The monster is dead

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Two years, one month, and nine days after the day I was born, Fidel Castro Ruz, after the cowardly abdication of Fulgencio Batista, started on a tour that took him east to west to the Cuban capital of Havana. The adoring crowds in the towns and cities he passed welcomed him with open arms and with shouts of “Viva Fidel!” and “Fidel, this is your house!” Waving at these sickeningly adoring crowds, he knew he was weeks if not months away from becoming the new boss of Cuba — and he was definitely not the same as the old boss.

My family knew who Fidel really was: a charlatan, a liar, a criminal, a thug, a murderer, a seditionist, a traitor. Rivers of blood and waves of suffering would well up from our land. My great-grandmother, in her eighties, had a stroke after watching one of Fidel and Che Guevara’s revolutionary executions on television. Mercifully, she did not live past that evil overture of 1959 and 1960.

My family had started making plans to leave as far back as 1958. Fidel was almost certain to topple Batista and they knew that no good would come from this man. They knew he was a communist. It was not a secret, despite what anyone may tell you. Their thoughts were with us, the toddlers and youth, the innocents who were blissfully unaware of what had brought Cuba to its knees. They did not want us to suffer the pains of whatever lay ahead. Even knowing what they knew, I don’t think they could have predicted, on that first day of January in 1959, the depth of suffering Cuba would endure for almost six decades.

I’m very thankful for their decision.

Fidel Castro’s dark presence has haunted my entire life. Directly and indirectly, he has made me and so many others into what we are. We know the truth, the unvarnished truth. The truth we know from the tears of family members who lost everything, of friends who suffered imprisonment, of the executions of loved ones. Full of pain and suffering, longing and sadness. It never leaves us. We are exiles, after all, forced into it by him and his evil.

And it’s not just the pain of exile, it’s the slanders that we hear from the screeching left. We’re disaffected Batistianos, pissed off that the gravy train ended; we’re aching to repossess our property; we’re going to remake Cuba again into a Mafia prostíbulo; we’re “intransigent”; we’re “hard-liners.” we’re “right-wing wackos”; we’re not nuanced enough to understand the Cuban situation. Basically, we should just shut up and leave the real analysis to “Cuba experts” — who, of course, are not Cubans. It hurts even more when our own brothers and sisters, dragged into the pit of hate and envy Fidel created, join in on the verbal lynchings. Turning brother against brother is just another part of his legacy.

I regret there will be no Cuban Nuremberg.

Inexplicably, though, I’m also glad his demise as common as it was, having become feeble and decrepit, immobile, near the end, more than likely with a stomach tube feeding him and an artificial anus pumping his waste into a plastic bag. No heroics. No myth-making. No going out in a blaze of glory, like he so desperately dreamed of during the crisis days in October of 1962 when he urged Nikita Kruschev to press the nuclear button. Like so many other old men, he died in his bed, soiling himself, probably terrified about what was to come next. At the end of the game, as the old Spanish proverb goes, the king and the pawn go in the same box.

During the excruciating (for us, not him) nine-year long “recovery” from his illness he was certainly better treated than he treated others in his too-long, egomaniacal life. He was the first and only Fidelista, dedicated solely to himself, his needs, his ambitions, his desires, his goals, his wishes. Nothing else mattered. Not sons, not daughters, not family, not friends, not country. Nothing else mattered but him. His life was a testament to the basest qualities a human being can aspire to, devoid of goodness, and of God, without even the slightest hint of love.

What does this day mean to me?

My grandfather prayed for this day and he didn’t live to see it. My grandmother prayed for this day and she didn’t live to see it. Two great aunts (my grandfather’s sisters), two great aunts and two great uncles (my grandmother’s siblings), their wives and husbands, they all prayed for this day and never lived to see it. The offspring of some of these these did not live to see it. So many lives, three generations, in one family, ruined by this one man. They are dead, bereft of country, stripped of their identity as Cubans. Multiply that by hundreds of thousands of families and you’ll understand why today is the day of reckoning for all of them. A quiet one, perhaps, but a reckoning nevertheless. The malevolent man that drove them out of their country has finally perished — not absolved by history.

