Category Archives: Tyranny

I was Spartacus; I am Joe the Plumber

Joe the Plumber asked The One, The Messiah, Lord Barack Obama the Most Merciful, about his tax plans and how it would affect someone who was looking to buy a small plumbing business from its current owner. Now the modern Spartacus has been subjected to the Media’s and the Democrat Party’s, but I repeat myself, politics of personal destruction. They have started a hostile investigation of Joe. They are at war with Joe, just like they were at war with Bork, Thomas, Alito, Lieberman, and Sarah Palin before him. They chased down his voter registration, his apprenticeship papers, his back taxes, his plumber license, etc etc etc. Toledo is cracking down on him in the intent to prevent him from practicing his craft.

The left intends to threaten and frighten anyone who would speak against them into silence. They are truly the inheritors of the tactics of oppression used by the Ku Klux Klan, Nazis and Bolsheviks.

Everyone who speaks truth to Obama’s power is in danger of being attacked by Democrats and the Media. The perversely-named Fairness Doctrine is only one example of the Left’s deep hatred of free speech except for  speech they agree with. They intend to crush everybody’s rights to speak freely, not just the rights of radio employees and college students.

I am Joe the Plumber!

Try saying it yourself. Throw in some Howard Beall.

I am Joe the Plumber! I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!

I mean it. Try it. Oh to be Joe the Plumber, steadfast foeman of the neocommies.

Watch Joe’s offense against The One Continue reading

Algerian Government Persecutes Christians and ex-Muslims

Habiba Kouider used to be a Muslim. Then she converted to Christianity and was baptized. Recently she was pulled off a bus by police who interrogated her in public, rifled through her purse, examining her bibles and other literature, and even performed a body search on her, all while firing hostile questions at her.

After examining the contents of the Christian woman’s handbag, police officers body-searched her and then proceeded to interrogate her.

“Why did you convert to Christianity, why did you forsake Islam?” the officers asked, according to comments by Mustapha Krim, published on the website collectifalgerie.free.fr.

Kouider has been charged with “practicing a non-Muslim religion” and is facing a three-year prison sentence requested by prosecutors.

Meanwhile, six Christians who had been worshiping in a private house in Tiaret, Algeria were arrested by non-uniformed secret police after they completed a worship service. They now face two years in prison for worshiping in a house and have released an open letter for help to the Christians of the world.

My dear brothers in faith all over the world, here is the tale of humiliation, injustice and persecution that your brothers in Algeria are subjected to daily, by society but in particular by the security services and the state. The latest event took place on May 9th, 2008 after leaving the Friday worship service, which we held in secret, in fear, in a brother’s house in Tiaret. We were taken by surprise when we were arrested openly in the street by security forces in plain clothes. These persons took us one by one, just like criminals, but our only crime was our faith in Jesus Christ, which has become a dangerous crime in Algeria.

My brothers, I will not describe the humiliation that we had to endure at the hands of these agents, as they were taking us to the central police station. When we had arrived they searched us one by one while insulting us, calling us renegades: those who have denied their faith in order to follow that of the west. They said we were accomplices and Isreali spies, and that we deserve to have our throats cut without any pity: a violent and inhuman aggression. Is it normal to arrest someone just because of his faith, in a country which pretends to be democratic and which says it respects human rights and personal freedom? On top of all that, we were kept there by the agents all night on Friday, in a prison cell in deplorable and undescribable conditions, without allowing us to phone our families or those dear to us. The next day we were taken before the Prosecutor of the Republic at the court in Tiaret, to ask us humiliating and embarassing questions, such as : « Why have you forsaken your ancestors’ religion? For money? » and « at what price have you been bought? » Finally we were free to go, with the order to appear in court on May 27th 2008 on an absurd charge : « Distribution of documents and books in order to destabilise the faith of muslims ». Hereunder is a copy of the order to be present at the trial. Brothers, I have written this so that you could be informed of the situation. We need your support in these difficult times, by all possible means (written, protestations…).

