official drink of the #CastroDeathParty!
4 oz Coca-Cola
2 oz Bacardi 151
1 oz lime juice
mix with ice while dancing
— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) November 26, 2016
One for those suffering cognitive dissonance… pic.twitter.com/njxeFI2tJr
— Colombia Politics (@ColPolitics) November 26, 2016
Linked to by The Pirates’ Cove. Thank you!
Linked to by Doug Ross. Thank you!
It’s time for book reviews. Here are three books I recommend, and one I’ll be buying,
I frequently get publicists’ emails asking if I’d like to review or comment on a new book, and, if I agree, they send me the book. Two of those came recently, The Bonjour Effect: The Secret Codes of French Conversation Revealed, and Conspiracies of the Ruling Class: How to Break Their Grip Forever.
A Ruling Class have emerged in America against the hopes and designs of our Founding Fathers. Over the last hundred years, they have rejected the Constitution and expanded their own power, slowly at first and now rapidly. These people believe their actions are justified because they think they are smarter than the rest of us—so smart they can run our lives better than we can.
The book is divided in three parts:
The third part is especially interesting: Mr. Lindsey explains his goal of being philosophically populist and operationally libertarian, while stressing the importance of Congressional control over rule making, Congressional term limits, budget reform and reforming the Federal Reserve Bank. As he explains regarding the latter, “we need a better understanding of what calls for change.”
He specifically calls for “a constitutional amendment that protects people’s right to use something other than Federal Reserve notes (Fed-printed dollars ) both as a store of wealth and as a medium of exchange.” (page 231)
While I was hesitant to read the book because of the title (I’m not one for conspiracy theories), Mr. Lindsey’s vast experience in business, government, and academia convinced me to read it. It’s a must-read.
The Bonjour Effect: The Secret Codes of French Conversation Revealed, by the married couple Julie Barlow and Jean-Benoit Nadeau is an in-depth account of their experiences living in France for a year while raising twin daughters.
If you are considering an extended stay in France, you may think of The Bonjour Effect as your survival kit. If you are only a casual visitor (as I have been), you will find it fun to read.
I can’t think of a country I have visited where the phrase “Language is culture” is more defining than in France. Conversation is France’s highest art, and Julie and Jean-Benoit (yes, you are on a first-name basis) lived through every type, from registering their girls at City Hall so they could attend school across the street from their apartment, through five solid hours eating lunch while conversing. to observations on race relations.
Their paragraph on political demonstrations also applies to other countries (page 93),
“Demonstrations and protests are political forums in France. After the slaughters at Charlie Hebdo and the Hyper Cache grocery, 5 percent of France’s total population took to the street. North Americans, who don’t protest in the street nearly as much as the French do, interpret it as a sign of unrest, if not political chaos. In fact, it’s the opposite: if the French couldn’t protest, that would lead to political chaos.”
The Bonjour Effect is intelligent and deeply insightful, while at the same time being a fun read, and even funny.
I purchased David’s Sling: A History of Democracy in Ten Works of Art because Victoria Coates wrote it and Roger Kimball edited it.
David’s Sling is a beautiful book, lavishly illustrated with not only the ten works of art mentioned in the title, but with other artwork of the periods it describes.
It’s a book to savor: I did a really slow read, since I decided to study the book’s chapters side-by-side with a corresponding chapter of Janson’s History of Art. It was also fun to realize that I had seen in person eight of the ten works of art (added the Parthenon and Florence to the bucket list).
Included in the ten is Rembrandt’s Night Watch, and the Dutch Golden Age, which I particularly enjoy. While I am not as enthusiastic about Jaques-Louis David, even that chapter lays out her thesis, as Victor Davis Hanson explains,
Coates advances a familiar argument: that constitutional government and its companion culture of freedom foster singular art of many kinds — publicly funded temples, private sculpture and painting, religious architecture, and subsidized private commemoration.
David’s Sling is the perfect house gift if you’re visiting friends this summer.
Carlos Eire has announced that his new book, Reformations: The Early Modern World, 1450-1650 just came out. At 920 pages, it promises to be a tour de force on Dr. Eire’s speciality, history of religion. He says,
About the image on the cover: 15th century statue of St. Margaret, partially decapitated by Protestant iconoclasts in the 16th century, and buried outside a church in Essex, England. It lay hidden from view, forgotten, until the 20th century, when it was found by accident, as repairs were being made to that church.
Of the thousands of images I considered for the cover, this one “speaks” most eloquently about the contents of the book, which is — at bottom — a book about the toll taken by all revolutions.
Carlos Eire and I had talked about this book a while ago. I can’t wait to get it.
