Archive for the ‘NYT’ Category

Cuba: Mario Díaz-Balart explains to the dense why Cuban oppression is bad

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Damien Cave of the NYT can’t figure out that making concessions to a dictatorship in exchange for nothing is not a good idea, so he debated Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart (R-FL), lost, and titled the article, A Miami Congressman Adamantly Defends Isolating Cuba. I hate to excerpt it, but here’s a sample (emphasis added):

[DC] But there are a lot of people in the Cuban-American community, leaders at the business and political level, who are having a more nuanced conversation — it is not so black and white. Let me give you an example. Cuba Emprende would like find a way to invest; they want to create incubators so they can find and help Cuban businesses. All of this is separate from the Cuban state. This is the beginning of civil society. They don’t have the ability to do that because the embargo prohibits that. Would you be willing to allow investment? I know the Cubans still don’t allow that, but from the American side would you be willing to support that? And if not, why not?

[MD-B] Because as I said before, because what we have to do, the question that has to be asked is: Is that something that will help free people from over half a century of totalitarian dictatorship? In other words, does the Chinese model, you know, the fascist Chinese model, is that the solution for Cuba, where you can invest in Cuba like we do in China, with no internal opposition, with no political parties, with no independent labor unions legalized, with no freedom of press, available and legal. There are folks who would like to have China 90 miles away from the United States, as fascist, totalitarian regime where big business can invest and make money with no labor unions, with no freedom of press, with no political parties, with no freedom, which is why in the law, which has strong bipartisan support in the House, in those laws it says that for those sanctions to go away, three conditions have to be met.

One the one hand, freeing all the political prisoners, free the Mandelas and the Havels and the Walesas of Cuba. Number two is allowing all those freedoms that I just mentioned, that is in the law. Freedom of press, labor unions etc. and then start the process towards free elections — and then all sanctions would go away.

So the question is which one of those conditions do the Cuban people not deserve? Before, precisely U.S. businesses go and invest, i.e. the Chinese fascist model. There are only two answers, two solutions, two possible futures for the Cuban people with the Castro brothers’ regime, one is going to Poland, the Czech Republic, Spain, Portugal, you name it, places where there have been dictatorships and now they have democratic societies, or, yes, the Chinese, Vietnamese model, which is a fascist dictatorship where you have foreign investment and yet the people are still not free. Those are the two options and if you ask me which one the internal opposition in Cuba supports, the vast majority of them, I can refer you to two statements made by the internal opposition saying: ‘Hey, what we want is freedom and therefore do not lift sanctions unilaterally.’

The only thing that is required for the sanctions to go away are those three conditions.

Read the whole thing.

Argentina: The more things change . . .

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

NYT op-ed by Roger Cohen: Cry for Me, Argentina

Argentina, however, is a perverse case of its own. It is a nation still drugged by that quixotic political concoction called Peronism; engaged in all-out war on reliable economic data; tinkering with its multilevel exchange rate; shut out from global capital markets; trampling on property rights when it wishes; obsessed with a lost little war in the Falklands (Malvinas) more than three decades ago; and persuaded that the cause of all this failure lies with speculative powers seeking to force a proud nation — in the words of its leader — “to eat soup again, but this time with a fork.”

A beautiful country, ruined.

Mexico: A house divided

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

Enrique Krauze has an interesting op-ed in the NYTimes, The Danger in Mexico’s Divided House

In the end, however, Mexico’s old model of governance was brought down not by economic liberalism but by the rise of democracy. First, in 2000, the president as monarch vanished from the scene. The legislature became a genuinely multiparty body, and the Supreme Court far more independent. Free elections were overseen by an entity independent from the government.

Still, those interest groups that had long been dependent on and controlled by the presidency did not exit the scene. On the contrary, they grew dangerously stronger, each trying to secure a place at the center of power. Three of the major reforms proposed by Peña Nieto’s government aim to limit their influence.

Read the full article.

Mexico: Enrique Krauze on oil reform

Sunday, November 3rd, 2013

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Mexican historian Enrique Krauze has a must-read op-ed in the NY Times,
Mexico’s Theology of Oil

Over the next few weeks, the Mexican Congress is likely to become a kind of theological council to discuss the so-called Energy Reform proposal put forward by President Enrique Peña Nieto. The measure would modify Articles 27 and 28 of the Constitution and allow contracts between the Mexican government and private companies to share profits from the extraction of oil and gas throughout the country as well as deep-water sites in the Gulf of Mexico. It would also open the door to free competition along the whole chain of the industry: refining, transport, storage, distribution and basic petrochemicals.

