We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Saturday, November 26. 2016
Re Trump, I am not a big fan but I am amused by it all. A Pres does not need to be your best pal. He has made some good appts. Yes, he should give Mittens a job. Romney needs a job. Take one more guy off unemployment in this economy.
Viking Ship Stopped by Gov Regulations
Hot Tubs and Luxury Dorms and Climbing Walls, Oh, My!
Who Raised the Snowflake Generation? Who’s to blame?
How Scientists Are Using Poop to Study New York City's Coyote Population
Free Coke! Why not?
Toronto is a hotbed of racial intolerance.
Teachers' unions are unhappy
Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’ during election, experts say
Colin Kaepernick Castro T-shirt is ignorant of facts, insulting
SURVIVING CASTRO'S TORTURES
FORTY THREE YEAR STRUGGLE AGAINST CASTRO
Repeal and Revise - Life after Obamacare won’t be as dire as some on the left are predicting
The outrage over fake news is based on fake news about fake news.
I haven't slept in my own room since the election
Bookends to a Disastrous Presidency
Nov. 8 represented an explosion of anger on the right at years of smugness and disdain by liberals.
Trump’s media feud enters new era
Isn't it the media's Trump feud?
Network CNN Vows To Oppose Trump Administration
The Real Legacy in Jeopardy Under the New Congress? LBJ’s - The GOP has plans to take apart many of Johnson’s Great Society reforms. Will Trump let them succeed?
President Trump’s Pentagon To Do List
Unlearned Lessons in Haiti
Sick governance, sick culture. They have to fix it themselves. Not in my lifetime, though.
Tracked: Nov 27, 09:11
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Soft Drinks Number One Purchase By Food Stamp Recipients…
Because the soft drinks get sold for cash & the cash gets used to buy a stash!
Bingo. Soft drinks have a huge margin, allowing for steep discounts at the big box retailers, discounts big enough that they can sell Cokes cheaper than your nearby convenience store can buy Cokes under their vendor agreement. This creates a sizable gray market funded by your tax dollars because - incredible as it may seem - even poor people are smart enough to figure out what the government is too stupid to learn - cash money is right up there at the top of the list of things people will do most anything to get their hands on.
Confused Old Misfit: Because the soft drinks get sold for cash & the cash gets used to buy a stash!
Food stamp recipients spend 5% on soft drinks, while non-food stamp recipients spend 4% on soft drinks. That hardly implies a black market.
The soft-drink black market in Appalachia is documented:
The market can't be particularly large if there is only a small difference between family spending with and without food stamps. However, it certainly can be endemic, as described in the article.
Yikes, I though most news was fake news, regardless of whether it came from some fringe blog or CNN. Do the Russians stand out from the rest of the trolls, MOBYs,...............
Fidel Castro, dead at 90.
Like him or not, he clearly retained great popular affection in Cuba. However, without his living presence, even as an infirm old figurehead, I doubt the people of that clapped-out nation have much faith left in the empty promises of la Revolución cubana.
So - interesting times ahead for Cuba! Little brother Raúl (no spring chicken himself) has none of Fidel's personal magnetism and the faceless functionaries who now run the country cannot offer much more than the usual rounds of small concessions mixed with capricious spells of repression.
Like him or not, he clearly retained great popular affection in Cuba.
But not enough "popular affection" to permit freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of information, freedom of....That would suggest that Fidel himself didn't view the "popular affection" as being all that deep.
Perhaps it is appropriate to recall the death of another totalitarian tyrant. Russians remember how they felt the day Stalin died. More at the link.
Dalila Avanesova, 73:If people can be sad over the death over the death of a monster like Stalin, then one would have to admit the same for Castro, whose tyranny claimed considerably fewer victims.
I remember the day Stalin died. They got us all together in school and lined us up in the corridor to mourn. Funeral music was playing. I remember the guards of honor of the pioneers and the Komsomol [Soviet youth movements] standing next to Stalin’s bust.
They stood to attention and saluted. Everyone was crying – the pupils, the teachers. But I wasn’t. I was confused by everything that was going on. Lessons had been cancelled and everyone went home to mourn.
