Dissident Martha Beatriz Roque sent this photo today, along with her report of the week’s latest atrocities. The caption reads: “This policeman from Velazco, Holguin, tried to tie a rope around dissident Mariblanca Avila Exposito and to throw her in a ditch. His name is Yunalky Rodriguez Reyes.
Just passing it on …..
From the geniuses at People’s Cube, a follow-up to Humberto’s latest post. For the whole beautiful thing, go here.
Mitt Romney is rumored to disobey the mainstream media’s Hispanic Skin Color Advisory System while vetting vice-presidential candidates. According to experts, the likely Republican VP candidate, Marco Rubio, who is of Cuban descent, is too light-skinned to be considered fully Hispanic, falling under a subprime minority group classification as White Hispanic, or WHISP.
In response to Jorge’s post on the Church’s complicity with tyrants:
Yes, no doubt about it: Cardinal Ortega and Archbishop Wenski are not the first prelates ever to cooperate with tyrants, either knowingly or innocently, or with a wide spectrum of intentions. After all, the Catholic Church has been around for nearly two thousand years, and in all of this time its leaders have taken all sorts of different positions on the relationship between church and state. It doesn’t take much research to find whichever kind of behavior or attitude one is searching for: from virtuous to nefarious. If you look for any specific sort of behavior, you can easily find it.
The most important thing to keep in mind when dealing with this issue is that the Catholic Church is not a single entity that acts or speaks uniformly concerning the pressing needs of the moment. Like any human institution, it is composed of individuals, and while some courageously resist evil, others wash their hands, and others willingly cooperate with evil. Eventually, the good, the bad, and the ugly get sorted out by history, and by the Church itself, which tends to crown as saints and martyrs those who oppose evil and pay for their resistance with their lives, such as St. Thomas à Beckett, St. Thomas More, St. Maximilian Kolbe. When dealing with the Church, one must always distinguish between the acts of its members – including its leaders – and the ideals of the institution. This is why collaborators such as Cardinal Ortega are so despicable: they actually betray the highest principles of the Church while appealing to the very principles they deny, just like the aliens in the film “Mars Attacks” who slaughter earthlings while saying “we come in peace.” He may be the head of the Church in Cuba, but he certainly does not represent its core beliefs through his behavior.
The current state of relations between the Catholic Church and Castolandia is not any different from the rest of Catholic history: within the Church you can find the good, the bad, and the ugly.
The photo of prelates giving the Nazi salute is not surprising. The Church in Nazi-occupied Europe had its rotten apples, and also its saints. It was also up against a monstrous empire that never shrank back from killing innocent people, simply to instill terror and obedience. A case in point: when the Dutch bishops complained about the fate of the Dutch Jews, the Nazis killed hundreds of innocent Catholics, chosen at random, and gave the bishops a clear message: complain again, and we will kill more of your flock. Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place: it doesn’t get any worse than that.
Individuals, such as Father Maximilian Kolbe, represented the Church through their courage. Saint Maximilian hid over 2,000 Jews in his friary, was sent to Auschwitz, and died there. You can read more about him here, and here. And you can read his own words concerning the absolute imbecility of socialism here. You can’t ask for a sharper contrast with Cardinal Ortega or Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone. I wrote an encyclopedia article a few years ago on the Catholic Church in the twentieth century. Here is an excerpt that focuses on the three popes who dealt with the First and Second World Wars. It explains some of these complexities in greater detail.
Leave it to a Cuban to do something like this. And leave it to the U.S. news media to deal with it as if Cuba were a normal country, where things like this happen all the time and grown men can have hobbies or tinker with their obsessions. From the looks of his house, it seems that Mister Bicicleta Gigante has access to paint and plaster. From the looks of his workshop, and the bicycle itself, he obviously has access to materials that most Cubans can’t ever dream of handling. So, what is going on here? Is this a state-sponsored gimmick to make Cuba look normal? Or is he simply trying to build a bicycle tall enough to reach the seafloor across the Florida Straits, so he can pedal his way out of hell?
