Items filtered by date: Wednesday, 16 October 2019
Wednesday, 16 October 2019 22:08

Dumb kids and Che Guevara

Let’s say that all you knew about Adolf Hitler was that he painted scenic pictures, postcards, and houses in Vienna, loved dogs and named his adorable German Shepard “Blondie,” and frequently expressed solidarity with “the people.” You might sport a T-shirt adorned with his image if you thought such a charismatic chap was also good-looking in a beret. But your education would be widely regarded as incomplete.

If you later found out that the guy on your T-shirt was a mass murderer, you might ask your oppression studies professor why she left out a few important details.

This hypothetical resembles a real-world phenomenon seen today on numerous college campuses. Fifty-two years after his demise in Bolivia—on October 9, 1967—the maniacal socialist Ernesto “Che” Guevara is still making headlines and spoiling perfectly good clothes.

In film and pop culture, Che comes off as an adventurous motorcyclist, a humble-living commoner, a romantic egalitarian revolutionary, and a swashbuckling sex symbol. His ghastly history as one of Fidel Castro’s favorite thugs routinely gets whitewashed because, in spite of all the murders, he supposedly had good intentions (read: hate the rich, concentrate power, eliminate dissent, help the poor by creating more of them).

In his remarkable 2007 volume, Exposing the Real Che Guevara and the Useful Idiots Who Idolize Him, acclaimed journalist Humberto Fontova contrasted the fiction with the facts in these terms:

Who Was “Che” Guevara?

Myth: International man of the people. Humanitarian. Brave freedom fighter. Lover of literature and life. Advocate of the poor and oppressed.

Reality: Cold-blooded murderer. Sadistic torturer. Power-hungry materialist. Terrorist who inspired destruction and bloodshed through Latin America.

Here are some lesser-known info bits about the psychopath-on-the-T-shirt, drawn from Fontova’s book and other sources:

  • He publicly applauded the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956 and denounced the student protesters battling Soviet tanks in Budapest as “fascists.”
  • Upon the victory of the 1959 communist revolution in Cuba, Che commandeered for himself one of the most luxurious mansions in Havana—complete with a yacht harbor, monster swimming pool, seven bathrooms, sauna and massage salon, and five television sets.
  • Che played a leading role in the Cuban Literacy Campaign of 1961 and, at the same time, helped direct the regime’s brutal policy of crushing dissenting opinion and opposition media. As Fontova documented in his biography, Che “promoted book burning and signed death warrants for authors who disagreed with him.” Communist despots routinely teach reading and writing but work even harder at making sure you only read and write what they want you to. Che’s first public book-burning set more than 3,000 books ablaze on a Havana street.
  • Even Che’s adoring hagiographer, Jorge Castaneda, admits that Che “played a central role in establishing Cuba’s security machinery” in the early days of the Castro regime. In that capacity, Che supervised the torture and execution of untold thousands of Cubans without trial. He had a special affection for firing squads.
  • Cuban poet and diplomat Armando Valladares, author of Against All Hope: My 22 Years in Castro’s Gulag, says Che “was a man full of hatred” who executed people “who never once stood trial and were never declared guilty” and who declared, “At the smallest of doubt we must execute.”
  • Che was no equal opportunity oppressor. He held special dislike for gays, whom he incarcerated in multiple prisons. He was a well-known racist, as well.

Fidel Castro appointed Che Guevara as communist Cuba’s first “Economics Minister” and president of the country’s National Bank. Within months, the Cuban peso was practically worthless. Castro appointed him Minister of Industries, too. In that job, Che proved equally incompetent. He once bought a fleet of snowplows from Czechoslovakia because he thought they would make excellent sugar cane harvesters but, sadly, the machines simply squashed and killed the plants.

Che was Castro’s economic czar, though he knew nothing about economics beyond Marxist bumper stickers. His former deputy Ernesto Betancourt said Che was “ignorant of the most elementary economic principles.” Nonetheless, he actually wrote communist Cuba’s agrarian reform law, limiting the size of all farms and creating state-run communes. Production plummeted and is still lower today than before the revolution.

The Soviet missiles in Cuba that nearly precipitated a world war in 1962 were Che’s idea. When the Soviets were pressured by the Kennedy administration to remove them, Che publicly declared that if the missiles had been under Cuban control, they would have been fired at the US because the cause of socialism was worth “millions of atomic-war victims.”

Che left Cuba in 1965 to foment violent insurrections first in Africa and then back in Latin America. He was captured by the Bolivian military on October 8, 1967, and administered a dose of his own summary medicine the next day.