When I got home, I could sense this kind of hidden joy. Maybe it was just me, but I could see the delight, the joy, the glitter in my mom’s eyes. There was a lightness to her every movement; she was full of energy, full of happiness, like a crushing weight had been lifted from her soul. She was my grandmother, but I called her “mom” because she had raised my brother and me. Her son – my uncle – was the writer Yury Dombrovsky. ...
I was living in a worker’s village not far from Nizhneudinsk in Irkutsk region at the time, a pupil in the eighth grade. I remember the whole village was in tears, quite literally. And they weren’t just crying – they were bawling their eyes out. They couldn’t keep it in and cried openly and honestly.
Gringo: But not enough "popular affection" to permit freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of information, freedom of..
It's a very rare thing for someone who gains ultimate power to then voluntarily surrender that power. Among the rare examples are Mandela, Washington, and reaching back a ways, Cincinnatus.
Let the Earthmen mourn their Leader in peace today.
You forgot Pinochet. Your list points out that it is mainly tyrants from the left who don't surrender power.
mudbug: You forgot Pinochet.
Pinochet didn't simply forego power. There was great social pressure for democracy, including by the Pope, which eventually led to elections, which he lost.
mudbug: Your list points out that it is mainly tyrants from the left who don't surrender power.
No. The list illustrates that it is extraordinarily rare for someone with dictatorial power to voluntarily surrender that power.
Pinochet didn't simply forego power. There was great social pressure for democracy, including by the Pope, which eventually led to elections, which he lost.
Not quite accurate. From Wikipedia:Chilean national plebiscite, 1988.
The plebiscite —as detailed in the 1980 Constitution— consisted of two choices:The 1988 plebiscite, which would decide whether Pinochet would rule another 8 years or not, was held NOT because of pressure from the Pope or from any such person or entity outside Chile, but in accordance with the 1980 Constitution. You know, the Constitution that was written when Pinochet was in power. IOW, the 1988 Plebiscite was held with Pinochet's approval, not because of any outside pressure.
Yes: The proposed candidate is approved. Pinochet takes office on 11 March 1989 for an eight-year mandate and parliamentary elections take place nine months after he is sworn in. The Junta continues to exercise the legislative power until the newly elected Congress takes office on 11 March 1990.
No: The proposed candidate is rejected. Pinochet and the Junta continue in power for another year. Presidential and parliamentary elections take place three months before Pinochet's term expires. The newly elected President and Congress take office on 11 March 1990.
The NO position won with 56% of the vote. Granted, Pinochet didn't want to accept the results of the Plebiscite, which would have meant elections in 1989. Pinochet expected the YES vote to win the Plebiscite which would have kept him in power for 8 more years.
The ensuing outside pressure was to make Pinochet accept the results of the Plebiscite which Pinochet himself had called in accordance with the 1980 Constitution. The ensuing election was a consequence of what the Constitution directed to do after the NO vote on the Plebiscite.
Patricio Aylwin, who led the NO campaign against Pinochet, was later elected President. In 1973. Aylwin played a leading role in the crafting of the resolution sometimes called Declaration of the Breakdown of Chile’s Democracy, a resolution which passed by an 81-47 vote in the Chamber of Deputies some three weeks before the coup. Allende correctly stated the resolution promoted a coup.
Gringo: The 1988 plebiscite, which would decide whether Pinochet would rule another 8 years or not, was held NOT because of pressure from the Pope or from any such person or entity outside Chile, but in accordance with the 1980 Constitution.
The Pope met with Pinochet in 1987, and pushed for a return to democracy, and Pinochet's resignation. Events had already moved beyond Pinochet's ability to control. And as you say, "The ensuing outside pressure was to make Pinochet accept the results of the Plebiscite".
Pinochet was no Cincinnatus.
And American WASPs. Begrudgingly and incompletely, but without revolution.
Assistant Village Idiot: And American WASPs. Begrudgingly and incompletely, but without revolution.