The 2006 Law in Algeria concerning Christianity and other non-Muslim religion is horrible. If you would like to complain, and you really should, the Algerian Embassy in Washington DC can be reached at the following addresses (try both).

Embassy of The People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria
2118 Kalorama Rd, NW
Washington , D.C 20008
Tel: (202) 265-2800
Fax: (202) 667-2174
Email: ambassadoroffice@yahoo.com
Embassy of The Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria
2137 Wyoming Ave, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
tel: (202) 265-2800
fax: (202) 667-2174
E-mail: embalgus@cais.com

We do not regret things we have done so much as we regret things we have not done. Do not give yourself a reason to regret your silence about the persecuted Christians in Algeria. Speak up, even if just with an email.

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Mayday Poem and Open Trackbacks

Open Trackbacks. The stealth communist holiday of Mayday deserves a poem that exposes the rotten, hollow heart of Russian Communism and the mass murder and tyranny that beat at the heart of the Mayday celebration.

Here is a good poem. “The Ballad of Lenin’s Tomb” by Robert W. Service from Bar-Room Ballads.

This is the yarn he told me
As we sat in Casey’s Bar,
That Rooshun mug who scrammed from the jug
In the Land of the Crimson Star;
That Soveet guy with the single eye,
And the face like a flaming scar.

Where Lenin lies the red flag flies, and the rat-grey workers wait
To tread the gloom of Lenin’s Tomb, where the Comrade lies in state.
With lagging pace they scan his face, so weary yet so firm;
For years a score they’ve laboured sore to save him from the worm.
The Kremlin walls are grimly grey, but Lenin’s Tomb is red,
And pilgrims from the Sour Lands say: “He sleeps and is not dead.”
Before their eyes in peace he lies, a symbol and a sign,
And as they pass that dome of glass they see – a God Divine.
So Doctors plug him full of dope, for if he drops to dust,
So will collapse their faith and hope, the whole combine will bust.
But say, Tovarich; hark to me . . . a secret I’ll disclose,
For I did see what none did see; I know what no one knows.

I was a Cheka terrorist – Oh I served the Soviets well,
Till they put me down on the bone-yard list, for the fear that I might tell;
That I might tell the thing I saw, and that only I did see,
They held me in quod with a firing squad to make a corpse of me.
But I got away, and here to-day I’m telling my tale to you;
Though it may sound weird, by Lenin’s beard, so help me God it’s true.
I slouched across that great Red Square, and watched the waiting line.
The mongrel sons of Marx were there, convened to Lenin’s shrine;
Ten thousand men of Muscovy, Mongol and Turkoman,
Black-bonnets of the Aral Sea and Tatars of Kazan.
Kalmuck and Bashkir, Lett and Finn, Georgian, Jew and Lapp,
Kirghiz and Kazakh, crowding in to gaze at Lenin’s map.
Aye, though a score of years had run I saw them pause and pray,
As mourners at the Tomb of one who died but yesterday.
I watched them in a bleary daze of bitterness and pain,
For oh, I missed the cheery blaze of vodka in my brain.
I stared, my eyes were hypnotized by that saturnine host,
When with a start that shook my heart I saw – I saw a ghost.
As in foggèd glass I saw him pass, and peer at me and grin –
A man I knew, a man I slew, Prince Boris Mazarin.

Now do not think because I drink I love the flowing bowl;
But liquor kills remorse and stills the anguish of the soul.
And there’s so much I would forget, stark horrors I have seen,
Faces and forms that haunt me yet, like shadows on a screen.
And of theses sights that mar my nights the ghastliest by far
Is the death of Boris Mazarin, that soldier of the Czar.

