Monday, February 06, 2012

Monday Morning Links

1. Cuban dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez has been denied permission to attend a film festival in Brazil, marking the 19th time in recent years that she has been denied an exit visa by the Cuban government.

2. The oil boom in western North Dakota is starting to head to the eastern part of the state.

3.  The credit card has hardly changed since the 1950s. If they really wanted to simplify our lives, the heads of Visa, MasterCard and American Express would take a trip to Kenya and learn about innovative mobile money transfers.

4. Star Parker offers some free advice for Mitt Romney before he discusses America's poor again: Read her book “Uncle Sam’s Plantation.” 

5. When it comes to economic confidence for 2011, Washington, D.C. residents stood apart from the rest of the country with the highest level of economic confidence by far; even second-place North Dakota's oil prosperity and 3.3% jobless rate couldn't come close.  



18 Comments:

At 2/06/2012 2:35 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Liu Xiaobo


Liu Xiaobo (born 28 December 1955)[1] is a Chinese literary critic, writer, professor, and human rights activist who called for political reforms and the end of communist single-party rule in China.[2] He is currently incarcerated as a political prisoner in China

For some reason, the increasing political repression inside Communist China is not a set piece on the American right.

Imagine being tossed not jail, perhaps for life, just because you called for reforms.

The Chinese Communist Party also abetted kidnapping and child slave labor as certain party-owned factories. I have not heard of similar abuses inside Cuba.

 
At 2/06/2012 4:27 PM, Blogger Paul said...

For some reason, the increasing political repression inside Communist China is not a set piece on the American right.

As if you would even know, douchebag. Your boyfriend's unprecedented debt binge makes it increasingly harder to press China on human rights.

 
At 2/06/2012 7:22 PM, Blogger Jon said...

When a Cuban dissident has their blog blocked by Castro, this is outrageous. Castro's repression is unbelievable. He's also denying travel freedom to her.

OK, criticize it if you like. Our government has been engaged in 50 years of terrorism against Cuba. We've been involved in the kidnapping of Cuban children, biological warfare, repeated hotel bombings and other bombings. Cuban Air Flight 455 was bombed in a terrorist incident. The perpetrators resided in Miami following the event. One enjoyed a presidential pardon.

"But Castro blocked a blog." Well OK. I'm not condoning it. But didn't Jesus say look to the beam in your own eye before considering the speck in the eye of your neighbor?

And if you want travel freedom for Cubans, why not grant more visas? Cuba repeatedly requests them, but this is denied by the US. Instead our government does something really strange. We won't grant permission to come safely. What we do is tell them that if they do come illegally via dangerous means and they manage to get to shore we'll grant them privileges not given to any other foreigners. A path to legal permanent resident status and citizenship. A huge incentive to jump into a leaky boat and take a crack at it. Many die trying. But it's not just Cubans that would die with such a policy. Haitians would as well. In fact they'd be more likely to take these risks than Cubans, since they suffer under a right wing economic model that starves them. But they don't get the same privileges. Why? Their government is a US backed puppet regime. No need to demonize them.

Seriously, why are Haitians, who suffer far more, not granted the same "dry feet" policy Cubans are granted? That's because the suffering of Haitians doesn't matter. Only the suffering that occurs due to enemies of the state. Like Castro blocking a blog.

 
At 2/06/2012 7:40 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Your boyfriend's unprecedented debt binge makes it increasingly harder to press China on human rights"...

Consider this short YouTube clip paul: Doorbell

 
At 2/06/2012 7:59 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"We've been involved in the kidnapping of Cuban children, biological warfare, repeated hotel bombings and other bombings"...

Really?!?!

Kidnapping children?!?!

You're not talking about the take down of big, bad 6-year-old Elian Gonzalez by Reno's Rangers during the time of the Slick Willie administration are you?

"Cuban Air Flight 455 was bombed in a terrorist incident. The perpetrators resided in Miami following the event. One enjoyed a presidential pardon..."

Maybe you running with the Counter Punch fairy tale that had no credible attributions in its version of events unless you have something else...

Do you?

 
At 2/06/2012 8:15 PM, Blogger Che is dead said...

