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realclearworld

Bill de Blasio, Next Mayor of New York, Connoisseur of Shinola

The next mayor of New York City

The next mayor of New York City, circa 1972

"Can't tell ordure from Shinola." It's one of those American expressions that have sadly fallen into disuse.  In the old days, it  was a way of speaking about an ignoramus.  Blame the disappearance of  this expression on the demise of that brand of shoe polish.  Blame it on a lack of discernment in American culture.

Ordure, you ask?  Well, you know.... that impolite and very Anglo-Saxon word for excrement, derived from the German "Scheiss."

New York City's Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio is up to his eyeballs in Scheiss, but he -- and the majority of New Yorkers -- think that it's Shinola.

Given the fact Bill de Blasio is leading his opponent in the polls by an insurmountable lead, it seems that New York City is about to elect a mayor who loved the communist Sandinistas of Nicaragua and honeymooned in Castrogonia in 1994.

Of course, no one in NYC, save for a handful of Cuban or Nicaraguan exiles, or some Republican inmates at Belllevue Hospital's  psychiatric ward are likely to hold this against him.

Chances are that he trills his "r's"  when he speaks of Nicarrrrragua, as politically-correct people do, but not when he pronounces any other Spanish word.   People of his ilk are highly selective in their appropriation of all things Latin.  Back in the 1980's, they all trilled their "r's" when speaking of Nicarrrrrragua, but not when speaking of Honduras, Peru, Uruguay, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Ecuador, Paraguay, or Argentina.  Chances are that these armchair Sandinistas still do so.  Chances are they still say "Sannow Domeeeeengow" when speaking about the capital of the Dominican Republic.

De Blasio defends his 1994 honeymoon in Cuba by saying that the Castro regime is really o.k. because it has accomplished great things in health care and education.  Yeah: "Viva la RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRevolucion!"

New Yorkers, beware.

Before you cast your vote, go HERE for a brief seminar in the art of discernment.

shinola

Meanwhile, Mary O'Grady tells it like it is, as always, in The Wall Street Journal :

Nicaragua's Marxist regime was an inspiration to New York's leading mayoral candidate.
By MARY ANASTASIA O'GRADY

The recent revelation that New York City mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio supported Nicaragua's Sandinista military government in the 1980s is a reminder of the high cost Latin America pays for being the playground of the American left. It should also further enlighten New Yorkers as to the politics of the man who is the front runner in the race.

The ideas of the hard left don't sell very well in the U.S., so collectivists take them south of the Rio Grande where they believe the ground is more fertile. Their arrogant paternalism ignores the rights of the people they pretend to redeem.

Bill de Blasio, New York City's public advocate and frontrunner among Democratic candidates for mayor, greets voters on the Upper West side along with his wife Chirlane McCray in this September 10, 2013 file photo.

By 1988, when Mr. de Blasio went to Nicaragua to do social work in support of the Marxist revolutionary cause, the Sandinistas had been running the country for almost a decade. Their brutality was well-documented. Mr. de Blasio, who also did fundraising for supporters of the military government, either didn't know about Sandinista repression or he didn't care.

It's hard to believe it was the former. My requests for comment from his campaign went unanswered. In an interview with a New York radio station last month, however, some hints emerged when he was asked about his decision to honeymoon in Cuba in 1994. Mr. de Blasio said that he doesn't excuse the "undemocratic" regime, but he also argued that it has accomplished "some good things" like "in health care."

Let's pretend that's not generations-old Castro propaganda—even though every independent report from the island describes a health-care system that has completely collapsed and cannot even provide basics like bandages and aspirin. The larger problem is that Mr. de Blasio's remarks suggest that there is a trade-off between freedom and doctor visits. Should jailing and torturing dissidents, stealing property and terrorizing generations of Cubans be considered less horrific because they have annual physicals? Apparently.

Nicaraguan strongman Anastasio Somoza was toppled in 1979. Many had fought to rid their country of his one-man rule, and a broad-based ruling directorate was set up after Somoza was banished. It was supposed to organize elections. Daniel Ortega, a leader of the Sandinista National Liberation Front that overthrew Somoza, had other ideas. He wanted to remake Castro's Cuba in Central America.