Bottom line: Think twice (actually, just once ought to be enough) about adding a Che Guevara T-shirt to your Christmas giving this year.

 

Lawrence W. Reed is President Emeritus, Humphreys Family Senior Fellow, and Ron Manners Ambassador for Global Liberty at the Foundation for Economic Education. His opinions are his own. This article originally appeared on fee.org, then pennypress. Reprinted with permission. 

Published in Opinion
Wednesday, 16 October 2019 21:00

Making Biden's kid wealthy

My father was a big shot in the worlds of engineering and education.

 

He retired as the Dean of the College of Engineering at Bradley University after a years long career, producing hundreds of engineers for companies like Caterpillar.  One of those young engineers was NOT me.

 

If I had come to his office one day, when I was still in college, and told my father that Caterpillar had hired me for (this was the 70s) say a mere $20,000 a month in an unspecified position with unspecified responsibilities he would have come unglued.

 

He would NOT have been proud and congratulated me.  

 

He would have rightfully called the Chairman at Caterpillar (in those days, his friend William L. Naumann), demand I be fired and would never have allowed such a conflict of interest to take place.  (I actually had to fight him over the $200 a month job of running the University’s radio station and he ultimately did have me fired after two years.)

 

Contrast that with former Vice President Joe Biden.

 

His son, Hunter, is a drug addict who got himself kicked out of the Navy.  Serious skillset there.

 

His father basically had a few responsibilities as Vice President.  In addition to staying alive in the event of the President’s untimely demise, two of those were representing President Obama’s policies in China and the Ukraine.

 

After he got kicked out of the United States Navy, Hunter hitched a ride to China on Air Force Two and a few days after they returned, Hunter’s private equity company got a BILLION dollar “investment” from China’s government.

 

Imagine that.  Coincidence?

 

Doubtful.  But to listen to the former Vice President, sonny boy didn’t do anything wrong—like he intimated the Trump children have.  There is, however, a difference.  The Trump children were in business long before their father ran for President.

 

Does Joe really want to take the position that someone who is a businessman CANNOT serve in public office? 

 

You see, Donald Trump is the first President we have had in many years who is NOT part of the political club.  Who is so wealthy he cannot be bought, despite the ridiculous claims by people that, somehow, he has become enriched by becoming President. However much the media hates him, it would be very hard for a President as vilified as he to actually increase his net worth while in office.

 

And his inability to be bought is just another reason he is vilified by people and institutions which would love to buy him.

 

How is it that a clown like Joe Biden could use his position to make his son wealthy and look the media in the eye and say that nothing was done wrong?  That during his tenure there was no corruption?

 

Simple.

 

That’s the very swamp which Trump is in the process of draining.  People expect this crap in DC, just as they used to expect the mob to control Chicago, New York and Las Vegas.

 

Biden would have you believe that he’s an honest man in Washington—that Donald Trump is corrupt.  That using his position as Vice President to enrich his son never happened.  And, if it did, well, that’s how things work in big time politics.

 

The truth can be divined in a quote from a video of Biden talking to the Council on Foreign Relations about a Ukrainian prosecutor who apparently was getting a little too close to Sonny Boy. “I said we’re not going to give you the billion dollars. They said ‘you can’t do that, you have no authority, you’re not the president. I said if the prosecutor’s not fired, you’re not getting the money.  Well, son of a bitch, he got fired." 

 

(Editor's note: This quote is taken from a one hour video of Biden (and others) discussing Biden's efforts on behalf of the Obama administration to pressure Ukraine into prosecuting corruption and firing prosecutor Viktor Shokin, who was universally recognized by diplomats and officials as an ineffective prosecutor who refused to go after corrupt politicians. Shokin's office was also investigating Burisma, a company that Biden's son Hunter, was a board of director member. Shokin was later fired and replaced by another prosecutor. Therefor, many are pushing an idea that, Joe Biden pressured Ukraine to fire the prosecutor in order to protect his son who must have done something illegal while he was on the board of directors of this company. The above quote is used as "proof." The first  problem with this is that Biden's quote is taken completely out of context and if you watch the full hour video, which is much more interesting than you would expect it to be, it speaks for itself. The second problem is that, if you read about the actual Burisma investigation it dealt with Ukraine's Ministry of Ecology, which allegedly granted special permits, that may or may not have been illegal, to Burisma between 2010 and 2012. Hunter Biden did not join the company until 2014. But, because the investigation was still on going when he joined the company it is factually accurate to say that Hunter Biden was on the board of directors while the company was being investigated by Shokin's office. But, as you can see, it would be impossible for Hunter Biden to have anything to do with the investigation since he wasn't even involved in the company until multiple years after the fact. Finally, the reason Shokin was actually fired was because he refused to go after corrupt politicians. He was replaced by a prosecutor who was known to go after corrupt politicians. So, while it is all true that Hunter Biden raised $1.5 billion with China's state bank by having his fater, who was Vice President at the time and was in China on a state vist, introduce him to some very wealthy Chinese folks, which is a bit shady. There is clearly nothing going on with the no story of the Burisma / Hunter Biden investigation as it was about an issue that was two to four years before Hunter joined the company.) 