"Imagine being tossed not jail, perhaps for life, just because you called for reforms ..." -- "Benji"

Yes, imagine:

When a smitten Jesse Jackson yelled “Viva Che!– Viva Fidel!” alongside the latter at the University of Havana in 1984 with Jeremiah Wright (among Jackson’s entourage) clapping wildly from the sidelines, the world’s longest suffering black political prisoner languished in a torture-chamber within walking distance of the celebration.

“N*gger!” taunted his Castroite jailers between tortures. “We pulled you down from the trees and cut off your tail!” Shortly before his death in 2006, this prisoner, the heroic Eusebio Penalver, granted this writer an interview. “For months I was naked in a 6 x 4 foot cell,” Eusebio recalled. “That’s 4 feet high, so you couldn’t stand. But I felt a great freedom inside myself. I refused to commit spiritual suicide.” Eusebio Penalver suffered longer in Castro’s prisons than Nelson Mandela in apartheid South Africa’s.

Shortly after a smitten Congressional Black Caucus visited with Raul Castro in Dec. 2009 and returned hailing him as “one of the most amazing human beings we’ve ever met! Castro is a very engaging, down-to-earth and kind man, someone who I would favor as a neighbor!” the Black human-rights activist Orlando Zapata-Tamayo, was beaten comatose by his Castroite jailers and left with a life-threatening fractured skull and subdural hematoma. A year later Zapata-Tamayo was dead after a lengthy hunger-strike. Samizdats smuggled out of Cuba by eye-witnesses report that while gleefully kicking and bludgeoning Tamayo, his Castroite jailers yelled: “Worthless N*gger! — Worthless Peasant!” -- BigPeace

Cuban dissident Doctor Oscar Elias Biscet is a 2007 Presidential Medal of Freedom winner, a Nobel Prize nominee and former Amnesty International Prisoner of Conscience who was recently released from jail after spending over eight years in the gulags of the Castro brothers for his non-violent, pro-democracy, and pro-human rights activism. Before that internment, he had spent three years in the Castro’s prisons for those same activities. Since the press, both in the United States and internationally, largely ignores the struggles of Cuban dissidents against the Castro’s half-century totalitarian dictatorship, readers are hardly to blame if they’ve never heard of Dr. Biscet, but filmmaker Jordan Allott is working to change that. Jordan’s documentary about Dr. Biscet, “Oscar’s Cuba,” has done much to bring the plight of Dr. Biscet, and that of the Cuban people for whom he fights, to the attention of the world. -- BigHollywood

Oscars Cuba

 
At 2/06/2012 8:16 PM, Blogger Che is dead said...

"The Chinese Communist Party also abetted kidnapping and child slave labor as certain party-owned factories. I have not heard of similar abuses inside Cuba." -- "Benji"

Slave labor? Castro would never do that:

Seven Cuban doctors and a nurse say their government conspired with Venezuela and its state-owned oil company to hold them in a “modern form of slavery,” as Cuba barters their services for cheap Venezuelan oil. The doctors and nurse say they were put into “servitude for debt,” with their work used to “to discount … the commercial debt … of the subsidized oil supplies provided by Venezuela to Cuba.”

The doctors say that faced with precarious conditions and material needs in Cuba, they were deceived and threatened by Cuban authorities and taken by force to work in violent places in Venezuela, including the jungle and the frontier with Colombia.

The plaintiffs are a part of a mission called “Barrio Adentro.” They say they are held in captivity in crowded lodgings or in houses with families affiliated with the Venezuelan regime. They say they are under strict control, surveillance, and threats by “slave hunters”: Venezuelan security officials.

The plaintiffs say they work under an agreement between the two governments, through Petroleos de Venezuela.

The “Convenio Integral de Cooperacion” allows forced labor by doctors in exchange for 100,000 barrels of oil a day, according to the complaint.

The plaintiffs say they are “living illegally as prisoners” and work without licenses to practice in Venezuela. If they protest, they are returned to Cuba and suffer severe and permanent consequences, they say.

The plaintiffs say they “escaped their bondage n Venezuela, survived a harrowing adventure, and made their way to the United States,” and live in Florida. They say they cannot get justice in Cuba or Venezuela, so they sued in Miami.

-- Court House News

Cuban Doctors Manage to Defect Via Venezuela - Latin American Herald Tribune

 
At 2/06/2012 8:31 PM, Blogger Che is dead said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 2/06/2012 8:33 PM, Blogger Che is dead said...