Cuban cyclist pedals for a record with world’s tallest bike
Former welder Felix Guirola, 48, has built an 18-foot-high bike and has asked Guinness World Records to recognize his feat.
Did the recent controversy over a monument to Che in the former colonial outpost of Galway cause Olympic organizers in London to ban Che Guevara T-shirts? Or is this conclusive proof of the hidden clout of the Miami Mafia? Either way, Che, the ultimate loser, loses again. The British complain: “it’s downright ghastly.” And, for once, justice reigns.
The Big Brother Olympics: Bottled water, long-lens cameras and Che Guevara T-shirts all banned from stadiums in new crackdown
By ALEX WARD
Oppressive rules that ban Olympic ticketholders from bringing a range of items from long-lens cameras to Che Guevara t-shirts and ‘excessive food’ to venues have been revealed by organisers.
The list of restricted items has caused surprise and angst among spectators who are only able to bring a small handful of items with them to the Games.
There will be no frisbees, bottled water or long-lens cameras as organisers crackdown on spectators’ possessions.
Security will be tight with airport-style restrictions on liquids greater than 100ml and no more than one soft-sided bag is allowed and must fit under the spectator’s seat.
The Beijing Olympics organising committee drew much criticism for its restricted list which covered everything from a ban on sleeping outdoors, the need for government permission to stage a protest and barring prostitutes and those with ‘mental diseases’ or contagious conditions.
Four years on and the London list is showing some similarities with tents, placards and other items that ‘could be used to demonstrate within the venue or sabotage property’ off-limits.
Organisers will be looking out for ‘any objects or clothing bearing political statements or overt commercial identification intended for “ambush marketing”’ to avoid scenarios like the 2010 football World Cup when Bavaria Beer filled a section of seats with a bevy of Dutch girls wearing orange.
They’ll be no picnics or eating too much food brought from home with ‘excessive amounts of food’ and alcohol on the no-go list. Organisers figure that the more than 14 million meals to be served across 40 locations during the Games will suffice.
Spectators won’t be able to shelter from London’s unpredictable weather with no ‘large golf-style umbrellas’ or ‘oversized hats’. They’ll be no chance to make a racquet or cheer too loudly with ‘noisemakers such as hunting horns, air horns, klaxons, drums, vuvuzelas and whistles’ off limits. Ticketholders went to Twitter to express their surprise at the long list of restrictions. One said: ‘Coming to the 2012Olympics? No frisbees or picnic hampers. It’s gonna rain and Heathrow sucks.’ Another called it ‘the Dystopian Games’.
It begins without fanfare: kiss the embargo goodbye, for good. The first of many weekly shipments of merchandise to Cuba set sail from the port of Miami yesterday and arrived in Havana this morning.
And, of course, the authorities assure us that none of this “humanitarian” merchandise will ever, ever be resold. Yes, and no one at all is going to profit from this either.
The first direct maritime shipment of merchandise between Miami and Havana in more than five decades is being made on Wednesday, with the cargo ship Ana Cecilia due to set sail for Cuba loaded with humanitarian aid items.
“This is about the first direct shipment that’s going to go there in 50 years,” a spokesman for International Port Corp., the company in charge of the shipment, told Efe.
According to shipment organizers, this is the first time in the 50 years that the U.S. embargo has been in effect against Cuba that a U.S.-flagged ship has departed for the island loaded with merchandise, but they hastened to add that the humanitarian items are not going to be resold in Cuba.
Up to now, only agricultural products bought by the Cuban government have been shipped by sea to Havana from the United States.
The vessel was scheduled to set sail at noon from the cargo terminal on the Miami River for the port of Havana, some 370 kilometers (229 miles) away.
IPC, which is based in Miami, has obtained the appropriate licenses required for such a shipment from the U.S. Commerce Department and the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control.
