If you like heavy metal and if you are an anti-Castro freedom loving individual, then you should tune in tonight to Cubanarama and Marta’s online “live” interview with Nicholas Brennan. The interview will deal with the documentary, “Hard Rock Havana” and a popular/famous heavy metal band named Zeus. They’ve been rocking the island of Cuba for 20 years already and with their message of liberty to all Cuban citizens but the rest of the world has been excluded. Nicholas Brennan’s project is raising money on kickstarter, more on the documentary:
THE JOURNEY SO FAR
As the director of Hard Rock Havana, I have spent the past four years traveling back and forth between New York and Havana documenting the story of Zeus, Cuba’s legendary heavy metal band and their lives inside the communist country’s “official” rock scene. I was drawn to their story because, as an American filmmaker raised on rock and roll, it was a way of looking at Cuba from a shared experience—seeing life inside this changing society through the struggles of its rock stars and their dedicated fans. What emerges in this feature-length documentary is an intimate portrait of a community of musicians following their dreams with a passion and resilience that can inspire us all.
The story starts when lead singer Diony Arce began playing rock music in the 1980s. Back then, rock and roll was seen as an evil capitalist influence……..Learn More
Here’s the intro to this Cubanarama interview:
HAVANA, Cuba—On the margins of this isolated country better known for cigars and Castro, a vibrant heavy metal scene flourishes. The most iconic stars are the members of Zeus, the country’s oldest heavy metal band. They’ve performed in Havana since the 1980s, when this American-influenced music was officially banned by the Castro government.
The long-haired rockers (called “freakies”) were thrown in jail and concerts were broken up by state police. Thirty years later, rock music is tolerated, but barely. A government bureaucracy called the Agency of Rock controls Cuba’s heavy metal scene. Every concert and every record must be cleared with the Agency’s director of Rock. It’s a sign of the changing situation in Cuba, but it’s also an absurd position for the country’s heavy metal musicians.
To play their music, Zeus and their diehard fans must fight to be true to themselves within the confines set by the Cuban government. “People always listen to the hardest music because it is a way of reaffirming their passion and liberty against everything that is imposed on them,” says Ivan Vera, the guitarist for Zeus. “That, I believe, is the reason for heavy metal.” American filmmaker, Nicholas Brennan, has spent the past four years capturing Zeus’s story and the broader history of heavy metal in Cuba…..Read and Listen/Call-In to the Interview
Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog puts into brilliant context exactly why government cannot do or build the things a culture with real individual incentive can build, no matter how much money the government continually throws at it…
The ObamaCare website is the natural spawn of that technocracy who love the idea of using modernity to make things faster and easier, but have no idea what anything costs or how it works.
It’s hard to have a functioning technocracy without engineers. A technocracy made in Silicon Valley with its complete disregard for anything outside its own ego zone would be bad enough. But this is a Bloombergian technocracy of billionaires and activists, of people who think that “progress” makes things work, rather than things working leading to progress.
Healthcare.gov showed us that behind all the smoother and shinier designs was the same old clunky government where everything gets done because the right companies hire the right lobbyists and everything costs ten times what it should.
If the government can’t build a health care website, how is it going to actually run health care for an entire country is the obvious question that so many are asking. And the obvious answer is that it will run it the way it ran the website. It will throw wads of money and people at the problem and then look for programs it doesn’t like to squeeze for extra cash.
The Navy had to be cut to the bone and the Benghazi mission had to make do without security so that a Canadian company which began employing a classmate of Michelle Obama’s could score over half a billion to build a broken website. Obama mocked Mitt Romney’s criticism of his Navy cuts by telling him that we don’t fight with bayonets and horses anymore. Bayonets and horses are outdated. In our glorious modernity, we spend fortunes to build websites that don’t work instead.
Modernity has to be built. It has to be constructed brick by bit by rivet by cable by people who know what they are doing. Modernity without competence is as worthless as the ObamaCare website which looked pretty enough to give the illusion of technocratic modernity, but didn’t actually work.
