.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Monday, March 28, 2005

Paper Shredders In Cuba

Since anything of value in Cuba comes from the black market, its tough to gauge just how bad the Cuban economy is. But you can get a pretty good understanding of the state of the state by what items are going for, which items are hot, and which items are cold.

But let’s try and tie the black market to the state of Castro’s health. I’ll bet that when paper shredders and matches go up two to three-hundred percent, the fate of El Presidente will truly be known. For when the ‘Beard’ is about to go to that big banana plantation in the sky (oops, they don’t believe in heaven anymore – almost forgot), you can bet that any piece of paper the government has that would show the criminality that has been visited upon this once proud nation for forty years would be made into compost for all of the state run farms.

The real question is when is the ‘Beard’ going to die? Not soon enough as far as the West should be concerned. But we better wake up soon since he is still a threat to peace and stability in our hemisphere – look to an article in the latest National Review by Otto J Reich. http://www.nationalreview.com/

When he does do his final meringue, the doors to one of the last, closed societies on the planet will be open. And when that happens, we on the right and the world should be able to marvel at that sound of silence coming from those on the left that have lionized Castro as a great ruler, and man of peace, a victim of US hegemony.

I can’t wait until that day when all freedom loving Cubans bury this man. I can’t wait for the records, if there will be any left since they will probably all be destroyed, are made available. I can’t wait for the thousands of political, religious and cultural victims still alive can tell their stories to the world – let’s see if CNN will be the first to interview anyone who says Castro was a git!. When the beard dies we can then catalog and examine the suffering of those who have been murdered, tortured, exiled, and socially reeducated, a number probably in the millions since he’s been around for so long. For example, we will be able to know the truth as to why Cuba is the only nation in the world where the per-capita incidences of AIDS declines with every passing year. Amazing! What secret do the Cubans have that they have been able to halt a disease that marches forward with no resistance to drugs? If there is a miracle drug, why hasn’t Castro shared it with the world so he could add another international humanitarian distinction along with his Nobel Peace Prize nomination? (But since Koffi Annan won it that year, it might as well have been Castro, anyway!) Could it be that once someone is diagnosed with AIDS IN Cuba that he or she is taken to a ‘hospital’ to receive proper and state supervised convalescent treatment? Uhm…

The world is a much better place without Ceauşescu, Pol Pot, Franco, Haile Mengistu, Amin, Karadzic, Saddam, Ho Chi Minh, Hitler, Stalin, and all those underlings and sympathizers who allowed these men to murder by the bushel.

So let’s track what happens to the world’s supply of paper shredders in the next several years. If for some reason, paper shredders disappear from the shelves of stores, warehouses, and when Lloyds of London begins to insure office supply drivers from an unexplained increase in truck-jackings, I’ll bet you a ripe plantain that the destination will be the Ministry of Information and the Cuban State Secret Police in Havana. Then the world will know that the beard’s days are numbered.

The Pantheon of Evil Is One Casket Short - Mate A La Barba! (Kill The Beard!)


Thursday, March 17, 2005

Why Israel Must Live

Israel must live because so many people want it to die. Here in the US, Europe and every rag-head with delusions of virgins in heaven, millions would like nothing better than if every Jew in Israel was pushed into the Mediterranean.

If Israel dies, we in the West die, metaphorically speaking. Why? Besides the quick and easy realization that losing Israel means our only ally in that region is obliterated and replaced with some neo-Fascist-Islamic banana republic, but its loss also means that one pillar of Western Civilization has been wiped clean from the earth.

Israel is alive, breathing and thriving in the face of an ideological enemy that borders all sides of this tiny nation. Judaism, unlike modern Christianity, permeates the people, culture, and politics of that nation. It is the most religious nation of all religious nations. And unlike the religion and politics of its enemies, there is nothing in the Talmud or the Constitution of Israel that calls for the destruction of its enemies. We in the West must do everything we can to support Israel no matter what the cost in lives, money and world opinion.

Anti-Zionist apologists like Richard Ben Cramer cite the occupation of Palestinian land as the sole reason why Arafat hung on for all those years and why suicide bombers blow the arms and legs off of innocent civilians. Bollocks! Cramer claims that the subjugation of Palestinians in its 37 year occupation of their land (well, that land did not belong to Palestine since Palestine did not exist in 1947 – QED Israel is not a squatter tribe that stole land from a country since that country did not exist). Cramer speaks for many left of the left Israelis and laments in anguishing apologia that the soul of Israel is lost, that there are factions that loathe the IDF and that three decades of war have torn apart the social, cultural and economic fabric of the most robust race of people on the planet.