Forgive us if we revel a bit.

I pray that the light of God shines on that sad island and inspires its dejected people to awaken that spirit inside them that made Cuba a great nation among nations in the past. I pray that what was once a vibrant culture, full of life and music, amidst the simple joys of family and friends, can reestablish itself. I pray that we remember the true legacy of Fidel Castro so that this 56-year long nightmare can finally have an ending that will be good for the Cuban people.

***

Editor’s note: This obituary has gone through many, many revisions and edits. I have tweaked it more than anything else I’ve ever written. When I originally wrote it in late 2007 — yes, 2007! — it came out of me in one cathartic sitting.

Since then, unfortunately, I’ve had way too much time to reflect on what I originally penned. My original final paragraph began thus:

This is not the time to look backward, however. it’s time to look forward. The future of Cuba begins today. Today is day one of year one of the new era, the era that will be the beginning of a new Cuba, free, finally, from one of the most ignominious monsters of modern history.

Nine years later, with a US President that has gleefully conspired against the Cuban people, with Fidel’s rat-faced brother firmly in control, and with the prospect of the embargo being lifted, granting billions of dollars in credit to the communists that run the island like a mafia family, I feel very pessimistic and dejected about the future of the island of my birth.

For all intents and purposes, Cuba is as dead as Fidel…

***

Postscript: My only change to the text would be this: President-Elect Trump, with his leadership and a team and that understands Cuba, may yet change my somber and pessimistic assessment. I certainly hope so…

This is what happens when progressives write law

Snowboarders. Yes, you read that right.

Are snowboard instructors key to American immigration policy? Well, they’re important enough to be specifically included in the Senate bipartisan Gang of Eight immigration reform bill.

How did that happen? The original 844-page Gang of Eight bill, released in mid-April, granted a break to certain foreigners who come to the United States to work but do not wish to settle here. The Gang — which includes Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet from the nation’s skiing capital of Colorado — gave one of those breaks to anyone who is “a ski instructor seeking to enter the United States temporarily to perform instructing services.”

That was in mid-April. A couple of weeks later, the Gang released an 867-page substitute bill filled with changes large and small. Among those changes was new language adding snowboarders to the ski-instructor clause.

In the revised bill, the break goes to anyone who is “a ski instructor, who has been certified as a level I, II, or III ski and snowboard instructor by the Professional Ski Instructors of America or the American Association of Snowboard Instructors, or received an equivalent certification in the alien’s country of origin, and is seeking to enter the United States temporarily to perform instructing services.”

So now the American Association of Snowboard Instructors has been recognized in historic legislation that could bring profound changes to the United States.

The bill has been public for all of 21 days, and the substitute version for just six days. Only now are analysts beginning to go through all of its details, and only now are those details surfacing in the public conversation.

For example, in another overlooked portion of the bill, as conservative writer Yuval Levin points out, the Gang of Eight “defin[es] the hourly wages of immigrant farm workers to the second decimal place.” […]

This is why you NEVER write a bill with a “progressive” or a liberal.

A badge of honor

Senator Reid calls Senator Ted Cruz a “schoolyard bully.”

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.”

It’s obvious he’s doing something right…

‘The most talented and fearless Republican politician I’ve seen in the last 30 years’

Who said that? James Carville. About whom? Ted Cruz.

“I think he is the most talented and fearless Republican politician I’ve seen in the last 30 years. I further think that he’s going to run for president and he is going to create something. I’m not sitting here saying he’s going to win, and I think Senator DeMint is right. I’ve listened to excerpts of his speech in South Carolina. He touches every button, and this guy has no fear. He just keeps plowing ahead. And he is going to be something to watch.