The start of this service is a sign of a certain flexibility in relations between Cuba and the United States after, in recent years, restrictions on remittances and travel to the island have been eased by Washington.
According to IPC, the Ana Cecilia is scheduled to arrive in Havana on Thursday at 7 a.m. and thereafter to make a weekly Miami-Havana run. EFE
More uplifting images from the island formerly known as Cuba. Photos taken by a friend.
Exhibit A: So many wondrous sights contained in a single image: 1. T-shirts from people-to-people exchanges that improve Cuban culture and promote wholesome democratic values. 2. Concrete proof of top-notch merchandise, cutting-edge graphics, and religious freedom in the shop window. 3. Such a touching display of pure love as the young man with the “69” shirt catches sight of a young female compatriot and potential jinetera.
Exhibit B. Que Maravilloso! This must be the absolute zenith of Western Civilization. An iconic summation of worthy goals for other nations around the world, and an inspiration for community organizers and liberation theologians who struggle against the evils of capitalism.
Exhibit C. Proud Citizens of the Ideal Republic led by Philosopher-Kings: fully focused on higher thoughts, burning with industrious zeal, and very, very intensely proud of their high quality brooms.
Yes, we’re doing great. This is what Havana looks like after 53 years of Castroism. Photos taken by a friend, very recently.
To those who never knew the Cuba that existed prior to 1959, these photos won’t be shocking, since it will be easy for them to assume that Havana always looked like a city of beggars, prostitutes, and down-and-out zombies. For those of us who knew the island before it was possessed by demons, these two photos are not only heartbreaking. They are like those Aztec and Maya altars on which chests were ripped open with obsidian knives and beating hearts were plucked out. Yeah. Mil gracias, Fidel. Mil gracias Raul. Mil gracias, all of you who have helped them turn Cuba into the Cloaca Maxima of the world. Especially you tourists who go there to have a good time and to feel superior to those who offer to sell their bodies and souls to you.
From the BBC, concerning the country with the “best” free healthcare in the Western hemisphere, and the “best” of everything. Come on down, tourists! Cuba is a vacationer’s paradise. (But make sure you can travel backwards in time to 1491 before you set foot on the island).
The BBC has learned that a patient has been diagnosed with cholera in the Cuban capital, Havana, days after three people died in a rare outbreak in the south-eastern town of Manzanillo.More than 50 people were infected and about 1,000 have received medical attention.The authorities say the outbreak is under control but four hospitals are prepared to isolate patients.They say people became ill after drinking water from contaminated wells.But it is not clear what the source of the cholera is.
Most of the cases were in Cuba’s south-eastern Granma province, more than 750km (470 miles) from Havana.Hundreds of medical professionals from that area, including nurses, have worked and continue to work with patients in Haiti, where tens of thousands of people were infected after a devastating earthquake in 2010.But the BBC’s Sarah Rainsford says that for over a week doctors in Havana have been doing the rounds of their patients, checking for symptoms of cholera.The infirm, elderly and pregnant have been prioritised.Now tests on a 60-year-old woman, admitted to hospital on Wednesday, have confirmed that she has the disease.As she was diagnosed early, doctors say she is in a stable condition.Health officials said they had “all the necessary resources to provide adequate attention to patients.”They said they had taken a series of measures, including taking samples of water and adding chlorine to purify it, to combat the outbreak.Cholera is a bacterial infection that can cause severe diarrhoea and dehydration.The Health Ministry said the last reported cholera outbreak on the island was soon after the 1959 Revolution.
As Mel Brooks said: “Its good to be the king” (see him in action here)
And as Tom Petty put it: (watch video here)
It’s good to be king, if just for a while
To be there in velvet, yeah to give ’em a smile
It’s good to get high, and never come down
It’s good to be king of your own little town.
