Tuesday, February 14, 2006


"We arrived in Cuba without political prejudices, without any intention of setting foot in Varadero Beach, intent on seeing the country outside the much-lauded tourist areas, recalls Spanish backpacker Isane Aparicio Busto. "The blow was shocking. We left with our perceptions about the reality of the Cuban Revolution - and even with our prior social and political principles - demolished.

"All we'd heard about from many Europeans who traveled to Cuba was the rum, the happiness, the salsa, the Caribbean party atmosphere. But they hadn't mentioned the prostitution either - so we should have known they weren't totally leveling with us. We'd traveled to Mexico City and Caracas and known the horrible slums on the outskirts of these cities. But through old Havana we found ourselves walking constantly through a miasma of pestilential odors, with morose faces looking at us from decrepit doorways. My friend and I kept looking at each other asking, 'Where in the hell have all the people traveled who kept telling us poverty doesn't exist in Revolutionary Cuba?'

"We saw police everywhere. And it soon became obvious that Cubans are the victims of the 21st century's version of apartheid. Hotels for foreign tourists, stores for foreign tourists, buses for foreign tourists - a world apart that Cubans themselves are prevented by the police from entering. So we asked a few Cubans how they felt about this system.

And they all answered - while looking around - that it was fine, had to be done that way. That it was the proper way to protect tourists because many Cubans are scoundrels. So was this that proud nationalism of Revolutionary Cuba we'd heard about? The nation's impoverished people forced to treat foreigners with such meekness and deference - to grovel before them? ....

"We learned that the Cuban system is nothing but misery, moral mendacity and abuse. The system simply smothers you. And yet this revolution (with its Che Guevara banners) has sold itself to the youth of the world as a paradigm of equality, liberty and national liberation. And the leaders of the government that governs my country (Spain) simply refuse to come out and call this place a dictatorship. The Cuban people's personal aspirations seemed completely mutilated. I've never felt such anguish about a nation and a people in my life. If I were a Cuban, I'd certainly be on a raft."

More here



The charming Hillary above. The lucky old USA could have her as its President in two year's time.

Bomb Iran! "Pentagon strategists are drawing up plans for bombing raids backed by submarine-launched ballistic missile attacks on Iran's nuclear sites as a "last resort" to block Tehran's suspected efforts to develop an atomic bomb. US Central Command and Strategic Command planners are identifying targets, assessing weapon loads and working on logistics for an operation. They are reporting to the office of the Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, as the US updates plans for action if the diplomatic offensive fails to thwart Iran's nuclear ambitions... "This is more than just the standard military contingency assessment," a senior Pentagon adviser said. "This has taken on much greater urgency in recent months."... the steady flow of disclosures about Iran's secret nuclear operations and the virulent anti-Israeli threats of its President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has prompted the fresh assessment of military options by the US. The most likely strategy would involve aerial bombardment by long-distance B2 bombers, each armed with up to 18,000 kilograms of precision weapons, including the latest bunker-busting devices. They would fly from bases in Missouri and refuel in flight."

Antisemitism in the Church of England: "The Archbishop of Canterbury has written to the Chief Rabbi regretting as "unfortunate" the Church of England's decision to review its investments in Israel. In his carefully crafted letter, Dr Rowan Williams, who voted in favour of the motion, denies that it represented a decision to disinvest at a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise and a Hamas administration committed to the destruction of Israel is preparing for power. The General Synod is facing wide criticism from senior church leaders, including the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey of Clifton, for voting to disinvest from Caterpillar, the US company that manufactures the tractors used in land clearance in the Occupied Territories.... In the motion, Keith Macouronne of the Guildford diocese, moved that the synod "heed the call from our sister church, the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East, for morally responsible investment in the Palestinian occupied territories and, in particular, to disinvest from companies profiting from the illegal occupation, such as Caterpillar Inc, until they change their policies." The synod voted overwhelmingly in favour."

The ostriches of Australia's arty Left: "Last Sunday, as Muslims enraged by cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed torched Danish diplomatic missions in Lebanon and Syria, Melbourne's artists rallied to defend free speech.... As The Age noted in a profile of comedian Dave O'Neil, another of the stars, "it's the cartoonists and comedians who are the first" to be punished when we lose the right to speak our mind. Too true. Pity now the Danish cartoonists, several now in hiding. Or their editor, now under guard, and facing an inquiry by the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights.... Daring Dave knew well the risk he was running by turning up on Sunday to defend free speech, but welcomed martyrdom: "I'd love to get locked up for doing this." Dave and his artist friends weren't defending that right to free speech. No, they weren't defending that right against the very real threat of violence by Muslims. They were there to defend free speech instead from the completely imaginary threat of prosecution by the Howard Government, under sedition laws we've actually had for decades. Here again was our cultural elite at play, pretending our greatest danger comes not from radical Islam, but those protecting us from it".

Miserable Leftists again: "Is it aircraft noise, John Howard's long reign, or being overworked and underpaid that makes the so-called chardonnay socialists of Sydney's inner west the most disgruntled people in Australia? A new survey that compares the wellbeing of people in all 150 federal electorates reveals the safe Labor seat of Grayndler, covering Annandale, Leichhardt, Petersham, Newtown, Marrickville and Summer Hill, tops the national list for all-round unhappiness".

Memo for British and European libertarians: The Libertarian International Spring Convention -- one of the high points of the year for freedom lovers -- is on again. The conference will take place in Brussels on 25-26 February to coincide with the Capitalist Ball. As always, there will be exciting talks by some of the best thinkers and activists in the movement and plenty of time for socialising. Register now for a week-end of fun, friendship and freedom building. Contact Christian Michel

For more postings, see EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE. Mirror sites here, here, here, here and here. On Social Security see Dick McDonald and for purely Australian news see Australian Politics (mirrored here).


Practically all policies advocated by the Left create poverty. Leftists get the government to waste vast slabs of the country's labour-force on bureaucracy and paperwork and so load the burden of providing most useful goods and services onto fewer and fewer people. So fewer useful goods and services are produced to go around. That is no accident. The Left love the poor. The Left need the poor so that they can feel good by patronizing and "helping" them. So they do their best to create as many poor people as possible.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

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