The soul of David is alive in the people who bear witness to the untold generational suffering of realpolitik social engineering and genocide that occurred from Vladivostok to Paris for over five hundred years. Some of what Cramer and the legions of Israeli detractors say may be true. But one salient fact remains that Cramer and others causally dismiss – the destruction of Israel as a nation and its people as a race is the aim of most of the Arab world. From this single point, Israel has the right to its own manifest destiny.

Zionism is not racism. Zionism is not criminal. Zionism is a metaphoric slap in the face to anyone who has forgotten what mans inhumanity to man represents. My God, has the world forgotten what happened to the millions of innocent Jews, Gypsies, and other undesirables in the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany? The fact that Israel exists as a nation is that the world said, ‘Never Again.’ And right now, the US and the world needs to support those in this little nation that are fighting for that ideal.

Shema Israel!


Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The Second Coming of Michael?

Once Upon A Time, Disney was the stuff of family values baked in an envious corporate model that Adam Smith would relish. Through its messages in its films and animated shorts, to the very operation of its business, Walt Disney built a corporate citadel buttressed with conservative ideals. (Walt even testified at the House Committee for Un-American Activities). But how the pendulum has swung so far to the left can only be explained by one single factor – the hiring of Michael Eisner. Pause for a minute and let’s give credit where credit is due. Eisner saved Disney. When Michael took the reins in the early eighties, one full-length animated feature was produced and released. (100$ if anyone can name the sole movie of 1984 that was basically put on the shelves once it was debuted) Fast forward to 1995 and over one-hundred films were released or were in the works under several different movie labels. The Disney Cruise Line sailed and its Parks and Resorts were given a face-lift with an economic make-over the saved it from the likes of Ivan Boesky, Saul Steinberg and other corporate raiders licking their chops like Shenzi, Banzi and Ed ready to tear Simba apart in the Lion King. Speaking of which, there has not been a Lion King since, well, The Lion King and the string of box office smashes like Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, and The Little Mermaid.

But at what price did that turn-around produce? The product that Disney has put out over the last ten years is nothing more than what happened to Disney before Eisner came on board: creative stagnation and sojourns into unrecognizable territory like Disney’s America – conceived and championed by Eric Foner and the rest of his ilk in the Fur Workers Union of America. And with over-valued stock that has been as likely to move as a Frenchman who lives next to a brothel, what you have is a company that has no sense of itself; a company that has purposely steered away from the very essence of its original success – family animated features especially since Disney lost its bread and butter, its feature animation operation in Florida. Add to this the acquisition and mismanagement of ABC, the closure of Disney Stores, and the bungled deal with Pixar Animation and the balance sheet tells a story of ever darkening skies over the Magic Kingdom.

Does anyone think that Iger is going to change any of this? From what has been communicated publicly, it looks like the new man at the easel is a sad shadow of the man named the most influential personality in show business since Orson Welles and his band of brothers at Mercury Productions. What is happening to Eisner is what happens to politicians who mismanage fixed assets in their districts. Here in Orlando, the closure of the Naval Training Center and the move of a VA Hospital to another district cost Bill McCullum his house seat. So it seems that the vote of no confidence for Eisner is the equivalent of an electorate bent on punishing its representative who had a bad string of luck.

The Disney Board has spoken. Eisner is out and Iger is in. For how long, no one knows. If he is the Quisling Roy Disney has made him out to be, Iger’s stay will be a short one. If Iger is the second coming of Michael, then Disney could be back to the years of twenty percent return on its stock and domination of the box offices of America.

Still, with all the problems Disney has, it’s still the strongest corporate brand on the planet and the most wonderful place for any family to visit.

Damn The Ticket Prices, We’re Going To Disney World!


Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Good Night, Dan

Dan Rather has had an enviable career in journalism. Dan Rather broke the Kennedy Assassination. He has interviewed some of the most important people on the planet over the last thirty year. He is dedicated, engaging, smart, and even likable. But all the accolades and respect (even by me and I know he is liberal) earned by Mr. Rather can be thrown out of the window because of the last series of events that took place fifty days before a Presidential election.

Everyone by now knows what this story is about, no need to dredge up its particulars. But, there are two issues with CBS Memo-Gate that will define Rather’s career and the praxis of journalism. First, the memos detailing President Bush’s time in the Texas Air National Guard were patently false. That is an irrefutable fact. All the spinning by the media can’t change this. The second issue revolves around the hubris and criminality of such claims and the lack of standards applied to such an earth shattering revelation that a sitting President lied about his service to this country (has anyone at CBS been subpoenaed for libel and slander?)