A mighty nobleman was he; we took him by surprise;
His mother, son and daughters three we slew before his eyes.
We tortured him, with jibes and threats; then mad for glut of gore,
Upon our reeking bayonets we nailed him to the door.
But he defied us to the last, crying: “O carrion crew!
I’d die with joy could I destroy a hundred dogs like you.”
I thrust my sword into his throat; the blade was gay with blood;
We flung him to his castle moat, and stamped him in its mud.
That mighty Cossack of the Don was dead with all his race….
And now I saw him coming on, dire vengeance in his face.
(Or was it some fantastic dream of my besotted brain?)
He looked at me with eyes a-gleam, the man whom I had slain.
He looked and bade me follow him; I could not help but go;
I joined the throng that passed along, so sorrowful and slow.
I followed with a sense of doom that shadow gaunt and grim;
Into the bowels of the Tomb I followed, followed him.

The light within was weird and dim, and icy cold the air;
My brow was wet with bitter sweat, I stumbled on the stair.
I tried to cry; my throat was dry; I sought to grip his arm;
For well I knew this man I slew was there to do us harm.
Lo! he was walking by my side, his fingers clutched my own,
This man I knew so well had died, his hand was naked bone.
His face was like a skull, his eyes were caverns of decay . . .
And so we came to the crystal frame where lonely Lenin lay.

Without a sound we shuffled round. I sought to make a sign,
But like a vice his hand of ice was biting into mine.
With leaden pace around the place where Lenin lies at rest,
We slouched, I saw his bony claw go fumbling to his breast.
With ghastly grin he groped within, and tore his robe apart,
And from the hollow of his ribs he drew his blackened heart. . . .
Ah no! Oh God! A bomb, a BOMB! And as I shrieked with dread,
With fiendish cry he raised it high, and . . . swung at Lenin’s head.
Oh I was blinded by the flash and deafened by the roar,
And in a mess of bloody mash I wallowed on the floor.
Then Alps of darkness on me fell, and when I saw again
The leprous light ’twas in a cell, and I was racked with pain;
And ringèd around by shapes of gloom, who hoped that I would die;
For of the crowd that crammed the Tomb the sole to live was I.
They told me I had dreamed a dream that must not be revealed,
But by their eyes of evil gleam I knew my doom was sealed.

I need not tell how from my cell in Lubianka gaol,
I broke away, but listen, here’s the point of all my tale. . . .
Outside the “Gay Pay Oo” none knew of that grim scene of gore;
They closed the Tomb, and they they threw it open as before.
And there was Lenin, stiff and still, a symbol and a sign,
And rancid races come to thrill and wonder at his Shrine;
And hold the thought: if Lenin rot the Soviets will decay;
And there he sleeps and calm he keeps his watch and ward for aye.
Yet if you pass that fram of glass, peer closly at his phiz,
So stern and firm it mocks the worm, it looks like wax . . . and is.
They tell you he’s a mummy – don’t you make that bright mistake:
I tell you – he’s a dummy; aye, a fiction and a fake.
This eye beheld the bloody bomb that bashed him on the bean.
I heard the crash, I saw the flash, yet . . . there he lies serene.
And by the roar that rocked the Tomb I ask: how could that be?
But if you doubt that deed of doom, just go yourself and see.
You think I’m mad, or drunk, or both . . . Well, I don’t care a damn:
I tell you this: their Lenin is a waxen, show-case SHAM.

Such was the yarn he handed me,
Down there in Casey’s Bar,
That Rooshun bug with the scrambled mug
From the land of the Commissar.
It may be true, I leave it you
To figger out how far.

Linkfest Haven, the Blogger's Oasis

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Tyrant Dreams

A Jacksonian rhapsodizes:

Here is the land of dream escaped into the waking world, and each one carries different names but they are the but aspects of a single, deadly dream. That is the dream of controlling one’s fellow man so as to make a better world or to stand with a homeland forever, just so long as one does not say ‘nay’. Also is the great dream of Empire holding sway and impoverishing the life of humanity yet again as the great dream brooks no opposition and has final power with those that hold it closely.

Within such worlds as these there is also the dream of accommodating the beast of control, giving it more and more and more until there is nothing left to give save life… which had been its aim all along.

Some of these lands come through valor and victory and find themselves in the ashes of dream fulfilled. By chaining will to others they had not foreseen that they would have no will left nor say in their final outcomes as all was taken from them and crushing power ground the meaning of their lives into the ashes of victory.