Under the “Mais Médicos” agreement signed by Dilma Rousseff’s administration and the Cuban government, which raised serious ethical concerns regarding human trafficking, 11,000-plus Cuban doctors were sent to work in Brazil.
Now Brazilian media reports that the country’s Federal Police is investigating a fraud scheme where fake diplomas for medical doctors were revalidated in Brazil for Mais Médicos participants,
According to PF, the investigation started after the Federal University of Mato Grosso contacted Bolivian universities (Universidad Nacional Ecológica, Universidad Técnico Privada Cosmos and Universidad Mayor de San Simon), who confirmed that among those enrolled in the revalidation program, 41 had never studied at or had not graduated from these institutions.
Meanwhile, Carlos Eire reports that
Harvard’s Public Health Review has just called for the cancellation of the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, due to the Zika virus epidemic.
If the Olympics are held in Brazil, claims an article in this Harvard journal, the Zika virus will spread to the whole world.
Socialist health policies, today.
Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill met for two hours at Jose Marti International Airport in Cuba to “exchange a joint declaration on religious unity”, a mostly-symbolic gesture. (Emphasis added)
Despite a separation that dates back to the Great Schism of 1054, the Russian Orthodox Church had said that Islamic extremist attacks on Christian populations in the Middle East and North and Central Africa required urgent measures and closer cooperation between the Christian churches.
In their message of reconciliation, which was issued in Russian and Italian, they said: “Our attention is directed primarily towards those regions of the world where Christians are persecuted. In many countries in the Middle East and North Africa, whole families of our brothers and sisters in Christ are killed, whole towns and cities inhabited by them are extinguished … their temples subjected to barbaric destruction and looting” and their sanctuaries and monuments demolished.
They also decried the mass exodus of Christians from Syria, Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries — “the land where our faith began to spread” — and called for the international community to take immediate action to prevent more displacement of Christians in the Middle East and “to unite to end violence and terrorism” through dialogue in Syria and Iraq.
“The international community” is a vague term, and so is a call “to unite to end violence and terrorism” through dialogue, when for years ISIS’ idea of dialogue is to decapitate, torture and post on the internet their deeds, and when Iran’s idea of dialogue is the ethnic cleansing of Christians.
The meeting was touted as “a significant step — if probably symbolic“, and, of course, took place under the aegis of Communist dictator Raul Castro, who met them at the airport (video in Spanish),
The AP narrator buttons down the symbolism by declaring that the meeting is taking place in “A Cuba transformed into the capital of encounter, of dialogue, and of peace” (1:40 into the video).
The prelates’ meeting, along with the FARC-Colombia talks, show you that all is sweetness and light in Havana for Castro enablers.
Did either of these clerics discuss the history of the airport at which they met? Were they aware of the fact that over a million Cuban families have been torn apart at that very location, or that hundreds of thousands of Cubans caught their last sight of loved ones at that very spot?Were they aware of the fact that their host was responsible for destroying the unity of all those Cuban families? And if so, did it matter at all to them?
I have very vivid memories of that airport, and they’re among the most painful and haunting of all my memories. If I’m honest with myself, I have to admit that I’ve been coping with that pain ever since that day I was strip-searched and locked up in that glass-enclosed fishbowl (La pecera)
Erie was eleven years old at the time,
where I and my brother spent hours staring at our parents, grandparents, uncles, and aunts, unable to talk to them through the thick glass enclosure, knowing that we might never see any of them again.As it turned out, we never saw most of them again, including our father and our grandparents.
Multiply the experience by thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands.
It all happened there, at that same spot. There is no monument there to bring attention to that crime against humanity, nothing that identifies that spot as a disgraceful blot on the landscape.
The official translation of the Joint Declaration of Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia states,
Our fraternal meeting has taken place in Cuba, at the crossroads of North and South, East and West. It is from this island, the symbol of the hopes of the “New World” and the dramatic events of the history of the twentieth century, that we address our words to all the peoples of Latin America and of the other continents.
Marc Masferrer reports,
“The capital of encounter, of dialogue, and of peace,” not.
Kirill, who was the Metropolitan of Smolensk, succeeds Alexei II who died in December after 18 years as head of the Russian Church. According to material from the Soviet archives, Kirill was a KGB agent (as was Alexei). This means he was more than just an informer, of whom there were millions in the Soviet Union. He was an active officer of the organization. Neither Kirill nor Alexei ever acknowledged or apologized for their ties with the security agencies.
. . .
Kirill’s personal wealth was estimated by the Moscow News in 2006 to be $4 billion.
Read the whole thing.
And ponder the symbol of the hopes of the “New World”.