“And a lot of Republicans feel this way, George, and you hear this a lot: “If we only got someone who was articulate and was for what we were for, we would win elections. And we get these John McCains and these Mitt Romneys and these squishy guys that can’t do anything.” Well, there’s one thing this guy is not – he ain’t squishy, not in the least.

“Ted Cruz is going to eat their lunch. That guy, I’m telling you, he will out debate. I am just saying, he is a talent. I’m not rooting. I’m really sincere here. We watch him, he does things, I mean when he started talking about William Travis in South Carolina and the Alamo, this is a guy, and you go, “This guy is something.” Now I don’t agree with him. I think he’s out there. But I’m telling you, he’s more talented than all of these other guys.”

A complete package of evil

The DiploMad writes another winner:

Words evolve. They take on new meaning over the years. Social and political movements appropriate certain words, redefine them, and then use them to shape the ideological battlefield. The classic example of that, of course, is “bolshevik” and “menshevik.” The Bolsheviks were, in fact, the Mensheviks and vice-versa. The word bolshevik, derived from the word meaning “majority,” was appropriated by the radicals who were in reality the minority of the old Social Democratic party. The minority labeled the majority the minority and got away with it. Clever. There are many other examples of this in history such as the insistence on calling nazis and fascists right-wing when they are clearly left-wing products.

In our once great, still beloved, but evermore daft United States, precisely those who are not liberal, as in broad minded and generous, in their attitudes towards others have appropriated “liberal” as theirs. The political philosophy of this “liberalism” is one which portrays life as a series of problems that needs addressing by the state–the state guided and run, mind you, by the “well-educated liberal elite” produced by our increasingly decrepit “liberal” universities and informed by “liberal” Hollywood and “liberal” Big Media. Modern U.S. liberals are a variant of European social democrats who believe in a big state and mistrust the individual; the big difference being that US liberals have much more power in the world than their European co-religionists ever could hope. They advocate the “positivist” attitude so aptly summed up in the motto emblazoned on the national flag of Brazil, “Ordem e Progresso,” so long, of course, as they are in charge of imposing the order and defining the progress. They take positivism’s emphasis on rational thought and logic, and its opposition to superstition and fantasy, and turn it on its head into a “science-based” fantasy that somehow just so happens to lead to more power for them and their state. Global climate change is one stirling example of how liberals have taken a legitimate scientific-based concern over pollution, and turned it into a monumental hoax, known as Manmade Climate Change. That hoax somehow, just somehow ends up demanding more money and power for–guess who?–the liberals and their state. As we will discuss, this philosophy comprises followers who proclaim a great love for humanity while in practice exhibiting a great hatred for people. […]

Larry Correia gets hate mail…

And unvarnished truth ensues.

I got this little gem this morning, and figured that it needed to be shared, rather than just be ignored in the comments. This if from Lynne.

I don’t like left wingers, right wingers, or moderates. I love guns, adventures, etc – and I just finished Monster Hunter Vendetta, and tho ready to order the third, I made the mistake of checking out this blog and learning about the political views of the author. And now I’m totally turned off. I’ve made this mistake with left- wing authors too, with the same result: it ruins the whole experience for me, and I never buy any of their books anymore. Ever.

I don’t give 2 hoots what your politics are – but I WAS willing to trade my money for your great stories. Before you polluted your product. Too bad for.you – lost income, total loss of respect for you as an author. Too bad for me – lost books (until I hit the bookstore again and find another author who isn’t short sighted enough to add a hundred pounds of their own b.s. for every pound of story they sell).

Well thanks for sharing, Lynne. Allow me to respond to your concerns about authors having political opinions.

Shove it up your sanctimonious ass.

Authors are people who have opinions, just like anybody else. I was politically active, informed, and involved long before I ever sold my first book, and I’d rather give up writing than my first amendment rights. Luckily you have the right to hate my guts as much as you want, and to boycott my work because I offended your tender sensibilities.