And as Shakespeare nailed it:
For God’s sake, let us sit upon the ground / And tell sad stories of the death of kings../for within the hollow crown/ That rounds the mortal temples of a king /Keeps Death his court, and there the antic sits,/ Scoffing his state and grinning at his pomp. (Richard II, act 3, scene 2)
German Court declares circumcision a crime
A district judge in Cologne, Germany, recently ruled that ritual circumcision is a crime, violating “the fundamental right of the child to bodily integrity,” which outweighs other parental and religious rights. “This change runs counter to the interests of the child,” the court concluded, “who can decide his religious affiliation himself later in life.”
Jews and Muslims have traditionally viewed male circumcision in a different light — not as an expression of individual choice but as a form of initiation into a community. German religious figures from all the Abrahamic faiths criticized the Cologne ruling, with particular outrage expressed by Jewish leaders. -Dieter Graumann, head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, called it “outrageous and insensitive” and warned that a general application of the decision would “coldbloodedly force Judaism into illegality.”
Though the ban directly applies in only one region of Germany, secular supporters count it a triumph and a precedent. One academic, Holm Putzke, celebrated the rejection of “religiously motivated violence against children.” “The court has,” he said, “unlike many politicians, not been deterred by the fear of being criticized as anti-Semitic or antireligious.”
Normally such deterrence would be viewed as a healthy thing, particularly in a country that relatively recently — within living memory — sought to be judenrein, “clean of Jews.” But the fearlessness of modern secularism is a thing to behold. Before World War II, about 600,000 Jews were living in Germany. Today there are a little more than 100,000. This remnant is now informed that its 4,000-year-old ritual of identity — perhaps the oldest Jewish tradition — is a violation of enlightened notions of individual rights.
Continue reading here. There is much more. It’s a gem.
Yeah. Happy 4th of July.
It’s one of the most famous lines in movie history (#36 on the American Film Institute list): a Mexican bandit tries to fool Humphrey Bogart into thinking he and his cronies are Federales. Bogart asks to see their badges. The bandido (Alfonso Bedoya) replies in heavily accented Lateeeenoh: “Badges? We ain’t got no badges. We don’t need no badges! I don’t have to show you any stinkin’ badges!” (The Treasure of Sierra Madre, 1948). Watch the clip here, and laugh your head off for the rest of the day.
Well, while reading a news story about NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg, the image of Alfonso Bedoya leapt into my mind, along with his line. Thank you Dr. Freud: I know where it came from. Anyway, it seems clear to me that some of our elected leaders who espouse liberal and progressive sociobabble and politibabble have a lot in common with Bedoya’s character, Gold Hat. They claim to be logical, but when pressed on their loopy thinking legislating, and judging, they get the same look on their faces as Gold Hat.
No need to list the obvious: hope and Change; People-to-people diplomacy; Obama care is a tax and not a tax simultaneously; having to pass massive bills without reading them and saying that they have to pass in order to find out what the contents are; and so on….
Sometimes it boils down to pure hypocrisy, or one of the oldest of American traditions: scamming, flim-flamming, being con- men and women, snake oil salesmen, spiritual descendants of John Romulus Brinkley, the Great Rejuvenator, who managed to convince thousands of men across America that he had access to the Fountain of Youth and could sell you its elixir in a bottle. Disciples of P.T. “there’s- a- sucker- born- every- minute” Barnum. And also disciples of holier-than-thou-fire-and-brimstone preachers who have the sole answer to the world’s problems and warn you that if you don’t follow their advice there will be hell to pay. Herman Melville knew this type back in the 19th century. His last novel, The Confidence-Man sought highlighted the role played by such swindlers in American life.
And here is the key to their success: feigned sincerity. They babble away, constantly repeating the same phrases because they want to disengage the thinking process and to give the illusion of utter sincerity. Entire college courses are dedicated to this subject. My lovely wife took one, years ago. Good writers have zeroed in on this for quite some time. The news media have not.