The historical significance of this proposal cannot be understated. In 1938, the Mexican oil industry was nationalized, and in 1960, a constitutional change assigned full control of the industry to Pemex, a state monopoly.

Krauze asks, “Why can’t Mexico, like Brazil or Norway, develop its publicly owned oil company into an enterprise that can successfully benefit from association or competition with private companies?”

He lists three reasons:

  • The controversial record of privatization in Mexico,
  • nationalism,
  • and a seldom-mentioned, but perhaps most powerful reason of all,
  • the fear that increased oil revenue will simply raise the level of corruption to the point reached during Mexico’s last oil boom, which began in the late 1970s and led to a traumatic experience for the Mexican people.

Read the full article here.


September 11: In memory of Joe Angelini, Jr.

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

This post honors three heroes of September 11, 2001: a father and two sons. Two died, one survived.

May they never be forgotten.

Project 2996

Joseph Angelini Jr., age 38 of Lindenhurst, NY, died heroically on September 11, 2001 in the World Trade Center terrorist attack. He was a New York firefighter with Ladder Co. 4

Joseph Angelini Jr.
A Firefighter Passionate About Family, Gardening

October 22, 2001

Joseph Angelini Jr. may have lived for the New York City Fire Department, but he didn’t hang around when his tour ended.

“Gotta get home to the kids,” he’d tell the guys in Manhattan’s Ladder Co. 4 before heading to the 6:33 p.m. train to Lindenhurst.

Angelini’s wife, Donna, has scheduled a memorial service for today to help 7-year-old Jennifer, 5-year-old Jacqueline and 3-year-old Joseph Angelini III to finally understand that he won’t be coming home anymore.

“My son asks everyone he sees in uniform, ‘Did you find my daddy, did you find my daddy?’” Donna Angelini said Friday.

The seven-year department veteran followed in the footsteps of his father, Joseph Angelini Sr., 63, who was the senior member of Brooklyn’s Rescue Co. 1 and also perished in the World Trade Center attacks.

The younger Angelini, 38, was assigned to a house that protects New York’s theater district. Its motto: “Never miss a performance.”

But at home, he was a cook, craftsman and avid gardener who grew pumpkins, zucchini, eggplants and hot peppers and filled the house with the smells of pizza and focaccia.

“He was the air in my lungs, and now that air is taken away from me,” Donna Angelini said. “I keep waiting for him to come off a 24 [hour shift] and come through the door and say, ‘You wouldn’t believe what happened to me today.’”

Angelini also is survived by his mother, Anne, a grandmother, Mary, sister Annmarie Bianco and brother, Michael, all of Lindenhurst; sister Mary Angelini of Washington D.C.; and by seven nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held today at 11 a.m. at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Roman Catholic Church in Lindenhurst.
– Elizabeth Moore (Newsday)

CNN.com profile of Joe Jr.

Living Tribute to Joseph Angelini, Jr.

Joe’s father, Joe Sr. also died that day:
The Veteran and His Son

Joseph J. Angelini Sr. and his son, Joseph Jr., were firefighters, and neither survived the twin towers’ collapse. “If he had lived and his son had died, I don’t think he would have survived,” said Alfred Benjamin, a firefighter at Rescue Company 1 in Manhattan who was partnered with Mr. Angelini for the last six months.

The elder Mr. Angelini, 63, was the most veteran firefighter in the city, with 40 years on the job. He was tough and “rode the back step” like everyone else. His 38-year-old son, who worked on Ladder Company 4 on 48th Street, was on the job for seven years.

“If you mentioned retirement to Joey, it was like punching him,” Mr. Benjamin said. Joseph Jr. was proud of his father’s reputation and tried to copy him any way he could, said Joseph Jr.’s wife, Donna.

And they never gave up their tools. “Think about climbing 20 stories with bunker gear, ropes, hooks, halogens and other different types of tools and somebody wants to borrow a tool — no way,” Mr. Benjamin said. “You ask them what they need done and you do it for them. You carried that tool all the way up there, so you’re going to use it. If they thought they were going to need a tool, they should have carried it up. Joey Sr. always said carry your own weight. He always carried his.”