Mr. Ortega's first step was to cleanse the Sandinista directorate of moderate elements, using fear and intimidation. In 1980, his security thugs assassinated Jorge Salazar, a popular and charismatic Nicaraguan businessman who had opposed Somoza's dictatorship but also opposed the effort to install a Marxist-Leninist military government. It worked. Members of the directorate, who had naively believed that they were part of a new democratic Nicaragua, were terrified. They resigned and the ruling junta became totally Castroite.

The crackdown that followed was ruthless. Cuban enforcers were brought in to help. Houses, farms, ranches and businesses were confiscated, and the independent media were muzzled. Central planning meant price controls for everyone. Even rural women carrying produce to market were arrested as speculators.

Highland peasants who had fought to remove Somoza rebelled. They didn't want to be ruled by a left-wing dictator any more than by the right-wing variety. They organized themselves into "Contras." The Miskito Indians also fought back. In retribution the army burned their villages and carried out executions. Thousands fled to Honduras to live in refugee camps.

In the Sandinista nation some pigs were more equal than others. Property seized by the state somehow never made it into the hands of the poor, but comandantes got rich. When a decade of economic decline forced an internationally monitored election in 1990, opposition candidate Violeta Chamorro won the presidency. But the heavily armed comandantes refused to return their loot to its rightful owners. Critics dubbed it "la piñata." Mr. Ortega has since returned to power.

It is possible that Mr. de Blasio wasn't well-informed when he got mixed up with the Sandinistas. After all, he had only completed graduate studies of the region at an American university (Columbia), an experience that has produced more than its share of self-righteous gringos eager to reverse injustices in faraway places. It is harder to believe that he didn't know that they were Soviet- backed, which might have offered a clue to where things were going.

The more likely explanation for why Mr. de Blasio supported the Sandinista military government is that he believed the brutality could be explained away with good outcomes. Indeed, Mr. de Blasio still romanticizes his gun-toting chums, as the New York Times reported on Sept. 23, after reviewing a series of interviews with the mayoral candidate. "To this day," the Times reported, "he speaks admiringly of the Sandinistas' campaign, noting advances in literacy and health care."

That Mr. de Blasio's comrades turned out to be greedy totalitarians who stole the spoils of the war for themselves doesn't seem to matter.

8 comments to Bill de Blasio, Next Mayor of New York, Connoisseur of Shinola

  • raddoc

    And at institutions like Stanford the leftist professors held garage sales for the Sandinistas. You just can't make this crap up.

  • asombra

    I don't get angry with people like de Blasio anymore. I get angry with whoever enables them. People who vote for him are no better than he is, and they fully deserve him. The problem is that New Yorkers who don't vote for him will have to suffer the consequences of having him in office, and no matter how bad those consequences, those who put him in office will not have to answer for it.

  • asombra

    "To this day, he speaks admiringly of the Sandinistas' campaign, noting advances in literacy and health care." But of course. He's gotta say something, and that will do well enough, certainly with the usual suspects. Exactly the same ploy used with Cuba. Disgusting.

  • asombra

    And I expect that, circa 1972, he thought he was cool as shit, instead of looking like a dork way too pleased with himself. Sheesh.

  • asombra

    Btw, de Blasio is his maternal surname. His real name is or was Warren Wilhelm, and his father was of German extraction.

  • Honey

    asombra, ditto your second comment here. When will they learn? What will it take?

  • Rayarena

    De Blasio is going to win. He is so far ahead of the republican Lhota that there is no way that he Lhota can catch up. It's something like 70% to 30%, but hey, NYC is a lost cause. Believe me. I live here and I know how far to the left most New Yorkers are.

  • asombra

    Learn? It's not about learning, but about pushing an agenda. Besides, there's the little matter of smug, self-righteous presumptuousness, which tends to get in the way. These are people who, for instance, think they know what's best for Cuba better than Cubans themselves (or they certainly act that way). It's really an absurd, ludicrous situation, but it's very PC and gets plenty of "validation" from all the "right" quarters. Hence, people like de Blasio feel totally comfortable and safe spouting specious claptrap, when in fact they either don't know what they're talking about or, more likely, they know they're peddling BS but it's approved, protected BS. It's like Jesse Jackson and others of his ilk, who know they'll be cut plenty of slack and "humored" ad nauseam, and of course they exploit that. It's not so much their fault as that of the system which condones, accepts and effectively promotes disingenuousness, because these people aren't bullshitters for the hell of it--they're doing it to get what and where they want.