Begrudgingly and incompletely, under severe political pressure, with social changes outside of their control, doesn't qualify for the Cincinnatus Award.
"But not enough 'popular affection' to permit freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of information, freedom of....That would suggest that Fidel himself didn't view the "popular affection" as being all that deep."
I'm not defending the man. Far from it.
Merely pointing out that he was genuinely popular with Cubans. And therein lies the rub: his successors have no such comparable charisma so it will be interesting to see what happens.
Look at Venezuela post-Chávez. Chávez was also very popular. But Venezuelans are discovering the hard way that Chavismo without Chávez isn't quite so attractive.
But Venezuelans are discovering the hard way that Chavismo without Chávez isn't quite so attractive.
Correction:But Venezuelans are discovering the hard way that Chavismo without $100 oil isn't quite so attractive. It is no accident that Chavez was elected in 1998, when the export price of Venezuelan oil averaged around $10/BBL, the lowest price in decades.
Although we are not from your Planet, Zack and I here in Uranus also have lost a great man, a great leader and a great model for our Progressive Cause.
The Reflexive Liberal: have lost a great man, a great leader and a great model for our Progressive Cause.
The unwillingness to return power to the people has doomed many a revolution. Surely, The Reflexive Liberal, you are not conflating liberalism with leftist?
Remember, our Star Brother, we are not from the UofSA or even from Earth. We do not fully understand this Planet, as we have been repeatedly shown by Farmer Earthlings.
When we return to Uranus, our report will explain how commieism, liberalism, leftism, progressivism, and bullshit are of the same substance.
The Reflexive Liberal: When we return to Uranus, our report will explain how commieism, liberalism, leftism, progressivism, and bullshit are of the same substance.
Then you are a very poor observer.
We am a trained politikal observer, and the science is settled. All scientists now agree. there is no room for Deniers.
liberalism, communism, progrssivism and bullshit are sourced from the same shit.
Leftism, advocacy of great equality. This ranges from social democracy, which advocates a social safety net; to absolute social and economic equality, as in communism.
Communism, the belief in the common ownership of the means of production and the absence of the state. Marxism is the belief in a specific historical process, which proceeds from feudalism to capitalism to socialism to communism.
Liberalism, advocacy of liberty and equality. These goals are often in conflict, and liberalism is characterized by balancing of these goals.
Progressivism, advocacy of government solutions to reform society.
"Like him or not"?
What the fuck are talking about? He was a murdering bastard who killed thousands of his own people and tortured hundreds of thousands in his prisons, not to mention the absolute poverty most of the people on his liberated island were forced to live in. May he rot in hell.
Thank you. The man was evil. On behalf of my friends who barely escaped his terror and had to craft new lives in the U.S. of A., which they bless daily for giving them a home, adios, Fidel. You screwed up a generation or two on behalf of communism, a total failure.
Nov. 8 represented an explosion of anger on the right. We're like the big dog who seems to be snoozing while the little dogs endlessly and noisily yip and yap and prance around him, tearing things up and knocking things over, until finally he has had enough and erupts with an earth shattering GROWF!, and the little dogs scatter ... for awhile.
We just smiled and waved, sittin' there on that sack of seeds.
Incredible levels of media manipulation are still going on, despite claims to the contrary. The Washington Post has an article on its front page, the daily "white man shoots black teen" story:
Comments were open and predictably polarized. There were about 150 of them.
Several people had noted that the photograph included in the article showed a kid who looked to be about 12, not 15 as the murdered teenager was, and then wondered why a more recent photo was not used. Those commenters were predictably called racist for even suggesting such a thing.
Then someone posted a comment saying, "If the WP reporter had spent ten minutes searching for this person's social media page they would have found this recent picture":
Little different from the first photo, eh? That guy looks totally scary, and it is CLEARLY the same person as in the younger photo.
Within minutes, comments on the article were shut down and all previous comments deleted, with a sanctimonious note attached saying that comments aren't allowed when stories deal with personal loss. What. A. Joke.
