texshelters

Posts Tagged ‘lies’

Lies the Media Tells about Cuba

In Current Events, History on April 11, 2012 at 20:27

The mainstream media and right-wing commentators are skilled at taking one ignorant statement by one individual and using it to promote their political ideology ad nauseum. And the right doesn’t care if they have to mislead, lie, and rewrite history to do it. In this case it was the comments by Ozzie Guillen, manager of the Miami Marlins, who when asked in a Time Magazine interview what he thought of Fidel Castro said, “I love Fidel Castro” and “I respect him.”

While Mr. Guillen’s remarks are unfortunate and surprising, this article will focus on the lies about Cuba that followed the manager’s misguided choice of words.

The lies about Cuba and Castro range from the mild, “everyone in Miami hates Castro”, to the ridiculous, “Castro is Hitler”, a statement I heard on local radio show. Here is some other misinformation that the media often promotes when discussing Cuba and Castro:

1. Everyone in Miami hates Castro. Actually, many third generation Cubans just want the U.S. to have better relations with Cuba and end the U.S. embargo. They don’t care about Castro the way their parents do, for they are Americans now.

While support of the embargo is common among Cuban Americans in Florida, it is not universal. About forty-three percent of U.S. born cubans are against the Cuban embargo, and about 60% of those arriving between 1990-2000 from Cuba oppose it.

Perhaps the newer Cuban arrivals are against the embargo because they have seen the negative impact it has on the health and lives of the people of Cuba while the U.S. born and older Cubans did not live through the U.S. embargo and see its damaging effects.

2. Castro has hurt every Cuban, everywhere. In fact, under Castro, education levels went up in Cuba and they created one of the most cost efficient and in some ways effective health care systems in the world. Cuba has a near 100% literacy rate,   comparable with the United States. And while the U.S. ranks 37th on the WHO healh care rankings and Cuba ranks 39th, the U.S. spends about 2.5 times what Cuba spends per capita on health care and has a similar life expectancy.

“”Cuba’s achievements in social development are impressive given the size of its gross domestic product per capita. As the human development index of the United Nations makes clear year after year, Cuba should be the envy of many other nations, ostensibly far richer. [Cuba] demonstrates how much nations can do with the resources they have if they focus on the right priorities – health, education, and literacy.””
— Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations, April 11, 2000

And no, that doesn’t excuse Fidel Castro of his human rights abuses against some, but the facts give a clearer picture of Cuba.

3. Castro and socialism ruined the Cuban economy. After 50 years of the U.S. economic embargo against Cuba, it’s hard to lay the blame for Cuba’s poverty entirely on Castro’s economic policies. Moreover, “In her last report to the Human Rights Council, the Personal Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights in Cuba described the effects of the embargo on the economic, social and cultural rights of the Cuban people as “disastrous”.33

4. The Embargo will bring regime change in Cuba. Can we really believe this after 50 years?

“No one familiar with US practices in the region or elsewhere can possibly believe that the goal of intensive US terror operations against Cuba and harsh economic warfare was intended to “bring democracy to the Cuban people.” That is just propaganda, unusually vulgar in this case.”

5. Castro is Hitler. This was a ridiculous comment I heard on talk radio in Tucson. And yes, Castro has violated the rights of many of his people.  But there was only one Hitler, and this lazy hyperbole is used by those who lack the talent to be more nuanced.

6. Castro overthrew a democratic Cuban government. Actually, Castro overthrew the dictator Batista who five years earlier had overthrown the democratically elected Carlos Prio in a military coup.

“The Batista dictatorship was overthrown in January 1959 by Castro’s guerrilla forces. In March, the National Security Council (NSC) considered means to institute regime change. In May, the CIA began to arm guerrillas inside Cuba. “During the Winter of 1959-1960, there was a significant increase in CIA-supervised bombing and incendiary raids piloted by exiled Cubans” based in the US. We need not tarry on what the US or its clients would do under such circumstances. Cuba, however, did not respond with violent actions within the United States for revenge or deterrence.”

6. Things were better for Cubans before the revolution. Cubans lived under the oppressive dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista who imprisoned hundreds of dissidents and turned Cuba into a playground for mafia bosses and sugar companies that profited off of near slave Cuban labor.