Read it all!

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Change, OODA Loops, and what the Winter Warlock and the Heat and Cold Miser have to do with it

When Kris Kringle gives a toy choo-choo to the Winter Warlock the evil wizard’s heart melts. The ice caging his heart cracks, the winter gale becalms, and the jagged edged sorceror of snow is transformed into a kindly old man.

The Winter Warlock said, “I really am a mean and despicable creature at heart, you know. It’s so difficult to really change.”

Kris Kringle laughed and replied, “Difficult? Why, changing from bad to good is as easy as taking your first step.”

Every journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. And even if the final direction isn’t clear, the first step in transformation is to break the unconscious bonds of habit and identity that freeze us in place. The Winter Warlock finally realized, when his pattern of wintry wrath was interrupted by Kris Kringle’s gift, that he no longer wanted to be feared but to be a normal human like everyone else.

And the way out of it was one step at a time, one OODA loop at a time, acting and results testing his way out of the fortress tomb of ice in which he had trapped himself for so long.

The alternative is of course to remain stuck in the identity that one chooses. An avid sunbather might become the Heat Miser. A skier might become the Cold Miser. And then refuse in both cases to ever take a different step, to ever consider change, to ever compromise, to ever Observe the effects of one’s own acts. It is no accident that the Heat Miser and Cold Miser remind the viewer of every petty bureaucratic tyrant they have ever had the misfortune of encountering.

And this is, of course, how the US ends up funding LBJ’s great society programs for 40 years while the lives of poor people continually deteriorate, when they had been continually improving for the 40 years before the programs were instituted. It is a failure to Observe the results of the actions. It is a failure to truly see what the programs force people to do, and to confuse perverse incentives with identities.

It is also how the manifest failure of socialized health-care in Canada, Britain, and Cuba is transformed into the media’s glowing and uncritical recommendation to implement the same thing in the United States, when the recommendation is based not on the quality of care available, but on rationing the care equally among everyone without any attention to the patient’s ability or desire to pay for care.

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Impeach U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper

In 2006 Judge Florence-Marie Cooper issued an injunction that created a 12-nautical-mile zone off California’s coast in which Navy sonar is banned. This was based on the imagination of environmentalists who think that sonar might potentially deafen whales or cause them to beach themselves. In other words, it is baseless speculation. Ed Feulner writes:

Last year U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper banned sonar tests within a 12-nautical-mile zone off the west coast. Such tests, she said, could harm marine life, including whales.Yet the chief of naval operations says that area is critical to national defense. “The southern California operating area provides unique training opportunities that are vital to preparing our forces, and the planned exercises cannot be postponed without impacting national security,” Adm. Gary Roughead announced last month.

To allow the tests to proceed, President Bush granted the Navy an exemption. Obeying the judge’s orders would “undermine the Navy’s ability to conduct realistic training exercises that are necessary to ensure the combat effectiveness of carrier and expeditionary strike groups,” Bush said.

Now Judge Cooper has struck back. She’s overruled the administration and reinstated her ban.

Judge Cooper thinks that there is no such thing as a balance between powers in the U.S. Government. She thinks that a judge such as she should reign supreme over the other branches of government, able to not only rule on the law but also to create new laws. To add insult to injury, the law that she has ruled on in order to insult the President and the Navy is a law that she created herself.

Stated broadly, the roles of the three branches of government in the USA are:

  • The legislature creates new laws and provides funding for them.
  • The executive carries out the laws as well as it can.
  • The judiciary enforces the law against those who break it.

As is hinted in the comments to this story, much of the Navy’s defense against these charges is classified. Judge Cooper does not hold a security clearance so the Navy could not present its defense to her and certainly not in open court.

The “law” that Judge Cooper has enforced is an injunction that she imposed herself without basing it on the legislated or common law. It betrays the constitutional duty of the Executive Branch to defend the USA. In other words, it is not a law at all, but an overreaching of the court and an attempt to seize the legislative duty of Congress for the Judiciary.