Why not update the story with the newer photograph??? Why keep the picture of a 12-year-old kid posted when there is a much more recent photo of the 15-year-old who was actually shot?
It's a disgrace. It really is.
JM01: That guy looks totally scary
He does? He looks like a kid.
Hey Zach? Just a suggestion - you might want to try spending some time with Black people instead of just using them as a fetishized object for your aggressive self-righteousness.
Just FYI, I lived in Central Africa for two years; for the two years before that I lived in Mount Vernon, a predominantly Black neighborhood in Baltimore. For the last decade I have lived in Atlanta, again in a predominantly Black neighborhood. Also, 40% of my coworkers are Black. I regularly find myself in work situations where I am the only white person in the room, and occasionally socially as well. Just wondering when the last time was that you hung out with Black folks and were the only white person there.
And you know what I've learned over the years? That Black people come in all kinds, and to make assumptions about someone regarding the color of their skin is a quick way to make a fool of yourself. Look closely and you just might discover that there's an actual human being there, instead of a figment of your imagination.
JM01: That Black people come in all kinds, and to make assumptions about someone regarding the color of their skin is a quick way to make a fool of yourself.
Where did we make such assumptions? We pointed out the obvious, that a kid looks like a kid.
The problem is that the facts contradict the preferred narrative. Blacks are 28 times more likely to commit violent acts and crimes than whites are. Blacks are 20 times more likely to attack whites than whites are to attack blacks. How in a left wing liberal world do you compensate for that?
Easy! You do not report black attacks on whites, you highlight white attacks on blacks and keep it on the front page for years. You call all attacks against blacks 'hate crimes' and ignore the hate crimes against whites. You ignore black nationalist groups and black supremacist groups while spending endless time talking about the elusive white supremacist.
GoneWithTheWind: Blacks are 28 times more likely to commit violent acts and crimes than whites are. Blacks are 20 times more likely to attack whites than whites are to attack blacks.
Do you have an authoritative citation for your claim?
What is the percentage of blacks that commit violent crimes?
I could only find statistics for homicide. For black men, .033% are arrested for homicide. For white men, .0047% are arrested for homicide. Small numbers, but still a dramatic discrepancy. In other words, seven times more black men are arrested for homicide than white men. Apparently, other statistics regarding absolute numbers per population are not kept. (Hmm, wonder why.)
Jim: For black men, .033% are arrested for homicide.
So when looking at a particular black man, the odds are 99.967% that they have not been arrested for homicide.
Of the nearly 770,000 violent interracial crimes committed every year involving blacks and whites, blacks commit 85 percent and whites commit 15 percent.
Blacks commit more violent crime against whites than against blacks. Forty-five percent of their victims are white, 43 percent are black, and 10 percent are Hispanic. When whites commit violent crime, only three percent of their victims are black.
Blacks are an estimated 39 times more likely to commit a violent crime against a white than vice versa, and 136 times more likely to commit robbery.
Blacks are 2.25 times more likely to commit officially-designated hate crimes against whites than vice versa.
GoneWithTheWind: Blacks commit more violent crime against whites than against blacks.
Poppycock. For instance, in 2014, black murdered 446 whites, and 2205 blacks.
So, we took at look at authorship, the New Century Foundation. The founder of New Century Foundation is Jared Taylor, a self-described white separatist. You are simply repeating information bouncing around in the alt-right echochamber.
The stats cited were from federal sources. You refuted them by merely pointing to black murders. Well of course blacks murder more blacks because most of those murders are the result of gang violence over drugs. Mugging, car jacking, rape, assaults, polar bear hunting and other acts of violence push the overall stats to 45% against whites. As Willie Sutton said "that's where the money is".
GoneWithTheWind: Mugging, car jacking, rape, assaults, polar bear hunting and other acts of violence push the overall stats to 45% against whites.
That is incorrect. A white is four times more likely to be victimized by a white than a black.
You are using weasel words; "victimized".
We are talking about violent stranger on stranger crimes. For example You are walking down the street and get attacked, robbed or shot.
GoneWithTheWind: You are using weasel words; "victimized".