Before I start, I must clarify a point: For Catholic believers, the Pope is most definitely NOT supposed to be infallible at all times. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition, as promulgated by Pope John Paul II, specifically and narrowly defines when and to what the doctrine of infallibility applies.
However, the mistaken belief that a pope’s infallibility applies all the time in all instances can and has been been, and will continue to be, exploited for political purposes – sometimes by the pope themselves.
Add to that a “likable guy” in the office of Pope, and you get full-blitz.
Right now we have two instances:
1. The Pope’s photo-ops with the Castros, When Francis Came to Cuba:
When four dissidents somehow managed to get close to Pope Francis, despite the efforts of church and state to keep all such Cubans away from him, they were quickly attacked by plain-clothed state security agents and whisked away to prison. Has Pope Francis denounced these injustices, which amount to religious persecution? Has he voiced concern over the compliance of his bishops in this persecution? No. Not a word. His silence is deafening.
Pope Francis made an unscheduled stop to visit the Little Sisters of the PoorWednesday, a move that Vatican officials said was intended to send a message of support in the nuns’ battle against Obamacare.
Why a quiet message of support? Why not make it out front, direct, as part of the official schedule?
2. An emphasis on global warming/climate change alarmism, which, as Roger Kimball points out,
It’s long been clear that environmentalism is the new religion for leftists. You can never be Green enough, comrade, and the ideology of climate change provides an unending rationale for economic redistribution.
Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods.
By “the distribution of goods” Francis means “transfer of wealth,” one of the tenets of the environmentalist creed.
One thing was missing:
While referring to “We, the people of this continent, are not fearful of foreigners, because most of us were once foreigners” – an invitation to welcome more immigrants – he made no mention of the hundreds of thousands of Christians martyred and slaughtered for their faith by Islamists. Of all the omissions, this one is the most disturbing of all.
These omissions bring to my mind the Anglican General Confession, We have left undone those things which we ought to have done;
And we have done those things which we ought not to have done.
I am not a deep thinker, so to end this post I go back to Carlos Eire, who is. He ended his article,
For now, all we Cuban Catholics can do is acknowledge the fact that the first pope, Saint Peter, made many, many mistakes, and that none of his successors have been infallible when it comes to politics. And we can take comfort in praying along with an innumerable throng of Christians who stretch all the way back to first century: Agnus Dei qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis
Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Ben Shapiro dissects the speech.
Today’s headline: Pope Francis Won’t Push for More Cuba Trade Easing in Speech to Congress. He doesn’t plan to raise the question of the U.S. embargo in his Congressional address this week So far, so good, until you read this (emphasis added),
WASHINGTON— Pope Francis doesn’t plan to raise the question of the U.S. embargo against Cuba during his address to Congress this week and said he declined to meet with dissidents during his visit to Cuba as part of a general policy against private meetings during the visit.
As Carlos Eire says, One must admit, this papal circus will go down in history as one of the most significant triumphs of the Castro regime, and as a memorable moment in the annals of American journalism.
In partnership with Operation Pedro Pan Group, Inc., the organization that connects the children of the Pedro Pan exodus and preserves its artifacts and memories, HistoryMiami museum opens its doors to the exhibition documenting the emotional journey these children – and their families – underwent to escape indoctrination.
The exhibition not only displays the artifacts but also tells the story of how these families came to make this life-changing decision and what became of the children. Using video testimonials, private letters, journals and photographs, the exhibition takes visitors on a journey from Cuba to Miami and beyond; giving visitors a glimpse of the children’s past and the camps they lived in once they reached the United States.
I learned from Carlos Eire that he’ll be a panelist:
PANEL DISCUSSION:REMEMBERING OPERATION PEDRO PAN
September 19, 2:00pm
101 West Flagler Street
Miami, FL 33130
Dr. José Azel, senior scholar at the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies, University of Miami and the author of the book Mañana in Cuba. Arrived to the United States in 1961; age 13.
Elena Muller Garcia, director of Parish Social Ministry in Catholic Charities, Diocese of Palm Beach. Arrived to the United States in 1962; age 13.
Dr. Carlos Eire, T. Lawrason Riggs Professor of History and Religious Studies at Yale University and author of the award winning books Waiting for Snow in Havana and Learning to Die in Miami. Arrived to the United States in 1962; age 11.
Antonio “Tony” Argiz, chairman and CEO of MBAF, one of the top 40 accounting firms in the nation, and immediate past chair of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. Arrived to the United States in 1961; age 9.
Moderator: Dr. Victor A. Triay, Cuban American historian and author of Fleeing Castro: Operation Pedro Pan and the Cuban Children’s Program and Bay of Pigs: An Oral History of Brigade 2506.
Register online or call 305-375-1492 for more information.
FREE WITH MUSEUM ADMISSION