Competence is the real modernity and it has very little to do with the empty trappings of design that surround it. In some ways the America of a few generations ago was a far more modern place because it was a more competent place. For all our nice toys, we look like primitive savages compared to men who could build skyscrapers and fleets within a year… and build them well.
Those aren’t things we can do anymore. Not because the knowledge and skills don’t exist, but because the culture no longer allows it. We can’t do them for the same reason that Third World countries can’t do what we do. It’s not that the knowledge is inaccessible, but that the culture gets in the way.
It’s our very hollow modernity that gets in the way of our truly being modern. We can no longer build big things because the ability to implement vision on a large scale no longer exists. We can still do impressive things as individuals, but that’s also true of Kenya or Thailand. And in China, they can carry out grandiose projects, but those projects have no vision or competence.
For a long time, I believed fidel castro and his revolution had robbed me. Taken Cuba away from me. And it’s true that there are certain things that were usurped from me; my childhood on that island shaped like a crocodile, the security of living where generations before me had lived, knowing the place where my mother was born, where my father was born, where they lived, my grandparent’s home. I’ve yet to walk the streets where my parents courted or lay flowers on the grave of my aunt Amanda, whose eyes have adorned the header of this blog from day one.
Yet despite all of these, fidel castro and his revolution could not take Cuba away from me. And nothing solidifies that fact better than this island on the net without a bearded dictator and our tenure here on the world wide web.
Ten years ago today I published the very first post on Babalu Blog. Little did I know that it would be the first of tens of thousands and that it would lead to a myriad of things, especially, and what I’m proudest of, the creation of this very special family. I am humbled by the love and support throughout the years from all of you.
There are so many of you to thank for making this auspicious day a reality that I could fill pages and reach the limits of our bandwidth. So please consider this post a tear-filled abrazo to each and every one of you. Thank you for sharing your love of Cuba with me and for fanning that flame of Cuba within me.
I do not know what the next ten years have in store for this blog, but I do know this: as long as Cuba remains enslaved and under the jackboot of tyranny, Babalu Blog will still be here.
fidel and raul castro will soon meet their maker and start on their journey to hell, and we’ll be here to give you the play by play.
“Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.”
“…most men and women will grow up to love their servitude and will never dream of revolution.”
“We are not our own any more than what we possess is our own. We did not make ourselves, we cannot be supreme over ourselves. We are not our own masters.” ~ Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
Shortly after Barack Obama stepped into the Oval Office to put his shoe-scuffs on the top of the antique desk Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged”, a novel first published in 1957, began flying off the bookstore shelves. For years under Obama’s first term in the White House, to this day, the ominous story of “Who is John Galt” found renewed sales energy as the real federal government anti-corporation, anti-business, anti-incentive, anti-wealth, and lust for complete power and control, dark clouds formed over our nation with many new restrictions, regulations, taxes, mandates (even over a company’s name), etc. piled on our capitalist society and has sustained or added to our unemployment rate. Businesses have felt such a direct strain, and anticipate even more crushing pressure as ObamaCare looms heavy, they have either closed, laid-off employees, or cut employee hours back to under the “part-time” status.
In a recent conversation with my mother, she indicated how greatly she admired Henrique Capriles from Venezuela. When I asked her to justify her feelings for Capriles, I was expecting an answer that pointed in the direction of Capriles’ embrace of democratic principles. Nothing could be further from the truth! She recounted how impressed she was with Capriles’ religious principles, especially his great devotion to the Virgin Mary.
I left Cuba when I was 11 years, and have grown up in the Washington, DC area up to the present. I currently work in civil rights in a federal agency. Throughout my career, I’ve encountered many individuals who think that the ultimate solution to their challenges is by the invocation to a supreme being. I’m not one to discount the importance of one’s faith, but there are certain things that individuals have to solve by themselves. In these instances, religious prayers become an excuse for one’s failure to rise to the occasion and pull oneself by the bootstraps. So, as you can imagine, I was not impressed by my mother’s rationale for her feelings towards Capriles.