[…]

You say you love guns. Did you threaten to boycott Stephen King when he wrote his big, idiotic, piece on gun control in the wake of Sandy Hook? It was really, really stupid. I mean floundering, dumb, boring, derivative, lacking in critical thinking and logic, with no real grasp of the situation, tactics, history, or existing laws. But he’s still a talented writer and he is still going to sleep on a giant pile of money because he’s sold a lot of books.

I wrote a big piece on gun control too at the same time. The difference is that I am literally and legally a subject matter expert on this topic. Mine was read by over one million individuals in less than a month. I changed a surprising number of minds. I educated a lot of people. It got shared everywhere, reprinted in national magazines, I went on a bunch of radio shows, and even appeared on prime time national news programs. My opinion piece made a difference in a fiery national debate on a topic that I am knowledgeable and passionate about.

But I suppose I shouldn’t have said anything, because I might offend a thin-skinned dullard like you. Well shucks… That’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make. I’m sure Beyonce and Jay-Z will miss you too after their trip to suck up to communists in Cuba.

On the bright side I’ve discovered that for every moron I’ve offended for daring to voice an opinion, I’ve gained two or three other readers who are sick of getting preached at in their fiction by the prevailing group think narrative. I always warn aspiring writers to be careful, and not go down this path unless they’ve got thick skins and they’re willing to stand up for what they believe in, because there are lots of bullies like you, Lynne, ready to threaten boycotts at the drop of a hat. That’s why most of the conservative authors I know keep their mouths shut, because they’ve been cowed by bullies like you.

Personally I find that boring and tiresome, and luckily for me I was already out of the closet before I got my first book deal so I never had to struggle with worrying about offending idiots.

So, Lynne, I hope that clears that matter up for you. Please, take my books and donate them to a library or burn them or something, because I fear that just seeing them on your shelf—with their big explodey covers—will damage the delicate flower that is your mind.

The Ladies in White win the Václav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The 2013 Václav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent Awarded to Ali Ferzat, Park Sang Hak, and the Ladies in White

NEW YORK (May 3, 2012)- The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) today announced the recipients of the Václav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent. The 2013 laureates are: Syrian cartoonist Ali Ferzat, North Korean democracy activist Park Sang Hak, and Cuban civil society group the Ladies in White—represented by their leader Berta Soler. They will be honored at a ceremony during the 2013 Oslo Freedom Forum in Norway on May 15.

An initiative of New York-based HRF, the Havel Prize for Creative Dissent was founded with the enthusiastic endorsement of Dagmar Havlová, widow of the late poet, playwright, and statesman Václav Havel. The inaugural laureates were Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, Saudi women’s rights advocate Manal al-Sharif, and Burmese opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

Ali Ferzat is a Syrian political cartoonist known for his satirical caricatures. Ferzat’s cartoons became increasingly critical of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and the brutality of the regime’s crackdown. In 2011, masked gunmen detained Ferzat and broke both of his hands and his fingers, a clear message of intimidation and retaliation for his work. Ferzat recovered from the attack and continues to produce political cartoons.

Park Sang Hak, a North Korean defector and human rights activist, has worked for the democratization of his homeland since a daring escape in 1999. He is the chairman of Fighters for a Free North Korea, an organization that uses helium balloons to transmit human rights and pro-democracy literature, DVDs, USB drives, and transistor radios from South Korea into North Korea.

The Ladies in White (“Las Damas de Blanco”) is a Cuban civil society organization founded by the wives, sisters, mothers, and daughters of political prisoners jailed during the Castro regime’s “Black Spring” crackdown in 2003. “Las Damas de Blanco” wear white to symbolize their commitment to non-violence. Despite repeated arrests and beatings by Cuban authorities, the group marches every Sunday in Havana to protest the lack of human rights under the Castro dictatorship. Berta Soler has led the group since the death of founder Laura Pollán in 2011. Soler will accept the award on the group’s behalf.