Joseph Jr. applied to the department 11 years ago. He got called seven years ago. “It was the proudest day for my father-in-law. It was a great opportunity,” said Donna Angelini. “His father was a firefighter and he wanted to be one, too.”

Mr. Angelini, who had four children, taught Joseph Jr. carpentry. Often they worked on projects together, including a rocking horse. Joseph Jr., who had three children, had started building a dollhouse for one of his daughters. Unfinished, it is sitting on his workbench.

Joseph Angelini, Sr.

Mychal Judge

A brother, Firefighter Michael Angelini, was there as well, but, in a move that probably saved his life, left when asked to help carry out the body of the Rev. Mychal Judge, the fire department’s chaplain.

From Newsday:

Between Funeral and ‘Pile’

September 21, 2001

Michael’s choice: remain with his mother, Anne, in Lindenhurst and support his family during the wake, today, and the funeral, tomorrow, for his father, New York firefighter Joey Angelini, 63; or, return to The Pile to continue searching for his missing brother, New York firefighter Joey Angelini Jr., 38.

Michael, 33, knew yesterday that his mother and Joey Jr.’s wife, Donna, his two sisters and his nieces and nephews needed him, needed a strong, grown, male Angelini nearby, perhaps as much or more than he needed to be nearer his brother. “It’s hard to figure out what’s the right place to be in,” he said, already having decided to stay with the family. “I want so much to go back there.”

Michael works for the Fire Patrol of New York, which operates under the New York Board of Underwriters, protecting the interests of insurers during and in the aftermath of commercial property fires. Wearing the same firefighting gear, except for the distinctive red helmet that denotes Fire Patrol, he responded to the World Trade Center disaster last Tuesday morning, as did his father, a 40-year FDNY veteran assigned to Rescue 1, and his brother, of Ladder Co. 4 in the Theater District. “We were all in the same area, and none of us knew it,” he said.

In the lobby of one of the stricken towers, a fire supervisor suddenly ordered him out of the building. They passed firefighters who had just encountered the body of department chaplain Father Mychal Judge. Michael helped carry Judge away. “… but then my officer grabbed me and said, ‘Let’s go!’” he said. “We ended up a block or two north on West Murray Street.”

Michael entertained a slender hope that his brother might have finished his tour early and gone home. He suspected otherwise, and he learned later that afternoon that Joey had done what his father would have done and what so many other firefighters did who were supposed to be ending their tours at 9 a.m. They went to work.

Once a jokester and a partygoer, Joey Jr. had undergone personality changes increasingly noticeable to Michael during the past seven years, since he had joined the department and Donna gave birth to the first of their three children, Jennifer. He had worked previously as an electrician with the Transit Authority. “I didn’t want him to leave Transit,” said his mother, “because they were about to make him a foreman. But, for some reason, he switched over to the fire department.”

“Since then,” Michael said, “I saw him taking on more and more of my father’s traits. Before, we used to go out a lot, he and I. He was silly, funny. Now, getting him to go out was like pulling teeth. I tell old stories to guys he worked with, and they’ll look at me like I’m talking about somebody they don’t know. He had become so, like, straight. He just wanted to be with his family. He was showing more and more of that integrity, that seriousness, like my father.

“Three things were important to my father: his family, the church and the department, and I’m not sure in what order. My father was honest to a fault, religious. I remember walking back from the store with him. I was only little. He realized that the counter girl had given him 30 cents too much in change, and we had to walk all the way back. I mean, it was almost ridiculous. Joey was becoming more like that. It was good to watch, but it’s hard to live up to.”

The elder Angelini was in special operations that morning, and Michael hoped he too might have been sent elsewhere, but he really knew better. His father was legendary in the department for loving the work, for loving “to get dirty,” for loving “making a grab [rescuing somebody],” for routinely walking out of a mostly extinguished inferno and lighting a cigarette while younger firefighters lay sprawled around him, exhausted.

Earlier this year, at a Holy Name Society communion breakfast tribute for his 40th anniversary as a firefighter, the short, wiry, gray-haired Angelini resisted efforts by his fellow firefighters to get him to wear more of his medals. “They convinced him to put on maybe a third of them,” Michael said. “Then he said, ‘Stop. I’m tired of pinning these on.’