I listened on the Internet to the interview that Jaime Bayly conducted in Colombia with Henrique Capriles on May 30, 2013. And I have to confess that Capriles did not score a lot of points with me. The definition of a leader is one who mirrors the aspirations of his/her countrymen and creates a pathway to victory. Capriles did not win me over when discussing the second part of the definition of a leader.
For one, Capriles was uncomfortable when Bayly referred to him as the dutifully-elected president of Venezuela. If Maduro stole the election, Capriles has to call a spade a spade. There is no middle-of-the road solution to this dilemma. Moreover, Capriles danced around the edges when Bayly asked him whether he considered Maduro to be a dictator. Give me a break! If Maduro committed fraud to gain the presidency, there is no other term to call him other than a dictator. Then, to top it off, when Bayly asked Capriles whether he would support a situation where the military removed Maduro from power, he indicated that he felt uncomfortable with this procedure.
While I authored an op-ed in Babalublog endorsing Capriles to serve as the next president of Venezuela, I think that he is a weak leader who will not restore democracy to the people of Venezuela. This is not a time for vacillation. This is a time for forceful leadership and action. This is a time for fire and thunder to lead.
When you are dealing with bullies like Maduro, Capriles would be wise to listen to the old adage that “power is seized, sometimes forcibly taken, but never ceded.” When dealing with dictators like Maduro, you must leave your religious principles at home. Turning the other cheek will only get you a long prison sentence or the firing squad!
If, as was reported last week, he might run for the White House in 2016, is he a Ronald Reagan whose adamant conservative principles will confound the naysayers, attract voters and lead his party to national victory? Or is he a Barry Goldwater, whose conservatism was equally apparent and who inspired future generations, but nevertheless led his party to a crushing defeat in 1964?
Conservative Republicans, including former Sen. Jim DeMint (S.C.), head of the Heritage Foundation, applaud Cruz’s willingness to challenge the status quo in the Senate Republican caucus.
The Texan has become a hero of movement conservatives by taking on members of his own party and scolding them for apathy and defeatism.
It is what many had hoped to see from Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who like Cruz defeated a heavily-favored opponent backed by the establishment in a Republican primary. But Rubio has taken a more cautious approach and irked conservatives recently by teaming up with Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) to craft immigration legislation.
Cruz’s aggression has also rankled colleagues in a chamber where seniority rules.
He created an uproar by calling his colleagues “squishes” for what he considered weak opposition to gun-control legislation. On Friday, he publicly challenged Vice President Biden to a debate on guns and crime.
Several colleagues initially did not approve of Cruz’s push for an amendment to defund the 2010 Affordable Care Act. When he later told the Conservative Political Action Conference that GOP senators had to be prodded to fight ObamaCare, the comment inflamed tensions still more.
Cruz’s Senate colleagues fear that he makes them look ready to go along with business as usual in Washington, which makes them more likely to be challenged and defeated in primaries.
Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas), who could face a primary in 2014, has stuck to Cruz like glue, voting in lockstep with his junior colleague. They were two of only three Republicans to vote against former Sen. John Kerry’s (D-Mass.) nomination to become secretary of State this year.
Cruz’s rivals in the party whisper that he is too confrontational, extreme and almost boorish.
“The senator from Texas was on the losing side…now he wants us to adopt the losing side’s view or we cannot go to conference,” Reid said.
“My friend from Texas is like a schoolyard bully,” Reid added.
“He pushes everybody around and is losing and instead of playing the game according to the rules, he not only takes the ball home with him, but he changes the rules that way no one wins except the bully who tries to indicate to people that he has won.”
Cruz, a Tea Party darling whose rhetoric has sometimes raised eyebrows among Republicans, shot back that “I wasn’t aware we are in the schoolyard.”