So, anyway, here is the news piece that summoned the ghost of Gold Hat: Mayor Michael “Nanny State” Bloomberg, censor of eating and drinking habits, enemy of the Big Gulp, presided over the hot-dog eating contest at Coney Island, where the record to be broken stands at 68 @#$#@! hot dogs in 10 minutes. Ñoooooooooooo!
Read all about it here. Enjoy your hot dogs today. And God bless America, where we can tell the @#@!%*! scammers to go to hell.
Desperate housewife and key representative of the Lateenoh “race” reveals that she is a deep thinker, indeed.
But no one in the news media seems to care whether she was allowed to handle cutlery at Obama fundraising dinners.
Eva Longoria, a national co-chair of President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign, can’t imagine why a woman would pull the lever for a Republican.
I received an email today that reduced me to tears. It struck like a bolt of lightning on a clear sunny day — just like one I saw yesterday — and I am at a loss for words. I can’t fully explain the impact. Maybe because it is an email rather than a news story, and it made me realize that what is described in it happens all too frequently, but that it has been going on for over half a century, day after desperate day, and that there is no end in sight to this, and that there is no justice, and no reply from Heaven for the suffering of those who live through this hell. And the worst part of it is that for those who find themselves in this situation, dying of dehydration, drowning, or being eaten by sharks, may be a better option than being plucked from the sea and being sent right back to the other hell they tried to flee from.
Then, it also occurred to me that some of those who do make it across the sea in rafts turn right around as soon as they can, loaded with cash and merchandise for those who stayed behind. Any way you look at it, it is all too absurd, and immensely sad.
Here is the email, in Spanish and English. The writer was enjoying himself/herself on a Caribbean cruise. I have no idea who wrote it, and where, exactly, the writer came upon this tragic scene. But there is no doubt in my mind that it is legitimate. And, even if it is not, it sums up many other such cases, some of which are reported by the news media. This one probably won’t make it into a single news report anywhere.
But someone has posted an account of a similar event, that includes a video. It seems that it might describe this very same raft. Go here for that posting and video, which also includes commentary.
“AYER CUANDO ESTABAMOS PASANDO CERCA DE CUBA, OCURRIO UN PROBLEMA ,LA EMBARCACION SE DETUVO TOTALMENTE,Y LO QUE OCURRIO FUE QUE UNA BALSA LLENA DE INDOCUMENTADOS SE ACERCARON PARA TRATAR DE SUBIR AL BARCO,RAPIDO SALIO UN PEQUEñO BOTE DEL BARCO LE LLEVO COMIDA Y AGUA Y LOS LLEVARON A MAR AFUERA, RAPIDO LLAMARON AL COAST GUARD PARA QUE LO LLEVARAN DE NUEVO A CUBA,,,ESTO ME CONMOVIO,PUES IBAN NIñOS Y A LO LEJOS SE VEIA UN HUMO NEGRO QUE SALIA DE LA BALSA,ESTUVIMOS MEDIA HORA PARADO EN EL OCEANO ESTO ATRASO LA LLEGADA,,QUE PENA ESTO OCURRE A DIARIO Y MUEREN EN ALTAMAR POR FALTA DE COMIDA Y AGUA,ESTO ME HIZO LLORAR UNA EXPERIENCIA QUE NUNCA OLVIDARE.”
Yesterday, when we were passing near the coast of Cuba, there was a problem, and the ship came to a dead stop. What happened is that a raft full of undocumented people came near us so they could try to climb aboard. A small boat was launched quickly to bring them food and water, and they led them farther out to sea. Immediately, they called the Coast Guard so they could be returned to Cuba… This moved me, for there were children aboard, and from afar we could see black smoke rising from the raft. We spent a half hour without moving in the ocean and this put us behind schedule.. What a shame that this happens every day and these people die on the high seas for lack of food and water. This made me weep. It was an experience I will never forget.