“He kept them in the back of a drawer, in a box,” Michael said. “He didn’t tell us about half of them. He didn’t talk about what he did. You would be eating dinner across from him and notice that he looked dif- ferent, like, strange, and then you would realize that his face was all red, and his eyebrows were completely gone, and his hairline had receded. He was burned. You would say, ‘What happened to you?’ And he would say, ‘Aw, something flashed over me.’

“At the site, all week, guys were joking about him finding a pocket and eventually walking out. They said to me, ‘He was probably buried in a void, and as soon as he runs out of cigarettes he’s gonna come walking out.’”

Rescue workers found the body of Joey Angelini on Monday. He had been listed as missing since the day after the attack. Joey Jr. still is missing. After tomorrow’s funeral Mass at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Lindenhurst, Michael probably will return to the site.
–Ed Lowe (Newsday Columnist)

The Veteran and His Son in Portraits of Grief

Attacked

Cuba: Civility, schmivility

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

The NYTimes has an opinion article, For Cuba, a Harsh Self-Assessment that deplores the decline in “gentility and respect”, echoing Raul Castro’s “get off my lawn” speech of two weeks ago. The article doesn’t question Raul’s premise,

“I have the bitter sensation that we are a society that is ever better educated, but not necessarily more enlightened,” Mr. Castro said.

Ever better educated? You mean like the doctors sent to Brazil and the Jamaican nurses, which were rejected because they don’t meet basic job requirements?

All through the article, the message is that the golden age of Communism brought free healthcare and education back when “a state salary was enough to live on without needing to pilfer.” Of course, Fidel Castro himself repeated incessantly that under him, Cubans are “the most cultured people in the world,” even the prostitutes, while redoing the excellent, definitive Don Quijote de la Mancha 4th Centenary edition by the Real Academia Española. Fidel had Hugo Chavez abridge it, remove the essay “Una novela para el siglo XXI” by long-time foe Mario Vargas Llosa, and replaced that essay with a short preface by José Saramago, a much friendlier Communist. The Communist regime can’t have “the most cultured people in the world” exposed to an essay which essence is that Don Quijote’s a free men’s novel.

Blame the Americans? Oh yeah,

Cuba sets great store by its cultural prestige. After the 1959 revolution, the government set out to purge the decadence that made Havana a magnet for Americans, among others. The state started a national literacy campaign, offered free education to all and established rigorous sports, ballet and music programs.

Because, you know, the Americans are the ones attracted to the decadence. Unlike, of course, the Canadian and Spanish pervs who go today to Havana for the sex trade.

The article posts a photo of shirtless men slaughtering a pig on a sidewalk, under the most unsanitary conditions,

with the caption (emphasis added)

A pig being slaughtered in a tourist area of old Havana is seen as a sign of a loss of civility.

when in fact it is emblematic of the decay of Cuban culture under Communism. Carlos Erie, who lived in Cuba and remembers, lets it rip,

Proof positive of the ignorance and prejudice that govern the thinking of those who write and publish such poison is evident in the photo above. The caption under the photo is the one used by the NYT. Notice, please, that slaughtering a pig on the street is merely “seen” as a “sign” of loss of civility. It’s not really a loss, but is merely “seen” as such by some Cubans. And, notice, that the act itself is not “seen” as a loss of civility, but as a mere “sign” — which means, of course, that it’s not just the behavior that is open to interpretation, but also the act of passing judgment on it. Notice, too, that the slaughtering is described as taking place in a “tourist” area of Old Havana. One must assume that it would be perfectly alright in some other area where tourists don’t dare to go, and that this is something Cubans have been doing for centuries in their own benighted slums. It is also assumed that this is somehow normal for Cubans: to go shirtless in “tourist” areas. Savages.

The Times will never disappoint you . . . if all you expect them to do is echo Raul’s propaganda.


Dear NYT, why ride a horse, when you can eat it?

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

@AnnDRomney took up dressage at age 50 as a therapy for multiple sclerosis, says the Gray Lady while pointing out that Romney’s rich.

At age 50, Barack Obama Legalized Horse Slaughter for Human Consumption.

He’s rich, too.

The Times: Pathetic.

Tweet it!

UPDATE,
Smitty gets the joke!

Linked by BitsBlog. Thanks!


“Cuba May Be the Most Feminist Country in Latin America”

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

No worse fool than a Communist tool:
Cuba May Be the Most Feminist Country in Latin America, says Luisita Lopez Torregrosa,

In sheer numbers and percentages, Cuban women’s advance is notable. Cuba has a high number of female professional and technical workers (60 percent of the total work force in those areas) and in Parliament (43 percent), as well as high levels of primary, secondary and tertiary education enrollment, according to the Gender Gap report.