The visionary liberal land of political and social perfection.
President Obama is not happy — and he isn’t alone.
You know the place.
The Liberal Utopia is a land where gun background checks prevent mass murder.
The Liberal Utopia is a land where Islamic fundamentalists have changed their perception of America because the President travels to Muslim nations to give lovely speeches, believes that the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and elsewhere is a wonderful sign of an Arab Spring, and refuses to use the word “terrorist” whether his administration is investigating Ft. Hood, Boston, or Benghazi.
The Liberal Utopia is a land where a 2009 presidential video proclaiming a “new beginning” in American relations with Iran will halt the effort to build a nuclear bomb.
The Liberal Utopia is a land where the good intentions of Social Security will never bankrupt the Social Security Trust Fund.
The Liberal Utopia is a land where the good intentions of Medicare could not possibility result in trillions of unfunded liability.
The Liberal Utopia is a land where the War on Poverty was supposed to end poverty — and instead winds up sending violent crime skyrocketing, and, in the words of Thomas Sowell, setting up the American black family for rapid disintegration in the liberal welfare state “that subsidized unwed pregnancy and changed welfare from an emergency rescue to a way of life.”
One could go on …and on and on….spotting those will-o-the-wisp glimpses of The Liberal Utopia (Obamacare here, the Obama stimulus over there, the promise to close Guantanamo way back there) with example after example of this miserably failed attempt to find or create a Liberal Utopia.
Or what our friend Mark Levin deftly calls Ameritopia.
The search for this Liberal Utopia has been going on in this country since at least 1932 and in fact before that when one keeps going on back to Woodrow Wilson’s progressives and beyond to the late 19th century when the progressive movement began to gain political steam with the likes of William Jennings Bryan and a whole host of other if lesser known figures.
The idea is always the same. To quote Levin: “Utopianism is the ideological and doctrinal foundation for statism.”
Or, to simplify: if only Americans are made to do X, The Perfect Society will manifest. […]
Happy “We’re really celebrating the birthday of one of our leftist heroes, Lenin, in addition to the eco-tyranny we’re pushing, but we don’t want to advertise our love of the Bolsheviks to the aggressively ignorant masses, so we’ll call it ‘Earth Day’” Day.
Find any leftist cause that gives the plebeians warm and fuzzy feelings in their over-sized hearts and woefully empty heads, peel back the pretty top layer, and you will find a cesspool of stomach churning reality. Most people celebrating the fact that they’ve purchased a special garbage can for their discarded microbrew beer bottles and Starbucks cups don’t realize, for example, that recycling typically wastes more energy and resources than it saves. The symbolism over substance crowd that opposes logging because trees have feelings don’t realize that over forestation leads to drying up of aquifers, rivers, and streams which not only kills off more trees, but also affects wildlife populations and contributes to massive wildfires every year. And not only is the hemp wearing patchouli brigade hilariously unaware of how ridiculous they look driving a “smart car” that’s smaller than a pack of gum, they also don’t get that they’re contributing to the “destruction” they’re pretending they can halt.
We can highlight the inconsistencies and outright hypocrisies of the “green” movement all day long. We can also talk about the unfathomable arrogance a person must gather about himself in order to believe that he can affect the temperature or overall “health” of the earth, either positively or negatively. Indeed, the arrogant hypocrisy of the willfully ignorant is a thing to behold. But that’s not the ugliest part of Earth Day. The reality of what we’re “celebrating” today is much, much darker. […]
Luis sent me this essay on the Elian kidnapping and subsequent march on Calle Ocho. It was so perfect and heartfelt for the sad anniversary of that black day thirteen years ago that I asked for his permission to publish it. I think you will cry and feel a little pride in who and why we are. “Unlikely Patriots” was originally published right before the 2000 presidential election. –Pitbull
* * *
Remember the miracle that brought him alive to the shores of Liberty on the most revered of American holidays. Remember Freedom.
That was the thought on everyone’s mind that day, one week after the raid.