Batista was a tool for the Cuban and U.S. bourgeoisie and increased the suffering of the poor under his brief dictatorship. Castro helped many poor at the beginning of his regime by nationalizing the property of the wealthy, land and American businesses, to fund his social programs. The wealthy classes in America didn’t like that and went after Castro.  We will never know if his economic socialization program would have succeeded; the U.S. embargo of food, tools, hardware, manufacturing equipment and other tools of industry made Cuban economic advancement impossible.

7. Cubans in Miami and Florida are a monolithic group that share the same ideology. They vary in opinion by age, gender and geography.

9. All Cuban refugees are political refugees. Nope, many have been economic refugees.

“Jorge Ferragut, a Cuban immigrant who founded Casa Cuba, an agency that assists Cuban immigrants arriving in Texas, said in a 2008 article that many Cuban immigrants of the first decade of the 21st century left due to economic instead of political issues.”

“In contrast with the Cuban exiles of the 1960s and the 1970s who left the island for political reasons, the last two waves left mostly for economic reasons.” So when you hear right-wing pundits screaming about all the bloody bodies in the water of those that suffered under the tyranny of Castro, remember that many of those bodies were economic refugees that may have stayed in Cuba were it not for the U.S. embargo. Also remember that many of the recent Cuban immigrants came to Miami and Florida on a plane.

10. All Cubans are conservative. Cubans, just like Mexicans, Chinese, Poles, Irish, Germans, African Americans, are not just one ideology or another. A 2006 Pew Research poll reports that 28% of Cuban considered themselves Republican, and 20% considered themselves Democratic. That’s hardly a monolithic right-wing block of Cuban voters we see in the mainstream media.

The main point is to educate yourself and not buy into the conservative, mainstream media misinformation about Cuba, Castro, and Miami. One should always question the media portrayal of issues, and Cuba is not an exception.

Peace,
Tex Shelters

Liberal Government Regulations are a Parasitic Ponzi Scheme

In Economics, Humor on September 2, 2011 at 21:32

Cartoon from edubass.com

Regulations are ruining the entrepreneurial spirit in America. How do I know this is true? Well, I just told you. And I am sure that the heads of the Forbes 500 would agree that if we just got rid of regulations, we would start hiring people yesterday.

Regulations get in the way of freedom. If someone wants to eat tainted meat and take poisonous medication, who is the Food and Drug Administration to say otherwise? Consumers can test their own food and drugs if they want; regulation only makes us dependent on scientists.

Regulations cut into our profit margins. After having to deal with regulations, who has the free cash to hire anyone? We can’t afford to hire anyone after paying for our megayachts, indoor shark tanks, trips overseas to our tax shelters in our private jets, the multi-million dollar bonuses we pay ourselves, lobbying expenses to avoid taxes and regulation, legal fees to defend against lawsuits, and advertising to enhance our corporate image.

The reason we have no oil in the United States is regulation. BP spent $93.4 million dollars to improve their image after the 2009 oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Containment costs for the BP spill were estimated around $4 billion. However, they didn’t waste their money buying that $500,000 remote shut-off switch that would have contained the spill, and that’s what’s important. But the government regulatory gestapo wants all rigs to have that shut off valve, as if oil spills were a problem. Regulation is hurting our economy and our oil independence.

If we could further deregulate the media, that would help our economy and also help our democracy. In 2004, five corporations owned 90% of the media outlets in the U.S. We are substantially behind Italy where one man, President Berlusconi, controls 80% of the private media channels.

If only we could get Donald Trump that kind of media control and elect him President, we’d all be better off. As it is now, you have to deal with five different corporate executives in the United States to get blanket media coverage. That gets expensive. With the Donald in charge, it would be much easier to get our message out. Right now its torture to get favorable corporate coverage with Rachel Maddow haunting our every step and being so outrageously liberal that she makes up for the 23 hours of daily corporate news with her one hour of coverage. Thankfully, the weekend is safe from her rantings about the Koch brothers control of the Tea Party.

Contaminated water is not dangerous, regulation is. So lets stop testing water quality. Regulation of water interferes with cancer research. If the water were safe, what would oncologists study? Furthermore, regulating water quality is a bottled water trade barrier. We could greatly enhance that market if we just stop testing the water and regulating the effluence from factories, houses and municipalities. It could be a win-win situation. But the socialist U.S. government wants to control our drinking supply as a way to control the people.