In its overreaching it is reminiscent of a case from last year where Judge Cooper threw out a lawsuit from TorrentSpy, ruling that it destroyed evidence, all because the company did not keep and turn over a log of all data that passed through the RAM of their computers. Those who are programmers will realize what a outrageously difficult task that would be. But Cooper (thinks she) knows better, and the MPAA is happy because it did not have to answer inconvenient questions about the ethics of obtaining private emails from TorrentSpy executives. And it set a precedent.

Under this interpretation, any data stored in RAM could be subject to a subpoena, as at a basic level it is a “medium from which information can be obtained” just like a hard drive.

Back to the sonar case. It gets worse. Following Cooper’s new ruling, Magistrate Judge Elizabeth D. Laporte has ruled the US Navy must establish mid-frequency-sonar-free zones in non-US waters around the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, Australia, the Mediterranean and Hawaii. Now US environmentalists and the Environmental Protection Act dictate military doctrine halfway around the world.

Judge Cooper’s rulings are an abomination against US law and must be punished. This sort of thing is not new or surprising, and heretofore it has been tolerated, but it is long past time to take action against judges who attempt to take for themselves the powers of other branches of government. Such action invites its own reaction. Elected legislators who pass terrible laws can lose their position in elections. They are responsible to their constituents. Impeachment is the only way to get rid of unelected judges. Judge Florence-Marie Cooper must be impeached, as otherwise she will continue to steal the constitutional powers of the other branches of government.

As for Magistrate Laporte of San Francisco, who asserts that her jurisdiction encompasses the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, Australia, the Mediterranean and Hawaii in addition to the entire coast of California, she should also be impeached.

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It’s Bad in Chad

Walid Phares lays it out on the Counterterrorism Blog.

In less than 12 hours the so-called armed opposition of Chad, crossed the entire country from its Eastern frontiers with Islamist-ruled Sudan to the capital N’Djamena across from Northern Nigeria. The latest reports mention fierce battles around the Presidential Palace and back and forth inside the city. But at this stage the geo-political consequences are crucial for the next stages locally, regionally and internationally. The bottom line is that in one day, what could become the future Taliban of Chad have scored a strategic victory not only against the Government of the country (which was supposed to back up the UN plans to save Darfur in Sudan) but also against the efforts by the African Union and European Union to contain the Sudanese regime and stop the Genocide. Today’s offensive, regardless of the next developments, has already changed the geopolitics of Africa. Outmaneuvering the West and Africans, those regimes and forces standing behind the “opposition” have shown that they are restless in their campaign against human rights and self determination on the continent. But even more importantly the events of today shows how unprepared are Europeans and Americans in front of Jihadi regimes which seem weak on the surface but highly able to surprise and crumble Western efforts of containment.

Read the rest.

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A Spur to Action: The Violent Oppression of Woman in Islam

The following video is not safe for work. It is not safe to watch with children. It is not safe to watch if you are easily sickened or horrified. What it is, is a true documentary depiction of what it means for girls and women to be subjugated and oppressed by barbaric and abusive practices associated with Islamic imperialism.

Narrated by ex-Muslim Nonie Darwish, its name is The Violent Oppression of Woman in Islam.

h/t: Michelle Malkin

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34 Victims of the Stalinist Purges and More Marxist Breadcrumbs

34 bodies with bullet holes in skulls found buried near old KGB HQ
Conor Sweeney writes for the Scotsman:

BUILDING workers in Moscow have found the remains of 34 bodies and a rusty pistol buried underneath a building on a street connecting the old KGB headquarters to Red Square.

The bodies are thought to date from the 1930s, when Josef Stalin’s NKVD secret police – the KGB’s predecessors – shot scores of people in the deep, thick-walled basements of buildings near their Lubyanka HQ. This period of political purges was known as the Great Terror; hundreds of thousands were murdered or simply disappeared.