Seven days before, on Holy Saturday, the trust between a government and the people that it served was shattered in the streets of Little Havana. Brute force and assault weapons were used to violate not only the day, but the Constitution and the dreams of millions as well. I was violated that day, even if I wasn’t present at the humble neighborhood where Lazaro Gonzalez fought the massive assault on the right of a little boy to live Free, I felt every blow. And though my tears were caused by rage, the rage was brought about by the sight of the exploding canisters, and the terrified face of a child being ripped from the home and the family he’d come to love.
How do you feel when your world comes crashing down around you? How do you express the incredible pain of betrayal? How do you rage against a behemoth?
I knew there was something terribly wrong as soon as I heard the telephone, it was too early on a Saturday and everyone knew not to wake the children.
The message was short and the voice strained, I don’t remember exactly who called, it may have been my brother, it may have been my father, but I remember the message.
“They took him, they took Elian.” It was a matter of fact statement delivered in a passionless voice.
I ran downstairs and turned on the television, and the images there are ones I know I will never forget. It made me nauseous to watch the endless loop of tape, but I watched it through eyes swollen with tears. I screamed silent screams and with clenched fists threw punches at nothing, I wanted to hurt the morning like the morning had hurt me.
Then I heard the news reporter say the words that brought me to the streets of Little Havana on April 29. I heard him talk about the “defeat” of the Cuban exile community in Miami, there was a hint of a smile on his face and the pain and rage took on a new form. They became a fire.
What went on in the streets of Little Havana the Saturday after the raid went largely unreported. There was no live coverage.
The same media that a week before had stood on twenty-four hour alert reporting the most minute development on one of the most controversial news stories of the year, was conspicuous in its absence. It didn’t really matter, it was expected.
Two hundred thousand citizens walked Calle Ocho to make a statement. Young and old together like never before.
My family walked that street with me, and so did men, women and children from all walks of life, from every step in the social ladder and of every age. What had been thought to have destroyed our morale had served to make it stronger and to unite it, and it brought our young people back.
I came to America on a similar day thirty-two years before, a child of eleven. I was instantly at home here. Forget the struggle of language, eleven-year olds find ways to communicate and they are fast learners. I practiced hard at sounding like I belonged.
I was in love with the idea of America long before our arrival, a place where the fear didn’t exist. The fears that only those who have lived it can fully explain or understand. End even as a child I had felt it. I heard whispered things about people in trouble, and in jail. I knew not to speak out and I knew not to say the kinds of things that could bring unwanted attention.
I knew not to listen to the things taught at school. I knew of the shortages in everything a family needs to live, I knew of the risks my parents took to support us. I knew of the Committees, the neighborhood snitches who gained status by turning in people like us on trumped-up charges.
I knew they watched us with special interest, we could be a prize and a promotion, and we were “worms”.
I longed for America even then, my whole life revolved around going there and I was anxious to leave, ready to start a new life in the wonderful place my parents would detail to me each night. I was ready to stop being a “worm”. Even a boy of eleven can dream of Freedom.
Four generations of us stand firmly planted on this soil now, many are buried here and this is home to us, and it will remain that way even after the inevitable change in Cuba comes. That change will come from within, an explosion of Freedom that no one will be able to stop, because Freedom is a gift from our Creator which will not be denied forever. When that day arrives we will be ready to lend whatever assistance may be necessary, but this family stays here and it stands ready to defend this country and the ideals under which it was founded.
And so we came to find ourselves on a Little Havana street; two hundred thousand unlikely patriots in an unusual setting. An event organized in less than a week by a solitary radio station. They called it a “March for Dignity”, but it was a rally for Justice and an answer to the reports of our demise. It was an indictment of the illegal and unconstitutional actions of the Clinton administration, and a call to arms.