"And if you want travel freedom for Cubans, why not grant more visas? Cuba repeatedly requests them, but this is denied by the US." -- Jon

You live in a fantasy world. Do you really believe that Cuba is prepared to allow it's prisoners/citizens the right to leave at will?

"What we do is tell them that if they do come illegally via dangerous means and they manage to get to shore we'll grant them privileges not given to any other foreigners. A path to legal permanent resident status and citizenship. A huge incentive to jump into a leaky boat and take a crack at it. Many die trying." -- Jon

Imagine, being ready to risk a horrid death in order to leave the leftist paradise of Castros Cuba. Didn't they watch any of Michael Moores movies? Haven't they seen the fawning, dictator worshiping interviews with Hollywood celebrities? What about the "free" health care? The great education? Don't they read your blog, Jon?

Actually, the U.S. is very generous towards anyone who manages to get here and can reasonably prove that they would be persecuted if forced to return to the country they had fled - not just Cubans.

I tell you what, I will pay all of the costs associated with you expatriating to Cuba. You must be willing to renounce your U.S. citizenship and turn in your passport. After all, who could expect a morally superior human being, like you, to live in a "terrorist" nation such as ours?

A ticket to "paradise" is yours just for the asking.

 
At 2/07/2012 12:18 AM, Blogger Benjamin said...

I regard Cuba as another monkey-thug state, along with China, Venezuela, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Afcrapistan, Russia, Iraq and many other nations, where human, property and commercial rights count for crap.

But again, even in the posts here, we see GOP partisans and unhinged warriors hysterical about Cuba, but never mentioning equal or worse human rights abuses in other nations. They execute people who convert to Christianity in Afcrapistan.

See below.

Slave Labor in China Sparks Outrage
By SIMON ELEGANT/BEIJING Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Rural workers rescued from an illegal brickyard at the village of Linfen, in northeast China.

The furor in China surrounding the discovery that children and the mentally handicapped had been kidnapped and sold into slavery is showing no sign of abating. It seems increasingly likely that the controversy will mark a significant milestone in the evolution of the country's civil society. Police said they had rescued more than 500 people from forced labor in brick kilns, where they were worked 18 hours a day and beaten if they tried to escape. Some 30 arrests have been made and more are expected following a massive police rescue operation involving 35,000 officers checking 7,500 work places.
The crackdown began after some 400 parents of children who they suspected had been kidnapped published an anguished letter on the popular Internet forum Tianya Club on June 7."

That was in 2007, and now the situation is worse---except now Westerners understand. The Communist Party owns the means of production in China, and they make sure they make money with it. Kidnapped child labor is common.

But hey, China has a free pass.

 
At 2/07/2012 12:24 AM, Blogger Benjamin said...

This is from National Review.

"America Quiet on the Execution of Afghan Christian Said Musa"
By Paul Marshall
February 18, 2011
A terrible drama is unfolding in Afghanistan: There are reports that Said Musa, whose situation I described at Christmas, will soon be executed for the ‘crime’ of choosing to become a Christian.

Musa was one of about 25 Christians arrested on May 31, 2010, after a May 27 Noorin TV program showed video of a worship service held by indigenous Afghan Christians; he was arrested as he attempted to seek asylum at the German embassy. He converted to Christianity eight years ago, is the father of six young children, had a leg amputated after he stepped on a landmine while serving in the Afghan Army, and now has a prosthetic leg. His oldest child is eight and one is disabled (she cannot speak). He worked for the Red Cross/Red Crescent as an adviser to other amputees.

He was forced to appear before a judge without any legal counsel and without knowledge of the charges against him. “Nobody [wanted to be my] defender before the court. When I said ‘I am a Christian man,’ he [a potential lawyer] immediately spat on me and abused me and mocked me. . . . I am alone between 400 [people with] terrible values in the jail, like a sheep.” He has been beaten, mocked, and subjected to sleep deprivation and sexual abuse while in prison. No Afghan lawyer will defend him and authorities denied him access to a foreign lawyer."

Do they execute Christians in Cuba?

 
At 2/07/2012 12:46 AM, Blogger Che is dead said...