That data concerns violent victimization. You keep waving your hands, but it doesn't make the evidence go away.
GoneWithTheWind: You do not report black attacks on whites
The FBI keeps statistics on crimes by race, including black on white crimes.
GoneWithTheWind: You call all attacks against blacks 'hate crimes' and ignore the hate crimes against whites.
That is incorrect. To be a racial hate crime, there must be evidence that the crime was demonstrably motivated by racial bias.
GoneWithTheWind: You ignore black nationalist groups and black supremacist groups while spending endless time talking about the elusive white supremacist.
Not so elusive. You can find such opinions expressed right on this very blog. For instance, one commenter said "Black people are stupid and violent."
""Black people are stupid and violent."
Are you really saying that stating this or believing this makes you a white supremacist?
Perhaps it is rude or too blunt or not PC but it is hardly indicative of a white supremacist belief. Statistically black people are stupid and violent. This stigma is the result of them committing far more stupid and violent actions than people of all other races. Is simply observing this fact proof of white supremacist beliefs?
I invite you to spend next Saturday night from 8PM until 2AM walking the streets of East St Louis. We will talk about this more on the following Sunday if you are up to it.
Could just as easily be New Orleans, Baltimore, Philly, East LA, Southside of Chicago... What do these places have in common? They are populated by stupid, violent people.
I say "stupid" because we live in the best country in the world, where you can be what you want to be. You can get an education, learn a trade, live your dream, put on a backpack and wander the country. Buy a car and drive every back road in America. Find a remote site in a national forest and live off the land for six months... I could list a thousand choices most of which don't require a lot of money, special skills or equipment. Anyone could do these things, just pick your dream and go for it. IMHO a person would have to be stupid to reject all those choices and instead decide to commit petty or major crimes, run from the police when stopped and gather skittles, iced tea and cough syrup to get high and attack innocent people. Stupid, stupid, stupid! How could anyone disagree with that???
GoneWithTheWind: This stigma is the result of them committing far more stupid and violent actions than people of all other races.
People have such short memories.
I guess you think showing actions of old Democrats is meaningful in some way. Stupid is universal BUT it is not universally equally prevalent. Ask one of your alter egos about statistics. It is the study of data to discover trends and give insight to underlying facts. Statistically blacks have lower IQ's. That does not mean all blacks have lower IQs or that all Whites/Japanese/Chinese/Indians/Mexicans/etc. have higher IQ's. It simply reflects a trend where the bell curve of IQ is slightly more to the lower end of the scale. It isn't insulting or racist it is merely a fact of life. Based on your response you would immediately believe that if you showed a Whites/Japanese/Chinese/Indians/Mexicans/etc. with low IQ or doing something stupid that would somehow prove your point and negate any difference of opinion. Again I refer you to someone who understands statistics to explain this all to you so you don't continue to make a fool of yourself. Statistically blacks are better at football and Basketball. Canadians are better at hockey, Hispanics are better at soccer, Japanese are better at Karate, French are better cooks, Italians are better at talking with their hands. I'm sure that some of these observations will give some of those people either heartburn or joy depending on their personal feelings. None of this is to say that only French are good cooks or only Japanese are good at Karate or only blacks are good at football, etc. But statistically and based on observations these things are true.
I can easily understand that blacks dislike/resent that they score lower on IQ tests and that they are indeed more likely to resort to violence in human interactions. I can also understand the basic human desire to rationalize away these facts and shift blame to others. To maybe look back in history for some example of a wrong that they can proudly tout as proof of something or other to deflect and defer from the facts at hand. But the ability to change all of this is in their hands not mine or the governments. They need to return to parenting their children, encouraging them to take advantage of the education system, to learn to solve problems through negotiation and not violence, to take responsibility for their actions and not blame everything on those who have worked hard to better themselves. Until or unless they do that they will statistically remain violent and stupid.
GoneWithTheWind: Stupid, stupid, stupid!
You defined "stupid" as engaging in destructive behavior. People of European ancestry have certainly held their own in this regard.