Indeed, Cuba is a friggin’ feminist paradise; look at how well the totalitarian Communist regime treats its women:

Newsbusters points out,

Wheee! Such good news for the most prominent of the Cuban women, blogger Yoani Sanchez. Oops! Not such good news as Voice of America notes:
Yoani Sanchez is a Cuban blogger who is not permitted to leave the country. She has attracted an international following for her blog, Generación Y, which gives readers unprecedented insight into the harsh realities of life in Cuba. Her work has won numerous awards, including Columbia University’s Maria Cabot prize for journalism, and the Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award in 2011. But Cuba’s Communist government has refused to allow her to leave the country to accept these honors. Requests by Ms. Sanchez to travel have been denied 19 times.

But those are relatively recent instances of Cuba’s “feminist” support. Humberto Fontova knows his Cuban history since he lived it,

The longest-suffering female political prisoners in modern history suffered their tortures in Castro’s Cuba. Many died by firing-squad and prison beatings.

Their prison conditions were described by former political prisoner Maritza Lugo. “The punishment cells measure 3 feet wide by 6 feet long. The toilet consists of an 8 inch hole in the ground through which cockroaches and rats enter, especially in cool temperatures the rat come inside to seek the warmth of our bodies and we were often bitten. The suicide rate among women prisoners was very high.”

In fact, Castroism TRIPLED Cuban women’s pre-revolution suicide rate, making Cuban women the most suicidal on earth. This according to a 1998 study by scholar Maida Donate-Armada that uses some of the Cuban regime’s own figures.

Some suffered months in “Tapiadas” (underground cells in total darkness) Some were jailed a few miles from La Cabana. With the right wind direction, the firing squad volley’s would reach them. “HA-HA! Oiste?… Ce la cepillaron a tu marido! ( Hijo! Padre! Abuelo! Tio!)” (Heard that?! We just shot your husband, son, dad, grandad, uncle!) the guards would gather and cackle at the rat-bitten women, surrounded by cockroaches and caked in filth and menstrual fluid from lack of water in their torture chambers

Obviously Luisita doesn’t believe in the rights of all Cuban women, only in the rights of the Cuban women who toe the Communist Party line.

Additionally, millions of Cuban women are living in compulsory poverty, since the monthly salary is the equivalent of $20/month, which has pushed many young women into prostitution.

Is that feminist enough for you, Luisita?


Yes, but did his mom have a tattoo with his name on it?

Monday, February 20th, 2012

Find out what it is in life that you don’t do well, and then don’t do that thing.”

Jamie Weinstein of the Daily Caller tells us that The real-life most interesting man in the world passes – John Fairfax, Who Rowed Across Oceans, Dies at 74, who apparently, like the fictional Most Interesting Man in the World (a.k.a. TMIMITW), thought that “it’s never too early to start beefing up your obituary”

At 9, he settled a dispute with a pistol. At 13, he lit out for the Amazon jungle.

At 20, he attempted suicide-by-jaguar. Afterward he was apprenticed to a pirate. To please his mother, who did not take kindly to his being a pirate, he briefly managed a mink farm, one of the few truly dull entries on his otherwise crackling résumé, which lately included a career as a professional gambler.

Obituarists live for the day when they can write an obit like that.

Here’s the fictional TMIMITW,

“Stay thirsty, my friends.”

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The antidote to all idiocy emanating from Friedman

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012


Scott Johnson nails it: Thomas Friedman, you pitiful fool,

Friedman’s utopian daydream is a liberal fantasy that fits into a long and disgraceful tradition of protecting or celebrating Communists and Communism at the Times.

By contrast, journalist and China scholar Jonathan Mirsky is an honorable left-winger who has been a close and critical observer of the high price of Communism on the citizens of China. Mirsky’s essay on Liu Xiabo, the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner, appears in the current New York Times Book Review under the headline “Exiled at home” and online under the headline “Liu Xiaobo’s plea for the human spirit.” Appearing in the Times, the essay can’t be given my fantasy heading for it: “Thomas Friedman, you pitiful fool.”

Liu Xiaobo’s book, No Enemies, No Hatred: Selected Essays and Poems, has a foreword by Vaclac Havel.

Read the review, buy the book.

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