I was awfully proud of my people that day, as I was throughout the entire Elian Gonzalez saga. We brothers, we parents and grandparents. We sons and daughters of the people who gave it all up in the name of Freedom, honored them that day. We marched for the tens of thousands who chose to brave the treacherous straits, and died rather than living without Freedom. We marched for the millions still behind. We marched for the ones buried here and there who will never witness a Cuba free from oppression, the ones who didn’t witness the shame brought to America by the Clinton administration. We marched for the right of even the youngest among us to live free.
And a little child lead the way.
History may pay little attention to the rally on April 29th. As little attention as the dominant media but, if they failed to notice they both will have failed in their duty to report. They will fail to see one of the defining moment in the History of my people; the day we walked the path of Freedom on a road traveled by Americans before us.
We stood, two hundred thousand strong, under a clear blue American sky. On that day we drew a line in the sands of History. We stand behind that line today. We are poised and ready for our moment to seize the day, waiting for our opportunity to answer the unjust charges brought against us by the administration and the media.
Ready to show the world who we are.
Next Tuesday, in the first Presidential election of the Millennium my community will rally, and in numbers that will surprise even the best informed pollsters. We will make our voices heard in this, our new home, and like the Americans we are we will make our choice known. Our choice will be the answer to those forces who labeled us as zealots. In the name of America and Freedom we welcome that label.
On election day, as the sun sweeps across our nation, look for us on the front lines. We stand ready, and we will not falter. We welcome that opportunity.
And we will, overwhelmingly, vote for George W. Bush.
A boy of eleven once loved the dream of America in a land where everything America stood for was officially hated. Today, the man who once was that boy loves the realization of the dream.
On election day, my thoughts will be the same as they were the day I walked with unlikely patriots on a street in Little Havana.
TAMPA, April 20, 2013 – 19-year-old Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev is in custody. Assuming that Tsarnaev is indeed guilty of these crimes, a very real threat to public safety has been taken off the streets. That’s the good news.
The bad news is that the Tsarnaev brothers have taken the last vestiges of a free society in America down with them.
The Bill of Rights was already on life support before this tragedy. Before the dust settled after 9/11, the 4th Amendment had been nullified by the Patriot Act. The 5th and 6th Amendments were similarly abolished with the Military Commission Act of 2006 and the 2012 NDAA resolution, which contained a clause allowing the president to arrest and indefinitely detain American citizens on American soil without due process of law.
Americans had already grown accustomed to having their persons and papers searched at the airport without probable cause and without a warrant supported by oath or affirmation. After a brief, politically-motivated backlash against the Bush Administration, Americans similarly resigned themselves to the government tapping their phones, reading their e-mails and generally spying on them wherever they went. Things were already very, very bad.
They just got a lot worse.
Not only did the militarized domestic law enforcement complex put the City of Boston under martial law, but nobody seems to have found it out of the ordinary, much less outrageous. Yes, a few journalists like libertarian Anthony Gregory raised a finger. But, for the most part, nobody seemed to mind that the entire city was under military siege, complete with paramilitary units in full battle gear, battlefield ordinance and tanks. Tanks!
… the awful power of the state is not supposed to be set loose based upon feelings. It is supposed to be restrained by reason. God help us if we forget.
Well now … this was something even our own Humberto made note of just the other day. This much show of force and a full city shutdown for two suspects, and then one injured suspect after the older brother was dead the fire-fight with officials? Despite our ‘feelings’ and ‘want’ for immediate payback on these terrorists we have to be careful about what we are willing to accept from this government’s actions/reactions. After all, our Constitutional rights are set up as THE “even playing field” for a reason. Don’t forget our current fight with this same government over new and more gun control laws based on “moral outrage” feelings/want on the heels of Sandy Hook. And don’t forget the filibuster regarding possible future drone attacks on American citizens on our own soil. Like it or not, while enemy combatants, these two guys were/are “American citizens”. Are we in the midst of blurry lines here right now (and nobody has blurred that line between ‘enemy combatant’ and ‘criminal’ more than the last 2 democrat administrations)?