Why this is so disturbing is that once discovered as false, no admission of deceit was foisted upon the progenitor of this smear campaign against President Bush and his complicitous accomplices at CBS until the memos received the basic scrutiny that should have occurred before they were made public by Rather, et al. How could any journalist, and one with years of experience like Rather, allow these unsubstantiated claims to go public? The most logical conclusion is that Rather and the staff at CBS intended to sway the outcome of a Presidential election by the mere mention of impropriety. What other motivation could be discerned? None. Why? If, and only if, these documents were put under the same kind of Journalism 101 microscope as other such weighty revelations as Watergate, Iran-Contra, Enron, they would never have seen the light of prime time television.

Memo-Gate was inevitable. The system of story selection, editing, writing, investigation, accuracy and accountability in the big three networks, and CBS in particular, for years has engendered a perspective of elitism that overtly and covertly sneers at the those that dare criticize what comes on the air for twenty-two minutes, five days a week, three-hundred and sixty-five days a year.

Other Blogs are celebrating the departure of Dan Rather. I am not. As a student of journalism in college, the tenets of impartiality, fact-finding, and judgment were drilled into us incessantly by professors and field professionals, left and right. Memo-Gate is the highest violations of these axioms. If anything good can come from this, it’s that the ability to believe what comes from CBS and the rest of the mainstream media is questioned as credible from now and ever after.

Good Night Dan. Let’s See What’s On FOX!


Monday, March 07, 2005

A Neo Cons Look At Steroids

What’s the big deal? Is the issue gaining an unfair competitive advantage over others who are drug free? Or are steroids a serious health risk and moral dilemma that must be resolved? Most sportswriters I have read over the last several months have not attacked or supported this issue of health. If this truly was a health issue, then why not go after steroids based on the effects to a person’s body they cause. Cigarettes are regulated. Alcohol is regulated. Rules exist for other drugs deemed unsafe. But in the case of steroids, most notably the recent unpleasantness in baseball, the issue seems to center on an unfair advantage on the playing field as opposed to the potential health risks of unregulated growth hormones and other banned substances.

What’s silly about this argument is that steroids and steroids alone are being looked at as the sole source of gaining an unfair competitive advantage. Even sillier is that when you isolate steroids as a cause, you dismiss all other factors that allow players to shatter records from year to year: hard work, talent, genetics, technology in equipment, physical training, medical advances related to injuries, nutritional supplementation, etc. If the critics of steroid abuse were really concerned about records being broken by those that ingest and shoot banned substances, then let’s truly make the playing field even. Let’s get back to the early days of baseball when these records were set. Let Giambi, Canseco, Bell, and Bonds play baseball like the great players of the past. Give them bats that weigh as much as small children. Give them shoes and uniforms that hamper speed. Let them eat what they want. Eliminate nutritional supplements. Let them travel by train from city to city. Take away the technology of sports medicine. Once these other ‘factors’ are eliminated, let’s see if the players of today can match and or exceed the feats of the baseball Gods that came before them. Does anyone think that the athletes of today could break the Babe’s record of single season home runs (Roger Maris notwithstanding), or the pitching stats of Cy Young if everything including steroids were eliminated. Does anyone really think the stands of major league stadiums would be filled if records were set at levels of the 1950s and 1960s in the year 2005? Serious doubt must ensue.

I say let’s regulate steroids like we regulate other substances. Set standards of consumption including age restrictions for younger athletes. Monitor steroid use. Punish those that break the rules and lay out punitive measures for repeat offenders and their managers. After all, aren’t those that play sports at a professional level there to entertain and to make the owners of those organizations money in the process?

Juice-up boys of summer and play ball!


Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Hope For The Future

This story actually happened this past October. My children and buckets of my money go to private school. At a Halloween Party, there was an eighth grader dressed as a Viet Namese peasant. Wearing a Kumi hat, shorts and donning a stick with two buckets on each end, he was pretty unassuming and quite curious as I could not tell what he was supposed to represent. When he turned to walk towards the food and drinks, I finally got the joke. He was wearing a shirt that read, ‘John Kerry burned down my village and all I got was this lousy T-Shirt.’ Gut-wrenchingly funny! The story does not end there.

This is the dialogue I heard between the Principal and the student upon discovering what the child was wearing:

Principal – ‘You need to take that T-Shirt off!’
Student – ‘Excuse me, Ma’am, Why?’
Principal – ‘Because it’s offensive’
Student – ‘It’s Free Speech’
Principal – ‘It’s a disruption and it’s in bad taste’
Student – ‘We are not in school. This is a Halloween Party. I’ll make a deal with you. I’ll take off my shirt, if you remove the “Kerry/Edwards” bumper sticker off of your car.’

Up The Youth!


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?