In any case, you had said "Blacks commit more violent crime against whites than against blacks." That was false. Intraracial crime is far more prevalent than interracial crime.
Every culture/country/race has people who commit violent acts. Probably due to mental deficiencies but certainly can be aggravated by dysfunctional upbringing. What you seem unable to grasp is that some cultures/races/countries have rates of violence 10, 20, 30 times higher than average. All of your apology, name calling and excuses cannot explain this. Which is of course why you are forced to try to change the subject or offer misleading claims.
GoneWithTheWind: What you seem unable to grasp is that some cultures/races/countries have rates of violence 10, 20, 30 times higher than average.
Hmm. Though to be fair, the shear numbers killed in twentieth-century European wars seems to have more to do with high populations and industrialization of the means of destruction. We have hopes that "white people" will be able to overcome their past history of violence.
That's an interesting juxtaposition/change of subject.
So now it's war! What culture/country/race has not had wars or even worse genocide? You think it was only Europeans?
GoneWithTheWind: That's an interesting juxtaposition/change of subject.
It's not a change of subject. You claimed "What you seem unable to grasp is that some cultures/races/countries have rates of violence 10, 20, 30 times higher than average." We pointed to an example of a culture/race/country exhibiting a high level of violence.
GoneWithTheWind: You think it was only Europeans?
You're the one making white supremacist claims.
"You're the one making white supremacist claims"
That is laughable. You, like so many on the left, see racism and "white supremacists" behind every shadow. I don't know any white supremacist, I don't know of any white supremacist, I'm not sure there even are any white supremacist. I think it is a projection of left wing minds, a cover for their own biases. The NAACP is a black supremacist organization. La Raza is a Mexican supremacist organization but somehow the left is blind to this. I think to change the subject and justify their actions the left has invented white supremacy.
GoneWithTheWind: You, like so many on the left, see racism and "white supremacists" behind every shadow.
As already noted, there's at least one commenter on this very blog who wrote, "Black people are stupid and violent."
That doesn't make them a white supremacist. DUH!
Asian people are smart and commit less crime.
Does that make me some kind of supremacist?
The statistics say that black people are indeed violent and stupid. Maybe it's rude to say it. Maybe there is some way to say it that will invoke visions of rainbows and purple unicorns. Maybe it would be better if we ignored those facts and made believe that a white teen is just as likely to shoot you as a black teen is. But it doesn't change the facts.
If you want to fix this problem you must state the problem and the facts accurately.
GoneWithTheWind: That doesn't make them a white supremacist.
If you say so...
I simply don't understand the penchant the left has for name calling and divisive rhetoric. Everyone you disagree with must be a white supremacist or xenophobe, etc. If you can't prove it you imply it, whisper it or get one of your surrogates to make the claim. As your basket of deplorables grows your supporters shrink. But you seem oblivious and double down.
GoneWithTheWind: Everyone you disagree with must be a white supremacist or xenophobe, etc.
However, someone who says that "Black people are stupid and violent," is clearly claiming white superiority.
So what is someone saying when they say "white men can't jump"?
What is someone saying when they say that Asians are smarter than other races?
Some experts have placed the average black IQ at 80. What is it they are saying???
The FBI says blacks commit more violent crimes.
What are they saying???
GoneWithTheWind: So what is someone saying when they say "white men can't jump"?
White Men Can't Jump, and blacks can't swim or do math.
You racist xenophobic bastard.
Did you even click the links?
Bookends to a Disastrous Presidency
The bookends are a European visit where Obama mentioned that during the previous administration, senior politicians denigrated Europe ("Freedom Fries!"); and a recent European visit where Obama talked about the recurrent problem of a crude form of tribalism, pointing to the bloodbaths in Europe during the twentieth century.
Compare to the bookends of the Bush Administration, the worst terrorist attack on American soil, and the worst financial catastrophe since the Great Depression.