Police who examined the bodies discovered bullet holes in the skulls. “The shots were fired at close range. The wounds and the posturing suggest that the workers discovered an execution room. The bodies had been in the basement for at least 60 years,” a police source said.

Bradley Cook and Torrey Clark add in a Bloomberg report:

Josef Stalin, who ruled the Soviet Union for three decades, was responsible for the deaths of 15 million people in purges before his death in 1953, according to Memorial, the Moscow-based human rights group. The dictator was officially denounced for the crimes in 1956 by his successor, Nikita Khrushchev.

Other mass graves from the Stalin era have been turned into memorials, including the Butovo shooting range near Moscow, where more than 20,000 people were murdered between August 1937 and October 1938. In August, a giant cross was erected there after being transported from an island monastery in the Arctic that was one of the first Soviet political prisons.

More Marxist Breadcrumbs

In the real world Communism has been discredited as a system. When the USSR failed, it proved that ideological socialism coupled to the apparatus of state terror is no way to run a country, though it is an effective way to create Hell on Earth. And yet Marxist and Communist memes persist because there are still useful idiots lurking like parasites who continue to spread Marxist propaganda to people who never thought about it.

And there are those who for some reason need to educate their fellow man about the inhuman evil that is Communism and Socialism.

Rush Limbaugh, Stalinists Have Taken Over the Left

RUSH: In fact, folks, I’m going to say something that might surprise you a bit. I’m beginning to consider the possibility that the Democrats have just moved beyond ideology, in terms of what propels them. And by that I mean, I don’t think that it’s just liberalism that’s propelling them. There is something further and more disastrous and more dangerous going on, and I think they’ve become Stalinist-like. What we’re seeing here from Wesley Clark, Media Matters for America, all the Democrats on the floor of the House and Senate, denouncing me, a private citizen, this is not just liberalism. It’s Stalinist, using the power of the state to intimidate citizens. I have mentioned to you I don’t know how many times, and I’ve asked you to conduct this experiment: When you are with a group of people at a party, I don’t care where, even your friends and maybe some in the group you don’t know but most of the people you do — notice how scared everybody is to say anything for fear of making others uncomfortable, or for fear of offending somebody, or for fear of being ripped to shreds for making somebody uncomfortable, or offending them.

We are allowing ourselves to be shut up by virtue of political correctness, not willing to offend anybody and so forth, and you try this test. Continue reading

More Marxist Breadcrumbs 9/28/07

In the real world Communism has been discredited as a system. When the USSR failed, it proved that ideological socialism coupled to the apparatus of state terror is no way to run a country, though it is an effective way to create Hell on Earth. And yet Marxist and Communist memes persist because there are still useful idiots lurking like parasites who continue to spread Marxist propaganda to people who never thought about it.

And there are those who for some reason need to educate their fellow man about the inhuman evil that is Communism and Socialism.

A Trail of Marxist Breadcrumbs

Lenin, Lenin’s Tomb

One of the central Marxist sites on the web. I once summarized it as “Communist agitprop, anti-Jew, pro-Islam, this is what Evil looks like.” I still think so.

Melissa Grosse, Letters to the Editor: Communism is not the right answer

Griffiths aptly stated that, ” … we have the freedom to make mistakes, and the freedom to make other people pay for them.” I heartily disagree – we do have the freedom to make mistakes, but we do not have the freedom to make others pay for them.

This is a “privilege” granted by the socialist government programs in practice (Social Security, welfare, Medicare/Medicaid) that have been, over time, proven inherently flawed.

I would like to know if Griffiths is the only child in her family, or if maybe she would have been one of those aborted had the same restrictions that exist in China existed here.

Grosse is correct. When someone makes a mistake and then makes others pay for their mistake, that is called theft or fraud… or socialism.

The watermelons (green on the outside, red on the inside) take a turn too. Check out this string of assertions.

Jane Cutter, Capitalism creates incentives to destroy rainforests

Capitalism is the biggest threat to the environment.