"Do they execute Christians in Cuba?" -- "Benji"

Christians ... have particularly suffered under Guevara's dream of revolution, which has lasted since 1959 ... Guevara was an architect of Cuba's forced labor camps, which by 1965 were transformed into concentration camps for dissidents, homosexuals, Catholics, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Cubans of other religious sects. All independent thought that refused to worship the communist state was an affront to Guevara. Christians were an especially difficult lot. From the earliest days after Castro took power, Che sent hundreds of men to face firing squads at the Havana prison known as La Cabaña. His victims could be heard at dawn loudly crying "Long live Christ the King, down with communism," just before the rifle shots rang out ... Amazingly, hope is still alive in Cuba. One reason is because although Guevara was able to kill a lot of Christians, neither he nor his successors succeeded in wiping out Christianity. The struggling Christian community, which takes seriously the religious teaching to reject fear in the face of evil, is playing a key role in the island's dissident movement. An icon of the Christian resistance is Oscar Elias Biscet, a black physician who is serving a 25-year sentence for his peaceful activism against the regime. He has been arrested more than 26 times since he began to express his dissent; he has been beaten, tortured and locked in tiny windowless cells for days on end. Hundreds of other prisoners of conscience are in jail, under atrocious conditions; many are also devout Christians. The Christian faith has survived Che and Fidel and decades of brainwashing. It is battered but has not been defeated. Raul Castro fears it -- which is why he takes Bibles away from his unbreakable prisoners ... WSJ

 
At 2/07/2012 12:55 AM, Blogger Che is dead said...

"But again, even in the posts here, we see GOP partisans and unhinged warriors hysterical about Cuba, but never mentioning equal or worse human rights abuses in other nations." -- "Benji"

Complete bullshit.

 
At 2/07/2012 8:45 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Are we really going to sit here and argue about who is worse, China or Cuba? It doesn't freaking matter. Y'all are missing the much much much bigger point here.

 
At 2/07/2012 11:16 AM, Blogger Jon said...

Kidnapping children?!?!

Yep.

Maybe you running with the Counter Punch fairy tale that had no credible attributions in its version of events unless you have something else..

Do you?


Yes. The CIA and FBI had foreknowledge of the terrorism perpetuated by former CIA operatives Bosch and Carilles. Bosch would be pardoned by George H W Bush. Carilles still lives comfortably in Miami. Remeber how George W Bush said that he would not distinguish between the terrorists themselves and those that harbor them? Who harbors terrorists? The Taliban offered to hand bin Laden over to a third party. Has the US done the same?

Look at the beam in your own eye before complaining of the speck in your neighbors eye.

 
At 2/07/2012 1:40 PM, Blogger juandos said...

I asked you jon for credible sources and you give me wikipedia...

Are you joking?

I don't need to find other sources since I didn't make the absurb claims, did I?

BTW what does Karen DeYoung's BDS have to do with your absurb claims?

 
At 2/07/2012 3:07 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


3. The credit card has hardly changed since the 1950s. If they really wanted to simplify our lives, the heads of Visa, MasterCard and American Express would take a trip to Kenya and learn about innovative mobile money transfers.

The existing infrastructure works, this would only break it.

If anything, it looks more like a bankless Paypal with phones and scratch cards. It's targeted to somewhere that does not have a reliable banking sector.

If there is a solution, it will come from within, not from without.

 
At 2/07/2012 3:32 PM, Blogger Jon said...

Wikipedia is as good as Brittanica. Claims are sourced. Besides, these claims are not really controversial.

Karen DeYoung is a prominent journalist with the Washington Post. She reported very matter of factly in October 2001 that Bush had rejected a Taliban offer to hand over bin Laden. Here's the quote from the article I sent.

"At his Thursday news conference, Bush seemed to open a door he and others had already declared firmly closed when he told the Taliban's leaders that if they would "cough up" bin Laden, they could have a "second chance" to stop the military assault. On Sunday, Bush rejected a Taliban offer to turn over bin Laden to a third country."

Bush said he would not distinguish between the terrorists themselves and those that harbor them. The Taliban made more effort to hand bin Laden over than Bush did to hand over Carilles and Bosch. What does that say of his committment to bringing terrorists to justice?

Look at the beam in your own eye before looking to the speck in your neighbors eye.

 

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