I would call the first of Bush's bookends much more attributable to Clinton and the second bookend slightly more to the 2006 Congress, which squashed regulation of the mortgage derivative investors for good. Bush does deserve part of that blame for his support of mortgage practices which bankrupted Hispanics and to a lesser extent, blacks. But the regulation was fought for by Bush, McCain, and Sununu, and destroyed by Frank, Dodd...and even Obama. Funny thing.
Assistant Village Idiot: I would call ...
You can call a tail a leg, if you want.
Assistant Village Idiot: the first of Bush's bookends much more attributable to Clinton ...
The Bush Administration was urgently warned by the Clinton Administration that bin Laden was intending to attack the U.S. homeland, and requested an immediate meeting of the national security principals as soon as Bush took office. That meeting didn't occur until 9/4/2001. While we can never be sure what might have been, we do know that inaction was no defense.
Assistant Village Idiot: and the second bookend slightly more to the 2006 Congress
Republicans controlled the Congress in 2006, and the housing bubble was in full bloom by that time. (If you examine the chart, it's clear that the business cycle was nearing its natural peak in 2001, and the government should have attempted to cool off the economy. Instead, they engaged in a vast procyclical policy (long term margin income tax cuts, unfunded war, unfunded Medicare expansion) that exacerbated the bubble.)
Fidel was a tyrant. Fidel was also an incredibly skilled politician to have remained in power for over a half century, until his death. Unfortunately for Cubans, Fidel was much better at acquiring and retaining power than he was at doing anything positive with that power.
In the 1980s, Castro touted Ubre Blanca, the wonder cow that set records for milk production. The truth of Cuba's milk production under the Castro regime was considerably different from the propaganda about Ubre Blanca. From 1961 to 2013, milk production in Latin America increased 370%, from 18,195,026 metric tons to 85,562,089 metric tons. From 1961 to 2013, milk production in Cuba increased 70%, from 350,000 metric tons to 589,100 metric tons. Expressed another way: milk production in Latin America in 2013 was 3.7 times greater what it was in 1961, while Cuba's milk production in 2013 was 1.7 times greater what it was in 1961. One cannot blame the "embargo" for Cuba's abysmal record in milk production. Data from the FAO.
Those who tout all the great things that the Castro regime did in health and education, such as Bernie Sanders, often ignore two important facts. First, the Cuba that Castro inherited in 1959 was relatively well off. In the 1950s. Cuba had ~1,000 inhabitants per physician, which compared well with the US and with Europe. Second, other countries have had comparable improvements in health and/or education without imposing a totalitarian regime.
In 1960, the year after Castro took power, Cuba ranked third in Life Expectancy in Latin America, behind Argentina and Uruguay. In 2014, Cuba ranked third in Life Expectancy in Latin America, behind Chile and Uruguay. In 1960, Cuba's Life Expectancy was 8.24 years greater than Life Expectancy for Latin America. In 2014, Cuba's Life Expectancy was 4.67 years greater than Life Expectancy for Latin America, which shows that the rest of Latin America had made considerable progress in reducing the gap in Life Expectancy with Cuba.Interesting how Bernie Sanders never acknowledged that the rest of Latin America was also doing pretty well on improving Life Expectancy and thus health care. Sorta kills Bernie's caudillo-worship. If facts get in the way of caudillo-worship, ignore them.
World Bank: World Development Indicators.
Expressed another way: milk production in Latin America in 2013 was 3.7 times greater what it was in 1961, while Cuba's milk production in 2013 was 1.7 times greater what it was in 1961.
Correction: Expressed another way: milk production in Latin America in 2013 was 4.7 times greater what it was in 1961, while Cuba's milk production in 2013 was 1.7 times greater what it was in 1961.
You make some good points there.
My response to people whose defence of Castro's Cuba is based almost entirely on touting the country's medical system is:
"So would you like to live there yourself?"
OBAMA ON FIDEL:
PRESIDENT-ELECT TRUMP ON FIDEL:
Thank goodness we have a real American as president again.
"The Real Legacy in Jeopardy Under the New Congress? LBJ’s - The GOP has plans to take apart many of Johnson’s Great Society reforms."
I guess fifty+ years of liberal failures is about enough, eh?