Cubanarama tonight will focus on Cuban rock band Zeus documentary

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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

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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

“The United States government is the ultimate giant unworkable mess”

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.

Read in full

MORE:

Obamacare Catastrophe Reveals Barack’s Entire Paper-Mache Fantasy World

ObamaCare: See What’s In It?

Kathleen Sebelius

No privacy. Death panels. Congress exempt. Pro-ObamaCare unions and federal workers hate it for themselves, but the rest of us can have it. It’s all good…

1) “Obamacare will question your sex life”

2) “Government Seeking Inclusion of ‘Social and Behavioral’ Data in Health Records: Experts worry about security, use of such information”

No worries … Right?

3) “Obamacare Employee Accidentally Sends Out 2,400 Social Security Numbers”

4) They aren’t fooling anybody: Mass confusion, serious doubts, and strong opposition from “We The People” as we “see what’s in it”

5) “USA TODAY/Pew poll: Health care law faces difficult future”

6) “Congress’s Exemption from Obamacare: Make Congress get insurance the same way the little people do? Hill denizens howl in fury.”

7) “Reid defends Obamacare exemption for Congress: ‘That’s what the law says’”

8) “92% of Federal employees say ‘Hell, NO!’ to ObamaCare”

9) “Administration rejects labor’s request for ObamaCare fix”

10) “Obamacare D-Day becomes a soft launch”

A Decade of Truth

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.

Viva Cuba Libre!

The Dystopian Presidency

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“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.

The sale of gold and silver began to climb under our wilting dollar and poor economy. In addition, guns and ammunition (if you can find it) has had a healthy and steady sales record since Obama began putting golf balls on the Oval Office rug, with huge sales spurts shortly after shooting tragedies, and the elected class resounds the cries for disarming those horrible, law-abiding, legal-gun-owning, personally responsible American citizens.

In the sloshing wake of the NSA strip-mining of millions/daily of personal/private communication(s) data of American citizens and the IRS targeting of political opponents we now see a re-birth and growing surge in sales of George Orwell’s dystopian futuristic novel “1984”. (BTW, if you have the time Youtube has an old full-movie version of the story here.) Oddly, unlike post-9/11 under the Bush administration, the liberals/left don’t seem to have too much of a problem having their privacy invaded by the government under the Obama administration.

SIDEBAR:

Given the increase in NSA data mining under this administration, is it asking too much to begin asking if the 2012 Obama re-election campaign, while bragging about massive ‘data-mining’ for votes in the election, “might” have used their position of control/power to dip into the NSA ‘mined’ data? Is it asking too much for somebody in the MSM or the Congress to address this? I mean, it’s a valid pondering-point, considering the targeting of Obama opponents and Mitt Romney donors by the IRS (we know that order came from somebody high-up in the D.C. office and probably the administration). Ya think???

No … It’s not an all-seeing eye. It’s our liberty circling the drain…

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Et Tu Capriles?

Capriles Bayly 2013

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!

Twitter Campaign: #FreeTheCuban11Million

Poster courtesy of Cuban artist Rolando Pulido
Poster courtesy of Cuban artist Rolando Pulido

Via Capitol Hill Cubans:

The Castro regime remains intent on coercing the U.S. with its “Free the Cuban 5” (spies) campaign.

But the real focus should be on having the Castro regime free the 11 million Cubans captive under its totalitarian dictatorship.

If you have agree, join the #FreeTheCuban11Million Twitter campaign.

She Speaks for Us All…

Karen Kenney of the San Fernando Valley Patriots read a very clear and concise opening statement at the IRS hearing of victims before Congress…

Wetumpka Tea Party member Becky Gerritson …

Hmm, looks as if the women out numbered the men in the witness/victims panel of the Congressional hearing on the IRS targeting of TEAParty/conservative groups.

“War on Women” what? “Binders” what?

Democrat Rep. Jim McDermott blames the conservative groups for the IRS’s behavior

And Rep. Paul Ryan answers McDermott’s BS…

More:

“IRS Hearing: Dems Call No Liberal Groups as Witnesses”

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…

Liberal utopia fall down go boom

From The American Spectator, if you read one thing today, read “Jihad Blows Up the Liberal Utopia.”

Jihad has blown up The Liberal Utopia.

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. […]