The anarchy of the profit-based system leads to convoluted “solutions” like carbon offsetting to address the growing crisis of global warming. These are not solutions at all. [WP: This is true. Carbon offsets are a scam.]

Socialism is the real answer to the dire problems faced by the planet and its inhabitants. Socialism is a system based on centralized economic planning without the profit motive.

While socialist planning by itself cannot resolve the environmental crisis, it lays the basis for us to organize life to meet human needs while protecting the planet that sustains us.

Mark J. Perry, Socialism Works, But Only if You Know Their Names

After Walter Willams’ dinner speech last night, Robert Barro asked a question about whether the government had any obligation to provide any socialist-type safety-net programs for the general good.

Walter responded something like this. “Let me make this perfectly clear. I support and practice many types of socialist programs including income redistribution, welfare payments, disability support, free health care, and social saftey nets. But I only practice socialism IN MY OWN FAMILY; and socialism like this only works when you know the names of the people involved. In any situation when you personally can’t name everybody involved, then the market is superior to socialism.”

Brown Hound, How to Shatter A Castro-phile’s Arguments

Q. Didn’t the U.S. Defense Department come out with a report saying that Cuba is not a threat to the United States?

A. Yes, although the report’s drafter turned out to be Ana Belen Montes, a woman who was convicted for espionage on behalf of the Cuban regime. Although Cuba may not pose a conventional military threat to the U.S., it clearly demonstrated, with Ana Belen Montes, that it is an intelligence threat. The Cuban regime considers itself an enemy of the USG and is an instigator of anti-American activities all over the world, especially in Latin America. Its functionaries in Venezuela and Bolivia right now are helping leaders there assault those countries’ democratic institutions. Cuba is on the list of countries that support international terrorism; any intelligence it picks up from the USA, it can be expected to pass on to other rogue states or groups that are enemies of the USA.

Michael Martinez, Castro appears healthy in new video

HAVANA—Largely alert and lucid, Fidel Castro made a surprise appearance on a TV news program Friday night in a pre-recorded, hour-long interview, speaking about an essay he wrote last week condemning the U.S. for threatening the global economy.

His appearance was unusual because Castro has largely been out of the public eye since he underwent emergency intestinal surgery 14 months ago.

The government has at times shown photographs and video of Castro, but his exact illness and prognosis have been kept secret. His last state TV interview was in June.

Vanessa Veiock, Illuminating communism’s shadows

Saturated with innumerable, carefully sketched dark lines and splashes of glaring red, Peter Sís’ new book could be two different things: a children’s story about communism or an adult book with illustrations.

“I’m leaving it as a message to find its audience,” the author and illustrator said about his latest creation, The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain.

Originally created to help his children better understand his past, the autobiographical, visual narrative is shelved under children’s literature, but it prevails as an engaging adult book centered on Sís’ childhood in Cold War-era Prague.

Vheadline, Diana Raby: ‘Democracy and Revolution,’ Venezuela and 21st Century Socialism

In ‘Democracy and Revolution,’ Raby argues that Cuba, and above all Venezuela, provide inspiration for anti-globalization and anti-capitalist movements across the world. Another world is possible, but only through an effective political strategy to win power on a popular and democratic basis.

Raby argues passionately that the way forward for progressives is not to be found in the dogmatic formulae of the Old Left, nor in the spontaneous autonomism of John Holloway or Tony Negri. Instead, it is to be found in new, broad and flexible popular movements with bold and determined leadership.

Examining the relationship of key leaders to their people, including Hugo Chavez and the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, Raby shows that it is more necessary than ever to take power, peacefully where possible, but in all cases with the strength that comes from popular unity backed by force where necessary. In this way it is possible to build democratic power, which may or may not be socialist depending on one’s definition, but which represent the real anti-capitalist alternative for the twenty-first century.

Diana Raby is Senior Research Fellow at the Research Institute of Latin American Studies, University of Liverpool (UK) and also holds the rank of Professor Emeritus in the Department of History, University of Toronto, where she taught for many years.

