The WSJ demonizes Cuba for a movie review

the real marvel of the past 50 years in Cuba — the steady stream of heroic nonconformists who have risked all in their aspiration to think, speak and act freely — remains the untold epic of our time. — Wall Street Journal, Mary Anastasia O’Grady

If the relentless bobbing of the Cuban cork within the confines of the Gulf of Mexico remains an untold epic, then I suppose the story of Cuba meets the definition, but I do wonder why the American press has such a preoccupation with countries that throw out murderous and crooked U.S. corporations and the American mob merely because they want to lead their own lives. Perhaps the voting block known as Cuban-Americans residing in Florida and the relentless ass-kissing that politicians feel they must give them has something to do with the silliness of it all. How many of those “freedom-loving Cubans” now ensconced in Florida will return once the great Castro Satan of the western hemisphere has been banished to the dustbin of history?

Not many, I’d say.

The romance of Cuba lies not in that it is Communist, but that during the ’50s it was a haven for the mob and the corporations who, in concert with the Batista government of the time, was milking the country for all of its worth. It lies with the people who threw them lock, stock and barrel out of the country. You won’t read much of that in mainstream American media reporting. After all, it was the all-American mob and corporations doing the damage who got tossed.

Che has been dead at the hands of the CIA since 1967, Cuba is an impoverished island courtesy of the United States and its meaningless embargo, and still the darlings of the American media must go on a rant and declare that to allow this cork to float is a pox upon the world — well, the world as the privileged American media sees it, anyway. Would that they for a minute would get over publishing the government line on anything and go and see for themselves the damage America has done to a country that merely occupies space in the Gulf.

But wait, they can’t! It’s against the law for an American to visit Cuba. Oh well, no matter. They can write all about it from Florida, or D.C., or wherever the money is coming from to pay for the media advertising budgets.

It’s not a wonder to me why the newspapers are bleeding subscribers at an alarming rate. Just read the article and see the government-inspired propaganda line for yourself. And yes, all that for a meaningless movie review.

See what I mean?

Link to article here.

Warming the cockles o’ my heart

If only it were this simple:

A South Philadelphia man enraged because a family was talking during a Christmas showing of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button decided to deal with the situation by shooting the father, police said. — philly.com, Barbara Boyer

Admit it, you’ve wanted to do that too, haven’t you?

Now perhaps at least one family will stay home when they want a nice fireside chat.

Here we go again

It’s all to protect the children, of course.

  • The internet is dangerous.
  • Let’s regulate it.
  • Rate web sites in the manner of motion pictures.
  • Come up with international rules for English-language web sites.
  • Have social sites — e.g. Facebook, Youtube — display “offensive” or “harmful” content only after the kiddies have gone to bed.

Good old mom and apple pie (or in this case, steak and kidney pie):

“The internet has been empowering and democratizing in many ways but we haven’t yet got the stakes in the ground to help people navigate their way safely around.”

“There is a wider public interest at stake when it involves harm to other people. We have got to get better at defining where the public interest lies and being clear about it.” — British Culture Minister Andy Burnham

Link to article here.

This guy is a wet dream for the British scandal sheets. His Wikipedia entry contains some real boners, but don’t bother going to look. All you have to do is close you eyes and you can see it all for yourself, based on his internet incompetence, above.

A modern Christmas shepherd

As an aviator who once traveled to some of the world’s most remote places, I fortunately have never been in the dire straits of the protagonist in this Frederick Forsyth novella called The Shepherd.

Each year on Christmas Eve, The Shepherd is broadcast on CBC Radio, as recorded by the late, venerable Alan Maitland. It’s just over 31 minutes in length, and I recommend that it be listened to in the dark of night.

Link to CBC radio broadcast recording here.

In another life, a favorite Forsyth publication of mine was The Dogs of War, published in 1974. It appears dated now, but I believe it to be accurate in its description of mercenaries and their ways.

Now, today on Christmas Day, I am happy and content to be at home, safe from my previous lives and the adventures they contain, and somewhat comforted by the gentle memories of many of my former friends and comrades who must remain locked within their adventures forever. I still miss them all.

Ontario doesn’t have a clue about motorcycle safety

Update here.

You don’t have to have lived in Ontario to know that it perceives itself as a province in Canada where the inhabitants believe that they are ‘speshul’. Ontario has in place legislation that provides for the impounding of a vehicle and immediate suspension of a driver’s licence if the police officer believes you to have been racing — and racing apparently includes riding your motorcycle at very low speed on the shoulder of the road while other vehicles are stopped.

Fortunately, they lost that one in court, and a huge thank you goes out to the individual that challenged the stupidity of the police officer who charged the rider.

Now in Ontario’s infinite wisdom, they see fit to present Bill 117 that would prevent anyone under 14 years of age from riding as a passenger on a motorcycle, sidecar or trike — you know, because there are so many injuries and deaths involved with children younger than 14 riding as passengers on motorcycles, sidecars and trikes in Ontario.

Oops. Apparently not.

“Bill 117 is a solution looking for a problem. I reviewed all seven Ontario Road Safety Annual Reports from 1999 to 2005 and did not find any fatalities for motorcycle passengers less than 14 years of age.

Ontario children were four times more likely to have been injured as passengers on bicycles and 262 times more likely to have been injured as passengers in passenger vehicles than to have been injured as passengers on motorcycles.” — Raynald Marchand, GM, Canada Safety Council

Provincial M.P.P. Helena Jaczek is the author of this monstrosity. You can contact her at hjaczek.mpp at liberal dot ola dot org

The Minister of Transportation is James Bradley. Contact him at jbradley.mpp at liberal dot ola dot org

For a sample letter, visit www.motorcycling.ca/issues/provissues/ontario/index.html