Building codes are just a waste of time and money. Haiti turned out quite well without them during their 2010 earthquake.

They also didn’t need building codes in China in 2008. And just because building codes saved lives in Mexico City in 1985 doesn’t mean they are a good thing. As all good Republicans and billionaires know, profit must come first at all costs.

As I have just proven, all regulations are all bad all the time. I am sure you can add your own dangerous regulations to the list.

The upside of regulation is that it gives us an excuse for not hiring as we continue to send jobs overseas. Besides, we’re making all the money we need without dealing with pesky workers.

Peace,
Tex Shelters

Unions are the Unpatriot, Jihadists, Liberal, Terrorist, Atheist, Neighbor Who Wants to Kill you

In Current Events, Economics on August 20, 2011 at 19:43

Tex Shelters here, and I assert that unions are dangerous. They have done so much harm to real America that they alone are the reason we are in dire debt to China.

Back in late 1800s, the Knights of Labor cut into our profits by forcing us to consider the eight hour day. After about 50 years of labor agitation, the Adamson Act was passed in 1917. It forced railroads to institute an eight hour day and pay overtime. It is not a coincidence that this bill passed the same years as the Russian Revolution; the eight hour day was was a communist attack on America. The American Federation of Labor forced the government, through threat of strike, to cut back on worker’s hours, thus reducing our constitutional and God given right to exploit workers for maximum profit.

Union workers get higher pay which leads to inflation, and working families pay more for goods and services. Forget the fact that these same families have members in unions that make higher pay and will thus be unaffected by the slight increase in the cost of consumer goods. Forget the fact that when union workers get paid more, all workers get paid more.  No, we must focus on the inflationary effects of rising wages. And remember non-union workers: union workers are out to get you by making more money than you and getting benefits you don’t have. You must attack union workers and NOT attack the increasingly wealthy corporations and CEOs that keep cutting your pay and benefits and moving your jobs to another state or country. It is fellow workers that are out to get you, so you must get them first. Thank you.

Please America, keep thinking that unions cause unemployment, for that helps us manipulate the reserve pool of labor we have created in the United States. Yes, when a union worker makes more money than you, it means we have less money to hire more people, for we must keep our giant bonuses and luxury homes and hire more management to deal with unruly union workers and the restless unemployed. Moreover, our security costs go up as we have to defend against the retribution of the increasing number of workers we lay off. All this is the fault of unions, so go after them and leave us alone.

You must avoid unions because in a union you vote. In many unions, you vote directly on issues that affect you at work, and we don’t like direct democracy. Unions are corrupt bastions of collective people. If people work alone, like Bernie Maddoff or Martha Stewart or Bernard Ebbers of WorldCom, or Ken Lay of Enron, and many many more, then there is less room for corruption. But working collectively, like unions do, leads to corruption. For example, it was unions that forced Wall Street to commit corporate crimes and manipulate the markets leading to the recent economic collapse.

The most criminal thing that unions have done to America is to keep young children out of the work force. Unions worked with feminists, another cause of the current economic crisis, to rid the land of child labor. What did this group of mothers and laborers have against children? Women pretended to care about stunted growth, lost childhoods, lack of education, injuries and exploitation of children in factories because they were lonely at home for 10-12 hours a day as their eight-year-olds explored workplace opportunities shoveling coal and sewing garments for wealthy children.

And unions were even worse. They wanted these cushy jobs for themselves. By preventing children from working, they not only raised the cost of clothing and other goods for the people, they increased the power of unions and created a more educated, more dangerous, population of future progressives that lead to the progressive movement in the early 1900s that we have never recovered from.

Modern day unions have made our schools unsafe for god and guns. Teachers are the most dangerous type of worker left in the United States because they are the only large block of union workers left, outside of the police and firefighters. And we can’t attack the police and firefighters and get away with it. Thus, we attack the teachers because they get in the way of corporatization of the educational experience and work to prevent the dumbing down of the learning experience. If teachers weren’t in the way, we would have a population of worker drones willing to live off of slop and ready to let the Republicans and their patrons control everything from whom we vote for to where we shit.

As you can see, unions are dangerously getting in the way of our final solution for America. Won’t you join me in attacking unions and other workers and help us subjugate you?

Peace,
Tex Shelters

Bosses lies about unions
http://www.socialistalternative.org/publications/fastfood/ch5.html

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