She is the author of numerous academic publications on populism, popular movements and revolution, with reference particularly to Mexico, Cuba, Venezuela and Portugal.

Diana has also long been active in solidarity movements and progressive political causes in both Canada and the UK.

Just to underline the point, “Raby shows that it is more necessary than ever to take power, peacefully where possible, but in all cases with the strength that comes from popular unity backed by force where necessary.” She is a thug at heart, as are all communist revolutionaries.

Inigo Guevara, Socialism: alive and well in the new Venezuela

Venezuela has drawn attention because of the rhetoric from President Hugo Chavez, who appears keen to turn Venezuela, the region’s oldest democracy, into a militarised state.

Venezuela’s armed forces were, for most of the second part of the 20th century, a good example of a professional, modern and competent fighting force, at least by Latin American standards. The National Armed Forces comprise four traditional elements: an army, navy, air force and national guard. They have been traditionally non-political, but recent changes within the armed forces – and a deeper relationship with the Cuban military – have prompted a rethink about their roles and missions. While some institutional change has been under way since 1999, the past few months have seen an acceleration of this process, from symbolism and rhetoric that equates the regime’s importance to the survival of the modern state to organic, administrative and constitutional changes.

In March, the Venezuelan Army began the promotion of what it calls “the new military thought” among its ranks, redefining the armed forces’ active role in the consolidation of 21st century socialism in Venezuela. This was re-affirmed during May, with the official elevation of a new motto: ‘Country, Socialism or Death!’. Each soldier must pronounce these words before referring to a superior. Accordingly, the non-political nature of the armed forces has been challenged as the motto suggests that the armed forces should support whoever is in power and, in this case, socialism is the government’s policy.

Our next contributor is a student trying to get advice. The sad thing about the page is how much bad advice he gets from his fellow students before someone points out that Capitalism is an economic system and Socialism is a political system, but forgets to mention that they work together in China, which is just a lovely place to live if you aren’t Falun Gong.

Matherly, Socialism vs Capitalism- where to begin?

I am going to be involved in an informal debate in the Real World, not at BABB concerning the merits of Socialism and Capitalism. Now, I know the basics from my Micro- and MacroEconomic courses in college but I want to do some research that really looks into the two systems and criticises them both positivly and negativly (I want to avoid Straw Men versions)

My question: do any of you have any sources you would recommend? I am quite happy to go to the library so the recommended sources do not have to be on the Internet.

DeanVX, Communism: Worse Than Nazism

Isn’t it interesting that when we see something going on in the world that we don’t like, we compare it to Nazism? People on the far left & far right have done it. Liberals call anyone with even one conservative viewpoint a “Nazi.” Staunch conservatives who oppose abortion have compared it to the Nazis rounding up Jews & sending them to concentration camps. People somehow feel morally superior if they can get away with calling someone they don’t like a Nazi. If you’re one of these people, then I’m going to have to burst your bubble. While the Nazis were bad, they weren’t the ultimate form of evil in the 20th – and even the 21st – century. The ultimate evildoers were communists. Consider:

During Joseph Stalin’s reign, it is estimated that 20 million Russians were rounded up and murdered. Soviet gulags were not completely unlike Nazi concentration camps. The concentration camps existed for about 12 years. Gulags were around for much, much longer. Stalin tends to get a free pass, probably because the Soviets were our allies during World War II.

Opium addiction had been a major problem in China for about two centuries when the communists seized power there in the late 1940s. The communists wiped it out overnight. How did they do it? The communists rounded up all the opium addicts – sometimes entire families – and executed them. Quite an effective drug treatment program, huh? The true number of those who were murdered is unknown, but it has been estimated that between one-quarter & one-third of China’s population was addicted to opium when the communists took over the country.

He sums up the history lecture (drawing on the Black Book of Communism and other sources based on the Soviet Archives) comparing Communism with the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, ending with a sensible suggestion:

So remember, when you see something evil going on in the world, the first words out of your mouth shouldn’t be, “That’s just like what the Nazis would do.” The first words should be, “That’s just like what the Communists did.”

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