Innocent little Cuban boy seeking political asylum with his family in America.
Filmmaker using his First Amendment rights fingered more than once by Obama administration officials (and the MSM) as he and his obscure video being the blame for the 9/11/12 terror attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi.
It wasn’t just Margaret Thatcher’s steadfast economic and foreign policies that helped to defeat the Evil Empire and to bring down the Iron Curtain. She also changed hearts and minds — and this author, who grew up on the other side of the Iron Curtain, has a personal story to tell.
As many Soviet kids did in the 1970s and 1980s, I occasionally tuned my shortwave radio to Voice of America or the BBC Russian Service, hoping to hear their alternative take on world events and, if I was lucky, get the latest rock-music updates. One of the functions of the Iron Curtain was to keep us, the “builders of communism,” blissfully unaware of the outside world. All our news had to be processed by the state-run media filter and approved by the formidable censorship apparatus.
In contrast, foreign Russian-language radio broadcasts, courtesy of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, gave us unfiltered news and commentary. These programs were to the Soviets then what Rush Limbaugh and Fox News are for many Americans today — a gasp of fresh air for some, enemy propaganda for others, and an object of demonization for the official state-run media.
Produced mostly by ex-Soviet exiles, these broadcasts never failed to satisfy my curiosity. The problem was that our government was mercilessly jamming their signal. I learned that this radio jamming was more costly than the actual broadcasting, but no expense was spared to maintain our ideological purity, paid for by our own tax rubles. Oh well, at least we knew the Motherland cared.
At times the broadcast quality was almost undecipherable: imagine trying to watch a movie while your neighbor mows his lawn. The noise occasionally trails off to the other end of the property, but mostly it hovers below your window, and you know that the lines you missed had to be the best.
A few times my friends and I tried to tape these programs simultaneously in our homes, so that later we could combine salvageable parts from two or more reels. That resulted in a much clearer compilation. We mostly did this for rock and roll programs, but political commentary would get into the mix as well — and it was just as fresh and exciting.
If we had ever been caught, we could have been easily expelled from our state-run schools (paid for by our tax rubles) and become marked for life as “politically unreliable.” But we were too young and too reckless to think about it. […]
[…] When large chunks of her parliamentary party lost their nerve over her free-market economics — a reduction of the top personal income-tax rate to 40 percent, elimination of all currency controls, massive privatization of industry, and right-to-work laws to remove the terror of the labor leadership — she famously told her party conference: “U-turn if you want; the lady’s not for turning.” She was a rock-solid supporter of the Western Alliance and was instrumental in the balanced elimination of intermediate-range missiles in Europe and the satisfactory end of the Cold War. She is generally credited with assisting President George H. W. Bush in determining that Saddam Hussein had to be evicted from Kuwait: “George, this is no time to go wobbly.” She made Britain the fourth economic power in the world, after the U.S., Japan, and Germany, made her prosperous and a low-tax country with declining public debt, improving public services, and steady trade surpluses. As she promised, she restored “Great” to Great Britain. It was, to scale, Elizabeth I’s Gloriana, without Shakespeare to publicize it, and with more than a trace of the Churchillian courage and virtue that first attracted her to a Conservative candidacy under Churchill’s leadership in 1950 and 1951.
She formed her judgment of Germany when the Luftwaffe (in what must rank as one of the greatest long-term strategic blunders of World War II) bombed the town of Grantham, where teenage Margaret Thatcher lived. And she formed her opinion of Americans from the U.S. servicemen, black and white, whom she and her family invited home for dinner after the wartime Sunday services in her local Methodist church. She was always grateful for America’s deliverance of the old world from the evils of Nazism and Communism, always supported the right of Israel to survive and flourish as a Jewish state, and never went cock-a-hoop for sanctions against what she called “the evil and repulsive” apartheid regime in South Africa, because she did not “see how we will make things better by making them worse.” She was a practical person of unswerving principle. […]