 

Published in Opinion
Wednesday, 16 October 2019 20:53

Baseball’s greatest lefthander ever

Monday, April 4, 2016, the greatest sportscaster ever began his 67th and final season.

Don’t take the word of two life-long Dodger fans that 88-yearold Vin Scully, the Voice of Da Bums since 1950, is the best. His awards and recognitions are way too numerous to list, so here are the greatest highlights. The American Sportscasters Association named him Sportscaster of the Century in 2000 and first on its all-time Top- 50 list later. Numerous halls of fame, a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, etc.

The reasons for that extend from his encyclopedic knowledge of the game and technical broadcasting skills to his modesty, casual friendly manner, and personal warmth, all conveyed in a lyrically descriptive style via a dulcet voice. His vivid yet simple description of a game has thrilled fans for years.

It all starts with his signature introduction: “It’s time for Dodger baseball! Hi, everybody, and a very pleasant good day/evening to you, wherever you may be.”

When the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles in 1958, fans began bringing their transistor radios to the ballgame because he added so much to what they saw. Part of his charm is his mastery of baseball history and anecdote, which makes fans feel a special connection to him and the game.

He learned early on to be objective and understated, not a home-team shill and loud. And he always kept in mind that sportscasting is about the players and the game, not about him.

He’s witnessed more spectacular sports history moments than anyone. He was there (but not calling the action) for baseball’s most famous moment ever, Bobby Thomson’s pennant-winning “shot heard ‘round the world” homerun in 1951 for the Giants that broke Dodger hearts forever.

Four years later, he called the seventh game of the Dodgers’ first World Series championship ever, which Scully recalls as his favorite moment. On the last out, he said simply, “Ladies and gentlemen, the Brooklyn Dodgers are the champions of the world.” Then he turned the mic to the cheering crowd for an extended time in what became another signature move.

He explains that as an eighty year-old boy, he used to lay his head on a pillow under the large radio counsel in his parents’ home and let the sounds of the crowd and the game wash over him as ate crackers and drank milk. That memory comes back at every good baseball moment, and that’s what he shares with fans.

Other highlights? Kirk Gibson’s 1988 World Series walk off homer that’s widely viewed as the second most memorable moment in baseball history. Hank Aaron’s 715th homer in 1974 that broke Babe Ruth’s most famous career record. Barry Bonds’ 71st, 72nd and 73rd home-runs in 2001 to capture the single-season record.

Did we mention that he called “The Catch” on TV in 1982, when the San Francisco 49ers’ Joe Montana and Dwight Clark beat the Dallas Cowboys and started a dynasty? Yes, he’s great at television, too, plus football, golf and tennis broadcasting.

He’s called five baseball perfect games – no one else has two – beginning with Don Larsen’s in the 1956 Series, the first perfect game in 34 years. And 18 no-hitters, including four by Sandy Koufax, culminating with his perfecto in 1965. Two more perfect games in 1988 and 1991. Then, in 1999 he played himself in arguably the best sports (and date) film ever, For Love of the Game. As the hero takes the mound for the ninth inning, seeking to finish his perfect game, Scully says: “Billy Chapel is 40 years old, arm weary and aching. And you know, Steve, you get the feeling that Billy Chapel isn’t pitching against left-handers, he isn’t pitching against pinch-hitters, he isn’t pitching against the Yankees. He’s pitching against time. He’s pitching against the future, against age, and even when you think about his career, against ending. And tonight I think he might be able to use that aching old arm one more time to push the sun back up in the sky and give us one more day of summer.”

Vin Scully used that dulcet voice to push the sun back up in the sky for one more summer for all of us.

 

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Ron Knecht is a contributing editor to the Penny Press - the conservative weekly "voice of Nevada." You can subscribe at www.pennypressnv.com. This is an edited version of his column which has been reprinted with permission. 

Published in Sports