The three Havel Prize laureates will receive an artist’s representation of the “Goddess of Democracy,” the iconic statue erected by Chinese student leaders during the Tiananmen Square protests of June, 1989. Each sculpture embodies the spirit and literal reality of creative dissent at its finest, representing the struggle of truth and beauty against brute power. The Havel Prize laureates will also share a prize of 350,000 Norwegian Kroner.

The Havel Prize is funded jointly by grants from the Brin Wojcicki Foundation and the Thiel Foundation. The Brin Wojcicki Foundation was established by Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, and his wife Anne Wojcicki, co-founder of 23andMe, a leading personal genetics company. The Thiel Foundation, established and funded by entrepreneur and venture capitalist Peter Thiel, defends and promotes freedom in all its dimensions: political, personal, and economic. Vaclav Havel was chairman of HRF from 2009 until his death in December of 2011.

The Havel Prize ceremony will be broadcast live online at www.oslofreedomforum.com beginning at 4:00pm Central European Time on Wednesday, May 15. The event will take place at Oslo’s Christiania Theater. Registration is open to the public—email secretariat@havelprize.org for more information.

Irony alert

What is the irony of the first black president praising — no, ‘blessing’ — an organization that was founded by a woman — admired by Adolf Hitler — that wanted as many black babies aborted to purify the gene pool. Somewhere in her palatial estate in Hell, Margaret Sanger is doing a Snoopy Dance…

[…] Please take a look at the following excerpt from Jonah Goldberg’s book “Liberal Fascism” for information about the racist and eugenicist origins of Planned Parenthood, then ask yourself again why in the world our president would “bless” the cruel underlying efforts of an organization like this. Do you want him to spend your family’s hard earned tax dollars funding this culture of death? Surely there are people of good conscience within Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion centers who will feel the imperative within themselves to find other ways to help women in their time of need. There are so many better answers than merely eliminating the most precious, promising ingredient we have on earth – innocent human life. […]

The doctrine of acceptable lies

In this superb essay titled “Taqiyya and the Father of Lies,” Gates of Vienna takes us on a tour of how Taqiyya has become the norm in the West among, you guessed it, the left…

[…] In 1966 I flew from London to Singapore. I walked to the barrier with my parents, showed the tickets, walked out onto the tarmac and up the steps to the airplane. But it was In Singapore that I had my first experience of bombs. The Indonesians mounted a campaign of terror in the Singapore at the time, aimed at increasing racial tension. Behind this strategy was a Jihad aimed as a protest against the formation of Malaysia as a multiracial/multicultural community. We were not officially informed of this, but rather we were told to be very careful of the Malays (Moslem) as being hypersensitive.

Later that year, Singapore broke away from Malaysia, the demands of the ethnic Malays being incompatible with the relative racial harmony achieved in Singapore.

That this was all about Jihad was covered up, but not long after, in 1968, Leila Khaled and the Marxist PFLP struck, first of Palestinian terrorist attacker to use lethal hijacking as a publicity stunt.

In 1970 they hijacked two large airliners (plus a 747 that was too big for the airstrip) and took them to Dawson’s Field, an abandoned airstrip in Jordan, where all but the Jewish passengers were released.

Leila Khaled was captured when she tried to hijack an El Al jet, she was handed over to the British, who exchanged her for the passengers. The Singaporean bombers were hanged in 1968; I don’t think Singapore has had any more problems. Britain, on the other hand has had a continuous stream of them.

From that time on, hassle-free air travel became a thing of the past. The Palestinians have cost us dear, but somehow, it is to the Palestinian Authority that part of our Jizya is paid. In the days of Al Capone this used to be called a ‘protection racket’. Now it is called ‘International Aid’. Thus are the lies perpetuated.

The impact of Islam on our lives is enormous, but it is obscured by a huge web of deceit and lies. Every time you go to an airport or other public place, and are subjected to searches and the invasion of personal space, it is because the ‘Religion of Peace’ wants you dead, and by association, one must assume that Socialists also want you dead, or at least somewhere where you cannot attack them with the truth of their perfidy. […]

Read the entire essay.